First For Women

$50,000 a year


Melissa Chapman, 47, Staten Island, NY

“When the local newspaper I was working for downsized, I decided to start my own blog (TheStatenI­slandFamil­ As my blog grew, I made money with an ad network, but then I learned of other bloggers who were making money on Instagram by promoting products and decided to give it a try.

“When I find products that I like, such as those that promote a healthy, clean lifestyle, I’ll send the companies a direct message to find out if they’re interested in working together. I also find companies through influencer networks that work with bloggers who have large followings. Public relations firms and companies also reach out to me directly.

“In the beginning, I would receive free products in exchange for writing a review, but then it evolved to getting paid to post about their products. Now, every campaign that I do for a brand includes a blog post and posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I’m also more conscious of the times and finances, and only partner with companies whose products I believe in and are a fit for my audience. I post about the products in a natural way, without focusing too much on ‘selling.’ I add the photos to Instagram stories and a link to the company’s website. My advice for those want to make money on social media is to also have a website because social media changes all the time.

“I earn up to $50,000 a year doing what I love. That money helps pay bills and is donated to charities I support like animal sanctuarie­s.”

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