How Do I Make Money with Twitter? – Past, Present & Future

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A couple weeks ago while speaking on a panel at Guy Kawasaki’s revenue Bootcamp (video coming soon), the moderator asked me, “If you were running Twitter, how would you monetize it?” I said I thought sponsored tweets was the answer and I also disclosed that I have been doing sponsored tweets for the last year. I have been paid $200-500 per tweet and have had some pretty large big brand advertisers like Blockbuster, Seaworld, and even one of the large search engines (which I cant disclose per terms) paid me $280 per tweet for up to 4 tweets a day spaced out every 4 hours ($1120.00/day). They also paid many other Twitter users, but I think I am the only one to actually admit I got paid =P.

Anyway, right after that panel (and still going on) I had a surge in followers… which is probably exactly the opposite of what people expected to happen. A lot of that was due to Guy Kawasaki and lots of other very highly influential people linking to me and continuing the discussion after that event.

I have also been contacted by MANY web celebrities and agents who represent celebrities on how they can monetize Twitter accounts. It’s been pretty fun. I was able to get one celebrity $2500 for her 1 tweet. I mostly just tried to make connections. While it’s fun (and good for my ego) talking with some of my childhood idols like Snoop Dogg, MC Hammer, and a ton of other stars about monetizing their Twitter accounts, there is really no money in it for me for the time invested… unfortunately, being connected to A-list Hollywood celebs doesn’t pay my bills (see Kato Kalin), so instead I hook them up with big brand advertisers directly and just tell them they owe me ;).

Last week I did a post on how I was making money arbitraging Twitter traffic by buying traffic from revtwit’s Twitter advertising network and sending it to Izea’s Social Spark Twitter advertising opportunities. The post really showed the current dislocation on Twitter in buying and selling traffic. Since then I have heard from many people who have been making a LOT of money arbitraging Twitter traffic. Not necessarily exactly how I was (which you need per mission from Izea for), but in other unique ways.

As I stated in my article, IMO nobody is doing the advertise network properly…. And I can’t because I sold an advertising network 2 years ago and still have another year on my non-compete for running an advertising network (or I would be all over it).

The other day I saw an article on Techcrunch about full disclosure on Twitter, which was specifically aimed at Izea’s new Twitter advertising network.

Being I am on the board of advisers for Izea, I knew this was in the works but I had no idea that it was so far along. It is currently only open for publishers so I made an account and logged in. Pretty slick interface — I put in my account info and it made suggestions on how much I could charge per click or per tweet. The cost price seemed a little low, but you have to remember Izea is running the whole show with publishers and advertisers so there is no 3rd party taking a cut or scrubbing down leads, so the CPC works out, if not puts you ahead. As above, I said I had gotten all various price ranges per tweet, but for playing with this I went with 250 dollars to see if I would get any bites.

Within a few hours I got a notification that an advertiser had made me an offer. Interesting. I was not expecting this so soon, seeing as how the platform just launched and I did not think they were accepting Twitter advertisers yet.

Anyway, I logged in and low and behold I had an offer from Kmart willing to pay me over $250.00 per tweet. Sweeeeet.

sponsored tweets

So I allowed the offer to tweet. When you set up your account you can opt to accept only offers which you can edit, offers that the advertiser specifies what you will tweet, or both. Being the sellout I am, I opted for both. As you can see, this Kmart ad had their specific text specified and I was not able to edit it. But that’s ok — I accepted it and it was “scheduled.” About 20 mins later this tweet showed up on my account:


As you can see above, the client says “Sponsored Tweet”. This is because Izea has worked with Twitter and got the green light for their advertising network.

( you can get in early with Izea twitter network by signing up here)

We have come a long way with Twitter advertising in the last 4 months:

  • Past – Under the table deals with brands where I was paid to tweet about their products. Oftentimes this was done with a contract of non-disclosure.
  • Present – Using 3rd party networks leveraging my relationships with brands and advertisers to arbitrage Twitter traffic.
  • Future – Full service trusted advertising networks like Izea who already have tons of advertisers and tens of thousands of publishers now running every aspect of it.

Izea is going to run a lot of these 3rd party networks out of business because they already have HUGE big brand companies ready to go. These companies are huge names like Blockbuster, Disney, Kmart, Sears, Blufrog, and the list goes on and on. But they are not alone, and it will be interesting to see if other advertising networks who have these big brands on board will jump into the Twitter space.

Lots of people have asked me if I think advertising will ruin Twitter. Not at all. Free content can only scale so far. Just like newspapers, television, and blogs, Twitter will be monetized and people will have free will to continue to follow who they want.

As I said many times in this post, I have been doing paid tweets for a long time and honestly it’s only inspired more conversation. Even if you follow my Izea automated $250 tweet, you will see that people actually engaged around it and not 1 person bitched that it was a paid tweet. But again, that is your free will to follow and unfollow who you choose.

200 thoughts on “How Do I Make Money with Twitter? – Past, Present & Future

  1. Pingback: Twitted by TopSEOBlogs

      1. Imran Anwar

        sponsord tweets is the best i think if you plan to earn via tweeting but what’s you lose if you also create account on other platforms which pays you for tweeting? well, thanks schowmaker.

  2. Allan Stewart

    Man, thats totally PIMP!!

    I wish I had thought of that. So easy to implement too. But makes me wonder why twitter don’t do that them selves so they can monetize their business model.

    Twitter ad network coming soon perhaps Shoe?

    Also, where can one browse for people who are prepared to tweet for you? I couldn’t find an advertiser list??

    PEACE!

      1. Jacques Snyman | 3 Quotes

        That is a very tongue in cheek reply, but the truth is the truth, after all. Advertising is what pays the bills, and creating an effective vehicle to promote adverts is surely what blogging is all about?

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  5. ComputeLive

    Dude you are Awesome .. I was just thinking a couple of days ago, if I could earn through twitter…and here today there is a post explaining it…

  6. Allan Stewart

    Out of interest Shoe, clearly you are making CPC money from this post on the click through to Sponsored Tweets, but I wondered, have you also got a cost per sign up deal in place?

    If so, more power to you and how do I get a slice of that pie?

  7. Autoblog

    Nice, really good ideas for making money in twitter. The only think I use it is to spam people. Very bad, but now think that I will be able to use it for something better

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      1. R Kumar

        Social Spark is a pay per post service like that of PayPerPost.com. But the way socialspark works is quite different from payperpost.
        It is a service from the IZEA network who is the provider of the twitter advertisement service that Shoemoney is talking about in this post.

  11. XRiot

    I haven’t been keeping up with Twitter’ers revenue models, but this post was helpful with both Izea’s pre-announcement site and revtwt. Looking into it now, see what could be done with them.

  12. Gold Coins Blog

    I can see where this whole Twitter thing is going and I hope it doesn’t ruin Twitter. I’m sure we’ll soon see CPA Twitter Pimp companies springing up all over the place now looking for Twitter whores.

    1. Jacques Snyman | 3 Quotes

      Hahahahah! Well put! The scourge of the internet is spam, and twitter is definitely the latest hottest & happening thing that them spammers wanna profit from. I just hope twitter comes up with the relevant solutions poste-haste!

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  14. Pingback: AdsBidWorld » Blog Archive » How Do I Make Money with Twitter? – Past, Present & Future …

  15. Steven-Sanders

    How does that non-compete work if you had someone else run the advertising network then pay you say 90% of the profit for your consulting services?

    Just saying…

    1. Jeremy Schoemaker

      I can’t own or operate a advertising network but I can consult and I also have a great relationship with the current owners of AA/shoppingads and I always talk to them before looking at doing something.

    1. Jeremy Schoemaker

      Well with some you can but most advertisers make you select from a pre set thing. What they obviously don’t want is curiosity clicks and to pay for clicks that don’t convert because the ad copy is misleading.

      1. ZK @ Web Marketing Blog

        Yes they defined what they want to tweet. If they will do setting for every tweets for every users than this will be really time consuming for them.

        But however a little twist can be really handy one …

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  17. Jason

    Shoe,

    We spoke at the Revenue Boothcamp few weeks ago. Your twitter ad network inspired me. It’s cool to check out Izea. But I am fairly new to Twitter and it seems like I have to spend time building large following first before I can really monetize my Twitter account(s). Any advice on that? I don’t want to bomb people with ad messages while I am still trying to grow my networks.

  18. Pingback: How Do I Make Money with Twitter? – Past, Present & Future

    1. Canada Immigration

      I use Twitter, and I find that it helps to promote my content. I’ve been successful with promoting other people’s content through retweeting, without expecting anything in return. I’ve made friends that way, and we look for ways to help each other out.

      I don’t worry too much about design on Twitter, I just focus on quality tweets.

      1. ZK @ Web Marketing Blog

        Yes if you are getting maximum benefit for your own blog from twitter than using sponsored tweets are not good idea.

        But however if you got the sponsored tweets on your niche and beneficial for your followers than you should go for it.

  19. Rocket

    Seriously one of your best posts.

    Can’t wait to see what you might do with Twitter after your non-compete expires.

    1. Ricky Peterson

      Vany : Do you know that your as a commentator when you are posting on this blog you are promoting you SHIT blog ?? Why the hell you come on such a blog and think of promoting PORN blog ??

      Do you know that this is not a place where porn stars coming in order to see and go to your damn SEX blog ???

      Shoe it’s my request to delete all the comments of Vany and if possible kindly take care of such things from back end. I am such a huge fan of yours that i am also ok to do this kind of work keep this blog neat and clean.

      1. Vany

        Why you very hate SEX blog RIck
        If that bother you, I apologize for that and
        I will delete my site
        Because for me SEX is art

  20. Luke

    I signed up for SponsoredTweets a few weeks ago and I just logged into my account and saw my first offer. Nice, but it’s only paying $5.00 or something. Because I now have over 10,000 followers I set the bar a little higher :P

    I see you’re probably using a referral link (tinyurl), but I’m not seeing the option when I’m logged in to find mine. Is thing something they’ll be adding in the future?

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  23. kekec

    I call it bullshit, why would anyone pay you up to $500 for a tweet is beyond me. Out of 63k followers only 400 bothered to click on a twitpic link you posted. Engagement of your followers is close to 0 and I recon ROI for those that pay you for tweets is also 0.

    1. Pyrogenic Media

      In a way, i think i agree with you. Not calling bullshit, but if it is working now it wont be for long. The ROI for a $500 tweet certainly wont be at all too high.

      Although i dont know the exam numbers, im sure if you worked out the CPC cost for each of those tweets, it would be through the roof.

    2. Jeremy Schoemaker

      Well kekec here is the thing… my audience is pretty focused to affiliate marketers, internet marketers and seo’s. So in your example alone the cpc is just over 1$.

      Which for this niche is about 1/3 of what you would pay advertising on other mediums (including our banner ads).

    1. Andrew

      Bullshit or not its money in the bank. It’s up to the advertiser to quantify the ROI so what does it matter to the publisher. If the advertiser is happy to pay $500 per tweet and the publisher is happy take that $500 and the followers are happy to receive the tweet, where’s the problem?

      1. R Kumar

        Good point made. Why should somebody discuss about how much money it makes and will it work or, not? If the work does not involve too much then all that you need to do is set it up and forget it. Let it keep bring in some cash to your bank even if it is only a few hundred dollars.

    1. R Kumar

      Hey it is never late for anything. Some time back we also started off like this. I suggest you take help from people who are seasoned in using Twitter to build your business. I am not an expert but you can get valuable tips that I am learning from my mentors and implementing at my blog at http://www.tweetingtip.com

  24. Andrew

    Shoe I see the scope of this and it’s clear that a lot of new opportunities are about to open up (for people who have the follower numbers) but one thing I don’t get is why you would take the celeb money as well instead of passing them along. After all a tweet is a tweet right? And for $2500 its seems, well, crazy that would knock that back.

    Care to enlighten me or is there some secret squirrel sauce in there?

    1. Wess Stewart

      Because sometimes favors are more valuable than cash.

      Or you can look at it this way – word of mouth among people with REALLY big bucks…

      People with extremely high exposure to the public…

      Take your pick. Some of those things are worth way more than $2500 over the long term.

  25. Pingback: How Do I Make Money with Twitter? – Past, Present & Future |

    1. R Kumar

      What kind of a question is this? If it is a spam (which is what I presume) then I pity you.
      Else if you are really concerned about making money with twitter, I suggest you head over to my blog at http://www.tweetingtip.com and learn everything about using twitter.

    2. Ricky Peterson

      Well that is very much true Dude. But in order to make that kind of money you got to work hard with targets. Can you do that or start dreaming money ..lol

    1. cathy urrata

      I am slowly understanding some of the ways you make money but for twitter and sites similar don’t you have to already be well known on the internet? Could I , web virgin that I am just sign up for these same advertising opportunities? For the record, I agree, no-one is forcing me to follow the links…..

  26. Andrew

    While sponsored tweets might work for celebrity Twitter accounts (and I include Shoemoney here), I cannot see it working for any other account outside this bracket.

    Why?

    Because the clicks are 100% untargeted, unlike search clicks. Seriously, who of my followers wants to click on some pizza company sponsored link I post? At most I will get curiosity clicks, but they are not targeted. That equates to next to zero ROI.

    Seriously why not just post something to Digg if you want zero ROI clicks? (lol).

    Search clicks are something else – if I search for pizza + location, there’s already intent. There’s zero intent on a click on a sponsored tweet (other than curiosity).

    1. Canada Immigration

      I’d love to see an in-depth examination of the goal completions on the Twitter traffic versus something like organic search results. And so would any potential advertiser. Otherwise, someone says sure I’ll pay $63 for a tweet, gets zero ROI and spreads more discontent than you could squelch with $6300.

    2. R Kumar

      It is not true that only high profile twitter users get benefited from this. The benefit can also be derived by other twitter users. One of my friend was using revtwt to send out sponsored ad tweets and was able to make almost $300-$400 from this, that too when he was not even doing too much at Twitter.

    3. Ricky Peterson

      I agree with your saying of integrated risk Andrew. I am also not sure why the hell my followers will click on something which is related to trucks or heavy machinery.

      1. ZK @ Web Marketing Blog

        I saw many tweets with attractive words as well. Such kind of tweets works to get the traffic but if your site is not attractive or not related to their interests than they will just close the window within seconds.

  27. Canada Immigration

    Okay readers lets just dive right in here and get you on your way to making money with the hottest trend on the Internet right now. That hottest trend being Twitter.

  28. Ricky Peterson

    Vany : Do you know that your as a commentator when you are posting on this blog you are promoting you SHIT blog ?? Why the hell you come on such a blog and think of promoting PORN blog ??

    Do you know that this is not a place where porn stars coming in order to see and go to your damn SEX blog ???

    Shoe it’s my request to delete all the comments of Vany and if possible kindly take care of such things from back end. I am such a huge fan of yours that i am also ok to do this kind of work keep this blog neat and clean.
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!

  29. fas

    Izea is doing a good job, I think the followers dont matter as much as the followers and people you follow ration does.

  30. ProTwit

    I think Sponsored Tweets has finally raised the bar in the paid tweet space and can’t wait to see what type of advertisers Izea can come up with.

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    1. R Kumar

      Hey Faisal,
      If you have not yet started building your followers at Twitter, then it is high time you do it and take advantage of this amazing list building service.

      1. Mary Winston

        It might be relative Jeremy, but IMHO, we should be COI (center of influence) to get more follower, you’re also a celebrity here m8 :), what most people never asked is how long did you exist on the net, I think that’s they key.
        Must be taking a lot of time to get attentions from your readers and it needs a lot of work to do and once you hit the button, it’ll be easier for the next time to get people follow you

  32. R Kumar

    Twitter has now opened up many money making opportunities. These sponsored ads are on such avenue. Twittads, Revtwt et are such other services that can help you do pretty much the same things as that of the the above discussed application.
    I signed up for this sponsored ads as well and was pretty much surprised to see that they quote a tweeting price based on your profile and my quote was pretty much interesting.
    This service is worth checking out if you are interested in making money online with Twitter.

      1. ZK @ Web Marketing Blog

        So R Kumar … you are also in the list of sponsored tweets.

        As Jeremy disclosed everything here … tell us how much you are getting for a single tweets.

        Basically I think this whole depends on your followers, number of tweets you have done so far and location of your followers and yours.

  33. Pingback: Internet Marketing Email » Blog Archive » How Do I Make Money with Twitter? – Past, Present & Future ...

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      1. Ricky Peterson

        These days Twitter account with 10k ++ followers are making HUGE money Zubin. If you will search on internet how to make money with Twitter you will get hell lot of ideas.

      2. Wess Stewart

        I’ve been making money as well. A bit less in the sponsored tweets department, but if you find the right CPC campaign, hit it hard.

        I had one weekend where one of my CPC links (the only one I really abuse) made about $120. Now, that’s not really a ton of cash, but at only ten cents per click, it’s not too bad.

        If you want to know more specifics about my method, you can email me.

  35. Todd

    Thanks for the post, inspiring.

    I’m an affiliate marketing noob (going through your shoemoneyx program though!), can you elaborate on how others are arbitraging twitter traffic differently than you were with RevTwt and SS?

      1. Wess Stewart

        I don’t have a specific number, but over the long term, you want your real tweets to FAR outweigh your sponsored tweets.

        And if you do any funny business (like running an autoposter…*ahem*) you will probably want to cut it off after just a bit, and then go back and remove some extraneous tweets…

        For sure, you want to keep your sponsored tweets at less than 20%. Lower if you can.

    1. ZK @ Web Marketing Blog

      I think for this kind of calculation they have their own method and you will have to apply and see.

      Just fix a rate which you think is suitable and go for it, but at first keep it a low amount and check other people who have same number of followers, how much they are charging. Get an idea from there.

    1. ZK @ Web Marketing Blog

      Internet is all about that Mr Dave.

      But however nice to see that twitter is fast to grab such kind of people. But spam is killing … and cheap manual labour can also do the serious damage.

      False IDs of twitter are ready to sale in pennies.

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  42. Translation Affiliates

    Jeremy, can you get your non-compete rescinded considering that that company is now not signing up new subscribers and seems to be stuck in the water regarding recruitment of new affiliates.?

  43. Sergey Rusak

    Yep, and this person blamed people for using PayPerPost :)

    Anyway, how come people don’t do the same for Facebook? I see annoying status posts all the time.

  44. Pingback: Make Big Money Online Twitter | How Do You Twitter

  45. naveen kumar

    nice post man. Its really nice to make that much amount of money evry single day..Actually I found a great way to make money online as well using twitter which works on complete AUTOPILOT..if you are intrested ..check it out

  46. Freelance Noor

    That is a huge amount. One thing I am learning from my stay here is I am gaining a lot of Knowledge. Twitter account stayed out there without any consideration and I have already monetized it with sponsored tweets. I am taking the referral program seriously as well.

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  48. Recession Proof

    Hmm, I agree with you Earl Grey, I see quite a bit of product sales originating from twitter. I had thought about incorporating sponsored tweets into my twitter business model, but it first, it is too time consuming and second, like the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, BUT, there is always room to improve the model. I automated all my tweets and followings with this http://www.stumbleuponguru.com/twitterbuzz

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  50. www.Mansheb.com

    I think there are better ways of earning money online rather than through Tweeter. it sounds too good to be true and i just cant trust it could be true.

    I earn money online through Google adsense, Web design, Web Hosting, SEO, as well as selling ebooks. It might not be as much as these guys claim to be earning but i earn a leaving out of all this.

    http://www.mansheb.com and http://www.mansheb.co.zw

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  53. Zohaib Hassan

    Making money is not the primary mean of using Twitter but you just give me and several others A REASON to Use the twitter more seriously.

    Thanks !
    Zohaib Hassan
    Tenezo.com

  54. Pingback: Using Twitter To Market Affiliate Products - Webmaster Forum

  55. FreeMusicExposure.com

    I don’t know how I feel about Twitter traffic. With another project I was able to generate a substantial amount of hype very quickly and build traffic but it was a bit of a waste couldn’t monetize any of it.

    I just started this new concept site and I’m thinking twitter will remain just a place to post updates when we post a blog post or have thoughts in the topic. I’d rather have people follow and just use it as an alerting mechanism as opposed to whacking them over the head with ads and sponsored tweets etc. I guess what it comes down to is I don’t want to do anything i wouldn’t like myself, and after getting started using Twitter for a little bit I’m finding it gets really irritating after awhile.

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  58. Rodney

    this is of course not considering the fact that twitter might turn into the new myspace.. i wonder whats next.. i know google plus is one

  59. Tim hartman

    Looking forward to the day I can charge for my tweets even if it’s $5. However I digress, I have a long way to go to get to that caliber. I am sure you didn’t get there over night and I will have to wait my turn. So what is the largest dollar figure that you have been paid for one tweet.

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  61. Paul G - fullbusy.com

    Very curious to get to this level, trying all the best available options to get a good advertiser. Hoping for the best as the social networks are the future places for advertisers.

  62. Lisa

    Interesting post! It sounds like another great way to monetize the already captive audience you’ve created for yourself. I think a lot of people focus too much on quantity of Twitter followers over quality of connections via Twitter and lose sight of the real value there. It can be tough to know exactly how to connect with people via tweets and re-route those relationships back to our website. Thanks for illuminating on of the best ways to monetize Twitter, Shoe!

  63. Mark de Graaf

    You forgot to mention AdFly ( http://adf.ly/?id=3579724 )

    You don’t earn much but at least you get paid and the ads are not annoying.

    Adfly shortens links you post and ads a banner to them.

    So for example if you want to refer to an interesting article or something on your twitter account you use that link and people will see the adfly banner.

    Again don’t expect to earn thousands of dollars (unless you have a loooottttt of followers :P) but 10 dollars a week is realistic and adfly actually pays

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