How to Make Money on Instagram in 2021

Make Money on Instagram

The boom of Instagram from a mere photo and video sharing app to a massive empire hosting 1.074 billion users worldwide has caught the attention of marketers worldwide. The market brimming with so much potential has provided new avenues for creators who want to make money from Instagram. Earning on Instagram is a breeze if you possess an active account with a dedicated community of followers that interact with you daily. Brands prefer collaborating with influencers that have a highly engaging audience, producing a good engagement rate.

We have created this article addressing all creators - big or small. Want to know how to make money on Instagram as an influencer? You have come to the right place!

How to Make Money on Instagram

Collaborate with Brands on Sponsored Posts

Collaborate with brands

For an influencer, sponsored posts are one of the more popular means of making money on Instagram. While casually scrolling through your feed, you may have come across a post from a celebrity or someone who commands a substantial following, endorsing products from a brand. An influencer has built a strong reputation for himself/herself among a community of followers through his hard work and dedication. As such, his/her word carries a lot of weight, enough to coerce viewers to purchase from a brand. Hence brands look to partner with an influencer to promote their products.

A company will contact you for sponsorship if you have an authoritative presence online. Brands usually collaborate with creators involved in activities that directly correlate with the brand's area of specialization. Make sure you create genuine content; if your followers come to see you as someone that creates posts with an intent to earn money, they will more likely distance themselves from you. As a pro tip, use Instagram hashtags like #sponsored post or #ad - to let your audience know that you are getting paid for that post. Even if brands show an interest in you, there is little to be gained from promoting a product to your followers that you would never use. Endorse only those products that you enjoy using.

For example, A famous gamer, Ninja, would likely promote products from gaming companies like Ubisoft, Nintendo, Activision, Electronic arts etc. He uses their products - gaming consoles and games etc. It won't make sense if he starts promoting beauty products from Lakme, which he would never use.

Venture into Affiliate Marketing

Venture into affiliate marketing

While an influencer primarily functions to create awareness for the brand, affiliate marketing thrives on generating revenue for the brand through increased sales. The affiliate gets to keep a portion of each sale. If you venture into affiliate marketing, you will receive a trackable link or a promo code - this is the marketer’s way of monitoring each affiliate's performance. You can incorporate promo codes into your posts. On the other hand, Instagram does not permit link placement anywhere outside of the bio; hence you can only promote one product/service at a time - you can use a regular post, directing users to click the link in your bio. Include a solid CTA in your profile. 69% of marketers grew their influencer marketing spending in 2020, significant hike from 39% in 2018

Also read: 9 Tips to Craft the Perfect Instagram Bio

When a person clicks on your affiliate link and purchases the brand product – the conversion will be attributed to you, making you liable to a commission from the selling brand.

Below is a list of companies that provide affiliate products:

  • ClickBank
  • RewardStyle
  • Shareasale
  • Stylinity
  • Ebates
  • Amazon

Affiliate marketing works when you promote products that are compatible with what you do on the platform. It would help if you found brands offering products and services that meet the needs of your followers. Only promote products that you would purchase for yourself. Affiliate marketing links tend to be longer; a good practice would be to shorten your link using

Become an Ambassador for a Brand

Become an ambassador for brand

Becoming the face of a brand is a dream for many influencers. One common misconception people harbour is that they think only celebrities reserve the right to represent a brand. It is true to an extent, but the world is full of smaller brands that cannot afford to partner with a top personality. Instead, they seek adept brand ambassadors who can get more eyes towards their offering. You, too, can be a possible ambassador candidate if you clear on all company requirements - this is one way you make money on Instagram without many followers.

Companies are constantly on the lookout for influencers with a small but highly engaging audience that falls within their niche - they consider Instagram a platform of choice for influencer marketing. The image and video sharing app are ideal for creators to find ambassador programs and partner with brands to market their offerings.

Write Instagram Captions

Instagram Captions

Are you looking for ways to get paid for Instagram posts? We come to you with a suggestion. If you fancy your writing skills, you have a good chance to get paid by writing captions for another account. Instagram provides opportunities for all brands, regardless of their size, to market their products and services. Big brands maintain dedicated teams to handle all their content needs; this is impossible for smaller brands. Hence, they outsource jobs to freelancers to keep the cost of social media marketing to a minimum. One such job includes finding writers who will create captions for their brand at an affordable price. An estimate of around 92% of small businesses are planning to invest in Social media marketing.

Before they hire you, the business would like to see some proof of your credibility. What you can do is create captions for your account – use the ones that got you the greatest number of likes, comments and shares. Your charges will depend on your level of expertise and not the time you invested in a business account. Websites like Freelancer and Upwork are ideal to find hundreds of gigs.

Involve in Drop Shipping Services

Drop Shipping Services

You have ever heard of a mediator. That's who you are when you do dropship. You facilitate interaction between the supplier and the buyer, and the best part about this is you don't even have to hold any inventory. You have to take orders from your customers via Instagram. Next, you have to contact the wholesaler and forward the order. The product will be shipped to the customer's doorstep by the supplier without you having to lift a single finger. The idea revolves around the same concept as the online store, but in this case, you don't own the store; hence you're free of the burden of storing, packaging, shipping and delivery.

Also read: How can Instagram Stories help your brand

Open and Promote Online Store

Open and Promote online store

Working with brands is a great way to earn some Moolah, but that is not the only option available that allows you to make money on Instagram as an influencer. Creating an online store requires some initial investment for promotion and production activities. It is perfectly normal for famous personalities to venture into entrepreneurship, look at celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez - they each own their respective beauty and makeup collection.

Influencers big or small, who have established themselves enough to command a loyal following, can promote their offerings - the product you sell can be anything related to what you do - physical goods, services to virtual items etc. Armed with creativity and a solid marketing strategy, you can do everything that the most successful internet entrepreneurs are doing.

Sell Photos and Different Virtual Products

If you are a photographer with a knack for travelling and exploring new places, you can earn money from Instagram by selling your photographs. Besides photographs, you can sell animations, videos, hand-drawn paintings, posters and digital graphics etc. Instagram thrives on visual creativity. A best practice will be to include captivating captions and powerful call to action into your post to direct viewers to a link in your profile - the link can lead an interested audience to a landing page showcasing more of your creations.

Sell Physical Products

Sell Physical Products

Besides promoting products from other brands, there is another way to make money as an influencer. You can sell physical products produced by yourself or purchased from a supplier. Instagram is the best platform to buy and sell products. You need a place to store products before delivery. Hence, you will incur some initial costs when you invest in an inventory for stock keeping. If you have a merchandise or E-Commerce store, you can use your post to redirect viewers to your product landing page. You have a wide range of products to choose from. You can sell custom-made t-shirts, accessories etc. Remember to restrict yourself to selling things that correlate to what you do on the platform.

Also read: How to Leverage IGTV for Promoting your business

How Much can you Earn from Instagram

How much can you earn from Instagram

Instagram is jam-packed with influencers. It is a big ocean, but with a fewer number of big fish. Brands who approach a top influencer do not mind paying huge sums of cash. Celebrities like Cristiano Ronaldo, Dwayne Johnson or Selena Gomezearn millions of dollars for a single post. You cannot say the same for small influencers.

The establishment of Deals and partnerships happen through individual negotiations between companies and influencers.

  • Followers below 2000: $50 per post
  • Following between 2000 - 10000: $75 to $100 per post
  • 10,000 - 100,000: $50 to $250 per post
  • 100,000 - 1,000,000 followers: $500 to $1000 per post
  • Followers more than 1 million: $1,000 +, per post

The average range can vary.

The more followers you have, the more attractive you appear to brands looking to promote their products. Like many Influencers, you can buy organic Instagram followers – followers obtained from legit websites will give high level of engagement. Besides the number of following, marketers also consider other underlying factors - they prefer communities that are actively engaging with their influencers in the form of likes or comments.

Since micro-influencers make a large portion of the influencer community on Instagram, we shall look at the earning potential of these creators that command a following between 6,000 - 10,000. If you fall into this category, you have a possibility of earning $36,400 yearly if you publish one sponsored post each day. Success on Instagram takes time; influencers devote years to building a strong online community. You are on the right path when you start seeing a staggering increase in your followers count.

How Many Followers do you Need on Instagram to Earn Money

No. of followers required to earn on Instagram

Surprisingly not that many; yes, I was shocked the first time too. But it would help if you were clear on other factors that have nothing to do with the number of followers you possess. It makes little difference; if you have 1 million followers or 10,000 followers - in both cases, level of engagement is key.

Your earning potential depends on the following factors:

  • How actively your followers interact with your posts - if you possess a huge following but receive below-average engagement, does not exactly work in your favour.
  • What path you choose to earn revenue on Instagram - different channels come with their pros and cons.
  • Finally, your niche decides your attractiveness. Some niches easily correlate with a relevant product, while others, not so much. (Fashion, food and fitness are high-performing niches on Instagram).

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