If you’re thinking of getting started with your own content creation journey so that you can help improve the lives of others for the better, you’ve come to the right place.

As someone who’s helped kids, teens, and young adults online and created content with an impact, I’ll give you four simple steps that I used to do so.

1. Feel the need to create like you need oxygen.

Wake up in the evening because you fell asleep when you should’ve been doing your homework. Look over your shoulder to make sure you weren’t caught sleeping, because you’d get reprimanded for doing so.

Feel an internal tug within you. Ignore it, because you don’t know where it’s coming from. Attempt to do your homework until the urge fills up your mind like an expanding balloon.

Focus on your thoughts and examine what the urge is telling you.

Pick a platform, it says. Any platform. Anything is better than nothing, and you can’t stave away your thoughts forever.

Grow up feeling like the black sheep of the family, shunned by your school peers and neglected at home. Get used to not having a shoulder to lean on. Then, get upset about it.

Talk to the walls of your room until even they get tired of hearing you. Realize that you want to be heard by actual people.

Desperately look for an outlet to get your thoughts out there, because you’ll choke to death on silence if you don’t.

Find an anonymous platform. Create an account on it with a name no one can link to your real identity, because you don’t want anyone to see the kind of turmoil you’re going through. Remember that those around you probably don’t care about your strife anyway, so you grit your teeth and let your fingers become your voice.

Hit “publish” for the first time.

Feel a little bit better about yourself, but recognize that you still have an itch that you only scratched once. Feel the burdens of your unspoken thoughts weigh heavily on your mind. Decorate your screen with keystrokes and hit “publish” again.

Rinse and repeat this process until you one day wake up to your first like from a complete stranger.

2. Get surprised and reflect.

Take a moment to think about how your one like turned into dozens. Hundreds. Examine your feedback and skim through people’s incoming questions and comments. Begin to understand that people you’ve never met are actually getting value out of what you’re creating, even if it was never your initial intention.

Decide to create more. Continue doing what you’re doing. Wake up one day and think about how your content could be doing more for others if you redirected the focus of your content from venting online to providing more value, calls-to-action, and food for thought.

Write for a little longer on this initial platform you found. Understand that you have to abandon it one day to move on to bigger things, and announce that you’re leaving. Acknowledge that writing anonymously was at best a side project. Read someone’s wish that they don’t want you to leave. Write them a goodbye and gracefully leave anyway.

3. Experiment and diversify.

Take a couple of years off to sort your life out.

Start writing on different platforms. Get on Quora. Try out Twitch streaming. Post on Instagram. Tweet a little. Start up a YouTube channel. Launch a podcast. Discover Medium and set the foundation for your long-form written content.

Find out what you like and don’t like. Continue sticking with what works and ditch what doesn’t.

Eventually collaborate with people on Instagram. Get massive exposure to kids, teens, and young adults. Experiment with different types of content: memes, text-based images, pictures with captions, and more. Find a way to balance what resonates with them and what you’re comfortable with making.

Let them DM’s start rolling in. Open your inbox. See people thanking you for changing their life. Read about how your work has inspired people to do better and be better. Witness the impact your content has made.

Feel motivated to produce more.

4. Forget about steps 1–3.

Remember that your journey is your own.

Forget about following the steps that other people took to a T.
Understand that everybody’s journey ultimately plays out differently, and that someone else’s journey, no matter how much you try to replicate it, will never be your own. You have your own timeline ahead of you.

Get in the habit of comparing yourself to the person you were yesterday. People’s lives play out differently.

Treat people’s recommendations and steps as guidelines and for generating ideas. Let them motivate you to take consistent action, and don’t beat yourself up if the way your life plays out is not exactly like how theirs played out.

Get back to your own drawing board and map out a plan of action. Think about how you’ll want your journey to play out, but don’t worry if it doesn’t happen exactly like you envision it, for such is the nature and rollercoaster of life.

Stop worrying and get excited about it. Overcome your fears and get started in spite of not knowing everything that’s laid out in front of you.

Find success in your journey and share with others how you pulled it off in a 4-step article you decide to write online.

Make them smile with your last sentence.