With over a billion active monthly users on Instagram, ways to make money on Instagram is a hot topic. There is so much content online that the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming. Not to worry, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to! Here is an overview of the most popular methods using practical steps, links and tips you can put to work today and start seeing results tomorrow.

Instagram influencers fall into three categories:
1. Micro-influencers. Accounts with less than 10,000 followers.
2. Middle-tier influencers. Accounts with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers.
3. Top-tier influencers. Accounts with over 100,000 followers. 

If you’re wondering if you need 100K+ followers to get started, the answer is no. It actually depends on several factors ranging from your target niche to the loyalty and engagement of your followers. Without further ado, here are some tried and tested ways to make money on Instragram in 2020…

Work as an Influencer to Post Content Sponsored by Brands
Influencers tend to have engaged, loyal audiences who follow their content and view them as trusted experts on certain subjects. Many brands can’t compete and it’s become increasingly popular to partner with influencers on sponsored posts, to help get the word out about their products. 

Pick a Niche – Be Honest and Objective
This is business, now is the time to step back and be strategic. 

Ask yourself the following questions:
1. What type of posts do I specialize in? e.g. – pets, fashion, makeovers, beauty routines.
2. Do you use humor in your content? Or are you more personal, inspirational?
3. Who are your followers and what do they like about your posts? Consider age, demographic, and how they engage.

Now look at the business you want to team up with, does it match? Will their content fit in with yours? Will it add value to your account, and will your followers appreciate the links? 

Finding a Brand to Partner With
If your account is what a brand is looking for, chances are they will reach out to you. However, if there are brands you like, you can contact them directly. Be professional, and tell them what you have to offer. You can also join one of the many influencer marketplaces whose purpose is to connect businesses with influencers. Here are a few worth checking out: 

  • Upfluence  
  • Open Influence  
  • TapInfluence  

Once you’ve partnered with a brand, you will be required to create and post content that highlights and mentions their service or product.  Remember to respect your audience and your partnership; add a #hashtag to indicate sponsored posts (i.e. #Sponsored #Ad). Instagram also has a “Paid Partnership with” tag that can be added to your posts and some brands will require you to use it if you partner up with them.

Tip: You can calculate your engagement rate (total engagement divided by your number of followers) or move to a business account and use Instagram Analytics. 

Become an Affiliate Marketer Selling Other People’s Products
Affiliate marketing is huge and involves signing up with a brand and promoting their service or product in return for a commission. Affiliate links are trackable to ensure that followers who click on them and purchase can be traced back to your Instagram account, and you receive a commission on the sale.  Also, don’t forget to make full use of the copy in your post’s caption and add relevant #hashtags and affiliate details.

Before you can start, you need to sign up for an affiliate marketing program. Two popular affiliate marketplaces are: 

  • Amazon Associates 
  • ShareASale 

Once you’ve chosen a product, you can promote it in several ways:  

  1. Put a link in your bio – When you create a post to promote the product, you can feedback to your bio so users can click on the link. You can also add links directly to your Instagram Stories.  
  2. Promo Codes – There are affiliate programs that offer promo codes instead of links. You can display these as text overlays on the image of your post or within the caption. 

Tip: Affiliate links can be long and look unappealing, so use a URL Shortener like bit.ly 

Sell Your Products Online
With e-commerce platforms out there, such as Shopify, and print-on-demand service Printful to minimize the workload, it’s never been easier to sell online. Instagram also provides its own shopping-focused features: Explore tab, product tags, shoppable posts, shoppable Stories, and Instagram Checkout.

The next thing to do is to build hype, but you got this! Traditional ways include creating stunning graphics, compelling visuals, adding humor and yes lots of #hashtags. You can also create a catalog of your products and use Instagram posts or Stories to showcase them

Sell Your Photos
Instagram is a photo-sharing app, and probably the reason you set up your account in the first place. So it makes sense that it’s become the perfect platform to sell photos. This is the same as selling other products, so make sure you’re using the relevant #hashtags and list all the details in your photo captions.

Tip: Since you’re selling your photos, you may want to add watermarks.

To increase sales, you can use services like Printful and Teelaunch that paste your photos onto merchandise. They also take care of managing the orders and provide customer service, which is helpful if you’ve never sold before.  Additionally, we suggest you start conversations with photography agencies and join a marketplace where publishers will license your photos for you, so you can sell them online. 

These are some worth checking out: 

  • Twenty20  
  • Community Foap  
  • 500px 

Balance Your Passion with Your Work
Whichever path you choose, keep in mind this is your brand and you’ve invested in it! It’s a business and a passion, which is a great way to spend your time and make money!

If you’re serious about making money, consider extending your reach by linking your Instagram account to your other social media channels. If you haven’t already, you can create your own website and blog.

For inspiration and a fun look at top celebrity influencers check out our story:
These Celebrity Influencers Make A Fortune Off A Single Instagram Post. Who Gets Paid The Most?

Media Buying & Content Ideation Team

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