Top 6 Ways Influencers Make Money

Bec & Bridge Top | Ann Taylor Cape | Sweaty Betty Leggings | Chanel Earrings & Mules | Fendi Bag | Bakers Boy Hat

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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

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 Adsense

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. 

Bec & Bridge Top | Ann Taylor Cape | Sweaty Betty Leggings | Chanel Earrings & Mules | Fendi Bag | Bakers Boy Hat

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. 

xx

Monroe

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29 Comments

  1. Tracy
    January 18, 2022 / 7:34 pm

    Hi Monroe,

    I’m Tracy of Traysgoinggray on Instagram.
    I’m a midlife 53 yr old newly empty nester with transitioning silver/gray hair and a lover of fashion, beauty, travel and yoga.
    I’m such a fan of you and I adore your content and transparency. I’ve followed you for couple of years now and I’m seriously thinking of making this a full time job. I’m receiving so much love on IG, my following is growing so rapidly and I reached and unbelievable over 10k likes on a recent photo that’s in a mini viral break out as I write this email.
    I’m going to forward this blog to my daughter who is my social media manager. She lives in Miami and also follows you. We respect what you do and we definitely will take the tips and suggestions moving forward in growing my brand and getting paid partnerships etc.
    Continued success to you!

    Xoxo
    Tracy

    • monroesteele
      Author
      January 19, 2022 / 7:26 pm

      Amazing! Thank you Tracy! Sounds like you’re on your way!

    • January 20, 2022 / 10:30 am

      God bless your heart for always dropping gems! You and Jenee’ are like my virtual mentors. I had a short-lived fashion blog after I graduated with a fashion design degree. My life took a different turn and I temporarily switched careers. In 2020 during the “panoramic “ I started posting consistently on IG and even started a YT channel. I’m still doing all of this mostly as a passion. I feel like this year is a transitional year for me into becoming full time. I started getting paid on YT and IG last year. I’ve also consistently made an average of $200 a month from reels alone. They usually pay out between the 20th-23rd. Thank you for being so inspirational Monroe!
      PS: outfit is giving Parisian vibes. Love it!!!

      IG @becca.chic
      YT Becca chic
      Site boulevardchic.com

  2. Porscha
    January 18, 2022 / 7:38 pm

    Hi, thank you for this information. I’m taking this as a sign to start!

  3. Angie
    January 18, 2022 / 7:56 pm

    Thank you for this information. I have been hesitant to move forward with a youtube channel, but people keep telling me just to start..and you have to start somewhere. I believe there is room for everyone.

  4. Odette
    January 18, 2022 / 8:02 pm

    Hello Monroe,

    Thanks much for your transparency on this post. I’ve been following you for years and attempted to become a fashion blogger a few times. Failed due for the fact of being consistent, however this year I’m committed to do better.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      January 19, 2022 / 7:26 pm
  5. Krista
    January 18, 2022 / 8:20 pm

    These are very helpful! I just found @highlowluxxe on Instagram and love how she shares about her journey too. Gonna check out the 3 part series now!

    • monroesteele
      Author
      January 19, 2022 / 7:25 pm

      Yes, definitely check those videos out!

  6. Lavette
    January 18, 2022 / 8:49 pm

    Very informative and helpful. .. thanks for sharing your knowledge

    • monroesteele
      Author
      January 19, 2022 / 7:25 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  7. Adenna
    January 18, 2022 / 9:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful information. I am motivated more than ever. Thank you so much ❤️❤️

    • monroesteele
      Author
      January 19, 2022 / 7:25 pm
  8. January 18, 2022 / 10:23 pm

    Thanks so much Monroe, this was very Informative. I think I’ll check out some of your ebooks!! I’m still a little confused on how to start shooting content, or what to focus on as far as my skill set. But thanks again..

    • monroesteele
      Author
      January 19, 2022 / 7:24 pm

      Good Luck Crystal!

  9. Kathly n
    January 19, 2022 / 12:02 am

    hello ,
    I enjoy your content and I commend you for completing your education and working towards your passion. my question, I am a 1982 born, should I start a by creating a domain and an Llc, then pray for growth in the social media world

    • monroesteele
      Author
      January 19, 2022 / 7:24 pm

      It really doesn’t matter which way you do it, just start.

  10. Jess
    January 19, 2022 / 1:18 am

    Hi Monroe!! I love your fashion style & content & your dedication for over 10 years & happy to know you’re enjoying the fruits of your labor. How do I get started? I’m trying to do the same as an influencer having trouble growing Instagram & YouTube any pointers & tips?

    • monroesteele
      Author
      January 19, 2022 / 7:23 pm

      I have a lot of pointers please checked out the linked topics in this post for more. You should start with what you’re most passionate about and good at.

  11. January 19, 2022 / 5:42 am

    I really enjoyed reading this post. There is so much I didn’t know about the likes of Tik Tok and new additions to Instagram.

    Continue to make great content girl.

    • monroesteele
      Author
      January 19, 2022 / 7:22 pm

      Thanks so much! Glad it was helpful!

  12. Lynn
    January 19, 2022 / 11:47 pm

    Monroe,
    As always very insightful and informative. I will definitely take heed and put into practice some of the resources you listed above ‼

    Thanks Again…

    Lynn

  13. Barbara
    January 20, 2022 / 10:22 am

    How important is camera equipment, filming, editing, and overall production quality starting out?

  14. Nikk
    January 21, 2022 / 9:50 am

    First, of all, want to start off by saying huge fan of you, Karen & Jenne I really enjoyed the blog post. Monroe your blog post are always informative and packed with excellent resources. I want to create a blog still undecided about my ninche. Best of luck in your future endeavors

  15. Gloria Bissessar
    January 27, 2022 / 3:58 pm

    Hey sis! Thanks for always sharing and remaining transparent. Love you!!!!!

  16. January 28, 2022 / 1:09 am

    Thanks, much for your transparency on this post, this was very Informative. Glad it was helpful!

  17. Nekea Valentine
    May 10, 2022 / 9:37 pm

    I’m seriously considering making the plunge but I hesitate because it seems like I’d have to make videos whereas I’d rather blog. What are thoughts about just blogging?

  18. Bj
    May 30, 2022 / 3:11 pm

    Hello Monroe,
    Simply put my dear you are doing an excellent job honing your craft. I am 74 years young thanks to you and your bubbly personality. Keep on being TRUE TO ONESELF.
    Blessings to you

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