How to Make Money on Twitter in 2020 (for Beginners)

  11 min read       jay@zlappo.com       Back to Blog


You can make serious money on Twitter.

Chris (@CJ_Johnson17th), for example, regularly makes $200-300k a month.

There are others like Andy (@andyisom100k) who have set up multiple systems that do the work and makes an excellent income for him in the background, while he still makes time for his family, church, and even hobbies like fishing.

These people are living the dream, working less and making more (and having more fulfillment and meaning in their lives) than the vast majority of the working class in corporate America, all from the comfort of their own homes or even anywhere around the world.

They also have full control of their time and enjoy freedom that most cubicle/hourly employees can only dream of, simply because they're part of the new rich.

Sounds like something you'd like to achieve? Read on. πŸ‘‡

There's an entire Twitter ecosystem of creators, sellers, affiliates, coaches, consultants, artists, writers, designers, developers, and of course customers that are interdependent on one another to learn, grow, and prosper together.

I call it "Twitter money fam," and it's possibly the most constructive corner on any social media I can think of.

If you want to make money on Twitter, this is where you want to call your new home.

Note: If you're a complete newbie to all this, fret not; I'll keep this guide as stupidly-simple-yet-still-actionable as possible, as if you were a complete beginner to not just to making money online but also to Twitter itself.

With that out of the way, let's get started.

A. PLANNING πŸ“ (1 day)

1. Choose a niche

Before you even start to do anything, you have to decide which defined group of customers you want to serve.

Unless you're already an expert at something specific (e.g. coding, animation, filmmaking, cooking, guitar, travel, etc.), I'd say keep it broad and target one of the 3Fs:

  • Finances (business, investing, personal finance)
  • Fucking (dating/relationships)
  • Fitness (health/fashion)

You can niche down within each niche, of course, for instance:

πŸ‘‰ Focusing on "dividend stock investing" under Finances, like The Alpha Thought (@TheAlphaThought):

πŸ‘‰ Focusing on "masculinity and mindset" under Fucking, like Alex (@selfconquering):

πŸ‘‰ Focusing on "strength and size" under Fitness, like Tell (@tellquint):

If this is your first rodeo ride, definitely focus on one of the 3 niches above, because they're, after all, our 3 most base-level desires as human beings.

Pick whatever you're most knowledgeable in and passionate about. Decide.

2. Choose a business model

There are broadly 2 ways to make money on Twitter:

  1. Sell your own product(s) (e.g. ebooks, courses, art, music, apps, productized services)
  2. Sell other people's products (e.g. affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, etc.)

If you're starting from zero, you'll be looking at 2 (specifically, affiliate marketing), mainly because you do need to pay some dues and gain some online marketing experience under your belt before you try anything more complicated.

(Once you know 2, you won't need a guide for 1 anyway.)

3. Choose a marketing strategy

There are a million ways you can skin a cat here, from something as simple as embedding your affiliate links in your tweet content to utilizing Sponsored Tweets to boost your organic content and generate sales, but we'll keep it simple.

You'll be producing great content, increasing your follower count/reach, and plugging your affiliate offers in your content. That's it.

Nothing costly like ads, nothing fancy like creating your own digital product, and nothing overwhelming like setting up a blog/YouTube/email list.

At least not yet.

Why not?

When you're just starting out, your willpower/motivation is your most valuable resource.

Not only should you take the path of least resistance, so you can at least keep procrastination at bay and actually get started, you also want to see some progress and semblance of upward trajectory as you work on this day after day to avoid giving up prematurely, which happens all the time.

If you're starting at 0 followers and $0 sales, you want to get the goose egg off your scorecard as soon as possible so you're intellectually convinced that this is real, this can work, and you're not throwing good effort at bad fundamentals.

(Working on projects fruitlessly for months on end that bring in $0 is the most hopeless and demoralizing feeling in the world -- never do that to yourself.)

Whether you like it or not, your self-worth is tied closely to your net worth in business. No point even denying it.

So get that initial validation ASAP in the form of real money, even if it's $1 to start with.

Note: It shouldn't take more than a day to get the planning down.

B. EXECUTION πŸ’ͺ (1 week-6 months to first dollar)

1. Set up and optimize your Twitter profile

This is the first step before you do anything on Twitter.

Since I've written a whole guide on this before, I shall direct you to it: The Ultimate Guide to Optimize Your Twitter Profile for More Followers and Conversions (Examples Given).

Everything begins with your profile, because it's the first gateway anyone goes through before they decide to follow you and engage with your content.

Basically it needs to have a unique selling proposition, plug your offers strategically, and create trust through your profile picture and other markers of credibility/authority.

2. Follow as many big accounts in your niche as possible

I'll explain why in a second, but, just to start you off easily, follow:

(and any other account I mentioned in this guide.)

These guys are money, follow them and you'll be in good hands as a beginner.

3. Engage with their content as frequently as possible

Now, we'll try to seed your account with some initial followers.

You can either follow-for-follow (meaning follow a whole bunch of accounts and hoping they follow back, which I don't recommend, because you'll just get a bunch of followers who won't care about your content, let alone purchase your offers), or you can engage genuinely with others to maximize the visibility of your profile and siphon off others' followers to make them into your own (which is the state-of-the-art Twitter growth hacking strategy in 2020).

Specifically, you'll be commenting on their content by adding real value each time, i.e. each comment you leave must be able to stand as original content on their own merit.

And you'll be doing this a lot.

For months in a row, keep doing it, every day, and keep it consistent with the value-add.

Again, I've written a guide on this before, so have at it: 4 Smart Twitter Commenting Strategies to Grow Your Followers (with Examples).

Remember, we're going to leverage the loyal, engaged following of others' to build our own, so you need to comment like you're an influencer yourself, add massive value/unique perspectives, and retain the people who saw your comments as customers.

(Don't worry too much about creating original content yet -- at this stage, without your own tribe yet, you'll be talking to a wall.)

4. DM them to be an affiliate for their products

The next step is to start setting up the business part -- how you're going to get paid.

Remember those big accounts in your niche that I told you to follow?

Most of these accounts already have some digital product they created for sale, most likely an ebook that they sell on Gumroad and promote through Twitter.

(If you aren't familiar with Gumroad, it's the leading platform in 2020 for creators to sell their digital products and also manage affiliates who sell their products on their behalf for a commission.)

Note: If you're new to all of this, I'd definitely remove one layer of complexity (i.e. creating your own product, validating the demand thereof, figuring out the logistics of creation and distribution, etc.) and just focus on making the first dollar online by selling on behalf of others first.

They have marketable products, they sell well (validated demand), and most of them are very responsive to onboarding new affiliates for their products; your job is just to get it in the hands of as many people as possible within your tribe.

5. Create content and embed your links in your content

Once you get the engine running, you've been engaging with the community of your niche, you've been gaining hundreds of followers, and you have a few affiliate offers in your arsenal ready to deploy, you want to shift your focus to creating your own original, refreshing content.

That could be a motivational tweet, those are very popular, e.g.:

Or it could be a progress report/success story, e.g.:

It can even be a tweet where you showcase your expertise and then add your offer right below it, e.g.:

Notice how these influencers don't miss the opportunity to plug their offers?

You don't have to be shy here; everyone has something to sell, and there's no shame in making an honest living.

If you offer value first, it's not only acceptable that you sell afterwards -- it's expected and welcome even.

Now, you don't have to plug your affiliate link in everything you post, but I'm strongly in favor of embedding your affiliate offers within meaty content, instead of separating promotional tweets and informative tweets.

The latter doesn't seem to do better than the former, so stick with what works.

Creating engaging content on Twitter is one of those things that you learn on the job much better than I can explain in words, so just spend some time in your niche's community, watch and learn from others in your niche, observe what works/what doesn't, try many things, and double-down on what works for you.

MANDATORY FURTHER READING: 5 Ways to Sell on Twitter that Get Retweeted like CRAZY (Examples Included)

6. Put systems in place once you've found your rhythm to grow your followers and sales on auto-pilot

I'm a firm believer that, if you can get 1 sale, you can get 10 sales, 100 sales, and beyond.

It's just a matter of patience, repetition, and, most importantly, creating and managing the systems that will enable you to scale and grow beyond what you can do as one man running your business.

Here are some systems/automations you'll want to put in place:

1. Automate your Twitter (scheduling content, auto-retweeting evergreen content, auto-repeating promotional offers, auto-plugging offers to viral content, etc.)

Scholar of Life (@ScholarofLife1) has put together a marvelous guide on how to leverage Twitter automation to grow your Twitter followers and automate your sales using Zlappo, so I'll just link it here: How To Get More Followers On Twitter Using Automation.

It's such a valuable yet concise guide on how you must leverage technology to do most of the heavy lifting for you while you focus on the real work (or even on life, your choice) if you want to grow at all.

If you're a smart business owner, at some point you want to transition from seeking out customers for your offers manually, where your job is doing unscalable employee grunt work, to being a business/systems operator, where your job is pulling levers and pressing buttons to scale up your follower and revenue growth.

2. Build and maintain assets that are magnets for traffic (e.g. YouTube, blog, email list)

I'm not going to go too much into this, which is beyond the scope of this beginner's guide.

But over the long run, you want to systematize your business and move it towards a system where your revenue isn't coupled so tightly to your active labor.

Basically you'll need the sale to come looking for you instead of you going out there looking for it, so let these marketing assets and systems do the work for you like any smart entrepreneur would.

(Plus, you want to minimize platform risk, such as losing your entire Twitter account for no reason and having to start from scratch again, you've been warned.)

7. Keep it consistent

The method I've described above works (you're welcome for saving you the time, money, effort, and agony of trial-and-error), but, as with most things worth achieving, it takes time and patience to bear fruit.

So keep engaging with the community, keep producing refreshing original content, and keep plugging your affiliate offers where appropriate, while letting systems do the work for you in the background.

It might seem like such an uphill task, but slowly (and surely), with enough authority-building content out there, followers who like and trust you, and potential customers who see your social proof and the loyal tribe that you've built, the wheels start turning in your favor, little by little, and the sales come rolling in.

Pour conclure

Making money online isn't easy. I'll be honest with you.

The competition is cut-throat, everyone (and their mom) wants to work a location-independent job where they can make money in their sleep without needing to punch a clock or braving the infuriating, blood-boiling morning traffic.

Basically anyone with a computer -- from the stay-at-home soccer mom and the restless college student to the burned-out office worker and struggling artist -- wants a piece of the action, so you have to have a competitive, go-getter spirit yourself.

You'll hit obstacles along the way, you'll have good days, and you'll have bad months.

But most of the time, patience and persistence (and constant recalibrating of your bearings) will win in the long run.

The wall is there to stop those who don't want it badly enough, it's as simple as that.

So get started now. Enough excuses, enough learning, enough procrastination. The information is all here.

Godspeed and here's to wishing you'll make a lot of money online so you can live your dream life! πŸ₯‚


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