As a college student who frequents Bookstagram and Booktube, I’m often tempted to wreck my bank account in support of my fellow creators. Whether it’s book-themed candles or adorable wall art or even personalized bookmarks, I always feel a tiny bit of guilt at not being able to pay for or commission pieces from smaller creators. As much as I want to support people like me who are trying to get their name out there while making a buck, it’s difficult to feel like a true member of the community if you can’t financially contribute to other members of the community.
Today, I’m hoping to alleviate this problem by sharing a variety of ways you can support creators with or without spending money. I’ve broken up my tips by the amount of money you’re able to spend (free, low-cost, medium-cost).
1. Follow them on social media. It’s simple that creators with more followers have higher levels of engagement, so if you want to show some love, follow your favorite creators!
2. Like and comment on their posts. Content creators post online because we want to start and contribute to important conversations. As a consumer of this content, you can play a major role in this exchange by reciprocating and responding to the thoughts and ideas we put out into the world. Like, comment, share, respond, and engage in any other possible way. If you tell creators what you enjoy, they’ll keep creating, and that’s what we all want.
3. Share with your friends. Another way of engaging with creators is sharing content that you like with your friends. Recommending bloggers or YouTubers or Instagrammers that you love to your friends gives these people the opportunity to interact with new followers while adding some lovely content to your friend’s timeline.
4. Visit their websites. Bloggers put so much time into perfecting their websites, so visit all pages on their site. Not only will you experience even more of that blogger’s lovely content, you’ll get to know the bloggers themselves.
1. Ko-fi. Ko-fi is a website where people can buy their favorite creators a coffee. This means sending someone a certain amount of money (you decide, but the standard is $3) to cover the cost of their morning coffee or a financial equivalent. Ko-fi is a fantastic way to send support at a dollar amount of your choosing while brightening someone’s day.
2. Use affiliate links or discount codes. This can fall under low or medium-cost, but an easy way to help a blogger financially is clicking on their affiliate links and purchasing the products they advertise or using their discount codes. While these avenues don’t always send a slice of profits to the blogger, programs like Amazon Affiliate or being a brand representative sometimes financially benefit the blogger. On my site, almost all links to Amazon are affiliate, so if you use my links I get a small commission. An easy way to help is using links to purchase things you were already going to purchase (I do this with new releases) so that the blogger gets a small cut. That way, you get the product you need and the blogger gets a bit of money.
1. Buy their products or services. If you’re able, buy the book-themed candle or the adorable wall art! Not only does the creator get money to keep creating, but you get a lovely product to freshen up your space. This also applies to services. Maybe a blogger has recently self-published an e-book or is offering editorial packages. Take advantage of their intelligence and perspective. This could also fall under low-cost depending on the product or service.
2. Be a patron. If you’re interested in seeing a blogger’s thoughts on a particular topic and think the world would agree with you, offer to sponsor a post. Or, perhaps you’re trying to sell a product yourself and want a blogger to feature said product. You can send the blogger your product, with or without sponsorship, and use them as a way to market to an untapped audience. I’m always looking for new books and products to feature and love when authors and companies approach me looking for promotion. We are happy to participate and want you to be successful too!
How do you support online creators? Have any unique tips to share?
Related Post: Why I Hate Sharing My Writing