It was a Sunday when it hit me.
I was planning my week using an Excel sheet. I like planning because it gives me complete control over my life. With an Excel sheet in place, life unfolds as per my will. And yet, I couldn’t ignore the second thoughts that I was having about my blog.
My plan for blogging was simple
“I will keep writing a blog, gradually build an audience, and then be unstoppable.”
But considering that I have been writing for a while and still haven’t reached the fame status of Tim Urban or James Clear, I felt a sense of dread.
Is anyone even reading the blog? Is it worth putting in the hours to write?
And with this gloom came a thought that promised some respite. Some hope. A ray of sunshine.
I should try Instagram! That would solve all my problems. Or maybe paid ads. So many businesses use them. Or pay attention to my SEO? Yes, I could learn that.
And while these solutions seem tempting, it is a trap that must be avoided at all costs. The lust for a new platform can derail our strategy, push us back a few months, and dent our confidence. It’s in our weakest moments when we look for solace. But venturing into multiple platforms isn’t going to help. Here’s why –
1. Blogging is easy for the first five days
And then complexity emerges. Ever so slowly.
It didn’t take me long to realize that outlining a blog article is critical to ensure smooth flow. And headlines are important too… And then there is the never-ending slog of working on my writing.
Blogging is not easy. YouTubing and Podcasting aren’t easy either.
Every platform brings with it a sack of nuanced problems. We need to go through a steep learning curve to overcome these challenges. We need to develop skills that we didn’t think we would need. And as creators, when we jump from one platform to another (or add more platforms to our strategy), we start from zero and start climbing this very steep mountain.
This significant investment of effort should be enough to prevent us from constantly venturing into new platforms. But it isn’t. So the next time your inner demons trick you into believing that the new platform is a solution to all your worries, question it, please. 🙂
This takes us to the second point – Which is time.
2. Editing a YouTube video may take hours
This blog article took me 3 hours to write (yeah, I am a slow writer). Coordinating with potential guests on your podcast takes time too. As we practice, however, the time needed for these activities reduces significantly.
But if you decide to enter the podcasting scene tomorrow, boy oh boy… it’s going to demand a hell of time.
And before you know it, your wife is pissed with you as you have no time to watch the Ted Lasso marathon with her, and your plants are dying of thirst. Not a good way to live, is it?
3. More platforms mean more impact
Less. I meant less. When we venture into multiple platforms as a one-person team, we push mediocre content everywhere, as we are always strapped for time. (If an image of an Instagram reel popped into your mind, that is exactly what I meant). The hope and the dream is that more people will stumble upon our content… and that will be the rope that saves us from drowning.
And it’s true. More people do see it. But to what end? If you want to build genuine trust with an audience of 100 people, more people seeing your content will not take you to your goal.
It’s like a restaurant down the corner offering 100 mediocre dishes compared to a tea shop that ONLY serves tea. But it’s the best tea that you have had in your life…
The goal here is resonance. Is your content creating a deep connection with the audience? Sure, your Instagram reels might get millions of views, but is that moving the needle for your brand or your business?
Superficial content doesn’t transform people. Deep content does. A well-thought-out blog article, an insightful podcast episode, or a detailed YouTube video has the potential to have a long-lasting impression on your audience.
But then, what do I do?
History is full of names of creators who built their online empires through a single asset. James Clear used blogging. Louis Grenier used podcasting. Pranav Kale used YouTubing (Joke, I have 83 subscribers). These guys got exceptionally good at their medium while resisting the temptation to jump on multiple platforms simultaneously.
You and I need to invest in one long-form platform that builds deep trust with the audience. We get to choose from
And then give each platform its own sweet time to flourish. No one would initially care about the platform, creating unrest in our already feeble minds. But this unrest shouldn’t be a reason to start writing threads on Twitter.
But how would you distribute it?
Fine, I get it. You work hard to create content, and you would want some distribution mechanism. While social media is not the most optimal channel (with everyone shouting for attention), it can be an effective platform to distribute the long-form content that we publish. Linkedin is my favorite. But hey, if you want to be visual, go for Instagram or Pinterest. Twitter is cool, too, if you love content.
There is always room for experimentation
None of us are born with clarity about the mediums/platforms that we would be good at. Nothing is set in stone. After writing 30 blog articles, you might realize that YouTube suits you better. And that’s okay. Pivoting is just fine. Pivoting too much is a problem. Eventually, you would want to settle down on a platform that works best for you.
Every platform demands a significant amount of time and effort to master. When we take on too many platforms at the same time, we create content with limited impact. A better strategy is to master one before moving on to the next.
And always keep some room for experimentation.
Because despite my attempts to tame my life using an Excel sheet, life doesn’t obey me. I cannot force life to unfold a certain way. All I can do is do my best and forget the rest. And when I make this shift, I experience nothing but peace.