Tired of hearing promise after promise of quick riches with AI?
The recent explosion of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney, and DALL·E 3 have sparked an AI gold rush.
And many have rushed into the hype—hoping for quick returns, only to find fool’s gold.
It’s time to cut through the noise and talk about some realistic ways to make money with AI.
Realistic Ways to Make Money with AI
Don’t get me wrong—these tools are incredible. There’s no doubt about that.
They boost productivity and output, assist us with research and repetitive tasks, and allow everyday people to create amazing content and art with the click of a button—in mere seconds.
But here’s the thing:
It’s not always clear where the real revenue-generating opportunities lie.
In this guide, we’ll explore how you can realistically turn AI’s potential into a steady and sustainable income stream, while emphasizing the fundamental role of editing skills.
Leverage AI as a Multiplier, Not a Magic Wand
It’s important to remember that AI is a multiplier of our existing skills – it’s not a magic money-making machine on its own.
To build a sustainable income from AI, you need to combine it with:
- Specialized skills
- Distribution channels
- Industry knowledge that you’ve built up over time.
That’s where Awesome Content Creator can help.
We are teaching individuals to take their creations to the next level—re-imagining them—by altering, refining, transforming, and re-packaging them in a creator’s own unique way.
I want you to really think about this…
With the recent innovations of generative AI, everyone with an internet connection now has the capability of summoning vast quantities of creative content at lightning speed.
You need a foundational skill to truly stand out.
That’s precisely why I believe:
Editing is the most valuable and important skill to develop to ensure future success as a creator.
Editing is compiling various types of content—text, video, images, graphics, dialogue, music, sound fx, etc.—and organizing, sorting, re-ordering, adjusting, manipulating, and packaging… then ultimately—presenting them in a unique way to deliver a specific message.
You decide what gets used.
You decide what gets cut.
You decide how the idea gets packaged and presented.
How you “edit” ultimately determines your style. And your style determines your success.
One more thing to note:
If you don’t have an entrepreneurial drive—no amount of AI-assistance is going to turn your ideas into revenue.
When Learning/Researching—Always Have A Project in Mind
With all of the excitement surrounding generative AI creation, it’s easy to get distracted and find yourself down a rabbit hole of consuming every single available possibility.
To help stay focused, we suggest this approach:
Don’t simply consume AI generated content—study it with a purpose.
Always have a specific project or goal in mind where you can apply these practices. This will help drive your success.
For example, my project is Awesome Content Creator.
I’m looking at every new AI tool through the lens of whether I can use it to provide more value or enhance my workflow.
I use Notion to document everything while I research.
Any new tool I come across that I think might add value gets added to this Notion page.
This helps me keep tabs on:
- The pros and cons of each tool
- It’s competitors that are offering a similar service
- It’s monthly/yearly pricing
- Which ones I’d like to do more research on
- Which ones I’m strongly considering
There are so many apps and services available to creators, and this helps keep my thoughts on them in one place.
Ok, now that we have an actual foundation to work from…
Let’s talk about the realistic ways to make money with AI.
Provide Real Value to Your Audience
When integrating AI tools—always aim to provide real value to your audience… not just whatever the AI happens to generate.
AI should enhance and improve the quality of your creative output—not be used to automate it.
Again—this is where your editing skills become massively important.
Your ability to refine and shape the AI output into something useful is where you can add a layer of human touch and quality—a.k.a. your style.
Remember, it’s the value you provide that will keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
So always ask yourself: How can my AI-assisted creations genuinely help, entertain, or inform my audience?
Build an Audience Before Releasing Products
Like it or not, distribution and audience building are still the key to making money—with AI or not.
Before releasing any of your brilliant and thoughtfully constructed AI-driven products or services, focus on building an audience around them first.
You do this by building in public.
Building in public creates awareness and demand around you, your creative vision, and showcases the solutions you can provide.
Help Offline Businesses with AI-Powered Solutions
One often overlooked avenue for AI monetization is assisting offline businesses.
Look for opportunities to help traditional businesses improve their branding and marketing with AI tools.
Tap into their existing budgets by offering customized AI-powered solutions for their needs.
For example, things like customer experience enhancement via virtual AI chatbots, or helping them tailor personalized marketing strategies by analyzing purchase histories and customer behavior.
As creators, when we go on social platforms, we are constantly surrounded by content talking about AI… but it’s easy to forget that most people aren’t.
Become an AI Integrator
Consider positioning yourself as an AI integrator or strategist.
Help companies connect workflows and make recommendations on how to best leverage AI for their business.
Remember: Most companies are too focused on their own business to learn about all of the advancements and innovations of AI.
That’s why they hire specialized creative agencies for things like video creation and marketing… because those areas are not the primary focus of their business.
So become the expert—the bridge—that connects them to complex technologies that can enhance and scale their business.
But it’s important to note:
If making money is your goal, you should have a deep understanding of the industries you target. Knowing the specific needs and challenges of an industry will allow you to offer tailored AI solutions that add the most value.
Start small, and make progress though networking—joining AI communities, and engaging with industry-specific professionals and via events/conferences.
Consider Both Short-Term and Long-Term Approaches
Look for a balance between passion projects, quick monetization, and long-term sustainability.
While it’s super tempting to try and jump on every short term trend… you should always aim to align your efforts closely with your goals.
Keep a long-term vision by considering how AI can help you foster audience loyalty, improve product quality, or lead to more innovative products that ensure continued revenue.
And do your best to avoid get-rich-quick schemes with AI—they simply won’t last.
That leads us to the next section…
Avoid Low-Barrier Markets
The rapid proliferation of AI technologies has led to the emergence of numerous markets and opportunities.
However, some of these markets have a low barrier to entry—making them easily accessible to a large amounts of people, and potentially leading to oversaturation.
A low barrier market refers to sectors or niches where the costs, skills, and resources required to enter and compete are relatively minimal. Examples might include simple chatbots, basic AI-driven analytics tools, generic content generators, and basic AI art generation.
They might seem tempting due to their accessibility, but that’s exactly why it’s best to steer clear.
The increased competition in these markets will reduce your competitive advantage, quickly drive down overall prices, and reduce long term sustainability.
Instead; aim for deeper specialization, value-added services, and know that you will need to adopt the mindset of continuous learning and adaptation.
How Can I Start Using AI Right Now?
Even though most of these innovations have come out within the last year… there are a ton of smart ways to integrate generative AI into your creative workflow.
Here are some of the ways I’m using it:
Generative AI Tools for Idea Generation and Copywriting:
They both are great—but excel at different things. Overall, Claude’s output seems to be more natural, whereas ChatGPT loves to add extra flair.
I’m specifically prompting these AI chatbots for things like:
- Click-worthy video/article title suggestions
- Intriguing heading suggestions
- Writing suggestions—specifically, making things more concise and actionable
- Grammar checks (”Is this sentence grammatically correct: [past my sentence]”)
- Help with SEO
I’m also using ChatGPT and Claude to break down specific YouTube videos into summaries and actionable items. Then, I heavily edit their output and add in my own specific thoughts and insights… which become the video posts you see here.
If you’re interested in going deeper on my specific prompting techniques and full workflow—know that I’m working my way there!
My main goal right now is to lay the foundation.
Generative AI Tools for Imagery and Visuals:
I’ve mostly been using Midjourney (which I used to create all of the images you see in this post), and I must say that it is incredibly powerful. I also JUST got access to OpenAI’s DALL·E 3, and used it to make the “How Can I Help You” Robot picture above, as well as the 2 pictures below.
Quality AI image generation has already had a huge impact on my professional workflow.
I’ve been editing video for a long time, and I’ve always had to go to stock asset websites to look for relevant and additive content—I’ve even created many types of stock content as a side hustle.
But these AI image generation tools have truly changed the game.
Now, I can open Midjourney or DALL·E 3, and dial in/tweak my prompts until I get exactly the type of image I had in my head.
This can be useful in so many ways—blog posts, social posts, videos, etc.
Here’s another one from DALL·E 3 that I made while trying to generate a feature image for this article about how to make money with generative AI:
🤖 It’s perfect.
More AI Tools I’m Strongly Considering Right Now:
AI Video Generation
RunwayML, Pika Labs, and Kaiber — I’ve done trials for all of them already, but am still in the process of determining which is the right service for me for AI video generation. RunwayML appears to be the overall leader, but Pika Labs is free to use right now… so I’m assuming they are gathering tons and tons of data. Kaiber is very cool too, but seems like a more specialized visual-effect service.
AI Voice Generation
ElevenLabs — I’ve paused my ElevenLabs subscription for now—even though I love its quality. Currently, I don’t see ways to monetize or add value with it, but if I do, I’ll choose ElevenLabs for AI voice generation.
AI Website Generation (yes, you read that right!)
Relume — Relume started out as a components library for the popular website builder Webflow. But they recently announced full AI generated website building. This is potentially ground-breaking, and something I’m highly considering diving into.
Would you be interested in my take on this? Let me know in the comments.
Many, Many More
There are more, of course… but I’m trying not to make rushed decisions. Just with the tools I’m already using, there are plenty of amazing new things to experiment with!
Putting It All Together—Long-Term Positioning + Impact
Generative AI is an incredibly powerful innovation, but it’s not a magic money-making machine on its own.
For sustained and meaningful monetization—avoid the allure of quick riches, utilize generative AI as your personal assistant, and focus on long-term positioning and providing lasting value.
Remember: AI isn’t a shortcut, but it is a multiplier.
Specialized skills and expertise are still a necessity.
And the only way to gain these are through experimentation, iteration, and experience.
But by embracing AI as a creative extension of your current abilities, you can turn its potential into a source of steady and sustainable income.
Don’t forget: if everybody in the world has the capability of easily creating vast amounts of content at incredible speed—your judgment and editing skills are the key to refining your AI creations and ensuring your lasting impact.
How are you integrating generative AI tools into your creative workflow?
Interested in me going deeper into how I specifically use these tools?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!