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Learn about proven ways to make money on social media that you can use to build another stream of income, and why I like each.

vector graphic showing ways to make money on social media

In the previous segment, we discussed a few ways people make money off of social media.

While those platform-ingrained methods might work for some people, they aren’t always the best option.

There are more effective ways of profiting on social media, and here are some of the proven best ones:

1. Paid Memberships

A great way for creators to make money off of their content is by charging a premium for access to their content via membership portals.

These fees are typically paid monthly or annually and give the user’s followers a reason to become a member.

Some social media platforms have built-in membership systems, but if you’re marketing your content off-site, there are various plugins and services for creating these systems.

Related: How to create a membership website

2. Affiliate Marketing

You don’t necessarily have to be an affiliate marketer to make money off of affiliate marketing.

If you’ve got a large audience behind you, many companies will pay you based on how much traffic you can generate.

There are also a few programs you can partake in, such as Amazon Associates.

With the Amazon affiliate program, creators, bloggers, and publishers can monetize their content by embedding hyperlinks to related products and making money on a per-click or per-buy basis.

3. Brand Sponsorships and Brand Deals

If you’re big enough, some brands will pay for access to your following.

In this mutual exchange, you’ll endorse a brand’s product or service, giving them a favorable image, to which they’ll pay you for your efforts.

Some companies will have you embed an ad within your content, while others will use your persona to attract a particular group of people.

The exact parameters will be contingent on a variety of unique factors.

4. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is like a brand sponsorship but isn’t quite the same.

Whereas influencer marketing relies on subtle product placements and mentions, brand sponsorships are more direct.

It’s similar to when you see a brand name soda like Coke or Pepsi on a billboard in a big screen movie.

The movie doesn’t entirely revolve around these products, but people subconsciously take notice of these elements, thus increasing brand awareness.

5. Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is content you create funded and sponsored by an external company.

Within your content, you will often be prompted to mention the brand’s name and give a short blurb describing what products or services they are selling.

The two most common types of sponsored content are sponsored videos and sponsored podcasts:

Sponsored Videos

If you were ever watching a video on YouTube and heard the phrase “this video is brought to you by [brand name]” or something along those lines, that was most likely a sponsored video.

Sponsored videos are exactly what the name implies; video content a business supports financially.

Companies will take notice of you and offer to sponsor your videos once you have a sizable following and your content aligns with their brand’s image.

Sponsored Podcasts

Sponsored podcasts are similar to sponsored videos, except they’re podcasts.

Podcasts are audio-based discussions that cover a wide variety of topics and are typically run like a series.

Just like the video sponsorship, you’ll mention that your show is sponsored by the respective brand and give a quick rundown of the company.

6. Sell Your Own Stuff

A following gives you two key components that can drive sales to epic proportions; respect and reach.

If there are a lot of people following you on the internet, chances are you have a likable personality, and they’ll be willing to listen to what you have to say or, in this instance, buy what you are selling.

Furthermore, if you have a large following, your digital reach is vast, and you can easily connect with a lot of people at once.

That’s prime real estate for marketing any product or service you might want to sell, such as:

Sell Your Own Course

If you’re considered an “expert” in a field, then you might want to consider putting together a course for people to learn what you know.

There are numerous course creation services and software available online.

Many sites charge a fee to do this, but if you have something worth teaching and people respect you, paying customers will flock to your course.

Sell Your Own Products

You don’t just have to sponsor other people’s products to make money; you can manufacture your own and sell them on a digital storefront such as Shopify.

The products you sell should be related to the content you create.

For instance, if you’re a beauty influencer, then you might want to consider selling custom soaps.

If you don’t have a huge following, you could likely make the products yourself.

For larger audiences, you’d have to find a manufacturer.

You’ll also probably want to find a service to handle shipping and payments.

Sell Your Own Merchandise

Selling merchandise is similar to selling products, except you’re merchandising your content – this is especially a viable option if you’re an entertainer and there is an incentive for people to buy your merch.

Some of the most common things influencers and creators sell as merchandise are shirts, hoodies, mugs, accessories, hats, and phone cases.

In addition to a manufacturer and a seller, you might also want to invest in a professional designer to sketch out your product’s design.

You can obviously do this yourself, but sometimes it’s more efficient and quicker to get a professional opinion.

Sell Your Own Services & Time

You might also consider selling your time and services to your following.

If you’re a fitness influencer/creator, you can market your personal trainer services.

Or maybe you run a small business on the side that offers digital solutions.

It’s essentially whatever you have access to.

If you’re leaning towards this option, you should consider how large your following is and how many hands on deck you have.

If it’s just you and you have millions of followers, you might not be able to run a service that requires you to meet with each client individually.

7. Cross-Platform Audience Building

All of the previously allotted money-making possibilities sound enticing, but they’re contingent upon having a large audience.

The size of your following equates to your money-making potential.

You can create more capital by cross-platform audience building to expand your following.

If you have a considerable amount of followers on one social media platform, you can use this account to market your other socials, ultimately diversifying your audience.

It’s not just about having a girthy audience on one platform; it’s about leveraging each following to create far-reaching viewership.