Monetization tools for content creators

Mar 19, 2020

There's all kinds of tools out there for creators who want to build a business — with so many options, it can be hard to understand the advantages of each one and find the ones that will work best for you.

Donations

Ko-fi - https://ko-fi.com/

Ko-fi lets you take donations from your fans in $3 increments, with 0% platform fees. If you upgrade your account to Ko-fi Gold for $6/mo., you get access to a lot of other features, including being able to change your donation price and setting up recurring monthly payments.

Popular with: cosplayers, artists

Buy me a coffee - https://www.buymeacoffee.com/

Buy me a coffee has a similar name to Ko-fi, and the two companies offer many of the same features — for example, donations also default to $3 increments (but you can choose between $1-5). Unlike Ko-fi, Buy me a coffee doesn't have a premium option, but instead monetizes by taking a 5% cut of every transaction, which increases alignment with creators.

Popular with: developers, artists, designers

Memberships and subscriptions

Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/

Patreon is one of the OG companies in the space, and helps creators create recurring revenue by setting up memberships for their fans. There are 3 tiers of plans for creators to choose from, with lowest level taking 5% and the highest level of service taking a 12% cut of monthly income. Patreon takes more sustained effort to maintain than Ko-fi or Buy me a coffee, but offers more stable income if you can make it work!

Popular with: podcasters, YouTubers, and many more

OnlyFans - https://onlyfans.com/

OnlyFans is a subscription platform for creators who make certain kinds of content — you know who you are ;)

Paid video

Cameo - https://www.cameo.com/

Cameo is a marketplace that lets consumers buy "video autographs" from thousands of celebrities (some A-list, some not). Creators are welcome to set their own price, and Cameo takes a 25% cut for facilitating the transaction.

Popular with: traditional celebrities, actors, musicians, athletes

Taki - https://www.taki.app/

Taki is a Cameo competitor that has more of a focus on content creators than traditional celebrities. The product experience is very similar, but Taki also has a cryptocurrency angle, where part of the payout is in the form of a reward token: 80% cash, 15.5% token, and 4.5% processing fee.

Popular with: YouTubers, MMA athletes

Superpeer - https://superpeer.com/

Superpeer is a new startup helping creators, professionals, and experts monetize through 1:1 video calls with their followers. Creators can set their own price, and any platform fees are passed on to the consumer. Superpeer is currently in private beta, but it's an exciting platform that we'll be keeping an eye on!

Popular with: TBD

Ecommerce

Etsy - https://www.etsy.com/

Etsy is an online marketplace where people (including creators) can go to buy and sell unique items. There's a $0.20 fee for listing items, and then Etsy takes a 5% transaction fee (on top of payment processing) for each item sold. In a controversial move, Etsy recently started advertising automatically for all sellers doing more than $10,000/yr in sales.

Popular categories: crafts, fashion

Shopify - https://www.shopify.com/

Shopify is the biggest ecommerce platform today for small business owners, and offer almost any service you can imagine either through their own platform or their extensive app store. The learning curve is pretty steep for entrepreneurs who are just getting started, but Shopify is a good choice if you have ambitions of scaling your business. Creators can get started setting up a storefront for $29/mo.

Popular categories: any ecommerce

Neal Jean

Co-founder and CEO, Beacons. Shoot your shot.