modern day content creator

The Modern-Day Content Creator: What They Do & Why You Need One

Content creators are kind of a big deal.

Without content creators, the internet wouldn’t exist. 🤯

Over half of all businesses do content marketing – and ALL of those employ content creators of some kind.

That said, for brands and businesses, not just any content will do – and not just any content creator will do.

The content you publish on your website, on social media, and everywhere else needs to be purposeful, targeted, and valuable.

It must be goal-oriented. It has to be search engine optimized.

Without those essentials, your content WILL fail.


So, how do you make sure you hit all the right notes with content?

You need the right content creator.

But what IS a content creator, exactly? What makes them unique as professionals in the content marketing industry?

More importantly, WHY do you need one (or a whole team of them) for your content?

(Can’t you just DIY?

Spoiler alert: NO. 🚫)

That’s precisely what we’re exploring today: What a modern-day content creator looks like, what they do, why you need one, and the 5 indispensable habits every great content creator nurtures in their work life.

Let’s explore this modern-day profession that’s gaining in importance as we deal with content overload and the difficulty of standing out from the slush pile. 💩

How do you ensure you hit all the right notes with content? 🎵 You need the right content creator. But what IS a content creator, exactly? 👩‍💻 Learn it all on the Write Blog via @JuliaEMcCoy. Click To Tweet

modern day content creator

The Modern Content Creator: Everything You Need to Know – Table of Contents

The Definition of a Modern-Day Content Creator

  • What Kinds of Digital Content Do They Create?
  • Freelance vs. In-House vs. Agency Content Creators
  • The Mega-Growth of the Content Creator Role

Why Do You Need a Content Creator?

  1. Content That Gets Results Is Tough to DIY
  2. Crafted Content Increases Traffic to Your Site & Generates High-Quality Leads
  3. Targeted Content Reaches Your Audience Like Nothing Else

When Do You Need a Content Creation Agency or Team?

  1. You Need ALL of Your Content Taken Care Of
  2. You Need Multiple Content Formats Created, Not Just Blogs

5 Key Habits of Successful Content Creators

  1. Use Skills to Improve Skills
  2. Stay Current on Digital Trends, Including SEO Best-Practices
  3. Make Researching an Instinct
  4. Clearly and Effectively Communicate Ideas and Information
  5. Read Up on the Best Industry Content Regularly

The Definition of a Modern-Day Content Creator

For a proper description of a content creator, we need to first define “content”.

As you know, content is simply information wrapped up and presented in a shiny package. That package can be physical (such as the content within a book, newspaper, or magazine) OR digital (such as the content you’ll find on a website, blog, or social media platform).

Thus, a content creator is the person responsible for creating that information.

And, when we talk about modern-day content creators, we mean anyone who creates content for the digital, online realm of information.

content creator typing

In general, content creators are always aware of 3 main elements when carrying out their jobs:

  • The combination of the audience and platform they’re creating content for (Who are they talking to? Where will the content be published?)
  • The point-of-view they’re representing in the content (Who’s speaking to the audience? A brand or company? An individual?)
  • The main idea or topic they’re trying to explain or get across (including target keywords when relevant)
#Contentcreators are always thinking about 3 elements: 1) Their audience + platform 🎙 2) The point-of-view they're representing 📣 3) The main idea or topic they're trying to get across 📝 Click To Tweet

What Kinds of Digital Content Do They Create?

infographic what does a modern day content creator do

Digital content spans a wide range of media types and platforms. In general, if you can read it or view it online, then a content creator probably created it.

Here is a basic list of digital content types that content creators have a hand in:

  • Blogs and articles
  • Ebooks
  • Web pages (about pages, product pages, homepage copy)
  • Graphic design (infographics, branding, logos, and blog images)
  • Photos (photojournalism, Instagram posts, stock photos, and brand photography)
  • Social media copy (tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn posts, Instagram captions, etc.)
  • Videos
  • Email newsletters and promotional email copy
Blogs and articles 📝, web pages 💻, emails 📧, social media copy 💭, videos 📺, and more: If you can read it or view it online, then a content creator probably created it. 🔥 Click To Tweet

Freelance vs. In-House vs. Agency Content Creators

Beyond the type of content they specialize in creating, you also can distinguish content creators by the way they work. Here’s a quick rundown:

Freelance content creators are not tied to any single company or brand. Instead, they serve a wide range of clients across multiple industries. They are usually paid by the work they complete, though hourly pay isn’t uncommon. (Type and method of pay depend on the relationship between content creator and client.)

Where do they work? Freelance content creators tend to be remote workers.

In-house content creators, meanwhile, are employed by one specific company. These content creators get a salary, report to an office daily, and may work in a content marketing department (even with small teams of 1-3 people).

Where do they work? In-house content creators may work remotely, too, but a more common set-up is to work part-time in an office and part-time from home.

Content creators working for an agency represent the middle-ground between freelancers and in-house employees. They aren’t permanent staff, but they do have an investment in your content. If you work with one agency, you’ll get the same creators working on your content from project to project. This means they’ll have deeper insight and knowledge into your brand voice and guidelines than a one-off freelance hire. That consistency makes a HUGE difference in the end-product.

Where do they work? Most agencies will handle your content projects remotely. For an example of an agency workflow, check out our process at EW.

Our content creation process at EW

The Mega-Growth of the Content Creator Role

Content creators are more in-demand these days than ever before. 84% of marketers outsource content creation, and this area saw the biggest increase in content marketing spending over 2019.

Another startling stat: From 2018-2019, content marketing jobs skyrocketed, increasing by 112%, according to Conductor’s Inbound Marketing Job + Salary Guide.

content marketing job growth

From 2018-2019, content marketing jobs skyrocketed 🚀, increasing by 112%, according to @conductor 🤯 Click To Tweet

At the same time, the internet is exploding with content – 6 billion searches happen daily on Google, and 4.4 million blogs are published on the web.

However, much of that content isn’t worth a look, let alone a click.

If you have the ability to publish content that not only reaches your audience but also engages them and inspires them to action, you’re doing something incredible. More people are realizing the power of this kind of content, so adept content creators are high on many brands’ must-hire lists.

With that said, let’s get into some specific reasons why you may need a content creation expert on your side.

Why Do You Need a Content Creator?

1. Content That Gets Results Is Tough to DIY

Here’s the thing: Anybody can create content. Anyone can write a random, rambling blog post and hit “publish.” Anyone can tweet their random thoughts into the internet universe, post photos of their cat to Instagram, or rant on Facebook.

Purposeful, targeted content that gets results? The stuff that generates traffic, leads, and revenue? Not just anyone has the chops to pull it off.

Anyone can create random content. But purposeful, targeted, *profitable* content? The stuff that generates traffic, leads, REVENUE? 💸 You need a pro #contentcreator. 👩‍🎨 Click To Tweet

It takes hard work. It takes research, skill, knowledge, and strategy, because content creation is difficult as all get-out. 😖

Content Creation: Marketers’ Biggest Challenge

According to a recent SEMrush survey, 54% of marketers say their toughest challenge is “creating content that generates quality leads.” The second toughest challenge? “Creating content that attracts more traffic” (52%).

It goes further. The top 5 challenges marketers have all relate to content creation.

Top content marketing challenges

Whether it’s developing content that resonates with your target audience, improving the SEO of your content, or generating new content ideas, creation is hard to nail.

It’s not all doom-and-gloom out there, though. Guess who has all of the above moving parts down to a science? The content creator.

That’s why enlisting a pro content creator is so important.

Where did they get their acumen? There is no content creator degree out there – instead, this specialized knowledge and these content creation skills come from a unique mixture of practice and experience.

The wise creator of content seeks out learning opportunities outside of a college classroom (from content creator courses, books, podcasts, industry leaders, etc.) and looks for opportunities to hone their arsenal of tools.

That’s why you need a content creator. Because they’re uniquely equipped, and no one else can do what they can.

2. Crafted Content Increases Traffic to Your Site & Generates High-Quality Leads

A content creator is key when you need your site content to produce results. The right content – written on the right topic, to the right audience, with the right keywords and the right point-of-view + tone of voice – will do the following:

  • Rank better in Google
  • Grab more traffic from Google search (let’s not forget – the #1 result swipes 31.7% of the clicks away from the rest of the results page)

#1 Google result has highest CTR

  • Pique people’s interest when shared on social media
  • Build trust with readers
  • Entice readers to sign up for your email list
  • Create followers from searchers, fans from followers, and customers from fans

If you’re tracking smart KPIs (key performance indicators), yes – all of these scenarios are probable results from amazing content.

It’s a snowball effect, and it begins with purposefully crafted and strategized content aligned to your business goals and audience.

The right content – crafted content – works miracles. Thus, the people who know how to create crafted content are the people you need on your team.

Want to learn to create crafted content? I have 5 words for you: Content Strategy & Marketing Course.

content strategy and marketing course cta

3. Targeted Content Reaches Your Audience Like Nothing Else

Targeted content – for both readers and search engines – is one of the secrets to content marketing ROI.

If you closely research your target audience plus keywords that match their search intent, THEN infuse both in your content, you have a winning combination. That type of content hits your audience in the heart and search engines in their algorithms.

The question is, do you have the knowledge, time, and skill to pull off this level of targeting?

Probably not. But a content creator does. 💡

When Do You Need a Content Creation Agency or Team?

Sometimes, one content creator isn’t enough. Sometimes, you have bigger content needs – more than one person could possibly handle. In that case, you need more powerful creation resources.

Here are the instances when investing in a content creation agency or team is a smart move:

1. You Need ALL of Your Content Taken Care Of

So, you don’t just want blogs in your content wheelhouse. You want to publish more in-depth content, too (like whitepapers or ebooks), plus specific content for your social media channels.

You also need a content creator for your website pages to improve engagement and SEO. On top of all that, you might want to start a YouTube channel but need some good video scripts, first.

Sound familiar?

If your content needs span across all of your current platforms, AND you need new content on a regular basis to score well with Google on freshness factors –

Yes. You need a dedicated content team.

2. You Need Multiple Content Formats Created, Not Just Blogs

In most cases, content creators will not be jacks-of-all-trades. Most creators will specialize in specific content formats, like emails, long-form blogs, ad copy, social media posts, case studies, or product descriptions.

That means, if you need the whole kit-and-caboodle taken care of, you need a content team to get it done.

5 Key Habits of Successful Content Creators

Now that we’ve discussed what a content creator is and why you need one, let’s get into the habits that lead to success in this line of work.

The best content creators take the time to nurture these 5 key habits. They:

1. Use Skills to Improve Skills

Good content creators constantly work on their craft.

If you’re a writer, that means you cultivate a writing habit, both in work and your personal life. When you’re not writing for clients, you’re writing for yourself and personal projects to stay sharp. You also read a TON (more on that later).

If you’re a photographer, that means you’re constantly refining your style, learning new techniques, and studying other photographers’ work that inspires you. The same goes for videographers, graphic designers, and every other type of content creator: They continually use their skills and focus on improving them.

2. Stay Current on Digital Trends, Including SEO Best-Practices

The digital realm is one of lightning-quick changes.

The popular social platform on Tuesday can be outdated by Thursday. Google can roll out major algorithm changes within 24 hours that transform the search landscape. New technology may take the world by storm over the course of a week or two.

The point is, the best content creators stay up on what’s happening. They monitor trends and keep abreast of algorithm changes and SEO best-practices. Since they create for the digital space, this is absolutely necessary to continue producing relevant content.

10 important 2020 SEO trends

Source: Search Engine Journal

3. Make Researching an Instinct

Every successful content creator knows and understands the audience they’re targeting. This isn’t magic – it’s due to a combination of innate curiosity and good research.

Anybody can use Google to look up topics. The difference between everyday Googling and research lies in following links and leads down rabbit holes.

The content creators who push harder, who ask follow-up questions, who wonder “where is the original source for this statistic?”, who love picking people’s brains, who nerd out over gaining deeper insights into a topic, are the ones who create the best content.

4. Clearly and Effectively Communicate Ideas and Information

Have you ever read a blog where a tough concept was explained so clearly and accurately, the clouds parted and birds started singing because you FINALLY understood?

That’s the power of amazing content with effective, clear writing.

If you can explain a difficult concept on your audience’s level so they not only comprehend it, but totally GET it, that’s it. You win at content.

5. Read Up on the Best Industry Content Regularly

How can you stand head-and-shoulders with your peers and competitors if you have no idea what they’re up to? What will you aspire to if you don’t read the best content your industry has to offer?

Reading and digesting inspirational, educational, or aspirational content should be a regular habit for all content creators, no matter their industry or medium.

Don’t limit yourself to blogs, either. Go to the library or a bookstore. Watch the news. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Download ebooks, studies, and whitepapers. Read everything you can and expand your perspective in every way possible. Your content will be better for it.

5 key habits for successful #contentcreators via @JuliaEMcCoy: 1) Use skills to improve skills, 2) Stay current on digital trends, 3) Make research instinctual, 4) Communicate clearly, 5) Read obsessively 🔥🔥 Click To Tweet

Bottom Line: Content Creation Needs an Expert Touch to Succeed

Content creation is not for the faint of heart.

It’s not easy – far from it.

From the slush pile of crap content out there, you can see just how difficult it is to stand out and make an impact.

Luckily, the role of content creator exists. There are people out there who can craft not just amazing content, but content that gets tangible results.

You now know what these people look like, what they do, and the habits they form to grow in their profession.

Whether you aspire to be a great content creator or are considering hiring one, you know their worth. With that knowledge, go forth and conquer. 🏰

11 replies
  1. Aliya
    Aliya says:

    Hi, I enjoyed reading this blog post. That was a good insight to how modern content creators work like. Also it will really help me in creating content for my different social media platforms.

  2. adam smith
    adam smith says:

    Hi Julia McCoy, Thanks for sharing your article about The Modern-Day Content Creator: What They Do & Why You Need One. I love to read this. Your wriring style is really awesome. Infographics which you had used is so nice. You mention all the points very clearly. Keep sharing your knowledge with us so that we can learn some thing from you.

  3. Suman Das
    Suman Das says:

    I am very happy to read the above information.
    It is really helpful for me, I learned many new things from your website.
    Big thanks to you all for everything and I am really very happy.


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