What Is a Digital Creator? The Career Path That’s Making Waves

what is a digital creator

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Digital content has become highly valued over the years, so much so that many people have made a career out of it. We call these people digital creators.

What is a digital content creator? What do they do? How does a digital creator make money?

In this article, I’ll take you through all the ins and outs of being a digital creator, how to become one, and many other burning questions around this topic.

Let’s begin.

What Is a Digital Creator?

what is a digital creator

Let’s start by clarifying what a digital creator is. A digital creator is a person who creates content and posts them on various digital platforms, including social media. They deliver engaging content to captivate an audience and offer value.

The digital content creation economy has an estimated 50 million creators. This number could only grow as more people start creating content for more people to consume online.

What Does a Digital Creator Do?

A digital content creator’s role is simple: to create content that keeps their audience engaged. The challenges lie in making content that resonates with their brand and finding engaging ways to communicate to the digital world.

What does a digital content creator do? Normally, a successful digital creator has to wear many hats, including the following.

  • Conceptualizing engaging content, which involves much research, diving into popular trends, and fact-checking data

  • Producing content to engage with their audience

  • Creating digital marketing strategies to stand out in the sea of noise and promote their content

  • Performing brand analysis to track their performance

  • Managing digital platforms systematically

  • Managing and building an online community, including responding to followers and holding online events

Skills You Need To Be a Successful Digital Content Creator

Skills You Need To Be a Successful Digital Content Creator

It might seem like digital content creation is something anyone can jump into. While that’s partially true, not all content creators will become successful.

You need many skills to be a remarkable digital creator. Chances are, you’ll have to pick up some new skills.

What does it take to become a good digital creator? Here are some skills you need to become one.

1 – Creativity

A digital content creator must be highly creative and able to come up with unique and engaging content ideas. Their content should captivate their target audience, have a different angle, and tell a clear and compelling story.

2 – Subject Matter Authority

Depending on the type of content they produce, digital content creators must have authority in their topic.

Without proven expertise, you could cause serious disinformation. This could affect your brand and cause ethical problems, especially if you’re creating content around a sensitive space like mental health, finance, or others.

Moreover, having authority will also help you attract new audiences. When your insights and ideas around an idea bear weight, people will naturally gravitate toward your content.

3 – Digital Savvy-ness

Digital content creators must be familiar with various online media and platforms, including social media like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter.

Digital Savvy-ness

You must also know how to create engaging social media posts and efficiently distribute them online. This entails learning other digital skills, such as the following.

  • Copywriting

  • Graphic Design

  • Video Content Editing

  • Social Media Scheduling

  • Search Engine Optimization

  • Hashtag Research

4 – Critical Thinking Skills

Digital content creators must have strong critical thinking and analytical skills to measure their content’s performance and make adjustments as needed. You don’t just create video content, blogs, or graphics and hope for the best.

Effective digital content production requires looking at the data and finding ways to reach a wider audience. It also involves breaking down a story or content idea and finding an engaging way of communicating it.

5 – Entrepreneurial Skills

Most digital content creators are not employees. They’re solopreneurs or business owners.

You need to have some entrepreneurial skills to earn money from this venture. You must know how to create monetization strategies, sell products, or offer services to others.

You’ll also need to develop leadership skills if you want to start hiring staff. Your digital business will expand as it becomes more successful.

Digital Creation vs. Other Content Creation Careers

It’s easy to mix up digital creators with other creators. Here are some careers that overlap with digital creation and how they’re different.

Digital Creator vs. Social Media Influencer

Digital Creator vs. Social Media Influencer

Digital creators and influencers overlap in many ways. However, there are some clear differences between these two careers.

What’s the difference between a content creator vs. influencer?

Influencers are social media personalities. Their goal is to amass a loyal audience they can sway to take some action. They build a brand and ensure the content produced aligns to it.

For example, they can encourage their followers to buy a product or support a particular cause.

While digital creators may also influence their audience, their main intent is to just create. They educate, entertain, and engage people without driving them to a specific action.

One of the main differences between creators vs. influencers is their monetization strategies.

Influencer marketing mostly focuses on earning through brand partnerships or affiliate programs.

Digital creators can earn through sponsorships, membership, or ad revenue. They can also sell products of their own like merchandise, courses, or other products.

Digital Creator vs. Content Creator

Digital Creator vs. Content Creator

People may also get confused between digital creators vs. content creators. The key difference is the medium for curating content.

Content creators encompass many jobs. They include people who create any type of content for various platforms, including online and offline media.

They may create written content for newspapers. They may also make digital art for social media.

They could be someone who creates content or marketing collateral concepts for someone else to publish. They could also be a digital creator.

A digital creator primarily creates digital content. They usually produce content to publish on their platforms.

Digital Creator vs. Blogger

Digital Creator vs. Blogger

A blogger normally focuses on creating blog post content for a website and tries to drive traffic through search engines.

Digital creators work on various forms of content for other platforms, like social media or YouTube channels.

Digital Creator vs. Video Creator

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The key difference between a video creator vs. digital creator is the kind of content they produce. Solely creating videos makes you a video creator, meaning you don’t produce other types of content.

The video content created can go on various platforms, like a YouTube channel or even TV. Video creators can also cater to traditional media and businesses.

Someone in digital content creation may also create TikTok videos, YouTube videos, and the like. However, they can also create graphics, blog posts, and other types of media.

Another key difference is they create content for digital platforms.

How To Become a Digital Creator

Are you interested to become a digital creator? Follow these steps to start in this industry.

1 – Find a Specific Niche.

Find a Specific Niche.

Embarking on your digital content journey requires a focus. Start by identifying a specific niche. This could be anything that aligns with your passion, skills, or unique insight. Conduct thorough research on audience demand and competition in your chosen area.

Your niche form should be a blend of what you love and what the market needs. As I mentioned, you also need to know enough about your niche of choice to become an authoritative voice in that space.

2 – Decide What Content You Want To Create.

Decide What Content You Want To Create.

After finding your niche, decide the type of content you want to create. Here are some ideas.

  • Blogs

  • Short Reel and YouTube shorts videos (30-60 seconds)

  • Longer-form YouTube videos (5-10 minutes)

  • Podcast recordings

  • Infographics

  • And more

Once you find out what you want to create, learn how to create content yourself. You’ll probably have to create everything to keep costs low when starting.

Once you generate enough revenue to sustain a team, you can hire other content creators to save you time or get better quality output.

Your equipment would depend on your chosen niche. Sometimes, a smartphone and a laptop are enough to start creating content.

However, other types of content might require additional tools. For example, a podcast channel needs a high-quality mic.

3 – Start Creating and Publishing Content.

Start Creating and Publishing Content.

Now, it’s time to create and publish your content. Some will advise you to get down to the littlest details before starting. Others will tell you to just start and don’t wait for perfection.

Use your chosen medium to produce content that speaks to your target audience. Remember, the initial phase is all about experimenting and learning. So, create, make mistakes, and learn from them.

However, some knowledge on digital marketing can help you start on the right foot.

Even the best digital creators were bad at some point. What brought them to where they were was a commitment to consistently improve, which leads to the next point.

4 – Adjust Your Content as Needed.

Adjust Your Content as Needed.

As you progress, pay attention to your audience’s feedback and your platform insights and analytics. Gauge what works and what doesn’t. See what content brings you more engagement and followers.

Make necessary adjustments to your content based on your audience’s preferences and engagement. Continuous improvement is key to a successful content creation journey.

5 – Build Consistency.

Build Consistency

Stick to a consistent schedule for posting your content. Consistent posting helps retain your existing audience and attracts new followers.

Plan your content to maintain a steady flow. You can create a content plan good for a few weeks or months ahead. Make sure that your content remains fresh and relevant.

6 – Find Monetization Strategies.

Find Monetization Strategies.

Some may post content for the sole purpose of passion. However, earning from your content is fair if you want to turn this into a sustainable career.

You can take some cues from influencer marketing for some ideas. You can also do the following.

  • Affiliate Marketing
    You promote products and services. In return, you earn a small commission for any sales made through your referral link.

  • Advertising
    Once you have a significant audience, you can make money through ads. This could be through programmatic ads on websites. If you have a YouTube channel, you can earn through the Partner Program.

  • Patreon and Membership Sites
    These platforms allow creators to earn a regular income from fans or patrons. They pay a subscription fee to get access to exclusive content, community interactions, or other rewards.

  • Online Courses and Webinars
    If you have expertise in a particular area, you can create and sell online video courses or host paid webinars.

  • Selling Products or Merchandise
    If you have a loyal following, selling branded merchandise can be a good income source. You can try working with a print-on-demand company to streamline this channel.

  • Consulting or Coaching
    As an established expert in your niche, you can offer consulting or coaching services to individuals or businesses.

  • Brand Deals
    Influencers aren’t the only ones who can get brand deals. You may also get sponsorships and partnerships from brands that align with your brand.

How Much Can You Earn As a Digital Creator?

According to Salary.com, the average income of a digital creator is between $41,255 to $60,416. However, a digital creator’s income can vary depending on factors like the following.

  • Their number of engaged followers

  • The rates they charge for services and products

  • Their level of expertise

  • Number of products or income streams

There’s no limit to how much you can earn as a digital creator. Meaning, you can combine all strategies and partner with countless brands for a steady income.

However, becoming a successful creator will take time and a lot of work.

You should also consider that digital creation is a business. You’ll have business expenses, such as subscriptions to tools, salaries for staff, ads, and more.

How Long Until You Can Start Monetizing Your Content?

This depends on your ability to grow your following, engage your audience, and create income streams. You can start monetizing early on by using your platform to market a service like consulting or coaching.

Other monetization strategies, like creating courses and earning affiliate commission and ad revenue, might take a while. These strategies require large followings, which take time to build.

How Does Collaborating With Brands Work for Digital Creators vs. Influencers?

Brands can work with digital creators and influencers in two major ways.

  • By sponsoring their content

  • By offering them to be a part of an affiliate program

Sponsorships work by digital creators making content according to the brand’s specifications. In exchange, they get a fixed sum of payment.

For example, a marketing software company can sponsor a vlog on a marketing digital creator’s blog. The creator or influencer can talk talk about a product, give a review, or provide a demo.

The Challenges of Being a Digital Creator

While being a digital creator can be a fulfilling career, there will be certain challenges. These are the most common problems you might face when becoming a digital creator.

  • Finding and maintaining audience engagement

  • Consistently generating high-quality content

  • Adjusting to algorithm changes in platforms

  • Dealing with negative feedback and criticism

  • Managing time and balancing multiple projects

  • Dealing with copyright and intellectual property issues

  • Finding and securing brand collaborations and sponsorships

  • Dealing with burnout and creative blocks

  • Overcoming self-doubt and imposter syndrome

  • Maintaining a consistent personal brand image.

Some Successful Digital Creators To Check Out

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these digital creators who have become highly successful.

  • Simon Stålenhag

  • Casey Neistat

  • Beeple (Mike Winkelmann)

  • Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot

  • Ash Thorp

  • Erik Johansson
  • Chris Do of The Futur
  • Jonathan Morrison

  • Loish

The Best Digital Content Creator Tools

The Best Digital Content Creator Tools

If you want to create high-quality content, you also need quality digital tools. Here are some that can help you level up your content.

1 – Content Creation

  • Canva. A user-friendly graphic design tool perfect for creating social media posts, infographics, presentations, marketing materials, and other visual content.

  • Adobe Creative Cloud. A suite of professional-level tools for photo editing (Photoshop), video editing (Premiere Pro), graphic design (Illustrator), and more.

2 – Content Planning and Management

  • Notion: This is a project management tool that helps you organize your content calendar, plan your tasks, document your creative process, and manage your workflow.

3 – Social Media Management

  • Hootsuite or Buffer. These tools allow you to schedule posts in advance across multiple social media platforms and monitor your social media metrics.

4 – SEO Tools

  • Ahrefs. This SEO tool can help you research keywords, track your search rankings, analyze your competitors, and optimize your content for the search engine.

5 – Email Marketing

  • Mailchimp or ConvertKit. These platforms allow you to build an email list, create and send newsletters, and automate email marketing.

6 – Monetization

  • Patreon. A platform for creators to earn a regular income from fans who contribute a set monthly amount.

  • Teachable or Thinkific. These are platforms for creating and selling online courses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Does Digital Creator Mean on Facebook?

What Does Digital Creator Mean on Facebook?

What is a digital creator on Facebook? This is simply someone who focuses on Facebook as their primary platform. They usually have a digital creator profile on the platform.

What is a digital creator profile on Facebook? This opens up monetization opportunities, such as ad revenue, receiving stars (gifts with monetary value) on Facebook, and creating membership groups.

What Is a Digital Creator On Instagram?

What Is a Digital Creator On Instagram?

A digital creator on Instagram focuses on building a following and community on the platform. They aim to make compelling content to build up their Instagram following.

Currently, there are no ways to earn ad revenue on Instagram, so you need other ways to monetize your following. Try the following ideas.

  • Creating sponsored content

  • Providing services

  • Selling digital products

  • Building an online community.

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What Are the Benefits of Digital Creators in Marketing?

Many brands work with digital creators as a part of their marketing strategy. They enjoy benefits like the following.

  • Expanding reach

  • Tapping into a new market or niche

  • Building credibility

  • Increasing sales for products or services

What Should You Look for in a Digital Creator?

While there’s no shortage of creators, finding the right one to work isn’t always easy. You need to find one whose branding or theme matches your industry. If you’re in health and wellness, then you’ll need creators in that space.

Moreover, you should look for a digital creator who is professional. Not everyone acts the same behind the scenes as they do on camera. Thoroughly check a digital creator’s work background, integrity, and professionalism.

Is it Easy To be a Content Creator?

While anyone can create content, not everyone will be spectacular at it. Just creating content isn’t enough. You need to shine and thrive.

Telling your unique story and providing valuable information involves a lot of research, preparation, and other nitty-gritty details that will fill up your schedule fast.

You will also have to invest in tools and equipment like good laptops, cameras, and software. At times, you might also need to invest in online courses and coaching programs to help you grow your audience or tell better stories.

Is Digital Creation a Good Career?

That depends on whether you enjoy creating the content creation process. If you find content development dreadful, then this might not be the career for you.

You also have to consider how you can sustain this career through monetization strategies. If you can’t earn a comfortable full-time income, then you’re better off keeping this as a side hustle or hobby.

Do I Need a College Degree To Be A Digital Creator?

You don’t need any degree to become one. However, getting a degree in marketing or communications can be extremely helpful if you’re starting off.

This also depends on what kind of content you want to create. For instance, if you want to create content around mental health, having a Psychology degree can increase your authority.

The Bottom Line

Here are my final thoughts. Digital creators abound in today’s highly digitized world, but there is still a growing market for them.

People are always looking for content and communities that entertain and engage them.

If you want to become one, I’ll tell you the best tip I can give.

Don’t focus on money when starting this journey. Try to find people you want to help and engage. Then, find ways to make your content valuable to them.

What audience would you like to tap as a digital creator?

If you find a message that matters to you and an audience you care about, being a digital creator could become a highly rewarding career.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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