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7 Ways to Make Money as a Creator – With Examples

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Start Producing Free Content

As a creator, one of the best methods of making money is to produce free content for people to enjoy. You can create written, video, visual, and audio content. All forms of content have their own place and user base.

While you might think that video content is the only form of content worth producing, some people like to listen to podcasts or read quick articles to gain the information they are looking for, while some might like to look at artwork posted on Instagram.

Video is the most impactful way of creating a connection with the content consumer. Written content is the most stress-free way of producing content, as there’s no feeling that someone is waiting for something from you.

Here are some platforms where you can share your user-generated content: Medium, WordPress, and Substack for blogging, Substack for newsletters, YouTube and TikTok for videos, X for quick thoughts and ideas, Instagram for photos, Pinterest for images, and Google and Apple podcasts for podcasting.

Creator Funds

Several social media and content platforms offer creator funds to incentivize content production. To access these funds, you must meet each platform’s eligibility criteria and often submit an application.

For instance, TikTok requires a minimum of 100,000 authentic video views in the preceding 30 days for influencers to apply.

In YouTube, to be eligible for income earning, you need at least 500 subscribers and either 3,000 watch hours in the last 365 days or 3M shorts views in the last 90 days.

Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and X also have similar programs. The compensation varies based on metrics like follower engagement, views, niche (specific, specialized, or narrow segment or category within a larger market or industry) you are in, and ad revenue.

Become A Brand Ambassador

You can become a brand ambassador and promote a specific brand in between your content or create content specifically to introduce a brand to your audience.

In-content brand promotion is when you quickly mention a brand or a product. Whereas creating content specifically about a brand means that the content piece is only about the brand you are an ambassador for.

Example:

A good example of a brand ambassador and an influencer is Georgina Mazzeo, who promotes various brands such as Guess and Bali Body.

Become an Influencer

Creating free content and becoming an influencer tend to go side by side. This is especially true in social media. To become an influencer in social media, you need to grow a sizeable following on your chosen platform.

Influencer rates often vary depending on the social media platform you use, with some influencers charging the same rate regardless, while others consider factors such as reach and engagement.

Reach is determined by your follower count and potential reach, with higher follower counts typically resulting in higher rates. Additionally, rates may fluctuate based on the level of engagement you can generate on your organic and sponsored content.

Factors that you can think of when determining your rates as an influencer:

  • Reach and Engagement: The more extensive the reach and higher the engagement, the greater the potential cost.
  • The Channel You Use: Instagram and YouTube may have different price points.
  • Number of Posts and Content Types: Consider how many posts you want to create and the type of content involved. Whether it includes images, videos, or audio content can impact the overall cost.
  • Effort Required: Some campaigns may require more effort from you than others. If the client or customer needs custom content, wants you to attend events, or invest extra time, this should affect pricing.
  • Promotion and Cross-Posting: The strategy for promoting the ad and whether it will be cross-posted on multiple platforms can influence costs.

Influencer reach by influencer category (Source):

  • Nano-influencers: 1,000–10,000 followers
  • Micro-influencers: 10,000–50,000 followers
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50,000–500,000 followers
  • Macro-influencers: 500,000–1,000,000 followers
  • Mega-influencers: 1,000,000+ followers

Influencer earnings (varies between platforms) based on influencer category (Source):

  • Nano-influencers: $10-$100 per content piece
  • Micro-influencers: $100-$500 per content piece
  • Mid-tier influencers: $500-$5,000 per content piece
  • Macro-influencers: $5,000-$10,000 per content piece
  • Mega-influencers: $10,000+ per content piece
  • Celebrities: $1,000,000+ per content piece

Use Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing programs involve commission-based partnerships where you share unique affiliate links with your audience through various channels. When someone uses your link to make a purchase, you earn a percentage of the revenue, creating a potential passive income stream without ongoing effort.

To make a substantial amount of money with affiliate marketing, you need a lot of clicks to your links. To get a lot of clicks to your links, you need a sizeable audience in your preferred content platform.

To build a sizeable audience, you need to produce a lot of high-quality and free content for your chosen platform.

Example:

If you were a certified financial planner, you could join the QuickBooks affiliate program or if you were a social media content creator, you could join Planoly’s affiliate program and promote their service to your audience.

As a creator, you can join affiliate marketing networks such as:

Set Up an Online Store and Sell Products

You can sell products in your online store to make money as a creator. Either sell your own products or other companies’ products (see affiliate marketing above).

You can sell physical or digital products based on your creative skills. While it’s easier to sell digital products than physical products, physical products can give you a competitive edge as it is usually more challenging for your competitors to mimic your business model.

Example:

As a graphic designer, you could sell Canva templates, social media templates, product mockups, etc. As a fitness instructor, you could sell an online course or have a product lineup of exercise equipment.

Top platforms to sell physical or digital products:

Best digital products to sell online:

  • Software applications
  • E-books and digital publications/magazines
  • Music and audio files
  • Online courses and webinars
  • Graphic designs
  • Printables and templates
  • Digital marketing services and tools
  • Social media content and management tools

Related articles:

How to sell digital products for free
Types of digital products to sell online
The fastest ways to sell digital products

Sell Subscription and Membership Services

As a creator, you can sell subscription and membership services either through your website or a platform. Subscription and membership service enables you to earn recurring revenue, something that one-time payment digital products, physical products, or online courses can’t give you.

Subscription and membership services require constant content creation, community engagement, and customer service.

Managing this type of service can be time-consuming, but the upside is that you get recurring revenue for your content creation business.

Types of digital services you can sell online:

  • Digital Product Market-type Digital Services
  • Subscription-type Digital Services
  • Professionals-type Digital Services

Create a Hybrid Business Model

Combine all of the above-mentioned ways of making money as a creator into one hybrid business model. Sell physical or digital products, sell subscriptions, attach affiliate links to your content, become an influencer, create free content, and build an audience while promoting brands.

Usually, you see the hybrid model online, as creators have noticed that you can exponentially increase your earnings by tapping into multiple income streams. Affiliate links, platform ad earnings, selling products, and subscriptions are all different income streams you can build for yourself.

You shouldn’t feel limited to only one way of earning income online or as a creator.

Example of a creator business model (fitness instructor):

  • Digital product: Ebook: Daily Food Guide – With Sample Meal Plan ($19)
  • Digital product: Online Course: Strength Building – Toned in 90 ($499)
  • Membership: Team Gwoth ($9.99/month)
  • Physical product: Supplements – Burn Evolved 2.0 ($49)
  • Virtual Coaching ($99/hour)

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Okuha

Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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