Video Monetization

7 Best Ways To Make Money As A Content Creator + Examples

By Salma Madwar
9 Min Read

Learn More about Video Monetization

Ways to Make Money as a Content Creator

As a content creator who bravely puts their work out to the world, every day you make people’s day a little bit better. 

That’s commendable.  

While a smile, like, or follow can go a long way, making money from your content creation can go even further. 

But you already know this….which is why you’re here!

In this article, we’ll show you 7 ways you can make money as a content creator. 

We recommend combining at least 3 of these strategies and choose which options fit the type of business you want to run or, do them all! 

Let’s jump right in…

1. Sell premium access to your content (Make an average of $5K+/month)

The best way to make money off your content is by building a membership website where people pay a recurring fee for exclusive access to your content. 

This is known as a subscription business model

Think Netflix or Spotify – they give their viewers access to all past, current, and future content for a recurring monthly (or annual) fee. 

Aside from making money consistently, launching a membership platform will help you merge all other revenue streams from different platforms into one place. 

Even better, you’ll rely less on social media algorithms to get seen anymore. 

Whether you choose to design a world of education, inspiration, entertainment, or anything in between, you’d be completely in charge. 

Take Cakeflix for example, they’re a video membership platform that offers an extensive library of over 1000 cake decorating, baking, and business tutorials.

cakeflix tv landing page

They provide a lot of free cake decorating tutorials on their Instagram and YouTube pages, where they’ve built a large following. 

CakeFlix Instagram Page

But despite a large social media following, they found that monetizing their free content alone was hard. 

That’s because their income was unpredictable, and they had to spend a lot of time and effort growing their social reach for a small and unsteady return.

So, they decided to launch a membership website where their most dedicated supporters could pay for access to exclusive content that helps them reach their cake baking goals. 

How profitable is it to sell paid access to your content?

How profitable your platform can be will depend on your subscriber count and how much you charge for your subscriptions (which you’re in complete control of).

But, even with just 100 subscribers priced at $10, you’d be bringing in $1000 on a monthly basis. And the more subscribers you get the more predictable your income stream will be.

In fact, we found that content creators that launched their membership platforms with Uscreen make an average of over $5K/month!

Now that you know why memberships are a great way to monetize your content, let’s talk about what else you can do to level up your revenue stream. 

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.

2. Launch OTT membership apps (Make an average of $5K+/month)

If you’re a content creator with a budding or thriving community you can also launch a membership app that can grow your audience and revenue by up to 30%!

That’s because an OTT app gives viewers a better user experience. Simply put, an app lets them watch your content on the go, on their favorite devices like:

  • Smart TVs (i.e. Roku).
  • Smartphones (i.e. Android and iOS).
  • Gaming consoles.
  • Tablets. 

Because apps are more convenient and accessible, you can earn more money by: 

  • Attracting more customers: there are potential customers in your audience that prefer to watch your content on an app. In fact, data shows that customers expect to be able to stream their favorite content from apps. 
  • Keeping customers for longer: when your content becomes available on your customer’s favorite device, paired with a sense of community around their interests, they’ll become more engaged and feel that your service is better tailored to their needs.

So, if you have content that’s geared towards mobile phones, iPads, or TVs, then launching a membership app will let you meet your audience wherever they are. 

Take Practice With Clara for example, an online yoga studio:

Practice With Clara Landing Page

After cultivating a community around her teachings, Clara decided to move her practice online, where her students can reach a broad range of her classes all in one place.

Clara wanted to make her classes highly accessible to her most dedicated students, so they can do yoga anywhere at any time.

That’s why she launched her own membership apps

Practice With Clara OTT Devices

Whether her students are strapped for time, in a place where yoga classes are sparse, or they just feel more comfortable at home, Clara’s membership apps make sure these people get a chance to practice from any device!

If you want to see more content creators that launched OTT membership apps and thrived, check out our colorful list below featuring 20 creators across 4 different niches. 

Uscreen logo

These 20 OTT Examples Will Inspire You to Launch Your Own Over-The-Top App

OTT Examples

How profitable is it to have a membership app?

How profitable membership apps are will also depend on your subscriber count and how you price your subscriptions. 

The good news is you can make 30% more money and convert 30% more people, just by offering an OTT app solution to your audience.

We’re seeing Uscreen customers make an average of over $5K/month by launching apps with us! 

If you’re curious about membership apps and how to launch your own, check out this guide: 

Uscreen logo

How to Launch Membership Apps – The 2022 Guide

How to Launch Video Membership Apps

3. Become an affiliate marketer (Earn up to $1600/month)

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways you can make money as a content creator. 

This is when you work with a brand or business as an ambassador to promote their products or services, in exchange for a portion of revenue from every referral.  

Here’s how it works: 

  1. Find a brand with an affiliate program
  2. Sign up for their program. 
  3. Use the URL link or code that they provide to promote these products in your posts.
  4. Receive a percentage of every purchase made through your link or using your code. 

I recommend picking products or services that are related to your content, or something you personally believe in. 

That way, you’re being authentic to both your brand and values – which is something your followers will appreciate. 

To get started in finding a brand, all you have to do is search: 

[product name] + “become an affiliate”

And you’ll be able to see if the brand has an affiliate program or not. Then, simply fill in the necessary details to sign up. 

Pro tip: some programs may be hidden in website footer links: 

in house affiliate program

You can also find brands using an affiliate marketplace which is a network that connects affiliates with merchants, such as Amazon Associates or Click Bank.

Once you’ve signed up, you can incorporate their product or service into your content (in your videos, captions, bios, or descriptions).

You’ve probably already seen affiliate marketing in action while scrolling through your social media. 

Take Instagram account Luna the Husky for example.  

She’s a pet influencer and her feed promotes her favorite all-natural kibble, Akela: 

Luna Pet Instagram Influencer

When someone buys the food using the affiliate link in the caption, Luna (and her humans) get a commission from that sale. 

Affiliate marketing is an ideal way to begin making money off your content because the barriers to entry are low, and thousands of top brands already have a self-enrollment program in place! 

How profitable is it to sell affiliate products?

Research shows that most affiliates make less than 20k a year. And, your earnings will depend on both the industry and the type of product you’re promoting. 

Your earnings will also depend on the price of the product and your affiliate partners’ profit margins, usually commissions range from 10% to 20%

4. Sell your own products on social platforms (Make $170 dollars or more per month) 

A lot of full-time content creators, like bloggers and influencers, sell their own products to their followers.

This can be a really lucrative addition to your passive income streams, especially if you’re focused on growing and nurturing your community. 

In fact, most social media platforms now make it easy for you to connect your e-commerce store to your content. 

You can see this with TikTok and Instagram’s partnership with Shopify. And, all types of brands can create shoppable video ads with a ‘Shop Now’ call to action that leads directly to their storefront:

Brands can also link to their storefronts on their accounts:

Instagram Link to Storefront

Even YouTube creators can activate the Merchandise Shelf so their viewers can see a carousel of up to 12 products under the video they’re watching. 

Youtube Merchandise Shelf

Better still, YouTube has announced that they’ll make ads more shoppable by adding product usages directly under the ad to push viewers straight to product pages. 

You have 2 options when it comes to selling products on social media: 

  1. Create your own physical or digital goods: this will help you amplify your brand and earn more money from your content. You can sell digital goods like NFTs, ebooks, and online courses. Or, you can sell physical goods like merchandise (t-shirts, hoodies, mugs) or anything that relates to your brand!
  2. Use dropshipping: if you’re focusing on physical goods that don’t require your expertise, you can outsource your manufacturing and shipping to a specialized company like Oberlo. That way, you completely bypass production inventory storage and shipping hassles. 

For example, take Bulldog Online, an online video membership platform on yoga for fitness.

Bulldog Online Yoga Membership Site

While most of their income comes from their membership platform and apps, they also sell merch to their viewers. 

And since they launched their membership platform with Uscreen, they can link their online store to their video content directly by creating a shoppable video:

Uscreen Video Membership

Meaning, their products are shown in their videos, and viewers can click on them and be directly transported to Bulldog Online’s e-commerce store. 

Now, Bulldog Online can make even more money off their content by being able to manage 2 different income streams from one platform. 

How profitable is selling your own products? 

How profitable selling your own merch can be will depend on the number of active people in your community – the more active your viewers are with your content and brand, the more likely they are to buy your merch!

Sellfy found that creators with 5000 views per month average between $170-$870 in revenue a month from selling merch on YouTube.

5. Turn on AdSense on social media accounts (Earnings will vary)

AdSense is when you make money off of ads placed before, during, or after your video content. 

This is also known as advertisement video on demand (or AVOD). AVOD’s philosophy is simple: free content for the masses, powered by advertising.

It’s a great way for you to earn a passive income from your content. You can turn on AdSense on any of your social media accounts (e.g. TikTok, YouTube, Instagram) as long as you meet their eligibility requirements.

Compared to other video monetization models, ad revenue generates the lowest rates of return for creators. It can also be unreliable as:

But, if you pair ad revenue with some of the content monetization strategies above, you can earn extra money off existing and new content. 

That’s what Yoga guru Sarah Beth Yoga did… She launched her YouTube channel back in 2010 and steadily grew a loyal following because of her approachable spin on yoga. 

Sarah Beth Yoga YouTube Subscribers

But, despite finding success on the platform, she realized that the money she earned from AdSense alone did not reflect the time and energy she put into her work.

Her income was fluctuating and she was looking for more ways to make money from her content. 

So, she launched her own membership platform!

Sarah Beth Yoga Landing Page

In doing so, her business grew 10x! In an interview with Sarah Beth, she said: 

“YouTube AdSense, you don’t own that, that can go away any day […] as an influencer I 80/20-ed my revenue streams. I had a lot of streams of revenue that were bringing in different amounts of income […] I had to narrow it down: what are the 20% of the things that are bringing in 80% of my revenue? And my membership site was that thing.”

You can check out her full interview here where she tells you more about her journey to make money from her content.

How profitable is AdSense?

You have little control over your income when it comes to advertising revenue. Ad revenue will vary depending on how much traffic your platform gets and the platform’s cut of your revenue. 

6. Find brand sponsorships (Earnings will vary) 

There are brands out there that want to reach your audience. This is especially true if you have a large and engaged following. 

Brands know that if you promote their products to your audience, they’re going to get more sales. In fact, 60% of advertisers feel that in-stream advertisements – like sponsorships – are the most valuable way to promote their products.  

And that means these brands are willing to throw money, gifts, and perks at you to make sure their products are placed in front of your audience. 

This is known as brand partnerships or influencer marketing, and you’ve probably already seen it in action on YouTube and Instagram. 

Creators on YouTube will take a moment in their video to mention who’s sponsoring it:

YouTube Sponsored Content

And on Instagram, you need to make it clear if your content is part of a paid brand partnership using their label:

Instagram Paid Brand Partnership

The barriers to entering brand sponsorships are high, because you’ll need a combination of a large following and a good engagement rate. 

And it’s important to remember that you have little control over your sponsorships.

Your content has to be advertiser-friendly and your sponsors can pull out because of factors that are completely out of your control.

We’ve seen this happen already.

That’s all to say, sponsorships can be part of how you make money off your content alongside other revenue streams. 

How profitable is it to have brand sponsorships?

How profitable brand sponsorships are will vary depending on your following, engagement rate, and your brand partnership. 

On Instagram, you can expect to earn $10 per 1,000 followers or $0.25 to $0.75 per post engagement. Whereas, YouTubers can charge anywhere between $10 to $50 per 1000 views.

7. Monetize your live streams (Earnings will vary)

If live-streaming is part of your content offering, then you can make some money off it in 2 ways: 

  1. Make your live streams shoppable by linking your own merchandise or affiliate products.
  2. Leverage virtual tipping from your loyal viewers that tune in to your live streams. 

You can make your live streams shoppable using shoppable live stream platforms like Amazon Live, where brands can sell their products through live videos. 

Amazon Live Shoppable Livestreams

Or on YouTube’s organic live shopping experience, which makes it easier for their users to buy and sell products.

YouTube Organic Live Shopping

And you can also use social platforms to get virtual tips from your viewers, like:

  • YouTube’s Paid Digital Goods: Online items (like paid comments, stickers, and tips) that can be purchased by your fans. As a creator, you get to keep 70% of the profits you make while YouTube takes a 30% cut.
  • Badges on Instagram Live: Virtual goods that can be purchased to support creators. Creators get to keep 100% of the profit (for now…).
  • Virtual Gifts on TikTok: For creators in the TikTok Live Stream Program. Viewers that have purchased virtual coins can use that to buy virtual gifts for creators on their live streams.

The barriers to making money off live streams as a content creator are high. You’ll need to have a large and dedicated following that consistently tune into your live streams.

How profitable is it to monetize your live streams?

You don’t have much control over how profitable it is to monetize your live streams. It will depend on how many people show up to your live stream and how much you can engage them to buy products or tip you. 

It also depends on which platform you use, since some platforms take a cut of your tips while others let you keep all of it. 

And that’s it!

Wrapping it up…

You can become a full-time content creator and make a passive and consistent income.

To recap, besides having high-quality video content, there are 7 ways you can make money as a content creator:

  1. Sell premium access to your content: Launch a membership site and put your content behind a paywall where your viewers will pay a recurring fee every month or year in order to access your content. (Tip: Uscreen makes it easy for you to launch and grow your membership platform, check us out!)
  2. Launch a membership app: Launch an OTT app so your viewers can watch your content on whichever device they prefer. This is especially good for types of content that are best watched on the go. (Psst! Uscreen can also do this for you!) 
  3. Become an affiliate marketer: Find a brand that has an affiliate program and closely aligns with your brand or values, then join their program and become their brand ambassador for their products. For every buyer you refer to them you’ll get a cut of that sale.  
  4. Sell your own products: Create physical and/or digital goods that you can sell to your loyal following. 
  5. Turn on AdSense: Turn on ad revenue on the social media platforms you’re most active on. You’ll be able to make passive, but unreliable, income. 
  6. Find brand sponsorships: If you’re a content creator with a large and engaged audience, you can find brand partnerships and promote their products on your page. 
  7. Monetize your live streams: If live streaming is part of your content marketing strategy you can use virtual tipping features on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, to make more money off it.

You can pick and choose which strategies to go for, but the first 2 are the most reliable to help you go full-time. 

But, if you want to pick another strategy, pair it up with 2 more from the list to make sure you’re getting enough passive income to keep you going! 

Uscreen’s all-in-one platform has helped more than 11,000 creators, brands, and entrepreneurs monetize their content online and build a successful video business.

Source: TrustPilot

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