In today’s economy, the ability to create is more important than ever. And the rise of the “creator economy” has made it easier for people with creative ideas to share them with the world, and get paid for them.
But what is the creator economy, exactly? And perhaps more importantly, why should you care about it in the first place? And what on Earth does Web3 have to do with it?
We’ll endeavor to answer all these questions and more in today’s exploration into the creator economy and how you might take advantage of it for yourself.
The Creator Economy: A Definition
The creator economy is, quite simply, the idea that people with creative ideas can get paid for their work. Specifically, it’s a rapidly growing sector of the economy that enables individuals to monetize their creative output, often in the form of content. Its main driving factors have been the advancement of technology and the ever-changing landscape of the Internet. And Web 3.0 will allow for even more innovative ways to create, share, and monetize what you do.
The cool thing about this development is that it has opened up a whole new world of possibilities to make a living doing what you love most. And while it’s not without its challenges, the potential rewards are great. Imagine turning your ideas into a full-fledged business and spending your days getting paid for things you’d happily do for free.
This is already a reality for creators across a variety of platforms, from YouTube to Instagram. But it’s made even more viable by the promise that Web3 offers.
What is Web3?
Web3, also known as the third generation of the Internet, is a shift towards a more decentralized, distributed model. Web2.0, which marked the rise of user generated content, put publishing power in the hands of everyone. However, it also put control over it in the hands of and generated money for a few big players.
Web3 is poised to upend all that. It’s based on blockchain technology — which powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin — and offers users more control over their data while providing better security and privacy. In addition, Web3 gives creators unprecedented control over their content, as well as more opportunities to monetize it.
This could be in the form of tokenized rewards, micro-payments, or even crowdfunding initiatives. By using “creator coins,” creatives can reward their fans and followers with tokens they can use to buy products, receive discounts, or gain access to exclusive content. It’s an exciting time for those in the creative industry. It gives you the power to create and monetize your ideas in an entirely new way.
Why is Decentralized the Way of the Future?
Decentralized networks offer numerous advantages over centralized models. By distributing user control and data, they provide better security, privacy, and autonomy. Furthermore, they are more resilient to attacks or other disruptions.
When it comes to creators being able to earn a living, centralized platforms by their nature keep the majority of the creator-generated revenue for themselves. This means people who produce content on platforms like YouTube or TikTok are only getting a percentage of the value they create. For instance, 97.5% of YouTubers don’t make enough money from ad revenue to even reach the poverty line in the United States. And that’s including those who receive at least 20,000 views per day!
That’s why you’ll so often find YouTubers diversifying their income across multiple channels, i.e. YouTube + TikTok + Patreon + merchandising sales, etc.
With decentralized models, the creator gets to keep the revenue their content generates. It basically cuts out the middleman. Certainly, the potential to receive fair rewards for their hard work is one of the biggest draws of the creator economy.
The Creator Economy By the Numbers
The creator economy is growing rapidly. For example, estimates say that Patreon pays out $25 million each month to its users. And there are over 300,000 streamers that have hit partner or affiliate status on Twitch.
Investors are moving toward decentralized models as well. According to Statista, the use of decentralized finance products and systems is growing in developing regions, pointing to a broader acceptance of cryptocurrency as a legitimate option.
In short, the creator economy is well on its way to becoming a major global force. And, as more and more creators join in, Web3 looks to play a key role in the transition. With its promise of decentralization and autonomy, it’s not hard to see why.
How to Become Part of the Creator Economy
If you’re interested in joining the creator economy and the Web3 approach to monetization, there are a few steps you can take to get started.
1. What Will You Create?
First, decide what type of content you’d like to create. Are you more focused on video, audio, written content, or something else? What topics are you passionate about? What skills do you bring to the table? This will decide which direction you are taking in your creative career.
Once you have an idea of what kind of content you’d like to go for, the next step is to develop a strategy for getting it out there.
2. Choose Your Platforms
Next up, you’ll need to think about the sorts of platforms you’d like to use. Will you focus on running a paid newsletter on Substack? Will you create videos to offer through a service like Patreon? Or, perhaps, you’ll monetize your work through a community token-style setup like Bonfire? Traditional options like YouTube or Instagram are totally valid, too.
The great thing about the creator economy is that you can have multiple platforms in play. It’s a good idea to cast a wide net. Experiment to see which types of content do best on each platform. Then, adjust accordingly as you go.
3. Start Creating and Building an Audience
After that, it’s time to begin creating content. Put in the work to produce high-quality content that your audience will be excited to engage with. Don’t forget to promote your work, too — reach out to influencers, use SEO tactics, and create a social media presence when possible.
The goal of all of this is to help you start building an audience for your work.
4. Monetize Your Content
Once you have gathered 1000 true fans, you can start monetizing your content. Usually, this may involve using ads, sponsorships, offering access to exclusive content for a fee, or selling merchandise. Web3 also offers additional ways of earning from your content:
- Community Tokens: Community tokens are digital assets that reward users for being part of a particular community. With them, users can receive rewards and buy items. A popular service for this is CrowdPad.
- Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a great way to raise funds for a specific project or idea. On platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo users can donate money to support your work and receive exclusive content and products. The platform takes a cut but the overall premise of the platform is in line with the principles of Web3.
- Micro-transactions: Micro-transactions are small payments made by users in exchange for access to content. This is already common practice, for example, in video games. For creators, it could involve charging users to watch a video, listen to a podcast, or access exclusive content on your website.
- NFT Marketplaces: NFT marketplaces are another way to monetize your creative work. On these sites, users can buy digital tokens that represent physical or virtual items. This could include artwork, digital collectibles, music, or even gaming items. In the future, blockchain technology might make it possible for creators to receive royalties even when their work gets sold on.
5. Creator As a Business
The final step to truly join the creator economy is to thing of yourself as a business. Set goals for yourself and create a plan to achieve them. Track your progress and use analytics to optimize your strategy.
Thankfully, there’s an increasing number of Web3-compatible tools that make creating content and managing the business side of things easier and more efficient. Let’s take a look at a few categories of tools and the options within them.
When it comes to managing payments, you can of course use services like PayPal or Stripe. However, they take a cut of your revenue for the pleasure. This may be preferable for you at this time, especially when just getting started. However, there is also a growing range of blockchain and cryptocurrency-based payment solutions that would work great:
- Juno: Juno is a Web3-compatible payment solution that makes it easier for anyone to accept payments in crypto.
- Earnr: Earnr is a revolutionary, Web3-compatible platform that simplifies the payment process with cryptocurrency, including ERC20 tokens, NFTs, and stablecoins.
- Karat: Karat is open-source and streamlines payments with Ethereum.
The process of content creation has become increasingly decentralized and platforms like these facilitate the effort:
- Unlock Protocol: Unlock Protocol is a groundbreaking Web3-compatible platform that enables creators to monetize their content in a safe, decentralized environment.
- Dapper Labs: This platform makes it so you can create and manage digital collectibles.
- SuperRare: Use this site for showcasing and monetizing your artwork through NFTs.
Of course, you can use other tools like Canva to create graphics and assets for your online business.
You can even directly monetize your music distribution efforts:
- Audius: Audius is a Web3-compatible platform for musicians to share and monetize their music.
- Pianity: Use this service for music streaming and monetization.
- Sonomo: And Sonomo supports music streaming and NFTs as well.
Listing your music on other centralized platforms is still a good way to get attention for your work. You just might not make a ton of money from them. Think Spotify, Amazon Music, and so forth.
Managing your business, from creating content to tracking payments, can be a daunting task. Thankfully, there’s an increasing number of Web3-compatible tools available that make it easier and more efficient.
- Popchew: Popchew allows you to manage your business operations, including invoices, payments, and customer relationships.
- Pietra: This platform is ideal for tracking and managing all parts of your business.
- uDroppy: Manage digital commerce operations, from inventory to payments, with this convenient system.
Web3 can also make it easier to build a (paying) community around your content:
- Moment House: Moment House is a Web3-compatible platform for streamers and creators to build communities, promote events, and monetize their content.
- Boomerang: Another service for community building and engaging with your followers.
- talkbase: Here’s a platform ideal for streamers and other creators.
These platforms and services decentralize design and provide greater avenues of collaboration:
- Fable: Fable is intended for managing design tasks, from asset creation to collaboration.
- snappa: You can use this service for creating and editing graphics quickly and easily.
- Bildr: You can use this platform to create, edit, and share visual assets.
Final Thoughts on the Creator Economy
The creator economy is an exciting and empowering way for creative people to make a living from their ideas online. While options for that have been around for a while, future developments look to make it easier and more profitable for individuals.
With the right strategy, you can take advantage of this trend and turn your passion into a profitable business. A growing number of tools seeks to assist you in your endeavors. Now that you know what they are, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start creating!
Are you going to jump headfirst into Web3 and decentralized content creation? Are there any platforms that particularly excite you? Feel free to share your thoughts below!