Getting brands to fund your content either through commissions, sponsorship or plain old advertising isn’t the only way to make money on the internet. In fact, it might be one of the least lucrative approaches, what with the likes of YouTube taking 45% of ad revenues. But, what are the alternatives? Here are five platforms that prove there is another way…
Founded by actor-producer-director-musician and all round good guy Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hit Record was launched in 2010 as a creative community that enables artists from different disciplines to collaborate online and have Mr. Gordon-Levitt use his considerable clout to monetise those creations through his own channels and others for a share of the profits. So far this has resulted in published books, released records and even an Emmy award winning TV show plus over US$2million paid out to community members. In January 2016 Gordon-Levitt revamped the site to make it even more accessible with simple daily challenges designed to coax curious creators into the fold. Hear more from the man himself below or simply visit www.hitrecord.org.
With a mission to “help every creator in the world achieve a sustainable income” Patreon is a platform after my own heart. Founded in May 2013 by artist Jack Conte, who was looking for a way to make a living from his popular YouTube videos, Patreon is a crowdfunding platform popular with YouTubers, musicians and webcomic artists. However, unlike Kickstarter, the idea is not to generate a ton of money for a single project but to build a community of patrons who donate a small amount every month or every time an artist creates a work of art as you can see below. I may just sign up at myself www.patreon.com.
Merch by Amazon
Created to help their developer community monetize more than just apps Merch by Amazon allows developers and content creators to sell branded t-shirts designed by them but produced, sold and shipped by Amazon. The printing is done on-demand meaning creators never need to worry about inventory or out-of-pocket costs and for every t-shirt sold they earn a royalty. The more t-shirts they sell, the higher the royalties because costs decrease. Amazon does everything, even providing promotional tools and marketing advice! Sign up for an account at https://merch.amazon.com/.
If you know a little something about something and you think that something is worth money then maybe you someone should pay you for that knowledge. At Udemy you can create your own online course about anything and sell your expertise to their growing community of over 10 million students who can currently pick from over 40,000 courses on everything from yoga to photography. Udemy provides the tools to both create and market your course and offers a 97% revenue model when you make a sale, 50% when they make one and 25% when one of their affiliates flogs it for you. Enrol as an instructor at https://teach.udemy.com.
Pledge & Unbound
Just as IndieGoGo is THE crowdfunding destination for movie-makers so Pledge is the place for musicians and Unbound the site for writers. The advantage of crowdfunding on these platforms is that they are less cluttered, more targeted and better designed for the specific needs of musicians and writers restively. I have supported a number of artists on Pledge including under-appreciated rock legend Ginger Wildheart. Here he is looking extremely uncomfortable on Bloomberg trying to explain how his crowdfunded album beat Rihanna’s upon launch.