Here is our list of the best content creators on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to…
How to Become a Content Creator
Content creation is one of the most rewarding activities you can do on the web.
It allows you to express your creativity while making something other people can enjoy. Content creation is also a great way to make some money on the side, or even earn a living by doing it full-time. Add to this the potential of going viral and becoming an internet celebrity, and you can see why content creation is one of the fastest growing industries today.
So how does one become a content creator? Here are 7 tips to help you get started.
1. Find Your Strength as a Content Creator
The first step to becoming a content creator is figuring out what you’re good at. What can you make that others will enjoy enough to support and enable your work?
Consider which of your existing skills can be used to make content. If you can draw really well, you could make instructional videos to teach others how to do the same. If you have good comedic timing and like playing video games, you can stream yourself cracking jokes while playing multiplayer games online. If you read a lot of fantasy literature, you can make long-form reviews of your favorite books. Any talent or skill you have can be useful for making content.
With that being said, a content creator doesn’t have to be an expert in any given field in order to make good content. Maybe your gaming skills are lacking but you can put out videos really fast, so you can always offer viewers fresh content. Maybe your speaking voice leaves something to be desired, but you’re reviewing books no one else is, making you the exclusive authority on the topic.
The point here is that you need to have a unique selling point as a content creator, whether it’s your work ethic, the quality of your work, the topics you cover, or something else entirely.
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2. Look for a Content Niche You Can Occupy
Finding your niche is essential for launching your career as a professional content creator. A content niche is simply a topic that attracts a certain online audience. If your content doesn’t occupy a specific niche, you will have a hard time growing your audience and sustaining a large enough following to make content creation worthwhile.
To determine your content niche, start by looking at what other content creators are doing. For example, if you’re streaming gaming videos, check out trending channels related to gaming on YouTube, Twitch, and other gaming platforms. For additional research, browse social networks such as Twitter and Instagram, and read content on gaming industry websites such as Gamasutra and IGN.
To take a more active role in defining your niche, participate in community discussions related to your content on forums, live events, and social media groups. Reddit is a great place to get a feel for what’s trending in any given content niche.
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3. Get the Necessary Tools
What separates the amateurs from the professionals in the field of content creation is polish and production values. A low-res video with crackling audio is an instant turn-off for most people, even if your script, delivery, and analysis are all top-notch.
But what if you can’t afford professional production equipment and software? The good news is, quality production is more about making best with what you got and picking the right tools for the job, than it is about burning money on expensive hardware and apps.
Any PC or laptop bought during the last 5 years should be enough for all content production tasks that don’t involve live-streaming in full HD.
In terms of recording equipment, you can use a tripod mount (~$10) for your phone to turn it into a desktop camera, and you can use your headset mic for recording sound. Later upgrade your gear with a dedicated mic (~$50 for a basic model). Lighting makes a huge difference in video production, but you can make due just by arranging lamps in your home.
As for recording software, OBS is your software of choice. It’s completely free, it supports live-streaming, and there are tons of guides on how to set it up. For video editing, DaVinci Resolve is a free alternative to Adobe Premier, and it’s available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. And that’s basically everything you need to start producing.
4. Monetize Your Content
To make it as content creator, you need to find a way to monetize your work. In the past, this has been a major barrier for new content creators. The situation is much better today, and there is a wide variety of monetization methods and services to choose from.
The most popular way to monetize your work as a content creator is crowdfunding. Platforms such as Glimpse allow your followers to support your work with direct and recurring payments. In exchange for their support, you offer exclusive content, early previews for future content, extra materials, or even merchandise.
Another way to monetize content is through ads on YouTube. Once your channel has reached 1000 subscribers, you can join the YouTube Partner Program which allows you to post ads on your videos and collect earnings once you’ve earned at least $100.
You can also choose to host your content on multiple platforms. For example, host content on YouTube and on crowdfunding platforms, such as Glimpse. Repurposing or creating complementing content for several platforms is a good way to expand your audience.
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5. Promote Your Content on Social Media
In an ideal world, creators could simply publish content and let followers gather in an organic way. In reality however, content creators have to deal with competition from other content outlets, including media production companies, content syndication networks, and other content creators. Hence the need to promote your content.
The easiest way to get started with promotion is by sharing your content on social media. It’s free, it’s easy, and there is probably already an audience for your content just waiting. For example, you can create a page on Facebook and invite your friends to follow you. Follow it up by sharing your page in groups related to your niche.
Expand your audience beyond the people you know. Always look for opportunities to share links to your content in discussions, share snippets of your content on your page, and notify followers whenever you have new content out.
6. Help People Discover Your Content with SEO
Another way people can discover your content is by using search engines. If your content matches what people are searching for on Google, YouTube, or Twitch, it will rank higher among the results. This means that over time your content will reach a bigger audience.
So how do you make search engines more likely to recommend your content to users? Through a process called search engine optimization (SEO). SEO involves using analytics tools to look for trending search topics or keywords, and then creating or adjusting your content to match the intent behind these keywords.
For example, if you want your video review of Super Mario Galaxy 2 to reach a bigger audience on YouTube, you will want to give your video a clear title (e.g., “Super Mario Galaxy 2 Review – More of the Same?”), a description summarizing the content of the video (e.g., “In this video, I will explain why SMG 2 is a lackluster sequel…”), and tags (super mario galaxy, video game review, critique).
As a final note, remember that good SEO will not make up for bad content. The idea behind SEO is to help search engines understand what your content is about to have a better chance of appearing in the search results. But it is ultimately up to users to decide if your content is what they were after in the first place.
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7. Collect and Analyze Feedback
A single quality piece content is enough to make a name for yourself. But if you want to pursue content creation as a career, you will have to create content on a regular basis. Not only that, but you should also strive to make each new piece of content better than the previous. Therefore, it’s essential to collect and analyze feedback for your work.
One form of feedback is explicit user feedback. This includes, comments, reviews, response videos, and other instances where users talk to you directly about what they like and dislike about your content. By listening what users have to say, you can adjust your content output by picking topics that interest your audience.
Metrics are another form of feedback. Metrics are data that describes how your content is performing in terms of raw numbers and statistics. Each content platform has its own built-in systems for metrics. Metrics would tell you how many people have viewed your content, if they took any follow-up actions such as subscribing, etc. Metrics are essential for making small adjustments to your content to improve its performance online.
Launch Your Career as a Content Creator
Getting started as a content creator can seem daunting at first, but the feeling will dissipate as soon as you release your first piece.
Ultimately, being a content creator simply means making stuff for other people to enjoy. If you get this part right and ignore all other unnecessary details, you will be well on your way towards launching your career as a content creator.