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Cristiano Ronaldo is now the highest earning Instagram influencer. He earns $2.39 million a post and has 611 million followers.

If he was a country and we counted fanatical followers as loyal citizens he would be the 3rd largest country in the world behind India at 1.428 billion and China at 1.425 billion. The USA would be 4th behind Ronaldo at 339 million.

In 2021 he earned over $136 million on Instagram just for sponsored posts. 

Accidental Influencer

I became an accidental influencer in 2009 when I started a blog on social media and built an audience of over 500,000 on Twitter. My content was long form articles and short 140 character text tweets. 

But now I’ve become a social media dinosaur in a world run over by the Instagrammers and TikToker gazelles that crave attention and love short video. No-one seems to like reading anymore!

So things have moved on from 10+ years ago.  The world of blogging became microblogging and then images on Instagram and now it’s all about short videos everywhere. TikTok, Reels and YouTube Shorts now rule. 


The changing media landscape has had some impact on how and for how long we can concentrate. And this is why a study on goldfish is important. 

The attention span of humans has reduced drastically in an overwhelming world of social media that has so much content screaming for our attention. 

A study by Microsoft revealed that the average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the effects of an increasingly digitized lifestyle on the brain.

But hey, you have to fish where the fish are and use the right bait. And that’s social media and very short videos. Maybe 30 to 60 seconds are a bit too long if we take the goldfish research seriously.  

Size matters

Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are the reason the influencer industry exists. It is your passport to making money. You will not be a celebrity but you can make money online as an influencer.     

Social media has provided celebrity and other lesser influencers with platforms that have made them into media companies and millionaires. And distribution size does matter. Television measures its viewers size and newspapers measure paper sales.

On social media the size of your audience is vital.

Engagement matters

But there are other things to consider, such as what engagement does Cristiano create on Instagram? And by engagement I mean how many likes and comments. 

Follower numbers are one thing but engagement is where people take action. And that moves the dial on attention, influence and product sales.

In one post where Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo posted an advert on Instagram playing chess on a Louis Vuitton briefcase, the Instagram post on Cristano’s profile received over 42 million likes and 500,000 comments. 

5 ways to make money as an Instagram Influencer

Michael Jordan was an NBA all star basketballer before the age of social media and back in the 1980s he could earn money just two ways: Get paid a salary by his team and get sponsorship by a sports shoe/apparel company. 

In 1984 the 19 year old Jordan signed a deal with Nike for an athlete endorsement sponsorship for a range of basketball shoes. This is when the “Air Jordan” brand was born.

Instead of just taking an annual fixed fee, his mother negotiated a performance fee of 5% for all Jordan branded shoe sales. 40 years later it is estimated he has earned $1.3 Billion. And it is estimated in 2022 that he made $256 million in one year alone. 

Today there are many ways for Instagram influencers to make money and you don’t have to be a celebrity or sports star like Cristiano Ronaldo or Michael Jordan.

Here are different ways to make money as an Instagram influencer:

  1. Sponsored Content: Creating posts or stories in partnership with brands to promote their products or services.
  2. Affiliate Marketing: Earning commissions by promoting products and including affiliate links in your content.
  3. Selling Products or Merchandise: Using Instagram’s shopping feature to sell your own products or merchandise directly to followers.
  4. Instagram Takeovers: Charging a fee to take over a brand’s Instagram account for a set period.
  5. Offering Paid Subscriptions or Exclusive Content: Utilizing features like Instagram’s subscription service to provide exclusive content to paying subscribers.

Instagram influencers and their potential earnings 

Instagram influencers now exist across many industries and the key metrics that companies and brands will look for are follower numbers and engagement metrics..

  • Micro-influencers in the fitness industry: They can earn between $150 to $600 per sponsored post.
  • Influencers with around 100,000 followers: May charge $1,000 to $5,000 per sponsored post.
  • Influencers with 500,000 or more followers: Can command between $3,000 to $10,000 or more for each sponsored post​​.

Final word

Having a big following on social media with great engagement in your industry niche are essential to make money as an influencer.

But don’t forget to also build your own digital asset such as a website, blog and email list. You own these assets. You have control.

TikTok, Instagram or YouTube can shut your channel down for breaking some obscure rule buried in their terms and conditions. Or their AI driven algorithms will just close your account. And good luck calling their non-existent service desk! You use their rented real estate at their whim.

Building a digital business can be very lucrative and a lot of fun. But learn to play with the nuances and the rules of the game. 

Creating and sharing your passion and purpose with content can change your life. It did for me.

The post 5 Ways to Make Money on Instagram as an Influencer appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

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