How Much Erika Kullberg Makes on Social Media

Ever since I started this incredible journey of helping others take control of their finances, one of the most common questions I get is, “Erika, seriously, how many different wigs do you own?” 

The answer: a lot!

The other common question I get is, “How much money do you make off of social media — and can I make a living out of it, too?” 

The answer to part 1 gets complicated. Some platforms pay me six figures while others pay me nothing at all. 

As for part 2, yes! You can absolutely make a living off social media — but it does take a lot of patience. 

To give you some guidance and context, I’m going to show you exactly how much each platform currently pays me. I’ll also give you some tips to help you monetize your own content much, much faster. 

Erika Taught Me

  • As of May 2024, I have over 21 million followers across TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
  • In total, I expect to earn a little over $100,000 directly from these platforms, not accounting for sponsored or affiliate content.
  • Since the Creator Fund dried up, my TikTok revenue has dropped to an average of $2.73 per day.
  • Facebook pays me more than I would’ve expected. Instagram doesn’t pay me at all.
  • YouTube is my most lucrative platform. One of my videos has so far generated over $45,000 in revenue all on its own.

. . .

TikTok: 9.2M followers, $997.66 per year

I currently have around 9.2 million followers on TikTok and my videos have attracted 542 million total views. 

For that level of engagement, TikTok has paid me $997.66 over the last year — or roughly $2.73 per day, on average. Sometimes, I make less than $1 per day.

Screenshot of the Creator Rewards Program dashboard, showing $997.66 in estimated rewards.

If you think that seems low, let me explain. 

TikTok doesn’t pay you for every view of your content. Instead, the platform only pays you for “qualified views” that meet these guidelines: 

  • Watch time is at least 5 seconds
  • Views aren’t dislikes
  • Only one view per user
  • Views aren’t from paid traffic
  • Views are from the For You feed

In addition, you can only get qualified views on certain videos that you post. TikTok says

“For videos to qualify in the program, they must be original, high-quality content longer than one minute. As with all content on TikTok, videos for the Creator Rewards Program must abide by our Community Guidelines. Original content is defined by videos that do not include Duets, Stitches or sponsored content.”

So, even though my videos meet Community Guidelines and don’t include any Duets, they still don’t get very many qualified views for one simple reason: they’re too short. To qualify for Creator Rewards (aka $$$), your videos must be at least a minute long — and most of my library comprises videos that are under 60 seconds. 

If you’re wondering why I’d put on four different wigs for a video that can’t be monetized, well, it’s primarily because I love to teach people about money — regardless of how many wigs it takes. 

But the other reason is because TikTok’s one-minute rule is relatively new. TikTok used to pay me from something called the Creator Fund, which was a $1 billion pile dedicated to supporting creators… until it ran out. 

The Creator Fund also didn’t have a one-minute requirement, so I was able to earn a little more than I do now from it. Between January 2022 and December 2023, I earned $4,758.34.

Screenshot of the Creator Fund dashboard, showing $4,758.34 in total estimated balance.

But the Creator Fund ran out on December 16, 2023, and TikTok replaced it with the Creator Rewards Program (and stricter guidelines for monetization). 

So while my existing content isn’t generating a whole lot of revenue right now, you can still earn a healthy living off of TikTok if you play by the new rules.

READ MORE: How To Make Money on TikTok

Facebook: 4.5M followers, $11,572.38 per year

I’ve been posting on Facebook for almost two years and currently have 4.5 million followers. 

In that time, the platform has paid me a total of $20,251.63 — which averages to around $964.36 per month or $11,572.38 per year. 

Facebook pays you monthly, and my payouts have been wildly inconsistent. In a given 30-day window, my page has generated anywhere from $23.59 to $2,696.83.

Screenshots of payouts from Meta, ranging from $23.59 to $869.50.

Whether I earn $20 or $2,000 in a month largely depends on how much content I post, and how much engagement I get. Case in point, my most lucrative window so far has been December 17 to January 16, 2023, shortly after my reel about what Southwest doesn’t want you to know went viral (it’s currently sitting at 993k likes). 

The cool thing about Facebook is that the videos I post there are the exact same ones I already made for TikTok, so there's no extra work besides hitting upload. There are even cases where Facebook will pay me for content that TikTok never did. 

Instagram: 5.4M followers, $0 per year

Since my first Instagram Reel in October 2021, my Instagram page has garnered 5.3 million followers and several hundred million views. 

And while I’m grateful that the platform has helped me share lessons on financial literacy and reading the fine print, it hasn’t exactly paid for my wigs.

In fact, during those five years of content generation, Instagram paid me a grand total of… pulls out calculator… $0. 

Screenshot of the homepage for Erika's Instagram account.

Back when I started my page, Instagram was still paying creators through its (now defunct) Instagram Reels Play program. Basically, get views and get paid. 

So when my page went from a small handful of followers to over a million (thanks to you!), I thought, Sweet! Time to monetize!

That’s when Instagram told me something I wasn’t expecting: I had too many followers. 

Apparently, back when it was still live, the Instagram Reels Play program only invited accounts with fewer than one million followers. So even though my account was generating hundreds of millions of views, I’ve never actually been paid by Instagram since it doesn’t pay its creators anymore. 

You can still generate revenue indirectly through monetization tools like Badges, Bonuses, Branded Content, Gifts and Subscriptions, but I’m just not focused on monetizing my Instagram account at the moment. 

It’s better to stay in the lane(s) where they pay you the most, and in my case, that’s YouTube. 

YouTube: 2M subscribers, $88,250 per year

Ever since I posted my first video in November 2019, my channel has collected a little over 2 million followers and 273-ish million views. 

In that time, YouTube has paid me $353,135.99. That’s almost enough for a burger and fries at Five Guys! 😉

Screenshot of estimated revenue dashboard on YouTube, of $353,135.99.

Here’s a list of my top-earning videos. I don’t know about you, but I find it kinda poetic and validating that my “Quit My Job” video ranked no. 1. I’m really honored that you all liked that one. 

Screenshot of the list of top-earning videos on Erika's YouTube channel.

Now that you have a general idea of how much revenue a 10-minute video can generate, what about a YouTube Short? 

My Shorts actually attract far more views than my longer-form content, with my top 10 ranging from 6.3M to 48M each. 

Screenshot of a grid of posts from Erika's TikTok account.

But they don’t pay nearly as much. To give an example, my 48-second short on How to negotiate medical bills has 4.1M views and counting, and its total output has been $106.85. 

Compare that to the 12-minute “Quit My Job” video, which got 3.8 million views and has generated $45,639.14. 

Screenshot of the video analytics dashboard from Erika's YouTube, showing 4,137,640 views on one short.

I love transparency around money, and I firmly believe that the best money-saving (and money-making!) tips should be shared. That’s why I created a guide on exactly how I went from 0 subscribers on YouTube to making over $100,000 in my first year. If you’re interested, it’s totally free!

FAQs

Which social media platform pays the most?

Some creators say the most lucrative social media platform is TikTok, in part because the new Creator Rewards Program was specifically designed to maximize payouts to creators. 

For me, it’s YouTube, where my top five videos have so far generated $150,000. 

Can you make money on social media without being an influencer?

Absolutely! Social media is a bonafide marketplace where you can earn money through affiliate marketing, direct product sales, content licensing, contracting your services, and more. 

How many followers do you need on social media to make money?

Broadly speaking, the bare minimum to start earning money on most platforms is between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. To join the TikTok Creator Rewards Program, for example, you’ll need at least 10,000 followers and 100,000 views over the past 30 days. 

That said, there are still ways to monetize channels with fewer than 10,000 followers. Even if you’re not being paid by the platform, you can still make money from advertisers, affiliates, and direct sales of your products and services. 

Who is the highest-paid social media influencer?

According to the Forbes Top Creators 2023 list, Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, was the highest-paid influencer last year with $82M in total revenue. 

The top female creator was Charli D’Ameio, who ranked #6 overall with $23M in revenue. 

TL;DR

Yes, it is possible to make money on social media, but how much you can earn depends on the platform you choose. For me, YouTube is the platform that is the most lucrative. And while views do count to an extent, it’s actually how long my videos are that earns me the most money. 

The good news is that you don’t need a million followers to earn money from social media. You just need to commit to learning your preferred platform and ensuring your content meets their (ever-changing!) rules. 

If you want to master your own YouTube channel, download my free YouTube guide on making your first $1,000 on YouTube!

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Author picture

I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.