5 Must-Have Content Creator Skills to Help Kickstart Your Career
5 Must-Have Content Creator Skills to Help Kickstart Your Career

If you love dreaming up creative posts for your favorite social media platform, maybe you’ve thought about what it might take to become a professional content creator. And you wouldn’t be alone.

According to a 2022 study by Adobe, more than 165 million people entered the content creation industry globally in the previous two years. Another study found that nearly one-third of kids ages 11 to 16 said they wanted to be a social media influencer when they grew up.

So, whether you aspire to become a vlogger, podcaster, Instagram influencer, TikToker, social media manager or something more traditional (like a content writer), there are plenty of opportunities out there for creative types. But how do you boost your skills to the level required to launch or advance your content career?

Here are 5 content creator skills to help kickstart your career, and the UW Professional & Continuing Education courses and programs that can help you get there.

1. Video and Photography

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and visual communication has become the currency of our fast-paced, mobile culture. From Instagram posts to TikTok and YouTube videos to streaming services, there is a voracious and growing demand for this kind of content.

Of course, there’s much more to producing great images and video than grabbing your phone and shooting. Low-quality visual content turns off your audience and reflects poorly on your message or brand. Learning how to produce professional-level images and videos can enhance the impact of your content and help you stand out from the crowd.


2. Writing and Storytelling

All great content starts with a story, and learning the fundamentals of compelling writing and storytelling is vital to becoming a content creator.  Whatever format or platform you choose for your content, developing and honing this skill can pay big dividends in your career.

We offer several programs that focus on or incorporate writing and storytelling, so you can pick the one that best fits your goals.


3. Audio

Great audio isn’t just for songs or drive-time commuting anymore. Podcasts are one of the fastest-growing content sectors these days — one recent estimate put the number of podcasts at a staggering 2 million and counting.

Music and sound are also a big part of the viral success of many TikTok videos and similar content on other social media platforms. Developing solid audio production skills is a great way to increase your value as a content creator. Check out our programs that teach these in-demand content creator skills.


4. SEO and Content Strategy

According to Google, more than 720,000 hours of new content are uploaded to YouTube daily. Thanks to the internet, we can access billions of images, videos, podcasts, websites and social media posts anytime… almost all for free.

This content cornucopia is great news for consumers and good for creators as well — but it also poses a daunting challenge. How do you ensure your content gets noticed? What can you do to attract the right audience? How do you generate a good return on your investment of time and money?

The answer is to have the right content strategy. This means understanding storytelling principles and the target audience, figuring out the best channels and strategies for content distribution and utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) and data analytics to evaluate content performance. Don’t put all your energy into creating great content, only to see it fail because of poor content strategy decisions.


5. Marketing

Marketing is “the activity or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.” It’s an essential aspect of just about any consumer-driven economic activity.

Even if your goal is to become a content creator for a large organization, having a basic understanding of how marketing works can pay dividends. However, if you think you might end up at a smaller company or (especially) if you plan to run your own content business, then you’ll want to have a solid understanding of marketing principles.

Marketing has been transformed in the last decade or so by the rise of data analytics and other digital metrics. Working professionals teach our marketing courses and certificates, so you’ll learn what’s happening today in this fast-paced field.


Keep Learning

Looking for even more ways to help build your content creation skills? Check out our entire portfolio of marketing, communication and design offerings to find the right program for you.

For more career tips and industry trends, visit the News & Features section of our website, and subscribe to our email list. To learn more about UW Professional & Continuing Education certificates, specializations, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.

Author David Hirning

David Hirning

David Hirning is an accomplished writer and editor with extensive experience in both tech and higher education. He began his career in journalism, then spent over a decade as an editor at Microsoft, where he worked on Encarta Encyclopedia and related reference products.

David worked for six years as a full-time writer and content manager at UW Professional & Continuing Education. He also operated his own editorial consulting business, with stints at leading companies like Amazon and Expedia, and taught English for two years in Costa Rica.

David has served as an instructor for the UW Certificate in Editing program and as a teaching assistant for the UW Certificate in Storytelling & Content Strategy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University and a Certificate in Literary Fiction from the UW.

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