With the rise of social media and influencer marketing, more creators are asking how to monetize Instagram.
Instagram has over 1.4 billion active users, which makes it an excellent platform to monetize.
Thing is, there are many different ways you can go about monetizing your Instagram account, which makes choosing the right way for your brand or niche more difficult than it should be.
With my expertise and testing on social media, I’ve assembled a complete guide that should have your Instagram account monetized as soon as possible.
Disclosure: This content has a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).
Instagram monetization is a way of generating money using your Instagram account. This can be due to having a large number of followers, which allows you to promote products and services for money.
You can also use your Instagram account to sell your own products or add affiliate links from other brands and companies.
It might sound simple, get an Instagram account, and start monetizing it, but there are a lot of things that you need to do before you can start making money on Instagram.
Prerequisites to Monetizing Instagram
This is never going to be a simple task. It takes more than just a catchy Instagram name, quirky description, and posting photos to make money on Instagram.
It might work well to impress your personal circle, but it takes a lot of hard work and patience to monetize your Instagram account.
Here’s what you’ll need to make money on Instagram:
The question you need to ask yourself is why would businesses be willing to pay an Instagram user, like you, money for sponsored content. They would do so to gain exposure and access to your audience, in the hopes of selling their products to them.
Starting out, you probably don't have a ton of Instagram followers yet. This means you'll unlikely be able to drive sales for your own or a brand’s products through sponsored posts.
How many Instagram followers do you need to make money on Instagram?
You need to grow your follower count, organically, to at least a few thousand Instagram followers to be able to have an impact.
You should measure the performance of your Instagram posts using HashtagsForLikes. Their analytics feature, based on open data and AI technologies, can help you discover what works best.
You can easily identify the top-performing Instagram posts and hashtags in your niche and use them to grow your followers and reach.
But reach, alone, isn’t enough. To generate sales, you need to be able to create and share compelling Instagram posts, Stories, Reels, etc.
You can use tools like ProWritingAid to help. Your followers have to take actions based on your product recommendations.
Thus, having a reach and an influence over the purchasing power of your fanbase is critical. Here’s what an Instagram sales funnel looks like:
Having a sizeable follower count, mathematically, increase your chances of appearing in the feeds of more users.
But what’s the point of that if your Instagram followers don’t engage with you or your content?
The trick to increasing engagement is to create content that solves certain content needs for your audience.
And how can you measure that? Not by the number of followers you have, but by the number of people liking, commenting on, and sharing your posts.
If you have engaged followers, brands will be more willing to invest in you to drive their profits through sponsored content.
Just take a look at Jenna Farmer. She has a relatively small audience of around 4,900 followers.
Yet, she still managed to garner 151 likes and 15 comments on this post promoting Tyne Cheese. That’s a very respectable engagement rate of 4.2% (approx).
Now, we’ve covered the most basic requirements that you’ll need to meet to monetize Instagram.
But what can you do to actually achieve that social reach, earn that influence, and attain high engagement?
Hashtags are a great way to improve the discoverability and reach of your content. While Instagram allows you to use a maximum of 30 hashtags, I personally recommend using 10-15 for the maximum effect.
However, when creating sponsored posts, it’s crucial to get your hashtags right to ensure that they can create the maximum effect.
But, how can you find the right hashtags?
There are multiple hashtag generator tools out there that can do the groundwork for you. Based on your niche, they can send you a list of the most popular hashtags.
The problem is there are many tools for hashtag generation. And not all of them are genuine. If you are new to the field, you may struggle to filter out the wheat from the chaff.
To save you some time, I’ve got a recommendation for you:
This AI-powered hashtag research tool can help you get in-depth insights into each hashtag so that you can figure out if it’s worth using it. All you need to do is enter the hashtag, and the tool will do the work for you.
But that’s not all…
The tool can also find the right hashtags for your Instagram page and bio. Just enter your Instagram handle and the tool will find the best hashtags for your Instagram Stories, posts, etc.
Remember, though, you shouldn’t be using any random hashtags. Try using ones that are relevant to your posts and will help you reach out to bigger audiences.
Feel free to get creative and witty with your hashtags, as well. The Brothers Buoy sure knows how to do this right as you can see in the post below:
Regardless of whether you’re a business or an individual trying to monetize Instagram, you need to post wisely.
Your profile bio is valuable real estate on your Instagram page and you can leverage it to pitch to first-time visitors.
I’d advise that you have a simple, crisp, and perhaps quirky, bio. Showcase your creativity and what value you might add to them.
Let's take a look at Luvvie for inspiration. Her bio is catchy, visually appealing, and establishes her brand's credibility.
To nurture any relationship, you need to interact with each other on a regular basis. The same principle extends to your presence on Instagram.
In order to make money on Instagram, you need to post content and engage your followers on a regular basis. It helps to set up a fixed posting schedule. One that aligns with the times your audience is most likely to be on the tool.
According to Tailwind, there is a positive correlation between the frequency of posting and engagement rates. Not only that, but the more you post on Instagram, the faster your audience will also grow.
Take this to a whole new level by regularly interacting with your followers in the comment section of each post. This will go a long way to show your followers that you genuinely care and appreciate them.
Jenn, here, is a great example of that.
Pro Tip: Leverage Instagram analytics tools to keep track of your follower growth and engagement rate.
One of the most important things you need to do to monetize Instagram is to improve your content quality.
There are plenty of content creators out there vying for the attention of your target audience. Standing out in this sea, then, is more than a task.
Always use high-quality images and never repeat your product pitches. Base your captions on your actual experiences with brand products to come off as genuine and more engaging.
Additionally, you should strongly consider leveraging video content in the form of Instagram Stories or even on IGTV to stand out.
Take a page out of Colin McCarthy’s playbook and rake in those engagements by leveraging video content.
As a user who’s only starting to monetize Instagram, quality content and compelling captions will only get you so far.
An important element of growing your reach and influence is cultivating relationships with other content creators from your niche.
You can get in touch with them and ask them for a shoutout on one of their posts. Or you can actively engage with them and their followers on their posts.
Better yet, you can collaborate with them to create content together.
Humble The Poet and Lilly Singh (@iisuperwomanii) are known for their collaborative content.
In addition to this, you can also run giveaways and contests with influencers to boost your visibility.
Want some awesome Instagram giveaway ideas?
Here are some different ideas you can experiment with:
- Ask your followers to tag their friends in the comments section.
- Encourage your followers to like and share your posts.
- Ask your followers to upload a photo of your products.
We’ve covered what you need and some pro tips that will help you monetize your Instagram account.
Finally, let’s talk about some of the different methods you can use to actually make money on Instagram.
One of the easiest ways to monetize Instagram is by becoming an affiliate marketer on the platform.
Essentially, you work as a brand ambassador for certain products that you use and believe in.
Your audience may find it helpful if you share a link or discount code with them for the products you’re promoting on your page.
As an affiliate marketer, whenever someone buys a product using your custom link, you get a certain percentage of the revenue generated.
But, how can you create an affiliate marketing campaign?
To create an affiliate marketing campaign from scratch, I recommend using ShareASale. This comprehensive tool makes the entire process of affiliate marketing simple.
You can create campaigns for social media, apps, and websites using this tool and can start off with just a few clicks.
The best part about this platform is that it helps you track the progress of your campaign, too, so that you can figure out how it’s performing.
Here’s a good example of what that looks like:
Cassie Andrew pairs a high-quality image with a compelling copy. Note how she’s incentivizing people to buy using a special discount code.
Once you achieve “influencer” status, be it as a micro or macro-influencer, you could leverage your influence to promote brands.
Once you have established your thought-leadership in your niche, you can monetize Instagram for a profit.
Oftentimes, brands partner with influencers for sponsored posts that help spread the word about their offerings.
Typically, such posts revolve around the product itself, with a small review from yourself. It’s important that such sponsored posts should blend in with your other content so as to not seem overly promotional.
For instance, if you’re a plus-sized apparel influencer, then you want to be working with brands that promote body positivity.
That’s why Gabi, here, often partners with brands like Premme because they align with her personal values.
Building on the above premise, you can always do for yourself what you would otherwise do for brands in order to make money on Instagram.
If you have a strong personal brand and aren’t too keen on promoting other companies on your page, you could always market your own products via Instagram Shopping and even create your own online store.
The top real estate firm, VIP Realty, does a great job of promoting their real estate listings on social media.
They share posts with virtual home tours to entice potential home buyers. This way, they can generate solid leads from social media and monetize their accounts.
As long as you have an ardent fan following, you can easily monetize Instagram this way.
Design and sell your own products like clothing, books, merchandise, cosmetics, etc.
As long as the items relate to your niche and resonate with your audience, you can use Instagram Shopping and your own online store to sell them.
Cartoonist, Nekoma, has done well for herself by starting her own store and then leveraging Instagram to promote it. She promotes her art, comics, and plushies by sharing related content on the platform.
People follow you on Instagram for a reason.
They love your content and are looking to learn from you. So, why not teach them how to be like you?
There’s a huge pay-off in creating informational products to market on Instagram.
Zach Rocheleau, for one, uses the platform to teach his followers how to make a healthier version of their favorite junk food.
You can use your Instagram account and knowledge to sell informational ebooks or offer personal training and classes to your followers.
Product placements have been around since the dawn of video advertisements. And there’s no reason why you can’t do the same to monetize Instagram.
Basically, you create a video that features you using a product and then earn some money for advertising it.
Explainer videos, DIYs, testimonials, or even quirky shorts are a good way to go about producing such videos.
Here’s an example on Linustech’s Instagram account.
They created a Reel promoting Roborockglobal’s Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra robovac and even offered a giveaway if users liked the Reel, followed both accounts on Instagram, and tagged a friend.
It’s no secret that once you become an influencer and build a decent-sized following, you might find some questions regarding your niche posted in the comments section.
These questions might be how-tos or whys, but the fact is that your followers consider you knowledgeable in your niche and would like your help.
Plenty of startups and want-to-be influencers seek guidance from people with experience in the field and if you’ve got it, why not use it?
You can consult industries regarding your niche, or if you have a rather large following, you could consult in influencer marketing and social media.
Chidera Peters is an excellent example.
Chidera Peters is passionate about education, technology, and community growth. She’s skilled in marketing, content creation, and design.
She used this knowledge and passion to create The Community For International Students (thecpcommunity) on Instagram.
Thecpcommunity is an Instagram account that is designed to help international students who want to study in the UK.
Posts like this help students from foreign countries. This post is about part-time jobs that international students can do in the UK to earn some extra money whilst studying abroad.
She’s also started an online website called Edtech that focuses on offering information about technology and education.
7. Create an Online Course
There’s been a massive shift in mindset towards online courses and degrees in the last decade, with more people turning towards it as a solution to further their education.
Over 6 million Americans are currently pursuing some form of education online.
To create a course, you first need to be a professional in the subject and need to have a decent amount of followers on Instagram who would be interested.
From there, you could take the content you’ve created and compile it into a course online.
Include things like seminars, webinars, and training to create a packaged course worth your customers’ time and money.
The best part about an online course is that once it’s done and set up, you don’t have to do much. These online courses can be an excellent source of passive income.
David Perrel’s online writing course, “Write of Passage,” is an excellent example of an influencer taking their knowledge and converting it into an online class.
In 2020, Instagram introduced live badges to help content creators who live stream earn extra money.
A badge is essentially a tip. Users on Instagram watching the live stream can purchase a badge and gift it to their favorite streamers.
Badges are currently only available in a handful of countries listed here. You also need to be over 18 and have a creator or business account on Instagram to be eligible.
Before 2022, Instagram only offered in-stream video ads, but as the content consumption of users changed, Instagram also made some changes to its platform.
With Instagram Reels at the forefront, Instagram created a new ad-revenue sharing system for Reels and removed the pre- and post-ad monetization options. Reels will be able to be monetized with an ad placed before or after the Reel.
Meta is also testing overlay ads which are currently being used on Facebook but should soon make their way to Instagram Reels as well.
Instagram is pushing Reels as the main way to consume video content on Instagram as its format is very similar to TikTok.
To be eligible, you need to be at least 18-years-old and have a creator account on Instagram.
Q1. How long does it take to monetize an Instagram account?
A. There’s no clear answer on how long it can take to monetize an Instagram account.
However, you’d definitely need a few months to develop a loyal fan following on the platform. You’d also have to consistently post content during this period to ensure that the followers engage with your posts too.
Q2. How does monetization work on Instagram?
A. Monetization works in a lot of different ways on Instagram. You can:
– Get paid to promote products or services
– Promote your products and services to generate sales
Both of these things could be done through posts, Stories, Reels, IGTV videos, etc.
Q3. How much money do 100k Instagram followers make?
A. On average, Instagram influencers with 100k followers typically charge about $250-500 per sponsored post.
However, a lot of factors such as the engagement rate and niche can play a role in determining how much money you can make on Instagram.
Q4. Do Instagram users get paid?
A. While Instagram itself doesn’t pay anything to its users, those with large fan-followings might get brands to pay them.
If you’ve developed a dedicated follower base on the platform in a particular niche, brands may get in touch with you to promote their products or services. You can charge them for the same.
Q5. Can you make money on Instagram with 1000 followers?
A. Yes, it’s very much possible to monetize Instagram with 1000 followers. You can become a nano-influencer in your niche and get some brands to partner with you if your followers are highly engaged.
However, most brands might work with you by providing free products or services instead of money.
Q6. How many followers do you need to make money on Instagram or monetize an Instagram account?
A. You can make money on Instagram with a minimum of 1000 followers. You can then become a nano-influencer and might get some attention from brands.
However, you may not be able to demand much in fees. Once you’ve got about 10K followers, you’ll be better placed to monetize Instagram. The key here is to have a high engagement rate.
Q7. How many followers do you need on Instagram to get a blue tick?
A. To get a blue tick and become a verified Instagram account, you’ll need a minimum of 10,000 followers.
However, this alone doesn’t guarantee a blue tick. Instagram is very picky and only gives the blue tick to some.
Q8. How to monetize videos on Instagram?
A. You can monetize videos by:
– Mentioning brands in your videos
– Reviewing products or services in the videos
– Creating how-to videos about products or services
– Running video ads to drive traffic to your website to generate sales
Q9. Does Instagram pay its creators?
A. Yes. In 2020, Instagram announced that they would start sharing revenue with creators on IGTV ads.
Previously, however, creators could only get paid by brands they partnered with or make money from selling their products.
Q10. When should I monetize my Instagram?
A. It would be best to monetize Instagram when your engagement rate and follower count fit in with your posts and niche's quality.
These days, brands care about how engaged your audience is and how much influence you have over their buying decisions. They want to know that you can help them create brand awareness and boost conversions.
You should also be an expert in their niche or one related to what the brand offers.
Q11. Who is the highest-paid Instagrammer?
A. Dwayne Johnson. According to a recent study, he earns $1,015,000 per post on Instagram.
Q12. How much does Instagram pay you for 1 million followers?
A. Instagram does not pay you. But you can get paid by brands you work with or share in revenue with Instagram on IGTV ads.
Payment from these brands also depends on your engagement rates, type of posts, effort it takes to create content, kind of partnership, etc.
Q13. Can someone monetize Instagram posts?
A. Yes, you can. Brands can pay you to post sponsored content on their behalf.
You can also become an affiliate, and for every sale you help drive, you’ll get a commission or percentage.
You can also open an Instagram Shop or sell your digital and physical products from your Instagram account.
If you’re a budding content creator and are looking to earn a fortune, Instagram is definitely the platform to be on.
Not only is it easy to monetize Instagram, but it presents you with ample opportunities to do the same.
Here’s an extra piece of info for you to help get you started monetizing your Instagram account.
This infographic neatly sums up what you need to get started earning money on Instagram.
What are your thoughts on the subject? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section.
Infographic design by Easelly
Disclosure: This content has a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).