How to Become a Content Creator: Your Complete Guide
Updated 18 June 2023
A content creator produces online material for a select audience. This material can take many forms including photos, videos and blog posts. Businesses or brands can employ content creators to engage new and existing customers. Understanding the path to becoming a content creator can help you achieve this career. In this article, we discuss how to become a content creator, providing you with a complete guide that includes some tips on how to be successful.
How to become a content creator
There are several different ways to become a content creator. If you're wondering how to become a content creator, our guide below explores the different avenues:
1. Begin with a creative mind
To become a content creator, you need to start with a creative mind. Perhaps you love reading and writing or filming and editing videos. To be successful you need to have that drive and passion. This is because it is an ever-evolving industry. Those who are successful need to be constantly thinking up new ways to engage an audience. Brands may ask you to prove that you can:
Create cutting edge content
Effectively share content
Engage a target audience
Maintain that audience.
2. Create constantly
This is where the passion comes in. Even if you are not being paid, you can continue to create content to finesse your skills. This is usually easier to do if you are passionate about content creation. Creating constantly can also help you score new job opportunities. Content creators commonly start as passionate individuals who are creating for fun on the internet.
3. Establish your style
Whether you are writing, filming or taking photos you can develop your own style. If you are not sure what your style is, study your work to look for similarities. You can experiment with new things until you land on something that feels right. As some brands may have specific requirements, you can remain flexible while also adding a personal touch. When your style becomes well-known people may seek you out because of it.
Related: Be Your Own Boss in 8 Steps
4. Be current and stay current
As a content creator, it is important to stay up to date. To effectively create engaging content, you need to know what people are consuming online. If you know what is popular then you can capitalise on it. For example, if a song goes viral on a video-sharing platform, you could use the song as a backing track for a branded video. This increases the views on your video simply because millions of people are currently searching for that song. By knowing about the trends, you can jump on them quickly and use them to your advantage.
Being a content creator means constantly learning. It is important to read and view other people's content, not just your own. This can give you knowledge and inspiration. You can view content analytically, figuring out how and why it is successful. If you can do this, then you can create more successful content.
5. Gain skills
There is no particular course to study when becoming a content creator. However, there are many ways to gain skills. Many people teach themselves with online tutorials and consistent practice.
There are short courses available from schools such as COLLARTS and AFTRS. From there, you can choose a specific topic of interest or a more generalised area of study. Universities offer courses that can help, including short courses and degrees. Many degrees within the Arts are relevant to content creation, such as marketing and communications.
6. Know your audience
Having the technical skills to understand your audience and engage with them is important. There is not much use in having excellent content but no ability to share it. Spend time understanding and engaging with your target audience. You need to consider your target audience for each job you get and cater to their wants and needs. You need to be relatively specific and not make assumptions about what your audience wants. Ask questions and spend time researching your target demographic.
7. Understand KPIs
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator and is a great way of tracking your progress. The internet is huge and it's hard for your content to be discovered by itself. You need ways of generating traffic, and that's when your KPIs come in. KPIs include:
Organic traffic: this is the number of visitors you receive by search engine results.
Social media traffic: this is the number of visitors who viewed your content by a social media link.
Direct traffic: this refers to people who came directly to your content by typing in the URL.
Submissions: this is a form of lead generation; it refers to the number of people who interacted with your content.
Many companies want organic traffic, but obtaining it can be a challenge. A good way of getting it is to research the search engine algorithm and optimise your content to suit it. Other KPIs may use paid advertising. For example, you may pay for a social media advertisement that has a link to your content. The more understanding you have of KPIs the more successful you may be.
Content creation is an evolving field of work. You need to network with others in your industry to remain up to date and learn new things. You can network online via social media or attend industry events. By making connections you are increasing your chances of potential jobs.
9. Question everything
Are you a naturally curious person? A lot of content creators are. They question traditional methods of advertising and think of new ways to share content. This is an important skill to have. You need to be able to think of new solutions to old problems. Think about the content you are consuming and question why it worked or didn't, how you came to view it, and its purpose.
It's important to have an open mind and learn from other people. One of the best ways to learn new skills is by listening to what other people have to say. This is particularly true when your success relies on audience engagement. Pay attention to what the audience likes and dislikes and learn from it.
Frequently asked questions
We've rounded up a few of the most commonly asked questions around content creation below:
What is a content creator?
A content creator creates online material for consumption by a particular target audience. This material is usually shared online via social media or websites. The material may be visual, written or both. Businesses often hire content creators to make social media content, videos, photos, EDMs and articles. Content creators often work on a freelance basis or in the marketing department of a company.
How much do content creators make?
The average annual salary of a content creator is $67,871. This may vary depending on whether you work as a freelancer or for a company. You may even do both, so get a set salary plus extra freelance income. If you work as a freelancer, you need to determine your rates for each job you take.
What do you need to become a content creator?
Firstly, you need a passion for creating fun and engaging content. Then you need the technical skills to produce it and successfully share it on a platform. To get these skills you can take online courses or university degrees. If you decide to study at university, you may choose a degree in digital communication. There are no specific requirements of a content creator, but most employers like to see some evidence of study on your resume.
What are the habits of a successful content creator?
Most successful content creators spend a lot of time creating just for fun or practice. This is one of the best habits to pick up. The more you practise, the better you can become. If you are just starting, don't wait for paid jobs to come in, just start creating. This helps you create a portfolio, which is something to show potential employers.
What skills do content creators need?
Content creators need to be innovative. They need to be able to think up new ways of creating and sharing content. They also need to have social media skills, an understanding of all platforms and proven audience engagement. As a content creator, you'd benefit from technical skills whether they be grammatical skills for writing or editing skills for making videos.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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