How to become a content creator (after a layoff) in 2024

How to become a content creator (after a layoff) in 2024
Estimated reading time:
minutes

Losing your job can feel overwhelming and disheartening. But through all the uncertainty and pressure, it’s time to move on and find other sources of income.  You may already be considering various career paths, and becoming a content creator could be a promising option.

Content creation has been rising in popularity in the last few years due to the rise of social media platforms and an increasing demand for digital content. A decade ago, few could have imagined that creating simple videos — like speaking to a camera for one-minute clips — could turn into a career. 

Yet, today, people like Khaby Lame have turned content creation into lucrative careers without even talking into said camera.

The content creation industry is substantial, with an estimated value of approximately $104.2 billion. This places it on a similar economic scale to established professions such as nursing and marketing.

In this article, we'll explore content creation as a potential career path for those trying to find their footing after a layoff.

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Why should you try becoming a content creator after a layoff?

While not a get-rich-quick scheme, content creation has the potential to grow over time as you build an audience. You can earn money in different ways, such as sponsorships, merchandise, fan support platforms, etc. 

Starting a content creation business after a layoff can be appealing for a few key reasons. First, content creation allows you to make money from skills you already have, like writing, design, video editing, etc. It's also relatively cheap to get started—all you really need is a computer and an internet connection.

Second, it gives you control and flexibility that you didn't have before. As a content creator, you're the boss - you decide what to create, when to work, and what direction to take. This flexibility is great if you have other responsibilities like caregiving.

Third, you get to share your passions, knowledge, and creativity with an audience. There's a high demand for unique online content across all kinds of topics and niches.

So, after a setback like losing your job, turning to content creation and later, influencing, lets you regain control, pursue your interests, and have flexible income potential. But it does require hard work and constant adaptation.

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Skill you need as a content creator

You may be surprised to find that many of your existing skills from your previous job can seamlessly translate into the world of content creation. 

Here are some valuable transferable skills that can help you succeed as a solopreneur:

  • Writing and communication skills
  • Creative skills (Video editing, graphic design, photography, audio production)
  • Technical skills (Coding, web development, app creation)
  • Analytical and research skills
  • Project management skills
  • Marketing and promotion skills
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Adaptability and continuous learning

The challenges of being a content creator

One of the most significant hurdles is building an audience from scratch, which can be a slow and frustrating process. You'll need to consistently produce high-quality content, engage with your audience, and navigate the unpredictable algorithms of social media platforms.

One of the biggest challenges is standing out in an oversaturated market. With millions of content creators vying for attention, it can be difficult to build a loyal audience and establish yourself as an authority in your niche. This means you'll need to consistently produce high-quality, engaging content that offers value to your viewers or readers.

Another obstacle is the unpredictable and often inconsistent income stream. Unlike a traditional job with a steady paycheck, your earnings as a content creator can fluctuate greatly, especially in the early stages. It may take months or even years to build a sustainable income, and you'll need to have a solid financial plan in place to weather the ebbs and flows.

Additionally, you'll need to stay up-to-date with trends, algorithms, and platforms in the content creation world. What works today may not work tomorrow, and you'll need to be adaptable and willing to continuously learn and evolve your strategies.

Also, as your popularity grows, complete independence may become unfeasible. You might find it necessary to hire a manager to safeguard your business interests and even engage cybersecurity professionals to use penetration testing tools on your site to guard against hackers. Remember that investing in a good team is crucial for sustained success.

While these challenges may seem daunting, especially for someone who is looking for a career change after layoff, it's important to remember that with hard work, perseverance, and a willingness to adapt, building a successful content business is possible.

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How to find your niche as a content creator

Finding the right niche is crucial but not easy. It sets the direction of your content, helps you connect with the right audience, and distinguishes you in a crowded market. 

To find that sweet spot, start by evaluating your interests, hobbies, and expertise. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are you truly passionate about
  • What topics do you find yourself endlessly researching or discussing with others?
  • What topics give you joy to explore?

These passions can serve as a solid foundation for your content creation journey. 

However, it's equally important to identify the skills you possess that could be valuable in creating content. Do you have a knack for writing, design, video editing, or public speaking? Matching your creative talents with your interests can help you produce high-quality content that resonates with your audience.

Once you've identified your passions and skills, now figure out what kind of personality you want to present to your audience. Generally, there are 2 types of creators: entertainers and educators. Entertainers aim to amuse and delight, while educators aim to teach the audience. For instance, Khaby Lame is an entertainer, while Erika Kullberg is an educator

Once you have these figured out, now try and study successful content creators in your niche and identify opportunities to differentiate yourself. It's also essential to understand your target audience's interests, pain points, and content consumption habits.

Remember, finding your niche is an iterative process, and it may take some experimentation to find the perfect fit. The key is to remain authentic and true to your passions while providing value to your audience. 

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Low-cost tools and platforms for content creators

There are many low-cost ways to establish your presence as a content creator without breaking the bank.

First, research and find free and affordable online tools and platforms for content creation. For content creation, tools like Canva for graphic design, Audacity for audio editing, and OpenShot for video editing offer robust features at little to no cost.

Leveraging these tools and platforms allows you to create high-quality content without a significant financial investment. This way, you can focus on honing your skills and building your brand more efficiently and cost-effectively. 

Also, pay attention to popular content creation tools in the market. Despite the energy demand, AI is revolutionizing the content industry, and finding the right tools can be a game changer for you. In fact, data shows that these tools can help you cut the time and cost needed to make videos by up to 80%.

As you grow and expand your content business, you can explore more advanced tools and platforms that align with your evolving needs and budget.

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How to grow your audience

Building an audience as a content creator is a gradual process that requires patience and strategic effort. Here's a step-by-step guide with practical tips to help you grow your following:

  • Defining your target audience. Identifying your target audience is the foundation of building a successful audience. Take the time to research and understand their interests, pain points, and content consumption habits. 
  • Engaging your audience. Engagement is key to building a loyal, dedicated audience. Respond to comments and messages promptly, fostering a two-way dialogue. Ask for feedback on your content and incorporate their suggestions. 
  • Provide value. Consistently providing value through your content is the key to retaining and growing your audience. Create content that solves problems, entertains, or educates your target audience. 
  • Be patient and consistent. Building a loyal, engaged audience takes time, dedication, and consistent effort. Understand that overnight success is rare, and be prepared for a marathon, not a sprint. Consistently create high-quality content, engage with your community, and analyze your metrics to adjust your strategies as needed. 

Monetization strategies for turning content into income

When transitioning into one of the different types of creator businesses, understanding how to monetize your work is crucial. Here are some practical and effective monetization strategies that content creators commonly use:

Advertising revenue

One of the most direct ways to earn money from your content is through advertising. Platforms like YouTube, blogs, and podcasts can integrate ads. 

For example, YouTube pays creators a portion of the ad revenue generated from their videos through their Partner Program, but you need to meet specific eligibility criteria to qualify. Blogs can use Google AdSense to display ads, where earnings are based on clicks and impressions.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based strategy where content creators promote products or services using unique affiliate links and earn a commission from sales or actions taken through these links. 

This model benefits both brands, which gain access to the creators' audiences, and affiliates, who can earn passive income without handling products directly.

Key payment models:

  • Pay-Per-Sale (PPS). This is the most common model where affiliates earn a commission for each sale made via their links.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Affiliates earn each time someone clicks on their affiliate link, regardless of whether it leads to a sale.
  • Pay-Per-Lead (PPL). Commissions are earned for generating leads, like sign-ups or consultations, which usually require a higher engagement level than clicks.
  • Pay-Per-Action (PPA). Similar to PPL, but targets users further along in the purchase process, like those ready to buy.

Sponsored content

This strategy involves creating content, such as articles, videos, or social media posts, that subtly promote a brand or product. It's typically more engaging and less intrusive than traditional advertising, allowing for a seamless integration into your regular content stream​.

To effectively utilize sponsored content, start by setting clear goals. Whether you aim to increase brand awareness or establish thought leadership, defining these goals will guide the creation of relevant and impactful content. 

Collaborate with brands or influencers that share a similar ethos or whose audience overlaps with yours. This synergy ensures the content feels authentic and enhances the likelihood of positive reception​ (Shopify)​.

Joining communities & finding mentors for your journey

Building a strong support network is crucial for the success of any of these popular types of creator businesses, especially when starting out after a layoff. Here are practical strategies to find mentors and communities that can guide and uplift you on your journey:

  • Find a mentor. A mentor who has already achieved success in content creation can provide invaluable guidance and advice. 
  • Join online communities. The internet is home to numerous vibrant communities of content creators sharing resources, tips, and support. Join niche-specific forums, Facebook groups, or subreddits related to your area of content creation to meet like-minded people. 
  • Attend in-person events. While online communities are valuable, attending in-person events can provide networking opportunities and hands-on learning experiences.
  • Building a local network. Seek out content creators in your local area and build a supportive network. Attend local events, join co-working spaces, or reach out to creators you admire for coffee or collaboration opportunities. 

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Things to ask yourself before becoming a content creator

Deciding whether to pursue a career in content creation after a layoff is a deeply personal decision. It's crucial to engage in honest self-reflection and ask yourself some tough questions to determine if this path aligns with your goals, skills, and lifestyle. 

Here are some essential questions to consider:

  1. Are you truly passionate about your chosen niche or topic?
  2. Do you possess the necessary skills (writing, video editing, graphic design, etc.)?
  3. Are you prepared for inconsistent and unpredictable income?
  4. Can you effectively manage your time and juggle multiple tasks?
  5. Are you comfortable with self-promotion and marketing yourself?
  6. Do you thrive on continuous learning and adapting to industry changes?
  7. Does this career path align with your lifestyle and financial situation?
  8. Are you prepared for the potential challenges and setbacks?
  9. Do you have a backup plan or alternative income source?
  10. Are you willing to invest the time and effort required to build a successful career?

While losing your job can be overwhelming, it's also an opportunity to explore new and fulfilling career paths. Becoming a content creator allows you to leverage your skills, gain control over your work, and share your passions with the world. The journey requires hard work, adaptability, and a willingness to learn, but the rewards can be immense.

Ready to start your journey as a content creator? Join Teachable with a free plan today and begin owning your income and impact. Whether you're a budding influencer or an established content creator, Teachable provides the tools you need to turn your passion into a thriving business.

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Nahla Davies

Nahla Davies, Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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