How to Get Paid for Your Time on Twitter
How to Get Paid to Tweet: A Comprehensive Tell-All Guide
This guide will show you in detail how you can use Twitter as a powerful word-of-mouth advertising tool and make some pretty decent money by doing so.
Every method, program, or system discussed in this guide is 100% free, and you don't have to sign up with any e-mail marketing list to get the information you need.
Before we jump into it, we need to be clear on something. Making money with Twitter is not nearly as easy as some people would have you believe. Many people that set out to make money with Twitter never manage to earn more than a few dollars a month.
To make good money with Twitter, you must be prepared to work hard and maintain a positive mindset. When I first started out with Twitter I made many mistakes that cost me followers and subjected me to abuse. I'm happy to say these things don't happen to me any more. My methods for making money with Twitter are the results of three years of trial and error. They are ethical and can really help you improve your standing in the online community.
A Little Bit About How People Make Money With Twitter
There are basically two ways to make money with Twitter. You can use it to promote your own products and services, or you can promote other people's products and services. This guide will focus on promoting other people's products and services through the use of third-party social media marketing services, a practice often called "paid to tweet".
You can also easily apply the methods and strategies in this guide to advertising and selling your own products and services.
What This Guide Does Not Cover
This guide does not cover how to get paid for following people, how to sell your Twitter account, or how to get paid for sending direct messages. Selling your Twitter account is against Twitter's terms of service, and in general is not a nice thing to do to your followers.
Getting paid to follow people is pointless. It will greatly degrade your Twitter experience and chances are it will only earn you a couple of dollars at best.
Before We Get Started You Will Need To...
If you haven't already, you will need to sign up for a Twitter account. The information in this part of my guide assumes you are already familiar with the service. For those new to Twitter, I've put explanations of the basics plus general tips in the second half of this Hub.
You should also create accounts with the following free services:
- SponsoredTweets (My favorite social media marketing service and also the most reputable)
- TraffUp (optional; can help you get more followers)
- Twiends (optional; can help you get more followers)
If you have any further questions, would like some personal advice or if you just want to say hello, feel free to contact me via HubPages or Twitter (@jam3rr).
An Introduction to Social Media Marketing Services
Social media advertising/marketing services act as the middleman between advertisers and tweeters or the users of other social networks. These are the services that actually make it possible for you to get paid to tweet.
Some social media marketing services specialize in specific areas. Some services are great at connecting regular tweeters with advertisers while others are great at connecting celebrities with advertisers.
The rest of this guide covers the most popular social marketing services that you can use for free to earn money on Twitter. The services we will be taking a look at are:
SponsoredTweets is a social media advertising service by IZEA. SponsoredTweets gives people, small businesses and major brands access to both affordable and effective word of mouth advertising on Twitter.
As a tweeter (publisher) you have the potential to earn money by tweeting sponsored tweets or CPC (cost per click) offers. Access to the SponsoredTweets platform is free for both tweeters and advertisers, although as a tweeter you can upgrade to a Pro account for a small monthly fee (more on this below).
Getting Offers for Sponsored Tweets
It's time to find a sponsor—or rather, it's time to have a sponsor find you. Unlike other advertising platforms, SponsoredTweets doesn't present you with a list of offers: Sponsors find you. It's up to you to be found and keep the advertisers that find you happy.
At the end of the day advertisers want to make money and they want to do it with as little investment as possible. When seeking sponsorship you MUST keep this in mind, If you provide advertisers with a good return on their investment (ROI) you will succeed.
Setting Your Price
All too often I see people that have priced themselves out of the game. When you are first starting out you shouldn't charge more then two or three dollars per tweet, regardless of how many followers you have. If you want to charge more, you really must be able to motivate people to buy. This requires engaged followers (more on this below).
Being discovered by sponsors isn't too difficult if you set your tags correctly. You should use tags that directly reflect what you tweet about. For example, if you tweet about anything and everything like most people do, then you should use the "general" tag. SponsoredTweets lets you use up to 10 tags, and you should make use of each and every one of them.
The Waiting Game
Getting sponsored can take a while, so be patient. Your first sponsorship will most likely come a few weeks after you register. After that, provided you are making an effort to tweet "correctly," you should start seeing sponsorship offers more regularly.
When you get an offer, check the landing page before accepting to make sure it's something you would normally share. When it comes time to write the sponsored tweet you should do your best to write in a way that encourages conversation or positive action.
Some tips to keep in mind when crafting a sponsored tweet:
- Don't use marketing lingo or buzz words. Be a human.
- Never mislead anyone or use earning examples such as "I earned $25,599 in one day."
- Don't use language that would offend anyone. Think hard about the words you use.
Be Recognized for Being a Professional
Pro SponsoredTweets accounts give professional tweeters a few extra perks and enable them to be seen for what they are: professionals.
You don't need a Pro account to earn money from SponsoredTweets. But If you are a professional tweeter then it's a great way to get the recognition you deserve for your hard work. Benefits of a Pro account include:
- Pro badge
- Increased visibility (priority sorting)
- Lower cash-out threshold
You can try a Pro account for 30 days at no cost. However after that it's $1.95 per month.
Tweeting CPC Offers
CPC (cost per click) offers are a great way to bring in a few more dollars with the SponsoredTweets system. These offers pay you a pre-defined amount for each click you generate.
Before you even consider looking into a CPC offer you should check its landing page. As with sponsored tweets, if the page isn't something you would normally share, then forget about the offer. You won't get many clicks and it will tarnish your reputation on Twitter.
Never accept offers that are at the lower end of the scale. This pushes down the price of future offers and allows cheap advertisers to take advantage of your hard work.
Most CPC offers will come with instructions on how the tweet should be written. If an offer does not come with any instructions, then you should write the tweet in a way that drives either sales or conversation.
Getting Others Offers for Sponsored Tweets
A great way to earn money with the SponsoredTweets system is to utilise the free referral program. You can earn money by referring either tweeters or advertisers.
There are several ways to find tweeters to refer:
- Post a tweet every now and again to see if any of your followers are interested.
- Make use of free manual traffic exchanges like easyhits4u.
- Write a blog post or some articles about the benefits of SponsoredTweets.
- Pay for advertising on websites and blogs.
When someone joins you on SponsoredTweets you should follow them on Twitter and let them know who you are. You should ask them if they need any help using either Twitter or the SponsoredTweets system.
It's best to introduce yourself via a direct message rather then an @ mention. Some people may not want their Twitter followers to know that they have joined SponsoredTweets.
Keep an eye out for your referrals and from time to time (if they need it) offer them some tips and tricks. If you help your referrals do their best, not only will they make more money, you will too.
Referring Advertisers to SponsoredTweets
When you successfully refer an advertiser to SponsoredTweets you will earn 10 percent of the cold, hard cash they spend. Finding potential advertisers is not by any means easy, but it's well worth the effort of trying to track them down.
SponsoredTweets is feature-rich and offers so many benefits to advertisers that you do not need to "upsell" it at all. Be honest with advertisers and you will be surprised by just how supportive they will be.
A common trap people fall into is trying to contact potential advertisers via a website contact form. This is spam—don't do it! SponsoredTweets could suspend your account as a result.
The SponsoredTweets API
If you're a developer, you can make use of the SponsoredTweets API to make more money by building an app that appeals to advertisers. Examples include:
- A directory of users for advertisers to sponsor.
- A tool to help advertisers find out if a Twitter user is registered with SponsoredTweets.
- An app to help advertisers compare users.
I'm sure you get the idea.
Every time an advertiser decides to sponsor a user they discovered with your app you will earn a percentage of the sponsorship fee. You can learn more about the API program on SponsoredTweets' website.
MyLikes is another very popular social media marketing service. MyLikes enables publishers to make money from Youtube, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Unlike some social media marketing services, MyLikes always has plenty of offers to choose from.
MyLikes also has a program called Text Likes. These are sponsored likes that you create and post to Twitter or Facebook. You are paid for every click your sponsored likes receive.
Creating a sponsored like is pretty easy. From the list of available offers on MyLikes' home page, choose one you think will interest your followers and click the "Share Text Like" button. You will be taken to a page where you are able to review the preset text, or edit it as you please.
Twittad is a popular social media marketing service that has been around for quite a long time. Twittad focuses solely on supplying social media marketing services for Twitter.
Twittad has had quite a "spammy" past, so take extra care in checking out each and every offer you see on the service. However to receive offers, you need to be discovered by an advertiser. Advertisers find you on Twittad based on the tags you have attached to your account in the Twellow directory.
Twittad offers arrive via e-mail. If you opt in to a Twittad campaign, the advertiser or a Twittad administrator will review your Twitter account to see if it's up to scratch.
Twittad's referral program is one of the most generous available: It pays 22 percent of earnings for the entire lifetime of a tweeter you refer, and three percent of whatever any advertiser you refer spends. There's no fee for participating in the referral program, and you can find your referral link in the Affiliate tab on your Twittad dashboard.
Using Multiple Social Media Advertising Services
You must err on the side of caution if you are going to use multiple social media advertising services as your timeline can quickly appear "spammy". Keep your ratio of tweets to sponsored tweets in mind and never consecutively tweet ads from different services: Both services might close your accounts.
Attracting Followers on Twitter
To make money from any of these social media marketing services, you need to have followers who read your tweets. While having a lot of followers is important, you can still make money by attracting a smaller number of followers who are targeted, active and engaged.
The best way to find followers is to start following people yourself, and the easiest way to discover new people to follow is by using Twitter's search function with keywords related to subjects you want to tweet about. If you follow people that are not interested in the same things as you, they will most likely never follow you back, or if they do, they will quickly unfollow you.
Try to follow people that have tweeted recently. Doing so will greatly increase your chances of being followed back. This is also clearly a good way of discovering active accounts.
How Not to Get Followers
- Don't follow tons of people at once. A trickle feed of new Twitter followers is best, allowing you to easily track who isn't following you back and to ensure you don't follow accounts that are sending out automated tweets.
- Avoid following people who have no profile information or picture. These accounts are often automated, and will likely unfollow you once you have followed back. Sometimes Twitter bans these accounts, which puts you in the position of following an account you cannot unfollow.
- Also steer clear of so-called follower trains and follow-back groups. The followers they get you are not genuinely interested in following you; they just want you to follow them. Most of these folks will simply clutter your timeline and unfollow you at some strategic point.
- Do not pay for Twitter followers. The potential for being scammed is way too high, and you could quite easily end up paying for 10,000 bots to follow you, no matter what the seller says.
- One final don't has to do with churning, the practice of following and unfollowing someone on a regular basis in order to stay at the top of their followers list. It's one of the most annoying things people do on Twitter, and it can get you banned.
Engaging With Your Twitter Followers
Engaging with followers is a very important step that 99 percent of people who want to make money with Twitter don't even consider. I would even call it the "magic bullet" for making money with Twitter.
Saying a quick hello to new followers goes a really long way. Once you have made the initial connection with someone they are far more likely to keep an eye out for your tweets. You may not be able to interact with each and every one of your new Twitter followers, but you should give it your best shot.
Do not, however, say hello via a direct message. Use an @ reply. You run the risk of people thinking your message is automated if you send a direct message.
If a follower asks a question, do your best to answer it; if you don't know the answer, do some research: It's a great excuse to learn something new.
Re-tweeting tweets you like is a powerful tool in keeping followers engaged. People you re-tweet are not only more likely to re-tweet your tweets, they will keep an eye out for your tweets in their timeline. However never re-tweet anything containing a link without checking it out first. I've seen many people re-tweet questionable content simply because they did not visit the link first.
Don't @ Spam followers. @ Spam is the practice of sending several people the same @ mention. An @ Spam tweet usually looks something like this:
"Hey have you seen this? - http://example.com @user1 @user2 @user3 @user4"
Mass engaging like this isn't effective and will more then likely result in your account being banned.
Twitter Account Maintenance
Keeping your Twitter account in good standing is important. Many third-party services that "score" your social efforts will downgrade you, and users will be less likely to follow you back, if your Twitter account is not maintained.
Use a service like Friend or Follow or Tweepi to discover who isn't following you in return, and manually unfollow these people. Do not use any mass unfollow tools: They violate Twitter's terms of service, and Twitter may ban your account if you do.
Keep a close eye on your timeline and unfollow any account you think is automated. Automated accounts will not only clog your timeline, they will never click your links or interact with you in any way. Similarly, unfollow inactive accounts (tweepi can identify these) or accounts that share content that is not safe for work (which can damage your own account's ranking in search engines).
Twitter Strategies and Formulas for Success
Now that you know how to follow the right people, get sponsored, and keep your account maintained, you need some strategies to help you bring in the money. These are the exact strategies I use to make money everyday on Twitter; they are tried and tested.
Monitor your advertising-to-tweets ratio. Twitter displays 20 tweets at a time on your public profile, so try to keep your ratio at around one ad for every 10 tweets. With more then two advertisements on your Twitter stream at a time, you risk drawing abuse, losing followers, and being blocked.
Follow people that have followed you and unfollow anyone that hasn't reciprocated your follow. Try to follow 5 to 10 new people every day.
Don't make your first tweet of the day an ad.
Spend a little time engaging with your followers every day before tweeting an ad. Retweet at least one of your followers' tweets.
Wait 10 to 15 minutes after tweeting your advertisement, then start over again by engaging with your followers.
Perform monthly account maintenance. Unfollow everyone who isn't following you back. Follow 15 to 20 people that have been active in the last 5 minutes. Send interesting tweets, then follow another 15 to 20 people that have been active in the last 5 minutes. Now follow everyone that follows you back.
As promised, this section covers the absolute basics of Twitter for people new to the service. If you are already comfortable using Twitter you can skip this section without missing any vital information that will help you in your money-making efforts.
Followers and Following
Twitter isn't like other social networks: Friendships don't automatically work both ways. When you follow someone, you are signing up to receive their tweets. It's very much like subscribing to an RSS feed. Once you follow someone, their tweets will appear in your timeline. For your tweets to appear in someone else's timeline, that person must be following you.
@mentions are how you publicly interact with people. To make use of them all you need to do is type the @ symbol followed by the Twitter username of the person you want to mention. For example, if I wanted to mention or reply to Chris Rock, I would type @chrisrock. You could also click the "Mention user" button on the user's profile, or click the "reply" link on a tweet.
Like normal tweets, @mentions will appear in your timeline. However you can view them all by clicking the Mentions tab on your homepage.
Direct messages or just messages are private. They can only be seen by you and the person you've messaged. Because this feature is often abused, few people pay much attention to direct messages. However they can still be handy from time to time.
You can only message a user who is following you. To send the message, navigate to their profile and click the Message button. To view messages you have received, just click the Messages link on your homepage.
Retweets (or RT's as they are more commonly known) are a way to share tweets you like with your followers. Retweets will appear in your timeline like any other tweet. You can view retweeted tweets by clicking the Retweets link on your Twitter homepage.
There are two different ways to retweet a tweet you think is worthy. The easiest way is to simply click the Retweet button found on the tweet itself. The other way is to copy and paste the tweet into a new @mention with the letters RT in front of it. This is the old way of creating a retweet, and the resulting tweet will appear in the Mentions tab instead of the Retweets tab.
Twitter lets you save tweets to a Favorites list so that you can quickly find them again. You can do this by mousing over the tweet and clicking Favorite. Once you have a tweet in your favorites list, the list will appear on the sidebar of the home page.
Twitter lists are a way of organizing people you follow into groups so you can easily view their tweets. You can mark lists as either public or private. If you create a public list other users can follow it and see everyone that's on it.
You can create a new list or manage previously created lists by clicking the Lists button on your homepage. To add people to a list, navigate to their profile and click the button that looks like a bullet list; a drop down menu will appear and you can select the list or lists you want to add the user to.
If someone has added you to a public list that you do not wish to be on, you can remove yourself by blocking the creator of the list.
Setting Up Your Twitter Profile
Your Twitter profile says a lot about you and is often all some people will see. It's vital that you take the time to fill out your profile information and set your profile's background art. If you don't you may very well be wasting your time on Twitter altogether as people will just ignore your tweets or not follow you. Here are some tips on completing your profile:
- Profile Picture: Choose a recent photo of yourself. It should be "safe for work"—if it isn't, people are likely to unfollow you when they see your picture in their tweet stream.
- Name: Use your real name here. It will help people find you when they search for you, and it will also give you more credibility. If you don't want to use your real name, at least don't make up a fake name. Fake names are easy to spot and will destroy your hopes of people reading your tweets.
- Location: You don't have to and shouldn't use your home address here. Use a city/state name followed by a country/state name. Setting your location is important as many third-party services make use of this information. Providing it can help ensure that your tweets reach a local audience.
- Web site: Ideally, the URL you provide should point to a website that lets users know a little more about you. You shouldn't use some ugly affiliate URL here. If you don't have a personal blog to link to then consider creating and linking to an About.me page.
- Bio: Twitter gives you 160 characters for your bio and you should try to make use of each and every single one of them. Twitter also allows you to use hash tags in your bio. Using hash tags (e.g. #bio) can help people find you when they are looking for people who are interested in certain topics.
- Profile Design: Choose a design that reflects your interests. As with your profile picture, you're free to use whatever you want as long as it's safe for work. If you want to build your own Twitter backgrounds you can use the free Photoshop template on Fuel Your Creativity.
Tweeting the Right Way (Because the Left Way Is Wrong)
Before you worry about acquiring Twitter followers or how you're going to get paid to tweet, you must understand how to use Twitter correctly. Many people don't, and as a result they barely get any clicks and are abused by others. Clearly this is not what you want when you are trying to use Twitter to make money.
For a tweet to be effective it needs to be well constructed. Poorly constructed tweets are often ignored and never re-tweeted or shared.
A well-constructed tweet should include a hash tag and, optionally,a link in the middle. It should contain no misspellings and, most importantly, it should ooze your personality. Here are a few examples:
- "#Wikileaks double dares Pentagon hawks - http://digg.com/d31ZnXy?t - Assange said his whistle-blower site won't be silenced by the Pentagon"
- "Unit for rent in #Mooloolaba - http://bit.ly/aeKWfa - 2 bdrm, 1 bathroom and single lock-up garage with great views + on canal $265 a week"
- "If I pay for shipping via registered post and you ship the item via standard post the first thing I will do is leave you bad feedback #eBay"
Whenever you post a link you should use a web service such as bit.ly or is.gd to shorten it. I personally prefer to use bit.ly as you are able to monitor how your link is performing around the web.
Avoid URL-shortening services that offer to pay you. Your Twitter followers will not be happy when they click these links, because they will see ads before they get to the content you have shared, and your engagement rates will suffer.
Tweeting once a day is not enough: once an hour is more in the ballpark. The more often you tweet, the better your chances of being seen. There is such a thing as tweeting too much, though—always try to pause at least a few minutes between tweets.
F.A.Q. About Making Money With Twitter
I'm not getting many offers for SponsoredTweets. Why?
Normally people don't get many offers when advertisers feel their account isn't up to scratch. Clean up your account and work a little harder to extend your network and the influence you have within it. It might also be worth reviewing the price you are asking per tweet.
To help increase your visibility to potential advertisers you can add your SponsoredTweets public profile to the Tweeter Top List here.
Do you have to be a celebrity to make money with Twitter?
No, not at all. Many "non celebrated" people use the SponsoredTweets platform to make money with Twitter, myself included.
The most important thing to remember when you are tweeting for profit is, never look spammy! Always treat your timeline like you would treat your blog. Never let it contain only paid tweets or a high ratio of paid to regular tweets.