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What is content monetization?
Content monetization is the act of making money off of digital content that you create, whether it’s text, videos, podcasts, images, or something else. The biggest social media companies rely on their users to create content, often for free. Users do this for fun, or to grow their personal brand or social capital (through a following). Content monetization allows creators to take back some of the financial value from their work.
Likes and shares are great, but many creators are looking for ways to create a sustainable income from their content. Content can be monetized in dozens of different ways, including through ads, affiliate or influencer marketing (endorsing products), or creating personal service businesses from their brands like coaching or consulting. As technology changes, it creates new content monetization models like NFTs or social tokens.
In the past, most content monetization was done through third-party services and not by social media platforms themselves. But some social media companies like Quora and Medium are opening up premium and paid options that filter some money back to creators. YouTube also has monetization built-in and allows for creators to earn from advertising.
In addition to these options, one of our favorite content monetization strategies is starting an online community! It’s a great way for a content creator to earn from their work, as they gather people around them who want to grow with them or learn from them. For example, Sadie Robertson Huff is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, TV star, and one of the world's most influential voices for young Christian women today. In addition to her over 4.6 million Instagram followers and national speaking tours, she launched a membership app called LO sister to grow a space for her fans to go deeper and find belonging.
Content Monetization Examples
- A blogger places display ads on their posts and gets revenue from an ad company.
- A LinkedIn thought leader includes affiliate links in their posts recommending products or services—they then receive a commission from the company.
- An Instagram influencer starts a paid community so that fans can drop in a few times a month and meet them or ask them questions.