Make money online, the hard way

This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. This is a collection of past column.

On a typical morning, Chrissy Chlapecka lets the dog out, spends an hour getting her makeup and hair done professionally, and choosing her outfit carefully. Then Chlapecka, a 21-year-old Chicagoan, started work as an internet creator.

Chlapecka posts at least one short video every day Instagram and TikTok, where she has a total of 4.5 million followers. Nothing dramatic happens in the video. But Chlapecka is who you could imagine if Lady Gaga were your favorite bartender offering tips and advice. (In fact, Chlapecka used to be a bartender.)

In a few-second video shot at home or in a shopping mall, she seems very relaxed. Chlapecka invites viewers – especially gay men and women – to feel good about themselves with an online personality that Chlapecka describes as an “encouraging sister type.” (Please note that Chlapecka’s videos are not necessarily family-friendly.)

But this is also work. In addition to the daily posts, Chlapecka also records raw clipped videos to save the days when a creative source might not flow. In line at the grocery store, she jotted down ideas for ideas. Chlapecka considers advertising for promotional videos to incorporate certain products or song clips that companies hope to succeed. She also told me about hold a show at a comedy club and create strategies to build a larger fan base on YouTube and sell fan merchandise.

For many people like Chlapecka, who try to make a living from entertainment or sharing information online, their job is part Hollywood producer, part small business owner and all a hustle.

“Some people really underestimate the work that creative people do,” Chlapecka told me. “I wish they would understand more that this is a real profession – and it is a serious profession – and a form of entertainment.”

Chlapecka knows that some people believe that she is just gossiping on the internet. But it takes skill and perseverance to come up with new ideas day in and day out, establish relationships with online followers, and stay up to date with people’s constantly changing algorithms and tastes. use the internet.

This week, On Tech has concentrate above Economics of the economy that created the internet. None are representative of the millions of people trying to make a living from their online creations. But Chlapecka offers a glimpse of what this is like and how creators make money. This job may not look like yours or mine, but it can be as satisfying and frustrating as most jobs.

As with many online characters, most of Chlapecka’s income comes from companies paying to have their products or songs featured in videos. Brands often provide a big visual concept and let Chlapecka do the rest.

Chlapecka also made money from Cameo, a service for everyone pay for personalized videos from celebrities and sports stars. She experimented with selling subscriptions to Twitter followers and digital creator service Fanhouse. Chlapecka also collects money from TikTok’s Fund for Video Producerswhich she describes as “not enough to pay the rent, but it’s great.”

Chlapecka won’t say how much she makes. But until about a year ago, she was working at Starbucks and a thrift store, and making TikTok videos. Now the online job is a full time job.

She says she’s gratified by “the power social media has given me and the fans who love me – and I love them back.” Chlapecka also enjoys FaceTime chats with other online creators who exchange guidance and sympathy for the tough days. It’s their version of going out drinking with co-workers to whine about a bad boss.

Like many other creators, Chlapecka harassment and intimidation online, she said. Social media stars succeed by creating intimacy with their followers, but Chlapecka says their followers act as if the person they see through a smartphone screen has no feelings touch.

“The people behind the camera are human, and we all deserve boundaries and respect,” she said.

Chlapecka says she understands the pressure of being constantly online burned many people. She hopes that creator work can be sustainable, but she also imagines that online fandom could open the door to TV and music pursuits.

This is the life of creators, a key element of the digital economy. They fill the apps that consume our leisure time. It is the career aspirations of young people that were not a generation ago. It can be all-consuming, invasive and precarious – and it can be fun, too.

More from On Tech about the internet’s creator economy:

Tip of the week

Your smartphone can be forever connected to you like a digital child. But your phone number doesn’t have to be Brian X. ChenThe New York Times’ consumer technology columnist.

Your phone number is one extremely sensitive data. It’s a unique string of digits linked to other highly personal information found in public records including your full name, home address, the name of your loved one, and even criminal records. yours (if you have one).

A phone number is also likely to stick with you for years because getting a new number and sharing it with all your contacts is complicated. (I, for one, have had the same cell phone number for over 15 years.)

That’s why everyone can benefit from having a recorded phone number that you share with people and organizations you don’t fully trust. The simplest free option is to sign up Google Voice account. There, you select an area code and choose from a list of phone numbers. You can even set it up to forward calls and text messages to your real phone number.

I’ve come across several situations recently where phone numbers come in handy:

The beauty of the burner is that if someone misuses it, you can get rid of it and create a new set of digits. Who wouldn’t want one?

  • Pioneering rock versus podcaster: Musician Neil Young has called on Spotify to choose between hosting his songs or Joe Rogan, the popular podcast host who has been accused of spreading misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines. Spotify sided with RoganMy colleague Ben Sisario reports.

  • What does that screaming trump sound like? The Australian Open is testing audio technology teleport the journey of the balls and other tennis acts to sound for fans who are blind or have limited vision, explains my colleague Amanda Morris.

  • Say no to Elon Musk: Jack Sweeney, a 19-year-old college student, programmed software that sifts through complex data about private jet flights and tweets details about Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, and others. other famous. Sweet tell Protocol that Musk offered him $5,000 to stop tweets that followed his jetliners, but Sweeney declined.

This dog is very excited about meet a new friend. Stick to the moment when the big dog shares its toy.

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Fry Electronics Team

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