Everyone is a content creator. From text messages to social media posts to phone calls, we all generate content in some form or another. Creating content is nothing new to most people. And yet, starting to create content for business purposes takes things to a whole new level.
If you’re considering breaking into content creation on an enterprise level, start with some basic questions. Are you doing this as an independent influencer, for a small business, or as part of a larger corporate marketing team? Are you creating text, visual, or video content? What does your budget look like?
Once you gain a clearer picture of the kind of content creation you’re creating, you need to build the infrastructure to make it. Here are a few tools that can help you do just that.
1. Start with hardware.
The physical tools required to make content vary with each situation. The obvious difference comes from the kind of content that you’re making.
If you’re writing blog posts, you don’t need much. Make sure you have a decent monitor (or two if you like to have a lot of research windows open), a computer, a mouse, and a keyboard.
If you plan on generating visual or audio content, you need to think bigger. Take launching a podcast as an example. Recording isn’t rocket science, and the equipment isn’t expensive. But you still want more than just a smartphone or pocket recorder.
Purchase a decent microphone — unless you’re running a professional recording studio, this shouldn’t cost more than $100. You also want a pre-amp to help you pick up a clean, powerful recording every time. A pop filter can create crisp, clean audio, too.
If you aspire to create more complex content, you need something different. For audible content, for instance, a program like SquadCast can help you capture crystal-clear audio, even when recording remotely. The software also helps with things like audio drift (syncing multiple audio tracks) when you record with others.
With videos, you want to go even further. Address lighting with a ring light or other affordable lighting option. Consider if you need to invest in a background, too. And, of course, you’re going to need a decent-quality camera (in this case, your smartphone should be more than enough).
As a final consideration, if you’re going to be editing significant quantities of audio or video, make sure your computer can handle it.
Video is particularly taxing. Techradar has assembled a list of some of the best video editing computers. These span the gamut from hundreds to thousands of dollars and can address the most demanding content creation needs.
2. Build a tech stack.
Hardware is important, but it only helps if you have the right software to bring everything together.
Content creation software is an overwhelming topic. There is a continual carousel of new programs and applications available that can make it easy to churn out professional content.
The question is, which ones are right for you?
Once again, it all comes down to circumstances, starting with the content you’re creating. If you’re writing blogs, Google Docs is a universal and easy-to-use way to compose text. You can share files easily and collaborate on the same document, and everything you write is automatically backed up.
When you need to work on video, you can use basic editing software like iMovie to splice and join clips together. If you’re more focused on solid images, a cloud-based program like Canva can give you all the versatility you need.
With all of these programs, it’s important to try them out before investing in them. Most offer a demo version or a trial period. Take advantage of these to make sure a program isn’t just well made. It also needs to suit your particular content creation style.
3. Stay organized.
As you are starting to create content, you may find that it’s difficult to keep your digital “production line” neat over time. As you make files, generate audio, film clips, download images, and so on, you need to stay organized. Fortunately, there are tools that can help with this, too.
As already mentioned, a program like Google Docs makes it easy to send text content between creators. Google Drive and DropBox are great for sharing larger pieces of content, too, such as a video or high-quality image file.
If you’re the one posting your content, you also want a good calendar to keep track of everything.
A simple option like Google Calendar can help you plan out content production and posting schedules. Tailwind offers a more advanced solution for adapting content to multiple platforms and then scheduling them to post all in one central application.
As a last note, consider keeping a spreadsheet, like Excel or Google Sheets, of the content that you’re creating. This kind of organization can pay major dividends over time. You can avoid duplicating things unnecessarily. You can also track popular posts and reshare or repost them in the future.
Everyone says content is king. And yet, breaking into the content creation world remains nuanced and complicated — especially for newbies. If you’re trying to make the leap from personal content creator to professional content expert, you want to set the stage for success. From hardware to software, creation to organization, use the tools above to pave the way toward a vibrant content creation career.