The phrase “content creator” is no longer a fad. We’ve seen too many success stories to know it’s not a trend, either — it’s simply how the world works now.
Businesses and brands depend on content creators to spread the word about their products, services, and causes. Plus, it is now a $13.4 billion industry.
So how do you break in?
This post explores the relevant skills you need to become a content creator in this digital world. We have divided them into hard and soft skills to help you figure out which ones you possess and which you need to work on developing further.
What is a Content Creator?
The definition of content creator is broad — it means many things to many people. However, it is safe to say that any blogger, YouTuber, Instagrammer, or any other online content producer is considered a content creator (regardless of whether their content is sponsored or not).
As long as the content is original, there is an audience for it, and the creator’s audience responds positively to it — they are considered creators.
In short, a content creator is an influencer and storyteller. They have an audience that follows them (or follows their content) because of their knowledge, expertise, or personal identity. Those who create the best content are those who connect with their audience on an emotional level and can deliver valuable experiences.
What Skills Do You Need to Become a Content Creator?
Hard skills let you do things such as write, code, design, or edit videos/images/graphics, etc. You can learn these skills through certifications, training, and on the job. Without them, you cannot become a content creator in this digital age. They include:
1. Content creation
Becoming a content creator means creating content for people to consume via any medium. There are different content types, from blog posts to eBooks, podcasts, videos, infographics, etc. Each content type is an alternative medium that content creators can use to express their ideas through digital means.
So, video content creators, for example, must know how to create engaging video content, edit and upload videos to the platform of their choice. To develop audio content for their audience, podcast creators must be eloquent and conversational.
Your content creation skill is what you bring to the table. Without it, you are not a content creator.
Your content should be informed by accurate information from credible sources. Understanding a topic will make your arguments more persuasive. Solid research skills will ensure you stand out because you will back up claims with facts and not rehash what others have said.
As a content creator, research also helps you understand your audience. The type of content you create depends on who your audience is. Perhaps they are looking for how-to guides, entertainment, education, or something else entirely! Research helps you understand what they want and what makes them tick.
3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO helps the content you create to be more discoverable. You can write the most brilliant blog post in the world, but it will not help if nobody finds it. And if nobody sees your content, are you really a content creator?
SEO is about getting your content on the web for Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines to rank for your targeted keywords in organic search results. It’s about strategically placing keywords in your content and optimizing the technical elements of websites or platforms to increase your chances of being found online.
You don’t need to become an SEO expert. However, to become a content creator that helps their clients achieve their bottom line, you must learn at least the basics of search engine optimization.
4. Social media management/ content promotion
To become a content creator, you don’t have to learn social media management or content promotion. However, it is an advantage if you have these skills under your belt.
Why? Because they will help you build an audience for your content faster by engaging with them on various social media platforms where your audience hangs out the most. They also help you create a buzz about your content and optimize organic search results as more people engage with it.
Promoting your content is not the same as advertising or spamming. It’s about getting your content in front of your target audience. You achieve this by cross-posting social media platforms and using relevant keywords to tell your audience where your content is.
5. Technical Skills
Today’s content creators need technical skills to succeed. Some tools are necessary for creating and promoting high-quality content.
For instance, a content management system like WordPress might be crucial for uploading your content. Moreover, you will need tools such as Google Analytics or other analytics tools to gain insights.
Many businesses now use personalization tools to provide visitors with personalized content. As a result, content creators need to learn how to work with these tools.
6. Content Strategy Skills
Content strategists don’t create the content themselves; rather, they help other business teams figure out what kind of content they need to create to meet their goals.
However, this skill is crucial if you want to be a successful content creator. It involves understanding your client’s business objectives and translating them into actionable steps for creating the right type of content for your client’s audience. As a content strategist, you must organize, multitask, analyze, and interpret data.
These days, content strategists are in demand, and their salaries are high because organizations realize the importance of effective content marketing strategies to engage their customers and prospects in meaningful ways.
With hard skills, you can become a content creator. But soft skills will take your career to the next level. Among the most critical soft skills are:
7. Ability to self-teach and learn fast
The content creation industry is moving fast. Trends come and go, how people interact with content changes, and technology evolves. Digital creators must be resourceful to stay relevant.
In addition, you will save money by not attending expensive training, seminars, or workshops.
There are distracting things around you, and it can be tempting. But to become a successful content creator, you must learn to ignore distractions and focus on your learning goals. You must develop your focus if you want to grasp things quickly.
How to become a successful content creator? Network! It is your most critical soft skill to make it in this industry. A client base and an audience are essential to make a living. To attract both, you must attend conferences, join a community of like-minded professionals and build relationships.
Another powerful skill you need to become a content creator is listening. As a content creator, the more you pay attention, the more informed you become. When you pay attention to your audience, you understand their needs better and create content that actively answers or engages them.
When you listen to your clients, you learn their needs and how you can satisfy them in a way that keeps them coming back.
10. Organization and time management
The ability to organize your time and work efficiently is another important soft skill that will bring success to you as a content creator. As a digital creator, you are likely to work from anywhere using different tools.
To make things simple, you should organize your tools and files well enough to know where to find them when you need them. Besides, you must also learn to manage your time and prioritize tasks. It will ensure the timely delivery of your projects.
11. Knowing when to take a breather
The content creation process is tedious and tiring. It requires a lot of brain power. The key is to know your body and recognize when you need a break.
Most freelancers burn out because they work themselves too much without recharging. Here are some common signs that you need a break:
- Reeling tired all the time
- Difficulty concentrating
- Having headaches
- irritability or mood swings, among others.
Depending on who you ask or what type of digital creator you aspire to be, the list of skills needed to become a content creator may vary. However, we have listed the most important ones we think every digital creator must have.
So, are you ready to become a successful digital creator? If YES, follow these tips, and you will be on your way to your dream career.