Sharing knowledge, experiences or recipes on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube is the way to become a content creator or social media influencer, but it's a crowded field where the best chance of success is to find your niche.
"Content creators are active in all kinds of areas," says Philippe Riechel from the German digital association Bitkom, listing topics such as gaming, fashion, fitness, and nutrition. The problem is that the competition for followers is fierce.
Finding something that sets you apart from everyone else is key. "This is the only way to gain attention, followers, and maybe even advertising revenue one day," says marketing consultant Mario Kaminski.
Finding a suitable niche is all about identifying trends online and combining these with your own interests. Then the next challenge is how to create and present your content.
"Those who bring creativity and passion to the table and are prepared to deal intensively with the topic have good basic prerequisites," Riechel says.
Lesson number one: Being a content creator is time-consuming
Above all, you have to invest a lot of time as becoming a content creator means you have to build up your own brand. "You have to work on it every day and produce content," Kaminski says.
There are various ways to attract attention and gain followers. In the beginning, one way is to comment on other people's content while linking to your own.
"But that is incredibly tedious in the long run," according to Kaminski. A more effective way is to use platforms such as YouTube, TikTok or Instagram.
"Which channel is most suitable often depends on the content," Riechel says. It's generally advisable to use several platforms simultaneously and to adapt the content to the respective platform: "This way, you reach a larger target group and can increase your own reach even more."
Don't expect to make money right away
And how much can you earn? "In the beginning, mostly nothing at all, because it takes time until you have followers and a reach with your content," says Kaminski.
Only when you have several thousand followers will you become attractive to advertisers.
According to Kaminski, content creators can earn about €5,000 (RM22,896) per advertising deal for every 100,000 followers they have.
In principle, there are no upper limits to earnings, which are mostly a matter of negotiation. Ways of making money include product placements, banner ads, partner links, and sponsorship.
However, that's very much the exception. "Most content creators don't earn any money with their content, and only very few of them generate enough reach to make a living from it," Riechel says. For most, being a content creator is just a sideline.
That doesn't necessarily have to be a reason not to get involved. "Many successful creators emphasise that the financial aspect should not be the main motivating factor when setting up channels," according to Riechel. The most important thing is to enjoy the work and be authentic. – dpa