15 Innovative Ways to Earn More Money as a Content Creator in 2021

Alan VanToai

June 16, 2021

Content creators are multi-faceted, multi-skilled individuals that bring a lot to the table. From entertainment to education, the creator economy is growing rapidly and content creators of all sizes are thriving.

Content creators that want to earn more money in 2021 need to monetize their skills and convert these skills into multiple streams of revenue.

It is possible to take content creation full time, you just need to find out which methods resonate best with your niche.

So today, let's discover 15 innovative ways content creators and influencers can earn money in 2021!

What Is a Content Creators?

Content creators are anyone that creates content, whether educational, insightful/inspirational or entertaining, and distributes it to their target audience or community online.

Content can take many forms, including:

  • Short or long-form video content
  • Weekly, biweekly, or monthly newsletter
  • Audio content, such as a podcast
  • Photography and videography

The term content creator is vast and all-encompassing, because there are hundreds of different types of creators, cutting through the noise and making content for a highly engaged audience.

What Is the Current State of the Creator Economy?

The creator economy is having a moment.

As of 2021, there are over 2 million content creators that are making 6+ figures on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch. Sponsored influencers are worth $8 billion, and that is predicted to grow to $15 billion by 2021.

Content creators are working hard, smart, and strategically to grow their communities, skillsets, and income.

This means that 2021 is a better time than ever to take your passion and turn it into a full-time, profitable, and rewarding career.

Creators Need Multiple Streams of Revenue

The creator economy is steadily growing, and more and more creators and entrepreneurs are arising and turning to various social media platforms to grow their audience.

The only downside is that the average content in the United States earns around $38/year. But, you can still earn a comfortable living and take content creation full time.

Content creators need to be smart about creating multiple streams of revenue. This includes finding new platforms and means to distribute your content to a wider audience and capitalize on the skills that make you unique.

Influencers and content creators need to find ways to differentiate themselves from other creators and discover where their niche is most active on the internet.

One of the best ways to grow your following and earn more money is to grow your following on multiple platforms.

This could include:

  • Social media platforms - Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube
  • Newsletter platforms - Substack, Letterdrop, Ghost
  • Audio and community - Discord, Clubhouse, Tribe
  • Subscription - Patreon, OnlyCans, Cameo

Creators will need to stay on top of marketing and social media trends and continue their education to ensure their content is getting into the hands of the right people.

15 Ways for Creators to Earn More Money in 2021

There are countless ways for creators to monetize their skills and earn more income in 2021!

Your community is invested, you have put in the hours, and now it's time to develop your brand further and grow to new heights.

If you have been stuck with the same amount and looking to boost your income this year, then let's discover new ways for you to earn more this year.

#1 Membership/Subscriptions for Exclusive Content

If your community is tuned in and established, then consider creating exclusive content that is only available with a membership or subscription.

Many creators start their journey on social media and grow a community, oftentimes for free when starting. As their community grows though, many creators decide to start making exclusive content for their niche, only available with a monthly subscription.

Platforms like Patreon and Cameo allow content creators to distribute exclusive content to paying members.

Rachel Cargle, a famous philanthropist, educator and writer, has grown a successful Instagram community of over 1 million followers.

A post from Rachel Cargle's Instagram

Those in her community that want to take their education further can sign up to be a member of her Patreon where each month, she distributes a syllabus on various topics, called "The Great Unlearn" and her members can attend Zoom calls and get additional educational resources.

Rachel Cargle's Instagram bio with her Patreon attached

This serves her community exceptionally well and helps Cargle earn more income to invest in other projects.

#2 Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways for content creators to earn more passive income, and establish mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with brands they support.

Affiliates can make quite a bit of money, with studies finding that:

  • Low-level affiliates can earn up to $300/day
  • Intermediate affiliates can earn between $300/day and $3,000/day
  • High-level affiliates can earn more than $3,000/day
  • Super affiliates can make more than $10,000/day

The average affiliate earns around $20k/year, but if you partner with that your other revenue streams, you will be able to take content creation full time and earn more passive income.

#3 Sell Branded Merchandise

Do you have certain catchphrases or sayings that your community can't get enough of? Then turn that into merch!

Merchandise will cost a bit upfront to create, but it is a great way to earn more passive income.

Merch is also excellent for growing your community.

Instagram Post of Tabitha Brown

Take the queen of vegan cooking Tabitha Brown for example. She has a massive community on TikTok and Instagram, and she has many phrases she is notorious for saying in her videos.

Her sayings are so popular, she has created t-shirts, tank tops, and aprons for her community to purchase.

Tabitha Brown's Apparel from her website

#4 Become a Brand Ambassador

Becoming a brand ambassador is a great way to grow and network in a community, and earn more money.

Brand ambassadors typically have a bit of a lighter contract than brand partnerships or one-time collabs, but overall, they still can offer creators severl great benefits.

You can earn passive income, plus oftentimes, free product or lifetime discount.

What's more, you can grow your community by becoming a member or a group of like-minded people.

The Vitae Apparel ambassador program is a shining example of an ambassador program done right.

Their program has over 1,000 ambassadors and their ambassadors have the chance to earn extra money, free merch, exclusive offers, and the chance to grow with a supportive group of women.

#5 Brand Sponsorships, Partnerships, and Collabs

Brand sponsorships and partnerships will continue to reign supreme and help content creators earn more upfront and over the long run.

With partnerships, typically a brand will pay the creator a fixed fee in return for sponsored posts.

While historically, it may seem like the Jenner, Kardashian, and celebrities of Instagram earned all the money from sponsored posts, the times are changing.

More and more, brands are looking to work with smaller creators that have a tight community. An invested community is better for marketing on the brand side as the partnership will come off as more genuine.

Additionally, many brands and content creators are opting in for long-term partnerships over one post, which means that a lot of control will be in the hands of the creator. Creators will be able to counter for more money and a better contract, something that has been historically difficult in the industry.

#6 Content Collabs with Other Creators

Content collabs can be an excellent method for gaining more exposure and new follows, as well as helping you generate more income.

Many content creators partner with other creators in their niche, or tangent to it to create powerful and engaging content.

This added exposure will help get more eyes on your personal brand, which you can leverage to lead your new audience members to subscribe to one of the various revenue streams you offer (using your affiliate links, buying your products directly from your website, subscribing to your Patreon, etc.)

#7 Start Your Own Brand

It's not that foreign of a concept for content creators to become CEOs. Many content creators are so prominent in their niche and industry, it seems only second nature for them to start their own brand.

This is a giant step and will definitely take a bit of capital to get started. If you have earned good money from being a content creator and your audience has been asking you to start your own brand, take the step and go from content creator > CEO.

Take Kim Chi, the famous drag queen, as an example. She got her to start on Instagram, where she would create incredible makeup looks.

Being the talented makeup artist that she is, and after she received international attention from being on RuPaul's Drag Race, she went on to start her own line, Kim Chi Beauty.

#8 Co-Create a Line with a Brand

If taking the jump and creating your own brand doesn't seem fathomable, then look for an opportunity to co-collab with an established brand in your industry that you can collab and co-create with.

Many influencers and content creators have launched their own line that they co-created with a brand they love. Creators will typically get paid in two parts; a sum of money for the product creation and a percentage of sales.

Caroline Hirons's Instagram Bio

Caroline Hirons, a popular beauty influencer and skincare expert is no stranger to creating a joint product line with well-known brands. She has created a product like Pixi and Space NK.

#9 IGTV/Social Media Ads

With new features and rollouts on Facebook and Instagram, creators are turning to social media advertising to earn more in 2021.

One of the newest ways creators can use ads to earn more money is on IGTV.

While this feature isn't available in all countries yet, influencers and content creators can run ads on IGTV to help grow their brand, following, and generate more income.

IGTV Ads are going to help incentivize creators to share more content and place an added emphasis on creating long-form videos for Instagram, as historically, there haven't been too many insights into how IGTV can help you grow your following.

Now, according to Instagram's COO, Justin Osofsky, IGTV Ads will receive an industry-standard of 55% share of all advertising in IGTV, the same rate as YouTube.

#10 Create an Online Course

An extremely easy way to earn more passive income and engage on a deeper level with your community is to start on an online course.

Online platforms such as Skillshare, Udemy, and Domestika make it easy for creators to build out a course on the subject matter they are an expert on.

If your audience is already following you for rich insights into your industry, take it a step further to become a thought leader and start teaching them and providing them with valuable insights.

Christina Galbato is a full-time travel and lifestyle influencer and has become so well known in the industry that she offers a class on how to become an influencer. Her audience already loves her insights into how she was able to take influencing full time, so it was natural that she started a course.

Christina Galbato's Online Courses

#11 Become a Consultant for Your Nice

Along with teaching a class, you can become a consultant. Consulting can provide an even more personalized touch when working with your niche and will help you become a leader in your industry, as you will need to face complex problems head-on.

And consultants can make quite a bit of money, with the top-earning independent consultants earning around $120k/year while the average consultant makes $57k/year.

#12 Sell Your Art

If you are an artist and your community loves your work, don't hesitate to start selling your art! Your followers want to support you and there are various ways you can sell your art, right from social media.

You can sell directly on Instagram by creating a Creator Shop, start an online eCommerce website, or place a link to your Etsy shop in your bio on all of your social media channels.

Additionally, if you are a photographer or videographer, you could sell your work as stock photos or videos to earn more passive income.

#13 Sell Social Media Templates

If you have been on Instagram, I'm sure you have seen those beautiful and engaging carousels on many business and creator accounts.

While some people just use Canva and call it a day, many turn to artists and buy social media template packs to achieve a level of polish that the ordinary Canva 'designer' might struggle to achieve.

Many art curators have found creating template packs and social media tool kits to be an extremely lucrative way to sell their art and earn extra income.

Manu from Your Social Team took her artistic abilities and turned them into a business by creating Canva templates for social media. She now has a profitable and flourishing business and a tight community that utilizes her design skills and templates to create beautiful Instagram feeds.

Your Social Team's Instagram Post

#14 Create NFTs

NFTs seem to be all the rage right now.

And creators are cashing in.

NFTs can be any digital good, such as art, music, or video. Artists simply need to download the work and turn it into AI, which they can then sell as an NFT.

NFTs are extremely popular and have gained massive traction over the past 6 months, with many artists finding it easier to ever to reach a wider audience and sell their art at a competitve price.

Artist Trevor Andrew created a piece of art called "Gucci Ghost" which sold as an NFT for $3,600 and is currently on sale for $16,300.

#15 Start a Podcast

If you are a writer or video curator, you might consider turning your content into a podcast.

Podcasting is a great way to expand your audince and reach, and grow an even tighter community of fans.

Podcasters make their money through advertising on their shows, plus affiliate sales that you generate. The bigger your audience, the money ad money you will earn.

Podcasters with around 10,000 downloads per episode make, on average, between $500-$900 in affiliate sales. Plus, they earn revenue from each sponsored ad that airs during an episode, which can be up to $4,500 per ad for larger podcasts.

Conclusion

There are always new ways popping up for creators to earn more money. Staying on top of what is popular in your niche and finding new ways to connect with your community will only help you earn more money, grow a wider audience, and become more autonomous in the creator economy.

Let us know which method(s) you have tried and which have been the most successful for you!

Ready to turn your customers into your team of thriving ambassadors? If so, check out CrewFire's epic demo video to see how you can drive more referrals, word-of-mouth, and user-generated content for your Shopify store.

Get in touch w/ Alan (Founder/CEO - CrewFire):

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WRITTEN BY

Alan VanToai

Co-Founder of CrewFire