Exciting Ways to Monetize Your Online Audience
Creating an audience or a social following can be difficult. It takes a tremendous amount of consistency with the quality and quantity of your content. Going viral is rarely ever luck. For most content producers, it takes several tries before they hack the market.
After putting in so much effort to curate an audience, it’s appropriate to expect a pay-off. Monetizing an audience is often a source of headaches for content producers because there are too many options available. Using the wrong monetization process can be detrimental to your brand.
In this article, we’ll be considering the conventional methods of monetizing a social media audience and when they are appropriate:
Merchandising: This monetization method typically involves the sales of customized items. You can customize clothes, mugs, pens, footwear, etc. It’s an excellent option for people with an impressionable audience, especially if they are from lower age groups. Lower age group audiences typically have a lower purchasing power and are quick to jump on trends. That combination makes them the perfect market category for cheap merchandise.
You don’t even have to make the merchandise yourself. You can enter into an agreement with a merchandise store to produce for your fans. This method of monetization is so effective that YouTube started a merch-store partnership with influencers and stores in 2018.
Advertising: If you don’t want to go through the hassle of developing merchandise designs and selling them to your audience, then advertisements may be just for you. Ads are a huge source of income for content creators, especially for bloggers and YouTube creators.
There are multiple advertisement sites, with the biggest being Google’s AdSense. However, for the earnings to be tangible, your audience will have to be quite large. Before a channel can qualify for earnings on ad placements on YouTube, for instance, it needs to have at least 1000 subscribers and over 4000 hours of video views.
Affiliate Marketing: This typically involves recommending products for people in your audience. This method of marketing predates the Internet. However, it’s one of the most popular ways people are making money online. Monetizing your audience using affiliate marketing typically requires growing your audience’s trust.
One of the more common ways to grow trust is through a product review. Several agencies offer affiliate marketing bonuses. All you have to do is sign up, pick a product in a niche you’re familiar with, and you’ll get a link. You can then do a review of the product and include a link for followers looking to make a purchase. The bonuses can be anywhere between 5-20% of the product’s cost.
Subscription or Membership Fees: If you’re a niche expert or an authority in your field and you have sizeable followership, charging a fee for access to your thoughts and information is an excellent way to make money. One of the ways people do this is to create restricted access to their blogs. Other people use closed groups on social networks like Facebook.
The main advantage of this method is that you earn recurring revenue from your followers.
There are many more methods of monetizing an audience, e.g., selling courses, speaking engagements, sponsorships, etc. However, in this article, we’ve itemized what we believe are the most profitable. Always keep in mind that apart from the content that helped you pull your audience, they must get extra value if they will pay you.