ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Monetising Online Content

Updated on April 16, 2020
beagrie profile image

John is a fervent writer, gamer, and guitar lover. He is a former automatic-transmission repairer, welder, and hobbyist game developer.

The ability to create and earn from creative content is one of the greatest aspects of the Internet.
The ability to create and earn from creative content is one of the greatest aspects of the Internet. | Source

There are many different options available to home creatives when it comes to monetising their content, some of which can be limited to—or by—the type of content you make or the platforms you choose to publish on. Despite this fact, there is a rough template that can be applied to just about any content you create in order to begin making money from it.

This is not a one-size-fits-all solution to earning an income from your creative content, you’ll have to fill in the details to suit your project, but it should get you well on your way.

Focus on the Content

Ultimately it's about WHAT you write, so write it well.

This should be of the utmost importance to anyone creating content online these days, whether it be creative or not. The battle between search engines and those looking to “game” the system to get more traffic is a constantly evolving one, and making your content to suit some hypothetical model of what Google or Bing is looking for can easily come back to bite you if and when they change their algorithms.

Regardless of the medium you choose to make your creative content through, the content itself should take priority over monetisation.
Regardless of the medium you choose to make your creative content through, the content itself should take priority over monetisation. | Source

The only sure fire way to ensure consistent and lasting traffic to your content is to make it good for your audience. Make it something that people want to read, watch, or listen to. Something they’ll want to share with their friends, family, and social media circles. A change in Google’s search algorithm’s could potentially wipe out most of the traffic going to a blog that’s been written largely to appeal to that algorithm, but a blog full of well written posts that are interesting and/or entertaining will still grab viewers socially.

Of course, you shouldn’t be concentrating on making your content high quality purely as a tactic for getting more traffic. You should want your content to be the best that it can be regardless of how many people see it or how much money you make from it, but it should be a nice added incentive; knowing that the better your content is, the more likely it is to have a lasting draw and greater earning potential.

Don't Let Monetisation Interfere With Your Content

Income is great, but it's not the be all and end all of your content.

Over a decade of online ads has more or less desensitised us to their existence. The average Internet user can easily look over a site with a couple of unobtrusive ads and not even notice them because we’ve gotten so good at passively recognising and ignoring them. Because of this, it can be very tempting to load a website or video with as many ads or product placements as you can, but there’s a thin line to walk in this respect.

If you’ve ever been to a website that’s loaded with ads, has inline videos that shove the content to the side while you’re reading it, and pop up subscription requests seemingly at random, you’ll understand the frustrating experience that overdoing it with ads can create.

Money shouldn't be the main factor behind how you make your content.
Money shouldn't be the main factor behind how you make your content. | Source

If your content is a one-shot deal that will be in high demand for a very short period of time (such as breaking news), or something that people really want to watch and definitely can't get anywhere else, then you can get away with this kind of behaviour, but as this post is geared towards home creatives I’m going to assume that’s not the kind of content you’re hoping to monetise.

Unfortunately for creative types, you’ll be faced with the harsh reality that you can’t simply plaster ads all over your work without damaging its credibility as art. People will brave the multitude of autoplaying videos and twenty six ad banners for breaking gossip news, but they probably won’t for your web comic, or online story... at least, not when you're starting out. You simply don’t have the same earning potential with creative content as you do with something like news if you limit yourself to ads.

Fortunately, you don’t have to limit yourself to ads…

Diversify Your Income Streams

The more opportunities you have to earn, the more potential you have to earn.

Anyone who’s ever looked into monetising their content online will probably have heard the word “diversify” thrown around, and with good reason. While the above section is true, there are other less direct ways you can monetise your content without annoying your audience or degrading your art. The key is giving your audience the option to give you money.

One great way to do this for those of you who have already established a core audience with regular content is through voluntary donations. This can be achieved a number of ways, such as regular PayPal donations or by setting up a Patreon account. The prerequisite is that you already have an audience (not necessarily a large one) who are invested enough in your content that they would be willing to throw you a dollar or two (or more) a month. You would ideally produce your content regardless of donations while offering added incentives to those who donate. This method is great for creatives (who tend to build loyal audiences) because it allows them to earn more from a smaller, more dedicated audience. A gossip news site that gets 1,000,000 views a month with a CPM of $1 will make $1,000 every month, but a smaller creative content producer with a dedicated audience can make the same amount from 10,000 views per month if just ten percent of those viewers are willing to donate a dollar.

The Importance of Multiple Income Streams

You could also consider selling your creative content in various forms. Again, this works better when you have an established audience. If you’ve built up a respectable collection of short stories online, consider putting them into an anthology and selling it. This could give you the opportunity to reach a new audience, and your existing audience may well purchase the book just to support. Or even better, because they want to own your work. Similarly, if your creative content is artistic, consider selling prints or t-shirts… or books, for that matter.

You shouldn’t limit the earning potential of your creative work to just one source. This has been true of creative works since long before the Internet. Musicians may expend a great deal of energy chasing that elusive record deal, but the majority of musicians make more money from touring and merchandise than they do from record sales.

Be Pragmatic

High expectations are not a bad thing, but unrealistic expectations can be damaging.

Above all else, have a realistic notion of what can happen. If you want to be “an artist”, where what you create is of the utmost importance and to hell with everything else, that’s great. The Internet provides you with a great platform to do just that and you should absolutely pursue your dreams. You should also accept that, with the exception of a few rare cases, you probably aren’t going to make a whole lot of money from your art without compromise.

On the other hand, if making money is more important to you than creative integrity, that’s also fine. Everybody has to earn a living somehow, and if you can do it while being creative then more power to you. You should, however, come to terms with the fact that your art may suffer if you make things with revenue at the forefront of your mind.

Obviously, the reality for most of us lies somewhere in the middle. It’s not so much a question of whether you want artistic integrity or financial security, it’s what balance you’re prepared to strike.

Creative Ways to Make Money Online

Always be wary of doing things you don’t need to. If you can afford to keep your creative projects as a hobby, it might be worth doing just that. Turning a passion into a job may have detrimental effects on the aforementioned passion. Similarly, if you’re young and without dependants, there will never be a better time to chase your passions.

So be creative, make money… or do both.

© 2017 John Bullock


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)