What are the most productive ways to spend time on the Internet?

Two ways and two ways only: create valuable content and consume valuable content.

The internet is a smorgasbord of news, information, and entertainment.

If you are not deliberate and intentional with how you spend your time on the internet, it can consume your life (and not in a good way).

But if you spend the overwhelming majority of your time on the internet in these two ways, then your time will be well spent.

1. Create valuable content:

One of the biggest blessings of the internet is that it allows anyone to create and publish content.

No longer do you have to rely on gatekeepers or gain “official” credentials to get your ideas out into the world.

Most people aren’t taking advantage of this incredible opportunity. Instead of publishing valuable content that can help people, they post selfies.

Look at this piece of content:

It’s not studio quality, but it’s super valuable.

It took this guy 8 minutes to create with his phone and it’s helped millions of people. Before the internet, there is no way this guy could have helped millions of people.

It’s not hard to create valuable content. In fact, the apps and tools we have today make it easier than ever. Here are a few that you can start using today:

  • Quora
  • Medium
  • WordPress
  • Canva
  • Slideshare
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

I try to create valuable content on the internet regularly. Here is some of my best stuff.

What are you waiting for?

A common side effect of helping lots of people online is making money.

This is an added bonus of creating value on the internet. If you do it well and do it consistently, you can earn money WITHOUT trading your time for it.

There’s no better form of income than passive income and there’s no more productive way to spend your time on the internet than by creating something that will earn you money in your sleep for months and years to come.

2. Consume valuable content:

Most people spend the majority of their time on the internet consuming content.

But once again, instead of consuming valuable content, they are drawn to garbage like cat videos and scrolling through endless social media feeds of their friends’ vacations.

I try to spend at least 80% of my time on the internet creating content and no more than 20% of my time on the internet consuming content.

When I do consume content, I am very deliberate about what I read, watch and listen to.

Instead of watching cat videos, why not try LEARNING something practical that you can use to benefit your life? Maybe improve a skill or learn to negotiate your salary or start a side business?

Here’s an example of valuable content:

The Ultimate Guide to Making Money

Ramit Sethi teaches people how to live a rich life.

He prides himself in creating free content that’s more valuable than everyone else’s paid content.

Here is another example:

How to Start a Blog That Generates $3817 a Month

Neil Patel teaches internet marketing.

He helps people build their online presence from scratch with zero budget. His content is so good, some of the biggest brands in the world go to him for advice.

His blog posts, like the one above, are extremely informative, detailed and actionable. It’s no surprise that he makes 7 figures a year from his blog alone and who knows how much more in consulting.

I consume Ramit’s and Neil’s content because it is valuable. I don’t watch cat videos because they are not.

I am also extremely picky about who I follow on social media because I see these people in my feeds EVERY DAY.

I don’t need people who spew hate, negativity, or anything that doesn’t add value to my life lining up in a digital parade to add stress to my life or make me feel shitty.

It’s not worth it and it’s something that’s always within my control.

I’ve blocked about 90% of my Facebook friends from my news feed simply because they post stuff I don’t care to see.

I suggest you do the same. Consume only the highest quality content and follow only the highest quality people online.

To recap: there are only two productive ways to spend time on the internet:

  1. Create valuable content
  2. Consume valuable content

If you’re doing anything else, you’re wasting your time.

Featured image by Rawpixel.com.

First published on Quora.


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