The opportunities to make money as a creator are limitless—which can be both exciting and intimidating. But often monetizing your platform can come with huge follower count requirements or years of working up credibility.
While many brands are embracing creators with a small (yet loyal!) following, it can still take a while to build that initial audience, and to be a part of programs like the TikTok Creator Fund. So, if you’re considering a career as a creator, you may be wondering: how can I start making money?
Here are 3 ways you can start your career while optimizing income from the very beginning:
1. Start simple with publishing platforms
The easiest way to start monetizing your content is to join a platform that makes it easy to create content and attach a revenue stream to it.
Writer-focussed platforms like Substack and Medium are perfect ways to start writing and start making money. Substack supports paid subscription newsletters, blogs, and podcast content while Medium helps writers publish articles and create publications through a similar paid subscription model. The idea behind both are simple: create content that people love to consume, then charge them for it.
Both of these platforms are easy for beginner creators to start growing their following while prioritizing monetization. Just start writing, hone in on your craft, and let the platforms provide a means for followers to pay for your content.
Writing isn’t your thing? No problem. Content created as video or audio can be repurposed on these platforms just the same. On Substack, embed your video in a newsletter or separate your audio and use it as premium podcast content. Repurpose your video scripts as an article on Medium.
These platforms are often best utilized when you start creating free content first. By building your audience, honing in on your niche, and growing interest in your content, followers are often more likely to want to pay for your service. Once you’ve found interest, take your content to the next level with new, unique content only available to your paid subscribers. Creating this exclusive experience invites excitement and intrigue leading to more money in your pocket.
2. Think outside the box with creator tools
Including a URL in your bio helps seamlessly link your content and community across platforms. But link aggregation tools can also be an opportunity to add revenue streams and start raking in income.
Linktree and Linkin.bio are just two of the many link aggregation tools built for social platforms. These tools make it easy to curate a list of links—your website, your other social platforms, or your newsletter, for example—to drive your followers to additional content and keep them engaged. But these tools are often underutilized.
You can link to anything through your Linktree or Linkin.bio. That includes your Venmo, CashApp, PayPal, or your payment platform of choice. Including a link to one of these platforms allows people to easily tip you when they stumble across your profile. Help people help you with easy payment options.
3. Join a creator monetization platform
While growing a following takes time, setting your sights on creator monetization platforms like Patreon or Buy Me A Coffee can help you set the groundwork for your future revenue streams. Familiarizing yourself with these platforms can help inform your content strategy and set goals for career growth.
Subscription platforms like Patreon help you serve your 100 true fans. Consider Patreon like a backstage pass to your content. Patreon allows creators to offer exclusive content, perks, and rewards to followers at different tiered fan levels.
For example, for just $5 per month, fans of VlogBrothers’ John and Hank Green can access a weekly exclusive podcast and access to a fan-fueled discord channel through their Patreon. The amount of time and effort it takes John and Hank to produce an extra 5-10 min podcast each week? Probably minimal. Yet they’ve generated over $11k per month in income from Patreon subscribers alone.
As you grow your following as a creator, there will be even more opportunities to make income. But if you truly want to have a career as a creator, starting out with scalable monetization tools can help you make money from the get go. Use these tips to start out and spend more time planning what you’ll create rather than how you’ll get paid for it.