By nature, UGC is often done as a side hustle.
The 2023 UGC Creators Report found that 73% of UGC creators were doing it on the side, whether that be in the background of a 9-5, or whilst studying at college. It’s a rarity to find a full-time UGC creator, especially one that only does UGC. Why?
Because having all of your eggs in one basket is risky.
It’s not that UGC doesn’t provide enough income. As a full-time creator, it certainly can.
But what if TikTik disappeared tomorrow? Or AI developed to the point where it can replace B-Roll content. These are possibilities, and the sooner you diversify your income the better a place you’ll find yourself in.
Plus, passive income is a no-brainer. Making $$$$ while you sleep? Sold.
Here’s 8 side hustles you can do on the side as a UGC content creator.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Ah, affiliate marketing, the secret sauce to earning moolah while doing what you love. But, what exactly is it?
Think of it as being a brand ambassador on steroids. Here’s how it works: you find a product or service that you love, you share it, for every sale that comes directly from you, you take a commission. Affiliate programs such as Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and Commission Junction that offer a whole host of brands with opportunities to make some extra money.
You don’t necessarily have to have a large following, but you obviously needs some eyes. If you’re a trusted creator in the UGC space, you can sprinkle in your aff links while simply offering advice. New tripod? Aff link. Canva portfolio? Aff link. Brands Meets Creators newsletter? Aff link.
Now, genuine recommendations are the key to winning hearts and driving coveted conversions. Affiliate marketing takes time, effort, and some luck. But get it right, and it can be lucrative. Engage with your audience, reply to their comments, and be upfront and honest about those #ad or #affiliate moments.
2. Amazon Influencer Program
The Amazon Influencer Program is a program offered by Amazon that allows creators to monetize their social presence.
Influencers who are accepted into the program can create their own storefront on Amazon, where they can curate a selection of products that they recommend and earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through their links.
The challenging part actually isn’t to get your storefront up and running, but to get accepted. Once you’ve been allowed to join the program, it’s pretty straightforward. Plus, as you already have a solid social media presence and the social media skills, you don’t have to start from scratch.
Now here’s the kicker for UGC creators: once accepted and you’ve got your own storefront, you can create videos specifically for Amazon products. These can be pushed out by Amazon when users are shopping and if anyone clicks, you’re in for a commission. No audience needed.
3. Selling Stock Imagery/Footage
As a UGC creator, you have photo and video skills in abundance, and you’re used to people using your likeness. Why not make money off of it on a continuous basis?
There are various platforms available that allow you to make some extra $$$ for your content. Brands need stock imagery, you can provide it. These platforms typically provide a marketplace where you can upload and sell your images and videos to interested buyers.
- Shutterstock: Shutterstock is a popular platform for selling stock imagery, including photos and videos. When your images or videos are licensed by customers, you earn a royalty based on the licensing agreement.
- Adobe Stock: Adobe Stock is another well-known platform that offers the opportunity to sell your photos and videos. By becoming an Adobe Stock contributor, you can upload your content to their marketplace and earn royalties.
- Alamy: Alamy is a photography agency that allows photographers and influencers to sell their visual content. They accept a wide range of images and videos, and you can retain the copyright to your work while earning a percentage of each sale. It has a large customer base, which increases the chances of your content being discovered and licensed.
4. Digital Downloads
Elephant in the UGC room: everyone, and their mom, is offering digital downloads.
But there’s a reason for it… new creators are buying them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you whip up a Canva guide if you’ve been in the UGC space for a week. But if you’ve been working for a hot minute and you have something to offer new creators, then consider it.
Many creators offer UGC Templates (UGC Portfolio templates or UGC contracts) or guides to get started in the industry.
Dare I say it, you can find all of the information online and for free, but people don’t want to sift through 8 pages of Google results to find 100 Hook Ideas, they want to hit one button and find it.
5. UGC Creators Course
This is on the list, but I’m not a fan of UGC courses and I’ll make it clear from the outset. UGC is a fairly new industry which means you’re not finding anyone with decades of experience. TikTok isn’t even 5 years old yet, and somehow we’ve got course creators selling $749 courses on how to succeed as a UGC creator on TikTok.
However, similar to digital downloads, people are selling them because people are buying them. If, and it’s a big if, you are an expert creator or you’re great at a particular thing, you can monetize that aspect in the form of a course.
Stan Store allows you to sell courses, or you can go one step further and create one on a course platform such as Thinkific or Teachable.
6. Creative Direction
If Molly Mae can become a creative director, you can too. No but really, you can. UGC can be the gateway to huge opportunities. The skills that you pick up as a UGC creator are transferrable, and with enough experience (and a whole dose of belief in yourself) you can pick up a role as a creative strategist, or on the bigger scale, creative director.
A creative director essentially sets the artistic vision, ensures brand consistency, and leads a team of creatives to move the brand in the right direction. Essentially what you’re doing when you’re working on UGC concepts, but on a much larger scale.
You can charge a monthly retainer fee for essentially a day or two consultancy and let me tell you, it doesn’t come cheap.
UGC is the gateway to so many bigger opportunities.— Madi // ✨ UGC & Creative Strategy (@creatively_madi) June 7, 2023
UGC > SMM > video editor > script writer > full blown creative director
I’ve been offered about 4 creative director positions in the past (that I wasn’t able to take on) and it all came from building my personal brand!
7. Social Media Management
If you’re social media saavy and understand what it takes to grow a brand account, this is a perfect complimentary service to offer alongside UGC. In fact, many successful UGC creators offer ‘face of the brand’ style services where they manage brand social accounts utilizing their knowledge of organic content.
Creators such as Liam Cass are out here working on entire accounts for a monthly retainer fee, and with all of the control. This is also a great way to really hone your skills as you have full access to the data behind the account. What is working? What isn’t working? How can you improve?
8. Influencer Marketing
As a UGC creator, you’re used to creating content for business and building a personal brand. If you can also build a community, suddenly you can also unlock the lucrative business that is influencer marketing.
Now it is a big if, becoming an influencer isn’t something that just anyone can do. If you have a likeable personality and enjoy engaging with a community online, it might be something worth considering, alongside your UGC.
Why not become an influencer within the UGC space? Share your tips, tricks and struggles and mark yourself as a reputable figure within the space. Not only will you be able to slowly build your following, but you’ll also open yourself up to more UGC work as you become more visible.
And there we have it. 7 side hustles to supplement your income as a UGC creator. While UGC can provide substantial income, you can can achieve financial stability with fewer hours and less stress. With these opportunities you can diversify their income and maximize their earning potential beyond UGC. Happy earning!