📸The Ultimate Guide To Content Creation Part-Time In College

📸The Ultimate Guide To Content Creation Part-Time In College
Photo by Nubelson Fernandes / Unsplash

Content creation is the single most high-leverage skill you can learn as a college student.


Because it’s not enough to go to school and get a degree anymore.

In the digital age, your perspective and ability to learn fast matters more than your rote knowledge. Not only is there more information than ever, but new information is coming out faster than ever. A physical college degree simply doesn’t prepare you for the digital world anymore. Unless you want to become a lawyer, doctor, engineer, and even better lawyerdoctorengineer, you don’t need to worry as much about grades as you might think.

Here’s the problem: traditional schooling is still built on an industrial-era model.

It’s trying to make you into the perfect factory worker.

Traditional schooling teaches you how to do algorithmic work fueled by extrinsic motivation. Algorithmic work has clear processes, systems, and outcomes. But as Daniel H. Pink describes in his book, [[Drive by Daniel H. Pink|Drive]], over the last few decades there has been a large increase in heuristic work. Heuristic work doesn’t have a clear process, system, or outcome for doing it. Think knowledge work, writers, AI researchers, and more.

So, to thrive in an age of increasing heuristic work, you can’t rely only on traditional schooling.

You must ingrain an intrinsic love for learning.

The internet is changing education forever.

For the first time ever, you can get better than a University level education, for free, online, anywhere. All you need is an internet connection and a love for learning. You can learn things online that you never could in physical college. Skills that are essential for succeeding in the digital age like personal branding, social media growth, business, and more.

And with social media, you can showcase your learning publicly.

Social media changes everything.

By publicly learning, you create what writer David Perell calls a Serendipity vehicle. If you publish content (blogs, podcasts, videos, etc.) regularly, people will discover you and initiate unexpected opportunities. They’ll open doors you didn’t even know existed. I have met some of my greatest relationships through the internet.

And what is the one skill that forms the foundation of all of this: content creation.

Content creation is how you showcase your learnings publicly, make valuable connections, and build your portfolio.

Content creators add to the new internet college. In my specific vein of educational content creation, content creators solve their own problems and then create content on the solution to solve society’s problems at scale. They give away the information for free. But they sell the implementation by systemizing the process to solving their problem and creating digital products, coaching businesses, and more to make unimaginable amounts of money, hopefully passive income.

This last points to one of the biggest benefits of content creation.

It can create a passive income stream.

This works by creating products with revenue not tied directly to your time. If you can make enough, you can develop autonomy in what you do, how you do it, with whom you do it, and when you do it. You can liberate yourself from your environment, allowing you to travel more often. And you can delegate the things you don’t enjoy doing to others.

Content creation is the sauce to thriving in the digital age.

I know because I have experienced it myself.

Who Am I?

Hi, I’m Aidan Helfant.

For the past 2 and a half years, I have been creating content part-time while studying full-time at Cornell University. While my fellow Cornell friends were barely making minimum wage working internships in college, I was making more than $100 an hour as a consultant for spaced repetition company iDoRecall.

How did I do it?

I built several differentiated skills/interests, writing, psychology, public speaking, Personal Knowledge Management, gamification, and much more, that combined to give me tremendous leverage in the job market. I posted my journey learning these skills/interests publicly, allowing potential job opportunities and friends to find me.

It all came from two things: learning intrinsically and documenting my journey publicly through content creation.

So many people will tell you content creation isn’t a lucrative path to making money.

I’m here to tell you the opposite: there has never been a better time to create content, IF you are willing to WORK HARD and aren’t in it just for the money. Content creation is not some secret sauce to succeeding in the world. It takes genuine effort and commitment to work. You must know the mindsets, methods, and strategies that will help you succeed.

It’s time to make the big bucks while learning tons, making lifelong friendships, and helping others.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to get started creating content in college yourself. This is the guide I wish I had two and a half years ago. Now you get it for free.

Let’s go!

✅Getting Started: Preparing For Content Creation in College

🛠️Tools You Will Need

  • Phone: Any phone with a decent camera will do.
  • Internet Connection: Any coffee shop, library, or your dorm room on campus will have a internet connection.
  • A brain: luckily all humans come with one! Aren’t we lucky?
  • BONUS: Laptop: any decent laptop will do. It doesn’t have to be too fancy. We aren’t trying to create documentary-style films here. Having a laptop will make writing WAY faster than doing so on a phone.

🧠Mindsets You Need To Succeed As A Content Creation in College

If there is one thing that makes you fail as a content creator in college, it’s this: you come in with the wrong mindset.

That’s because your mindset ultimately decides how the methods and the tools you use work. It doesn’t matter how good your methods are or the tool you are using them with if you don’t have the correct mindset.

So, let’s learn the most important mindsets you should ingrain to succeed as an Content creation.

📸Adopt The Mindset Of A Curator And Creator

I have a rule I live by, which goes: “The number of hours I spend consuming should never equal or exceed the number of hours I spend creating.”

Unless it’s peanut butter, I could consume that for days.

The fact is most students are consumers.

You must adopt the mindset of a curator and creator. Thoughts and ideas are transient. They will fall through the cracks if you don’t collect the important ones. This means collecting must become a habit.

Make these questions a reflex whenever you consume something new:

  1. Does this information resonate with me on an intuitive level?
  2. Does this information reflect my values and curiosities in life?
  3. Does this information have future use?

Stop being a mindless cookie-cutter student and adopt the mindset of a curator and creator — become opinionated, objective, and reflective.

Not everything you hear in lecture or read in your textbook is insightful or even worth collecting.

You need to develop the skill of sifting through what’s golden versus what isn’t.

📆Consistency Matters More Than Quality At The Start

The only thing you should be focused on when you start is creating more content.

For two reasons: You must adopt the identity of a content creator Quantity fosters quality

Firstly, you must adopt the identity of a content creator. If you don’t identify as a content creator, you will stop creating when the times get tough. To identify with something, you must do it a lot. Therefore, you should create content a lot. This is why perfectionism IS NOT a virtue in most cases.

Secondly, quantity fosters quality. Let me explain why through the famous pottery study. Researchers separated participants into two groups. Over 30 days, one group made one pot every day while the other group stuck with the same pot over the entirety of the study. At the end, the researchers had each group make one more pot. Can you guess what happened?

The participants who made one pot every day for 30 days made a vastly better pot than those who stuck with the same pot.

Apply this to your content creation journey.

When you first start, you should be creating as much as you can. Consume content on how to create better content and iterate. Consumption → Application → Iteration.

That’s all you should be focused on in the beginning.

💰Compounding Takes Time

Don’t expect immediate results.

I didn’t see ANY results from my Content creation for the first year and a half. Granted, I made a TON of mistakes. But compounding takes time.

Good shit takes time.

However, if you can manage to keep creating for two years consistently, while improving over time, I see no reason why you shouldn’t see results by then.

❔Which Platforms Should You Create On?

The biggest mistake you can make in content creation in college is starting a Blog.

I know because that’s what I did for the first 1.5 years. Writing solely on a blog is a losing game. You must compete for Google search traffic with companies with hundreds of employees working daily to target a certain keyword. Google wants to promote content that will keep people on Google.

Why would they promote your writing among others?

This was a hard tip for me to follow because of my ego.

I believed my writing deserved being seen by others. I had spent tens of hours writing this post. People should be reading it!

Unfortunately, your audience doesn’t care how long it took you to write something, only how well it helps them with their problems.

Instead of writing solely on a blog, I recommend you begin creating content online through a social blog like Quora, LinkedIn, Medium, Twitter, etc.

These platforms have native audiences and are designed to show the most engaging articles to their audiences. That means you have a much higher chance of your article getting shown than if you compete through google search traffic.

You play a winning game instead of a losing one.

In addition, they are shorter-form, primarily writing-based mediums, meaning you have to learn fewer skills to get started.

Another massive mistake I made in my content creation journey was starting with a YT channel, and then adding on a newsletter, podcast, and blog, before I had learned how to do well on any of them. I started with the most difficult content creation medium, which requires a video, audio, and written format. And I spread myself too thin across mediums, making it hard to improve on any one of them.

So start with a shorter form writing medium.

This doesn’t mean you can’t post your articles to your blog to serve as a home base for your content; just that you use a social blog too.

I recommend you choose ONE of the platforms up above that you are most comfortable with already, hopefully one you already consume on!

🔎How To Find Your Niche

Another one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a creator is not differentiating yourself from other Content creations.

There are now millions of content creations. How the heck are you going to compete with all of them? Here’s the secret: you don’t have to compete with any of them.

If you differentiate yourself enough, you can make yourself so unique you are a category of one.

This is the secret sauce to making tons of money as a content creator.

When you create your own category, you attract a loyal audience that comes for YOU. You actually don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers to make lots of money online. You just need a group of 1000 loyal followers, each willing to pay $100 for a product.

Boom, you just made $100,000.

So how do you create your own category?

It’s simple, differentiate On Who, What, When, Why, Where, And How:

  • Who do you write for?
  • What outcome do you unlock?
  • When do you write?
  • Why do you write what you write?
  • Where do you write what you write?
  • How do you write, aspirational, actionable, analytical, or anthropological?
  • How much does your writing cost?

Creating a category of one is as simple as differentiating on one of these levers compared to someone else.

There are two strategies you can take to figure out where to differentiate yourself:

Strategy 1: 🧑‍🍳The Master Chef

The first strategy is to be a master chef.

Master chefs refine their niche and content strategy before they ever start writing like a master chef refines their menu before people come to dine. They analyze the rest of the people in the niche they are interested in and find ways they can differentiate themselves beforehand.

The benefit of this strategy is it makes your content more differentiated from the get-go.

But the major drawback is it takes much more careful planning and can lead to perfectionism.

Strategy 2: 🎨The Artist

The second strategy is to be an artist.

Artists don’t know their niche from the get-go but craft it over time, like a painter creates a painting from a blank canvas. They write on a whole range of different topics. As they write more, they slowly create their own niche by learning what they are uniquely good at and interested in.

The benefit of this strategy is it takes less planning.

But the major drawback is you likely won’t get almost ANY fans — other than your mom lol — for quite a long time because they will attract to more niche content creators.

Choose the strategy that resonates more with you from up above. Or do a mix. There are no rules.

Once you know what strategy you want to take, you need to figure out what you would be interested in creating in the first place.

This requires you to learn more about yourself.

🪞How To Learn More About Yourself

One of the most famous philosophical quotes ever said was by Socrates, “Know Thyself.”

Funnily enough, this quote is profoundly relevant to niching as a content creation. Because the better you know yourself the better you understand what to create content about. You are your own best audience member. Here are two exercises I wish I had done earlier to refine my niche.

📚Exercise 1: Create A Lindy Effect List

Write out your top 3:

📚Non-Fiction Books:

🪄Fiction Books:






🫂Favorite Creators/Authors:

This list showcases the content that has shaped who you are. By writing this out you get clarity on your interests, which can inform what you should write about.

Here’s my list as an example for inspiration:

📚Non-Fiction Books:

  • The Category Design Toolkit
  • Transcend
  • Storyworthy
  • The Extended Mind
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • The Pathless Path
  • The Meditations
  • The Coddling of the American Mind
  • Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke
  • Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience 🪄Fiction Books:
  • 1984
  • The Stormlight Archives
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Siddhartha
  • Ready Player One
  • The First Law Trilogy


  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Her (2013) Movie Analysis
  • Fight Club
  • The Martian
  • The Matrix
  • Ready Player One
  • Parasite
  • Groundhog Day
  • The Before Trilogy
  • Interstellar


  • Controlling Your Dopamine for Motivation, Focus & Satisfaction Episode 39
  • Alonement How to Be Alone and Happy — Francesca Spectre
  • How Anyone Can Develop the Mindset of a Multi-Million Dollar Entrepreneur — Daniel Priestley
  • Happiness 2.0 The Path to Contentment
  • The Pathless Path How to Recreate Your Life In 2023
  • Someday Is Today — Achieve Your Goals and Live Without Regret — Matthew Dicks
  • The Quiet Catastrophe Brewing In Our Social Lives
  • Louise Perry — the Case Against the Sexual Revolution
  • Ep. 31 — RYAN HOLIDAY on Ranch Life, Fostering Discipline, and the Loss of Reading Culture
  • EP144 Happiness Expert Returns Retrain Your Brain For Maximum Happiness Mo Gawdat


  • Some Stoic Musings on Loneliness by Kevin Vost
  • The Complete Guide to Memory
  • The Future of Education Is Community The Rise of Cohort-Based Courses
  • 🌲 How Obsidian Replaced Video Games & Helped Me Publish
  • Why People Believe Others’ Social Lives Are Richer Than Their Own
  • 🦘The Skip Test
  • The Objectivity Illusion
  • The Audio Revolution
  • My 12 Hour Walk
  • Work Life Balance Is Impossible


  • How to Stop Overthinking
  • Life Is a Video Game (Here’s How You Win)
  • The Paradox of Choice Barry Schwartz
  • Dan Koe & Dickie Bush On One-Person Businesses, Creative Workflows, and Lifestyle Design
  • Revealing Ship 30’s Million-Dollar Marketing Strategy Espresso Hour E13
  • Navigating uncertainty as a creator with Paul Millerd
  • The Best Relationship Advice No One Tells You
  • Ram Dass — Here and Now — Ep. 130 — The Spiritual Path
  • Early 20s Syndrome, Paid Newsletter Empire, and Focus Framework
  • How ‘purpose’ works


  • Charisma University
  • Build Your Knowledge Portfolio
  • Linking Your Thinking Workshop
  • Building A Second Brain Cohort 4
  • Part Time YouTuber Academy Cohort 4
  • Awakening From The Meaning Crisis
  • Human Bonding Cornell
  • Six Pretty Good Books Cornell
  • Food For Contemporary Living Cornell
  • Social Psychology Cornell

🫂Favorite Creators/Authors:

  • Matthew Dicks
  • Nicolas Cole
  • Marcus Aurelius
  • Brandon Sanderson
  • Alex Hormozi
  • Ali Abdaal
  • Andrew Huberman
  • Cal Newport
  • Paul Milliard
  • Nick Milo
  • Dan Koe

💡What Is Your PIERS Framework?

The second exercise to get to know yourself better is going through the PIERS framework.

The PIERS Framework stands for: P — Principles I — Interests E — Exception R — Reluctance S — Strengths

These things will give you tremendous insight into what you should write about online.

I encourage you to go through and write your answers to each question below, taking my answers as inspiration.

Principles (P)

What do you care about most in life? What do you spend a lot of time doing? Is there anything that most people agree with, but you take a different stand? What makes you feel that you have a purpose in life?

🥜My Answer

I care helping others fall in love with learning by more effectively reading and notetaking. Ultimately, to transcend the self.

Many people love learning from childhood but have the love sucked out of them by the school system. Helping others fall in love with their childhood curiosity is important to me because it makes life an endless reservoir of possible joy. It humbles you. You realize how small you are in comparison to the universe.

This in turn helps you transcend the self.

Transcending the self stops you from pursuing egoic desires which often hurt others.

What do most people agree with I disagree:

  • Happiness is the ultimate life goal
  • The default path is safe
  • Creating content isn’t a viable way to make money
  • Getting straight A’s is something they should do
  • Memorizing is a waste of time
  • Atomic notes are a viable way to take notes
  • Notes shouldn’t connect between classes
  • Humor, charisma, and creativity are talents we are born with
  • Intelligence is largely genetic
  • Your success is based on merit

Interests (I)

What broad-level topics do you enjoy? What are your hobbies? Look at your weekly schedule. What do you always find time for? Reading? Exercising? Cooking? What are you learning currently? What would give people a positive impression?

🥜My Answer


  • Online Business
  • Stand Up Comedy
  • Fitness Content
  • Psychology
  • Content creation
  • Gamification
  • Film Analysis
  • Memory
  • Spirituality
  • Philosophy

I always find time for:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Exercising
  • Conversing With Friends
  • Board Games
  • Video Games

Exception (E)

What’s special (or weird) about you? How are you different than most people? Is this quirkiness going to scare some people away?

🥜My Answer

%%%% I have an unusual zest for life. I have a deep emotional world under the surface but try and come across positively most of the time because it brings other people up. I have a deep drive to help other people. I can’t just sit and rest, it’s not my nature.

Reluctance (R)

What things don’t come naturally to you, or do you have to spend a lot of time doing? What do you not want to associate with your personal brand?

🥜My Answer

Finance related things in the business. I don’t associate salesiness with myself. I want to be very approachable. I don’t want to come across as too serious.

Strengths (S)

What are you good at? Has anyone complimented you on a skill? Have you achieved surprising results in one of your previous projects (projects at work, online projects, or hobby projects)? What does that tell you? Thinking back to your childhood, what did you gravitate towards doing?

🥜My Answer

I’m good at consistency, authenticity, writing, reading, storytelling, public speaking, Personal Knowledge Management, learning effectively.

🫵The Most Effective Niche Is You

Ultimately, the most effective niche, above all, is you…

Think of some of the most successful online creators, Ali Abdaal, Hamza, and Justin Welsh. None of them create content on only one thing. They have made themselves the niche.

How have they done this?

They have turned their journey to self-actualization into their niche.

As they started growing, they chose 2–3 niched content buckets to create inside of. Then over time they expanded their audience by making the people interested in what they were originally talking about interested in their new interests.

They made themselves the infinite niche.

They are holistic in what they talk about because they understand if you want to be good at business, writing, fitness, you have to be good at a whole bunch of different stuff as well.

With every level of development they reach, they unlock more complexity in what they can talk about.

This has another benefit:

Their brand becomes incredibly complex and irreplaceable.

Someone else could take an exact banger tweet from them and post it themselves. But outside the context of their brand, it won’t make any sense.

Your unique background, interests, ethnicity, genetics, and more combine to literally make you perceive the same information differently as someone else. You and I could read the exact same book. But because of the aforementioned things, you will take away different things.

This is how you make yourself the infinite niche.

The reason you haven’t realized it before is because traditional schooling wants to make you as undifferentiated as possible.

You all learn the same information, do the same homework, the same everything…

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be niched.

To stick out in the growing creator space, you must be.

But I do encourage you to turn your very self-actualization journey into potential content for your Content creation.

🪣Pick 2–3 Content Buckets

Once you have gone through all these exercises, pick 2–3 content buckets to start creating on.

Than divide those content buckets into subtopics.

Than divide those subtopics into sub sub topics.

Boom, you have infinite content ideas now.

Here are my content buckets as an example:

  • Improvement:
  • Philosophy
  • Spirituality
  • Productivity
  • Psychology
  • Focus
  • Dopamine
  • Regular Review And Reflection
  • Energy Management
  • Time Management
  • Mindset Tips
  • Learning:
  • Notetaking
  • Studying
  • Zettelkasten
  • Obsidian PKM
  • Flashcards
  • Mindsets Of Modern Day Education
  • Business:
  • Writing
  • Content Creation
  • Public Learning
  • Writing Tips
  • YouTube Advice
  • Blogging Advice
  • Podcast Advice
  • Networking Advice
  • Niching

♾️How To Generate Infinite Content Ideas

But it gets even better.

I’m about to teach you how to generate infinite content ideas using the content buckets you have outlined up above. I learned this from fellow digital writers Nicolas Cole and Dickie Bush, and it 10x my writing output in a matter of days. Once you know how this process works, writer’s block will be a thing of the past. You will have smitten it with your sword.


Take one of the sub-topics up above. Ask yourself two questions:

  • For who? (Who are you writing for)
  • So that? (What is the outcome for the audience)

Then, choose what type of credibility you want to bring to the piece:

  • Personal Opinion: use this if you aren’t an expert but just want to get your voice on a topic out there.
  • Curator of Experts: use this if you aren’t an expert but want to assemble the best ideas around a given topic.
  • Expert: use this if you are an expert and want to give your best ideas on a topic.

Notice that you don’t have to be an expert to write about a topic. Somebody writing about their experience along a journey can be just as valuable.

Than there 4 voices you can write in or combine together:

  • 🧠Anthropological: (Here’s why): with this voice you explain why something works the way it does.
  • 🚀Aspirational (You can do it!): with this voice you inspire people to change. This often involves more storytelling.
  • 📊Analytical (The numbers show): with this voice you try to prove something is the case with numbers.
  • 🎬Actionable (Here’s how): with this voice you show how to do something.

Everyone has a different preference of voice in their writing. Personally, I love anthropological, aspirational, and actionable. But you need to figure out what type of voice you want to show.

Finally, you combine everything before with one of 30 proven approaches. These approaches have been shown time and time again to work in any industry. They are:

  • Tips
  • Skills
  • Tools
  • Traits
  • Steps
  • Goals
  • Books
  • Habits
  • Stories
  • Quotes
  • Secrets
  • Insights
  • Benefits
  • Lessons
  • Reasons
  • Creators
  • Routines
  • Mistakes
  • Podcasts
  • Examples
  • Questions
  • Inventions
  • Templates
  • Resources
  • Challenges
  • Companies
  • Data Points
  • Realizations
  • Frameworks
  • Presentations

So to recap, to generate endless content ideas all you have to do is take one of your subtopics in your 2–3 content buckets, ask yourself:

  • For who? (Who are you writing for)
  • So that? (What is the outcome for the audience)

Then choose what credibility you want to bring to the piece, what mix of the four voices you want to have, and finally what proven approach you want to use.

This is how you generate 100+ content ideas in a single 30 minutes brainstorm session.

Goodbye writers block 👋!

How To Develop Your Content creation Skills

Developing your Content creation skills is like developing any other skill, consistent hard effort over time with small deliberate improvements.

The best way you can get started is by reading some of the best resources for delving into the Content creation sphere.

Here are the 5 best books I have ever read on Content creation:

  • [[The Art and Business of Content creation]]
  • [[Storyworthy]]
  • [[Made to Stick]]
  • [[The Boron Letters]]
  • [[Bird By Bird]]

Here are the four most popular writing-related articles I have ever written. You can consume them as well:

⌚How To Manage Your Time And Energy As A Content creation In College

Delving into the Content creation sphere while in college isn’t easy.

Throughout my years at Cornell University, I have had to balance my Content creation with clubs, school classes, relationships, sports, and more. But I’m so grateful I started when I did. Along the way I have learned a few key principles for time and energy management starting as an Content creation in college.

Keep in mind with what I’m about to tell you that everyone differs; what works for me might not work for you.

⌛Time Management

There are four time management principles that have been particularly influential in my Content creation journey.

  • Time Blocking: every night before I go to bed I time block out the next day. Almost every day, I write for an hour and a half in the morning after some exercise. Every day. That’s how I keep consistently writing over time. In addition, I do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly reviews so that I can practice what I call lifestyle design, the art of creating and adapting the best possible life for you. Learn how to do regular reflection and planning yourself.
  • Accountability: When I was first ingraining my writing habit, I would tell my brother if I didn’t write my articles on time, I would pay him $500. I never had to pay him $500. The power of accountability.
  • Systemizing: different parts of the writing process require different parts of your brain. The writing process can be broken down into Ideation, Research, Outlining, Writing, Editing and Publishing. For each of these steps, I have scheduled times that I focus only on them during a writing session.
  • Batching: I batch a single writing session into a single block of writing so that I don’t tire my brain out. In addition, I batch when I do my schoolwork on certain days so I can prioritize writing or doing schoolwork.

⚡Energy Management

There are four energy management principles that have been particularly influential in my Content creation journey.

From my experience, the best Content creations are incredibly healthy as well.

  • Regular Exercise: I weightlift three times per week, and do some form of cardio 6 times per week. Find something you can do consistently and enjoy.
  • Regular Sleep Schedule: I sleep at the same time every night, EVEN on the weekends. Watch this video to learn how to create an optimal sleep environment.No way around it, partying and sleeping in on the weekends WILL hurt your Content creation.
  • Healthy Diet: I eat as many single ingredient, unprocessed foods as I can. I try and get 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and prioritize eating healthy fats and proteins over carbohydrates. I fast 1 day per week and intermittent fast every single day only eating between 12:00 p.m. and 8 p.m..
  • Newton’s First Law: If I don’t feel like writing, I tell myself I will write for just 5 minutes. If I still don’t feel like it, I stop. But often, that’s enough to get me going.

💵How To Make Money From Your Content creation

Now for what you have been waiting for…

How can you make some mullah from your Content creation?

You can put food on the table as a:

  • Novelist
  • Ghostwriter
  • Content writer
  • Freelance writer
  • Sales copywriter
  • Paid newsletter writer
  • Messaging consultant

Your business models can be:

  • Selling products (books)
  • Selling education (courses)
  • Selling services (ghostwriting)
  • Selling insight (consulting)
  • Selling digital access (paywalled content)

There’s more than 1 way to make money as a writer.

In fact, you should try and make money in more than 1 way. Think of it like differentiating in stocks. If you have all your eggs in one basket, you are screwed if the basket breaks.

Have your eggs in a number of baskets, and you aren’t screwed if one of them breaks.

Because I have made most of my money as a content writer online, that’s what I’m going to be sharing how to do in this article.

🪟The Anatomy Of A Content Creators Business

As a content creator, your business is made up of three parts.

The three parts are meant to help effectively bridge your audience on a bridge of transformation. Their audience enters their content one way, and exits another. In essence, they are helping people transform themselves.

They are adding value to the world.


  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn


  • Podcast
  • YouTube
  • Newsletter


  • Course
  • Cohort
  • Community

These three parts combine to form your brand, which is made up of your interests, expertise, and experience.

Your growth channels are where the majority of your audience and networking is done. Naturally they have shorter form content so more people are willing to give you their attention. They are the primary driver of traffic toward the other parts of your business.

Your authentic channels are where you build your relationship with your followers. The content on these channels is generally longer form and therefore less people are willing to give you their attention, but the relationship deepens because of it.

Finally, your authority channels are where you make yourself out to be an authority in the space you are creating inside of. This is where your primary revenue as an online content writer comes from. You build a relationship with your audience on your other channels by giving away 95% of your information for free, and than selling the implementation in your authority channels.

If all of this seems overwhelming, don’t worry.

You don’t and shouldn’t be focusing on building all of these channels at once, especially in the beginning. I’m just giving you the high-level overview so you can build a map of how this all works. But you shouldn’t implement it all.

Instead, you should figure out what stage on the online content writing roadmap you are on and go from there.

🪜The Four Stages To Making Money As An Online Content Writer

What I would have done to have the stages of content writing outlined to me 2.5 years ago…

There are four stages to succeeding as an online content writer.

🪴Stage 1: Learn Top Of Funnel Growth On Social Platforms

When you are first starting out as an online content writer, nobody knows you or cares about you.

You have no authority and no relationship with an audience. At this stage, all you should care about is building an audience and developing a relationship with other creators. This is best done through platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

As your audience grows, your leverage to build and talk about whatever you want does with it. Here’s what you should do:

  • Buy best selling books on your topics and devour them
  • Follow social media accounts that talk about those topics and emulate them from the lens of the creator, not consumer
  • Pay attention to what writing, ideas, and structures perform the best. Them imitate them yourself

🧲Stage 2: Create Lead Magnets To Start Building Your Email List

Once you have started building an initial audience on ONE of the platforms built up above, it’s time to start driving people towards your email list.

Why an email list?

Because you don’t own your audience on social platforms. If the platform shuts down, you’re screwed. And, people have less attention in growth social platforms.

To really build a relationship with your audience, you want to get their email.

The best way to do this at the beginning is to start creating lead magnets.

Lead magnets are free resources you give out to people if they give you their email. For example, a PDF checklist, a free email course, a resource list, etc. It doesn’t matter if the lead magnet you build isn’t for a topic you see yourself doing for a long time in the future. The lead magnet doesn’t take that long to make, and you can forever point towards it to start building your email list over time.

I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough.

One of the biggest mistakes I made in my Content creation journey was not starting to collect emails sooner.

If I had started collecting emails from the very beginning, I would have been able to build a relationship with my audience that much earlier.

What email list platform should you use?

I personally use and believe the best platform is Convertkit, but some other great options are Substack and Mailchimp.

📨Stage 3: Start A Newsletter As A Vessel To Build Your Projects

A newsletter is a semi-regular email you send to your email list as a way to keep in touch with them.

Benefits of writing a newsletter (EVEN if you aren’t doing it consistently or don’t have an audience yet):

  • You can practice developing depth behind your ideas
  • You can use it as a place to write modules or sections of your lead magnets
  • You can show you are providing value off platform as a beginner

Your newsletter is a fantastic place to build your relationship with the audience members who have clearly shown most interest in you.

They gave you your email after all!

🤝Stage 4: Start A Service Business

At some point, once your audience is big enough, and you have a foundation of valuable content, it will become clear that some are willing to pay you for a service.

Don’t build a product first.

A service business will allow you to interact directly with your customers and learn their problems.

As you interact with more and more people through your service business you can slowly build it up charging more and more until you reach diminishing returns.

📦Stage 5: Build A Product

Once you feel your service business has reached diminishing returns, you can systemize it and make it into a digital product like a course.

This is where the ultimate money maker of being an online content writer comes from. A high-quality digital product has the potential to make loads in passive income because you can link it forever in the future whenever creating new content.

Then, the real game begins…

Repeat the process all over again by expanding into a new niche, creating new content, creating a service business, and then another product. Over time, you will build a critical mass of content in a number of different areas with products in each.

Your brand will encapsulate a large range of interests.

You have become the infinite niche.

Summarized, here’s everything you need to build a 7-figure digital business:

  • {Engine} Build a niche audience on 1 social platform
  • {Bridge} Drive that niche audience to your email list with a lead magnet
  • {Offer} Give that niche audience something worth paying for
  • {Upsell} Give them more It’s that simple.

🎲How To Win The Game Of Content creation

Succeeding in the Content creation world as a college student part time is a game.

It’s a game of learning how to find your categories, manage your time, and build your writing skill.

To simplify and summarize everything I have said, if you want to win the game of online content writing, all you have to do is this:

  1. Publish something new every single day on one of your content creation flywheels
  2. Write fast-paced articles that use short paragraphs, declarative language, and subheads for every main point.
  3. Combine actionable advice for the reader with personal stories from your own life that illustrate how you gained the insight you’re sharing in the first place.
  4. Collaborate with professional photographers, build your personal brand, and attach pictures of yourself with the articles you write.
  5. Publish more than 3,000 articles online over the next five years.

It’s time to play the game the right way.