One of the most straightforward and accessible ways that influencers can start earning money is by recommending products to their followers through commission-based affiliate marketing.
In short, affiliate marketing is when an influencer, blogger, or publisher shares a product through a specific link. Purchases made through this link are tracked, and the person who shared the link will receive a cut of every sale made.
This form of income is a particularly effective way for emerging "nano" and "micro" influencers (with between 1,000 and 100,000 followers) to start making money and working with sponsors. Influencers typically earn between 1% and 20% commission from these links. Retail programs generally offer a lower rate, while rates from tech programs run higher, according to industry professionals.
There are a number of factors that play into the percentage, including what type of content the influencers create. For instance, some finance influencers make a considerable percentage of their income from affiliate links for investing apps like Robinhood or Acorns.
Insider is highlighting the top 9 affiliate-marketing networks used by influencers in 2021.