Bilibili Creator Espie shares tips on how beginners can find success in online content creation

The internet is teeming with thousands of content creators such as vloggers, influencers, and podcasters. And with some achieving celebrity status and earning considerable income, it’s not surprising that more and more people are being drawn to the idea of becoming content creators themselves. Besides, all it takes is an idea and a smartphone to start uploading your own content online whenever you wish to.

However, the journey is not always smooth sailing, especially for starters.

Espie, a 25-year-old Filipino content creator who loves to do covers of anime soundtracks, started small with a few followers on various social media platforms. Today, she has found success in video-streaming platform Bilibili, the largest animation video platform in SEA, where she has built a following of over 17,000 in just 11 months.

We caught up with Espie to learn more about her journey, how she cracked the code in boosting engagement, and some tips on how beginners can find success in being a creator.

Search for the best platform

Just because a certain platform has the greatest number of users doesn’t mean it guarantees success. Espie tried uploading content on various platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but she only saw minimal engagement.

“There’s small engagement on all the platforms I’ve been to, so I felt like I need a platform that can give me something, more like a validation,” Espie shares, adding that for small content creators like her, having few followers or not being recognized that much for their work is quite discouraging.

This is when she decided to try Bilibili and uploaded her first content in September 2021 under the username Espie1321. Two months later, she gained 200 followers. Today, after just 11 months since uploading her first video, she now has over 17,000 followers. She has also become a part of the Bilibili content creator community as an official Bilibili Contract Creator, allowing her to receive customized support from the company, meet like-minded creators, and more importantly, get the kind of validation she has been longing for.

Consistency is key

Since becoming part of the Bilibili Creator community, Espie said she has been posting content on her channel four times a week. She has learned that uploading content regularly helps her to gain traction and somehow pushes her videos among the top suggested content.

It’s also important to make sure that your content is relevant to your target audience. For Espie, her passion for anime perfectly aligns with the interests of Bilibili’s audience. She has thrived and blossomed like a seed sown in rich soil. After all, Bilibili is a highly engaging video platform for all things anime, comics, games, and more.

To date, Espie’s most viewed video is her cover of Unbeatable, the opening theme song for Pokémon: Advanced Battle, which garnered more than 2,100 views recently.

Espie also emphasized that learning internet basics like search engine optimization, hashtags, keywords, and the like will come in handy when promoting your content. But then again, you’ll have to post regularly to experience real results from your promotion strategy.

Stay original and true to yourself

The best way to kick-start your career as a content creator is to start with your passion and to stay true to who you are. Espie said a lot of people used to say that if one wants to be famous online, they should do vlogs. However, vlogs don’t resonate with her personality and passion. “It’s not suited for me since I’m more like a private person,” she says. “Music is my passion, and I love singing anime songs, so I just kinda stick with it.”

Aligning your content with your true interests will allow you to create original content that people will love. “Producing original content also boosts your credibility as a content creator,” Espie shares. “Eventually, your followers will see and appreciate your authenticity both as a person and as a content creator through your content.”

Moreover, you will reap real rewards if you post your own content and respect intellectual property rights. Most platforms like Bilibili recognize and provide support to users that produce their own content. “There are a lot of incentives when it comes to uploading original content, such as bonus traffic for better marketing, monetization guarantee, and other giveaways from Bilibili,” Espie says.

Work out a plan

As a naturally organized person, Espie likes to keep a planner where she lists out all her content ideas, identifying the covers she wants to do at least a month prior to her target date of posting.

Luckily, working from home allows her to have the flexibility to fit the recording into her day-to-day schedule amid the demands of her job as a teacher. “There’s actually no fixed time for me to shoot my videos. Sometimes I shoot in the middle of the day or in the afternoon. But most of the time, I shoot at around midnight or from 10 pm to 3 am.” For Espie, that’s the perfect window to take advantage of her free time and the quiet surroundings.

Engage with your audience

Being a content creator isn’t meant to be a one-way relationship. Take advantage of your platform’s features such as the comment section or live streaming to directly interact with your audience. Take it from Espie.

“Primarily, I engage with my viewers through the comment section and sometimes I do livestreams so I could interact with them in real time,” she shares. “I usually acknowledge their praises and, of course, thank them for their support. This way they feel more heard and recognized.”

Espie also shared that she takes requests from her viewers and includes them in her content list. If she’s unfamiliar with a certain request, she takes the time to learn the song so she could perform it for her followers in her next video.

Choose your equipment wisely

For beginner content creators, Espie recommends getting a hold of the basics—a microphone, a laptop, and a good set of headphones. You will also need a trustworthy video editing software such as Filmora, Adobe Premiere, or Vivavideo.

However, Espie cautioned that it’s also important to be practical about your equipment choice, especially if you’re just starting. “Since I’m just doing anime song covers and not films or such, I don’t need tools that will consume a lot of memory in my laptop and make it slower,” she says.

Currently, Espie creates content in her mini studio at home with a recording microphone with an isolation shield, headphones, a laptop, and a black decorative banner inspired by Haikyuu, one of her favorite anime shows, which perfectly reflects her passion and the theme of all her content.

Keep going even if you don’t feel like it

While being a content creator is fun and exciting, it also has its ups and downs. Espie said that content creators, including her, don’t feel motivated every day.

There will be days when you don’t want to even get out of bed or instances where you’re not in the best shape to create something. However, she believes that the idea of waiting to be motivated or inspired before creating something is a misconception.

“Just do the things you need to do even if you feel unmotivated or lazy. The motivation and inspiration will come AFTER you start acting, rather than the other way around,” Espie says.

In addition, Espie said that while one can feel motivated by making money through content, being a creator has a more meaningful reward—one that keeps her going. “Being recognized, known, and appreciated by your followers is a much bigger reward than anything,” she concludes.