Creating content on the internet is one of the most lucrative professions in the world right now.
You’ll see kids raking in millions of dollars every month just for posting toy reviews on YouTube.
You’ll find has been celebrities who are reviving their careers as content creators, and making more money than they ever did in the mainstream.
You see random people breaking out and making a living from their videos, blogs, Instagram feeds, etc.
That’s because there’s a lot of people are perpetually bored and are always on the lookout for things to watch, read, and listen to.
So for creative people like you and me, there’s an opportunity for us to make money doing the stuff we love. For us it’s writing about games and content that can help gamers and streamers. For you, it can be anything you want.
The point is, when you’re a creator, you can earn money from the content you create.
Although not everyone can rake in millions every month, you can still make decent money off the content you create.
This can be enough to upgrade your lifestyle, grow your savings account, or give you money to invest for the future.
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What you need to monetize: An engaged Audience
Before you start thinking about monetizing your content, you’ll need to evaluate if you have a big enough audience on your platform. Because without a decent audience size, monetizing your content is close to impossible.
First is because some platforms require you to have a particular number of followers before they make you eligible for monetization. Most platforms require anywhere between 100 to 30,000 followers, before they make you eligible for monetization. So even if you’re uploading quality content on these platforms, if you don’t meet their requirements, you won’t get a dime from them.
Second, content platforms prefer creators who have big audience over those with well-produced content because reach and impressions are what advertisers pay for. So, no matter how much time and effort you put in creating your content, the platform doesn’t care if you can’t make people consume it.
So build your audience before you think about monetizing.
If you need a comprehensive guide to building your audience, GGWP has you covered! Check out our article on Building Your Audience (link).
How to Monetize your Content Online
Once you’ve built a sizable audience size, these are the 10 things you can do to start earning.
One of the advantages of building an engaged audience is having loyal fans. These people are those who have a strong affiliation towards you, and are willing to support you beyond consuming and sharing your content.
Donations are frequently found in streaming platforms like Twitch, where viewers can donate directly to the streamer. This usually happens when the viewer is enjoying the content they’re watching or the streamer is offering something in return for a donation.
Aside from direct donations from streaming platforms, there are also other platforms content creators use to solicit donation from their patrons. One popular site is Patreon, which allows content creators to solicit donations from their fans in exchange for something else, like a limited edition merch.
Although it’s the easiest, it’s also the most unstable kind of revenue you can earn as a content creator, because you can’t always expect people to donate their hard earned money to you.
So if you really want to monetize your content and earn a decent living, donations shouldn’t be your focus.
2. Advertising Revenue
Another form of passive income you can have as a content creator is selling advertising spaces on your website.
The most common way to do this is by having the Google AdSense in your blog or website. This widget on your website allows Google to place their display adds all over your website. In return, they pay you a portion of the total views and clicks you’ve generated for their clients.
Despite being a more consistent income stream than donations, your earnings from advertisers are directly related to your website’s traffic. So if you’re a low-traffic website, say with only 1000 visitors per month, don’t expect to make a lot from it.
The beauty of this though is that it’s passive income. You don’t have to do anything except to keep on creating content and growing your audience.
Note: To start earning with Google AdSense, your site needs to have at least 100 unique visitors every day.
3. Exclusive Content
Most of the content you’ll create will be free to consume to the public. Meaning anyone with an internet connection can access it without paying you anything.
Now that’s okay if you’re doing this for fun and you have other sources of income. However, for full-time content creators who spend a lot of resources in producing content, the income they generate from ads, donations, etc. is not enough to make their passion projects as their main source of living.
That’s why some content creator offer exclusive content in exchange for premium memberships.
Premium members who pay monthly fees can get exclusive content like podcast interviews with celebrities, unreleased video footages/films, premium articles, or first-access to unpublished songs.
This income stream is viable to content creators who are masters of their crafts like professional filmmakers, hosts, musicians, etc. because they can deliver quality worth paying for.
4. Sponsored Content
When you have a big enough audience, brands will start to reach out to you directly and have you endorse their products.
This would range from small businesses, startups, to large corporations. It will all depend on how big your audience is and how credible you are in your space.
These businesses will ask you to display their products on your stream, post photos of you using their products, create full review videos of their products, or having you attend their events.
How much you get paid will be directly related to what you’ll do for the brand, how valuable you are, and how big they are. For instance, big-time companies pay Kendall Jenner $600,000 per Instagram post because she has a lot of following.
5. Affiliate Links
Similar to sponsored content, affiliate links are partnerships between you and brands who want to promote their content. However, the main difference is the pay structure.
As mentioned above, sponsored content pays you to perform specific activities for the brand like posting, reviewing, and attending events.
Affiliate links on the other hand pays you commissions for promoting the products. This means that you’ll only earn money once a product is sold, and that sale came from the affiliate link they gave you.
The downside for this is your income is not fixed and you’re carrying a risk of not earning anything.
However, the upside for partnerships like this is the limitless opportunity for you to earn. That’s because the more people you can convince to buy, the more commissions you’ll get.
Affiliate deals are usually kickers for partnership agreements between content creators and brands. This means that most contracts would have a combination of fixed fee (sponsored posts) + commissions (affiliate links).
There are a lot of content creators in the world right now and a lot of them are looking for ways to increase their reach to grow their audience.
One of the main things they would do is to work with other content creators, so they can tap into a wider audience. This usually happens through cross-streaming, interviews, or collaboration contents.
Although not everyone is open to pay you for a collaboration, some are willing to invest as long as you have a big enough audience that’ll make it worth their money.
Content creators who believe that they are already masters of their craft become teachers to other creators who are just beginning their journey.
The most common way to become a teacher is to write and ebook and publish it on Amazon or Gumroad.
Another way to do this is to partner up with course websites like Udemy and skillshare to develop video courses. But developing courses can also be done on your own. Just take a course on how to do it.
Whichever route you choose, we implore you to add value to your students because the last thing we want is to have a poser scamming beginners who want to learn.
The advantage of writing an ebook or creating a course is its scalability. Since you don’t need to be with your students, you can have thousands of people enrolled around the world at any given time.
Consulting/mentoring is another way you can make money teaching others.
As a mentor, people would pay you to share your experiences and skills with them. On top of that, they’ll also have direct access to you, so they can ask questions and pick your mind on other topics that aren’t covered on your courses.
Unlike courses, you can only consult/mentor a limited number of people because it requires you to engage with your students.
Now the advantage of consulting/mentoring is the higher pay you get from students. Usually, courses would only sell anywhere between $20 to $100 on average. But consulting/mentoring sessions can reach up to $10,000 per month depending on your skill level.
9. Selling your own Products
One of the most laborious ways to make money as a content creator is by selling your own products. Usually, content creators sell merchs like shirts, caps, hoodies, etc. to their true fans.
However, others who earn a lot and have a big enough following also delve into creating their own brand of products.
An example for this is a gaming content creator who creates his own line of gaming accessories and peripherals.
Selling merch is the easy way to do this, because you won’t have to worry about a lot of things – just fulfilling the orders.
But if you want to have the potential to scale into a big business, it’s better for you to create your own brand. Beware: Starting your own brand is a different business and it carries a lot of risk and responsibilities with it.
10. Licensing your content
This method is not for every content creator out there.
But if you creative skills like photography, writing, filmmaking, music editing, and other skills that are useful to other creatives, you can delve into licensing your original works. That’s because other content creators need more resources to make their content better.
So, if you are an excellent photographer, you can upload your images on stock photo website. And in return, they’ll pay you royalties whenever someone uses your photo for their work.
Now that you know the 10 ways on how to monetize your content online, it’s time to dig your heels deeper and start hustling harder.
Remember: keep building your audience, so you can earn more as a content creator.