Small Creator Hub

Welcome to the Small Creator Hub!

This hub is designed for creators (of any shape and size, but we know it’s probably more helpful to small creators!) who are confused and don’t know where to start! When we first started out as content creators, we literally had no idea what we were doing.

We didn’t know how to make money, we had no idea how to start a blog, Instagram was about as much as our creative sides could cope with and the overwhelm was REAL!!!

So, this small creator hub is designed to break everything down in a really digestible way, so you can get started in a stress-free way (unlike we did!).

Here are some Small Creator Hub FAQs. You can click on each of the links to learn more!

Table of Contents

What do I need to become a content creator?

You don’t need anything except yourself!

A content creator is not necessarily always an influencer. They are someone who creates content, and that could be via social media, a blog or using neither of those things (such as UGC creators).

The first step is to decide which platforms you’d like to use. There are lots of different platforms and it may be overwhelming to be on all of them. Eventually you might wish to be on every platform, but if you want to limit it for now, here is a quick break down of what I have found each platform most useful for:

  • Instagram – building genuine community and connections. Bonds on Instagram are often very strong, which can make selling digital products, making affiliate sales, or building a reputation easier for you. The downside of Instagram is that it can be a large time investment when it comes to engaging with your community for relatively slow growth
  • TikTok – the benefit of TikTok is reach and a fasttrack way to making money. Because they have a programme where you can make money directly from the app, all you need do is stick at it and eventually it will pay off. However, interactions on TikTok tend to be less genuine/more fleeting (in my experience!)
  • YouTube – YouTube is another platform where sticking at it can be financially rewarding as they do pay you once you hit a minimum subscriber number (and it’s quite a low number to start with). It’s also very light on the engagement-reward pay off. You don’t need to do much with your community on there to be successful
  • Pinterest – Pinterest is great for promoting a blog, and selling affiliate marketing products. It doesn’t require much engagement and it often gets a lot of eyes on your products
  • Facebook – particularly with regard to Facebook groups, Facebook can be useful for promotion of services and blog posts. It has the largest audience and the widest age demographic. It’s a good place to have a brand presence even if not a strong one at first.
  • Threads – Threads is a fun app at the moment, but I wouldn’t dismiss it. Because its algorithm is not trained yet in the same way as other apps, it’s a great place to grow quickly and get more eyes on your product/brand

Do I need a blog?

You don’t need to have a blog if you don’t want to!

A blog is a great place to make additional money, through advertising (when you have enough page views) and affiliate marketing (more on this below!). It’s also a good place to house everything, and to have a back up audience, in case anything ever happens to your Social Media.

Some people want to be bloggers as their main project. We’ll cover getting started on a blog below, but it’s best to note that a blog is a BIG project, much bigger than we thought when we first started, and it’s best to research thoroughly first so you don’t create a lot more work for yourself longterm.

What do you need to start a blog?

As mentioned above, starting a blog is quite a complex process that requires a lot of research, time and dedication, so this is by no means a comprehensive overview. If you’re brand new and don’t know where to start, we recommend seeking out someone to coach you through the process or help you design your site.

However, here are the basics we’ve picked up along the way.

  • If you want to rank on Google, the best place to start a blog on is WordPress.org (NOT .com, this is a different site). WordPress is the easiest blogging tool to use as a creator, your readers will have a better experience and your pages have a higher chance of ranking on Google than with, say, Wix or Squarespace. You are also much more likely to be able to get the domain name you want.
  • WordPress.org cannot function on its own, so for that you need a hosting site. We recommend Siteground – they’re really easy and pretty affordable. You can also buy your domain name here so that .wordpress doesn’t appear in your website URL

Then you can build your website. This is a skill that can take time, so don’t stress if it’s not a quick job!

Besides this, you’ll need some knowledge of SEO for a blog to be successful.

Again, this can take a long time to build up, so give yourself some grace to learn. There are places you can find some of this information online (like YouTube and other blogs), however it’s must easier to learn on a 1-1 basis with someone who understands the process.

If blogging seems really overwhelming right now (don’t worry, we totally get that!) but you’re a travel content creator and want to make longer form travel guides without worrying about SEO etc., we highly recommend trying Thatch.

Thatch is a travel planning service where you can create and sell guides (you can also create free guides) on whatever you like. It’s designed for experts, so it’s best to have an angle on what you’re good at, such as a specific destination, or a specific way of travelling (like family travel, sustainable travel etc), but you’re really free to write about whatever you like!

Sign up for Siteground and start your own blog here:

Brand Assets | SiteGround

Do I need a newsletter?

Again, no – you don’t need a newsletter, unless you want one.

Newsletters are good for a few reasons:

  • Making sure that you have access to your audience outside of social media. A newsletter is purely yours. It’s a list of people who want to hear from you, and you have direct access to their inbox! You can start it whatever size your account is and you can use it for anything!
  • Getting eyes directly on your products. When people are scrolling social media, they’re unlikely to click off their doom scroll to go to your product page, but if you send something directly to someone’s inbox, they actually might check it out!

To have a newsletter, you can do a few things. You can create pop up campaigns for your blog, or even go as basic as a Google form (we did this for months!!), but it’s better to have a hosting platform for your newsletter, since it’ll do a lot of stuff (like storing emails with correct GDPR protection etc) for you.

We’ve tried a lot of newsletter hosting pages (in fact, we’re pretty sure we’ve tried them all now!!), and the best one in our opinion is ConvertKit. We actually can’t believe we held out on switching to them for so long!

Convertkit offer up to 1000 subscribers for free (the most we’ve seen), and you can even add tags so that people can sign up from different places and you know where they came from. This is really useful if you create freebies to entice people to sign up. For example, a destination based freebie for your blog, and a different freebie altogether for people who sign up from your social media. You can make sure you’re sending the right people the right thing!

The only downside to ConvertKit is that the free version does not offer automated emails (i.e. they just send out an email as soon as someone subscribes) but none of the free sites do that, you always need to upgrade to a paid service.

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    What tech do you need?

    I genuinely believe you don’t need anything to get started. Perhaps a smart phone and an ability to write a strong caption. For further down the line, or if you are looking to pursue UGC content, you might want to invest in:

    • A nice camera
    • A tripod
    • A drone
    • A steadicam (for creating content when you’re moving!)
    • A GoPro if you’re shooting underwater or adventure footage, with perhaps a dome port if you’re creating underwater a lot!

    To reiterate, you don’t need any of those things to get started! But they’re things you might like to consider further down the line.


    Can I make money as a small creator?

    Yes, you absolutely can! There are lots of ways you can make money as a small creator! We’ll break it down for you by topic.

    Affiliate Links

    An affiliate link is a link you use to sell a product or service and the supplier or brand will give you a commission. Note: if you’re using an affiliate link, you need to disclose it for legal purposes, so it’s worth telling you guys here:

    This article contains affiliate links! If you use them to book something, we may make a small commission, but the products are usually discounted, so this is at no additional cost to you.

    You can make lots of money with affiliate links (en masse, it’s called ‘affiliate marketing’) but it does sometimes take a while to get started.

    One of the most frustrating things about affiliate links is that they’re often spread around in different programmes, and it’s tough to keep track of the many small amounts of money coming in.

    For newbie creators, the two programmes below are our favourite and we honestly think EVERY new creator should sign up for them. You can also start making money immediately, which is not the case with every platform.

    SafetyWing Travel Insurance will actually pay you to make social media content. They run monthly competitions where they will pay you a fee (no matter your follower size) to create Instagram reels, YouTube shorts TikTok videos and feature them in blog posts. You don’t even need to win the competition to be paid! If you use the link below to sign up, you’ll get a bonus $100 when you sell your first policy, no matter how much it cost the buyer.

    Travelpayouts is an affiliate programme for many different brands, including Booking.com, GetYourGuide, Expedia, Viator and loads more. The best thing about it is that everything is in one place, so you don’t need to keep track of all of your affiliate dashboards!

    You can use affiliate links on any social media (in fact one of the easiest ways to use affiliate links is via Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok etc.), but just check the brand’s terms and conditions to make sure social media sales are allowed.

    From Social Media itself

    You can be paid via Social Media directly, but it does usually require a minimum follower count, or a bit of extra effort on your side. The two that are typically thought of when it comes to creators earning money from the network itself are Tiktok and YouTube.

    YouTube

    YouTube has a straightforward scheme with 3 tiers.

    1. You need 500 subscribers and 3000 hours public watch time on long videos in the last year, or 3 million public views on ‘YouTube Shorts’ in the last 90 days. With this, you can make money from subscribers, tips (from other users) and sell your products on YouTube.
    2. If you have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours public watch time on long videos in the last year or 10 million public views on ‘YouTube Shorts’ in the last 90 days. With this, you can generate income passively from ads on your videos.
    3. With 20,000 subscribers and the same watch time requirements as point 2, you can earn affiliate commission on YouTube from other brands.

    TikTok

    TikTok is a bit more complicated as there are a few ways you can make money.

    1. If you have 1000 followers, you can go live on TikTok, and people watching may choose to pay you in ‘gifts’. This is definitely not a get rich scheme, because the payouts are quite low, but it’s a nice way to make money for just being yourself. Note: you also cannot add a link to your bio until you have 1000 followers, unless you are a business account.
    2. If you have 10,000 followers or more, and 100,000 or more views in the last 30 days, TikTok will pay you to make videos. You don’t make much money from this – see the details here, but it is a very passive way to make money through something you would already be doing.
    3. You can sell merchandise on TikTok shop

    Note: it’s really hard to make money from Instagram (as a platform). Even their ‘gifts’ are really small payoffs. I’ve had one in the past – the other creator tried to gift me $5 and I earned 5 cents of that. If you want to gain tips from Instagram, you’re much better to use the programme Buy Me A Coffee.

    And by the way, if you’d like to buy us a coffee for this helpful guide, you can do so here!

    User Generated Content

    UGC (or User Generated Content) is content you make for a brand. It can be for their use or for yours on social media, but generally it’s for theirs. What the brand is paying for is the content itself, not for you to advertise it.

    You can approach brands with a UGC portfolio (i.e. examples of content you have created in the past and potential previous partnerships) and work together.

    UGC is not my speciality, so I won’t dive in too far, but this is just to let you know it exists!

    Brand Deals

    Believe it or not, you can get promotional brand deals as a small creator. It is my personal opinion that they are not the easiest way to make money as a small creator, but nevertheless they are perfectly possible.

    To pitch, it’s sensible (but not mandatory) to have:

    • A media kit (which is basically a content creator CV or resume)
    • A good pitch

    There are plenty of places that will give you examples of these for free. I have not linked any here, because I highly recommend to get your hands on as many pitches (you can find a lot through just Googling what to say) and media kit examples as possible. There is no set format for either, so it’s best to look at a lot, and see what you think works well You can then adapt it to suit your style.

    As a travel content creator, you can work with brands, hotels or tourism boards. Our favourite is tourism boards and tour companies! If this is something you’d like to know more about, you can take a look at our Press Trip beginner’s guide below.

    Digital Products

    Something else you can make money on as a new creator is digital products. A digital product is basically anything you create and sell online. It could be a guide, a how-to manual, or even, you could argue, a service (such as consultation).

    It can take a while to build trust from your audience to be able to be really successful at these, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start as a brand new creator if you have a great idea for a product!

    You can promote them on your social media channels. We have also found it’s great to give away freebies and downloadable products sometimes (just to be nice!). This is also a great way to entice people to join a newsletter, if this is something you have!

    If you’re making digital products, ebooks, guides etc, the best free tool you can have at your disposal is Canva. You can use this to create all sorts of guides, books, even your media kit, social media infographics and Pinterest pins!


    So that’s the basics!

    But if you’re still really confused, we have some things that might help – you can sign up to our newsletter for more of these tips or, if you’re really stuck, you can book an hour with me and I’ll help you sort it out!

    Sign up for engagement and creator tips, and sustainability content!

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