How to grow as a content creator and increase your income
Content creation can be a fun and interesting job. However, if you are not working for a company but creating content for your own good, it can become overwhelming to find ways how to grow your account and make money while doing it. Keep reading to learn more!
Content creator vs influencer
Terms content creator and influencer are often used as synonyms when in reality they are not exactly the same, however, they do overlap.
A content creator is someone who creates content – video, audio, or written. It can be blog posts, articles, social media posts, pictures, videos, podcasts, etc.
An influencer is someone who has a following on social media and/or Youtube, and/or has a blog. Strictly looking, everyone who has a social media profile and posts regularly is an influencer, even if you influence just your friend and acquaintances.
Nowadays, the definition of an influencer is someone who creates content that is usually personal (for example, opinions, experiences, lifestyle), who has the goal of creating content for commercial purposes, and/or who gets income from the said content.
In this article, we will discuss ways how to grow and earn money as a content creator who is an influencer.
Grow your audience
Before getting to the ways how to earn money as a content creator, there is a basis you need to work on. And that basis is growing your audience. Your audience is your biggest strength and a good connection with your audience will make you appealing to brands, other content creators, and new audience members.
Quality vs quantity
Even though it is one of the main goals of a content creator to grow their audience, it is also important to appreciate and see the benefits of having a small following. There are brands that prefer working with content creators with a smaller following. Usually, it means that the audience is much more engaged, and therefore the results of the campaign can be better compared to campaigns with bigger accounts.
However, it also means that the money the brand is willing to pay for the collaborations is smaller compared to collaborations with accounts with millions of followers. But it shouldn’t bother you. You start where you are, take the deals you can get and slowly grow your account over time! And while growing try to keep the bond with your audience. The closer you are to your followers, the more it will reflect positively in your work.
A content creator should always have more than one social media account. That said, it is wise to start out with just one social media channel so you can focus all your energy on creating high-quality content. But once you get the ball rolling, start to repurpose the content and spread out your influence on other social media channels.
What to consider when choosing a social media channel
Even though you can successfully repurpose a lot of content, you have to keep in mind that different social media channels attract different people and have different goals.
- Instagram. Instagram is perfect for inspiration, longer captions, and having a heart-to-heart with your followers. Instagram is definitely the place where to build long-term relationships with your audience. Keep in mind though that the average user age is 25–34 years old.
- TikTok. TikTok is the perfect place where to repurpose your Instagram Reels or the other way around. TikTok is meant for fun times. Don’t get too serious there! The average user age is 16–24 years old.
- Facebook. Facebook is still relevant and can get you a loyal customer base. It is easy to repurpose your Instagram posts on Facebook so don’t be shy, do it!
Collabs with other content creators
Another great way how to grow your audience is by making collaborations with other content creators. Be sure to connect with content creators in a similar field. That will ensure that their audience could become your audience as well.
Collaborations are often not only useful for growing your brand but also can be fun and entertaining. Getting fresh ideas on content and making it a reality is amazing for keeping your account relevant and exciting.
Social media ads
Even though there might be some resentment over social media ads in the content creator/influencer community, don’t knock it, until you have tried it. Social media ads can give you the benefit of targeting exactly your perfect follower. It will ask for financial investment, but in return, you might be able to grow your account much faster than just with organic traffic.
Earning money as a content creator
Creating content is all fun and great, but it is much better to get paid for the amazing and hard work that you do. Even though the first months or years might be just you grinding without adequate payment, it is best to know the options early on. And if you play your cards right, you might be even able to get into your bank account some dollars from content creation pretty soon after starting your content creator career.
Social media platforms are recognizing that content creation is a real job and takes effort, time, and resources. That’s why all platforms have created some kind of system for how content creators can earn some money just from content creation.
To be fair, there are several regulations you need to apply for if you want to receive payment, but if you do – great news! Just create content, and receive money for it!
TikTok has a creator fund as well as YouTube shorts. Metaverse has a bonus program that works on Instagram and Facebook.
If you are an Instagram content creator, you can benefit from Instagram subscriptions. Instagram subscription means that you create content that is exclusive to those who subscribe to it. That way you get paid for the content you create and the payment comes directly from your audience. You can still create content for everyone and expand your follower base as well as earn money in other ways with content creation.
Exclusive content on Patreon
This option is similar to creating special content for Instagram subscriptions. On Patreon, people can get different plans and you can offer different packages of your content according to the subscription plan they have. It can be blog posts, video content, podcast series, or anything else you want to offer.
Work with brands
Sponsored content is one of the most popular and recognized ways how to earn money as a content creator. A lot of brands enjoy working with content creators – it is a chance for them to reach real people on social media as well as speak to them personally through the content creator.
If you want to work with brands there are three ways how you can do that.
- First, wait for brands to contact you. To do that, make sure you have an e-mail address easily accessible on your main social media account.
- Second, reach out to brands yourself. If you are eager to work with a specific brand, contact them! They might be interested in working with you too.
- Third, join an agency that represents content creators. These agencies work as a bridge between influencers and brands. They try to find the best fit for both and can do a lot of outreach job for you.
Custom merchandise can be a great way how to make an extra income if you are a content creator. Here are the steps on how to create merchandise for your brand:
- Find a print on demand partner (for example, us! Printseekers.com).
- Decide on what kind of merch you want – a t-shirt, tote bag, hoodie, etc.
- Find a designer or design a cute print yourself.
- Make a mock-up.
- Order a sample to check the quality and to make a preview photo shoot.
- Inform your audience that you have merch and start selling!
This section is relevant to content creators on Youtube and blog owners. Both can get paid by choosing to add ads to their content. On Youtube, you can get paid by adding ads before, in the middle, or at the end of the content you create, or having a display ad on the side of your video or on it.
If you are a blog owner, you can have display ads in between the text of your blog posts or on the sidebar.
Adding ads to your content most likely will not create an income stream that can support a family, but it will be a nice addition to the hard work you do. And if you put together a few smaller income streams you will get enough to live by just creating content.
Affiliate marketing is one of the main income streams for a lot of content creators. It can be used by Youtubers, bloggers, and social media influencers. Affiliate marketing means that you are part of an affiliate program and you get paid a little commission any time someone purchases something from a specific website you promote. The payment comes from the company, the customer pays the regular price and is not served an extra fee if they use an affiliate link.
How it works:
- You register for an affiliate program. There are programs for specific websites like Amazon or Etsy, or you can join a web of affiliate programs and promote different sites. You can also join an affiliate program for your favorite brand – big brands often have their own affiliate programs.
- You get your specific links. Usually, there is a little addition to the link you want to share – it can be a letter and number combination or your username. That way the website will know that the customer came from you, so you can get the commission.
- Get your payment. Often affiliate links work with cookies and you can get a commission for purchases made from the same IP address that used your link within a few days to weeks and months. That depends on the affiliate program you are part of.
- You can join as many affiliate programs as you want! There is no limit to how many affiliate programs you can join.
Growing an audience and earning money from content creation might sound scary at first, but with the right tools, it is definitely doable. To achieve great results keep your creativity high, look for options and seize opportunities. Don’t give up if the results don’t come fast – content creation is definitely one of the fields where slow and steady wins the race. Keep working and you will get there!