I have been writing since 2017, and I still remember it took me about a year to actually gain any income from it. And one of the sad things about being a content creator in the fiat world is that you need to waste so much energy on dealing with middlemen or algorithms instead of focusing on your crafts, which takes away part of the joy of creating itself. Yet somehow, I staked over 100k sats recently in Stacker News without much existing audience in the Bitcoin world ( 100k sats isn't much, but I enjoy the feeling of being appreciated 👀 )
So, I would like to share my findings on how content creators can integrate Bitcoin into their work so that more people can focus on crafting instead of compromising on making eyeball-grabbing content.

For Getting Tips from Audiences

Simply get an LN address from Alby or any of these LN address providers, then put it into your bio across different social media, and you're done! But the disadvantage of this is it requires people to copy and paste, which creates a bit of friction.! However, this is the first step to test things out.
I recommend using addresses from LightningTipBot, Alby or Stacker News. Personally, I don't like to show a wallet address like xx@walletofsatoshidotcom in public, which almost tells this company, hey this is my online presence, and this is my wallet; I prefer more subtle things.
If you have existing sites, there are two easy ways to integrate them:
  • Easy breezy solution
Use Alby directly because they already set up a tipping page for you; all you need to do is link it. Sample
  • Slightly more technical
Go to twentyuno, put your lightning address, and then copy and paste the code into your site. But once you put this code, people can only scan with their phones. To make things smoother, I recommend combining Alby with Twentyuno, so people could also tip from their browsers, and this only requires two steps:
  1. Put these two lines of code in the site header.
<meta name="lightning" content="lnurlp:you@getalby.com"/> <meta property="og:image" content="https://www.your.blog/YOUR_IMAGE" />
The Alby browser icon would turn blue when successfully set up your site, but one site I set up didn't show blue and still works somehow.
  1. Copy and paste the code from twentyuno into where you would like to have the tipping section. Sample
One more detail to share: I put different addresses at different places just to understand where people are paying more attention or where is working as feedback.

For Selling Digital Downloads or Products

If you currently have a shop or would like to set up a shop selling any digital downloads or products for Bitcoin, here is what I have tried:
1. Shopify with BTCpay
Building a shop with Shopify is quite convenient but expensive, with monthly fees, transaction fees, and many middlemen fees. But the most annoying part is they are asking for too many documents, so KYCed.
Expensive and NO privacy, I do not recommend this setup.
2. WordPress with BTCpay
WordPress might take a bit of a learning curve, but it is open source and has almost 0 cost besides hosting, and the most important thing: NO KYC! I am currently self-hosting WordPress using Digital Ocean. To make it function like a shop, all you need to do is install the plugin WooCommerce. In order to use BTCpay, we need to figure out how to host it. Many hosting providers are listed here, but let's choose the easiest one to start: BTCpay with Voltage.
But I think it would be better if you already have some audiences or do not mind the cost because it has ongoing monthly fees. I am currently paying about $9 for a Bitcoin node and $12 for a lighting node monthly - It would be kind of sweet if you pay these costs with the sats you stacked.
However, the EXTRA BONUS is that you get to experience the future while many people are still at the doubting or looking from afar stage! One more bonus to share - after tinkering with BTCpay for a while, I learnt that all you need is one node, and then you can set up multiple shops! For example, I use the same node on three different sites. How nice.
3. LNbits
LNbits seems like a really powerful tool. However, I tested it a few times both in my Umbrel node and voltage, but I don't understand why whenever I create a new store, it would be gone if I log in again.
🤯 So I am sorry, I can't have more to share for now.
Sum up
If you would like to set up a shop integrating with Bitcoin, the best and easiest setup I have found ( so far ) is using WordPress with WooCommerce, and payment with BTCpay hosting with Voltage.

Exploring the Lightning Ecosystem

Above are ways to integrate Bitcoin into the existing setups, but you might be amazed by how thriving Bitcoinia is once you tap into the Lightning Ecosystem, but this would be an article for another day.
Sneak peek
Lightning-Ecosystem.jpg
I'm excited to see a world without endless gatekeepers and middlemen taking cuts, and people can focus on themselves and their crafts, and this is already starting with me.
Stay tuned for more.
related
376 sats \ 4 replies \ @midas 8 Sep
Nice post! I've been creating content myself, and with a team, for about the same amount of time. But I've never really relied on tips, more on affiliate marketing to monetize my content.
I've just started thinking about getting into a more challenging project to "cut middlemen" now. Not really content-related. So, these are good insights, thanks.
Plus: I am wondering if any stacker has good recommendations on hosting?
I've been using Namecheap Shared for over 5 years. You can host several websites, and the support is great. The price is acceptable.
But for domain names, I've been using Namesilo, cheaper.
reply
I also used Namesilo, but their DNS server's update is quite slow. Then I moved to Namecheap for domains, but I would love to move everything to njalla eventually.
And thanks for sharing about Namecheap hosting experience:)
reply
deleted by author
reply
why would they jack someone else's domains at the risk of ruining their own reputations?
But thanks for the heads-up! I am using two domains with them so far, quite enjoyed the login and payment process 🤯
reply
deleted by author
reply
Plus: I am wondering if any stacker has good recommendations on hosting? I tried GoDaddy and Siteground before, but not so satisfied, DO is generally not bad but quite slow if you need to ask anything from them 🐌
reply
I use Linode (now part of Akamai) for my internal stuff (VPN including password manager, monitoring) because they allow to use recent Linux kernels (required for best experience with WireGuard VPN). I don't know if you have specific requirements but for me, Linode works well.
I only needed a not too old Linux kernel + not too expensive network IO rate.
Regarding support speed, I don't know but so far, I never needed to ask for help
reply
Thanks, let me look it up.
I have really simple needs, just to host some WP sites, not too expensive and timely communication if something goes wrong in the hosting. 🤯
reply
Now I am also interested how fast they would reply.
I also use another hosting provider but that's a small one from Germany. I've been a customer there for years. But when I wanted to setup a WireGuard VPN, I noticed their kernels are quite old. So I then started to also use Linode.
But at delta, every question I had was answered within 24 hours, even by the founder himself :)
At first I thought I'm going to fully switch to Linode. But I am now emotionally attached to delta because of that good support, lol
I need to come up with some random question and see how fast and how Linode responds...
Maybe my question could just be: how fast do you respond? lol
reply
I now just opened a new support ticket with the following:
Hi,
I was asked by a friend if I can recommend Linode. I said yes but they said it's important to them how fast their support responds.
I said I don't know since I never had to ask anything so far. So I got interested myself and thought, what should I ask to test response speed?
Since I have no question, I came up with the following idea: Please respond with the solution of 3 + 5.
Thank you!
lol
Edit: wait... I should have asked if they have a referral program, lol
reply
🤣🤣 Good test!
New idea: why not slowly sort out all good digital products which are verified by plebs, for example, VPN like Mullvad, then make a page in SN, and each referral ( if it has) fueled back to the pool - more sats for everyone who contributed and saving time for newcomers do so much researching?
reply
They replied 20 minutes ago:
Support Ticket 21177696 has been updated by mcrowe:
Hey there,
First and foremost since you haven't needed to contact us yet, welcome to Linode! I see its been almost 8 months since you initially created your account and we're happy to have you here.
I'll start with some guidelines you can expect with our Support Team while I crowd source a proper answer for your question from our Support Team. It's important to note that our Support Team responds to tickets in the order they are received so our response times can vary as we receive and close other tickets. With that being said, you can always give us a call and a member of our Support Team will answer the call and get started on your issue right away. There is a short recording when calling our Team, after which your call is delivered to a human Support Team member:
U.S. 855-454-6633 Global +1-609-380-7100 I also want to briefly mention our scope of support, which details issues we can directly help with. We solely troubleshoot, manage and monitor the infrastructure upon which your server resides. We don't have access to the internals of your server, issues such as editing the configuration of your server fall outside the Scope of Support. We're always happy to get you pointed in the right direction on out of scope issues though!
Since you mentioned your friend is looking to create an account I recommend you check out our referral program, because who doesn't like free credit on their Linode account? If you're interested in this offering, you can read about the details and process on the pages linked below:
Please respond with the solution of 3 + 5
I got some really unique answers from our team, but I found the consensus of our team landed on the following for the best answer:
3+5= Gary Busey
I hope this has been helpful for your assessment of our Support Team's response and expectations, and please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns!
Regards, Mason
Please use https://cloud.linode.com/support/tickets/21177696 to respond to this ticket.
Linode Community: https://www.linode.com/community/ Linode System Status: https://status.linode.com/
This ticket will be closed if not updated within 96 hours.
Thank you, Linode
reply
Quite efficient and thoughtful too 🤣 Thanks again - I would take it into my weekend fun to check.
And why 3+5= Gary Busey?
reply
And why 3+5= Gary Busey?
I have no idea haha
reply
So they at least are able to respond within one hour, lol
why not slowly sort out all good digital products which are verified by plebs, for example, VPN like Mullvad, then make a page in SN, and each referral ( if it has) fueled back to the pool - more sats for everyone who contributed and saving time for newcomers do so much researching?
One answer to "why not" is always "time and priorities" :)
With referrals you mean that all products which have a referral program would be referred by SN, no matter which pleb verified the product for us or is vouching for it? So any financial advantage we get from this referral program would be put back into the pool by us?
I think it's better if we make old but gold content easier to discover. If we also would allow infinite editing of posts, any community member could maintain such a list :)
I think such an approach would maximize potential use cases with minimal effort, lol
reply
With referrals, you mean that all products which have a referral program would be referred by SN, no matter which pleb verified the product for us or is vouching for it?
Yes, as a joint effort, and of course, it would be nice if all these referrals put back into the pool could be automatic.
I think it's better if we make old but gold content easier to discover. If we also would allow infinite editing of posts, any community member could maintain such a list :) I think such an approach would maximize potential use cases with minimal effort, lol
Okay, I agree - you do what is most important first!:) Because I would feel strange if I write something with my own referral code in it 😂
reply
100 sats \ 1 reply \ @ekzyis 7 Sep
Haha, talking about referral codes, here is my Linode referral code:
Apparently you would get $100 free credit for 60 days:
When you refer friends or colleagues to Linode using your referral link, they’ll receive a $100, 60-day credit once a valid payment method is added to their new account.
When the referred customer spends $25 on Linode services, and has remained an active customer in good standing for 90 days, you’ll receive a $25 non-expiring account credit. There are no limits to the number of people you can refer. Read more about our promotions policy.
view replies
I’ve seen namecheap.com recommended in several places, but I don’t have any personal experience using it. Lmk if you or anyone else has any opinion on it…?
reply
I think Namecheap is only good for domains?
Btw, if anyone is looking for where to buy domains with Bitcoin, njalla is great.
reply
One more detail to share: I put different addresses at different places just to understand where people are paying more attention or where is working as feedback.
Clever! But then you need to consolidate sometimes, right?
I feel like one unsolved problem is sats spread around in too many different wallets.
I have some sats in several LNbits wallets, some sats on SN, some sats on Alby, some sats on Satlantis etc.
reply
Thanks, that would be a good problem to have when I stack a significant amount of sats! 🤓
But some thought experiment - it would be nice if
  1. When above x amount, then send a mail to notify
  2. When above x amount , then trigger an invoice and send it to xx address
Like a zapier in the lightning world.
reply
100 sats \ 1 reply \ @ekzyis 7 Sep
Thanks, that would be a good problem to have when I stack a significant amount of sats! 🤓
More sats = more problems. I guess I just sent you 235 things to worry about, lol
We need to be shepherds for our little precious sats
But some thought experiment - it would be nice
  • When above x amount, then send an mail to notify
  • When above x amount , then trigger an invoice and send it to xx wallet Like a zapier in the lightning world.
And great ideas! They even sound very simple to implement
reply
More sats = more problems = more problem solving = opportunities to provide value for others = stack more sats ♻️
My pleasure to lay out cool ideas 🫡
reply
Reminds me of the email address alias trick to monitor who is selling your contact information 😛
reply
yes, I am also using a good tool for it : simplelogin 😎
reply
Video content earns well on Lightning.Video
reply
The follow-up article would be about different fun LN apps or sites, but the approach of Lightning.Video is not V4V. Putting a paywall like this isn't encouraging more people to make eyeball-grabbing content just to scam others to pay and watch?
reply
No, the paywall is optional. The reactions/zaps and paid comments are V4V and you get a Lightning address.
reply
Oh okay, but I remembered last time I checked there is full of unhealthy contents 🥸
reply
That's what freedom from censorship looks like. They are a video host though, so you can just embed the player into your own page or send people to your channel.
reply
That's what freedom from censorship looks like
did you ever wonder about why the quality of SN is so good, yet many new platforms are full of junk? 🤔
reply
No thumbnail images, a retvrn to topics of text. Like BBB's of old, a true discussion board.
If they ever add image thumbnails it'll go to shit quickly. Just like reddit.
But if doesn't it'll stay niche.
So the best tools will work within your own namespace.
reply
What about zaprite?
reply
I once attempted to use Zaprite to pay someone but ended up sending it directly. Let me play around with it again - it seems they just launched the payment link feature, almost like the one-click payment in Stripe 👀
—— Edit
I think Zaprite is good for sites with individual products like people would either click this or that, but if people would buy more than one product, I think the combination "WordPress with WooCommerce and payment with BTCpay hosting with Voltage" still wins.
reply
Ahh thanks for the insight.
reply
Nice work
reply
Great write up! Thanks for sharing. This inspires us to keep doing what we do at Sovran Systems. We all find our path to self-hosting in different ways with all the cool software out there.
reply