How To Become A Content Creator In 2024

According to Google Trends, searches for “content creation” have risen 39% over the past year, as it’s becoming a lifeline for people being laid off and also offering flexibility over your own path as studies find a quarter of Gen-Z want out of their 9-5. 

But how do you actually become a content creator? 

Nearly half of students in a recent Student Beans survey have thought about becoming a content creator, with nearly a quarter saying they’d quit their degree if they were successful. And with the government talking about cracking down on ‘low-value’ degrees, we’ve put together your need to know guide on what it takes to become a content creator in 2024 and tips on how to get started. 

In this article you’ll find:

What is a content creator?

A content creator is someone who creates written, graphic, video or audio content for a specific audience. If you spend any time scrolling through social media, listening to a podcast or even just browsing the web, chances are you have consumed content in some form. 

Some of popular types of digital content that you’ll come across include:

  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts
  • TikTok videos
  • Digital products
  • OnlyFans
  • Youtube videos

Digital content is fast becoming a great way to make money as a side hustle, but plenty of people are making the plunge and going full time with content creation. With the combination of rising cost-of-living, and 8% students citing financial difficulties as a reason to consider dropping out of uni, content creation can be a saviour for people who need some extra cash while flexing their creativity at the same time. With nearly 70% of students surveyed stating money as the reason why they want to start creating content, there’s definitely an appetite for it.

A graph exploring why students want to become a content creator

Types of digital content creation

Blogging

Blogs have been around since the dawn of the internet. But they’re still as relevant as ever, with 77% of internet users still reading blogs. If you want to create long form content, whether it’s recipe based or specific guides, then blogging is a great avenue to go down.

If you want to become a writer, or are interested in content marketing, it’s a great way of building a portfolio of work for your future career. 

The benefits of having a blog is that when you monetise your content, there are lots of ways to do so. Whether you sell advertising space to brands, use affiliate links or write sponsored posts, there are several revenue streams you can access. 

Social media content

When you think of content creation, you probably think of your favourite influencer on TikTok or Instagram. Social media has made it more accessible for people to create content, as you can build a following based on pictures, or short videos that don’t take up too much of your time, making it the perfect side hustle.

Youtube is the OG of the influencers (hey 2008 beauty vloggers!), and is still a profitable area for people who want to make money with their content. As of 2024, Youtube has over 100 million paying subscribers, so there is still plenty of money to be made here. 

Podcasts

Have you ever looked at your bestie and thought, ‘we should have our own podcast’. 

In 2023 there were over 464 million podcast listeners around the world, with the industry worth an estimated 23.5 billion dollars – and these numbers are still set to rise in 2024. 

If you’ve got opinions, podcasts are the perfect place to share them with the world. Comedy, sports and podcasts about TV and movies are the most popular in the UK in 2023, so that’s a great place to start. 

OnlyFans

There are some more unorthodox routes for content creators, with OnlyFans becoming a lucrative way to make money through content. With subscriptions, pay-per-view and direct messaging, there are a few ways you can make money through OnlyFans. Although a lot of users say you need to promote it through other social media platforms to build your following. 

Posting adult content does come with it’s own risks, like doxxing, so it’s worth being aware of this before you hit publish.

Digital products

Passive income seems to be the latest buzzword, especially when it comes to digital products. While ‘get rich quick’ schemes are likely just that, there is something to be said of putting your talents to use and making money from them. Digital products can be sold through places like TikTok shops, or Etsy and can be anything from budgeting spreadsheets, ebooks, online courses, and digital art or graphics. 

If you want to showcase your skills, then digital products takes a bit more time and effort but can lead to more sustainable revenue streams. 

What do I need to become a content creator?

Student life content creator Jake Harper, (@jakeh4rper) says: “My top tip for getting started would just be to immediately stop caring about what other people might think. This is such a huge reason why I feel like so many people put off making their first video but you have to remember that everyone has hobbies. Just because yours might be being in front of the camera, it doesn’t make it any more cringe than anyone else’s.”

So take it from Jake, you just have to embrace it. For a lot of digital content creation, all you need is your phone to get started. So what’s stopping you? 

How to get started with content creation

If you’re ready to take the plunge, of course, you can dive straight in. But for those entrepreneurial types, making a plan of action is a great way to set yourself up for success in your content creation journey. 

Choose your niche

First things first, what are you going to talk about/create/write about? Having an idea of what your niche is going to be means you can build a following that has similar interests, instead of hopping around different topics. 

With over 1.3million TikTok creators as of right now, some areas are more saturated than others. But there’s space for everyone. 

Think about your interests: what are you good at? What do you talk about a lot? We’ve all heard the expression ‘write what you know’, and the same applies to whatever content you choose to create. Jake adds, “film content that you like to watch and that way it’s as authentic as possible” –  if you have a lot to say about it, chances are you can do it well. 

Then go into TikTok, Spotify, Youtube, wherever you want to create your content, and research whether it’s an area with a lot of content already. If there is, think about if there’s a way you can add a unique angle that people might not have thought about. 

Understand your audience

If you are making content that you like to watch, then good work, because you basically already understand your audience. You ARE the audience. Once you’ve got your niche down, think about how you consume that content. Do you like longer videos? Shorter clips? Images? Long form text? This will help you shape your content so that you’re more likely to get better engagement.

Get going

You know what you’re talking about, you’ve done the research. Now it’s time to make the content. So pick up the camera, open your laptop, or start recording your voice notes, because once you get started, you’ll realise you had nothing to be nervous about.

Be consistent

Planning is boring, we get it. But it’s there for a reason, and it works. 

Jake adds, “It can be quite difficult to balance your time but I recommend creating and sticking to a posting schedule that doesn’t overwhelm you.” Whether it’s once a day, three times a day or once a week, consistency is key. If you get into the habit of posting, then you’re more likely to stick to it in the long run. 

Track what works and doesn’t work

Ultimately, if you’re creating content that you enjoy, then it doesn’t matter what people think. You do you. 

But, if you’re hoping to monetise your content at some point, then understanding what your audience are engaging with, what works, what doesn’t work, can help you figure out which content to make. Most platforms will have some basic analytics included, so you don’t have to spend lots of time or money trying to figure it out. It’s enough to give you a quick insight to shape your plans. 

How do content creators make money?

When you’re in the swing of it and gaining a following, you might want to think about monetising your content. As well as a great side hustle, it’s also becoming a viable career choice for people, especially as nearly 50% of students we surveyed cite the flexibility of content creation as a motivator.

When you have a certain amount of followers and engagement, you can usually start to monetise your content through creator networks on social media channels or offer advertising if you are running a podcast or a blog. This could be through display adverts or even something like affiliate links where you earn a commission for every sale made from clicking through one of your links. 

If you’re really getting into the swing of it, influencer marketing is becoming a huge area of marketing for a lot of brands, especially if they sell products for younger audiences. So reaching out to brands for sponsorship opportunities is another great way to monetise your content. 

So why not give it a try? If you’ve got something you want to share (we’re looking at you, Geminis), then content creation could be the perfect outlet as well as a great way to make some money at the same time.

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