This week, Anthony discusses which platform you should create on creators should be focusing on. And what the recent OnlyFans debacle can teach content creators.
A few years ago, the answer for “Where should I be posting?” was simple. “Everywhere”. There are just too many platforms and formats now for that to be a viable option. Especially for solo creators, the time just isn’t there.
So which platform should you create on? You should try out a few platforms and formats, and lean into the ones that feel natural for you and your content.
Hello, and welcome to the InTakeCreate podcast a podcast helping content creators think differently about productivity creativity, business and more. I’m the host and creator of intakecreate, Anthony. And you can connect with me on Twitter at intake underscore Anthony (@Intake_Anthony) to keep up with a ton more content, creator tips, advice, and experiments.
Last time you heard this voice in your ears? I was talking about how to actually get started as a content creator and the different areas of value that a lot of beginning creators look over this time. I’m going to be talking about what platform to actually create your content for how to think about these different platforms.
And at the end we’re going to have a little bit of discussion about platform risk on the back of this Onlyfans news debacle that’s been going on to the last little bit.
So, let’s get right into it and figure out what platform you’re gonna create on.
A Top-Down Look at Social Platforms
So first, I’m going to take a little bit of a high vantage point and take a top down look at some of these different bigger social medias and different platforms. And just talk about what content actually works on them well.
So first, the one that I’m the most active on – Twitter. Twitter has been the first time that I’m really getting some traction on one of these platforms. And it just seems like a natural fit that I kind of overlooked for a long time. For a long time. I thought in order to get ahead on Twitter or get any traction on Twitter, you had to be either hilarious or hateful or completely original.
The very opposite is true. Getting ahead on Twitter is more about providing value to people connecting with people one-on-one, and writing efficiently. It’s really just a copywriter’s dream is to learn how to write a snappy Tweet. The thing with Twitter – before I joined Twitter, I was just writing – I was just a writer.
I was writing blog posts, and I was trying Instagram. I was trying really hard to get anywhere on Instagram and it wasn’t working. It felt like there was no traction. I never felt the initiative or the motivation to actually really dig in on Instagram. It just sort of seemed hopeless but Twitter… As soon as I jumped over to Twitter, I realized that it was a perfect match for the way that I actually write.
So if you write in bits, if you have a lot of fragments that come out of your writing, if you want to learn more about things and share what you learn. If you want to build something and build it in public, that’s a huge thing on Twitter. Twitter is really really powerful platform to create on if you learn the Twitter style.
Now that goes for every one of these platforms we talk about. But Twitter has a very specific style about it tends to like and it’s writing second.
Another big one. Probably one of the biggest is YouTube. Now, if you want to create content on YouTube, you probably already know that. And there’s not too many alternatives for video content like that especially longer form video content.
Now YouTube is out of all these platforms YouTube is probably the most work. It can surprise a lot of people how long actually takes to generate some traction on YouTube. Any famous Youtuber that you follow or like or listen to or watch. It took them quite a long time to actually get anyways and seeing their engagement charts.
These little graphs that you get in there, analytics they are never a straight line up into the right. It’s always plateau, plateau plateau flat, flat flat flats bike. And just all of a sudden they spike and hopefully they can catch that spike and ride it a little bit. There’s nothing linear about YouTube growth.
As far as analytics go, where the linear growth for YouTube comes in is actually in the skills, you build while making your videos because I really think that making YouTube videos is the ultimate creator skill builder your brainstorming constantly you’re writing scripts or at least writing outlines for the videos you want to do your using your charisma and personality on camera which is an entirely different skill, set your editing, your videos, potentially, or hiring someone else.
Maybe you’re even managing a small team to do your videos, whatever it is. Every aspect of YouTube is an incredible value to just your skill building and your creative muscles. Now not every creator has the patience or the tolerance for the YouTube game. If you want to get started on YouTube, I absolutely think you should.
But it takes quite a bit of patience, and a very strong mental framework to perform well.
Now, I said there wasn’t many alternatives for YouTube. The only one that I can really think of for video content. Is this new kid on the block tick tock. Now, TikTok is an entirely new phenomena as far as content creators go and it seems to be one of the most impressive turnarounds for monetizing, creators and incentivizing creators.
And just the amount of content being made on TikTok is absolutely insane. And honestly, I never quite expected it, but they took this vine format of short snappy videos and just exploded it
Now, if you’ve been trying to make content for a long time, chances are you’re gonna find TikTok intimidating and very, very difficult. The in-app editor is quite the learning curve, especially if you’re coming from any traditional video, editors for anything. I do on YouTube or even this podcast, I actually use Sony Vegas to edit it, and I try to few talks in my time and the editor on the app is powerful.
Can do a lot but it’s super hard to learn coming from those professional tools. But I think this is part of the key for TikTok. It actually benefits people who aren’t quote content creators and it benefits, people who are just people, you know, these story time videos, these, it’s a selfie format, which most content creators feel like there above.
It’s trends that come in and out of fashion, coming into the style. Then it’s humor, it’s different kinds of humor. It’s visual comedy, comedic timing. It’s telling a story in a minute without getting lost in your points. It is really, really intense creative work. And that’s all before we get to the algorithm.
The discovery algorithm on TikTok is unlike any other platform. No platform. Gives a brand new creator. The chance to be seeing as much as TikTok does. My wife actually messes around with TikTok more than I do. She posts the odd tick, talk of some of our cats or some of the kids, and it’s remarkable how one video can get posted and literally, go nowaries, zero sitting there.
That’s familiar to me, coming from trying YouTube for so long. But then the second one just for no reason within an hour, it can have 700 views. Just because just because and now I it’s hard to know whether or not any of these numbers are inflated. But something tells me that there at least close and it I you can’t quite crack the code of the algorithm of what makes it successful?
What makes it not successful? Those are all the secrets that TikTok holds pretty closely but you can’t deny the absolute power of that for you page, when you open up the app, you’re not looking at people. You know you’re not looking at people you follow. You’re looking at what the app thinks you would enjoy outside of who you follow most part.
So tick, tock incredible for brand new creators, difficult for old creators. The trends move so fast that it can be hard to keep up, but if you really locked in on it, it can go. Well I typically stay away from TikTok because if I open the app I know I’m going to watch TikToks for about an hour and it just brings my productivity down to the floor.
So really I just don’t open the app all that much but the creation is very interesting to me and I do want to lean into it at some point.
Another one. I mentioned it a little bit earlier. Instagram. I have a love hate relationship with Instagram, so really I think of Instagram like the OG for influencer careers now I know YouTube careers was around first but Instagram actually made it, mainstream it, made it cool.
Instead of doing it first, you could make a living off of posting on Instagram and that is just common now, where before that you could make a living as a youtuber, but that was just seen as weird Instagram made. It normal made it possible. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy, Instagram to me, seems like it’s the most involved platform to where there’s so much on it, where you can do feed posts which are mostly square images.
Now you can do a few more shapes and formats their stories which are vertical formats. There’s reals which are tick. Tock style videos. There’s Instagram TV for longer form videos. It’s super, super involved. And it also has that notion the same as Twitter, where the one-to-one connections, end up being very important for your growth.
Instagram is like that too. Almost even more. And Instagram is I I feel Instagram is the best if you already have a bit of an audience and you’re bringing them to your Instagram or linking to your Instagram from some results. I find it very difficult or I have been cracked code at least on building and Instagram from zero to go up.
Maybe that needs a little bit more effort for me. Maybe all the changes to Instagram have left me kind of outdated in my understanding. I’m not sure. But the while it’s the hardest one to really get your wedge in and leverage it’s certainly has the highest returns of any of these platforms.
The deals you can strike on Instagram if you do it, right are or can be incredible. But that takes some real savvy negotiating skills at times or the right manager or team, but the ones who do it, well, do it incredibly well, and they’re fantastic creators to watch grow.
Some Other Platforms
So let’s talk about some others. I’m not going to go deep into these but there’s medium for writers, quora for writers. Snapchat, is really still pushing, I don’t quite know much about content creation for snapchat, but it seems like they’re always pushing a little bit and only fans that we’re gonna talk about in a minute.
There’s anchor, which is what I use to make this podcast. If all you want to do is make a podcast, anchor is an option. There’s no discoverability or algorithm getting it out there to people. So, you’ll have to use another platform, but these things are all possible to make money on, so which one is right for you and your content, I learned this lesson the hard way, but it doesn’t actually matter which one you choose.
The Secret is the Same for All Platforms
The trick is to pick one of them and really play its game. So right now, I’ve picked Twitter and I’m really playing the Twitter game. I’m working hard to generate Twitter content content for Twitter, instead of linking out of Twitter, The same thing can be done on YouTube, leaning on YouTube and do that as your content really play the YouTube game for six eight, nine months, and put the effort in Same thing for TikTok.
Same thing for Instagram. Same thing on medium, just pick the one that seems like a natural fit to you and put the work in.
Build your following on one, and invite them to follow on another when you start it
It’s a lot easier to build the following on one of them and then kind of transport some of them over. So I can build a bit of a following now on Twitter, and then down the road, if I want to lean in a little bit more on Instagram, it’s not impossible to share an Instagram link on Twitter and carry some of those involved or extra engaged followers over.
And follow me on Instagram so you can build one up over time and kind of move your audience where you need them. That’s a lot easier than trying to build Twitter, Instagram, Facebook TikTok all at the same time and kind of half-assing all of them. But there’s a caveat to all of this.
Extract Your Audience OUT of These Platforms and Build an Email List
At the end of the day, you should be focused on extracting your audience out of whatever platform you choose. So by this, I mean building an email list or building a platform of your own or anywheres where you get to own your audience and directly communicate with them.
The obvious choice and really, the only one I can think of is building an email list that way if you have a huge audience on Instagram and you don’t build an email list, theoretically Instagram could change their algorithm could change their discovery algorithm and you don’t get seen anymore.
Nobody that follows you sees your content anymore, maybe because you’re not leaning into video content. You’re still just doing images. Instagram’s not gonna show that as much, then what you’ve lost your engagement with the audience, but if you’ve built an email list. Well, now, you can directly communicate with your audience outside of algorithms.
The only enemy you’re fighting. Then is spam filters. So no matter what platform you choose. No matter where you’re building your audience. At first your goal should be to extract them out of there, build a personal contact list or an email list and communicate with them directly off of these platforms.
So just to recap that a little bit, in case I missed anything, choose one platform that seems like a natural fit for me, it’s Twitter for this short writing format, build your audience then build an email list to move them into, and then your way to the races and you have a lot more opportunities from there, not to mention monetizing your newsletter itself.
Platform Risk & The OnlyFans Debacle
And now, I want to discuss this only fans situation. I don’t have a lot of listeners who are only fans creators but I have a lot of listeners who would benefit from learning this lesson from only fans. So let’s give a little bit of background. Only fans if you’re unaware has been sort of similar to patreon where you can pay a created directly and support their content get access to their private content.
And this only fans absolutely blew up with sex workers. They could post their explicit content behind a paywall and get paid directly from their subscribers directly from their supporters, to see their content very similar to patreon, but you could do adult content. And these sex workers were responsible for all of the success of only fans.
Just point blank. All of only fans success came from this sex, worker industry. And now, about a week ago, only fans came out of an announced that they were going to remove adult content from their platform. Now, this sent the internet into a complete meltdown.
Suddenly all of these creators were without a job without income, a lot of those subscribers actually canceled their subscriptions ahead of the announcement and the backlash on only fans was astronomical
Now, it’s not like they just all of a sudden made this decision to remove adult content. Their hands were forced for sure where the banks that supported them, the credit card payment processors, pretty much or allegedly threatened to remove their service. And now if credit card provider, removes the service from only fans, that’s the entire service gone.
Shut down. We saw this actually happened last year with PornHub. I believe where all the credit card providers, just pulled support for PornHub. And that’s a major major portion of their income, like the direct payments to PornHub. That was gone and now they’re relying solely on advertising. It seems only fans doesn’t use any advertising.
So that model isn’t there for them. They only have these direct payments if they they were threatened and if they lose that from these credit card providers, they lose their platform entirely. So you can sort of see where that decision came down from there was overhead pressure from their banks and credit card providers.
And now today actually right before I came to record this bit, they announced that they’re stepping back rolling back from that decision. They got assurance from their bank providers, but their wording was a little bit vague. They said they’re going to suspend that policy change. That is not canceling.
The policy change. That means it’s probably still going to happen down the line especially if the banks put on a little bit more pressure. If a bad news article comes out of it, only fans, especially alleging some child, pornography allegations, this is that’s what happened with PornHub. If a similar big style article kind of goes after only fans that policy is going to happen.
I can almost guarantee seeing that happen.
So what’s the lesson here? The lesson here is platform risk. If you put all your eggs in one basket and build your audience on one platform solely on one platform, you’re at the whim of that platform.
So only fans, there were some creators on there with massive followings, but they didn’t have an email list, they didn’t have them. Anyways, outside of only fans, if they lost only fans, that’s it. They have no more audience left. They could start over start some results and their name.
Alone could build an audience but they don’t get to carry their audience with them. We see the same thing happened on Twitter constantly, the most famous example, I guess to use for this is actually Donald Trump last year. Got banned off a Twitter for good reasons. You know, I’m not going into the politics of that back and forth but if someone the level of the United States, president can get banned off of Twitter that can happen to any single content creator.
A more pressing example that might actually resonate with some of my listeners was actually Jack Butcher earlier. This year, he does this incredible artwork for visualized value is the brand name and he has the visualized value Twitter account, and his jack butchered Twitter account, and the Jack Butcher won.
It was a lot of like one-liners and like pithy tweets like really powerful lessons packed into a sentence or make you think that kind of the whole like Twitter thing and then on the visualized value, he would create really simplistic artwork to represent it and incredibly popular, incredibly powerful.
He’s a guru of building personal brands, really but his accounts, his second accounts got banned. Earlier this year due to creating duplicate content, I guess was, the reason from Twitter. This is platform risk happening, it’s since been undone and he could capture some of that and fix it but any creator can lose their platform at any time.
Same thing has happened on Patreon before where they make a policy change and stop supporting creators certain creators. There’s always going to be backlash for this but these things are going to happen. The lesson is own your audience and build your email list, build your contact list. So you can carry your audience to every project, you do to every platform.
You go to every idea you have or message. You want to express and email list is the only way to avoid your platform risk. I’ll be very interested to watch what happens with only fans going forwards. And I think a lot of content creators learned a pretty valuable lesson.
But that’s about all I’ve got for the show today. I hope that gave you some direction or at least something to chew on and think about, I’ll be back in two weeks with another audio intake create podcast. In the meantime, you can go to intakecreate.com to read any articles.
I have there on content creation and productivity, and you can sign up to our newsletter to create his notes that I send out on, it’ll come out the next Monday in between episodes of the podcast and it sort of rounds up some creator, economy news, some productivity tips, some mental frameworks and models that.
And some success stories that I found from the creativerse, the creator economy, the creator, bubble and sign up for that. You can you can go to intake.com and click on newsletter.
Thank you for listening, go. Create something and make an email list. Thank you.