So you want to learn how to become a content creator? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we deep dive into our best tips for becoming a successful content creator.
A content creator is someone who does content creation on a consistent basis across platforms like TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube. The type of content can vary from videos and blog posts to cooking tutorials, ebooks, or even newsletters.
Whether you’re wondering how to become a content creator on Instagram or how to become a content creator on TikTok or YouTube, the only thing you need to get started is a desire to be creative and to connect with others.
Read on to learn more tips about how to become a successful content creator and create content like a pro.
What does a content creator do?
A freelance content creator produces content that either entertains or educates (or both!). The type of content can range from comedy to makeup tutorials to relationship advice, or just plain old sharing of life experiences.
If you have a passion for something, becoming a content creator is a great career option, because essentially it allows you to do more and talk more about your passion — not to mention make money from it too.
Read on to learn more about how content creation is a win-win situation for everybody involved.
What are some different types of content creators?
When it comes to content, the world is your oyster. And by that, we mean that there are so many different methods to create content.
For example, you can be a writer, video content creator, or podcast creator. Or maybe you’re an artist, hairdresser, or farmer who creates content to introduce online audiences to your IRL creations and to share your knowledge with them.
While there’s an endless amount of content niches and several popular social media platforms for content creators to choose from, ultimately, content creators can be divided into two general categories: the creator educator and the creator entertainer.
Okay, but what exactly defines a creator educator?
A creator educator is in the content creation game with the intent of helping their audience learn, upskill, or just generally become better versions of themselves. From cooks to relationship or career coaches, to fitness or finance experts and social media managers, there’s a broad amount of content niches to choose from within the creator educator category.
As a creator educator, you obviously want to educate your audience on a topic, but you also don’t want to emulate the monotone teaching style of your sixth grade history teacher. While a creator educator’s main goal is to (surprise!) educate, keep in mind that engagement is just as important.
At the end of the day, high-value education comes with high engagement rates.
While creator educators are focused on enlightening their audience through education, creator entertainers put all their content creation energy into enlightening their audience by way of entertainment.
The goal of the creator entertainer is to fill all those voids in the day where viewers might need a little boost. Successful content creators like MrBeast, Charli D’Amelio, and Emma Chamberlain have massive followings and make a mind-blowing amount of cash, but even creator entertainers with smaller audiences have a lot of potential to produce viral content.
This potential for viral content and large audiences puts the creator entertainer into a very lucrative position for brand partnership deals.
How do content creators make money?
One of the best parts about content creation is the potential for a diverse range of income streams. Read on to learn about the different revenue streams available to you as a content creator.
Brand deals and partnerships
Brand deals and partnerships are one of the most popular ways for content creators to make money. If your content and brand voice align with a brand partner’s vibe and mission, they could pay you to promote their products or services.
Keep in mind there are a few things you’ll want to consider before going full steam ahead into brand outreach.
First things first, you want to make sure that whatever brand you partner with is a good fit. Whatever you promote on your platform should be authentic to you and your brand. Otherwise, you run the risk of alienating your audience, lowering the level of successful sales for your brand sponsor, and ultimately coming off as a sellout.
Hot tip: Wondering how to know if a brand is a good fit? Ask yourself these questions:
- Would my audience use this product or service?
- Would I use this product or service?
- Can I test this product or service before promoting it?
If the answer is yes to all of the above, then you’re on the right track!
How do you get a brand sponsor?
Sometimes brand sponsors will reach out to you, but oftentimes — especially when you’re first getting started out as a content creator — you’ll need to pitch yourself to a brand.
Additionally, it can be difficult to figure out the value of a brand sponsorship at first. If you have a network of other content creators within your niche that you can rely on for help, definitely reach out to them. Otherwise, keep in mind that there should always be room for negotiation in a brand partnership contract.
If you didn’t know already, there are plenty of ways to make money as a creator directly from the platform you’re using to produce content.
For example, TikTok recently announced a new monetization tool: the Creativity Program Beta. This tool is a reformulation of TikTok’s original Creator Fund, which was notorious for dishing out very small payouts to creators.
The TikTok Creativity Program Beta however is designed to offer better incentives for creators to gain more TikTok followers and monetize their video content on the platform. While it’s still a relatively new initiative and difficult to measure its success, it’s certainly a sign that TikTok is trying to stay competitive with other social media platform monetization options like YouTube (which we’ll dive into more detail below).
Ad revenue sharing
Most social media platforms have ad revenue-sharing models that usually have certain requirements for monetization eligibility, like minimum subscribers or watch hours. For example, to gain full access to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), you need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months.
Once you reach these monetization requirements, you can start benefiting from monetization features like YouTube ads running before and/or during your content.
Ad revenue sharing may seem complicated at first, but it’s actually pretty simple. Essentially, as a content creator, you earn a share of the revenue generated from the ads featured on your content. The higher the engagement you receive from your audience, the more ads they’ll watch — which means more revenue for you.
The “sharing” element of ad revenue is an important factor to keep in mind. While every platform is different, generally, you should expect to be splitting your revenue with your platform host.
For example, on YouTube, the revenue split is generally 55% for creators and 45% for YouTube. That means, for every dollar your video content earns from ad revenue, you will receive $0.55 and YouTube will keep $0.45.
Memberships and subscriptions
Today, many creators sell memberships and subscriptions to their content as a way to make recurring income online. In particular, Substack and Patreon are two of the most popular platforms for funding creative content. Let’s take a look at how each platform works:
Substack is a subscription-based newsletter service most commonly used by writers and content creators to monetize their ideas without needing to rely on media companies for a wage.
Like any content platform, Substack creators need to build an audience, establish a brand voice, choose engaging topics, and publish frequently to maintain their audience’s interest. If you get into a good Substack flow, the earnings can be lucrative
How does it work? Substack takes 10% of any subscription fee charged and the payment processing company, Stripe, charges an additional credit card fee. After that, the rest of the money goes directly to the creator’s pocket.
Patreon is a membership-based platform that creators can use to monetize their audience by sharing gated content. Posting content to Patreon is not that much different than on other platforms, except you have way more control over how much you can earn from your content.
Even creators with smaller followings on Patreon have the potential to make anywhere from $1,000 to $17,000 a month.
The beauty of subscription and membership-based platforms is that there are no ad-revenue sharing programs or creator fund revenue calculations. There are no algorithms or advertisers to appease. It’s just you and you’re loyal subscribers.
Selling digital products
Quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for content creators to make money online, a digital product is anything you can sell online as a downloadable file. Think ebooks, online courses, templates, etc. These products can quite literally help you make money overnight!
One of the main benefits of selling digital products is that it’s a great way to generate passive income, i.e. lucrative earnings made from minimal labor. Who doesn’t love that?
If that doesn’t already get you going, some other major benefits of selling digital products include:
- Low production costs: Since digital products are mainly created and sold using digital tools, they automatically become more affordable because you’re cutting out the high costs usually associated with producing, storing, and moving tangible merchandise.
- Higher profit margins: Thanks to the fact that a digital product doesn’t require you to invest any time, space, or money into maintaining multiple units of physical inventory, your profit margins will be higher.
- No shipping logistics: That’s right, no more lost hours spent at the local postal office trying to manage multiple shipping methods. And no shipping cost calculations or inquiries. When your followers order your digital product, they receive it online right away, making everyone’s life easier.
- Scalable: Since the infrastructure for a digital product business lives online only, it’s significantly easier to scale than a physical merchandise business that relies on tangible tools and services like warehouses and shipping costs.
- Global audience: One of the main benefits of a digital product is its potential for global outreach. Since you don’t have to deal with international shipping costs or currency conversions, your digital products can reach a broader audience.
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Make UGC for brands
There is an increasing number of creators making money from making UGC (user-generated content) for brands. But what exactly is user-generated content, and how can you make money from it?
Essentially, UGC creators specialize in creating organic-looking content for brands that appear user-generated, except they’re actually getting paid for it. UGC creators usually work within the realms of content niches like travel, beauty, fashion, wellness, or product design in general.
So, why would brands pay UGC creators, and what’s the difference between UGC and brand sponsorships?
While creators are usually transparent about their brand partnerships, UGC content is intended to look and feel more authentic.
UGC content is a particularly popular marketing tactic in today’s social media-driven world. Many brands even feature UGC content prominently on their websites.
Back in the day, we might have seen a big-time actor promoting their favorite whiskey or perfume. Nowadays, that marketing looks more like influencers casually test-driving new cosmetic products or setting up a brand new couch in their living room.
Hot tip: If you’re wondering how to become a UGC content creator, get started by following these steps.
- Do your research: Look up brands you’d like to work with and study their user-generated content.
- Invest in quality film equipment: Say “yes” to that ring light!
- Practice making UGC content: Practice makes perfect.
- Build up your UGC portfolio: Here’s where that practice comes in handy. Even if you’ve yet to get an official UGC contract, you can still build a portfolio with your practice content.
- Find opportunities on UGC creator platforms: There are several platforms like Trend or UGC Shop that help creators land UGC deals.
5 steps to becoming a successful content creator
With a sprinkle of creativity, lots of determination and dedication, and a desire to connect with others, anyone could have the potential to become a successful content creator.
New to the content creation game? Here are some tips to help you get off on the right foot.
1. Identify your target audience
First things first, you want to know who you’re talking to. And by “know,” we mean you really want to understand who your audience is.
Start by asking yourself some basic details about your audience:
- What is their age demographic?
- What do they do for work and how do they socialize?
- Are they single? Do they have a family?
- What other brands do they like and shop with?
- What social platforms do they use/spend time on?
- What do they care most about?
Why is knowing the answers to these questions so important? Because the better you know your audience, the more your content creation can anticipate and cater to their interests, needs, and desires.
For example, let’s say you’re wondering how to become a fitness content creator. The best place to start would be to consider what niche within the fitness community you’re trying to communicate to.
For example, maybe you’re an expert on how to demonstrate “the snatch” in the sport of weightlifting. While you may be an expert, your target audience might be beginners.
The bottom line? Defining and understanding your audience should be the first and foremost step in your content creator journey.
2. Establish your brand voice
The easiest answer to how to become a content creator is pretty basic: be authentic.
Sure, you should stay on top of trends and keep an eye on other content creators within your content niche, but your content should always be unique to you.
It goes without saying that your brand voice is how you speak to your target audience. You want to define this at an early stage, so that you can remain consistent throughout your content creation.
The good news is that if your brand voice is authentic to you and the passion that drives your content, then it should come pretty easily to you. Even easier if you really understand and know your target audience.
Throughout your content creation journey, just remember that the more authentic you are to your brand, the more successful you’ll become as a content creator.
3. Choose a platform
As a content creator, you have several platforms to choose from. Social platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are popular options for emerging content creators, because they’re free to use and have massive social networks.
That means not only is there lots of potential to gain many followers, but there’s also lots of potential for your content to go viral.
Membership-based platforms like Patreon and Substack are also great options for emerging content creators. Usually, these platforms are best for creators who have already generated at least a modest amount of loyal followers.
4. Build a content plan
Once you get a handle on who your target audience is, what your brand voice is, and what platform you’ll publish on, it’s time to build out a content plan.
There’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to designing your content plan — it’s whatever works best for you! But before you set out on your content plan journey, it’s helpful to keep these points in mind:
- Set clear goals: Define what you want to achieve, whether it’s gaining followers, increasing engagement, or promoting a product/service.
- Content calendar: Create a schedule for your published content that you can stick to.
- Content types: Mix up your content formats to cater to different preferences and keep things fresh.
- Themes and topics: Brainstorm ideas and research trending topics to stay relevant to your content niche and brand.
- Keyword research: Consider incorporating relevant keywords in your titles, descriptions, and captions to improve visibility.
- Engagement strategy: Don’t forget about engaging with your audience! Make sure you schedule time to respond to comments, ask questions, and encourage discussions.
Whatever content plan you create, make sure you stick to it. That leads us to our next point: the value of consistency.
5. Be consistent
It’s no secret to anyone that the average human’s attention span is dwindling. As a content creator, you also have to recognize that your audience is being exposed to an onslaught of content on a daily basis. Think about your own content consumption. What creators really draw you in and why? If you trace it back to any one thing, it’s likely this: consistency.
If you’re wondering how to become a content creator, you should absolutely ensure that you stick to your content plan and post content on a regular basis.
By the way, the measurement meter for “regular” is totally up to you. It could mean once a week, twice a week, 5 times a week — really whatever works best for you and your schedule on both a creative and logistics level. You don’t need to be online 24/7, but the time you do spend online should be productive. Set realistic expectations for yourself, and you’ll be golden.
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How much money do content creators make?
The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. How much a content creator makes is dependent on several factors, including the size of their following, their engagement rate, what platform they use, and their number of revenue streams. But don’t get us wrong here — you don’t need to have a massive following to make a lot of money. Plenty of content creators with smaller audiences make a living from their content.
Ultimately, it depends on what type of revenue streams (and how many) a content creator relies on for their income. Different revenue streams include brand sponsorships, affiliate marketing, AdSense revenue, selling digital products like ebooks or online courses, or selling merch.
Just remember, it takes time to build up to multiple dollar signs. But if you put in the work, there’s always potential to make some cash as a content creator!
Can I become a content creator with no experience?
The answer is 100%, yes! One of the best parts about being a content creator is that you don’t need to have a university degree, be one of many social media influencers, or have any particular experience other than being a human (and TBH even that’s debatable) to become one.
If you’ve ever taken a photo with a smartphone, created a post on Instagram, or even just watched a YouTube video, chances are you already have more experience than you think.
Our best advice? Start small, find your passion, and practice regularly. Learn from others, adapt, and — above all else — be authentic. Over time, you’ll refine your skills and develop that unique brand voice and style that will keep your audience coming back for more. Remember, everyone starts somewhere — ultimately, it’s your journey that will make you stand out.
What qualifications do content creators need?
Unlike applying for any job ever, the qualifications for becoming a content creator aren’t rigid. You don’t need a university degree, multiple years of experience, or even a specific number of followers.
If you’re looking to dive into the world of content creation, the qualifications are more about skills and passion than traditional degrees or direct experience. While formal education and social media or marketing experience can help, it’s not a must-have. What truly counts are your creativity, authenticity, and dedication. That being said, certain skills can help you in your content creator journey.
First off, hone your creative skills. Whether it’s video editing, graphic design, writing, or photography, practice makes perfect. Learning how to use tools like Adobe Creative Suite, Canva, or even your smartphone will help you create content that stands out.
Next, understand your target audience and find your niche. What do you love talking about? What does your audience want to see? Authenticity and relatability are key. You’ll want to stay tech-savvy and adaptable. Social media trends change fast, so be ready to learn and pivot. Collaboration skills are also crucial — networking and brand partnerships can boost your reach.
Lastly, passion fuels consistency. Being a content creator requires time and effort. If you’re passionate, authentic, and adaptable, you’re already on the right track — no formal qualifications needed!
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