What does it mean to monetize knowledge and what are the ways experts earn money from their experience? There are many ways to do this if you know-how - and learning how is now easier than ever!
A word of advice: monetizing your knowledge should be done with care. It is illegal to make unsubstantiated health claims or dispense legal advice without the proper state credentials, and those who make claims that generally cannot be supported find themselves on the receiving end of plenty of social media backlash. Proceed with care.
Monetize Your Knowledge With An Information Product
What is an information product? You’ve seen them advertised on TV and the internet; it’s basically any e-book, video, or other product that is created to help you achieve a specific goal. For example, you have likely seen books advertised promising that you can “Become a penny stock investor in two weeks!” or “Learn how to win at Forex Trading."
Those books are information products. You can create your own book or video and market it online via Amazon.com or other outlets. And these don't have to be physical books. Create an ebook or even a downloadable pdf. For example, do you know how to sell vinyl records online? You could write a how-to explaining the ins and outs of doing online retail. Are you great at knitting? Create a how-to guide with easy-to-follow videos!
If you are experienced as a social media manager as a side gig or even as your main hustle, writing a how-to information product type book about your journey could be a sound investment of your time. Beware, though, information products that don’t have quality instructions and those that serve as an overview only usually earn a ‘Don’t bother purchasing” reputation. Make your information products high-quality and well-researched.
Write a Blog or Produce a Podcast
Experts use blogs and podcasts to monetize knowledge in many different ways, but one of the most direct tactics is to place banner ads on the website and sell advertising or seek sponsorships for podcasts. The most well-known banner ad solution for websites and blogs is Google Adsense, but there are many options available to those who are willing to do the research.
The key to surviving as a blogger and podcaster? Longevity. It takes time to build an audience and gain enough trust to get people to click your ads or invest in a sponsorship.
Join The Lecture Circuit
Those with specialized knowledge are often eager to share their ideas and innovations with audiences at trade shows, formal dinners, and other special events. There are agencies dedicated to helping people grow careers as guest speakers and lecturers. And with the advent of video chat, many of these can be done from your home! This is what many former presidents and executives do - speak on the lecture circuit - for very high fees. You probably won't earn a former president honorarium just yet, but you can bring in some money.
Martin Atkins is a former member of Public Image Limited, Killing Joke, and other 80's bands (for a start). He formed his own record label, Invisible Records, and put out a vast amount of music (some say more than 350 records of his own and other bands’ work). But he wasn’t content to just do all that. Instead, he parlayed his music industry experience into teaching gigs at places like Columbia College in Chicago, Northwestern Center For Talent Development, and Millikin University's School of Music.
People with specialized knowledge often go this route including William S. Burroughs, Stephen King (who taught English while writing his early novels), and many others. You don't have to be a full-time professor. Many community colleges offer great evening programs and are looking for instructors.
Experts Love Side Gigs
The side gig based on your expertise is another way to monetize knowledge. Many full-time employees with special skills (IT, graphic design, social media management, healthcare, and many others) work side gigs using these skills but in a consultant capacity or as a training instructor for individuals or teams. Just be sure that your full-time job allows this kind of side hustle - some employers explicitly prohibit this kind of activity.