Have you ever attended a conference and gone home with 20 different logo T-shirts in your suitcase? Or eaten company-branded cookies during session breaks?
You may be excited about the free items, but those companies are excited about something else: free advertising.
And although some people are fine promoting a company for free, many others want to get paid for it. Fortunately, getting paid to advertise doesn’t have to involve hanging promotional signs at your wedding or tattooing a logo on your body. There are multiple ways to advertise products and brands that are legitimate and don’t require anything so extreme.
1. Rent ad space on your blog or website
If you have a blog or website, you can get paid by companies to advertise in several ways.
What it is: If your blog or website reaches the ideal target audience for a company, they’ll pay you to show their product to your visitors. That’s most commonly in the form of display ads throughout articles or the sidebar of the website, but it can also be through sponsored posts or affiliate marketing. Sponsored posts are a one-off payment for an article. With affiliate marketing, you include links to a company’s product or service. You receive payment for each person who clicks your link and makes a purchase.
Charlene McCraney, the founder of the natural hair blog Textured Talk, was contacted by Dove to write a sponsored review of its foaming body wash mousse. “I sign up for platforms that manage influencer campaigns like Real Clever or Fohr,” McCraney said. “Either I’ll get emails of opportunities or log into my dashboard to see which new campaigns I want to apply for.”
How much it pays: When it comes to advertising on your blog, the more traffic you have, the more money you’ll make. However, your blog also needs to target a specific audience if you want more opportunities.
Although her traffic wasn’t that high, McCraney’s blog had a following of women who were interested in beauty products, and it was the perfect fit for Dove. She was paid $500 for a sponsored blog post with one to three photos and one post on her Instagram feed.
How to get started: First, you’ll need to start a blog or website about something you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Once you’ve built up a small following, you can search for sponsored post opportunities with individual companies. As you build a larger following, you can apply for display ads through an ad network like AdThrive or Mediavine. Learn about other ways you can make money blogging.
2. Rent out ad space on your car
It seems too good to be true but you can get paid to advertise on your car.
What it is: Marketing agencies and other businesses collaborate with car wrapping companies to find people willing to drive around with an ad on their car. Sometimes the business looking to advertise will even provide the car in exchange for a certain number of hours driven each day.
How much it pays: Drivers can make anywhere from $174 to $280 per month for a car topper or partial car wrap and up to $452 for a full wrap.
How to get started: To get started, all you need to do is apply online with a reputable car wrapping company and you’ll get sent offers when they’re available. Then simply select an offer you wouldn’t mind driving around with. There are a lot of scammers preying on people who want to make extra money, so make sure you apply with a credible company. Some legitimate car wrapping companies include Wrapify, Carvertise, and FreeCarMedia.
You’ll need to do a background check and drive a car less than ten years old to be eligible to advertise with most companies.
3. Review sponsored products on YouTube
YouTube is many people’s go-to place when looking for product reviews, and you can make money on YouTube by creating them.
What it is: Whether it’s an ultimate review or side-by-side product comparison, video is a great way to help online buyers see the products they’re considering buying. When you have a channel known for being a reliable source in a particular niche, you can charge for sponsored reviews and get free products. There’s a review channel for everything, so you can get paid to advertise clothing, appliances, games, tech, or whatever you’re passionate about.
How much it pays: According to DigitalMarketing.org, companies pay around $1,000 per 50,000 subscribers. Additionally, once your channel reaches 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours (total aggregate time viewers spent watching your videos), YouTube will give you the option to let them sell advertising space on your videos in exchange for a portion of the revenue. This helps you continue to make money on sponsored videos after your deal is over.
How to get started: First you’ll need to create a YouTube channel. If you don’t have one, it’s easy to get started. You’ll likely be paying for products out of pocket and reviewing them for free for about six months to a year, so be patient and work on building an engaged audience. As your subscribers and watch hours grow, you can start reaching out to brands or using micro-influencer platforms to find opportunities for sponsored videos.
4. Become a social media influencer
Having a social media following often means that companies will pay you to take pictures of or make a video using their products.
What it is: If you become a social media influencer, you’ll get paid to advertise on platforms like Instagram or TikTok. Influencers will take a picture or a video talking about the product or feature it in their feed or stories. It can be a product placement, an impartial review, or whatever you and the brand decide is appropriate. If you develop a good relationship with a company, you might even be asked to become a brand ambassador.
Corritta Lewis’ blog It’s a Family Thing is an LGBTQ+ family blog with a focus on traveling full time. When Proctor & Gamble paid her to advertise their Can’t Cancel Pride campaign on Instagram, she didn’t have a big following, but she had the right following. “At the time, our [Instagram had] less than 8,000 followers, but my family fit what they were looking for,” Lewis said.
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How much it pays: The amount you can make from a sponsored social media post depends on the platform, your number of followers, and how much engagement your posts get. The starting rate on Instagram is $100 per 10K followers but if your following is extremely niche or engaged, you can charge more. For instance, even though she had a smaller following, Lewis was paid $200 for her Instagram post.
How to get started: The easiest way to get paid to advertise on social media is to sign up for an influencer platform, which are sites that aggregate influencers and allow companies to reach out to profiles that best fit their campaign. Some popular sites are TRIBE, AspireIQ, TREND, and Tidal.
You can also approach the brands you use and love. Liz Jeneault, VP of marketing at Faveable, has around 17K followers on Instagram and 60K on TikTok where she posts about fitness and fashion. She was most recently contacted by the social fashion app, Kalo, and paid $100 for a 15-second video about the app on TikTok and her Instagram story.
@liziibeth_fitnessBadda bing badda boom boom boom ##readySETgo ##kaloapp ##kalo @kaloapp ##ChemicalHearts♬ How You Like That – BLACKPINK
“I actually got started doing paid advertisements on social media by reaching out to a brand I had long been a fan of,” Jeneault said. “I’ve found that the more paid content gigs you do, the more offers you receive. That’s why I feel it helps to not shy away from the small gigs at first.”
5. Create and manage Facebook ads
You can get paid to advertise on Facebook even if you don’t have or want an online presence.
What it is: Facebook ads are an affordable way for small businesses to promote their products to targeted audiences. But most business owners don’t have time to learn the best practices of creating, testing, and optimizing them. Instead, they hire people to create those advertisements, and you can take advantage of this if you know how to use the Facebook ads manager (or are willing to learn).
How much it pays: There are several ways you can charge for your Facebook advertising services. You can charge a flat fee or hourly rate to get ads set up, a monthly retainer to manage ad spend and results, or a percentage of ad spend. The last option works best when you work with companies that have a large budget. You can typically make around $2,000 to $5,000 per month managing Facebook ads for multiple clients.
How to get started: Check out our guide on how to make money managing Facebook Ads for small businesses. Then start looking for clients and building your portfolio.
6. Get paid to advertise on your phone
Rather than placing ads on your stuff so other people can see them, you can let companies advertise to you through your phone’s lock screen.
What it is: Companies like Slidejoy pay to rent out your lock screen. When your phone is locked, you’ll see advertisements from their partner companies. You can earn points for watching or engaging with the ads.
How much it pays: Slidejoy, like many companies that pay to advertise on your phone, pays in points. Every 1,000 points is worth $1. Once you reach 2,000 points, you can cash out your earnings via PayPal or exchange them for free gift cards.
How to get started: You’ll need to download Slidejoy from your phone’s app store. From there, create an account and the app will begin to show ads on your lock screen. Learn more about ways you can get paid to watch ads.
Many Creative Ways to Get Paid to Advertise
There are plenty of companies that need advertising help. If you’re looking for more ways to get your foot in the door, don’t be afraid to reach out to local companies, favorite mid-sized brands, and companies that produce products you use. Offer to share them on social media, your blog, or wear branded attire to promote them for a fair price.
Whether you want to make money on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or another platform of choice, remember that the more engaged and niche your audience is, the sooner you can start getting paid to advertise products.