content monetization | money fanned out

The State of Content Monetization in 2021

The state of content monetization in 2021 can be summed up in four words: Good luck with that.


Making lots of money by monetizing content has always been a pipe dream. For it to work, you need to be a first mover with a great niche/idea and a massive, engaged audience of 1 million plus followers.


It’s hard work, but it can be done. One of my daughter’s former elementary school classmates is a successful YouTube/TikTok star and singer.


Anyway, let’s take a look at five online platforms you can make money on (in theory). You’ll quickly see why it’s so hard to earn a decent income via content monetization.




Influencer Marketing Hub calculates that:


If one of your YouTube videos gets 20,000 views per day, and your average click-through rate is 50%, then your projected yearly earnings is a whopping $10,403 – $17,338.


Top YouTubers make crazy money per video – but they also have crazy large followings. Ryan is a nine-year old kid. His channel/brand is Ryan’s World  and his estimated yearly earnings are $26 million. He has 29.6 million subscribers. The five dudes from Dude Perfect make an estimated $20 million with their 56 million subscribers, while PewDiePie makes around $15.5 million with his 110 million subscribers.




SEO Design Chicago reports that:


Unlike Youtube, TikTok doesn’t pay their creators from advertisements. Yet still, content creators who have about 100,000 followers or more can get paid $200 to $1,000 a month.

Creators who have 1 million or more followers can get paid $1,000 to $5,000+ a month.


Like YouTube stars, top TikTokers rake it in. Addison Rae has 80.2 million followers and made around $5 million last year. Charli D’Amelio has an eye-popping 115.2 million followers and makes around $4 million per year (and can charge up to $100,000 per post). Her sister Dixie D’Amelio has 51.6 million followers reportedly made $2.9 million in 2020.




People who make money from Instagram – not from promoting their own products or services via ads – are influencers.


According to LifeHacker, influencers earn $50 to $750,000 per post. Only global celebrities make massive bank. Christiano Ronaldo can earn anywhere from $466,100 – $776,833 per post, while Ariana Grande can command from $391,530 -$652,550 per post.


Affiliate Marketing


Affiliate marketing has traditionally been a great content monetization avenue – but it might be on the way out. A couple of weeks ago, Amazon announced they were cutting commission rates for members of its affiliate program. Given the company’s online footprint, this will have an outsize effect on members.


Here’s what CNBC had to say about it:


Amazon has for years operated the affiliate program, which allows members to advertise and link to Amazon products in exchange for a percentage of the sales. The program drives significant revenue for online websites who link out to Amazon products in their content.


I found a breakdown in earnings potential from WP Manage Ninja, which I’ve summed up below:


If you had 30,000 total views from one keyword and a top position in results, you can expect to get around 3,750 visitors (based on a 13% click through rate).


If 40% of those visitors follow your affiliate links and 5% convert, then you’re going to get 75 actual buyers. If they buy products with an average price of $75, your monthly income would be $365.63 from that specific keyword.


You can do pretty well, but it takes a lot of time and patience.


Google AdSense


Google AdSense places ads on your website, so you’re basically monetizing your website through your content. You make money when people click on the ad and make a purchase.


I found this breakdown on earnings potential from SEMRush:


[Only] a very small number of your visitors will click the ads (there are no official statistics from Google, but usually webmasters report that 1% to 2% is quite a good click through rate). Most probably, the clicks will bring you less than $1 each.


This could be a nice income stream, but it will likely not earn you more than walking-around money.


My advice to you: Focus on doing what you do best – serve your customers and clients. That’s the surest way to maximize your income.


Image by jinyun via Unsplash 

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