3 Mistakes Some Content Creators Make When Using Social Media

I think it’s safe to say that social media is the marketing tool we love to hate. It’s probably the number one tool content creators use. But, are they using it correctly? For some creators, this blog post doesn’t apply. They’ve found extreme success on social media. But, if you are struggling to grow an engaged audience that is begging for more of your products and services, you may be using social media all wrong.  

So, are you using social media the right way? Or is it stunting your growth? This blog post will help you determine if you need to change how you use social media for your brand.

Content Creators Think They Own Their Content on Social Media

Once you upload your content on social media, it belongs to the platform. It is no longer yours. They can remove your content, they can disable features, and they can suspend or delete your account. In addition, some platforms, like TikTok, allow advertisers to use your content for their ads (this is your hint to check your privacy settings).

I don’t know about you, but I want to own anything I spend hours or days creating. I don’t want somebody else controlling how it can or cannot be used. But, unfortunately, so many content creators spend their valuable time creating bomb content, only to give it away to social media. 

We are way too valuable to do that, yall. 

And I know you’re thinking, well, how am I supposed to share my content? If it doesn’t belong on social media, where does it go? 

You can use a website, podcast, or email list to host your content. 

Put your best content on the platform you own first, and then put your highlights on social media. Your highlights should make your audience want to learn more about your products or services off of the app. Remember, social media is a marketing tool. So, whatever content you upload should make your audience want more. And the more is on your platform.

Content Creators Use Social Media as Their Main Platform

Social media is a marketing tool. It’s a tool that businesses and brands use to promote their product, create brand recognition, learn more about their target audience, and build a community. It is not a business’s primary platform; it is a way to increase awareness about their platform. 

If you are a product or service-based creator, then social media should NEVER be your primary platform. NEVER. 

If you’re confused about what I mean, think about Nike. Nike’s Insta is not their main platform. Their platforms are their website and physical stores. They use social media to create buzz about their latest products so their audience can buy them from one of their platforms. 

Does that make sense? I see so many creators that create amazing informational reels and posts on Instagram but have no way to engage with their audience off of the app. Your goal is to get your audience off the app and to your platform. 

Content Creators Spend More Time On Social Media Than Their Platform

Social media tricks a lot of content creators into thinking that it cares about them. It gives users tips and tricks to make their content stand out. When really, it’s just a ploy to get you to keep users on their platform.

Some creators are seriously freaking out about IG’s latest announcement that it is moving away from a photo-sharing app and will focus more on videos. And I completely understand why they are concerned. So many creators have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on photo shoots, props, editing programs just for IG to change their rules to play.

Every social media’s goal is to keep users on their platform. Instagram specifically is losing many of its users to the hate it or love it platform, TikTok. They don’t want you to make more videos to help your business; they want you to create more videos so that users can stay on their app longer. 

But is making more videos your goal? 

Of course, you should use best practices for whatever social media app you decide is best for your audience. But here’s the thing, if you find yourself spending more time creating content for a marketing tool than creating products or improving services, then you’re doing it all wrong. 

You should not be so focused on making content to feed a platform that you don’t own that you end up neglecting your products and services.

Is social media great for your brand? Yes! But as the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, especially when that basket isn’t meant to hold your eggs. Social media is a marketing tool; make sure you’re only using it as a tool to help your brand grow.

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How to Consistently Create Content

Creating content is my thing! I love sharing what I know with my audience; it is incredibly fulfilling. And I don’t want anybody in my community to struggle with content creation!

So, in this blog post, I’m sharing tips that have allowed me to never run out of content ideas. Once you have these few things established, your content creation process will be a breeze.


Have a clearly defined target audience

I cannot say this enough. Defining your audience is key if you want your content to thrive. You will struggle developing content if you don’t know your audience.

I’m not saying you won’t make good content; it just may not resonate with your intended audience. Resonating with the correct audience is important because you want them to visit your platform regularly. You want your audience to come to your blog and consistently find what they need. Creating random content may leave them confused and wondering if you are the right creator for them.

Don’t waste your time creating content that your audience doesn’t want. Define them before getting started.

Create content pillars

Once your audience is defined, you’ll be able to make content pillars that will help you create a bucket of ideas that can turn into IG Reels, Short Videos, Blog posts, etc.

Content pillars are all the ideas you have that fall under your niche. Check out an example below from my www.melissanikohl.com blog.

Melissa Nikohl Content Pillar Example

Content pillars are how I constantly have ideas ready to implement. Whenever I’m about to make content, I look at my pillars, pick a topic, and begin creating. They are a great way to help you stay on brand and save you time.


Have a realistic schedule

We all have limited time during our day. My 24 hours looks completely different than yours or someone who can afford to delegate tasks to others.

Sit down with a planner (I recommend The Visionary Journal) and map out your day. If you don’t use The Visionary Journal, make sure it is a planner that maps out each hour of the day.

You’ll want to block times you’re unavailable and include important events. Include things that we often forget about when planning, like our commute to work, cooking dinner, doing laundry, etc. It might seem overboard, but doing this allows you to see how much time in a day and then week you have to get things done.

Why is this important? Because it will help you create more realistic goals, and you’ll learn to break down your big goals into small attainable tasks.

So many of us don’t accomplish our goals, not because we couldn’t do it, but because we weren’t realistic about what it takes to get it done. So we often end up overwhelmed and quit.

Everything I learned about time management, I learned all this solely from Monique Malcolm, the queen of getting things done.

I use her Visionary Journal religiously. If you want to knock out projects and goals, you need it in your life!


Take breaks

During a therapy session, I told my therapist how I’m not sleeping well because I’m up all night working on my blog or creating something new, and I’m starting to resent work because it’s keeping me from doing what I enjoy.

The doc said that it wasn’t sustainable. And if I don’t find a balance, I will burn out and no longer enjoy creating content.

Before this conversation, taking breaks was hard because I felt like I’d get behind if I took a break. When I told my therapist this, she asked who I would be behind. And I didn’t have an answer.

We live in a hustle-hard society. But we don’t have to subscribe to it. We don’t have to work 24 hours to be successful. Sometimes it’s okay to do nothing.

If you’ve read a few of my blog posts, you know I scream from the rooftop about knowing your targeted audience before you create an ounce of content. Your content isn’t going to consistently resonate with your audience if you aren’t making it for them.

Content pillars are a simple way to keep the ideas flowing, remember they will also keep you on brand. Having a realistic schedule and taking breaks will allow you to set realistic goals and protect your mental health. You’re no good to anyone if you’re burnt out; your community needs you!

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Two Ways to Find Your Niche

Before you buy a website, figure out your colors, or come up with a name, you need to define your niche. A niche is a subject or topic you focus on when you’re creating content. Your niche content will help you build a community with your intended audience because you will create content just for them.

Can you have more than one niche? Absolutely, but I recommend fully defining one first before working on another. This way, you have a clear idea of what you’re doing and what content you want to create.

The two tips below will help you narrow down all your ideas flowing through your brain!

What can you teach with your eyes closed?

What is something that you can teach so well, you can do it in your sleep? If you’re educating someone else on a topic, you should know it well enough that you won’t have any trouble answering questions or explaining something in multiple ways. Your niche should revolve around a topic that you can confidently teach others.

But, keep this in mind, the best educators never stop learning. So, just because you are incredibly knowledgeable about your topic doesn’t mean you stop learning. Things will constantly evolve, and if you want to remain a leader, you need to know what new information, tools, or resources are available in your niche.

What are you passionate about?

There are going to be days that you don’t want to create. Sometimes, that is okay because we all need a break here and there. But, overall, you should be creating high-value content consistently.

When you create content around your passion, it’s easier to keep going and develop ideas on days you don’t feel motivated. Passion will help you push through.

For example, there are days I don’t feel like writing a blog post, so I’ll create graphics, schedule content, or make lists of ideas. While I may not feel like doing a specific task that day or week, because I’m passionate about the content I create, I’m always doing something that will move me forward.

Finding your niche can be relatively simple. Don’t worry if you think your niche is oversaturated. Nobody can teach something the way you can, especially when you’re passionate about your topic. Your audience will be able to see your excitement and passion as you teach. They will be able to feel your authenticity. So, don’t follow the crowd. Do what you love!

Do you have any tips on finding your niche? Share them below!

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Should Your Content Be on Social Media?

If you’re a content creator, I know you feel that you have to use social media. While I agree, many content creators use social media as their primary platform when it should be supplementary.

If you provide your audience with answers, tips, tools, and resources, social media should not be your primary platform. You want to use a platform that has a search engine like Pinterest or Youtube.

Your community cannot find answers to their questions on Instagram or Facebook. You cannot type in a question and expect to find answers on those platforms. When users use Youtube or Pinterest, they are searching for solutions, aka your content.

Google, Pinterest, and Youtube want your community to find your content. Their goal is to help users to find relevant information. On social media, their goal is to keep you on their platform as long as possible. They hold your audience hostage, lol!

Many of you create amazing content, but your audience can’t find you because you’re hiding on a platform that doesn’t support you.

For more info, check out my IG live below, where I discuss if social media should be where your content resides!

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Why Content Creators Need to Know Their Audience

Do you know your audience? I mean, do you really know them? Are you serving them with content of value? Are you addressing their pain points?

You will have a hard time creating content for your intended community if you don’t know them.

Understanding their likes, dislikes, needs, and wants is essential. Fulfilling their needs is how you will build your community. Some of us waste time creating things that don’t get much engagement. Or we waste time trying to brainstorm new ideas. All because we don’t know our people.

If you know who you’re serving, your audience will engage with your content; and if you have identified your audience, you’ll have very little trouble developing content that they need.

If you’re starting out or struggling to grow, keep reading to learn why content creators need to define their audience before making anything.


To Help You Create Engaging Content

People will typically only engage with your work if it is relevant to them. If you want your content liked, shared, or saved, you have to make it worthy of engagement.

What questions can you answer, what problem can you solve, or how can you inspire them? Think about those questions when you’re in creation mode.

Because if you consistently provide your community with relevant tips, tools, and ideas that they can use, your engagement will grow as more members find you.

When you make your work user-focused, you will build an audience that will consistently engage with you.


To Let You Know Where You Should Put Your Content

Is all your content on Instagram because you love IG? Or is that where your audience hangs out? Sometimes we aren’t strategically putting our content where our intended audience can find us.

You can put your content anywhere, but remember, your focus is your community. If they aren’t on Instagram, then that is not where all your content should be.

Many of us spend a lot of time trying to beat Instagram’s algorithm or struggle to build a following on social media when maybe you’re struggling because your audience isn’t there.

To Help You Save Time

If you don’t fully know your community members, you can waste time in a few different ways. Sometimes we waste time creating content that our audience doesn’t want. Think about how much time it takes to write a blog post, IG reel, or YouTube video. You don’t want to spend all that time creating, and then it flops. When you’ve defined your community members, you won’t spend hours creating irrelevant content.

Have you ever felt like you had writer’s block, or you were stuck and couldn’t figure out what to post next? While that might be normal every once in a while, if it happens frequently, then the real problem could be that you don’t know your community. If you have a true understanding of who they are, you won’t struggle thinking about what to create next because you’ll be full of ideas.

Seriously, I have so many ideas on what to create; I just don’t have time to implement them all. I have a never-ending spreadsheet full of ideas that I can’t wait to make.

So, if you’re spending an excessive amount of time trying to come up with what to post next, then you probably don’t know your audience very well.


To Help You Build Trust

Remember, your work should provide answers and inspire. When you continually provide content that helps your community, they will see you as someone they can trust. You will become their go-to person, and they will refer you to others, which will expand your reach. Your intended audience will help you build your community if you’re providing value.

Another perk of gaining your audience’s trust is that when they trust you, they are more likely to buy your services or products. They’ll have no problem buying anything from you because they trust you.

If you haven’t sat down and thought about who you want to serve, then pause for a minute and think about who they are. Your reach will go so much further if you’re helping them in a way that brings them value.

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8 Tools Content Creators Need

If you’re jumping into the content creation world, there are six tools that all content creators need. These are the absolute basics you’ll need to get started. 

Before I show you the tools you need, I want you to know that this post contains affiliate links. Using them throws a little change in my pocket, at no cost to you!

A Website

Can some content creators flourish without a website? Yes, but if you’re starting or looking for a way to connect with your community outside of social media, you need a website. Your website is a great way to show your audience and future collaborators what you can do. 

Legit businesses that want to work with you will want to learn more about you before hopping in your DMs. And let’s be real, most social media bios are limiting. On your website, they’ll have an opportunity to read more about you on your about me page and view more of your content. 

I use Siteground to host both of my websites. I highly recommend that you research the host that will fit your needs.

Although you’ll see Bluehost promoted a lot, it is not the best hosting service. When I used it for my first website, my website was super slow, and I only uploaded blog posts. So yeah…take or leave that little piece of info.

An Email Marketing Service

Email marketing is my least favorite thing to do as a content creator. But it is necessary if you’re looking to build an online community. You don’t own your follower list on Instagram, TikTok, or any other social media platform. But, when you create an email list, you own it. If your IG account gets hacked, you can still reach your community. With an email list, you always have a way to connect with your most engaged audience.

Currently, I use ConvertKit for www.melissanikohl.com, and I’m trying out FloDesk for www.melissanikohlpins.com. So far, I like FloDesk, but ConvertKit integrates with WordPress much more effortless. In the future, I’ll make a blog post comparing the two services. 

A Graphic Design Program

You’ll need a program to help you make graphics and videos for your content. I use Canva for blog images, Pinterest images, slideshows for workshops, and videos. I literally use Canva daily. Check out 3 REASONS WHY I USE CANVA FOR MY PINTEREST PINS to see how easy it is to use.

There is a paid version, but you can use Canva for free. I know people use other programs, but it works wonders for me. 

A Pinterest Business Account

Pinterest is where all content creators should be sharing their content! A business account will give you early access to new features and analytics that will help you build your audience. When Pinterest released story pins, they released them to Pinterest Business Account users first. Read, BENEFITS OF A PINTEREST BUSINESS ACCOUNT to learn how it can help your business.


A good camera

I have a camera that I’m still learning how to use. In the meantime, I use my S20 to take pictures for the majority of my content. I highly recommend investing in a camera or a phone to help you make videos and take pictures. 


At some point, as a content creator, you will need lighting. Lighting will help take your content to the next level. I own two ring lights. I use the Neewer Ring Light when I’m making videos and need lighting for photos.  The Neewer Ring Light is cheaper than the name brand version, but it gives off enough light to help you make quality videos and take dope pictures.

My smaller light goes where I go, my 8″ Selfie Ring Light has traveled with me to Cuba. It is great for Zoom meetings and provides great lighting for IG Lives.

A Digital Writing Assistant Tool

I use Grammarly for my Instagram captions, blog post, and YouTube descriptions. Basically, for everything. 

I’m a decent writer, but I still make plenty of mistakes. Grammarly helps me clean up my writing and makes it almost perfect. 

A Planner

Lastly, you need a planner to schedule and plan content. These blank planners by JSTORY are affordable and easy to use. I love that they don’t have months or dates so you can buy them at any time of year.

Becoming a content creator can be pricey but, these tools are the absolute basics you need to create content that people want.

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What is Evergreen Content?

Are you a content creator? Are you struggling to build an audience? Do you want your audience to see you as an expert in your niche? If you said yes to any of those questions, then evergreen content is what you need. Below, I’ll give you all the info necessary to understand evergreen content. Read WHY CONTENT CREATORS SHOULD CREATE EVERGREEN CONTENT, next to learn why it should be part of your marketing strategy.

What is it?

Evergreen content is search engine optimized (SEO) content that is always relevant and never goes out of style. It is new information to people searching for it so, you’re usually teaching your audience something. People will look for it months to years after posting it on your website because it is fresh informational content.

Content That is Not Evergreen 

Sometimes creators make content that is relevant for a specific time of the year. This content is called seasonal content. Your summer fashion tips, Halloween DIY, and Christmas gift-giving guide are things that your audience will typically only use during a specific season. Seasonal content is what your audience needs at that moment, and it will not bring traffic to your website all year long.

Trends, statistics, social media updates are not evergreen. They are time-sensitive and after a certain time, the content isn’t very useful or relevant.

Evergreen content does not expire. The season or year doesn’t matter; people will need it at any moment. If you’ve made this part of your content marketing plan, your work can start showing up in the search results, introducing people to your brand.

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Examples of Evergreen Content

You may be wondering what are some examples, Melissa?

Here are a few: How to Start a Blog, How to Write a Resume, What To Do Before Buying a Home, and How to Meal Prep on a Budget. If you noticed, each topic teaches a beginner/novice how to do something.

Knowing your audience is essential so that you can give them exactly what they need. Check out WHY CONTENT CREATORS NEED TO KNOW THEIR AUDIENCE to learn more. 


As a creator, you want to have a few pieces of long-lasting content on your website. To learn why, check out WHY CONTENT CREATORS SHOULD CREATE EVERGREEN CONTENT. In that blog post, I explain how this long-living content can help you build your brand, grow your audience, and turn your audience into customers.

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