What is a content creator exactly?
This sounds like a trivial question. But it isn’t.
With CMI revealing that a whopping 91% of B2B brands use content marketing to fuel their content marketing strategy, the need for superb content couldn’t be greater. Content strategy can make or break a business.
Many business owners don’t understand the basics of successful content creation. So, they write lousy content or hire crap content creators because they don’t know what’s involved or required.
Their content doesn’t convert. It’s nothing but mere words with no marketing powers or the ability to move prospects to the next stage of the customer journey.
Having a good content creator in your corner will give your content marketing the oomph to reach the next level.
In this post, I’ll define a content creator, describe content creation duties, and give you tips on how to become a superb one. Whether you want to understand the content creation process or become a content creator, this guide will be super helpful.
Let’s dig in.
What Is A Digital Content Creator?
A content creator is someone who makes a piece of content (text, audio, or video) that engages, educates, and delights the target audience while advancing business goals.
This content is published in print or digital media.
To succeed online, you must create engaging content that delights your target audience.
4 Types Of Content Creators
Here are the 4 main types of content creators:
1. Video Content Creator
Video content is all the rage right now and it’s not slowing down any time soon. Studies show 85% of U.S. internet users watch online video content. Social video-based platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram gobble up millions of videos made by video content creators every day.
2. Social Media Content Creator
People spend up to 2 hours 40 minutes on social media platforms on any given day. Social media content engages, delights, and educates them. Who comes up with all that content? Well, you guessed it-social media content creators. All social media posts you see on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube channel or Snapchat was made by pro content creators.
3. Infographics Content Creator
Not everyone fancies written content. Did you know that 65% of people are visual learners? Yep, the majority of people learn through their eyes. It’s no surprise then that infographic content is popular. Expert content creators masterfully fuse images, charts, data, and a bit of text to come up with infographics. Infographics drive a lot of organic traffic and shares.
4. Digital Content Creator
Finally, there’s the digital text content creator. A blog post is the most common type of content online users consume. Business blogs drive companies’ social media strategy. Statistics reveal 5+ million blog posts are published per day. Somebody has to write all those posts, right? Companies hire in-house staff or freelance bloggers to produce digital content for them.
The type of online content you choose depends on your goals and specific audience needs.
How Much Does A Content Creator Make?
According to a Glassdoor survey, content creators in the United States earn shy of $50k per year or $4k+ per month.
Salaries go up to $73k per year.
In high-paying niches like finance, cryptocurrency, technology, marketing, SaaS, and health freelance content creators earn way more than that. This is because they have an in-demand skillset and produce valuable content that meets preset key performance indicators.
These pro content writers earn north of $100k per year.
Because of these splendid earnings, content creator jobs have exploded on freelancer platforms like Upwork, Guru, PeoplePerHour, and more.
3 Benefits Of Content In Digital Marketing Or Why Become A Content Creator
High-quality content is the currency of online marketing.
Without remarkable content, everything grinds to a halt. Here are four benefits that await businesses that produce remarkable content consistently.
1. Brand Affinity
To do business with your target customers, you must first establish an emotional connection with them. That’s what brand affinity is all about. Magnificent content sparks and strengthens your relationship with customers so they become loyal to your brand.
Dollar Shave is an excellent example of a brand that knows how to delight and connect with its audience through humor.
2. Authority Building
When you impress your audience with stellar content, they trust you more.
They see you as an expert and hang on to every word you say. Naturally, when it’s time for them to do business in line with the products/services you sell, they’ll think of you first. So powerful is being an authority in swaying buyer decisions that influencer marketing year over year growth will reach $9,7 billion by the end of 2020.
3. SEO Benefits
Content has many SEO benefits.
First, it makes your brand visible in search engines. This boosts brand awareness because more people will discover you and what you do. Also, when search engine algorithms deem your content as engaging, relevant, and authoritative, your Domain Authority (DA) will improve. With a higher DA, you can rank for competitive keywords and drive warm qualified traffic to your site.
That said, let’s now drill down into a digital writer’s job description.
What Does A Content Creator Do? 9 Tasks Pro Writers Do Everyday
A writer just writes, right?
She does more than that—way more.
Here are the top nine tasks successful content creators do.
1. Keyword Research
Superior, SEO-optimized content that ranks well in SERPs needs a firm foundation.
That bedrock is keyword research.
Before writing a single word, a writer must choose right keyword to target otherwise, the post won’t produce results.
Writers use their favorite SEO tool to sift through thousands of keywords to uncover the most appropriate one. One that has low competition but with decent traffic potential. Enough to make writing the post a worthwhile business investment.
2. Competitor Research
Today’s content landscape is fiercely competitive. For a piece of content to win and gain visibility online, it takes a herculean effort. Creating content involves reading all competing posts ranking on the first page.
To determine the strengths and weaknesses of the rival posts.
From studying these posts, writers with a trained eye can pick the user intent and spot gaps to fill.Expert content writers with a trained eye can pick the user intent and spot content gaps by looking at posts ranking on the front page for a particular keyword.Click To Tweet
They’ll know what to include or exclude in their piece for it to be competitive.
3. Research On The Topic
Besides researching competitors, top-notch writers also dig up other materials on the topic.
Gone are the days when ranking for content only took whipping up a 500-word keyword-stuffed mirage content. Today you must go deeper, further, and be better than anyone else out there.
That means deep research.
The research material includes:
Scouring all these sources gives the content creation process a rich backdrop to draw from. Non-researched copy is thin and rehashed.
4. Search For Images
Great content has visual appeal.
It’s a content creator’s job to hunt for relevant images to support his points. These images are often the difference between a mediocre piece and an exceptional one. These images include:
- Graphs and charts
- Stock images
- Quote cards
- Featured image
Depending on how a content team is set up, a different staff member not the writer may do image sourcing duties.
5. Supportive Data
The internet has given people a platform to air their views.
Everybody has an opinion.
That’s good news—and bad. Good, because we get to hear from many emerging voices instead of depending on established ones. But there’s a problem. Because the info is unfiltered, there’s a lot of trash floating out there.
Business content is more than giving an opinion. It demands the backing of data from reputable sources. Only then will it carry weight. People will take it seriously.
6. Case Studies And Examples
Examples are to a piece of writing what windows are to a room.
They bring light in.
Examples help readers understand concepts faster.
Drab copy doesn’t include examples at all. Or, has dated ones.Top-notch content incorporates fresh relevant examples that light up a content piece.Click To Tweet
Top content creators dig up fresh, relevant examples to make their points come alive.
7. SEO Optimization
On-page optimization skills are a must for savvy writers.
Writing alone isn’t enough anymore.
Your content creator must write for people—and tweak for search engines otherwise the target audience won’t see the post.
On-page optimization includes:
- Crafting a high-converting meta description.
- Writing short, descriptive URLs.
- Writing a convincing title tag.
- Linking to pertinent internal and external resources.
- Working on keyword density.
- Formatting for easy readability.
- Using H2, H3 headings appropriately.
8. Editing And Proofreading
Ever heard the saying: all great writing is rewriting.
No truer is this mantra than when talking of writing in professional circles. The best content creators tweak a content piece for flawless structure, flow, and grammar, style, accuracy, and brand voice.
While editing software like ProWritingAid and Grammarly help, there’s no substitute for the human eye.
Manual editing is time-consuming but unavoidable.
Besides, for a piece to be publish-ready it must go through many editing sweeps, each focusing on a particular aspect.
9. Managing Clients
So, what else does a content creator do?
For freelance content creators, client management is also a big part of their weekly schedule.
Client management tasks include:
- Invoicing and payment collection.
- Onboarding new clients.
- Liaising with clients on revisions and other matters.
- Following up on delayed payments.
- Discussing changes in the project scope.
On top of all this, copywriters liaise with other departments such as web design, social media, and the sales/marketing teams.
That’s a content creator’s job description in brief.
Having seen all these duties maybe you are asking…
Do you need a degree to be a content creator?
No, you don’t need a fancy degree from a renowned University to become a successful content creator.
Later in this post, I’ll give you tips on how to become a master content creator without attending sleep-inducing college lectures from stiff college professors.
What Is Good Content? Content Creation Template
Good content isn’t what most people think it is.
It’s not the clever turn of phrase or a bombastic style.
Unlike writing for pleasure where it’s difficult to measure success and people’s tastes differ, pro writing is different.
Here’s a quick run-through of the qualities of exceptional digital content:
- Aligns with overall marketing strategy.
- Has one apparent goal.
- Gives the target audience actionable takeaways.
- Focuses on one part of the funnel.
- Sticks to the brand’s style, tone, and voice
- Has a CTA that moves prospects to the next stage of the customer journey.
8 Types Of Content (And How To Use Them)
Content comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes. Let’s explore eight different types of content that impact traffic, leads, and sales.
1. Blog Posts
Blog posts are brief articles ranging from 500 words to 1500 words.
They are the foundation of content marketing and help brands build trust with their audience.
The best blogs combine education and entertainment.
2. Long-form Content
Long-form content is blog posts on steroids.
They are more in-depth and give 10x the value of regular posts.
They range from 2000+ words up to 5k+ words. When writing long-form content the goal is to deal definitively with a topic. This content type includes detailed how-to posts, ultimate guides, and reviews.
Brian Dean has built a thriving business on the back of long-form content.
3. Case Studies
Case studies aka customer success stories are another popular content type.
Case studies are around 1500 words long.
In a customer success story, a company features an ideal customer and how the brand’s product or service solved the customer’s problems.
They’re perfect at the middle and bottom of the funnel to show the value of a product/service and sway prospects to buy.
4. White Papers
A white paper is an authoritative 6-8 page educational report that highlights the features of a product or service and how it solves a particular problem on the market.
However, a white paper is not a blatant pitch.
It uses facts, expert knowledge, and data research to show the value of a product.
White papers are perfect for lead generation and establishing thought leadership.
Like white papers, e-books are long-form documents but they are longer and discuss a topic in greater depth.
They can be 20+ pages.
Ebooks are ideal for underlining thought leadership in your industry. Plus, they have a higher perceived value in the eyes of readers.
An infographic or information graphic in full is a form of visual content made up mostly of images, charts, diagrams, and some text.Use infographics when you have large volumes of data and info you want to simplify.Click To Tweet
Seeing that they’re eye-catching, infographics are excellent for brand awareness. Research shows people share infographics 3x more than other content types. Plus, they are powerful link assets. People love to reference them because of their stunning visual appeal and handiness.
7. Templates and Checklists
Templates and checklists are short, sharp, and sweet content pieces.
Because they’re snackable, readers love them. They download them in droves.
This makes them perfect for building your list.
Just identify a topic your audience cares about and fire away.
Videos mix images and audio to communicate a message.
For engagement and shareability, video content is number one. Other forms of content are a distant second. Videos get shared 3x more than text-based content.
Up to 4x more people prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it.
How To Be Leading Content Creator In Your Niche
Want to be the go-to writer in your space?
Do you desire to be a leading voice and highly sought-after expert content producer in your industry?
Here are proven tips to get you there.
1. Write For Your Audience, Not Yourself
For your content to resonate, let your audience inform your writing.
To write content that scratches your audience’s itch consider:
- Demographics: these are basic surface-level facts about a person like their gender, age, race, income, education, and employment.
- Psychographics: these are deeper matters about someone. They include values, beliefs, social class, challenges, and dreams.
Exceptional customer avatars cover both aspects.
When you write content with these factors in mind your content will hit all the right notes. Targeted, personalized content is likely to produce results.
2. Stay Current With Industry Content Trends
Things change fast these days.
In such a fluid environment, it’s important to stay up to date with industry news and standards.
Attend industry events and conferences. Also, follow and learn from niche leaders. Read top blogs in your industry. A great content creator is always learning and growing by feeding on fresh niche tactics.
3. Write, Write, Write, And Then Write
Writing is like a muscle.
If you don’t exercise regularly you lose it. The more you write, the better you become.
4. Read: Broadly And Regularly
Not only must you read subjects around your niche, read whatever suits your fancy.
- Expands and enriches your vocabulary.
- Provides oodles of inspiration and creativity.
- Enhances your writing style.
- Imprints the story structure in your brain.
- Makes it easier to generate new content ideas.
5. Research Deeply
Research separates the elite content creators from amateurs.Deep research separates credible A-grade content creators from shallow inept content producers.Click To Tweet
Not a cursory investigation, but hours of painstaking exploration.
- Uncovers uncommon gems of truth.
- Gives a deeper understanding of the topic.
- Reveals knowledge gaps to fill.
6. Start Broadly And Then Specialize
To become a renowned content writer start broad and then narrow down.
Become a T-shaped marketer.
Know a bit about many things in your industry and go deep into one or two specialized areas.
Broad knowledge helps you understand the context and the big picture of how everything fits together.
Your specialty helps you provide greater value than a generalist.
7. Embrace Modern Writing Tools
From keyword research to competitor analysis, from competitor analysis to editing software, today there’s a tool for every content creation activity.
AI-driven SEO and writing tools:
- shave off hours of manual research
- improve efficiency
- empower you to work faster.
8. Insist On A Content Brief
Early in my writing career, I’d often clash with editors and have unending back-and-forths with them.
I didn’t get clear guidelines from the onset.
Expert writers know the secret to a focused piece of writing content managers love.
The content brief.
They don’t take one-line instructions. They demand a thorough set of instructions that covers everything about the piece, e.g. word count, primary and secondary keywords, angle of the piece, goal, the success criteria of the piece, and more.
9. Goal Of The Piece Plus Other KPIs
Every piece of content must have a goal.
One overarching goal.
This gives the piece focus and also challenges the writer to do everything to reach the goal.
The goal determines your approach as a writer. For instance, a piece meant to generate engagement, and discussion can be controversial. A product review post zeros in on product features and benefits. Plus, it uses a level-headed tone and style.
So, those are the nine aspects of content creation you need to master if you want to become a content creator of note.
What Is A Content Creator? A Vital Cog In The Content Marketing Engine
That was a lot to take in, wasn’t it?
As you can see, the writing itself doesn’t take a lot of a contemporary content creator’s time. The bulk of the time goes to non-writing-related activities that make the copy more impactful.
But one thing is clear.
A content creator is an integral member of a successful digital marketing team that drives traffic, leads, and sales.