The Creator Economy: 3 Easy Steps To Monetize A Blog

Today, The creator economy is a thing.

According to Shopify, it refers to:

… a type of business run by online content creators who monetize their audiences through paid partnerships, ad revenue, tipping platforms, and product sales…

Moreover, it consists of “an estimated 50 million influencers, artists, curators, and community builders.”

Could you join the creator economy? Recently a reader (let’s call him Edward) contacted me about monetizing his blog content. He has over 100 posts, and said that if he can’t get the blog to earn: “I’ll need to cancel my hosting, but it seems a waste.”

The creator economy: do you have a blog? Could you monetize it?

Edward developed his blog during the 2020 lockdown, as a way to make a little money teaching new bloggers about WordPress. Initially, his primary monetization method was AdSense, but that income has dwindled.

He also formed a partnership with a local web designer, and sold the designer’s WordPress ecommerce templates for a few months.

Google is always a good starting point if you want to see what’s happening. When I entered “teach people WordPress” into the search query field, I found two Google ads.

Excellent—this means that there’s an audience of people who want to learn WordPress, and they’re willing to spend money (advertisers only target audiences willing to spend.)

With 43.1% of users, WordPress is easily the most popular content management system online, so that’s a big potential audience for Edward. In comparison, Shopify has 3.8% of users.

Let’s look at three easy steps I suggested to Edward, so that he can monetize his blog and join the creator economy.

1. Select a target audience: what do they need?

The first rule for a creator: your target audience must be willing to spend money. People who want to learn WordPress and are willing to spend money are often people who want to sell stuff.

On his blog, Edward’s “ecommerce” category has half a dozen posts. Since they’re the most popular posts on the blog, Edward has his initial target audience.

2. Monetize your target audience: look for the low-hanging fruit

What could he do with that? What’s newsworthy in WordPress and ecommerce?

Well… look here: Shopify raised its seller fees.

Many WordPress users add ecommerce features to their website/ blog using Shopify. But in today’s economy, everyone’s looking for ways to save. So while Shopify’s recent 34% increase in seller fees helped its stock price, it isn’t popular with some sellers.

Those sellers are low-hanging fruit. Creating his own product which he can sell takes time, so I suggested that Edward look for relevant affiliate programs he could join. In addition, he might look at developing partnerships with companies which offer services and solutions for his audience.

But how will Edward make sales? He needs to connect and engage.

3. Connect and engage: choose a social media platform

Over the years, social media has changed and evolved. The various platforms continues to do so, of course. For example, due to last year’s changes on Twitter and Instagram, many self-publishing authors left those platforms.

I suggested that Edward choose one social media platform, and make that his focus. He could connect with his fellow creators, as well as a potential audience.

He chose Twitter, because it’s a simple platform, and he already has an audience there, for his day job as a developer. Although he needed to pivot slightly, and make friends in the creator economy, he feels comfortable there.

The creator economy for bloggers: you have a head start

If you’re a blogger, you have a head start if you want to join the creator economy. You’re not starting from zero.

Look at your blog, and:

  • Choose your audience from your blog’s visitors.
  • Start with a simple way to monetize them. (Or you’ll procrastinate.)
  • Promote, using social media.

Get started. You can do it. 🙂

Looking for help with your blog? Check out my blogging services; I’m available for creator consults too… I’ve been part of the creator economy for many years.

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