How To Make Money On Social Media Without Being An Influencer

how to make money on social media without being an influencer

Social media is not just for influencers! Even if you don’t have a large following, there are numerous ways to monetize your presence on various platforms. From affiliate marketing to online retail, this guide will show you how to make money on social media without being an influencer.

Understanding Social Media Monetization

What You Need to Know

You don’t need thousands of followers to make money on social media. What’s crucial is understanding the platforms and the types of monetization that work best for you. It’s about learning the ropes and leveraging your strengths.

Key Opportunities

  • Affiliate Marketing: Promote products and earn a commission per sale or lead.
  • Online Retail: Sell products on platforms like Etsy, eBay, or your own website.
  • Remote Work: Leverage your professional skills in a remote setting to earn a steady income.
  • Consulting: Offer your expertise like link building to businesses and professionals in your industry.

Which social media is best for earning money?

The best social media platform for earning money depends on your specific skills, interests, and the type of content or products you plan to promote. Here’s a breakdown of some popular platforms and how they might be suited for different monetization strategies:


Ideal for visual content such as photography, fashion, food, and art. Instagram’s tools like Shoppable Posts, Stories, and IGTV make it excellent for influencers, artists, and businesses looking to sell visually appealing products or services.


Best for video content creators. If you can create engaging or informative videos, YouTube offers monetization through ads, sponsored content, and channel memberships. It’s particularly effective for tutorials, entertainment, and educational content.


A rapidly growing platform that’s great for viral content creators. TikTok is effective for reaching a younger audience. Monetization can be achieved through brand partnerships, sponsored content, and TikTok’s Creator Fund once certain criteria are met.


Offers a broad reach and various monetization options like Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Groups for building communities, and in-stream ads in videos. It’s also great for promoting services, hosting live sales events, and creating ad campaigns.


Excellent for driving traffic to e-commerce sites, especially in niches like crafts, home decor, fashion, and DIY projects. Pinterest works well for affiliate marketing and is effective for long-term traffic generation.


The go-to platform for professional services, B2B sales, and employment-related services. LinkedIn allows professionals to publish articles, engage in networking, and showcase services which can attract consulting opportunities and freelance work.


Best for real-time engagement and content that is text-heavy like news, politics, or entertainment. Twitter is also good for building personal brands and direct engagement with followers.

Choosing the Right Platform:

  • Visual Products/Services: Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube.
  • Professional Services: LinkedIn.
  • Entertainment or Educational Content: YouTube, TikTok.
  • Crafts or Handmade Goods: Etsy, Instagram, Pinterest.
  • General Retail: Facebook, Instagram.

Ultimately, the best platform for earning money is one that aligns with your content strategy, plays to your strengths, and where your target audience spends their time. Diversifying across multiple platforms may also increase your earning potential.

How To Make Money On Social Media Without Being An Influencer

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Investing
  • Online Retail
  • Remote Work and Consulting
  • Selling Digital Products or Services
  • Print-on-Demand
  • Creating and Selling Physical Products

Let’s discuss it in detail below.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to earn money by promoting others’ products. You can earn commissions not just on sales but also on leads, without ever selling anything directly.

  • To start with affiliate marketing on social media, first choose a niche that aligns with your interests or expertise. 
  • Sign up for affiliate programs that offer products or services within that niche. Use platforms like ShareASale, Commission Junction, or Amazon Associates to find products to promote. 
  • Once registered, share your affiliate links on your social media platforms through posts, blogs, or videos. 
  • Ensure your content is engaging and provides value to your audience to drive clicks and conversions.

Example: Participate in pay-per-lead programs where you earn by generating potential customer leads.

2. Investing

Investing in stocks, real estate, or other vehicles can grow your wealth over time. Social media can be a platform to share your investment journeys or tips, indirectly boosting your credibility and attracting consulting clients or paid partnerships.

3. Online Retail

Start an e-commerce business easily with platforms like Etsy or eBay, or set up your own website. Use social media to drive traffic to your listings.

Tip: Use visually appealing posts and targeted ads to attract buyers.

4. Remote Work and Consulting

Use platforms like LinkedIn to showcase your professional skills or offer consulting services. Share insights, join discussions, and network to find freelance or consulting opportunities.

Success Story: A user recalls winning a referral competition by sharing links on social media, demonstrating that effective social media strategies don’t always require influencer status.

5. Selling Digital Products or Services

Creating and selling digital products such as e-books, courses, photographs, or software can be highly lucrative. For instance, if you have expertise in a niche area, you could create an instructional course or guide.

Here are some tips for selling products successfully on platforms like Etsy, eBay, or your own website:

  • Quality Photos: Use high-quality, clear images that showcase your products attractively.
  • SEO: Optimize your product titles, descriptions, and keywords to ensure they are discoverable in search results.
  • Social Proof: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews to build trust with potential buyers.
  • Promotions: Run occasional promotions or discounts to attract more customers and increase sales volume.
  • Social Media Advertising: Use targeted ads on social media to reach specific demographics interested in your products.

Tools: Platforms like Teachable or Gumroad make it easy to sell and distribute digital products.

6. Print-on-Demand

With print-on-demand services, you can sell your custom designs on products like t-shirts, mugs, and bags without handling inventory or shipping.

Provider Examples: Popular options include Printful and Teespring.

7. Creating and Selling Physical Products

If you have a knack for crafting or have unique product ideas, social media platforms can be great channels to promote and sell your goods.

Success Story: Many small business owners have started with Etsy or Instagram to sell handmade goods, eventually growing to full-fledged brands.

Maximizing Your Earnings Without a Large Following

Effective Engagement

Engage genuinely with your audience, even if it’s small. Quality interactions can lead to higher conversion rates for affiliate products or paid services.

Consistent Content

Post regularly and maintain a consistent theme or brand across your social media platforms. This consistency helps in building a loyal audience base over time.

Use Analytics

Leverage analytics tools to understand what type of content works best and refine your strategies accordingly. This data can help you optimize posts for better engagement and profitability.

How To Make Money On Social Media Without Being An Influencer Conclusion

While there’s no guaranteed easy way to make money online, leveraging social media effectively can open up numerous opportunities. Whether it’s affiliate marketing, e-commerce, or remote work, the key is to choose wisely and commit to learning and adapting your strategies.

Remember, success on social media does not solely depend on being an influencer. With the right approach, anyone can generate income from their social media activities, leveraging their unique skills and market demands.

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