Date Published: 30 June 2012

Earn money using Twitter

How to earn money on Twitter (or, more accurately, via use of Twitter accounts) seems to be a popular topic.

About IvyRose on Twitter:

IvyRose has been active on Twitter for a couple of years. We enjoy connecting with interesting and knowledgable people. It's a great way find people, information, and up-to-the-minute views and reactions to the topics of the day.

This is part of a series of short articles that we're adding in response to questions we're asked about Twitter and other internet topics.


Earning income is a valid pursuit that many people engage in via employment or business. It makes sense to earn a living from enjoyable activities if possible.

Many Twitter accounts focus on doing nothing but tweeting about how to use this social media platform to generate income. Is that really possible ? How much work, time and expertise is likely to be involved ? Does anyone really earn a living from Twitter - or any other social media activity for that matter ? These are just some of the questions we've been asked or heard discussed.

There are many points to make about earning money on Twitter:

Yes, it is possible. ... Where there are people, it is usually possible to earn money!
However, sometimes the effort involved isn't worth the financial return. Sometimes it is better to start with a different question, such as: What is the best use of Twitter for business? or How can Twitter be used to add (financial) value to a portfolio of online activities?

Ways to earn money on Twitter

This is just a short list of some methods deployed to make money using Twitter.
Other approaches may also be possible and successful.

  1. Embed affiliate links in tweets in the hope of encouraging followers to click-through (on what are, effectively, text "adverts") then buy goods or services for which the account-owner will receive commission. An example of this is links to books, CDs or DVDs that the Twitter account holder mentions, although not all such links are affiliate links that may result in commission for the tweeter.
  2. Tweet links to webpages that you either own or receive revenue from. Revenue may then flow from online sales e.g. if the link is to an online shop, or may be earned via affiliate links on the page or other advertising such as Google AdSense panels that earn revenue for the webpage owner based on either pay-per-click (PPC) or pay-per-impression. In this case it is possible to track the earnings generated via Twitter by using website analytics to trace how visitors reached webpages and what they did when they got there e.g. Google Analytics is free to use.
  3. Set-up a business giving or selling advice about Twitter and running Twitter accounts for other people and/or businesses. This is a very common way to earn money from Twitter. It is obvious that the person or business providing such a service earns money by charging the person or business they are tweeting on behalf of. The amounts charged may vary depending on the amount of "Twitter activity" but often start at £100s/month, so not a bad business if sufficient clients are recruited. However, this leads to the question of how the client earns money from Twitter, or otherwise receives enough commercial benefit to at least justify the on-going cost.
  4. Build a large following of Twitter accounts associated with particular interest(s), then sell the Twitter account with that following - presumably to a person or business who would like to be able to engage with and, ultimately, advertise to that group. We have heard of this and seen some accounts that look like they might be operated for this purpose. However, this approach doesn't seem to be quite "in the spirit" of Twitter and it wouldn't be surprising if ways were found to discourage such activity if it were perceived to be insincere.
  5. Tweet paid reviews or recommendations. Celebrities have entered into product endorsement deals for years but would anyone pay a non-celebrity to tweet positive comments about products, services or businesses ? The short answer is yes, there are way to do this. As has always applied to celebrities, effectiveness depends on the influence of the endorser, in this case the Twitter account. There are, issues to consider such as: Would the tweet(s) reflect your real views, and even if so might the payment arrangement (if made public) call that into question ?
  6. Sell (software) services for Twitter users. This is a bit of a cheat because it's more about making money "from" Twitter than "on" Twitter - but it has been done and could probably be done again with the necessary skills and imagination. Develop and sell (or host advertising on) software, e.g. in the form of an app, that helps people either to use Twitter more conveniently or to derive more value from it. This is related to item (3.) but involves investment of more effort up-front with the possibility of higher earnings/time-spent if successful.

Some people might add "generate leads or referrals" to the above list. That's a common business goal for use of Twitter but ultimately the money itself is then earned through the business activity (accountancy, plumbing, travel or whatever) rather than on Twitter itself.

The above list of ways to earn revenue from Twitter should be considered in the context of general aspects of Twitter, including:

  • Many people use Twitter for genuinely social/personal or business PR and research. It is not intended to be, and isn't generally used as, a stream of cash waiting to be "plugged-in to". If that is your attitude (and especially if it is obvious), that is likely to cause potential friends and followers to turn-away from your account in disgust, irritation, or simple disinterest.
  • Twitter can be a very effective way to enhance the success of other activities, both online and offline. The Twitter and other parts of the activity are likely to be most successful when they genuinely deliver useful information, products or services in a form that includes excellent user experience e.g. make things easy to find, use and (if relevant) pay for. If using Twitter to help support, enhance, or inform other activities e.g. a blog or online shop, track relevant parameters such as click-throughs and sales referred by Twitter - not just indirect measures such as numbers of followers, mentions, RTs or listings.
  • As with other forms of communication and social or business engagement - authenticity, sincerity and ethical behaviour is important. Stay positive, constructive and respectful.
  • If you really want to use Twitter to earn money you'll need a lot of loyal followers.

Keep in mind that different people and businesses use Twitter in different ways and for different reasons. E.g. some never use or check direct messages (DMs), others use them a lot. Some users actively unfollow senders of auto-DMs - or any DMs that are not obviously personal to them. Some users are more or less likely than others to click on links, some people use Twitter on computers while others use Twitter apps on mobile devices, and so on and so on. It is unlikely that one approach will suit all your followers - unless they are unusually similar.

As a final note, if you do want to try to earn revenue from social media platforms such as Twitter be willing to try a few approaches and to respond and adapt to the reactions of your audience - be that "silent" reactions e.g. via mass click-throughs or mass-unfollowing, or openly communicated in the form of tweets, DMs, emails or responses.

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Source: IvyRose Article.

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