The Truth About Being a Part-Time Content Creator in 2024

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Image created with DALL-E
Image created with DALL-E

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it!

It’s 2024 and an increasing number of people are starting to share content. Whether it’s short-form videos on platforms such as TikTok, YouTube videos or even blog posts.

The online world is teeming with people sharing their opinions, hobbies, passions and everyday life, creating an area that inspires and connects people around the world.

But, as good as it sounds, there lies a lesser-known reality — the life of a part-time content creator.

It’s a journey filled with rewards and challenges that aren’t always easy to overcome, especially when you have a life outside content creation and a full-time job.

With so many people starting to create content, I wanted to share my experience of being a part-time blogger and YouTuber with a 9 to 5 job.

Because it’s not always easy, especially if you juggle a family life or if you have other hobbies and interests.

The Reality of Time Management

Balancing content creation alongside a full-time job can be challenging, especially if you are working on other things outside of that.

That is why one of the first things I learned was how to manage my time so that I can release a minimum amount of content on a weekly basis.

With the help of my favourite calendar app (which happens to be BusyCal), I start by adding all of my work shifts, the times I plan to wake up and the times I plan to go to bed.

I then try to add as many of the other events as I can. These may include rough estimates of when I have my dinner or any other responsibilities I may have.

Based on the time I have available after that, I plan time for creating content.

I find that making appointments in my calendar for specific tasks really helps me stay on top of things and get things done. It also helps me avoid burnout as I also pencil in rest time, which is important.

But regardless of whether you plan events on your calendar or not, life can have its challenges, and sometimes it can be difficult to achieve your weekly goals.

I tend to plan ahead for those weeks by having an idea bank for short-form content that allows me to further commit to my weekly schedule.

Overcoming Burnout

When you have a full-time job and do something on the side, burnout can creep in quickly, as the constant juggling of tasks and responsibilities leaves little time for rest and self-care.

That is why I schedule rest time in my calendar on a weekly basis. During this time, I try to do as little as possible so that I can simply relax.

Providing the weather allows me to, I try going on weekly cycling trips in the countryside. These are trips which are usually 20 miles or longer, and they usually take place on the weekends.

I find that this approach fixes everything. It works wonders at the end of a busy or stressful week, and during these rides, you tend to forget about everything and just enjoy yourself.

This is especially true if, like me, you spend all day working at your computer only to be at it again to edit content after a busy day at work.

I also like to go on walks during my breaks at work, sometimes they are with friends, and sometimes I just go on my own. But I find that this really helps after a busy morning at work.

I discovered an app called Endel which plays AI soundscapes, and it’s something I tend to use a lot when going on these walks because the soundscapes really help release stress.

Financial Considerations

As with most things, you need to consider the financial side of content creation, which can be costly.

The good news is that you don’t need much to get started. If you are creating videos, all you require is your phone. If you are writing blog posts, all you require is a computer or iPad.

But with that in mind, it can still get expensive pretty fast. As a small tech content creator, I buy most of the stuff that I make content about, and tech isn’t cheap.

The same can be said about other small content creators, they buy most of their stuff, whether it’s clothes, cooking ingredients, going on trips to vlog experiences or reviewing tech. Things can get costly very fast.

On top of that, you may pay for website domain, hosting as well as any software associated with your content.

That’s why it is important to set a budget.

Building and Engaging with Your Audience

The online world can be a difficult place, especially if you are just starting up in an already crowded niche such as tech. That is why it is crucial that you understand your niche and your target audience.

At the same time, you need to be consistent with your content, something that can be incredibly difficult if you only create content part-time.

That is why I recommend spending a day, maybe even a weekend, to just making content that you can publish consistently throughout the week.

It is also essential to engage with your audience and reply to comments. I see so many creators that don’t respond to comments or queries people have.

On top of that, it’s also good to make content that will prompt people to respond. I tend to ask the audience questions and I try to get them to share their experiences in the comments.

Every so often, creators have to deal with difficult people and communities. There’s nothing worse than you spending a huge amount of time creating content only for someone to leave negative comments.

In all fairness, sometimes negative comments help, as they are genuine people leaving genuine feedback, but sadly, in most cases, these comments are just bad. These are the comments I either ignore, delete, and in some cases block the commenter.

Negative comments can have a real impact on some creators, but the truth of the matter is that you shouldn’t let them get to you.

Generating Ideas

Content creation is not as easy as it looks, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a full-time or a part-time content creator, there are times when ideas just don’t come to mind.

To help with this, I keep an idea bank in the form of a spreadsheet and I have a tab where I add ideas for a rainy day. I find that this approach ensures that I put out content when I don’t know what to write about.

Sometimes ideas come during the most unexpected times, like when you’re at work when you’re driving or even when you are at the pub with your friends.

I’m a big fan of NotePlan, which is my default note-taking app, and on that app, I log all the ideas I have throughout the day before putting them into my idea bank spreadsheet.

I also have planning and brainstorming sessions on an every 2-week basis. This is where I look through the ideas in my idea bank, and audit them to see if they are still relevant, if they aren’t, I add them to my rainy day tab.

Once I finish auditing my ideas, I open MindNode which is my mind map app of choice and I start generating ideas. I look through the content that I’ve already created to see if I can do any updated content.

Another way I generate ideas is by reading and watching what other creators are creating to see if I can make my own take. I also like to look through the tech news to see if I can make content about something relevant in the news.

Final Thoughts

Creating content can be fun, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re writing, creating videos or taking photos. You can get a high level of satisfaction at the end of it, and it gives you a great opportunity to make money on the side.

One of the main reasons that I create content is because I have a passion for sharing my experiences with the world. I also create content because I genuinely enjoy making it.

To summarise this article, the life of a part-time content creator isn’t necessarily easy. But as long as you use your available time wisely, plan your content in advance, and commit to posting regularly, you can achieve both personal fulfilment and success in your creative journey.