Gone are the days of Instagram being just another photo sharing app… There are thousands of people making money from Instagram everyday and learning how to make money on Instagram is a lot easier than you think.
Whether its generating a bit of extra income on the side, or it’s a full blown business – with Instagram anyone can make money. As long as they know how.
Have you ever looked at those people making loads of money on Instagram and wished you could do the same? Well now it’s your turn… I’m going to show you how to make money on Instagram using 6 different techniques so you can start earning straight away!
The first step in making money on Instagram is getting an engaged following. There’s no point in having thousands of followers if only 100 of them actually like your stuff. You want followers who are actually going to engage with your posts, give likes and leave comments – people who are actually interested in what you post about!
One way to avoid this majorly is… DON’T BUY FOLLOWERS.
If you do buy them, the majority will be bots who will like and comment as requested but that’s it. There’s no human genuinely interacting with your content… the bot is just a number.
Bots might give you a big boost in followers and make you look super popular but they aren’t going to buy anything or help you make money from Instagram in any way… plus there’s the risk of your account being banned.
So I’d stay away from the bots if I were you…
The key to building an engaged following is visibility – getting your post seen.
The more people see your post, the more likes, comments and follows you will get which is what Instagram is looking for. You also need to think about your audience and make sure that you give them what they want to see. If you post content for a specific topic – don’t suddenly change topic to something completely the opposite because people have followed you to see your original content so keep giving them what they want to see and they’ll carry on being loyal to you!
If you want to learn more about how to boost your engagement, check out our blog post here.
Now… on to the…
6 Ways To Make Money On Instagram
1. Sell products or services
Yep, the social media world actually sells things too! There are even some brands who do all of their selling on Instagram using ‘DM to buy!’.
If you do have a website, or sales page to send customers to buy your product, put the link to the website in your Instagram bio or in the caption of your post and send customers to your sales funnel using a Call To Action (CTA). You’d be surprised at how many people click the link in your bio just because you’ve told them to…
Your Instagram page is basically a huge free advertising space to capture the attention of potential customers… so use it! Post quality content to pull followers in and then tell them to visit your website. Easy peasy.
Quality content combined with the right hashtags will get your stuff seen and attract the right audience. Watch what other brands in the same niche are doing – what sort of content they are posting and what time they are posting. If their method is working for them, give it a try because it’s likely it will work for you too!
If you want a sneaky way to include more links in your bio, check out our blog post here.
Like2Buy and Have2HaveIt are services that create a replica of your Instagram profile which is shoppable! This makes it super easy for people to ‘shop your feed’, simply by browsing your feed through this link. You can also include multiple links throughout your posts. You can ‘tag’ your products in the images so followers can easily click through to your website to buy.
Shopify is a popular service to sell your products online too but it’s more of a ‘full sales package’.
Shopify lets you set up an online store to sell your products as well as organising your products, tracking your orders and accepting payments! What more could you need?
Erm… well what about a product?
If you don’t have any products or services to sell then how can you sell online..?
You can actually still sell stuff on Instagram without having stuff… crazy huh?!
Here’s 2 ways…
1. Sell your Instagram photos
If you’re pretty handy with your camera and post some pretty awesome pictures then this way is easy money. Simply sign up to an image selling site like Shutterstock and become a contributor! Anyone who wants to use your image pays Shutterstock who then pays you.
Other companies which offer this are Foap, 500px and Twenty20.
2. Sell prints of your images
This could be pretty time consuming if you’re printing out your Instagram posts one by one, sitting in your home, waiting for the printer to chuck them out.
But don’t worry about that… there are some pretty awesome ways around it which you’re going to LOVE.
There are websites such as Instaprints which do all the hard work for you. You decide what needs printing and what type of print you want, from canvases, to framed prints and posters and they print and send. Easy peasy! No hard work for you, but money coming into you…
If you fancy something different to an ordinary print of your posts, you can jump onto Viral Style where you can put your design onto tshirts, hats, decor, phone cases and much more. What’s great about this is that you spend NOTHING. Not a penny. You simply design the shirt or whatever you have chosen, and then when it sells, you receive a portion of the funds.
With any of these alternative selling ideas above, remember to use the CTA in your bio to be sending people to your websites to make sales. Don’t forget… if you don’t tell them to click the link, they probably won’t!
2. Paid Shoutouts
There are four different types of shoutout you can take part in to earn money on Instagram. They’re all pretty straightforward and don’t take much work but if you have a big following they can rake in loads!
Let’s start with
1. Caption Shoutouts.
These shoutouts are probably the easiest because it’s as simple as mentioning someone else’s account in the caption of your post. This means that you still get to post your own image as you like, and there isn’t the risk of your account’s feed becoming messy with other people’s posts.
Some people write the account name of the customer several times in the comments to make it really easy to get to that person’s account without searching for the name. Keeping the name at the top of the caption is best because when you’re scrolling Instagram only the top line of the caption will show. So using a name to shoutout at the top of the caption will make sure that anyone who sees your post also sees the one about following the account you’re shouting out – even when they don’t click on your accounts.
2. Caption & Image
The second shoutout is a caption (like above) AND an image associated with it. This is where you have to start being careful…
When arranging shoutouts it’s best to discuss the type of image that is going to be posted to make sure it is still in keeping with your account. The last thing you want is a perfectly themed Insta feed and then one bright image that clashes and stands out a mile!
Next up is…
3. The Bio Shoutout
This one is another super easy one but probably gives better results for the person paying for the shoutout so the price is usually a little higher.
You essentially put a website link of their choice in your bio. That’s it. It usually stays up there for around 24 hours but the time can be negotiated along with the price.
You don’t have to post any shoutouts or mention them – just simply use their link on your profile.
4. Screenshot Shoutout
The screenshot shoutout is an Instagram post which is essentially a screenshot of the customer’s account, posted to your account with a caption. This one can look super messy on your account but the length of time it’s on your account for can be negotiated along with the price.
A variation of this shoutout is now on Instagram Stories feature. I see a lot of shoutout posts actually in the Stories feature and the great thing about this is that you can filter and write all over your posts! This makes it pretty awesome for shoutouts and writing their @ over the picture with a message saying something along the lines of ‘check them out!’
This is a win win for everyone!
Content creators/bloggers are basically creating content like normal but using products from companies in a collaboration.
The individual receives items to produce content with and the company gets the exposure. Some of these collaborations can be paid in addition to receiving a free product but some collaborations just provide the products.
The type of collaboration you get involved with depends if you want the items that the company is providing or if you want the exposure. The exposure is given to you when the brand reposts your picture on their Instagram. Generally most collaborations involve this… and it’s pretty awesome if they have thousands more followers than you because you’ll probably get a few follows and likes from it!
Collaborators can also be known as influencers. This is because they’re seen as someone who is recognised and trusted within their niche. Their posts influence people… They have built a personal brand and an online reputation.
If you have a big and engaged audience you can make thousands… Selena Gomez is currently the highest paid Instagram influencer with a price of $550,000 per promotional post.
Crazy I know, right?!
I mean, to earn that kind of money you’d have to have millions of followers and probably be a celebrity… But don’t let that stop you. Studies have shown that the average price for a promotional post with an influencer is $300.
Some brands will just approach you when they notice your page with a decent following and engagement and will propose a collaboration. Buuuuut if you’re too impatient to wait for them to notice you, try joining an influencer directory or contact brands directly to express interest.
4) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is more about generating sales for a brand in exchange for a commission… the more paying customers you send their way, the more commission you get.
This is usually tracked through a link or a personalised promotional code provided by the brand. The brand can then track how many sales they have made through your advertising on your profile and then work out how much you get paid.
The easiest way to get involved in affiliate programmes is to join affiliate networks such as Awin and RewardStyle. These act as a middle man between you and brands, advertising affiliate programs and assisting with the signing up and payment for you.
Through these programs you’ll be given a personalised link for each brand you work with which is used to advertise for the brand. Each time your link is clicked and that person goes all the way through the sales process on the brand’s website and makes a purchase, you will earn money.
Pretty awesome, right?
Loadssss of different niches offer affiliate programs, it’s not just the generic beauty, clothing and food.
The only downside with using affiliate marketing on Instagram is that Instagram only allows you to advertise one link at a time in your bio. You also can’t include links in captions of posts so you can only have one link posted on your profile at once.
Now, this can be worked around to an extent by using Instagram stories to do a bit of the ol’ promo for you. Upload a post, link your affiliate URL and tell your followers to swipe up.
Although a story post only lasts 24 hours, it’s an effective way to promote more than one brand at once by adding a link and telling your followers to ‘Swipe up’ to access it.
Promo codes on the other hand are much easier to advertise. A promo code is a personalised code such as KAREN10 which you tell your followers to use to get discount at that brand’s website. So because these aren’t links you can easily write them anywhere on your page – in captions, in your bio, on your story… and no link is needed!
Pro Tip – If you’re using an affiliate link in your bio, use bit.ly to shorten the link so it doesn’t look like spam as well as covering a big chunk of your bio.
5) Flipping Accounts
Yep, you read that right.
Just like flipping houses, flipping Instagram accounts can actually make you a fair chunk of dollar dollar bills y’all.
There are people out there in the world of Instagram who build Instagram accounts and when they reach a certain following, sell them for a profit.
Now for those who find growing accounts super hard, this probably isn’t the right method for you right now… but once you’ve learned and mastered the skill of growing a highly engaged Instagram page, this is an easy win.
When that time comes, and you’re ready to sell your first page, make sure you do your research so you don’t end up with no Instagram account and no payment for it.
A top tip is to not use Paypal directly to transfer the sales funds, but use Escrow.com (or something similar) as these will act as the middle man and make sure you get paid. They will receive the money from the buyer, then make the transfer, then send the money to you. Simple and safe.
I mean, obviously, the choice of how you pay for the account is entirely up to you, and whilst it’s recommended to use a ‘middleman’ site, you don’t have to.
But where do you sell an Instagram account?
Well… I’m glad you asked.
And don’t worry about getting banned or being blacklisted or whatever… Instagram is completely fine with transferring accounts, according to its Terms of Service, so if you’ve built up a pretty decent following and want to pass it on… go ahead!
6) Instagram Consulting
If you’re pretty hot on Instagram and you have a pretty big following and are getting a good percentage of your following liking your posts each time, then this could be perfect for you.
You’ve cracked it. You know what makes Instagram tick. You’ve got your head around the mysterious algorithm and shadow ban. So use that knowledge to not only grow your own account, but grow others too… at a cost!
Before you start, do your research. Look at other Instagram consultants and the type of services they’re offering to clients. Look at the price they charge and look at their results.
Use all of that as a basis for setting yourself up as a consultant and think of it as healthy competition! Everyone needs a bit of that, don’t they?
Consulting can cover a wide variety of actions from account growth to a certain figure, to creating content for the account or merely providing advice in the form of a weekly telephone call.
Find what suits you and then market it to your target audience.
Simple as that.
Is That EVERYTHING On How To Make Money On Instagram?
So I’ve listed 6 ways which you can make money on Instagram and whether you have 200 followers or 200k followers, you can still make money and be successful. Some of the ways I listed above will work better with a bigger audience, but for some you just need a highly engaged audience. 200 genuine engaged followers is loads better than 100k fake followers who don’t engage.
It might also matter what niche you’re in – some niches require a much bigger following, whilst others might just look for engagement.
But in every case, the more engaged followers you have, the better.
You could have a million followers and only make $5… or you could have 12,000 followers and make thousands. I know which I would rather have…!
So now it’s up to you… use the methods above and go make some dollar dollar bills y’all…