Challenges Facing Novice Media Content Creators
October 13, 2018 (No Comments) by Alannah Kenny

The words content creator may not be a new phenomenon. Online content creation however is reasonably modern and has spawned some of Ireland’s and the world’s top media influencers. You can be from any background and become an online hit by sharing your personality via any online platform.

challenges-facing-novice-media-content-creators

In saying that, content creators are prone to many challenges and face all kinds of criticisms for what they do. The reality is, it is now more than a trend but a craft finally coming to the fore. As a novice though, it’s pretty daunting right? You set up an account and look at that blank canvas with no idea where to start.

We at The Sharpe will be looking at some of the most prominent challenges for upcoming content creators. There will also be a shout to some Irish success stories throughout to show how they overcame their challenge.

Abuse and Bullying

The internet has many positive support systems for new content creators to bloom. However, there can also be a hostile side that counteracts this, which many have had the displeasure of experiencing. An example of this can be seen in online gaming where cyberbullying and discrimination towards other gamers is prevalent. One of the world’s largest anti-bullying charity organisations in the UK, DitchtheLabel.org, published research on this in May 2017.

online-gaming-platform-habbo

They conducted a survey on 2,515 gaming contributors of various ages (48% female), that regularly frequent gaming platform Habbo. Ditch the Label took a close look at the stats of abuse in a digital gaming environment. The findings concluded that an average of 57% of those users have experienced some form of bullying in an online game.

Dealing with Cyberbullying

Whether you are a blogger or gamer building your own online community, cyberbullying.org has advice that can benefit everyone.

Justin W. Patchin has posted a whole host of content for those experiencing cyberbullying. In November 2015, he mentioned how important it is to ‘keep evidence of the bullying’. This could come in the form of messages on your blog or video comments.

Then try and contact the service or content provider be it Instagram, YouTube or a website administrator. Do not respond to the individual and know your legal rights should the situation escalate further. Get yourself informed from Cyberbullying.org.

Create No Hate

Luke Culhane is a Limerick native that experienced the nasty side of the internet himself when he received offensive comments on videos he had painstakingly created. Admirably however, Luke decided to actively spread awareness of the issue and reach out to others. In 2017 at the age of 13, Luke made an anti-cyberbullying video entitled ‘Create No Hate’, urging people to use their influence as creators for good instead of negatively.

His video went viral across the world and a school in South Africa attempted their own version inspired by Luke. Luke created an information website of the same name and he was invited to speak on RTÉ news. He also appeared as a guest speaker at the Webwise Internet Safety Talk at Zeminar in the RDS. Luke’s anti-bullying campaign continues to be pursued in Ireland and you can learn more about his work at Create No Hate.

Content Barriers & Restrictions

As exciting as the idea is about being able to create any kind of content, the reality is you won’t always be able to create whatever you feel like. You will come face-to-face with certain ethical barriers or restrictions that will prevent you from going down a certain path. YouTube has many restrictions in place for legal reasons about what you can and can’t upload.

For example, copyrighting content is off-limits unless you have acquired special permission from the original owner. YouTube is especially severe on this and if you breach this rule, prepare to receive a warning strike or a complete ban on your account. Learn more about copyright on YouTube here.

Elle Darby

A real-life example of a content creator who was prevented from pursuing her work due to an unforeseen barrier is 22-year-old UK Instagram and YouTube sensation, Elle Darby. Elle creates videos and shares posts largely consisting of her opinions and reviews of events. Her content targeted at predominately young women has led Elle to gain 160,000 YouTube subscribers and 76,000 Instagram followers.

The struggle for up and coming influencers like Elle however is that one is required to put themselves out there to make connections and it doesn’t always go to plan. Elle had previously contacted Paul Stenson, the owner of the White Moose Café in Dublin to ask about reviewing his hotel. The plan was to provide added exposure in exchange for a free stay, she was bitterly rejected in the process, as seen on her.ie.

Holly Carpenter

One of our own content-creator success stories worth mentioning is on former Miss Ireland and Instagram blogger Holly Carpenter. The below tweet was posted to encourage others to boycott White Moose Café. As a result, Holly was threatened to be sued by Paul Stensons.

She believed Paul undertook a derogatory promotional tactic by linking to the I Believe Her campaign. Therefore, whether a novice or a top creator in Ireland, barriers and restrictions will be hard to avoid. It simply comes with the territory and is part of the risk that’s undertaken.

Fierce Competition

Over the past decade there has been a significant boom in the amount of content creators online. With that, the platforms to cater for them have also rocketed, so the stakes are high to say the least. One of the big difficulties faced by newcomers is figuring out how to compete with people creating similar content. This is no easy task, especially when trying to stay as original and entertaining as possible.

Neil Patel

The line between content creation and content marketing often blurs quite a bit. This is because once you create content online, you need to learn how to sell it to survive. Top web influencer and marketer Neil Patel gives some handy tips in his business blog in how to master this.

Firstly, he encourages content creators to see competitors as a positive tool that can be analysed and used as a benchmark for self-improvement. He also promotes the ‘skyscraper’ tactic of taking content and improving on it and thinking outside the box to become innovative. You can observe all his tips in full on the Neil Patel website.

Live Lavishly

Live Lavishly is an Irish based beauty, travel and lifestyle blog created from scratch by Carly Colgan Bates which is currently expanding and thriving day by day. Carly’s method of competing is by giving a personal touch to her blog. She shares her own anecdotes about life experiences and has an honest and engaging relationship with her followers.

live-lavishly-carly-colgan-bates

On top of this, she also links her blog to her other social channels such as Instagram, giving it a further boost. Achieving what Carly does takes patience and work but you can check out her blog here to see an example of how it’s done.

Deterioration of Health and Wellbeing

It is also possible for new content creators to forget to pace themselves which can lead to mental overload. Sometimes the weight of being an online role-model can be crippling for individuals. An academic study was conducted in 2010 by Bessiere, Pressman, Kiesler and Kraut.

The study highlights how spending an increased amount of time on the internet can have a negative psychological impact on individuals. The findings also show strong links to depression.

Instagram Dangers

Interestingly a survey conducted in 2017 by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK found that Instagram is one of the worst offenders. Elizabeth Bennett of Grazia reported that picture-based platform Instagram can badly impact on users’ mental health.

instagram-dangers

Users are constantly reassessing the perceived dullness of their own life compared to these surreal snaps. Therefore, it’s no real surprise that a platform that encourages creators to enhance images would be responsible for impacting people’s health the most.

Addressing YouTube Burn Out

The solution therefore is for content creators to be open and honest with themselves and their followers. Spreading awareness is the only way of tackling the issue. YouTube creators have had to abandon the platform after being left burnt like Irish YouTuber JackSepticeye. The account has 20 million subscribers and was one of the first to address this struggle publicly.

Jack adopted the slogan PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) and collaborated with licenced therapist and YouTuber Kati Morton. In doing this, he was able to spread positive awareness about confronting mental health issues which overwhelm online creators. Check out the video above and see for yourself.

Is It Even Worthwhile?

The question that likely reaches most new creators’ minds at some point. Some individuals are satisfied with simply making online content in their bedroom for fun and seeing where is takes them. For others it is a real business strategy, an attempt to become famous or forge a potential livelihood.

There’s a lot at stake being a content creator as it involves sacrificing lots of time, energy and potentially your public reputation. Therefore, what is the reward? For some it is having their voices heard or simply enjoying the reactions of others. But for many, financial benefit is the sought-after reward and unfortunately it doesn’t always pay out.

Reality Versus Expectation

It’s not likely that every single novice content creator is going to morph into the next big YouTube star, Podcasting hero or Instagram idol. However, relying on this as a sole income in the early stages is just not feasible.

YouTube for example has instigated new demonetization rules targeting smaller channels since 2018. The platform refuses to pay any substantial amount until they have reached a certain number of subscribers.

gaby-dunn

They have been accused by content creators of favouring larger channels with high numbers of viewers. There has also been firm criticism from comedian Gaby Dunn and LGBT activist Erin Armstrong for silencing the voices of smaller creators.

Similarly, on micro-blogging platforms like Instagram, content creators can expect to not see a dime between 1 to 3 years of work. According to Myelle Lansat from UK Business Insider, real success lies in how talented you are at influencing and making connections.

Sinéad Burke

One Irish example of a content creator whose mission is definitely worthwhile is that of Sinéad Burke. Sinéad is an Irish Instagram influencer who uses her status to campaign for better spatial and fashion designs to be created for people with disabilities.

sinead-burke-2018

Living with dwarfism herself, the experience is very real for Sinéad. She can relate to those who want to look great, feel great and avoid unnecessary struggle over the most mundane tasks. Being a content creator gave Sinéad the exposure and voice that she needed for people in high places to hear her.

Now Sinéad is a contributing Editor of Vogue UK. She has used her influence to spread awareness for the better and make changes to the lives of those with disabilities. Check out Sinéad’s Instagram account to stay up to date on her latest news.

Put Your Wellbeing First

Overall whether being a content creator is ‘worthwhile’ is very subjective. It depends entirely on the individual’s perspective and their purpose or participating. If it’s a fun hobby, chances are you will go further than someone who is intentionally trying to earn a quick buck.

The important thing to remember is to embrace it, enjoy it and put your wellbeing first above all else.

Alannah Kenny
Interested in big events and likes to keep up to date with celebrity culture as a personal interest. An avid reader and movie lover, enjoys in depth discussions about anything related to dystopian fiction!

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Challenges Facing Novice Media Content Creators
October 13, 2018 (No Comments) by Alannah Kenny

The words content creator may not be a new phenomenon. Online content creation however is reasonably modern and has spawned some of Ireland’s and the world’s top media influencers. You can be from any background and become an online hit by sharing your personality via any online platform.

challenges-facing-novice-media-content-creators

In saying that, content creators are prone to many challenges and face all kinds of criticisms for what they do. The reality is, it is now more than a trend but a craft finally coming to the fore. As a novice though, it’s pretty daunting right? You set up an account and look at that blank canvas with no idea where to start.

We at The Sharpe will be looking at some of the most prominent challenges for upcoming content creators. There will also be a shout to some Irish success stories throughout to show how they overcame their challenge.

Abuse and Bullying

The internet has many positive support systems for new content creators to bloom. However, there can also be a hostile side that counteracts this, which many have had the displeasure of experiencing. An example of this can be seen in online gaming where cyberbullying and discrimination towards other gamers is prevalent. One of the world’s largest anti-bullying charity organisations in the UK, DitchtheLabel.org, published research on this in May 2017.

online-gaming-platform-habbo

They conducted a survey on 2,515 gaming contributors of various ages (48% female), that regularly frequent gaming platform Habbo. Ditch the Label took a close look at the stats of abuse in a digital gaming environment. The findings concluded that an average of 57% of those users have experienced some form of bullying in an online game.

Dealing with Cyberbullying

Whether you are a blogger or gamer building your own online community, cyberbullying.org has advice that can benefit everyone.

Justin W. Patchin has posted a whole host of content for those experiencing cyberbullying. In November 2015, he mentioned how important it is to ‘keep evidence of the bullying’. This could come in the form of messages on your blog or video comments.

Then try and contact the service or content provider be it Instagram, YouTube or a website administrator. Do not respond to the individual and know your legal rights should the situation escalate further. Get yourself informed from Cyberbullying.org.

Create No Hate

Luke Culhane is a Limerick native that experienced the nasty side of the internet himself when he received offensive comments on videos he had painstakingly created. Admirably however, Luke decided to actively spread awareness of the issue and reach out to others. In 2017 at the age of 13, Luke made an anti-cyberbullying video entitled ‘Create No Hate’, urging people to use their influence as creators for good instead of negatively.

His video went viral across the world and a school in South Africa attempted their own version inspired by Luke. Luke created an information website of the same name and he was invited to speak on RTÉ news. He also appeared as a guest speaker at the Webwise Internet Safety Talk at Zeminar in the RDS. Luke’s anti-bullying campaign continues to be pursued in Ireland and you can learn more about his work at Create No Hate.

Content Barriers & Restrictions

As exciting as the idea is about being able to create any kind of content, the reality is you won’t always be able to create whatever you feel like. You will come face-to-face with certain ethical barriers or restrictions that will prevent you from going down a certain path. YouTube has many restrictions in place for legal reasons about what you can and can’t upload.

For example, copyrighting content is off-limits unless you have acquired special permission from the original owner. YouTube is especially severe on this and if you breach this rule, prepare to receive a warning strike or a complete ban on your account. Learn more about copyright on YouTube here.

Elle Darby

A real-life example of a content creator who was prevented from pursuing her work due to an unforeseen barrier is 22-year-old UK Instagram and YouTube sensation, Elle Darby. Elle creates videos and shares posts largely consisting of her opinions and reviews of events. Her content targeted at predominately young women has led Elle to gain 160,000 YouTube subscribers and 76,000 Instagram followers.

The struggle for up and coming influencers like Elle however is that one is required to put themselves out there to make connections and it doesn’t always go to plan. Elle had previously contacted Paul Stenson, the owner of the White Moose Café in Dublin to ask about reviewing his hotel. The plan was to provide added exposure in exchange for a free stay, she was bitterly rejected in the process, as seen on her.ie.

Holly Carpenter

One of our own content-creator success stories worth mentioning is on former Miss Ireland and Instagram blogger Holly Carpenter. The below tweet was posted to encourage others to boycott White Moose Café. As a result, Holly was threatened to be sued by Paul Stensons.

She believed Paul undertook a derogatory promotional tactic by linking to the I Believe Her campaign. Therefore, whether a novice or a top creator in Ireland, barriers and restrictions will be hard to avoid. It simply comes with the territory and is part of the risk that’s undertaken.

Fierce Competition

Over the past decade there has been a significant boom in the amount of content creators online. With that, the platforms to cater for them have also rocketed, so the stakes are high to say the least. One of the big difficulties faced by newcomers is figuring out how to compete with people creating similar content. This is no easy task, especially when trying to stay as original and entertaining as possible.

Neil Patel

The line between content creation and content marketing often blurs quite a bit. This is because once you create content online, you need to learn how to sell it to survive. Top web influencer and marketer Neil Patel gives some handy tips in his business blog in how to master this.

Firstly, he encourages content creators to see competitors as a positive tool that can be analysed and used as a benchmark for self-improvement. He also promotes the ‘skyscraper’ tactic of taking content and improving on it and thinking outside the box to become innovative. You can observe all his tips in full on the Neil Patel website.

Live Lavishly

Live Lavishly is an Irish based beauty, travel and lifestyle blog created from scratch by Carly Colgan Bates which is currently expanding and thriving day by day. Carly’s method of competing is by giving a personal touch to her blog. She shares her own anecdotes about life experiences and has an honest and engaging relationship with her followers.

live-lavishly-carly-colgan-bates

On top of this, she also links her blog to her other social channels such as Instagram, giving it a further boost. Achieving what Carly does takes patience and work but you can check out her blog here to see an example of how it’s done.

Deterioration of Health and Wellbeing

It is also possible for new content creators to forget to pace themselves which can lead to mental overload. Sometimes the weight of being an online role-model can be crippling for individuals. An academic study was conducted in 2010 by Bessiere, Pressman, Kiesler and Kraut.

The study highlights how spending an increased amount of time on the internet can have a negative psychological impact on individuals. The findings also show strong links to depression.

Instagram Dangers

Interestingly a survey conducted in 2017 by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK found that Instagram is one of the worst offenders. Elizabeth Bennett of Grazia reported that picture-based platform Instagram can badly impact on users’ mental health.

instagram-dangers

Users are constantly reassessing the perceived dullness of their own life compared to these surreal snaps. Therefore, it’s no real surprise that a platform that encourages creators to enhance images would be responsible for impacting people’s health the most.

Addressing YouTube Burn Out

The solution therefore is for content creators to be open and honest with themselves and their followers. Spreading awareness is the only way of tackling the issue. YouTube creators have had to abandon the platform after being left burnt like Irish YouTuber JackSepticeye. The account has 20 million subscribers and was one of the first to address this struggle publicly.

Jack adopted the slogan PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) and collaborated with licenced therapist and YouTuber Kati Morton. In doing this, he was able to spread positive awareness about confronting mental health issues which overwhelm online creators. Check out the video above and see for yourself.

Is It Even Worthwhile?

The question that likely reaches most new creators’ minds at some point. Some individuals are satisfied with simply making online content in their bedroom for fun and seeing where is takes them. For others it is a real business strategy, an attempt to become famous or forge a potential livelihood.

There’s a lot at stake being a content creator as it involves sacrificing lots of time, energy and potentially your public reputation. Therefore, what is the reward? For some it is having their voices heard or simply enjoying the reactions of others. But for many, financial benefit is the sought-after reward and unfortunately it doesn’t always pay out.

Reality Versus Expectation

It’s not likely that every single novice content creator is going to morph into the next big YouTube star, Podcasting hero or Instagram idol. However, relying on this as a sole income in the early stages is just not feasible.

YouTube for example has instigated new demonetization rules targeting smaller channels since 2018. The platform refuses to pay any substantial amount until they have reached a certain number of subscribers.

gaby-dunn

They have been accused by content creators of favouring larger channels with high numbers of viewers. There has also been firm criticism from comedian Gaby Dunn and LGBT activist Erin Armstrong for silencing the voices of smaller creators.

Similarly, on micro-blogging platforms like Instagram, content creators can expect to not see a dime between 1 to 3 years of work. According to Myelle Lansat from UK Business Insider, real success lies in how talented you are at influencing and making connections.

Sinéad Burke

One Irish example of a content creator whose mission is definitely worthwhile is that of Sinéad Burke. Sinéad is an Irish Instagram influencer who uses her status to campaign for better spatial and fashion designs to be created for people with disabilities.

sinead-burke-2018

Living with dwarfism herself, the experience is very real for Sinéad. She can relate to those who want to look great, feel great and avoid unnecessary struggle over the most mundane tasks. Being a content creator gave Sinéad the exposure and voice that she needed for people in high places to hear her.

Now Sinéad is a contributing Editor of Vogue UK. She has used her influence to spread awareness for the better and make changes to the lives of those with disabilities. Check out Sinéad’s Instagram account to stay up to date on her latest news.

Put Your Wellbeing First

Overall whether being a content creator is ‘worthwhile’ is very subjective. It depends entirely on the individual’s perspective and their purpose or participating. If it’s a fun hobby, chances are you will go further than someone who is intentionally trying to earn a quick buck.

The important thing to remember is to embrace it, enjoy it and put your wellbeing first above all else.

Alannah Kenny
Interested in big events and likes to keep up to date with celebrity culture as a personal interest. An avid reader and movie lover, enjoys in depth discussions about anything related to dystopian fiction!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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