Side Hustles

How To Make Money On Instagram

Social media is so pervasive in our culture, few of us think twice when we happen to notice someone obsessively scrolling through their Instagram feed. Did you know, though, that Instagram can be more than a mere distraction? Nowadays, Instagram is also a lucrative way to make some additional income. 

With a little luck and a little time, it might even become a primary source of cash flow! Instagram success takes a lot of effort, dedication, social media knowledge, and a little entrepreneurial know-how, but it can pay off at the end of the day. Unsure where to start? Here are just a handful of ways for how you can make money on Instagram.

making money on instagram

How To Make Money On InstaGram: Gain A Following

Instagram success comes with a lot of hard work – but it also happens with a strong follower count and impressive engagement. As such, the first step to making any money on Instagram is to gain followers. Technically a count as low a 1,000 is enough to start monetizing your account, but somewhere around 10,000 is usually the recommended number. The latter is probably a better starting point, but engagement matters more at the end of the day. 

Consistently posting at least once a day gives your brand a strong voice. People will start seeing your posts in their feed more often. You can share user-generated content and ask your followers to “tag a friend”. Try using the right filters, adding emojis, participating in cross-promotion, and making video posts. 

What you want is a strong base that likes, comments, messages, and just generally interacts with your account and posts. Unfortunately, engagement is harder to generate than pure numbers, but writing better captions, quickly replying to comments, posting consistently, and posting when followers are online are all great strategies to increase follower interaction. Just make sure you’re also using a variety of hashtags to ensure you’re pulling in a broader audience.  

Gain Followers on instagram

Become An Influencer To Make Money On Instagram

Another way to make money on Instagram? Become an influencer! Whether it’s a social media-worthy skinny tea, an up-and-coming phone app, or a new and gimmicky hair gadget, influencers are always promoting something. It can be annoying in large doses, but it’s also a great way to gain some cash quickly. That is, provided you have the follower count and image that companies are looking for. 

If you do fall into this category, pursuing either sponsorship or affiliate marketing opportunities will be significantly easier. Which of these should you lean towards? It depends. 

Affiliate marketing is best if the product you’re advertising is well matched to your audience since you’ll make a portion of the profits, but you’ll receive a flat fee for every sponsored post you make. No matter what you pick, be sure it still feels organic. We can tell when you’re just trying to sell us stuff. Don’t get us wrong. We love stuff, but we also love real content. 

instagram influencer

Create An E-Commerce Store

Speaking of stuff, if you’ve got your own stuff to sell, do it with an e-commerce store! While Etsy has cornered a large part of the market when it comes to cool side projects, Instagram also provides a great opportunity when it comes to selling your products. It’s perfect for advertising thanks to its picture-heavy format, but it also offers tools that allow you to make sales directly from the platform itself. Just keep in mind, setting up a store on Instagram requires a few extra steps you don’t need to worry about as a regular user.

To set up your storefront, you’ll first need to convert your regular profile into a business one (or create one from scratch), and you’ll be required to set up a product catalog. It can seem daunting if you’ve never had to do it, so you can choose to do it the DIY way or by using a Facebook Partner like Shopify or BigCommerce. 

For those struggling, seriously consider the latter. Remember, work smarter, not harder! All you need to do after creating a profile and catalog is to submit your account for review. Pretty simple when it’s all said and done, yeah?

start an online store

Advertise Your Services

Selling your stuff and selling other people’s stuff is all well and good, but what about the people who don’t have a million followers and don’t make cool t-shirts or cat mittens (or whatever it is that Instagrammers sell) in their downtime? 

While it’s talked about less frequently, offering services is another excellent way to take advantage of Instagram’s reach and make a little extra money at the same time. It doesn’t have to be anything outlandish, either. If you’ve got a side-gig, it’s worth advertising. And if you don’t have a freelance business up and running? Well, it might be worth considering starting one up. 

So, if you are a dog sitter, freelance writer, a wedding photographer, or something else entirely, share about it. Post some photos you’ve taken. Upload that flyer you made last week. Mention your side business in your profile. Provide a link to your online work. Just be sure you get the word out there about whatever it is you do. It will surely attract a more extensive customer base and will be a great, easy way to market your skills. 

advertise your service

Make Money On Instagram By Becoming A Social Media Manager

For the Instagram influencers who are particularly good at what they do, this might be one of the best avenues for you to flex your skills and make a consistent side income. Much like you and other influencers, businesses are always on the search for better ways to engage with their followers and attract a larger audience to their brand. The only difference is, they’re willing to pay a handsome price for it.  This is where you come in. 

Offering your services is easy, but finding the right fit might take a little time at first. The freelance game can be a slow one to get into, so have patience.  Offering your Instagram managing specialty on platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork can help match you up with clients. Finding an influencer niche (food, travel, fashion, etcetera) will also help you be more successful at finding clients and offering the best services possible. Just be sure you’ll focus on creating content rather than scrolling through your feed. Sorry, endless scrolling doesn’t count as work. Just because you’re making money because of Instagram, doesn’t mean you can’t still use it as a means for procrastination.  

social media manager

Promote Your Portfolio

For all you creative types out there, Instagram’s visual-centric form is a match made in heaven. It is ideal for sharing photography, digital art, pictures of jewelry, and just about anything else particularly crafty and aesthetic. 

Use that to your advantage and use your Instagram account as your own portfolio. Yeah, you could create a portfolio elsewhere, but building one on Instagram is quicker, more informal, and a great way to find new people to follow your work. Plus, no hosting fees – perfect for the broke artist just getting started!

These new followers of your art or other creative creations won’t just randomly come, though. Insta provides the tools, but you’ll still need to use them. Using the right hashtags will go a long way here and will help exposure your work to the people who will actually be interested in it. 

With that in mind, still do your best to avoid going overboard. Using a million hashtags is (unsurprisingly) not a cute look. Be creative with them, use them appropriately, and reap the benefits. 

Promote your portfolio

Build A Solid Brand To Make Money On Instagram

Instagram’s great. We all love it. It has a gorgeous format, it’s engaging, and it’s endlessly scrollable (don’t pretend it hasn’t kept you up all night before). However, Instagram is just one shark in the sea known as the internet. Alone, the platform can only do so much.

It is still confined to its particular audience and its own form. Other social media platforms contain different types of content and provide a different kind of reach. With that in mind, use it as one piece of the puzzle. 

What does that look like in practice? It consists of building a large, interconnected brand. Create compelling content that will pull in users, but also create content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on a personal blog. 

Link these other sites on your Instagram, and you’ll see an increase in engagement and reach that will earn you more cash on all sides. It’s just good business sense, but it’s also a lot of work. If you go this route for making money, maybe you’ll be the one using a social media manager. 

establish solid brand

How To Make Money On Instagram: Final Thoughts

Now you know how to make money on Instagram. Whether you create an e-commerce store, become a social media manager, or simply build a solid brand, you can definitely make some extra cash on Instagram. Use this guide and make your Instagram profitable now!

Want to use other social media accounts to make some money? If so, you may also enjoy our guides on how to make money on Twitter and how to make money on Facebook.

Kevin Martin

Kevin is an ambitious entrepreneur that is obsessed with all things related to finance. From a young age, Kevin has always been involved with side hustles ranging from online selling to freelance work. Over the years, Kevin graduated from side hustles and started launching multiple online and offline businesses. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur who loves starting new businesses and exploring all things related to business and finance. He is constantly looking for new ways to save money, invest money, and create income streams.

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