Boomers, Gen X, and other non-digitally native generations tend to dismiss making videos on the internet as an easy gig, but if you’re a dedicated content creator yourself, you’ll know that it takes a massive amount of work and creativity to make money in this business.
Take Nas Daily (Nuseir Yassin), for example. He has built a following of millions since he quit his tech job to travel the world making a single one-minute video every day, and he’ll tell you that it takes him an average of 10 hours to make each video.
Although the media likes to showcase the few top creators who are raking in dollars from brand collaborations, they are very much in the minority. Out of the 50 million or so creators worldwide, only around 2 million (approximately 4%) earn enough to consider it their full-time job. Straggling behind them is a long tail of side-hustle, semi-pro or monetization-curious creators.
Although the creator “middle class” is rising, it’s still relatively minuscule. Within the 4% who work full-time as creators, only 43% earn a livable wage of $50,000 or more. The rest are scraping by on a shoestring.
And that’s just the ones who’ve succeeded in making content creation a full-time job. Several million creators are not yet sure how to get started monetizing their hobby, or they’re struggling to get by, not yet earning enough to be able to quit their day job and go all-in on content creation.
While many view the idea of sponsored brand collaborations as the key to success, that monetization avenue comes with its own challenges. Many creators with theoretically lucrative contracts still have cash flow issues from brands that see their input as unimportant, leaving them at the bottom of the list for monthly payments. Some 77% of content creators depend on brand deals for their income, leaving them vulnerable to delays in payment.
All of which adds fuel to the idea of diversifying revenue streams, so as to make content creation profitable and to stabilize your income. With that in mind, here are three very different suggestions for monetizing your content
1. The YouTube Partner Program
YouTube is a top channel for content creators, which makes its YouTube Partner Program (YPP) so useful. With the YPP, you’ll get a share of the revenue from ads that YouTube chooses to share on your videos.
Once you sign up, YouTube will start displaying banner ads on your channel page, a pre-video ad, and/or in-video banner overlay ads. The platform handles everything to do with ad optimization, ad placement, and engagement tracking, and payment arrives automatically through your Google AdSense account.
The program also offers more resources for creators to analyze visitor behavior and develop more relevant and engaging content, as well as advanced customization tools so you can adjust the look of your entire channel to improve your branding.
You’ll need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 valid public watch hours to be eligible for the YPP, so not everyone who is just starting out qualifies. But YouTube says it exceeded 2 million “partners” by August 2021, and it’s considered among the most lucrative monetization routes for creators.
2. Add a Tip Jar to Your Social Bio Links
“Link in bio” pages have taken off as a way to guide followers to your content, subscription options, upcoming events, product pages, online store, and more. It’s a great way to monetize your audience because you can encourage them to buy your merchandise, subscribe to your newsletter, join your webinar or hire you for projects, all on a single page promoted with a single link in your bio.
Link in bio pages may have begun on Instagram, thanks to that platform restricting clickable links to just one in your entire profile, but it didn’t stay there for long. Once you’ve built a link on the bio page, use the URL wherever you like: in your Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitch profiles, even on LinkedIn.
Now Lightricks’ Link in Bio tool lets you shake a cute tip jar in your fans’ directions. It’s simple to set up, with plenty of customizations and templates, so your link in the bio page is appealing, attractive, and matches your branding. Plus the tool integrates with Stripe, so you can easily start earning those tips, and on top of all that, it’s free.
You can access the Lightricks Link in Bio tool as a standalone web app to add to your toolbox, but if you use Facetune2 for your content creation, you’ll find it in there already.
3. Premium Content Subscriptions
Patreon is practically the godfather of content monetization, but the Premium tier takes it to a new level. Among other perks, Premium Patreon users get their own Partner Manager to help you boost your reach and spread your brand, with a one-on-one review of custom analytics that helps you understand your audience and spot the right opportunities to expand.
One of the best Premium features is the Merch for the Membership program, a kind of proprietary fulfillment program for customized swag. Patreon handles everything to do with shipping, tracking, and support, to make it effortless for you to offer customizable, high-quality products to your top followers.
It includes smart pricing optimization, where Patreon’s algorithm suggests which merchandise to offer which tiers, saving you time and hassle so you can focus on creating content.
The Premium plan costs 12% of your revenue, and you’ll have to meet certain minimum levels of followers and engagement to qualify.
There Are Multiple Ways to Monetize Your Audience
Diversification is a crucial tactic in any business, and content creation is no different. When you optimize your link in bio to look even more attractive and include more ways for followers to pay you; maximize income from your YouTube videos, and use Patreon’s proprietary tools to streamline merch sales and identify more ways to boost your revenue, you can grow your creator business to join the ranks of full-time creators earning more than a bartender.