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Nov 4, 2022

Why Creators Deserve Better: Only 1% Make Over $1M

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The time has come for Creators to start realizing their true potential. Only around 21% of Creators make a livable wage above $50K in annual income. We say "livable" is not good enough. Curating content is hard work and costs real money. Vendo lets any Creator monetize their audience with a multi-brand eCommerce dropshipping business with tens of domestic Shopify brands onboarded in minutes. It's an easy and reliable monetization method.


Only 1.40% of all Creators and Influencers Make Over $1M

Influencers may appear to earn vast sums of money, but the reality is more complicated than it seems. Top internet stars can rake in big money through sponsored posts and deals with major companies, with top earners even making millions of dollars annually. But what about the rest?

Neoreach, an influencer marketing platform, has published a report with the following take aways:

  • 48.72% of the creators surveyed work in content creation full-time
  • Over 35% of the creators surveyed have been building an audience for over four years and earn over $50k annually
  • 74% of respondents reported increased traffic/engagements once they started using a Link in Bio tool
  • The average salary for male creators was 1.88x higher than that of female creators (see how Vendo supports women creators)
  • Only 1.40% of all Influencers Make Over $1M a year
  • Around 21% of creators make a livable wage above $50K in annual income

So those so-called macro influencers make up a small portion of the industry, and for many smaller content creators, the earnings are far from impressive. While they may receive free products and sponsorships here and there, it's often not enough to provide a steady income stream. In fact, many so-called "micro" or "nano" influencers may even struggle to make money at all.

And while some of the popular online celebrities may seem to have a steady stream of income sources, the reality is that brands often cycle through campaigns and partnerships quickly. This means that even top social media influencers must constantly work to maintain their level of influence and secure new deals to continue earning money at a high level.

In short, while there is undoubtedly big money in the world of social media influencing, it's not guaranteed for everyone involved.

What's wrong with top content monetization strategies

As a content creator, there are various ways to monetize your work and earn an income. The most popular are receiving free products in exchange for promotion, forming sponsorship deals with brands, incorporating ads into your content, and using affiliate links for sales commission.

However, it's important for influencers to carefully consider the impact these monetization strategies might have on their personal brand and relationship with their audience. Poorly executed sponsored posts or overwhelming ad placements can harm an influencer's credibility and alienate their followers. It's crucial to carefully balance the ability to earn revenue with maintaining a consistent brand and providing value to one's audience.

Why ad revenue-sharing models don’t always work for creators or their audiences

Ad revenue-sharing models, often seen as display advertising on websites or YouTube channels, may seem like a win-win for creators and their audiences. The creators earn money from advertisements, and the viewers can enjoy free content.

However, this strategy can often have downsides for both the creator and the audience. First, advertisements can disrupt the viewing experience, leading to lower engagement and satisfaction for the audience. Secondly, ads typically display based on algorithms and are not necessarily relevant to the content being consumed by the audience. This can lead to viewers being bombarded with irrelevant ads. Finally, display ads often pay a low cost per thousand impressions, meaning that creators may not earn much income despite having a large viewership.

The problems with affiliate marketing and why it doesn’t benefit most influencers

Many influencers are drawn to affiliate marketing because of its potential to generate passive income without much time investment. However, there are several major problems with this strategy. First, many affiliate programs (i.e., Amazon Affiliate and Mediavine) require a certain level of sales or traffic before they approve an influencer's account and provide them with links to share. This makes it difficult for smaller accounts to even participate in the first place.

Secondly, platforms like Instagram do not allow links in posts, making it even harder for influencers to drive sales through their content. And finally, with more and more online browsers opting for a "cookieless" future, it will become increasingly difficult for influencers to receive credit for their sales and earn a commission.


Creating content is hard work!

People often underestimate the effort and skill that goes into creating high-quality content. While it may seem like all it takes to succeed on social media is a few well-curated photos or a clever Instagram caption, the reality is that creating successful content takes a lot of careful planning and strategic thinking. Just one well-planned Instagram post can involve coming up with an idea, scheduling a photoshoot or gathering materials, editing the photo, writing a caption, and promoting the post through engaging hashtags and interactions with followers. And that's only for one single post!

The whole process of running a blog, Youtube channel, podcast, or any social media account requires time, effort, and creativity which can quickly become a full-time job. Companies hire teams of people to create relevant content for their brand's online presence. At the same time, they are rarely willing to pay any decent amount of money to influencers for doing the jobs of their content designers, creators, and digital marketers.

Let's have a look at a few examples of how much effort creating high-quality content might take.

Fashion blog post

Creating a successful fashion blog post takes a lot of work and careful consideration. The first step is curating the perfect outfit, taking into account trends, personal style, matching makeup and accessories, as well as the overall aesthetic of the blog. Then comes the photoshoot, which requires choosing the right location, hiring a professional photographer and makeup artist, and it can take hours to achieve the desired outcome. After that, it's time for the editing process, selecting and enhancing the best photos to showcase the outfit. And finally, there's writing the article itself and publishing it on the blog. After that comes content promotion and engaging with the audience, which requires creating additional graphics and captions for the social media posts, answering the followers' questions and comments, etc. Each step requires creativity and attention to detail, as the fashion industry does not tolerate poor quality.

Makeup video tutorial

Creating the perfect makeup tutorial video takes planning, preparation, and the right equipment. Before the camera starts rolling, the look must be planned out, and the right products must be selected. This often involves looking through the latest trends or experimenting with different combinations to create the desired effect. Once the look is ready, the next step is shooting the video. This part is also challenging, as the camera needs to be at the right angle to show off every step and highlight each product as applied. Editing the video is another vital step, as it allows for adding transitions and graphics and removing any mistakes made during filming. So a successful vlogger needs to learn the art of video editing and invest in editing software. While creating a successful makeup tutorial may seem simple on screen, in reality, it takes plenty of thought, planning, and effort to get it just right.

TikTok viral video

Have you ever wondered how those dance videos on TikTok come to be? Behind the fun, dance routines, and catchy music lie hours (or even days) of preparation and planning. First, the creator has to come up with an idea for the video and choreograph a dance routine to match. In addition to the choreography, it's essential to consider other elements such as lighting, costume, background music, editing effects, and camera angles. Creating a viral dance video on TikTok involves both dance skills and technical savvy. And contrary to popular belief, it often takes more time and effort to make a short video than a longer one since every second needs to count. As Mark Twain once said:

“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

How can Creators monetize audiences and make more than 50k?

As a content creator and influencer, it can often be difficult to balance providing value to your audience while receiving fair compensation for your efforts.

One solution is to focus on content-driven eCommerce. It's the future of Commerce. Just ask MrBeast or these 25 successful Creators turned eCommerce moguls.

Use Vendo to sell products relevant to your audience by launching a dropshipping marketplace with domestic Shopify brands that you love. This way, you can stay authentic and provide value to your audience.

Examples of niches that influencers could monetize with an online marketplace:

Additionally, content-driven eCommerce gives you the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of your audience's wants and needs, allowing you to continue creating content that resonates with your followers and drives sales. By monetizing your audience in this way, you can maintain the integrity of your content while receiving fair compensation for your work.

Launch a marketplace with Vendo in 7 easy steps

Vendo allows creators to start their own marketplace and sell curated products from the brands they love. Here's how to get going:

  1. Sign up for free!
  2. Add your most loved Shopify brands as sellers
  3. Curate your product catalog to be on-brand and ideally reflect your audience's needs.
  4. Set your sales commission rates as agreed with the brands.
  5. Increase your average order value by encouraging multi-brand shopping in a single order with a single payment.
  6. Get a 20-30% sales commission from all orders made through the marketplace.
  7. Monitor your progress and earnings with detailed analytics in Vendo's dashboard.


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