Guide: How to Become a Content Creator
The immense popularity of social media and the enormous amount of media consumed each day across various platforms has made becoming a content creator an exciting, and potentially lucrative, path for many. More than just recording something quickly on your phone, learning how to become a content creator takes planning, strategy, and high-quality media creation in order to stand out from the noise.
Consult this guide to learn how to become a content creator and start telling your stories. No matter what your niche, developing a strong foundational understanding is the first critical step to becoming a content creator and getting your work seen.
What Is a Social Media Content Creator?
With 3.96 billion total social media users across platforms spending an average of 95 minutes per day on social media channels, there hasn’t been a better time to become a content creator1. What are they and what do they do?
A social media content creator is a professional who creates and shares content on various social media platforms. Whether it’s for their own brand or on behalf of a company, the job of a social media content creator is to produce engaging and relevant content that can attract and retain viewer attention. These can be in the form of videos for Instagram Stories or Reels, TikTok short-form videos, YouTube long-form videos, YouTube Shorts, podcasts, and more.
Becoming a content creator requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and creativity. A social media content creator must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in content creation. Trending topics, sounds, and video types change rapidly across various platforms, and coming in late renders your media irrelevant. Creators must also have excellent communication skills to interact with their audience and build a community around their brand.
Steps Toward How to Become a Content Creator
How do you become a content creator when the field is so competitive? It’s true that you have to create high-quality media in order to gain traction as a creator, but having a solid foundation for how to build your brand puts you ahead of many others. For every major social media content creator that becomes a viral sensation, there are dozens whose media is overlooked and a shout in the void.
The reason is that they haven’t taken the proper steps towards how to become a content creator to ensure they’re publishing media that resonates with their viewers, is relevant, or leads the way with new trends.
To become a content creator and build your brand, you should follow these steps:
- Identify your niche and content type
- Pick the right social media platform
- Build an engaging online presence
- Learn how to promote your content
- Meet other content creators
- Decide how often to create content
- Choose the right content creator tools
- Stay nimble to create content quickly
- Measure content performance metrics
1. Identify Your Niche and Content Type
The first step towards how to become a content creator is identifying your niche and content type. Successful content creators have a consistent voice and angle that they use so viewers know what to expect. Knowing what your niche is will help you identify the best kind of content for you to create, where to share it, and whom to target for the best performance.
For example, if you’re passionate about cooking, check out major content creators in that niche to see how each brings something unique to their brand. See what type of media they’re publishing, what performs well, and what isn’t garnering as much engagement. All of this information is useful to help you determine where you fit in within your niche and develop your own unique creative voice to stand out in that space.
You also need to determine what type of content you’re going to be publishing. On social media platforms, short form video continues its upward trajectory, with major platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube all putting a huge emphasis on vertical short form content. Long form channels are also great to drive further viewership and monetization. In addition to social media platforms, content creators may also maintain a site with blog posts, vlogs, podcasts, or other types of content to support their brand.
2. Pick the Right Social Media Platform
Not every social media platform has the same kinds of viewers. This means part of learning how to become a content creator includes choosing the right social media platform for your niche and content type. Each platform has a unique audience, format, and features that can affect your content's visibility and engagement.
For example, TikTok users tend to skew younger than some of the other major platforms like Instagram or YouTube. While there are people of all ages on every platform, knowing which has the largest concentration of your target demographic helps you choose which one to focus your primary efforts on.
Consider the platform's functionality, user demographics, and content format before making a choice. Many creators experiment and try different platforms to see which works best for them. To get started, check out these introductory guides for major social media platforms:
3. Build an Engaging Online Presence
Learning how to become a content creator is more than just publishing media to your account. It requires a lot more effort and strategy to create an authentic and consistent brand that resonates with your audience. Building an engaging online presence to keep viewers interested will make or break your success.
One of the most important things to consider when building your online presence is your niche and content type. It's essential to choose a niche that you are passionate about and that aligns with your values. This will help you to create content that is authentic and engaging. Interacting with your audience through comments, likes, and shares will help you to build a strong relationship with them. Make full use of the features of each platform such as video responses and comment sections to directly communicate with viewers.
4. Learn How to Promote Your Content
Promoting your content is vital to becoming a content creator with a growing following. Social media platforms are excellent tools for cross-promoting your content and reaching a broad audience. Each social media platform has unique features and functions that you can use to showcase your content effectively. Take time to learn the functionality of each platform to create content that aligns with your brand and target audience.
You can also encourage creating user-generated content (UGC) such as TikTok stitches and YouTube reaction videos to call your viewers into action. UGC content is beneficial for brands and independent content creators alike because it creates direct engagement between your viewers and you. Not only might it boost overall media performance overall and increase average watch times, but it keeps viewers interested in what you have to say so they follow you and keep viewing new content as you post it.
Beyond engaging with viewers and commenters on your own media, following, liking, and commenting on other creator media immerses you in your niche. It builds authenticity and familiarity, driving higher viewership.
5. Meet Other Creators
Networking with other content creators can help you stay up-to-date with trends, learn new skills, and gain valuable insights. Join online communities or engage on social media platforms to connect with other content creators in your niche.
Beyond learning new skills or insights on how to become a content creator in your niche, these interactions with other content creators can lead to collaborations, opportunities, and even friendships.
6. Decide How Often to Create Content
Becoming a content creator means you need to determine how often you want to post new media to your accounts. Posting regularly on each social media platform increases your visibility and engagement. You don’t necessarily have to post every day or multiple times a day, but choosing a consistent content creation and publication schedule keeps your media fresh, new, and relevant. Social media trends change quickly, making old media yesterday’s news fast.
More than your publication schedule, you need to determine your workflow. Learning how to become a content creator also means managing the production process from beginning to end. Shooting a block of video content and editing it in batches may help you avoid burnout and streamline the process. Since creators have to stay nimble, there will still be times when you need to shoot, edit, and publish quickly to get the most from the newest trend.
7. Choose the Right Creator Tools
One of the biggest lessons on how to become a content creator is streamlining the production process by choosing the best content creation tools. Not only is time precious as a creator, but using the wrong tools can hinder production and lead to higher overall costs like hiring voice actors, editors, and more. Native platform editing toolkits often fall short when it comes to productivity, reliability, and availability of features to help your media stand out.
For example, production tools like a text to speech app or captions app help you produce media faster and with better social media accessibility. This can have a direct impact on your media performance and keeps costs down from having to hire voice actors to record high-quality audio or editors to add captions to video.
Use social media management tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Later to schedule your posts in advance and save time. With these tools, you can plan your social media content in advance and ensure that you are consistently promoting your content to your target audience.
8. Stay Nimble to Create Content Quickly
Planning content ahead is beneficial for more evergreen media, but social media trends change constantly. This means part of how to become a content creator is staying nimble to jump on a trend fast and make the most of it before it’s over. Being ready to create content quickly will help you stay relevant, increase your visibility, and grow your audience.
Always have your content creation tools and ideas ready to go. Use apps like Evernote or Nimbus to store your thoughts and ideas. The ability to put together a quick content plan or brainstorming session can also help you create content quickly and efficiently.
In addition to organically jumping on the latest craze, social media platforms offer content creators resources to see what is trending. Becoming a content creator means familiarizing yourself with tools like the TikTok Creative Center2 and Instagram’s Reel Trends tool3.
9. Measure Content Performance Metrics
Measuring your content performance metrics is crucial to understanding your audience's preferences, creating better content, and growing your brand. It’s a vital part of how to become a content creator. Aside from native platform analytics, you can also use analytics tools like Social Blade or Hootsuite Insights to track your content's reach, engagement, and growth depending on how and where it’s published. Some content creators also use Google Analytics to track referrals from social media platforms if they’re driving traffic to their website.
Once you've identified the metrics that matter to you, create a strategy to improve them. Consistently monitor your metrics and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
Learning how to become a content creator opens up an entirely new aspect of social media. Instead of consuming media, you’ll learn to track trends and stay ahead of the curve for producing media that resonates with your viewers. Becoming a content creator is an opportunity to reach a global audience and tell your stories.
Additional Resources and References