How Influencers Make Money

Many bloggers will tell you it R-O-C-K-S to wake up in their jammies, throw on their slippers, walk into the home office, and start the workday. But many bloggers will also tell you they are so busy that they often forget to brush their teeth or shower all day. Yep, that morning breath can really knock you out at dinnertime.

And as word has traveled about the success of the blogging industry and making a living at home, the landscape continues to grow and undergo changes almost constantly. Many influencers continue to shift from hobbyists to full-blown professionals, and the way they earn money continues to change as well.

An influencer has various revenue stream possibilities, and it’s important for a brand to understand where a blogger makes her money and where her strengths lie.

To successfully make a living from blogging, most influencers will pull from multiple revenue streams. Keep in mind, the biggest capital investment in a blog is time—and for an influencer, time is money. Smart bloggers find where they get the best return on investment and spend most of their time on those revenue streams, such as:


  • Sponsored or review posts: A blogger receives payment from a brand or agency in return for the publication of sponsored or branded content.
  • Brand representative: A blogger can be hired by a brand to use their products and services for a short or long-term project. A great example of this is Walmart moms, which compensates 22 moms around the US to be brand ambassadors for Walmart.
  • Affiliate network sales, such as Rakuten and Commission Junction: An influencer receives a percentage of an online sale that was referred from a blog, social media, or banner ad placement.
  • Affiliate sales publisher or product sales: A blogger can create and sell his own products on the blog. He can also sell ebooks, downloadable content, printables, webinars, or physical products online.
  • Banner ads: A blogger hosts banner ads on the website to earn revenue either from direct sales or through an ad network like Google AdSense.
  • Speaking/Guest appearances: The influencer can get paid to speak at or attend events and conferences. 
  • Writer/Contributor/Freelancer/Consulting: Influencers can get paid for writing original blog posts or for providing advice on blogging to brands or businesses. 
  • Event organizer: Bloggers are known to host local, regional, or national social media or blogging events.
  • Television/Radio shows: Some influencers even share content online or on-air. For example, WFAA, a Dallas, Texas ABC affiliate found yours truly from my blog about seven years ago and hired me to do weekly on-air segments. I still host those segments today!
  • Book deals: Bloggers can receive a portion of sales from book deals. Becentsable was featured on Good Morning America and a publisher contacted them to write a book.
  • Vlogging: Bloggers can create videos for brands and products as well as make money on their YouTube channels.
  • Email: Some influencers will send sponsored email blasts for payment.


Most successful influencers often find the best strategy is to incorporate several different revenue streams to elevate their status and their income. It’s also important for an influencer to continue to diversify to protect their business.

As a brand reaching out to an influencer, it’s smart to be savvy about the influencer’s revenue streams and which will give the brand the best result and the most number of impressions. It also allows marketers to think outside the box on how they can successfully spend marketing dollars.

And a final word of warning, many bloggers do not like to do Skype or video chat unless forewarned. Yep, they are probably still in their jammies when you schedule that conference call. We can only hope they’ve had time to brush their teeth!

One Reply on How Influencers Make Money

This was a great read. I’ve been looking into their topic a lot. Thanks for writing it!

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