JULY 6, 2021

Welcome to The Tilt, a twice-a-week newsletter for content creators who want to be or already are content entrepreneurs. We talk aspiration, inspiration, revenue, audiences, tech, trends, and more to help your content business thrive.

full tilt

Do People Know What You’re About?

About pages, bios, profiles, channel descriptions – whatever the name – are valuable real estate that shouldn’t be ignored or be done half-assed.

Interestingly, while the about page or bio is cornerstone content for your business, it usually isn’t the first thing visitors see. They often come through a piece of content. When that entertains, informs, or just intrigues them, they start a digital investigation to see what this content creator is all about.

What will they find out about you? Since you control the narrative, that’s up to you. But it shouldn’t be too difficult to create a narrative about your content business if you already have your tilt and detailed your mission. After all, they speak to the who, what, why, and more you’re creating.

Use that to create engaging descriptions that are memorable and motivate visitors to connect further with you and visit your owned and rented land.

The Tilt Advice

How do you craft a spectacular biographical narrative for your content business? Well, you can’t create just one and use it on every platform. Tailor each description to where it’s going to be seen but tie all of them together for consistent branding.

We recommend making the about page on your website the grounding narrative. You can pull excerpts from it and modify them to craft your social media bios, profiles, or channel descriptions.

Writing the about page

Be detailed and enticing as you tell the story of you and your business. First, explain who you are. This is not your life story. It’s the story of who you are as a content entrepreneur in relation to this content business.

Next, detail the who of your content business. What does it provide? Who does it serve?

When those narratives resonate with your about-page visitors, they’re likely to read on. Now give them the details of your content, such as frequency, and include calls to action.

Creating social bios

With your lengthier about-page complete, it’s time to move onto your social media descriptions. In most cases, the shorter the better. That means you can only hit one to three points of what your business offers the audience. In fact, you really should get to the main point in the first 150 characters or so.

Stay focused on what the particular platform’s audience would most likely want to know about or act on with your content business. For example, a Twitch about page may include chat guidelines and chat commands along with the usual stuff, while a Twitter bio might include a few popular hashtags relevant to your business.

If you have more to say than is allowed – or manageable – include a link to your about page or link tree.

Growing a link tree

A link tree is a simple list page where visitors can easily click on your offer, social media link, merchandise page, etc. Link trees began as landing pages for Instagram creators. Today, content entrepreneurs use them when they don’t have a website to link to or want to make the CTAs as simple as possible.

Use only a word or two for your click-button labels. Otherwise, many visitors will turn away quickly because it’s too much work to scrutinize each option. Linktree is the most popular tool to create them, but there are plenty of alternatives – some of which let you adjust the URL, letting you put your brand stamp on it.

And that’s what it’s all about.

– Ann Gynn

To see examples and view how one content business executes this strategy, read the longer story.

Illustrator Tyler Feder Tumbles Into Instagram and Book Success

Entrepreneur: Tyler Feder

Biz: Roaring Softly

Tilt: Illustrations of an authentic life

Channels: Instagram (69.2K) Twitter (13.3K)

Rev Streams: Instagram, commissioned art through Etsy and website, published books

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • Don’t follow trends: Your content should be unique, and that requires doing what works for both you and your audience.
  • Post consistently: To monetize your content, you should publish it regularly to manage your audience’s expectations.
  • Make your ice cream: Tyler gained traction when she illustrated characters from the show Parks and Rec as ice cream types. Think about how to tie your content to a bigger picture.

Some of the Story:

Relatability online isn’t always about showing your face. Sometimes, it’s about sharing your story. Illustrator Tyler Feder has found a way to share the most vulnerable moments in her life through her art, and it’s landed her tens of thousands of dedicated fans and a handful of book deals.

Her childhood hobby found a platform when Tyler began sharing her illustrations on Tumblr. That was long before she made the leap to Instagram and eventually monetized her content, established a client base, and accepted publishing opportunities to create a content business.

Much of her work follows Tyler’s own experience with mental health, grief, body acceptance, and being a woman in her 30s navigating the ever-changing world. While her content is often specific to her own life, Tyler’s posts are relatable. A quick scroll through the comments on nearly any picture proves how Tyler has captured her audience: sharing the raw parts of herself as she meets them and allowing the world to be her mirror.

A stroke of luck and a post that hit the heartstrings of television workplace comedy fans started it all and attracted a lot of followers. “I drew this silly doodle of each main character on Parks and Recreation represented by a type of ice cream,” Tyler says.

After her digital illustration company Roaring Softly took off online, Tyler connected with Penguin Random House, where she’s published two books: Dancing at the Pity Party and Bodies Are Cool for kids of all ages.

Tyler offers advice to fellow content entrepreneurs who are still striving for success: “When I started posting my art on Tumblr, I was trying all these things that I thought were trendy, and no one was biting. When I started drawing things that appealed to my own tastes, that’s when I slowly started to gain traction.”

– Kelly Wynne

All the Story: To learn more about Tyler Feder’s journey and her advice for what content entrepreneurs starting out should do, check out the longer story.

quick talk

Caught on … Twitter

Never underestimate the power of following up. People are busy!” – Kaleigh Moore

things to know

  • Sparkling money: Business is booming for Karat Financial, the company that created corporate credit cards for creators who can’t get traditional financing. (Karat calculates credit line based on cross-platform success and audience engagement.) Month-over-month growth is 50% and it’s raised $26M for the company. (Venture Beat; h/t to Corrales Cachola)
    Tilt Take: Karat’s growth is an indicator the content entrepreneur business is strong. We expect other financial institutions to reevaluate their credit or loan processes.
  • Open the Instagram bank account: IGTV’s ad-revenue sharing with creators is happening this month. Creators get 55% of their ad income, the same rate offered by YouTube. (Axios)
    Tilt Take: It’s a good thing when creators get paid when their creations contribute to a revenue opportunity for the hosting party. Glad to see this effect coming from the explosive growth of video creation across platforms.
  • Differing reactions: Don’t expect audiences in different countries to react the same way. A YouTuber tested the theory with a video for his Portuguese and Russian audiences. Each group had the same total number of views. But the Portuguese had three times more likes and two times more comments than the Russians. (Start It Up)
    Tilt Take: Your analytics can tell you a lot, but don’t just look at the overall numbers. Dig down to see if niches behave differently.
  • Unsubscribes expected: The first reaction to sending out your newsletter edition often is an unsubscribe. Don’t take it personally. In fact, mute those unsubscribes so you don’t see every time it happens. (David Bauer)
    Tilt Take: Unsubscribes aren’t always a bad thing. Opt-outs usually come from people who weren’t reading it anyway. And that can be a boost to your open rate.
Tech and Tools
  • More Tok: TikTok isn’t just into the short anymore. Over the next few weeks, you can up your video time to three minutes. (The Next Web)
    Tilt Take: Don’t go longer just because you can. Go longer when it makes sense for the story you are telling.
  • Sticking the link: Instagram is testing a sticker that operates like a swipe-up link. The difference? Viewers tap instead of swipe. Also, the feature is available to users who don’t have the 10K follower threshold required for swipes. (The Verge)
    Tilt Take: We’re most excited to see an option to include a link in an Instagram Story that doesn’t require a big audience for the creator. Creators with smaller audiences deserve that too.
And Finally
  • NFTs sing: Twitter is going deeper into NFTs. The 140 Collection is now available on Rarible. They include the Reply Guy (the man behind mansplaining), twitter jggl (green gelatin letters), and Furry Twitter. (Crypto Briefing)
    Tilt Take: The NFTs aren’t listed for sale and Twitter notes in one tweet they’re giving away 140. But overall, it’s a reminder that traditional economies aren’t the only ones at play for creators.
  • Another podcast acquisition: Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes recently closed a multi-million-dollar deal with Amazon Music and Wondery for their podcast Smartless. (Deadline)
    Tilt Take: More and more major audio outlets see the value in owning podcasts as this latest deal shows. They may be big names, but smaller names are doing deals too.

we’re a stan for Bella Poarch

Picture this: You make every clip posted to TikTok appear as if it’s recorded in your personal karaoke lounge, closeups of you mouthing along to the music you love. Unexpectedly, one day after posting a video, notifications pour in as you gain an astronomical number of followers on the app.

In 2020, this was Bella Poarch’s reality. The third-most followed platform user (74.2M) catapulted into stardom shortly after lip-syncing the words to “M to the B” by Millie B, which now has 50.2M likes. Though Bella’s charisma transfixes her followers, some may be astonished to learn she created the account and went viral within the year.

Bella rode the new found wave of fandom, signed with Warner Records, and became a bonafide singer, releasing her first single in May. In March of this year, the creator’s estimated net worth was $200K to $300K.

Why we’re a Stan: Bella had the talent to make a living lip-syncing on TikTok and the popularity and talent to turn it into a musical contract. Social platforms like TikTok can be a great place to showcase your skills and build a fan base craved by most labels.

the business of content

In this week’s Content Inc. podcast, Joe talks about the recent acquisition of the Smartless podcast and lessons learned.

In the latest This Old Marketing, Joe and Robert discuss the new ruling that college athletes can now generate compensation from their image and likeness, and with that, the amount of content-based businesses launched is going to be staggering.

the tilt team

Your team for this issue: Joe Pulizzi, Ann Gynn, Laura Kozak, and Dave Anthony, with an assist from Kelly Wynne, Shameyka McCalman, and Don Borger.