Have you ever wondered how content creators actually make money?
In 2021, it seems to be one of the most frequently asked questions. As more and more people look for a new side hustle or building a full-fledged personal brand, it’s an important question to ask.
Because Facebook and Instagram aren’t paying you for likes, so how do you actually make money?
The cool thing about the creator economy is that you can monetize your passions in more ways than ever before.
In the past, there were some limitations based on the cost of software, having to hire freelancers for websites, and more. But now, you can use so many tools and services to start monetizing your content faster than ever before.
You don’t even need your own website in some cases either!
So if you’re planning to become a content creator (or are already churning out content but want to make money), this is for you.
Here are 11 of the best ways to turn your epic content into an online business that gives you total freedom with your time.
11 Ways To Make Money As A Creator
Before diving into ways to turn your posts and videos into money, let’s cover a few best practices as a creator. Now that more and more people are turning into content creators, it’s essential to stand out and set yourself apart.
Here are some best practices to help you speed up success:
- Niche down.
Yes, the riches are still in the niches. Since there is so much competition, it’s vital that you nail your niche instead of broad, general messaging. This will help you grow quickly and become known for something.
As you get more followers, you can always broaden your niche, but start small to attract your first 1,000 raving fans.
- Stay consistent.
To become a successful content creator, you have to consistently produce amazing content.
But that doesn’t mean you need to spend all day, every day on social media though. Instead, you (or a virtual assistant or freelancer) need to repurpose your content.
That way you can stay in your zone of genius, create amazing core content, and then distribute across other platforms.
This will help you show up consistently and get your brand in front of more people.
- Build relationships.
Once you niche down and stay consistent, it makes it much easier to build relationships and attract your tribe. This will help you learn more about their pain points, goals, and understand what they want to achieve.
The more you know about your customer avatar, the easier it will be to create irresistible offers. But it all starts with empathy and letting them know that you are here to help.
- Set up an onboarding sequence.
To help you build relationships faster than ever, make sure you have some sort of onboarding sequence. This is something that is 100% automated and shares tons of valuable information to new subscribers or followers.
My two favorite ways to do this are with Messenger bots or an email autoresponder. Both are working 24/7 to help educate, build trust, and provide incredible content for new subscribers.
- Create a signature offer.
Niching down helps you stand out from the competition but a signature offer establishes you as a go-to expert. It will make it easier to talk about your offer, create a framework or methodology, and create a community that gets results.
Now that you know a few best practices, let’s dive into ways to start making money as a content creator.
1. Online Courses (Signature Offer)
As I mentioned in the last section, having a signature offer is one of the most important pieces of becoming a successful creator. A signature offer helps attract the right people to your brand and create massive transformation with students.
Here is the biggest benefit though; a signature offer is scalable!
This is something that you can launch or automate to 20 people or 2,000+ people. Usually, this is a membership site experience or an online course.
The cool thing about your signature offer is that it’s ever-evolving. While you might have some core fundamentals, you’ll want to keep adjusting and tweaking to make it the best program ever.
As more and more students go through the program, you can update as needed to make it easy for students to find success.
2. Online Coaching
While a signature offer is great, let’s take it one step further by adding a coaching offer.
Remember, a signature offer (usually an online course), is all about scalability.
But a lot of times people might want to work with you on a deeper level and ask for coaching as well. Coaching is a great upsell for your students who are 100% committed to getting results as fast as possible.
With coaching, I would suggest a group coaching model instead of 1:1.
The main reason being scalability. With 1:1 clients, you are trading your time for money and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with too many clients.
But with group coaching, you can serve more people and I think it’s actually more beneficial for students too. A lot of times one student will ask a question that others might have not even thought of yet.
When you have 10, 20, or 100+ people on a Zoom coaching call, everyone is learning from each other - something you don’t get with 1:1 coaching.
In the beginning, a few 1:1 clients might make sense to create your coaching offer and learn about your audience, but don’t keep it forever. Switch to a group coaching model to save time and impact more people with your program.
Additionally, you can always offer a much higher-priced 1:1 coaching or consulting as well.
Not sure how to get coaching clients yet? Click here to learn how to land coaching clients and sell high ticket offers.
3. Paid Workshops (Virtual Retreats)
Another way to make money as a creator is with paid workshops (also known as virtual retreats).
For example, on Clubhouse, I regularly invite people to join my workshops which usually last 3+ hours via Zoom.
Here’s my workflow and thought process with this monetization strategy:
Provide insane value inside a Clubhouse Room.
Then invite people to a virtual event at a call to action several times.
Deliver a 3-hour workshop that is more interactive and in-depth than a Clubhouse chat.
At the end and/or in the middle of my workshop, invite people to enroll in a higher ticket offer. This is usually a higher ticket offer (up to $5,000 without a phone call).
The Clubhouse + paid workshop combo creates tons of value for anyone who attends. Then, if people want to move further, they can join a higher tier program for even more game-changing content and transformation.
Related: Ready to get started on Clubhouse? Click here to read our ultimate guide now!
4. Low Ticket Offers (Tripwire)
There’s a phrase I love in marketing, “A buyer is a buyer, is a buyer.”
Meaning, if you can get someone to invest even a small amount of money to work with you, it’s much easier to ask them to invest again in the future.
A low ticket offer sometimes referred to as a tripwire, gets people to transact with you early. This could be $7, $27, or $47.
Usually, this offer is below $50 and is meant to provide users with a quick win and provide tons of value. It’s a great way to get people into your ecosystem and have them want to work with you further.
Some ideas for low ticket offers could include:
Long-form guide or e-book.
Video or audio course + worksheets.
The great thing about low-ticket offers is that they don’t require a ton of time to create so you can test out different offers.
Ideally, if you can get to a point where your low ticket offer covers the cost of a new subscriber when using paid ads, it’s a win-win situation.
5. Rewarded By Followers (Fan Funding)
Let’s not forget about fan funding either.
While online courses and coaching are great, they do require some time to film and put together. But with fan funding, you can start making money from your content today if you want.
Fan funding is sort of like an act of gratitude from your most loyal fans and followers. This could be like a tip for consistently showing up and providing amazing value.
Some ways to set this up include:
Tips on Clubhouse.
Stars on Facebook.
Badges on Instagram.
Similar to the last point is a recurring subscriber type of monetization strategy.
This is usually VIP type content that is only available to your paid subscribers. Prices usually range based on different tiers and deliverables on your end.
For example, some fans might have a $5/month recurring subscription, while others might have a $100+ recurring subscription.
With these subscriptions, you can offer community, behind-the-scenes content, early-bird launches/offers, best discounts, VIP discount, merch, and more.
Some ways to set this up include:
7. Creator Coins
While you might have heard of some of these methods before, a new one on this list for many are creator coins.
As I talked about in my full post on creator coins, “A Creator Coin is a digital currency that can be custom branded. Meaning you can create your own cryptocurrency and have your own virtual economy.”
Since some platforms like YouTube or Twitch restrict ways to monetize your content, a creator coin is a great alternative. This product from Rally launched in July 2020 and transformed how I engage with people on Clubhouse.
As the creator of your own coin you can buy and gift to fans, subscribers can give them in the form of a tip or donation, or you can hold onto them.
This cryptocurrency strategy is a game-changer and relatively new, so make sure to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
8. Ad Revenue
While you might not get paid for likes and subscribers, you can make great money with ad revenue. Two of the most common ways to monetize with ads on your YouTube channel and a blog.
Signing up for YouTube’s ad program is pretty straightforward as long as you meet their criteria for monetization. While monetizing a blog with ad revenue is even easier and you can use platforms like AdThrive, Google Ad Network, and others.
Other ways to make ad revenue from your content include:
Facebook Lives. Simply enable in-stream ads for your live stream and follow this process from Facebook to get started.
Sponsored podcast episodes. If you create content with a podcast, once you start getting consistent downloads each month, make sure to reach out to potential advertisers. They might air before, during or after your show for additional revenue for each episode. Plus, as you become more popular they can reach out to you as well.
9. Membership Sites
One of the last ways to help you monetize your content is creating paid membership sites. This type of income-generating activity is a win-win for both you and your students.
It’s a huge win for your students because they get tons of content. Plus, most membership site owners regularly do coaching calls, Q&A, additional training, and more as part of their monthly subscription service.
But membership sites are also great for you because they provide something that most monetization methods don’t - recurring revenue. This is the golden ticket for entrepreneurs.
Because as you know, being an entrepreneur takes risk and that often comes at sacrificing consistent, guaranteed income from a 9-5.
But a membership site is a great way to make predictable income month after month.
Plus, you can build a community of your students and additional revenue opportunities in the future. A true win-win scenario!
10. In-Person Events
As you grow your followers and buyers, inevitably a certain percentage of people will want even more connection.
Although the pandemic made this pretty much impossible, now people are ready to start getting back to events.
This could mean having:
Small, in-person workshops.
Mastermind events that last 3-12 months.
And eventually, full-scale business events with your most loyal fans and followers.
11. Sponsored Posts
The final way to turn your content into income is with sponsored posts.
While a lot of people think that you need hundreds of thousands or millions of followers to get this opportunity, the truth is that you don’t anymore.
In fact, a lot of brands like to work with micro-influencers who have higher engagement with their audience.
By partnering with influencers and other brands, you can monetize your content quickly.
As you can tell, there are tons of ways to make money in the creator economy. If you’re churning out tons of content but not making much (or any) income, read this a few times and take action.
Remember, there is more than enough for you and everyone else to become successful. There are people just like you making thousands (or millions) of dollars every single year as a content creator.
You can too!
As long as you have an abundance mindset, paired with world-class content, and these methods, I’m sure you’ll crush it as a creator. It’s time to share your gifts with the world and get rewarded for it as well.