Instagram influencers have become a powerful force in the marketing world.

Instagram has over 500 million users who share more than 95 millions photos everyday. Several celebrities & ordinary people are earning massive income using it, and you can also start earning money from it. If you’re wondering how to earn money on Instagram, then follow this post and share it on Facebook.

It comes as no surprise that brands are now dedicating a substantial percentage of their social media marketing budget to influencer marketing.

So what does that mean for you?

Now is the perfect time to cash in on the growing influencer popularity.

If you’re prepared to put in the effort, time, and commitment, you can easily find yourself in a position where you can start making serious money using your Instagram account. 

Still not sure what to do?

No worries! I’ll guide you through the main ways to cultivate an income through Instagram and carve out a name for yourself where it matters most.

Ready? Let’s begin.


1. Get Real Followers

First thing’s first: how many followers do you have? 15k, 60k, 100k, 500k. You should know from the start that most brands will expect a hefty and loyal following with consistent engagement in order to build a mutually beneficial partnership with you. If you’re lacking in this department, here are a few simple ways you can increase your number of followers and still maintain a professional account. (Note: DO NOT buy followers, it’s the fastest way to get blacklisted)

  • Fill out your bio with appropriate information: This includes your contact information, what your feed is about and where you’re located. Throw in a few keywords and hashtags to ensure you’re easily discoverable by followers interested in your posts. Something like: Millennial fashionista from Los Angeles with a penchant for off-road racing. Business inquiry:
  • Post often: To grow followers, you want to be posting several images every day… but be warned, don’t post all at once or this will actually work against you! If you can’t commit to that many posts, then just make sure you are publishing one quality photo every day. Post when people are using IG the most…find that data here.
  • Take beautiful photos: This leads me to my next point! Make sure your images are of the best quality with attractive (yet understated) retouching. There’s no point posting a lame image, so really take your time to make sure you are producing images of the highest quality. (Check out professional cameras here. Or  use the iPhone 8 plus (or iPhone X) with portrait mode. See examples here.
  • Quality Retouching: Snapseed by Google has been a solid go-to app for quick and elegant retouching of photos without overdoing it. There’s several other options available, simply search the app store. Note that the paid versions are usually worth it. (Download Snapseed from iTunes or Google Play)
  • Use relevant hashtags: It’s unlikely your images are going to get many eyeballs without relevant hashtags. Familiarize yourself with the best ones to use for your focus of interest and make sure you are including them in every single post. Check out for ideas and trending hashtags.
  • Engage with your followers: You cannot expect all interaction to come directly to you. Make time every single day to engage with your followers or anyone involved in your industry by commenting on and liking images. If you communicate with authentic content, people will be drawn to check out your posts and, hopefully, join your loyal rank of followers.

Okay, once you’ve boosted your followers – voilà! Now…time to start making money. 


Next Step:

2.  Create Sponsored Posts (Find Sponsors!)

Instagram users with engaged followers are able to earn extra money by creating original sponsored content for brands. Basically, a piece of sponsored content on Instagram is a photo or video that highlights a product, location or a brand. These posts are accompanied by captions that may include branded hashtags, #ad, @mentions, or links.

Brands don’t typically require a formal brand ambassadorship for creators of sponsored content (like affiliate marketing), but it’s common for them to tap certain influencers for content time-and-time again. Keep in mind, it’s important that any brands or products you promote are a good fit for your own personal image on Instagram.

Show off brands that mean something to you and show your followers how this brand fits into your lifestyle. Here are some sites that make connections:

  • HOLLYFY is the latest machine learning app that aligns the interest of brand advertisers with the opportunities of social media influencers. This web-app is set to apply blockchain for use in media and influencer marketing.
  • TapInfluence is another tool for Instagram creators who are looking for opportunities in sponsored content. You create a profile that describes you and the basics of your content, and brands who are interested in working with you will invite you to their programs.
  • Ifluenz is also an easy tool as you can browse available campaigns created by a variety of brands and directly promote the ones you prefer.


3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is basically when you promote a product and get paid per sale. You’ll see bloggers doing this with sidebar banners promoting their partners (affiliates), or even through specific brand inspired posts. It’s not much different with Instagram.

With Instagram, you post attractive images highlighting their products and drive sales through your affiliate URL (this should be provided by your affiliate).

There are a few companies you can work with in this space. Here are some:

  • Sharesale: Find companies you want to work with, sign up for their affiliate program, get approved then start promoting. In some programs, it’s easier to get approved if you have a blog or website.
  • Stylinity: great for fashion bloggers. When people shop using your link, you’ll get commission.

Put your affiliate URL on your captions or your bio. Try using to shorten and customize your affiliate link OR you can hook up your blog and Instagram profile so that when people purchase through your link, you get a sale.

It really couldn’t be easier. This type of marketing is particularly popular with clothing on Instagram. One example of how it works, is that you can post your “OOTD” (outfit of the day) with the affiliate link sending followers to your full outfit details.

For influencers who love to travel (um, all of us!), you can set up and use affiliate marketing when taking part in reviews for hotels, restaurants and event venues. Simply send followers to book through your link!


4. Sell Your Photos

Why not use Instagram for it sole purpose… to showcase your photography?

If you’re a professional (or amateur but discerning!) photographer, Instagram is a great way to advertise and sell your shots/services to individuals, galleries or ad agencies. Use captions to list selling details in a concise manner.

As always, make sure you have an active presence so the right type of accounts are following you. Use appropriate hashtags (#ProPhotog) to pull people into your feed and get a conversation going with influential photography agencies.

There are a few sites that you can use to list your Instagram photos for sale, including:


5. Promote Your Business, Products Or Services

If you run your own business, then Instagram should hold an integral place in your marketing matrix.

If you sell products, use it to post beautiful images that connect to your website. Here are some helpful ways to promote your products or services:

  • Behind the scenes. “Behind the scenes” images tend to be wildly popular – picture gorgeous handmade soaps being gift wrapped, jewelry being pieced together or delicious cakes straight out of the oven. It’s appealing and adds a certain realness to what you’re doing… and customers love that.
  • Your customers’ photos: Link the User Generated Content to your Instagram account. Get customers to share their images of your products and re-gram (download “Repost for Instagram” app to repost your customers’ photos). This is a proven successful method of selling and would make a useful addition to your marketing. It also benefits if you create your own unique hashtag which can then be used to track shares: it’s a constructive way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. For example, White Castle asks customers to use #MyCrave in their photos. Now when they see them using that hashtag, they can repost (or regram) their photos on the White Castle account. 
  • Infographics + exclusive offers. You can also market your services through Instagram with elegant infographics and exclusive offers. Using Instagram to feature special offers is also a great tool to boost your follower count as it’s an incentive they won’t find anywhere else.

The brilliant thing about using Instagram to promote your business is you can get creative with it. Think outside the box and really use it to your full advantage. 


6. Sell Your Instagram Account

Had enough of Instagram? Ready to move on?

Well, you’ll be happy to know that all your hard work hasn’t gone to waste. You can actually sell your Instagram account if (for whatever reason) you can no longer manage it.

There’s a few sites that help you do this, two of the best:

Now, Get Started!

You now know how to make money using Instagram, it’s time to build your influencer empire. Whatever passion you decide to focus on, be sure to always keep your personal brand in mind and treat what you do as a business. The more you understand what it is that makes you unique, the stronger your message will be to potential collaborators!

Learn more about the Growth of Native Advertising here.


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