How Influencers and Creators Monetize Their Passions

  • Written By:
    Ann Smarty
  • Published On:
    June 23rd, 2022
  • Read Time:
    5 Mins
  • Category:
    Affiliate

So you’ve spent time creating (social media) content and have started building a devoted following.

What’s next?

Is there a way to put that effort to good use and start building income from those accomplishments.

Yes, and quite a few ways actually:

Use Native Ads

This is the easiest and most obvious option, albeit not an ideal one.

Monetizing social media content through a respective platform’s ads doesn’t require any other effort from the creator’s part except for producing content which they do anyways.

Most platforms have some requirements as to the amount of following and engagement an account receives in order to monetize their content through ads:

  • On Youtube a channel has to have at least 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months and more than 1,000 subscribers to be accepted into the Partner Program which includes monetization options through ad revenue sharing.
  • On TikTok, a creator is eligible to join TikTok Creator Fund (their native monetization platform) if they are at least 18 years old, have 10,000 followers or more, have generated at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days and post original content.
  • On Instagram you can monetize your Reels and that program is still invitation-only. You can also earn money through sponsored badges followers can buy during your live streams but you are required to have at least 10,000 followers to qualify for this option.

Not all social media platforms have come up with native advertising platforms yet, and not all of those that have offer great terms. Besides, native advertising eligibility and TOS tend to change as the platform grows.

Youtube is one platform that is well-known for changing their advertising platform several times leaving creators confused and desperate. It is also well-known that Youtube’s native ads no longer delivers high incomes, so even the most popular creators are looking for more ways to monetize their videos.

Yet, there is no harm in giving this option a try if you qualify.

Create and Sell Digital Products

Monetizing digital content is another pretty easy option that allows you to make some income from your social media content.

It is not easy to come up with great content that people would buy but in some niches it is a very common way to make money. You can sell worksheets, original recipe collections, food plans, and more.

You don’t have to master any design skills to create something useful. It can be as easy as designing an eBook in Google Docs. It’s the quality of the product that counts.

This option gives you the freedom and flexibility of relying on your own product and your own process.

In some niches, you can even sell your services (coaching, consulting, training, etc.)

PayKickstart allows you to create your own ecommerce site to sell your own digital products. The platforms will encrypt your download links (to minimize illegal sharing) and let you accept all kinds of payments – from credit card and PayPal to wire transfers and Apple Pay.

Start selling digital products with PayKickstart

Once you set everything up, PayKickstart will handle the entire process – from accepting the payments to delivering your digital product – so you can focus on growing your audience and creating great content.

When setting up your ecommerce store, spend some time looking for a good business name that will be easy to brand.

Sell Services

In most niches, you can start selling your services (coaching, consulting, training, etc.) to teach followers to do what you are good at. Most influencers sell premium membership to their boot camps which is essentially another way to sell services.

vcita is a digital marketing platform for small businesses that can help you bundle up your various service products as package deals that customers can easily redeem one session at a time.

The feature is called “packages,” and it helps you sell more by combining a series of appointments or services (typically at a discount) and selling that as one.

Sell more

By offering packages, influencers can increase their monthly income with higher-tier offerings while also committing to clients long-term.

Sell Affiliate Products

Becoming an affiliate of a company means selling its products and earning a commission off any sale.

Whether you have a site or a social media channel (or both), this option is a great way to build income. Just make sure your site visitors and followers know you will earn a commission if they buy anything through your links.

Here’s how affiliate marketing works

Here’s our own list of highest paying affiliate programs to monetize your content. There are also quite a few free WordPress plugins allowing you to easily add and track your affiliate links.

Your affiliate program choice will depend on your audience and the nature of your content. So look carefully and try a few products – it may take time to find a perfect fit!

Creating content that converts is not easy, so this option will likely require a lot of experimenting and optimizing.

Find Sponsors

If you have a popular and an active social media channel, companies are likely to already be approaching you with sponsorship opportunities. There are platforms to find more.

Don’t promote anything that comes your way though. Insist on trying a product first and promote it only if you genuinely liked it.

Trust and reputation take a lot of time to build but both can be ruined if you start coming up with misleading sponsorships.

Sell Branded Merchandise (Merch)

If you have developed a distinct visual identity, consider coming up with exclusive merch for your fans and followers to buy.

There are a few platforms allowing you to create all kinds of merch, from Tshirts to purses.

The only downside of this option is that you need to build a really excited and engaged audience which is not easy.

Sell Physical Products

Many creators and social media influencers attract their audience due to a distinct talent that shines through their content.

It is often possible to turn that talent into a product. These could be ornaments, paintings or photos, and even make-up lines. 

Self-publishing and selling books is another great idea, especially for those who have created enough content to repackage into a book.

Consider setting up your own online shop to link from your bios and generate sales independently from third-party platforms and their commissions.

PayKickstart offers an all-in-one solution allowing you to sell your physical products or your branded merch. The platform helps you accept all kinds of payments (online payments, wire transfers, Apple Pay, etc.), automates your fulfillment, helps you with tax calculations.

Selling your physical products with PayKickstart

It is a great solution allowing you to set everything once up and focus on creating your content letting PayKickstart do the rest.

Conclusion

Luckily, there are lots of options for influencers to monetize their efforts. By all means, try all of them and keep those you feel best about. Good luck!

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Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, as well as co-founder of Viral Content Bee. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for over a decade, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of a weekly Twitter chat #vcbuzz

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