Research has shown that the average person spends around two hours a day on social media – but if you’re a social media addict you’ll likely spend much more! How about you use all that dedication to scrolling to actually make some money? Social media is quite a lucrative business if you know how to play it right and you’re prepared to put in the effort. In fact, according to Instagram influencer app Takumi, with just 1,000 followers you could be making £4,160 a year by posting twice a week. So if you fancy turning your social media obsession into a handy little side-hustle, here’s everything you need to know…
Do you need lots of followers to make money from social media?
The answer to this is both yes and no.
A lot of people assume you need hundreds of thousands of followers to be able to make any money on social media. This simply isn’t true.
Brands are increasingly seeking quality over quantity – this means they would rather pay for a smaller audience of engaged or niche followers. They no longer just want expensive celebrities to advertise their wares, they’re deliberately looking for ordinary people and ‘influencers’.
For example, if you can prove that the vast majority of your followers are UK university students aged 18-24, you’ve instantly got your selling point, even if you don’t have an absolutely huge audience.
That being said, you do still need to have a fairly decent amount of followers. No one’s going to pay you anything just to engage with your mates. But you only really need to reach around 1,000 followers to be able to start making a small amount of money.
How much money can you make from social media?
When it comes to making money from social media and blogging, the sky is the limit. For many people, this is literally their full-time job, giving them the freedom and independence to work for themselves with a comfortable salary. However, building up a social media profile and audience to that level takes a serious amount of dedication and effort, something that you probably won’t have time for when studying a full-time degree.
But with brands paying between £40 and £2,000 per Instagram post, depending on the amount of followers you have, there’s still ample opportunity to make some spare cash on the weekends.
If you do manage to make it big, Instagrammers with over 75,000 followers could be taking home over £100,000 a year! That’s a crazy amount of money for doing something you already do all the time anyway, right?
At the moment Instagram is all the rage, and can bring in some serious money, but trends change and it might not be so profitable this time next year. It’s important to stay on top of any changes in the industry, and be quick to respond to any new platforms which pop up. We spoke to Charlie Watson, who created running blog The Runner Beans, and has over 41,000 followers on Instagram, all while studying her Dietitian degree.
How to find your niche
There are literally hundreds of people out there on the social media side-hustle game, so if you want to make it you’re going to have to do something different. That doesn’t mean you have to do something completely bonkers, but it does mean you need to find your specific niche.
Have a think about what it is you’re passionate about or particularly knowledgeable in. You’re going to have to dedicate a lot of time to the subject, so make sure it’s something you’re going to enjoy writing about. Once you’ve got the general area, try and narrow it down to a specific angle that hasn’t been done before.
For example, if you’re interested in travel, you could focus on budget travel, student travel, rail travel or eco-travelling. A generic travel blog is going to get lost in the noise unless you have something to set it apart.
But don’t fall into the trap of going too niche either. It needs to be a topic which will generate conversations and content ideas for years to come, so there needs to be a lot of depth to it.
Make sure to check out the competition to see what they’re doing and where the gaps in the market are. Check that there’s opportunity to monetise too – are people willing to spend money in this area? Are there products available for them to buy?