There are two types of social media content creators. The ones that create content for fun and the ones that create content to earn money. But what if you could create content for fun while earning money at the same time?
Gone are the days when you needed to have hundreds of thousands of followers to earn money from social media.
In today’s social media world, any content creator with a good plan and a strategy can find multiple ways of monetizing their social media.
There are some factors that will certainly influence like having a specific niche, an engaged community (regardless of the size), and making sure the content provided is always top quality and with a purpose.
For this article, I am going to be focusing mainly on Instagram, but I will also share the basics of how can content creators monetize on Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.
What is a social media content creator?
Do you think you are a social media content creator, but you’re still not very sure about it? Don’t worry, I’ll break it down for you.
A social media content creator is someone who makes a piece of content, either in text, audio, photo, or video.
The purpose of a piece of content is always to engage, educate, entertain, and delight a specific audience. Some content creators do this with business goals in mind, while others just do it for fun.
What are the different types of social media content creators?
There are different types of social media content creators. Some specialize in a specific type of content, while others do a mix of everything.
The truth is that if you are already present on any social media, you are most likely a mixed content creator.
Here are some of the most common social media content creators:
Social Media Managers
Bloggers & influencers
Online coaches & educators
What they all have in commons is that they are using social media platforms to promote their work and reach new audiences.
Why should you consider becoming a content creator in 2021?
Content is King. At least that’s what Bill Gates wrote in an essay for Microsoft back in 1994. A very powerful statement that is more relevant than ever in today’s modern world.
Content creation is actually one of the top trending Industries in 2021. Everyone consumes content, everyone needs content.
Content connects communities, content connects people with brands, content inspires, entertains, transforms.
Whether you write blogs, take photos, produce videos, or record podcasts, content is the best way to tell the entire world who you are and what you have to offer.
Creating content around your core values and what you care about is the best way to attract people similar to you, with your same interests, struggles, and dreams. And this is how this is the first step to start monetizing your social media.
You need a community. A community that trusts you and that will be interested in knowing more about whatever you have to offer.
So let’s go to the point. How can you make money off social media?
How do content creators make money on Instagram?
If the first thing that came to your mind was “having 10,000 followers and the swipe up option”, this is absolutely wrong.
Content creators can make money on Instagram with 100 followers as long as they are highly engaged and trust the content creator.
Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram doesn’t have a monetization program for creators (yet). They are doing the beta testing in the US, so they will probably end up rolling it out to the rest of the world soon.
These are six ways in which you can start monetizing your Instagram account:
1. Paid partnerships with brands
Once again, you don’t need tons of followers to land brand deals. However, you do need to have a clear niche and targeted audience that aligns with their audience.
Also, you don’t need to wait for brands to get in touch, you can reach out to your favorite brands with your media kit and a very well-written pitch where you state your value proposition, the benefits they will get from working with you, and any relevant information that will help with the pitching.
Remember to always offer more than what they expect and over-deliver. It might be helpful to have a rates-sheet ready too.
2. Become a brand ambassador
Most companies want to establish long-term relationships with influencers and content creators, so they seek out brand ambassadors who can promote their brand in a positive light on a regular basis.
Micro-influencers in a specific niche is often more valuable to brands than major celebrities as they have a more engaged audience.
If you are reaching out to brands, you can always suggest having a long-term collaboration instead of just a one-off. This will be highly beneficial for both parties.
3. Sell physical or digital products
If your goal is to sell a product, you can do this by creating your own shoppable feed. The good news is that selling a product doesn’t mean having to have a physical product.
Nowadays you can create digital products that will start giving you a passive income. Remember to have a clear strategy that focuses on helping your target audience’s goals. Then, offering your product as part of the solution to those problems.
Some examples of digital products are:
Graphics, illustrations, infographics, and digital art
4. Offer your freelance services
Whether you are offering photography, social media, coaching, or personal training services, Instagram is the one place to attract potential clients through a powerful content strategy.
If you do it well, you will be attracting clients like moths to the flame.
Having a blog always helps you position yourself better within your industry and it works as a portfolio for those people interested in learning more about what you do.
5. Create an online course or workshop
You can use Instagram to promote your online course. Whether it is a film and photo masterclass, or a cooking workshop. Instagram (and Instagram ads) allows you to reach thousands of potential clients.
6. Affiliate Marketing
To make money with affiliate marketing, you need to join high-paying affiliate programs so that you can add affiliate links to your Instagram or blog and make a commission on the sales you generate.
The more trusted you are by your followers, the more successful you can be as an affiliate marketer. You don’t have to wait to be approached by a brand either, you can take the initiative and sign up for several affiliate programs.
How do content creators make money on TikTok?
7. The TikTok Creator Fund
In June 2020, TikTok introduced the “Creator Fund”, which pays content creators for their content that goes viral in the app. The only thing is that who is selected and how much the creator will be paid is decided by the company.
These are the criteria needed to be able to apply for TikTok’s creator fund:
Are at least 18 years old.
Are based in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, or the UK.
Have at least 10,000 followers with over 10,000 video views in the 30 days prior to applying.
Have an account that meets the TikTok community guidelines.
8. TikTok Donations and diamonds
Content creators can also collect donations on TikTok from their followers.
However, a good way in which creators can make money on TikTok is with virtual items, more specifically diamonds.
Diamonds are based on the gifts a content creator receives, at a rate of conversion to be determined by TikTok. They can be exchanged for real money.
9. The TikTok Marketplace
The TikTok Creator Marketplace is a platform where brands can connect with content creators.
This can be helpful for making sponsored videos, which benefits the brand from the audience of a popular user to increase sales or generate brand awareness.
This platform offers cutting-edge data analytics about creators’ accounts, which can help brands find the best match for their products.
This is one of the easiest ways to tap into the potential of influencer and affiliate marketing as content creators on TikTok.
How do content creators make money on YouTube?
Youtube has its own monetization platform for content creators. They can usually make money off placed advertising, merchandise sales, and subscriptions.
10. YouTube Advertising
Advertising is the primary way creators can earn money on YouTube. Advertising revenue is generated when people watch ads that are running on videos.
This revenue from ads is shared between YouTube and the Creator - thus empowering Creators to directly profit from their work.
Creators must first be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) in order to earn money from advertising on their videos and live streams.
11. YouTube Channel memberships
Followers can join a Creator’s channel with monthly recurring payments and get access to members-only perks like badges, custom emojis, and exclusive content.
12. Super Chat and Super Stickers
Followers can buy and send a text or digital sticker messages to highlight their live chat messages and connect with their favorite Creators.
13. Merch shelf
Followers can browse and purchase a Creator's official branded merchandise from participating retailers directly on the channel's watch pages.
14. YouTube BrandConnect
YouTube BrandConnect is a full-service YouTube influencer marketing product for brands and creators to collaborate on branded content campaigns.
Eligible creators can access YouTube BrandConnect directly in YouTube Studio, where they're able to connect with Google's portfolio of brands and secure sponsored content deals.
How do content creators make money on Facebook?
Similar to TikTok and YouTube, Facebook also has its own monetization tools for creators and for brands. However, not every account is eligible for this. You can check out if your page is eligible by heading to the Facebook section in the Creator Studio.
15. Facebook In-stream ads
In-stream ads help you earn money by including short ads before, during, or after your videos.
Facebook identifies natural breaks in your content to place your ads, or you can choose your own placements.
Earnings are determined by things such as the number of video views and who the advertisers are.
16. Facebook Fan subscriptions
Fan subscriptions allow the audience that cares the most about your Page to directly fund it through monthly, recurring payments that you set.
17. Facebook Branded content
You can generate revenue by publishing content that features or is influenced by a business partner.
For this, Facebook has created the Brand Collabs Manager, which enables you to find and connect with each other.
18. Subscription groups
Now you can add a paid membership to groups. This empower group admins to sustain themselves through subscriptions, thus enabling them to further invest in their communities.
Other ways of making money on Social Media
19. Repurpose your content
You don’t have to choose only one social media platform to monetize. You can actually do it on all and just with one piece of content.
Well, let’s say that you write a very good and engaging blog post about Making Money With Social Media.
You can use the text to record a YouTube video about the same topic and use YouTube monetization tools.
From this video, you can extract short, engaging clips to share on TikTok and use TikTok’s monetization tools.
From the same blog post, you can extract other information like quotes or specific data to create carousel posts on Instagram to attract your ideal audience. And so on.
Repurposing content is really a life savior, but that is another topic which I will be discussing later on.
20. Sell subscriptions to exclusive content
If you have an established community online, you can build on it even further by offering your community exclusive content.
There are various platforms that offer this. One of the most popular ones is Patreon. Patreon is a membership platform for artists and creatives to make money — you can host exclusive content for your most loyal followers.
What is the next step if I want to monetize my social media?
If after reading this article you’ve decided that it is time to start monetizing your social media, there are some steps you need to take before.
First of all, you have to make sure that you have a strong and clear personal brand. Remember this doesn’t mean having thousands of followers.
Make sure you have an engaged community, a clear content strategy with a purpose, and of course a plan!
Then, choose the business model that best suits you as a content creator. Will it be affiliate marketing or perhaps you just want brand collaborations?
You can also hire a social media coach that can help you define your personal brand and use social media to boost your personal brand and achieve your goals.
I am currently working on an 8-week coaching program and single 1-hour power sessions for content creators who want to monetize their social media. Sign up to the waiting list to be the first one to hear when I officially launch these services and get pre-launch offers!