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“SheRatesDogs” Creator Michela Okland’s Take On Full-Time Content Creation

Content creator Michaela Okland‘s journey from college tweeter to social media entrepreneur exemplifies the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the creator economy. As a featured speaker at VidCon 2024, Michaela offers valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing today’s digital content creators. Her story of success and candid reflections on industry volatility provide a compelling snapshot of the current state of social media-driven careers. From the viral growth of her “SheRatesDogs” account, Instagram & TikTok fame to her upcoming discussions on platform evolution at VidCon, Michaela’s experiences highlight the need for authenticity, adaptability, and continuous innovation in the fast-paced world of content creation. 

“Content creation was definitely something I happened to fall into,” Michaela says, recounting her journey that began with casually posting tweets during her college days in Arizona. 

Her relatable posts quickly gained traction, leading to the creation of “SheRatesDogs,” an account that amassed 100,000 followers in its first month. “I’d say that was when I started making a living off of content creation by selling my own branded clothing through the account,” she explains how quickly a social media presence can transform into a business venture.

Despite her quick rise, Michaela faces challenges common to many in her field. “I think being a content creator is an incredible job with so many benefits, but there’s a huge lack of job security,” she notes. The precarious nature of platform-dependent careers became evident when changes on Twitter (now X) affected advertising revenues, impacting income opportunities for creators like Michaela.

Balancing creativity with business demands remains an ongoing challenge for the thriving influencer. “It can be a big challenge to feel creative and inspired when you’re tired and burnt out,” she admits. To address this, Michaela emphasizes the importance of seeking inspiration through learning and new experiences. “I can’t be creative without looking for inspiration,” she states about the need for continuous personal growth as a content creator.

Michaela at VidCon 2024

VidCon started as a hub for YouTube and other online content creators. Over time, it has expanded to embrace talents from TikTok, Instagram, Twitch, and beyond. It organizes annual gatherings for digital creators, video enthusiasts, and influencers. The event includes Creator tracks, performances, meet-ups, and other activities. This year’s convention takes place from June 26 to 29 in Anaheim, California. Michaela appeared in three panel discussions:

As a featured creator at VidCon 2024, Michaela expressed enthusiasm ahead of the event. “I’m excited that VidCon is leaning into the podcast space a bit more this year,” she told us. She has attended VidCon both as a speaker and an attendee and appreciates the convention’s ability to adapt to industry trends.

On the Creator Track panel, Michaela discussed the transformation of social media platforms, especially Twitter and TikTok. The social media maven sees this as particularly relevant given recent industry developments, adding, “I think it has massive implications, especially considering the rumored leadership change that could be happening with TikTok.” Her panels explored these changes’ impacts on both creators and advertising brands.

Industry Insights and Challenges

Michaela offers a refreshing perspective on the authenticity of content creators, challenging common misconceptions. “I think there can be misconceptions about content creators as individuals and less about content creators as a whole,” she observes. Michaela emphasizes that the majority of creators she’s encountered are genuine, stating, “Almost every person I’ve met isn’t like that. I think people are usually who they appear to be.”

Her advice for newcomers to the industry is clear: “Be true to yourself! If you act a certain way that isn’t truly you, you’ll attract an audience who will constantly be disappointed in you.” This guidance is vital for building a sustainable career in content creation.

Michaela on How She Envisions the Future

Michaela remains flexible in her approach to content creation. “My content has always changed, and so have the people who follow me,” she reflects, acknowledging the evolution of her work from college-focused humor to more mature themes. Her aspirations focus on maintaining relevance and humor: “I hope in the future I can continue to make content about things I find funny and whatever is relevant to me.”

Her adaptive strategy shows just how dynamic content creation really is. Creators like Michaela seek to evolve alongside their audience to maintain engagement and relevance in the industry.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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