Thursday, 19 May, 2022

How do Influencers make Money?

Blogging/creating has been my full-time job for over five years. It’s paid my bills and then some! I’m very proud of where I’m at, but feel like this ..


Blogging/creating has been my full-time job for over five years. It’s paid my bills and then some! I’m very proud of where I’m at, but feel like this industry does a lot of gatekeeping & doesn’t info share as it should. Even from the inside, I often feel out of the loop, so I try to change that by spilling ALL m
y secrets all the time
Today let’s answer the age-old question: How do Influencers make Money? Because without it, blogging/creating/influencing is a HOBBY and not a JOB. Both are great, but if you want to pay your bills and eat, you need to get paid for the work you’re doing!


How do Influencers Make Money? Let me tell you: C A A S H

C – creation of product
A – affiliate marketing
A – ambassadorships
S – sponsorships (#ad)
H – hosting & events!


Product Creation: 

This is how it sounds … I often create products that I can sell. This includes everything from co-brands like my collaboration with Rent The Runway, to my ColorMeMerch. The process and payments vary depending on the collaboration but this is a great way to support me and get something cute in the process. For co-brands I’ve done a few:

I designed a shoe with Keds
– I designed a lipstick for Birch Box called Color Me Confident
– I designed a co-brand with Hudson Bay

And currently…
I have a co-brand at Rent The Runway that you can rent or buy, as well as my ColorMeMerch!

In addition, I  have a few new products in the works that I can’t quite share with you yet! I honestly hate keeping secrets so I hope I can share soon!


These are my fav! This is where I work with a brand in a longer-term capacity, usually a minimum of three posts over a two-month period.  In these cases, the brand and I are a really good fit.  Sometimes this work is “behind the scenes” and I’m working with them internally on a number of issues or on a special project.  Helping a brand to be more inclusive or to improve its products would be examples of how I work with a brand in an extended capacity! 

I love these the most because I feel like I can really introduce you to a brand.  Also,  I can do so over multiple posts instead of just one post that you might miss if you’re taking a social media break (as you should sometimes)!  It’s like agreeing to be in a long-term relationship with a brand instead of agreeing to hang out together just one weekend.

My goal is always to do more of these because it’s just more fun for me to get to know the brand deeply this way and to get to know the people behind it. In addition, I  feel like I can do a better job sharing them with you when I have the access that an ambassadorship provides.


Affiliate marketing = Commission-based sales.

You know how some of your favorite shops pay their salespeople a low hourly wage and instead, they earn commissions on their sales for the day? Or how restaurant servers usually get paid small wages and actually live off their tips? Well, affiliate marketing works the same way.  Basically, when I link things I love,  I can make a small commission on any ensuing sales, if that particular retailer participates.

My page isn’t sales-driven and it really isn’t my focus.  (You may follow some influencers that focus on all product-sharing or like-to-link-based apps) and if so,  that’s ok!  It’s just not my thing for fear that someone would feel bad if they can’t afford what I link, wear, or have!) PSA: You are so much more than the clothing you wear or things you!  So, for me, any commission-based sales are just a bonus and not a core stream of income.

In general, any commission I make is pretty small and only works if you actually use my link. For example, if I link $15 earrings from a small Etsy shop, I make about 30 cents on the sale, which is paid by Etsy, not the shop.  That’s why I often make “color me” links like “” so you can easy type it in! 

And links are kind of tricky too.  For example, if you swipe up in Instagram Stories,  opening up the linked new page, but wait until later to buy it, I will most likely not get commission on the sale because it no longer knows that I sent you.  You’ll know it’s working when you open a link of mine if it redirects for a second.  If so, they are an affiliate and whatever gets purchased means Courtney gets a commission. 

The affiliate company makes money off the sale too, but some popular affiliate companies have values that I don’t support … and I think many of you would agree!   For this reason, I use one that pays me a little less but has better values. This way, I know that your sales are funding a reputable company that you can be proud of. 

For transparency I use @shopstyle.  However,  if using something else is ever more convenient for you,  feel free to request it and I’ll check it out!

Sponsored content:  

This is when brands invest in me to help tell their stories …  the #ads you see in my posts.   In this case, I partner on a post or series of posts that meet mutually agreed-upon goals.   For half of these, I approach the brand, where:
1.  I come up with a great story I want to tell.
2. I “pitch” the idea and finalize the concept.
3. I use their $ to fund the project and make it better than I could do alone (example: hiring an artist)
4. I create content! Once reviewed/approved, I share it with you Cuties!

While I usually make less on these types of partnerships, it’s okay because I really enjoy bringing you this content and enjoy helping others in the process!

Or, a brand comes to me with a specific need:
1. A brand reaches like “Hey Courtney, we want you to help share this new show somehow.”
2. We agree on terms, timeline and concept.
3. I test whatever they want me to promote to make certain I can honestly endorse it … and sometimes I have to back out of the deal here, if I don’t like the product/show etc.
4. I create; they review/approve; and then I post!

I’m so thankful for these! 80 percent of what I share I do not make money on, so these help fund me enough to live and to create free and endless content! So a big thanks to my brand partners and of course, to YOU for supporting me by watching my ads! I try to balance my sponsored projects at about 15-20 percent of my total content structure. While things happen and the dates of collaborations sometimes get pushed forward or delayed — meaning I might share five in one month and even as many as 25 the next — I try hard to keep my sponsored content at that 15-20 percent amount on average.

HOSTING & Live Events:

This one is pretty straightforward… Some brands will hire me to host in-person events, meet-ups, live panels, etc.  Sometimes it involves speaking on a podcast, or moderating a panel, but most are usually live and in person. I haven’t done this in a while because of the pandemic but I did do a few virtual events.   When the gigs return and it safe to do so, I’ll pop back up on that stage & share ALL of my knowledge!


The key here is diversification. If my money only came from H (hosting), I would have been struggling during the pandemic, and if I relied on only A (Affiliate Marketing),  I would struggle to make ends meet when spending is traditionally low (like right after the holidays).  Also, having a diversification strategy helps so you don’t have to become a “sales machine,” and instead,  you can just create constantly in different forms without having to worry about turning your community into shopaholics!

Okay, which of these five ways are you using to monetize and make money off your blog/Instagram? Let me know!!!

Want five more ways to monetize? Come back for part two!!! See you soon!!!

Location: these photos were all snapped with a sprained ankle at the Floral Escape in Queens.

The post How do Influencers make Money? appeared first on Color Me Courtney.


By: Courtney Quinn
Title: How do Influencers make Money?
Sourced From:
Published Date: Thu, 20 May 2021 01:00:25 +0000

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