How I’ve Earned Over $200 In Vocal Tips!
Including some tips to make more tips!
Tips are the best part of being a creator on Vocal. It can take a while for your story to earn profit through reads, so it's a luxury to receive money from your audience semi-instantly. And why else are tips so great? Because they're a sign of appreciation for your hard work! Someone liked your story enough to give you cash for your words, and that means a lot. Even if it's only a dollar, a Vocal tip is a little sign someone enjoyed your content.
I've had a Vocal account since May of 2019, but I didn't start earning tips until the beginning of 2020, when I took the platform more seriously. In 2020, I earned over $5,200 writing on Vocal. Most of it came from challenge wins, some of it was compensation for a resource article I wrote. About $200 of that money came from tips alone.
Of course you're wondering...how on earth did I do it? In a digital world where stingy people just click on your article and go, $200 of tips seems like an impossibility. It's hard enough to get someone to leave a like on your story...how can you convince them to send you some dough?
Shhhhh, young grasshopper. It's okay. Mama Katy is about to teach you her ways.
Maybe you've been writing on Vocal for a while and are itching for your first tip. Maybe you've been earning tips on Vocal, but would like to do so more frequently, or you'd like to earn more than just $1 from readers. Whatever question you have about earning more tips, you've clicked on the right article.
I've boiled down my tip earning strategies to five simple...tips. (Haha. Get it. Tips.) Follow this advice, and you'll be getting email notifications with that little 💸 emoji in no time! That, and more money in your Stripe account.
1. Just Ask!
Yup. It's that easy. The simplest way to increase your chances of getting a tip is to ask your readers to leave them for you.
Why do you think so many successful Youtubers ask their viewers to like, comment, and subscribe in every video? It's because if they didn't ask for it, people would forget to do it. And then said Youtuber wouldn't grow.
If you don't ask, readers will assume they don't need to leave anything on your stuff. They'll just click on the next article and forget about yours. A simple "If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a tip!" goes a long way. You could even leave fun author's notes at the bottom of your stories to ask readers for tips, plus any little musings or other requests you have. Don't be afraid to get vocal on Vocal!
2. Write Valuable Content
Okay, so...what do I mean by "valuable?" When I say valuable content, I mean stories that are going to help your readers do something. Whether it's learning how to change a tire or getting a list of the best new cruelty-free beauty brands, people appreciate - and have a higher likelihood of tipping - content that allows a question of theirs to be answered.
My most tipped story on Vocal is How To Win A Vocal Challenge. Not really surprising. Many people flock to Vocal because they've seen an Instagram ad about a challenge on the website, and would love to earn prize money with their story. My article answers that question burning in creators' heads: what do I have to do to win that $1000? Because people feel like they've learned something after reading my article, it inclines them to leave a tip as thanks.
In order to write valuable content, you need to think about what people want. Of course, there are the obvious things: money, love, fame. But other people online might just be looking for how to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich or how to make friends with their backyard groundhog.
In order to write valuable content, you need to be a master at something. Ask yourself what you're good at and what you enjoy. Have you been singing for over ten years? Write an article about singing tips for beginners! Are you a 3D printing wizard? Make a piece about how you got started! I couldn't have written my Vocal challenge article had I not figured out how to place in six of them. Think about what unique knowledge you can offer the world, then offer it. As they say, knowledge is power, and a powerful article = more tips.
3. Get Family and Friends to Read
It may feel a little embarrassing to know your mom, best friend, or uncle is reading your article about bitcoin, but never fear. Your closest family and friends are your most loyal audience. They are also the most likely to tip, especially if you're just getting started on Vocal and are posting links to your articles on social media.
My first two Vocal tippers were my mom, and my best friend, Jason. If you've never received a single tip on Vocal, your loved ones are the key to getting started. And who knows: if they're really proud of your work and share it around, you might start receiving tips from strangers, too.
When my filmmaker friends email me about their new project that needs funding on Indiegogo, I always try my best to support them monetarily. Why? Because as a pal, I want to see them succeed! Your friends and family want the same for you. Who knows - with a little incentive, perhaps your career on Vocal could take off. It's not impossible.
To paraphrase Hank Green's recent TikTok, the key to understanding the world is knowing life revolves around probability. There is no 'on' or 'off' switch: you can only increase or decrease your chances of something happening. To increase your chances of getting tips, you need to increase the likelihood of people seeing your article and Vocal profile. Start with the people around you, then work from there.
4. Get Staff Picked
Want a free $10 tip? Get your article staff picked by the Vocal team. If you read the last article I published, 5 Vocal Secrets Only Seasoned Creators Know, you know the good people of the Vocal Facebook group and I made a recent discovery that Vocal rewards you $10 if they deem your work homepage-worthy.
Also, getting your work on the homepage means more reads: a higher chance of tippers besides the Vocal team! So what do you have to do to get staff picked? Write unique content, make it valuable, relate it to current events if you can, and try to write consistently! Not all of your articles will be staff picks, but you can increase your chances of getting one of them on the homepage by writing good quality content!
5. Donate to a Good Cause
So...there's a plot twist to this article. While I made about $200 in Vocal tips last year, most of that money didn't go to me. When the BLM movement picked up last summer, I made the effort to donate all my incoming Vocal tips to the BLM Fund. From June until December, I donated $161 of reader tip money to the cause. It was the least I could do to fight white supremacy.
When I told readers I'd be donating my tips to the BLM Fund (plus $1 from my own pocket for every donation), of course, my tips spiked. People feel more comfortable tipping if they know the money is going to a good cause. However, once you receive those tips, it is your responsibility to make sure the money gets sent to your charity. You can't keep it for yourself. Fraud is not cute, folks.
If you don't have a charity in mind, you could ask readers to send you tip money to be used for a specific project or goal you'd like to accomplish. If you're looking to get some funding for a film, you can write a pitch for that film in a Vocal article and ask for tips to help produce it! I'm sure there are other projects you can use Vocal tip money to fund, so get creative!
That's about it for my Vocal tip tips. Do you know another way to make more tips on Vocal? Send me an Instagram DM with your advice to @katyisaladybug and I'll make sure to include it in another article. If you found this piece helpful, make sure to drop a like, and...
Well, y'know...you could tip. ;)
As always, thanks for reading! Until next time.