André Chaperon

I write about how Sovereign Creators can build a Digital World around their core idea. This new approach shifts focus from chasing audiences to attracting them, thus building trust and earning attention. Welcome to the art of building a Tiny Digital World.

Sovereign Creators

My concept of a sovereign creator diverges from the prevailing trend in the creator or passion economy, which prioritizes “creation” above all.

Yes, creators create. To that degree, we’re all creators; some as side hustles, others, like myself, professionally — making a living off our unique interests, skills, and expertise.

Sovereign, however, shifts the emphasis to independent, which is to say, someone who owns their patch of digital dirt.

When we own our digital dirt, we build equity and leverage over time. This allows us to own and control our audience growth and distribution without countervailing algorithms getting in the way, fostering slower but steady, durable growth.

While online platforms have enabled people to make a living off their unique interests and skills, enabling creator monetization without needing a website, leverage shifts from something you own to something you’re allowed to use, like “rented” digital space that’s free.

In this ecosystem, creators create content on behalf of a few dominant companies, which then algorithmically curate for each user from their giant pool of creator output, causing fleeting spikes of engagement.

Thus, relentless content production becomes necessary, as a pause or slowdown directly threatens the traffic spigot. This dynamic also poses a huge problem for content quality.

But sovereign creators don’t play this game.

We’re sovereign creators because we’re aggressively independent, creating on our own schedule, building our own equity and leverage, owning our own audience, and controlling our own distribution.

“Sovereign” is a meaningful adjective because it infers a statement:

We’re in complete control and ownership of our work, with the freedom to determine how, when, where, and why our creation is produced, distributed, and monetized.

While sovereign creators use technology (mainly prioritizing open-source technology), we’re keenly aware of what we own and don’t.

For example, using WordPress to power one’s underlying business platform is not the same as building on Substack (or ClickFunnels, Podia, Teachable, Kajabi, et al.), hosted platforms owned by shareholders and VC funding, with the pressure to constantly grow or die.

Being sovereign doesn’t mean you can’t use these platforms, but when we choose to, we do so with eyes wide open.

However, I firmly believe that sovereign creators who want complete control and ownership of their work and platform are best served by building their digital worlds using a self-hosted solution like WordPress (or a similar alternative).

This is my core tech stack:

There’s no middleman between what I create and how I publish. I own everything.