As of 2022, Instagram was the second most downloaded app in the world. For most users, Instagram offers a means to showcase their creativity using photos and videos, as well as stay in touch with friends and family.
If you’re someone who spends a considerable amount of time on Instagram, you’re probably wondering: “How do I make money with Instagram?” After all, plenty of influencers on the platform seem to be making big bucks in a variety of ways.
The more followers you have, even as a casual user, the more likely this is to work. As such, if you’ve cultivated a decent following already, it can be a legitimate avenue to expand on and work toward earning yourself a second stream of income.
In this guide, you’ll not only learn how to earn money with Instagram, but also how users of the platform get paid. This insight can guide your efforts, and give you an idea of how viable this opportunity might be for you in practice before you get started.
Instagram offers a plethora of ways for users to make money, and while some methods are fairly common, others are less known, which means they offer even greater earning potential. It’s also worth pointing out that different strategies work for different people, based on their availability, goals, brand persona, and the followers they attract.
Furthermore, several income-earning opportunities on Instagram require you to have a professional account. So, if you’re trying to figure out how to make money off Instagram, you should consider all the different options to find the one(s) that work best for you, especially where you’re already at in your Instagram journey.
With that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s explore the top ways of how to make money from Instagram:
One of the most obvious and common ways for users to earn from Instagram is through sponsored posts. In fact, this is the primary method that top earners on the platform – like Christiano Ronaldo and Kylie Jenner – employ to rake in the big bucks they earn from this platform. Considering the fact that these top Instagrammers make upwards of a million dollars for every sponsored post, it’s not hard to see why this method is one of the most lucrative ways to earn money on the platform.
However, it’s not an entry-level opportunity, so you need to make sure you’re on the right path and cultivate the right approach toward this profitability. Likewise, be sure to note that these are exceptionally well-off examples – most influencers make far less, with even mega influencers expecting closer to $10,000 per post at the height of their game.
So, how do you get paid from Instagram by making sponsored posts?
To earn money from sponsored posts, you have to be an influencer, which means being considered an authority or trusted voice in your industry. Influencers typically have the power to shape the opinions of their audiences about certain subjects, products, or brands, thus “influencing” the decisions they make.
As an Instagram influencer, you’ll typically work with companies looking to promote their brands or products through social media advertising – often combined other strategies like email marketing and content marketing. With that said, you not only need to have a sizable audience to be a successful Instagram influencer, but also be able to consistently engage your audience with your content.
Partnering with a company as an influencer essentially makes you an endorser or ambassador of its brand or products. This is something that has serious implications and should not be taken lightly. If the brand you’ve partnered with runs into issues, you risk having your name tarnished, which can damage your credibility and cost you followers and money. For this reason, it’s highly crucial to pick the right brands to work with. Ideally, you should only endorse or sponsor products or services that you use in real life and can comfortably vouch for.
The past couple of years have seen the growth of affiliate marketing into one of the biggest online money-making ventures in the world. Unlike influencers, affiliate marketers are more invested in the brands and products they promote, and typically earn commissions from the sales of the products they market. They usually do this through trackable affiliate links, which, when clicked, translate to sales.
As of 2022, Instagram was the leading social media platform for influencer marketing. At this point, you’re probably wondering, “how do you get paid on Instagram through affiliate marketing?” The process is rather straightforward, actually. All you need to do is populate your Instagram bio and stories with clickable links, which your followers can tap on to find the products you’re marketing. When they make a purchase through your link, you’ll automatically earn a commission from the sale.
To get started with affiliate marketing on Instagram, you need to reach out to one of the numerous online merchants that offer affiliate programs. Luckily, most companies have some type of affiliate program that you can sign up for, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Alternatively, you can sign up for one of the top affiliate marketing networks – like Clickbank, PartnerStack, Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and CJ Affiliate.
So far, the strategies we’ve covered on how to get paid by Instagram involve working with other companies or brands. However, you don’t necessarily have to promote other people’s products to make a good income on the social network. If you’re more inclined toward running your own enterprise, opening an e-commerce store might be an attractive prospect for you.
Setting up your own Instagram store not only allows you to develop your own brand and sell your products, but also lets you get all the proceeds from the sales you generate. Another perk is that you get to exercise complete control over your marketing strategy, without being tethered to another brand and its future or decisions.
The good news is, setting up an online store is easier than ever before. There are plenty of third-party sites – like Shopify – which you can use to create an e-commerce store within minutes.
However, if you’re looking to earn a reasonable amount of money from Instagram through an online store, it’s important to choose a product that aligns with your niche. For instance, if your niche on Instagram is health and fitness, you should sell products that are related to this lifestyle. Alternatively, you can opt to sell digital merchandise pertaining to your areas of interest, such as ebooks and online courses.
Whichever the case, always ensure that you include a link to your e-commerce store in your Instagram bio, and tag posts about it with relevant hashtags. This will ensure your followers and target audience can find and purchase your products.
At its core, Instagram is primarily a photo-sharing app. So, if you’re asking yourself, “how do I make money from Instagram with my photos?” then you’re not alone. Fortunately, monetizing your photographs on Instagram is not only possible, but also pretty easy to do for the modern user.
One of the methods you can employ to earn from your photographs on Instagram is to list them on stock photo marketplaces. Good options include Twenty20, 500px, and the Ingram Group. Many brands are willing to pay good money for quality photographs to use on their websites and social media, without the hassle or extra cost of hiring a private photographer.
Alternatively, you can print the images out and sell them as designs for merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases. In this situation, Instagram works as an advertising platform for your work, a portfolio, and another sale point.
If you’ve already spent time growing your Instagram account and are starting to enjoy consistent engagement, you can start earning through in-stream video ads.
Unlike sponsored ads that appear in your stories, in-stream video ads allow you to promote brands or products within your video streams exclusively. Based on Instagram’s in-stream video ads policy, the amount you earn will depend on the number of views your video gets.
Instagram typically pays you 55% of the revenue generated from each view, which can cumulate into a lot of money if more people view your videos. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to earn money Instagram using in-stream video ads:
- Open the Instagram App
- Go to Account Settings
- Select Creator
- Tap In-Stream Video Ads
- Go to Get Started
- Carefully read through the Terms and Conditions of the service
- Tap Allow Monetization on your existing Instagram videos
- Click Continue to complete the process
It’s important to bear in mind that your content has to be entirely original in order to earn from this service. This means you need to have the rights to the music and any film being shared. Additionally, remember that in-stream video ads monetization only applies to videos that are two minutes long or more.
Another great way to earn money on Instagram through your video content is via live badges. Borrowing inspiration from other popular video-sharing platforms, like Twitch and TikTok, the new “Live Badges” feature allows you to earn tips during your live video broadcasts on Instagram.
This happens when your viewers purchase badges during your live stream, which are displayed in the comments. Purchasing a badge also gives viewers extra perks, like a coveted spot on the Creator’s badge list. Your viewers can buy live badges as follows:
- One heart – $0.99
- Two hearts – $1.99
- Three hearts – $4.99
If you’re already enjoying wide-reaching success as a coach or consultant, you may be interested in sharing your services, giving advice, or working in a dual-capacity as a standard coach and an Instagram coach. This career approach works similarly to an influencer, with greater focus on insights, advice, or personal coaching over brand suggestions or tutorials. Considering the massive lifestyle advice niche on Instagram, this is a prime slot to work yourself into.
Now that you have an idea of the various ways you can make money through Instagram, the big question that’s likely ringing in your mind is: “just how many followers do you need to do so?”
While followers do play a crucial role in the process, it’s easy to think that you can achieve the highest ranks just with enough followers on their own. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
While top influencers on Instagram have hundreds of millions of followers and certainly make millions of dollars, it’s possible to earn good revenue from Instagram with as little as a couple thousand. That’s because there are greater factors that determine your earning potential on the platform – equally or more than the number of followers you have. These include:
- Niche – Popular niches – like fashion, beauty, fitness, and food – tend to draw a lot of attention and traffic, which makes them highly profitable if you can pair them with relevant and quality products or advice.
- Engagement – The amount of engagement you receive on your Instagram directly correlates with your earnings. If your content draws a lot of engagement, you’re likely to earn decent revenue from it, even if your follower count is still reasonably modest.
- Revenue Channels – Your earnings on Instagram will vary depending on the method you’re using to generate revenue. For best results, it’s recommended that you combine several of the earning methods discussed above to maximize your earning potential, regardless of the number of followers you have.
How does Instagram pay you as an influencer?
Instagram influencers are paid anywhere from tens of dollars to millions per post. The exact amount that an influencer earns depends on several factors, including the number of followers they have, the engagement they receive on their content, and the marketing strategies they employ.
How do you make money on Instagram easily?
While making money on Instagram is no get-rich-quick scheme, it’s still far easier to do when compared to other methods. If you’re eager to discover how Instagram can pay you or how to make money with Instagram as soon as possible, start by:
- Building a solid content strategy
- Making quality content consistently to keep your followers engaged
- Promoting your account as much as you can
By observing these steps, you can build a decent following quickly and organically, thus expanding your pool of potential customers or money-making viewers.
How does Instagram make money?
Instagram, just like its parent company Meta, makes the largest chunk of its revenues from selling ads. Individuals and brands alike can pay money to have their Instagram posts or stories strategically placed to offer maximum visibility.
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