Wouldn’t it be nice if people noticed?
This is a question that I’ve asked myself many times. Perhaps, not outright. But, something similar has crossed my mind. Wouldn’t it be nice if my boss noticed how hard I am working? Wouldn’t it be nice if people noticed my pictures on Instagram?
Many people, myself included, have tricked into thinking that fame would change their lives. They’re not wrong. Fame WILL change your life. There is a strong narrative that exists online at the moment – all you have to do is become a creator. Create some content, pictures, tweets, videos or dances on tiktok. Why? Because you’ll be liberated from the 9 – 5. Your time will become your own, and you’ll earn financial freedom.
If we take a look at more traditional definition of fame we get the following in our minds:
Now, the fame that I am talking about is different. Instead of being characterised by fangirls and the papparazi, instead, it takes on the form of followers, retweets, stitches and likes. There is nothing wrong with this type of fame. I work in marketing and I am a strong believer in the personal brand. But, I want to paint a picture of what having a strong online presence can look like. I want to give you a glimpse into the non-glamorous side of it.
Holdup, who the heck am I even to be talking about this topic? I don’t have more than 100 followers on most social networks. This is true. I’ll get to that in a second.
When I started this blog it was my hope that I’d be able to create a solid following and monetize. When I was working a 9 – 5 this blog was my lifeline. I started the blog because I love learning new things and sharing what I’ve learned with other people. I would read voraciously, and write with equal passion about the nuggets that I’d unearthed in the depths the pages. Over time, my passion was replaced with a sense of duty. I felt that I had to release the next bit of content, after all, that is what content creators do. It’s all about the grind.
My blog is growing. At the time of writing this, this website gets about 7000 users per month. Many of those visitors are unique, meaning that over a period of 6 months over 40 000 people have read my writing. This is a staggering number and it’s hard to visualize. So here is some help, this is the 6000 seat YouTube theater in Inglewood, California:
Holdup, who the heck am I even to be talking about this topic? I barely have more than 100 followers on most social networks. This is true. I’ll get to that in a second.
So, to answer this question. I may not be famous in the traditional sense but I’ve had a little taste of what comes with “fame”. Or, at least, I have seen the unpleasant side of having mass exposure.
Before I continue, I am by no means discouraging you from seeking ‘fame’. The content creator community is great. It has helped thousands, if not, millions of people escape the 9 – 5 and create a better life for their families. My goal here, as I said before, is to give a taste of what you can expect. So, here we go:
Random strangers will criticize you. Sometimes, flat out insult you. The anonymity of the internet can bring out the worst in people.
You’ll get 1000+ word essays from people sharing their life stories, and honestly, way too much detail. Detail that you never wanted to know.
When you start to build a larger audience you’ll have to answer questions and comments on a daily basis. At first it’s cool. After all here is a stranger praising you or your work. But, it gets old fast.
People will attempt to doxx you. This can be particularly scary. In my case it was admins on a Reddit Subreddit that threatened to spread false information about my views with my customers. When I think about that instance in retrospect, it likely would have little to no negative repercussions. But, it was still terrifying in the moment.
Enough of the negative stuff. I have realised that most people are somewhat good. A majority of the comments that I get on blogs and my YouTube Videos are positive. They’re usually people saying “thank you”. It’s important to weigh up the upside verse the down side. Sometimes, the downside can outweigh the upside. In my case I have not reached the tipping point yet. I definitely write less, and when I do, it’s because I have a desire to talk about a topic that is important to me. This type of content gets less views and clicks, but it’s more fun for me, and that’s the important part.
Do you want fame or do you just want to be noticed?