How Many Followers Does It Take to Make $1000 online?
Twitch, YouTube, Instagram, Medium…the list goes on
This is a common question I often ask Google in the beginning of my online income journey.
When it comes to YouTube, Twitch and even Medium, there are numerous articles and Quora answers that goes through the estimates and breakdowns of revenue streams and numbers required to make the starting, enough to pay your groceries and gas amount.
However, the numbers can be deceptive.
My partner is building his income through Twitch while I’ve recently decided to focus on Medium as my part-time income source. Here are the things I’ve learnt about the numbers from my own experiences, watching his growth and observing those who are affiliate and partnered on Twitch and Medium.
Number of Followers Means Very Little If Your Audience Isn’t Engaged
The game of numbers is a very superficial thing. When my partner was starting out, there were a number of other small streamers that would come into his channel and ask for a follow for follow. He would often reject them or outright refuse simply because it made no sense.
Why would he follow someone who would never come back or look at his stream again in exchange for their followership? What he needs is viewership — or more specifically, engaged viewers.
Unengaged followers is as bad as sending a bunch of bots to your channel. Sure, it might look good and bump you up the ranks, but you didn’t achieve it yourself.
And the potential viewers will know because you haven’t figured out the thing that makes people want to come back and watch you.
It’s the same with any other platform — Instagram, Facebook pages likes and YouTube followers. Fake followers is superficial and your channel is actually a graveyard. Be real because there’s no point lying to yourself.
$59.35 for 5041 views, 2126 reads and 163 fans
That’s my stats for November 26 — December 31 2018.
It’s not much but enough to cover the week’s groceries.
I currently have 564 followers and 101 published stories. 13 of these stories made money with the highest paying at $16.96 and lowest at $0.03.
Perhaps if I had written more than 2 articles last month, I would have gotten a little bit more but alas, the festive season got the best of me.
During October 29 — November 26, I made $82.52. Although I had much less published articles, I wrote more consistently and therefore a steady stream of engaged fans.
In contrast, Shannon Ashley cracks at least $1k consistently, with her December month bringing in a whopping $5k. She started writing a little later than I did on Medium and the difference between us is that she consistently publishes.
Last year, I was still trying to figure out what to write and how to write while she came into the game pen blazing.
Create Content For Your People
“An individual artist needs only a thousand true fans in her tribe. It’s enough.” — Seth Godin, Tribes
I’m a big fan of Jessica Wildfire — not because she has 22k in followers but because of her wit, her clean cut words and thought provoking stories.
I’m also a big fan of Ed Sheeran, not because everyone else seems to like him but because I genuinely enjoy his music.
We are fans of people and things because we enjoy the content and products they produce. There are 2 types of fans — the lurker and the engaged. Over time, the lurker turns into an engaged fan. Some may take a few days, some take a few months but eventually, they start interacting with you in some way.
The common factor between Jessica Wildfire and Ed Sheeran is that they create content for a specific group of people. Their audience is a certain demographic with certain same interests and tastes. They also seem to enjoy the process of creating and consuming that particular content. As a result, they’ve also attracted a group of people who also enjoy consuming the same things.
They’ve got fans. Real fans often calls for more true fans to join the tribe.
You’re asking the wrong question
The question isn’t how many followers do you need to make $1000. What you need to ask is how many engaged people do you need to make $1000 online.
Each platform has their own cents and pennies payout. When you break it down, YouTube pays about $7.60 per 1,000 ad views and Twitch, well, you’ll need to get at least 75 concurrent views before you can even begin to wonder how much streamers make from their ad revenues.
Instagram has no method of monetization unless through paid sponsorship — which you’ll need to go out and actively find. Facebook pages and groups run on the same concept.
Medium is based on engagement. So even if you have 10k in followers and no one reads or interacts with your article, you’re not going to get a cent. Personal blogs needs at least a decent few thousand per month to make anything from adsense revenues and potential sponsorship deals.
The thing with making money online is that you have to go into it with the mentality and desire to create quality content. If you’re just chasing after the money but hate the process, you’re not going to make anything that is sustainable.
So stop worrying about the numbers and work on producing the best work that you can. Publish consistently and see the monetary returns as rewards for your creativity and perseverance. Have fun with the process.
The online world is filled with people just trying to make a buck without giving anything in return. Set yourself up as something different. Give quality. When you stop expecting, starting giving and your chosen platform will reward you accordingly for it.
The Answer is…1000 TRUE fans
Kevin Kelly proposes that you only need 1000 true fans to make a decent income. His premise goes — you only need 1000 true fans who are willing to spend $100 on you per year to make a livable and decent income.
You don’t have to be famous. You just need enough people who enjoy your content enough to give consistent and coveted engagement in order to make you money.
True fans are the reasons why smaller streamers on Twitch get subscribers. True fans are the reasons why YouTube vloggers consistently make money from their ads. True fans is the reason why Patreon exists.
10 true fans will make you your $1000 in a year.
1000 true fans won’t make you internet famous but more than enough to pay your bills and rent.