Before we proceed, it might be useful to brush up on your Twitter terminology and the rules of Twitter etiquette. With that out of the way, let’s see how we can make some money on the popular microblogging platform.
Sharing Links with Amazon Associates
A couple of years ago, I wrote about how the Amazon Associates (Canada) program expanded beyond regular links and banners to include in-text advertising. This is where Amazon would automatically replace phrases on your site with links to Amazon products.
Well, it seems that Amazon.ca is expanding again. As you can see from this screenshot, the Amazon Associates toolbar recently added a button to “Share on Twitter.” The toolbar used to only provide ad creatives to be placed on websites, so it wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to promote books, DVDs, and video games on Twitter. Now you can. The Amazon Associates program is CPA-based, so you only make a commission when someone buys something.
Invading Twitter with Sponsored Tweets
Just as there are sponsored posts and paid reviews on blogs, it’s not surprising that Sponsored Tweets came along to capitalize on the Twitter market with sponsored messages on Twitter. The integration is actually very good, since the sponsored tweets go straight out from their website. You don’t need to copy-and-paste into your favorite Twitter client.
With Sponsored Tweets, advertisers can choose to either pre-write the tweet that they would like you to send out or they can ask you to write your own tweet including their link and name. The sponsored nature of the tweet must be disclosed and the easiest way to do this is by including the #ad hashtag. If you feel like sponsoring one of my tweets, check out my profile and follow the on-screen instructions.
Making Money with Affiliate Links
Affiliate marketing is hugely popular, so it’s not surprising that people are trying to push products on Twitter as well. When you log into your account at a CPA network like MarketLeverage, you can search for offers that are fair game for “social media.” From there, you can grab the offer link and share it on Twitter.
Just as with the Amazon Associates program described above, these affiliate links are based on a cost-per-action (CPA) model. In order for you to make money, the person clicking on the link will need to complete an action of some kind. He or she may need to submit an email address, fill out a registration form, or make a purchase.
Taking the Passive Income Route
The above three methods are much more direct ways to make money with Twitter, but the social networking aspect of Twitter lends itself to passive income too. More specifically, you can use your Twitter account for branding and networking purposes.
From time to time, I’ll make mention of my freelance writing business on Twitter or I’ll link to one of my blog posts here on Beyond the Rhetoric. These links may not make any money directly, but they can help you make money in the long run.
Have you started monetizing your Twitter stream? Why or why not?