A comprehensive guide on how to become a content creator
Content creators are becoming celebrities of this new age. Yet how easy it may sound, becoming a content creator requires a lot of hard work, and passion. You cannot simply select any area of expertise without any market research.
However; if you want to become a content creator, then this article is for you. I am going to tell you the step-by-step process to become a content creator and how you can earn money; thanks to blogging, which has become so popular these days.
And the good news is that with the emergence of new platforms and monetization options, the growth opportunities for content creators are immense.
Before diving into the process of becoming a content creator, you need to understand some basics of content creation:
What is a content creator?
What are the essential elements of being a content creator?
So let’s get to learn!
What is a Content Creator?
A content creator is one who produces content in various forms like written, visual, video, and audio formats. Technically, everyone who posts on social media is a content creator, but posting random or casual stuff doesn’t help in making money or providing value to the audience.
There’s a difference between professional content creators and people who post random stuff. A professional content creator creates content that benefits people in some way. For example authors, writers, bloggers, videographers, photographers, journalists are all professional content creators.
They create content as a part of their profession keeping in mind the audience they are targeting and their needs. Social media teams at companies and freelancers who produce content for their clients are also content creators.
I believe you landed here because you want to have a career as an independent content creator. Perhaps you are ready to start that website where you can publish your thoughts about a particular niche, or a podcast you have been thinking about.
And now you are wondering how you can make money doing these things and be a successful content creator. So let me tell you that you have come to the right place.
Essential Elements of being a Content Creator
Regardless of the content format or platform you choose, the three basic elements required to become a successful content creator are:
Niche-specific quality and creative content is the foremost essential element of being a content creator. Whether you plan to write blogs, produce a podcast, or record videos a commitment to producing consistent and quality content is required.
Quality content is required to create and grow an engaged audience. You need to give people a reason to pay attention to what you are creating and also motivate them to engage with your content.
To earn a genuine income as a content creator engaged audience is a necessity. Whether you monetize your income through online products, advertisers, or premium subscriptions, you need an audience that trusts you and is ready to buy from you.
As a content creator, you are in a business where you need to monetize the audience attention you get.
Every channel where you interact with your audience is a distribution channel. Your YouTube Channel, Facebook Page, Instagram Profile, Website, and Podcast Channel are places where you distribute your content among your audience and also find different ways to monetize it.
Step by step process to get started as a content creator
Choose your niche
Before starting as a content creator you should understand that you cannot produce content for any random topic because this will confuse your audience. You need to select a specific topic or area in which you will create content.
To have a successful career as a content creator you have to select a niche for yourself.
Now, if you don’t know how to select a niche, let me help you out;)
Choosing the right niche for yourself can make you anxious sometimes but your success and wealth will mainly depend on the niche you choose.
While selecting a niche always remember that it should be a combination of passion, talent, and market.
Once you select a niche, you are ready to start as a content creator. Focusing on a single niche and delivering content with a fresh perspective in that niche will help you build a strong, and loyal audience.
Find your target audience
Content without the right audience is mere words. Growth is only possible when you understand who your audience is and target people who can enjoy the maximum benefits of your content.
Successful content creators have a huge understanding of who their audiences are. Knowing your audiences helps you in:
Determining right distributing channels
Determining the right content format
Creating insightful and engaging content
I recommend starting the process of identifying your target audience by building a user avatar. An avatar is one that has all the qualities of your ideal user
Build up a content strategy
A content strategy is a strategic plan that guides the future of your content activities across all distributing channels. It helps you to plan and produce content according to each distributing platform.
Content strategy includes your content theme, topics, content format, online media channels, and posting schedule.
It is very essential to have a content strategy in place on the basis of your niche and target audience as it helps to maintain consistency which helps to grow a loyal fan base.
Set up your website
Content creators have various distribution channels where they can grow their following but still having a website of your own help in many ways like:
It makes you look authentic and your clients will find it easy to trust you and your brand.
It allows you to direct your audience to your own online space where they can read your blogs, subscribe to your premium content, or can learn from your e products.
It helps in guarding your brand against social media fluctuating algorithms. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube keep changing their priorities and hence their algorithms which negatively impacts a creators’ ability to reach their audience.
Various distributing channels often get down which impacts a creators’ business to a great extent. For the time a particular platform is down the creator neither can reach the audience nor can sell any of the products or services.
In all the above scenarios, a website act as a savior for a creators’ business. It is an online space that you, as a creator, own and control.
Create your social media accounts
If you are planning to start a career as a content creator then I assume you already be having social media accounts. However, if you don’t have then you need to decide which social media channel you’ll be using for growing your brand and create your accounts accordingly.
Using one platform initially is acceptable but I am sure you will want to promote your brand with other platforms as well. However, this does not mean you have to be present on every platform. You’ll need to select a few where your audience spends time the most and start focussing your efforts there.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn provide opportunities to grow your content’s reach. I understand it’s difficult for you to make a choice that makes the most sense initially but after analyzing your audience persona and niche you will be able to do it.
Think of your social media profiles as content distribution channels. They will increase your opportunities to share your valuable creations with your audience. You can also offer sponsor posts and campaigns on these platforms to help generate revenue.
Start building your email list
Now that you have created your content strategy, build up a website, and set up your social media accounts; it is time to start creating content and grow your audience.
Now you will need an audience that will pay attention to your content so that you can start monetizing your efforts eventually. Remember that to offer sponsor posts and campaigns also you need to have an audience otherwise no one will buy your offers.
So, how do you grow your audience?
Let me help you out.
You need to create consistent quality content and start sharing it using all the distributing channels. And do you know which is the most important channel for your content distribution; it is your email list.
Emails help you to get in touch with your subscribers directly and get your content landed into your audience inboxes where most of the people spend countless hours each week.
Starting to build an email list early in your career as a content creator will help you amplify your content to a larger audience that too with a touch of personalization.
Building an email list is extremely easy when you have a website in place. You can collect the name and email ids of your website visitors using any email marketing tool and land in their inboxes with your amazing content pieces.
You can initially start by using tools that give free plans with basic features:
Finally! You are finally onto making money now! Once you start understanding the point of view of your audience and their needs you start delivering content that is worthy for your people which will help you in getting traction making a way for you to monetize your content and generate revenue.
There are many ways to monetize your content. You can choose all of them or either of them depending on your audience requirements and your income goals.
Let’s explore some monetization options for content creators:
Ways to make money as a content creators
Digital Products and Courses
If you love sharing knowledge and have educational content to share then digital products and online courses are good options to monetize your content.
You can use your expertise and experience on a particular topic to develop an ebook and sell it to your audience.
You can also choose to create an in-depth online course as coaching programs and mentorships are gaining popularity ever since the lockdown happened. Along with an online course, you can offer access to an exclusive group that will help you in building your community as well.
Selling Ecommerce products can also be a good option for generating revenue. You can offer various goodies like your branded t-shirts, coffee mugs, key chains, and a writing pen. Your audience will get excited to buy goodies from you if they love your brand.
You can also add banner ads to your website using ad networks like Google Adsense. Many new bloggers work on increasing their website traffic to fulfill the requirement to activate a Google Adsense account.
However, revenue from displaying ads on your website should not be your primary income plan as it is not much.
Alternatively, you can also offer sponsorship to various brands that want to reach your audience base. You will be setting up campaigns for them and also creating content for them featuring their brand on your website, social channels, or podcast with a mention.
1 on 1 Consulting Services
When people see others succeeding they want to know the processes and methods one followed to get through. So you can also start giving 1 on 1 paid consultations to people who are interested to know your processes and methods and charge a premium for your consultation.
This will help you in building trust and authenticity as an expert among your audience. However, remember you need to put out quality content and build authority showing your expertise through your content.
Always remember that there is no shortcut to become a successful content creator and a business owner. Regardless of the chosen niche and format and the fact how much you like that niche; you will still feel poured out into creating content that nobody is reading or appreciating but still you have to keep creating and providing value to your audience.
It requires a lot of patience and resilience to become successful as a content creator. Along with being patient you also have to be open to learning new things and keep yourself updated as online media keeps evolving and updating with platforms launching new features every now and then.
With so many updates, features, and formats it becomes essential for you to figure out what is important for your business and what is useless in order to be a successful creator.
I am sure that the above-mentioned seven steps are surely gonna help you and show you the path to be followed; which is a little time-consuming for a beginner to figure out themselves.