Influencer’s Income Explained


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TikTok Content House, ‘Hype House.’

Lilly Wolfe, Columnist

For the past couple of years, money has been flaunted in our faces time and time again by some of social media’s biggest creators. This wealth can certainly seem shocking at times, especially with the rise of TikTok stars who have seemingly become rich and famous overnight. There are certainly valid reasons as to why this wealth exists and how these people become so successful. 

The most obvious way in which influencers make money is from ad revenue. Creators on the platform YouTube earn money from Google AdSense. “YouTubers can make anywhere between $0.01 to $0.03 per view with AdSense…” writes TurboIntiut. This means most YouTubers get paid about $3 to $5 for every 1,000 views based on AdSense alone. However, there are some factors that determine the amount of money made. If an ad is skipped on YouTube it does not count as a view and no money is made. If someone clicks on the ad more money will be made. Another thing to note is that if YouTube chooses to demonetize the video, no money will be made at all.

Another interesting thing is how general engagement with the video affects its performance. The amount of likes and dislikes doesn’t directly relate to the amount of money a TikToker or YouTuber will earn, but videos with more likes tend to be recommended more which leads to more views. 

Though you see a lot of really rich Tiktokers, making money on the app is actually quite difficult unless you are a big creator. According to The Verge, the reason behind this is, unlike YouTube ads, TikTok ads aren’t directly tied to a certain video and all the revenue made from that ad will go to the company rather than the creators. There are other ways users make money. Creators can livestream on the app which offers viewers an opportunity to donate money to them. Tiktok also launched a 200 million dollar creator fund. This is one of the only apps in which the app directly pays influencers. Although, smaller creators don’t get paid very much as it was mostly made to keep large creators from leaving the app for bigger opportunities. Tiktoker Anfernee McLemore reveals in the video, “How Much MONEY We Made From Making TIK TOKS | Tik Tok Creator Fund Explained| Tik Tok Analytics 2020 that he had made $32.38 off of a post that had gathered 4,206,958 views. This might not be the most stable job especially if a video underperforms.

One much less risky way to ensure that you will be paid are brand deals. Oftentimes creators partner with large brands to form a symbiotic relationship in which the brands receive effective advertising and influencers get paid based on how many viewers interact with the ad. This ends up being a much more stable source of income because of frequent demonetization. This is usually how people on Instagram make most of their money with each sponsored post earning anywhere from approximately, according to Shopify, $88 to $670 per post depending on the amount of followers the poster has. 

Other platforms such as Twitch and Patreon make most of their money straight from their fans. On Twitch, viewers can support their favorite streamers by either donating once to get a shout out or by purchasing a subscription. Though midroll ads have recently been introduced this is how most of a streamers’ money is made discluding brand deals. Patreon is a little different. Patreon is mainly used by people who already have existing platforms. Any content on Patreons has to be paid for in order to receive viewership. 

If you happen to be considering taking a career path like this anytime soon the most realistic way to do so is to have a steady stream of income while you start. In order to make a good amount of money on any of these platforms, uploading consistently is key and you can’t do that without first having some basic necessities.