3 Content Consumption Strategies To Help You Create Amazing Material
Follow these simple strategies to consume quality content and level-up as a creator.
If you create with any regularity, the future may seem daunting. Say you post every week. Each year, when the New Year rolls around, you’re staring down the barrel of fifty-two new pieces of content. How can you make that proposition more palatable? Increase your level of content consumption.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The same holds for content! Tweaking this for content creators, we have something like this: “You create the average of the last five pieces of content you consumed.”
Take a moment and reflect on your last few pieces of consumed media. What types were they? What subject matter did they cover?
Creating quality is the goal.
Every creator strives for quality. Nobody sets out to create something, puts their name on it, and is comfortable with “good enough.” Look at your content mentors, the people who churn out materials you enjoy. What do they all have in common? Regardless of the subject matter, the best content rises to the top because of the production quality.
When trying to increase your quality content consumption to better yourself as a creator, you must decide what topics to learn. Regularly listening to sports radio could provide value, especially if you create for the sports journalism market. Beyond that, it might come down to structure, or tone, where you learn the most.
While everything CAN be appropriate for your market, make sure to ask yourself if there is a better use of your time. Is there something you can consume that would both interest you AND help you grow as a creator? Don’t become complacent by focusing your content consumption on pure enjoyment. Stretch your reaches to include other interests and find other sources of inspiration.
The three content consumption strategies.
All three of these rely on that ubiquitous device in your pocket: the smartphone. While everyone has one, not everyone uses it to its fullest potential. Take a look at the following suggestions and see if they are worth adding to your repertoire.
Look things up.
Start to think of your phone as the holder of knowledge. You don’t need to memorize important dates anymore; the phone has all the answers! Get used to turning to the internet and, more specifically, to Wikipedia for answers to all sorts of mundane questions. Then, you can focus on learning to connect the dots between seemingly unrelated topics.
I recently saw a tweet made by Senator Lindsey Graham, relating the political climate to the French Revolution.
Imagine the kind of quality content you could develop if you had a robust knowledge of history from your constant quest to learn. This comparison is the type of quality content that takes off!
Listen to podcasts.
Reaching out to mentors is a known strategy to take advantage of a rich vein of knowledge. Podcasts are how modern mentors can reach a mass audience. They release timely episodes that can give you a glimpse of the way they view the world. There is often very little time between the recording of a podcast and the distribution, meaning these are on the cutting edge of relevance.
Podcast hosts are like modern mentors because their words, carried by their voices, are delivered to your ears. This delivery leads to a personal connection of sorts. The tone of their words gives more information than written words, and these cues provide a glimpse into the way their worldview.
For example, Dave Ramsey recently put out a podcast about his opinion on debt, specifically in light of the COVID-19 situation.
I’m not sure how much it costs to get Dave Ramsey on the phone, but I know the podcast app is free on my iPhone! Timely, practical advice from a top thinker in the space. This example is the kind of mentorship that’s possible with modern technology.
Consume more books
Finding time to read is hard in today’s fast-paced world. There’s one hack that allows you to consume the highest quality, the most well-researched form of content the world has ever known: audiobooks. Listen while cleaning, listen in the car.
Books take years to create. They are well-researched, and by taking the time to make them, the author has had to develop some coherent organizational structure. They are the best chance to learn more about any given topic. Diving into a book is the gold standard for content consumption, and investing will pay off when it comes time to organize your content.
Here’s an example that recently played out for me. I was curious about modern finance and the history of banking, so I listened to an audiobook called The House of Morgan (about the banking family).
It turns out that the older J.P. Morgan was an avid art collector. This information came in handy when I wrote about an art museum a few months later. I was able to bring history into the post!
It isn’t always easy.
Finding time for quality content consumption can be a challenge. There’s always something else to do around the house, some other time-drain competing for your time.
Treat content consumption like it’s part of your job. Listening/reading quality content is an investment in your content creation and will pay off in the long run. Remember, the average of the last five pieces of content.
This suggestion isn’t a knock on consuming content for pleasure. It just means that you need to balance it with information that forces you to learn something new.
Simplicity is the name of the game.
Once you get your system down, you’ll realize how many hidden pockets of time there are throughout the day. Prioritize content consumption, and you will reap the benefits of higher overall quality in your work.
Remember, that little piece of metal and plastic in your pocket has the world’s knowledge. Think of it like a small, bionic brain that already knows everything there is to know. It’s your job to expose yourself to enough of it to connect the dots!
Any thoughts about content consumption? Leave a note in the comments on your best strategies. If you have any questions for the Algorithmic Global team about your content creation, or if you need help getting your content out into the world, head over to our contact page. We’d love to hear from you!