MAY 24, 2022
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In this issue:
- Full Tilt: Motivation To Finish
- Content Entrepreneur: No Advertising Accepted
- Tilt Education Free Course: How To Build an Audience and Generate Revenue
Comic Book School Entrepreneur Motivates Students To Finish Projects
After a decade-plus of teaching techniques in my Comic Book School, I recognized something extremely important: Most people did not complete their projects. Like most content creators, they started with good intentions and fizzled out in a few months.
After one of my classes, an aspiring creator Erin Donnalley detailed her plans for completing a Lord of the Rings-length epic comic series by next year. I replied, “No, you won’t.”
Instead, I challenged her to complete eight pages – the standard-length comic story – in one year. It seemed like the perfect length for someone taking their first step into publishing. Then, I took that concept to my audience. I reached out to Comic Book School newsletter subscribers and social media fans to help on a new project. A small group of hands shot up and I had a diverse community of advisors – the Council of the Willing.
The Comic Book School’s Council of the Willing guided my decisions and planning. We set up message boards on my site (i.e., owned land). We planned an eight-page challenge with the goal for each student being to create a story that would be ready to hand to editors and publishers at the next New York Comi Con.
This group of remote advisors contributed to design, content, social media, and even back-end technology. It was a collaboration with people I’d never met to create a fun and interactive online community.
When the pandemic hit, the role of the message boards expanded to bring a lifeline of normalcy and creativity to the community. We hosted weekly chats and encouraged conversation.
We gave each other feedback. We broke down the process of making a comic into 12 logical steps.
Each student in our inaugural experiential-learning program was required to post each step of their creation on the message boards. The community was encouraged to give them feedback on their script, art, and more.
The first class in our eight-page challenge had grown, and we decided to compile a digital anthology. We championed completion over quality so that people could know what it was like to finish something.
In the end, we published a 144-page anthology of comics and flash fiction as a free downloadable ebook on the Comic Book School website. There were 32 contributors from diverse backgrounds and regions, including the US, Europe, and Australia. It was the first published work for 28 of them.
In 2021, we updated the eight-page challenge curriculum with insights learned from the first year. We published a second anthology with several returning creators and a handful of new faces.
At least one of our contributors used the experience and contacts to get paid writing work with an independent publisher. Two others are getting their comics published by other publishers and are using the community to cross-promote their work.
We grow the Comic Book School with a simple but clarifying vision: If you want to go faster, go alone. If you want to go further, go together. We’ve seen what it is like when we go alone, so we are going together.
– Buddy Scalera
FREE for The Tilt community
Thanks to Lulu, catch every word from these keynotes plus over 20 breakout sessions. Register now to access the 2022 Creator Economy Expo videos.
content entrepreneur spotlight
Entrepreneur: Mark Webster
Biz: Authority Hacker
Tilt: Learn how to create profitable websites from people doing it every day.
Primary Channel: Website (100K monthly)
Other Channels: Podcast (+1M total downloads)
Time to First Dollar: 4 months
Rev Streams: Other content websites, course sales
Our Favorite Actionable Advice:
- Don’t accept paid sponsor deals for independent sites: Neutrality has been a hallmark of Authority Hacker. Not earning income from advertising has allowed them to recommend what is truly the best product, not what earns the most affiliate sales.
- Make a sales pitch authentic to you: Early on, the Authority Hacker founders tried sales tactics they saw on other websites. However, those weren’t authentic to who they were. Now they use down-to-earth pitches that reflect who they truly are.
- Stay the course: It takes time to earn income from an SEO-optimized authority website. Don’t jump ship too early. Stick with the original plan.
– Kimmy Gustafson
Know a content creator who’s going full tilt? DM us. Or email [email protected].
Caught on … Your Digital Marketing Coach podcast
“Being a content creator has always been a necessity to yielding influence online. But not all content creators necessarily become influencers.” – Neil Schaffer
things to know
the business of content
- Execution, Not Ideas (Content Inc.)
- The Webby Award-Winning Episode (This Old Marketing)
- COVID Reshaped Small Business Banking: What That Means for Your Company (Inc.)
- 10 Tips for Honing Essential Entrepreneur Skills (Small Business Trends)
- 7 Reasons Your Small Business Might Need a Consultant (Motley Fool)
the tilt team
Your team for this issue: Joe Pulizzi, Ann Gynn, Laura Kozak, Marc Maxhimer, and Dave Anthony, with an assist from Angelina Kaminski, Buddy Scalera, Kimmy Gustafson, and Don Borger.