What sort of skills do you need to be a “Content Creator”?
How hard can it be right? What skills do content creators need to learn?
This of course is a vague question, as the concept of “content creator” could cover any number things. For the sake of the following series of posts though we’ll be focussing on the skills I’ve been learning over the course of the past 12 months;
How do you get these content creator skills?
The initial acquisition of these content creator skills happened organically for me. It wasn’t a conscious decision for me because I never wanted to be a content creator. The idea of going on holiday had been set in stone for me for years. I had always toyed with the idea of making videos or taking photos as I travelled the world as a way to force me into exciting circumstances, as well as a way to feed my creative side.
I would watch Youtube videos about photography and videography just for fun after work each day. All this went on as I slowly built up an arsenal of camera gear, always on the lookout for cheap gear or sales. It didn’t feel like learning because it was so fun and it happened over such a long period of time. However there was a lot of knowledge sinking in unknowingly. As the camera gear added up so did the number of things I would learn about each piece of gear.
Only more recently have I decided to write a blog as I travel as well as to make videos. The two will compliment each other nicely (is my justification). It’s a whole lot to learn in a short time, a lot of it may even feel like you’re going backwards to go forwards, like my initial attempts at learning to touch type, or the deep looks into website cache and page speed tests (which I have since abandoned).
The goal of this post
All of this lead me to the idea of this post. As I trundled through another article trying to learn yet another skill to try and fix an issue on this blog, I wondered how many hours of my time I had dedicated to learning skills that were in some way related to being a content creator.
I thought about it some more as I amateurishly touch typed away at my laptop, going at an astonishing 40 words per minute. It’s a skill I’m well on my way to mastering but still so far away from being what I would consider “competent”. I can roughly estimate how many hours I’ve spent touch typing because it’s a new skill that I’ve attempted.
So I wanted to make a post detailing the amount of hours dedicated to learning new skills as well as listing them all in a dropdown clickable menu. In my head it was beautiful and was going to be shared on Oprah (that’s still a thing right?).
However I ran into some early issues;
- I was unable to find a suitably simple way to create a clickable content creator skill tree that had all items hidden until the parent box was clicked
- The size of the tree grew and grew and it was far too much detail for a drop down box to handle even if I had found a plugin or solution
- I couldn’t possibly accurately estimate the amount of hours I had put into learning these skills that had been slowly building over the course of a year or more
So I was at an impasse but I found an alternate way to accomplish the same thing.
Take a peak at the final product below, just to see the sheer size of it. I will further break down each section separately so you can;
- Actually see what the boxes are without the pixelation
- Load the page properly without getting impatient
- Get a basic rundown of the skills listed
Show Me it all – What skills do content creators need?
FYI – The branch at the start is;
Photography & Videography
- Photography Specific
- Shared Components
- Videography Specific
See the other skill trees here!
This was originally all going to be covered in one post but between Divi refusing to save such a large amount of code, as well as too much pixelation on the entire content creator skill tree image shown above, I decided to split it up.
The benefit of course being better load times for you, and a chance for me to briefly explain each tree.
See the other posts here;
You may have noticed that there’s things in there that aren’t skills in any way shape or form. Items such as camera bags or memory card cases aren’t skills so much as they are objects that require consideration when organising yourself to create content. So although it’s playing it fast and loose with the term “content creator skill tree” I still feel they’re valid things that a person needs to dedicate time to knowing about.
They need to be researched especially for those looking to travel with the gear, because not only does price become and issue but also the weight and size, everything contributes something to your bags if you want to make a blog or travel videos, so the research is important.
For example, the search for the perfect camera bag could take someone five hours of research and even longer actual time in shops or setting up their bag to best suit their needs. I guess it’s best to think of the tree as a “things requiring attention, knowledge or research”
You’ll notice also that I only went a few levels deep. This is for a few reasons;
- The tree is quite a complex structure to make in MSword. My laptop is quite decent and it really started to struggle which made the workflow slow, even when splitting the trees to their individual documents.
- It isn’t a tree displaying every possible aspect of content creation, it’s more representative of showing the wide variety than it is in showing the nitty gritty details.
- It displays more of an overarching view of a jack-of-all-trades type approach which is more realistic with what I myself have gone through over the past 12 months as I got my head around all these areas, items, objects.
I decided against putting a number of hours spent for each item or skill because I believe that if I’m guessing then it’s just writing for the sake of having “more involved content”. My argument is – make believe content isn’t truly more detailed in any way even though it may appear to be to the reader. It would be dishonest and probably inaccurate so therefore serves no genuine purpose.
I can tell you though that I’ve probably spent between 5-7 hours of actual typing in my touch typing practice, with a lot of procrastination along the way. I’m not as fast as I’d like yet but have full keyboard coverage and am getting faster each day. A skill that’s worth while for sure, and achievable by anyone with ten fingers and eight patience. Patience being measured by numbers of course.
How Did I learn these Skills?
Youtube was my main resource. I love having a visual aid, it’s like learning with props as assistance.
I did a post covering who my favourite youtube channels for learning photography and if you have a look through there you will basically see 90% of my learning library. Then there’s a separate post for my favourite channels for learning videography.
Which one channel is the best?
If I had to recommend just one channel over the others for learning from, it’s easily Mike Smith for photography and Peter Lindgren for Videography.
For now though, go with Mike Smith. He’s the ultimate professional for those who want purely educational content. He speaks well and he doesn’t try make long videos for the sake of watch time. When there’s a simple concept that can be explained in 3 minutes then that’s all the time he will take to explain it.
He uses real life examples, screen records, good audio and won’t waste your time for no reason. He also isn’t afraid to upload a 40 minute video if a subject requires it. He has about 20k subscribers at the time of writing but is far and away the best teacher I’ve come across for all the concepts mentioned above.