Monetize This: How to Make It As a Content Creator
You’ve probably seen or heard about people making serious money as content creators and thought, “Hey, I could do that!” And the good news is you could. You could become a content creator today, but you should know all your options and what the path to monetization is really like before you start.
So let’s begin How to Make It As a Content Creator 101, shall we?
Show What You Know
First things first, what do you want to create content about? To get to the point that you can monetize content you’ve got to have some compelling content to share with the world. You’re going to need to create and publish this content on a regular and frequent basis. What do you love, enjoy, could do or talk about forever? Take some time to really sit down and think this one through because the choice you make here will dramatically impact your ability to monetize your content.
Know what you want to show? Great! Now figure out if you actually CAN create, share, and monetize content about your topic using any one of the major creator platforms. (YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, all great options that we’ll touch on a little later in this article.)
Most platforms have strict guidelines outlining the types of content that can be shared and monetized on their platform. As an example, no platform lets you monetize content you’ve created that features other copyrighted material. So if your idea is to create content where you react to movie trailers, or rate new music releases as an example, you would not be able to monetize that content through any of the platforms we mentioned above. In many cases, content created with copyrighted material in them often receive copyright strikes and are deleted from the platform automatically.
Paths to Monetization
Now that you know what you want to show – and that you can show and monetize it – you need to pick the right platform to publish your content on to make money.
Monetization requirements frequently change, so we aren’t going to specify them all here. As part of your research you should check your chosen platforms’ website for the most up-to-date information. We’re going to focus on the core general requirements to monetization on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook, so you know what to be aware of and where to start.
To monetize on this channel, you have to meet the requirements to become a partner. This includes:
- Having at least 1,000 subscribers to your channel
- Have over 4,000 watched hours of your content in the last 12 months
- Having an AdSense account
There are some other criteria needed to become part of the Partner Program on YouTube, but as you can see it will take some real time and effort on your part to start making money on the platform. Once you do become part of the Partner Program you’ll be able to earn money off of the ads run on your channel, membership levels you create for your community, receive proceeds from merchandise you sell, and off of YouTube Premium subscribers that watch your content. Viewers can even donate/tip your channel directly.
When it comes to monetization, Twitch may have the lowest barrier to entry. There are two monetization levels available on this platform: Affiliate and Partner. To reach Affiliate you’ll need to:
- Have at least 50 followers of your channel
- Have at least 500 total minutes broadcast on your channel (over last 30 days)
- Have at least 7 unique broadcast days (over the same last 30 days)
- Have an average of at least 3 concurrent viewers (over the same last 30 days)
Depending on the length and frequency of your broadcasting/streaming, you could reach monetization on this channel after a month. Once you become an Affiliate on Twitch you are able to earn money off of ads run during your content, 50% off of viewer subscriptions, a 5% revenue share of the purchases of games or in-game content that originates from their channel pages, and direct tips/donations.
Monetizing on Facebook – like YouTube – has a higher and more complex bar for meeting monetization criteria, but if you creating engaging content with a high publishing frequency it’s worth looking at. To monetize on Facebook you’ll need to:
- Have at least 10,000 followers on your page and
- To run in-stream ads:
- Have at least 600,000 on-demand/live watched minutes in the last 60 days (not including boosted content)
- To offer subscriptions:
- Have at least 250 weekly returning viewers
- And in the last 60 days have at least 50,000 comments or 180,000 minutes viewed between all of your videos
- To run in-stream ads:
There are additional monetization levels on this platform to be aware of like “Stars” which is an provided to channels on an invite only basis and Branded Content, but these are the key monetization methods on the platform to think about as you work your path to monetization.
There are additional methods to earn money that don’t directly benefit the platform you’re using. Patreon, GoFundMe, Ko-fi, TipMe and PayPal are similar money collection services and can provide additional avenues for monetizing your content before – and even after – you meet your selected platforms monetization criteria. We recommend researching each of them to see if they can work as part of your monetization plan.
We didn’t talk a lot about how to capture your content in this article, but we don’t really need to. Sure, you’re going to need some gear, but you probably already have that in hand right now. You don’t need expensive cameras or microphones to start. The smartphone in your hand or laptop on your desk with the built in webcam is enough to get rolling.
Use social media to promote and share your content, particularly if you have been avoiding it. If you’re going to become a content creator, you need to share what you’re doing on those social platforms and invite people to come and check your content. As you can see, making that sweet, sweet content creator revenue is all about engagement and views.