• Justin Patterson

Tips for becoming a Content Creator in 2021

The beauty of content creation is that all you need to start is a smartphone and an internet connection, however, it takes more than that to become successful. In this blog, we will take you through some tips to not only start content creation but how to excel at it as well.

Originally published on Medium here

2020 has taught us that life is unpredictable and that your plans can go up in the air in seconds. This can be a great lesson for all aspects of your life: live in the moment and don't plan too much out about your future. If you have wanted to run that marathon, start preparing now or if you have always wanted to get into content creation, start tomorrow!

Let’s talk about the 6 habits and strategies to get you started on the right path to becoming a high-quality content creator!

1. Focus on a Niche

The first thing to do is narrow down who exactly you want to appeal to. Trying to appeal to millions of people is not the route to go, especially when you are first starting. Instead, find those true fans that you really feel like you could connect with. In the wise words of author and entrepreneur, Tim Ferriss, “if you try to make something that everyone likes, no one will like it.”

By determining exactly what area of content you want to produce and from there, narrowing down your audience, you will be well-positioned to capture a loyal fanbase.

For example, maybe you decide to make content on productivity. Instead of targeting ‘everyone who wants to be more productive’ you could focus on helping students. This way any student knows your content is specifically designed for them.

2. Diversify Across Platforms

The list of platforms where you can post content is constantly growing. Today some of the most popular platforms are YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, Pinterest, Medium and most recently, TikTok. So which should you use? Well, the simple answer is any of them that make sense for your audience.

Leveraging multiple platforms means more opportunity for your content to be seen, more ways to engage with your audience, and potential to attract new audiences. It’s also smart to be spread across multiple platforms so you can be adaptable in the chance that one platform changes their algorithm or the government decides to ban one (almost had to say goodbye to TikTok).

The key here is choosing platforms that make sense for your audience. While a Pinterest page for a fashion blogger makes sense, it’s probably less relevant for a live stream gamer.

Typically creators have one main platform and use complimentary platforms to funnel viewers to their main content. For example, a creator who uses YouTube as their main platform may have Instagram, TikTok and write blogs on Medium with the intention of directing those viewers to their YouTube content. And if you aren’t already using TikTok check out this blog post about why everyone should pay attention to this app!

3. Build Momentum

If you’re just getting started, you probably don’t know exactly how much time and resources it will take to create your content, so try setting realistic goals. Setting a goal such as posting three videos a week is unrealistic and will likely result in stress and poor quality content.

The idea should be to set a conservative goal, such as one video every two weeks. This allows you to learn what it takes to create content, and understand what’s a realistic goal for you. Once you feel more confident in what you can achieve, you can set goals to post more often. And this is how you build momentum.

Remember, it’s always better to under promise and over achieve, than over promise and under achieve. If you tell your audience you’ll make three posts then only make one, chances are they’ll be disappointed. But if it was the other way around, they would be thrilled!

4. Be Authentic

Have you ever watched a video and you could just tell the person in the video was reading straight from a script? How did that make you feel as a viewer? Not connected to the video or the message? Well, that’s how most people feel when they sense something is inauthentic. It’s crucial that whenever you post a video, you are being the REAL you!

This doesn’t mean you should create content without any preparation. It simply means to let the real you shine through. not spend hours rehearsing each line you plan to say. Instead, focus your time on coming up with great ideas for content and interesting ways to present them to your viewers. You are the brand for your audience, so be you!

5. Engage with your Audience

It was mentioned briefly earlier in this post, but engaging with your audience should be a priority. Since the barrier to entry to become a content creator is so low, there are likely hundreds or thousands of other creators making similar content to you. This means that the type of content you make is not what sets you apart from other creators.

The main thing that can differentiate you from other creators, is YOU. How you engage with your audience and the sense of community you create is a big reason why a fan sticks with your content over others. Replying to comments, doing shoutouts, going live on Instagram, are all great strategies to build a community for your followers.

6. Monetization

Monetization is something all content creators strive for, because as much as people love posting content for the fun of it, getting paid to do so never hurts.

Most platforms have ways for creators to monetize their content, typically through advertisement revenue. Whatever platform you decide to use, search if or how they monetize creators. However, most creators will tell you that they can’t rely on the platform’s monetization to survive.

Creators will have multiple revenue streams such as brand deals, fan donations, selling products or services, and offering paid content. Check out this article to learn more about all these different revenue streams.

Before you can monetize your brand however, it will take a lot of up front leg work. Most platforms or sponsorship companies require creators to hit certain benchmarks, such as follower count and engagement rate before they can monetize.

So if you’re only interested in content creation for getting quick cash…it’s probably not the best option for you. But if you genuinely love creating content, by putting in the work and focusing on creating an engaged and loyal community, you can definitely find success!