Nowadays, social media is everywhere. You can’t walk down the street without seeing a bunch of people on their phones browsing Facebook or some other app. Likewise, people often get addicted to their social media accounts – so much so that they forget to pay attention to actual people.
But, what about making money? If you’re already on Facebook a lot, then it does make sense to find a way to make money with your Facebook account. This idea is also something you often find heavily promoted online, with sites claiming that you can make money from your social media activity.
That all sounds great, but hype and reality are often two completely different things. So, where does the idea of making money with Facebook stand? Is the approach actually feasible or would you just be wasting your time and energy on something that isn’t going to go anywhere?
To answer those questions, we’re going to take a look at the various ways that you can potentially use Facebook as an income source.
Get Paid for Likes
One of the most heavily promoted ways to make money with a Facebook account is the idea of getting paid to like posts and pages. There are a number of different sites out there that claim you can do exactly that and most even suggest that this is a good way to make money.
To a degree, this concept makes sense. Getting likes from real users can be a powerful way for companies to increase brand awareness and there certainly are some companies willing to pay for those likes.
However, there isn’t actually much potential to earn money. The biggest reason for this is simply that the pay is so low. For example, one site offers $0.003 per Facebook like, which is an incredibly low amount. You're competing against guys in The Philippines and India at this point because they can work online, and will work for pennies.
This rate would mean that you have to like more than 300 pages to earn $1. Needless to say, you’d end up earning significantly under the minimum wage, regardless of how many pages you liked.
You would also be limited in just how many tasks that sites even offer. This is a similar issue to what happens with survey site. In theory, you could rack up enough tasks to earn money but in practice, you would probably find yourself waiting around for more work.
When it comes to Facebook, there’s also a profile limitation because you can only like a page once per profile. That also restricts your potential to make money, unless you make multiple accounts. However, many services may only pay you for work off one account and you risk getting in trouble with Facebook if you do make too many accounts.
That could even go so far as meaning your accounts get banned, which would kill any potential to make money.
Regardless of whether you have one account or multiple, it’s clear that the amount that you would earn through likes is extremely low and isn’t worth the effort. And, that’s assuming you can even find a site that will pay you, as these seem to be decreasing in prevalence.
In some situations, it is also possible to make money by selling posts that go to Facebook Groups or fan pages. The idea here is that companies will sometimes pay you to promote them or their products. This is something that you can do independently and there are also some sites that help to facilitate the process, like ShopSomething.com.
However, this is strongly tied into how successful you are on Facebook.
For example, you might be able to sell posts on a Facebook Group that has a large number of active members and where you mostly post quality information, rather than spam and offers. In contrast, you probably wouldn’t have any luck selling posts if your audience was small or if you constantly spammed the group with offers.
You're essentially selling information, and working by the post, so it's like a job. But to get started you need a reputation or some kind of indication that what you post will be worth the money.
The relationship between selling posts and success means that this method probably wouldn’t work for most people in my opinion. I think you'd be better off selling your information through Kindle rather than having it disappear into the ether of social media.
Affiliate Marketing through Facebook
An alternative option for making money through Facebook is the process of affiliate marketing. In general, this refers to a business model where you use links to promote products from other companies and earn a commission when you make sales. Companies like Amazon, Walmart, and thousands of smaller companies will pay you to promote their stuff. You're like of like a freelance advertiser.
For example, you could post an image of a product you liked, along with an affiliate link and a short blurb why you are so excited about it. If people make a purchase through this link, then you can make money.
However, you do have to be careful with affiliate marketing like this. The problem is that Facebook isn’t really designed to be used in this way and risk being seen as posting spam. Doing this frequently could result in your account getting banned. A the very least, your friends will get annoyed at you constantly trying to sell them stuff.
One potential way around this is to create a fan page/business page or something similar, which helps to legitimize the process.
Awesome Method Of Earning: Facebook Pages
To make money with a fan page or business page (the same thing, really), you can try two methods. One is to simply create a page around a topic you're passionate about. You can find related articles, memes, and make original posts on the page. Other fans will find the page, contribute comments, and help grow the fanbase through likes. Then you can post affiliate links on this page as you see fit, fans will get notified of your posting, and some people will buy stuff you recommend.
The other method is a bit more complicated, but works because it's a real business strategy. You first create the fan page, then you advertise it via Facebook Ads. You can have affiliated products linked in your posts, and grow your fanbase with ads. Fans come the page, see your product recommendations, click, and buy. This method costs money though, and requires more of a strategy to calculate how much money you're earning versus how much you're spending.
You could potentially grow your page by Facebook’s Groups as a way of promoting your page to people actually interested in the topic you're talking about. However, promoting products directly to the groups, without an established fan page is a huge risk and could get you banned for spam.
Another choice is leveraging your fan page as a landing page to collect email addresses, then market products to people on your email list. Email marketing is a separate and very large topic to cover, so I won't get into it here. But it is totally legit and a great way to earn money. Again, you'll need to spend some money to set up your autoresponder email squence, and very likely will need advertise to get fans to your page.
Just Posting Affiliate Links To Facebook?
Some sites promote other more manipulative techniques, such as using article spinners and other programs to make the process of posting fast and simple. Doing so allows people to manage a large number of groups and post relatively frequently.
Yet, regardless of how you go about it, affiliate marketing through Facebook is never a great fit. Even if you do manage to post links without getting in trouble, you’re still targeting an audience that isn’t in the mood to buy. Likewise, you’re pretty limited in how often you can post affiliate links without putting your account in jeopardy.
And ad the end of the day Facebook owns all your content and can take down your page or post at any time. It's extremely hard to build a reliable business on a platform that has ultimate control over what you post. You are also very limited in how you post, namely talking about design and structure of the posts. You're limited to the Facebook format, which may not be good for conversions.
Lack of control over your business is the main reason you should build your own affiliate website, and just leverage Facebook for social traffic.
Building Your Own Affiliate Marketing Site
As a system, affiliate marketing is powerful. It is a way of earning money that you can scale up over time and you can even get to the point where it is a significant source of income. Now, you can just do affiliate marketing with Facebook but that approach has its limitations.
With a site, you have the chance to create quality content YOU love, and you have a lot more flexibility about what you post and how everything looks. Indeed, many people end up creating sites that focus on their hobbies and passions. And you can definitely grow your audience via Facebook, but that's just one method of funneling views to your website. You can also leverage Twitter, Reddit, Google, Instagram, and other sites.
Your website is the central hub of making money, and other websites are just traffic funnels to send views and clicks to the property you actually own.
Personally, I love the way that you can create an entire business and brand with just a website. You can have your own digital storefront for about $15/month instead of $50,000/month rent that some brick and mortar places pay to landlords.
With a website, you’re doing much more than just promoting individual products.
As an example, you could create a site on a passion, like high-quality coffee. In doing so, you would create a place to talk about a range of different related topics, such as the different types of coffee, various techniques and tools for making good coffee and the best places to buy coffee beans.
It’s easy to imagine how such a site could become a powerful reference for people who are passionate about coffee. With that type of site, there is also lots of potential to promote products like cappuccino machines, bean grinders, limited edition coffee beans, and even simple things like t-shirts.
What are examples of articles you could publish to make money?
- Reviews are one! Write a review of your favorite Keurig machine, and you can make money from clicks/sales of that machine.
- You could also do ‘best of’ lists, like “Top 5 Espresso Machines Under $500”.
- Tutorials are also majorly helpful, and that's an easy way to recommend products featured in the video guide or written tutorial.
The end result is simply that affiliate marketing is a good way to make money and creating your own website is the best way to get started in this field.
This doesn’t mean that Facebook is useless. Many site owners use social media sites (including Facebook) as ways of generating interest and interacting with an audience. So, you can still use Facebook to help improve the success of your site, it’s just that on its own, Facebook isn’t a great income tool.
All of this might seem overwhelming but there’s some good news. Building a website is easy and even affiliate marketing isn’t hard to learn. Indeed, many of the people who make money from affiliate marketing today didn’t know anything at all when they first started. You can always edit and update your website along the way, and since hosting/domains are pretty cheap (compared to brick and mortar businesses), you can take your time creating your first online business.