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A Creator’s Guide to Making Money

4 minute read

By Christopher Brown

Key Takeaways

  • Content creators can rake in some serious cash by partnering with the right monetization platform.
  • Platform fees, membership fees, and services vary dramatically from service to service.

They say that it’s never been easier for content creators to reap the rewards of their creations. While that may be true, sifting through all of the available monetization platforms can feel like a second job. Pick the right one and you’re off to the races. However, pick the wrong one and you might be leaving money on the table.

Today, we’re going to look at some of the most popular and efficient online monetization platforms available. We’ll break down the costs, explore the pros and cons, and hopefully bring you one step closer to getting paid.

DC Studio/Shutterstock

How to Pick the Best Platform for You

They say that true satisfaction comes from creating in and of itself. And that’s all well and good until your rent comes due.

Creators perform a multitude of valuable services. From entertainment, to education, to bespoke art pieces, your work is great and you deserve to get paid for it. And that begs the question, how exactly should you get paid?

Choosing the best content creator monetization platform is highly personal. Sure, there are a lot of options to choose from, but each of the platforms you’ll read about below diverge in a variety of ways. Choosing the right platform for your budding creative enterprise is a matter of researching, knowing your business, and experimenting.

So let’s take care of that research part, shall we?

Patreon

It makes sense to begin with the platform that revolutionized the content creation game. Upon its inception in 2013, Patreon has done a lot for content creators looking to explore new revenue streams. In fact, it is used by millions of creative professionals to monetize exclusive content.

The service lets creators of all sizes and specializations accept donations. On top of this, creators can paywall their creations behind a monthly subscription fee and

The platform hosts over six-million patrons, and has over 200,000 creators that are supported by at least one patron.1 Though it’s free to create an account, fees are charged as soon as you start earning money. Creators can expect to pay anywhere between five- and 12-percent of their monthly take-home. And that’s in addition to any applicable processing fees.2

Ko-fi

Ko-fi is loaded with monetization features. Content creators can use it to:

Better yet, Ko-fi is free to use and charges zero platform fees on donations. The platform does charge transaction fees. Plus, only a few premium features require a monthly subscription fee or a platform fee.3

Podia

Established content creators can save themselves a lot in processing and platform fees by switching to Podia. That’s thanks to the platform’s premium membership model. Instead of taking a percentage of what you make, Podia opts for a flat-rate monthly subscription fee.

Podia members can accept donations and sell monthly memberships, digital downloads, and/or online courses, just like their competitors.4 Creators can choose between a $39 or $79 membership package. Be aware that that either package will be subject to standard payment processing fees.5

Buy Me a Coffee

Buy Me a Coffee is a great entry point for content creators interested in exploring memberships, donations, and product sales. The service is an official partner of PayPal and Stripe, which allows creators to link their account directly to their bank account and receive their cash immediately.

Uniquely, there are no monthly fees here. Instead, Buy Me a Coffee charges a competitive five-percent transaction fee, in addition to the standard PayPal or Stripe processing fees.6

Memberful

Memberful offers a simplified solution to those who prefer to generate subscription revenue directly from their website. The company lets the creator control the user experience by allowing for custom branding, analytics, and conversion tracking.

In practice, Memberful is a membership plugin designed to be installed as an extension through WordPress. You can set your own membership terms and use them to paywall content on your site.7

Memberful’s starter plan doesn’t charge a monthly fee but takes 10 percent of your earnings instead. Though that percentage goes down as your subscription plan, while the monthly fee goes up.8

Facebook

Facebook parent company Meta is always surveying the monetization market for new opportunities. As such, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to discover that Facebook also offers many of the same opportunities we’ve already discussed.

Content creators can monetize their videos with in-stream ads, partner with brands, or set up a monthly subscription button on their Facebook page. The set-up is very simple and worth checking out if your Facebook page generates a lot of traffic.9

Conclusion

It may be true that the quicker you choose a monetization platform, the faster you can start making money. Nevertheless, taking care to choose the right one is a critical step. You’d hate to do all of the initial legwork, only to find out months later that you could have been making more or working less.

It’s not about squeezing out every penny either. Choosing the wrong platform could create roadblocks for you down the line too. All the more reason to research each of them online as thoroughly as possible.

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