Why Try to Monetise Online Content?
We're all content creators these days. Unless you use the internet purely to consume what's there, almost everyone is contributing to this endless stream of new content. Everything you upload to the web could have a value to someone. The ones that clocked this early paved the way for everyone else to make a little change by doing the same.
There is room for everyone. Online content can be made for anything, and will generate an audience if that content keeps coming. I know people earning a living by creating content about fashion, gossip, debt, travel, maths, farming, music, trains, beauty, history, fishing, gaming and so much more.
There are five very accessible ways to earn money through online content. Each of them works on the same idea: create a lot of good content about a specific topic or group of them you can build authority and generate an audience. Engaged audiences can be monetised. Influencers/industry authorities/personal brands are all content creators and you’d be surprised how easy it is to become one.
It's about time I told you about those five accessible ways to publish content:
Let's kick things off real meta and focus on blogging. What began as personal diaries have evolved into a whole different beast. People – whether individually or collectively – have the ability to create an online space based on a topic of their choice. (Just like I have). You easily have one up and running in a weekend.
I suppose a lot of different audio creations could make money too, but podcasts are the simplest to monetise what comes out of your mouth. It can be as simple as getting yourself and a couple of friends to have a weekly chat about the latest news to get the ball rolling. Stick it on SoundCloud and roll from there.
As covered previously, that camera on your phone can absolutely take you places. There’s a market for new images of so many things that you walk past each and every day. Graphic designers, shift your focus away from freelance work. Put your images out there and you will soon see how lucrative it can be. Whether you use it to create an online scrapbook or sell the images, you’ve got a lot of options.
Whether you’re vlogging, educating, reacting or acting a fool, those with Final Cut Pro knowledge need to be aware of how much power they have. Browse around YouTube and see how many channels are doing numbers with the simplest ideas. A lot of eyes can mean a lot of money.
Social media personality
The final category often has to touch on a lot of the other to get by. Notable Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat personalities built a following through their curation, humour and/or insights. As vague as it may be, they’re just as capable of earning money with their posts.
How Do All of These Things Make Money?
For each of these, I know someone who has (or I have) made money within a month of starting them. (The podcast one surprised me the most). Much of this comes down to the audiences they attract, whether it’s a loyal one or one that comes and goes and waves. Here are the main ways that these online content creators make money from their produce:
Sponsorship and Collaborations
Native advertising, collaborative posts, product placement all falls into this category, and almost always requires the creator to have an interactive following. Brands will pay for the chance to align themselves with the content you create. This can be in the form of a monetary exchange as well as some of agreement to feature products in the content (whether as a main focus or passively).
Generally speaking, the person with the most engaged viewership wins. This can be someone with 200 YouTube subscribers as well as a 100,000-member Facebook group that gets hundreds of comments on each post. All that these collaborators care about is that when they feature their product or service in front of your audience, something will come of it.
This is an evolving discipline but the fundamentals are something that most people are very familiar with. Online advertising in its most obvious form will be when websites and videos feature banners or short clips that proceed whatever the visitor wants to see.
Unlike the previous, it’s purely a numbers game. It’ll be up to you to prove that you’re attracting a particular demographic to your platform. It takes time to attract this form of advertising, but it provides stability for content creators.
As an affiliate for a product or service, you earn commission when you directly influence actions. For instance, a beauty vlogger could feature their favourite mascara in a smoky eyes video tutorial. In the description, they can link to that mascara. That particular link will be tracked, allowing them to earn up 10% of any sales that specific link generated.
Some affiliate marketing campaigns can earn their affiliate commissions simply by getting email leads; not even for actual sales. Some will even reward affiliates for getting others to set up accounts with them. Now you see how valuable it is to have an audience willing to follow your instructions.
Merchandise like t-shirts are easily created (even for free with print-on-demand solutions). Content creators that like to share personal experiences may opt to write a book about it, or make some other tangible provide for their audience.
If the content creator is a specialist in a particular discipline, they may decide to sell exclusive access to receive more in-depth information about it. In the business world, courses, resource libraries and ebooks are common digital products that they may invite readers to purchase.
What’s the Best Way to Make Money from Online Content?
Are you creative? Do you already have some monetisable skills? If you would say you’re a decent writer, competent talker, know your way around particular image/video editing software, or know how to get people talking on social media, put it to action. The best way to make money at this is to focus on what you’re already good at.
All of these will require some addition skills to go along with them. For example, it’s helpful for blog owners to know their way around Google Search Console. If you don’t know the difference between raster and vector files, maybe image-based content might not be your first choice.
There’s no need to overload yourself by trying them all out at once. I can’t say that any of them are any better than the rest because the demand for each will remain and people are constantly setting levels in all fields. Figure out where you fit in and see where you can take it.
It’s the kind of thing that you start on the side and it will grow based on how much energy you commit to it. I see content creation as a time investment more than anything. It’s something that you expend a lot of your time in to get afloat, but it can grow into something far beyond what you’d have imagined at the beginning.
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