Deep Thoughts On Twitter: $10,000 Income or 10,000 Followers

As a relative shrimp on Twitter with only ~1,300 followers, I am always amazed by some of the people I follow with thousands and thousands of followers.  One woman I know has 9,000 followers, and another guy has 7,500 followers.  Wow!  Neither are famous and if I visit their blogs, there isn’t particularly a lot of activity either which is strange.  If only 10% of your 9,000 followers visited your blog everyday, you’d have 900 regular readers alone not to mention potentially hundreds of other readers who don’t have Twitter!

What I’ve also noticed is that there are plenty of “Social Media Consultants” who earn a living by helping you gain followers by employing strategic social media moves.  After all, the more followers you have, the larger your authority and income potential, right?  Maybe not.  So I posed the following two versions of the same question on Twitterland:

Would you rather have 10,000 Twitter followers & make $2,000/month online or have 2,000 followers and make $10,000/m online?

Which is harder, making $10,000/month or getting to 10,000 Twitter followers?

Here are the following answers:

* Show me the M O N E Y prestige is for losers! @BigCajunMan

* If I make $10,000/m online, I don’t mind have if I zero followers :) @SunFinancial

* 10,000 followers is harder; there are many ways to make money, only so many to increase twitter followers. @AmateurFinance

* Dude – twitter followers are worth $0. 10,000 followers = $0. @MoneySmartsBlog

Answering my own questions:

I would much rather make $10,000 a month online and have just 2,000 followers than make $2,000 online and have 10,000 followers.  That’s a NO BRAINER because as far as I can tell, 99.9% of Twitter users out there aren’t getting paid to Tweet, which means there’s no way to make money from Twitter directly.  Twitter is for fun and a means to an end!

To answer the second question, ironically, I think it’s MUCH harder to gain 10,000 Twitter followers than to make $10,000 a month online.  I’ve been on Twitter for a year now, and I only have 13% of 10,000 followers currently.  Meanwhile, the % of $10,000 is much greater than 13%, and could be even more than 100%, who knows.  And, I’m sure many of you are the same way.

I find it unfathomable as to why anybody really cares about the quantity of Twitter followers they have.  Why are people paying Twitter & Social Media consultants to gain more Twitter followers?  Why are people paying programs to gain them Twitter followers?  What’s more important is the quality of relationships online.  I’m not sure exactly how many quality relationships one can really have over Twitter, but my guess is somewhere around 200-500.

Would you rather have 10,000 Twitter followers or $10,000/month online?  How do some people manage to gain thousands and thousands of followers?  Why is there a mismatch between blog traffic and Twitter followers for some?

Rgds,

Sam

Follower me on Twitter @FinancialSamura so I can one day be huge, on Twitter!  But really, go check out the first HowtoSaveMoney.com Yakezie Scholarship and send it to a bright someone you think could use $500 bucks.

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

You can sign up to receive his articles via email or by RSS. Sam also sends out a private quarterly newsletter with information on where he's investing his money and more sensitive information.

Subscribe To Private Newsletter

Comments

  1. Monevator says

    It depends on your strategy. If you intend to leverage your social connections for money or a career, – perhaps as your eventual monetization goal – then having lots of Twitter followers makes sense I’d say.

    Both for the purpose of interacting and being promoted through a larger audience, but also for ‘social proof’. This is probably true whether you’re a certain kind of A-List blogger or Justin Timberlake.

    Please you’re making so many $$$ Sam. My pickiness about monetization methods is really costing me. :(

    • Financial Samurai says

      I guess so, but I’m not interested in following machines without anybody behind them. Is anybody? Again, perhaps around 200-300 close followers and followees seem like a good amout.

      I think it’s great you are picky about your monetization strategy. As my Google friends here tell me, if they can make bloggers and people think that they rule the world, they will always be the champs!

  2. Fool says

    If nothing else, Twitter may reinforce your exposure by giving your follower’s the feeling of a (real-time), more personal connection to the man behind the sword wielding Samurai.

  3. Mark @ SpotlightInvesting says

    Monevator has it spot on.

    If your followers offer quality in the sense that they provide something you need or might need, then they represent value. Else they’re just noise!

    Well done on at least doing 1 of the options well, FS!

      • Mark @ SpotlightInvesting says

        Good question. Again, think it depends on what you might want to do, and quantity is sometimes valuable in itself (e.g. for authority) but this from http://www.twitip.com/twitter-followers-quantity-or-quality/:

        “Quality followers are no doubt your most important followers. These are the ones who are actually following you to listen to what you have to say. The ones who will purchase the items you advertise. These are the followers that are asking questions, replying to your tweets and are not just filtering you out on TweetDeck. These followers are a bit harder to gain but worth the work. You will have to search them out, follow them and engage in conversation with them. You must also be a “quality follower.” Show them you are worth following. Offer them something more than just another notch in the quantity category and they will not only want to follow you but will want you as a follower.”

  4. retirebyforty says

    I must confess I just joined twitter a couple of weeks ago and I don’t understand why people would pipe this to their cellphone. :)
    I follow Yakezie and check with a browser occasionally. It’s too much information for me.

  5. Credit Cards in Canada says

    If you intend to make money with twitter then the bottom line is the quality of your twitter followers. 1000 followers could make a lot more money than 10,000 followers could make.

    I had a instance when I created a twitter account for one of my sites and generated almost 1000 followers in a week but those were random followers. There wasn’t any activity on any of the tweets that were sent out. But gradually as relevant users began following us on twitter the activity increased.

    You can always inflate you twitter followers for bragging rights but the person with the most quality followers will laugh his way to the bank.

  6. Elle says

    I’d rather have $10,000/month than 10,000 twitter followers. If was able to make the money and have less followers, I see that as a win-win. Smaller number of followers allow me to interact more with people while having income.

    I check my twitter follows and followers about every month and I find that I remove a bit due to inactivity or no value being added. I’d like to present helpful information to followers and I like the same from the people I follow.

  7. Everyday Tips says

    Well, if you are a shrimp with 1300 followers, then I am an amoeba with my 120 followers.

    I do not spend much time I twitter, and I wonder if I need to dedicate more time if I want to increase my blog’s readership. Some people get a ton of traffic from twitter, but I do not.

    I will take the 10k dollars a month hands down!

  8. DebtFreeDaniel says

    I would rather have too the $10,000 income and 2000 followers, it is hard to earn money nowadays and there are more people will follow you through to your twitter if you can also share with them how you earn this much.

  9. BeatingTheIndex says

    That’s an easy question to answer, I’ll take the $10k anytime over the twitter followers. Focus should remain on delivery quality content on your blog, not on rounding up twitter followers. Content will get you to the $$$$.

  10. The Genius says

    But don’t people find it ironic that it’s easier to make money online than get Twitter followers?

    There’s got to be some strategy or artificial non-organic way people are doing so, no?

  11. Mark says

    $10,000 a month is harder. You can always add thousands of people and gain 10,000 followers. Some will just follow you because you follow them.

  12. Romeo says

    Call me social networking inept, but I don’t understand how anyone can make money from Twitter.

    I think the entire point is to have a bunch of followers so that at least 10% of your 10,000 followers will enjoy what you have to say. Therefore, you may have gained at least 1000 more people to connect to your website. Thus, your potential for exposure and higher income.

    If 10% of the 1000 followers retweet your stuff, then that’s more potential because those 1000 followers maybe have 10,000 friends. Hence, the cycle would continue.

    These same bots or “social engineering tactics” are used to create backlinks on the Internet for search optimization.

    So yeah, it’s pretty stupid in terms of trying to get genuine followers. But it’s an ends to a means, especially because of the high barriers to entry in the blogging world. For example, why would anyone follow the new guy when there are entire networks of bigger bloggers with more interaction and who have been doing it longer?

    So in the end, I’m hoping that out of the 700 social engineered “likes” that I’ve received from real people on Facebook, 70 of them will catch on and say, “well, this is a pretty good site. Is this what is meant by a blog?”

    Furthermore, people are stupid (that’s why marketers get paid so much). There’s hoping that a site with 1000 Facebook likes or 10,000 followers must be good. So, I’m hoping to capitalize off of stupidity. But, just hoping. :P

    And if you are really wondering, I didn’t pay for my “likes” (I refuse to do so – I write a personal finance blog, for Pete’s sake), but there are plenty of sites where you can.

    Romeo

  13. Financial Samurai says

    @Romeo, great point about fooling people with stats. I guess perhaps a lot of it is smoke and mirrors. Whoever can sell the most smoke and mirrors if they are playing this Consulting pitch game wins!

    I’d rather just make money quietly.

    • Romeo says

      You know Sam, I’ve been thinking. Although massive followers gives off an impression of “greatness”, if one’s followers are not genuine and are only accumulated via autobots, then can’t we too say that we are not genuine?

      I suppose in the world of blogging, we owe it to our readers, no matter how small the audience, to be honest at all times.

      If WE “lie” about our fan base, why should our readers believe that we don’t “lie” about what we write about.

      That being said, I dropped about 900 followers today and expect to loose about 200 more :)

    • Roshawn @ Watson Inc says

      Sorry for late reply… I didn’t get email notification. I used to be VERY active on Twitter when I was trying to “build” up my account. Most of the tweets on Twitter come from a select few, so I tried to position my account so that people either will come to me for info, socializing, or for marketing purposes. I also deliberately interacted with the whales. I’m half-sorry I slacked off though :)

  14. ctreit says

    A good friend of mine got on twitter when I had about 2000 followers/followings – maybe 200 “real” ones – a few months ago. She wants to get exposure for her company on the internet. Now she follows 15k+ and is followed by 13k+ but I don’t think this has paid off for her. I agree with you that in 99.9% there is no money in this. As for me, I don’t like it at all when I am being followed automatically because of some keyword, and I am as automatically unfollowed if I don’t follow back within days. But such is life. When a service like twitter becomes popular, spamming becomes part of it.

    Come to think of it. How much money does twitter itself make? I do hope that they make enough so that the service remains available. I like connecting with people on twitter.

  15. Rob Bennett says

    I’d certainly take the 10,000 followers if they were real follower. But it’s a rare person who has 10,000 real followers. I don’t have the sense that it would be too hard to get to 10,000 followers if you had no concern re the quality of the follows.

    I like Twitter a lot when there’s real interaction. It would be great if there were a service where it was easier to make the real stuff happen. The noise threatens to bury the signal on Twitter.

    Rob

  16. Ben Stiller says

    Having very active Twitter followers is a wealth in itself that can give you lots of money on a long term basis. You will get that 10K a month if you have that kind of followers. But the thing is, that kind of Twitter followers are rare and you won’t get that in a short period of time. You have to build it over time with loyalty from your followers. Would rather have 500 active Twitter followers than having 100K Twitter followers which are mostly composed of bot accounts.

  17. Elton John says

    Actually both are hard to earn, it requires a lot more effort to earn $10,000 a month and gaining 10,000 followers as well. However, not impossible too as long as you have the entire positive attitude and willing to wait for the fruit of the hard work that you did.

  18. Greg McFarlane says

    Don’t the overwhelming majority of people with “big” Twitter follower bases simply start by following others and asking for (or implicitly expecting) reciprocation? I have 30 followers for every person I follow, and that seems more noteworthy to me than having 12,349 followers but following 12,587 people.
    @GregVegas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *