NOVEMBER 30, 2021

Welcome to The Tilt, a twice-weekly newsletter for content entrepreneurs. Each edition is packed with the latest news, strategies, and tactics, plus inspiring creator stories and exclusive education, all to help you create, grow, and monetize better.

Features in this issue (view online):

full tilt

3 Tips To Help Make Time for Your Content Business

If you’re like nearly half of all content entrepreneurs, your content business is a side gig (for now). As someone who’s a mom and wife, works full time, and still pursues my podcasting dreams, I’ve found you can squeeze in time to work on your content business without giving up your sanity.

Wake up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later: After years in the corporate world, I discovered I was useless after 2 p.m. for just about everything but meetings and basic administrative work; my best creative work happens before lunchtime.

I wake up a smidge early before my kiddo and husband are fully alert, giving me an hour to schedule interviews in distant time zones or work through rough audio edits over my first morning cup of tea.

You may not be a morning person, though. In fact, one interesting study from 2011 suggests when people are tired, they solve creative problems the best. Staying up a little later when everyone’s asleep or otherwise occupied might work better for you.

Use the Pomodoro technique for non-essential tasks: In the Pomodoro technique, you set a timer for 25 minutes and dedicate yourself to a single task. Then, when the timer goes off, you take a five-minute break before starting your next 25-minute block.

I have found this technique works better in reigning in my time wasters rather than optimizing time for creation, such as:

  • Social media engagement
  • Email checks
  • Research rabbit holes, and
  • Optimization tweaks for completed content

You can modify this technique by scheduling recurring time blocks on your calendar of choice and keeping that time block sacred, no matter how tempted you are to schedule something else in that period.

Unplug for analog first drafts: Part of finding time is finding efficiencies. Personally, I find more motivation by working on projects by hand rather than on a computer. Sure, it might take more time to transcribe a written draft over to digital format at first, but it also removes you from digital distractions and interruptions.

– Ashley Stryker

To read one more tip and more details on all four suggestions, read the full story.

Are You a Member of Our Discord Community?

The Tilt Discord community is a great place to chat all things creator economy, but specifically on how content creators can build long-term, successful businesses (we call this becoming a content entrepreneur).

Hint: We announce Tilt news there before it is released to the general audience, so be sure to join today to get the scoop. Otherwise, stay tuned for exciting announcements soon!

content entrepreneur spotlight

Lawyer Creates Lifestyle Instagram Content That Brands Engage With

Entrepreneur: Morgan Cline

Biz: Morgan Cline

Tilt: Lifestyle and travel

Primary Channel: Instagram (19.5K)

Time to First Dollar: 5 years

Rev Streams: Affiliate links, brand partnerships, content creation for brands

Our Favorite Actionable Advice:

  • Include hashtags and geotags: Morgan attracted a bigger following by using hashtags and geotags, so people searching for that content found her content and followed her.
  • Know what you’re agreeing to: Creators should understand all the terms and implications of every contract they sign, including the general agreements with social media platforms.
  • Don’t saturate your feed with brands: Morgan mixes in her day-to-day life, so her Instagram feed isn’t sponsored content post after sponsored content post.

– Bonnie Azoulay

To learn about Morgan’s Instagram beginnings and more, check out the longer story.

Know a content creator who’s going full tilt? DM us or reply to this email.

quick talk

Caught on … Writing Without Bullshit (h/t Brad Bialy)

Do not waste the reader’s time …Treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own.” – Josh Bernoff

things to know

  • Insurance boost: U.S. creators on Substack who earn $5K annually on the platform can apply for a $500 stipend to use toward health insurance. (Yahoo!; h/t Inbox Reads)
    Tilt Take: Though $500 may be a drop in the insurance premium bucket, it’s good Substack recognizes that a full-time content entrepreneur has to figure out how to acquire and pay for health insurance.
  • $14M boost: Triller, the global AI-powered short video and music discovery app, is awarding one-year contracts to 300 Black creators who attended its Assembly for Black Creators conference. Creators earn $2K in fees and $2K in Triller company equity. (Triller)
    Tilt Take: That’s a huge and important investment. We look forward to seeing the creations.
  • No more than 5: An analysis of 962K Instagram Stories found posting up to five a day ensures a retention rate of over 70% between the first and last Stories delivered in 24 hours. (Socialinsider)
    Tilt Take: More isn’t necessarily better to keep your followers watching. Test their results of this analysis to see if five or fewer Stories help you retain your audience.
  • TikTok takeover: Americans between ages 12 and 17 use TikTok more than Instagram every week, according to Forrester research. Its analyst says Gen Z youth find TikTok to be funnier and more positive than other social media platforms. (CNBC)
    Tilt Take: It’s important to follow and identify the trends to see where your audience lives (and where they don’t).
Tech and Tools
  • No shuffle: Spotify quickly responded to singer Adele’s request to hide the shuffle button from all albums. “Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended,” she wrote. Now, when playing albums, the shuffle button is only available via a separate menu. (Business World)
    Tilt Take: Though Adele’s request was heard and answered quickly, it’s a good reminder that third-party platforms ultimately get to decide how your creations are “played” to the public.
  • Vertical up: TikTok gets another competitor. Spotify is testing a new feature in its Discover app that shows a vertical feed of music videos that you can scroll through, like, or skip. (Tech Crunch; h/t Matt Navarra)
    Tilt Take: We’re not sure we need another app mimicking TikTok.
And Finally
  • Big deal: A former fashion blogger Amber Venz Box launched LTK, a platform for over 150K influencers to partner with brands and sell their merchandise. Now, LTK is valued at $2B and generates more than $3B in annual sales, about 10 to 25% of which goes to the influencers who promote the products. (Forbes)
    Tilt Take: Amber saw the power of influencer-brand deals, so she created a platform to bring together both parties, and took it to the billion-dollar level fairly quickly.
  • When in Roman times: Started by the Romans, the newsletter remains more popular than ever despite the countless ways to reach out to audiences. Want proof? In 2020, 14M Mailchimp customers sent 333B newsletters, driving over $64B in revenue. (The Atlantic)
    Tilt Take: Think before you follow every shiny new star. You may think what you’re doing is “old-fashioned,” but it may have the staying power every business wants.

we’re a stan for Shroud

Twitcher Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek became a figurehead in the gaming world by playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Now, he’s transitioned from gaming professionally to streaming professionally on Twitch while he’s in the middle of games like PUBG and Fortnite.

In 2019, Shroud left Twitch for an exclusive deal to stream on Mixer, a video gaming streaming service owned by Microsoft. When Mixer folded, they bought out his contract for a reported $10M. And Shroud returned to Twitch: “Twitch is where I was able to first turn my passion for streaming into a successful career – and it is all due to my incredible and loyal fanbase.”

Why we’re a Stan: Shroud didn’t let Mixer’s bad turn hurt his content business. He came back to Twitch stronger, smartly rebranding his look and logo for the new era.

– Shameyka McCalman

the business of content

the tilt team

Your team for this issue: Joe Pulizzi, Ann Gynn, Laura Kozak, Marc Maxhimer, and Dave Anthony, with an assist from Ashley Stryker, Bonnie Azoulay, Shameyka McCalman, and Don Borger.