YouTube wasn’t always the mega video streaming site it is today. Before 2011, the site was known for cute cat videos, parodies, and album covers. But then came YouTube celebrities.
Soon, YouTubers, as YouTube stars were called, started partnering with the Next New Networks (NNN). NNN took on the role of producer, assisting YouTubers in sharing and monetizing their videos. YouTube eventually acquired NNN and renamed it YouTube Next.
Just before this, NNN had created a program called the Next New Creators Program, designed to help YouTubers grow their subscribers. This was the first use of the word “creators” and it stuck. So …
What is a creator?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a creator is someone who “creates by bringing something new or original into being.”
This is what a content creator does. And what defines a content creator in 2022?
If you create online content, especially videos for social media—and monetize them—then you’re a creator.
If you’re contemplating a career as a content creator and becoming a part of the creator economy, then this article is for you.
Why become part of the creator economy?
The content creator economy is a rapidly growing market. This economic system is comprised of independent creators that connect to their audience via social media and the web at large. As of 2022, the sector is valued at over $100 billion.
What makes a great content creator?
If you create and publish content, you’re a creator. This applies to all forms of online content, including blogs, email newsletters, podcasts, and especially videos. However, being a great creator is a whole different ballgame. What do creators with followers numbering in the six- to eight-digit ranges have in common? Here are the attributes of a successful creator:
- Active on multiple social media channels, all linking to the main channel housing the content
- Consistent content production
- Responds to some of the comments
- Creates original content not already produced by creators in the same niche
- Occasional collaboration with other successful creators
The pros and cons of being a content creator
Becoming a creator is a legitimate career path. However, like all jobs, it has its pros and cons.
Pros of being a creator
- Create and monetize content on a subject you’re truly passionate about
- Content creators have full creative freedom to express yourself, provided it’s within site conduct guidelines
- It’s scalable: You can pursue the field as a part-timer or make it a full-time career
- You are your own boss
Cons of being a creator
- Building a following can take months and even years
- It may take months or years before you earn enough income to live off of or quit your day job
- For every PewDiePie or MrBeast, there are thousands of creators struggling to get their piece of the pie
- There’s no guarantee of reaching the same status as your favorite creators
What is a creator on social media?
Social media creators produce content for one or more social network channels. YouTube is a social network, so this includes the video streaming site.
Creators may use one channel to link to channels with their main content. For example, a creator may use Twitter to announce the release of a new YouTube video. The video contains a link in the description to a Pinterest page containing affiliate products.
How content creators differ by platform
Creators will usually be dominant on one platform while using other social media as support networks. Consider the differences among content creators of various social platforms:
Anyone with a YouTube channel is a creator. However, the network classifies creators into one of two classifications: aspiring creators and established creators. Which one you belong to depends on your degree of success. Want to guess which category the likes of PewDiePie and Jake Paul fall under?
Successful Facebook profiles are also content creators. Through this medium, creators can start groups and optimize them with multiple media, including written, image, and video content.
Instagrammers are categorized more as influencers. However, while uploading a selfie doesn’t take the same amount of work as a comprehensive video, it’s still content.
A lot of Instagrammers also prefer the term “creator” over “influencer.”
TikTokers create entertaining videos. This puts them more in the creators category, though some of the more successful TikTokers have huge influence. However, with the rising popularity of TikTok among younger audiences, it’s essential for parents to be aware of TikTok parental controls to ensure a safe online environment for their kids.
Companies may use TikTok content creators as brand advocates.
Creators on Twitter may use multiple titles to brand themselves. This includes content creators and influencers. Some consider themselves artists; content like memes and GIFs is their art.
What is a creator vs. influencer?
You may also be familiar with the term “influencer.” Are creators and influencers the same? It depends on who you ask. Some people think the terms are interchangeable. This assertion isn’t entirely wrong, and there are certainly overlaps. However, there are a few distinctions.
Creators deliver high-quality content that their followers want to consume. Content creators monetize the content directly, making it their primary income stream.
How a creator makes money
- One-time or monthly donations
- Paid subscription services
- Sponsor shoutouts, usually at the beginning of a video
An influencer is someone who, well, influences. Yes, they may create original content, but the emphasis is on persuading followers to take action.
The influencer’s goal is to get you to click the affiliate link, follow a brand, or sign up for a trial service.
How an influencer makes money
- Affiliate commissions
- Brand endorsements
- Product mentions and placements
Creators do have influence, and influencers do create. However, creators are, first and foremost, content developers. Influencers are primarily brand ambassadors.
Can you become a creator?
Anyone who has the drive can become a creator. All it takes is a smartphone and an innovative imagination. By becoming a content creator you have the freedom of traveling around, say go to London, store luggage in London, travel around, and be creative by moving here and there.
You’ll need the latter to create quality content that followers consume and demand more of.
You’ll need grit as there’s no such thing as overnight success. Even if a video goes viral, it doesn’t always translate to subscribers.
You can become a creator—but whether it’s a viable, long-term career path is a different story. You’re guaranteed a platform, but you’re not guaranteed success.
Streamline the content creator journey
Hopefully, we’ve answered the question “What is a creator?” for you!
If you want to become a creator, diversify your channels by having a multi-social media presence.
At Customers.ai, we make it easy by automating your Facebook, Twitter, and WebChat messages through a single platform. For Instagram users, make InstaChamp a part of your workflow with real-time DM messaging, autoreplies, and follower incentivization programs.
Try Customers.ai’s InstaChamp today and streamline the behind-the-scenes process as a creator!