Reviews have been a part of the online landscape since the early 2000s. Back then, if you wanted to learn more about a product or service you were considering purchasing, you would visit reviews to get an idea of what other customers thought. While these days customer reviews are still prevalent, so are other types of content that are gaining in popularity.
The Rise of the Influencer
Traditional review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor pioneered the review model that continues to thrive today. Browsing reviews for products and services allows for customers to offer feedback and share their opinions about various brands, businesses, and organizations. On one hand, this type of content offers a more diverse array of reviews than ever before, enabling readers to find the content that best suits their needs. On the other, the ever-evolving nature of the internet allows for businesses to flourish and grow without ever having to worry about being reviewed.
In the last two years, we have witnessed a major shift in the review landscape. Influencers have emerged as a new type of character that interacts with and influences consumers while also seeking to gain revenue through sponsored content.
Put Yourself in This Story
While influencers have been around for years, social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram have given rise to an entire genre of content creators who specialize in sponsored content. Influencers can represent a brand or work for free as long as they produce content that promotes the product or service in question. For instance, if you’re an influencer for Nike, you would likely reach out to customers, post pictures of yourself wearing the shoes or accessories, and include a few lifestyle videos showcasing your hobbies and activities. You may also be asked to blog about the brand or create an educational guide that benefits the company.
More and more brands and businesses are turning to influencers to help spread the word about their products. For instance, if you’re an influencer for Apple, you might create a series of videos showcasing the devices you have tested, how you use them, and what you think about the company’s latest offerings. A successful Apple influencer may have millions of followers who trust them to give an objective review and are therefore more likely to purchase the company’s products. Or if you have a favorite brand of clothing, you could become a style influencer and create videos showcasing the latest trends and offerings from the brand. Whether you decide to become an independent reviewer or work with a brand to gain access to products and platforms, there are opportunities to make money online.
Build A Following On Social Media
If you’ve been paying attention to social media in the last two years, you’ll know that the platforms have shifted from being a place for people to share content to being a place for content creators to gain revenue.
While the internet has always been a place where people can share content, platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube allow content creators to connect with and engage with their audience through a combination of video and interactive content. If you’ve got a big following already on TikTok or Instagram, you can explore the option of creating and selling your own series of content that promotes a brand or business. Or if you want to create a buzz about a new product or service, you can dive into sponsored content, whereby you get paid to post about a brand or product in exchange for exclusive access to buy the said product. While the former may not seem like a viable income stream for an independent reviewer, the latter could prove to be lucrative, particularly if you acquire a large enough audience.
Be Selective About Where You Focus Your Attention
As much as we might like to believe that the internet connects us to all the information we need, it’s important to remember that not everything on the web is created equal. Just because a business has a website doesn’t mean that they are a safe or dependable source of information. Always remember that behind every review, blog post, and social media profile, there is a writer – someone who is looking to make a buck off your (and other readers’) clickbait.
Even on review websites, you shouldn’t always assume that the opinions expressed are trustworthy. If you visit a restaurant’s website to read reviews, you might end up rating the place low because the reviewer who posted the review hasn’t been there and is therefore unable to provide objective feedback. The net effect is that you might avoid a good restaurant because of poor reviews even though it could be a wonderful place. In a similar vein, a brand with a bad reputation can still have many quality products and enjoy an excellent reputation among their customers. It just takes a little bit of digging to find the truth – that is, until they are exposed and their reputation is ruined.
Even though reviewing websites and social media platforms can be a source of income, they are far from the only one. In fact, there are hundreds of ways to make money online – many of which don’t require you to even have a blog or website. You can start by trying affiliate marketing with a popular marketer and see if this is a route you’re interested in pursuing. You’ll need to perform some research before you get started, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of affiliate marketing – from how it works to how much you need to charge to make a profit. Once you get the hang of it, you can start earning money online without any previous experience.
Be Brave – And Remember, This Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint
Even though the opportunities to make money online seem endless, successful content creators and marketers will tell you that there is no easy route to riches. Building a sustainable business that provides for your family and allows you to work your own hours is very difficult. It takes a lot of effort, research, and patience to stand out among the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of content creators out there.
To create a successful business that can support your family and allow you to work your own hours, you need to be willing to put in the work. If the idea of becoming a full-time freelance writer excites you, take a look at the various writing jobs available online. However, if you want to create a more stable income stream, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative option. If you put in the time and effort to learn how to do it effectively – and be persistent – you can make a living online without any previous experience.
No matter what method you choose, creating and monetizing content takes some effort. But if you’re passionate about a topic or have the ability to become an expert on it, consider reviewing as a means of making money online. Just remember: it’s a long road to building an audience, and you’ll need to put in the time and effort to learn how to do it correctly. As the saying goes, success comes with responsibility.