How to Make Money on Social Media: 7 Best Ways

We all understand how important social media is for promoting your business and staying connected with your customers. But did you know you can also earn money through social media, even if you don’t have a large following?

Surprisingly, many people with smaller followings (micro-influencers) actually make more money for every 1000 followers compared to those with huge followings.

If you’re new to using social media for your business and feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, you can still use social media to increase your small business income. Here are some simple tips to help you start making money online on social media.

1. Partner with Brands

Imagine you’re a fitness enthusiast with a strong presence on Instagram. A sports apparel company approaches you to promote their new line of workout gear. 

You agree to create a series of Instagram posts and stories showcasing yourself wearing the company’s workout attire while exercising.

In return, the brand pays you $500 for each post and provides you with free workout clothing worth $200. You post a total of three sponsored posts, earning $1,500 in compensation and receiving $600 worth of clothing.

This partnership not only provides you with income but also showcases your authentic endorsement of the product to your fitness-focused audience, potentially driving sales for the brand.

For example, fitness vlogger Chloe Ting has teamed up with various brands like ZARA, Chloe Paris, Burton, Next AUS, SOREL, Super Dry AUS, La Belle Miette, and more.

2. Join Affiliate Programs

Let’s say you run a YouTube channel dedicated to technology reviews and tutorials. You decide to join the Amazon Associates affiliate program. This program lets you make money when people buy products through the special links you share.

So, in your video descriptions, you include these Amazon affiliate links. When people watch your video and click on one of these links to buy the tech products you talked about, you get a commission. This commission is a percentage of the product’s price, typically between 1% and 10%.

For example, in your video about a new smartphone, you put a link to buy that phone on Amazon, and it has your unique affiliate code. If someone clicks that link and purchases the phone (or anything else on Amazon) within 24 hours, you make money from it.

As your YouTube channel gets more popular and more people watch your reviews and use your affiliate links to shop on Amazon, your earnings grow. You keep earning commissions as long as people keep using your links to buy things on Amazon.

Read more: How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

3. Sell Your Own Merch

Selling your merchandise on social media involves creating and promoting your branded products to your followers. This method is popular among creators and influencers who have a dedicated fan base.

To get started, you design and create your merchandise, which could include items like clothing, accessories, artwork, or any other product that aligns with your brand or content niche.

You use your social media platforms to showcase and promote your merchandise. You can post photos, videos, or stories featuring your products, along with compelling descriptions and pricing information.

You can sell your merchandise through various channels, such as your own e-commerce website, third-party print-on-demand platforms like Teespring or Teemill, or even through social commerce features offered by some social media platforms.

When your followers and fans purchase your merchandise, you earn a profit. The profit margin depends on factors like product costs, pricing strategy, and sales volume.

Selling your merchandise allows you to monetize your brand and engage with your audience on a deeper level. It also helps you establish a unique identity and expand your brand presence beyond social media.

Read more: How to Make Money Selling Merch

4. Creator Funds

Creator Funds are programs offered by social media platforms to pay content creators based on the performance of their content. These funds aim to reward creators for their contributions to the platform.

To get started, you create and post content on a platform that offers a Creator Fund program, such as TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, or Pinterest. Each platform may have its own criteria for eligibility.

The platform evaluates your content’s performance based on metrics like views, likes, favorites, shares, or engagement rates. The specific criteria may vary from one platform to another.

Creators who meet the platform’s performance criteria receive payments from the Creator Fund. These payments can vary depending on factors like the number of views or engagement generated by your content.

While Creator Funds can provide income, the payouts can be competitive and may vary over time as more creators join the platform. Some creators may not earn significant income from these funds.

Creator Funds offer a way to earn money directly from the platform based on your content’s popularity. They can provide an additional revenue stream for content creators.

For example, if you’re an Instagram influencer with a sizable following and your posts consistently receive a high number of likes and engagement, you may be eligible for Instagram’s Reels Bonus program, which rewards creators for their content’s performance.

5. Ad Revenue Sharing

Ad revenue sharing involves earning a portion of the advertising revenue generated by your social media content. This method is particularly common on video-sharing platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Meta (Facebook).

To get started, you create and upload content to a platform that offers ad revenue sharing programs. YouTube’s Partner Program is a well-known example, but other platforms have similar programs.

To qualify for ad revenue sharing, you typically need to meet specific eligibility criteria set by the platform. These criteria may include having a minimum number of subscribers, a certain amount of watch time, or adhering to community guidelines.

Once eligible, the platform will place ads on your content. These ads can appear before, during, or alongside your videos, and the platform handles the ad placement.

You earn a share of the advertising revenue generated from ads shown on your content. The revenue generated depends on factors like the number of views, ad engagement, and the specific ad types.

The platform typically pays you directly, and the payment frequency can vary. For example, on YouTube, you receive monthly payments based on your earnings.

Ad revenue sharing is a passive income stream that allows you to earn money from your content as it continues to attract views. It can be a predictable and sustainable way to monetize your social media presence, especially if you have a substantial and engaged audience.

6. Offer Premium Services or Coaching

Making money on social media by offering premium services or coaching involves using your knowledge to give personalized guidance or services in exchange for a fee.

This is great for people who are experts in a specific field or niche that their social media followers find valuable. This could include skills like social media marketing, fitness training, career coaching, or any area where you can provide specialized knowledge.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Create service packages or coaching programs that explain what you offer, the benefits to clients, and the pricing.

  2. Customize these packages to match your skills and what your audience needs.

  3. Promote your premium services or coaching through your social media channels. Share details about what you provide, share testimonials from satisfied clients, and encourage interested people to sign up or inquire.

  4. Clients who are interested in your services pay a fee to access them. You can set different payment options, like one-time fees, monthly subscriptions, or hourly rates for coaching sessions.

  5. You can deliver your services or coaching sessions through methods like one-on-one video calls, webinars, email consultations, or private social media groups.

Offering premium services or coaching is a way to earn money from your expertise and offer personalized value to your audience. It’s a profitable way to make money on social media while helping others achieve their goals.

For instance, if you’re a fitness influencer with personal training knowledge, you can provide customized fitness coaching services to your social media followers, who pay for your guidance and tailored workout plans to reach their fitness goals with your expertise.

7. Tipping and Subscriptions

Tipping and subscriptions on social media are ways your audience can choose to give you money to support your content or get special access to it. Many social media platforms offer these features to help creators make money. 

Social media sites like Twitch, OnlyFans, Patreon, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube have features that let creators receive tips, gifts, or payments from their followers. This is when your viewers or followers send you virtual gifts or tokens, often with real value, during live streams or while they’re watching your content. It’s their way of saying they like what you’re doing.

On platforms like OnlyFans or Patreon, you can offer exclusive content or special benefits to people who pay you a monthly fee. They get to see things that others can’t.

Some platforms have their own digital currencies, like Stars on TikTok or Stars on Facebook. Viewers buy these and give them to you as gifts. You can exchange these virtual gifts for real money.

Tipping and subscriptions give you extra income by letting you earn money from your dedicated and engaged fans. You provide something special to those who choose to support you financially.

To do this successfully, it helps to have a loyal and supportive fan base. Creators who connect with their audience and provide value tend to get more financial support.

For example, if you’re a talented musician, you can perform live on a platform like Twitch and chat with your viewers. They can tip you while you play to show they appreciate your music. Plus, you can offer exclusive behind-the-scenes stuff or early access to new songs to subscribers who pay every month.

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