How to Become a Content Creator (Step-by-Step Guide)

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Aspiring to become a content creator?

If it’s a yes, you’ve landed on the right page.

I’ve been a content creator for the last 10 years and make a mid-five-figure USD monthly income out of it.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to become a content creator and make money out of it and live a life on your own terms.

I’ll also share the do’s and don’ts so you can skip the “figuring out” phase and get started quickly.

Table of Contents

Let’s get started!

How to become a content creator (step-by-step guide)
How to become a content creator (step-by-step guide)

What is a content creator?

A content creator is someone who creates content (text-based, videos, etc) for a specific group of people to build a loyal audience and generate multiple sources of revenue.

What are the benefits of becoming a content creator?

The popularity of becoming an independent content creator has been growing over the years.

How do I know that?

Look at the google trends chart for the search term ‘content creator.’

growth of content creation

Over the last 5 years, the popularity of the search term ‘content creator’ has increased by 870%, according to Google Trends.

Benefits of becoming a content creator

Here are the key benefits of becoming a full-time content creator:

1. Multiple streams of income

You may think having a full-time corporate job is enough to get a consistent source of income. 

But think for a moment.

During the pandemic, thousands of employees were fired from small-to-large-sized companies. In fact, over 32k employees in the US have lost their jobs in 2022.

This is why having multiple streams of revenue is one of the best ways to protect from financial loss.

And content creators can have this advantage by monetizing their content and generating revenue in different ways like selling ads, digital products, online courses, etc.

Some examples:

Types of content creators (research study)

A blogger can earn from affiliate commissions, with display ads on the website, by taking freelancing work from clients, and so on.

Likewise, a YouTube content creator gets various monetization opportunities such as brand collaboration, sponsored video content, paid product promotion, etc.

2. Flexibility in working hours

Chart showing benefits of becoming a content creator

Flexible working hours are one of the most important factors motivating people to become full-time content creators, per the 2022 creator economy research.

Since you’re not working under any boss, you have complete freedom to choose the working hours that suit you.

Think of this as owning a business you can manage according to your suitability and availability. Flexible working hours are also one of the reasons that people can start their content creation journey as a part-timer without quitting their job.

So if you’re also doing a full-time job, you can start creating content in your free time and see if this works for you.

3. Doing what you love

I’ve been creating content for more than 10 years. And trust me, every morning, I start my day with motivation, 

This all happened because I enjoy writing articles, networking with the blogging community, and keep improving my skill sets.

This is most likely the case for all content creators as they get to choose the work they’re passionate about.

If you’re someone who doesn’t want to wait for the weekend to enjoy life, becoming a content creator can be an ideal option for you.

4. Higher earning potential

Sky is the limit” – this proverb is true for content creators because of the vast content monetization options. 

Here’s the earning power of content creators according to the creator benchmark report:

Creator Economy: Chart showing the earning potential of content creators (research)
Creator Economy: Chart showing the earning potential of content creators
  • 25.85% of respondents – earn $1k to $10k per annum
  • 17.69% of respondents – earn $10k to $25k per annum
  • 13.61% of respondents – earn $25k to $50k per annum
  • 12.24% of respondents – earn $50k to $100k per annum

5. Opportunity to exit from the content business

No matter whether you have no plan to exit in the near future, the exit strategy will help you strategize your content business.

That means, just like a startup, you can also sell your business at a higher value (depending on the monthly profit and the future scope).

Take Thehustle, for example.

In 2021, Sam parr (founder of Thehustle, a daily newsletter on business and tech) sold his newsletter business to HubSpot for roughly $25 million.

Currently, you may not think about a giant exit like Thehustle, but there are some platforms (such as MicroAcquire) that help to list and sell a content business.

This gives content creators the freedom to do what they love and do as much as they want.

6. Making a positive impact

In the creator’s benchmark report, when participants were asked about the highest priority of being a content creator, two common answers were:

  • Connecting with the audience (34.9%)
  • Creating the best possible content (35.3%)
motivate to become a content creator

This shows that content creators not only want to gain financial and time freedom but also want to make a positive impact by creating useful content for the audience.

The end result?

High-level satisfaction in helping others that a corporate job will hardly give you.

How to become a content creator in 2023?

Creating content is not only limited to blog articles or YouTube videos. Other platforms like newsletters and social media also have huge opportunities to grow and monetize the audience.

Image showing steps to become a content creator
Steps to become a content creator

There are many types of content creation that I’ve shared below including how to get started in each sector:

1. How to become a blog content creator in 2023

Blogging, as a content creation model, is highly profitable and lucrative.

The earning potential of becoming a professional blogger is unlimited. We have seen successful bloggers like Ryan Robinson, who made more than $35,000 per month, mostly from affiliate marketing.

If nothing else, you can flip (or sell) your blog for 30x-50x your monthly blogging income.

Let’s explore the steps to start a blog and make money:

Step 1. Pick a niche

A blogging niche is a specific topic that you will write about.

The below Venn diagram illustrates three key criteria for choosing a winning blog niche.

How to find your niche as a blog content creator
  • Your expertise: Subject expertise is one way of differentiating your blog from the rest. Ensure you hold a certain level of knowledge or experience in the niche.
  • Your passion: Blogging is a long-term game; without passion, it is hard to consistently maintain content quality.
  • Your audience cares about: Identify the top affiliate programs, average CPC in your niche, the future of the topic, and evaluate top competitors.

Need more help in finding the perfect niche?

Check out my guide, where I have shared 10+ ways to choose your profitable blogging niche.

Step 2. Build a website

You need a domain, hosting, and a blog theme to build a website. I’d highly recommend picking up WordPress as your preferred CMS & not these alternatives to WordPress.

Reasons?

  • High level of flexibility and customization
  • SEO-friendly
  • Easy to use
  • Availability of themes and plugins available
  • Community support with tutorials and guides

Note: Always choose a good web hosting for your affiliate blog. Check out my favorite WPX hosting or Kinsta hosting before you choose one.

After that, follow this list of things to do after WordPress installation.

Step 3. Create helpful content

Blogging has changed a lot in the last decade. And the only way to become successful in blogging is by writing quality and helpful content for readers.

Here are some of the important criteria for producing quality content:

  • Written by an expert or someone with experience
  • Content is updated with up-to-date information
  • Articles match the search intent & have proper on-page SEO
  • Support every claim and data with trustworthy external references

Relevant read: check out Google’s guidelines on creating helpful content:

webmaster guidelines

Step 4. Monetize content

As a blog content creator, you get a lot of options to monetize your blog content. It includes strategies like:

image showing the various blog monetization methods.
  • Display ads (Google Adsense, eZoic, etc.)
  • Choose affiliate programs (our preferred method)
  • Write sponsored product reviews
  • Sell digital products
  • Offer freelancing services, etc.

The goal should be to choose multiple monetization methods to protect from the financial crisis.

Related:

Summary: Ready to explore blogging as a content creator?:

Blogging is one of the easiest type of content creation because you don’t require to show up yourse;f. It is also very lucrative in terms of payscale.

Read my beginner’s guide to learn blogging and avoid these blogging mistakesor check out these recommended blogging books to scale your blog.

2. How to become a social media content creator in 2023

A social media influencer is someone who has built credibility and a loyal audience on any of the social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., by creating content to educate or entertain people.

The search popularity of social media influencers has grown 375% over the last 5 years, according to ExplodingTopics.

Graph showing the popularity of the term  influencer in the last 5 years

In fact, most online brands spend huge marketing spend on influencer marketing by collaborating with social media influencers.

The Statista research department reveals that the market size of Instagram marketing has increased almost 10 times in the last 5 years.

Chart showing 10x growth of Instagram marketing in the last 5 years (research)
Instagram Marketing grows 10x in the last 5 years

So, if you want to become a content creator as a social media influencer, you will have many opportunities and earning potential.

Let’s understand the steps to becoming one.

Step 1. Pick the platform(s)

Start with choosing the social media platform of your choice. Remember that every platform requires a different content style and strategy to build an audience.

Here’s a quick overview of content formats for different platforms:

  • LinkedIn: Professional and educational text-based content, long-form content. Perfect for connecting with B2B businesses.
  • Twitter: Micro-blogging, Twitter threads, latest, trending news, quotes, etc. Ideal for establishing thought leadership.
  • Instagram: High-resolution images, stories, carousels, etc.
  • YouTube: Engaging video content, especially short-form reels. Works great for audience building. 

Step 2. Optimize your social media profile

Treat your profile page as a landing page that will give your audience an overview of your personality and the value you provide.

Here are some tips to optimize your social media profiles:

  • Use your headshot as a display picture
  • Add a branded cover image
  • Update your profile with related links (personal blogs, newsletter, landing page, etc.)
  • Maintain brand uniformity in display pictures and brand color
  • Use a ‘Link in Bio’ tool to customize and track the link stats

Here’s an example of optimized profiles:

optimizing YouTube channel

Some of the top ‘Link in Bio’ tools are:

  • Linktree
  • Shorby
  • Sked link
  • Lnk.Bio

Step 3. Craft a content strategy

Start with researching your audience to get insights into their interest, challenges, pain points, and demographic details. This will help you craft a user-first personalized content strategy.

For example, LinkedIn provides insights about the job title of your audience.

linkedin engagement report

The next step is to plan and execute your content ideas. Here’s a list of proven ways to find unlimited content  ideas for social media:

  • Use tools like AnswerThePublic and Quora to find challenges for your audience
  • Run a social media poll to know audience insights
  • Host AMA sessions if you’re an expert or have experience in a niche
  • Analyze other top influencers in your niche
  • Get ideas from comments and replies from the audience

Step 4. Engage with your audience

Interacting with the audience is one of the most important things that you shouldn’t avoid if you want to become a successful content creator on social media. Engagement helps you build a connection with your followers and build trust.

Always try to reply to comments, DMs, and even emails. The more you engage with your audience, the better you bond with people on social media.

Use social media scheduling tools like Sendible or Hootsuite, or SocialPilot to actively post even when you’re not online.

Step 5. Create a media kit

You need to create a media kit to let brands and advertisers know that you accept sponsorship and brand collaboration.

An influencer media kit is like an online business card that contains insights about the target audience, follower size, demographic details, sponsorship charge, social media engagement statistics, and more.

Must-have information in the media kit:

  • Audience insights (age, number of followers, country)
  • Social media engagement (average impressions, clicks, frequency of posts)
  • Past campaign details (case studies) and ROI generated for clients
  • Pricing range
  • Contact information

Summary: social media content creation:

Social media content creation is easier to start and scale because of a large audience.

You coulld start on Facebook, Instagram, Twitch or any other platform and create quality engaging content to gain traction. Later, it can be monetized with ads, sponsored content or your own merch.

3. How to Become a YouTube content creator

YouTube is the second-largest search engine just after Google.

The number of YouTube users worldwide is expected to reach 2854.14 million by the end of 2025, which is a rise of 27% from 2021. In fact, an average person spends more than 100 minutes watching video content, according to Zenith’s Online Video Forecasts report.

The above statistics indicate the rapid growth of video content and YouTube as a platform for content creators in the coming years.

Steps to grow and scale your YouTube content creation game:

Step 1. Pick a niche and stay consistent

Becoming a successful content creator on YouTube takes a lot of effort, hard work, and consistency in video publishing. And having a clear niche and buyer persona will make it easier for you.

Before choosing a niche, make sure you look at the Google Trends chart to forecast the future demand in that niche.

Type your niche (head terms) in Google Trends and check the past 5 years of data.

For example, the YouTube search demand for ‘Data Science’ has increased by 89% in the last 5 years.

Chart showing growth in YouTube searches in the last 5 years

Note: You should pick a niche that has upward trends on YouTube.

Step 2. Optimize the channel

Here are some best practices for optimizing your YouTube channel:

How to become a content creator example Pat Flynn

1/ Channel name and logo

Ensure your channel name and logo are consistent with other social media platforms. This helps in branding and helps you stand out in every other channel.

2/ About section

Consider the about section of your channel as an opportunity to build a connection with your audience. For example, Pat Flynn tells a story of his YouTube journey and what value a user can expect from the channel.

Also, have a clear CTA in the channel description for viewers. It could be a newsletter sign-up page, business collaboration, etc.

Here’s an example:

How to become a YouTube content Creator (Faceless Channel)

3/ Channel trailer and URL

If you’re new to YouTube, creating a channel trailer is a must. Consider creating a short-form video (approximately less than 60 seconds) to share a brief introduction about yourself and what type of content you will create.

4/ Add related links

Always add links to other social media channels so viewers can connect and follow you on different platforms.

Step 3. Monetization on YouTube

The best part of the YouTube model is that you don’t need to find/apply to any display advertising programs. Once you’re eligible for monetization, YouTube will share ad revenue with you.

However, the real money is in the affiliate commission, product reviews, and sponsored videos. The monetization value also depends on your target audience, location, and the niche you’re in.

On YouTube, you get a lot of monetization options such as:

  • YouTube Ads
  • Product review
  • Sponsored Video
  • Sell merchandise
  • YouTube membership
  • Selling digital products (eBooks, video courses, content membership, etc.)

Note: If you want to monetize your YouTube channel through sponsorships, consider creating a media kit or a simple Doc highlighting audience, engagement insights, and pricing details. And include the link to the media kit in every video’s description.

Summary: YouTube Content Creator:

YouTube is the next big thing that will take over web-based blogging content.

There are many big players like Mr. Beast and Ali Abdaal that have a massive following and all they did was to “get started”. If you are camera shy, you could also start faceless YouTube channels that are equally successful.

Now that you’ve learned how to become a content creator and create internet assets for yourself, let’s explore another model of becoming a content creator without any of your own assets.

This model allows you to help others in their content creation game and earn a living off it.

It is becoming a.. freelance content creator.

4. How to become a freelance content creator in 2023

No matter what content format and platform you choose to become a content creator, you can always tie it with freelancing services to add an additional source of income.

Let’s understand the steps to becoming a freelancer.

Step 1. Choose freelancing services

There are various types of freelancing services you can provide, such as:

  • Content/copywriting
  • Web Designing
  • SEO services
  • Graphic Designing
  • Consultancy
  • Video editing and much more

The preferred way is to choose a skill you’re already working on as a content creator.

For example, a blogger can easily provide content writing and SEO services. A YouTuber can offer freelancing services on video editing or graphic designing.

Choosing a skill tied to your content creation game will help you master the skill.

Step 2. Create a portfolio

Creating a strong portfolio is the most important step to acquiring clients. Treat an online portfolio as a way to showcase your best work to prospects.

Ways to create an online portfolio

  • A portfolio website
  • Notion template
  • Google Docs, etc.

Here’s a portfolio website example from Nad Christie:

personal website example

Here’s another designer website template on Notion you can use to display your work (free to use):

design portfolio for content creators

Note: if you don’t have an online portfolio website (recommended), you should always have a simple Google doc highlighting your past work, clients’ results, testimonials, and freelancing charges.

Step 3. Pitch prospects

Once you build an audience by creating useful and relevant content, chances are you will get inbound leads for your freelancing services.

Two other ways of acquiring new leads and clients are:

  • Cold emailing: Make a list of businesses
  • LinkedIn outreach

Here’s a sample outreach template you can use to win freelancing clients:

Hi {first_name},

I saw that your restaurant business runs a YouTube channel, and your team publishes raw videos to the channel without editing.

I believe you want to make your videos look professional, right?

Here’s how I can help you with this:

I will take your raw footage and turn it into something that looks professional and is ready to publish with SEO optimization.

You can check out my previous work at {video_url} or on my YouTube channel here: {youtube_channel}.

I see this as a win-win situation; I get to work with businesses like yours while you get the benefit of quality work done promptly at a price you’ll love.

To discuss your project further, please reply to this email or call me directly via phone.

{add_contact_details}

Thanks and regards.

Make sure to customize the outreach message per your service and the client’s profile.

Summary: Become a freelance content creator:

Freelancing is probably the easiest to get started and monetize your existing skills.

Just focus on delivering quality output on time and you will have no shortage of referral clients.

5. How to Become a content creator by selling digital products

So far, we have discussed ways content creators can make active income. But selling digital products is a path that will give you a source of passive income.

Here are some benefits of digital products:

  • Sell your digital products infinite time at no extra cost
  • Highly scalable
  • Make a source of passive income

Now the question is: What kind of digital products can you sell?

You have a lot of options. The most popular types of digital products are:

  • Video courses
  • eBooks
  • Template
  • Paid webinar
  • Selling membership access to content libraries, etc.

Summary: Digital product content creator?:

Selling digital products is the most tough type of content creation jobs amongst the above.

You’ll need a MVP (minimum viable product) and an audience to sell the product too. It can be added as a subsequent scaling technique to other content creation jobs. I’d not recommend starting with this one if you’ve never created any content before.

Content creator salary: How much do content creators make?

Just like any other business idea, you need to be having an idea about the creator economy and how much content creators make.

The 2022 creators benchmark report states that an average content creator with 4 or more years of experience earns roughly $141,890 per year (Statista).

However, the study also shows a strong correlation between earning potential and the number of years of experience being a content creator.

Here’s the earning comparison chart in the US:

content creators earning report

That means the more you gain experience in content creation, the higher the earning potential.

Do you need to quit your job to become a content creator?

If you’re doing a full-time job and want to become a content creator, don’t quit your job before even starting. Content creation is something you can start as a side hustle.

Set a goal of building an audience size and monthly income. Once you hit that goal or start earning near what your current job pays you, you may quit your job and become a full-time content creator.

Is becoming a content creator in 2023 worth it?

Most people choose content creation as a full-time job to become independent and get financial freedom. It is possible that you may earn less than in your traditional job in the initial years, but the earning potential is huge once you gain experience (2+ years) and master various skills.

Choose content creation as a full-time job if you prefer:

  • Working from home
  • Freedom from boss
  • Independence
  • Turning passion into a profession
  • Financial freedom

My experience of being a content creator for 10+ years

I never thought of becoming a content creator or being a part of the creator economy (which is today the fourth most popular dream job amongst Gen Z) but I become one out of necessity and it’s the best thing that could ever happen to me.

As a content creator, blogging helped me find my voice, share my experience with people who looked up to me for blogging tips and strategies, and also earn a heck load ($$$$$+ per month might be less for many but it was 5x the annual salary I’d have gotten had I chosen an offline career) of money along the way.

The biggest benefit of being a content creator, for me, was independence or freedom! Freedom of time, freedom of being my own boss, financial freedom, and all that while doing something I love!

On a side note, Swadhin (my name, in case you didn’t notice) means independence in Hindi (my mother tongue)!

The creator economy is growing and will only become bigger with time. If you want to have a slice of this cake, now is the right time. You don’t have to quit your studies or college for it, try it out as a side hustle and see if this path is for you.

Conclusion: How to Become a Content Creator in 2023

This was the ultimate guide on how to become a content creator with a step-by-step process. Being a content creator can be a highly rewarding (on satisfaction and earning level) field. But that also comes with challenges and rejection.

If you have the courage to handle both, you will become a successful content creator in the coming years.

Now, I am interested to know your thoughts on: Do you enjoy being a content creator?

Let me know in the comments.

FAQs on How to Become a Content Creator Easily

1. How hard is it to become a content creator?

Becoming a content creator isn’t hard as there is no barrier to entry. You don’t need a huge investment and can start with your spare time. However, once you have the traction you need to treat it as a business to scale it.

2. What is a content creator on Instagram?

A content creator on Instagram is someone who posts Instagram content like reels, photo carousels, etc in order to create and engage an audience which would eventually be monetized with various methods. It is different than a regular Instagram user who simply posts on Instagram to share updates with family and friends only.

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