How does an influencer make money?

Influencers, influencer marketing, creators, creator economy, uff! We are having a hard time keeping up with all these trending terminologies. These terms have become even more prominent in the last two years of the pandemic that forced more than half the world to go online!

Influencer #1

The already overcrowded social media doubled in its population. The race to get the most likes became harder but the good thing about these platforms is, that no matter how much competition is there, you can always have a space if you create one for yourself.

If you open Instagram and browse for more than a few seconds, you’ll almost certainly find someone you follow pushing a brand, whether it’s a celebrity, a want to be a star, or that random girl you went to college with who’s now a famous tech blogger.

Instagram Influencer

All these people have made social media presence a full-time job and they earn well enough with it. But how do these influencers earn money, is the million-dollar question, isn’t it?

Who is an influencer?

Influencers thought leaders, celebs, call them what you want, they have the power to influence thousands, lakhs, or billions of people depending on their popularity. Anyone who can influence the buying decisions or thoughts of someone is an influencer.

All social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, etc have influencers. These influencers influence their follower’s decision to buy from one particular brand or take up a service from another in return for a barter or paid commission.


While many of us still have a great time on social media, it has become increasingly monetized in the past few years.

Networks were able to pay for their expenses early on thanks to advertising in the form of paid social and display adverts. For the most part, they still do. However, social media has evolved into a platform where influencers can earn money in ways that most people are unaware of. What are the ways that influencers generate money? Let’s have a look at how they can make money from their influence.

Ways influencers make money

1. Blogs, Vlogs, or Podcasts:

Even though people might be interested in their favorite influencers’ daily life. Often, there is a very high chance that them just telling how they feel about certain things like a recent tv series they watched or a friend they hung out with, might be all cool and fun but in the end, the follower wants content. Recently, I saw a story on Instagram by Hubman and Chubgirl (A lovely Canadian couple who run a small business, Chubgirl is our artist), they haven’t been posting new posts but have been updating their stories, as they are busy with their small business and toddler. It is understandable, but many followers unfollowed them and left nasty comments mentioning that there was no new content.

Hubman Chubgirl

People can be mean, they forget influencers are human too but that’s across all influencers must bear. They get sponsored by brands to create category-specific blogs, vlogs, or podcasts which allows them to place that brand’s product or service as a solution towards the end.

2. Affiliate Marketing:

In their social media posts, influencers and website owners include special links or promo codes. The influencer is paid a modest fee or a commission when people click on the links or use the codes at checkout. Amazon Associates is one of the most well-known affiliate marketing schemes. Like recently I came across a post by Natasha Noel, where she did a similar post for Gizmoswala. You can find a screenshot of the same below.

3. Subscriptions and Donations:

Influencers can also earn money by having their followers donate it to them. Many social media influencers take payments and tips through their websites or through services such as Patreon, which allows members to support influencers with monthly contributions in exchange for exclusive content. Other influencers will simply have a widget on their websites where fans may donate a modest amount of money to buy them a cup of coffee. Not only artists but lightworkers and psychics are also found on such platforms. One example is our lovely Stargirl.

Star Girl on Patreon

4. Brand Ambassador: 

A very famous term indeed. Being a brand ambassador has always been pretty much relegated to big celebrities. Now, even social media influencers are approached by brands as well. Rather than merely building brand awareness through one solo sponsored post, the influencer will promote the company’s products and services on a frequent basis to raise overall brand awareness. For example, a brand might pay a social media influencer to post about the brand on a regular basis for 6-12 months.

Adidas Influencer Marketing Camapign

5. Sponsored Posts:

Influencers can make a living from each and every social media post they make, especially if they create high-quality content. As a result, sponsored content is one of the most lucrative ways for influencers to earn money. Brands pay influencers to promote products and services on their social media pages via sponsored posts. This sponsored content could appear inside an Instagram post, a Facebook post, or a YouTube video, among other places. 

Famous Influencers across Globe 2022

The Social Media Numbers in the current Digital World translate to power. Even though we have many influencers who are not actors or famous musicians, dancers, etc. the majority of the influence still lies in the hands of famous stars.

The following Graphic representation by Visual Capitalist paints a pretty clear picture.

Top Influencers

Every Social Media platform has a niche. Twitter is a better place for thought leadership whereas Instagram is a dream of any sponsor. But no matter the platform social media holds a lot of power today. Mostly it is the celebrities that dominate the digital world but now the world is changing and politicians like Narendra Modi, Barrack Obama, industrialists like Bill Gates, and Elon Musk are also a part of this social media influencer world.


Some of the older people might have had to put in more effort to learn social media but Gen Z has grown alongside it. Kylie Jenner and Dwayne Johnson are two of the most followed Gen Z influencers.

Conclusion: Future of Influencers

Influencers are not limited by age, name, religion, or gender. Social media is a space for equality. Anybody can get famous here. There are no biases on these platforms. A difficult task can be cracking the algorithm. Especially with Instagram, it’s like an everyday challenge with a continuously changing algorithm to maximize your posts’ reach.  The commercialization of social media has changed the course of life for many people. More followers do not necessarily mean more engagement. Accounts with smaller followings generally have more engagement with their followers.

There is no one fixed rule to being an influencer. Anyone can become an influencer, it’s all in the content. You can be the next Rizzle Influencer. Try Rizzle for creating shareable content. Download here!

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