Until this weekend, I had completely forgotten what it means to be followed, have your work judged without earning a single penny. I have had one of my biggest successes since I started creating content, and I made a staggering nothing, yet it still feels fantastic. As content creators, we should all step back and enjoy that feeling again.
To do this, jump onto a new platform, build a following again and create for the pure joy of creating. That is what I did three months ago when I set up my TikTok account. I decided to call it Crime Blog. It isn’t even connected with my writer’s name. It is dedicated to one-minute murder.
My TikTok Journey
Until last weekend, I had some success gained 102 followers. I had dabbled with a range of videos, some funny, the world’s stupid criminals some more serious and of course some about my favourite Jack the Ripper. People had interacted with my profile and followed me. I had lost hours falling down rabbit holes watching people clean rooms and fill pots up. If you are on TikTok, you will know what I mean.
The main advantage was that it is a platform that chills my brain and allows me to relax; usually, words fight their way out for stories. It also allows me to trial my articles with a minute video. Over the months, I have learnt a little about video editing; a new skill is always fun to have. Most of all, I have enjoyed creating content for a platform with no pressure.
Last week, I was researching an article I was going to write on Princess Diana’s death. The video was of a former MI5 agent detailing why she thought Diana had been killed and linked her death to Israel’s conflict. When I watched it, the hairs stood up on my arm. I knew what I was watching was explosive, so I saved it for research on my article.
On an impulse that evening, I uploaded the clip to TikTok and asked the simple question as to whether they thought Princess Diana had been killed? Within a couple of hours, the views were over a thousand; my most popular video previously stood at just over 2000, so I was pleased. When I went to bed, the views had gone up to 10K, and I had gained 100 followers. I was delighted. There were also several comments, and people were opening up debates with each other.
When I woke the following day, the views were over 100K and still growing. Over a week, this one post has been viewed 633K times, has received over 2000 comments and gained me a massive 10K followers. Other videos I have posted have also gained traction, and at present, I have four with over 10K views.
What did I make from this?
Not a penny, but it has not stopped me from celebrating all week like I won the lottery. I did win the lottery. I had a viral hit, on a platform that was new to me, that is worth celebrating. That is a feeling we all need to get back to, rather than chasing the cents writing on platforms that monetise our content.
Do you remember what it felt like when you published your first piece of writing, and someone read it, maybe comment? Were you checking the dollar sign to see how much you had made, or were you just so bloody happy someone liked what you did? It would help if you experienced this again.
Now I face the dilemma of monetising my Tiktok with over 10K followers, but should I? If I did this, would I once again be chasing the pennies and worrying about content creation? Would the joy of simply creating be taken away? The other side of me worries that I am missing out on potential income to feed the family. I still have not made my decision.
What I learnt about viral content
Whether you make videos, write or create pictures, there are lessons you can take away from my viral content.
- You never know when and what content will take off. Your first viral hit may be the one you are writing now.
- Luck plays a part in all viral content, the right post at the right time. You can not control this.
- We all need to learn to stop chasing the pennies and enjoy our content creation; maybe this comes across to our followers, which is why the content takes off.
- Ignore the comments; even negative ones are getting you views.
The biggest lesson of all, you can enjoy creating content that makes you nothing; you can feel pride at simple being noticed. Money is not everything.