How influencers get paid and make money on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube
- Influencers on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube get paid many ways, from sponsorships to ad revenue.
- How much creators earn depends on factors like following size, engagement, and content category.
Influencers earn money a number of ways, from sponsorships to selling merchandise.
How much creators get paid on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube depends on a variety of factors, from content category to what platform the influencer is prominent on.
For many influencers, the best way to get paid is through brand deals.
TikToker Naomi Melanie Leanage, for example, earned nearly $200,000 in a year from brand collaborations with about 500,000 followers. She said she gets paid a minimum of $6,000 for a TikTok post.
Check out how Lenage built her business and how she makes money on TikTok
Besides brand deals, influencers can also get paid directly by the platforms. YouTube has the most developed program for this, called its Partner Program. Eight YouTubers who make long-form videos shared how much YouTube paid them per 1,000 views, and their answers ranged from $1.61 to $29.30.
TikTok pays influencers directly through its Creator Fund and Creativity Program, and through Pulse, its ad-revenue-sharing program.
Influencers have said the programs often leave much to be desired as far as payouts. Six influencers shared what TikTok paid them through its Creator Fund in a day. It ranged from $0.05 to $189.
TikTok's Pulse program recently launched and is similar to YouTube's Partner Program. Influencers said that how much TikTok paid per 1,000 views ranged from pennies to $17.
Read more about how much TikTok pays per 1,000 views, according to eight creators
The company is currently testing a new fund, dubbed its Creativity Program, where it pays creators "higher average gross revenue" tied to views for making videos that are longer than one minute. Influencers can only participate in either the creator fund or the creativity program, not both, a spokesperson told Insider.
Insider has spoken with dozens of other influencers on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok about how much each of them makes from videos, sponsorships, and other revenue streams.
Here's a breakdown of our coverage:
How do you get paid on TikTok?
To earn money directly from TikTok's Creator Fund or its Creativity Program, users must be 18 years or older, meet a baseline of 10,000 followers, and have accrued at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days. To be a part of TikTok Pulse, creators need at least 100,000 followers.
- TikTok influencers reveal how much they're getting paid from its $1 billion Creator Fund
- Preston Seo, a personal-finance and entrepreneurship TikToker with 1.6 million followers
- Vi Luong, and how-to and lifestyle TikToker with more than 1 million followers
- Victoria Paris, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 1 million followers
- Rahan Alemi, a model and student with 385,000 followers
- Manasi Arya, a Gen-Z artist with 40,100 followers
How much influencers earn from brand deals
Many influencers rely on sponsored content — from a set of Instagram posts and Stories to a dedicated YouTube video promoting a company — to earn money.
Rates for these types of brand deals vary based on an influencer's engagement rate, platform, and other factors like usage rights.
Here's a breakdown of our coverage of how much influencers make for brand deals and sponsorships.
Many sponsorship opportunities come from the brand emailing the influencer or their management company directly.
Creators on YouTube promote brands a few different ways, from an entire video dedicated to speaking about the company or product to a 30-second mention. The length of the mention can play a role in how much the creator charges, some influencers said.
- Katy Bellotte, a YouTube creator with 474,000 subscribers
- Jade Darmawangsa, a YouTube creator with 382,000 subscribers
- Charlie Chang, a finance influencer with 350,000 subscribers
- Charli Prangley, a part-time design influencer with 200,000 subscribers
Instagram has launched more than 10 money-making tools for creators since 2020. Aside from being paid directly from the platform, one of the main ways many influencers earn money on Instagram is by promoting brands through sponsored in-feed posts, stories, and reels.
Here's how much 21 Instagram influencers make from brand deals:
- Alexa Collins, a lifestyle influencer with 1.2 million followers
- JaLisa Vaughn-Jefferson, a lifestyle influencer with 291,000 followers
- Macy Mariano, a travel and fashion influencer with 102,000 followers
- Jehava Brown, a travel and lifestyle influencer with 70,000 followers
- Nick Cutsumpas, a plant influencer with 63,700 followers
- Emma Cortes, a full-time lifestyle and fashion micro influencer with 47,000 followers
- Ashley Jones, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 45,000 followers
- Kirsty Ip, a food influencer with 42,000 Instagram followers
- Tomi Obebe, a lifestyle blogger and influencer with 40,000 followers
- Emma Cortes, a lifestyle influencer and podcast host with 38,000 followers
- Aisha Beau Frisbey, a full-time lifestyle creator with 34,000 Instagram followers
- Britney Turner, a lifestyle influencer with 27,000 followers
- Caitlin Patton, a lifestyle influencer with 22,000 followers
- Mary Margaret Boudreaux, a fashion influencer with 20,000 followers
- Lillian Zhang, micro influencer with 20,000 followers
- Gigi Kovach, a part-time lifestyle blogger with 13,500 followers
- Tyler Chanel, a sustainability influencer with 12,000 followers
- Jalyn Baiden, an Instagram and TikTok nano influencer with fewer than 10,000 followers
- Khadijah Lacey-Taylor, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 9,800 followers
- Laur DeMartino, a nano influencer with 5,200 Instagram followers
- Amber Broder, a part-time skincare influencer with 2,300 followers
Many brands have increased their spending on TikTok, but it has been hard for some influencers native to the platform to build a stable business.
Although the app's short video format has taken over social media, some creators say they are struggling to form a lasting bond with fans and scale their businesses. Still, brand deals have provided lucrative revenue stream for many TikTok creators.
Here's how much 20 TikTokers make from brand deals:
- Alex Ojeda, a water park influencer with 8 million followers
- The McFarlands, a family TikTok account with 2.6 million followers
- Dana Hasson, a fashion influencer with 2.3 million followers
- Tiffany Chen, a food influencer with 2.3 million followers
- Nate White, a fashion designer with 1.8 million followers
- Young Yuh, a skincare influencer with 1.6 million followers
- Harry Raftus, a Canadian creator with 1.2 million followers
- Vi Luong, a creator who films how-to videos with 1.1 million followers
- Deanna Giulietti, a content creator with over 1 million TikTok followers
- The HoneyHouse, a creator collab group with 1 million followers
- Matt Upham, a software engineer with 522,000 followers
- Naomi Melanie Leanage, a TikTok influencer with 506,000 followers
- Tejas Hullur, a content creator and entrepreneur with 500,000 followers
- Carolina Freixa, a part-time creator with 447,000 followers
- Rahan Alemi, a model and student with 385,000 followers
- Symphony Clarke, a thrifting creator with 208,000 followers
- Natasha Greene, a lifestyle and food influencer with 204,000 followers
- Erin Confortini, a personal finance influencer with 180,000 followers
- Manasi Arya, a Gen-Z artist with 40,100 followers
- Pooja Tripathi, an actress, writer, and comedian with 33,500 followers
How much influencers make promoting songs, especially on TikTok
One of the most popular ways to earn money as a TikToker is by promoting songs in videos. Music marketers and record labels regularly pay TikTok users to post on the app in an attempt to make a new track go viral.
- How much TikTok creators get paid to promote songs on the app by music marketers and record labels
- Why TikTok music marketers are increasingly hiring micro influencers over superstars
- How much TikTok influencers can earn from song promotions, according to 2 music marketers
- How much creator Harry Raftus with 1.2 million followers earns money by promoting songs
How much influencers earn from affiliate links
Some influencers use platforms like LiketoKnow.it and Collective Voice (formerly ShopStyle) to generate affiliate links, or discount codes provided by brands, to earn a percentage of sales. (Read more about the top 9 affiliate platforms for influencers.)
- Kara Harms, a blogger and influencer based in San Francisco, shared how she is making over $200,000 a year blogging
- Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe has over 16,000 Instagram followers and she's relied more on Instagram's native affiliate marketing program
- Vi Lai, a skincare influencer, uses Instagram and TikTok to make thousands of dollars per month using affiliate marketing
- YouTuber Charli Prangley broke down how much she had earned from affiliate marketing in 2021
- Charlie Chang promotes dozens of personal-finance apps and programs a month. He shared how much he earns.
- Rahan Alemi is a model and student who earned five figures in 2022 through social media
How to get paid on Instagram
In 2020, Instagram announced "Badges," which allow fans to tip creators who livestream on the app. Two years later, Instagram added "Gifts" on Instagram reels, which let fans send influencers "gifts" via the Instagram app using its own internal currency called Stars.
Instagram has also rolled out a paid-content feature called Subscriptions. Subscriptions allow creators to share gated content, from exclusive stories to livestreams, in a fashion similar to that of Patreon or OnlyFans.
Meta, which owns Instagram, does not plan to take a cut from these transactions until 2024.
- How to make money on Instagram: 6 ways creators are getting paid in 2023
- How Ronne Brown, an entrepreneur and content creator with over 200,000 followers, earns money through Instagram Badges
Instagram is testing a new tool that would let creators earn money through "Gifts" on Reels
Instagram is testing "Subscriptions" that let creators make money from exclusive content
How to get paid by YouTube
Many YouTube creators earn money off the ads that play in their videos and receive a monthly payout.
Creators who are part of the Partner Program can monetize their videos with Google-placed ads.
Creators must have at least YouTube 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year to apply for the Partner Program and get paid. Google then pays creators 55% of the revenue their channels earn from the ads that run on them.
Creators also recently became able to earn money from YouTube shorts. Creators who reach 10 million views in 90 days on shorts, as well as 1,000 subscribers, are able to apply to join the Partner Program.
Here's a breakdown of how much money YouTubers make in a month from the Partner Program:
- Nuseir Yassin, founder and creator behind Nas Daily, with 9 million subscribers
- Ali Abdaal, a British YouTuber with 3.6 million subscribers
- Tiffany Ma, a lifestyle creator with 1.8 million subscribers
- Andrei Jikh, a personal-finance creator who has 1.7 million subscribers.
- Nate O'Brien, a personal-finance creator with 1 million subscribers
- Manny Ortiz, a full-time photography YouTuber with 600,000 subscribers
- Kelly Stamps, a minimalism-lifestyle creator with 600,000 subscribers
- Charlie Chang, a personal-finance creator with 350,000 subscribers
- Joshua Mayo, a personal finance influencer with 269,000 subscribers
- Charli Prangley, a web and graphic design creator with 200,000 subscribers
- Erin Winters, a business creator with 200,000 subscribers
- SemideCoco, an ASMR creator with 150,000 subscribers
- Levi Hildebrand, a zero-waste creator with 125,000 subscribers
- Sarah Lavender, an ASMR YouTuber with over 100,000 subscribers
- Chloe Tan, a college life creator with 80,000 subscribers
- Marissa Lyda, personal-finance creator with 50,000 subscribers
- Macy Schmidt, a lifestyle influencer with 50,000 subscribers
- Nay Cook-Nelson, a YouTube Shorts creator, with 40,000 subscribers
- Erica Boucher, a creator with a DIY candle making channel with 31,000 subscribers
- Aisha Beau Frisbey, a full-time lifestyle creator with 30,000 YouTube subscribers
- Reni Odetoyinbo, a personal finance influencer with 19,300 subscribers
- Jake Tilk, a full-time YouTuber with 18,000 subscribers
- Meghan Pruitt, a college influencer with 6,800 subscribers
- Jen Lauren, a part-time lifestyle influencer with 5,200
YouTube's central creator monetization metric is called revenue per mille (RPM). That rate shows how much revenue a creator earns per every 1,000 video views (after YouTube's 45% cut). No creator consistently makes the same rate, which depends on factors like the viewers and advertisers the video attracts.
Here's a breakdown of how much money some YouTubers have made for 1,000 views (RPM), for 100,000 views, 1 million views, and the most they've made from a single video: