Here's a fact that's hard to ignore: there are over 300 million active users on Twitter today. This number puts Twitter among the world's 15th largest countries by population if it were an actual country. If you do not see that as a money-making opportunity, you are missing out.
The microblogging mega-website has become a top income-generating venue despite the simplicity of its mechanics. Who would have thought that you can do - and earn - so much from writing 140-character posts?
Take a quick look at these top-earning Twitter accounts and be amazed at how they have become marketing powerhouses through the microblogging site:
Top Earning Twitter Accounts
Followers: 13.5 million
Kris Sanchez, the founder of the very popular Twitter page 'Uber Facts' is only 25-years old, but he already makes $500,000 a year, has an app, has published a book, and owns one of the most followed Twitter accounts today all thanks to his account that gained popularity from sharing random trivia. He launched @Uberfacts in 2009 and has since amassed a following of over 13 million twitter users that include the biggest celebrities. Kris Sanchez lists as among Twitter's 100 Most Influential People, and also one of its top earners.
Followers: 5.68 million
With over 5 million followers, and annual earnings that range between $100,000 and $250,000, it is no surprise that @Notebook is one of the most influential and most popular Twitter accounts today. And its success is not surprising; the man behind it is no less than social media influencer Branden Hampton - the same man behind other hugely popular Twitter accounts @DaveChappelle, @Marijuana, @Fitness, and @FLTNess. @Notebook gained popularity from its love-related and romantic photos and posts that are mostly targeted at female audiences.
Followers: 3.41 million
@HistoryInPics began in July 2013, the brainchild hatof two teenagers, Xavier de Petta and Kyle Cameron who were 17 and 19 at the time. The account has amassed quite a following that within six months since its launch, they have reached a million followers raking in six to seven figures in sales.
@HistoryInPics, as its name suggests, posts old photos of famous people and historical events captioned with one-liners. Despite the inaccuracy of the information that come with the photos and the controversy surrounding the use of photos without proper attribution to their original owners, the account continued to grow and earn a reported $1,000,000 a month.
Followers: 2.89 million
In 2009, then 28-year old part-time comedy writer Justin Halpern had just moved in with his parents in San Diego. His father Sam Halpern had always had a knack for remarkable, albeit ‘salty’ comments, and Justin decided to tweet them to keep the comments for future writing references. He started the Twitter account on August 3; during the week, a friend who ran a highly popular fake Michael Bay Twitter account picked up one of his tweets and gained him 500 new followers. In that same week, Rob Corddry of ‘The Daily Show’ read one of his tweets. Within the next two weeks, the account gained 100,000 followers. By the next month since he started his Twitter account, Justin Halpern had signed a book deal and a sitcom deal for @shitmydadsays. He now has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.
Followers: 1.52 million
Heather Armstrong’s Dooce Twitter page was launched in 2007 but her following has long been established since she started her blog of the same name in 2001. Armstrong has been hailed by the New York Times as the ‘Queen of Mommy Bloggers’ and many consider her as the mommy blogger before all mommy bloggers. Today, Heather Armstrong’s Twitter account has 1.52 million followers and she has a reported net worth of over $1,000,000.
Followers: 1.37 million
Before ‘The Grumpy Cat’ became the face of pets on social media, there was Sockington the Cat and his Twitter account, Sockamillion. The Twitter account was started in 2007 by Sockington’s co-owner, internet historian Jason Scott known to Sockington’s fans as ‘Fatty’. Sockington has since gone on to be featured on People Magazine, have sold Sockamillion merchandise, and at one point, became a mandatory account to follow on Twitter. The dry humor that voiced the @Sockamillion account rang familiar with cat owners everywhere, making Sockington as relatable to them as he was adorable. Surprisingly, the @Sockamillion empire was built on automated, pre-scheduled tweets as Jason Scott – who has long been divorced from his wife – only gets to see Sockington (and the other cats regularly featured on the account) a few times a year. The lesson to be had: your choice of social media marketing tools is essential in building a successful campaign. it is unclear how much the feline Twitter account made between interviews, magazine spread, sponsored Tweets, and merchandise earnings.
Followers: 1.35 million
Stefanie Michaels, known to her fan-base as ‘Adventure Girl’ has earned her following even before Twitter with her blog, AdventureGirl.com. She joined Twitter in November 2008, and may have been one of the first few travel-lifestyle bloggers on the microblogging site before everyone else – and this worked to her advantage. Several years, hundreds of countries, and 1.35 million followers later, Stefanie Michaels has secured her fanbase. She has since appeared practically every national TV network in the country, been featured on countless blogs and lifestyle shows, written for major publications like The Huffington Post, partnered with multinational brands for global campaigns (including Starbucks), and has been hailed by Vanity Fair as ‘America’s Tweetheart’. It remains unclear how much she has made from her Twitter account.
5 Ways to Make Money with Twitter
One of the most essential parts of successfully turning your Twitter account into an income-generating venture is finding products and advertisers who are willing to pay to reach your audience. Here are 5 of the most recommended methods:
SponsoredTweets.com is an online marketplace that connects advertisers with Twitter influencers. Advertisers pay influencers through sponsored tweets. If you have a decent number of followers on Twitter, this is an easy way to generate income. All you need is to name a price, add a category and a few keywords. Advertisers will submit their offers and you can then accept or reject them.
MyLikes is an advertising network that focuses on the Pay Per Click or PPC concept. Publishers can pick ads they want to publish in their tweets. MyLikes tracks all campaigns to calculate a quality score for each user. The higher your quality score, the more you get paid per click. Although not designed just for Twitter, MyLikes is used by many Twitter users.
Shorte.st is a Europe-based advertising network that allows you to get paid by promoting other websites.
4. Affiliate Marketing
You can promote affiliate products in your Tweets. There are at least 600 affiliate networks where you can find millions of products to promote. See my blog post Best Resources for Affiliate Marketing, and my list of top affiliate networks I recommend. Easy TV Money, by the way, is my popular online course about Pay Per Click Advertising and affiliate marketing.
5. Amazon Associates Program
The Amazon Associates Program is also an affiliate program which we just talked about. But I want to mention it here separately because it is probably the best affiliate program on the planet as you can promote pretty much anything. It is very easy to find what you want to promote and then get your affiliate links. You typically make 2 to 10% from each sale depending on product categories.
How to Succeed with Twitter
Twitter marketing is part art and part science. It's more than just sending out short updates or sharing cool articles. You need to know what your fans want, create content they like, and engage them regularly. Here are some tips from Twitter experts.
How to Run a Twitter Influencer Campaign
8 steps to design and implement a powerful Twitter campaign.
How to Make Money With Twitter Using Sponsored Tweets
How to use SponsoredTweets.com to make money on Twitter.
How to Make Money on Twitter
5 ways to make money with Twitter: Deals, affiliate links, advertising, helping others use Twitter, and sponsored tweets.
7 Creative And Effective Ways To Make Money On Twitter
They are: crowdsource, sell products, produce your own Twitter-related service, use sponsored tweets, discover new leads, hold a contest, and use YouTube.
5 Ways to Make Money Using Twitter
Sell products, promote your services, sponsor tweets, tweet for other companies, and sell your products.
The Ultimate Guide to Making Money from a Twitter Account
I don't recommend the first few spammy methods but the rest are very solid.
How To Buy Twitter Followers And Make Money (Case Study)
I don't recommend buying Twitter followers but this case study has some merit.
Best Tools and Services for Twitter
Maximize your brand's Twitter potential with tools that help you monitor your follower's activities, your reach, what's trending, and how to make your Twitter activities more efficient and convenient for you.
Bit.ly is a URL shortening service that turns long links to short ones in your tweets. It comes with a dashboard where you can see the stats for any Bit.ly links you have shared. You can also create your custom short domain to match your brand.
Buffer allows you to schedule your tweets to be published at specific times. It also works for Facebook and LinkedIn.
Hootsuite lets you manage all your social networks and schedule messages for future publishing. It comes with analytics, monitoring, and team management tools. HootSuite integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
This tool lets you collect great content from the web to share with your fans and followers through natural language processing, machine learning and social signals. It monitors content from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.
SocialOomph helps you increase your productivity and efficiency by letting you schedule posts, find people to follow, and monitor activities on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, blogs, Tumblr, and more.
Tweetdeck is a desktop Twitter management tool that allows you to monitor your Twitter account(s) easily.
Tweetdeck saves you time and effort by automatically posting your blog posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.
This tool helps you with track Instagram and Twitter hashtags.
SproutSocial is a social media marketing software that allows you to schedule, publish and analyze your marketing campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and more.
This Twitter analytics tool helps you understand your followers better, and find and connect with influencers in your industry.
This tool suggests shareable content your audience hasn't seen yet, and lets you see the impact of the content you share using the Klout Score. Your Klout Score is calculated by measuring your influence on networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, and more.
Brandwatch is a social media monitoring and analytics tool that helps you get deep insights into public opinions on any topic from across the social web.
Twitlert lets you get real time alerts via email when your brand names, keywords or hashtags are mentioned on Twitter.
Use this tool to monitor your brands, hashtags, accounts, events and more in real time.
ManageFlitter lets you manage multiple Twitter accounts, find people to follow, track post performance, and schedule tweets in one convenient platform.
Klear is a social media monitoring and analytics tool that integrates with Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and blogs. Monitor social media, track your campaigns, and find influencers,
Ritetag allows you to get instant feedback on your hashtag choices as you type.
Crowdfire is a convenient tool that lets you manage your Twitter and Instagram followers. Find inactive users and your unfollowers easily, and find relevant users to follow.
Commun.it is a Facebook and Twitter marketing tool that helps you better manage your followers, schedule posts, and more.
Audiense (formerly SocialBro)
Audiense is a tool that allows you to gain audience insight from your Twitter fans through discovery and segmentation,
Mention is a tool that is largely similar to Google Alerts. It lets you track mentions on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, blogs, RSS Feeds, and more.
This competent social analytics API allows you to access all your social media data in the marketing tools you are already using. They offer amazing free tools to analyze your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Vine accounts.
Main Street Hub
Main Street Hub is a service that helps local businesses get more customers on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and more.
Aside from these tools, do check out the best books on social media marketing, many of which cover building and advancing your brand on Twitter.