Is there money to be made on Instagram? If done right you can definitely make a great online income using the network.
Do you have a popular Instagram and want to monetize it? Looking to start a new Instagram and later move into making some cash? I’m going to take you through all the possible ways step by step.
How do you actually make money on Instagram?
Getting paid for sponsored content on Instagram works for the same reason companies pay for billboards, commercials, celebrity endorsements, paid Facebook ads, and any other form of traditional marketing – you are paying for attention. The reason it works so well (at the right price) is that your message is coming from a trusted source (unlike other online paid ads), engagement and attention is higher (than anything that is obviously an ad), and there is often a clickable call-to-action through the bio link (unlike a commercial or billboard).
If you want to get started as an Instagram influencer, you need to develop a niche and at least 10K engaged followers (although there are many exceptions) before it is relevant to think about. If you have a smaller following, do not worry! You may not be able to make money on Instagram, but you can take this same approach to get free or discounted or products within your niche – often before the products are publicly available. Reach out to brands you like, test out their products and services, provide value to them, build the relationship, and they may become a client in the future.
How much can you make on Instagram?
Through my market research and firsthand experience, the online standard has settled at approximately $10 per CPM (cost per thousand impressions). It is typically assumed that only 10% of followers see any given post. That means that if you have 50K followers, you will have 5K impressions (50K x 10%) – or be paid $1 per 1K followers – and make a total of $50 per post. However, these rates are more for raw numbers of followers. Popular influencers with online communities that put their name and reputation behind something can charge a premium for it.
I have experienced a wide range, but the average influencer with a blog and/or any sort of loyal following makes 10x this amount per post. It’s the same ~$10 CPM, but without the 10% adjustment. Therefore, you can expect to make $500 for a post if you have 50K followers. This is the reason that accounts with 1 million followers can easily make $10,000 for posting one picture on Instagram. Influencers can earn even more if it is part of a brand building campaign and they are a valued endorsement.
If you are part of a larger campaign, or sponsored post network (see below), the rates are usually a little lower. You can expect to earn a $2 – $5 CPM (or $100 – $250 per post if you have approximately 50K followers).
Sponsored post networks for Instagram
There are lots of online marketplaces and apps where content creators can connect to brands to make money on Instagram.
Find The Best Way to earn Money through Instagram
1. Affiliate Marketing
Many companies have an affiliate program that you can sign up for and promote to your community. This is the easiest, as it is typically self-service. However, this usually is one of the least lucrative ways to make money on Instagram. I only recommend affiliate marketing on Instagram if you were going to recommend the product anyway, have a massive/engaged following with a good affiliate deal that you are willing to advertise in your bio, it is an expensive product that pays a really good commission. There are also many large affiliate marketing networks you can sign up for, such as Amazon or ShareSale.
2. Promote Your Own Products
Product promotion is huge on Instagram because of its visual nature. If you are a retailer with your own product lines this is common sense. But it works for any business from hospitality to digital downloads.
3. Use the Right hashtags
Using hashtags is good, but using the right hashtags is the difference between being an Instagram user and an Instagram entrepreneur. And if you are looking to make money fast on Instagram, then this is one of the most important answers. Are you promoting shoes? Then use a service like Iconosquare or Websta to come up with a list of trending hashtags to use in your posts:
This is a really easy way to tap into the conversation. Put your ear to the hashtag scene and it will tell you ways to make money through hot topics. Making your hashtags count is key to learning how to make money quickly by grouping ideas, concepts, and trends.
4. Partner Up
If you aren’t a social media “influencer” yourself, you always have the option of seeking out someone who is and asking them to help you with your mission. For a fee, they can promote your products, or join you in promoting the same campaign. You’ll quickly learn how to make money just by riding the wave they have already generated. There are a number of dramatic success stories featuring brands that enlisted influencers to help with their marketing.
5. Be a Brand Ambassador
If you have managed to accumulate a massive following already, then you can put this kind of attention to work for you. Reach out to the marketing department at a company you are interested in or whose products you already use, and offer to be their brand ambassador. If you’re lucky they may come to you. If not, try Instabrand, Buzzoole, or Snapfluence to get connected. This option has a HUGE payoff if you can make it happen.
6. Engage Competitors’ Followers
The follower of your competitor is your potential follower. And chances are, you have at least one competitor who knows how to make money on Instagram, so you’d do well to follow them too just to see what they are doing. You can learn how to make money by the successes or failures of others in the same market. Use a tool like JustUnfollow to search for your competitor’s account by name. It will give you a list of their followers so that you can follow them and like or comment on their photos.
7. Join a Sponsored Post Program
This one is a bit like the affiliate program except that it isn’t up to you to generate the traffic. The program will figure out how to make money, and you just post the content. Just download an app like Takumi and you can start sharing sponsored posts. The only catch here is that you have to have at least 1,000 followers. That may not be possible if you’ve just starting using the platform, but if you stick with a strategy you’ll be there in no time.
8. Sell Your Photos
Are your Instagram photos top-notch? Selling photography on a marketplace like Foap is a common tactic used by Instagrammers to make money fast. All you have to do is join and start sharing your photos so that companies can pay for their use. All photos go for $10 but Foap takes half. Still, that isn’t bad.
Bonus: Sell Your Instagram Account
Maybe you’ve already made it to the big leagues. You’re rich or famous or both, and you have decided to go off the grid. Hey, whatever floats your boat—but you might as well make the most of it by selling your Instagram account. If you want help doing this, services like Fame swap and Viral accounts can help you through the process.