How Influencers Make Money

by Troy White

Have you ever thought about being the next Addison Ray or PewDiePie? It may seem glamorous to dance along to the latest hit songs on TikTok or react to the most outrageous videos for hours on end, but it’s also worthwhile to consider how these influencers make their money.

We may not be able to teach you the latest dance trend or stream our reactions to funny fail videos, we sure can discuss money, money management, and, this week, influencers’ income.

In this blog we’ll break down the top ways influencers make their cash from:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Brand Sponsored Posts
  • Becoming an Ambassador
  • Patreon

Top Ways Influencers Make Money

Influencers can track their earnings inside the money app with customizable and automated budgeting.

Affiliate Marketing

One of the easiest ways to start making some dough as an influencer is through affiliate marketing. 

What is it? 

Affiliate Marketing is when an influencer recommends a product or service and earns money anytime a follower makes a purchase using the influencer’s link. 

Influencers can get these links from thousands of different businesses that have their own affiliate programs. Amazon has one of the largest affiliate programs with millions of different products, all with different commission rates. 

Other individual brands like Disneyplus and Robinhood have great programs as well, which allow influencers to flexibly represent the brands they love. Once they know what they want to sell, influencers can begin finding their audience, catering their messaging, and making those commissions! 

Brand Sponsored Posts

Another way influencers can start contributing to their financial future is by sharing brand sponsored posts.

In this case, brands reach out to influencers and ask them to promote their product or service. Influencers in return receive direct compensation for each post they create. For influencers lucky enough to be sponsored by travel companies, compensation may even come in the form of free travel to luxurious destinations!

Brand sponsored posts can take many different forms such as blog articles, videos, or social media posts. The content of these posts usually highlight the product or service in a fun, engaging way. This—combined with the close connection influencers have with their fans—makes for some truly remarkable results, which may lead to other brands reaching out in the future!

Becoming Brand Ambassadors

Influencers can also make money by becoming brand ambassadors. Becoming a brand ambassador involves a more long term commitment with contracts ranging from a few months to a year. 

Influencers get free products, gear, and sometimes cash in return for promoting a brand’s products on their social media pages.  

Many brands have ambassador programs that anyone can sign up for. Lululemon and Yelp are a couple popular examples of great programs targeted to people wanting to influence their local community.

Some brands even have ambassador programs specifically for college students, including! Through these programs, college students have the chance to become influencers on their campus while also learning valuable skills from their favorite brands.

College students have the opportunity to join’s Money Mates

Our ambassador program supplies students with free merch, networking opportunities, a ridiculous amount of financial literacy resources, and access to’s Mindset subscription. If you’re interested in becoming a Money Mate ambassador, take the first step and fill out our application!


Finally, Patreon is a great platform that allows influencers to make money while engaging with their followers. 

Influencers can share their patreon account with their followers and offer exclusive content, live experiences, early access, or personalized tutorials. Followers can also pay a small fee or subscribe monthly in order to access their favorite content and support their favorite influencers. 

Patreon is awesome because no matter what type of content creator you are—a Youtuber, a podcaster, a musician, or an artist—you can begin benefitting from your creative work. 

So, How Can I Become an Influencer, and How Much Do They Make?

Now that you know how influencers make their money, you may be contemplating starting a side-hustle and looking up TikTok dance tutorials. But remember, there are plenty of influencers out there that make other types of amazing content. Tutorials, blogs, podcasts, and more are all ways influencers have been able to make an income. Depending on your interests and skillset, these might be more worthwhile avenues to explore.

Lastly, here are some figures to keep in mind if you are money motivated. Micro-Influencers (with between 10,000 to 50,000 followers) can make up to $500 per post and make between $40,000 to $100,000 per year. Mega-influencers that have millions of followers can even make up to $250,000 per post! (Now that’s a lot of money).

So, if you have a valuable skill or a portfolio of work that you want to share, start thinking about becoming an influencer. You can begin building your wealth and maybe even become the next Addison Ray!

Related Reads:

Best Side-Hustles to Make Extra Cash

Weird Ways to Make Extra Money

Troy is a 4th year student at Cal Poly Slo studying Business Administration with a dual concentration in Marketing Management and Entrepreneurship. While managing money in college and preparing for his future, Troy recognized a lack of financial literacy among young adults. He has since made it his mission to help others achieve financial wellness through education and open communication. His other interests include film, music, reading, and helping the environment.


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