6 Subtle Signs You’re Ready to Monetize Your Audience as a Content Creator

Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay

How to find the sweet spot between being too early and waiting for too long

Are you actively creating content on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Medium? Then you might be already set to make good money without knowing about it.


Through various monetization methods, with the most common and effective ones being:

  • Selling digital products like templates, e-books, or courses
  • Offering paid memberships/ paywall (basically earning for giving access to extra content, service, or product)
  • Affiliate marketing and promoting other people’s stuff

While some people try to monetize their audience before they even have any, others wait too long and willingly ignore earning possibilities because they are either too shy to start actively selling or don’t understand the creators’ market yet.

Plus, many creators think they need a massive following before asking for money, but this is far from the truth, as there are other significant factors impacting your earning possibilities.

I’ve put together six indicators that helped me reveal that my audience was prepared and comfortable to pay for my work. Sadly, I’ve also realized I could have started with monetization way earlier.

So if you can answer all the following points with yes, don’t wait — your fans are ready to pay for your work.

People seek advice from you

Obvious but overlooked.

You can have 5,000 followers, but nobody is asking you for advice because the fans might be reading your posts only to pass some time on the train or to have a quick laugh.

Yet, you can have only 300 followers and be flooded with questions about the topic you cover.

At this point, who has a better chance for successful monetization?

As you can see, it’s not always about your following but the number of people needing actual help from you.

Thus, check your emails, private messages, or comment sections and decide whether you have enough evidence proving your service is in demand.

You have a good opening rate on your newsletter

A good opening rate for a newsletter is anywhere from 15 to 28%, depending on the industry. However, for a content creator, this number should be higher.

The newsletter opening rate is a great indicator of people’s interest in your work.

A newsletter with many subscribers but a low opening rate suggests that people aren’t actively connecting with you.

For example, you offered a freebie in exchange for a sign-up, and some people subscribed only to access this file. They’re no longer interested in your content, however, they maybe forget to unsubscribe and don’t mind moving your emails to the trash every time they receive any.

Hence, it’s wiser to consider the opening rate rather than the number of subscribers because the opening rate gives you better, more reliable insights.

In other words, it’s better to have 100 subscribers with a 40% opening rate (meaning 40% of people want to read your stuff) than to have 300 subscribers but only a 10% opening rate.

And in case you didn’t start a newsletter yet, you should wait with monetization until you build one and gather enough subscribers.

You have enough data for a thorough analysis

If you’ve published only three posts on Medium or LinkedIn or tweeted five times in your life, you hardly have any data about the performance of your creation (and any audience).

Having access to relevant data is important for two main reasons:

  • seeing what content/topic/format performs the best and what your potential customers would appreciate the most
  • knowing where to put your time, money, and focus

If you fail to analyze your data, you’ll end up creating content people aren’t interested in, and you’ll waste your resources.

So unless you have enough data, you shouldn’t bother with monetization and rather look for ways to collect more information on what your audience wants.

For this, you have to keep creating more content and optionally run a small survey in your newsletter.

You have enough trustworthiness

The more authority you have, the more trust you gain, and the more people will be inclined to spend money on you.

If you have five followers, you’ll hardly find anybody willing to pay you (as you’ve obviously just begun). Yet, you don’t need to wait until reaching 100,000 followers to start monetizing your audience either.

Authority and trust aren’t only about having a high followers account — you can gain these in other ways too.

Think of the following:

  • showing up regularly for a longer time (I’d suggest at least one year)
  • creating trustworthy content (backed up with data or your expertise), and not sharing any questionable, shady, or made-up stuff (anything that breaks your reliability)
  • reacting nicely in the comment sections and honoring your readers/site visitors
  • being always ready to reply to emails and offer help when asked for
  • demonstrating to people you keep growing, so they know you’re worth learning from
  • having at least 500 followers on any platform, but I’d advise 1,000 as a bare minimum

You’ve created a (micro) brand

By creating a brand I mean having an online persona that defines you.

It can be your voice — personal and open-minded, professional and formal, or a combination of these.

It can also be your niche — you create content around copywriting tips, creating Canva templates, living a better life while being a single parent, or anything that fits your area.

(Sometimes, you don’t even need to cover a specific niche, and you can create content around general topics, but in this case, the journey to success might take longer time.)

You just have to make your online presence somehow specific so people can recognize it’s you based on some typical traits.

The crucial aspect here is that you don’t create random stuff and don’t show up at random times, but you’re a consistent and reliable content creator who shows up regularly.

You have a place where you can meet up with your customers

Maybe you have a Facebook group where you regularly post about ways to get freelance copywriting clients, or you communicate with your fans in Slack chat or Telegram.

Regardless of the place, having an online space like this is a powerful tool concerning monetization.

Even big companies use this marketing method because it makes people feel special and offers them a sense of exclusivity.

But it’s not just about that, though.

These private channels present a chance to further connect with followers and customers, explain more about products/services, offer special discounts, or simply make people with the same interest talk to each other.

Note: If you dont have a place like this yet — but you fulfill the other points in this post — youre still ready to monetize your audience.

However, you should think about creating one as its an easy and proven way to generate more revenue.


Fulfilling the five following points gives you a great chance of successful content monetization (the sixth point is optional):

  1. You have evidence that people need your help.
  2. You run a newsletter with a good opening rate.
  3. You gathered enough relevant data on what your audience wants.
  4. You look and act like a reliable content creator people can trust.
  5. Your online presence already has the characteristics of a brand.
  6. You run a forum, group, or channel designed for your followers (or you’re willing to start one)