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18 Ways to Make Money as a Content Creator in 2024

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Let me know if this sounds like you…

You…

  • Don’t love your 9-5
  • Want to make a bigger impact
  • Like the idea of working from anywhere
  • Want to have virtually no limit to how much you can make 

Sound accurate?

In this article, you’ll learn exactly how to make money as a content creator so you can live the life you want.

Let’s dive in.

How much does a content creator make?

Your earnings as a content creator can vary based on your chosen medium, niche, location, and more. 

The average salary is $89,128.

But keep in mind… 

You don’t need a huge following to make money as a content creator – especially if you focus on high-value offers like coaching or courses. 

Imagine 300 people have signed up to your email list. 

Of those, 1% buy your coaching package at $1,500. 

With 3 clients, you’d earn $4,500.

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Here’s another example: Let’s say you start a YouTube channel and want to use it to maximize your income. In that case, you could join a platform like Patreon

That’s exactly what the YouTuber behind The Ukulele Teacher does – and he earns at least $5,400 per month from Patreon alone for his niche content.

I myself run a creator business with content on my blog, emails, YouTube, and other social media. 

My business is an eight-figure business. Now, it DID take me time to get here but that just goes to show there are all types of creator businesses out there. 

So, remember…

How much you earn as a content creator depends on many factors and varies wildly.

According to data from Glassdoor, here’s how much a few different types of US-based creators earn on average:

But overall, US-based content creators make between $51k and $95k

Okay, so that’s how much you can make as a content creator. 

But what does one do? Here’s what you need to know. 

What is a content creator?

A content creator is someone who creates great content for a digital audience. You have lots of options for this content, so choose the format that speaks to you the most. 

Need a few ideas? You could…

  • Create video content (think: YouTube and TikTok)
  • Get into photography
  • Start a podcast
  • Write ebooks
  • Blog
  • Create social media posts
  • Design graphics

…and more!

For example, I use platforms like this blog, my YouTube channel, and my email list to publish content and make sales. 

Okay, but maybe at this point you’re wondering, What’s the difference between that and an influencer

Great question.

Many use these terms interchangeably, but they’re not the same. 

The key difference? Intention.

Let me explain…

Content creators create content on a specific niche or topic and share their insights to educate and/or entertain their audience. 

For example, a content creator who’s a photographer might use Instagram to share their latest work for the sake of sharing beautiful pictures.

On the other hand, influencers build a personal brand with the goal of using their influence to make sales

For instance: 

A beauty influencer with a large following might partner with a popular skincare brand and create content promoting it in exchange for commissions. 

So, although content creators can influence people, they’re more focused on creating high-quality content (versus getting the highest number of likes and followers).

But you are making money either way. 

And the good news is you have several ways to make that money as a content creator.

18 ways content creators make money

Now that you know what a content creator is, let’s dig deeper: How can content creators make money? 

You’re about to find out.

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1. Online teaching 

Do you enjoy teaching people? Then, good news: There’s a huge demand. To give you an idea, the e-learning market size was worth nearly $400 billion in 2022.

So, you could reach a lot of people, depending on your niche. 

I personally make most of my money through my own courses. This isn’t an easy business model, but can be a highly fulfilling one – and scalable. 

To get started, you need a niche and an audience. 

I talk more about it in this guide: 

Start here:  How To Create A 6-Figure Online Course

2. Consulting

Consulting is all about evaluating a client’s problem and coming up with a plan to solve it. As you can imagine, there are a lot of consulting niches to explore. 

For example, if you’re good at digital advertising, you could become a digital advertising consultant and help businesses rank higher in search engines. 

If you have leadership skills, you could focus on supporting CEOs in maximizing team success.

Having marketable skills means you can start consulting immediately, without having to get formal certifications or training. 

Start here: How to Become a Successful Consultant (8 Steps) 

3. Coaching

Coaching and consulting can appear similar, but here’s a key difference: As a coach, you’d guide your clients to a solution – rather than doing it for them, as a consultant would.

What’s great about coaching is that, like consulting, you can start today based on your current skills. 

I go into more detail in this video:

Another perk? 

By offering 3-month coaching packages for $1,500 (which is what I recommend if you’re just getting started), you can quickly replace your income – while having a huge impact. 

Start here: How to Become a Coach

4. Selling digital products and merchandise

As a content creator, selling digital products is a smart way to make money without having to work for an hourly wage. 

Plus, there’s a huge demand for digital assets like courses and ebooks. 

In fact, the eLearning market is expected to surpass $840 billion by 2030, which gives you a huge audience to tap into. 

Don’t know what to sell?

You have tons of options. For example, you could offer…

  • Templates
  • Apps
  • Patterns
  • Premium content
  • Digital plans

…and more! 

But maybe you’re wondering, Luisa, what’s the best digital product I can offer to maximize my ROI?

Easy: courses. Because they’re so valuable, you can sell them for a much higher price point (between $100-$3k) compared to assets like templates.

Start here: The Most Profitable Digital Products To Sell (+Where) 

5. Brand partnerships

You want to aim for long-term brand partnerships.

Why? Because they’re an efficient way to generate revenue and attract more opportunities in your niche. 

And yYou don’t necessarily need a huge audience to get started. 

What matters more than size is engagement. So, if you’re a small creator but have high engagement rates, that’s attractive to brands.

Start here: 5 Tips for Landing Your First Brand Partnership 

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6. Affiliate marketing 

The affiliate marketing industry will be worth over $27 billion by 2027

And depending on things like your niche and audience size, you can make money through affiliate commissions. 

As an affiliate, you promote products to your audience and get a commission for every sale. 

The blogger behind Making Sense of Cents made over $100k from affiliates in just one month. (But those aren’t really typical numbers – and affiliate marketing requires a sizable audience to be profitable.)

Start here: 65+ Top Affiliate Programs for Bloggers + Content Creators 

7. Direct ad sponsorship  

If you’ve ever encountered a creator who mentioned that a brand sponsored their video or other content, you’ve seen ad sponsorships at work. 

Once you have a following, sponsorships are a great way to monetize your content – while promoting brands you believe in. 

Start here: How to Make Money with Sponsors – A Guide for Online Content Creators 

8. Subscriptions 

Offering a subscription gives your audience access to your offer – for a recurring fee. 

For example, you could set up a membership platform that gives people exclusive perks, like subscriber-only videos, services, downloads, and so on. 

The great thing about subscriptions? They offer consistent income, which helps reduce the guesswork about how much you’ll earn in any given month.

Start here: How Creators Can Make Money with Membership Sites, Subscriptions, and Paywalls 

9. Speaking engagements

Landing speaking engagements is a golden opportunity to talk about a specific topic  – and get paid for it. 

But first, clarify your goals by being specific. 

According to Grand Baldwin, who’s earned $2+ million from speaking engagements, knowing what you’re aiming for is a key to getting gigs.

Think: Where do I want to speak? What do I want to talk about? Why should my audience care about what I have to say?

It also helps to keep a list of opportunities you come across along with dates and event organizer contact info. 

Start here: 11 Ways to Find Paid Speaking Opportunities in Any Industry 

10. Platform creator funds

These days, many platforms offer financial incentives for top creators. It’s a win-win: Platforms get traffic from the audience you attract, and you get paid for the great content you offer.

Here are a few creator funds to know about (and I’ll cover more platforms in a minute):

However, you need a fairly big audience to make this work. (To make money from AdSense on YouTube, you need at least 1,000 subscribers.)

Start here: 7 Social Media Platforms That Pay You to Create Content 

11. Offering exclusive content

A lot of people are willing to pay to see more of their favorite creators’ work. 

This can mean giving paying subscribers early access to your content, behind-the-scenes videos, and other exclusive perks. 

The important thing? Find out what your audience wants to see, and give them that.

Start here: 3 Unusual Ways To Create Exclusive Content That Attracts A Crowd 

12. Writing a book 

According to Statista, there’ll be more than 1 billion eBook readers by 2027

And there are ebooks in all types of niches, from fact to fiction.

The best thing is that you can self-publish your own ebooks on platforms like Amazon.

However, ebooks are low-priced offers, so you either need a big audience or a lot of books to make a good income from ebooks. 

Start here: How to Self-Publish a Book [+ Checklist] 

13. Guest posting 

I’m a big fan of guest posting. In fact, getting published on sites like Business Insider gave my business a huge boost early on.

Business-insider-article

With that said… 

You don’t need to be published on massive platforms to get results. Instead, focus on pitching to relevant platforms. 

Remember: Speaking to the right audience, even if it’s small, is better than speaking to a huge audience of people who aren’t interested.

Start here: 300+ Free Guest Posting Sites to Submit Guest Posts 

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14. Becoming a brand ambassador  

As a brand ambassador, your task would be to represent a particular brand through your content. So, to maximize your results, work with brands that are well-aligned with what you do. 

Once you have some experience and you’ve grown your audience, you’ll be able to work with bigger businesses and get paid more. 

Start here:  How To Become A Brand Ambassador and Get Paid

15. Selling art

Yes, you can make money selling art. 

Take Iulia Bochis, for example.

Iulia Bochis instagram

During Covid, she started posting her artwork on Instagram – and today, she’s a full-time artist with over 770k followers. 

So, don’t underestimate the power of using a huge platform like Instagram to connect with a specific audience, like Iulia does. 

In fact, online art sales grew by 7% in 2023 compared to the previous year, so there’s clearly a demand.

Start here: The starving artist is a myth: how to sell digital art (+ make a profit) 

16. Podcasting

Growing a successful podcast is an effective way to promote products and services to make money through your content. The key is to target a specific audience. 

For example, if you start a personal finance podcast, you could promote something like a course on how to get out of debt in X amount of time. 

Keep in mind that nearly 505 million people listen to podcasts as of 2024, so there’s a huge audience you can tap into. 

Start here: 10 Tips For Building A Successful Podcast 

17. Opening an online store

Platforms like Shopify and Etsy make setting up an online store easy. 

Plus, you can sell virtually anything, which gives you a lot of options depending on your interests and who your audience is. For example, YouTuber Paola Merrill (aka “The Cottage Fairy”) used her success on YouTube to start a successful Etsy store for her art.

The Cottage Fairy YouTube

Start here: How to start an online store – full guide 

18. Getting donations

As a creator, one way to boost your income is through donations. 

An easy way to set this up? 

Use a platform like Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee. The idea is that your fans can support your work and gain access to exclusive content they wouldn’t see otherwise. 

That way, you earn more money, and your followers get to see more of your content. 

Start here: Want more donations on Patreon? Cornell University researchers have some marketing advice 

Okay, now that we’ve looked at HOW you can make money as a content creator, let’s look at how MUCH you can make.

Frequently asked questions

Okay, now that you know how much content creators can make, let’s cover some FAQs:

How do you become a profitable content creator? 

Focus is the key. In other words, don’t join a million different platforms and try to grow on all of them at once. That’s a good way to burn out, but it’s NOT a good way to sustainably expand your reach. 

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So, what should you do instead?

This:

  • Choose one platform that works for you
  • Learn how to use it and what people want to see
  • Once you get traction, expand to another platform

I also recommend starting with just one offer rather than trying to diversify too soon. 

That’s what I did with my Employee to Entrepreneur course: I spent a lot of time making it the most comprehensive course for people who wanted to quit their jobs and work for themselves.

Result: I got over $1.1 million in sales in under a year. 

So, keep in mind: Coaching or consulting is an ideal way to make money with the skills you already have. But once you start building an audience, adding courses will maximize your profits. 

What are platforms that pay content creators? 

There are a lot, but here are some of my top picks:

Next steps 

Alright, there you have it! 

Now you know how to make money as a content creator. As you can see, you have a lot of options. But remember: Deciding on one specific platform and being focused is how you’ll get results

What else do you need to know to succeed?

As an eight-figure coach, I’ve identified three mistakes course creators often make.

Want to skip them so you can grow faster? Check out my FREE guide.

Read more: 

The Most Successful Online Business Ideas

The Most Profitable Digital Products To Sell (+Where)

Social Media for Business: The Best Platforms & Tips

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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