How do I become a content creator? And How Much Can I Earn?
Updated: Mar 21, 2022
So you’re thinking about getting into content creation? Congratulations!
In 2022, we’re seeing even more opportunities for emerging content creators with the rise of homegrown video platforms like Moj, MX Takatak, and more broadly with the Metaverse.
But it can also be quite difficult to get started... the competition can seem really overwhelming.
So, before you take the plunge, check out our answers to some FAQs about getting started as a content creator to decide if it’s right for you.
What does a Content Creator do?
Well, it may seem rather simple – create content, primarily for social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and others. This could be in the form of videos, music, photography, content writing... the sky’s the limit.
It's not all fun and games though. Being a full-time (or even part-time) content creator can be hard.
While the creation process might be largely fun (I mean, video editing is not fun at all but the rest of it is!), there are a variety of admin-related tasks a successful freelance content creator must do to keep the ball rolling and grow their business. Yes, we said business. Because what you’re likely hoping to build in the long run is not just a social media presence, but also a brand that can be profitable.
Even if you don’t want to monetize immediately, having a business plan will help you get in the right mindset.
Because being a content creator is much more than just a creative job. The range of administrative tasks depend on what your medium, niche, and goals are.
This means that on top of planning, conceptualising and creating the actual content, you have to define your niche, narrow down which platforms to use, plan a content schedule, set goals, track your metrics, reach out to brands for partnerships, identify fellow content creators to collaborate with, optimise for social media (e.g. SEO), engage with your target audience, etc.
A good way to get a handle on this is to check out ‘A Day In The Life’ YouTube videos or articles from content creators in your field that you look up to.
How To Become A Content Creator
Build the skills you need to succeed
You may not know everything right away, but up-skilling is a must if you want to stay ahead of the pack. This can be in terms of industry knowledge to drive value with your content and all the technical stuff related to digital marketing. For the essential soft skills, like storytelling or content marketing, you can rely on online courses and articles.
And don’t forget about the technical skills for making digital content, like learning software needed to create your social media content. You don't need pro-software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro etc. aynymore. There are a range of great free and low-cost tools to get you going. For example, there’s Canva for graphic designing, Pixlr for photo editing, and DailyCutting for video editing.
If you’re working in video, DailyCutting has all the essential tools in addition to cropping and trimming, like sharp titles, a media library, built-in voiceover recording and more. It helps you create videos using simple text-based forms, while taking care of all the technical things like animation, transitions, audio balancing etc.
Define your niche (but be prepared to tweak it)
Initially, your mind will be buzzing with a thousand ideas. But resist the urge to follow through on each one mindlessly.
Developing a niche means narrowing down the 2-3 content types or mediums unique to you that will help you hone in on your audience.
For example, if your industry is personal finance, you could be writing blog posts, doing Instagram Reels, or making videos for your YouTube channel.
And you can funnel your audience down further to personal finance for women, or personal finance for teens. And the content type could be instructional, informational, white papers, case studies, etc.
Analyse the competition
Doing research on your competitors is essential. It will give you a sense of what the audience likes and what works or doesn’t work for content creation.
Create great content and see what sticks: Initially, it’s all about testing the waters and seeing what content ideas your audience gravitates toward most. Feel free to play it a bit fast and loose for the first 3 - 6 months or so. Lean towards your successful content. This will also allow you to rework your niche and content strategy if needed.
Waiting for inspiration to strike is not efficient. Planning ahead will give you a roadmap and help you stay motivated and focused.
It also means having a plan in place for ideation, set-up, execution, and final touch-ups. You can assign days of the week or time-block accordingly, so that you’re working on projects while ideating the upcoming ones.
Set some goals
Having a clear sense of what you want to accomplish will keep you going. Setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals as a quality content creator is an absolute essential, whether or not you want to monetise. You can break these down to every quarter or six months and tweak as you go.
So many content creators quit because they’re not seeing their follower count rise enough. But if you keep showing up, your audience will also find their way to you.
How Much Do Successful Content Creators Make?
And finally, the all-important money question. The short answer to how much content creators make is….as much as they want!
The longer one? It can vary widely depending on your location, follower count, and industry. When it comes to paid Instagram posts or stories for example, there are different tiers you can charge based on the number of followers you have.
For example, with around 1,00,000 Instagram followers, you could be paid Rs. 20,000 per post. Whereas if you had under 10,000 followers, it could be around Rs. 2000.
Experienced content creators gradually diversify their revenue sources to anywhere between 5-10 over time. This allows them to make money through paid social media posts, AdSense money on YouTube videos, sponsorships, affiliate links, online courses, books, merchandise, sites like Patreon and Cameo etc.
Bottom line, there’s no upper ceiling to how much a web content creator can make.
We hope this article was helpful for you as you embark on your content creation journey.
And don’t forget to check out DailyCutting’s super-intuitive online editor that will help you push out quality videos for social media without any experience in video-editing.