Want to become an online content creator?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
There’s never been a better time to become a content creator than right now.
2020 certainly wasn’t the best year for everything, but now is the best time to start creating content for a captive audience that spends their time online now more than ever.
Why does this matter?
Think about it:
Wouldn’t you like to have the ability to work from anywhere your heart desires? To have the freedom and flexibility you always wanted without having to answer to anyone besides yourself? To be able to generate a passive income that allows you to be financially secure simply by helping others?
I know what you’re thinking, sounds to good to be true, right?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, keep reading…
Today, we’re going to cover what a content creator is, how to use content marketing to your advantage, why now is the best time to be a content creator, how to do it, and how to earn a handsome living creating written, visual, or audio content.
Ready to go?
Let’s do it!
What Is A Content Creator, Anyway?
These days, there is a lot of confusion about what content creation is. People misinterpret it for different things all the time. And It totally makes sense, because there are a ton of different ways to be a digital content creator.
Sometimes the lingo gets lost in translation and some people tend to think blogging is posting images on social media as opposed to writing informational (and entertaining) articles, stories, and images on a website.
In fact, there is a lot of mix-ups about all the different forms of content creation in this regard.
Not to worry, I’m going to clarify this momentarily.
For now, just understand that there are a few different forms of content creation. You’ve just got to choose the one that’s best for your personality and skill set.
2021 is the best time to start building an audience that’s craving entertainment, information, and new skills. And it isn’t as difficult to start doing as you’d think.
The key is to create value-driven content that resonates with your audience, helps them achieve or learn something, and makes them hungry for more.
If you can manage to do that (in an entertaining way), get ready to enjoy being your own boss, spending your days creating new things your passionate about, and having the flexibility to work anywhere in the world.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing sounds all fancy and professional. But chances are, you’ve done it before without even realizing it.
Content marketing is any type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material.
This can include:
- Instagram posts
- Just about anything else you find online
If you’ve ever tagged a brand in an Instagram post or even tweeted about your favorite restaurant, you’ve done some (probably unpaid) content marketing without even knowing it.
Typically, content doesn’t explicitly promote a brand. Rather, it’s intended to stimulate interest in its products or services. It’s more educational than promotional.
There’s more to it, but first let’s take a quick detour to talk about mindset…
How To Set Yourself Apart (And Adapt The Right Mindset)
In my opinion, there are two types of content marketers in existence today. There are those who are seeking quick money, short term results, and who (probably) have no concern for the needs of their audience.
Then there are those who understand the importance of building a relationship with their audience and that helping them will allow you to grow a substantial loyal following of potential customers.
By offering value and connection regarding something you’re passionate about, you will create something sustainable over the long-term.
In other words, there is a right way and a wrong way to approach your content marketing efforts.
Money-grubbing content creators might seek to gain traffic and sales without a real connection with their audience, but authentic content creators genuinely try to help their audience in their mission to learn, achieve, understand, improve, or be entertained by something.
The difference here lies in the hard sell versus the soft sell. Think about the content you engage with on a regular basis. What’s more appealing to you?
When promoting your own content, are you cramming it down your audience’s throat every chance you get? (Buy now! Buy now!…Did you buy yet?)
Or are you mentioning those things that will help to inform and improve your audience in a meaningful way as your market your content?
It’s scarcity versus abundance mindset.
Now that we got that out of the way, just understand this:
Content marketing cements you and/or your company as a credible, authoritative resource to your audience.
This helps you build trust, grow an active and engaged audience, and – yes – make $$$.
Why is Now Such a Good Time to Become a Content Creator?
The pandemic has totally changed the way we interact with each other in person.
But it’s transformed the online world as well. This is especially true in regards to remote work.
COVID-19 has brought about more screen time than ever before.
Yet at the same time, so many movies and TV shows have halted or delayed production due to the pandemic. Additionally, other content creators focused on short-term results have shifted out of industries that have taken a recent hit.
It’s time for new content creators to step in and give the people what they want: high-quality, value-adding content that teaches them something, entertains them, or manages to do both at the same time.
Your potential audience isn’t the only reason why 2021 is such a good time to become a content creator. It might put you in a much better spot and elevate your position in life as well.
Recently, a lot of us feel somewhat insecure about our work situation due to the pandemic.
- recently unemployed due to the pandemic
- temporarily laid off or taking a provisional pay cut
- working fewer hours than usual
- wanting to make sure you’re in a good position to earn $$ on your own terms in case your employment situation does change
- just sick and tired of your current job
Then starting to create content now is a great idea.
Now is the perfect time for ambitious people to jump on board.
How to Become a Content Creator
There are SO many different ways to become a freelance content creator.
Think about it:
The type of content you create (written, audio, visual,etc.), the platforms you use to share and deliver it, the demographics you decide to target, and even the vast array of topics you can choose from are personal choices. The possibilities are pretty much endless.
Of course, that can feel a little daunting.
But remember this:
Even if you’re not especially confident in your abilities or your ideas yet, the fastest way to get better is to start now and hone your craft. A little knowledge and experience goes a long way.
As you create more and more content, you’ll be able to finetune your persona, refine your skills, and better define your target audience. (Even if that means you end up totally switching gears down the road.)
Be genuine, be creative, and don’t be afraid to embrace change by starting where you’re at.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step-Lao Tzu
Let’s go over a few of the top content creator jobs and content creation ideas you might want to consider trying out.
Content Creator Jobs
Writing blog content is a great way to start doing some content marketing, especially if you enjoy writing (and even if you don’t). I might be a little biased, but I’d say it’s the best option for content creation!
Compared to other forms of content creation, It doesn’t require any fancy equipment or a ton of technical knowledge. If you’ve got a laptop, an internet connection, and something to say, you can be a written content creator.
It’s a great way to connect and help your audience, express yourself, and literally anybody can learn.
There are a lot of platforms available to start getting your story out there, including:
- Your own website (with a self-hosted domain) – I highly recommend starting with WordPress.org and hosting your website on SiteGround to create a beautiful drag-and-drop website worthy of your words.
Wix and Squarespace are other options you can choose from, however, with over 38% of all websites using self-hosted WordPress (that is .org versus .com), there are many advantages to starting here. Mainly that the majority of themes and third-party tools cater to WordPress Websites (59%).
It’s also MUCH easier to monetize and collaborate than using a “free” domain hosted under the umbrella of another platform (see below). Although these options require your own domain name and hosting, the associated fees are nominal for starting your own business.
Creating your own self-hosted blog will allow you to monetize much easier later on as well as give you creative control over your content.
- “Free” hosted websites – use WordPress.com or Blogger (Blogspot) to create a free website for your blog. While this option is easy to start, I’d advise against it – hosting your blog on one of these sites could make it more difficult for you to get sponsored posts, be approved by affiliate programs, or monetize with ads.
Additionally, you have no creative control over your content and your site can de deleted at any time for any reason (make no mistake, this does happen).
- Sharing platforms – use Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social sites to share your work and drive more exposure and traffic back to your blog. These are important analytics to measure your success.
The type of blog you should start really comes down to what you’re interested in and what you’re good at. You should also enjoy the subject matter of the content you create.
If you’re a personal finance guru, share your money-saving tips, investment advice, and help others on their path to destroying their debt.
If you’re an aspiring baker, share your favorite recipes on your most decadent desserts and tasty pies.
If you’re a fashionista that constantly gets complimented on your style or outfit, start a fashion blog sharing your favorite trends, fashion hacks, and the latest attention-grabbing styles.
Here are some examples of great blogs across different niches:
- The Remote Nomad (Digital Nomads)
- Location Rebel (Lifestyle Business)
- Real Men Real Style (Men’s Fashion)
- Split Suit (Poker)
From one writer to another, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you start your blog:
- Always be learning. Anyone can be a successful blogger. Whether you think you’re an amazing writer or you’re just getting started, there’s always room to improve. Read well-written books, take online courses, and make use of proper tools to bring your writing skills to the next level.
- Keep your audience in mind. Make sure you know who you’re talking to. Consider how much they already know, other things they’re interested in, the kind of lingo or language they usually use, other blogs they might follow, etc.
- Network with other bloggers. Probably the best way to grow as a blogger is to network with other like-minded individuals pursuing the same path. Start with your own niche and branch out from there.
- Be consistent & be patient. Even new bloggers can make money blogging, but it takes time to grow your audience. Posting regularly is important to keeping your audience engaged and attracting new visitors.
How to Earn Money as a Written Content Creator
- Affiliate marketing. Share links and/or promo codes that give you a commission for any sales you drive. Be sure to disclose any affiliate relationships to your audience.
- Sell your own stuff. Create digital & physical products or courses that would add value to your audience’s life and use your blog to promote them.
- Go freelance. Offer services to businesses and individuals, separate from your personal platform.
- Get sponsored. Reach out to brands that are really aligned with your brand and offer paid posts for reviews or endorsements. Too many sponsored posts can dilute your trust and credibility with your audience, so be selective about the brands you partner with.
- Monetize your blog with ads. Get paid depending on the amount of traffic to your site. I recommend waiting until it’s worth it to do this since it can take away from a reader’s experience.
Additionally, I would suggest using affiliate marketing and selling your own physical or digital products to monetize your site. This is so you don’t need to chase money from sponsored posts or advertisingToo much of that can dilute your trust and credibility from your audience. I would certainly use these strategies where it makes sense, but don’t depend on them or you’ll always be hunting down your income instead of allowing it to work for you passively.
In today’s era, video content is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity.
The total number of those using YouTube has risen to an astonishing 1.3 billion people. To put it into perspective, That’s about 17% of the entire world’s population.
These users are currently watching 3.25 billion hours a month. And those numbers are only going up.
Here’s another interesting statistic:
By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic.
If you love showing off your creative or artistic side then becoming a video content creator is for you.
It allows you to make a healthy living creating content you love without even having to attend a fancy film school. Now anyone can film, edit, direct, and star in their own videos. The sky is the limit!
Even though creating video content does require some time, equipment, and skill, there are plenty of resources out there to help you learn quickly.
You can either learn for free on YouTube itself or you can take high-level online courses designed to progress you from a beginner all the way up to expert level efficiency. Where and how you start is up to you.
I know what some of you are thinking…
“But Ron, I’m an introvert and don’t have the personality to be in front of the camera and make videos.”
Don’t worry, you don’t need a magnetic personality to get started on YouTube. It still might be a great place for you to start creating valuable content that will attract an audience via a central theme or topic.
Here’s an example of high performing YouTube Video from my friend Jon (Here Be Bar):
The type of videos you should make depends on your skills and interests.
If you absolutely love cooking, fire up the camera as well as your latest and greatest stir-fry dish and show your viewers how it’s done.
If traveling to exotic places is your thing, start vlogging and take your viewers on an epic adventure with you on your Mongolian horse trekking expedition or your favorite city in Thailand .
Are you an avid gamer? Start filming yourself crushing it at Call of Duty and talking that ish! Your viewers will find it entertaining while in search of the proper tips and tricks to improve their skills.
Speaking of tips:
Here are a few to keep in mind if you want to become a YouTuber or video content creator:
- Start small. You don’t have to fork out thousands of dollars for the best camera, mic, and lighting equipment. Start with what you have and work your way up before investing a fortune.
- Use YouTube. YouTube is full of video content creators sharing their filming and editing secrets for free – take advantage!
- Upload regularly. Even if you’re not seeing immediate results, stay consistent, and keep creating content. It’ll keep your audience engaged and help you attract new viewers.
- Get training. Like everything else in life, you get out of it what you put in. As you progress consider reading blog posts, upgrading your equipment, and taking some online courses to improve your skills.
How to Earn Money as a YouTube Content Creator
- Monetize your videos with ads. Once you’ve reached 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours, YouTube makes it easy to add ads to your videos and get paid.
- Partner with brands. Reach out to brands you think your audience might be interested in and offer to review or mention their products in exchange for payment. (Of course, in time brands will likely start reaching out to you instead!)
- Affiliate links. In your descriptions, video cards, and end screens, share links and/or promo codes that give you a portion of any sales you convert. Mention them in your videos as well and be sure to disclose your affiliate relationships with your viewers.
- Sell your own stuff. Create products or courses that would add value to your audience’s life and use your YouTube channel to promote them.
Podcasts make it possible for anyone to be a radio host – and there are plenty of people listening.
51% of the US population have listened to a podcast, and 32% listen to a podcast at least once a month. If you’re talkative, friendly, and knowledgeable on a certain subject, consider creating audio content.
In order to create a successful podcast, consider your unique skills and interests.
If you’re passionate about health and fitness, interview the leading wellness experts on your podcast and help your audience get off the couch.
If you’re a conspiracy theorist, choose a particular theory, dig deep, and go nuts.
Are you an aspiring relationship expert looking to play matchmaker? Interview top dating coaches and answer listeners’ questions. Who knows, maybe you’ll help someone find the love of their life.
Looking for some great examples of successful, value-adding podcasts? Here are just a few of my favorites:
- Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn
- The Side Hustle Show with Nick Loper
- Wizards of Amazon Podcast with Carlos Alvarez
- The Minimalists Podcast with Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
In case your interested, here are a few episodes I’ve been featured on as well:
- Veterans In Business Show (Episode 21)
- The Radio Vagabond (Episode 30)
- The Path Hunters Podcast (Episode 93)
Ready to get started?
Make use of these top tips for new podcasters:
- Choose your guests’ and/or cohost wisely. You’ll want to make sure your partner is committed to the project and that the two of you have good chemistry on-air. If you choose to go solo, make sure you choose your podcast guests thoughtfully as well.
- Use the right tools. While you don’t have to spend a fortune to get passable sound quality, your iPhone mic just isn’t going to cut it here. Consider buying a microphone or renting out a studio for recording days.
- Play the long game. While even new podcasters can make money by podcasting, it can take time to build an audience. Results can vary, especially depending on what you put into it. Stick it out and be prepared to create regular content, even if it doesn’t blow up right away.
How to Earn Money as a Podcast Content Creator
- Affiliate marketing. In your podcast and in show notes, share links and/or promo codes that give you a fee or percentage of any sales you drive.
- Sell your own stuff. Create merch, courses, or products that would add value to your audience’s life and use your podcast to promote them.
- Brand sponsorships. Reach out to brands you think your audience might be interested in and offer to review or mention their products in exchange for payment. A lot of brands have specific deals they offer to podcasters. (Of course, in time brands will likely start reaching out to you as you grow!)
SOCIAL Media Content:
Social media platforms make it easier than ever to consume and create content. This is especially true when it comes to consuming visual content on the worlds leading social media apps. They intentionally make them what I like to call “sticky.”
With over 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, it’s difficult to ignore.
Consider these facts:
- The average user spends 3 hours a day on social media
- 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations on social media.
- 54% of users turn to social media to research products.
Why is social media so successful?
In my opinion, this is done simply by implementing an infinite scroll into the platforms thereby making it difficult to leave and easy to enjoy the visual stimulation.
Hate it or love it, social media isn’t going anywhere.
Now you can build your personal brand and your following with platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok. Just to name a few.
Here’s my take:
I personally don’t believe in building a brand solely on social media and I’m not all that fond of influencer marketing. I believe it’s main benefit is drawing traffic from these platforms back to your written, video, or audio content via a website, YouTube channel, and/or a podcasting application.
It’s a way to boost your traffic and sales conversions by getting more exposure.
That being said, I do have plenty of friends who have had major success predominately by using social media.
She has received major media attention and has had endless income opportunities from brand partnerships to currently having her own digital products and services. One of her major accomplishments has been helping her clients grow their own brand through her personalized Instagram Coaching.
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Can it be done?
At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice. Whether you choose to use social media to boost your traffic and conversions or as your main media outlet to build an authentic personal brand is completely up to you.
Just make sure you stay authentic and grounded as you consider the types of products and services you recommend.
There’s a real difference between value-driven social media content and careless profit-driven posting, and most people can spot it from a mile away. Always seek to share value and serve your audience – not just to make a quick buck. (although, you should strive to do both in a genuine way.)
Interested in creating content on social media?
Pick a niche and make it happen!
Are you an animal lover? Start a profile to share your adorable photos of kittens and puppies, and share your favorite pet care products.
If you’re a professional photographer, you can share your best portraits or landscape photos and offer tips to aspiring shutterbugs.
If your an interior designer, you can show before and after photos of your work as well as other beautiful design inspiration.
If you can dream it, you can do it!
Here are a few tips for creating a social media following:
- Get specific. Define your niche and stick to it. Figure out your ideal customer and make sure the content you create would resonate with him or her.
- Be active. Post often, respond to comments, interact with similar accounts, collaborate with other creators. It’ll help you be seen and create more of a community.
- Be you. People are drawn to authenticity – not cookie-cutter influencers trying to copy somebody else. It’s okay to be inspired by other creators, but make sure you’re bringing your own unique flair and point of view to the table.
- Consider getting a coach. Social media can be intimidating when you’re first starting out. Regardless of your niche, there’s tons of competition out there. Consider finding a social media coach or doing some Instagram training to give yourself a fighting chance. I’m currently enrolled in a Pinterest course and it has been a tremendous help.
How to Earn Money as a Social Media Content Creator
- Affiliate marketing. In captions and stories, share links and/or promo codes that give you a fee for any sales you drive.
- Brand sponsorships. Reach out to brands and offer a product post in exchange for payment. (As you build your audience, they’ll probably come to you!)
- Brand photography. Partner directly with brands to create content for them, whether you take photos of their products or model their clothes for use on their own platforms.
- Sell your own stuff. Create physical products, courses, or services that would add value to your audience’s life and use your social media platforms to promote them.
- Social media management. Offer content creation or social media management services, separate from your personal platform.
So there you have it.
So many people are out there ready to consume and engage with the awesome content YOU create.
It’s not too late.
The market isn’t too saturated (there’s no such thing).
In fact, there’s never been a better time to become a content creator than right now.
So where do you go from here?
Here’s Your Next Step
If you create consistent, authentic, valuable content, your audience will flock to it.
It may not happen right away, but the quickest way to start earning money as a content creator is to start right now.
How do you do that?
I’ve made something special, just for you!Download Your FREE Content Creation Quick-Start Guide Now. For each content method, It’ll walk you through your first steps to get you started.
Fill out the form below to get instant access now.
Which one will you start with?
I’d love to know…
Got something to say? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!