How to Make Money as a Content Creator

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How to Make Money as a Content Creator

ZipRecruiter data shows that content creators make around $9,717 per month, which is $56 per hour. That’s more than some of the traditional 9-5 jobs, making content creation an attractive career or side hustle. While influencer marketing might seem like the only way to monetize content, you have many avenues to potentially boost your income

Before you learn how to make money as a content creator, you’ll probably have to try a few strategies. 

And if you need to tackle upfront expenses to become a content creator, MoneyLion can help you explore a wide variety of credit card options tailored to different needs and preferences. 

What is a content creator?

A content creator is anyone who creates content. By internet standards, content can be anything from blog posts, videos, podcasts and tutorials to social media posts and ebooks. 

Influencers, brand ambassadors, photographers, vloggers, streamers, designers, writers, and artists are all content creators. 

How much money do content creators make?

Content creation can be a lucrative career path. The earning potential depends on the type of content, its reach, its value, and the platform.

For example, the Forbes Top Creator list included 50 creators who collectively earned $700 million in 2023. 

How to make money as a content creator in 15 ways

If you have an online presence and are ready to take the plunge, there are many ways to market your content. You could start content creation as a side gig and later take it up full-time when you start earning enough to leave your 9-to-5 job. 

1. Start affiliate marketing

In affiliate marketing, you earn a commission for promoting or selling someone else’s products on your platform. When one of your followers clicks on your unique referral link and buys the product, you get a cut of the sale. 

On average, the affiliate commission rate can range from 5% to 30%, depending on the company and product category. The more followers you have, the more potential buyers you can reach. 

2. Produce user-generated content (UGC)

Brands are increasingly using user-generated content to boost their products’ credibility. As a UGC creator, you get paid to create content that promotes a brand’s product or service. Your content could be a review, a tutorial, an unboxing, or simply incorporating the product into your feed. 

UGC creators make $116,600 a year on average

3. Partner with brands for sponsored posts

If you have a decent following, brands can pay you for sponsored posts. The good news is you don’t need to have a following of millions. Micro-influencers, or those with 10,000-50,000 followers, are hot commodities for brands. 

Sponsored post rates depend on your engagement rate. If you have a highly engaged audience, you can charge more. 

4. Create and sell digital products

You can also sell digital products to your audience. Some of these include: 

  • Templates
  • Ebooks
  • Courses
  • Fonts and graphics
  • Stock photos 

The digital products should be related to your niche. For example, if you have a food-related TikTok account, you can sell an ebook of your favorite recipes or a template for meal planning. 

5. Launch a membership site or exclusive content platform 

Many content creators make money through gated or exclusive content. For example, you can create a membership site where your followers pay a monthly or yearly fee for access to exclusive content, like personalized coaching. 

If you don’t want to create a site of your own, use Patreon. Offer exclusive benefits, like early access, to your Patreon supporters. 

6. Create a YouTube channel and monetize it

Creating and monetizing a YouTube channel is a bit time-consuming, so it’s not for quick earnings. But it’s worth it in the long run. Use YouTube for long-form content. For example, if you share quick makeup tutorials on Instagram or TikTok, create detailed videos and product reviews on YouTube. 

You can monetize your channel through:

  • Ads
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate marketing 

Since YouTube can help expand your audience, you’ll also get more buyers for your digital products. 

7. Write an ebook or publish an ebook

If your followers trust your expertise in an area, write an ebook on the subject. For example, as a fitness guru on Instagram, you can write a fitness guide. Publish your ebook on Amazon or sell it through your own website. You can also offer a free chapter as a lead magnet to get people interested in your ebook. 

8. Offer consulting, coaching, or freelancing services 

Again, your expertise comes into play. As a fitness guru, you can offer virtual coaching or create personalized workout plans for your followers. If you’re an artist, offer graphic design or illustration services. Similarly, finance-related content creators can offer consultations to small businesses or individuals. 

Use Zoom or Skype for online consultations and Fiverr for freelancing services. 

9. Land speaking opportunities 

If you’re an established influencer in your niche, you can land speaking opportunities at events or conferences. Dr. Mike on YouTube is a good example. He shares medical knowledge and has been a keynote speaker at various events.

Even if these opportunities are not paid, they can increase your reach, ultimately bringing in potential customers and brand deals. 

10. Launch a podcast and monetize it

You can also launch a podcast discussing topics related to your niche. For instance, a food blogger can start a podcast discussing recipes, international cuisines, cooking tips, and interviewing other food bloggers. 

Monetize your podcast by partnering with relevant brands and running ads. Popular platforms to host a podcast are Spotify, RedCircle, Apple Podcasts, Fusebox, and Buzzsprout

11. Create and sell merchandise 

Many big-name influencers have their own merchandise, such as clothing and accessories, with their brand or catchphrase printed on them. You can create items like mugs, t-shirts, caps, bags, and phone cases. Create limited-edition runs to generate urgent hype. 

12. Host in-person or virtual workshops and seminars for a fee

If you have a skill set that others would like to learn, organize in-person or virtual workshops to teach your followers for a fee. These workshops could be a one-time event or recurring. An example would be a travel blogger offering a photography workshop. You can use vFairs or Hopin to host these events. 

13. Pitch guest blog post ideas

Content creators popular in their niches can get paid for guest blogging, too. For example, if you’re a Twitch streamer with a large following, you could get paid to write a guest blog post about the latest gaming title for a popular gaming website. 

14. License your content 

As an artist or photographer, you can make money by licensing your content for commercial use. Sell your content to companies for marketing purposes or advertisements.  

Take note that licensing your content can incur costs such as legal fees for drafting licensing agreements, as well as potential revenue lost if the license agreement restricts your ability to sell the same content to others. 

15. Collaborate with other content creators

Work with other creators in your domain to expand your following. You can collaborate on projects such as joint videos or podcasts. If you have the resources, create merchandise or a product together and split the profits. 

Make money with content creation

You might have guessed that you can make money as a content creator in many ways. You can be an influencer, an affiliate marketer, a YouTuber, an author, and so much more. 

It may not be possible to make money through every channel, and that’s okay. Try different strategies and narrow down what works best for you. Then, focus on growing that content niche to make the most out of it. 


How do content creators get paid?

Content creators get paid for their influence on their followers. Ways to get paid are through sponsorships, brand deals, affiliate marketing, and selling products or services. 

What skills do you need to be a content creator?

Technical skills needed for content creation include filming, editing, writing, and marketing. Soft skills such as creativity, consistency, communication, collaboration, and adaptability are also important. 

What equipment do I need to be a content creator?

You can start with your phone. As you grow, invest in better quality equipment such as a camera, microphone, lighting, and editing software.

Is being a content creator worth it?

Being a content creator can be worth it if you’re dedicated to the craft. Top content creators may earn millions per year and have multiple sources of passive income. 

Do content creators pay taxes?

Content creators pay self-employment and income taxes. You can report business income and expenses on Schedule C

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