What is Content Monetization?
It’s a method that people and businesses use to make money from their online content. People usually start as either a side hustle or hobby, and eventually scale efforts to become full-time content creators. Content monetization comes in all shapes and sizes from blogs, affiliate marketing, advertising, selling online courses or even by making videos.
Content itself has become more valuable than ever and is a great way to make money. Essentially, when people consume content, the creator profits directly or indirectly through the owner of the channel hosting the content. The content owner can monetize by selling directly to an audience, or through sponsored content.
Content monetization is the biggest challenge for 44% of marketers. Platforms change their algorithms, affecting strategies and ROI projections. And it’s the platform that owns the audience, not the marketers.
This opportunity is open to everyone, but there is a caveat. It works only if you know what you’re doing. Creating a schedule, sticking to it, and maintaining consistency to keep your audience engaged with quality content is often time-draining and exhausting. Many content creators burnout. Therefore, balance is the key to content success. A good monetizer always strives to inform, inspire, educate, and empower rather than just looking for profits.
It is important to be realistic before diving in. Since it can be overwhelming to understand how content monetization works, here are some basic points:
- Every platform has different approval criteria.
- It is not a get-rich-quick scheme.There is a high failure rate.
- It is highly competitive (add as much value as you can).
- Policy violations can lead to termination from monetization programs.
- Promote product as per the FTC’s law.
There are several advantages and disadvantages to be aware of when it comes to content monetization. The advantages of monetizing your content comes primarily in the form of control. When a brand monetizes they have control of native advertising, subscription models and even have easy access to readers feedback to further product development.
Some disadvantages include the goldilocks pricing issue as content will be unsuccessful if priced too high and business won’t turn a profit if it is priced too low. Another set back is being able to continually produce content that is high quality and highly valued by a readership. Lastly, user retention is a difficult thing to conquer. Brands have to be able to build trust and loyalty with their audience in order to keep views up.
Different Ways to Monetize your Content
There are a multitude of ways to begin monetizing your content. Below are the best strategies to get familiar with before creating.
- Advertising: brands will pay you to gain access to your audience group.
- Sponsorships: brands placing their products/services in your content.
- Events/Conferences: get paid through registrations, coupons, and attendance fees.
- Premium content: direct-for-sale content developed for clients and unique content accessed through paywalls.
- Donations: receive payment from your loyal audience through sites like Patreon.
- Subscriptions: deliver unique content to your community for a fee.
- Affiliate Marketing: business rewards you for each visitor or customer you divert to their store or page.
- Merchandise: sell branded items such as apparel.
- Exclusive rights: sell content directly to a buyer.
Who Can Monetize Their Content?
Anyone willing to create content and share it can earn from it. However, as more people become content creators the road to monetization gets tougher. The fact is, some e content is easier to monetize than others. Listed below are the types of people that have the best ability to monetize their content:
Artists are the top performers for content monetization. Here are a few examples how they monetize their content:
- License art/photos/videos to stock footage websites.
- License music to distributing websites as Spotify, Epidemic and Sound.
- Develop NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) and sell them as crypto exchanges.
Around 58% of customers believe “original written content” is more important than visual media. Blogs are most commonly monetized through advertising networks. Companies place Ads on third-party blogs and pay the site owners to leverage their audience. Here are a few examples of advertising networks:
- Google Adsense
- Direct Ads
People with a community who they influence through their knowledge and expertise on a topic. They make money by influencing the buying habits of other people. Brands will often reach out to them with paid sponsorships. Here are a few examples how they monetize their content:
- Product placement
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored social media posts. (Kylie Jenner makes $1 million per sponsored post.)
- Native ads. (Casey Neistat, has earned over $10 million from Youtube native ads)
Businesses can create their accounts for advertising and promotional use. They use social media to increase brand visibility, market products, and make sales. Here are some ways businesses can monetize their content:
- Selling tickets to in-person and virtual conferences/events.
- Endorsing and/or sponsoring influencers.
Monetize your Content in Five Simple Steps
Having a plan is always a great strategy, even better is to be educated about basic processes. Content monetization is no different. Before you start creating content here are a few basic steps to follow to set yourself up for success.
1. Identify your Niche
It is necessary to know your targeted audience and your main topic before creating content. You have to be clear on who will be engaging with your content and ultimately becoming your community. Your niche will consistently guide your content strategy.
2. Select a platform
There are 15 social media platforms to choose from in 2021, this can be overwhelming and time consuming. The decision should be based on your goals, the type of media you will create, where is your audience, the industry and the topic you will be talking about and where are your competitors.
3. Set up your monetizing funnels
Each platform offers unique monetizing programs, and for each comes with its own criteria to join. Here’s what you need to do:
- Apply to the YPP program once you reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.
- Apply for a hosted Google Adsense Account, if you are above 18 years of age.
- Negotiate with brands to place products to directly sell to your audience.
- Apply to the non-hosted Google Adsense account, you must be over 18, be able to access the HTML source code and meet the program policies.
- Apply for the Media.net once you have a substantial amount of original content, that is updated regularly and the majority of your traffic comes from US / UK / Canada.
- Apply to the PMP program once you reach 10,000 followers and 600,000 watchted minutes (over the last 2 months).
- Apply to the Creator Fund after reaching 10,000 followers and 100,000 views (in the last 30 day).
- Apply to Snapchat Spotlight, it has no requirements.
|Platforms||Monetization Programs||Program Criteria|
|Youtube||Ad placement, Youtube’s Partner Program, Sponsored videos||1000 subscribers, 4000 watch hours.|
|Sponsored posts/videos by brands, native facebook ads||10,000 followers, 600,000 watch minutes in the last 60 days.|
|TikTok||Creator Fund (TikTok)||10,000 followers, 100,000 views in the last 30 days.|
|Website||Google Adsense||Over 18, must be able to access the HTML source code and meet the program policies.|
|Media.net||Substantial amount of original content, regular updated content and traffic from US / UK / Canada.|
|Snapchat||Youtube’s YPP||No requirements.|
4. Create a content calendar
Successful content creators have a content calendar that guides them on what and how they will be creating the content. It also helps with brainstorming, publishing and tracking results for every piece of content generated.
5. Post consistently
Grow your loyal community, they will be the core of your success. Your audience can grow your followers organically or through paid marketing. Remember, it is better to have 10,000 loyal fans than 100,000 subscribers who aren’t passionate about your content.
Posting consistently lets your audience know what to expect from your account. This has proven to boost your engagement. It ensures your audience is aware of your schedule and is ready to watch your content.
6. Diversify your strategy
Once your brand has been established, explore new content strategies and earning avenues to expand your reach and test your boundaries. Here are some ideas to try:
- Increase your content production.
- Explore different media formats.
- Expand publishing channels.
- Test different products/services offerings.
- Find partnerships, ambassadors programs and/or sponsorship opportunities.
Many content creators have lost their audience and data monetization stream due to platforms changing their policing, closing up, or even by getting their accounts hacked. For this reason, it is important to diversify your strategy periodically to stay on top of industry changes.
Why is content monetization so important in today’s digital economy?
Simply, content marketing costs 60% less than traditional marketing and generates around 3 times as many leads. Here are the top benefits of content monetization:
- No investment required: there is no need to invest in expensive equipment prior to creating. It is easy to start creating with good lighting and an iPhone camera.
- Multiple streams of income: There are a multitude of ways to make money from content through ads, microtransactions, and paywalls.
- Influence and towering authority: Monetizing your content shows viewers that you have confidence in your work and have authority.
- Flexibility in work schedule: You can work anytime of day for however long freeing up your schedule and time.
In the long-term, making money online is highly rewarding. It gives you the freedom and finances that many traditional jobs can’t offer. There are many avenues to approach from and with a bit of research and know-how to determine what is best for you will be simple. In the end, you aren’t relying on one single source of income or an employer to wait for the salary at the month end.
Top 4 Monetization Platforms
Here are the top monetization platforms and all the information you need to make an informed decision on whether or not it’s right for you.
For starters, it has relatively easy criteria to meet in order to take advantage of their partnership program. Plus, it is supported in almost every country in the world. It is willing to pay $100 million to the top Shorts creator, (Youtube shorts, their competitor to TikTok). They offer 10 different ways to earn. For these reasons, it’s one of most popular platforms amongst those looking to monetize.
This is the preferred platform for all marketers. Facebook allows you to micro-target the audiences that are best for your business. It supports almost all media formats, video, video, gifs, images, and text. You can earn thourgh in-stream ads, stats, brand content, paid events, and fandom subscriptions. Although it isn’t easy to achieve the eligibility criteria in order to earn, a number of creators such as Nightfamily and Nas Daily started their career by making videos on Facebook, gaining massive reach and millions of views.
TikTok accounts with more than 1,000 followers can resort to ‘live’ streaming and monetize their content. Unlike Youtube and Facebook, where you get a cut of advertisement, Tiktok pays directly to the users from their Creator Fund.
The 5th most popular social media app with 1.22 billion global active users. It’s the favorite app among millennials — those currently in their mid 30’s. This demographic is estimated to have more spending power than any other age group. The app allows you to shop featured items directly on the platform, helping those monetizing to avoid transferring people out of the platform to get their cut. The platform provides different ways to monetize; sell products on their shopping feature, add tags to your stories, create IGTV ads, Live Badges, and Live Shopping experiences.
Content is a hot commodity right now and it is a remarkably broad category. From art, to commerce, to videos, there is a place for everyone to create and sell their work online.
Even more, with so many platforms, now is the time to start building your brand and career online. Although it can be difficult to turn a profit, being armed with the knowledge and proper techniques can set you up perfectly for success. Putting Invisibly to work for you will only serve to make you more money and put you in control.
When you monetize your content you are actively pursuing your own independence. Freeing up time and being in charge of your money is a fulfilling experience that can pay off big time. So why wait? Now is the perfect time to start.