You’ve probably heard about influencers on Instagram making $100.000 just for posting a sponsored image. Altough not all of us have millions of followers like Cristiano Ronaldo or Selena Gomez and will for obvious reasons not be paid as much for posting a single photo, it’s not unheard of for someone who’s not a celebrity , who doesn’t have even have 100k followers, to make over $100.000 dollars a year, just from Instagram.
Let me explain how you can easily monetize your Instagram and actually make it a living. Sounds too good to be true? Not really, when you think about it..
Back in the day, and still today, companies would offer tens of thousands of dollars just to have their advertisement displayed on the screen for a few seconds infront of 100k viewers. If you have a picture on Instagram that has gotten over 100k views, why wouldn’t a company be willing to pay you the same ammount?
This brings us to the first way you can make money on your Instagram account:
1. Sponsored content
From the above photo, you can clearly see a sponsored image by Selena Gomez which she has made an incredible amount of money from. This way of making money on Instagram is easier to do if you’ve already built up a solid Instagram following. In certain cases you will be contacted by companies willing to pay you to make a similar sponsored image. In other cases, it can be a good Idea for you to look up companies and email them saying you’re willing to promote their product in return for money. Here is the thing, EVERY company would love for you to promote their content, regardsless of your following count, it’s just a matter of how much they’re willing to pay.
2. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is simply put: referring people to buy a product from a company which in returns pay you in commission. Thanks to Ronaldo over here, this will be very easy to explain using him as an example. The link you see above is a shortened url to better fit in (but most probably to hide) the ugly looking affiliate link which typically looks more like this:
If people click on the link, the company will pay Ronaldo a share of how much people spend on that website.
Ok cool, but HOW do you do it?
- Firstly, you need to sign up to an affiliate website. For example Clickbank
- After being accepted, you need to find a company and a product you’d like to promote. The commission can range between 1%-70%. I recommend focusing on something that is focused around your Instagram. For example, if you’re a girl posting a lot of makeup images, then looking for a lipstick company could be a very good idea.
- Go to the product you’d like to promote, generate an affiliate link using the tool found on the affiliate website.
- Go to google shortener and paste in your link.
- Create the best converting post you can imagine in order to make as many as possible click on your link and make a purchase. Enjoy the revenue.
3. Use Your Instagram to Make Money on Youtube
Making money on youtube is extremely easy, all you need is views, and youtube will do the rest for you! Before think that it’s too much of a hassle, let me motivate you. How often do you see videos on youtube with over 100k views ? Pretty darn often right? Did you know that 100k views on youtube translated into a range of $200-$1000? And that’s just one video. Besides, by creating a youtube channel, you can still monetize your Instagram at the same time!
The best way of promoting your Youtube is by creating content that could be appealing to your Instagram followers, then post a video on Instagram. Then keep doing it…
4. Create a Patreon account
Patreon is a platform which allows fans to sponsor their creators by donating money on a monthly basis. DON’T lose me yet OK? It’s actually FULLY possible. Imagine if you got 100 fans willing to give you 10$ each a month, BOOM a living right there! In other words, all you need is a small number of people, willing to support what you do. In order to suceed doing this, a niche and more artistic Instagram channel is going to work better than a regular personal where you post images of you and your friends. Besides, would you really ask your friends to donate to your Patreon on your personal Instagram account? Well I don’t judge.
5. Create your own store
As an ecommerce store-owner myself, I can definitely recommend this option to monetize your Instagram. And please, do not think for a second that this is difficult to do, I will teach you. But first, lets talk about the potential to boost your motivation again. The potential of owning an e-commerce store is unimagineable. This is because if you find a good product-selling niche, the amount of sales you make does NOT depend on your instagram following, as you will see traffic coming through from other platforms as well, such as Google.
Setting up a store is 100 risk free, you do NOT need to buy 100 products, risking the money you spent on those products and cross your fingers for a sale. You can do this by dropshipping. This means that all you have to do, is to put up products on your store for a certain price, that you know you can find cheaper elsewhere, for example Aliexpress.
It is also perfectly possible for you to customize your own t-shirt and sell completely risk-free. This is because there are many companies that are built to receive, process and ship your own custom-designed fashion products directly from within your store. For example: Printful
In order to actually create your own store, follow these steps:
- Click on Shopify (this is by far the biggest website in business when it comes to make an e-commerce store.)
- Create an account for a 14 day trial
- Choose a theme and start playing around with the website, it’s incredibly easy
- If you are happy with the store and ready to launch, you can finally start selling on your store for 30$/month
6. Create your own website
This is probably where I will lose most of you, because you’re thining: ‘Ohh really, a website? I don’t know anything about coding, I couldn’t do that in 10 years if I wanted to. Ok stop! I have created over 20 websites myelf and I don’t know anything about coding either, so continue reading. Chances are that you did use photoshop, which I find more difficult to do than creating a website.
Creating a website allows you to be very creative and flexible, as the website can be about anything and you can make money from it in numerous ways such as through google ads and affiliate marketing.
So.. How? Creating a website is extremely easy, all you need is 30 minutes of your time + willing to spend 4 dollars
- Go to https://www.bluehost.com/ (don’t worry, link will open in another window)
- Sign up
- Choose a domain name, this should be related to your instagram or the brand you’re trying to create. Don’t get too obsesed trying to think of a good domain name.
- Click on WordPress Install and fill out the information.
- Your website is already up! Now choose a theme under apperance (if you haven’t already).
- Play around with wordpress, learn how it works. You will quickly reaslise that it’s much more simple than photoshop.
- Now, as for advertising your website for your Instagram follows, you should follow the same guidance as given earlier for Youtube. This all really depends on your content and on your fans on Instagram, so you will have to figure this out yourself. One tip though, do NOT be too pushy(!!), it’s better to casually link to your website in your instagram posts rather than to keep asking your fans to ‘check out my website!’…
7. Do Affiliate Marketing (Sneaky Version)
I already explained how affiliate marketing works in step 2, so I won’t cover that again, what I will cover now, is how to do it using your Instagram in a sneaky way where people don’t think you’re actually doing affiliate marketing. This can be done in various ways and I will illustrate it with an example:
Imagine if you’ve travelled somewhere and you’ve posted a few photos on Instagram of your lovely trip to make your followers jealous. Imagine if they would like to have a similar trip to yours? Does’t sound unthinkable does it? Take advantage of this. Go to booking.com’s affiliate site, register, grab an affiliate link related to the place you went to and ‘recommend it’ to your viewers. If they decide to book something using your link, you will make money! Sneaky right?
8. Get things for free using Instagram
Reaching out to hotels and asking them for a free stay in return for a shoutout is perfectly viable possibility that can benefit both sides. All you need to do is to go to different hotel websites and write something like this:
I was wondering if you would be interested in a collaboration that would benefit the both of us.
I have an Instagram account with x amount of followers and I’m willing to give your hotel a shoutout in return
for a possible free accomodation at your hotel.
Let me know if this sounds like something you’d be interested in doing.
Some hotels may be warm-welcoming to such idea, a possibility to grow just to accomodate you for a few nights, while others may react in a completely different manner, take a look at this story between Elle Darby (an Instagrammer) and the White Moose Cafe:
Tragic as it may seem, in the end, it massively benfited both of them as the story was trending everywhere on internet.
9. Actually Sell Your Instagram Photo
Ever sold a photo before? Didn’t think so. Did you know that a simple photo can easily be sold for over 100$ ? It’s because rich companies/websites are willing to pay, what to them is a fraction of money, in return for them to quickly get hold on an Image they need to describe something on their webpage. They simply rather pay someone 100$ for an Instagram Image, than to go out there themselves and create one.
10. Sell your instagram account
You’re probably thinking: ‘ I’ve just been told to do all these things to monetize my Insta, and now I’m being told to sell it??’ No, that’s not what’s happening here. ONLY sell your Instagram account if
- You’ve completely given it up, because you can’t monetize it, or simply because you lack the motivation.
- You’ve gotten an offer that is just too good to refuse.
Your Instagram can be worth more money to other people than to you simply because they know how they can take it to the next level or combine it with their business, while you don’t.
It’s possible to sell your Instagram on websites such as Fameswap
The ammount of moeny you can expect from for example 100.000 seems to be about $10.000, but this really depends on what sort of niche you’re in, how fans are typically engaging with your posts and so on.
Remember that this should ONLY be done as a last resort, because making a consistent income through your Instagram is a reality that only remains a dream to many.
A final few words:
I hope you learned a few things reading this post. I want you to remember that you will only make money if you CONSISTENTLY keep trying to make your content better, getting more followers and developing better and better monetization options for your Instagram account. This will, and should start as a hobby, which can eventually turn into a livelyhood, you shall see.