Florida couple creates second income sharing restaurant reviews on social media
ORLANDO, Fla. - Stephanie and Jesus Machado got married in March 2020 – so close to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, that there was no honeymoon.
But it didn’t matter because when the world shut down, Stephanie began sharing snippets of her Mickey Mouse wedding on social media using the handle: @datingindisney. Very quickly, she developed a loyal fanbase. The Machados then started posting tips for fun dates at Disney and beyond.
"It would be, ‘How a couple can eat at Disney World for under $50,’ ‘The five best burgers on Disney property,’ ‘The best ice cream in Orlando,’ things like that," recalls Stephanie.
Their follower count kept creeping up.
"They started to take an interest in me as a human being," says Stephanie.
They took an interest in their grocery shopping too.
"Costco! People love Costco. So my husband and I will go to Costco on our Saturday errands, and we will share the samples that we eat around Costco. People are fascinated by this. Millions of views," she says with a smile.
The hobby grew steadily with daily video posts on Instagram, YouTube, and her most successful platform, TikTok, where she has nearly 200,000 followers as of May 2023.
"We really care about what we're doing, and we're passionate about food," says Stephanie.
Because of that, brands and companies have taken notice, and the gig has turned profitable. Stephanie and Jesus dine for dollars in some cases.
"You have to share when you're being sponsored or that's a paid video or a paid ad. You have to disclose that. That's like the FTC guidelines," she adds.
Stephanie says despite getting paid in some cases for certain videos, her content style is still the same after the agreed-upon fee.
"It's different than a commercial because it's exactly what I would have said anyway," Stephanie tells us.
Stephanie does have a full-time job as a marketing manager for a tech company. The datingindisney Instagram account is simply additional income. How much income?
"I won't say how much I'm making doing this. There are often times stipulations in these contracts where you can't share what you're making. It's an up-and-down thing," says Stephanie.
We did some digging to get an idea of the payoff. It ranges drastically – and it all comes down to followers. The more you have, the more money you can make. Some earn as much as $34,000 a month. We found a TikTok creator with the same amount of fans as Stephanie who earns between $350 and $600 per sponsored post. Other content creators can make about $20 each time they go live.
Stephanie encourages anyone to try this. She has no culinary background and calls herself a professional eater.
"If you're willing to put yourself out there, that's the hardest part," she advises.
Stephanie even has a suggested starting point.
"Everybody has to eat! So recipe creations, trying new recipes, showing people how to cook easy, affordable recipes. Consistency is key. If you're not consistent, it's much more challenging to make it.
Consistency is no problem for Stephanie and Jesus.
"I don't see an end in sight for me doing this. I have so much fun doing it. It's literally a reason to go on an extra date night," Stephanie says with a small laugh.