I’ve found that it is not easy to create good tech content sustainably — whether it is books, videos, blogs, or podcasts. Especially in a niche area with very limited audience. There’s little to no money for the vast majority of folks who wants to dedicate their time so in a niche technical area. With no revenue, almost all content creation plans vanish quickly. Even if one has the “passion” or the intent, it is not sustainable in contention with other paid commitments. For example, in — Google Cloud — a topic that I put out content in, I’ve seen numerous YouTube channels pop up and quickly die out for lack of sustained videos. It is saddening. Same story for bloggers who initially write about doing a regular/weekly/daily blog post. I myself have gone off the radar for months once previously when I had a series of things to handle — other work, a bout of Covid for me and the family, and other commitments and changes at home. Why would anybody be spending time on things that take significant effort and time that has a very high opportunity cost with no valuable returns? Creating technical content, as you can see, is often an extremely low paid, tedious, time consuming, and even lonely activity with limited returns of any kind.
I’ve had multiple publishers reach out to me to write books or create video content for them. Unfortunately, the time to money ratio just wasn’t justifiable. I heard a line from one of the publishers, which I think is a well known truth in the tech industry: “you don’t write a tech book to make money”. Uff. Rough.
Yet, content creation is very important for the community.
Google Cloud’s in-house content is superb, but derivative work that applies to different learning groups or specific tasks that combines different real-world issues with documented information is vital for everybody. I myself depend on the wonderful books, blogs, videos, and Q&A that I find online.
And thus the problem —individual content creation is very important work, but unsustainable.
I realize I have a reasonable platform and network
With the content that I have been posting, I’ve racked up a reasonable audience and network who expect to see good content related to Google Cloud on my LinkedIn network and on my YouTube channel, AwesomeGCP.
I’ve made it a point to curate valuable content each time and have guarded against diluting or polluting the content with off topic material. I have also, until now, strongly resisted requests to promote people’s books and courses. I felt it would be wrong to tell my network about a book that I didn’t read myself and/or didn’t find good.
I am promoting content from now on — help both community and content creators
We need more content creators if the community has to succeed and we need to support them. So I am changing my stand with the hope that it will help both the community and the content creators at least a little. From now on, I will post on LinkedIn about books, tutorial sets, courses, etc. by other committed creators.
Guidelines I am setting for myself
However, I don’t want to take that up without letting my network know about it. So I’m setting some guidelines for myself.
- I am not endorsing the content itself, as I wouldn’t have consumed it myself.
- I will add a tag “#Promotion” to the post to indicate the above. (I am also considering putting the tag #unpaid to show that I’m not accepting money for it.)
- I won’t take money, but if they want to support my own content creation in return, I will welcome it with gratitude.
- I will post on LinkedIn only (which is where I have the largest reach that could help you).
- It will be one post about that one content (unless it is like a second edition of a book with significant changes).
- I won’t promote individual blog posts.
- The topic has to be Google Cloud, or closely related.
- It has to be completed work.
- I will dedicate the days Thursday and/or Friday for it (I don’t want my content stream to be only promotions continuously).
- If you have got promotions based on the post, like book giveaway, I won’t handle that. It will be the responsibility of the author.
- The author will have to give me the content that they wish to post. I have the rights to edit the content as I wish.
- Posting about one’s content is finally up to my discretion. I would ideally like to limit to heavy effort, quality content.
- Under no circumstances will I promote question dumps or any other such content.