These days, ask anyone, and they’ll tell you content creation is their full-time job.
If you think back to 5 years ago, you’d realize that the word “content creation” wasn’t widely used.
Yes, we’ve had social media managers, video creators, graphic designers, writers etc. for a while, what we really didn’t have then were content creators.
But as we speak, content creation has become one of the best-paying jobs for Millenials and Gen Zs all over the world.
Right now, people are being paid multiple figures to create content. I mean you’ll literally meet people online who are full-time content creators.
Bloggers, online publishers, newsletter authors, podcasters, YouTubers, course creators, video game streamers, and social media influencers all fall in the “content creator” bucket.
As usual, I made a video on this topic that you can watch below.
I wouldn’t really say it’s better than this blog post nor will I say it’s not as concise as the post, it depends on your preference. So here you go.
If you want to join this newly found career that is making a lot of people multiple figures, here are 5 things you need to know.
1. You Need to Know Content Types
There are 3 content types that exist and if you want to become a content creator, you must know what they are.
If you are great at writing and you can mostly express yourself in words, then written content is the best bet for you.
Concentrate your efforts on writing for blogs, online publications and journals.
But as a writer, you are not bound to these writing styles alone.
Writers are categorized into different kinds and each one is unique in its own way.
1. Content Writers
A content writer is someone who produces relevant and engaging written content on any platform.
These platforms may be blogs, websites, online publications, online journals and so on.
Content writers write with their audience in mind because they know that the audience is looking for relevant and beneficial information.
As a content writer, you are required to write targeted information that is well-written, informative and generally high-quality so that it can speak to your audience.
Bloggers are typical examples of content writers.
Every blog post needs to be relevant and valuable to the audience, otherwise, people will turn away.
If you want to become a content writer, one key thing you must know how to do is to write for search engines, i.e. know SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is about using targeted keywords that the audience search for in your content so that your blog post shows up in search.
A good content writer will have a profound understanding of the purpose of a specific type of content in order to produce high-quality work.
Content writers have their work cut out for them because people generally like to skim through text online.
Therefore, if you are writing a blog post or any kind of content for that matter, you need to grab people’s attention within the first 5 seconds with a compelling first statement.
If you want your blog posts or articles to be opened, you must master the art of writing great headlines.
A copywriter basically writes for the purpose of persuading people to take a specific action.
As a copywriter, you will be writing a whole lot of sales letters, landing page copies, social media copies, web copies, copies for marketing collaterals and so on.
Your job is to create clear and compelling copy to sell products and/or educate and engage consumers.
Brands will often come to you when they want to sell a product to their audience and they expect you to write copies compelling enough to get the audience to buy what they are offering.
If you want to be extremely good at writing copies, you must be able to carry out stellar research on the audience you are writing for.
You need to know what makes them tick and be able to connect with them emotionally so that your copies will speak to their pain points.
You also need to master sales, since the purpose of your copy is to make sales, it’s best you know how to persuade them and sell.
3. Email Writers
An email copywriter writes content for marketing emails.
Your job is to get people to open their emails, read your copy and take the desired action.
When writing email copies, you want to be persuasive and encourage subscribers to take the intended action.
When writing copies for email, you want to be specific and go straight to the point, otherwise, you’ll lose readers.
Getting them to open their emails is a task already, you don’t want them to just skim through and close your mail.
So let your headlines and copies be compelling so that your open and click-through rates will increase.
Like other marketing copywriters, email copywriters are good at writing and research, and have a wide vocabulary.
By vocabulary, I don’t mean sprinkling grammar all over your copy. What I mean is to have a good command of the English Language and avoid spelling errors.
As an email copywriter, you will be writing newsletters, drip campaigns (a series of automated emails sent to people who take a specific action on a website), sales nurture sequences, direct response emails and so on.
Scriptwriters are those who write scripts for movies, radio and tv adverts, video scripts, explainer videos, video games, etc.
They may also be called screenwriters, they prepare their script in a way that enables readers to envisage the setting, emotion and the way it will work on screen.
Screenwriters often collaborate with producers, directors and actors to draft and redraft their scripts.
If you want to write scripts, you should specialize in a sub-niche, like, comedy, drama, monologues, etc.
If you have a desire to express yourself through written words, then written content is your best bet.
Visual content includes videos, images, infographics, etc. For context, we’ll only talk on videos.
As a video creator, you’ll be producing video materials for consumption on various video-based platforms.
The most consumed content type right now is video content, that’s why you see many social platforms racing to add video content to their platforms.
Just take a look at how Instagram rolled out Reels within the twinkle of an eye just to compete with TikTok.
Even YouTube had to create Shorts. The competition is fierce.
What does that mean for you as a creator? It means that you have to start taking advantage of these channels as often as you can.
TikTok has produced many influencers and overnight celebs. The platform is rewarding many video content creators.
And so is YouTube. Consistent YouTubers can attest to the fact that YouTube is a goldmine.
Also, Instagram is prioritizing users who upload more Reels on their Instagram pages.
If you choose to become a video creator, what are the skills you’d need to be successful at it?
1. Research Skills
As a content creator, your research skills need to be top-notch. This is the most important skill you need to learn as a creator.
You won’t just create content off the bat that people didn’t ask for.
You need to be able to carry out research on what kinds of video content people love to watch.
You need to find out the questions people are asking and what is trending in your niche.
Click on your competitors’ videos and check their comment section to find out what their viewers are saying.
Use this information to create your own video content.
I share tech tutorial videos on my YouTube channel, if you’ve not subscribed, you can do that here
Before I create any tutorial video, I find out what people are struggling with in tech, the questions people are asking in my comment sections and also what people commend me for.
For instance, I have an email signature that people see whenever they receive emails from me.
Many people have commended me for it, so I decided to create a video on how I did it.
You can watch it here
So research helps you create what people are looking for.
2. A Good Knowledge of the Platform
It is important that you understand how each platform works. And this is not for video creators alone, but for any kind of content creator.
As a YouTuber, you need to understand what goes and what doesn’t on YouTube.
You need to be constantly researching the platform, and know what each metric means.
For instance, views are different from watch time. Each time a viewer intentionally initiates the playing of a video on their device and watches for at least 30 seconds, that counts as a view.
Watch time is the total amount of time in aggregate that viewers spend watching your videos.
For your channel to get monetized, you need to have a total of 4,000 watch hours and up to 1000 subscribers.
So if you’re getting subscribers and they are not watching your videos, you’re still wasting efforts.
That’s why you want to make your videos interesting with good titles and attractive thumbnails.
So you must understand how each video platform works, what is recommended, what is best practices and what they’ll frown their faces on.
My friends and I, who are YouTubers, get together regularly to talk about what’s new on YouTube.
A good understanding of the platform will help you position your videos well for better reach.
3. Video Editing Skills
If you have the budget to outsource your video editing, that’s fine.
But if you don’t, then you must be aware of tools that you can use to help you edit without hassle.
The first tool I’ll mention here is Inshot. Inshot is my all-time favourite and I use the free version.
If you want to enjoy more features on Inshot, then you can subscribe to the pro version.
Pro has three price tiers: $3.99 per month; $14.99 per year, which includes a three-day trial; or a one-time charge of $34.99 for lifetime access.
The next very cool video editing tool is Capcut
Capcut has so many features that can make your videos look like it was professionally edited.
I mainly use it to generate captions for my videos.
Check out this blog post on the 5 necessary tech skills you need to grow your online business
Auditory content is content people listen to, for example, Podcasts.
Podcasts are really good because your audience can listen to them on the go.
If you are someone who loves to speak and you don’t necessarily want to show your face, instead of creating a YouTube channel, you can start a podcast.
Podcast is the new kid on the block for me, I listen to them virtually every day and that’s what makes them cool.
Your audience can listen to them while doing something else, compared to a YouTube video or a blog post where they have to be actively watching or reading.
When commuting, all they have to do is to plug in their earpieces and listen to you as you speak.
Starting a Podcast is pretty easy, I plan to start one soon. In this blog post, I wrote about how you can start a Podcast.
2. You Need to Have a Portfolio
A portfolio shows would-be clients that you have a solid body of work and it gives them a sense of the quality of output they’ll be paying for.
When I teach content creation, many people come around and ask me how they can get clients for content creation, and the first thing I say is “where’s the work you have done?”
You can’t sit around waiting for brands to offer you a content creation gig, you have to be qualified for it.
Start by creating content on your own platforms so that you’ll have a body of work to show for it.
If you are a writer, create a blog and start sharing blog posts, or if you are a video creator, start a YouTube channel or start sharing content on TikTok.
If you are ready to start creating content on your own platforms so that you can build your portfolio, 2 things are worth knowing:
The Content Channel
From all the channels and types I mentioned above, pick the one you think will work best for you and learn all you can about it.
Then start looking at the content other people in your niche are sharing so that you can learn a thing or two from them.
Remember, you’re looking to get ideas and be inspired, not to plagiarize.
You want to make sure you are authentic with whatever you are sharing as much as possible.
The Audience in That Niche
The next most important thing is the target audience. You must know who they are.
Let’s say you have decided to write blog posts on remote working, and some of the topics you have in mind are restaurants that allow remote workers, the best tools for remote workers, how to secure remote work, etc.
Your target audience will be millennials and Gen Zs who work remotely.
Knowing who your target audience is and figuring out their psychographics helps you create content that will resonate with them.
So your blog posts, videos or podcast episodes will receive a lot of traffic.
All the work you have done for yourself on your own platforms will make up your portfolio.
If you want to become a content creator who works for brands, you need a portfolio.
3. You Need to Specialize in a Niche
So at first, you may not have to drill down on a very specific niche.
What you want to do is to choose an area you are really good at and start creating content on that.
It could be fashion, tech, marketing, or anything. It could even be lifestyle content.
As you go along, you’ll begin to figure out what you are really passionate about.
For instance, if you choose to create fashion content, you may first cover every aspect of fashion, later, you will begin to find your interests.
Once you do, you can then drill down and focus on that interest.
Having a niche gives you the opportunity to work with a focused customer base with a specific need.
Brands will be looking for creators whose specialities match up with their business topics.
4. You Need to Determine Your Price Points
The fees for content creation vary tremendously.
The amount you’ll charge to write a blog post will vary from another creator creating video content and vice-versa.
Most of my YouTube videos do not go longer than 10-15 minutes, but my blog posts are longer.
So I may charge a high price for a blog post than I would for a YouTube video.
But eventually, when I get better at creating videos, my pricing strategy will change.
Many creators struggle with pricing right because pricing is a huge topic on its own.
But in order not to underprice or overprice yourself out of the market, find out what creators in your niche are charging and charge accordingly.
5. You Need to Decide on the Tools You Want to Use
The most successful content creators make use of tools to make their work seamless.
From content scheduling, planning, management, design, etc. There’s a tool for everything.
Some of the content creation tools you can use include Canva, for creating designs, templates, videos and so on.
I already mentioned Inshot and Capcut for video editing.
For social media management, there’s Hootsuite, Buffer, Creator studio, etc.
For sentence construction and spellchecking, there’s Grammarly, for social media calendar, there’s Airtable.
There are so many content creation tools out there to make your life easier.
As a content creator, you need to be digitally aware. Tech should be your best friend.
Using the right tools can make content creation so much easier and makes you more effective.
That’s all about the 5 things you need to know if you want to become a content creator.
I hope that I’ve done enough justice to this topic.
Do you have any other thing you want to add? Let me know in the comments.