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The Ultimate Guide to Monetizing Your Brand as a Creator + Expert Advice

The Ultimate Guide to Monetizing Your Brand as a Creator + Expert Advice

Making money online in 2023 is easier than it has ever been. Look at people like Ali Abdaal, doctor turned YouTuber and author, and Tayo Aina, Travel Filmmaker, who have found ways to monetize their audience.

Their numbers may seem out of reach, but monetization is possible for every creator, even without a large following. However, it’s not very straightforward. There are multiple ways to monetize your content, and selecting the best one for you and your brand can be overwhelming.

So, this article will guide you on six different monetization strategies to implement regardless of follower count, with steps and tips from expert creators to facilitate success.

What is content monetization?

Content Monetization is the process of earning an income from your created content. The content can include blogging, videography, podcasting, photography, audio streaming, and more.

Monetizing your content allows you to earn money from your passion without being restricted to a specific location. Content is worldwide. Mine, for example, reaches people in Ghana, Nigeria, The United Kingdom, and The United States; this means I can collaborate with any person or brand globally.

Who can monetize their content?


For more context, although anyone can earn an income from their content, the type of creator you are will influence your earning potential.

Jay Clouse, Founder of Creator Science, breaks down creators into 3 major categories - creator-educators, creator-entertainers, and creator-edutainers.

Creator-educators like Ali teach, and through their content, people learn, transform, and up-skill themselves. Creator-entertainers like Achieng Agutu, aka The Confidence Queen, create content that helps people happily pass the time. People enjoy her content because of how it makes them feel.

Creator-edutainers are a cross between the first 2. Their educational and entertaining content makes it very easy to consume. Travel creators like Oneika Raymond are examples of edutainers.

So, before you choose your monetization strategy, consider the type of creator you are.#

6 ways to monetize your content

There are multiple ways to monetize your content as a creator. Here’s a list of some of the most popular methods.

Brand partnerships and sponsorships

Sponsorships and brand deals are one of the most common ways to monetize. Creators often partner with brands to help them promote a product or service on their platforms. These partnerships can be in the form of paid promotions, sponsored posts, or ambassadorships.

Travel creator Jessica Ufuoma made $50,500 through brand deals with companies like Virgin Voyages as of early August 2023.

Another creator who has benefited from sponsorships is Kaitlyn Arford, a newsletter creator with almost 5,000 subscribers. She shared that sponsorships have become a regular income stream for her. “Sponsorships allow me to keep my newsletter a sustainable and affordable resource for any freelancer who needs it.”

Navigating brand deals and sponsorships can be difficult, especially as a new creator. But websites like Clara for Creators and FYPM have normalized transparency in the creator economy. They let creators anonymously publish rates and their experiences with brands, which helps others get paid their worth.

@fypm.vip Curious how much other influencers working with brands are getting paid? Join #FYPMvip to find out! 💸🪟🤳🏻 #glassdoorforinfluencers #glassdoorforcreators #paidbrandcollabs #influencerrates #creatoreconomy #paytransparency ♬ original sound - www.fypm.vip

When choosing sponsors or brands to partner with, pick one that aligns with your goals and audience. At Passionfroot, 2 brands–Storyblocks and Riverside FM– have sponsored our podcast, Creators on Air. Both companies have introduced efficiency into our podcast production, so partnering with them was an easy decision.

“It can be hard to turn down potential sponsors, but it’s more important to think about what kinds of brands you want to work with. And, if you genuinely show up, you’ll attract the types of sponsors you want”, Kaitlyn told us.

     Get more sponsorship opportunities with Passionfroot
Get more sponsorship opportunities with Passionfroot

Sell something

If you haven’t started working with brands, you can generate income by selling digital/physical products, running workshops, or developing courses. With platforms like Shopify, Payhip, and Gumroad, you can easily set up an online store to reach a global audience.

When deciding what type of product to sell, consider the kind of creator you are. Audiences of creator-entertainers like James Donaldson, aka Mr. Beast, won’t have much use for digital products. But creator-educators and edutainers who share informational content will have a lot of success.

This primarily passive income stream has become one of the more popular options for creators looking to monetize.YouTuber Oliur, whom we interviewed for our Creators on Air podcast, is an example. He has created multiple digital products, from presets to on-demand courses and wallpapers, that bring in an average of $10,000 monthly. This income, however, is a culmination of his years of experience. Oliur says, “As you keep creating, your catalog gets bigger and bigger, and over time, it makes you money without you doing any upkeep.”

Affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing, creators partner with brands to promote and sell their products. It differs from other ways of monetizing because instead of receiving an agreed-upon fee from the brand, you’ll earn a percentage of the sales price for each item purchased using your unique affiliate link. It’s called a commission, and the rate is discussed at the start of the partnership and lasts for as long as both parties want.

Many companies have affiliate marketing programs, which you can sign up for. However, these sites give you access to multiple companies in one digital partnership platform:


This section covers everything you need to know about making money using features native to social media platforms. The YouTube Partner Program is the most popular way for creators to earn money from their content. Creators are paid a percentage per view or ad click and are incentivized to make more quality content.

With YouTube, you can create channel memberships, which is another way to make money directly from your subscribers, build community, and create intimate experiences for your super fans while at it.

Subscriptions are a new way of making money on Instagram. This feature allows you to charge your followers a monthly in-app fee to access exclusive content for paid members. This could be anything from lives, group chats, and subscriber-only posts and videos.

On TikTok, you can set up livestream or video gifts your followers send to recognize your creativity and hard work. People who go live often or have videos or with gift icons are likely to make more money.

Paid membership and communities

Another popular way to monetize your content as a creator is through memberships and communities. You can offer additional perks or exclusive content accessible via a paid subscription.

Memberships and communities may sound the same, but they are different. Communities are intimate, more peer-to-peer, and promise connections, so they take much work to manage. On the other hand, Paid memberships are often an extension of your social media platforms but with exclusive content like bonus episodes, never-before-seen footage, or early access to new content.

So, this difference needs to be understood before either one is built because communities may only be feasible for some creators.

When considering building a community or offering a paid membership, clarify the purpose from the start. Ask yourself these questions, “What is the goal of this community?”, “Who is it for?”, “What value am I giving, and should it be paid for?” Asking these questions will clarify what content to provide, how to package it, and if it’s content your audience will pay for.

Now that you’ve decided to have a paid membership or community, how should you price it? When pricing, you need to determine how much value you will give and if members will get their money's worth. We interviewed Jay on building memberships and communities. He phrased it this way, “What do I expect people who are at this stage of their creator journey, who want to be professional creators but are not there yet, will be willing to invest in me based on the trust I’ve built with them and is it worthwhile for my time?”

These questions help you gauge how much you should charge, either different tiers of different packages or a single price. Platforms like **Circle, Patreon, Discord**, and Slack are great for hosting a community or paid membership.

Licensing and whitelisting

These are two excellent ways for creators to make money from their content without doing any extra work. Licensing is when creators give usage rights of their content to organizations and businesses to use as they want (for example, to run ads) for an agreed time until the rights return to the creators.

@bymilaholmes Exclusivity: Restricts the creator from creating content for one of the brand’s competitors Paid Use/Usage Rights/Licensing: The brand can run your content as an ad on THEIR accounts Whitelisting: The brand can run your content as an ad on THE CREATOR’S account Content Blackout: The content creator is restricted from posting other promotional content for 24 hours #socialmediamanager #marketingmanager #branddeals #contentcreator #creatoreconomy #sidehustle #freelancer #selfemployed #brandpartnerships #influencermarketing ♬ original sound - Mila | Social Media Manager

Whitelisting is the process of creators granting a brand partner advertising permissions to their social media accounts. The approvals allow brands to use the creator's accounts to run ads. It exposes both brand and creator to a broader audience, which can translate to growth in following.

When should you start monetizing your content?

Monetize as soon as you want to or as soon as you can.

A great example is Kaitlyn; she says, “Before I started sharing a newsletter, I set up a Buy Me a Coffee page to accept tips from people who appreciated the resources and opportunities I shared on social media. So when I started sharing a weekly newsletter, I had a trickle of tips coming in”.

Content monetization best practices

  1. Serve your core audience: To successfully monetize your content, you need to understand your audience. Who they are, what they come to you for, and what they will be willing to pay for. Pay attention to the questions your audience asks and the comments they leave because that will lead you in the direction you should go when monetizing. Oliur, for example, created his video editing course based on frequent questions from his audience about his lighting, filming setup, camera equipment, and editing tools. The best thing to remember is to be open to and seek out feedback from your audience about your content or offerings.
  2. Know your value: Many nano and micro creators monetize their content without having a large following (me, for example). You can charge a fair amount if you consistently deliver high-quality, valuable content to your audience. Knowing your worth looks at the brands you work with and the type of partnerships you take, not just how much you charge. For example, is partnering with a brand for gifts worth your time? You must determine if the benefits outweigh the costs and if the investment is worth it.
  3. Know your metrics: Have a deep understanding of your industry - what the industry standards are, what other creators are doing, what potential partners want to see, and what your unique proposition is. Your ability to dig into statistics will help build social proof and further your credibility. As a creator, you must understand every aspect of your business. It enables you to refine your strategy and create content that better resonates with your audience.
@tess.barclay My update media kit, dates & tips! 💕 day 25/100 days to self employed ✨ link in my bio to check out the membership and join the community! #mediakit #branddealtips #contenttips #contentcreation #contentcreationtips #microinfluencertips #microinfluencertiktok #nanoinfluencer media kit template brand deal rates rate card content creation tips #greenscreen ♬ original sound - Tess Barclay

Reap the froots of creativity

Content is less about making money and more about service. When you view creation through this lens, choosing ways to monetize that align with your brand goals will be easy. You won’t have to convince anyone to buy what you’re selling, but you will have built a loyal and engaged audience willing to support anything you do. To handle all this, create a system to manage your sponsorships and brand partnerships with Passionfroot. Get more sponsorships with Passionfroot!