With more than 207 million people contributing to the creator economy, it’s important to know the different types of content creators—so you can establish yourself as a unique creator within your niche, and begin monetizing your content. Here are some tips to become a successful content creator.
How to Become a Content Creator
It takes more than just writing a blog post, making a video, or hosting a live stream to become a successful content creator. While consistency does help build trust with your audience, strategic planning and development are essential to establishing your personal brand. Here are some tips on how to become a digital content creator.
Pick a Niche
Take the time to identify your interests or subjects you feel you can speak at length about. When thinking about hobbies, activities, and topics you’re passionate about, ask yourself:
- What are your interests?
- What topics are you an expert in?
- What message do you want your audience to take away?
Going for topics you’re passionate about makes it more likely your content will engage others who are interested or searching for those topics. Your niche can be anything from fashion and lifestyle to health and fitness and more!
Look in particular for a sub-niche, a smaller segment in your target group, to stand out from the competition. For example, if you want to offer fashion content on social media—what’s your spin on it? Are you going to be the content creator who talks about high-couture fashion or budget-friendly fashion tips and trends? By focusing on your sub-niche, and tailoring your content toward this angle, you’ll be able to talk about your niche from a different viewpoint while creating a unique selling point for your personal brand.
Establish Your Personality, Style, & Brand
Think about your creator personality as either an educator or entertainer. Creators who educate teach their audience something, while creators who entertain amuse their audience.
No matter what creator style you decide on, make sure to prioritize brand authenticity—personalized content shows your brand voice and positions you as an authority in your niche. While staying true to your brand, you can still incorporate music and images that plug directly into your values or vibe as a creator. View this as an extension of yourself and your creator personality!
Know Your Audience
Besides knowing your target demographic, you need to know who’s looking at your content. Take a moment to monitor what’s going on on social channels—then apply what you’ve monitored, and let your social media listening help you understand why your audience is reacting to your content or genre’s current conversations the way they are. Social listening helps you find areas of opportunity to develop engaging content and conversations with your audience using data that’s happening in real-time. Review your social media analytics in addition to checking quantitative data like engagement and impressions.
Invest in Content Creation Software
Professional-grade tools can help expand your services, manage multiple projects, and produce better content. Copywriters and bloggers will want to invest in resources like Grammarly, Canva, and Semrush, while podcasters may want to buy podcast editing software—like Adobe Audition or GarageBand. Suppose you’re trying to become an influencer and need help tracking campaign performance, audience connections, and connecting with others. In that case, you will want to invest in influencer marketing tools like BuzzStream, IZEA, or Pitchbox. And for time management and content planning, invest in project management tools like Trello.
Buy the Right Equipment
Not everyone needs the same tools to create high-quality content. Podcasters need equipment like microphones, computers, and headphones. Visual art-producing creators—especially influencers, videographers, and photographers—will want to buy a camera, lighting, backdrops, editing software, microphone, and tripod. Since the majority of your created content will be distributed on social media platforms, you’ll want to follow tips for creating engaging social media videos in addition to social media best practices.
Create High-Quality, Engaging Content
As a content creator, you want to create engaging content that resonates with your audience. There’s two parts to this: relevancy and emotion. Take the time to research trending topics, conduct keyword research, check social media, and see what your competitors are up to—but make sure to put your own original spin on whatever content you end up producing. This is what attracts them to you.
To keep an audience engaged, you’ll want to create personable content to provoke thought or evoke emotion. By engaging the audience’s emotions, you’re priming them to take action—whether it’s to sign up for a newsletter or click the link in the caption. When writing your content or script before recording your content, stay concise, tell a story, and maintain a theme to help show authenticity and build trust with your audience. Be sure to leave a strong call to action at the end of your content to encourage your audience to engage with a like, follow, or share—or convert them to buy a product you’re promoting.
Choose a Content Platform
To pick the best platform, consider who your target audience is and the format of your content. If you’re primarily writing content, consider starting a blog on your website or posting on sites like Medium. Or if you want to create videos, post them on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube. Keep in mind that each platform has its own formatting preferences for content, so if you cross-promote your content to increase engagement, you’ll have to adjust.
Develop a Content Strategy
Think of your content strategy as a business plan—it’s how you manage your content. An essential part of any content strategy is good search engine optimization because this is how people find your content online. If people are finding your online content, then there’s a higher likelihood you can monetize it. When creating your content strategy, take the time to follow social media trends, note the kind of content that does well with your brand, and the peak times to post. This can help you create a content calendar to better plan, produce, and publish any content you’re working on a consistent basis.
Have a Website
Even if you keep this limited to your portfolio, brand display, and contact information, it’s a good idea to have a sort of “home base” online where people can find your content not on social media. And because not everyone has a social media account, having a website expands your reach and helps expose your content to more people. As an indie creator, freelance content producer, or even an applicant to an in-house or agency position, your website can define services you provide and display case studies for social proof of your skills.
Build an Engaged Community
Vital to the longevity of an online content creator, high community engagement primes your personal brand for monetization. Foster audience engagement by creating content to position your brand as an authentic, trustworthy source. This can take the form of creating Instagram Stories or Reels, hosting Ask Me Anything sessions, making posts with open-ended questions in addition to replying to comments or messages. You can even include user-generated content in your marketing efforts!
How to Monetize Your Content
Do content creators make money? Yes, they can and do make great money—however, it does take time and rarely happens overnight. Below are a few ways you can make money while creating content.
Apply Monetization Strategies
There are several ways you can make money as a digital entrepreneur. Content creators can make sponsored posts in exchange for payment or free items—this is often the majority of a beginner content creator’s income. They can also earn commission via promo links to a product or service from affiliate marketing sites and programs like LTK, Amazon Associates, or Rakuten Advertising. You can also look into crowdfunding platforms like Patreon or Ko-fi to receive a recurring monthly payment.
Research Ad Pay Rates from Platforms
Your ultimate goal as a content creator is to do what you love and get paid while doing it. Each social media platform pays creators differently, and depending on your follower base, views, and posts, payment can vary. Here are some quick stats on getting paid as a digital content creator.
- YouTube: $0.01- $0.03 per view
- Micro-influencers: $100-$500 per post
- Macro-influencers: $10,000-$1million+ per post
- Facebook: $1,000-$10,000 per month
- TikTok: $0.02-$0.04 per every 1,000 views
- Twitch: $.025-$4.50 per 100 impressions
Consider Tips for Pricing Content Services
Before deciding how much you’ll charge for contract or freelance work, you should consider:
- How long it takes you to create content
- Do you use any tools that cost money?
- Whether or not you’ll need to conduct additional audience research
- Is it a busy time of year for you?
- What’s your relationship with the brand or company?
Your content creation rate will also depend on whether you charge an hourly rate or per post. You’ll want to calculate enough so that your base earning allows you to break even at the minimum—which will allow you to cover production costs and payment for your time and services. Add a little bit more to this rate so that you keep some for yourself to pay bills, save up to expand your business, or other personal savings goals. If you aren’t sure about where to start in terms of pricing, try reaching out to your fellow creators to get more insight into pricing and collaborating with a brand.
Diversify Revenue Streams
Besides content creation, content creators can monetize their content in other ways. If you’re a YouTuber or podcaster, you can sell branded merch from your show calling out specific quotes or themes. Or if your audience learns from your content, offer exclusive content when signing up for subscriptions. Take brothers Hank and John Green for instance. Starting as the vlogbrothers YouTube channel, the Green brothers eventually diversified their streams of revenue, writing books and creating their own podcast, Dear Hank & John. Their following stayed loyal, and the Greens then created their own podcast networking hub, Complexly. They continue to produce content online (and through traditional book publishing), and are prime examples of successful online content creators.
Beginner Content Creator FAQs
Do I Need a Portfolio?
Whether you work in-house or freelance, you’ll need a portfolio to showcase your content work to potential clients and brands.
Can I Be a Content Creator with No Experience?
You don’t have to have any prior experience to work as a content creator. While a related degree is helpful, content creators use skills anyone can develop. To become a successful content creator—and to be a more competitive applicant or contractor—it’s a good idea to take some digital marketing classes or introductory webinars or programs so that people can find your content online. You can also consider integrated digital marketing, which can allow you to focus on creating content while delegating areas that you’re not strong in to others.
How Often Should I Post as a Content Creator?
Depending on the type of content, you want to post at least once a week if not more. The way search engines work, relevant and recent content about a searcher’s query sends positive signals to Google. Additionally, beginner and indie content creators must prove themselves as trustworthy sources through displaying search engine standards like experience, authority, and more. When you post trustworthy, authoritative content frequently, you build trust with the search engine and people online. This is why posting trustworthy and relevant content frequently as a content creator is important to do.
Need help on your content creator journey? Hurrdat offers professional paid advertising, as well as search engine optimization and web design services so that your content can get found. Contact us today!