While becoming a content creator has become a widespread way to make an extra income (or even a whole living), there’s certainly a backlash to it. You will not find it difficult to read articles about the harm content creators are doing to society. It’s interesting how success in the traditional route is encouraged by most (so long as one doesn’t become arrogant about it, of course), yet someone making money off their own creativity can be considered shameful. While there’s a few bad apples in the industry (Some influencers do gloat, spread misinformation, and spill tea on other content creators, treat service workers badly), the vast majority of content creators are normal hard working people trying to earn extra income.
Why do a lot of content creators get hate on making extra money off their creativity? Let me explore the ways.
The arts are stereotypically low paying. Everyone’s cool with an artist being poor, but for some, the idea of an artist thriving financially off their content makes them upset. I’ve seen and heard people literally say that people shouldn’t earn money off their writing/art. O.O They think people shouldn’t be making money off their creativity and should instead be working for someone else (or start a physical business that isn’t based online). I can’t relate to these types of people, but some traditionalists loathe the idea of someone making money off their own art.
It’s right in your face (Especially for online stalker types). When someone is a small business owner or achieves a high paying new position in the ‘real world’, you know about it at the back of your mind but it’s not out there for everyone to see everyday (Unless they’ve created a Tik tok account about it :P). Content creators are online for anyone and everyone to see. They want to get noticed, because clicks and engagement is their main source of income. Marketing and branding are big parts for any business, but there’s still a stigma if someone’s brand is literally themselves.
People think building your brand/sharing content online is arrogant and narcissistic. While there are certainly some bad apples who think they’re god-like due to their online fame, these are the ones who have no sense of humility or gratitude to their followers (who are the reason they’re making so much money by the way). A lot of famous influencers are good people. It’s much like Hollywood celebrities – some are arrogant, others are down to earth and kind.
Narcissistic people are found in any field. Your average content creator might make a few extra dollars here and there and is working hard to get some extra money. In my experience, most content creators are kind and supportive of people who interact with them – they’ve simply chosen an alternate means to make money.
Some people would rather stalk others who are working hard to build their life and complain about how attention-seeking they are than put their heads down and work on their own success. Jealousy and wanting to bring others down is more narcissistic than daring to make money off your content (We all have some narcissistic traits and people tend to focus on the ones they personally disagree with rather than recognize their own). Wanting to make money from your online content is quite brave (due to the backlash it often gets), and shows confidence in your creativity. When CEOs are making millions off the backs of their minimum wage workers you can’t blame people for wanting to give the influencer career a go.
Internalized misogyny. Most influencers/content creators are female. There are enough guys out there making money on the apps, but it’s definitely a female-driven field. I think that’s really amazing. Some people may not like the idea of a woman being able to make money off her own content – genuine confidence can be mistaken for arrogance by the wrong people. Other people simply hate when women express their views, goals, or individuality even if it’s in a productive, encouraging way. No one is gatekeeping what they’re saying – a man higher up in the industry didn’t approve their existence – they’ve decided that their voice matters by their own merit.
Think about this for a moment: An 18 year old guy can get hired by a construction company and confidently ask for no less than $21/hour to start (I’ve personally spoken to guys who made this wage or more in the trades since their teen years), so why are some so bent out of shape if a woman makes a similar income by sharing content online? She’s not getting rich off her content – she’s making an income comparable to a lot of men. This is an opportunity for anyone to make a decent income (or extra money) doing something they enjoy that isn’t so physically demanding. Content creation isn’t for everyone, but if it’s something you want to do, there should never be any shame over it. It takes a lot of work, planning, and research to be a content creator and that’s why a lot of people decide not to move forward with it – it’s harder than it looks.
They believe only a small amount of approved creative people should be successful. Some people really believe that you should have to go through the traditional gatekeeper system if you want to make money off your art/creativity. It makes them angry that anyone can become an author, Instagram model, brand ambassador, Tik tok name, etc. without someone else higher up in the industry telling them if they’re “good enough” first.
Lack of self-confidence. When we are easily offended by another’s success (or perceived success), it shows we don’t love ourselves or what we’re doing. Confident people are either inspired by others’ success or they clap for them, because they know one day they will also get success in an area of their life. If someone else can make a decent income online, you can, too. People are showing us this everyday and I hope people can take comfort in that rather than see it as a threat. Influencers didn’t come across their success easily – it takes a lot of time and work being a content creator. It looks easy, but it’s a lot of work. Of course, if someone’s cocky about how much money they’re making or being mean to others because of their success, they should be called out, but again, most content creators are encouraging so I support those ones.
Fear of the individual? Artists are the true individualists. They are self-aware people who have a strong inner compass. They’re not easily lead by mainstream thinking and try to steer clear of groupthink. This can be scary to people who think of society as something that needs to be controlled and herded by the powers that be. I wouldn’t say this a common fear among people when it comes to creators, but it exists. Certain people simply hate it when a woman speaks decidedly about something – be it her own life or her view of the world. (See internalized misogyny).
Misery loves company. Some people are miserable about their lot in life (We have all been there, even people who seem happy and successful now) and rather than do the work to improve their life and mental health, they opt to tear others down and mock those who try to make money off their creative business. Some people don’t want others to do well because they aren’t and that’s sadly how it is – in the end these negative people are hurting themselves more than the people they’re dissing.
I will say that even at my lowest, it was the people sharing hope and inspiring content online that helped me get through it, because I believed I could also achieve my dream life like them. And I have. If you can learn to be inspired by others’ successes, you’ll be so much happier.
Why Content Creators Are Good For The World
It can lift people out of poverty. I LOVE that any person anywhere has the ability to make income from their phone. Some areas don’t have a good economy or are very expensive to live, so making money off social media apps can literally change your life. Again, it’s not easy and doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to put in the work. Over time, people can go from struggling to paying off debts, saving money, going on a vacay, etc. High paying workers and celebrities do this all the time – regular people should be able to succeed, too.
It inspires other people. I’ve seen so many people be encouraged by bloggers, Tik tokers, Instagrammers, Youtubers, etc. A lot of content creators encourage and help others to use their own voice and creativity to share with the world and make an extra income in the process. There are many people out there posting great content that makes us laugh, think, or get motivated.
A great opportunity for women. As I mentioned before, this is a career choice that is workable for a lot of women. Stay at home moms, single moms, single girls paying off their student loans, retirees, etc. can all make an extra income simply sharing their art or daily routine. I LOVE this and I support women making a good income in any avenue they choose – including online content creation.
It’s a creative outlet for many. Regardless of how much money someone makes, content creation can be a really amazing creative outlet for artists. Many people have shared a portion of their personal journey or mental health struggles and it collectively helps others while also helping the sharer.
Encourages diversity. Mainstream media always preferred white, cis, straight people representing their programs. There’s been more diversity in recent years, but social media definitely gives more opportunities to LGBTQ+ people as well as those with different races, backgrounds, and cultures, etc. There aren’t gate keepers deciding if they should be heard or not – their viewers do. More of society is accepting people for who they are. Social media actually gives power back to everyday people. I know this can sometimes get out of hand if we exalt the wrong person, but in general, I find it to be more inclusive and open-minded than TV/magazines/film and the like.
E-commerce is the way of the future. Love it or hate it, e-commerce is a big part of the present and will continue into the future. There are many ways to tap into this – content creation is just one of them. 🙂
Thank you so much for stopping by today. My hope is that this isn’t a controversial post, but instead addresses why we shouldn’t judge something just because we ourselves don’t want to do it. There’s a lot of bullying and trolling online, so if we can learn to accept that we don’t need to agree with someone to respect them, the online world can be a much happier place. If you stop by something you don’t like or don’t agree with, you can keep scrolling rather than leave a nasty comment. A lot of times we internalize something someone says online and the intent of their post is different from how we’re interpreting it.
Whether you strive to make money online or you use the apps just for fun, I hope you achieve all of your goals and dreams and choose a path that makes you happy. ❤