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How to make money on social media

Nearly everyone and their dog has at least one social media account these days. But did you know that social media is actually a viable platform for earning additional income? Only a select few wind up millionaires, like PewDiePie, The Fine Bros. and Ryan Higa, but just below the top tier, many can still earn a handsome side income, leaving the rest of us wishing we could be influencers in our own right. So, how exactly does one make money on social media?

Tips for making money on social media

Always produce original content

Having great original content is the main driver when it comes to making money on social media. In fact, original content that is interesting will help you increase your number of subscribers and followers, and this formula holds true not only for social media like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, but also for websites, blogs, newspapers and other kinds of print media. 

There are times when people do not know what they want to read until you serve up a story or a photolog of your thoughts. Stumbling upon original content is always refreshing, rather than the same old, rehashed story ideas found on other accounts or websites. The best way to come up with such original content is always to make sure it comes from the heart, and that you write, shoot or post for genuine readers. Organic growth is always the best way to go, and along the way, you will earn a faithful following that makes your site or social media channel more valuable to rake in the advertising dollars.

Opinion by Edwin Kee
Original content is king
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Include a shock factor

There is also the shock factor of being the very first person out there to do something, or showcase a daredevil stunt that requires plenty of guts to accomplish. Needless to say, one’s life should never be put at risk just so that you can get more views. However, this has not stopped some folks in the past from putting themselves in precarious, life threatening situations just to shoot a selfie that would hopefully get traction and go viral. Posts that have a shock factor are bound to draw far more viewers than usual, which translates to money in the bank.

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Make your next Instagram post earn money for you. / © AndroidPIT

Going viral

Coming up with a post, a thought, or even a meme is something that social media users do all the time. There are magical moments when a particular post goes viral, spreading like wildfire with everyone talking about it, retweeting or reposting it on their profiles, and the trend continues until a large section of the Internet community have seen or read it. You can incorporate the previously mentioned methods to try and craft the best possible story or post, but sometimes it is a sheer stroke of dumb luck that propels a particular post or story to go viral.

Transforming followers into patrons

Why not leverage the power of Patreon? Patreon is a unique platform that allows virtually anyone to support a content creator monetarily. It works on a pledge basis, where content creators are tipped each time a new piece of content is released. Musicians, vloggers, artists and anyone with a unique, bankable talent tend to benefit more than say, a regular Joe on the street without something uniquely creative to offer to the world.

Working with brands

Why not work with brands instead if you have gained a sizable following? Companies continue to look for different ways to stretch their marketing dollar, and hiring influencers has been the trend in recent years. You can carefully craft sponsored content and publish it on your very own social media channels, so that your followers will become aware of the brand's products. It needs to sound natural from your side, but it has proven to be mutually beneficial for both brand and influencer. 

Write a book

Personally, I don't think that people are reading less, but rather that people are reading differently. The way words are consumed has changed with the proliferation of smartphones. If you already have a large following, why not write a book in your area of expertise and sell it digitally or through traditional brick-and-mortar channels? Your many online fans would no doubt want access to this "premium" content, and might not mind paying for it. Again, original content plays a very important role here, so get those creative juices flowing.

Social media remains a vibrant platform for making money, and you could someday turn it into your full-time job if you have all of the right pieces in place. With smartphones becoming more common around the world and digital content consumption increasing all the time, social media is here to stay. Brands are always on the lookout for the next influencer who is able to suit their style and products to push for even more sales. Creative folks, if you have not yet kicked off a social media channel of your own, perhaps now is a good time to do so!

Have you ever tried to make an income with social media? Is there anything holding you back?

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