How to Actually Make Money With Social Media
Expert Guest Post by Christine Yaged of Finance Buzz
Most people have at least some presence on social media, and a select few are making crazy amounts of money with their online personas.
While the millionaires are clear outliers, there is nothing stopping the average person from making a decent amount of cash from social media, be it blogs, Youtube, or personal websites. In fact, it’s one of the most lucrative side hustles you can start.
How to get started
Most of these money-making opportunities are only going to work if you already have an organic and loyal audience. So, the first step to making money on social media is really to get followers who will engage with your content.
Here are a few basic strategies to help you with this.
While it’s not impossible to skyrocket to an enormous audience with general content, a niche is really your best bet. When people search for and find a niche channel that appeals to them, they are more likely to stick with it as a loyal follower.
So, if you’re thinking of trying to hack it as a travel blogger, then don’t set up just another “travel blog.” Instead, get more specific – maybe a “desserts of the world” blog where you travel and share exotic recipes with your audience. Latch onto an angle like this and members of your audience are less likely to ever replace you with another content creator.
Find an angle
Continuing with our travel blog example, you’ll want to find a way to sell yourself as different from other people doing similar gigs. This can be as simple as leaning into a personal trait.
Travel blogs like A Brit and A Southerner establish a clear, niche identity with just their name. If there’s anything interesting about your background or personality, then work it into your online identity.
In the online world, sometimes it can be all about who you know. Ideally, you’ll want to connect yourself with others who are similar to you but who aren’t offering the exact same product.
Be willing to share your audience and platform with these people and they will do the same for you.
Focus on quality
There’s a lot of emphasis on SEO in the online community.
What tag should you use? Where exactly should you place your link? What time of day is best for uploading videos to Youtube?
By all means, follow SEO best practices, since they can help you out. However, never put SEO in front of quality.
Yes, outbound links can be helpful but don’t write your article around the links you want to add. You might get a bit more traffic, but the hits won’t translate to actual followers if your content looks like it’s been stuffed with links, keywords and advertisements.
Write for your audience first, and for computer algorithms second.
Sell Your Expertise
Most income opportunities from social media involve selling your knowledge.
If your audience follows you for advice or information, then capitalize on it. Continue to provide your advice for free in whatever form you audience is familiar with (blog, Youtube channel, etc.) but take this opportunity to sell your skills elsewhere.
There are a lot of ways to do this, here are a few:
It’s true that literally anyone can write a book and put it up on Amazon or the like. There are very few requirements. So why not give it a whirl?
Try to fill your book with content that is related to your online presence but don’t just bundle up stuff you’ve already put out online for free and expect it to sell. Nor should you try to sell content that seems like it should be available to your audience for free.
For example, if you run a Tumblr or Twitter account where you post short poems, don’t try to sell a book of new poetry. Instead, publish a book about the creative process that details how people can write as wonderfully as you do.
Just about anything can be taught on sites like Skillshare. Be sure to take a look first and see what other courses are available.
You’ll want to make your course as unique as possible so you don’t get drowned out by other classes.
Take advantage of your network and offer your writing or video making skills to others in your industry.
If you’re an expert in your field, then you might even be able to swing interviews or brief guest content. Showing up on other people’s channels creates a sense of legitimacy for you.
The other main route for monetization is the work of influencers.
These are people who have great popularity online and then levy that popularity for paid promotions and advertisements. Becoming an influencer can take time since you’ll need to establish yourself as credible and knowledgeable. People want influencers who are well-known but not “celebrities.”
The paid social media influencer is a fine line to walk, so be careful, because it’s very easy to seem like a “sell-out.”
About the Author
Christine Yaged is a co-founding partner and Chief Product Officer of FinanceBuzz. Christine launches and scales brands. She is passionate about technology, digital marketing, and people.
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