14 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Make Money From Instagram
How many followers do you need to make money on Instagram?
Far fewer than you think.
You don’t need to part of the Kardashian-Jenner clan to rake in some serious dough on the platform.
And you can make a decent six-figure income with less than 5,000 followers.
All you need to earn money from the ‘gram is a niche and an engaged following.
With those two things in your arsenal, you can cash in on merch, land sponsorship deals and turn your side hustle into your full-time gig.
Here are 13 things you can start doing today to monetise your Instagram account and bring home the bacon!
1. Sponsored posts
Want to turn your personal brand into a money-making machine? This is the go to for the majority of influencers.
If you’ve got a decent engagement rate on the ‘gram, your dreams of becoming an Instagram influencer is only one post away.
With more and more brands wanting high engagement over millions of followers, it’s easier than ever before to get a brand deal.
So how do you become a successful influencer? Authencity.
You can’t work with any ol’ brand that comes along. You need to put each brand through a rigorous test to make sure they align with your audience and values.
How to find brands that will pay you money
When you’re starting out, the best way to find brands for sponsored posts is to reach out and negotiate a deal.
Create a media kit that advertises your services, lists your prices and shows off the type of posts you make.
I know it’s crap-your-pants scary.
But remember the worst thing a brand can do is say no.
Heck, most of them probably won’t respond, and that’s okay!
Just keep pitching, and before you know it, you’ll be tagging #sponsored with the best of them.
How much should you charge for a sponsored post?
When you’re starting out as an influencer on Instagram, it’s hard to know how much to charge per post.
The easiest way to figure it out is to use the Sponsored Post Money Calculator by Influencer Marketing Hub. Plug in your IG handle, and it will give you an estimate based on your engagement rate.
Say goodbye to thumb sucking your rates!
2. Setup an exclusive membership
A super easy and potentially lucrative way to earn money on Instagram (or any social network for that matter) is to setup an exclusive paid online group, giving your fans direct access to you. Making them feel special as one of your top followers is a great way to not only earn additional revenue from your following but also add tonne of value to your followers.
Memberships can allow you to build a great recurring income but also provide you with flexibility in what you can offer for your members. Some ideas include:
- Access to early release content
- Access to members only content
- Access to members only tutorials
- Exclusive behind the scenes raw content
- Your daily schedule
- Exclusive Your makeup and beauty plans
- Exclusive one-on-one coaching/skype sessions
- Access to members only Slack channel
- Access to members only Facebook group
The list goes on and on!
Routinr provides a platform to do all the above and loads more so if you are an influencer and feel offering an exclusive membership can work for you, sign up today for free and get started! More info is available here
3. Become an Affiliate Marketer whiz
Want to make money from Instagram while you sleep? Become an affiliate marketer!
Brands will give you a unique trackable link that you can use to promote a product. When one of your followers makes a purchase, you’ll get a percentage of the sale.
Don’t be tempted to sell outside of your niche. Your followers won’t connect with the products, and you’ll make $0 in sales.
How to promote products on Instagram
- Instagram Bio: Use the link in your bio to promote an affiliate link. Make it stand out by using emojis and including a strong call to action.
- Instagram Stories: If you have more than 10K followers on Instagram, use the Swipe Up feature. It lets you add a link to your stories, making it easier for your followers to shop.
- Coupon Codes: A lot of brands give influencers a discount code and use it to track sales.
- Image Descriptions: Use a call to action in your caption to direct your followers to click on the link in your bio.
The best affiliate companies for Instagram
- ShareASale: ShareASale is one of the top Affiliate Marketing Networks. All you need to do is sign up, find brands you want to work with and start promoting their products.
- RewardStyle: Do you have followers that can’t get enough of your #OOTD posts? Turn that interest into cashflow with RewardStyle. Find the exact item (or something similar) and promote your affiliate link.
- Stylinity: Stylinity is another excellent affiliate for fashion bloggers and influencers. It helps you turn your feed posts into shoppable ones!
- Amazon: Amazon is the OG of affiliate marketing. It’s also probably one of the highest commission earners on this list. You’ll get a cut of a sale even if someone doesn’t buy the product you promoted. As long as they clicked through from your link and bought something, you’ve made a sale!
- HotelsCombined: Did you stay at an incredible boutique hotel in Paris? Tell your followers all about it and direct them to your affiliate link with HotelsCombined. You’ll earn a percentage for every successful booking!
- ClickBank: ClickBank is a marketplace that’s full of products and services that you can promote. No matter your niche, you’re bound to find something relevant that you can promote.
4. Make it rain with Instagram Shoutouts
One of the easiest ways to get paid for Instagram posts is with shoutouts. You can join a network that will connect you with brands (and even other influencers!) who want more followers.
All you need to do is shout them out in a feed post or Instagram Story.
If you want to make good money doing this, package your offerings together. For example, instead of only mentioning the brand once, you can sell a $100 package that includes three story mentions and one feed post.
For maximum earning potential, you need to build your account around a specific niche. An Instagram profile that is all about minimalism, fashion or travel will have a much easier time selling shoutouts than a generalist.
Shoutout Marketplaces for Influencers:
5. Join an influencer marketplace
The quickest and easiest way to make money through sponsored posts on Instagram is with an influencer marketplace.
Say goodbye to the battle of trying to find the *right* email address, typing up proposals that people ignore or being told: “We don’t have any budget for influencer marketing right now“.
A marketplace will instantly connect you to brands that are looking for influencers in your niche and are ready to do business.
All you need to do is register, add in your stats (niche, follower account, engagement rate, etc.) and name your price.
The best influencer marketplaces for Instagrammers
- Grapevine: Sign up to Grapevine and get instant access to campaigns tailored for you.
- indaHash: To start earning money with indaHash all you need to do is post photos for various brands. Choose the campaigns that align with your brand and make some extra cash on the side.
- HypeTap: HypeTap is an invite-only influencer marketplace. You can request to join, but you’ll need to have some serious numbers to back up your influence.
- Tribe: Tribe is where some of the world’s biggest brands search for influencers to work with on campaigns.
- Fohr: Sign up with Fohr, and you’ll get access to hundreds of brands or agencies. It’s also one of the biggest influencer networks.
- Heartbeat: Heartbeat is a platform for female influencers. It pairs brands with influencers who have similar audiences. While you don’t need to have a minimum follower count, the pay isn’t always monetary. Sometimes brands are only looking for a trade exchange.
- Ifluenze: You’ll need a minimum of 5,000 followers to join Influenze. Once you’re in, the platform will let you submit proposals to work with different brands.
- Popular Pays: Popular Pays is a different type of influencer platform. Brands will post their campaign and influencers will need to create pitches to “bid” on the gig.
6. Create merch for your brand
Once you have an established following on Instagram, kick your earnings up a level by creating merch.
- Do you have a catchphrase? Like Sarah Baska’s “What the flip is up, Tubers?“
- Did you have a viral moment? Like when Kylie Jenner sang “Rise and Shine” to her daughter Stormie?
- Do your fans associate you with a symbol or a particular aesthetic? Like YouTuber Shane Dawson and his pig merch?
You can turn all of this into a lucrative merch opportunity.
- Print your photos on t-shirts, mugs, cushions or posters
- Create phone cases, pop sockets, and stickers
- Design hoodies, socks, swimwear and more!
The only tricky part?
You need to figure out how to make it and fulfil your orders.
Take the hassle out of sourcing suppliers and shipping everything yourself by using fulfilment services.
These services will create your merch, take care of delivery and deal with any customer service issues.
Merch fulfilment services for Instagrammers
Printful: Printful will help you create a variety of physical products like posters, backpacks, clothing and more. Once someone places an order, it’s automatically sent to the service where it’s printed, packed and shipped.
Teelaunch: Use Teelaunch to create the beach towels, doormats, curtains and kitchenware of your dreams. Plus, you can leave any customer service issues to their team.
Merch by Amazon: Don’t have a website? Use Merch by Amazon, and you can sell all your products on Amazon’s site. The only downside is that the service is limited to T-shirts and merchants in the US.
7. Start a business as an Instagram expert
Don’t underestimate your Instagram skills.
As a content creator, you probably know how to:
- Take decent photographs
- Edit videos on Final Cut Pro
- Use Lightroom and create Presets
- Set up ads on IG
- Hashtag research
- Create an aesthetically pleasing feed
These are all valuable skills that you can use to market yourself as an Instagram expert.
How to find work as an Instagram marketer
- Reach out to local business owners on IG that could use some help and pitch your services.
- Put ads up on Craigslist.
- Use LinkedIn to generate leads
- Find niche Facebook groups
- Sign up for gig economy sites like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer
It does require a little bit of elbow grease, but if you put in the effort, you’ll quickly fill up your client roster.
How much is Instagram management worth?
Some gigs will pay you $1,200 a month to create content, schedule it, engage with their community and manage ads on Facebook and Instagram.
If you don’t have the time to take on a full-time job, you can charge by the hour. Newbies tend to start charging around $20, but you can easily earn $40 per hour if you can prove your IG skills get results.
8. Earn money by selling your photos on Instagram
Calling all professional photographers!
If you aren’t monetising your Instagram feed, you’re missing out on an incredible income stream.
The best part? You don’t even need a website.
Think of Instagram as your online portfolio. Add the creme-de-la-creme of your images to the platform, invest some time in hashtag research and you’ll start attracting clients who want to buy your prints or book you for a gig.
In fact, more and more people are finding their wedding photographer on the ‘gram!
Stock sites that will buy your photos
- Foap.com: Love taking photos of flat lays and food? Foap will pay you $10 for each image you successfully sell.
- Mipic.co: Mipic is a company that turns pictures into merchandise. If you’re always taking photos of landscapes, or arty snaps of tiled floors, you can make a 20% profit off each sale.
- Twenty20: Upload your photos to Twenty20’s marketplace, and you’ll earn $2 whenever someone buys your pics. There are also photo competitions, and you can receive commissions from brands.
9. Sell your art on Instagram
Back in May 2019, a Keeping Up With The Kardashians episode aired and it was a blueprint on how to earn money as an artist on Instagram.
During the episode, Scott Disick uploads one of Khloe Kardashian’s paintings (without mentioning the artist’s name) and asked his followers to make him an offer.
He quickly got offers as high as $2.5 million!
While most of us don’t have access to the kind of reach and engagement that the Kardashians wield, that doesn’t mean you can’t make money.
There are smaller accounts like Dreamy Moons, an independent artist from Australia. She creates original paintings that she turns into books, stickers, affirmation cards and lunar calendars.
View this post on Instagram
Why Manifest books make lovely gifts: • it teaches the law of attraction and manifestation • very unique – fully handwritten and hand painted by a small artist • inspires a positive mindset • there’s space to journal, set goals and create vision boards (perfect for planning your year, too!) • it’s like a piece of art in itself, so if law of attraction isn’t your thing, the book will still be appreciated for the art inside • it teaches to let go of fear of failure, which anyone would benefit from • it might just change someone’s life • they’re currently on sale at www.dreamymoons.com.au 🥰
10. Create an eCommerce shop
Gone are the days where you need a slick eCommerce website to make a small fortune in online sales.
Meet Theresa Nguyen, a 13-year old girl making $3000 per month selling slime on Instagram.
Her account, Rad Slime, has 917k followers, and her website is continuously selling out of stock.
How can you mimic her success?
Set up an eCommerce website with Shopify and make your posts shoppable. If you have a visual, physical product (bonus points if it happens to be on-trend), you can use Instagram to market it into a viral sensation.
Want proof that Nguyen isn’t a one-hit-wonder and you can do it too?
- 80% of Instagram users follow a business account
- 40% of consumers buy products from the Internet multiple times per month
- 75% of Instagrammers will take action after viewing a post
- Engagement with brands on the ‘gram is 10x higher than Facebook and 54x higher than Pinterest.
With stats like these, it’s clear that Instagram is the best social media platform for eCommerce brands – especially new ones with little to zero budget.
11. Sell dropshipped products
Don’t want to deal with all the admin that comes with having an online store? Set up a dropshipping business model for your Instagram account.
You never to worry about:
- Storing stock in your house
- Packaging all your orders
- Driving to your nearest DHL to ship your products
With dropshipping, your supplier will handle everything. As soon as an order is placed, it will get packaged and shipped from their warehouse to your customer’s doorstep.
You can set up a dropshipping store with Shopify and Oberlo. It’s a great option if you’re not 100% sold on how well your business idea is going to do, and it stops you from wasting valuable startup capital.
12. Grow your real estate business on Instagram
Did you know that realtors see 10x more engagement from their Instagram posts than from Facebook?
Putting your real estate business on Instagram is a sure-fire way to boost your earnings and advertise your current listings.
After all, the app is all about reflecting on your best moments, living in the moment and inspiring your next moment.
For example, if you’re posting swoon-worthy places for sale around New York City, you’re bound to get some followers that want to live vicariously through you.
But you’re also subconsciously priming them to buy.
When the time comes to purchase or rent a new home, your curated feed of Insta-worthy apartment buildings is going to be at the top of their mind.
But that’s not all. You can use the ‘gram to promote any short-term listings.
Having trouble getting bookings for your apartment on Airbnb? Show it off, throw in some high traffic real estate hashtags, and your rental calendar is on its way to filling up.
13. Sell a routine, plan or a course
Instagram is a platform where you can make some serious money.
Just ask Jordan Makelle.
After quitting her job at a soul-destroying call centre, she started earning $5000 p/m in 4 months as a copywriter. Today, she is the owner of two highly successful freelance writing courses and uses her feed posts, IG stories and IG TV to attract students.
Then there’s Kimberley Wenya, a mindset and manifestation coach from Australia.
She started her business while studying full-time at university and had a five-figure business in 6 months. Since then, she’s gone on to hit six-figures and heavily relies on Instagram to promote her courses and 1-on-1 coaching services.
And if you think these two women have achieved this because of the account size, you’re wrong.
Both women have less than 6,000 followers!
Routinr is a platform that can easily allow you to create and monetise a course, routine and any type of premium content quickly and easily and its free.
14. Sell your Instagram account
Are you a whiz at growing Instagram accounts to hundreds of thousands of followers? Monetise your skills by selling your accounts to buyers.
Or if you’ve had enough of keeping up with the Instagram algorithm, you can make a profit off your exit from the platform.
Depending on your niche, follower account and engagement you can make anywhere from $400 to $8000 per account!
Two of the best sites to help you sell your Instagram account are:
Ready to start making money from Instagram?
Yes we are biased but most definitely if you want to look beyond sponsored posts to make money from Instagram, Routinr is a great place to start turning your influencer into revenue by offering premium content memberships, exclusive tips and tricks, plans and courses and the best part is you can get started for free.
Start turning your followers into customers and make the most out of your social influence.