Many young people often dream about being the next social media celebrity with thousands of likes and followers to prove it. The actuality of that happening is like playing the lottery, slim chance but not impossible. In fact, even if you don’t become famous, you can still make some extra cash for your posts on social media.

If you aren’t shy about being in front of a camera and sharing your life on the internet, you can make a decent living on social media. Below is a list of pros and cons of being a social media influencer:


  • Great for Extroverts: If you love attention and being a social butterfly, this path may be perfect for you.
  • Sparks Creativity: The demand for interesting and unique content is ever-growing. As a social media influencer, you have to think out of the box to keep your audience engaged.
  • Free Stuff: If you are able to grow your following to the thousands, sponsors will come to you and send you free products in hoping that you will share them with your followers. Cool, huh?
  • Opportunities to Sell Your Own Merchandise: Hardcore fans will buy T-shirts, key chains, books, classes and other things you create. This opens up other business opportunities for you.
  • Greater influence: As people begin to trust you, they will share your posts, and this will put your name/brand in front of more people


  • Time-Consuming: You have to share content constantly, photography, graphic design, video production, keyword and hashtag research, consistent posting, responding to messages and comments; All of this takes up more time the more popular you become.
  • Reputation Maintenance: Constantly shouting out to sponsors might be annoying to your followers. Yet, not doing it enough may encourage those companies to take their money to other influencers instead. Finding a balance to keep everyone happy can be challenging.
  • Cyberbullies, Spammers, Bots and other Undesirables: Putting your life on the internet takes a tough skin. There will be bad comments, spammers, bots and trolls causing havoc on your profile. It is up to you to handle it in a professional manner

Levels of influence:

First of all, let’s look at exactly what a social media influencer is. There are different levels of Instagram influencers. So let’s take a look at the different tiers:

  • Nano: 1,000 to 10,000 followers
  • Micro: 10,000 to 50,000 followers
  • Mid: 50,000 to 500,000 followers
  • Macro: 500,000 to 1 million followers
  • Mega: 1 million-plus followers

Now that you are familiar with what an Instagram influencer is and what the different tiers are, let’s talk about how you can make money.

How to Get Started:

NOTE: Before you start your business, you should read the page on this website entitled “things to think about before you get started.” After you have taken the preliminary steps for starting any business, you can take the specific steps outlined below.

So how do you make money on social media? It seems like these social media influencers don’t really do much of anything but take selfies for a living (some of them do, especially make-up enthusiasts).

Take a moment to go through one of your favorite social media influencer’s posts. See anything special? Are they mentioning products they use? How about apps? Or a certain weight-loss plan? Maybe they recommend a book or tag a famous restaurant or retailer they are visiting.

It might surprise you to know that a good hunk of those types of posts are sponsored (paid for) by the companies who make the products and services. Businesses call this Micro Influencer Marketing, and it works.

A few basics:

First of all, here are a few things you will need to get started as a social media influencer: 

  1. Laptop, computer, tablet, or smartphone
  2. Internet connection for laptop, computer, or tablet
  3. An unlimited data plan for your smartphone
  4. Grammarly free edition to edit your copy before you post
  5. Camera for clear photos
  6. Free note app for your cell phone to keep track of your ideas

Find your niche:

To make money on social media, you need to build your following up organically by promoting a certain lifestyle or hobby that interests people. Here are some ideas, along with potential sponsorship opportunities for each:

Health – Fitness, Healthy Eating, Sports, etc.
Sponsorship opportunities: Exercise equipment and accessories, Health Tracking Apps, Supplements, Cookbooks, Fitness coaching programs, Gyms, Health foods, etc.

Beauty and Fashion – Makeup Artists, Hair Stylist, Fashion Trends, Organic Beauty, etc
Sponsorship opportunities: Makeup brands, clothing brands, Nail polish, Jewelry, facial cleansers, shampoo, bath bombs, other beauty products.

Musician – Instrument Player, Singer, Classical Music, etc.
Sponsorship opportunities: Musical Instrument Brands, Music Apps, Music Coaching Programs, etc.

Arts and Crafts – Soap Making, Knitting, Painter, Digital Art, etc
Sponsorship opportunities: Digital Art Programs, Supplies, How to books, etc.

NoteThese categories are very general, so try to find a niche within a niche to set yourself apart from everyone else.

Partner with a brand:

By forming a partnership with a brand you respect, you can earn money by receiving products or cash in exchange for your posts. Depending on your tier as an influencer, you can make between $10 and $500 per post.

To form a partnership with a brand:

  1. Email them directly.
  2. Compose a professional email explaining who you are, what you do, and how you are interested in working together.
  3. Include your follower count within the email.

IGTV (Instagram TV)

You can earn revenue from the advertisements shown on your videos. In order to receive income from your IGTV, your videos will need to be at least two minutes in length.

To enable the monetization of your channel, you will need to adjust your account settings. You can activate IGTV ads by doing the following: Go to account settings, click creator, choose IGTV ads, then click the option to get started. Next, allow monetization.

(Note that things are frequently changing on social media. Depending on your device, these steps may appear a bit differently.)

If you are new to Instagram influencing, here are some tips to get you started on the right track:

  1. Choose a niche you believe in and are passionate about; something that suits your personality.
  2. Opt for a business account; this will enable you to keep track of your account analytics.
  3. Create a compelling Instagram bio; this is the first thing a business or follower will see when they arrive at your channel.
  4. Add photos that make your channel appealing to the viewer; take clear images, making sure that the item you are sharing is the topic of the picture.
  5. Post relevant/high-quality content; be sure to share content that is related to your niche.
  6. Post content consistently, five to seven days each week:.In order for Instagram to show your posts to more of your followers, consistent posting is necessary.
  7. Add the correct hashtags to your posts. Download a free hashtag app to help you determine the best hashtags to use on each post.
  8. Utilize your Instagram stories; Instagram stories are a great way to show products and behind-the-scenes footage.
  9. Build your following organically; do not buy followers. Utilize “follow loops” to grow your account organically.
  10. Be sure to check your professional dashboard. This allows you to keep track of your account insights, such as content you have shared, accounts you have reached, and total followers. In addition, you will learn valuable information that will help you decide the best time to publish a post and hashtags for your to use.

How to gain organic followers and grow your Instagram account to a mega account:

I mentioned above that using follow loops is a great way to gain organic followers on Instagram. It takes time, but they do work.

You will want to get your brand in front of as many people as possible. Creating a Twitter and Facebook page and group are fantastic ways to go about this. What you will need to do, is drive people from Facebook and Twitter to your Instagram channel. This is another way to help you organically grow your Instagram account.

TikTok is another way to drive people to your Instagram channel. Add your Instagram link in your TicTok bio and always add text to your videos with your Instagram handle.

You want to be sure that you are growing your Instagram channel organically. You do not want to have your account shadow-banned because you have too many bot followers. Plus, the goal is to have followers that engage and help you grow.


So do you have what it takes to get paid for social media posts? In order to do so, you must constantly be on top of maintaining your following and creating content. Who knows, maybe you will become the next Social Media Celebrity!

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

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