When I first started creating content almost ten years ago, there wasn’t a lot of tools and resources on how to navigate the content creation industry and there were barely any brands that were allocating money to work with creators. I spent a lot of my time figuring out what worked and what didn’t and made a lot of mistakes along the way. Fast forward a few years and I am so lucky (and fortunate!) to be able to have the opportunity to be a full-time content creator.
Over the years, whenever I’ve told someone I’m a full-time content creator or share an inside look at my day on Instagram or the blog, I’m always asked how I make money as a content creator. Today, I’m finally sharing with you the different revenue streams that allow me to create content full-time. And if you’re also a content creator or have been thinking about starting, I’m also sharing a few other ways you can make money as a content creator!
Ways I Make Money as a Content Creator
There are three main ways I make money as a content creator; sponsorships, ads, and affiliates. In the past, I’ve also sold physical products but this isn’t currently a revenue stream for me.
Sponsorships and Partner Campaigns
Working with brands to create content on my blog, YouTube, and Instagram is my biggest income source. When I first started creating content, I was so excited when a brand would reach out to me that I would take on a lot of partnerships even if they didn’t naturally align with my brand or weren’t paying as much as they should. I’ve definitely learned my lesson and only work with brands that I use and love or are interested in trying.
I say ‘no’ more than I say yes and the partner campaigns that I share with you all are ones I am truly passionate about.
There’s a lot of time that goes into sponsorships and partnerships with brands so this not only is my biggest source of income, but it’s also where I spend the most time in my business. From the first time a brand reaches out to negotiating rates and deliverables to creating the content, getting approval (or making changes!), to actually posting the content, I spend an average of 20 hours going back and forth, creating content, and getting everything posted.
The longer I’ve worked as a content creator, the longer the creative briefs have gotten. Some are twenty pages long and are jam-packed with information so those usually take a while to get through!
YouTube is the first platform I was on as a creator and is the platform I’ve been using the longest! In addition to working with brands on sponsored campaigns on my YouTube channel, I also utilize YouTube Adsense which is an ads platform through Google. Through YouTube Adsense, I’m able to select exactly how I want ads to appear on my videos (display, overlay, and video ads) and the types of ads I want to be shown.
The money I make through YouTube Adsense is at no extra cost to the viewer and the money I receive is from views and clicks on the ad itself. This is a VERY small number but it’s an easy, passive way to make money.
This is one of the most popular ways content creators make money from blogging other than through brand partnerships. There are several affiliate programs out there including ShopStyle Collective, LTK (formerly rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it), and Amazon. Individual brands usually have their own affiliate programs (typically through ShareASale) as well.
Through these programs, I’m able to add images and videos to my LTK profile with all of the products featured linked below. I’m also able to add affiliate links to my content on my blog and create widgets that feature the products I link. For Amazon affiliates, I’m able to have an Amazon storefront and use Amazon affiliate links in my content when referring to specific products.
When someone makes a purchase from these clicks, I get a small commission (between 5-20%) on the purchase a user makes. This is at no additional cost to the shopper!
Physical Products and Merch
In the past, I’ve sold physical products (merch) that were branded but this isn’t currently a revenue stream for me! It might be something I look into in the future again because it is SO cool still seeing people posting their NitraaB merch and loving it as much as I do.
Other Ways to Earn Money as a Content Creator
If you are a content creator and are looking to make more money (or passive income!) or thinking about diving into content creation and aren’t sure how to monetize your brand, here are a few more ways to earn money as a creator.
Whether you have a product, service, or exclusive content you want to share with your community, making it into a membership-based program is a great way to make recurring revenue! There are a bunch of different platforms to set memberships up on so make sure you do your research on which ones work best for you.
Digital products such as a workbook are something you create once and continuously make passive income from. As a content creator, this might look like a low-cost blogging checklist or Lightroom presets.
As a content creator, you have a wealth of knowledge you can tap into and make passive income from! Creating a course with that expertise is a great way to teach others and make revenue. This might look like creating an entry-level blogging 101 course or creating something more in-depth like a Pinterest or Instagram course. One of the most popular (and easy to use!) platforms for course creation is Teachable but if you’re looking to create a separate (but parallel!) brand with all of your courses and offerings in one place, Kajabi is a great option.
Have knowledge you want to share but want to share in 1:1 or on a case-by-case basis? Consulting and 1:1 sessions are a great option!
As a content creator, this might look like hour-long 1:1 sessions offered to other creators to help them step up their influencer business. You can dive into the areas they’re having a hard time with, answer their questions, and provide feedback. The best part about this is that you’ll be able to adjust your 1:1 sessions to your schedule.
Another way you can make money through consulting is to offer content creation consulting services to brands. You could be a hired model, photographer, or videographer, or simply consult on their marketing strategy.