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A decade ago, who would have known that anyone could earn six figures from talking to the camera and making simple gestures in one-minute video clips? And from the comfort of their own home, too? Fast forward to 2023: Khaby Lame has built one of the most successful content creator careers by making comedic TikTok videos. And he isn’t the only one. Over 50 million people worldwide consider themselves creators, with many of them earning money by sharing unique content that educates and entertains their audiences.

So, maybe you just watched your favorite creator’s latest TikTok video and have asked yourself, “Can I do this too?” The answer is: Yes, you can.

You don’t necessarily need special skills or training to become a successful content creator. If you can consistently produce content, and share your ideas in a fun and engaging way, you will succeed and may even become many people’s favorite creator, too!

This article is your all-inclusive guide on how to become a content creator. There’s no magic here — just tried-and-true tips that will transform you from content newbie to pro creator.

Skip ahead:

What is a content creator?

A content creator is someone who creates content consistently. Think videos, photos, digital art, blog posts, ebooks, or even Twitter threads.

You don’t need any special qualifications to become a content creator or to start creating content. But you must commit to posting content regularly to build an audience, become an authority in your niche, and ultimately, earn money.

Related: Everything you need to know about the creator economy

What are the different types of content creators?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of becoming a creator educator, let’s look at some different types of content creators. In your journey to creating content, don’t try to put yourself into a box. Instead, play to your strengths and choose content formats and digital platforms that can help you reach the right audience.

  1. Influencer

During a press conference in 2021, Portuguese footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, removed two Coca-Cola bottles from his table, requesting water instead. That single move wiped $4 billion from Coca-Cola’s stock market value. Such is the power of an influencer!

An influencer is someone who has built some degree of credibility in their niche due to their unique talent or insight. They usually have a decent and devoted social media following — people who know, like, and trust their brand — and can sway their followers’ decisions. Companies that want to market their products or services to an influencer’s community engages them through partnerships and sponsorships.

Social media influencers are also platform-agnostic, meaning they create content across multiple channels simultaneously. Most social media influencers start with one platform and move to others once they get a solid footing.

Related: How to become a social media influencer and make money

  1. Blogger

If you have great research chops and decent writing skills, you can be a blogger or content writer. Bloggers write and publish articles, either on their own website, other blogs, or on third-party publishing platforms like Medium.

There are many ways to monetize blogging. If you publish content on your website, you can make money from paid ad placements. In other words, people pay to advertise their products and services on your website.

Companies and other creators in your niche can also pay you to write a blog post (or many!) for their own website. You can start a paid newsletter column on platforms like Substack.

Related: How to start a blog  

  1. Podcaster

Out with radio shows; in with podcasts. As a podcaster, you get to share your thoughts and opinions on trending topics — red carpet style at the Grammys, pop culture news, or less-glamorous issues like economic downturns and recessions — with your audience via the spoken word.

You don’t need any radio hosting experience to run a podcast. In fact, most of the time, listeners aren’t looking for that. Podcast audiences usually want you to share your knowledge and experience from an interesting and authentic point of view.  In other words, they want to know what you think.

It doesn’t cost much to set up a podcast. You can record and edit podcast episodes on your smartphone with apps like Riverside and Descript. Once it’s all set, you can publish the podcast on Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, and other audio hosting sites.

As your podcast gains traction, you can start earning from paid promotions and sponsorships.

  1. Vlogger

Chances are you’ve come across “get ready with me” or “a day in my life” videos on YouTube These are great examples of vlogs.

A vlogger — or video blogger — creates videos and shares them on platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok. Most of these videos are about the creator’s personal experiences, like their travels, their new purchases, or their career journeys.

Vlogging certainly requires some work, but it’s something you can pull off with a little bit of effort. First, you need to learn how to record great videos. Your audience doesn’t expect cinema-quality vlogs, but your videos must check three boxes:

  • Good lighting
  • Clear audio
  • Good camera angles

After recording your video content, it’s time to edit it so it’s ready for your audience’s viewing pleasure. Add background music, insert a cover image, remove unnecessary clips, and add a watermark if you like. You might also need to make adjustments based on the content guidelines and specifications of your vlogging platform.

When it’s all set, upload your vlog and share the link with your audience to drive traffic to the vlog.

Related: How to create a YouTube video

  1. Photographers and Videographers

Photos and videos are the currency of social media, so there are a ton of opportunities for anyone skilled in these areas.

As a photographer or videographer, you can make money by sharing your work on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube. Once you have a decent amount of followers and a good engagement rate, you can snag cool brand deals, or even earn cash through a social media platform’s creator program.

If you’re not a fan of personal branding or being a social media influencer, you can help other creators publish professional content on their pages for a fee. Or you might go the freelance content creator route and sell these visual assets to stock image and licensing platforms.

  1. Creator educator

Have you ever tried to learn a skill — knitting, playing the piano, investing, cooking — through social media? If you have, then you’ve engaged with a creator educator — or several!

A creator educator is someone who combines teaching and creative skills to educate others, often in areas related to digital content creation, technology, art, or various creative fields. They use platforms like YouTube, online courses, or workshops to share their knowledge and skills with a community of learners. 

Just like other types of content creators, creator educators usually focus on a single niche and rely on their personal experience in that niche to educate and entertain their audience.

A great example of a creator educator is Lindsay Adler

On her YouTube channel, Adler shares photography tips and tricks, teaching her audience how to improve their lighting, achieve accurate colors, and pose well, among other things. She also critiques popular photos and shares her process for doing photoshoots.

7 Steps to become a successful content creator

After you’ve determined what type of creator you’d like to become, it’s time to get to work. Here are seven steps that will help you get started as a content creator.

Step 1: Figure out your creator personality

Figuring out your creator personality is the most important thing you’ll do as you’re starting out. This step will provide clarity for the subsequent decisions you’ll make and the steps you’ll take in your creator journey — from the audience you’ll target, to the type of content you create and even the platform you choose.

Generally, there are two types of creator personalities to choose from: creator educator and creator entertainer.

In a nutshell, creator educators teach while creator entertainers delight and amuse. You can probably split your favorite creators into these two categories. For example, Miss Excel and Erika Kullberg are creator educators. On the other hand, TonyTalks and Brian Moller are creator entertainers.

All of these creators are successful in their own right, which tells you one thing: no category is better than the other. Your focus, therefore, should be choosing the creator personality that aligns with your values and allows you to express yourself freely.

Let your “why” guide you. Think deeply about why you want to be a creator. What’s the one thing you want to achieve and be known for? If your goal is to make people happy and help them cope with stress, entertainment is the way to go. And if you want to share knowledge and help improve your followers’ lives, you might be an educator at heart.

Related: Why creator educators are making bank

Step 2: Choose a niche

What would you say if someone asked you to describe Marques Brownlee in two words? Probably “tech creator.”

Brownlee has built a solid brand by sharing video reviews of different tech gadgets, from iPhones and MacBooks to video games and cameras. In other words, he has found his niche, and his creator career is better for it.

As a first-time creator, it’s tempting to post random content spontaneously, but this is a one-way ticket to slow progress and burnout. So, you need to find your niche: a topic or area you’re genuinely passionate about.

Your niche can be anything, from tech to fitness and even astrology. The more specific it is, the more likely your content will stand out and capture your audience’s attention. There’s a huge difference between a generic finance creator and a finance creator who shares simple, money-saving tips for millennials and Gen Z.

Also, feel free to explore beyond the conventional topics. You’d be surprised by just how many people share your interests. Like, who knew that learning about Microsoft Excel could be fun until Miss Excel came along?

Once you’ve nailed your niche, brainstorming content ideas, gaining traction from your target audience, and creating content consistently all become a breeze.

Related: How to find your niche in four simple steps 

Step 3: Develop your style and personal brand

Your style is what makes your content unique. Think of it as your trademark. Your style could include the particular background music you use, the way you edit images, or the tagline you use to sign off your blog posts. All these elements of style come together to create your personal brand.

Once you’ve nailed a style and have fine-tuned your personal brand, you’ll be sure to stand out in a sea of content creators. Many successful content creators prove this point. For example, Khaby Lame quickly became an A-list TikToker thanks to his unique style of humorous silent videos.

The hack for finding your style? Be yourself! Other creators’ styles can inspire you, but don’t copy them blatantly. Find something that truly resonates with your personality and let it shine through in your content.

And, remember, style can be anything. Don’t force humor or sarcasm if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Do what you’re comfortable with and you’ll find your audience quickly.

Step 4: Choose a platform

Your platform is the primary place where you’ll publish your content. It’s also where you’ll connect with your target audience and, hopefully, start building a community. From Instagram to TikTok to YouTube, there are many different platforms to choose from.

When wading through the options, two things should guide your choice of platform: target audience and content format.

Target audience

Publish content where your target audience hangs out. This is the fastest and easiest way to get your brand in front of them.

For example, if you’re targeting Gen Z, then YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are the best platforms because these are the places they hang out most. If millennials are your specific audience, then Facebook is one of the best places to reach them.

Content format

Make sure that you choose a platform that supports your preferred content format. If you’re creating long-form video content, then YouTube should be your platform of choice. On the other hand, if you’re a photographer, then a visual content platform like Instagram is likely the best place to showcase your work.

Step 5: Develop a content calendar

Most new content creators struggle with consistency. At first, beginners are super excited to create content and publish it. After a few days, however, that excitement can dwindle and they might stop showing up altogether. In this case, a lack of passion isn’t necessarily the issue. Rather, these newbies may have failed to hatch a consistency plan: a schedule for creating and publishing content regularly.

A content calendar helps you plan your content creation and publishing cadence so you keep putting out content — even when you’re not motivated to do so. This way, you build trust with your community.

Creating a content calendar is easy. You only have to account for three things:

  • Content creation days
  • Content publishing days
  • Content formats

Here’s a simple content calendar for a YouTube content creator who puts out a new video every week.


  • Shoot a new video (15 minutes long).


  • Edit video.


  • Post video snippets on Instagram and ask followers to subscribe to their YouTube channel.


  1. Post video on YouTube.
  2. Share a 1-minute clip on TikTok.


  • Promote the video on Twitter.

Make sure your plan is realistic so you can consistently produce quality content and grow as a creator. As time passes, you will update your calendar based on content performance and feedback from your audience.

Step 6: Get the right content creation tools

Creating quality content is easy when you have the right tools. Say you’re a video creator. You’ll need a good camera, great lighting, and a decent background to create eye-catching video content.

On the other hand, if you’re a blogger, you’ll want to invest in search engine optimization tools like Semrush to improve the chances of your web content ranking high on Google to drive organic traffic to your website.

We suggest you don’t spend too much money on creation tools in your early days as a content creator. Look for affordable tools that help you create decent content first. Use your smartphone to shoot videos instead of buying a professional-level camera. Publish written content on free sites like Susbtack and Medium instead of paying for web hosting. In other words, start small.

As your content creator career flourishes, you can invest in better tools and create content of higher quality. But don’t ever let a lack of tools keep you from sharing your work!

Step 7: Track performance metrics

Tracking content performance lets you know what’s working and what needs improvement — after all, you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

Tracking also reveals important information about your audience’s behavior, like which times they are online and the types of content they like. Using this information, you’ll be able to refine your content creation and publishing processes most effectively.

So what metrics should you track? It depends on the social platforms you’re using. If you’re an Instagram content creator, you should be looking at metrics like shares, follower growth, and impressions. If you’re a TikTok creator, you can track your weekly views, monthly follower growth rate, and total views over a specific period.

You will thrive as a content creator if you base your decisions on hard data.

Building the Necessary Skills

To become a successful content creator, there are some skills you’ll need to have. These skills will help you create engaging, entertaining, and informative content that will attract your target audience and help you earn a living.

  1. Writing and storytelling 

Writing and storytelling are at the foundation of content creation. 

Whether you’re running a blog, creating videos, or posting on Instagram, you’ll need to know how to convey a message or information in a way that resonates with your audience emotionally and causes them to take your desired action. This includes writing blog posts, creating video scripts for YouTube, and brainstorming appropriate Instagram captions. 

You’ll also need to know how to develop a clear storyline, how to segue between points, craft relatable characters, and build excitement (or tension) for a compelling narrative — all of which are elements of storytelling. 

Here are some resources you can use to hone your writing and storytelling skills: 

  1. Video editing

If you choose to create videos on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, you’ll need to know how to edit your videos. 

Video editing is more than just slowing down or fast-tracking your videos; it involves other elements like: 

  • Footage selection
  • Cutting and trimming
  • Arrangement and sequencing
  • Adding transitions
  • Color corrections and grading
  • Adding text and graphic overlays
  • Audio editing
  • Special effects, including VFX, filters, and presets
  • Rendering and exporting, etc. 

The video editing skills you need to learn depend greatly on the kinds of videos you plan to put out. But you can master these skills by learning how to use video editing software like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro. 

Here are some resources for learning video editing: 

  1. Photography 

If you choose to blog or use visual-heavy platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you’ll need to know how to capture high-quality images that complement your content and make a positive first impression on people who are just discovering you. 

Great photographs are also important for telling a compelling story, connecting with your audience, solidifying your brand identity, demonstrating your professionalism and versatility, getting collaborations and sponsorships, and promoting products. 

Depending on your niche, you can either use a smartphone (with a good camera) or a professional-grade camera. Whatever tool you use, you’ll need to learn composition, lighting, basic camera settings, angles, perspectives, and more. 

Here are a few resources for learning photography: 

You can also learn photography from creator educators like Lindsay Adler and David Suh.

  1. Graphic design

If you’ve ever had to design a YouTube thumbnail or marketing visuals, you likely understand why graphic design is on this list. Beyond taking great photos, you may also need to convey complex ideas or information in a visually appealing and easily understandable way. This can be applied to different kinds of content, including illustrations, cartoons, infographics, charts, etc. 

Graphic design allows you to create engaging and shareable visuals that are consistent with your brand identity, add context and depth to your content, and give your feed a professional and polished look. 

Like photography, the content you plan to create determines whether you’ll use a (somewhat) simple tool like Canva for your designs or need more advanced tools like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. 

Check out these graphic design resources: 

  1. Search engine optimization

The purpose of learning search engine optimization (SEO) is to help your content rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), increasing its visibility to a broader audience. 

Understanding SEO allows you to create content that is more discoverable by users actively searching for information in your niche. These users represent organic (non-paid) traffic, which helps you grow your audience and follower base without having to spend too much money. 

While SEO is mostly used by bloggers to optimize their articles, social media content creators can also incorporate keywords into their channel names, usernames, URLs, video/post titles, video descriptions, and hashtags to boost their SERP rankings. 

For example, if you search “knitting youtube” on Google, here’s what you’ll get: 

On the first page, over 10 YouTube channels popped up for that keyword. Notice how the channel names have keywords like “Knits”, “Stitch” and “Crafts”. The video titles themselves all have the keyword “beginners”, which signifies that the content is for knitting newbies.

Here are some resources to learn SEO: 

  1. Networking

Networking is primarily about building and maintaining relationships within your industry or niche. This skill allows you to collaborate with other content creators, brands, and individuals in your niche — which can broaden your audience and open up new job opportunities. 

Networking also allows you to build a community, cross-promote with other creators, exchange ideas, share experiences, and gain insights from others in your field. 

Content creation can be a solitary endeavor, and networking allows you to create a strong support system that’ll help you navigate any challenges you may run into on your journey. 

If you want to learn how to network properly, check out these resources: 

Building your brand

Let’s do a quick exercise: 

Shut your eyes for a moment and think of five content creators that you know. Done? Okay. 

Why do those particular creators you thought of come to mind (out of the millions of people who create content online)? Well, you may say that it’s because you consume their content often. 

But why do you watch their content specifically (out of all the other people who create content in the same niche)? 

The answer: Personal branding. 

Personal branding is the process of creating a unique and consistent image or identity for oneself. Think of Jojo Siwa and her iconic bow. Or Tim Ferris and his unconventional approach to success. Or Steven Bartlett and his diverse, but deeply knowledgeable, podcast guests. 

With personal branding, you define and promote your skills, values, and personality to distinguish yourself from others in your field. This brand is what entices people to engage with your content and come back for more. 

To build your brand, here are some steps to take: 

  1. Be authentic

People on the internet are surprisingly good at telling when someone is being fake — and fakeness is the ultimate turnoff. To get people to vibe with your content, stay true to yourself and your values. Share genuine stories about your background and experiences that reflect who you are at your core. 

In the early days of her YouTube career, creator Lilly Singh grew her audience by making funny skits about her Indian parents and how they typically handled everyday issues. She capitalized on her experiences and people could see how authentic she was. That’s how she gained over 14 million subscribers.

You might think that your story is unconventional and there’s a good chance people won’t be able to relate to you. That’s valid, but remember that there are nearly 5 billion social media users. You’ll definitely find people who’ll connect with and appreciate your content.  

  1. Establish a consistent posting schedule 

Think back to those content creators you identified a few minutes ago. They likely came to mind because you consume their content often. The reason you’re able to do that is because they put out new content consistently. 

As a content creator, one of your goals should be to cement yourself in the minds of your audience. If you don’t post content consistently, other creators in your niche who do will take your place. To prevent this, identify key themes or topics that align with your brand and resonate with your audience. Then consistently create content around these themes to reinforce your brand messaging. 

We know that creating and posting content all the time is hard work — which is why you should try batching your content. This involves creating multiple pieces of content at a go, and then publishing them over time. For example, you could record 10 TikTok videos on a Saturday and spread them out to be posted throughout the week. This way, you don’t have to spend hours every day creating and editing brand-new content.

You should also use a content calendar to specify the days you’ll post each piece of content. This ensures that your content production is organized and follows the right pattern.

  1. Create a cohesive brand aesthetic

Building a memorable and recognizable brand is as much about your look as it is about your content. You want people to recognize your brand everywhere they see it — and that’s why you should work on creating a cohesive brand aesthetic. 

Use consistent visuals across all your online platforms, including your logo, color scheme, and graphics. If you create visual content, make sure that your photos, videos, and illustrations all have similar styles across your platforms. This way, people don’t have to work too hard to recognize your content wherever they see it.  

  1. Unified tone of voice 

Just like your brand aesthetic, you also need to unify your content’s tone of voice across all the platforms you use. This includes the language, style, and manner in which you communicate, whether through writing or speaking. 

So if you’re going for an approachable and kind tone of voice, do that for all your platforms. And if you’re opting for playful and funny, let all the content you put out reflect that. 

For example, Ali Abdaal, a doctor-turned-entrepreneur (and productivity expert) has an eponymous YouTube channel with nearly 5 million followers. Across all 771 business- and productivity-based videos (at the time of writing), Abdaal’s tone of voice is clear, conversational, educational, authentic, and professional. 

On the flip side, Taylor Tomlinson, who puts out short comedy videos has a tone of voice that is relatable and confident. She employs wit, observational and self-deprecating humor, and a dry, sardonic delivery that resonates with her audience. 

  1. Host virtual events

The main goal of social media is to bring people together, and help them form productive and supportive communities. That’s why hosting virtual events is a great way to build your brand. Your virtual events can be something as simple as doing an Instagram Live to something as complex as organizing a webinar (which is a great way to build your audience as a creator educator).

These events facilitate direct interaction between you and your audience. This way, you can chat with them, answer their questions, promote your products/services (if you have any), and foster a sense of community. 

Growing your audience

Once you start creating content, one of your major goals will be to grow your audience and build a loyal following. There are many strategies you can employ to achieve that. Here are some of them: 

  1. Define your objectives  

What do you want to achieve as a content creator?  Do you want to increase brand awareness? Or do you want to drive traffic to a website you own? Or maybe you have a product you want people to buy? How will you measure your success and track your progress? 

These are questions you need to have answers to before creating content at all. Clearly defining your objectives will help you focus your efforts and align your actions with your overall marketing plan. 

  1. Know your audience 

If you want people to follow you and keep up with your content, you’ll need to know them in and out. Here’s what to focus on as you research your target audience: 

  • Demographics. This includes their age, gender, nationality, income level, education, occupation, geographic location, etc.  
  • Psychographics. This includes their goals, desires, values, interests, preferences, and lifestyle choices. 
  • Behaviors. This includes the types of content they consume, the products they buy, the social media apps they hang out on often, the websites they visit most, etc.  

Knowing this information helps you tailor your content to meet the needs and expectations of your audience. When you achieve this, they’ll come back for more. 

  1. Engage with your audience 

My favorite content creators are those who go into the comment section of their posts and engage with their audience. Social media is not a one-way street; if you want people to keep engaging with your content, you’ll need to have rapport with them. 

Ask questions and encourage discussions to create a two-way conversation. Like and reply to their comments, shout them out in your content, and repost their content (if it aligns with your brand). If applicable, run contests, polls, surveys, and giveaways to boost engagement and grow your followers. 

  1. Create valuable content

Your branding might attract people to your blog and/or social media profiles, but it’s the quality of your content that will determine if they keep coming back or not. To ensure that people keep consuming your content, you’ll need to create content that they want to see. 

If you’re just starting out, you can experiment with your content themes and see what clicks with your audience over time. But if you’ve been putting out content for a while, examine your analytics to see which types of videos your audience watches the most and the topics they often engage with. This will help you align your content with your audience’s interests and preferences. 

  1. Collaborate with other creators 

One of the fastest ways to grow your audience is to collaborate with other creators or influencers in your niche who have a bigger audience than you. This allows you to tap into their audience and improve your brand’s visibility. 

There are many ways you can collaborate with other creators, including: 

  • Creating videos, podcast episodes, or interviews together;
  • Plan and execute a series of content that you and them contribute to;
  • Make guest appearances on each other’s YouTube channels, blogs, podcasts, or social media accounts;
  • Give each other shoutouts on social media platforms to introduce your audiences to the other creator’s content;
  • Run joint giveaways where participants have to follow both creators, helping to increase both of your follower counts;
  • Create panels or roundtable discussions featuring multiple creators discussing a specific topic or industry-related trends;
  • Design and release joint merchandise or products (an eBook, course, event, etc.) that reflect both creators’ brands;
  • Create online challenges together and encourage your audiences to participate;
  • Host live streams together on platforms like Instagram, Twitch, and YouTube;
  • Conduct joint educational sessions, workshops, or webinars, combining your expertise to deliver valuable content.

Pro tip: Before reaching out to other creators for collaboration, research and understand their content, audience, and collaboration preferences. This will help you figure out viable ways you can work together to serve your shared interests and goals.

Monetizing your content

At the start of your content creation journey, you likely won’t earn much (or anything, really). But as you keep putting out content and building your followers, you’ll need to find a way to monetize your content so you can earn a living. Fortunately, there are many ways to do that. 

  1. Ads

Many social media platforms offer ad programs (e.g. Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, YouTube Ads, etc.) that put relevant display ads at strategic points within your content. The longer people watch the ads, the more money you’ll earn. 

While ads are arguably the most common monetization method, they’re not the most profitable. There are strict rules about who can monetize ads and lofty conditions for qualifying to have display ads in your content. For example, to be eligible for YouTube’s Partner Program, you’ll need to: 

  • Get a minimum of 1,000 followers with 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months; or
  • Get 1,000 followers with 10 million valid public Shorts views in the last 90 days.

These are steep requirements, but if you clear them, you can link your YouTube channel to your Google Adsense account, and submit your videos for monetization consideration.

  1. Affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing, you can generate an income by selling other people’s products. 

Here’s how it works: You find a product you think your audience will like and check if the company has an affiliate program. If it does, you apply for it and the company will give you an affiliate link. Then, you create content about this product and direct people to the affiliate link. When they purchase the product through your link, you earn a commission.

The amount of income you earn with this monetization method depends largely on your niche and the kinds of products you choose to promote. If you create content around crocheting, you can’t promote dog food or powerful home cleaners, because that’s not what your audience expects from you. Instead, you can promote things like yarn and crocheting pins, which are pretty cheap. Standard affiliate rates range from between 5 to 25 percent, so you’ll need to sell thousands of yarn and pins to earn a liveable income.

However, if your niche is finance-related, you can easily promote an online course worth $3,500 to your audience, with a 10 to 20 percent commission. With this approach, you don’t need to sell as many units to make good money. 

Pro tip: If you’re just starting with affiliate marketing, you can sign up for Amazon affiliate program as an Amazon associate. This way, you’ll have access to thousands of products across several niches to promote. If you’re marketing a product via an affiliate link, be transparent with your audience about it.

  1. Sponsored posts 

When you’ve been creating content for a while and have built a solid following, creating sponsored content is one of the best ways to earn revenue. Sponsorships can help you net anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $1,000,000 per post — if you have a Selena Gomez-level following. 

As the name implies, a sponsored post is when someone — usually a brand — pays you to promote their product on your account(s). The brand usually determines the structure of the post and might even give you the exact wording to use in your copy, but you decide whether or not you want to promote the product. 

If you have a large following (usually 100,000 or more), you can become a brand ambassador. So instead of creating a once-off sponsored post, you’ll be promoting the brand for an extended period, specified in the contract. The key to succeeding with sponsored posts and brand ambassadorship is to promote the product in a way that provides value to your audience without feeling too salesy. 

Pro tip: A good rule of thumb is to promote a product you love and will genuinely recommend to your audience. If you only promote products because of the money, people will see through it and you’ll lose your audience.

  1. Online courses and workshops

With the advancement of technology, people know now that they can learn just about anything via online courses. So if you’re a creator educator who creates educational content around a niche or a skill, you can earn good money by creating and selling online courses and/or workshops. 

But you shouldn’t create just any course; instead, create a course that fulfills a need. To do that, find out the topics your audience frequently asks you about (or what they need help with). That’s what your course(s) should be about. Not only does this help you offer value to your audience, but you’ll also be able to build a community to support course members on their journey. 

If you’re looking for a platform to deliver your online course, look no further than Thinkific. This platform allows you to package and present your expertise to your audience via comprehensive and tailored online courses, build vibrant communities, and monetize memberships (we’ll discuss this soon). 

Thinkific doesn’t just allow you to create courses though; it also has robust marketing features that allow you to automate leads, create custom coupons, create promotional bundles, and convert leads, among other things. There’s also a powerful analytics tool to help you gain a deeper understanding of your students’ actions, so you can refine your content and optimize the user experience.

  1. Merchandise

Many creator entertainers monetize their content by designing and selling merchandise, such as branded apparel, accessories, or even digital products. For example, Markiplier, a creator entertainer with about 36 million YouTube subscribers created his own clothing line, Cloak Brand, which has sweatshirts, joggers, shorts, jackets, and accessories.

The great thing about merch is that you call the shots. Unlike ads and sponsored posts — which are contingent on the platform and the brand — the success of your merch depends on how much your target audience loves it and the efficacy of your marketing strategy. 

Pro tip: Use print-on-demand services like Printful and Printify to create and fulfill merchandise orders without managing inventory. 

  1. Offer services

If you have expertise in a specific field, you can offer freelance services or consultations. This is a great way to monetize your content because, instead of earning an income from your followers or other people’s brands, you’re earning it by yourself. 

For example, if you teach people how to pivot from other careers into tech, you can sell a mix of coaching, pre-made courses, and community membership. You can charge a premium for your work and use your online presence to network and attract clients. 

Here are some examples of services you can offer: 

  • Ad creation
  • App development 
  • Coaching 
  • Consulting
  • Content writing
  • Digital marketing strategy
  • Graphic design
  • Search engine optimization
  • Web design, etc. 

If you have a service-based business and you build a strong online following, there’s no limit to how much money you can make.

  1. Memberships and subscriptions

A more recent monetization strategy creators employ is to create exclusive content that their audience has to pay to access. This exclusive content can be anything from longer videos to behind-the-scenes access to subscriber perks. 

Offering memberships and subscription-based content can be effective if you have a track record of creating relevant and engaging content that your audience loves to watch. If that’s the case, you can use platforms like Patreon and Thinkific to build out your paid memberships. This allows you to go the extra mile in your content creation journey with the assurance that you’ll be paid for the time you spend.   


How much money can content creators make?

Kylie Jenner reportedly makes $1,835,000 on average per sponsored post. Yeah sure, she’s a mega-famous celebrity, but here’s another piece of data: YouTube star MrBeast made a whopping $54 million in 2021.

Now, you may say that these are creator entertainers whose content often attracts a wide range of people. And you’d be right. Creator entertainers are known to make a lot of money from their content, so let’s look at some data into what other types of creators make: 

  • In 2022, the average YouTuber in the U.S. earned $4,616 per month — that’s about $55,000 per year. Not bad!
  • Zip Recruiter places the average salary of a U.S. content creator (one who works for a company) at $50,510 a year.
  • A Hype Auditor survey found that Instagram micro-influencers (less than 10,000 followers) earn $2,970 monthly.
  • Big Instagram influencers (with over 1 million followers) earn $15,356 per month.
  • TikTok influencers with up to 100,000 followers earn an average of $793 per post.
  • Twitter influencers who have less than 5,000 followers charge $56 per post. While those with more than 25,000 followers earn an average of $126 per post.
  • The money creator educators make varies based on the value they provide. For instance, entrepreneur and financial coach, Ellie Diop, turned her $1,200 stimulus check into a 7-figure business in less than a year through a mix of business coaching, online courses, and speaking engagements. Read her story here

Not every content creator will earn millions of dollars — and that’s okay. But, one thing’s for sure: you can make a decent amount of money from content creation, and the numbers above prove it.

Try content creation as a side hustle first

Being a creator is a rewarding experience. You get the chance to build a community that trusts you. You can experiment with content creation, and create content in different formats and on multiple platforms. And you can work with brands you like and on projects you enjoy. That’s a lot of fun and freedom!

While being a full-time content creator has a plethora of upsides, it isn’t all roses and sunshine. As a creator, you could face dry spells, tough clients and online trolls, and creative blocks at different times. You must prepare for these challenges, and the best way to do that is to try content creation as a side hustle first before fully diving in.

Think of this phase as a paid internship where you get to learn the ropes while having the safety net of a regular job. Once you’ve found your rhythm as a moonlighting creator, you can quit your day job and go all in!

So, now that you’ve learned how to become a content creator, all you need to do is begin. Why not do it with The Leap?

This blog was originally published in April 2023, it’s since been updated in January 2024 to include the most relevant information.