How to Make Money with Snapchat: The Ultimate Guide

Snapchat currently has 191 million daily active users. The engagement on the app beats the engagement you get on most other social media platforms

And know what’s great? 70% of millennials are on the app making it one of the biggest hotspots for a tech-savvy audience who’s not afraid of making online purchases. The under 25 age group consists of the most active segment and they login at least 18 times a day and spend half an hour each day on the platform.

Snapchat has added advertising options for brands and people can make purchase through the app now.

All of that’s good news–because it increases the earning potential we have with the app.

Snapchat could have been one among hundreds of messaging apps that come on the scene with a bang but disappear quicker than they came.

However, it wasn’t to be.

Snapchat differentiated itself by building on an app that leveraged the fear of missing out.

None of us want to miss out on things but snaps disappear in less than 10 seconds.

That makes the engagement more valuable.

Start by building an audience

Only when you have a thriving audience can you even think of getting started to make money with the social media platform that Snapchat is.

So here’s how to start building one.

The first few steps are made easy with Snapchat’s default settings that ask you if you want to automatically add your phone’s contacts into the Snapchat account.

When you add follower it’s given that some of them would follow you back.

That builds the initial list of followers.

Again, there’s no penalty on following as many people as you’d like to follow unlike Twitter and Facebook(maximum 5000 friends).

That’s the first and most direct step to getting more followers.

There are other ways too.

Gain referral traffic by posting snapcode on forums and sites

When you sign up they give you a code that can give others to let you follow them. All anyone who wants to follow you  needs to do is take a picture of the code on Snapchat and voila they can now follow you.

To get more people to follow you spread the snapcode wherever you can on your social media postings, if you have a blog you can post it there, on youtube videos and so on.

Swap or pay for shoutouts

Another way you can increase the amount of followers is by paying for them. This method to get followers requires you have some greenback on you. Shoutouts from other popular users can send a torrent of new followers down your road. However, not many agree to do that for free and hence in the initial stages you may need to pay them for shoutouts.

Mostly the poster would say that following you would entitle him to a discount or other freebies. Such incentives are necessary to get followers.

Once you have built your account so that it at least has 1000 followers you should be able to do swaps. In this you promote the other guy’s account and in turn he promotes yours.

It’s a win win situation as both of you stand to gain followers.

Use the live feature

The live feature can be used to attract more followers because Snapchat features live stories in their feed. If you have your location services turned on the probability of getting featured increases manifold.

Turn on location sharing on the app.

That way you can not only access live snapchat stories happening in real time but also have the option to add your story to the mix.

Do cross-platform promotion

You have the stories feature on Snapchat. Take your stories to YouTube as a short compilation of best stories say the top ten stories.

YouTube being the world’s second largest search engine, would fetch you a fresh new audience never seen before.

Should they decide to follow you on SnapChat you’re getting new followers who could potentially make purchase and help generate more revenue just because you repurposed an existing piece of content.

Ask an influencer out

Another thing to do ask a popular SnapChat influencer to take over your account for a single day. When they access your account for one day you would have to allow them to market their account on yours for the whole day and they’d also cross promote your account to their audience. With the popular user handling your account as their own he will use his valuable insights in running the account. You will glean insights into how to manage account like a celebrity.

And you could also get the celeb to use your products and showcase them while he’s at it.

Once you have followers it’s time to keep them engaged.


Post terrific content

Great engagement often equals great earnings.

Content is the fuel that Snapchat runs on. If you have great content you’ll have huge growth in the number of followers and the engagement per post .

To do this first realize that Snapchat is a really personal platform.

One of the things I like best about Snapchat is that you can showcase a no holds barred life through the platform.

You can post pictures about your daily life say when you took your dog to walk or custom designed a piece of jewelry and many things of that nature.

At the same time you can display products and unboxing videos for products you’re promoting on the platform.

The two blend together really well. And doing one doesn’t mean you can’t do the other.

The most common advice in blogging is to not mix your personal life when you run a blog. That advice goes to the dustbin in this case.

You could also try posting educative videos. For instance when Mint the financial blog first started, they had this 1 minute financial advice vlog per day that took only 1 minute to view, credits and music included and provided a valuable financial planning advice.

You could experiment with such things and see how it works out.

Post what’s already popular

Finally post content on what works. Find out what the most popular SnapChat subjects are and then build your content revolving around those topics.

Cute animal pictures are a heartthrob on Snapchat. The new animal filters are proof of that. Subject that catch women’s attention too are worth looking at.

Post consistently

The final thing is to post consistently. Weeks or days of inactivity is a buzzkill on Snapchat. Interest wanes away soon if you don’t take to posting regularly.

Once you have added contacts, started posting consistently, did swaps and or paid shoutouts you should be good with at least a few thousand followers.

Now that we have spent money, sweat and long hours trying to build a following it’s time to reap some rewards.

Here’s how to start making money with SnapChat

Affiliate Marketing

If you’re an affiliate marketer you could write product reviews of which you’re an affiliate of and promote those on Snapchat. If the product’s close at heart of the audience you built up until now you should get lots of sales.

Another option to consider—full in-depth video review on SnapChat itself and send it out to your followers.

Offer expiring discounts

Missing out is the most potent human emotion. In fact that was the emotion responsible for Snapchat’s immense growth over the years.

Tapping into the emotion you can embark on campaign that offers about to expire discounts. That coupled with the fact that a message’s life on the app is mere 10 seconds can do wonder to conversions.

To capitalize on expiring discounts set up a site with a catchy name with the word discounts or coupons in it and post about offers on it and share the link in the video that you’re sending your followers.

Write the URL out on the video by making use of the text box icon atop Snapchat screen.

Additionally mentioning that the discount coupon is only for the next few hours or will expire in 1 day should help the cause.

Make use of seasonal trends

During Halloween adding Halloween art to your snaps can make you appear trendy. Promoting products with this seasonal touch can also work. Start by adding art to your snaps. For Halloween, a popular manufacturer of candies called Sour Patch Kids added costume art to their candy. This was followed by asking their followers to post a screenshot of their favorite costume art on their Snapchat channel. Needless to say, it encouraged lots of activity on the channel and upped engagement and improved sales of their candy.

Another option is to add emojis to snaps and see how it works.

Sell with Snapcash

Snapchat joined hands with PayPal to offer a service called Snapcash that you can use to send money to other Snapchat users. Others too can send you money with it.

If you’re selling a product like a digitally downloadable eBook this makes a lot of sense to be able to accept payments on the social media network.

With hundreds of engaged followers you won’t have trouble finding buyers.

You can also sell physical products. Since animals and women related topics are popular, you could think of selling cosmetics. I have heard that cosmetics from South Korea are particularly popular on the platform.

The world’s your oyster.

Showcase sponsor products

This is a little bit different from affiliate marketing in the sense that you’re not earning a commission on products. You’re rather charging a flat fee based on the number of followers your account boasts and engagement statistics.

Despite the fact whether the product manufacturer makes or loses money you stand to gain. There can also be a case of product manufacturers giving you their products for free every month (in case of a monthly box) or occasionally in the hopes that you post a review on Snapchat.

If you’ve just started building a following this strategy can work well and pave way for other sponsors to find you and send you offers.

To make things more interesting experiment with the way you present sponsor products. You could be inspired and use hundreds of different angles. For instance, instead of unboxing a product like you always do add some fun to it by adding something humorous, or create a drama with the product in question.

You can post a video review on Snapchat itself and give them a link on where to buy it.

All these methods work well if you have a decent following. But what if the number of followers are low?

You can also make money if you have a low follower count.

How to make money when you have low follower count

It’s also possible to make money when you have low number of followers.

In fact, this strategy is great if the number are low.

The thing that happens with large accounts is that with too many followers, only a few get personalized attention if that. What they can’t do due to sheer dearth of time should be your strong suite.


Start by conversing with your fans. Not all of them at once. But a few of them. If possible address individual followers with their name. Nothing’s more personal than that.

You could even create short personalized videos and send those over to them, addressing them by name and introducing yourself and asking for feedback.

Sure, the approach takes time. But it’s one of the best ways to build engagement and turn fans from mere numbers on a counter to real people.

If and when they reply back, do the same and continue conversing.

You will build out followers slowly if you’re following the methods outlined above and this is a great way to engage and build a real relationship.Considering that it doesn’t take too much time to continue conversing and after the videos are sent it could be a good strategy.How to send people to your website where they can buy products?

One way to make money off SnapChat is by directing your followers from the app to your website where you have product reviews.

You can mention your website in snaps as there’s no way to hyperlink the same or write out the url in the text box that Snapchat gives you.


Track your Snaps. Check to see how the interaction went, if people are engaging with your content. You can track content views and shares and determine if they’re going up or down.Doing this you will learn what the most effective content pieces were. This helps improve your Snapchat strategy, add more followers and make more money.

Rahul Yadav

Rahul Yadav is Digital Marketing consultant and Expert in Delhi, India. He provides SEO, Social Media Marketing & PPC Consulting Services worldwide. Contact at

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