The Carson Times

5 Avenues of Growth For Makers in the Maker Movement

Human expertise and ingenuity are extremely valuable commodities. These days, if you want to learn how to do just about anything, you can search for an online video and learn the basics in a matter of minutes.

This movement is fueled by millions of people who are doing what they love and posting their experiences and wisdom online.

Monetizing videos


The first trick to being able to do more of what you love is to find clever ways to monetize the interest in what you are doing. Once you’ve created an interesting video, you’ll need to find ways to reach new people that will want to watch it.

While major platforms have moved toward “pay-to-play” exposure, there are other opportunities to be found online. Video search engines like Petey Vid take a more democratic approach towards indexing and serving content to users so you can leverage this exposure to maximize your following -- even if you’re just a little fish in a big, open sea. Petey Vid also lets users search for videos with hashtags or mentions, which can come in handy given today’s social media environment.
 

Sponsors


It’s always hard to ask for money, but the important thing to realize here is that there are times when companies and organizations can use the exposure you could provide. Sponsors enjoy a form of advertising, getting their name and logo out into new places, and you enjoy the financial support they provide.

Think about organizations, companies, etc. whose patrons or industry might benefit from having a relationship with you and what you’re doing. Even if your hobby is something as simple as hiking, you could work with a local shop that sells outdoor equipment, a regional manufacturer that makes compasses, clothing, utility knives, etc.

In return for their help, you could link to them in your blogs, wear their logo while hiking, or even write up a formal product review. This kind of activity pairs perfectly with the generation of ad revenue streams.
 

Ad revenue


If you’re providing interesting content, plenty of companies will spend good money to vie for your followers’ attention. If you’re a biker sharing the open road with a GoPro, you could plug or review things like motorcycle tires made by Shinko or the fit and function of various kinds of gear. And there are several corporations who will pay for the exposure you can provide.

Of course, a robust number of followers will give you more clout to earn the most possible advertising dollars, but there are other ways to earn revenue by marketing products as well. You can become an affiliate marketer and offer products in your blog or program so that you earn a commission each time one of your followers purchases the product.

In some cases, you can get paid for providing logos and links to product pages as well.
 

Merchandise


The idea of merchandising really took off after the first Star Wars movie was released in 1977, and the concept is still going strong today. From t-shirts to ball caps and personalized water bottles, you can put your logo or message on just about anything for a reasonable price.

Hype up your own brand by wearing your logo or message or displaying it prominently while you are doing what you do best. And before long, you’ll be selling them to other people who want to show their support.
 

Symbiosis


Many online personalities understand the value of working with other online personalities to double their exposure and presence. It’s not uncommon for popular online personalities to host each other on podcasts or appear in each other’s videos. One of the most effective ways to do this is to join forces with someone who may have a completely different follower base than yours.

At the end of the day, there’s no question that having a side hustle takes hustle. But working hard to build momentum over time can wind up providing you with a steady side income doing what you love.