Oh, hey there! One of the questions I get asked the most frequently is from folks wondering how content creators make money. I mean, sure, everyone knows that you can make money being an influencer, but….
Like… Where do you even start? I want to help answer that question for you today!
In this post, we’ll go over 7 ways on how to make money as a content creator. The best part about them?
You can do these even with less than 5,000 followers! In fact, a lot of my Instagram influencer course students use these same tactics with a ton of success. I will say that because I am primarily on Instagram, that’s where we’ll be focusing most of our attention, but the principles for other social media apps are super similar.
So feel free to take these tactics and apply them to your social channels as you see fit! And make sure you read these guides next:
- Create an Influencer Media Kit That Gets You Brand Deals
- 12 Steps to Becoming an Instagram Influencer
Written by influencer coach Dani The Explorer
Disclaimer: Hey explorer! This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of each purchase made through my links. I only ever recommend products I believe in and appreciate your support if you decide to use my links—thank you!
7 Ways to Make Money as a Content Creator with a Small Following
#1 Sponsored Posts (Most Common Way to Make Money as a Content Creator)
I’m sure by now you’ve seen plenty of sponsored posts from your favorite influencers.
A sponsored post is when a company pays for ad space on an influencer’s social media pages.
Figuring out how to land a paid Instagram sponsorship isn’t as complicated as you might think, FYI!
As a matter of fact, sponsored posts are probably the most sought-after way to make money as a content creator. The key is to know your pricing so you can make as much as possible.
And yes, they’re a GREAT option for small creators! Small creators are in such high demand because they typically have better engagement than more prominent content creators.
As a matter of fact, you can often pitch brands your campaign ideas and get their attention that way!
If you don’t know what to charge, then you’ll want to check out my free Influencer Rate Calculator!
#2 Start a Blog
If you haven’t started a blog yet, you should! I know writing isn’t everyone’s jam, and I get that. However, if you can commit to making one, it’ll be a GREAT source of income for you!
You’ll find that blogs offer several opportunities to make money as a content creator. A few of the most popular ones you’ll see floating around are ad revenue, sponsored blog posts, and affiliate links.
What does a blog have to do with making money on Instagram? Or how to monetize social media?
Quite a bit, actually! You can use social media to your advantage and direct your followers to your website.
The extra traffic offers more potential customers for any products you sell on your site, too. The reverse is true too. A blog can help drive more traffic to your social media pages, bringing in more engagement, reach, etc.
Andddd, you can use blogs to learn how to write engaging Instagram captions!
You Should Also Read: How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm
#3 Affiliate Links (Easiest Way to Make Money as a Content Creator)
Affiliate links should not be reserved for only blogs! They’re one of the main ways you can make money as an influencer!
Before I get too far, let me explain what an affiliate link is.
Affiliate links work by hyperlinking to a product or service that you love.
Then, when someone clicks on the affiliate link and makes a purchase, you receive a percentage of that purchase at no additional cost to the buyer.
Pretty cool, right?
With the Link feature, you can create Stories linking to specific products you love and recommend to your followers. This can be anything from an iPhone to makeup to hiking gear.
As a matter of fact, Instagram is starting to approve more creators to use their in-house Affiliate link program.
So pretty soon, you’ll be able to create affiliate links directly in the Instagram app and tag affiliate products on your posts.
And when you get more Story views on Instagram, you’ll get more potential clicks on your affiliate links.
If you’re a small creator with an engaged audience, I HIGHLY recommend jumping on the affiliate link game sooner than later.
They’re an easy answer for how to make money as a micro influencer or nano influencer.
You can be sharing products you love with your followers and earning a commission.
Then, as you grow, your commissions will too.
#4 Sell Products
By “products,” I mean things YOU create and sell. That can be merch, presets, or other online resources.
See what I did there ;). The reason products are a great way to make money as an influencer is because you do not have to rely on a company for your income!
Products are a much more secure way to make a living because you can make money without managing much.
AKA, if you set up your products the right way, you can be sitting on a beach somewhere exotic, earning passive income.
Dreamyyyyyyyyy. You should also read my blog on how much to charge for sponsored content!
#5 Image & Video Licensing
I mean, we should all know this, but Instagram and other social media platforms are visual.
If you’re someone with a camera or Apple iPhone and some time to spare, which I’m guessing is you because you’re an aspiring influencer, then start creating content you can license to brands!
WTF do I mean by “license.” Think of a content license as a rental agreement between you and a company.
It’s like you letting a brand use your content for their marketing needs on billboards, print, ads, social media, etc. You can even license Reels if you want to!
My go-to lens has always been a 24-70mm f/2.8 —it’s an excellent lens for just about everything!
And there’s tons of aesthetic photo editing apps you can use too!
P.S. You should read my post on how to create viral Reels.
I feel like more folks should be taking advantage of this, but having a subscription program for your followers to join is another excellent way to make money!
This is a feature Instagram is currently testing, but the most common platform to create a subscription/ membership program for your followers is Patreon.
If you get enough subscribers, you could be earning consistent monthly income without much effort!
And now, Instagram is rolling out their subscription feature for influencers to manage directly through their profile.
Read Next: How to Create an Influencer Media Kit
#7 Facebook Groups
This strategy is a bit newer (kind of) to influencers, but you can also make money by starting a Facebook group!
Think about it, if you build a trusted community where people can connect with others like them, you can then earn by promoting your own products in the group, sharing affiliates, or landing paid sponsors!
If done right, groups can be a great way to gain Instagram followers organically!
If you’re a small creator, I recommend starting a Facebook Group because it can help bring traffic to your other social media pages and any products you create in the future!
Final Tips for Making Money as an Influencer
I think those were some great starting points for how to make money as a content creator!
So, let’s talk about some tips for implementing these strategies.
Have a Media Kit
If you’re a new influencer, then you NEED an influencer media kit template.
It’s like a resume for creators and is essential when you pitch to brands and landing deals.
Always Be Genuine
There is NOTHING worse than someone who isn’t genuine.
I mean, why would any of your followers want to buy something from you if they don’t trust you?
So never promote something if you don’t believe it.
Price Your Services Accordingly
Whether getting sponsorships from companies or landing commercial photography gigs, do your research and price yourself accordingly.
I have a blog you can read about this if you need help>> how much to charge for a brand deal
When you start to undersell yourself, you will be putting the whole creative industry at risk to make less money.
When you do work for free, you’re sending a message out there that you are not worth much, which in turn will lead you to always getting lower-paying jobs.
Put Out a Survey
Need to figure out what product your audience would be most into? Ask!
Put out an email survey or a poll on Instagram Stories.
Ask your audience what they want to see from you and how you can help them succeed.
From there, make a product that’ll fit their needs!
Your Next Steps
While these are some of the main ways influencers can monetize, know that there are plenty more out there that we didn’t discuss! The opportunities are endless.
I hope this blog gave you some ideas and the encouragement to start earning sooner rather than later. If you enjoyed this blog, you should read these next: