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Out of all social media channels, Instagram stands out as the platform where connectivity meets creativity and endless possibilities. With over 1.4 billion Instagram users scrolling through captivating content daily, the platform has become not just a playground of visually appealing share-worthy images and videos, but also the ideal space for those looking to turn their passion into profit.
Content creators, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and influencers who have already discovered how to monetize their content on this social channel, know too well that building a successful Instagram empire isn’t just about accumulating followers; it’s about strategically navigating the platform’s features and understanding the art of monetization.
If you want to learn how to do the same, this guide will prove handy as it lists all the different ways you can maximize your earning potential on Instagram. Let’s unravel the strategies and tactics that will transform your Instagram presence into a thriving source of income.
How to Make Money on Instagram: 10 Best Ways to Consider
Making money on Instagram is simpler than you think. Yes, there are some eligibility requirements that you need to be aware of to unlock all of Instagram’s monetization options e.g. your follower count, but you should not let that limit you in any way.
If you have to run a side hustle and earn more money on top of your full-time income though, it is the ideal option for you. Even with as little as 1,000 followers, there are many monetization methods you can try out and invest more in as you grow.
Instagram monetization is possible by having a Creator or Business account, and features two main types:
So let’s explore these options in more detail.
1. Create Sponsored Content
Collaborating with brands to create sponsored or ‘branded content’ is a lucrative avenue for Instagram monetization – one of the most popular ones as well. Also known as ‘influencer marketing’ – this monetization strategy allows you to promote a selected brand’s product, service, or campaign and often gives you access to free merchandise.
To make it happen, choose to form partnerships that align with your niche and resonate with your target audience. When sharing content on your Instagram account (either through tutorials, giveaways, or unboxings), make sure to disclose sponsored posts to maintain trust amongst your Instagram followers.
Instagram also requires such disclosure, and you can offer it in many ways:
Before you agree and sign any contract with a brand, negotiate fair compensation based on your reach – number of followers, and engagement rates (2.5% < is ideal). Influencers’ rates vary and you may earn up to $100 per post if you have 10,000 followers (for micro-influencers), or over $10,000 if you have 1 million followers.
Crafting and curating captivating content that seamlessly integrates the company’s message into your personal brand is crucial. Doing so will ensure that your paid collaborations as an Instagram influencer add value to both your loyal followers and partnering brands.
💁🏻 Don’t know where to start? Check the eligibility requirements and join Instagram Creator Marketplace to explore brand deals or get discovered by brands.
2. Join an Affiliate Program
There is the option to monetize your Instagram creator account by joining affiliate programs relevant to your content and audience. Getting started as an affiliate is easy and you will only have to follow these three simple steps:
Your earnings as an affiliate will vary depending on the niche you are targeting, the type of product you are promoting as well as its price, and the profit margin of your affiliate partners. However, most affiliate earnings have a percentage between 5 and 25.
On your Instagram posts, also disclose affiliate links transparently to let your audience know which brands you are affiliated with and create high-quality content that encourages clicks. Whether you’re a travel blogger endorsing travel gear or a make-up artist and influencer recommending beauty products, affiliate marketing will allow you to earn a commission for each sale generated through your unique links.
To find affiliate opportunities you can join, check out Amazon Associates, and go through these top high-paying affiliate programs and networks. Alternatively, if you are interested in a specific brand, do a quick Google search: [product name] + become an affiliate, and check the availability there.
3. Sell Online Courses
As a course creator – teacher, coach, mentor, or consultant, you can leverage your expertise and Instagram’s expansive reach to market and sell your online courses or training programs. Promote your courses through posts, and Instagram stories, and utilize them for teasers and educational snippets.
You can also feature your products to boost visibility through Q&A sessions and live interactions with your audience. Or create short reels that showcase your course content, and can get people interested in what you have to offer.
The key to success here is to provide valuable content that addresses the needs of your Instagram followers. Begin by offering free access to one of your courses and then as you gradually expand your Instagram user base and products, encourage your followers to buy your paid courses.
Building a community around your online courses, positions you as an authority in the field you teach and enhances not only your brand’s visibility but also your earning potential.
💁🏻 Check out these 11 Great Social Media Content Ideas for Course Creators
4. Offer Paid Subscriptions
Generate income on Instagram by offering exclusive content through subscriptions. Provide your subscribers with behind-the-scenes access, tutorials, or personalized shoutouts. You can do this by utilizing Instagram’s subscription features or directing followers to an external platform for payment.
As a fine artist, for example, you can offer unique art creation videos to monthly subscribers. You can do the same as a fitness instructor while sharing gated content like video tutorials with your subscribers, or offer a customers-only membership as a life coach.
This way you will be boosting a sense of community and exclusivity and creating a group of loyal followers. In time, more and more people will want to become part of it, regardless of the subscriber fee, which can be anywhere between $0.99 to $99.99.
To be able to use Instagram Subscriptions, you need to enable them first. These become available once you have achieved the following:
You will know once you are eligible for Subscriptions when you see the option to ‘Set up Subscriptions’ for your account in your professional dashboard.
5. Enable Instagram Shop
Setting up an Instagram Shop is a powerful way to showcase and sell your own products or your business directly through the platform. Social commerce is on the rise with the potential to increase up to $80 billion by 2025, so why not seize the opportunity to build your online shop when your target audience is already on Instagram?
Once you comply with the platform’s eligibility commerce requirements, start using Shopping tags in your posts to guide followers to your products. Also, make sure to share high-quality images and engaging captions for effective product promotion.
You can leverage Instagram’s shopping features in Stories for a dynamic and immersive shopping experience. Don’t forget to regularly update your shop with new products, and use Instagram’s insights to better understand your audience’s preferences. Optimizing your shop for maximum engagement will result in more conversions.
6. Set up Your E-commerce Store
Unlock the potential of direct sales by setting up your e-commerce store on Instagram. This is different from the previous option since you can leverage the platform to showcase and sell your digital products (e.g. templates, photos, PDFs, audio files, etc.) or physical products, seamlessly, while directing your followers to an external platform for checkouts.
If you already have an online store e.g. on Shopify, you can connect it to your Instagram profile using a tool like Linktree. This link-in-bio solution allows you to create a personalized and customizable Instagram page that provides links to the most important web pages you want your audience to visit.
With the ability to link your products to your bio, you can turn your Instagram profile into a virtual storefront – even promoting your products or merch and reaching more potential customers. The fewer steps your followers need to take to buy from you the better, so providing a convenient shopping experience right from their feed is a must.
7. Create Video Ad Placements
Monetize your Instagram presence by incorporating video ad placements into your content strategy. With the rise of video content on the platform, businesses today are more eager than ever to advertise their products and services through engaging videos.
This means that you may choose to collaborate with brands and create sponsored video content that seamlessly integrates into your profile. By aligning video ads with your content style, you can provide value to your audience and at the same time generate revenue through sponsored partnerships.
On Instagram, there are 4 types of video content you can monetize:
Businesses may ask you to promote their products through any type of video and you will be able to generate profits through the number of views you get on your content. This is calculated on a CPM basis (cost per thousand), so the higher the views, the higher the earnings.
The best way to approach brands that want to collaborate with you is by reaching out to them and presenting a detailed proposal on their potential gains.
8. Go Live to Earn Badges
Engaging with your audience through livestreams on Instagram can open up additional monetization opportunities. Instagram introduced the ability for viewers to purchase badges during live videos or broadcasts as a way to support their favorite creators, the same way TikTok has with its tip-based monetization feature.
Fans can purchase badges of different monetary values ($0.99, $1.99, and $4.99), providing a direct and immediate way for content creators to earn money during their live sessions.
By delivering compelling and interactive live content, you not only entertain your audience but also create a direct revenue stream through badge purchases, fostering a stronger connection and engagement with your fan base.
This feature is available only in the US, but it is invitation-only for other countries like the UK, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, and Germany. You also need to have at least 10,000 followers to start earning badges.
9. Become a Brand Ambassador
Becoming a brand ambassador will have you creating sponsored content for brands, but not necessarily working with them as an affiliate. There are a few subtle differences here as joining a brand ambassador program can give you more advantages through a mutually beneficial partnership while being the brand’s spokesperson.
As a brand ambassador, you will choose to align yourself with companies and products you genuinely believe in and your values agree with, and talk positively about them with your followers.
So you may have a few collaborations going on at the same time, but promotions will be only on selected products you regularly use, and promise long-term collaborations, instead of one-off arrangements.
Building a strong and authentic relationship with such brands can result in a consistent income stream while maintaining trust and credibility with your audience. Your followers will gradually associate the brand with your face, lifestyle, and personality – the same way Nike is associated with Michael Jordan.
10. Share Reels and Get Gifts
If you haven’t used Instagram Reels yet, it’s time to do so because they allow you to easily turn your creativity into tangible rewards. As the platform embraces short-form video content, your engaging and entertaining reels can captivate audiences and open doors to receiving Gifts that are purchased by Instagram users through a Stars balance.
Your followers, appreciating your unique content, can express their admiration through these virtual gifts – a feature increasingly popular especially in the US. These gifts not only serve as a form of recognition but also contribute to your earnings, as users can purchase Stars for $0.99 to $5.99 to buy gifts directly from the Instagram app.
To start receiving gifts, first, you need to agree with these Instagram Gifts Creator terms.
For now, this Instagram feature is available only to specific regions, and as a creator, you will need to give a portion of your earnings to Instagram.
To receive earnings you will need a payout account. Learn more about Instagram payouts here.
Get Ready to Make Money on Instagram
So there you have it; a list of every available monetization option on Instagram.
As you can see, many roads lead to successful Instagram monetization, and with the right Instagram marketing approach, you can make the most of each one.
Go over the options discussed here, choose what works for you, and make sure to use all the monetization tools provided by Instagram to help you get started. You can also dive into more social media marketing practices to guide you through your journey.
Harness the power of sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and collaborations with brands, while maintaining your authenticity and engaging with your audience!
If you are interested in selling online courses via Instagram, you know where to begin. Get your free 30-day trial with LearnWorlds today!
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Can you make money on Instagram?
Yes, it is possible to make money on Instagram through various ways including sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, selling products or services, and more. Many influencers, businesses, and individuals use Instagram as a platform to generate income.
Q2. How many followers do you need on Instagram to make money?
A nano-influencer with just 1,000 followers can make money on Instagram. However, the number of followers is just one factor in determining your earning potential on Instagram. While having a larger following generally opens up more opportunities, engagement rate, affiliate commission rates, and niche relevance are also crucial.
Q3. How much does Instagram pay for a post?
Instagram itself does not pay users for posts. Instead, users make money through collaborations with brands, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, selling products, or other monetization strategies. Rates can range from a few dollars for micro-influencers to thousands of dollars or more for influencers with a large and engaged following in a popular niche.
Q4. How much do Instagram influencers make?
Many factors affect how much money influencers make such as niche popularity and number of followers. However, their earning potential can be categorized into five tiers based on their follower count:
Q5. How to make money on Instagram as a beginner?
As a beginner, set up your profile to a Creator or Business account and start building your Instagram following while creating high-quality content. When you get your first 1,000 followers, you can start making money through affiliate marketing and selling your products through your online store or business.
Further reading you might find interesting:
Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.