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Mom of 5 and blog marketing expert with over 20 years of experience monetizing household-name blogs. Let's get your mom blog running like a real business.

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    How Do Influencers Make Money? 15+ Ways To Become A Paid Influencer

    How do influencers make money? There are more ways than you think! Here are the top 15+ ways to become a paid influencer for consistent cash.

    A pink purse with dollars showing how do influencers make money.

    Take a scroll through your social media feed, and you’ll see – it’s totally possible to become a paid influencer. But how do influencers make money? (I used to think they just got paid with free products!) As an influencer manager, I’ll show you the top methods for how influencers make money and how you can transform this lifestyle into a full-time job.

    You don’t have to have millions of followers to take advantage of these, either – you can become a micro-influencer or nano-influencer and start your journey today.

    Influencer with money on the floor and her forehead.

    How Do Influencers Make Money?

    Influencers make money with a combination of self-managed income streams and third-party income streams. These streams can include sponsored content, product lines, affiliate marketing, and other methods.

    Many influencers make money in multiple ways. Influencers I have worked with take advantage of everything from creating digital products to placing ads on their site, and all kinds of opportunities in between.

    You don’t just have to stick to one platform, either. Influencers can make an income across a variety of platforms, like blogs, YouTube, Instagram, and other social media channels. The more these platforms grow, the more you’ll find ways to monetize your influence.

    The best part about becoming a paid influencer? There are so many ways to go about it – and the more methods you use, the higher your income can go.

    Woman trying to become a paid influencer sitting in front of a computer.

    15+ Ways To Become A Paid Influencer

    As an influencer, there are SO many ways to make money on social media and blogs. These methods are the most popular and reliable I have found after working with influencers.

    Many of these methods are easy to start right away!

    1. Sponsored content

    Working with brands is one of the top ways I recommend for making money on social media and your blog.

    Why? Because once you understand how to set sponsored post rates and learn how to pitch to brands, you can raise your income more quickly and reliably than many of these other methods. I’ve worked with influencers who make five figures from a few simple posts!

    It does take some work upfront, though. You’ll need to put together a solid media kit and figure out how to find brands in your niche that would be willing to pay you to post. 

    As your following grows, though, more opportunities (and bigger paychecks) will come. You just need a good system to do it all!

    2. Affiliate marketing

    Influencers love affiliate marketing because they can recommend products and services they love to followers, all while earning a commission if they purchase through their dedicated affiliate links.

    Whether you’re a fashion influencer, write about finance, build a community around parenting, or fall into just about any social media or blog niches, you can make money with affiliate marketing.

    That’s because these audiences deal with a variety of pain points and problems within these niches. If you can offer them a paid solution and they buy into it, everybody wins.

    Woman making digital products on a laptop showing how influencers make money.

    3. Become a paid influencer with digital products

    If you’re wondering how influencers make money with digital products, the answer might surprise you!

    Influencers make ebooks, templates, presets, courses, and just about anything else you can sell digitally. (Yup, I’ve made one too – in a medium you wouldn’t expect!)

    Digital products make use of your niche expertise to create a high-value offer to your audience. The best part is that you can almost always sell them passively.

    I have worked with influencers who have made multiple six figure incomes just from selling digital products. If you find the right offer and the right audience, you can turn them into a winning income stream.

    Woman in a polka dot dress holding a laptop.

    4. Ad revenue

    If you have a blog or YouTube channel with substantial traffic, ad revenue is one of the easiest hands-off ways to make extra cash.

    Mediavine, Google AdSense, Raptive, and SheMedia are some of the most popular networks (particularly for bloggers), but you can find many more with varying traffic requirements.

    As long as you provide ultra-valuable content, most followers are accustomed to ads and won’t complain too much about you having them on your site.

    That said, there are solutions to offer your die-hard followers an ad-free option – and you can use these as a way to make money, too…

    Woman becoming a paid influencer by advertising subscriptions on a podcast.

    5. Subscriptions, memberships, and exclusive content

    True fans love to get closer to the influencers they follow. So, one popular way to increase social media influencer income is with subscriptions and memberships.

    Got readers complaining about ads (like in the #4 method above)? You can create a paid subscription that unlocks access to ad free blog posts and videos.

    Your membership could also include other perks, such as personal interactions, exclusive content, or unfiltered access to you.

    No matter what kind of content you produce – newsletters, videos, podcasts, blogs, and on and on – you can create a membership for it.

    Sites like Patreon, Substack, or Buy Me A Coffee don’t require any technical setup and allow your fans to make a direct impact on your income.

    Woman selling physical products in front of a camera.

    6. How influencers make money with product lines

    If you’ve been influencing in your niche for a while, you might notice that some products or services still don’t solve all your problems in that niche.

    That’s how many influencers end up starting their own product lines. Think of Cassie Ho’s POPFLEX line of activewear (she started on YouTube), Emily Weiss’s Glossier (it started with a blog!), or Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman line at Walmart (also a blog!).

    These are big-time examples, but there are thousands of other influencers that create and sell their own physical products and use them for making money through social media. 

    If you see a problem, chances are your followers have it too. Solve it with a product, and you could start stacking cash and strengthening your personal brand.

    Woman showing how influencers make money with a licensed photo on a camera.

    7. Photo & video licensing

    Many content creators create photos and videos that brands would love to use for themselves. Licensing this content adds another income stream from work they already created.

    You can directly pitch to brands if you find one that aligns well with your content, sign up for stock sites like Shutterstock, create a profile on marketplaces like Creative Market, or offer prices for licensing in your media kit.

    No matter how you license, if you already did the work to create a stunning photo or video… might as well become a paid influencer and sell it!

    8. Crowdfunding and donations

    It’s not the most reliable way to make money as a blogger or influencer, but you can also earn a partial income with community donations.

    Crowdfunding is an especially useful income stream for creators looking to finance larger projects that their audience can get excited about. You can incentivize donations with small benefits that come at less cost to you.

    You might be familiar with donation sites like GoFund Me, but other platforms like YouTube Super Chat, Instagram live Badges, or Twitch Bits can support creators during live streams.

    If you ever sent a few dollars for a streamer to give you a shoutout, you’re directly helping them become a paid influencer!

    Woman wearing a luxury faux fur coat.

    9. Brand ambassadorships

    If you wonder how influencers make money on a recurring basis, brand ambassadorships can make a sweet source of recurring income.

    How do ambassadorships work? Influencers work with a brand on a long-term basis to promote them and usually get compensated with a combination of commissions, fixed payments, free products, and more insider involvement with promotions – sometimes even their own product lines.

    Think Rosanna Pansino with Wilton baking supplies or Safiya Nygaard with ColourPop cosmetics. Most of the time brand ambassadors already have a large social following and they’re true fans of the brand.

    Sometimes you can apply to ambassador programs, and sometimes brands hand-select their ambassadors. Once you’re in, you can expect to get paid for social media posts about the brand (or any sponsored content), appear at events, and actively promote the brand across your platforms.

    Woman showing how do influencers make money with a social media takeover on a phone.

    10. Social media takeovers

    How do influencers make money with takeovers? It starts when an influencer temporarily takes over a brand’s social accounts, or even just one channel.

    Over a set period of time (usually a day), the influencer posts content about their relationship with the brand, use cases for the brand, or specific promotions the brand wants them to share.

    Brands usually work with established influencers on these to widen their reach and get more fans excited about the brand – and they’re paid!

    But again, this is another situation where the brand is more likely to hand-pick someone and reach out directly to them.

    Woman taking a picture of a shirt to re-sell.

    11. How influencers make money reselling products

    If you’ve ever wondered, “How do fashion influencers make money?” this is a common way – but reselling can span across social media and blog niches.

    I’ve managed inboxes for influencers that get multiple free product proposals a day. Most of the time they aren’t a good fit, but sometimes they are… and if you accept lots of free products as an influencer, you’re going to accumulate a lot of extra stuff.

    Platforms like Poshmark, eBay, and Depop are easy platforms to create listings, depending on the products you wish to resell. I love getting a good deal on unique second-hand merch from these sites!

    Reselling is an easy way to offload barely-used items you included in a promotion, and make a little extra money in the process, although some influencers just choose to donate them or give them away to followers instead.

    Woman becoming a paid influencer with a microphone ready to speak.

    12. Speaking engagements

    Influencers don’t just get paid virtually… they can expand their reach into live events as well.

    Find them at conferences, trade shows, corporate events, retreats, and even TED talks. Remember, you don’t have to follow the usual influencer niches to follow this path – Gary Vaynerchuk, Pat Flynn, and Tim Ferriss are prolific live speakers.

    These engagements also improve your credibility and expand your network, which could lead to future paid opportunities.

    13. Virtual events

    Who said you had to speak in person to get paid as an influencer? You can host paid virtual summits, webinars (especially if they funnel into a product you sell), or be a podcast guest.

    I’ve worked with influencers that get paid podcast pitches – so all they have to do is show up and talk about their expertise!

    Not only do virtual events present you as an authority in your niche, but you can also reach a larger number of people at once.

    Women showing how influencers make money with a one on one coaching session on a couch.

    14. Consulting and coaching

    How do influencers make money as consultants? In your niche, you’ve probably figured out how to solve a particular set of problems or have your own framework for approaching your business. If you can coach others to do the same, you can open up a whole new income stream.

    You can coach about specific aspects of your niche (like how a baking influencer might coach you on how to bake the perfect sourdough), or consult about big-picture business ideas that impact your work, such as efficient content creation and audience growth. There are so many directions you can take with this one!

    Woman playing video games with headphones.

    15. Mobile apps and games

    As an influencer, you’ve figured out by now how to make money off social media. Some take it a step further and develop their very own mobile apps.

    Take a look at Find What Feels Good by Adriene Mishler, Susie Bulloch’s Hey Grill Hey app, or the multiple mobile games from PewDiePie. These apps can make extra income with subscriptions, one-time sales, and advertising.

    Woman becoming a paid influencer with freelance work on a laptop.

    16. How do influencers make money freelancing

    If you have a skillset that lends well to freelancing, you can easily incorporate it into your money making strategy as an influencer.

    Think about talents like writing, graphic design, web development, or music production. If your influence already spans into a related niche, you can offer your services out on a freelance basis to your audience.

    Bloggers have a special advantage here because they already write so well – Elna Cain from Twins Mommy is one of my favorite examples of this. She built her blog while also using it as a platform to gather clients!

    Can You Make Money As A Paid Influencer?

    Yes, you can make money as a paid influencer! Now that you know how influencers make money, get ready to unlock a whole new world of income possibilities.

    To become a paid influencer, stay true to your unique voice and find as many ways to maximize it as possible. There are more ways to connect with your audience than ever, all while earning real cash!

    How do influencers make money? Here are the top 15 ways to become a paid influencer, as told by an influencer manager.

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      I'm Amanda.

      Mom of 5 and blog marketing expert with over 20 years of experience monetizing household-name blogs. Let's get your mom blog running like a real business.

      More About Me

        Get 3 FREE premium Media Kit Templates (100% Editable On Canva!)

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