Monetizing your StoryMaps content

After creating compelling content, we know some authors want to see their hard work pay off. Good news! With StoryMaps, you have the freedom to incorporate your preferred monetization method right into your story.

A laptop screen showing "Monetization?"

Typically, content monetization falls into one of three categories:

Tip Jar: Readers show their appreciation by directly donating to you via membership platforms and digital payment apps.
Storefront: Use your stories to boost sales of your products or services by telling stories about your work or by turning your products into merch that can be purchased.
Affiliate Marketing: Help your readers find and purchase products you’re recommending to earn a commission.

Reminder

With StoryMaps, you own all of your content, and the platform does not display banner ads from advertisers in your stories. You decide what your readers see.

Here are some common ways we see content creators incorporate monetization into their work within StoryMaps.

1. Membership platforms

>> Launch your membership site and link to it from StoryMaps

A membership platform enables content creators to collect recurring (or one-time) donations from their supporters. In return, creators can choose to reward supporters with exclusive access to content. Some of the most popular membership platforms include Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee, and Ko-fi.

To start, you will need to set up your personal page on the platform(s) of your choice.

Once your page is ready to go, grab its link. You can embed it as a card in your stories, add it as a hyperlink to your button or text, and/or include it as your website link on your StoryMaps profile page (see some examples below). Feel free to post about your stories on your membership platform to facilitate two-way traffic.

Examples of adding link to membership platform in a story
An example of StoryMaps profile page "Architecture Tour with Phoebe"

>> Reward your supporters with premium access to your StoryMaps content

When publishing your story, you can make it more private by choosing Anyone with link, which means that only people with the unique link can access the story. Then, share your story’s link to a select audience (a.k.a. your supporters) on your membership platform.

Here is an example on Ko-fi:

Example of sharing unlisted story on Ko-fi to supporters only

2. Digital payment apps

>> Accepting tips and donations through your digital wallet

Most digital payment apps today support payment links and QR codes.

Take PayPal as an example – You can create a dedicated donation page, a shareable link, or QR code through which people can directly make donations. Simply go to https://www.paypal.com/buttons/ and select the “Donate” option. Please ensure that you’ve signed in with the PayPal account you want to use to receive donations.

Example "Make a PayPal Button"

Once the shareable link is generated, you can embed it in your stories, and/or share it on your profile page. You can download the QR code and insert it as an image in your stories, too.

Similarly, you can get your personal link and QR code from Venmo , Cash App , etc. If you are primarily using an image of your QR code, it’s recommended to also include a link so it can come in handy when someone is viewing the story from their phone.

3. Sell your own products

>> Take advantage of StoryMaps to boost your business

If you have your own products or business, let StoryMaps help you turn your readers into customers. Whether it’s a physical product, a digital download, or any type of service that you are looking to sell, write a story about it to draw more attention! If you have your e-store or business website somewhere else, embed the link in your stories and/or add it as your website on your profile page.

Even if you do not own a business yet, you can directly translate your content into physical products by working with a custom merch platform like Printful. You only need to choose what content to sell, and the rest will be taken care of by the platform.

Use StoryMaps to sell your merch - "Find me at the Art Walk this Saturday!"

4. Affiliate marketing

>> Increase your revenue by promoting others

If you are not familiar with affiliate marketing, it works by pointing your readers towards others’ products or services via a URL. In exchange for recommending the product, you get a portion of revenue from every referral. You can get started by joining affiliate programs like Amazon Associates, or by forming private partnerships with advertisers and businesses.

Use StoryMaps to do affiliate marketing - "Use this link to get 20% off"

If there are certain products or companies you work with, feel free to share your referral code or embed your referral link in your stories. Of course, you can share the information on your Profile page, too.


Well there you have it! There are plenty of ways to customize your monetization strategy with StoryMaps. If you didn’t find the answer you were looking for, please feel free to reach out to us!

Happy Storytelling!

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