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5 Simple Steps On How To Become A Content Creator

5 Simple Steps On How To Become A Content Creator
Quinlan Vowles Mar 12, 2020
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

The world of online content is constantly changing, especially if you’re looking on how to become a content creator.

The way we consume media, the way brands market themselves, and the way we get everyday information — it all comes down to content creation. And the people behind all that? You guessed it: content creators.

More and more people are choosing to ditch the old nine-to-five and become digital nomads, working from home or anywhere in the world.

Creating content is a great way to do that! With enough hard work and the right skills, online content creators can make a comfortable income without ever setting foot in an office.

Think the content creation lifestyle sounds right for you? There’s no time like the present to get started.

Read through the rest of this article to learn more about what a content creator does, and how you can become one in 6 easy steps.

What Is A Content Creator?

Before we get to the steps to becoming a content creator, let’s talk about what that title actually means.

“Content creator” is an umbrella term for anyone who — at the risk of sounding too obvious — creates content.

But what is content?

Content can be anything from a Youtube video to an Instagram post to a well-written blog post, usually meant to market a specific product or brand.

A content creator’s job is to produce content that will reach a target audience by appearing in online searches or on social media.

No matter what kind of media you’re using, content creation requires creativity, great communication skills, and an in-depth understanding of your industry and target audience.

What Do Content Creators Do?

So what does a content creator do, exactly? Let’s break it down:

Most online content creators are writers.

It might seem like video and images make up the majority of what we see online, but that’s not actually true — there is still a huge demand for creative text in marketing.

Writers create blog posts and articles that promote a brand or idea, and can get paid by the word, by the project, or by the hour for their work.

While it’s tough to make big bucks as a freelance writer, plenty of people can do it successfully. It’s all about developing the right skills and building a brand for yourself (we’ll get into that later on in this article.)

Of course, not all content creators are writers. Many are Youtubers, animators, graphic designers, or social media influencers.

Basically, if you use a digital platform to create and promote content — and get paid for it — you can call yourself a content creator.

How Much Do They Make?

A lot of content creators make a part-time salary. It can be a great side-hustle for someone who just needs some extra cash on a busy schedule, like a student or a stay-at-home mom.

On the other hand, one of the coolest things about being a content creator is that there’s no limit to how much you can make — content creators are constantly improving their skills and taking on new work.

Plenty of dedicated digital nomads turn it into a full-time career.

To spell it out more clearly: the average salary of someone who commits to being a full-time content creator is around $45,000, with an average hourly rate of about $18.50.

Of course, that’s just the average — it takes some time to get to that point, and there are people who make much more than that, too.

Why Become A Content Creator?

There are tons of different reasons to get involved in content creation. You might be considering it as a second job, or as a way to support yourself while traveling — you might just really love writing and creating, and want to get paid to do it!

Here are just a few reasons why becoming a content creator might be the right choice for you:

You’re Creative

Maybe you’re a really talented creative writer. Or, maybe you love producing short videos, or connecting to people through art. Maybe your friends think your Youtube channel or TikTok is hilarious.

Whatever your medium, content creation lets you get paid to flex those creative skills. It can be an awesome stepping stone into your field, and a great way to improve your talents while working toward your ultimate goals.

You Need Additional Income

It’s tough out there these days. A lot of people have to start their careers at minimum wage, or even on an unpaid internship.

Getting paid to create content is just one way you can boost your income without taking on a full-time job. Don’t neglect your bills while you’re working toward another goal, between jobs, or traveling!

Since content creators get to work from home, they don’t have to work around two job schedules — they have the freedom to take on as much work as they like, whenever they want.

You’re Really Knowledgable In Your Industry

Companies are often looking for writers and content creators in a specific niche, such as the medical field, education, law, or tech.

Having extensive knowledge of a certain field will automatically boost your career as a content creator — you can market your expertise and create reliable, informative content without wasting too much time on research.

Bonus points if you have knowledge in a trending industry. Some of the fastest-growing industries are constantly seeking freelancers to market new products and brands.

You Don’t Want A Desk Job

By far the biggest benefit of becoming a content creator is the remote aspect. It’s ideal for people trying to avoid a full-time desk job.

By making a steady income online, content creators can make their own hours, work from anywhere in the world, and be their own boss. They never have to worry about taking sick days or requesting time off — all they need is a laptop and an internet connection.

Sounds nice, right? That can be your lifestyle, too. If you’re still interested, keep reading — below are 5 simple steps to becoming a full-time content creator.

5 Steps On How To Become A Content Creator

No one becomes a full-time content creator overnight. It takes time, dedication, and a lot of effort — just like any career. But if you think you have what it takes, there are plenty of resources available to help you to make it happen.

Keep in mind that these 6 steps aren’t a perfect or universal guide. Your path to becoming a content creator will look different depending on your skills, platform, and expectations.

We definitely encourage you to keep researching and learn as much as you can before you quit your day job!

That said, these steps should help to give you an idea of how you can get started.

1. Pick your platform

The first step is to determine what kind of content creator you want to become.

What platform will you use to promote yourself and your content? If you’re considering starting a blog, Youtube channel, or influential social media account, the best thing to do is to get it started and begin promoting it right away.

At this stage, you may want to think about investing in courses or other online resources to learn how to promote yourself. An online blogging class, for example, can be a great place to get started, and should pay itself off pretty quickly if you’re successful.

If you’re a writer, you might want to consider freelancing as your “platform”. As a freelancer, you don’t focus on a single platform like a blog or channel, but offer your skills to a variety of clients.

The upside of freelancing is that you don’t need to focus on attracting followers — it’s great for people who don’t necessarily enjoy promoting themselves. The downside is that you might need to adjust to a new voice or writing style for each client.

You should also consider your niche at this point. What kind of content are you creating? Are you knowledgeable in a specific industry? What type of content fits your skills?

Here are a few examples of niches that content creators choose to specialize in early on in their careers:

Ghostwriting

Ghostwriting means that you are producing written content that will be published under another name (or no name at all).

Ghostwriting jobs can be easy to get as a beginning freelancer, because they don’t care about a reputation — it doesn’t matter if you don’t have other published articles yet, as long as you can write clearly and effectively.

Plus, if you’re a fiction writer, ghostwriting is an awesome way to get paid for writing creative stories, poems, and more.

Ghostwriting can be great for quick cash — most jobs pay by the word, and there will be plenty of work available for a talented writer.

However, keep in mind that it is difficult to progress and grow your career if you’re only ghostwriting. Without producing published articles under your own name, you won’t be able to build up a portfolio or “brand” to get future jobs.

Copywriting

Copywriting is writing for advertisement or marketing purposes, creating customer-facing content directly for a company.

This requires a little more of a business mindset: you need to be able to write convincingly, use a friendly tone, and appeal to a target audience.

If you’re interested in becoming a freelance copywriter, you should definitely consider taking an online course or two. With skills like SEO writing, keyword research, B2B content creation, etc., it will be easier to get higher-paying jobs at the outset.

Travel/Lifestyle

Some of the most sought-after content jobs are in the travel and lifestyle niche. This is where tons of bloggers and influencers make their living.

With a growing market for self-care, there is no shortage of companies looking for content creators to promote a certain lifestyle through their travel blog, their fitness Instagram account, articles on food and CBD products, etc.

While the travel/lifestyle niche is growing, it’s also pretty flooded. A lot of content creators try to take this route — it’s not hard to see why!

If you want to make it as a travel or lifestyle content creator, be prepared to commit, promote yourself as much as possible, and get to know the industry as much as you can. It definitely helps to have an outgoing personality and a big social media presence.

2. Start small and grow your skills

So you’ve picked a platform, you know what kind of content you want to create, and you’ve laid out a plan. Awesome! Now comes the hard part…

Again, no one becomes a content creator overnight. You have to put in the hard work — and that means starting small. Most content creators don’t make a full-time salary within their first year.

Just remember that all the hard work you put in at this stage is going to be worth it in the long run!

With that in mind, here are a few places to find your first content creation jobs.

Content Marketplaces

You may have heard the term “content mill” before — that’s usually referring to a website where writers and content creators can get freelance work for pretty minimal pay.

But not every online content marketplace is a content mill; there are plenty of places a beginner can look for work without getting “paid peanuts” (that’s the freelancer’s term for getting ripped off).

A content marketplace is a website or online platform where clients post jobs for freelancers to bid on. You’ll find a full range of jobs there, for everyone from beginners to pros — work can range from website design to academic writing, and everything in between.

Some of the most common online content marketplaces include: Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, Constant-Content, and Textbroker.

Some things to keep in mind if you’re starting out on a content marketplace:

  1. You won’t get the highest-paying jobs as a beginner.
  2. You should be prepared to “sell” your bid.
  3. Keep an eye out for scams. Most sites are pretty good about preventing scams or fake jobs, but it’s still good to be careful — avoid taking conversations off the platform or committing to jobs that seem “too good to be true.”

Internships

Want to build up your portfolio as a copywriter or digital artist?

An internship can be the perfect place to start. Check out Linkedin, Indeed, and other job offer sites for remote content creation internships with a specific company.

With an internship, you’ll get mentorship and training, plus the chance to publish some of your own content. It might not pay well (or at all) but you’ll come out of it with the skills and experience to start applying for more serious work.

The right internship might even lead to a higher paying job with that company later on, if it goes well!

Online communities Or Forums

You definitely have to be self-motivated to become a content creator, but that doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone. An online forum is an awesome place to meet other content creators, get advice, find new resources and jobs, and more.

There are plenty of communities and forums online for content creators in every niche — especially for writers.

Some of them charge a membership fee for full benefits, including updates on job postings and counseling or classes. But you can always peruse and access links to jobs and competitions for free!

Speaking of competitions, they can be another great way to get your content out there. Tons of publications hold monthly or annual competitions for amateur writers and artists — if you win, they’ll publish your work and maybe even throw in a cash prize.

Your Own Company Or Workplace

Why not get some practice creating content for the company you already work for?

If your company has a website or social media account, offer to contribute content. It might seem small, but it will help you to develop your skills and gain some experience.

3. Learn To Use Data

Yikes! It’s every creative’s nightmare: hard data.

As much as we might not want to deal with data and statistics, every successful content creator needs to learn how to use them to their advantage.

Data analysis tools like Google Analytics or Ahrefs can tell you what’s going on in your industry or niche. What are people searching for?

What kind of content is getting the most attention? How can you improve your work to stay ahead of the competition?

Don’t be intimidated by data: online analytics tools are actually super easy to learn. It’s something an online course or internship can teach you about.

And you don’t need to be an expert in data analysis, either — something as simple as keyword research can go a long way to help you optimize your content and get it out to more people.

Combining Business And Creativity

One of the main reasons to learn data analytics is to improve your business-saviness as a content creator. Because, let’s face it: no one is going to pay you just for being creative.

A 2019 report on online content shows how the combination of creativity and business marketing skills is making the world of content creation more competitive: modern content creators are producing unique content that takes account of current data for their industry.

Here’s a good example: say you’re a Youtuber.

You could spend your time cruising through hundreds of popular channels, taking note of how they promote themselves, the kind of language they use, etc. — or you could run a quick analytics search and find out what viewers are most likely to relate to, what they want to see, and what is going to make them subscribe to your channel.

The same can be said for a blog. There are thousands of travel blogs out there — so why do some consistently pop up first when you search for a certain destination? It’s all about using the analytics.

4. Build Up Your “Brand”

Once you’ve started taking on small jobs and developing your skills as a content creator, it’s time to develop your personal voice or “brand”.

Even freelancers will benefit from having a personal brand. It’s essentially who you are as a creator — your style, talents, and experience.

You don’t want your content to look like everything else on the internet; you want it to be uniquely yours. As you take on more jobs and get a feel for content creation, your work should start to stand out from the rest.

There are a lot of ways to develop your brand, and it will depend on your niche and the type of content you create. Here are a few elements that might go into your brand:

Your Writing Style/Voice

They say that every writer has a unique voice.

If you’re a big reader, you’re probably already aware of that — when you read an article from a well-known journalist or a novel by your favorite author, you can recognize their style in word choice, sentence structure, etc.

The same goes for amateur writers: get to know your own voice, and take pride in it.

Why does writing style matter?

Because when you apply to jobs as a remote writer, you want to give your clients an idea of what to expect.

Build up a portfolio of articles, blog posts, or copy you have written so that you can send it to future clients.

That’s how you show — not just your talent and experience — but that you have a unique and clear writing voice that will stand out.

Your Aesthetic

If you want to make a name for yourself as a blogger or influencer, visuals matter.

People respond positively to content that includes visual elements, whether it’s a video or just an image.

In fact, research shows that a blog that uses relevant images will get up to 94% more views than a blog with no images at all — yeah, that’s a lot.

But you can’t just throw some stock photos on your blog post and call it good. Use visuals that align with your writing style and the message you want to send.

Spend some time on font choice and text alignment.

Similarly, if you’re using a Youtube channel to promote content, make sure your personal style and the backdrop of your video fit with your content, and stay consistent with every video you post.

Developing a consistent aesthetic can be tough, especially for those of us who aren’t artists. To get inspired, do some research, check out Pinterest, and pay attention to the aesthetics of bloggers or influencers you like.

It can also help a lot to run every post by a reliable friend or a test audience to get a second opinion on visuals.

Your Online Presence

One of the best ways to promote yourself as a content creator is through social media. Developing an online presence that suits your brand can help potential clients get to know you.

For example, if you’re a travel blogger, you can have a public Instagram account dedicated to your travels and lifestyle. If you’re a writer, use Twitter to show that you follow other writers — retweet professional articles on topics you want to write about.

Not a big social media person?

That’s fine — you can also create your own website to showcase your brand. Building a website as a writer can be a great way to attract future clients.

Your website doesn’t have to be complicated — just a visually pleasing page with your photo, biography, and links to your published work or samples of your writing.

Including a link to your website with a job application or bid will absolutely impress a potential client or editor! It shows you mean business, and won’t disappoint.

There’s no one “right” way to develop your personal brand. The bottom line is that you have a unique presence, your work is recognizable, and you come off as an experienced professional.

Create Every Day

Becoming a content creator is an ongoing process. There is always room for improvement — that’s one of the best things about the industry!

Even the most successful content creators are still improving their skills, promoting themselves, and learning new ways to achieve.

On that note, the most important thing you can do as a content creator is to work on your craft every single day. The more you practice and improve, the better your chances of getting consistent, high-paying work.

But that’s easier said than done — sometimes life just gets in the way, especially if you have another full-time job. If you ask a professional content creator, they’ll give you these tips on staying focused and working toward your goals:

Set A Schedule

Having a weekly or monthly schedule can help you to accomplish your goals within a set time.

This is especially important for bloggers — it’s important to be putting out new posts on a consistent schedule.

In fact, according to blogging statistics, the more posts you put out (within reason) the more attention your blog will get.

For freelancers, sticking to a schedule can be harder, because you don’t always know when you’ll get your next job or what it will look like. (Freelance writing is particularly unpredictable).

In that case, it can help to have a daily schedule — dedicate at least an hour a day to your freelance work, whether you spend that hour bidding on new jobs, working on your website, re-reading and editing old work, or updating your resume.

There’s always something you can do to get you closer to your goal.

Create For Fun

Don’t have any paid work to do? That doesn’t mean you can’t create.

Remember that this is a creative job, and it should be fun. Take some time every day to work on something just for you (or for friends and family).

Write short stories or poetry, draw a picture, take photos — whatever!

Having fun with your craft won’t just help you improve, but also keep you relaxed and remind you why you wanted to pursue a creative job in the first place.

Find What Works For You

Everybody’s different. Maybe you’re more productive at certain times of day.

Maybe you can sit and work for hours, or maybe you need to take regular breaks to keep the creative juices flowing.

The beauty of creating content from home is that your schedule is yours to create.

Check out some of the habits of famous writers — you’ll see that every creative genius has their own method. Want to work at 3 AM with no pants on?

How about 2 PM on the beach?

Find what works for you, and get that work done on your own schedule.

Bonus Step: Don’t Give Up!

So, you’ve made it this far: you picked a platform and know what you want to create, you’ve developed a recognizable, unique brand, and you work on creating content every day.

That’s it, right? Well, not exactly.

Unlike your old desk job, creating content is a consistently challenging job.

There will be days when you have more work than you can handle, and there will be days when you feel like you’ll never be able to make a living this way.

That’s okay — it’s all a part of the process!

The truth is, you can make a living as a content creator if you put your mind to it. It just takes time, and patience. So don’t give up. Keep creating, improving, and applying yourself. With time, you can become a fully independent digital nomad.

Is Becoming A Content Creator Right For You?

Whether you’re a student who wants to make some extra money, a traveler who wants to be able to work from anywhere in the world, or an aspiring writer or artist who just wants to get their foot in the door — as long as you’re creative and dedicated, becoming a content creator might be right for you.

The key is to start small, use all the resources available to you, build your brand, and never stop creating.

We hope this guide gave you a better idea of what content creators do and how to become one.

Remember, everyone’s path is different, so it’s important to keep researching and learning before you dive right in.

The internet is an amazing tool — everything you need to make a comfortable living is at your fingertips already.

If you have any questions or comments on how to become a content creator, please let us know down below.

Quinlan Vowles

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