This is What Creators Who Make Money Online Do Differently

People who do not work in social media, tech, or online content creation and distribution sector, often confuse some of the things we do to promote our work and brand for mindless play.

It has happened to me plenty of times when someone will say to me, “Don’t you ever work?” or “You’re always wasting time on Twitter or Facebook.”

The Creator Economy Is Real

Little do these people know that we are actually sharing content to increase eyeballs on a piece of content that impacts our AdSense revenue and our engagement with audiences elevates our influence and clout.

We can then use that influence when pitching to a literary agent for a book deal or to a brand to partner up with us or make us a brand ambassador.

Brands that tap the influence of creators calculate likes, re-shares, retweets, and comments that users generate from their online interactions with others. The bigger the reach or influence, the better the case for a brand to partner with that person when they are looking for someone to help promote a message, product, or campaign.

Before, brands used to only rely on celebrities to help them market and promote their products, brands, and services.

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So no, it’s not all play, after all. On the contrary, successful bloggers, content aggregators, site editors, and social media directors know that their livelihood and payments rely on getting people to land on their pages.

And when visitors land on a site, bloggers and site owners want them to stay long, stick around, browse other content, and visit as many pages as possible.

Each one counts toward cost per million (CPM) impressions. Direct ads, Google AdSense on a blog, YouTube Vlog, or Tumblr site payout based on those impressions delivered.

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The average visitor to a site stays on it for less than one second. Sites that are capable of getting users to stick on longer are called “sticky”.  You may notice that many sites make their pages stick using tricks like embedding a slide show in an article. So rather than just quickly skim and scroll to get all the content, a user will have to sit there and click the next arrow of a slide to see all 10 of the top 10 hottest lipstick trends of the summer, for example.

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Also, a blogger that gets a million hits weekly or daily alone doesn’t get that way by merely cranking out quality content and resting on her laurels. She must go reach visitors and draw them in.

What the Successful Creators Do Differently

Successful sites will:

  1. Post on their Facebook Page, Reddit Communities or other online communities and engage fans actively by asking them a question or posting unique images with links back to their sites.
  2. Post on their Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other social and digital platforms, reply to others’ posts, retweet others, engage with those who “@” or engage with the brand, share old posts, and encourage users to sign up for contests.
  3. Re-share posts throughout the day to capture when different people are online.
  4. Use intriguing and/or provocative headlines to draw people in.
  5. Send out periodic Tweets or FB messages asking people to sign up for their newsletters or follow them on other social media sites.
  6. Blog on current or trending topics.
  7. Curate an online community of loyal readers who return daily.
  8. Blog or Write provocative or controversial topics to encourage debate among commenters or regular readers. They will come back to reply over and over again. Onlookers will log back in to see an intriguing online debate or fight too over and over again. All those visits equal hits that equal impressions that equal money.
  9. Have posts that include lists, like Top 10 Funny Movies, etc.
  10. Use slideshows to force users to have to click multiple times to view the content of those lists
  11. Link their Facebook comments back to their blog so comments on Facebook show up on the page. That dialogue helps build a community and get people returning as well.
  12. Post links to their content on other platforms like Facebook communities pages, online bulletin board communities, Reddit, etc to maximize the number of people seeing it.
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Most Strategic Ways to Monetize Content

They are also maxing out the different ways they can monetize a user’s visit by:

  1. Having banner ads
  2. Sneaking in affiliate ads in between the texts of a story so a user cannot avoid them as they can traditional banner ads visitors come to expect to be located in sidebars and headers. (see the example above in my Affiliate banner (smile))
  3. Putting in-text links to entice a curious reader to click or better yet using buttons with calls to action.
  4. Linking to an or other affiliate link on an object that is being reviewed or discussed
  5. Adding “Shop this Look” with links to a shop-style or shop bop or other affiliate adsense platform for fashion bloggers
  6. Getting sponsors to pay for certain articles to appear on their blog or website.
  7. Embedding affiliate links in their Facebook updates and comments on everyday subjects.
  8. Hosting contests and Competitions to entice people to share the links to the contest page and get their friends to come back to the site to vote for them.
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If you check any of the major sites out there that get millions of hits daily. The Cut fashion blog, Techland, you may begin to notice that they all use these tactics to generate revenue from the casual visitor or reader.

So the next time, you see someone who you know who works in social media and may be an independent blogger or website owner spending what seems like all day on social media, don’t assume they are just wasting time.

They may be making money under your nose and you don’t even know it.

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