How to Become a Content Creator 🎨
- Social Media
Who’s behind the blogs, pictures, and videos you see online? Discover the world of content creation and learn how to become a content creator.
It’s hard to imagine an internet without TikTok, Instagram Reels, influencer endorsements, and more video content than anyone could possibly consume in one lifetime. But digital content creators are to thank for the wealth of variety internet users have grown accustomed to seeing, and content creation now drives billions of dollars in revenue worldwide.
Want to learn how to become a content creator to add your voice to the mix? You’ll need to master a few key skills and concepts. But first, let’s explore what content creation really means.
What is a content creator? 🧑🎨
Content creators produce the written (blogs, captions) and visual (videos, photographs) information we interact with online. But content comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes, from funny videos to educational blogs and inspiring images. One digital content creator rarely engages in every type of content creation, focusing instead on one or two areas of expertise.
Professional content creators may work in-house on a company’s marketing team, work for a marketing agency, or work for themselves as Independents.
Types of content creators 🧑🤝🧑
Most content creators focus on a single medium, which will be determined by the creator’s skills, interests, and the venue that best showcases their niche.
Among the various kinds of content creators are:
- Writers produce blog posts, tweets, social media posts, or captions for photos or videos.
- Photographers capture still images for advertising a product, location, or lifestyle.
- Videographers produce videos for platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
- Podcast hosts write, host, and record informative or entertaining podcasts.
- Influencers use their large network of followers to promote brands and services.
Each of these roles requires different skills and interests. A skilled freelance copywriter may not be able to produce amazing photographs, for example. But all successful social media content creators know how to use their skills to give the audience what they want.
What does a content creator’s day look like? 🗓️
Whether working remotely or as part of an in-house team, what a content creator does every day will vary depending on the role and the needs of the team they’re working on. But videographers, influencers, and other content creators all generally have some involvement with these areas:
- Develop content strategy. Effective content doesn’t happen on a whim. Creators should have a clear understanding of a business’s goals and the ability to strategize content that will help achieve those goals.
- Audience research. Audiences don’t just happen — they have to be grown. Content creators need to understand the audience they’re trying to reach, who their chosen medium will appeal to, and how to use that medium to leverage the growth of a client base.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) research can help ensure that written content reaches more people. Writers in the content creation space need to have at least a basic understanding of how a search engine works and what keywords are trending in their specific industry so they can optimize their content for maximum reach.
- Manage content rollout. Humans are creatures of habit. Having a regularly scheduled blog or video rollout builds brand recognition and reliability. Content creators who post sporadically may struggle to build an audience.
- Visual design. This aspect of design means knowing how a particular piece of content fits in with an overall content marketing strategy or style guide. Some blog writers are also responsible for finding visual references and understanding how a web page should look.
There’s often some overlap between one role and another. Some writers may have to perform basic photo or video editing or graphic design. Influencers may need hair styling or make-up expertise. The easiest way to sum up what a content creator does from day to day? Whatever it takes to make great content.
How to become an outstanding content creator 🏆
Becoming an established content creator will take time. Ask yourself these questions to improve your odds of success:
- What are you going to do? This is the most important question, really. What kind of content creation are you interested in pursuing? Do you have existing skills or plan to learn something new? Research different types of content creation to get an idea of what each involves.
- Who is your audience? The audience you appeal to isn’t necessarily going to be a group you’re familiar with. Take the time to research and engage with members of the demographic you’re hoping to appeal to. Understanding how to communicate with a specific group ensures your audience will respond well to the content you produce.
- What platform will you use? How does a creator figure out the best place to share their content? The answer to this question will be based on the kind of content being created and the intended audience. Blogs are great for audiences who prefer reading (and for SEO), and sites like WordPress make it easy to get started. For short-form videos, platforms like TikTok and Instagram are perfect for maximizing reach.
- Do you have a plan? Excitement and enthusiasm may spur a creator to start posting, but those looking to grow a business, brand, or clientele should have a plan. Ensure you roll out new content regularly, stay consistent to the brand, and always meet deadlines. A good plan helps smooth out any future bumps in the road.
- Is your tone/voice consistent? Audiences follow creators because the content they create is interesting or entertaining to that audience. Major shifts in voice and tone from post to post can confuse an audience and cause them to lose interest.
If you want to improve your content creation skills, try a “Do 100” project. Write, film, or produce new content every day for 100 days to get a feel for the process, improve your abilities, and get comfortable envisioning amazing end products.
Making money at content creation 🤑
After all this work, how much do content creators make? As a content creator builds an audience, opportunities to monetize become possible. One great way to make money as a freelance content creator is to join an Independent-first job site like Contra. On our commission-free platform, Independents keep 100% of the money they make.
Casual content creators may not make more than a few hundred dollars, while those with a large audience and solid content strategy can easily hit six figures. But as a creator builds their brand and reaches for their financial goals, many monetize in a variety of ways, including:
- Affiliate marketing. Content creators can approach a particular brand and offer to promote it on their social media platforms. This is a great way to get into online advertising and builds a rapport with a brand that could become a lucrative partnership.
- Sponsorship and advertising. Many content platforms include advertising widgets. For example, adding Google AdSense to Blogger or WordPress allows content creators to produce clickable links that generate revenue.
- Merchandise. Visual designers or creators with a flair for marketing can create branded merchandise like tote bags, T-shirts, and baseball caps. Consider offering exclusive swag to loyal followers and selling branded merch to help gain exposure through word of mouth.
- Online courses. Creators with deep knowledge about their field should consider creating short online courses to help others in their field. Platforms like iSpring Market or Thinkific provide tools and advice on building and marketing a course.
Start your journey with Contra 🏁
Whether working in-house or in your own house, content creators require hard and soft skills that go beyond the ability to create. Writers must also be marketers. Visual designers must also be researchers. These are vital aspects of how to become a content creator.
To make things easier, Contra provides an incredible array of tools and inspiration for content creators and those interested in the field. Our Slack community is bursting with experts willing to share their expertise. Our Portfolios highlight the high-quality, professional work of our Independents. And our blog offers advice to freelancers looking for opportunities and clients looking for reliable, professional Independents.
How to Hire a Remote Social Media Creator by The Contrarian