Today, companies need more media than ever, and content creators are in high demand. But how can you become a content creator? What types of content do they create? And most importantly, how can you make money doing so?
Throughout this article, we’ll discuss how to get started as a content creator, and all the ways that you can make money.
What Is A Content Creator?
A content creator is someone who creates content that is distributed through any medium or channel; It could be for personal enjoyment, for a wedding, for a vacation, or for clients (we call this client work).
At the most basic level, these types of creators generate “content” for others to consume. Content can range from informational, to a personal experience, to your reactions and emotions, to storytelling with fictional or nonfictional characters, and much more.
What Types Of Content Creators Are There?
There are many types of content creators. Generally, you can separate all the different types into two buckets:
1) Those who do client work.
2) Those who don’t do client work.
Let’s look at some examples of creators that typically don’t focus on client work.
YouTuber: Someone who produces and publishes videos that they upload to YouTube. These videos come in all shapes and sizes, and normally focus on earning more views and subscribers for the content creator.
Influencer: Someone who typically has a large audience, and/or can be considered to be a leader in their niche (whatever industry that may be).
Vlogger: Someone who creates interpersonal videos of their daily life, routine, or other moments that are often not scripted and informal.
Blogger: Someone who writes blog articles like this in an attempt to deliver education, and grow their reader count.
Pretty much, if you’re creating content primarily for your own enjoyment, then you fall into this type of content creator.
Do These Types Of Creators Make Money?
100%. In fact, some of them make millions of dollars. However, while this path provides a lot of freedom and creativity for creators, it’s often harder to make money in the beginning. This is because these types of content creators typically need to build an audience before they can start to monetize their content.
That’s why you’ll see a lot of creators in these formats put such a high focus on creating a lot of content in the early days, so they can build an audience, which they can later monetize in various ways.
What About Content Creators Who Primarily Focus On Client Work?
Content creators who focus on client work often have an easier time getting started, as their path to revenue is very clear. A client needs content for one reason or another, and content creators produce that content in exchange for money.
Similarly to the above, there are various ways content creators can earn money through client work.
Wedding videographer & photographers: Someone who captures videos and photos for a couple’s wedding.
Event videographer & photographers: Someone who records video and photo content of an event that is normally edited into event recap and event highlight reels.
Travel videographer & photographers: Someone who creates travel content in foreign cities, normally focussing on promoting local attractions, lodging, or eating venues.
Music videographer & photographers: Someone who captures music videos or tour photos to help musicians promote their music.
Commercial videographer & photographers: Someone who creates promotional videos and photographs for a company to help them gain more exposure and earn more revenue.
How Much Money Do Content Creators Earn?
A content creator who promotes a product or service of another company and earns affiliate revenue every time a new customer buys a product or subscribes to a service via the content creator’s affiliate link. Affiliate deals range from all sizes, but I normally see content creators earning around $20 for each new sign up/purchase.
When a content creator posts to their social media channels and promotes a company in one way or another. These deals are structured in a variety of ways, but it mostly comes down to the size of your audience. The bigger the audience is (# of followers or subscribers), the more money you can demand. For example, some YouTubers with 100,000+ subscribers are earning $5,000 per promoted post or more.
This is when a content creator works with brands and companies to review their products. In the early days, content creators typically create review videos without getting paid, or by getting paid with free products from the companies they are working with. But once a content creator builds an audience, they can begin to not only get free products from companies, but can also get paid to create these product reviews.
Sponsorship is when a content creator works to generate more exposure and sales for a company in exchange for compensation from the company. These deals are normally structured on a monthly basis for 6 to 12 months at a time. At this time, some content creators with around 50,000 followers/subscribers earn around $5,000/month via sponsorship contracts (which could also be known as retainer agreements).
Generally, videographers earn around $50/hour for their labor and gear, and this price fluctuates a lot. Some music video videographers charge up to $10,000 for a music video, while wedding videographers & photographers can charge up to $20,000 to capture a wedding. On the contrary, videographers who are just starting out typically earn around $100 to $250 for event coverage and other one-off video shoots.
How Can You Get Started As A Content Creator?
Because of the technology most of us have access to today, nearly anyone can become a content creator. However, like most things in life, becoming a content creator takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and time.
99% of the time, it doesn’t happen overnight. In the beginning, I always recommend content creators figure out which type of content they enjoy creating most. What makes you happy? What resources do you have at your disposal? What distribution channels can you leverage? Factoring these elements into your content strategy and plan will help you know where to begin.
All of these things factor into the type of content that you should focus on making, which then leads us to a very important question that most content creators need to answer – what niche will you focus on? And, will you be able to make money for your content within that niche?
Picking A Niche
Picking a niche is incredibly important for content creators who are looking to turn content creation into a thriving career. By picking a niche, it gives you a variety of benefits, such as:
- Clear focus on the type of content you should create.
- A clear portfolio that shows off all of your best work for that niche (easier for potential clients to review).
- The ability to build an audience faster.
Viewers and content consumers want to know what kind of content they will receive from you before subscribing to your content. So, by picking a niche, audience members know that if they subscribe to you, they will be able to consume a certain type of content. Not only that, but clients who are looking to hire content creators want to hire experts in their fields. For example, a hotel chain might be looking to hire a content creator who specializes in travel, hospitality, and promotional videos. By defining your niche, and by creating a portfolio of high-quality content filled with content in your niche, you’ll set yourself up for success within that specific niche industry, and will have a better chance of creating an audience for that niche content.
Some examples of niches are weddings, real estate, music, and commercials.
To learn more about picking your niche, and getting started as a content creator, here’s a great episode from the podcast Learn Videography that talks about it in great detail.
Do your research! Figure out what the best path is for you, your lifestyle goals, and your income requirements. There are a lot of ways that you can use content creation to make a living, and it’s important that you find ways that fit best within your interests and goals.
You must be willing to put in the time and effort to build your content creation business. That’s right, if you’re doing this to earn money, then it’s a business. And starting a business is hard and has its own challenges. To understand this from the beginning and set yourself and your business up for success.
Look into networking platforms to help you build a supportive network around you like Industry Jump and communities on Facebook. There are so many skills and things that you’ll need to learn how to do well as a successful content creator, and it’ll be beneficial for you to surround yourself with other talented creators that you can learn from.
Find tools to help you manage your content creation business. Running a business is hard, and often requires invoices, contracts, and overall client management to help keep things running smoothly. Investing in a business management solution that can help you automate and optimize these workflows such as jumpstudios.io will not only save you time and money but can also help you grow your business faster.
And finally, never stop creating content. Create as much content as you possibly can, for as long as you can. If you can do that, you’ll eventually find your way as a content creator, while also building an audience who enjoys consuming your content, and companies that will pay you to create more content!