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Want to Make Money On Instagram? Here are The Secrets

Do you ever wonder how, people use Instagram and make money from it, read on to know how they do it so successfully

With this guide, you will not only learn how to make money on Instagram, but how to significantly scale your online presence, too. To exemplify this, we’ve selected the ten most profitable examples to help walk you through each step of the way.

How many followers do you need to make money on Instagram?

In most cases, making money on Instagram is dependent on the number of followers you have. For instance, you will need at least 1,000 followers to begin earning money through Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager. That said, if you want to open an Instagram Shop, your follower count is less critical to earning potential.

A second factor to making money on Instagram is your social media engagement. To calculate your engagement rate, take the number of likes and comments per post and divide it by your number of followers. Ideally, you want to have a 3% engagement rate to appeal to brands for sponsorship. Companies prefer you have a highly active audience rather than a large following that’s either stale or inactive, so prioritize building an engaged community. Engaging with your audience and posting high-quality content is what will grow your Instagram followers over time.

How to make money on Instagram

  1. Partner with a brand
  2. Get paid by Instagram as a Creator
  3. Open an Instagram Shop
  4. Become an affiliate
  5. Drive traffic to your website
  6. Offer Instagram marketing services
  7. Sell photos, illustrations or digital files
  8. Offer exclusive content
  9. Drop-ship products
  10. Create an Instagram feature account

01. Partner with a brand

One of the most promising ways to make money on Instagram is by becoming an influencer, micro influencer or nano influencer. As any of these types of influencers, you will be compensated with gifts or money in exchange for creating and sharing engaging content around a brand or business.

See the full pricing scale below, published by the Influencer Marketing Hub, showing how much money you can make on Instagram according to type of influencer.

influencer rates with prices that show how to make money on instagram per post

To find brands to work with, you can join varying Influencer Marketplaces, tag the brands you love, or email them directly with an influencer media kit. Think of a media kit as a digital showcase of your work and insights into your audience demographics, follower count, engagement rates and unique value proposition. You can create a media kit using a portfolio website template or make a PDF with Canva and Etsy.

02. Get paid by Instagram as a Creator

Facebook announced that by the end of 2022, they plan to invest over $1 billion in programs that allow creators to earn money for the content they create. One of these programs is the Creator Fund which allows you to monetize your content through IGTV Ads, Instagram Live Badges and Bonuses.

IGTV Ads

IGTV, or Instagram TV, is an excellent place for you to earn revenue from advertisements shown on your videos. You get 55% of the ad revenue generated per IGTV view. However, videos need to be two minutes or more to qualify for IGTV Ads. Keep in mind that the more views you get, the more ad revenue you’ll earn, so make your content entertaining, educational or inspirational.

Take Mike Holston’s @therealtarzann’s account as a good example to follow. He has amassed over six million followers with his exotic wildlife videos. From posting videos of giant snakes and leopards to rare lizards, Mike uses fascinating content to capture our eyes while sharing interesting facts. With an average of over 400,000 views per IGTV video, he has plenty of ad opportunities to make money on Instagram.

To enable IGTV Ads, you need to go to your “Account Settings,” tap “Creator,” then “IGTV Ads.” After that, click on “Get Started” and toggle to “Allow Monetization” on your existing IGTV videos.

the Real Tarazan's IGTV video example of how to make money on instagram via IGTV Ads

Instagram Live Badges

Being a creator on Instagram is not just about the content you publish but also about your relationship with your followers. You should aim to form a strong bond with your followers and give them the content they want to maximize your earnings.

Instagram had this in mind when it created its Live Badges feature, allowing fans to show their support to their favorite creators. Live Badges work like a digital “tip” people can give to Creators during a Livestream. It comes in the shape of a heart and can be bought in packages that sell between $0.99 – $4.99.

To add this feature to your account, go to your “Profile,” click “Professional Dashboard,” tap “Grow Your Business,” and select “Badges.”Once you go Live, click on the “badges” icon on the left side of your screen and turn them on.

Bonuses

Just like the name sounds, Bonuses rewards you financially after hitting certain milestones on Instagram as a creator. If you meet a number of Lives, sign up for IGTV Ads or create a required amount of Instagram Reels, then you’ve reached some of the Bonus Programs’ milestones to collect your reward. But before jumping in, you should know that the Bonus Programs are currently invite-only, so stay tuned for updates on eligibility.

Instagram Bonuses product screenshot that show you can get paid my Instagram for making content

03. Open an Instagram Shop

An Instagram Shop is a lot like running an online store, except it’s all on an app. Their slogan “post, tag, sell” explains how it works. After creating your shop, upload product images, descriptions and prices of your merchandise. Then users can discover your items and check out without ever leaving Instagram.

Take a look at how Wix user Palm & Wild created an Instagram Shop for their elegant art prints. By selling beyond their website, they can reach new users and make money on Instagram. They’ve also kept their website URL palmandwild.com in their Instagram bio to help potential customers learn more about the other products and drive traffic to their website.

Follow these five steps for creating a shop on Instagram:

  1. Convert to a business account.
  2. Connect your Facebook Page.
  3. Upload a product catalog.
  4. Complete account review.
  5. Turn on Shopping.

User Plam and Wild sells art prints on their Instagram shop as a way to make money on Instagram

04. Become an affiliate

Unlike becoming an influencer and getting paid per post, as an affiliate you get paid on commission. The average affiliate commission rate to expect is anywhere between 5% – 30%. Your sales will most often get tracked with a unique promo code or UTM link. On Instagram, affiliate programs often go by the name “Brand Ambassador.” You can either apply to become one on a company’s website or be approached by the brand.

The number of followers you have is not a deciding factor for brands looking to hire affiliates, rather they want to see that you’re a fitting person who connects with their audience.

05. Drive traffic to your website

80 % of people surveyed said Instagram helps them discover and buy new products or services. Evidently, the more people who see your brand on Instagram, the better chance they will buy from your website. To help you make more money online, you can use Instagram indirectly to drive traffic to your website. With the help of all your Instagram visitors, you can boost sales, grow your email marketing list and expand your loyal community of customers.

Case in point, @missyminzi does not use features, like an Instagram Shop, but prompts followers to head to their website where they can buy books, prints or stickers inspired by their seven cute Pomeranian dogs. This strategy for making money on Instagram is about promoting your own unique content and driving people to your website.

missyminiz's Instagram account is a example of selling items on your website. Image shows dogs in a bed with a book

06. Offer Instagram marketing services

Are you skilled in Instagram marketing, caption writing or content creation? If so, you might be suited to take on an Instagram freelancing gig. By consulting other companies on improving their Instagram marketing techniques, you can make a nice profit, charging service fees between $20 – $50 per hour and even $100 for writing captions.

Book more freelance customers and spread the word about your services in your Instagram bio. You can also advertise your services on platforms such as Fivver and Upwork. Plus, consider adding online scheduling to your website so people can book services directly from your site.

To show you how it’s done, let’s look at Instagram Strategist Dot Lung. She’s educated thousands of her followers using Instagram guides, courses and workshops on how users can grow their Instagram presence. She’s also done a great job balancing a professional branded account together with showing her personality. Keep this in mind when creating your own professional brand as an Instagram marketing expert.

Dot Lung is an example how to make money on instagram by teaching people Instagram tips

07. Sell photos, illustrations or digital files

Instagram is all about the visuals, so if you’re a designer, photographer or creative, it’s time to cash in on your talents. You can sell your photos to other businesses, which is very common in the travel industry, or you can sell your own content, such as prints and illustrations.

Moreover, if you have a photography website or online portfolio, think of Instagram as a “storefront window” for your work and use it to get more clients.

Below you can see how the Wix user, Michelle Carlos, promotes her beautiful illustrations for licensing. Her artwork is often published in children’s books, coloring sheets and even printed and sold on tote bags. Also, notice how she’s using strategic hashtags such as #artistsoninstagram to get discovered.

Illustration by Michelle Carlos that you can buy from her

08. Offer your audience exclusive content

Humans are curious creatures with a strong desire to keep learning. This is why online course platforms such as Coursera, Masterclass and Udacity have gained a large customer base. If you’re thinking about creating an online course, Instagram is a wonderful outlet to market it and earn money with each registration.

An average individual course can start at about $100, while longer, more intense courses can cost thousands of dollars. But you don’t only have to limit yourself to earning through this alone. Simple downloadable guides, eBooks, whitepapers or templates can be other lucrative ways to make money on Instagram.

Amie, the creator of @rebellenutrition, has built a seven-figure business while traveling and has dedicated her entire Instagram to it. She also helps others earn a passive income by teaching them how to make their own online course. In one caption, she gives followers a sneak peek of key topics to be discussed in her online course and adds the price and instruction to register. She knows how to show off her value and provides us with an exceptional example of combining a visually appealing feed and diverse social media content.

The rebellnutrition account makes money on Instagram my promoting her online course. Image shows a screenshot of her course

09. Dropship products

When starting a business, a factor that often provides logistical and financial hurdles is inventory. However, you can run a store without ever holding any inventory, thanks to the dropshipping business model.

By starting a Drop-shipping business, you can choose from millions of different suppliers’ products such as T-shirts, books, mugs, and pillows. You’re set free from the hassle of fulfillment and shipping and get to set your own pricing to maximize profits. Once you’re ready to promote your drop-shipping business, create a dedicated Instagram page to showcase your products, advertise your site and increase sales.

Let’s take a glance at Sweet Mana’s skincare line as an example. This Wix user created a drop-shipping business dedicated to handcrafted botanical skincare products that promote relaxation and mindfulness. Sweet Mana’s Instagram is filled with bright product shots together with tropical nature images, allowing you to feel you’re experiencing the product first hand. They’ve likely saved a lot of time and money by not storing inventory and can get products into customers’ hands in a much more efficient and financially beneficial way.

Sweet Mana has a dropshipping business for skincare. Image shows a product for sale

10. Create an Instagram feature account

Instagram feature accounts act as hubs to showcase photos from several different creators within a niche. For instance, a travel page shows images of various top travel bloggers and tags them for credit. Here are countless Instagram feature accounts sorted by topic that you can look at for reference.

But can you make money on Instagram from this type of page? Once you’ve grown your account to a favorable size, you can offer paid spots to users who wish to get featured on your accounts’ feed or Instagram Stories.

Many are willing to invest good money for such prime real estate and exposure. On average, paid spotlight slots can range from $15 to $30 per post. Other Instagram hubs manage follower loops and “like for like” engagement groups and offer VIP paid memberships in them for as high as $20 – $30 per month.

To demonstrate, Underwater Photography Nature’s Instagram page is dedicated to posting water shots and has accumulated over 135,000 followers with an average of 5,000 likes per photo. In their bio, they’ve written, “For features/promo/shoutout use email contact,” and their recent caption says they offer advertising promotions on their popular page.

While this income method doesn’t require you to buy or sell any physical products, you will need to invest a considerable amount of time engaging with accounts, messaging potential customers and continually growing your followers.

Underwater photo shows how to make money on instagram selling paid promotion on a feature account

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