Get ready to learn:
- Options to make money online
- Why video creators love and choose Buy Me a Coffee
- Best practices for getting started
- Tactics for turning fans into supporters
In the last decade, being a video creator or YouTuber went from a weekend hobby to a full-fledged career. With growing access to information, resources, and support from their audiences, Youtubers have quickly become the new entertainers, news anchors, educators, and more — and rightfully so. Your drive is unmatched. Your creativity is unique. And, most importantly, your resourcefulness within a system that doesn’t pay you like it should is what keeps video creators relevant, interesting, and thriving.
You deserve to make a living doing what you do, and that’s why we exist. Hi, we’re Buy Me A Coffee (BMC for short) and we want to make life as a YouTuber easier on you. Aside from using our platform, there’s a growing list of ways to make money on Youtube.
Ways to make money as a Youtuber
Some creators want to make videos as a passion project alongside their “regular jobs” that bring in the money, but many are looking for ways to be fully financial supported through their videos. If that’s you, you’re in luck — for years, creators have been perfecting and sharing the different ways they make money (sometimes, a LOT of money) as a video creator. Here’s a quick overview of your many options.
- Collect ad revenue from the Youtube Partner Program. This is the least-effort, least-reward option. After your Youtube channels meets a short list of requirements, you can apply to be a part of the Youtube Partner Program which runs advertisements on your videos. Unfortunately, for most Youtube creators, you’d need to getting millions of views per video to make a meaningful amount through ads. Using ad revenue is a no brainer for extra pops of income, but it’s likely not going to be a main source of revenue.
- Accept support from your biggest fans through tipping. We might be biased, but we believe that allowing your biggest fans to financially support your work is the single most stable and rewarding source of income there is. Actually, we know we’re not biased — creators of all kinds have turned their side hustles into full-time gigs through offering monetary support options.
- Tipping/donation support. For an extremely low-cost (both time and money) solution, many creators accept one-off donations from fans to keep their work going. Some options for that are paypal donate button, Cashapp, Ko-fi, and of course, Buy Me A Coffee.
- Membership/recurring support. You can think of this like offering your fans an ongoing subscription to you and your content. This is a great option if you have superfans who love your videos so much, they’d like to support you every month out of pure gratitude or in exchange for perks, like extra content, private chats, livesteams, early access, and more. Some options for that are Patreon and, of course, Buy Me A Coffee.
- Organize digital or virtual events. This is for the fans who love your videos so much, they want to experience the content live. There are lots of event options for every lane of content you create, both digital (livestreamed) or IRL (when the world goes back to normal). These could be concerts, Q&As, book readings, paint-with-me events, watch parties, etc. One extra cool thing about events is that you know that attendees are likely your biggest fans, so you’re creating a stronger bond with them and securing another source of income from ticket sales.
- Create and sell services, merchandise, or products. Selling goods or services (digital or physical) has become a slightly more steady source of income for video creators. With merch and products, creators make branded clothing, prints, stickers, etc. for the fans who love them so much, they’d wear a hat with the creators face on it. With services, creators take what they know and sell access to courses/education/communities that focus on the same thing. Say your YouTube channel is all about career advice — you could make an online course about the subject with weekly 20 minute Q&As with you, available only to paid members. Going this route has upfront costs with time and product, but can be a great source of ongoing income year-round.
- Work with brands to make sponsored content. Simply said, this is another version of advertising that cuts out the middle man, meaning brands work directly with creators to advertise their products in exchange for money. This could be in the form of a dedicated video about the product/service, doing an in-video ad that fits within the flow of your content but is still an advertisement, a few references to the product throughout your video, or a series of social media posts about the brand. Similar to ad revenue, brand sponsorships tend to be inconsistent (but often worth more if you have great engagement). Also in this arena is affiliate links (like Amazon Associates). With affiliate links, creators can refer products to viewers via special links that track purchases and pay the creator based on their ability to sell. After ad revenue, affiliate links are the second highest source of revenue for video creators.
There are many ways to find financial support as a video creator, which might feel like both a blessing and a curse. No matter what route creators take, most include an option for direct fan-to-creator support.
And that just happens to be our specialty. If you’re interested in a simple, friendly way to get audience support, you’ve come to the right place.
Why video creators choose Buy Me A Coffee
“Buy Me A Coffee is truly looking out for creators best interest. It’s the #1 alternative to Patreon and Kofi — and in my opinion, better than both of them. I’ve experimented with both and didn’t get what I wanted out of them without having to pay.” -Kennedy Montecue
Buy Me A Coffee is simple, like it should be. Video creators and Youtubers all over the world use Buy Me A Coffee to accept one-off tips (aka coffees) and/or monthly support from their audiences. While there are many options for getting financial support from your audience, we’ve built something that uniquely meets creators needs. Here are just a few of the things that set Buy Me A Coffee apart from the rest:
- It’s free. Yep… simple as that. It costs nothing to get started, and we only take a low 5% fee to help keep the business going.
- Getting started is actually so easy. Depending on how fast you click and type, it takes about 2 minutes to get started — faster than it takes to brew a cup of coffee. Unlike other options that take manuals and studying to get ready for launch, BMC made the barrier to entry low so you can start getting support fast. Not to mention that on the supporter side, folks don’t even need to create an account to buy you a coffee.
- It’s a full-stack creator solution loaded with options so you can pick what works best for you. Creators love creating. Period. And when given true flexibility, creators can create without needing to be tech wizards, piecing together tools and third parts app to make it all work. That’s what we offer — multiple ways to accept support, donations, memberships, selling digital downloads, emailing, etc. — giving you the opportunity to do what’s best for you and your audience, because you’re not one size fits all.
- We’re here for you. That’s not lip service — we really mean it. BMC was started by creators who started out by making a living making videos. We understand who you are and what you need to succeed, and we go out of our way to make BMC everything you want and more. Oh, and we’re always available (literally 24/7) on live chat, at your service.
- It’s about more than money. It’s meaningful, and that’s why fans love it. A lot of fan-to-creator support platforms get it wrong — they think of fans like customers looking to buy stuff instead of what they really are — supporters looking for another way to show their gratitude. Buy Me A Coffee enables fans to support how and why they want to, whether that be purely out of gratitude, or to get something in return.
If you’d rather hear this directly from creators, here ya go:
- our growing wall of love: https://twitter.com/buymeacoffee/timelines/999111638547513344
Everything Youtubers Need to Know to Get Started on the Right Foot
We’re not joking when we say that getting started on BMC really can take 2 quick minutes — it’s that easy. But if you’re a strategic thinker looking for lasting traction on the BMC side of your creative journey, here are some best practices to consider.
Know your why
Why are you starting a BMC page? Whether it’s for extra support, another way to connect with fans, or just because you’ve heard good things about it, it’s important to know the motivation behind getting started. Anytime you’re bringing your fans into a new thing, you want to make sure you’re behind it fully because you respect your audience and don’t want to waste their time. Also, knowing your why is so impactful for keeping energy
Design around your bandwidth
We see it time and time again — creators set up their BMC pages with all the bells and whistles, coming out the gate offering everything and more. They’ve got a long list of member-only goodies, heaps of Extras, and huge plans for keeping supporters engaged and happy. Don’t get us wrong — this is awesome… until it’s not. We really don’t want you to get overly excited about what you can offer on BMC and end up biting off more than you can chew. Creators find the most success offering what’s reasonable to do and fulfill at the moment, then reworking their offerings a month or two in.
Choose a “coffee” that’s right for your brand
Not a coffee fan? Worry not — you’re still welcome here. You have full flexibility to choose any beverage (or thing, really) that you think might be most exciting for your audience. And, here’s the thing — your fans aren’t actually buying you coffee… They’re sending you the amount a coffee would cost (price determined by you) as a gesture of gratitude and thanks, so the coffee is really just a metaphor for a huge internet hug. If you’d rather get that hug as lemonade, tea, or a glass of wine, the choice is yours.
Study other creators
This is where “good artists borrow, great artists steal” comes in handy. When it comes to working out your BMC strategy — all the way from page set up to launch and beyond — you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We strongly recommend spending time on our Explore Page which features artists and creators of all kinds. See how other creators in your lane set up their pages, explain their work, and market to their supporters. Take ideas — they’re free.
Tell your fans. Which is so important, it gets its own section.
Tactics for Turning Fans Into Supporters
You’ve made your page. You’ve come up with special offerings, Extras, and more. Now, you kick back, relax, and wait for fans to come and buy you all the coffees in the world. We hate it to say it, but that’s just not how it works. Far too many creators believe the age old lie — “if you build it, they will come.” Because BMC is built to be a relaxed, simple way to give and get support, it’s purposefully not made to grab attention or seem like a big ask. That’s why you need to tell your fans that you’re on Buy Me a Coffee, early and often. So many of them want to support you and would be so excited to know they have an easy option to do so.
Without further ado, here are some ways to tell and remind your fans you’re on Buy Me a Coffee.
Announce at launch. Then again. And again
Telling your audience that you’re on BMC is easiest to do right when you launch. It feels so much more natural to direct traffic to a new thing right when you launch it instead of down the line. Share why you launched, what you’re offering, and how you’ll interact with BMC supporters. The newness and exclusivity will create excitement and urgency to join fast. Also, it’s not enough to send a single tweet announcing your launch — think about how many tweets you miss in a day from the people you follow. Instead, make a simple launch-week plan with announcement and reminder posts to all the platforms where your followers are.
Put. Links. Everywhere.
“Link in bio” is a great start, but let’s go wild here. Put a link (or a widget) to your BMC page everywhere. Some ideas to get you started:
- Every bio of all your social platforms (twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- On your YouTube channel
- At the end of every YouTube video
- In your video descriptions
- On your personal website
- In your email signature
- Really, everywhere and anywhere your fans see your videos
Share supporter-only posts
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your page is through FOMO (fear of missing out). When you make a supporter-only on BMC, share a teaser of it on your socials or (wherever your audience is). This is a proven way to drive interest among fans, and if the interest is high enough, they’ll become a supporter to get access to what you’re posting on BMC.
Create videos/content with supporters
In the same vein, work with your BMC supporters to create unique content to share with both your diehard fans and casual viewers on YouTube. Whether you allow your supporters to suggest video ideas, work on the edits, choose the music, or actually be in the video, this can also send fans to your BMC page who are hoping to get involved in the next supporter-helped video.
Publicly thank supporters, consistently
Recognition is powerful. Imagine you’re watching a YouTuber you love and at the end of their video, they say your name, out loud, giving you a special thanks for being such a great supporter. That would make you so dang proud, you’d be an even bigger fan, and then probably share that video far and wide. Use this tactic — it’s free and powerful. When someone buys you a coffee or becomes a monthly/annual member, don’t keep your joy to yourself. Head to your networks and call out some supporters by name, sharing how much their support means to you. This will make current supporters feel special, while also motivating casual fans to support and get a shout out of their own.
Ready to get started?
We love to hear it. Sign up here, or check out these other resources to see why YouTubers love Buy Me A Coffee.