So you’re a content creator of some sort who wants to get in front of people. You’ve got something to say, or something to make, and you know people need it.
Congrats! It’s a great time to be a creator. There are around 2 million people who identify as professional creators, and the creator economy is estimated to be worth around $100 billion dollars. Yup, you read that right. ONE. HUNDRED. BILLION.
But all the creator economy stuff can get pretty confusing. How do you know where to create and host your content? Can you really make money off your work? And, even if you could make money, could you quit your day job and create full-time?
This post will walk you through 8 of the best content creator platforms, talk about their advantages and disadvantages, and give you some ideas of how to pair platforms to make a living!
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In this article...
What is a content creator platform?
A content creator platform is a space where people can create and share content, whether it’s text, video, images, or something else. A good content creator platform gives creators the ability to grow their following (both in quantity and quality of interactions) and hopefully monetize their work too (if they want to).
How to choose a content creator platform
There are so many dang platforms out there, and one of the biggest problems would-be creators face is analysis paralysis. It’s easy to spend months researching platforms and getting intimidated by the sheer number of options. So let us tell you at the outset to FIGHT the urge to know everything before you get started. You’re going to learn as you go, and that’s great!
Another problem would-be content creators face when they’re starting out is feeling like you need to be everywhere: “I’m going to post videos on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, share my thoughts on Twitter, inspiration quotes on Pinterest, and get really active on Facebook.”
Let us save you the trouble. You can’t do it all. The influencers you see who look like they’re doing it all almost certainly have teams of people around them helping. Plus, you don’t need to do it all! Choose one or two platforms and focus your energy on mastering them.
And if you’re stuck trying to choose which platform is right for you, you can use these questions to guide you:
What do you love to create?
This is a pretty basic starting point. If you like to make videos, your ideal platform isn’t going to be Twitter. So to help you narrow down the field, you can start with identifying which platform is actually right for the thing you love to create.
We’ve added this info to the options below.
One more thing. When asking yourself what you love to create, don’t just think about the medium. Think about the niche too! It’s perfectly okay – no wait, encouraged! – to pick a specific niche for your content.
So instead of saying, “I’m going to write personal development blog posts for everyone,” try “I’m going to write personal development posts for college students trying to learn meditation for the first time.”
The niche is a golden place to start because you can get clear on who you’re serving and what they need.
What do you want?
What do you actually want from this content-creator journey? Do you want a book contract? A million followers? A profitable, small community of like-minded people who are also passionate about orchids?
When you’re starting this journey, it’s important to try to be honest with yourself about what you actually want from this. There are so many distractions and shiny objects online. It’s so easy to get trapped in cycles of posting, OR to chase that dopamine hit from “likes” only to get 2 years down the road and realize you’ve got 10,000 followers and nothing to show for it.
Obviously, the thing you want may change over time. So keep revisiting this question.
Where do your people hang out?
This is a pretty basic question too. Where do your people hang out? If you’re creating content for businesses, you might choose LinkedIn over Facebook. If you’re choosing content for Gen Z, you might choose TikTok or YouTube over Facebook.
Get clear on where your people actually hang out so that you can meet them where they’re at.
Which will let you monetize?
This is super important, and something most creators realize after they’ve been making content on someone else’s platform for a while. 10,000 views or likes is great, but do you know what’s even better?
Making $10,000 from your content.
Get clear on which platform will help you do that best. You can use the Creators Calculator to help you figure it out.
The 8 best content creator platforms
If you’ve got a handle on the questions above, you’ll be in a better position to figure out what platform is right for you. We’ll also showcase how some creators are pairing these platforms with a Mighty Network in order to grow their audiences, build meaningful connections, and earn a living!
YouTube now has over 2 billion users, which makes it a GIANT in terms of social media platforms. Users watch a cool 1 billion hours of YouTube content.
Every. Single. Day.
As a content creator platform, YouTube is pretty straightforward to use and grow on. If you love creating videos of any kind, whether you do puppets or political interviews, YouTube might be a good place for you. Users can create their own channels, upload videos, and go live.
The best part about YouTube for content creators is that YouTube is actually the world’s second-largest search engine. What that means is that, unlike other social media platforms, your videos will keep getting organic traffic for years after you post them if done right. You need to choose a clear niche, and make sure you optimize your posts with keywords, but after that, the sky is the limit.
The worst part of being a content creator on YouTube?
Well, there are two things.
The first one is the competition. 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every MINUTE. If you’re creating your videos on YouTube, you’ll have to break through the noise.
The second thing that isn’t great for creators on YouTube is the monetization options. If you were monetizing through advertising, you’d need anywhere from 1-2 million views to make $1,000. Although YouTube is adding some new monetization features like paid subscriptions, these take a lot of work too. If it's hard to grow free subscribers on YouTube, how hard do you think it will be to grow paid subscribers?
How top content creators use Mighty Networks to get the most out of YouTube
Taken together, YouTube is a pretty obvious place for you to be if you’re a video creator. But for monetization, think about pairing it with another platform. This is what Adriene Mishler, founder of Yoga with Adriene, did with her 10 million + subscribers. She created her own Mighty Network to forge deeper relationships with her viewers and create a community around Yoga and wellness and even launched a premium app and video subscription service with it: FWFG.
Advantages of YouTube for content creators
- Search engine traffic continues long after posting
- Billions of engaged users
- Subscribers can sign up for notifications to make sure they see new content
Disadvantages of YouTube for content creators
- Tons of competition
- Lousy monetization options
What types of creators should be on YouTube?
- Video creators
2. Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks is a content-creator platform and cultural software that lets users create engaged online communities, bringing together the best of your audience. You can share your own content, whether it’s videos, blog posts/articles, online courses, or live streaming to your members.
One of the really great things about Mighty Networks is that it lets you make the most of your content creation. Your community members will see your content and can engage with it.
But even more than this, they can create and share their own content. This often leads to a thriving content community that would be tough to replicate anywhere else.
Here are some of the things you can do with a Mighty Networks:
- build community
- have discussions
- live stream
- teach live courses
- post pre-recorded courses
- host live events
- group coaching
Mighty gives you your own space, under your brand. In fact, our community engine, Mighty Co-Host™, can build you a Big Purpose and community name, plus will generate a visual identity, tagline, landing page, invite message, welcome post, and more.
Try Our Community Name Generator
Our AI engine is here to help you create a community name that feels like magic. Just share a few words about who your community is for and we’ll get to work.
Examples: coaching clients, meditation novices, vegan chefs, dog lovers, aspiring entrepreneurs, etc.
The names generated by Mighty Co-Host™ are examples only and may be used by other businesses or subject to third-party rights. For more information, check our Terms.
What makes Mighty unlike ANY OTHER content creator platform is the ability to monetize even a small audience. Even 30-50 engaged fans or members can earn you a full-time income, as you can charge for admission to the community and/or for things like webinars, online courses, private coaching, or mastermind groups.
Finally, Mighty grows with you. For example, on another platform, you might build your audience up to the point where you wanted to teach a course. You’d then need to go find another platform to host the course.
With Mighty you can do pretty much everything you’d ever want to do right on the platform itself, making it a totally immersive member experience. And members can keep your community in their pocket through branded iOS and Android apps.
Advantages of Mighty Networks for content creators
- Build a super-engaged community that will always see your content
- Monetize even a small group of members or your followers from another platform
- Members can add their own content
- The community grows with you
Disadvantages of Mighty Networks for content creators
- People aren’t likely to stumble across it
What types of content creators should be on Mighty Networks?
- Public figures/influencers
- Video creators
- Artists and other creatives
- Course creators
Pairs well with…
- A podcast
- Medium (or blog site)
Read more stories of how content creators are using Mighty Networks!
TikTok is a viral video site that creators are using to rack up MILLIONS of views. It’s the new kid on the block and the algorithms aren’t old and crusty yet like other social media sites. This means that people are growing audiences FAST on TikTok. This is a huge advantage.
The downside? TikTok requires some pretty constant posting to grow that huge audience, and some creators can get tired of the treadmill. Some of the biggest TikTokers post up to 10x daily. So if you need to create this much content, and make sure it’s quality, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
If you’re a content creator that can handle that schedule, good on you! Go win TikTok.
For some of us mortals, that gets to be a bit much. Especially considering that posting the same content on YouTube will generate organic traffic (although there’s nothing to stop you from cross-posting to both platforms).
If you love to make videos, have tons of fun ideas, and can shine on camera–TikTok might be your jam.
Aside from the potentially high burden of constantly creating content on TikTok, there’s one more big disadvantage: monetization. It’s estimated that you need 10 times the subscribers and views on TikTok as on YouTube to earn the same amount of money. This means that most TikTok creators will see next to nothing for their work.
How content creators can use Mighty Networks to get the most out of TikTok
Influencers are using Mighty Networks to bring their audience together and host conversations. People want access to creators, so if you’re someone who is growing a following on TikTok, building a Mighty Network beside it allows you to bring them together under one roof and create a recurring membership business around your personal brand.
Advantages of TikTok for content creators
- Huge audiences and a generous algorithm
- Platform that encourages fun and creativity
Disadvantages of TikTok for content creators
- Need for constant posting
- Difficult to monetize
What types of content creators should be on TikTok?
- Video creators
- Motivational speakers
- Instructors of any kind
Twitter probably isn’t new or cool. But it’s got an army of about 190 million dedicated users who are really active. Unlike others on this list, Twitter isn’t really for creators who like to make videos or images. It’s great for people who like to create text-based stuff. And it’s especially useful for people who share ideas or are an expert in a subject.
When it started, Twitter was limited to 140 characters. But this changed to 240 in 2017. Throughout the years, Twitter has remained pretty low-tech, focusing first on text-based posts. While you can use video and photos, the thing Twitter is much better known for is the “thread”-- a string of short tweets stuck together to make a cohesive argument or tell a story. In November 2020, Twitter also launched Spaces, which basically added live, audio-only conversation rooms (something like Clubhouse).
Twitter is great for creators with something to say who want to write it and share it. It’s also great for creators who have big ideas but don’t necessarily like making videos.
The disadvantage, as with others, is that it’s hard to monetize a Twitter account. People have turned to sponsored posts and affiliate marketing, but honestly, one of the best ways to monetize Twitter is probably to take your followers off Twitter and find a space for them to really engage.
Advantages of Twitter for content creators
- Easy to use
- Low-tech, text-based
- Good for sharing ideas
Disadvantages to Twitter for content creators
- Hard to monetize
- Short-form content may limit some creators
- Posts only have a 15-minute lifespan
What types of content creators should be on Twitter?
- Thought leaders
- Industry leaders
- People with things to say
Home of the infamous duckface, Instagram is a place for images. You’ll find your share of inspirational quotes, memes, and videos on IGTV, but images and captions are still really popular. Since the top Instagram accounts by number of followers are Christiano Ronaldo, Kylie Jenner, and Lionel Messi, it’s not a surprise that many Instagram accounts are pictures of the rich and famous living their lives.
But there’s a whole ecosystem of Instagram creators, people who are in it for the love of the craft. They’re creating everything from pictures of handmade art to pics of their exercise transformations.
Instagram does have some major downsides. For one, it’s owned by Meta, so there are some of the same data and privacy concerns that you might have on Facebook. One of the bigger challenges for individual creators is that you can’t put an external link in an Instagram post, meaning it’s really hard to get people off of the platform and onto your store, community, or email list. People often get around this by adding a “link in bio”--where they can use a service like linktr.ee to round up relevant links to their audience, but it’s still limited.
How top content creators use Mighty Networks to get the most out of Instagram
Sadie Robertson Huff is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, TV star, and one of the world's top voices for young Christian women. She has over 4.6 million Instagram followers, national speaking tours, and a top-ranking podcast called, WHOA, That’s Good.
Sadie Robertson Huff used Mighty Networks to launch her app, LO sister, as a way to create deeper connections with Instagram followers and help young women meet others going through a spiritual journey together.
Advantages of Instagram for content creators
- Ability to build an audience
- Strong visual component
- IGTV algorithm shows videos to lots of new people
Disadvantages of Instagram for content creators
- Data protection issues (Meta)
- Difficult to get people off Instagram onto your store or email list
What types of content creators do well on Instagram?
- Anyone with a strong visual component to their work.
If you want to write and make money from it, Substack is a great place to be. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of an apparently dying field, journalism, Substack has revived the business model of independent journalists and writers. It’s a place where people who have something to say can build paid email lists of people who want to read it. Its subscription-based model creates a source of recurring revenue for creators who can focus on their craft and earn from it.
The main disadvantage to Substack is that you’ve got to build an audience somehow. While Substack is searchable and there’s the main page that lets you stumble on newsletters, most creators have to use other platforms to build a following then invite them to Substack.
How content creators can use Mighty Networks to get the most out of Substack
If people sign up for your newsletter because they want to hear from you on a regular basis, maybe they want more than that! Mighty Networks lets you grow your audience beyond just a newsletter, if that’s your thing, bringing together your subscribers for conversations, sharing ideas, getting feedback on your writing, and even creating courses about what you know.
Advantages of Substack for content creators
- Monetization option for writers and journalists
- Control over your list
- Your audience sees your work
Disadvantages of Substack for content creators
- Need to use other platforms to build an audience
- Requires constant writing/creation
What types of content creators do well on Substack?
- Writers, writers, and writers
Medium is a place for bloggers. While some bloggers choose to write on their own platforms, Medium is a popular option for those looking to grow their writing audience from an existing pool. It has around 60 million monthly users and some bloggers use it to build a following.
One advantage to Medium is the built-in audience, since a lot of people use the platform every day. BUT, with thousands of writers vying for views, there’s a lot of competition. Even with all those users, many writers will struggle to get eyes on their work.
It’s also possible to make some money off your work on Medium, however, most writers don’t earn much–definitely not enough to live off. Medium can be a great place to get your work discovered as a writer and build relationships with other writers, but many writers look to other platforms to actually monetize their work–or they use Medium as a platform to springboard into publishing in bigger media.
How content creators can use Mighty Networks to get the most out of Medium
If you’re tired of writing for peanuts on Medium, you could do some or all of your writing in a Mighty Network instead. It lets you bring your community together to share your work and share ideas, which means it’s the perfect place for writers who want to monetize their work or create deeper conversations around their content.
There are many different types of communities Medium writers could create that would work well across platforms.
Advantages of Medium for content creators
- Existing audience for your work
- Easily shareable with likes and comments
- Some (limited) monetization options
Disadvantages of Medium for content creators
- Limited monetization
What types of content creators should use Medium?
Finally, LinkedIn is the careers space. While it started as a professional networking site, there are more and more content creators building huge followings on LinkedIn. Not surprisingly, many of these people are career experts offering advice, but the platform has been evolving to include more personal development, entrepreneurship, and even people sharing about their lives.
If you’re talking about careers, personal development, equity, and diversity, or basically anything relevant to the modern workplace or entrepreneur, LinkedIn is a pretty good place to be.
One of the greatest advantages to LinkedIn (or disadvantages depending on your personality) is that you don’t need to post every 15 minutes. Unlike other platforms, posting once or twice a day on LinkedIn, or even a few times a week, is enough to build you a large following.
But there are a few disadvantages to LinkedIn for content creators. First, it has really limited capabilities. If you want to go live, you’d need to be approved to do it, then connect LinkedIn with a third-party video platform to actually live stream. If you want to create a group, you’ll realize pretty quickly that LinkedIn groups are where posts go to die–the algorithm doesn’t reward group posts or show them to people, and you can only message all your members once a week. Even creating a course on LinkedIn requires an application, and very few instructors are approved.
Finally, there’s no way to monetize on LinkedIn itself.
All this means that you’d be better off building a following on LinkedIn and using another platform to complement the points where LinkedIn falls down.
How content creators can use Mighty Networks to get the most out of LinkedIn
Mighty Networks literally shines in all the areas LinkedIn struggles: creating groups, conversations, live streaming, and courses. If you wanted to build your following on LinkedIn and use Mighty Networks to monetize, it would be the perfect combo.
Advantages of LinkedIn for content creators
- Lots of professionals looking for conversations
- Different options for post creation
- Requires less frequent posting
Disadvantages of LinkedIn for content creators
- No way to monetize
- Groups don’t work well
- No way to add courses
What types of content creators should use LinkedIn?
- People talking about anything related to professional life
Each of these 8 content creator platforms offers something different and works for different types of creators. If you know that you’ve got something to share with the world, there’s something here for everyone.
So what are you waiting for? Get started! You’ve got this.