One of the first questions people ask me when they hear that I'm a DIY & decor content creator is: HOW do you make an income? Today I'm sharing exactly how I make money online as a content creator to support our entire family!
Today's question for the podcast:
What’s been the top way you monetized? Please share advice to someone starting as a DIY influencer.Jackie, 2021 Survey
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How to make money online as a content creator
When people are curious about how my business works, I'm always excited to chat about it. Being an online influencer or content creator is a relatively new career, so there's a lot of mystery around it. I'm very open with how I make my money as a DIY & decor blogger, YouTuber and social media content creator. I'm happy to share that with you today in case you're curious or want to start your own online career.
In 2017, I wrote a blog post called How I Make a Full Time Income Blogging. The things I'll share below are very similar to that blog post, however I no longer consider myself solely a blogger. My blog will always be my home base, but I've had greater success with video creation over the last few years. That's been our main source of income.
I still do make a full time income, and now my husband Sean has been able to stay home and work with me full time too. We are very grateful that we can support our family through The DIY Mommy. We don't take any of my readers, viewers, and members of my community for granted. It's an amazing, busy, wonderful job and this year will be my 13th anniversary for The DIY Mommy blog!
In order from most income to least income, here's how I've monetized my DIY & decor online content creation business:
Once you reach a certain number of views and subscribers on your YouTube channel, you can monetize it through ads. YouTube will serve ads before, during and/or after your videos and you earn a percentage of the ad revenue. If you have a high number of views on your channel, you can make several thousand dollars per month on ad revenue alone! This is a wonderful way to get residual income, but you do need to keep your channel updated. Fresh content and community engagement will keep the ad revenue flowing. I recommend posting a video once a week for the optimal consistency on your channel.
Sponsored YouTube Videos
A sponsored YouTube video is when a company pays you and gives you a product in exchange for you sharing the product on your channel. This can bring in a lot of income once you're a more established content creator with an engaged community. However, it can also be the trickiest content to execute. It can be difficult to share a product in a natural way without it sounding like a sales pitch! You also need to disclose your sponsorship very clearly so that you don't lose your audience's trust (or get in trouble legally). One way I like to execute sponsored work is to make the content educational. Whether through a DIY tutorial or a room makeover I try to offer value to my readers. With sponsored work, you need to make both sponsor and viewer happy. It takes a lot of practice, but it can be very rewarding!
Blog Display Ads
When you have a certain amount of monthly visits to your blog, you can join an ad network and have them display ads on your blog. There are many network options out there, and I'm part of one called AdThrive. I moved to AdThrive from a previous network a couple of years ago, and it's been one of my best business moves! They've not only paid me more, but they've helped me optimize my site for search and for readers. How to blog display ads work? When a visitor clicks on one of these display ads, the advertiser pays your network which in turn pays you. The more visitors to your site, the more money you make through PPC (pay-per-click) display ads. This can also be a great source of residual income. I always recommend having a blog because it's completely under your control... unlike a social media channel.
Affiliate links are special text or image links in your blog post, YouTube video description or social post that lead to a product for purchase. When someone clicks on one of these links and then purchases an item, you get a small commission. There are many affiliate programs out there, but my favourites are the Amazon.com affiliate program and the RewardStyle program. I'm also a Cricut affiliate through ShareASale, and I sell A LOT of Cricuts through my YouTube videos! I find affiliate links work best when you've actually purchased the item that you're linking to and you've raved about it and styled it in your own unique way.
Sponsored Instagram Posts
Like sponsored YouTube videos, sponsored Instagram posts involve a company paying you to share their product. These are usually less work to create than a full YouTube video, but you still need to make the post valuable. Sometimes I'll have standalone sponsored IG posts, but often they're part of a package that includes a sponsored YouTube video with social shares. With the introduction of videos and Reels on Instagram over the past year, sponsors are mostly wanting video content on Instagram.
Speaking Engagements / Media Work
These opportunities are some of my favourite, but they don't tend to make the most money. However, speaking engagements and various media work like TV commercials are a lot of fun and a great learning experience for me! I've spoken at home shows across Canada, a blogging conference in Atlanta, and hosted a few local workshops. I've also filmed commercials with The Brick and Vrbo, and both were an absolute blast! Once you're more established as an expert in your field, companies and events will seek you out as a potential speaker for them. It's so much fun!
Facebook Video Ads
One of the newer ways I've been making money online is through Facebook video ads. It was only just last year that my Facebook page finally got monetized. Like YouTube, you have to have a certain number of views on your Facebook videos before you can earn ad revenue. This is a great source of income because I'm able to slightly edit my YouTube videos, repost them to Facebook, and earn income from ads Facebook displays at the start of each video.
Other potential ways on how to make money online as a content creator
Those are my main sources of income for my brand, but there are still other ways you can make money as an influencer:
- selling digital downloads like e-books, artwork etc.
- selling merchandise (I have some, but I hardly sell any)
- sponsored TikTok videos (I've had a couple, but it's still a new idea!)
- monetized Instagram content (this still isn't available in Canada that I know of)
- selling & hosting an e-course
- ... and there are probably more that I haven't thought of!
As you can see, there are various ways you can actually make money as an influencer. I think it's important to have multiple sources of income because a lot of these sources can stop at a moment's notice. I've heard many stories of YouTube channels suddenly being demonetized or companies canceling their affiliate programs. My advice? Keep ALL the eggs in ALL the baskets if you're considering becoming a full time online creator! I see so many online influencers with only an Instagram account and it scares me. Get a blog and YouTube channel, girl, and don't rely solely on IG!
THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
Are you interested in making money as an online content creator? Or maybe you're a creator already and want to work towards full-time earnings? Let me know in the comments below which of these revenue sources you'd like to try and start working on it! Whether you want to start a YouTube channel or start popping affiliate links in your Instagram stories, I'm rooting for you.