There’s a difference, you know:

Between throwing your content at an disinterested group and telling your friends about a new series they can’t miss.

Between spamming everyone you know and passionately proclaiming good news you can’t keep inside.

Between vehemently telling people to become patrons and just simply sharing something you’ve created.

But some never understand this. Some people think that if you have anything to sell, ever, then you’re instantly a fake, a charlatan, a sell out. And these people will never be satisfied. They will always criticize and find reasons to tell you what you’re doing is wrong.

And you should ignore them.

Don’t be afraid

Someone recently asked me:

                 “Do anime content creators have trouble getting paid for their work?”

Indeed, the majority do. In fact, I believe this applies to anyone with remarkable skills or creative passion they take for granted. Many gifted people don’t understand the value of their gifts. They minimize them, dismiss them, and sabotage their work.

But why?

Because, they reason, why should I get paid for something I enjoy? It’s easy. Fun. Effortless. But not for everyone. Just for you. Which only makes what you do even more valuable.

Here’s a challenge: Stop apologizing for your content, and embrace the fact you have something valuable to share. Something that’s — dare I say it? — worth money.

Charge for your best work

Not that long ago, a friend of mine fixed my phone. The screen was badly cracked and its paint was chipping. I didn’t have high expectations for what could be done with it.

When I saw my friend’s finished work, I didn’t even recognize the phone. It was amazing. I just kept saying “thank you.”

After I asked him what I owed him, he said, “I hate charging friends…” But then he told me the price and I gladly paid it.

Why do we do this? Why do we hate charging people for our best work? I think it’s time we stop apologizing and start valuing the contributions we can make.

How to not sell out

This isn’t license to sell out and turn every word you write or spin every video you make into a Patreon tier. No. That’s not the point at all. The point is this:

Now, you can be your own patron.

In an age when content creators don’t have to be at the bottom of the food chain, dependent on the generosity of others, the only thing holding creative people in the community back from success is themselves.

Don’t mistake me here. If you don’t want to make money off your work, don’t do it. Nobody’s forcing you to do it. But don’t use lack of resources as an excuse to not create, because you no longer have that excuse.

People value your work. The question is, do you?

If you struggle with this, you’re not alone. I’ve been there before, too, which is why I’m so passionate about getting people to value their creative work. In fact, you should start valuing your work right now.


6 thoughts to ““Selling Out” & Anime Content Creators

  • Thanasis Karavasilis

    Great post, Prattle. There are many people who are afraid to ask money for what they do in fear of being called out. I have met so many talented people who don’t want (or more possibly are terrified) to take their chances online, either by making a YouTube music channel, an Etsy store, a Patreon account.

    Yet, there is always the dark side of everything: people who take advantage of fans and who create content not because they are themselves fans or are enjoying what they are doing but because fandom is an easy source of patreon or subscription money.

    There are also those who begin as fans and then turn into money-making monsters who keep creating content (usually worse than what they used to or more mainstream) just to maintain their online income and their new-found lifestyle.

    There are content creators out there who produce real value and are relatively unknown. I hope people with good taste will keep on promoting the people who deserve to be seen. (That’s my way of saying again ‘keep up the good work.)

    • Prattle

      Thank you, and well said!

  • Irina

    A very interesting post as always. I’m curious on one point:
    “If you don’t want to make money off your work, don’t do it.”
    Does the fact that some creators are willing to give away their work, devalue the product as a whole? Would peole be more likely to pay for someting if they could not easily be able to get an alternative for free (even if that alternative is of lesser quality). Please understand, this is not a leading question, I really don’t have an answer on my end.
    Essentially, is the abundance of completely free content a good or a bad thing for those who are trying to make a living off of their blog?
    Maybe you’ve already answered this in another post mind you. I should really have looked before writing this.

    • Prattle

      I’ll answer your questions in order:

      “Does the fact that some creators are willing to give away their work, devalue the product as a whole? ”

      No, not on its surface, but if a creator has a precedent established for paid content, then the “free content” can be perceived as inferior. So in that common context, I would say yes it does.

      “Essentially, is the abundance of completely free content a good or a bad thing for those who are trying to make a living off of their blog?”

      I would say that it’s generally a good thing. More free content gives your audience more of a chance to really resonate with your work and make a better financial decision to support you or reach for any paid content.

      • Irina

        That makes sense. Thanks

        • Prattle

          No problem!


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