How to Make Money on Social Media: Easy & Useful Rules
Today, everyone wants to be a social media influencer, or to find other ways of making money on one or more platforms.
Because there are so many users on popular sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and others, there is a lot of competition, and it’s now more difficult than ever to carve out a niche for yourself. For this reason, many people want to know some simple rules for making money on social media:
Understand the Scope of the Competition
There are not only tons of users on each platform, there are also tons of people trying to be influencers, profit from their content, or otherwise earn a living online. This doesn’t mean you should give up, but instead find creative ways to stand out in a sea of creators. For example, there are so many people competing for the attention of viewers that many video makers find it useful to buy 1000 YouTube subscribers to get started.
YouTube has more than 2 billion logged-in, active monthly users, and that’s not counting the people who watch videos without logging in. So even if you find a narrow niche, it’s likely there are other users in that space who may already be popular, and the website favors those who already have a lot of subscribers/views. This is why a dedicated marketing strategy to boost viewers quickly is important.
Create Quality Content
Because there is so much new content to choose from—over 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram each day—yours has to be both unique and high quality. Consider the competition in your niche and try to figure out what’s missing. What topics haven’t been covered or haven’t been explored in depth? Are there opportunities to take a deeper dive into a subject that is frequently mentioned?
Once you have topic ideas, do some keyword research using social media to refine your title with keywords that will help more people find your post. Start by typing your title idea into Google and see what comes up after the first few words. You may find a better title or description content based on long-tail keywords that pop up in search. Then further refine your keyword search with the specific platform you want to post on, such as YouTube or Instagram. Many sites like YouTube offer their own analytics you can use for further research.
Spend Extra Time on Production
Great content ideas are important, but so is production. You’ll want to invest in quality equipment. Even though you can take high-quality photos and video with most phones, you might consider a professional camera. Proper lighting is also essential. At minimum, you need a ring light to illuminate your face, products, or whatever the subject of your visual is. Larger ring lights are better for wide shots, and you may need several. Adjustable stands for lights or tripods for your phone or camera are also good ideas.
Planning Makes Perfect
Plan out your shots beforehand so you don’t have last minute surprises. Sometimes you may realize you need a prop you didn’t think about, or that the lighting in a particular location (such as those outdoors) won’t work, or won’t work at the time you want to shoot. For example, an outdoor shot at night may not be ideal for your video or picture. You may want to schedule your shoot in the morning instead.
Don’t Underestimate Post-Production
Once you have your photos or video, don’t skimp on the editing process. Investing in a premium version of Canva or Movavi Video Suite can help you make your content more professional looking.
You can also use in-platform tools like Insta’s Brand Collabs Manager to track your brand collaborations and sponsored posts. Once you reach 10,000 followers and a certain amount of watch time/engagement, this tool becomes available for creators who have active Business or Creative accounts on the site.
Now, How to Make Money On Social Media?
Once you have your content, how do you monetize these things? People on social media make money in lots of different ways, and not every way works for everyone. You may have to do several different methods to find the one or more that’s right for you.
Some influencers or creatives have multiple income streams as well. Consider some of the celebrities you follow online, and try to make a list of all the different ways they appear to be making money. Do they often urge you to buy a product they love? Do they recommend you learn how to master one of their skills with a course they created? Do they encourage you to click a link to get something for free? How about pitching their own products or services? These could all be methods of generating income.
How to Get Rich On Social Media: Getting Started
First, make sure you’ve optimized your audience size and other stats so people can see your posts. When starting, many people choose to buy Instagram followers so they aren’t ignored by the IG algorithm, for example. This allows you to attract organic followers as well, because it helps more users see your content in the first place.
Once you’ve done that, consider the different ways to get paid on social media and try out as many as you can:
Become An Influencer
As your audience grows and gathers a specific target market, brands that also appeal to that market may want to hire you. The more fans, hits, and engagement you have, the more attractive you’ll be to businesses that need to hire an influencer, and the more you’ll get paid. While working to increase your reach, research the prices similar influencers in your field charge and create a price sheet for yourself, so you have somewhere to start if asked for marketing rates. Create a PDF with your brand colors listing these prices so you can easily send it to anyone who inquires. Also include any requirements you have for clients, such as when you expect payment.
Don’t wait for brands to come to you. First, make a list of brands in your niche you’d like to work with, from large to small. For example, if your niche is beauty, make a list of beauty brands you’d like to promote. Then look up who is in charge of their influencer marketing, or just marketing or advertising if they don’t have a specific role for influencer marketing. You can do this via Google and/or LinkedIn.
Once you have contact info, write to each of these people and pitch yourself as the ideal influencer to promote their brand. Start with what you love about your brand, and relate it to what you know about your audience. For example, “60 percent of my viewers are also women in their twenties who would love a skincare product like yours.” Make suggestions for promoted content—a how-to video of you using the product, a post showing the results of using the product, etc. Include your pricing PDF (also known as a rate card) and close by saying you’re looking forward to hearing back from them soon. By going after these opportunities, you can get started earning a profit online sooner.
Be Sure to Network On Your Social Network
Check out influencer hashtags or groups to meet other influencers on social networking sites using these tips:
- Follow some discussions, leave a few comments, and ask questions as needed.
- However, don’t be the new person who shows up and demands to know “how to make money from social media.” Everyone else in those groups and threads is trying to figure out how to get rich too, and newbies who expect all the answers instantly spoonfed to them aren’t exactly popular.
- Instead, spend some time reading before commenting (there’s a good chance your question has already been asked and answered before).
- Then ask specific questions in appropriate threads instead of general questions about making money from social media.
Consider Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another great way to earn money from social media. With affiliate marketing, a business pays an influencer or other kind of creator to promote a product or service, usually to a narrow audience. For example, a brand selling snowboarding gear and accessories might pay a YouTuber who makes videos about snowboarding to promote one or more of their products.
Payment can happen in several ways:
- Some businesses may pay per sale. The viewer clicks a link in the posting and makes a purchase from the page they’re directed to, and the creator gets paid.
- Others may pay per lead. In this case, the creator usually gets paid if the viewer follows a link and completes another action, such as signing up for a newsletter or free ebook.
- Creators may also be paid per click—so they make money every time someone follows the link, whether that person ultimately makes a purchase or signs up for anything.
The great thing about affiliate marketing is that it can provide passive income. You may make one video or post and continue to earn money off it for months or years to come.
Consider Selling a Course or Other Educational Materials
Many influencers or creators also make money through social media by teaching something related to their field of expertise. This could be an online course, a webinar, an ebook, a certain number of advice sessions where you speak to the participant and answer questions, etc. So if you’re an Instagram influencer who specializes in makeup tutorials, you could sell an ebook with pictures of different looks and how you achieved them, for people who don’t have time to watch all your videos. Or you could offer a course sharing lessons on how to become a professional makeup artist, how to do stage makeup, etc. You could also sell tickets to an online event where customers get to ask you about specific looks, and you’ll demonstrate them on a model.
In many cases, courses also provide passive income. You create static material, pitch it in your new content (such as mentioning your course or book at the end of each YouTube video you post), and each month people sign up for the course and you earn more money for your work.
Final Thoughts About Online Money Making
Following these rules is a great way to make your favorite platforms work for you. Using some or all of these best practices, you can turn digital media marketing into a great way to pay for whatever you need. Remember that building an influence sphere takes time, and any method you can find to increase followers or stats is a step in the right direction.