Meet Maya Elious, a passionate, expert brand strategist who helps content creators monetize their work online. Or in other words, she helps you get money for the content you put out there. She’s the one that helps you or your brand get noticed within the stream of unlimited data, ads and information that we call the internet. From a young age, she has learned how to make money online and has brought her expertise into her coaching. She aids bloggers and brands make an impact in the infinite online space. She had a moment to sit down with Blavity’s Creative Society to share some of her experiences as well as give helpful tips on how to get started.

Find what makes you valuable

From her experience working with clients, the hardest part is making them believe they can be in a position to make money.

“People don’t give themselves enough credit. People try to do what seems profitable instead of what they actually know. People discount their experiences. If YOU don’t see yourself as valuable, you can’t convince me that you’re valuable. Then you can’t convince me to pay you.”

After you find your value, then it’s time to establish yourself to be in a position to actually be paid. You have to have a way for someone to pay you. A product page, a hire me page, a link to a PayPal, etc. The people who complain about not making any money are usually not selling anything. Elious believes in her clients and puts them in the best position to feel successful. 

“If anyone ever wants to work with me that can’t afford me, they have two options. I’ll either redirect them to something else I have that’s affordable or I’ll tell them to save. People sacrifice for what they want. I’ve had people sacrifice haircuts, manicures, vacations, etc. to hire me. Can’t just discount because someone FEELS like I should.”


Never devalue yourself

Some members of the Creative Society struggle with wanting the exposure, but aren't sure if they should cheapen their brand in order to gain profit. Elious says that it’s an issue of people devaluing the work. 

“We all find value in different things. I don’t expect black people to buy from me or be attracted to my offer because I’m black. I’ve detached myself from expectations when it comes to that. This is my offer regardless of race, our history, etc.”

The way that Elious grew her following/customer base was by showcasing herself. She credits Periscope, a live video platform, as a great example to really express your personality. Consistency is key. One video is not enough. “Trust is built quickest through live video. Then email. Then content (podcast, blogging, YouTube, etc). Then social media.” You control your value.

“The more you’re serious about not discounting yourself, people will know how to approach you. Better yet, people that aren’t ready for you will not approach you.”

Positioning rather than race

Many members of the Creative Society questioned their positioning among their audience. One member embraces “blackness” in entertainment, but wants to appeal to all audiences. Another member says that her social media seems to only attract people of her own race. Elious has heard much about this before. The occasional “handout” requests can often happen within areas of your own community.

If you are settled on wanting to work with white brands and companies then it's actually a good thing that you attract black people, Elious says. That is where you have an advantage. If white brands are looking for ways to connect with black audiences, then you are the avenue. 


This is really important. If you are a blogger for example, then you need to be clear about what value your blog offers. Be consistent with your content and be clear with the traffic sources. If you are having a hard time being consistent, then you probably don’t have a clear system and process for your content. Elious suggested that the Smart Content Toolbox would be helpful in this area. If you are inconsistent because you don’t know what to blog/write about, then the Content Creation Toolkit may assist you.

“You want to be where your audience is.”


“Worst case scenario, nothing is added to your bank account. Nothing changes. Best case scenario, money is added to your account… Somebody’s gonna pay. You just have to attract that person.”

So… how are you making money online? Let us know in the comments below!

Learn more about the Creative Society here.