Since Facebook bought Instagram, this visual social media has become extremely popular with a database of the incredible number of 1 billion users. In a couple of years, Instagram has evolved from a simple place to share photos and images to your friends to the second most popular social networking site, just after Facebook.
For several and unknown reasons, people love Instagram, maybe it’s because of its simplicity to shares images to their friends?
With no doubts, with these impressive numbers, Instagram is a strong place for marketing. And here comes the good news: if you know how to use it, then Instagram can be a powerful place to make money, even if you are not a famous celebrity with 1 million followers.
Can you really make money on Instagram?
Especially for some old people or for non-tech people, it’s hard to convince them that you can make money on Instagram. Simply because as I’ll explain below, Instagram is just a super popular platform to market your products and services.
And if someone asks if you can make money on Instagram, the answer is yes, you can make serious cash using Instagram.
How to make money on Instagram?
First, you need to have in mind what exactly is Instagram and how it works?
If you use Facebook, you know that this is a social networking site where you can share stories, videos, and images to your friends.
And Instagram is not so much different, basically, Instagram is just a visual social networking site.
Why you need to know this?
Because you must know that the essence of Instagram is not purely to make money, but as said previously, Instagram is a very popular place where you can market your products or services and earn money from it.
So if you want to know how to make money on Instagram, you need to have in mind this: Instagram is just “another” but a powerful place for marketers. And the possibility to make money using Instagram will depend essentially on your ability to sell or monetize your Instagram account with products or services.
So it’s not a simple process of just creating an Instagram account posting beautiful photos and you’ll be paid by someone. Unfortunately, there is a lot of extra work involved.
But… the good news is that if you know how to use this platform properly, there are serious odds to make a nice passive income if you have patience, dedication, and persistence.
Ok, so how to start making money on Instagram?
In a nutshell, there are basically 3 main ways to make money using Instagram:
- Becoming an entrepreneur and sell your own products and services
- Being an affiliate marketer by promoting other people products and earning a commission for it
- Working as an influencer and making money by posting sponsored posts from brands or other entrepreneurs.
That’s right, there are not dozens of creative or funny ways to make money or become rich on Instagram. In this article, I’ll explain how to make money using these 3 methods above, plus a few extra ways to make money and also will explain how many followers you need to make money on Instagram.
1. Being an Influencer and selling Sponsored posts
It’s proven by countless studies that individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations and most are likely to trust and share content and buy products from common people they know instead of brands.
Much probably this is the most difficult way to make make money on Instagram, but at the same time, it can be extremely profitable if you build a big base of loyal followers and if your account has good engagement.
How do sponsored posts works?
Considering that your Instagram account is attractive it’s possible to sell sponsored posts to entrepreneurs and even for big brands that are interested in your profile.
Basically, these entrepreneurs or brands will pay a good amount of money just for publishing a post with an image and links pointing to the product or service that they are promoting.
In essence, it’s the same thing of promoting a post of Facebook or any other place. The difference here is that your goal is to attract sponsors directly to buy posts from you.
How much money can you earn with sponsored posts?
It’s hard, maybe impossible to predict. But you can be paid anywhere from $50 if you are not a famous influence to $50k or more if you are a popular celebrity. In some rare cases, there are celebrities with millions of followers charging over $200,000 for a single sponsored post on Instagram.
Getting paid fortunes for sponsored posts are exceptions that only a few individuals can dream to earn.
You as not being worldwide famous can’t expect to make this huge amount of money, but if you work hard and grow a big base of engaged followers, you can dream about making a few thousand dollars per month with sponsored posts.
2. Selling your own products and services
This is also a very profitable way to make money on Instagram. However, it has one big downside:
You obviously need first to create your own product or service and just after this, you can start promoting it on Instagram.
The good thing is that Instagram is so huge, that you’ll find space for infinity types of products or services to sell using your Instagram account. I’ve seen unimaginable and weird stuff being sold successfully on Instagram.
But for example, if you own an online store that sells electronics, it’s not a good idea to focus exclusively on Instagram to generate sales. Honestly, Instagram can be very powerful and lucrative, but only if you can build a big fan base.
However, being very honest, there are better platforms like Pinterest, depending of what you plan to sell or market online.
3. Promote affiliate programs
Again, depending of your case or intention, promoting affiliate programs can be the best and easiest way to make money using Instagram. But first of all, what is an Affiliate Program?
In a few words, I can describe Affiliate Marketing as the process of promoting products from other people or companies and making a commission when the sale is made.
The great thing about Affiliate Programs is that you have all the benefits of selling your own products, without the disadvantages of it.
Depending of the products or services that you are promoting your commissions will vary from as low as only 5% as much as 75%. As you can see, you’ll not make with the full value of the sale, but consider all the benefits: no customer support, no inventory, no wasting time with complaints from dumb buyers, etc, etc.
Below in the next 2 sections, I’ll give more details about two of the best and most trusted Affiliate Programs to promote and make money through Instagram.
4. How to make money on Instagram with Clickbank
Clickbank is one of the biggest and most popular affiliate programs that you can find online. No matter what your niche is or what you want to sell, you can find on Clickbank.
For this reason, if you asked yourself how to make money on Instagram with Clickbank, you made a good question, simple because Clickbank and Instagram is a good combination to make money online.
If you join ClickBank as an affiliate (it’s free to join), the next step is to find the product you want to promote. Most products on Clickbank are digital products – eBooks, online courses or softwares.
Choose the product you want to promote and pick your affiliate links to promote on your Instagram account.
5. Promoting Amazon Products
Amazon is simply the biggest online store in the world so if on your Instagram account you want to promote some product that is available on Amazon, then it could be a great idea.
The only downside is that commissions will be very small and you’ll need a high volume of sales to make money.
6. Promoting Online Courses
If you are an expert in any field, promoting online courses can be one of the best and most profitable ways to make money on Instagram. Thanks to the huge popularity of Instagram there’s enough space to promote online courses for all niches that you can imagine.
And no, I’m not talking about selling courses with hundreds of pages or videos, even if you are not an expert in your niche is possible to make some money. For example, you can create a mini-course about anything with short tutorials including videos or even with just texts.
The higher the price your charge, harder will be to sell, so, if you are just starting selling your own courses, it’s a good idea to charge low values, something under $100 is great.
7. Promoting your blog
Have you heard about bloggers making a lot of money online? With no doubts, starting your own blog is a great way to make money online. If you have your own blog, there are many ways to make money with it. Inside your blog, you can sell banner ads, online courses or ebooks and much more.
And you can use Instagram to promote it. Surely if you started your own blog, Instagram must be just another traffic source, it’s not a good idea to rely only on a unique source of traffic.
If you want to start a blog and use Instagram, then it could be a great idea to use a platform like Pinterest to complement it.
I make over $5,000 per month blogging and there are some top bloggers making over $50,000/per month with their bloggers, only by creating content and promoting it on sites like Pinterest and Instagram.
So do you want to start making money on Instagram? Then start your own blog now, it’s the best and most reliable way to make money online.
How much money can you make on Instagram?
With no doubts is possible to make a lot of money on Instagram. However, asking how much money you can make on Instagram is the same of asking how much money is possible to earn as an entrepreneur and the exact answer is impossible to say.
Like any other business, you can make barely nothing, in other scenarios you can earn a few thousand dollars per month. And finally, in the best scenario, you can make five or six figures per month.
Or if you are a worldwide famous celebrity you can make millions of dollars per year with Instagram.
What you need to make money on Instagram?
Unfortunately making money on Instagram is not a simple task and to get real results it can take months and even a few years.
You can’t simply create your Instagram profile, write a cute description, upload a couple of beautiful photos and all is done to make fortunes with Instagram. Maybe in the best scenario doing this, you can impress your close friends and attract a dozen curious people…
Basically, there are two important elements to start making money on Instagram:
1. Reach and Influence
One question for you, why do you think that business or brands will pay money to post on your Instagram account?
For the simple reason to get exposure to your audience and they hope to make money promoting their services or brand to your followers.
It’s simple to understand: sponsors will pay money to post on your Instagram simply to market their products and make a return if your followers buy something.
And what will happens if you only have a small number of followers?
Having a small number of followers is a problem because if you try to promote something or one sponsor pay for a post, only a limited number of followers will see the post, making it very difficult or impossible to generate sales.
That’s why it’s extremely essential to have at least a few thousand followers on your Instagram account.
2. Tons of engaged followers
Having a huge base of followers is just the first crucial step to make money on Instagram. But more important than just having thousands and thousands of followers is having engaged followers.
Imagine that you have an account with 10,000 followers but when you post something you get a very low count of likes, shares, and comments. In this case, it means that people just are not caring about anything from your posts.
So the point is is that you must have a lot of followers, the more you have better. But even more important is the engagement level of your Instagram followers.
In many cases is better having an account with a lower amount of followers, but with a high rate of engagement.
Engagement means that people are liking the content you are posting and in the end, they’ll be more lifely to buy what you have to offer and the chances of getting sponsored posts are much higher.
How many followers are necessary to make money on Instagram?
As said previously engagement is more important than just having a huge number of followers that don’t engage with your content.
But I can definitely say that to start making some significant amount of money you’ll need at least 2,000 to 10,000 engaged followers. Surely depending of how you are monetizing your account you can make money even with 1,000 followers.
Extra tips to make money on Instagram
Now the cold truth, getting a big base of engaged followers on Instagram takes time. So it’s essential that you follow some basic tips:
- Post a link to your product on your bio: you should know that on Instagram is not allowed to post links directly on your posts (that’s why I prefer Pinterest), that being said it’s VERY important that you strategically write a great bio with a link pointing to your product.
As a real-life example of what I’m telling; Foundr is offering to download a free issue of their digital magazine:
As you can see, there are emojis pointing to their bio links. And this link is pointing to a landing page that is capturing user’s email to eventually in the future promote their products and also provide value to their users.
And you should do the same if you want to make money on Instagram or by promoting Clickbank products through Instagram.
Your bio is the most powerful part of Instagram where you can promote your products, capture email from your followers, etc.
2. Posting frequently is extremely necessary to keep your followers engaged: there’s no other way to keep your followers engaged. Posting frequently good and useful content is the only way to make your Instagram account grow and keep your audience engaged.
Are you posting only once per week? Sorry, if you want to build a massive base of followers you need to post new useful content every single day.
According to Tailwind, there’s a real relation between your Instagram growth and how frequently you are posting.
So here’s the cold truth: Do you want to make money on Instagram by promoting Clickbank products, selling your own products or just by getting sponsored ads?
You must be very active in publishing new posts VERY frequently, basically every single day. There’s absolutely no other way.
Real-life examples of people making money on Instagram
There are unimaginable ways to make money on Instagram. One curious and interesting story is about a teenager called Theresa Nguyen. She shares videos about her homemade slimes on her Instagram account that gets hundreds of thousands of views.
As you can see she published almost 500 posts (mainly videos) about her creating slimes and she has over 900,000 followers.
How she makes money?
If you check her bio, there’s a link where she sells slimes.
An interesting fact is that she makes over $3,000/month selling slimes. It’s not courses, tutorials, clothes or other common things.
Instagram with no doubts is a powerful platform to make money after Facebook is probably the most popular social networking site. And if you know how to use it, then Instagram can be a great marketing channel to earn money by promoting your products or services.