By now, you’ve probably heard about content creators with lucrative careers. But if you’ve written that off as a once-in-a-million opportunity, you may be surprised! It is actually very possible to cash in on today’s explosion of online content and social media—if you know where to look. Here are the best ways to make money as a content creator.
The rise of social media and publishing platforms (like blogs) has created a new generation of content creators. Anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection can now share their thoughts and ideas with the world. This democratization of content creation has led to a boom in online creativity.
Whether you have a passion for fashion, politics, crafts, fitness, or just sharing your everyday life with others, there’s a platform for you. The barriers to entry are low, and the potential rewards are high. All you have to do is find the best forum for your ideal audience, and you have the potential to make a lot of money!
There are so many different types of content you can create, and it can be tough to narrow down which ones are best for making money. But I’ve done the hard work for you! Here are the seven best platforms to share your content for cash, as well as some tips for making money as a content creator.
Medium.com is a popular online publishing platform that allows anyone to become a writer. With hundreds of thousands of readers flocking to the site daily to read about various topics, it’s a fantastic place to find your audience.
Even if you’ve never published content online, you can quickly leverage this platform to make money through the Medium Partner Program.
How to Earn Money on Medium
The MPP allows qualified creators to make money based on how much time paying members spend reading their blog posts. If you’re a thought leader who can write highly engaging articles with eye-grabbing headlines, you have the potential to make a decent amount of money! Many Medium writers earn hundreds of dollars this way, writing part-time. There are even some writers who earn a full-time income from the program!
For example, Zulie Rane is one of the platform’s top writers who frequently shares her Medium earnings on YouTube, and she routinely makes over $2,000-$3,000 per month.
To qualify for the Medium Partner Program, you need 100 followers and to have published at least one article. Once you cross this threshold, you can apply to the program and start metering your posts once you get approved. Payments are issued monthly through Stripe.
How to Get Started
It’s free to sign up for a Medium account and publish stories, but it’s a good idea to become a paying member to read other people’s content and get a feel for the type of stories that perform well there.
The secret to being successful on Medium is to take the time to learn how the platform works and publish consistently about topics that resonate with your audience.
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. It’s also an excellent platform for making money if you’re a video content creator!
Anyone with a YouTube account can create a channel and upload videos. There are numerous ways to monetize your channel if you build a large enough audience.
How to Earn with YouTube Videos
Once you gain 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time, you can apply to become part of the YouTube Partner Program. The biggest perk of this program is the ability to monetize your videos with Google Adsense. You get to keep a portion of the ad revenue from your videos.
The amount you make per 1,000 views (RPM) can range widely, depending on the type of advertisements shown and the country where your viewers live, but it can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month.
In addition to ad revenue, you can also make money through sponsorships and product placements. Once your channel meets the follower criteria for the YouTube Partner Program, you can also access the Merch Shelf and sell t-shirts, books, mugs, or other branded items.
How to Get Started
You can create a YouTube channel and start uploading videos for free. However, it is worth investing in some essential equipment, like a mic and proper lighting, to help you create high-quality video content. It’s also vital to be clear about your niche so your audience knows what type of content to expect from your channel.
Upload useful and entertaining videos consistently, and you can cross the Partner Program threshold in a matter of months!
TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to share short videos. It has quickly become one of the most popular apps globally, with 1 billion monthly active users. TikTok is especially popular among Gen Z.
How to Earn with TikTok
Content creators primarily make money on TikTok through branded sponsorship and influencer marketing. Once you have a significant following on the platform, brands will reach out to you to promote their products or services in your videos.
In addition to sponsorships, TikTok’s Creator Fund pays content creators based on their engagement levels. The amount you earn depends on many factors, including the country you’re in and the type of content you create. The average typically falls between $9 and $38 per day.
To be eligible for the fund, you need at least 10,000 followers, 100,000 video views in the past 30 days, and live in one of the accepted countries.
How to Get Started
It’s free to download the TikTok app and create an account. You don’t need any special equipment besides your smartphone to start, although a tripod and a ring light can help you create higher-quality videos.
The key to success on TikTok is creating engaging and entertaining content that speaks to your target audience. Participate in popular video trends while putting your own spin on them. Lastly, it’s vital to upload regularly; TikTok suggests that creators post 1-3 times per day to maximize distribution on the platform.
4. Start a Podcast
Do you have thoughts, opinions, or knowledge that you want to share but don’t want to make videos? Starting a podcast may be an excellent option for making money as a content creator. With minimal startup costs and great potential to earn good money, thousands of people are successfully producing podcasts.
How to Earn with Podcasts
With over 1 billion podcast subscribers on Apple’s iTunes alone, this type of content is in huge demand.
Although you aren’t likely to make a lot of money when you first start your podcast, there are ways content creators can cash in on their podcast once it’s established and starts to have a following.
The two most common ways to earn income from a podcast are through sponsorships and advertising networks. You can also make money through affiliates and selling your own products or services.
Further, you can employ affiliate marketing, which involves collaborating with brands to promote their products or services to earn a commission on each sale.
With so many possible ways to earn money from creating a podcast, there is no “one size fits all” approach. You have the ability and freedom to find the monetization route that works best for you, and the earning potential is nearly limitless.
How to Get Started
If you want to start a podcast, the first step is to decide what topic to cover. Ideally, it’s something that you have expertise in and will help others in some way. Next, invest in a few equipment items (such as a mic with excellent sound quality) and learn how to record and edit your podcast.
For more information, check out this helpful post on starting a podcast in 6 easy steps.
5. Facebook (Meta)
Facebook is a social networking site where users can connect with friends and family, share updates and photos, and join groups and events. As the largest social media platform, it has a vast global reach with over 2.9 billion active users.
How to Earn with Facebook
Facebook now offers several methods for monetizing your content and has even pledged $1 billion to its creation fund. If you have an active Facebook page, there are definitely options worth looking into!
For example, you can make money by collaborating with brands on Facebook through the platform’s Brand Collabs Manager. You can use this tool to connect with brands that might be willing to sponsor posts on your page.
There are several other ways to monetize your content on the platform too. The Facebook Stars program lets readers give you pre-purchased stars on your video, image, and text content. The better (and more engaging) your content, the more stars you receive, and the more money you make.
If you often post (live and non-live) videos on your Facebook page and have a considerable following, you can enable in-stream ads in your content. How much you can earn depends on how many people view your content.
However, this form of monetization requires a large audience; some of the biggest hurdles to clear include having at least 5,000 or 10,000 followers (depending on whether you want to add ads to on-demand videos or live videos) and 1,000 hours (or 60,000 minutes) of watch time in the last 60 days.
How to Get Started
Create a Facebook Page and post high-quality content that your audience will enjoy. You can also consider using Facebook Ads to promote your content and grow your audience. As with all the other platforms, consistency is vital to achieving steady growth and user engagement.
Once you’ve built up a following, you can check your eligibility for the different content monetization methods in the Meta Business Suite.
Instagram is an image and video-sharing social networking site where users can share photos and videos with friends and followers. The platform also offers various filters, editing tools, and creative effects.
How to Earn with Instagram
Instagram creators can monetize their content in several ways.
The first is through affiliate marketing. Even though Instagram posts don’t allow links, you can put one in your bio and add a note in your posts to visit your profile for the link.
Alternatively, you can negotiate a unique checkout code with your affiliate partner to promote within your post. For example, if you’re promoting a piece of jewelry, you can add a call to action to your post, like, “Use INSTAGRAM10 at checkout to get 10% off your purchase!”
You can also collaborate with brands on Instagram through sponsored posts. This involves creating a post about a product or service and tagging the brand in the caption. The brand will pay you for the post. How much you’re paid depends on your engagement rate, the number of followers you have, and other factors.
Another way to monetize your account is through Instagram’s bonuses for reels. You can access these by turning your account into a creator account and regularly posting reels. If you are consistent enough, Instagram may provide you with an option to activate reel bonuses, which allows you to earn for every reel view.
For example, Instagram creator @iamnatalie published a reel sharing how she made over $2,200 through the reel bonus!
How to Get Started
Post high-quality images, stories, and reels to build a following on Instagram. You’ll want to post regularly and engage with other users as much as possible to build relationships with your followers.
Use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience, and consider using Instagram Ads to jumpstart your growth. Learn more about the Meta Business Suite and how to start earning with Instagram.
Patreon is a platform that allows content creators to receive monthly payments from their fans (known as “patrons”). Patrons make a monthly pledge to creators, and in return, creators offer exclusive content to their subscribers. Exclusive content or “perks” typically include things like ebooks, audio content, newsletters, videos, or live streams.
How to Earn with Patreon
Patreon creators often create multiple pledge tiers for their patrons to choose from. Generally, the more expensive the level, the more perks the patron receives. Creators can set the monthly pledge to any amount they want.
The platform is free to use, but Patreon takes 5-12% of every pledge, depending on your plan. For example, the Pro plan has an 8% fee but gives you access to all the platform’s features, while the Pro + Merch plan takes 11% but enables tools for adding merchandise to your account.
After that, the amount of money you make depends on the number of subscribers you have and how much they’re willing to pledge per month.
For instance, if your average pledge per patron is $12 and you have 140 subscriptions, you would earn $1,680 per month minus platform and payment fees.
How to Get Started
Patreon has no internal audience, so this platform works best when paired with another platform. For example, many YouTubers will advertise their Patreon accounts to their followers and drive traffic to them that way.
It’s also a good idea to offer multiple pledge tiers to your patrons so they can choose the level that aligns best with their budget and the perks they wish to receive. Lastly, ensure you keep your patrons happy by delivering the promised perks on time, answering their messages or comments, and posting regularly on the platform.
As you can see, being a content creator offers many avenues for making money. Which platform is right for you will depend on your niche, content, and audience.
Part of the fun of content creation is there is never a dull day. As you learn how to make money as a content creator, there are plenty of things to dive into, such as navigating algorithms, pursuing brand collaborations, and searching for an affiliate program that aligns with your content.
That said, the most important thing is to be consistent with your content and engage with your audience as much as possible.
If you’re just starting, it’s best to focus on one or two platforms and build up your following before trying to monetize your content. Whatever route you decide to go, remember that it takes time and effort to make money as a content creator, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.
Just keep creating quality content, and eventually, you will create a fun and lucrative new income stream. Who knows, it could even become your full-time job!
Originally published on July 11, 2022. Content updated August 2023.