Does making money on social media posts sound good?
I guess it does.
In this article, I’ll show you what you need to do and what you can do as part of your own social media monetization strategy. The hard part—the doing—is up to you.
Are you ready?
A quick tip before we start…
Know what you want. What is your goal—your purpose.
Is it money? Is it an escape from the monotonous daily grind that has become your life? Is it a passion project?
Knowing your why—as Simon Sinek calls it—will give you the resilience and motivation you need when the going gets tough in your new endeavor. You’re going to need this to push through the hard times and get where all the uber-successful social media monetizers are.
“Making money” isn’t a goal. It’s a dream. To turn it into a goal, you’re going to need specifics:
- I want to earn $500 a month without doing anything at all (aka passive income)
- I want to gain 50k new followers on Instagram
- I want to get 50k view on this video on YouTube
In short: know what you want, and why you want it, so you can turn your dream into real, actionable steps.
Alright, let’s look at the first tip.
#1. Focus On One Core Social Media Platform
Starting with one core social media channel is the key to achieving early successes. By focusing on one channel you can concentrate your time and resources, and dedicate your attention to this one place.
Building a strong following on your chosen platform means that when your business is ready to diversify, you have a solid audience base to help you branch out.
4 Questions To Help You Choose Your Primary Platform…
- Who is your audience?
- Where do they hang out online?
- What kind of content do that platform’s users engage with?
- How can your idea work on that platform?
The last question in that list will help you craft a content strategy—a way of getting your ideas across, and building audience engagement, that feels natural and organic on that social media channel.
How It Works…
Let’s pretend you’re a plant-based stay-at-home dad.
Who is your audience? Let’s say (in this case) your audience is fellow plant-based foodies who don’t have a lot of time and do need to cook with their hands full of rowdy, wriggly children.
Where do they hang out online? Pinterest and Facebook are solid platforms for the family and foodie sets.
What kind of content does your audience engage with on Pinterest? Pictures and recipes.
How can your idea work on that platform? You can post beautiful shots of your dishes, with clearly thought out recipes, and engage in your own time with other busy parents.
None of this is to say you have to be limited to one platform. You can use your other platforms to drive your potential audience to your main channel, too. Eventually, as your audience and influence grows, you might want to diversify and expand your business. But, just for now, be sure your audience are rewarded for engaging with your main channel, with the most up-to-date content and relevant news.
#2. Boost Engagement
If you want to make money on social media, you need a following. The bigger your following, the more reach you have, and the more you are able to influence your audience’s engagement.
How It Works…
To boost your engagement, the key is quality and consistency.
- Use high-res images: You don’t need an expert-level camera to get beautiful shots—a reasonably new smartphone can do the trick, too. High-res images appeal to us because we are visual creatures, and should appeal to you because quality visuals result in up to 94% more content clicks.
- Use visual data: For much the same reason, visual content—like graphs, pie charts, infographics, and pictorials—helps you build stronger engagement with your audience.
- Edit: It’s OK if you’re not a writer. Many of us are not. Your audience won’t expect your grammar to be perfect—unless you’re positioning yourself as a writing expert—but they will expect you to put some effort in. Check your spelling and proofread your content before it goes live.
- Update your content: However you do it, keeping track of your content is vital to maintaining your own version of quality control. Got an article that hasn’t aged well? A how-to guide that only works for an older version of Windows? Update it. Irrelevant content makes your brand appear inactive, which impacts how likely your audience are to continue engaging with it.
- Post regularly: This is one of the most detrimental things you can do to your budding social media empire. If you don’t post regularly, 3 key areas of your business strategy are falling apart:
- Your audience won’t feel motivated to check in.
- You miss opportunities to engage, when your audience asks questions, writes comments, or shares your content.
- You won’t build your brand’s voice and style early on.
- Full disclosure: Not disclosing relationships your brand has with sponsors or other businesses can do irreparable damage to the foundations you are building. You may also find yourself in hot water with the FTC if you are US-based and not properly disclosing sponsorships. For the purposes of being a decent netizen, always disclose when you have:
- Been paid to review, endorse, or recommend a product
- Been gifted or given a product at no cost
- Endorsed a service by agreement with that service
#3. Join an Affiliate Program
Amazon’s Affiliate Program is probably the most well-known way of monetizing as an affiliate, but it’s not the only one out there.
How It Works…
As an affiliate, you promote other people’s products and those people pay you a commission. You don’t need to carry any stock, you don’t have to worry about shipping or payment processing—you’re effectively just posting on social media, “hey, here’s a thing you can buy.”
Aside from Amazon and a whole lot of other online retailers, you can also act as an affiliate for:
#4. Sponsored posts
This is similar to affiliate marketing in that you’re helping other brand’s sell a product, and receiving a commission or fee for your effort.
How It Works…
Usually, you will reach out to a brand that sits within your niche.
You want to work with that brand because their products or services add value for your audience—and, ideally, they want to work with you because they want your audience to buy their products or services.
Sponsorship deals vary from one influencer to another, but you may be paid a set fee for posting specific content to your audience.
When you’re starting out, reaching out directly may not be the most effective way to broker a sponsorship deal. In that case, there are P2P networks that allow you to connect with brands who are looking for influencers like you:
#5. Master Scalable Services
When I ventured into the world of Amazon selling, I went with a product I understood—yoga mats. But selling online was a hassle. I suddenly needed to consider:
- Stock management
- Customer service—including returns and refunds
- Listing fees
I, personally, wasn’t about that life. But selling a service is vastly different—and infinitely more profitable, if you do it right.
How It Works…
A scalable service is a service you can sell multiple times—even infinitely—with no more effort or output than if you were to sell it once. You simply create the content, let your audience know where to find it, and invest some time into promoting your service across your chosen platform(s).
Some examples could be:
- An eBook. You write it once and can sell it repeatedly without having to invest any time in shipping, ordering, managing stock numbers, or listing fees.
- An online course. You create the course once, and an infinite number of users can enrol and use the course with very little output from you.
- A video series. You create each video in the series, upload the videos, and monetize them—either through direct advertising and sponsorship on your chosen social media platform, or through YouTube’s Partners program.
Learning how to get paid for social media posts was the easy part. Doing it requires consistency, dedication, and motivation. But if you’re ready to take the leap into running a profitable social media account, these 5 ways to get paid for social media posts will set you on the right track.
Start out by mastering steps 1 and 2, and then work on building a strategy that engages your following and adds real value for your audience.