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How to Become a Successful Content Creator and Influencer

Mark Jackson

Feb 2, 2024

So, you think you can go viral? Want to turn your epic blog posts, TikTok skills, and mirror selfies into serious cash? If so, then becoming a content creator might be a great career path for you.

Content is a cornerstone of digital marketing. Brands need content to stay connected with their audiences, drive traffic to their websites, and put their products into perspective. That takes a lot of work — and a whole lot of brainstorming. 

Being a content creator means taking on most of this heavy lifting to help companies expand their in-house teams and resources while earning themselves a paycheck.

Sound like a plan? Read on to learn more about how to become a content creator and what you can expect from this type of work.

Table of Contents

Tip: Learn more about the TikTok Creator Fund, learn How To Negotiate As A Creator, and get the basics of influencer marketing right.

What Is a Content Creator?

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Let’s define: A content creator is someone who creates digital content for a living. They may create content on behalf of brands, companies, or clients that commission content for marketing purposes. Or they create content for themselves and build their own audience as a way to generate revenue.

These days, people consider content creators as those who publish digital content to their own channels, such as blogs or social media accounts. But painters, journalists, authors, musicians, and sculptors are also content creators. Sometimes, content creators are also referred to as influencers.

For the purpose of this guide, we’re going to focus on how to become a digital content creator but here you can read more on the question of what is an influencer?

Types of Content Creators

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There’s more than one type of digital content, so there’s more than one way to become a content creator. Examples include:

  • Blogger
  • Social Media Influencer
  • Content writer
  • Video creator
  • Podcaster
  • Voice-over artist
  • Copywriter
  • Graphic designer
  • Photographer
  • Social media content creator

Each of these types of content creators specializes in different content formats. You might also cater to different audiences. Someone might prefer reading a blog post vs. watching a YouTube video on the same topic, for example. 

Deciding which type of content creator to become depends on your interests, skills, preferred topic areas, and desired audience.

How Much Do Content Creators Earn?

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Being a digital content creator has its perks, especially if you want to turn your passion into a full-time career. 

On average, a content creator earns about $51,055 per year, according to Glassdoor. 

Zippia estimates the average content creator salary to be $61,988, based on an average hourly rate of $29.80.

However, the actual pay can be much higher, depending on the type of content you create and the brands you work with. Also, as you gain experience in content creation, you can command a higher rate.

For example, two million creators on YouTube, Twitch, and Instagram are bringing in six-figure salaries each year.

Another content creator, who specializes in user-generated content (UGC), is also commanding a six-figure salary — and content creation is a side hustle for this person. It’s also possible to become a 7-figure or even 8-figure influencer with the right niche and skills.

Tip: Check our Influencer Pricing Guide and Influencer Rate Card to learn the going rates for a digital content creator.

Bottom line: There’s definitely some money to be made here. And it all starts with knowing how to create and monetize your content.

Skills You Need to Become a Good Content Creator

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You don’t need a college degree or years of experience to become a content creator, but you will benefit from a few key skills.

First up, you’ll want to know a thing or two about content marketing and content strategy. Content is the key ingredient in content marketing. Its purpose is to bridge the gap between brands and their audiences in a way that provides information, adds value, and encourages action. Creating content for the sake of content just isn’t enough.

You’ll also need to hone your skill set related to the type of content you want to create. For example, if you want to be a YouTuber, you’ll need strong editing skills. Knowledge of SEO is also helpful along with knowing how to monetize your channel.

Tip: Learn how to optimize your YouTube videos for search

For copywriting, you’ll need good grammar and spelling, a developed tone and style, and knowledge of SEO to help people find your content.

All content creators can benefit from the following skills:

If you don’t tick all the boxes yet, you can still become a successful content creator. Make a list of the skills you need to develop, then consider reading blogs, watching videos, or taking online courses to learn them.

How to Become a Content Creator, Step By Step

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Got your skills ready? Then you’re prepared to take a leap into becoming a content creator. Here’s how to jumpstart your career:

1. Pick a Topic and Audience

Before you dive headfirst into content creation, you need to decide what you’re creating and for whom you’re creating it. You need to align your content choices with your audience.

Choosing a niche and an audience go hand in hand. This way, you become known for being an expert in a certain area (think beauty, the outdoors, natural wellness, etc.) and will have an easier time building a following who is interested in that topic.

2. Choose Your Content Format

Once you know what to talk about, you’ll need to choose how to deliver your messages to your audience.

As we mentioned earlier, content comes in a range of formats — podcasts, videos, blogs, etc. Or you could boil your choices down to text, image, audio, and video.

Many content creators choose more than one format to help expand their reach. That’s fine, but first-time content creators may end up stretching themselves too thin. It’s best to choose one format at first, then grow into other formats as you become more established.

3. Select Your Channel(s)

Channel and format aren’t the same thing. Different channels support different content formats — for example, you can post videos to Facebook and YouTube, but you can’t do the same for written content.

Think about the channels available for your specific content format. From there, you can choose the best places to share your content to grow your audience and reach.

Use this quick reference chart to get the wheels turning:

Marketing channel chart for content formats

4. Establish Your Brand and Voice

A brand’s voice and content style help to make its content more memorable. It stands out from similar content and gives people a reason to follow you versus another content creator.

As you’re creating content, you’ll want to ensure it aligns with the voice and style you specify. Make a checklist or rubric of the things your content should contain, such as a tagline, tone of voice, or specific colors for visual content.

5. Start Creating Content

With your audience in mind, start coming up with content ideas that will help you attract followers and give people a reason to listen to you. Once you make content, you can publish it to your channels and promote it to get more eyes on it.

6. Track Your Content’s Impact

This is a commonly missed step when it comes to becoming a content creator, but it can ultimately help you grow faster — track how your content performs.

Content is only useful when people see and engage with it. Depending on the channel, you can track things like views, reach, engagement rate, and clicks. Engagement indicates people are responding to your content. A high reach but low engagement could indicate the right people aren’t seeing it, or your content may not have caught their interest.

See which marketing metrics your channel(s) can track so you can tweak and refine your content for next time.

7. Build Your Portfolio

As you create more content, be sure you save your best and highest-performing pieces in a portfolio. Your portfolio will help you land clients or brand partners to help you grow your revenue.

Whenever possible, keep a list of metrics for your high-performing content pieces. This can demonstrate your skills and build trust with clients that you can get them good results.

8. Monetize Your Content

Be sure to let your audience know you’re open to collaboration. This might be a “Work With Me” page on your website or blog, a tagline on Instagram or Facebook, or placement in an influencer database like the Meltwater Influencer Marketing Platform, for example. 

You’ll also want to market yourself as a content creator by reaching out to brands, applying to job boards, or networking with other content creators.

Success Tips for Becoming a Content Creator

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Pairing the above steps with these tips can help you become an expert content creator in no time. Here’s what we suggest.

Be a Content Consumer

There’s a saying that goes, “Good writers are good readers.” The more you read, the more you’ll learn about the mechanics of writing and can, therefore, become a better writer yourself. The same is true with content creation.

The more you consume content, the more types of content you’ll be exposed to. You can see how other digital creators approach content, regardless of whether it’s in your chosen format or even in your niche.

This is a great way to learn more about different content formats. Collect inspiration from other people’s digital content and apply your findings to your own content efforts.

Stay Up to Date in Your Niche

Things move quickly in the digital world. Staying updated on trends and topics related to your niche can help you create impactful content at timely moments.

To do this, you can:

  • Join relevant social media groups
  • Sign up for niche newsletters
  • Create Google Alerts for keywords or topics
  • Use digital trend detection tools like

The more you know about your niche, the better your content will resonate with your target audience.

Curate Content from Other Creators

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. When we’re talking about content marketing though, you can go fast and far when you share other people’s content.

It’s every content creator’s dream to have someone take an interest in what they’ve made. By sharing someone else’s content, you’ve silently encouraged them to follow you and return the favor.

Make Your Content Actionable

Great content can serve a variety of purposes: to inform, entertain, persuade, or inspire, for example. No matter the purpose of your content, make sure to leave your target audience with the next step: What should they do after consuming your content?

This might be a link to purchase whatever item you’re promoting. Or, it might simply be to follow your page to never miss a post. 

When you make your content actionable, you’re encouraging engagement naturally. Taking action can automatically make you more memorable to your audience and give them a reason to come back for more.

How Meltwater Influencer Marketing Can Help You Become a Digital Content Creator

Think you’re ready to turn your digital skills into cash? Meltwater can help you get in front of potential brand partners who are actively seeking content creators.

Our influencer database is the most comprehensive of its kind. We help brands connect directly with influencers to collaborate on digital content creation. Whether it’s conducting livestreams or making social media posts, Meltwater can give you a stepping stone to a lucrative career. Learn more about our influencer creator program and sign up as a creator today.