Whether for your up-and-coming small business website or a personal blog, creating relevant content is key if your end goal is to be seen online. A content creator can help develop that relevant content, from videos and graphics to written articles, to help your website stand out from the competition. Content creation can encompass numerous tasks, each requiring a unique set of skills to complete efficiently.
For instance, some folks may be more drawn to graphic design, while others lean more towards creative writing — both of which fall under the realm of content creation yet require different skills.
Those considering a job in content creation should assess their current skillset to determine which path best complements their abilities. In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about what a content creator does and how you can become one yourself.
What Content Creators Do
It’s worth noting that content creators are typically responsible for generating content for the web. Developing web content refers to the “textual, aural, or visual content published on a website.” It is up to these skilled individuals to conduct research and curate topics/content suitable to be published across multiple platforms (like your blog and social media pages) to reach a wider audience.
The type of content these individuals are responsible for creating includes, but certainly isn’t limited to:
- Audio files;
- Digital art, like AI-generated graphics;
- GIFs and other animations;
- Images and graphics;
- Words and text;
- Videos and different multimedia types.
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of content creators and their respective roles. Be sure to pay attention to the demanded skills for each to better understand which job type is best for you.
Types of Content Creators
To reiterate, digital creators can work in any content area and specialize in specific media types. Those with a knack for writing should consider blogging or copywriting, while those who are more interested in digital art may enjoy a photography or video editing job.
Both of these technically fall under the category of content creation but tailor to different prospective types of workers. Those aren’t the only types of content creation jobs; keep reading to see which path may be right for you.
Content Writers and Copywriters
A content writer is responsible for creating content for a blog or website — whether for their personal page or a company website. Specifically, content writers are responsible for writing short and long-form material in correspondence with their company/personal brand. These writers must also understand search engine optimization (SEO) practices to help their client’s content gain visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
A copywriter is another digital writer responsible for formulating the text paired with digital advertisements and other marketing forms. A few essential skills for copywriters include being a strong communicator and a keen eye for creativity.
Both types of writers must understand how to research brands, searcher intent, and keywords to target a specific audience for their clients. They may also write other forms of content, such as emails, newsletters, social media posts, brochures, annual reports, and more.
Photographers and Videographers
Photographers who work in content creation are typically given a topic or theme to capture a still image of. From there, the images are published on different platforms, like a blog or social media page. Photographers must have a good eye for detail and be willing to alter their surroundings to capture the perfect shot.
Rather than producing still images, videographers are responsible for capturing relevant video clips that can be paired with other media types, like text or images. Videographers know that some shots are irreplicable, meaning they only have one opportunity to capture the perfect take. This job requires a unique skill set of being able to predict when the perfect shot will happen and being able to capture it in one take.
Designers and Artists
A digital designer, or artist, uses technology alongside their creative skills to generate digital media. Whereas being a writer requires less use of technical tools, being a digital artist means those in this field must know how to effectively implement various software types.
Additionally, prospective digital artists must be willing to adapt to change and work in a fast-paced environment. Working in tech means immersing yourself in an ever-changing world, constantly keeping up with industry trends. This skill will make embracing new software and technological tools easier as they continue to be released rapidly.
Vloggers and Streamers
Vlogging is the perfect job for folks who enjoy the technicalities of blogging and the creativity of videography. Vloggers record video footage for their blog or other preferred platform (like YouTube) rather than write it like a classic blogger. Folks interested in vlogging should be excellent with time management and well-organized, for vlogging can be tedious if not approached with a game plan.
A streamer is someone who live-streams video or digital gaming content for viewers to join and watch in real time. Some individuals stream live events, like the product development process, to develop more profound, realistic connections with customers and clients.
Other folks passionate about video games may live-stream their game to showcase their strategy. Or, you can live-stream your video game for the fun of it. Regardless of your reasoning for live streaming, it’s important to know that you can’t take something back once it’s been said live. Be respectful of your target audience, even when streaming for fun.
A podcast is a digital platform where content creators can attach audio files for a series of episodes, typically pertaining to a single topic (like crime or financial advice), often interviewing experts on the subject. The content creators responsible for developing these episodes are called podcasters.
To be a podcaster, one must have the confidence to speak with a microphone. While it can be awkward to hear your own voice, it’s good to be aware of your sound quality. Be sure to play back each episode for yourself before posting to ensure the episode is up to par with your branding standards.
Influencers and Brand Ambassadors
Being a brand ambassador for a company isn’t a new concept. However, it may seem more recent because of the abundance of influencers we constantly see on social media. Influencers are becoming more prominent in marketing because of their impact on consumers.
A brand ambassador is responsible for respectfully representing a brand and attaching their name to a concept or product to attract fans to invest in that item.
Alternatively, influencers are people with a loyal social media following. Some companies may look into the number of followers you have to determine whether or not it’s worth their marketing efforts to have you advertise for them, even with little to no following.
How Much Do Content Creators Make?
One of the many benefits of working in content creation is the flexibility. You’re in control of whether or not you leave it as a hobby or take it a step further and make a career out of it. Because of this, it can be challenging to determine how much content creators make. Additionally, the type of content creator you are will also determine your pay.
Regardless of the multiple factors determining the average pay, Glassdoor estimates that content creators across the board make an average of over $48,000 annually. That average is subject to change depending on the type of work you conduct under the content creation category.
Jobs for Content Creators
The most common job for a content creator to have is as a content marketer. Content marketers are folks who are more than likely going to put in more hours than someone who blogs for fun, thus bringing home more pay. Luckily there are several other jobs for content creators wishing to take their hobby to the next level.
A freelance content creator or guest blogger is an individual who has a contract with a client to develop content for various platforms. This job could look like freelance writing for blog posts or creating graphics for a social media post as a freelance digital artist.
As a freelancer, the pay can be uncertain because the number of freelance jobs you get isn’t always consistent. You may write enough articles to pay your rent one month, while the other, you struggle to get enough freelance opportunities to afford groceries. You’re in complete control of your schedule. It is up to you to market your skills to obtain enough work to support your needs.
Unlike a freelance content creator who isn’t guaranteed daily work, an in-house creator generates content for a company or brand full-time. Just as there are multiple positions within content creation, there are numerous spots to fill as an in-house content creator, including:
- B2B content marketing specialist;
- Graphic design;
In-house content creators make an average of $36,000 to $58,500 annually. However, top earners can make upwards of $74,500 annually with the right qualifications.
Content Creation Agency
Don’t worry if creating content for your small business isn’t in your bag of tricks — there are content creation agencies that can help with just that. These agencies help companies improve their marketing efforts. They’re full of qualified professionals who conduct page analysis to determine the type of content your website needs yet doesn’t have.
Examples of roles to fulfill in this job include, but aren’t limited to:
- Consumer data researcher;
- Paid advertising expert;
- SEO specialist;
- Content writer.
The position you obtain within a content creation agency will determine your pay. Take the time to research the average salary for each position to see if it’s still a job you want to take.
How To Become a Content Creator
While you’re encouraged to possess several skills to succeed in your content creation career, you should also consider honing in on a single area of expertise. For instance, some folks may be more interested in graphic design, while others prefer creative writing. Both of these fall under content creation yet require a unique set of skills.
Regardless of the area in which you wish to excel, there are specific steps every prospective content creator should take before obtaining a position in this field.
Develop the Right Skills and Toolsets
As we briefly mentioned above, there are several skills every content creator should have, regardless of their area of expertise. Understandably, only some people come to these skills naturally. Identifying which skills you already possess and which ones to obtain is a skill on its own, for it’s not easy admitting when you’re lacking in certain areas.
Content creators should be aware of the value of extending their skillset and learning to use new tools, for doing so can be the missing link to success. A few basic content creation best practices to freshen up on include:
- Knowing how to conduct keyword research;
- Implementing and understanding digital tools to improve your SEO;
- Embracing the idea of automation in content creation but not relying on it.
Understanding where your strengths lie can help you determine if you should invest in content marketing services to help alleviate the number of tasks you’re responsible for.
Build a Portfolio
Just as your resume showcases your professional and educational experience, a portfolio is a great and necessary way to show off your work. Many employers want to see how your work stacks up against other potential employees. Consistently producing content and building your portfolio, even as a hobby, can help improve your brand’s image. Additionally, having more content is a great way for possible clients to see whether or not your skills are desired — something that’s especially beneficial for freelance creators.
Creating a personal brand doesn't make sense if you don’t intend to show it off. Marketing yourself is the best way to show prospective clients and employers your capabilities. Whether by consistently posting to social media or developing your website, finding an avenue that best advertises your content creation services is necessary if you wish to make a living out of content creation. Additionally, networking with other creators in the field can help you gain more exposure and add credibility to your portfolio.
Finally, creating content for free or reduced rates is a great way to introduce yourself to potential clients or employers. Although it won’t make you much money initially, it may be the key to opening doors that weren't previously visible.
Each aspect of content creation requires unique skills, be it graphic design or creative writing, allowing you to showcase your abilities in this diverse field. Assess your current skillset, explore the world of content creation, and pave your way to becoming a content creator yourself.