Payouts of Social Media Influencer Channels

Jacques du Rand 2023-02-11

Ever wonder how much you could get paid for loading a funny video to one of your favourite social media channels?

Yes, by adding content to channels like YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, Instagram, etc you could be making money. Of course there are some basic guidelines to follow if you want to be successful as a content creator on any of these channels, but if you get the formula right and a good following, you could be making anything from your monthly coffee expenses to paying your monthly rent.

Popular Channels for Content Creation

Let’s start with the obvious ones and work our way to the lesser known, but super popular channels.


When one thinks of an “influencer” one’s mind automatically ventures to Instagram. Instagram is the OG of social media influencer channels. Whether it’s food, art, make-up or fashion here you will still find a large following.


One of the bigger challenges for individual creators is that you can’t put an external link in an Instagram post, meaning it’s really hard to get people off of the platform and onto your store, community, or email list. People often get around this by adding a “link in bio” - where they can use a service like to round up relevant links to their audience, but it’s still limited.

What can you earn on Insta?

It ranges from a lot to a little, and everything in between. The top three Instagram influencers as of June 2022 have either north of or close to half a billion followers each. They include Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi and Kylie Jenner, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.

While the money these Instagram superstars can make is astronomical, there are opportunities for non-celebs to earn a little something, too.

Micro Influencers - those who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers - earned $1,420 per month on average, according to a 2021 survey of 1,865 Instagram influencers by influencer marketing tech company HypeAuditor. Mega influencers with over 1 million followers pulled in an average of $15,356 per month

Your success will vary, of course, but the data shows there’s potential to earn, especially if you can find brands that are interested in working with you. Brands and sponsors is where the real money is made as they will sponsor you to post about their product or brand. Payment can be monetary (for example affiliate commission for products sold) or by means of physical products.


Another OG social media influencer channel, but this one focuses on video content. These days YouTube offers anything under the sun as a channel. Cooking, make-up, fashion, music, DIY and how-to tutorials are some of the more popular content.

YouTube has over 2 billion users, which makes it a giant in terms of social media platforms. Users watch a cool 1 billion hours of YouTube content. Every. Single. Day!

As a content creator platform, YouTube is pretty straightforward to use and grow on. We already mentioned a few of the basics needed to focus on this channel in our article Starting a YouTube Channel for Money.


The biggest and most obvious downside is the sheer volume of competition on the platform. You will need to break through a bunch of other channels trying to do the same as you.

What can you earn on YouTube?

YouTube offers a bunch of monetization options. The most obvious is earning through views. It may be obvious, but it is not easy to grow your views. It will take time to build the fan base.

With the average YouTube pay rate hovering between $0.01 (17 South African cents) and $0.03 (50 cents South African) for an ad view, a YouTuber can make around $18 (R300) per 1,000 ad views, which comes out to $3 (R52) to $5 (R90) per 1,000 video views. Forbes also estimates that for top talent, a YouTuber can make about $5 (R52) for every 1,000 video views.

Other ways of earning on YouTube include sponsorships, affiliate campaigns, paid subscriptions and most recently Shorts (short video clips).


Relatively new, but also not so new anymore, TikTok took the world of social media by storm in 2016. It is a viral video site where content is short, punchy, and well has the opportunity to go viral if you stand out and have great content. You can grow your audience really fast, but in order to do so you will most likely need to post at least 10 times - per day!


The biggest downside is the amount of content you need to produce. If you want to stand out from other accounts and “go viral” you probably need to post at least 10 times per day to even get noticed! And then keep doing so. It can lead to creator fatigue. You might be thinking “but I only need one good one!” - getting to that one good one might take you quite some time - or can be a fluke!

What can you earn on TikTok?

The other big downside to TikTok is that in order to earn about the same amount of money as through YouTube, you need about 10 times the subscribers and views! This makes the platform really difficult to monetize, but you could for example use TikTok as a complimentary channel for your YouTube channel by driving more viewers to YouTube from TikTok shorts.

If you do get the formula right (or just have that much to say, and a sparkling personality!) you could score big if your video goes viral - and in so doing attract sponsors.


Twitch has always been super popular as a video streaming service in the gaming community. Avid gamers can watch their favourite StarCraft players live stream their games, tournaments or game reviews amongst others. However, Twitch has evolved beyond just being a streaming platform for gamers and now caters to a whole variety of live streams. Yes, you read that correctly! Live streams. The amount of live streamers and topics are gobsmacking. From legit cooking streams that will show you how to cook specific meals to random people with cameras capturing their every move daily. It ranges from the inspired to the absolute absurd!

What appeals to voyeurs watchers is that you can also interact with the person by commenting on what they’re doing or saying and they will answer your question or statement in real-time.


You need to build constant content and have something to say that is interesting, creates a community and keeps people coming back for more. You also need to stream for a minimum of 8 hours per month the number of which increases per tier you climb.

What can you earn on Twitch?

Twitch almost has a gamified monetization model. You need to pass certain levels in order to qualify to earn. Levels include mostly view time, stream time and number of viewers. Once you pass a certain level and become “affiliate” level your viewers can become subscribers. Subscribers pay a monthly fee to your channel from which you earn a portion. Subscribers can also send emotes (almost like emoticons) that cost extra in your channel chat to help their chat stand-out from everyone else and they can also earn badges. Once your channel reaches a specific number of views it can also monetize through ad revenue.

Once streamers start to bring in revenue, Twitch pays out to content creators every 15 days - as long as there is more than $100 in your account. The amount of money you can make on Twitch depends heavily on how many viewers consistently tune into your livestreams. The larger your audience, the larger your income.

Here is a rough idea based on recent survey from StreamerFacts:

# of viewers and Estimated income

  • 5-10 average viewers per stream - $50-$200 per month
  • 50 average viewers per stream - $500-$750 per month
  • 100 average viewers per stream -  $1,000-$1,500 per month
  • 1,000 average viewers per stream - $5,000 per month
  • 10,000 average viewers per stream - $30,000 per month
  • 50,000+ average viewers per stream - $100,000-$200,000+ per month

Can You Earn More Money By Being On All The Platforms?

In short, no, not really. The only thing you’re going to create is quite possibly frustration in trying to manage all your platforms. The reality is that you can’t do it all. The influencers you see who look like they’re doing it all almost certainly have teams of people around them helping. Plus, you don’t need to do it all! Choose one or two platforms and focus your energy on mastering them.

Can You Quit Your Day Job For Full-Time Content Creation?

If you’re a newbie channel we say hold on to your day job until your channel has enough of a following, sponsors and can at least pay your rent on a monthly basis. This might be a few years in the making.

If it is your goal, it is certainly possible. Hard work and consistency is the key to being a successful content creator and influencer.

The one thing that all these platforms require is a stable internet connection. Having trouble with your ISP? Then switch to a better internet provider or package now.