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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

This is the year I’ve taken social media the most seriously, and I’m so excited to break down all of the numbers and gossip over how I pulled this off!

For reference, I have 1.5k followers on Instagram, which is where all of these deals were posted. I won’t to disclose exact numbers but I did increase my income from 2022 to 2023 by 1,000%, which I think is fascinating.

I’m going to breakdown the companies that paid me, how I got these jobs, and how much of my 2023 salary was provided by them.

Little Words Project- 0.2%

For Little Words Project, I’m an affiliate marketer. That means I push discount codes (like BAMADELINEGRACEHALLER for 20% off) and get free bracelets and commission in return. This is the lowest portion of my income, clearly, but I truly love the bracelets so working towards free ones is enough for me.

Kodiak Cakes- 0.4%

This was the tail end of working with Kodiak Cakes.

I got the opportunity through Intern Queen. I’m a member of the platform, applied to the specific position, and got it in August 2022 and it ran through January 2023.

I grew up eating Kodiak Cakes products, so this was super cool for me.

Thermos- 5.5%

I got an email from On Campus Advertising asking if I wanted to create content for Thermos, and jumped at the chance.

My pink water bottle became my emotional support water bottle until it was left at home on accident after Thanksgiving break. I’m impatiently waiting for our reunion.

Despite the fact I had to send multiple emails to get paid for this opportunity, I still think it’s really cool to say that I worked with Thermos.

Rate My Professors- 5.9%

This is actually the newest opportunity to come up, so the fact it made up 6% of my income for the year super exciting to me.

For this opportunity, someone I followed posted that they were an ambassador. I Googled it, found the application, applied and got accepted. That’s how a lot of my opportunities come up — someone posts, I snoop around the Internet, and I go out for the opportunity.

As someone who uses Rate My Professors every semester, it’s fun to support the company.

BEARPAW- 15.8%

I’m a BEARPAW Campus Ranger for the fall semester.

Someone I follow posted that they were applying, so I applied too, and was beyond excited to go through the interview process. The day I got accepted was so exciting, I truly did not think I had a chance.

This has been the most rewarding opportunity with the best community. We were provided with free shoes and were given a whole content calendar of what we are expected to do.

There are 49 other members of the program that make it a wonderful community.

Parade- 17.1%

Parade has a special place in my heart — it was the first company willing to pay me for my work. My Parade paycheck is a combination of commissions and being paid to create and post content.

I started as a Parade Friend, which is the gifting level, and moved up to the Parade Gold paid tier in June 2021. Parade constantly has new product drops, like this corset top that came out a few months ago, and I’m never disappointed with the quality.

Graduate Hotel- 51.4%

I was a Graduate Hotel ambassador for the 2022-2023 academic school year, but only received my first paycheck in January 2023, which is why it’s a large portion of my total salary.

This was an incredibly cool opportunity to collaborate with a hotel company, and I’m sad to say it doesn’t exist anymore. They pivoted the program and now use recent college graduates.

This was the most shocking position for me to stumble into it — I truly found it through an Instagram ad.

At the end of the day, I hope this encourages you to do what you want to do, and jump in headfirst.

My only regret is not starting earlier, but I was much too anxious to pursue what I was passionate about for fear of what others would say or think.

I’ve found so much success and personal growth through content creation than I ever imagined and recommend starting to anyone feeling the urge to start.

Madeline (she/her) is a second-year at Penn State studying Psychology and Labor and Human Resources from Bangor, Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she’s either reading or taking photos.