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  • Writer's pictureLuca Cusolito

It's March How?

Updated: Mar 6

Here we are now in March and I'll be entering a new decade of my life in mere weeks. Hilarity ensuing!

What's Here:

If you happen to make a purchase from one of the links, I may earn a small percentage of the sale. Thank you for helping me fund my many digital projects!


I thought I wanted to write something flowery today, but I'M PRETTY EXCITED ABOUT WHAT I AM WORKING ON RN! All of my weird plans are finally coming together. Even if things did not go as planned.

Mobile App Scrapped!

I started the year working on two mobile apps and now we are putting a pin in both projects. I was building a branded mobile app for Create More Club but experienced issues getting the product into the Apple Store. I have since opted to use the free Spaces By Wix mobile app system but this has been put on the back burner for right now. I have also explored BuildFire, a mobile app builder that I actually worked with back in 2014 when I designed a mobile app for the Jersey City Art and Studio Tour. Should I decide to work with Buildfire for Create More Club mobile app, I would be starting from square one with the design but I at least know how I want the app to perform and feel confident I could onboard into their design system pretty quickly.

But that's something to think about during the Summer. I have since turned my attention to where I have an existing community to engage with on creative digital business topics, Creativepreneur Happy Hour.

The other mobile project has since evolved into media production and educational program development. And that's really cool for me this year!

As I said, all my weird ideas are coming together even if things didn't go as planned.

In case you missed it: February 2023 Start Anywhere

I Monetized My Oldest Instagram Account

I joined Instagram in November 2011 back when it was fun. @lucacusolito

I collected my very first check from Meta in the last 30 days representing Instagram Reel Bonuses that I have qualified for since around Thanksgiving. The Challenge: I wanted to see if I could get myself familiar with Reels and its features, and get faster at conceptualizing and creating content through the native platform.

The Research: I consume A LOT of educational content via YouTube from folks who are several steps ahead of me on different digital business paths.

Because I am gearing up to do more with YouTube Shorts for my Lucalito account to share personal/vlog-style content, I see Instagram Reels as a way for me to sharpen my skills on the short-form video front on a platform where I already feel comfortable and get feedback on my content before I move over to YouTube.

And, hey, if Meta wants to pay me to do it, so be it!

The Meta Money

Because I am a very small account with @lucacusolito (under 5k followers at time of post), I only have access to certain monetization paths on Instagram:

  • Instagram Reels Bonuses up to $1,200

  • Gifts On Reels

I do not have access to subscriptions and a few other monetization features for creators with 10k and more on Instagram at this time. I am rounding the corner to a second check from Meta from the latest round of Reels I've done.

Every little bit counts, but getting the experience of video editing/production and also being able to now teach others about how to work with this system to get monetized has been the most valuable parts of the process.

Next Steps For Instagram Monetization

I am currently managing about 8 Instagram accounts.

Less than half are currently eligible for monetization because there are a few steps that go into the process of getting ready for the Meta Money. One of the accounts I manage on behalf of a long-time client. Their account is poised to start monetizing, and I will be working with them to develop a content plan that fits our short-term and long-term marketing goals.

We should receive an invite from Instagram to the Reels Bonus program after actively working with the account to increase content production and ensuring that tax information for their business is submitted to Meta to receive payment.

I missed one little step on the Meta Business administrative side last year, and held up one of my Meta Money payments!

I would encourage anyone even thinking about monetizing their Instagram accounts based on views to start the adminstrative process of getting signed up with Meta to receive payments. It is a multi-step process and can be a little tedious, so you want to give yourself time to complete the sign-up process.

I will be employing the strategy that I used to gain eligibility for the Instagram Reels program with even SMALLER accounts than my personal one:

@CreativeEnabler on Instagram

@CreativeEnabler is now eligible for Instagram Reels bonuses and is right on the cusp of 10k.

I am working with a really awesome digital marketing assistant right now through the Acadium program, and I am confident that we will be seeing some good growth together with combined efforts on Instagram content creation and engagement.

Create More In Public, Even If You Don't Know Where It's Going

The most prevalent YouTube advice I have consumed over the last year has been as follows:

  • You are never going to be happy with your first videos on YouTube

  • It takes 80 - 120 videos before you get monetized on YouTube

  • The best thing you can do is just start

  • Once monetized, do not expect waves of cash rolling in month after month; Some months may be lighter than others

  • Algorithm changes, like any other platform, can impact how well your previously top-performing content does

Many of the YouTubers that I listen to have systems and programs to sell, and I may consider joining a community for feedback when I have a little more infrastructure hammered out in my brain for how this content production and schedule will look for me. While I know I will always be on a journey to improve my video skills and all that jazz, there are things I can do before I publish my YouTube videos to create more cohesion around the content and lean into crafting the start of my own creative workflow system:

Graphic design:

I use Canva Pro pretty exclusively to create web graphics and anticipate creating layouts and other elements for use in my Lucalito YouTube Videos

Sound effects and audioscapes: I have been researching, organizing, and experimenting with different sounds for both short and longer-format video

Background music: I have been creating custom tracks for use on my future videos using AI music tools so that I don't have to go looking for music if I need it; Also I can monetize my custom tracks ;)

Design apps: I have been experimenting with different design apps on mobile to see how I can create humorous or interesting elements to short-form content quickly

Organization, organization, organization: I have been going back through notebooks and scanning my thoughts on content that I've been sitting on and wasn't prepared to present just yet; Each idea has a folder, and I'm pulling images and video and audio to support it

I don't know, I'm kind of excited about this next decade!

(plz to have no famous last words)


I am making it a point to try and start and end my months by writing here, if not for anyone else, but to document my time exploring my creativity over this year. 🖤 If you want to watch me #createinpublic, here is where you can follow:

Luca on Twitter

Lucalito on YouTube

Luca on Instagram Lucalito on Instagram

Lucalito on Facebook

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