6 ways to monetize your content (without sponsored posts!)

Posted In: Influencer Life

An influencer’s
income does not
have to depend on

Today I want to dive into something that makes a lot of people curious: how influencers make money ‘on the internet’.

And the reason for the quotation marks is because we’re in 2020 and there are still people out there trying to make a distinction between online and offline, as if the world wasn’t connected 24 hours a day.

Anyways, ways to monetize besides sponsored ads. There are so many! And those who treat their influence as a business know the importance of having a range of products and services that show the different facets of their personality and brand.

In fact, I did an whole panel at Fohr about precisely this, so let’s break it down.


Branded content

It’s a lot cheaper for brands to hire an influencer to produce content through photos, for example, than hiring a photographer and a model and a whole team for an editorial. And they know that an influencer who is serious about their job will deliver amazing content.

Branded content is not only about the photos, it can come with blog posts, concept videos and everything else that involves your creative process! In fact, it has been said that influencers are the new art directors, so don’t be shy and charge for your multifaceted talent!


Exclusive content for your followers

This isn’t a new thing. Facebook announced over year ago their subscription groups. It was demand that came from the admins, who realizes that what they were doing– creating, distributing and managing content– was an actual job.

Patreon has been offering this kind of service for years now. Through the platform you can distribute exclusive content for fans who pay a monthly subscription. The content is video, blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, pictures… It’s a crowdsourced creative work!

Which brings us to the natural progression of things: charging access to your Close Friends list on Instagram. Since the social network offered the option of creating a close-knit group to distribute your Stories, nothing seems more logical for a professional content creator than charging for exclusive content. You know what your audience likes, so make it worth it!

I have my own Close Friends Club! Those who subscribe to my list get a super exclusive content, first hand, unfiltered, no-bullshit content. If there’s a new tool I’ll talk about it right away. Hot tip? I’ll share before it cools off. It’s kind of like my Quickies but caffeinated and VIP.

It used to be monetized but then I changed my strategy. You can see more about it in the video below:  (incluir video)



You can sell anything that’s loyal to your brand!

On my website anyone can buy the golden star chain I’m always wearing. It’s something I never, ever take off. People always spot it in my pictures and ask about it, so I wanted to share it with my followers. That’s why I went after someone who makes one just like it and started selling them. Another example are these loose tees that I absolutely love. Everyone knows that when we find the perfect basic piece of clothing we never want to give it up. So why not share it?

Some people love making products as a mean of working their creative side. It can be ceramics, embroidery or even accessories and apparel developed in partnership with brands or companies.

During this process it’s even possible you’ll find a new hobby, besides finding a new way of monetizing your brand!


Digital products

If digital platforms are your work medium, it’s very likely you have a great domain of services you aren’t even aware you can sell. Here are a couple of them:

Lightroom presets: if you have edited photos well into the night, you know how hard it can be to achieve the perfect perfect result. Presets are nothing more than Instagram filters for those who take their pictures seriously (and a lot of people do).

For those who have been blogging since Web 1.0 and know their way around programming and have solid design notions, selling WordPress themes for people who are developing their personal websites is a great way of making money!

The possibilities are honestly endless. I sell templates for Media Kits, emails for approaching brands, and even for Instagram puzzle feeds–which I loved developing and use on-and-off (people are always asking me for it).

You can do it too! Create ebooks, tutorials, anything goes! I’ll say it again: you guys know your audience and know what they want!


Affiliate programs

Affiliate programs are becoming more popular each day. Companies are well aware of the importance of influencer marketing in different levels and niches. That’s why you definitely should subscribe to different websites in which you can share your own links of products so you’ll get a commission on top of each sale.

Shopstyle is one that will connect you with hundreds of brands and allows you to share clothes, beauty products, accessories, decor and much more. There’s also Amazon, iTunes…

And don’t forget that brands do keep an eye on sales conversions, so affiliate programs are an entryway for even bigger partnerships!



And since you have a know-how, why not talk about your work? After all, you worked so hard to get where you are!

How did you gather all that knowledge?

What have you learned that isn’t taught anywhere else?

Get deep into a theme that you can cover in an Instagram post or a Youtube video. Answer questions after speaking. Remember you time is worth money and when you’re invited to go somewhere to talk about your career and trajectory, this is work too!

There are SO MANY of ways of monetizing that doesn’t involve sponsored posts, so be a creative entrepreneur and don’t let market saturation or being a beginner stop you. Don’t forget how important it is to diversify your services, but more so, to know what you have to offer and how.

Were you inspired by this post? Leave a comment and tell me how you’re using your creativity to monetize your online presence!


about the oufit

The photos in this post were taken in São Paulo, Brazil. Here are the outfit details:

Dress: Seja Uma
Shoes: Dotz
Handbag: Heritage
Pearl clips: Can Can

Photos: Bruna Bento

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