Monetizing Your Online Content


Hello everyone!
I am Yesenia Carrero, Co-producer of the Taffetas. In earlier posts, Tracy mentioned some of the research we delved into these last couple of months. Today, I want to spotlight our experience at the Geekend Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

Geekend is an interactive conference that brings together a group of people interested in Design, technology, and social media for 3 days of workshops, lectures, and networking. As The Taffetas will be distributed online, we knew it was important to go.

Tracy and I went to several of the events there, but Linus Olsson's lecture, Monetizing Your Online Content, really inspired us to rethink the way we approach Taffetas. I hope that the information I am about to share also brings a new perspective for anyone else working on the web.

So first off, Who is Linus Olsson?
Linus Olsson is an entrepreneur and creator of Flattr, a service that allows fans to reward creators for their online content.

Here’s what he had to say:
People want to help others continue to create the things they love. They are not going to pay for the things they have, but rather for the things they will receive.

This pretty much sums up the idea behind earning money for your online content. Creators are not paid, rather people reward them for great work.


So how do you get people to reward you for your work?

Olsson suggests:
  • Have content first 
  • Be Honest
  • Be personal
Have Content First
You Can’t Have People Pay For Something They Don’t Have

Receiving money from supporters is a dream come true for many of us in the creative field. I know for me it would be great to have people just run by me, shake my hand, and fund anything I ask for. Unfortunately, if you are to receive money from supporters, you need well-established content from the project you want funded first or a history of successful projects prior to this new one. Without credibility there’s usually a lack of funding.
Why doesn't anyone like meeeeee?

It's hard to grasp the idea of giving before you get when we live in a world that usually does the reverse – you buy your groceries, then you get them. It never struck me as odd when other people dived into asking for donations with no previous content or credibility, but it happens all the time on Kickstarter.

For Taffetas, we always planned that our first production work would be self-funded only from both Tracy’s wallet and mine. Reasons as to why seem more concrete knowing we need to create work first.


Be Honest
Nice People Finish First on the Internet.

Try to be as forth coming with information as you possibly can. For us, this was a lesson in humility and why we have taken the time to write about our experiences. Tracy and I learned to be honest when you don’t know everything, and rather than hiding our project’s works-in-progress, we are trying to be more transparent with where we are and what we are doing. So make your intentions clear and keep your books open.

Let people know what you are doing

As a creator, it is difficult for me to share in-progress work publicly. Taffetas always received critiques from colleagues, but we rarely are this open about our work publicly.

Sharing our journey and our in-progress works as we go along has not only helped people identify with what we are doing, but also proves we are not just sitting around doing nothing at all.

Shhhh ... One day we will sleep

One thing we are still working on is making our goals clear for everyone- and it’s not easy when those goals change and evolve. These recent updates on our journey rather than posts showing off finalized artwork helped, though.

Keep your Books Open
Olsson also says to be honest with people about yourself. Just like you wouldn’t lie on a resume, don’t think about lying about your credibility on the Internet. People will find out.

Be clear with them about your goals for the project, and why you do what you do. More importantly, though, be sure to tell people with what you’re doing with their money.

If you are taking money from people, be sure to constantly let them know:
  • Who you are
  • Why you need it
  • Where their money is going
  • Where their money has gone
  • How much money you do have invested
A lot of Kickstarter projects are not successful because the people involved pitch the project wonderfully, but do not explain in where the money is going clearly, if at all.

People need to know what they’re contributing their hard-earned money to and afterwards need records that the money has gone where it was promised it will go.


Be Personal
People are investing in you just as much as your work. There’s a connection that has to be there, and to put a wall between your work and yourself is not doing a service to anyone invested in the project.

For instance, When you think of Walt Disney, you probably think of the company and the man.

It is okay to be yourself, keeping in mind to also be honest and clear. Personality makes you more ‘real.’ It creates a connection.

With this in mind, we’ve been changing the way we write for Taffetas. Prior to the lecture, Tracy and I kept a wall between our work and ourselves, thinking the lack of personality made us more professional.

Not true at all.

Now we try to keep things a bit more personal and place our insights, our opinions, and our humor in our writing. The change is enlightening. It gives us the opportunity to be able to converse with fellow supporters and artists, as well as to help remove “the collective we” title both Tracy and I used until now.


Now this isn’t from the lecture,
But I thought it equally important to state:

There is no guarantee the things you create will automatically be funded, but by changing your approach and your view point towards online content

So work hard, and no shortcuts

Believe in what you’re doing, don’t do something because you think it will get you money, do something you love to do in hopes you will get money.


I am excited to hear from everyone else as far as their opinions and experiences!
Leave us a message below, post a comment on our facebook page, or write us at info@thetaffetaspitch.com!

Be sure to come back next week for the next post on finding information when you don't know where to look: as well as how we go about our own research for the Taffetas.
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