Companies are increasingly turning to individuals to advertise their products and services. So even if you don’t have a marketing degree and hold a full-time job, you can get paid to advertise for companies.
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Traditionally, large companies promoted themselves on TV, in billboards, magazines, newspapers, and other media.
But now that everything is digital, advertising has also moved to digital platforms like websites and social media.
And with the rise of influencer culture, companies have found a way to maximize the ROI on their advertising budget by working with individuals instead of working solely with marketing companies.
This, in turn, opened up opportunities for individuals to make money on the side by advertising for companies that fits their needs, skills, and their schedule.
Here are some legit ways you can start getting paid to advertise for companies.
6 Ways to Get Paid to Advertise for Companies
How much money you make by following the methods outlined below will depend on the option you choose and how much effort you put in.
Some options require little effort but don’t yield a lot of income while others might offer a steady enough salary for you to quit your full-time job. You can, of course, make money through advertising by doing any or all of these at the same time.
1. Create Your Own Blog
Creating a blog on your own website can be a great way to make money through advertising. Practically anyone can do it provided they find the right niche and work hard to increase their audience.
All you need to start your own blog is a computer and a web page to share your ideas on. It’s recommended to set up your own website so you’ll have more control over the topics you can write about and your advertising options. However, many beginners start with a free blog site, such as Blogger.
Before you can successfully advertise on your blog, though, you need to grow your audience first. The more followers you have, the more advertising opportunities you’ll get and the greater your earning potential.
Getting paid to advertise on your blog can be one of two ways: rent out ad space on your blog or create sponsored posts.
Once your blog reaches a certain number of followers, companies may pay you to display their product or service to your visitors.
This is commonly through display ads through the sidebar or the bottom of the page.
You can start with Google Adsense early on, as there is no minimum number of visitors required to join, but your earnings will be in cents at the early stages.
Sponsored blog posts are articles mentioning a product or service of the brand, or solely about the brand itself, for which the brand pays you for the exposure.
For instance, a smartphone manufacturer can sponsor a post listing the top smartphones one should have and listing their smartphone as the top option.
Or they can send you a smartphone for you to write a product review blog post that they’ll sponsor.
Important: Always disclose sponsored blog posts. Not only does this transparency build trust with your followers but it’s also the law.
You can get started with sponsored posts by waiting for brands to reach you, reaching out to brands, or joining sponsored posts networks that connect brands to bloggers.
Here are some of the top sponsored post networks you can join.
2. Become a Social Media Influencer
This works much the same as blogging does, except you don’t necessarily have to write about what you’re advertising. Instagram and Facebook brand ambassadors get paid to take photos of themselves or the products they are promoting, while YouTubers usually get paid to either talk about or review products.
Naturally, getting paid to advertise as a social media influencer requires that you have a large following on your chosen platform.
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The following three websites are all looking for influencers/ambassadors to help shape their future products:
- Opinion Outpost - Answer questions about products, shape the future, get paid. Sign up and get a free cash bonus.
- Toluna Influencers - Work directly with companies like Nike, Samsung, Amazon, and Disney to improve their product lines.
- SurveyJunkie - Get paid CASH to share your thoughts on some of the world's biggest brands.
I highly recommend signing up will all three to increase your chances of actually making money as an influencer.
There are different ways to approach affiliate marketing through social media, and I’ve set up handy guides if you’re looking to get started on any of these platforms:
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an advertising model where companies pay a commission to affiliates to advertise their products and services and generate sales.
You’re given affiliate links that you promote online. Every time a link gets clicked by a reader or viewer and that click leads to a sale, you get a commission.
It is one of the most effective ways to get paid to advertise online. First, you don’t have to build up too many followers to start. Also, once it’s been established, it can turn into passive income.
This is normally found under blogging, but affiliate marketing deserves its own entry because you can actually promote affiliate links through different channels, not just blogging.
Aside from your blog posts, you can share affiliate links on your social media posts, videos, landing page, and newsletters.
To start with affiliate marketing, you can look for companies that have “Affiliate Program,” “Affiliates,” or “Partner With Us” on their websites.
Or you can join an affiliate network, which connects affiliate marketers to companies offering affiliate program opportunities.
The following are some of the best affiliate networks to join:
Important: Just like sponsored posts, disclosing affiliate links is mandated by the law. Whenever a link is used on your website that results in a commission, you must tell your site visitors.
If you want to know more, I’ve put together this practical guide on how to get started with affiliate marketing if you’re looking to be one.
Another option, if you’re a complete beginner, is the Wealthy Affiliate training program which teaches everything you need to know; I’ve also reviewed them if you want to check that out.
4. Use Legitimate Car-Wrap Advertising Companies
Car wraps are probably the most well-known way of getting paid to advertise. It’s also one of the best ways to get scammed.
There are plenty of examples out there of people getting scammed in this way. But is it possible to actually make money by getting a car wrap?
The short answer: Yes, it is possible if you drive around a lot in big cities.
Both have different requirements, but in general, they will require that you own a newer car, that it isn’t damaged, and that you have a clean driving record.
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They will also require that you drive a certain amount of hours or distance every week during the campaign.
If you don’t fancy putting a huge sticker on the outside of your car, then you can opt for getting paid to show ads inside your car from companies like Vugo.
They only target drivers for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, however.
Not every money-making opportunity involving your body has to be illegal.
Skinvertising involves having an advertisement tattooed on your body, whether permanently or temporarily.
There used to be a site called Lease Your Body that was a marketplace for companies and willing participants for tattoos.
Of course, you’ll need to be aware of the risks of tattoos before you go this route, but if this isn’t your first time and you’re still willing to do this, there are ways to make it happen.
You can auction off parts of your body as advertising space on eBay. Or you can reach out to brands directly and offer to do it.
6. Wear T-Shirts With Ads
T-shirts emblazoned with a company website or name and logo can be distributed by companies and they can pay individuals to walk around for a number of hours in high-traffic places to advertise their brand.
While this is a legitimate way to get paid for advertising, the opportunities are few and far between. Right now, influencers and celebrities get paid to wear branded clothing and post them on their social media to promote them.
But if you don’t mind going the extra mile, you can certainly reach out to companies to offer to wear clothes with their brand in exchange for a fee.
Jason Zook famously made a million dollars doing this way back in 2009, so there might still be a market for this.
Beware of Shady Companies and Scams
The methods I mention here are tried and trusted but always make sure to be on the lookout for scams. Tapping into the world of advertising can be a lucrative deal but its sheer size means there are plenty of ways to get scammed.
Always approach an opportunity with a bit of skepticism.
You don’t want to waste your time or get roped into some scheme that will end up seeing either your money or identity stolen. Criminals are wily and they will take any opportunity to fool you out of your money or personal information.
A general rule of thumb is to use a separate email address (and password!) for your side-hustling ventures and to never click on any links sent to you if you can enter the web address yourself.
Also, and this goes almost without saying, you will never be required to pay for the chance to work with a legitimate company.
They should only be paying you.
I’ve outlined a number of red flags to pay attention to in my recent post on how to make money posting ads. All of them apply here as well.
The Bottom Line
By now I’ve researched plenty of ways to earn a living through various side hustles.
Some require a lot of effort and skill, while others have much fewer and simpler requirements, and I still find new ways to make money.
Often, the only real requirement to getting a side-gig is that you have a go-getter attitude.
Getting paid to advertise is pretty flexible and doesn’t fit into any one category, but it is one of the best ways to make a passive income, and you can put in as much or as little effort as you want.
Ready to get paid to advertise? Which one of these methods are you interested in? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!