How to Become a Successful Content Creator


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

Site Explorer overview for Ahrefs blog

How did I turn into a content material creator for such a well-liked weblog? Effectively, I’ll discuss it later within the publish. However earlier than you stick with it studying, I need you to know there are numerous paths to turning into a content material creator. The trail I adopted is merely certainly one of them. However because it’s the one one I do know, it’s the one I’ll share.

Let’s start with some fundamentals.

What’s 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, TikTok, YouTube, or a weblog.

They are often 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!) Moreover that, they could additionally:

  • Create a content material technique.
  • Handle a content material calendar.
  • Analysis content material concepts.
  • Design and edit visuals.
  • File and edit movies.
  • Produce podcasts.
  • Do fundamental web optimization.
  • Have a deep understanding of the channels they produce content material for, together with the most recent updates and modifications.

How a lot do content material creators make?

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

However how a lot you make is dependent upon whether or not you’re working in-house, freelancing, or doing your personal 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 widely known and well-respected model.

In keeping with Zippia, the median content material creator wage is $52,000 yearly. Nonetheless, some content material creators have been recognized 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 yr.

Writing by Jon stating he charged $2.50 per word

Different examples embody:

The way to turn into a profitable content material creator

Trying again at my very own profession, I’ve recognized some key issues that led me to turn into a content material creator.

1. Select a distinct segment to develop your information and expertise

To create content material, that you must first have a subject. It may 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 acquainted with. I had been doing it for nearly eight years at that time and had collected a ton of information. I simply wanted to determine how one can share it.

Content material creation is in the end not about simply how stunning your writing is or how magical your movies are. After all, they play a component. However the core of content material creation is about your concepts. If you happen to 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. Individuals simply gained’t care.

As bestselling finance creator Morgan Housel places it:

Good concepts are simple to put in writing, unhealthy concepts are exhausting. Issue is a top quality sign, and author’s block normally signifies extra about your concepts than your writing.

To turn into a profitable content material creator, that you must begin with an space the place you both have current information/experience or an space the place you may develop information.

It’s OK if you happen to don’t have experience proper now. Quite the opposite, it’s an effective way to start. Doc your journey and create content material round the way you’re studying, practising, and gaining information. Individuals like to observe 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.

Lastly, the area of interest you select now is just not one thing you’re restricted to endlessly. You may at all times change subjects as you progress. I not create content material about breakdancing and, as a substitute, spend most of my time writing about advertising and marketing.

However the important thing level is that this: You must select one thing to get began—one which matches your strengths and the area of interest you’re creating your experience in.

2. Select a content material creation talent you’d wish to develop

Subsequent, it’s a must to select a content material format after which develop expertise in that space. Kinds of content material creation expertise embody:

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

And extra.

For instance, in case your area of interest is taekwondo, then maybe chances are you’ll wish to contemplate creating your expertise in video manufacturing.

That being mentioned, taking part in to your strengths is extra necessary. Creating content material is a protracted journey. And creating the kind of content material you want on a subject you’re obsessed with will assist you go a protracted method.

That is why, although writing was (probably) a horrible medium for breakdancing, I nonetheless selected to go for copywriting in the long run. The truth that I used to be already all for writing—coupled with me being digital camera shy—made this choice a no brainer. In hindsight, writing matched my strengths and has served me effectively so far.

If you happen to’re like me and wish to enhance your copywriting expertise, I extremely advocate these assets:

3. Create a “Do 100” undertaking

There’s no method round it. If you wish to learn to create content material, you have to create content material.

If you wish to enhance your content material creation expertise, one of the simplest ways is to really make one thing and put it on the market. Sure, it’s scary. Sure, it is going to harm to get suggestions. However it’s a must to undergo this part to turn into a profitable content material creator.

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

For instance, if you happen to’re attempting to excel at making short-form movies, then decide to creating 100 TikTok movies. If you happen to’re writing, decide to crafting 100 tweets or writing 100 weblog posts. If you happen to’re studying pictures, publish 100 photographs on Instagram.

The explanation why this works is twofold:

  • Dedication – A undertaking is a forcing hand. No extra procrastination or fixed deliberation. That is the rationale why challenges like #tweet100 and #ship30for30 are so fashionable.
  • Quantity – A ceramics trainer cut 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 end result: The group graded for amount produced works of upper high quality. Quantity leads to quality. The extra you create, the higher you turn into.

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

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 surely wasn’t merely any weblog publish. I needed to create weblog posts that have been a part of a content material advertising and marketing technique.

Due to my work at ReferralCandy, I finally joined Ahrefs—and that is the place I’ve been for the previous three years.

You don’t should get a job to turn into a profitable content material creator. However I don’t remorse this path. In any case, a content material creator’s job at this time is not nearly content material creation. It includes many components of promoting.

Working at a number of firms has launched me to necessary advertising and marketing expertise like content material advertising and marketing and web optimization. It has additionally helped me to learn to plan and create content material as a part of a coherent advertising and marketing technique. All of those can solely serve to raised your profile as a content material creator.

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

Probably the most direct technique to get a job as a content material creator is to search for open job positions. Along with your “Do 100” undertaking as your portfolio, you’ll be in good standing to get one. Look by these job boards and see if you happen to match the roles’ standards. Develop your horizons a little bit—positions like “content material advertising and marketing supervisor” or “content material strategist” might be good matches too.

Networking is necessary as effectively. I received 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 happen to’re studying from somebody proper now, attain out and thank them for his or her content material. That 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 achieve a popularity in your area of interest. It’s possible you’ll even construct an honest following alongside the method.

If you happen to’re , you may contemplate branching out and taking part in with completely different initiatives. For instance, chances are you’ll wish to freelance for different web sites. If that’s the trail you’re pursuing, I like to recommend studying this publish by Nick LeRoy. Whereas it’s particularly about web optimization freelancing, many of the rules could be utilized to any type of freelancing.

There are different monetization alternatives too, moreover freelancing. Concepts embody:

  • Product sponsorships and promoting
  • Talking engagements
  • Substack or different types of subscriptions
  • On-line programs
  • Books
  • Internet affiliate marketing
  • Ecommerce, e.g., establishing your personal store to promote merchandise

The world’s your oyster. Mess around and see which one matches your circumstance and context.

Ultimate ideas

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

It’s essential keep updated and study concerning the modifications 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 needs to see.

Lastly, as you study increasingly more, you’ll begin to develop tastes and opinions. You’ll start to determine what works and what doesn’t. This shall 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.