10 Creative Ways to Make Money on Instagram
If you have been paying attention lately, you’ve probably heard of people making money on Instagram.
If you have a following on Instagram, and you have some content that you’ve put some effort into, you might also be thinking, “how do I get started making money on Instagram with my account”?
There are a lot of opportunities to monetize an Instagram account. In the same way that you can monetize a website, blog, or Youtube channel.
If you have the kind of reach that companies would want to leverage to promote their products, companies will most likely be happy to exchange either merchandise or cash to be able to tap into your audience.
If you have a massive following on Instagram, you might even be able to make exorbitant amounts of money, like Kylie Jenner.
But you don’t need to have millions of followers to start trying to make some money. All you need is a modest and engaged group of followers and some great content.
One great way that is proven to help bring in some extra cash is affiliate marketing.
This method requires you to actively drive sales to a business’s website by providing the link or a promo code to your audience.
In doing so, you will receive a percentage of the sales on the items that you helped provide sales for.
This is still somewhat tricky though because Instagram does not allow links in posts (yet). This means that you’ll need to link to the affiliate site with one link in the bio portion of your Instagram account.
This provides you with the opportunity to quickly link to the product or item you want to drive sales for, but it also means you will miss out on other opportunities like driving traffic to your web properties.
Affiliate marketing can be done by using a popular service like ClickBank, ShareASale, or the Amazon Affiliate network.
These services allow you to share income from a variety of different products.
Amazon, in particular, has a wide array of products that would fit into a variety of different niches, so it’s a perfect place to start if you don’t know exactly where to jump into affiliate marketing.
Start a marketing agency
If you know what you are doing on social media and it shows, you might think of starting your own marketing agency.
Businesses still do not have a good handle on how to gain reach and influence online, so if you have already been successful in doing this, you might start thinking of helping to provide those services to other businesses.
Starting a marketing agency could be an excellent way for you to expand your brand, get seen more online, and hone your skills when it comes to growing a following.
Also, it would be a great way to monetize your Instagram following.
If you want to know more, make sure to check out our guide to starting a marketing agency.
Create your own store
If you have the right kind of engagement with your audience, and you are also a creative person, you might think about opening your online store.
There are a wide variety of different services available to someone who wants to open their online store, and so now is the perfect opportunity to get started if you’ve been thinking about it.
An image-focused platform like Instagram could be a perfect place to start and promote an online store and with its built-in e-commerce payment system, it’s every store owner’s dream come true.
By selling your items, you can keep your content about you, and you don’t need to work with other brands to create sponsored posts, or link to their website, distracting your followers from you!
Instead, you can try to capture their full attention and try to leverage the engagement you have into income for yourself.
An online store is a great way to invest in your brand independently.
There are a vast variety of different things you could sell in your store.
You could sell t-shirts via a print-on-demand service, digital products like courses or ebooks, or even arts and crafts via a website like Etsy.
The possibilities are endless.
If you are already a creative person with an engaged following, starting a store might be right for you.
Start your website or blog
If you don’t already have your website or blog, you might think about creating one!
This is a great way to utilize that link spot in your bio and drive traffic to a web property that you can use to make some money.
A blog or a website will provide you with more opportunities to show your followers more content and for you to leverage ads or affiliate links to help monetize your content.
Because Instagram limits linking you might think about posting some of your content on your blog and adding affiliate links to that as opposed to trying to drive affiliate traffic from Instagram directly.
A blog might also provide you with the opportunity to offer more companion-type long-form content to go along with your posts.
If you travel a lot, for example, you might do a write-up of a trip to accompany a great panoramic photo you took that you posted to your Instagram account.
A blog or a website provides excellent opportunities to expand your content and engage with your audience in different ways.
Make sponsored posts
If you have a more significant following, you might consider parenting with a brand. Sponsored posts on Instagram account with over 1m followers make more than $50k per post.
Leveraging your large following to create these kinds of brand-sponsored posts is an excellent way to leverage your large audience.
You could also try to leverage sponsored posts on a smaller Instagram account, but in this case, you will need to have a reputation in your niche that will help brands to trust that your outreach is valuable.
One favorite way to do sponsored posts for emerging accounts is to accept the free product instead of cash.
Become an Influencer
In addition to partnering with brands and doing sponsored posts, you might want to think about building a personal brand as an influencer.
By becoming an influencer you will find brands to partner with, and you will most likely want to do sponsored posts, but you will also want to be heavily engaged with your following both on and off of Instagram.
Take the time to think about how partnership and sponsorship affect your image and work hard to cultivate a brand as someone who has something valuable to say within your niche.
A great way to start being an influencer on Instagram is to take a more holistic approach to your sponsorships, affiliates, and partnerships.
If you’re interested in becoming an influencer, you might try getting some interest via one of the many Instagram influencer marketplaces.
Partner with a brand
Partnering with a brand is an excellent option for a more substantial Instagram account.
You could also partner with a brand even if you have a more modest following, but keep in mind that you might have a hard time finding a brand that will want to partner with you if you don’t already have a following or accomplishments independent of Instagram.
A large Instagram account could work with another brand to create co-branded content and posts.
If you know of a brand that would be a perfect fit for your account, this is a great way to expand your reach to that audience and potentially get your content in front of them.
Regarding making money from a partnership, you might be able to set up a variety of different arrangements to capitalize on your collaboration.
Anything from an affiliate relationship to sponsored posts.
Having a partnership on Instagram with another brand is a great way to expand your reach and make some money.
Start a Youtube channel
If you’ve already been using video content on your Instagram account, then you might think about expanding that video content to Youtube.
Youtube is another great spot for influencers, and if you already have a loyal following on Instagram, they might appreciate the more long-form content.
A Youtube channel provides you with more opportunities to monetize your content and create content that will appeal to your audience.
Although if you’re more comfortable staying on Instagram, you could always expand more into a video using IGTV.
Instagram’s new video platform provides similar opportunities to youtube without you needing to leave the platform.
Sell your photos
If your photos are high quality and you’ve thought about venturing more into photography, one excellent method to make money on Instagram is to sell what you can quickly show off on the platform, your photos.
You could do this in a variety of ways.
You might try selling your photography directly as art, through a stock photo network, or via a third-party service.
There is also always the possibility of promoting your photos via a service like Unsplash.
Getting your content in front of people is sometimes difficult when it comes to artistry, but Instagram has made that part easy, especially for photographers.
However because it’s easier than ever to get content in front of people there is a lot of competition in this space, so you’ll need to do something different to stand out.
Whether this by picking a well-defined niche or branching out into a more artistic direction this would be up to you.
Another way you might monetize using photos would be to offer services as a photographer.
Do you take pictures of events or weddings?
List that in your profile. If you regularly post content like this someone might be interested in hiring you as a photographer.
Sell your Instagram account
Last but not least you might consider selling your account itself.
While this is technically against the Instagram TOS (because you only own the photos, not the account itself) this is something that has been done in the past.
If you’re thinking of leaving the platform, it might be something to consider, given that large Instagram accounts have been sold for thousands of dollars.
Leaving the platform when you have a large following and a successful account is something that most people would not do, but if you have been putting in a lot of work on your account, you may feel drained.
If you’re unable to sustain the effort needed to keep the account going, this may seem like the right option for you.
This is kind of like a nuclear option.
You won’t be able to continue to leverage the account, and because it’s a violation of the TOS, it’s not recommended.
If you’ve been on Instagram for a few years and built up a good following, you’ve almost certainly thought of turning all of your hard work into some cold hard cash.
There are a vast amount of ways and opportunities to monetize an Instagram account.
If your followers are engaged with your content and interested in hearing more from you, there is almost certainly a way to turn that engagement into some profit for your account.
You need to leap picking a monetization method for your account. This can be hard for some who don’t want to spam their audience.
But because Instagram lends itself to this type of promotion, you won’t seem spammy by joining in with other Instagram brands and working to monetize your account.
Get started today and make that dream a reality by using one of the proven methods above to monetize your account and utilize your engaged following to make some money on Instagram!
Karen is a senior technical writer and copywriter here at GrowFollowing. Her area of expertize are social media apps and new media.