Content creation is an attractive way to earn a living and gain financial freedom. However, with so many possibilities on the internet and social media platforms, it may be tough to know where to start.
We’ve got you covered – this article will explain how to become a content creator, from choosing the best platforms to deciding on content types and monetization.
- 1. Select a Niche
- 2. Choose a Platform (Or More Than One)
- 3. Produce Content
- 4. Build Your Own Audience
- 5. Monetize Your Content
- Final Thoughts
1. Select a Niche
The first step to becoming a content creator and standing out is to focus on well-defined niches and offer something unique.
Niche content is far more effective due to the following:
- It’s targeted and resonates better with a specific audience, promoting engagement.
- Has a built-in, established following already interested in the topic.
- It allows creativity and actual content creation. Producing niche content means creating something that interests you and that you’re knowledgeable about. That gives the final product more authenticity and helps avoid generic, bland, and profit-only content.
Some popular niches include beauty, health & fitness, travel, fashion, making money online, luxury, gaming, pets, relationships, and family & parenting. However, go beyond generalities.
Do keyword research with tools like Google Trends and the free Ahrefs keyword tools. Look for your main niche keyword – for instance, “travel” – and add secondary keywords that will help you refine your target audience as much as possible. For example, add “Mediterranean” or “train” and gather information from similar queries.
2. Choose a Platform (Or More Than One)
There are three fundamental factors to consider when choosing channels to monetize your brand – your unique selling proposition (USP), target audience, and the platform’s potential and capabilities.
Not every channel fits your personal brand, and you won’t be able to master every platform. Pick the ones that you can utilize the most, that offer advantages, and that fit with your USPs.
For instance, LinkedIn targets professional niches – using it to brand teen merch will be wasting time. For that, channels with younger audiences, like TikTok, are more suitable.
Understand which platforms are preferred by your target audience. Use sources and tools like Statista and Google Trends to clearly comprehend your niche preferences and digital habits.
Finally, define which resources you need and which platforms supply them. For instance, Meta offers native ads features but no email marketing or a standalone website.
Standalone Websites – Content-focused
Controlling your own site allows you to decide which functions to add or remove without depending on other platforms’ internal rules.
Functional external online stores are also required on other digital platforms – users can only benefit from some Meta functions by connecting external websites.
A freelance content creator benefits greatly from creating portfolios to showcase art and creations, blogs to create educational content and drive traffic, and online stores to sell branded merch.
- WooCommerce + WordPress accounted for 36.68% of all eCommerce websites worldwide in 2022. The platform allows creating complete websites with portfolios, blogs, online stores, and every imaginable addition, and it’s also the lead in SEO optimization. This option is the best in the long run for creators willing to have full ownership over their websites, but it requires a steep learning curve.
- Wix and Squarespace are subscription-based, user-friendly website builders. Wix is an all-in-one solution with good eCommerce scalability due to its seamless integration with the Ascend suite and the availability of thousands of third-party apps.
- On the other hand, Squarespace offers a limited number of eCommerce integrations but has an edge in aesthetics – the builder delivers sleek, modern-looking websites.
Both builders allow reasonable SEO optimization and integrate with social media and other channels.
Squarespace is best for US-based creators focusing on brand image, while Wix will better suit those willing to strengthen their eCommerce capabilities while keeping a focus on content.
Standalone Websites – eCommerce-Focused
Other content creators heavily focused on social channels may prefer to create websites exclusively for keeping online stores and selling merch.
Social Media – YouTube
YouTube appeals to every age group. Over 88% of people aged 18-44 in the US have an active YouTube account, but the older generations are also well represented.
YouTube videos have replaced TV for many people, offering the freedom to choose when and what to watch.
Many channels invest heavily in producing valuable content beyond mere entertainment – 86% of US viewers often use YouTube to learn new things.
You should consider becoming a YouTube content creator, whether producing fashion and entertainment videos or educational content and tutorials.
- YouTube’s basic monetizing criteria are straightforward and don’t require submitting the channel for reviewing – a channel with 1,000 subscribers, 4,000 watch hours in the last year, and a Google AdSense account is eligible for monetization through YouTube’s partner program.
- YouTube Shorts competes directly with TikTok and rewards top creators with up to $100 million.
- YouTube’s native advertising system allows creators to display ads in their own videos or in other channels’ videos. The ads’ creators earn a percentage of the revenue according to views and engagement.
Social Media – Meta
Facebook and Instagram work together for content monetizing. Instagram is the top influencer platform worldwide, but many of its resources require having an active Facebook account.
Additionally, the Meta Business Manager jointly handles ads and eCommerce functions for both channels and gives analytics tools for monitoring and improving strategies.
Facebook allows social media content creators to produce complex content, including long posts with links.
Instagram is visually-driven and focuses on visual storytelling. It allows sharing only one link in the Bio section.
Main Monetization Options for Meta Creators
- Native advertising – Facebook and Instagram ads are powerful tools that can reach users through very detailed targeting at affordable rates.
- The Facebook Stars program allows users living in eligible countries to monetize posts. It requires a minimum of 1,000 followers for 60 consecutive days.
- Instagram Content Creator Fund – financial support and monetizing for content creators delivering high-quality content.
- The platform continually adds and updates new monetization resources, such as branded content, affiliate marketing, fan subscriptions, and live badges (Instagram only).
Social Media – TikTok
TikTok videos appeal mostly but not only to youngsters, many still studying or dependent on relatives –.that audience may change drastically in a few years.
Almost a third of TikTok users purchase products due to a recommendation or advertisement from influencers or celebrities – however, how loyal this audience will remain in some years cannot be predicted.
The network relies heavily upon viral content. That creates the potential for new social media influencers to grow and expand their personal brands. However, many creators may need to adapt their brand and image considerably to resonate with TikTok.
Due to the network’s potential unpredictability, a TikTok content creator may use the channel together with different platforms to increase reach quickly.
- TikTok Creator Fund – TikTok ads are played before or after videos, generating revenue when watched. It requires US-residing creators to have at least 10,000 followers and 100,000 views in the last month and be 18 years old.
- Sponsorships and Brand Partnerships – When you reach a considerable following, share sponsored and branded content like product reviews, tips, or comparisons. Make sure to use the TikTok branded content toggle. The tool adds a disclosure tag in the post descriptions, making it clear it is sponsored.
- Receive Donations – It is possible to receive gifts like virtual coins from followers during Live streams. If your content adds value, there’s no problem in asking for donations during a stream – in addition, it’s a way for the audience to interact.
3. Produce Content
After defining a target audience and choosing the right platforms, it’s time to start creating content. Check some fundamental steps in the content creation process.
Select the Content Type
Content can be entertaining, educational, or promotional.
- Entertainment content can potentially reach more users but requires personal attributes like charisma and screen presence.
The most common forms of entertainment content are videos, podcasts, and social media posts and stories.
- Educational or instructional content creation requires research, knowledge, and expertise. Although its viral potential is lower than entertaining content, it can generate loyal followers and quality leads.
Educational content includes blog posts and articles, podcasts, videos, social posts and stories, and email newsletters.
You can also create videos, tutorials, courses, and eBooks, both free and paid.
- Promotional content can be created quickly and include promoting products and services. The final goal of promotional content is reverting in sales. However, upselling and pushy promotions can revert negatively, and channels delivering mostly promotional content have lower engagement.
Create promotional content through social media, short videos, and email newsletters. Small pieces of promotional content can also be organically integrated into entertaining and educational material – this content strategy is one of the most effective for balancing engagement and sales.
Plan and Balance Your Content
Producing quality content takes time, and it would be tempting to share mostly merch advertisements instead of creating a new video or blog post.
However, informational content delivers more value and increases engagement.
Establishing a content plan will help you balance promotional, entertaining, and informational content and indicate when to focus more on producing a particular type of content.
- Content plans may include channels, deliverables, deadlines or critical dates, costs, and even authors in the case of larger businesses.
- Content plans in connection with schedules may include performance metrics to evaluate what was published and indicate course corrections.
Publish new content regularly. It’s better to keep consistency than produce in spikes, leaving gaps with no content. Achieve this by scheduling posts and creating pieces beforehand.
Become a Successful Content Creator and Promote Your Brand With Custom Merch!
4. Build Your Own Audience
Platforms and networks like Google and Meta are constantly updating their algorithms. Marketplaces like Etsy and eBay have strict policies and often block accounts.
That means great content creators with an audience associated primarily with one platform risk losing existing customers when there’s some internal change.
The solution for this issue is creating an audience that relates to your own brand rather than the channel. For that,
- Your content, products, and services must be worth it – invest in quality and make your brand memorable.
- Provide your customers with more than one touchpoint within an omnichannel marketing strategy.
- Nurture relationships. Create content that stimulates interaction and engagement. Answer, like, and love appropriate comments. Post polls and surveys, and know what your audience wants and needs.
- Apply an email marketing strategy – trade free content or bonuses by email addresses. Send newsletters regularly, but don’t spam.
- Improve your organic growth by optimizing your website SEO, investing in link-building, and guest blogging. Also, assign your brand name with the keywords in the page title – that will result in more search results with your brand in evidence.
5. Monetize Your Content
After you’ve engaged with content creation and decided which audience to target on which platforms, it’s time to determine how to monetize. Here are the most proven ways to start monetizing content.
Digital marketing with advertising is one of the most popular forms of monetizing and bringing traffic. It’s possible to earn money by displaying ads on your website or paying for ads to advertise your content on search engines and social platforms.
Ad networks or platforms place ads around the internet, with Google AdSense being the most commonly used worldwide. Media.net works in the US, UK, and Canada.
Social networks and marketplaces like Etsy and eBay offer native ads. This kind of advertising is displayed only inside the platform.
There are a variety of ads depending on the platform. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads drive traffic. Cost-per-click (CPC) works similarly to PPC ads, but advertisers set the maximum amount they’re willing to pay for a click.
However, paid advertisement alone is not the most efficient content marketing strategy. The method is becoming more expensive and less effective as ad blockers are rising. Google will phase out third-party cookies on Chrome until 2024, and GDPR laws are implemented in the EU, improving individuals’ privacy but making it harder for proper targeting.
Sell Branded Merch
Print-on-demand makes it possible to create and sell branded merch without the hassle of handling inventory and shipping.
Partner with a POD network like Printify, apply customized designs to products from t-shirts and mugs to pet accessories and home decor, and connect your online store. The product will be printed only after being ordered.
Subscriptions and Memberships
Tutorials and courses are content forms with a high potential to offer value. Consider offering them depending on your target audience and expertise level.
You may offer courses with video content, auxiliary material, and eBooks under a subscription model. However, some platforms and resources especially dedicated to e-learning, go far beyond providing payment processing and content management.
Brands pay successful content creators to promote them on various platforms and social networks.
Even if your brand is new and your audience small, reach out to labels that resonate with your USP. Beginner social media influencers and content creators can still earn revenue from brand deals and sponsorships if their content is original and high-quality and their audience is engaged.
However, remember that sponsors have a say and expectations regarding content. Evaluate well if a sponsor’s demands are reasonable and will uphold your vision and standards.
Also, always make clear to your audience if a piece of content is sponsored. Your credibility and brand name are more valuable than a few bucks.
Downloadable content, such as printables, eBooks, and other digital products, is a source of passive income. As soon as you make them available for selling, there won’t be concerns with fulfillment or shipping.
Get inspiration for selling digital products and printables on Etsy in our blog.
Licensing and Publishing Original Content
Original content, such as music, video, photograph, design creations, and written pieces, can and should be copyrighted. After that, content creators may profit from licensing it to others.
- Graphic artists and designers can license visual content, digital art, and vector designs on digital creative markets, stock websites, or platforms like Amazon (with the Merch By Amazon program), Creative Market, Gumroad, SendOwl, Thinkific, or PayLoadz.
- Musicians can license and distribute their creations through Distrokid, Spotify, Amazon’s TuneCore, or Apple Music for artists.
- Writers can license and publish eBooks or physical copies with POD on Amazon via the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program with royalties of up to 70% or self-publish and distribute on many platforms with Lulu.
Good content creators have limitless possibilities to profit in the online world. You learned the most proven forms and the latest trends in content creation, from brand sponsorships to advertising on social platforms.
Establish your posting schedule, invest in learning and producing quality content, reach out to potential clients within your specific niche, and thrive within the creator economy. We wish you success!
Make It Happen Today!
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