How do influencers make money and how much are they making?

One of the most common questions I’m asked is, and something I discussed with a reporter for a recent article on Highsnobiety, is – how much do influencers make? How much does a Youtuber make? How much does an instagrammer make, etc?

How much money an influencer makes is not a simple question to answer. There are some influencers who make tens of millions of dollars each year, and while they capture the headlines, they are in the minority.

In this post I hope to shed some light on how influencer generate revenue, and what avenues they use to make money.

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The Confessional #15: Longtime YouTube Creator

My latest interviewee for The Confessional is a manager of several top YouTube talent (several of which generate over 100 million views a year). In this extensive interview, we discussed the business of YouTube, the goals of his talent (both on and off YouTube), and the how much money top creators are really making.

Some of the major points we covered were:

  • Subscription video on demand (SVOD) and YouTube competitors
  • YouTubers “making it” on television
  • YouTuber revenue streams
  • How much money his top creators are making in a year
  • How creators can better work with brands, and vice versa

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The Confessional #14: YouTube Exec

My latest interviewee for The Confessional is a former YouTube executive. This was a great interview that provides a lot of insight into the inner workings and attitudes of YouTube.

 We covered a number of topics including:

  • How Youtube’s relationship with creators has evolved
  • The massive growth of the YouTube partner program
  • YouTube’s relationship with MCN’s

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Why YouTube’s Hero, Hub, Help Content Strategy works

Most brands are terrible at developing a community on YouTube.

There isn’t a single brand amongst the top 100 most subscribed channels on YouTube today.

So how can brands develop a community and generate earned media? The solution is to apply the hero, hub, help content strategy, which, YouTube popularized via their brand playbook. I’ve also written extensively about hero, hub, help and recommend you read through those articles here, here, here, and here if this is something you want to explore further.

However, one thing that I haven’t spent too much time explaining – is WHY the hero, hup, help content strategy works so well on YouTube. In this post, I break down those reasons.

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Forbes Profile

Amazon’s Rumored YouTube Competitor

I think the future of digital is video.

What Amazon’s role in the space is coming under increased scrutiny and speculation.

Is Amazon developing a YouTube competitor?

Every social media site on the planet has shifted its focus to video. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Tumblr have introduced or expanded their video capabilities, and are prioritizing live video in their algorithms. Even LinkedIn recently announced new video features.

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Automated Influencer Platforms Are Selling Out The Industry

If a little is good, a lot must be great.

Or so the thinking generally goes. However, when it comes to influencer marketing, there can be too much of a good thing.

Over the past year, there’s been a wave of companies extolling the virtues of

While it’s terribly convenient for all parties involved, these companies operate on a flawed premise that you can automate relationships, creative, and credibility. I’d argue that automated platforms are quickly eroding credibility – and as a result, effectiveness – within the influencer marketing space.

Why is this?

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YouTube Documentary

This past Vidcon I was fortunate enough to be featured in a documentary on YouTube that was made by VPRO (basically the Dutch 60 Minutes). Check it out.

Thoughts on Facebook Watch

With the launch of Watch, Facebook is tackling YouTube head on.

The social network behemoth has been chipping away at YouTube for the past couple years. Zuckerberg has not held back in sharing his goal to own the social video space – recently stating that Facebook will be mostly video in 5 years.

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Vidcon US (Talk) – Hero, Hub, Help: Content Strategy for Brands

I attended the latest Vidcon this past July (if you’re interested in reading my key takeaways on the matter you can read my Mashable post here).

I was fortunate enough to do a panel on influencer marketing with Zach King, as well as give a seminar on one of my favorite topics – the Hero, Hub, Help content strategy. Below is a video of the Hero, Hub, Help talk (thanks so much to Franklin Graves for filming!).

In it I discuss the basics of the hero, hub, help content strategy (which you can read about in previous posts of mine – here, here, and here) as well as why it works and how it can be applied to social platforms beyond just YouTube.

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