18 Ways How Influencers Make Millions On Social Media

You are browsing through Instagram pages looking at protein powder. It is being recommended to you by that ripped guy, whom you’ve never met before. As you browse a thought strikes you and you start to wonder: is he being paid to show the label name and talk about the wonder qualities of this product?

Instagram is not the only place social media influencers make money from. There are also Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok.

How much is he making? “I wonder”, you whisper to yourself. You are curious now and you type “How much influencers make” in Google search.

The results vary in answers and after a long and weary read you stop your search.

To make it all easy and comprehensive, we put together a little explanation for you and other curious minds out there.

How much do YouTubers make?

When it comes to making money as an influencer, there are only a few that give you the truest possible way to make money: YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch, with the exception of a few others.

YouTuber earnings depend on many factors that are going to be discussed and examined in this post. Ad revenues, sponsorships to affiliate marketing links and merchandise can all contribute to a successful YouTuber wrecking it with thousands to millions of dollars.

How much do YouTubers make?

So, let us first introduce you to some of the top earners and popular faces. Then we will continue with naming a few of the faces, even a grandiose introduction won’t do such as the author himself. Well, now you know why the person whose article you are reading became a copywriter 🙂

Ryan Kaji

Number one on the list is a cute 8-year-old boy who is killing it with toy reviews. His channel reached 22.9 million subscribers and 34 billion views in general. Some of his videos are being viewed more than a billion times. This viewing rate is basically the Gangnam style of toy reviews. 😎

He made a whopping $26 million for 2019 alone.

Dude Perfect

Five dudes making perfect throws and shots making it look easy is something that could make you more than $20 million a year. Dude Perfect has nearly 49 million subscribers and more than 200 million views each month.

They made $20 million in 2019 🤑

Anastasia Radzinskaya

This little 5-year-old cutie from Russia was able to put the world under her spell, well almost 48 million subscribers. 😍 Anastasia was born with Cerebral Palsy, so doctors feared that she might never talk, yet she proved them wrong.

She makes $18 million a year.

These are three of the top-income influencers of 2019. Two of them being kids tell us that the dynamic is changing really fast because a few years ago gaming content was on top with YouTuber like PewDiePie’s

There are an estimated 300-500 hours of content uploaded onto YouTube every minute. What can we make of these statistics? It is a tough competition out there in the influencer world. YouTube analytics takes into consideration watch time, subscribers, likes, comments. In short, there is a lot to consider for an average YouTuber.

YouTube analytics

Let us make one thing clear before we magnify the earnings and stardom of a YouTuber,

For starters: it takes a long time now to be eligible to become a partner. Then, once eligible, you still need to be approved by YouTube. There are guidelines, terms, conditions, and risks of your videos being demonetized, plus copyright issues. In short a ridiculously large amount of requirements.

Once a YouTuber fulfills all the conditions, only then he, or she can start making some money. While there are a few ways to earn, one thing is certain: it is not easy.

So let’s look at a YouTuber who has 1 million subscribers, even though it’s far from average.

Normal Rate of CPM (cost for mille) for a thousand views is $2. This means an advertiser pays $2,000 for 1000 views. YouTube takes 45% of the revenue which leaves the creator at $1,100.

Depending on the watch time and the ads in the video, the creator gets his share.

Let’s assume that all of the subscribers from the above case watched all the videos with one ad in each video that is uploaded weekly.

This would be $57,200 per year, in simpler terms. Yet, as we said, it is not simple and there are many variables to take into account.

The average cost for a thousand views is not quite $2. The cost varies all the time based on your county, time, topic, audience, income and even the YouTuber.

Now let’s consider some of the usually unseen expenses by the creator, such as taxes and equipment. If you have a million subscribers that means, you need to be consistent in uploading videos.

You mostly employ editors and other staff. Besides, the fact that now half of the planet uses Adblock, which perhaps is not an expense but an income block.

The advertiser does not care about the subscribers so much as the views of the ads. So, it’s not just the size of the channel, but the quality of views and clicks it’s getting.

Simply put a lot to consider when getting to know the pay of the YouTuber, which is never easily identifiable until they prove themselves.

In case you wanted to find out for certain how much a certain video made for its creator or simply curious, check it out using YouTube money calculator.

To start with the very average, let’s create a character Joe, who has just started posting videos on YouTube.

Let’s assume he passed 4000-hour views and 1000 subscribers within the 365-day period, to become eligible.

The next monetized video which he posts say gets 1000 views with one ad viewed in each. YouTube will pay anywhere between $2-$5 based on the factors we mentioned.

AdSense, on the other hand, will pay only if the ad was viewed more than 30 seconds and was clicked.

Let ‘s assume this scenario, and you get about $2 per view from the engaging ad. YouTube takes 45% of the ad revenue. Ideally you should get 55% of 1000*$2 which is $1100.

However, as we said 100% engagement rate does not exist.

What is closer to reality is 0.1% rate of engagement on your ads which is $11+$2 from the views.

Thus, on average Joe would get anywhere between $10-$15 for 1k views, with AdSense.

This number is roughly what they can get from YouTube alone with ad revenue included. But don’t worry, there are other ways of complementing your income on YouTube.

We will not talk about them in full detail but we compiled a short list for your use here.

These are a few marketing products most YouTubers include in their earning strategy:

❤️ Affiliate links

❤️ Donations

❤️ Sponsorships

❤️ Merchandise

❤️ Digital products (such as e-books, online courses)

How much Twitch influencers make?

You heard about Ninja or a few other Twitch streamers whose names get tossed around a lot as an example of how much streamers make.

If you are curious to know how much they and some other average streamers make, keep reading to find out more.

How much Twitch influencers make?

In this post, we will ALSO continue mentioning some of the top Twitch names as an example. But more importantly, we will give you a few tips and maybe someday your name will be included.


This man “ninjad” his way through streaming so hard that, even non-gamers recognize his name, well, his nick. His name is Richard “Tyler” Blevins, and he has the most subscribers as of 2018.

He was the first streamer to reach 10 million subscribers on the platform, with a yearly income of more than $5 mil.


This Canadian E-sport athlete-turned-streamer makes more than $3mil a year. Michael Grzesiek (Shroud) is a full-time streamer who mainly plays MOBA games.

Peeking through his stream, it’s obvious how skilled and charismatic he is, which makes for the kind of streamer that makes millions of dollars.


Playing one game at a professional level has become an art of itself. Our next streamer is a multitalented young man who made it across a few distinct games.

He makes very close to $3mil a year with more than 4 million subscribers on Twitch.

Once again, it has become clear that top streamers have the skills first, then other talents to complement.

Some of the honorable mentions include names like DrLupo, Dr.DisRespectlive, Sodapoppin, Lirik, and Myth. They all make at least $1 million a year and some even made it to double that amount.

Try this Twitch money calculator to see it all for yourself

Let’s discuss some of the ways Streamers make money:

1. The easiest and the most obvious one is through Twitch subscriptions. It’s not quite like the other platforms where you have to ask for subscriptions though. Twitch handles all of that on its own. 

You are required to show up on time and entertain your audience as best as you can. It’s precisely like having your own show where you play computer games and comment on it at the same time.

There are three tiers in subscription:

♦️ Amazon prime

♦️ 1st tier  =  $4.99

♦️ 2nd tier = $9.99

♦️ 3rd tier =  $24.99

Your cut for the first tier of subscriptions is 50% divided between you and Twitch. As you move forward and accumulate more Twitch subscribers and views, your cut increases.

2. Twitch allows its viewers to support the streamer by donating bits, which is the Twitch currency.

This is a great way to make money during the first 30 days when you are waiting to be approved as well as after your approval. The audience doesn’t only give you bits but also tips.

There are ways you can encourage them to donate more by acknowledging their bits, donations, cheers. That is a must.

 You can also have an overlay where you show the most recent contributor, the top donator, regular donator.

On that note, you can get free twitch overlays, panels and everything in between here.

3. Ads on Twitch is also another way streamers make money. However, it can be irritating for some of the followers of the channel if played too many times.

Professional streamers place their ads during their breaks. This is a good way to keep them informed and not annoy the audience.

Sometimes loyal followers are ready to turn off their ad blocks to support their favorite streamer. It all depends on how well a streamer communicates and leads the audience.

4. Affiliate links work the same as it does across all other social media platforms. It is important to note that you should not just put a bunch of links to stuff your audience. It will not benefit you in the long run.

It is usually a good idea to leave the links to the equipment you are using such as Mouse, or Keyboard, or even the overlay, or a panel. Just the things that you personally use and the things you might find appropriate and useful for your audience.

Remember this is not the affiliate program offered from Twitch. So you have to set up a third party account from websites like Amazon, eBay, etc.

5. Merch, Merch, Merch! The coolest way streamers make money is by selling their merchandise, staff like T-shirts, hoodies, mugs and so on. Some streamers have a loyal base of followers who are ready to buy pretty much anything they sell.

Before the only beneficiaries of Twitch were Twitch Partners. But now it is possible for the affiliates to sell games and in-game objects as well and get a 5% commission from the sales.

6. Another very useful method that is done by many big streamers is endorsements.

Once a streamer gets big enough, some of the companies in search of advertising their products to the right audience approach the streamers for assistance.

Since negotiations occur only between the streamer and the advertiser, it is hard to tell how much commission or percentage they get, as it varies depending on many factors from the type of the company to the product.

Now you know the potential of social media to generate money and the possibility that exists for you and other enthusiasts.

If you wish to start paving your path towards those ‘sweet’ millions through playing games and streams, you need to first become a Twitch affiliate partner.

You are eligible to apply to the program once you fulfill all the requirements of the Twitch Affiliate program:

  1. Have at least 50 followers over the last 30 days.
  2. You need to stream for more than 500mins
  3. You need to have 3 or more concurrent views
  4. Have streamed seven unique days.

After this, you are set to start influencing.

How much money Instagram influencers make?

The very platform next to YouTube, well and Twitch as well 😉 in terms of influencer earning power is Instagram. But is there any truth to all these Instagram models success stories?

You might be thinking to get into this gig, but in order to do that, you need to have thousands if not millions of followers. That was our average Joe’s thought process before he made a quick buck from this very platform without millions in his follower number.

However, engagement is every bit as important as the following you have on this platform. It is for this reason you could be making more money with fewer followers.

There is an industry-defined rate. Many influencers and their marketers alike apply it when negotiating: for every 1000 followers the influencer is paid $10 per post.

It goes like this:

        An influencer could charge $100 per post if their account has more than 10,000 followers

        An influencer could charge $1000 per post if their account has more than 100,000 followers

        An influencer could charge $10,000 per post if their account has more than 1,000,000 followers

As you can see the more zeros you have in the number of your followers, the more zeros you can add to your charge as well.

You can find out which post made the most money using the Instagram money calculator or check out your local Instagram model’s earnings.

Let’s take an example of our average Joe again, who now decided to make it in the Instagram world.

Say, he accumulated about 20k followers. However, he has a very high engagement rate with his followers. He receives a lot of likes and comments, and he reciprocates, and they listen to him.

He could charge the advertiser anywhere from $150 to $300 per post. Assuming, he does promotion once a week. That is more than $1000 per month multiplied by 12, which makes more than $10,000, taking into account some unseen variables in the calculation.

It is, of course, impossible to calculate the earnings from Instagram until the influencer reveals the numbers himself or herself. Despite the somewhat of an unspoken industry standard, the negotiations can happen on a personal level.

These are the ways of how the Instagramers make money:

♠️ Sponsorships

♠️ Affiliate

♠️ Selling one’s own products, including photos

♠️ Cross-promotion of your other social media

Being sponsored might not be easy, but it is the easiest way when it comes to cashing in some dough. Brands just talk with the influencers of their liking and pay for the posts on their accounts. It is as simple as that.

However, there are some factors, which the advertiser takes into account before coupling with you on the promotion of the product. Things like your niche, quality of your photos, and your audiences, their engagement rate, even their age group.

Since they want to target certain demographics, their ads must be delivered to the appropriate public.

By now, there should be no need to talk about what and how Affiliate works. It seems no matter which social media platform you are on, you could be affiliating the bejesus out of it.

What we seem to notice with most of the successful Instagramers and influencers, in general, is that they are very careful to use affiliate. The successful ones promote only when they believe their audience could benefit from it.

One unique feature on Instagram is the fact that you can sell your photos and videos. Websites like Etsy, Clashot are very helpful for this purpose.

It is also a great platform to promote your digital products such as online courses, webinars, e-books, or your business.

You can see it done by most of the life coaches and digital marketing specialists.

Another often used method to make money with Instagram is promoting one’s other social media platform such as YouTube channel, or vice versa.

What other platform influencers make the most money?

Today, regardless of which social media platform you use, once you accumulate a big number of following, there is a way to monetize it.

We have chosen TikTok as a BONUS platform to unravel topic of “How much do influencers make”.

How much money tiktok influencers make

There are no direct ways to monetize your TikTok account but it is still possible to make money as an influencer on TikTok.

Let’s talk about the possibilities first then we will give an example or two depending on how our word count turns out for this post. 😉

So let’s bring back our imaginary best friend Joe who is using TikTok and suddenly hits 250k followers. He does have so many, 😱 doesn’t he?

Except for TikTok, advertisers usually require one to have a similar number of followers to that of Joe’s to consider collaborating with you.

Our Joe, being completely badass, got this easily just by being awesome. How much can he make as an influencer you wonder?

Before that let’s break down the ways they make money on TikTok

♣️ Brand collaborations

♣️ Traffic transfer

♣️ Offline event promotions

There is no way to estimate it. Sources say that Joe’s level influencer could be making $50k to $150k per year from brand collaborations only.

To get an insight into how much TikTokers make money you can use this calculator.

In addition, most TikTokers direct their followers to other platforms like YouTube. They usually have more content and ways to make money there.

If you have by now forgotten how YouTubers make money, you can scroll up a bit, and skim it through again.

The best part of being a TikTok influencer might be the fact that you get invited to openings of other offline events.

There was an example of Superdry Australia who invited three TikTokers for the opening of their new store.

Many fashion brands and companies, in general, are now targeting TikTokers, because this platform is known to host the most teens to tweens.

It is useful to collaborate with TikTokers if one intends to reach these specific demographics.

Wrapping up

Being famous pays just as it always did. Now everyone has the opportunity to become a celebrity in their own way and earn a living.

While it might be hard to become the next Ninja, PewDiePie, or Zack king, and make millions, you can at least sit in the comfort of your home and read about how much influencer makes.

However, if you get excited and eager to go viral, go claim your FREETWITCH services. It is going to help you kick start your social media career with some free likes and comments.

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