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The top question I get about being a content creator and influencer is how do I make money followed by how much money can an influencer make. I sat down with 2 of my great friends in the content creation industry Karen of @karenbritchic on Instagram and Jenee of @highlowluxxe last New York Fashion Week to speak on this very subject. Make sure to check out our 3 part series YouTube Video here. I’ve written many blog posts about how to become a blogger, YouTuber, influencer or content creator and you can check out all of my tips here in the Blogging Category of this website. I’ve also written a few eBooks and templates on How to Become an Influencer, How to Determine Your Rates and How to Pitch to Brands for Hotel Stays, Fashion Week and Sponsorship here on my ETSY Shop which is currently back open for business. I encourage anyone who is interested in this new occupation to give in a chance because there is a market for everyone no matter your age or niche. This is a growing occupation and there’s enough room and money for everyone. Read on for 6 ways influencers make money.
Brand Collaborations are probably the number one way creators make money on social media. Whether that’s a blog post that a brand has commissioned, an Instagram post a brand wants your to create content for and post on your feed, a YouTube Video mention or a TikTok. If you have influence and an engaged audience brands will seek you out and pay you to post on any social media you may have. That is why it pays to already have your own blog or website. Blog Posts command pretty high fees because of the time it takes to put a blog post together, including photography and the fact that it lives online forever. It doesn’t get pushed down in your feed in a few days. The same goes for having a YouTube Channel. Youtube is perhaps the most engaged social media platforms and one of the number one search engines in the world. In addition to Blog Posts and YouTube videos brands also commission content on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest. In the long run it helps to have at least 3 forms of social media to be able to command a fee for each and increase the potential of going full time if you so choose.
Affiliate Marketing Links
Affiliate Marketing Platforms are fast on the rise. It’s a way you can get a link to a retailer and when a person clicks that link and makes a purchase the creator gets a small commission from the brand. Most of the time its just a few cents but those cents can add up quickly. There are influencers who solely live off of affiliate income and are making millions yearly simply from posting links and their audience purchasing they’re recommendations. A few affiliate marketing sites I love include RewardStyle or Shop LikeToKnow.it, MagicLinks and Shop Style Collective. There are hundreds of affiliate marketing platforms but most of them require you to join their platform. Sites like RewardStyle only admit people who meet certain requirements. I use affiliate links when linking my outfits on Instastories, in my blog posts, as well as in my YouTube description boxes. Anywhere you can post on social media, you can leave an affiliate link. Most affiliate marketing sites pay out your commissions within 30 or 60 days. On sites like RewardStyle once you meet a certain threshold, usually $100 in commissions you are paid biweekly.
YouTube is one of the best platforms a creator can have because there are 4 ways to make money from this platform including Brand Collaborations, Affiliate Linking in Description Boxes, asking for support from subscribers (via Venmo, cash app, patron etc) and finally Adsense. There are certain requirements to be able to activate Adsense on YouTube videos but the other 3 ways you can start as soon as you start posting content. With Adsense you can allow ads to run on your videos. You can even place how many ads and choose what kinds of ads you’d like to run on your videos. My rule of thumb is to run an ad every 10 minutes of the video, which is why it pays most to upload longer videos. You are paid every time a viewer watches an ad. How much is paid out per view is also dependent on where you live. For instance ads run on US based videos typically pay out more than those run on UK videos. Adsense pay also doesn’t depend on how many subscribers you have. It’s more dependent on how many people actually watch through the ads on your videos. Thus payouts can differ even if creators have the same following. This can also explain why smaller creators can still make as much as larger creator channels. I average 5K-8K monthly from Adsense on YouTube alone at 60K Subscribers, posting 2 videos weekly which are an average of 40 minutes long.
TikTok & Instagram Bonuses & Follower Gifts
TikTok and Instagram both now have incentives to post on their platforms and allow creators to earn bonuses or monies based on plays of their content. Instagram recently rolled out this new feature to a few creators and I believe soon it will be available to anyone with a creator or business account on Instagram. For Instagram specifically bonuses are on available when posting a reel. This is because Instagram is switching over to more video content and want to push creators to create more reels. For reference I was able to make $900 from about 8 reels in one month. This was the first month I’ve ever used the bonuses on Instagram and have yet to be paid out but it seems payment will be through PayPal. On both platforms you can also accept virtual gift payments. Instagram recently rolled out a feature to let followers send you money in the form of badges during your Live Videos.
Appearance & Speaking Engagements
If you’ve built up your following and have a expertise or knowledge in your niche whether that’s travel, fashion, beauty, business, motherhood or the millions of other niches creators can have you can leverage that knowledge for a fee. I’ve been paid to speak on panels about being a content creator, building my brand, fashion tips and attending events to specifically create content for brands. This is usually typical if you have a larger following or expertise in a certain field that people want more insider information about. This also includes hosting events, parties, dinners and more with brands. Brands will also pay creators to attend events. During Art Basel in Miami this was very common especially for creators which large audiences.
Personal Brand Businesses
Many creators leverage their social media following by creating their own products and selling them. Amazon has made an entire business out of partnering with creators to design clothing lines that sell out in minutes! Personally I have leveraged my social media following by creating my own store full of eBooks and Templates that I’ve written to help other people do what I do as a content creator. I’ve even created my own course on Teachable with classes to teach How to Pitch to Brands as well as how to create cool content. I’ve also collaborated with my good friend Sonjia Williams to create two clothing collections each year. Many creators start selling merchandise, educational tools, courses and more to add an additional stream of income based on their personal brand.
SHOP THE LOOK
So there you have it, the top 6 ways influencers make money. Just think if someone has several platforms and a decent sized following they can easily make millions as a content creator. It’s all about honing in on what your strengths and skillsets are and being consistent and passionate about the content created. Leave any questions you have below in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer them. In the meantime, thank you for your support! Never forget it’s the people who support you that can make or break your career so never loose sight of that fact.