Making money as an Influencer seems easy, but can have a ton of obstacles that come with the job. One of those obstacles is getting paid as an Influencer. Most influencers make the majority of their money from something known as a brand sponsorship, or brand deal. 

Sponsorships are apart of a company’s Influencer Marketing budget. This is when a company or brand, allocates a certain amount of their company budget into paying Influencers to help raise brand awareness and/or promote products, vs. buying Ad space on a TV network, radio station, or even Google Ads. 

Over 60% of companies have a marketing budget with over 50% including Influencer marketing into that advertising budget. This is because proof has shown Influencer Marketing has a bigger return on investment (ROI) for a brand. This is because more people are willing to purchase a product or service recommended by their favorite influencer more than they would make a purchase recommended by a celebrity or commercial. 

Since Influencer Marketing in many cases has such a high ROI, brands can be very particular about who they work with. Something a brand will look for when deciding to include which influencers to work with are:

  1. Their engagement rate
  2. Does the influencer’s aesthetic match the brand?
  3. Does the price make sense?
  4. Do the audience demographics match the brand?
  5. Is their previous conversion rate for the brand to look at?

But what happens when you are new and don’t have a huge influence over a specific target audience yet? Do you continue to work for free? Is there a way to make money WITHOUT relying on a brand to find you worthy?

The answer is yes! There are actually a handful of different ways to make money as an influencer so let’s dive into some more.


Affiliate marketing is very similar to brand deals but much easier to get started with, especially as a new or smaller creator. This is because affiliate marketing has a lower risk to a brand since the payment structure is built on commission instead of a flat fee.

The best way to explain this is with a real-life scenario. Let’s say you join SOCIAL BLUEBOOK’S AFFILIATE PROGRAM and Social Bluebook agrees to pay you 25% every time you refer someone and they purchase a Social Bluebook subscription. You then make a video on YouTube about how you stay organized in your influencer business using your Social Bluebook Brand Deal Tracker Tool

Your audience responds well to the video you made and 7 people use your affiliate link to join Social Bluebook and purchase a monthly subscription for $19.95. Since these were purchased using your affiliate link, Social Bluebook sends you a payment for $34.91 (25% of the 7 sales made.)

The best part, as long as all 7 of your audience members stay with Social Bluebook as a paid subscriber, you then get to make $34.91 EVERY SINGLE MONTH and all you did was make ONE video. Being able to earn recurring revenue like this is called passive income. And passive income should be a key revenue stream that you strive for.

A lot of companies have added an affiliate program to their website and allow influencers of all sizes to join since they don’t have to pay you out unless you refer a sale and you get to continue to make passive income more regularly than if you were just landing traditional pay per post sponsored deals. So if you know that you’re audience can convert to sales than it’s a win-win for everyone!


Another great way to make income, especially passive income, is Ad sharing revenue. Ad sharing is best described as an incentive program and a lot of social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, and Facebook have all incorporated it into their business. 

Although each company has its own rules and terms of service when it comes to Ad sharing, the concept works the same. To participate in ad sharing revenue, an Influencer must meet eligibility requirements set by the platform in order to be considered a “partner.” 

Once the company reviews the account to ensure the creator’s content is suitable for Ads, the social media platform will start placing ads before, during, or after an influencer’s content which is then displayed to viewers when the viewer comes to the platform to interact with the creator’s content. 

Each time the ad is shown to a viewer, an “impression” is calculated and the ad then generates income from the impression. The income generated is then split between the influencer and the platform. For example, YouTube’s ad sharing is a 45/55 split. This means YouTube takes 45% of the income generated from ads while the creator gets to keep 55% on the income. 

Although you do not NEED a large following to start generating income in this way, most company’s do require you to have an engagement threshold such as a minimum number of followers or subscribers, a minimum number of accumulated watch hours, or even total views before you can join. 


Now, with all the above-mentioned ways to make money, you the influencer still have outside factors to consider that determine your pay. Something most people in the influencer world won’t tell you is the fact that you do not NEED to rely on a company or brand to get paid. You can use your own product or services to generate income, just ensure it aligns with your brand. 

A good example of this would be an creator who is in the organizational planning niche and uses templates to stick in her planner to organize her day. She shares her templates on Instagram and she receives messages from her followers asking where she purchased her templates from. When she tells them she made them herself, she receives inquiries about how much they cost so that her audience can purchase the templates for themselves to use. 

The influencer had never thought about selling any products, but since she does this for herself and the product aligns perfectly with her niche she decides to open up an Etsy shop and sell her printable templates for $3 each.

She then announces her new shop and within 3 hours she receives 50 sales, which comes out to $150. The best part of this is that it is HER PRODUCT, so she does not have to worry about making a small profit from referring someone else’s product, having to split her income with an affiliate network, or even rely on followers, likes, and engagement factors to determine her worth. 


There are pros and cons to every one of the income streams mentioned above, and the best thing you can do is diversify your income and add a mixture of income streams to your overall monetization strategy. 

Ready to learn more ways to grow your influencer business with the best tools and tips for creators? Then make sure to join Social Bluebook today!