I’ve been busy… creating

I have been out of action for some time – that is, not blogging lately. Nor have I been able to make new videos.

It’s been pretty frustrating. Much of this has to do with the fact that my work schedule had become very busy as of late. Despite the economic downturn, we’ve been really hard at work with two major marketing initiatives.

Another reason for my absence is that I’ve been wanting to refocus more of my blogging efforts around creating content – rather than just writing about marketing trends and news.

The fact of the matter is that in marketing, nothing really matters more than creating content. Without content, marketing simply doesn’t exist.

It just so happens that I really enjoy making new content. From copywriting, to sketching out ideas for illustrations and diagrams, coding out things for the web, and even making production-quality artwork on occasion.

I’ve really been wanting to write more on my blog about tips and insights on crafting content, providing both practical advice and (hopefully) small bursts of inspiration.

But in order to write about creating content, you need to be actively making content, too, so you can tell the stories about what you’ve just made.

So that’s what I’ve been trying to do lately.

The problem, however, is that creating content takes time, and very often, much more time than you would like or anticipate. So that in turn slows down the ability to blog about the stuff you’re making.

Making content on the side

When I’m not working, I enjoy learning new stuff about creating, and making my own things – for my website, or producing a new video.

I really have a lot of fun in the process, and it also serves as a great opportunity to acquire new skills, get some much-desired practice. Quite often, what I do on the side ultimately benefits my primary marketing occupation.

So now, let me share what I’ve been working on lately: a personalized dashboard for things related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Below is just a work in progress.

My personal, custom COVID-19 dashboard

It’s basically a collection of charts I’ve customized to my own interests, including specific US states I’ve chosen to track closely.

In addition to serving as my very own, one-stop information resource, I’ve also been able to stretch my web development know-how in several ways:

  • Getting familiar with the popular ChartJS library for creating data visualizations.
  • Using CSS Grid for fast, super-simple web content layout .
  • Beginning the process of getting up to speed with modern JavaScript coding.
  • Accessing a third-party data source API. I’m using data from The COVID Tracking Project.

As I stated earlier, this is still just a work in progress. There is much more to do, like better styling for the charts, and bringing in data from the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. I’m actively following key economic trends related to COVID-19.

Get in there and do it!

In the end, there really is no better way to gain experience and comfort with content creation, than actually doing it yourself!

Even better is when you’re having lots of fun through it all. It’s always satisfying to see what you’ve accomplished with your latest creation, whatever it may be.