We have seen content creators out there producing content that inspires, entertains, and informs us. They make it seem quite easy to do, but there’s actually a method to the madness when it comes to content creation. We got insight from five content creators on what it takes to become a successful content creator.
If you could close your eyes and throw something into a crowd (ideally something unlikely to cause a concussion), you are likely to hit a content creator. That’s how popular content creation as a career has become over the last decade. From YouTube to Instagram and TikTok, everyone wants to do more than just share pictures of their breakfast with their followers.
Content creators create most of the visual, audio, written, or video media that we consume online. They use various creative skills to generate engaging content tailored to their target audience. Content creators can work for themselves as entrepreneurs, freelance, or for companies.
However, content creators do way more than just create entertaining or educational content. Besides generating the content, there’s a lot more to the job:
Understanding the brands or companies they produce content for
Conducting search engine optimization (SEO)
Shooting and editing videos
Visual design and editing
Research on content ideas
Managing content calendars
Developing content strategies
As you can see, it is a full-time job and an important one.
More people are tapping into their interests and passions to create content that helps them build an audience on and off social media, and make money out of it. But, it is no easy feat; you’ll have to put in the hours, the effort, and most importantly be patient.
So how can you become a content creator and succeed at it? Well, here are a few tips from five experienced content creators to guide you on your content creation journey.
1. Janet Machuka - Social Media Brand and Campaign Strategist
Janet Machuka is a big name in the digital marketing space with several achievements under her belt such as being named one of the Top 25 Digital Marketing Women in Kenya. She has also been recognized as Kenya’s Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer and Top 34 Digital Marketing Experts to follow as per Social Pilot. Janet is also the Founder of the Africa Tweet Chat and ATC Digital Academy, which offers certified courses on digital marketing, digital branding, filming, social media marketing, and Google Analytics.
She shared her perspective on successful content creation.
Start with quality content
The first step on the road to success as a creator is creating high-quality content. This doesn't mean that you'll need to be an expert in everything — just make sure your work consistently meets the quality standards set by other creators in your space.
Know your audience
The second step to creating effective content is understanding your audience and what they want from you. This requires research — but not just any research: targeted research that helps you understand who they are and what they care about most. If you don't know where to start, try doing some basic keyword research on Google Trends or Moz (in the case of SEO). These tools will help you identify what people are searching for and the keywords related to your topic area and how often they use those terms when searching online.
Becoming a successful content creator often requires networking with other experts in your field. So look for opportunities to learn from others and hear their success and doom stories. You can do this by attending industry events, connecting with others on social media, and getting to know each and every one of them, communities are all over social media and this is where you might even get your first creation gig. Consider following thought leaders and creators who inspire and motivate you to continue improving your skills.
2. Georgie Ndirangu - A heavy hitter in the media and journalism industry
Georgie has worked for big names like Forbes Africa and BBC Africa, so you can be sure he knows more than a thing or two about developing content from a journalist’s perspective. He shared the three tips that worked for him in becoming a successful content creator:
Always think about what would an international content creator within the same industry do. Try not to limit your mind to borders, think with an international audience in mind.
Be human, it's fine to have polished products that only show highlights or the glossy side of life, but a little honesty and vulnerability will go a long way.
Consistency, and constantly pushing boundaries and trying new concepts.
3. Martha Aosa - Social Media Maven and Marketing/Communications Specialist
Martha is a Social Media Manager with vast experience working in the marketing and advertising space, which as we know thrives from effective content creation. She shared her perspective on what it takes to become a successful content creator.
Know your audience
It’s important to understand who your target audience is. These are the people that your content is aimed at. Go in-depth and understand their age, gender, interests, and the social media channels that they engage on. For younger generations, this is Gen Z, they prefer content in video format with the majority being active on TikTok and Instagram. Older generations tend to be more active on Facebook. Once you create a persona of your target audience it’s easier to curate content suited to them whether it's video, blog posts, or emails just to mention a few.
Create a content strategy
You have probably heard the saying that consistency is key. When it comes to content creation, consistency plays a key role in determining the success of your content. A content strategy will not only ensure you stay consistent but also save you time and guide you on what to create, when to create and how often to post. A great asset with this is being able to create content in batches which helps in advance planning giving you time to ensure quality content and prevent burnout.
Track your metrics
One of the most important yet underutilized aspects of content creation is tracking and understanding the performance of content. Metrics provide information on the impact of your content and how your audience interacts with you. Analyze your engagement. How many people comment? How many shares do you receive? How many clicks? How many inquiries and DMs do you get? While there exists a wide variety of metrics, figure out what is important for your brand or business to track. This will help you know how successful your content is and will also guide you through areas to improve.
4. Scofy (Aunty Social) - A Fashion, Lifestyle, and Travel Digital Content Creator
Sc0fy or Aunty Social (pun definitely intended) is one of my favorite content creators on social media and rightfully so. She produces amazing content primarily on Instagram centered around travel, lifestyle, and fashion. Scofy shared her insight on starting out in content creation and building your brand from scratch to become a successful content creator.
“I have been doing digital content creation for years both personally and professionally for my personal brand. I was in and out for some time because of a lack of consistency, being overwhelmed by my day job, and not really taking it as a serious platform in general. This was up until I got a long contract with a big brand and I had to sustain it.
Coming up with good content on a weekly basis never comes easy, all content creators can attest to that. The pressure of topping your previous content and keeping your audience engaged can drain you, your bank account, and your esteem. You actually need to take leave days from content creation; take some time to just do things for you, not the camera.
At this point, I think I am at a good place with my consistency and how I handle the pressure. The secret is to BE YOURSELF. By this, I mean creating content about you, who you are, what you know, and what you love. Don’t compare yourself with the one you think is doing better than you, matter of fact, they are doing better because they are being themselves. It is easier and more sustainable this way. If you start doing content for you and about you, you become more content with your work. It also takes half the pressure off because you love what you are putting out.
“The other practical thing I learned is, rather than setting time aside to create content, weave it in your day-to-day activities. That is the ultimate time you are yourself. To make this a full circle, engage your audience! This is not just replying to their comments, but also look at the content they are responding to most and give them more of that.”
5. Rama Oluoch a.k.a Ramzzy - Content Creator and Digital Marketer
Rama joined the advertising world in 2011 and has lots of experience on both the creative agency side and as a content creator. He shared his perspective on what it takes to become a successful content creator.
“Be true to yourself as a person so that you are comfortable in what you create because it leaves some room for consistency in how you can reinvent yourself should life happen.”
And one last tip, from us to you…
Offer value to your audience
It always helps to add value to the content you’re producing for your target audience. This means creating meaningful and relevant content that can be helpful to them. You can offer value in your content by:
Linking to external sources so they can learn more on certain topics
Telling a story to your audience if it applies to the subject matter of your content (think Abel Mutua)
Combine different types of content in one of your works or posts
Promoting audience engagement through social media polls or asking questions
Covering any kind of breaking news within and outside your industry
There you have it! Obviously, there’s more to it when it comes to successful content creation, but these tried and tested tips by actual content creators should give you more than enough to get started.