What initially started as a way to document living in a new city (Tampa) and make new friends, Instagram has become much more than that to me! It is a platform that has brought me an amazing community I never would have imagined! From Instagram, I slowly realized my love for social media, blogging, and the internet space. It has helped me with my writing, putting my face on camera, and photography skills. I also learned that some people actually make money from it! What? I can make money doing something I like and would do anyway? Count me in!
I’m not sure how long I’ve been at it (I’m really bad at knowing exactly when I start things), but I started getting paid for some of my content in 2019! While a couple of my sponsored partnerships have come from a brand reaching out through email, most of my paid brand collaborations have come from influencer marketing platforms. I feel like I’m finally getting into a rhythm of working with brands that really align with my brand and content pillars. I am going to share 4 influencer marketing platforms I have had success on as a new blogger and micro-influencer.
Truth: You can make money as a blogger or influencer without a big following
Outside of being a designer, if I had to categorize myself, I would call myself a blogger and content creator. I don’t know if I love the term “influencer” for myself, but that is also a term you will find floating around the internet space- especially when it comes to partnerships and determining what you will be paid. When you are looking on influencer marketing platforms, sometimes compensation is determined by your follower count and engagement, but other times it may just be used to determine if you’re a good fit for their audience. Don’t let your numbers hold you back from reaching out! I think it’s better to try than not at all! Not trying is automatic ‘no’, but applying for something could be a ‘yes’!
What are social media influencer marketing networks?
There are many ways to find brand partnerships, but one of the main ways I have found paid opportunities is through influencer marketing platforms. An influencer marketing platform is a software or website that connects brands to influencers, who will then create content for their campaigns. The deliverables (content that needs to be created) can be many different forms, such as blog posts, youtube videos, Instagram content, or other types of content.
Influencer networking platforms work in a few different ways
Some platforms allow the influencer to sign up and the influencer/content creator will pop up in a brand’s search if they are looking for specific things. I do not use any platforms like this, so I don’t have much info on them.
Other platforms post campaigns and allow influencers and bloggers to apply for them. The brands can usually still see your profile with your campaign portfolio pictures, Instagram feed, and overall stats. These are the types I use, because I think I have gotten much stronger at writing pitches. With a smaller following I like being able to write out my ideas to a brand, so they can really understand who I am and what I have to offer.
With that, I have signed up for many different platforms to test them out, but only regularly check and apply for campaigns on 4 influencer marketing platforms. I do think the more followers you have the more you can qualify for other influencer marketing networks, but these are the ones I use and have been paid from.
4 influencer marketing platforms I use to make money as a micro-influencer
While I have had opportunities on these platforms, other bloggers I have spoken with have had successful collaborations on other platforms! It’s hard to know what brands are looking for, but I encourage you to sign up and apply!
All of the platforms I am listing below post campaigns and you can apply for them. The applications for these campaigns usually require detailed pitch ideas or at least an introductory message.
CLEVER has many high paying opportunities, but oftentimes there are minimum follower requirements. I recently received my first campaign from here and it paid $500. Many of the campaigns on CLEVER are $450 and up! Sometimes you can name your rate. The campaigns on there are general lifestyle content including home safety, food & wine, credit repair, and others. There’s a wide range of campaigns that pop up.
partnership from Cohley with Kallie & Co
I was invited to the Cohley platform after being contacted via email for a local campaign. I then stayed on the platform to see what they offered! Cohley is a little different from the other platforms in that the main focus of the platform is content creation. Brands oftentimes post on Cohley for content that needs to be created, but you may not have to do a social media post for it.
This platform is great for new bloggers and pay can range from product exchange to $50-$250. In my opinion, the only drawback is that sometimes the deliverables do not match the compensation, and the pay is based on follower count. I only apply for campaigns that offer compensation and have reasonable deliverables, or if it’s a product exchange that I really want (with reasonable deliverables).
I believe I found Sway Network after a campaign reached out to me on it. Sway Network has great campaigns for parents and bloggers with children, but sometimes they have other campaigns that do not require you to live in a household with children. I’ve received 2 campaigns from here so far, and they have been really organized! Their campaigns usually require you to write a pitch as well, and list out your social media and blog stats. The pay has a huge range on this platform, depending on which campaigns you are applying for. The blog post campaigns typically pay more. The Traffic Secrets campaign is one I received from Sway Network and it paid $300.
The Ahalogy Network is great for food and lifestyle bloggers! Many of the campaigns on here are food or lifestyle-related (oftentimes partnering with a specific store, such as “Colgate toothpaste from Dollar Tree”). I just received my first campaign from here recently, after applying for about 8 over the past year. If you don’t get selected for a campaign they won’t notify you, so it was tough to know if my pitches had gone through. After now being accepted to one, it seems they may just respond if you are chosen for one. The applications for these usually require 2-3 unique pitch ideas and they really like for you to be detailed. You can list what your rate is for different types of content on your profile, and they will pay whatever your rate is.
I have heard good things about ACTIVATE but have not had an opportunity to use it because I do not meet the minimum requirements. The requirements are a combination of your different social media platforms, and I qualified for a little while– until my Pinterest numbers dropped! I’m putting this one as a runner-up, because I’m really hoping to qualify for this one soon!
Will you be trying these influencer platforms in 2020?
That is my current roundup of influencer networks I receive paid brand collaborations from. It is definitely a question I receive in my Instagram DMs and I hope it will help you get more paid brand partnerships!
Comment below if you have any questions!