Are you a content creator?
Whether you’re just learning how to become a content creator now, or if you’ve been in the game for a while, you should consider creating content for tech startup blogs.
- Startups need content creators to help grow their fledgling business.
- Content creators for startups can work remotely, freelancing from anywhere in the world.
- The pay for freelance content creators is on the rise, so you can make serious money online.
Becoming a content creator for startups fuggin rocks.
You won’t regret it.
Nowadays, a digital content creator for startup blogs is one of the most in-demand jobs in marketing, not only because it’s a relatively easy road into a prosperous new freelance career, but also because tech companies need talented content creators.
See, content creators are the Swiss-Army Knife of modern marketing, which makes them essential for any tech startup in the current digital landscape.
In this article, I’ll tell you what a content creator is, explore the benefits of content creators for tech startup blogs, and, most importantly, I’ll show you how to become a content creator that can help little companies grow big.
Right. Enough beating around the bush, let’s dive in.
What Is A Content Creator?
A content creator is someone that produces written, visual or audio information and materials for use in print or online media. A content creator plays an instrumental role in building a company’s brand reputation, as they can connect with customers through a myriad of content types, including blog articles, customer case studies, infographics, video, podcasts, and social media posts.
For the TL:DR; crowd:
A digital content creator is a gal, guy, or robot (eek!) that makes shizzle happen for companies online.
Without content creators, many companies would have a dusty, static website, and ghostly social channels full of tumbleweeds and a handful of pity likes from their mom.
4 Types of Content Creator Worth Giving a Damn About
All industries use (and need) content creators.
From medical to military, travel to television, you’ll find people producing content.
Look hard enough, and you’ll find a bajillion people creating content, like content writers, content specialists, content editors, scriptwriters, bloggers, article writers, copywriters, social media marketers, Instagram influencers…the list goes on.
And yes, bajillion is a real number.
While there is seemingly no end to the different cliché job titles bandied around, they pretty much all boil down to four distinct types of content creators:
Marketing Content Creator (aka Marketing Content Writer)
To be fair, all four of these types are a marketing content creator of sorts.
But hear me out.
Long before social media, fancy graphics, and video, there was straight-up content writing.
You know, things like:
- Blog posts
- Email marketing sequences
- Sales landing pages
- Press releases
These written works are the products and services of a marketing content creator, also known as a marketing content writer — one who will ideally be well-versed in the arts of copywriting, SEO, and generally being a badass wordsmith.
And that is distinctly different from the other types of content creators!
Social Media Content Creator
A social media content creator is someone who curates, creates, and publishes content on social media channels, usually for the purposes of brand awareness or promoting events, products, or services.
Since the mid-2000s, social media has gradually taken over the world. Even your mailman’s granny and her cat have a social media page now. To take just one example, Instagram has enjoyed explosive growth in the last decade, clocking up over 1 billion active users. Of course, it didn’t take brands long to realize the marketing potential of social media platforms, especially the more visual ones.
Naturally, those brands soon needed people to fulfill dedicated roles.
So, whether you call yourself a social media content creator, Instagram influencer, or YouTube star, you can laugh all the way to the bank. These still-somewhat-ridiculous terms that disapproving parents roll their eyes at have now become bona fide career paths.
Video Content Creator
People love video content, more so than anything else. Video content creation is a fun job, and both brands and consumers just can’t get enough of it. YouTube and TikTok have gone off the charts in recent years, with the latter soaring north of 800 million active users to overtake LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter in terms of active users. Not bad for a three-year-old.
So, it’s safe to say there’s a promising future for anyone who wants to become a video content creator now, as this form of media isn’t going anywhere.
Infographics Content Creator
Not fond of writing? Feeling a little camera-shy? Well, you can still become a content creator by unleashing your artistic side in another way. Infographics can jazz up a long-form piece, or even serve as a great, highly-shareable social media post on their own.
Infographics perform better than simple text content, engaging more users, and driving more shares. So, naturally, more brands want infographics content creators to add a little panache to their articles.
5 Reasons Why Tech Startup Blogs Want Content Creators
Startup blogs provide a relatively easy road into content creation because practically every company understands the value of having a blog on their business website now. In case you have any doubts about that, consider these stats:
- Companies that blog generate 67% more leads than companies that don’t blog. (Finances Online)
- 71% of B2B buyers consume blog content during the buyer journey (RyRob)
- Marketers who make blogging a priority are 13x more likely to generate a positive ROI. (HubSpot)
Companies need content, like blogs.
And tech startup blogs need content creators.
Can’t the company founders just do content creation themselves?
They could, but it’s much better to hire content creators.
After all, startup founders usually have enough on their plates. When it comes to content, they usually look to outsource that mission to a professional.
Busy schedules aside, startup founders understand the benefits of hiring content creators.
And now so can you — if you keep reading:
Content is the foundation of great branding.
Every CEO wants people to understand their business, their purpose, and their brand personality, right?
Well, content is the best way of making this happen.
Whether it’s a fun social media page, or long-form thought leadership articles on a business blog, it is content that allows a company’s brand voice and personality to shine through. What a company says, and how they say it is important. With regular content, it’s possible to establish a brand that people remember.
Why companies should hire a content creator?
Unless the CEO happens to be a talented wordsmith, they’d be better off hiring a writer (like you!) to craft the brand voice with some excellent storytelling. A content creator can breathe life into their vision and produce content in a way that people find irresistible.
Content connects brands with customers.
Kickass content isn’t just about telling people who a company is — it shows customers that a brand cares about them. With detailed audience personas, companies can hone in on their prospects with a creepy level of detail, to know:
- Who they are
- Where they are
- What their pain points are
- What their interests are
Knowing your audience is half the battle in modern marketing, and so, companies can use targeted content to offer content that people want to read. When a brand does this consistently, they can soon form strong connections that turn readers into fans — and eventually, into paying customers.
Why should companies hire a content creator?
Great content creators understand how to create audience personas for any brand. With their help, a tech startup can devise a blueprint for content marketing success, and pump out a consistent flow of tailor-made content that attracts their audience.
Content increases online visibility, drives traffic, and builds an audience.
Some newbies to the game think that SEO and content marketing are two different facets of marketing.
Case in point:
“It looks like Google has tired of its old friend SEO and is instead cozying-up to the new kid on the block, content marketing.”
That was from when The Guardian.
As renowned content marketing guru, Neil Patel, points out, this is just inaccurate because it’s not as if SEO and content marketing are two different people. Instead, SEO and content marketing are more intertwined, almost like two personalities of the same person.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the backbone of content marketing. When you combine these two, content can rank higher, which increases brand visibility online. And that drives traffic to websites, effectively generating new leads.
Why should companies hire a content creator?
Not every startup founder knows how to do SEO correctly, or in a way that generates a good return on investment (ROI). The best content creators will because they understand just how vital SEO is to content. With the help of a savvy marketing content writer, companies can perform better in organic search, landing the #1 spot — or even the coveted featured snippet — for keywords that their customers use to search.
Content establishes brand reputation and industry expertise (as a thought leader).
It’s not easy to stand out because even with audience personas and SEO, competition is fierce. Content is the determining factor between meh brands and memorable brands, as it is through content that a brand can establish its reputation as a thought leader.
So, what is thought leadership?
The definition, according to HubSpot:
“Thought leadership is a tactic content marketers use to build credibility for themselves or leaders in their company. The main goal of thought leadership is to become recognized as an expert and used as a go-to resource in your field. “– HubSpot
A survey by Edelman and LinkedIn found that 89% of business decision-makers say thought leadership content had enhanced their perception of an organization. Furthermore, almost 1 in 2 decision-makers spend at least one hour per week reading thought leadership content.
Why should companies hire a content creator?
Whether it’s viral infographics or long-form knowledge hubs that other marketers talk about and share, an expert content creator has the industry knowledge and skills needed to help a brand make its name as a thought leader. Your words can forge a brand’s reputation, which makes you pretty powerful, right?
Content drives people to take action (so companies can earn more greenbacks).
Marketers who use content marketing have conversion rates six times as high than marketers who haven’t embraced content. Content is a crucial element in the customer journey, and it makes a massive difference to many consumers.
A lot of people look to brands for the next step, and great content gives them the information and guidance they need to make important purchasing decisions.
Why should companies hire a content creator?
With informative, current information, in a well-structured post, content creators help startup blogs connect with the audience through a consistent brand voice that resonates on a personal level. Over time, as a brand builds its audience and reputation as a thought leader, the content becomes ever-more-powerful at driving people to action.
How to Become a Content Creator for Startup Blogs (and Other Companies Too)
Yeah, that’s right. This guide can help you land a job at a company that’s been around for years — not just some tech startup.
How’s that for a plot twist?
So, now that you know why startup blogs need creative folk, it’s finally time to find out how to become a content creator.
Here are 12 essential skills a digital content creator needs in the modern marketing era. Take these steps, and you’ll be one very employable human.
Pick your skill
So, you want to become a content creator?
First of all, you need to pick your poison.
What type of content will you create to help brands grow?
The most common types of content creation include:
- Writing blogs
- Creating long-form content like knowledge guides, customer case studies, ebooks, and whitepapers.
- Posting on social media
- Designing visual documents like infographics, branding materials for blogs, promotions, websites, or ebooks
- Producing video content
Content is not all about writing. So, you can become a content creator for startup blogs even if you aren’t a wizard with the written word.
You want to find the perfect intersection between what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing, and what companies will pay you to do.
Pick your niche
Once you know what you want to do, you need to burrow deep into a particular niche. It’s better to become an expert in something focused, rather than be a general jack-of-all-trades.
Some of the best-paid niches for marketing content creators right now include:
- B2B SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)
- Data Science
- AI/Machine Learning
- Mixed Reality Technologies
However, money shouldn’t be the determining factor — you should be happy with what you do for work, because if it’s “just a job,” that lack of passion will come through in your writing.
Consumers can smell a phony a mile away (because phonies are famed for their bad hygiene — and poor persuasive writing ability).
Consider specializing in something that genuinely interests you. The more passionate you are about the subject, the better you will be at creating content around it. Whether it’s football, cards, miniature models, computer security, or clothing, you can make it a profitable endeavor through great content and SEO.
Okay, there’s a bit more to turning a passion into a money-making business than that, but one thing for sure is that you must find your niche before your career as a content creator can truly flourish.
Study your industry
Found that niche already? Awesome.
Now, you just need to become an expert in that niche.
The fabled theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything was debunked, presumably by people who had a lot of time on their hands.
In any case, it definitely takes a long time to become an expert content creator.
Whatever the niche is, you need to immerse yourself in it, regularly, so you can soak up as much wisdom and knowledge from news sources and thought leaders as possible.
Add at least one of these apps and programs to your smartphone and laptop:
In each of these content platforms, you can set up personal content feeds from news sites, top publications, and thought leader blogs. For example, here is my Feedly:
Every day, I read at least 4 or 5 articles about business, content marketing, and entrepreneurship, as well as the latest news about futuristic technologies like augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
If you want to become a content creator for tech startups, you need to stay updated with current events in your industry, from the technologies and tools to the latest strategies for modern business and digital marketing. So, I’m sorry to say. It’s time to stop wasting time watching cat videos on YouTube (unless that’s your niche).
Develop your unique voice
Remember what I said about brand storytelling earlier? Well, here’s something not every freelance writer or content creator seems to realize:
You are a brand.
Even if you are running a one-human-show under your given name, you can brand yourself by establishing a strong voice and style that people recognize instantly.
To help you find your brand voice, ask yourself the following questions:
- How would you describe your brand voice in three words?
- If your brand was a person, how would you describe their personality?
- How does the ‘personality traits’ of your brand make it stand out?
With the three descriptive words at the foundation, you can flesh out the characteristics of your brand voice in a brand voice chart, where you list things that your brand does or does not do in written content.
Done right, this method can help you develop a voice that not only strikes a chord with the audience but also with future prospective clients. Ultimately, it takes time, but it’s essential to work hard on developing a voice that stands out from the pack.
On that note:
Offer unique views and solutions
Don’t be another clone.
Nobody wants to see another “me too” act.
Whatever the niche, whatever the industry, you can be sure there are a million others who have gone before you.
So, is there anything original left to say? Has everything been done to death already?
Sometimes, it may feel like that, but then, once in a while, something eye-catching comes along. The blog that everyone links to, the infographic that everybody shares, or the video that people return to watch more than once.
You want to be the content creator behind those pieces.
Make people stop in their tracks.
Make them sit back in their chair and say, ‘huh…I never thought of it like that before.’
Make content that people want to save to their bookmarks and share with their peers.
But that’s not all:
Don’t settle for raising a few eyebrows with interesting takes — go the extra mile by offering actionable solutions that people can put into practice.
You know, kinda like how I’m showing the steps to become a content creator in this guide.
When you can create compelling, unique, actionable content successfully, and consistently, you’ll be well on your way to making your name as a content creator that exciting tech startups want to hire.
Master content creation programs
If you want to become a content creator for tech startups, it should come as no surprise that you need to be adept at a range of apps and software.
At the bare minimum, learn to love the following five tools:
Google Docs is essential for content creators now. From writing blogs to drafting strategies to hashing out new ideas, it’s the perfect workshop. If you’re still using Microsoft Word and forgetting to save your work before a power cut or surprise assault on your keyboard from your pet parrot, then you need to get with the times.
Canva is the amateur graphic designer’s best pal. You can use this to create awesome infographics, business card designs, social media posts, website banners, and tons more.
Grammarly is one of my favorite browser plugins, making it easy to correct all those grammatical mishaps that you may otherwise miss during proofreading.
AMI Institute Headline Analyzer rates the emotional marketing value of headlines. You can play around with different words and phrasing to create titles that pluck the heartstrings of your audience — and inevitably drive them to click your links in the search results. Trying to create a high-ranking headline is also super addictive — don’t say I didn’t warn you!
KWFinder is one of the most user-friendly keyword research tools, which makes it easy for SEO newbies. However, even seasoned content creators can derive a lot of value from this tool, finding excellent opportunities to create new content around.
Get familiar with project management tools.
- Asana is a clean and clear task management platform.
- Trello does much the same stuff as Asana but with a fun Kanban board twist.
- If Asana and Trello had a baby that possessed all their abilities and more, it would be ClickUp.
There are others, but we won’t go there because they’re just mediocre imitations with awful user interfaces that invariably make you want to punch your computer.
But let’s move on.
What? Who said that?
Okay, swiftly moving on…
In addition to your project management platforms and good old email, you should also be prepared to get Slack, if you haven’t already.
The searchable log of all communications and knowledge is a handy tool to have in enterprises — especially ones with remote team members. As the leading business communications platform in the world, Slack makes it super easy to compartmentalize different teams and tasks into dedicated channels. You can attach all your files, like Google Docs, PDFs, or videos, and quickly find any conversation or snippet of info when needed with a quick search.
It’s also good for sending funny memes.
Hone your craft
Practice makes perfect.
Well, actually, it doesn’t. As we already know, Malcolm Gladwell’s theory on that concept was shot to bits.
But, you should still practice pretty fuggin hard if you want to get anywhere in content creation. It’ll pay off in the end, trust me.
Don’t believe me?
Well, here’s a true story:
In May 2018, I was living in a cold shed in Peru, pounding out an average of 5,000 words per day on mind-numbingly dull topics like “top pillows for side sleepers” and “best office lighting systems,” so that I could pay the rent on said shed.
And, yes, it had a tin roof, no heat, and big spiders — it was a real live shed.
My partner and I were averaging $0.03 per word. We were literally begging the agency editor for more of these absolute garbage blog posts just so we could pay our bills, buy groceries, and continue traveling South America on a shoestring.
Fast-forward 18 months, and I was booked up with clients averaging $300 per blog post.
Another six months later, and it’s $800 – 1000 per 1500-word blog post.
Which freelance clients pay that??
You guessed it — tech startups.
And some big companies in software, cybersecurity, and data science.
Right now, I’m writing this gargantuan post for shits n’ giggles on a Wednesday afternoon, because I finally have time to do my own thang.
Correction: I have the financial freedom to pick and choose what projects I take on, instead of almost popping a blood vessel in my eye from pumping out 10,000 words a day.
Oh, did I not mention that about the shed days?
Yeah, my eyes were almost bleeding.
Thankfully, those days are done.
This kind of progression is possible for any content creator.
But, it will happen for you a whole lot faster when you focus on your niche and your skill, and then work damn hard to move in that direction. If you hop around from lifestyle blogging to ecommerce emails to beauty graphics, you’ll struggle to make headway as quickly as you would like.
Believe me – I spent enough time spinning my wheels in the mud to know that the “general content writer” does not get far, fast.
Get laser-focused, then dig in deep. With a clear sense of direction, you can climb the ranks quickly, and then you’ll be able to command significantly higher rates.
You can also start replying to low-ball clients with this picture:
Too often, new bloggers or marketers fall at the first hurdle, as their best intentions of producing regular content goes out the window when the reality of the working day takes over.
Before you know it, another month is gone, and your blog is starting to gather dust since that last published post. If you’re going to attract an audience of dedicated followers and keep them coming back, you have to be consistent.
(I say that…and yet, I too live in fear that this post would live a lonely existence on my blog before the next post arrives! But that doesn’t make it any less true — consistency is crucial!)
Here are a few tips for building consistency:
- Create a content strategy to keep you on track, saving you time thinking about what to post each week.
- Publish some form of content daily, whether it’s on social media, blog posts, images, or videos.
- Repurpose content from one medium to another. A blog article can be summarized in an Instagram story, an infographic, or a week-long series of LinkedIn posts over the course.
- Splinter your content by repurposing sections from existing posts. A post of 3,000 words or more will include several sections, each of which can become a dedicated blog post down the line.
- Gather feedback from readers on all your channels to find out what drives conversation, what works, and what causes tumbleweeds.
- Outsource your content creation to get some help in building your brand. This approach may seem like cheating, but in the early days, it can be a big help. Hiring an editor or content manager to take charge of repurposing and publishing your content will increase your brand awareness in a fraction of the time.
Once you build up some consistency as a content creator, you have a much higher chance of making it to the big time.
But remember — content creation is only part of the game; marketing is the rest.
Which brings us to our next point:
Build your network.
Good content creators know that if you want to drive results from kickass content, then you can’t spend ALL your time creating content.
Many argue the point that you should only be creating content 20% of the time — the other 80% of your time should be spent promoting the hell out of it.
That’s where your network comes in, as you’ll need people to amplify your message.
In other words, you need an audience of loyal brand evangelists who will scream about your fan-bloody-tastic content to all of their friends and family. Then those people will pass the message on to their nearest and dearest, and so on.
Here are four places to build your network and promote your content:
- Facebook as it’s still a behemoth with over 1.7 billion active users
- Instagram, as it’s the favorite platform of younger audiences, and great for building a brand image.
- LinkedIn as it’s the best platform for developing professional relationships
Medium used to be a great stage to republish content from your blog, as there were no Google penalties for duplicate content. However, that is no longer the case.
And what about Reddit and Twitter?
Forget about them. Redditors don’t take kindly to self-promotion, and Twitter is so overcrowded that your tweets won’t get the limelight for long enough to drive significant traffic.
Focus on great actionable content that people want to share, and the three platforms above are all you need to grow for now.
Remember how I said Redditors don’t take kindly to self-promotion? I hope so because it was like 3 seconds ago. If you’re a goldfish, that’s okay. I forgive you.
Well, self-promotion is okay some of the time on the other platforms, but not all the time. If your business Facebook page is just a one-way street of you endlessly playing your own trumpet, you’ll turn everyone off.
Social media is about sharing and caring. Share work from others, and care enough to contribute to the conversations happening around you. Aim to share your own content once for every 3-4 shares of something else.
More importantly, get involved in message threads every day. Not only on your page or posts, but in related groups, forums, and threads. By having a consistent presence in your online community, people will see that you contribute meaningful insights regularly, answering questions, and stirring up a thoughtful conversation wherever you go.
Bonus point: It can help you get a better understanding of your audience and discover ideas for new content.
Use data analytics to evaluate your performance.
We live in the data-driven age. When you publish content and market the hell out of it, you want to know how it’s doing, right?
When you have Google Analytics wired up, you can track traffic to your blog posts, or monitor engagement on your social media page to understand the following key metrics:
- Visitors per day/week/month to understand how brand awareness is building.
- Time spent on pages/categories to identify high-performing or low-performing pages that pique or lose the visitor’s interest.
- Bounce rate to determine the percentage of people that exit your site without viewing more than one page.
- Comments/likes/shares to discover which content is a hit with your target audience.
Use data analytics to drive your business forward, using the insights to guide your decision-making regarding future content creation.
Where to Look For Digital Content Creator Jobs
So, now you know:
- What a content creator is and what they do.
- The different types of content creators in modern marketing.
- Why startup blogs and big businesses want content creators.
- The most important skills a content creator needs to succeed.
It’s about time I told you where you can find your first content creator jobs, isn’t it?
Here is a list of useful job resources to help you find your first content creator job for a tech startup or innovative business.
AngelList is a U.S. website where startups and angel investors post job ads for emerging companies. If you want to get in on the ground floor of the next Uber or Slack, then this is a great place to look for opportunities. Most positions are well-paid, and many offer equity in the startup.
Darren Rowse started his blog about blogging way back in 2004. Since then, his job board has become one of the hottest spots on the internet for awesome content creators to find jobs worth fighting over. Job advertisers have to pay $70 to advertise, so there are less penny-pinching clients here. That’s not to say they don’t exist, but you’ve got a good chance of finding content creator jobs with a little more mulah on this site.
Ah, the professional social media. Facebook for real adults with big ambitions of entrepreneurship and scaling businesses. The jobs board is rich with excellent roles in some of the biggest companies on the planet, many of which can be done remotely. If you consider yourself as one of those real ambitious entrepreneurial types, then your social media game should be almost entirely focused on this platform — unless you’re an Instagram influencer or Facebook ads pro, of course. Having an active LinkedIn profile will bolster your job applications, as it allows prospective clients and hiring managers to determine if you have the juju to make their company shine.
Sometimes, you just gotta go for the jugular. If you want to write for Forbes or Fast Company or see your photography on National Geographic, you don’t always need to take the long road. You can shoot for the stars with a direct pitch to any company you have your content-creating little heart set on.
Just keep in mind that the big guns will probably want to see:
- Evidence of your past work
- A portfolio website or blog with some regular activity
- At least one social channel like LinkedIn or Twitter, where you have an audience.
Also, when you pitch for the stars, do it right. Don’t just bulk-send a generic, copy-pasted template to all your targets.
Find the right contact person, like the VP of Marketing or Content Manager, and write a personalized email or LinkedIn message that sells your benefits to them. Go above and beyond the requests of a normal content creator job description to explain the value you offer their business, and hammer home the unique insights your never-seen-before blog post will have for their audience.
With a few guest post bylines on major publications in your market, your content creator career can really take off quickly.
What about Upwork and TopTal?
Where good content creators go to die.
Actually, it’s where many are born.
But after you find your first few gigs, get out quickly. Sites like this are good to cut your teeth, earning you a few bucks while you find your voice.
Ideally, you should bag a couple of regular clients, then try to take them off the platform with a sneaky email that persuades them to continue working together independently from Upwork. This sneaky little trick enables you to keep more of your hard-earned money.
If you can’t do that, look for a byline or two so you can add to your portfolio, which will make for a stronger case when you pitch new prospects.
Upwork is a platform to start your career, but there’s no need to race to the bottom every day with thousands of freelancers who are prepared to work for peanuts.
Get in, get a byline or regular client, get the hell out.
And there you have it, everything you need to go forth and carve out a career as a content creator in the modern marketing age.
So, now that you know how to become a content creator for tech startups, it’s time to figure out three things:
- your skill
- your niche
- your voice
What will you offer the innovative businesses of tomorrow? What industry will you target? Most importantly, how will you be better and more unique than any other content creator out there?
Speak your mind in the comments below.
And I wish you the best of luck on your journey to becoming a content creator this year. Shoot me a message if you want some free advice!