Want to learn how to make money on Instagram? Let us find out how to become an influencer on Instagram and start making money.
How to make money on Instagram
- Decide how you are going to make money on Instagram – You can make money on Instagram by posting sponsored posts, selling affiliated products, or by promoting your own products.
- Plan what you are going to post on Instagram to make money – This includes the deciding the content, an optimum time for posting, and selection of the right hashtags.
- Start posting engaging photos and videos on Instagram, REGULARLY – By posting more frequently, you can boost your reach on Instagram. So, you can get more followers, and start making more money on Instagram.
- Earn the trust of your followers – Put a real face on your business. Make your Instagram account a two-way communication medium. This helps you to build trust among your followers. You can make money on Instagram, only if your followers trust you.
- Repeat – Repeat the process and find new avenues to make more money on Instagram.
What you can post on Instagram to make money
You can post anything that is unique and tells a story. It can be the photos of you trying new clothes or makeup, travel photos, photos of your pet, cars, workout photos, or whatever. The only thing is you need to make sure that your posts are telling a story.
This story can be about,
- Something beautiful – Think of a model posting their photos or travel photos
- An inspiration – Think of a disadvantaged person facing challenges, or inspirational quotes
- Something educational – Think of a girl trying different makeups, DIYs, or someone is giving workout instructions
- Or, even something cute or funny – Think of a day to day activities of an adorable puppy or the memes
The list goes on.
You can literally post anything on Instagram (unless it doesn’t violate their community standards) and make money on Instagram. Below I have added some examples for the above stories.
Update: I just figured out you don’t need a story to be popular on Instagram. Check out this guy @justaconstructionguy on Instagram. He has just posted a few photos of him enjoying the day to day work life. And, he got 400k+ followers within a month. I don’t know how that miracle happens. Maybe something went viral on Facebook about this account.
How much money you can make on Instagram
Well, this is the hardest question to answer. If you already have an Instagram account, you can try this Instagram income calculator from Influencer marketing hub. (Clicking on below will redirect you to their site).
If you need to see how the income potential of other Instagram influencers, try their names using this income calculator too. Below I have tried the @justaconstructionguy’s income potential.
Make money on Instagram by posting #sponsored posts
If you have a good audience, you can make money on Instagram by posting sponsored posts from other businesses and brands.
What is Instagram influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies around. Rather than listening to brand advertisements, people tend to trust the recommendations from other people. And, if this recommendation comes from someone popular or someone they know, it can positively influence their purchasing decision. So, businesses use popular people to promote their brand messages. An old school example for this marketing strategy is the actors and athletes promoting certain products.
But, now people live on social media. So, the businesses are currently searching for people who are popular on social media to promote their brands. That is where you can jump in and make money.
You don’t have to become an actor to be popular on social media. As we have discussed earlier, you can become popular by creating content (telling photo and video stories) on Instagram. When you start creating content, people will start following you. They will embrace and value your ideas. So, you will become a “trend-setter” in this community.
Then, you can leverage your popularity in this community, and make money on Instagram by promoting paid content. This is called influencer marketing on Instagram.
In influencer marketing, you don’t need to sell a product to make money. You only have to create brand awareness to get paid.
The popular influencers who make money on Instagram
The most popular influencers on Instagram are, of course, the celebrities. But, I am going to rule them out in this list to prove that you don’t need to be a celebrity to become an influencer. According to the Influencer marketing hub, here are the top five influencers who are crushing it on Instagram.
But, don’t get overwhelmed by the number of followers that these people have. You don’t need millions of followers to make money on Instagram. It doesn’t matter if you have 100k or 1k followers on Instagram. Still, there are ways to make money on Instagram. We’ll talk about that little later.
For now, just see these accounts and their niches to find some inspirations for your game plan.
1. Huda Kattan – @hudabeauty
Huda is a beauty blogger who is also making money on Instagram as an influencer. She shows makeup trends and reviews using the photos and videos. She is also a businesswoman who has her own line of makeup.
2. Cameron Dallas – @camerondallas
Cameron is a popular internet personality who is mainly operating on YouTube and Vine. On Instagram, he shows the photos of him and his friends enjoying themselves in different settings.
3. Zach King – @zachking
Zach is also an internet personality/ filmmaker. And, similar to Cameron, Zach is more active on YouTube and Vine. But, he has a substantial Instagram followership.
4. Michelle Lewin – @michelle_lewin
Michelle is a fitness model. She promotes workout plans, products, and a variety of ways to stay fit. Her stories made her gain 12.2m Instagram followers.
5. Nash Grier – @nashgrier
Nash started making videos when he was just 15-year old. He has released some mobile games and social media apps. Also, he has his own website to sell merchandises.
I am also adding Doug the Pug @itsdougthepug to this list. This good boy has 2.7m followers and helping his owners to make tons of money on Instagram
How to find brands to work with?
If you are popular to create enough buzz on Instagram, businesses will find you. They will contact you and ask you to promote their products.
But, if you are a “micro influencer,” who likes to start making money on Instagram, you can list yourself in an influencer marketplace to show that you are available to promote brands. These influencer marketplaces work in the other way around too. You can even find the available brands from these marketplaces.
- Fohr Card: Fohr Card is a popular influencer marketplace, where you can connect your social profiles to create an influencer “card.” Here you can also find the brands and reach out to become a partner with them too.
- Influencer marketing hub: This is a popular marketplace for influencer marketing agencies. So, you can find good marketing agencies from the hub, and start working with them to find a good brand to promote.
- Famebit by YouTube: Famebit is meant for the YouTube content creators. Even though you cannot use Famebit for Instagram Influencer marketing, still you can send your proposals, including the link to Instagram account by claiming an additional fee.
- Tribe: Tribe bridges the gap between talent agents and influencers. You can find leading brands and work with them to make money on Instagram.
- Grapevine: You don’t need 100k followers to list yourself on Grapevine. If you have 5000 or more followers, you can list yourself as an influencer in the Grape Vine marketplace and find businesses to work with.
- HyperBrands: Hyperbrands is another popular influencer marketplace with a database of 12 million influencers.
- indaHash: If you have more than 700 followers on Instagram, you can participate in indaHash campaigns. There you have to post a picture with a specific hashtag to make money on Instagram. This can be an excellent opportunity for those who have a smaller amount of audience.
Make money on Instagram by affiliate marketing
Do you know that you can make money on Instagram by affiliate marketing? In affiliate marketing, you don’t need to be a partner with brands. So, it is much easier to start. If you have a large number of followers, you can just start promoting affiliate products and start making commissions for every product you sell.
Unlike the influencer marketing, here you will not get paid for just creating brand awareness. With affiliate marketing, you have to actually make a sale. Usually, you will get a unique promo code or trackable URL to promote affiliated products. When someone uses these promo codes or URLs to make a purchase, the businesses will give you a commission for each sale they make.
By influencing your followers to make a purchase using the affiliated URLs or promo codes, you can make money on Instagram. How cool is that?
Where can you find affiliate marketing programs to make money on Instagram?
There are several ways to find affiliate programs to have affiliate links. Here I have added a few examples of the popular affiliate marketing programs that you can join and start making money on Instagram.
- Amazon’s Affiliate Program: Amazon Associates program is one of the most popular affiliate programs out there. It is free to join, and you can promote their products on Instagram. Usually, you can make around a 10% commission for each sale you make.
- ClickBank: Click bank offers another great affiliate platform with a tier-based commission system. They have a large number of lifestyle products that you can promote and make money.
- Shareasale: Shareasale is another popular affiliate marketing network with products across many categories.
- RewardStyle: Rewardstyle is a fashion and lifestyle influencer network, where you can get in touch with premium brands.
- Max Bounty: Max bounty offers a large number of affiliate campaigns over a variety of domains. And, if you make $1000 for three consecutive months, they offer a $1000 bonus.
- eBay partner network: eBay also offers an affiliate program, where you can find a suitable product and make money by promoting it on Instagram.
Related: Best affiliate programs for bloggers
Adding promo codes and trackable URLs to your Instagram stories
One drawback of using Instagram for affiliate marketing is, you cannot add URLs directly to your stories. But, currently, Instagram is on beta testing to add this feature. So, the influencers will be able to tag their affiliated links directly, and businesses can sell their products on Instagram.
But, until this feature is released to the public, the only place to add a URL on Instagram is on your bio section. If you need to add just one affiliate link, okay you can add that on your bio, and ask your followers to find the link from the bio. But, if you are going to add multiple affiliate links, the best way is to have another website (a blog) to post those affiliate links and use the blog’s link on your bio.
Tip: Adding a long URL on Instagram bio will make it looks ugly. Consider using a URL shortener.
If you have promo codes, this won’t be a hassle for you. You can just add them as text on the images or in the description. Check this example below.
Make money on Instagram by selling your own products
As you can see, most of the popular influencers end up starting their personal product lines to sell and make money on Instagram. So, let us see how you can start your own business and promote that on Instagram.
Starting an online business is not a complicated task anymore. The only overwhelming part of starting an online business is finding the customers to sell your products. But, if you are popular on Instagram, you have a potential target audience right at your fingertips. So, you can promote your own products on Instagram and make money.
How to start an online store
If you need to sell your own products on Instagram and make money, you have to start an online store. But, don’t worry; starting an online business has never been so easy. Now, there are several (and awesome) business tools and services that you can use to start an online store from scratch.
Starting an online store is a whole new process, which we cannot discuss inside this article. So, check this article How to start an online store to learn everything right.
What you can sell in your online store
Wow, there are thousands of possibilities. For example, I have listed some guides for amazing business ideas that you can use to get inspired.
- Start selling jewelry online: You can start selling jewelry on your online store and promote that among your Instagram followers. You can use fulfillment services like dropshipping to ease your process of product sourcing and shipping.
- Sell makeup online: Makeup is one of the best product categories that you can sell on Instagram. You can use white label products to have your own branded makeup line. Psst… Do you want to know a secret? Most of the popular influencer’s product lines are made with white label products.
- Sell t-shirts online: A lot of online personalities start an online t-shirt business on the side to make money. It is super easy and less risky. You can even use print-on-demand services to have your own designs and brandings on the t-shirts that you sell on Instagram to make money.
How to get more followers on Instagram to make money
Rather than just start posting photos or videos on Instagram, let us plan a little bit to get a step ahead. After all, you are not just another teenager on Insta, you are working on to make money on Instagram.
Decide what you are going to post on Instagram
You can decide this by yourself. You can either be yourself or fake it. I guess most of the micro-influencers fake it (no offense). I mean, it is a good thing, right? There is a saying that you should “Fake it till you make it.”
So, think carefully and select a niche that you can live with. As we have discussed in the beginning, if you love working out, become a workout influencer. If you are funny, make people laugh on Instagram to make money. If you love traveling, become a travel guy on Instagram. Even the sky is not the limit.
But, before you choose a niche, think whether you can do it consistently. The only secret for gaining a lot of followers on Instagram is consistency. So, you need to choose a niche that you can post at least three times a day (in the beginning) to start making money on Instagram soon.
Select the optimum time for posting on Instagram
With Instagram, you can usually reach a global audience. So, you need to pick the right time to post on Instagram carefully. According to the Hubspot,
- Posting at 5:00 AM CDT from Tuesday to Friday generates the highest engagement.
- Posting from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM CDT during the weekdays also generates a lot of engagement.
- If you want to post on the weekends, post on Saturday around 11:00 AM CDT when people eat brunch or hang out with their friends.
Selecting the right hashtags to post on Instagram
Our goal is to make money on Instagram. So, to make money on Instagram, we need more followers. To get more followers, we need to reach the right audience for our content.
So, to reach the right audience, you need to use the right hashtags. According to the top hashtags, here are the top 20 hashtags on Instagram. Similarly, go and visit the tophashtags.com and find out the right hashtags on Instagram for your niche.
When you select the hashtags, do not only focus on popular hashtags. Try to mix it, and add low-competition hashtags together with popular (high-competition) hashtags. By adding high-competition hashtags, you can gain higher exposure. And, by adding low-competition hashtags, you can have a better chance to appear higher on search.
Keep posting regularly to get more followers on Instagram
Don’t forget the mantra, “More posts, more followers, make more money on Instagram.”
So, you need to schedule at least three posts per day (this can be a mix of photos, videos, and shares) to boost the number of followers on your Instagram account.
According to the tailwind, you if you double your posting frequency on Instagram over three months, you can gain 20% more post engagement.
How to handle criticism and backslashes when making money on Instagram
Backslashes and criticisms are inevitable in Influencer marketing. As an internet personality, you are reaching a global audience, and a lot of things can go wrong.
You need to select promotional products carefully. Also, you need to think twice or 10-times before posting a controversial post. Internet people can become judgy and get offended easily. One wrong move can destroy your dreams of making money on Instagram.
So, here are a few things that you should consider as an influencer on Instagram.
- Promote the products that you genuinely like. Don’t become greedy and start promoting every crappy product that you can get in touch. Work with the brands that are legit and responsible.
- Stay transparent about the sponsored products. It is always better to add the #sponsered, #paid, or #affiliated hashtags when you are promoting a paid content. In some countries, it is a legal obligation to do so. Even if it is not the case, be transparent with your followers. It won’t harm the authenticity of your content.
- Do not respond to the bullies and trolls. Bullying and trolling on the internet is not a new thing. The best way to answer the bullies and trolls is by not answering them at all. Stay calm and stay silent. Internet arguments can harm your reputation and destroy your dreams of making money on Instagram.
Are you ready to make money on Instagram
Excellent. As we have discussed in this post, first you need to decide how you are going to make money on Instagram. You can try influencer marketing, Affiliate marketing, Selling your own products, or even donations from patrons to make money on Instagram.
Crushing it on Instagram is not an easy task (otherwise everyone will be doing this). You need good quality, engaging content to have more followers. And, make sure to plan your posts for the content, posting time, and the right hashtags to get a maximum reach. Yes, more followers and more engagement boost your chances of making more money on Instagram.
See what other popular Instagram influencers are making money on Instagram to get inspired. Then, build your own story and domain on Instagram.
Who knows, next year this time, you will be making $1000 per Instagram post. I wish you all the best. And, if you found this post helpful to start your dream of making money on Instagram, please share and spread the word.
I wish you all the best.