How to build yourself as a content creator

For as long as I can remember, writing and storytelling are things I enjoyed doing growing up. I spent countless hours pencilling my thoughts and ideas or advocating for several things through writing. I vividly remember spending my 2004 June holidays as a grade 10 learner, working hard to submit my essay for the provincial essay competition and again in my second year at university excited to launch my blog, hoping it would monetise someday.

On days when I was not obsessing over writing, I was practising my lines as a TV presenter or my script as an actor or performing. I dreamt of being on TV shows such as the now-defunct Top Billing and Top Travel and being a blogger for a travel magazine. With each show I watched, my passion and hunger grew stronger because I saw myself doing that. 

In pursuit of these bold and ambitious dreams, I took up public speaking and debating in high school and joined speech and drama classes. I joined the Toast Masters Club to improve my communication and leadership skills. I took up any opportunity to learn and improve my craft, often speaking or writing articles. I joined different theatre productions and hosted shows during high school and at university. The goal was to LEARN and improve my confidence. 

Though some of these dreams did not materialise how I imagined (I did not work as a TV presenter for Top Billing which is sad), the power of technology and social media has made it possible for content creators to thrive, making it possible to reimagine and pursue my dreams again.

What is a content creator?

Though there are many definitions and descriptions of what a content creator is, I describe a content creator as someone who tells a story that is educational, entertaining, inspiring, or informative which is distributed through different mediums or channels to be consumed by an audience. A Content Creator builds a community because of the value they provide to that community. 

Am I a content creator?

Looking back at my upbringing, I have always been creating content but did not know what it was or that it could be a career or something that I could make a living from. I would mindlessly write a blog post and upload a video clip or photo sharing my travel experience. It was only in 2019 when I became intentional and serious about becoming a content creator and treating it as a business. And boy, what an adventure it has been!

I have since launched my travel, lifestyle, and adventure channel on YouTube, an email newsletter and blog available on I had the opportunity to collaborate with brands such as Alliance Insurance Company for the Ke Lapeng campaign in 2023 and Malealea Lodge to create travel and lifestyle content. I am also excited about my 2024 plans to launch my travel podcast and online course to help other creators start, grow and monetise their content. 

How did I start?

As beautifully captured in the blog post entitled ‘Why It’s Important to Start’, starting a career as a content creator had its fair share of challenges, for example overcoming self-doubt and procrastination, being scared and the imposter syndrome, but I started and never looked back. Five years into this, I have grown and unlocked many opportunities to create content, monetise and make a living. Though there are many challenges along the way, the creator economy has many opportunities for us to tap into and grow. 

What advice can I give to new creators?

The first tip I want to share with new creators is to START! As cliché and old as this is, it is important to start! Learning truly happens when you leave your comfort zone. The second tip is to clearly define your WHY. Ask yourself questions such as ‘why am I doing this?’ ‘what do I want to achieve by doing this?’ ‘for whom am I doing this?’ 

These questions become important, especially when the going gets tough for example when the growth is slow, or views and reactions are not coming through. I was frustrated by the slow growth in 2022, which affected my mental health, productivity and wallet. I also experienced extreme burnout and almost quit. Going back to the drawing board and redefining my WHY helped me regain my momentum. If you are doing this to chase clout, being consistent might be a challenge. Lastly, have fun! The art of creating is truly magical, so embrace the process and have fun. 

In the next blog post, I will share tips on how to create an effective content creation strategy. For more, follow my social media accounts @tkay_nthebe, subscribe to my YouTube channel and sign up for a free email newsletter that shares travel, lifestyle, and adventure content.

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How to create an effective content creation strategy 

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