Americans consume millions of hours of content every day. Before the technological advancements of the internet, we were stuck with the content that big corporations wanted us to consume. We watched movies or television and read newspapers or books to engage our minds.
Now, with the advanced capabilities of the internet, content creation is in more hands than ever before. Millions of people create unique content and publish it to the internet via YouTube videos, blogging, podcasting, or streaming. Millions more consume this content every day.
If you’re a consumer of any of these types of media, you might be looking for ways to support your favorite creators. Although there are many ways to pay creators for their services, there are also ways to help them at no additional cost to you.
Here are some ways you can support your favorite content creators for free!
What is a Content Creator?
A content creator is anyone who makes content for the internet. This content can be in videos, blogs, live streams, podcasts, and even social media posts or photography. The content can be educational, fictional, newsy, or entertainment.
How Can I Support Content Creators for Free?
Most people want to support their favorite content creators but can’t afford to pay them. I collaborated with a fellow content creator, rising star Twitch streamer, and Youtuber Brikachu to create an epic list of the way you can support your favorite creators for free!
11 Ways to Support Content Creators for Free
Follow Them on Social Media
The easiest way to support your favorite creator is to follow them on social media. Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok, or like their Facebook page.
Following their social accounts can help even if you aren’t active on the platform. More significant social media followings help creators negotiate with brands and increase the likelihood that their content will be seen by others, so every little bit helps.
Engage with Their Social Media
If you have a little more time or are active on a particular social channel, be sure to engage with your favorite creator’s content. Use the “like” button to show your support and retweet their tweets. Feature them in your Instagram stories and pin their blog posts to your favorite Pinterest boards.
Social engagement helps their content rise to the top of the algorithm, which means it gets seen by more people. This attention can help your favorite creator gain new fans and show brands that their content is engaging.
Watch Their Videos/Listen to their Podcasts/Read their Blog Posts/Lurk in their Channels
The best way to support your favorite content creators is to consume their content. Most creators put their content out there for free and allow anyone to access it. Help them out by lurking in their Twitch channels, watching their YouTube videos, reading their blog posts, and downloading their podcasts.
Many people don’t always consider that you don’t have to be actively engaged in the content constantly for it to help.
Let the YouTube video play in the background – it will give the creator some much-needed watch hours and help them shoot up in the algorithm! Lurk in two Twitch channels while working on something else. It will increase the average viewer count for those two streamers, who will be thankful. Let a podcast play as background noise. Open up a blog post and scroll through it to give it a pageview. None of these things takes a lot of time, but the creator will appreciate it.
Follow/Subscribe to Their Channel/Blog/Email List
Metrics are essential to every content creator. You can follow a Twitch Streamer’s channel, subscribe to a YouTube channel, and sign up for a blog’s email list to show your support for content creators on different platforms.
Tell A Friend About Their Content
Do you talk about your favorite Marvel movies and books with your friends? You should be talking about your favorite individual creators too! Help your favorite creators out by sharing them with your friends.
Tell your friends about the cool trick your favorite streamer does, send your parents a link to an interesting blog post, and make your partner listen to your favorite podcast on road trips!
Engage in Their Chats/Comments
YouTube, Twitch, and some blogs have comments enabled for users to leave feedback and interact with the content creator. User engagement is critical on YouTube and Twitch, so if your favorite content creator uses either of these platforms, use the chat!
Talk to the streamer about their day, or help them find the secret passage in the dungeon they are playing. Leave comments on YouTube videos about what you learned or additional information. These interactions help with search algorithms, and they also show other viewers that the channel is engaging and can lead to even more community interaction.
Welcome New People to Their Communities
Livestreaming is a very social type of content creation. One great way to help live streamers, whether on Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube, is to welcome newcomers to the community.
Creators can’t always pay attention to the chat while streaming and may not realize that a new person has entered. Viewers can help their favorite creators by being on a welcome committee. Engage with new viewers and make them feel welcome in the creator’s community. Doing so allows the creator to build a larger, more engaged community.
Be Active in Their Discords
Many content creators have created Discord servers where fans can interact with them on a more personal level when they aren’t streaming.
An active and engaged Discord community is essential for creators trying to become Discord Partners. It’s also a great way to help a streamer get brand deals, as engagement is something brands look for when deciding whether to work with a particular creator.
Use Your Free Prime Subscription
If your favorite content creator is a Twitch streamer, you can support them by subscribing to their channel for free with your Amazon Prime subscription.
Amazon owns Twitch, and Prime customers get one free Twitch subscription per month. This means you can give your favorite streamer $2.5 each month and get access to all their emotes at no extra cost!
Turn Off Ad Blocker
Many streamers, YouTubers, and bloggers make money via display ads. Although ads are frustrating, they are a top revenue source for many creators. Do them a favor and turn off your ad-block software.
Have the patience to sit through an annoying ad to ensure that they can make some money to create the brilliant content you enjoy.
Use Their Affiliate Links
If you’re going to buy something from Amazon (or anywhere else) anyway, why not use your favorite content creator’s affiliate links? Many creators are part of the Amazon affiliate network, and they make a commission off of any purchases people make from their link. It’s considered a “free” way to support creators because it doesn’t cost the buyer anything extra. The Amazon price is the same whether you go to Amazon directly or through an affiliate link.
Content creators have affiliate relationships with a wide variety of retailers; it’s not limited to Amazon. Most big box stores and thousands of small online stores have affiliate programs. If you’re going to buy something, chances are a content creator has an affiliate link for it. Using their link won’t cost you anything extra, but it will make your creator’s day!
Bonus: Cross-Platform Collaboration
If you are also a content creator, why not collaborate with others across niches and platforms? Usually, collaboration is limited to the same platform and niche, limiting audience growth possibilities. If you’re a streamer, you can share your favorite blogger’s posts in your chat or your Discord. Bloggers can write about their favorite streamers. There are a variety of ways that you can promote creators in different niches or channels on your platform.
Although I’m a blogger, I’ve helped some of my streamer friends by promoting their Twitch channels on my blog. Finding ways to get your favorite creator’s content in front of fresh eyes will help them grow and be successful.
I Want to Pay my Favorite Content Creators – What Can I Do?
There are options if you have a little bit of extra money and want to support your favorite creators! Here’s what you can do to throw a bit of cash at your favorite content creators.
Join/Subscribe to their Channel
You can subscribe to a Twitch channel for $5 a month or join a YouTube channel for as little as $2 a month. Although the creator shares this revenue with the platform, it’s one of the top ways they earn money.
Both Twitch and YouTube allow viewers to give money to creators when they are live. Twitch makes it fun with bits and cheers, but YouTube has the same system.
Many streamers and Youtubers also have a tip jar, where they accept donations directly from PayPal. Some bloggers have a “buy me coffee” tip jar either on their site or via their email.
Tips and donations are a great way to give your favorite content creators a one-time gift.
Support their Patreon
Many artists and content creators have Patreon accounts designed explicitly for monetary support. This platform allows creators to make different support tiers and offer additional content to users who support them.
Buy Their Products
If your favorite content creator has merchandise, you can show support by buying some of it. Some creators make courses, eBooks, or even branded merchandise like t-shirts and stuffed animals that they sell through their YouTube channel, Twitch stream, or blog. Other creators have Etsy stores where they sell their unique designs or products.
Support Your Favorite Creators!
Although the paid ways to support content creators are incredible bonuses, most would be happy if their friends, fans, and family helped them in free ways. Please take a few extra seconds out of your day to engage with a content creator or share their content; it will make a huge difference!
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.