Social and technological advances in recent decades have led to the creation of the creator economy. In this new marketplace, people are making money by creating and monetizing content.
Singers, songwriters, comedians, yoga instructors, and people from all walks of life are finding it easier to follow their passions and monetize their talents, making serious bank while at it.
This era of social media has helped fuel online success for professionals across various industries. Apart from supporting traditional creative jobs, the creator economy has seen new professions such as podcasting and vlogging emerge.
GOBankingRates has researched some viable ways you can make money in this flourishing, online economy. But first, take a closer look at what this content-driven marketplace is all about.
What Is the Creator Economy?
Content creation drives the creator economy. Whether it’s writing blog posts, snapping pictures, or filming videos, content creation that’s read and viewed is key. Think of it this way: content creation in the creator economy is what producing goods are to the industrial economy.
The scope of content in the creator economy is vast. If you’ve got content to offer that’s inspiring, informative, or entertaining and can package it digitally, it qualifies.
Interestingly, the creator economy has managed to accommodate both traditional and modern professions. For instance, Jamie Oliver is a well-known chef, but he climbed to phenomenal heights of success after he started sharing his cooking skills on YouTube.
While the likes of Jamie Oliver just shifted their trade to content sharing platforms, there are a bunch of creators who exist solely on these platforms — TikTok stars are just an example.
These days, dozens of content-sharing platforms exist and are essentially social networks. TikTok, YouTube, Medium, Facebook and even the one-time king of social media Myspace are just a few examples.
How You Can Make Money in the Creator Economy
If you can create fresh and exciting content consistently, you can make money online. Content sharing platforms give creatives a public stage to display their content for donations, for example, or brand endorsements, sponsorships, and more.
Here are six ways you can earn money as a content creator.
1. Become a Fitness Instructor
As a fitness instructor, you can create content and make money online by building a brand and selling merchandise. First, create a fitness studio and various fitness plans and products. Then, you can market this content through an app or using video-sharing sites like YouTube. Within the sharing platform, provide links where your followers can purchase the products or fitness plans.
You can even go further and provide customized plans or live sessions on your app for a premium. To boost your money-making opportunities, you need to gain credibility and build trust with your customers. You can do this by earning certifications in personal training and fitness.
2. Launch a Podcast
Podcasting involves creating and sharing fun, engaging, or informative digital recordings. It’s become so popular that even Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are doing it. However, you don’t need to be a former U.S. president or senator to become a successful podcaster.
For those with an entrepreneurial mindset, podcasts are a platform for sponsorships, affiliate sales, crowdfunding and much more. As long as you have exciting content that attracts a substantial following, you can pursue product endorsements from companies. You can also ask your fans to support your show through donations.
3. Become a Writer
If you are a good writer, you can earn decent pay by posting content on premium content platforms like Substack or Medium. These platforms charge readers to access premium content, and you can get a cut for contributing. Most writing platforms rank content creators by experience and the quality of work they submit.
Readers typically vote on the quality of the content they find on these platforms. Gain enough upvotes, and you’ll rise through the ranks, seeing your rates per article read gradually increase.
4. Start Live Streaming
If you’re a blogger or journalist, you can make money by joining the YouTube Partner Program and live stream your content. YouTube offers different earning options. For instance, with the platform’s “SuperChat & Super Stickers” feature, your fans pay to have their comments highlighted in chat streams, then you get a portion of the revenues generated.
Other ways to make money from live streaming include donations, endorsements and sponsorships. While there are many live streaming platforms, YouTube is a better deal due to the live streaming revenue.
5. Become a Musician
Are you a talented musician? If the answer is yes, you’ve got countless ways to monetize your abilities. Some include:
- Uploading content to streaming services such as Amazon Music Unlimited and Apple Music
- Recording and selling voiceovers
- Offering singing classes
Content platforms like SoundCloud are great for earning streaming revenue. Upwork and Fiverr are suitable for selling voiceovers and jingles, while Udemy and other educational websites come in handy if you’re interested in offering singing classes.
YouTube is an equally great place to seek sponsorships, donations and advertising merchandise. A good example is Justin Johnson, who has succeeded in selling his custom guitars, but whose journey began by creating a large and adoring YouTube fanbase.
6. Become an Influencer
Influencers are people who have acquired social cred to affect consumers’ purchasing decisions. Companies use influencers to shape consumer perceptions about their brands. There are several options for earning as an influencer, but nothing beats working with an influencer network.
Influencer networks are marketing agencies that vet influencers and look for advertisers on their behalf. If you’re one of them, joining networks such as Upfluence, Grin or CreatorIQ helps you get closer to corporate advertisers faster.
Good To Know
As an influencer, you can go solo by creating a following on a suitable platform and start sourcing for endorsements. The only challenge with this path might be the amount of time it takes to create a fan base and attract corporate advertising.
Creator Economy FAQHere are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about making money in the creator economy.
- Does YouTube pay for the number of views?
- YouTube doesn't solely pay for the number of views or likes your video receives. It also factors in ad quality, video length, and the number of clicks to determine how much you will earn.
- Is it legal for kids to monetize content?
- In most countries, there's no legal restriction that keeps kids from monetizing content. However, rules differ among platforms and some don't allow the creation of unsupervised accounts by minors. Instagram, for example, doesn't allow children younger than 13 to create accounts.
- Does content creation pay well?
- The creator economy can be lucrative if you have the right content ideas and the right strategy. You can search "how to make money online" for more ideas on how to explore the creator economy.
- What sort of content is suitable for the creator economy?
- Any content that can be digitized qualifies for revenue generation online. But to keep your fans loyal, you should focus on creating content that centers around something you're good at.
- What are the rules for creating good content?
- The world of content creation is pretty laissez-faire. However, make sure to observe originality and platform-specific age appropriateness. Not observing these rules may lead to a violation of platform policies and the suspension of your profile.
- Which is the best platform to monetize your content?
- YouTube is the best earnings platform for video content due to its established rewards structure. TikTok reportedly has higher rates, though it hasn't officially announced its reward program. For written content, Substack's top writers earn hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly.
Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.
- Neil Patel. "How to Vlog: A Complete Guide To Start Vlogging in 2021."
- YouTube. "Jamie Oliver's YouTube Channel."
- Statista. 2021. "TikTok: Most Followed Accounts."
- Forbes. 2020. "15 Ways Potential Influencers Can Attract Sponsors."