Being a Magic: The Gathering content creator is a lot of fun. Who doesn't want to talk, write, or record videos about their favorite game, and maybe get paid a little to do it? If you're lucky, you might make some friends in the process. If you're really lucky, you might even make a living doing content full-time. Making content isn't all fun and games though, it's also hard work, and you need to take it seriously if you want to be successful at it.
The Fun of Content Creation
The best part about being a content creator for Magic is you get to spend a bunch of time thinking about, talking about, writing about, and even playing Magic. You get to share the things about the game you're passionate about and spread your love of the game to a wide audience. You have a considerable amount of freedom as a content creator to cover just about any Magic topic you want. Love Commander? You can write all about your favorite Commanders, and the kind of cards you enjoy playing. Perhaps you're more of a Standard grinder? You can stream and record videos of your climb up the Arena ladder.
Whatever you decide to create, it's important to keep in mind your potential audience and give them reasons to engage with your content. The two most common reasons people engage with Magic content, in my experience, are entertainment and education.
Entertainment VS Education
Whatever you work on creating, it's important that you strike a balance throughout in being entertaining and informative. This is a scale that shifts greatly depending on the medium of your content. If you're streaming on Twitch, for example, you'll need to focus more on the entertainment end of the spectrum to not bore your audience. If you're writing articles or shooting videos for YouTube, you can lean towards entertainment or education as the topic dictates.
How you shape your identity as a content creator or the channel for which you create can also dictate where on the continuum your content falls. The best content creators strike a good balance between the two extremes of this spectrum.
You Are a Reflection of the Game
As a content creator for a game like Magic, you not only represent yourself, you also by extension represent the game you're playing. How you represent yourself is a reflection of how people outside the game perceive Magic, and the Magic community generally. It's important to try and put your best face forward, so that you represent not only the game, but yourself in a positive way. As a content creator, you're your own brand as much as the game you play. The product you're representing is you, so you need to represent yourself well.
You Are Your Own Brand
Being your own brand, means that everything you do as a content creator is marketing. Your social media presence, the things you say in chat or on stream, or the articles you write all represent you. Putting your best face forward in all of these situations is difficult. It means learning to lose gracefully and in front of an audience. It means being open to criticism, and willing to own your mistakes. They're challenging things to learn, and not the only challenges that face you as a content creator.
The Hard Work of Creation
Just a few of the challenges that can face you include:
- Needing To Come Up With New Content Ideas Regularly
- Avoiding Doing Something Another Creator Has Done Recently
- Firm Deadlines/Maintaining a Steady Publishing or Streaming Schedule
- Juggling Your Schedule/Maintaining Work/Life Balance
Coping With the Challenges
Coming up with new ideas for content can be part of the fun, because you can often do whatever you want, but it can also be challenging. What if you've already done a bunch of things and don't have any fresh ideas? What if you had a great idea, but another content creator already did something similar? How you approach these challenges can often make or break you as a creator.
Firm deadlines or maintaining a steady schedule are either imposed by a publisher, or in the case of streaming and YouTubing, are self-imposed for the sake of growing your audience. You need to have a steady streaming or publishing schedule so that people can watch your content. That's how you build a following. Being able to stick to a publication schedule is another thing that can make or break a would-be creator.
Content creation is time consuming, and requires creative juggling of your schedule, especially if you are trying to fit it in between adult commitments like family and a day job. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is important for everyone, not just content creators, but it's often one of the first things people sacrifice for the sake of their careers. Whether you're a creator or not, finding a proper work/life balance can be the difference in your life or your career.
Content creation isn't for everyone, but those that can make it happen can find it deeply rewarding. Is that you?
You Can Be a Content Creator
After reading this peek into content creation, are you thinking you'd like to try your hand at it? That's great! It just so happens that Quiet Speculation is currently seeking content creators for all kinds of roles. Why not check out some of the opportunities available and apply today? Who knows, you could soon be someone's favorite creator.
Your Favorite Content
What's your favorite Magic content to read & watch? Who are your favorite creators that you follow? What in your opinion makes good Magic content? Let me know your answers in the comments or on Twitter.