It’s possible to not only make money on Instagram but to even turn this into the biggest asset for your business.
Of course, every item on the list below means you’ll first need to build a following and then monetize it in a way you find best for your strategic goals. But once you have an audience, you attract even more people. And what’s more, they are all more engaged than on any other platform online.
Some individuals and businesses are making a fortune solely on Instagram, but it’s taken them some trial and error to get there.
So, let’s find your best option to cash in on this social media channel:
How to Make Money on Instagram
1. Affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is an option for almost anyone that has control over a platform online. With it, you simply redirect people to another person’s products or services and earn a commission for each sale.
Just like you can do this with your blog by writing reviews or linking to products from your sidebar, and with your email newsletter where you can encourage subscribers to give something a try, you can also use social media to promote an affiliate URL.
Michelle from MakingSenseofCents.com, for example, earns over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing. She shares all of her best tips in her course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (that’s an affiliate link right here as I too enrolled in the course to understand the basics of affiliate marketing).
Here’s my detailed review of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing where I share what’s in the course, how it’s helped me and more about Michelle and her business.
With Instagram, that can happen mainly by making the link in your bio point to an affiliate page. Then growing your audience with the hope that many followers will be clicking on it.
But to make the most out of the visual side of Instagram, post beautiful images or even image quotes depending on the type of product or service you promote. Use the description to encourage people to click the link in your bio.
Of course, you’ll need to be targeting the right people. Those that are interested in the niche and the products you’re trying to sell. Also, you’ll have to be making the most of the hashtags related to this field.
2. Sponsored content.
Next, you can make money on Instagram by publishing sponsored posts.
Once you have a big following that’s engaged, you can start mentioning other products, brands or Instagram accounts.
That shouldn’t be aggressive, though, as users can easily feel when you’re getting too promotional and will quickly unfollow you. So make sure you keep your posting schedule consistent and stick to your overall strategy, but begin publishing a sponsored post every now and then and let it blend into your feed.
For example, some popular Instagram accounts who publish inspiring quotes and motivational content often repost someone else’s post. Or even publish a screenshot of another profile, and use the caption or description to mention it so that people can follow it directly.
This way the other person’s content and account get exposure and you get paid for that.
And if that doesn’t sound lucrative enough to you, let’s think in numbers. With a big enough following, some Instagrammers are charging hundreds or even thousands of dollars for posting a single picture with a mention of a brand or a product on it.
Read also: How This Fashion Blogger Makes Money on Instagram
3. Sell your stuff.
That’s an obvious one, but worth mentioning.
Make money on Instagram by using all the content you post on your account to motivate people to click the link in your bio, where they’ll be presented with your best offer.
That can be your latest book (here’s my guide on how to write and publish your first book in less than 30 days), your membership site, your store on Etsy, your business services, or else.
In this case, your goal will be one: to turn more followers into customers.
Of course, you can also link to your blog or podcast, but here we’re talking about direct ways to monetize Instagram.
If you’re wondering how to start a blog, I created a step-by-step guide on how to start a profitable blog.
4. License your photos.
You don’t need to be a photographer, but if you’re making great pictures anyways, you might as well get paid to do that.
Many businesses or individuals can’t create their own photos but are looking for inspiring images to go together with their content. If you’re a travel enthusiast, for instance, or a foodie who loves to plate your food like a pro, let your Instagram account be the place to put all that inspiration online.
Add a watermark to each photo and use the caption, description and link in bio to let people know where they can buy the photos.
There are actually 2 great marketplaces where you can put your Instagram photos up for sale. That’s Foap and Twenty20.
5. Sell your account.
A less popular, but highly lucrative option is to invest resources to grow an account and then sell it. That’s not against the rules, of course, and is for people who aren’t promoting their own business or brand, and who are simply doing it for the money.
It’s similar to flipping sites.
You can use ViralAccounts – a platform for selling and buying viral social media accounts.
So, I think these ways to make money on Instagram are enough to get you started and let you create your strategy and start building your following.
Here’s an infographic with some more information on how to monetize Instagram: