The rise of social media over the last decade has left everyone with many questions. How many hours we should spend on social media is a contender for the most-inquired question, but how social media impacts self-images is particularly apt, too. There’s also how social media affects our dopamine levels. All of these questions are important, but they often fall to the wayside in favor of social media’s positive attributes. It helps people stay in touch, it spreads news faster, and, most importantly (to some), it can help people make a living.
Making money on social media is tricky. You often need a large platform to make enough money to survive on, but the best part is that it’s accessible. Anyone with a cell phone or laptop with internet can make social media accounts and be on their way to earning money. Social giants like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch are some of the biggest platforms on which you can make cash, and Twitter has recently joined the monetization movement as well. According to TechCrunch, Twitter’s monetization relies on Super Follows, which require one to pay a monthly subscription fee to see a user’s tweets. The user can tweet free content, too, but subscriptions will offer extra content.
Because Twitter’s service is new, it’s not anywhere near the platform on which you can make the most money. Let’s break down the ones you can make the most on.
Two of the most popular social media sites on which to make money are YouTube and Twitch. These websites host videos and streams. During live streams on Twitch, people donate to the streamer while they play video games, put on fun makeup, and so much more (via CreditDonkey). Meanwhile, YouTubers get paid for their monetized videos.
According to Intuit MintLife, YouTubers get paid per view from the ads that play before and during their videos. The more ads that are on a video, the more money the content creator will make. Intuit reports that one view on a video generates $.18 on average if the viewer sees every ad in the video. However, the amount one makes from YouTube varies greatly based on the creator’s subscriber count and how many views their videos receive.
Many YouTubers have found massive success on the platform, becoming millionaires as their brands explode. This is, in part, also from brand deals, which can make YouTubers more money than ad revenue. Brand deals simply see creators promoting a brand’s product or service in exchange for money. According to Shaunpoore, YouTubers negotiate higher payouts from brands as their subscriber and view counts rise, but a good starting fee is $20-$30 for every 1,000 subscribers your channel has.
Worth noting is that Twitch streamers can enable ads on their videos once they become Twitch Partners, too, opening up their revenue streams (pun intended).
Outside of YouTube and Twitch, Instagram and TikTok are the platforms on which you can make the most money. According to Go Banking Rates, TikTok users can make anywhere from $200-$5,000 per month, with the platform’s top users potentially making even more than that. This is largely done through brand deals. These work the same as on YouTube, where people promote products or services from brands who pay them for this promotion. The more followers your TikTok account has, the more brands will pay you.
Likewise, Instagram influencers can make a lofty living through brand deals. Instagram offers more options for monetization than TikTok because it simply has more features. Influencers can make posts for their grid for a brand deal, or the brand deal could require a post to their Instagram Story. Instagram also offers IGTV and Reels, both of which can yield brand work, as well as a shopping feature that can help connect small businesses to users around the world.
According to Business Insider, there’s no set rate that everyone on Instagram agrees on. Some charge $100 for every 10,000 followers they have, but this isn’t standard. Others charge a flat rate such as $100 for a sponsored Instagram Story post. In any case, these brand deals are lucrative, and the more followers you have, the more these brands will pay you. Once your follower count reaches the millions, it becomes easy to live on the money from brand deals alone.
So, which social media platform do you want to use to start making money?