Neil Patel

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There is Going to be a Rude Awakening for Influencers This Year

So, there is one number that pretty much tells it all.

And that number is $323.19.

You are probably wondering what that number is and what it means.

I will get to that in a bit.

But first, keep in mind that even though there is going to be a rude awakening for influencers, it opens a door for companies when it comes to influencer marketing… and I will also get to that in a bit.

So, what’s up with that $323.19 number?

How much do influencers make?

Well, we surveyed 5920 influencers, marketers, and content creators…

The average monthly income that they generate from their social media profiles is $323.19.

Even with the users that had between 100,000 followers and 999,999 followers, their average income didn’t improve by much.

They were generating $1,727.29 a month on average.

And it didn’t get much better for the users that had over 1,000,000 followers.

Their average income generated was $6,109.83 a month.

This chart pretty much sums it up.

Chart 1 - Social Media & Influencers Average Monthly Income of Social Media Influencers by Follower Count - Neil Patel - by NP Digital

So why isn’t influencer marketing working… at least for a career?

It’s because way too many people create content for the masses. If you aren’t known for something specific, it’s hard to monetize.

If you want to get into the influencer or even personal branding business, you must focus on building a community around something specific.

For example, I’m known for marketing. I monetize my profiles to generate more marketing clients for my ad agency, NP Digital.

This model works. We should cross 1000 plus employees at NP Digital this year.

That’s why you don’t see me posting motivational quotes. It doesn’t generate the revenue one would expect.

And it isn’t just influencers that are struggling…

It’s all content creators.

What’s happening with content creators?

Well, there is another number that you need to know about.


Want to guess what that number represents?

Within Ubersuggest and Answer the Public we track over 7 billion keywords.

We also track all the sites that rank for those keywords.

And over the last 30 days, 94.29% of the web pages got no organic traffic. And we see this percentage getting worse over time.

When we surveyed 1051 marketers, only 922 were creating content using AI or a combo of AI/humans.

It means more content will be pushed out on the web because it is easier now to create it.

But there are still only 10 spots on page 1 of Google.

Now that doesn’t mean content marketing isn’t valuable because it really is game-changing.

It’s how I created one of the 21st fastest-growing companies in the United States, according to Inc Magazine.

But your content needs to stand out.

It needs to be unique. Offer a new perspective. And most importantly, include E-E-A-T, which is what Google talks about and is hard to do using AI (at least for now).

It’s not just Google either…

Influencers are creating tons of content and getting little to no engagement. It makes being an influencer harder.

At NP Digital we analyzed 15,000 social profiles over the last 3 years and saw organic social media reach decline by roughly 61.83% over the last 3 years.

One of the main reasons is people are putting out a lot of content and people have more options to choose from.

Heck, there are well over 4 billion NEW pieces of content being created each day. New daily images created clock in at 4.7 billion. And more than 4 million hours of videos are uploaded each day.

But if you make your content stand out you’ll do well.

It’s not that the models are broken, it’s that they are competitive.

Which means you can’t put out crap (excuse my language).

So, what’s your opportunity?

We see two big opportunities that companies can leverage.

Opportunity #1: Influencer marketing

Either work with agencies or reach out manually to micro-influencers and ask them to promote your product or service. These influencers need to be known in your space, not a random space… it’s a great way to generate a high ROI.

If you look at companies like Legion, they do extremely well from influencer marketing.

Opportunity #2: Manual content creation

There is nothing wrong with using AI, especially for things like research. But the quality of the content AI creates isn’t amazing.

I am not talking about from a writing perspective, I’m talking about from a perspective of offering something new and fresh. Something people haven’t read before and would be interested in learning about.

When creating content manually, do keyword research and look for ultra-long-tail keywords.

I’m talking about 7 or more word phrases. You can find tons of them on tools like Answer the Public and Ubersuggest.

Just look at our SEO revenue breakdown for NP Digital based on keyword length:

Although keywords that are 7 or more words in length make up 48.95% of our revenue from SEO, they only account for 24.26% of our organic search traffic.

Plus when you look at the graph, comparing 2022 with 2023, what you can’t see is a similar traffic volume came from keywords that were 7 or more words.

In other words, we are seeing a trend where users are getting more specific with their search queries before they convert.

So, if you do those 2 things you’ll be better off than the competition.

Especially with influencer marketing, at our agency, we don’t see it as too competitive because most companies are too lazy to reach out to thousands of influencers to find the right ones at the right price.


If you want to be an influencer, don’t go after the masses. Instead, go after a massive TAM (Total Addressable Market).

For example, I go after marketing.

Grant Cardone goes after real estate.

When you are known for something specific, it is easier to monetize.

And the next time someone asks you if you want a million followers or a million bucks, you may want to consider the million dollars.

Even with a million followers, it would take a bit more than 13 years to make a million dollars. 😉

And if you are a company, focus on influencer marketing.

It’s cheaper than advertising on the platforms (although it takes more work to scale up), but we see it being extremely profitable.

In addition to hiring influencers, make sure you also focus on creating new content that has something fresh to say that no one else is talking about.

It’s how you win in a crowded market.

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