How to Become a Successful Content Creator

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I’m a content material creator. I create content material—primarily weblog posts—for the Ahrefs weblog, which generates round ~300,000 visits per 30 days (from Google alone).

Site Explorer overview for Ahrefs blog

How did I grow to be a content material creator for such a preferred weblog? Well, I’ll speak about it later within the publish. But earlier than you keep on studying, I would like you to know there are lots of paths to turning into a content material creator. The path I adopted is merely one in every of them. But because it’s the one one I do know, it’s the one I’ll share.

Let’s start with some fundamentals.

What is a content material creator?

A content material creator is somebody who creates written, audio, video, or visible content material for a digital platform like Instagram, TikTook, YouTube, or a weblog.

They could be working in-house for an organization (like me) or company, freelancing, or doing their very own factor (e.g., influencers).

What does a content material creator do?

They create content material. (Duh!) Besides that, they might additionally:

  • Create a content material technique.
  • Manage a content material calendar.
  • Research content material concepts.
  • Design and edit visuals.
  • Record and edit movies.
  • Produce podcasts.
  • Do fundamental search engine marketing.
  • Have a deep understanding of the channels they produce content material for, together with the most recent updates and adjustments.

How a lot do content material creators make?

There isn’t any restrict to how a lot a content material creator can make.

But how a lot you make is determined by whether or not you’re working in-house, freelancing, or doing your individual factor. You might also earn extra if you:

  • Have subject material experience.
  • Have a sizeable following on the platform the place you create content material.
  • Have a well known and well-respected model.

According to Zippia, the median content material creator wage is $52,000 yearly. However, some content material creators have been identified to earn as much as six figures.

For instance, Jon Morrow of SmartBlogger used to cost as much as $2.50 per phrase when he was freelancing. That’s $5,000 for a 2,000-word publish. One article per week means Jon’s making six figures a 12 months.

Writing by Jon stating he charged $2.50 per word

Other examples embody:

How to grow to be a profitable content material creator

Looking again at my very own profession, I’ve recognized some key issues that led me to grow to be a content material creator.

1. Choose a distinct segment to develop your information and abilities

To create content material, you must first have a subject. It could be something: finance, soccer, and even Pokemon playing cards. In truth, I began off writing about breakdancing.

Title of SQ's article about breakdancing

I selected breakdancing as a result of it was one thing I used to be already accustomed to. I had been doing it for nearly eight years at that time and had amassed a ton of data. I simply wanted to determine the way to share it.

Content creation is in the end not about simply how stunning your writing is or how magical your movies are. Of course, they play an element. But the core of content material creation is about your concepts. If you don’t have one thing to share—otherwise you don’t have the required information—it doesn’t matter how a lot time you spend refining your work. People simply gained’t care.

As bestselling finance creator Morgan Housel places it:

Good concepts are straightforward to jot down, unhealthy concepts are laborious. Difficulty is a top quality sign, and author’s block often signifies extra about your concepts than your writing.

To grow to be a profitable content material creator, you must begin with an space the place you both have present information/experience or an space the place you may develop information.

It’s OK for those who don’t have experience proper now. On the opposite, it’s a good way to start. Document your journey and create content material round the way you’re studying, practising, and gaining information. People like to comply with tales of somebody going from zero to one.

In truth, #buildinpublic is a well-liked hashtag on Twitter, and it has been a rallying level for a lot of people who find themselves creating content material and studying in public.

Finally, the area of interest you select now shouldn’t be one thing you’re restricted to endlessly. You can all the time change matters as you progress. I now not create content material about breakdancing and, as an alternative, spend most of my time writing about advertising.

But the important thing level is that this: You have to decide on one thing to get began—one which matches your strengths and the area of interest you’re growing your experience in.

2. Choose a content material creation ability you’d wish to develop

Next, it’s a must to select a content material format after which develop abilities in that space. Types of content material creation abilities embody:

  • Copywriting/writing
  • Graphic design
  • Photography
  • Video manufacturing
  • Podcasting

And extra.

For instance, in case your area of interest is taekwondo, then maybe it’s possible you’ll need to take into account growing your abilities in video manufacturing.

That being mentioned, enjoying to your strengths is extra vital. Creating content material is an extended journey. And creating the kind of content material you want on a subject you’re obsessed with will assist you to go an extended method.

This is why, even if writing was (doubtless) a horrible medium for breakdancing, I nonetheless selected to go for copywriting in the long run. The indisputable fact that I used to be already desirous about writing—coupled with me being digicam shy—made this choice a no brainer. In hindsight, writing matched my strengths and has served me effectively so far.

If you’re like me and need to enhance your copywriting abilities, I extremely suggest these assets:

3. Create a “Do 100” undertaking

There’s no method round it. If you need to discover ways to create content material, you have to create content material.

If you need to enhance your content material creation abilities, one of the best ways is to really make one thing and put it on the market. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’ll damage to get suggestions. But it’s a must to undergo this part to grow to be a profitable content material creator.

To sort out the above, I like to recommend making a “Do 100” undertaking. This is an concept that was popularized by my pal, Visakan Veerasamy. Basically, commit to creating 100 of X, the place X is the content material creation ability you need to enhance.

For instance, for those who’re attempting to excel at making short-form movies, then decide to creating 100 TikTook movies. If you’re writing, decide to crafting 100 tweets or writing 100 weblog posts. If you’re studying images, publish 100 photographs on Instagram.

The motive why this works is twofold:

  • Commitment – A undertaking is a forcing hand. No extra procrastination or fixed deliberation. This is the explanation why challenges like #tweet100 and #ship30for30 are so common.
  • Volume – A ceramics instructor break up his class into two teams: One was graded solely on the amount of labor they produced, the opposite on the standard of labor. The outcome: The group graded for amount produced works of upper high quality. Quantity leads to quality. The extra you create, the higher you grow to be.

My story is comparable too. While I didn’t name it a “Do 100” undertaking again then, I dedicated to sending an electronic mail a day, 5 days per week, to the subscribers of my breakdance weblog. I ultimately wrote over 100 emails. Looking again, I now understand this undertaking actually skyrocketed my writing abilities.

List of emails SQ wrote and sent

4. Get a job as a content material creator

After operating my breakdance weblog and dealing for an (finally unsuccessful) startup, I used to be employed as a content marketing manager at ReferralCandy. At ReferralCandy, a giant a part of my work was to create weblog posts. But it wasn’t merely any weblog publish. I needed to create weblog posts that have been a part of a content material advertising technique.

Because of my work at ReferralCandy, I ultimately joined Ahrefs—and that is the place I’ve been for the previous three years.

You don’t need to get a job to grow to be a profitable content material creator. But I don’t remorse this path. After all, a content material creator’s job in the present day is now not nearly content material creation. It includes many elements of promoting.

Working at a number of corporations has launched me to vital advertising abilities like content material advertising and search engine marketing. It has additionally helped me to discover ways to plan and create content material as a part of a coherent advertising technique. All of those can solely serve to raised your profile as a content material creator.

I extremely suggest selecting up these abilities too. Use this useful resource to get began or watch this course:

The most direct solution to get a job as a content material creator is to search for open job positions. With your “Do 100” undertaking as your portfolio, you’ll be in good standing to get one. Look by these job boards and see for those who match the roles’ standards. Expand your horizons a bit of—positions like “content marketing manager” or “content strategist” could possibly be good matches too.

Networking is vital as effectively. I obtained my jobs at ReferralCandy and Ahrefs as a result of I had met and befriended each the heads of promoting. Don’t overcomplicate this. If you’re studying from somebody proper now, attain out and thank them for his or her content material. This is how one can kickstart a relationship with somebody you admire.

5. Furthering your profession

As you progress alongside your profession path and publish extra, you’ll start to realize a repute in your area of interest. You could even construct a good following alongside the method.

If you’re , you may take into account branching out and enjoying with totally different tasks. For instance, it’s possible you’ll need to freelance for different web sites. If that’s the trail you’re pursuing, I like to recommend studying this publish by Nick LeRoy. While it’s particularly about search engine marketing freelancing, many of the rules could be utilized to any type of freelancing.

There are different monetization alternatives too, apart from freelancing. Ideas embody:

  • Product sponsorships and promoting
  • Speaking engagements
  • Substack or different types of subscriptions
  • Online programs
  • Books
  • Affiliate advertising
  • Ecommerce, e.g., establishing your individual store to promote merchandise

The world’s your oyster. Play round and see which one matches your circumstance and context.

Final ideas

As a content material creator, you by no means cease studying.

You want to remain updated and study in regards to the adjustments in your chosen area of interest, in addition to the platforms you’re creating content material for. You additionally want to remain present on what your viewers desires to see.

Finally, as you study increasingly, you’ll begin to develop tastes and opinions. You’ll start to determine what works and what doesn’t. This might be what makes you stand out from the lots of and hundreds of different content material creators.

Did I miss out on something? Let me know on Twitter.

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