Curious about how to make money as a digital creator? You’re living in what could be the golden age for you.
Whether you’re a video producer, a podcaster, an artist, or a blogger like myself, opportunities to make money from your craft have never been more abundant.
I’m going to lay out how tapping into the digital economy isn’t just about having a passion for content creation but also about smart strategies that make you profits.
Let’s get straight into it.
What’s a digital creator? The New Architects of Online Worlds
Before you learn about the different ways of monetizing digital creation, I think it’s essential that you know the essence of being a digital creator.
A digital creator is someone who leverages digital platforms to produce and share content — be it videos, articles, podcasts, or art. They blend creativity with digital tools to engage and grow an audience.
Even recently, this role alone has dramatically evolved, covering a ton of niches and skill sets.
If you find yourself intrigued by the expansive nature of digital creation, then reading a full guide on what a digital creator is will give you an even deeper understanding of such a multifaceted and fast-growing role and how to become one.
Find Your Niche: Key to Your Digital Success
You’ve likely heard the saying, ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ When it comes to being a digital creator, this could be the difference between making it or breaking it. Your niche isn’t just your subject matter but your calling card.
Thomas Oppong, through Content Intelligence Media, successfully transformed his blogging about technology and entrepreneurial topics into a profitable venture, earning about $10K/month, by leveraging his expertise and passion to create valuable content.
Your niche is what sets you apart in a saturated market and attracts raving fans who are more likely to support your monetization efforts.
5 Tips on Finding Your Niche:
- Self-Reflection and Market Research: Start by examining what you’re passionate about (or at least interested in) and what unique perspectives you can bring to the table.
- Identify Common Problems or Questions: Explore your niche for common issues or questions. Engage with online communities and monitor social media to understand trending topics and recurring concerns. Tailor your content to address these areas, establishing yourself as a key resource in your niche.
- Trend Analysis: Look at current trends or underserved areas to find opportunities. Example: If you’re passionate about travel and sustainable living, eco-travel could be your ticket.
- Content Consumption Analysis: Reflect on the content you enjoy consuming—this can provide insight into what you might enjoy creating.
- Skill and Expertise Evaluation: Consider your unique skills and expertise. Whether it’s explaining complex topics or entertaining with humor, these are key pieces of your niche puzzle
It’s also essential not to lock yourself down too early. Be flexible and willing to evolve. Your first attempt doesn’t need to be your last.
Who knows? Maybe your niche will find you as you start putting your content out there.
I’ve seen creators skyrocket to blogging success by carving out their corner of the internet. Like a pet care blogger who uses their veterinary background to offer expert advice or a fitness enthusiast who transformed their home workout routines into a popular YouTube channel. Their specificity is what draws people in and keeps them coming back.
In my opinion, one of the best ways to solidify your niche is through storytelling. Share your journey, the highs and the lows. Authenticity isn’t just a buzzword; it translates into a feeling of TRUST and relatability, which is priceless.
9 Common Ways to Make Money as a Digital Creator
Here’s a notable revenue source for creators –brand sponsors. These collaborations involve promoting a brand’s products within the digital creator’s content.
For example, a fashion influencer might showcase a clothing brand’s new line in their social media posts, earning income based on their audience size and engagement.
Whether you want to become a digital creator on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, there’s a ton of platforms out there that allow you to make this happen.
Mid-tier influencers can make an average of $1,221 per sponsored post. Business.com
Charli D’Amelio made over $17.5 million in 2021 through brand sponsorships from brands like Sabra Hummus, Hollister, Invisalign, Morphe Cosmetics, and Dunkin’ Donuts, contributing significantly to her impressive net worth. Hype.co
Ahh, affiliate marketing – the universally acclaimed favorite for generating online revenue among digital creators. Most people (including myself) and their mothers aspire to generate a solid income from this dynamic opportunity. So how does this work? It’s simple.
This is a model that involves promoting products or services from other companies and earning a commission for every sale or action completed through your unique affiliate link or “discount code”.
For instance, a fitness blogger may share an affiliate link on their blog for workout equipment or supplements, earning a commission each time a reader purchases through that link.
Just know that this is an online business model that takes time and PATIENCE. Most people will easily give up too soon when they don’t see results. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, keep learning, and adapt, then eventually you’ll sow the fruits of your labor.
The average salary of an affiliate marketer is $59,060 per year, with a range from $58K to $158K. Over half of all affiliate marketers make $10K or less annually, while about 33% make $10K or more. Notably, most full-time affiliate marketers likely earn between $30K–$50K per year. ahrefs.com
An illustrative example is Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income. Flynn has mastered the art of affiliate marketing, earning over $100,000 per month. His success lies in his ability to recommend products that align with his audience’s interests. smartpassiveincome.com
Crafting and selling digital products is no stranger to the online world and it’s one of the most remarkable monetization strategies that exist today. Think about it…you can create ebooks, online courses, software apps, templates, and so many other digital goods that can be sold REPEATEDLY online.
So let’s say you’re a wedding planning expert. You can sell printable templates on Etsy to event planners to help them save time and money.
The best part about digital products is that it doesn’t require inventory management or shipping, unlike physical products. Not only that, but you can reach people from anywhere in the world, not just your location.
Revenue from digital publishing in the United States is projected to experience growth, with expectations to surpass 27 billion U.S. dollars by the year 2027. Additionally, projections indicate an upward trend in the average revenue per user (ARPU) for digital publishing across various mediums. Statista.com
Emily McDermott, founder of Pretty Arrow, successfully monetized her passion for budgeting by selling budgeting templates on Etsy. Starting in 2021, she has made over $125,000 annually, thanks to her tailored products for young women, leveraging email marketing and Facebook ads. nichepursuits.com
Long gone are the days when you have to worry about expensive overhead. You can create an online store to transform your creative output into a profitable business whether it’s selling digital products, physical goods, or even both.
Platforms like Shopify help in setting up e-commerce stores easily. You just have to choose your products, design your store, and market your brand.
These platforms provide a user-friendly interface, customizable templates, and tools to manage sales, inventory, and customer relations.
According to recent data, a typical Shopify store earns around $67,000 USD yearly. By dividing this annual figure by 12, we find that the average monthly revenue for a Shopify store is roughly $5,583. oyova.com
Do you have expertise in something that you could share with the world? Why not be an online course creator?
Creating and selling online courses is a fantastic way for digital creators to monetize their knowledge and expertise. You can teach a skill, share industry insights, or provide educational content. Online courses offer a scalable way to earn income while helping others learn.
Whether it’s knowing how to code or dance like Michael Jackson, there is a way to monetize your skills. You can leverage platforms like Teachable or Udemy to help you get set up.
Your income from selling online courses can range from $1,000 to $100,000+ annually, influenced by factors like course traffic, conversion rate, and pricing. onlinecoursehost.com
The author of the online course “Get 10,000 Subscribers” was able to generate $220,750 in revenue within just 10 days of launching the course exclusively to their email list, which had 13,528 active subscribers at the time of the launch. This success demonstrates the potential profitability of selling online courses to a targeted audience. videofruit.com
Crowdfunding is a dynamic way for you as a digital creator to directly engage with your audience and secure funding.
Let me explain…
You leverage platforms that allow you to receive financial support for your projects or ongoing work from your community, often in exchange for exclusive content or perks.
To give you better context, let’s pretend you’re an indie game developer. You could use a platform like Kickstarter to fund your game’s development, offering backers exclusive access to beta versions or unique in-game items.
For continuous projects like webcomics or video series, Patreon lets fans support you regularly in exchange for early access or exclusive content.
This approach does more than just fund your work; it fosters a community that is actively engaged in and supportive of your creative process.
On average, donation-based crowdfunding campaigns generate around $9,000, while successful crowdfunding campaigns across all types typically raise about $28,656. In contrast, the initial phase of series funding, known as seed funding, averages around $3.6 million, and the typical small business loan amounts to about $663,000. hubspot.com
Chapo Trap House, a Patreon group, exemplifies the potential of earning revenue through the platform. They earned over $150,000 a month! Influencermarkinghub.com
Social Media Influencer
You see them on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube – you name it. There’s no denying that becoming a social media influencer is a popular avenue these days for digital creators to monetize their online existence.
You could start by identifying your unique style or niche – be it fashion, travel, fitness, or anything else. Then, consistently create and share engaging content that your audience craves. Engaging with your followers is key to building a loyal community.
You can partner with brands as an influencer to promote products or services to your audience.
Influencers who have less than 100,000 followers typically earn around $200 for each post. Those with a follower count exceeding 100,000 can anticipate making about $670 per post. For influencers with a following of over 1 million, the earnings per post can surpass $1,900. demandsage.com
Huda Kattan, is a beauty blogger and founder of Huda Beauty. Starting as a simple beauty blog, Kattan leveraged her growing social media presence to launch a cosmetics line that Forbes valued at over $1 billion. Her Instagram alone has over 47 million followers, making her one of the most influential beauty influencers globally.
Your expertise can go a long way within the digital creator space as an online consultant, especially when you have when you have substantial experience and a proven track record in your field.
An online consultant can range from providing specialized advice to helping clients develop effective strategies in areas like social media, content creation, or digital marketing.
You’re ready to become a consultant when you can consistently offer insights and solutions that drive tangible results for clients in these areas.
In 2024, the average hourly rate for a Virtual Consultant in the U.S. is approximately $40.04, reaching up to $71.88 for top earners. Annually, salaries range from around $52,000 to over $141,000, demonstrating the high earning potential of online consulting, particularly for those with specialized skills and a solid client base. ziprecruiter.com
A notable example is Neil Patel, a digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur. Neil has built a successful career by offering consulting services in SEO and digital marketing, working with companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Airbnb. His success demonstrates the potential of leveraging specialized knowledge to provide high-value consulting services. NeilPatel.com
If you ask me, subscriptions are a smart way to engage with your audience by providing them with exclusive content, early access, or special interactions that aren’t available to everyone – all while scaling your income.
Platforms like Patreon are popular for managing these subscriptions, but integrating subscription functionalities on your website is also a great approach.
For instance, using a platform like Memberful, you can embed a membership system directly into your own website. This allows you to offer exclusive blog posts, video content, or digital downloads directly to subscribers, creating a seamless and branded experience right on your site.
When you’re brainstorming subscription ideas, just ask yourself: “What’s my special sauce?” Maybe it’s giving your subscribers a sneak peek with behind-the-scenes posts, dishing out member-only videos, sharing exclusive articles, or even throwing in some one-on-one advice chats.
You wanna give your people something awesome that they can’t get anywhere else – something that makes them feel like they’re part of your inner circle.
While there’s not a one-size-fits-all number to capture the income potential across all subscription-based business models, here’s an important indicator of the industry’s growth that can be seen in the global subscription market revenue:
In 2021, the revenue for subscription businesses was expected to reach $105.3 billion, a substantial increase from $96.7 billion in 2020. This trend highlights the expanding scope and profitability of subscription services in various sectors. zipdo.com
Haley, the founder of Coffee and Contracts, created a digital marketing subscription service specifically for real estate professionals. In just two years, her service attracted over 7,000 members and generated around $165,000 monthly. What’s remarkable is that the business was started with only $500 and mainly grew through organic traffic from Instagram and word of mouth, eventually reaching a monthly revenue of $250,000. starterstory.com
Crafting Your Path Forward to Making Money as a Digital Creator
I’m going to leave you with some lasting advice because making money as a digital creator isn’t just a one-time victory; it’s about building a sustainable career.
So my question to you today is, how do you keep the momentum going?
It starts with continuously updating your skills and staying ahead of trends. This means you have to be a lifelong learner. There are plenty of digital creator tools out there that can make life easier for you so you won’t have to feel stuck.
Maintaining the trust of your audience is pivotal. Transparency and integrity should be the bedrock of all your interactions and transactions. Remember, without your community’s trust, your monetization efforts will likely fail.
Another important thing – LEVERAGE AI. Integrate it into your creative workflows and watch how it enhances your process. You’ll save so much time, I promise you.
And finally, don’t forget about self-care and the risk of burnout. As with anything, balance is key. Make sure to take time for yourself to recharge and stay inspired.
After all, a happy creator is a productive creator!