These are things you can do that don’t cost you any money and won’t give the creator any money directly, but will help improve their ability to bring in income in other ways.
One of the most important things to content creators is that people are engaging with the content they make. Watching a video or a live stream is the base level of that, but more can be done to help their content get out there.
Like & Comment On Videos - YouTube can't tell what a good video is magically. It uses various metrics including watch time (how long people stay watching for when they open a video) and engagement. Liking and commenting on a video is essentially saying to YouTube, “I enjoyed this enough to engage more with it - you should promote it further” which is exactly what they will do.the more you like/comment, the better the videos you watch will do in search results.
Watch More - Maybe you really like one video series from a youtuber, or only like a streamer when he’s playing one game, so you don’t watch anything else from them. Well you can always leave a stream or new video on in the background when it’s something you don’t usually watch, rather than not watching at all. That way you’re still supporting the creation of the type of content you do enjoy, and you might end up finding something else you like too.
Interact On Social Media - Beyond just following their various other social media channels, you can also engage with the things they’re putting out there. If you enjoyed a tweet, like and retweet it. If you thought an instagram photo looked good, click like and leave a comment. It’s a few extra button presses that certainly aren’t necessary, but more engagement creators have with their supporters does two things: it makes the creator themselves the better they feel about what they’re doing if they have people liking and sharing their creations; and the larger the chance becomes of their content being spread even further, leading to more success.
Following Channels & Social Media
Knowing when a creator releases their content is important not only for you, but also for the creators themselves. They don't want you to miss their stuff probably more than you don't. Also, while numbers aren’t everything they do still matter, especially when creators pursue sponsorship deals. Helping increase their numbers will only help.
Follow On The Main Platform - Subscribing on YouTube, following on soundcloud, enabling notifications for new content, make sure to follow your favourite creators on the platform they primarily use to deliver content. If you enjoy their content don't leave it up to chance, make sure you are notified every time they make something new so you never miss anything.
Follow Everywhere Else - Most creators will also have multiple other channels on which you can follow them, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Doing this means you have better chance of not missing something your favoured creator posts, you’re kept up to date on any changes straight away, and you increase their overall standing in terms of a following.
Word Of Mouth
Possibly one of the most underestimated forms of support, simple word of mouth can have a huge effect. Sharing your favourite creator’s content on forums, Reddit, social media, comments on other sites, and even in person with friends can all be a huge help. One person tells someone else, who tells their two other friends, who both post it on different forums to twenty other people, who all post it on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, and it continues from there. This is how viral videos happen and when good content is picked up and spreads around the internet it brings in plenty of new supporters. And it can all start with you mentioning it to a few friends or posting to a forum. It’s important not to overdo it of course - if a certain forum is getting bombarded by content from the same person for example it will actually hurt the creator, but if it’s relevant, useful, or naturally comes up in conversation there’s nothing wrong with plugging their work every so often.
Clicking Sponsored Links
Sponsorships are sometimes looked down upon as “selling out” which absolutely isn’t uncommon to see, but tasteful promotion done in the right way of products relevant to a creator’s field helps everyone. A company gets their product out there to the people who might be interested, supporters get to see a product that they might actually be interested in, and the creator either gets a product for review purposes that may help make their content better, or in more uncommon cases a contribution to help make them more financially stable. There’s no need to ever purchase anything a creator showcases, but clicking their (usually tracked) links that they provide for products shows to the company behind it that it was worthwhile working with the creator and that could lead to further help or closer support.