Many people look at the lives of social media influencers as the ultimate goal. From all appearances, they are getting paid to live their best lives. What many people don’t see is all the work that goes into making this lifestyle into a business.
Some people look at what influencers post online and wonder if they actually make money. Are they making as much as it appears? Is it just a show for the cameras? While the answers will differ depending on the influencer, there are opportunities to make significant sums of money.
So how do influencers make money? There are several avenues to turn being an influencer into a profitable business. This post will cover some of the common ways influencers make money.
Blogging is one of the oldest games in town for making money online. You need to have a steady flow of posts going out, but it can be a way to pull a solid income. Of course, you need the audience and the ability to create content that will engage visitors and keep them coming back. Along with that, you will need to work with an advertising network to monetize the impressions and clicks of your visitors.
This is another one of the oldest ways to monetize an audience. With affiliate marketing, the influencer shares a link to a product in a post. It can be a blog or it could be a post on any number of social media platforms. The link will have a unique identifier connected with the influencer, and they will get paid a commission on sales that result from people clicking the link.
YouTuber has almost become a specific profession in the world of influencers. What makes YouTube unique is that creators can benefit from revenue sharing on ads. The question remains, how much can you make on YouTube? It depends on the creator. Larger creators can make a few thousand dollars a post. Smaller creators can even pull down a few hundred dollars. With that said, it takes considerable work to build an audience, and you have to maintain a regular content schedule.
Businesses are looking to social media for digital advertising more than ever. For many brands, influencers play a key role in their digital marketing strategy. For influencers, that can result in opportunities to create sponsored posts. With sponsored posts, a brand will pay the influencer to create content about their products. It could be on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube or any other platform. A popular blog could also benefit from sponsored content. The question for most influencers is how much to charge per post.
The biggest social media influencers build their own brands. That means they can go beyond selling products for others and start developing their own offerings. In some cases, they might partner with larger, more established companies, but it is not unheard of for influencers to grow their own brands with unique products. Smaller creators can even start an online store to sell custom branded merch. For these smaller creators, there are services that specialize in helping them design and sell merch. They even handle tasks like printing shirts and shipping.
Sell Subscriptions and Take Donations
Some influencers make money by selling subscriptions for content they put behind a paywall. You also have services that allow influencers and content creators to collect donations or receive tips from fans. For example, the platform Patreon has become a popular tool that allows creators to collect monthly income from fans. There are also platforms that allow viewers to tip or donate to content creators during live streams.
Courses and eBooks
Selling knowledge and experience can be another way for influencers to make money. Some influencers may have education, training or life experience that could be useful to others. As an example, fitness influencers could sell courses or eBooks about dieting and exercise. Some influencers also create video courses to monetize their expertise. Webinars might be another option for some influencers.
Social media influencers are real celebrities. As a result, businesses might pay an influencer to appear at an event. Some can get a flat fee for the appearance, and others might be able to get paid based on attendance. Smaller influencers might even be able to put their own events together to make money. It can also be worthwhile for some influencers to partner with each other to hold events. It might require some work to put an event together, but it can pay off if you get enough people to attend.
With a large enough audience and a good reputation, influencers can sign long-term deals with brands. Instead of just being paid for a single sponsored post, they can get signed as a brand ambassador. These lucrative deals involve getting paid for several posts over many months or even years. The influencer may even get free products as a part of the deal or free items to use in giveaways for their fans.
A successful influencer will usually have several revenue streams. As you might imagine, maintaining the different social media channels and managing different sources of income can be time-consuming. That is why many influencers have support staff working behind the scenes. They may even join networks that help them connect with and manage various income opportunities.