How to Make Money on Instagram?

Can you make money on Instagram?

As Instagram is becoming one of the most powerful social media platforms, many people start wondering how to capitalize on its rapid growth.

They want to know how to make money on Instagram and turn the channel into an effective ROI driver.

Are you one of these people wondering how to earn money on Instagram?

Keep on reading to learn how to make money on Instagram – whether you’re a brand, influencer, or regular user.

Instagram is on a straight path to becoming the #1 social media platform and, as such, also the best social network to generate profit on.

The platform’s immense money-making potential can be attributed to its key characteristics:

  • massive, engaged audience
  • multitude of business features
  • thriving influencer community

As a smart brand, influencer, or user, you can tap into these features to make money off of Instagram.

But before we explain how to make money on Instagram, let’s zoom in on four essentials you absolutely need if you want to make a buck on the platform:

  • Sizeable audience – on Instagram, your community is your currency. Aim for a minimum of 500-1,000 followers to be able to leverage your audience size to make money
  • High engagement rate – you need to know how to engage your audience to successfully apply the money-making tactics we’re going to discuss later in the article
  • Budget to invest – as with any other business, making a profit on Instagram is often difficult without a budget you can first invest
  • Knowledge of Instagram – being familiar with how Instagram works, for example in terms of paid ads or influencer marketing, will make monetizing your presence on the platform much easier

Do you have all four qualities?

Great! We can now move on to explaining how to make money on Instagram.

How to Make Money on Instagram as a Business?

For businesses, making money on Instagram is mostly about maximizing conversions on the platform.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Invest in Instagram Stories ads

Instagram Stories ads are crushing it when it comes to increasing the return on investment and bringing tangible income.

Just take a look at these stats from Agorapulse who compared the performance of Instagram Stories vs. Feed ads. According to their data, ads in Stories achieved:

  • 44% higher reach
  • 23% higher conversion rate
  • 78% more clicks

Impressive, isn’t it?

But that’s not all – while more effective, Instagram Stories ads were also cheaper than the Feed ads:

Image source

In a nutshell, if you want to maximize both your advertising ROI and business opportunities in a cost-effective way, running Instagram Stories ads is the way to go.

2. Retarget your web visitors with ads

Instagram has a huge impact on consumers purchase decisions. According to the study by Yotpo, 72% of consumers declare seeing an Instagram post increases their chances of buying, and 30% have bought a product after they saw it on Instagram.

You can use Instagram’s influence on customer buying journey to increase your revenue.


Use Instagram ads to retarget users who have previously visited your website. This way, you’ll be able to reach users who you know are interested in your business – and reach them on a platform with a huge potential to increase users’ buying intent.

The combination of these two strong factors is bound to increase your sales through Instagram!

Image source

3. Leverage Call-to-action Buttons

Instagram’s new business feature, Action Buttons, is a great way to convert your audience on the platform.

The buttons enable your followers to quickly book tickets, start an order, reserve a table, and more, without having to leave Instagram.

Because the Action Buttons make it super easy for people to interact with businesses, they can become a powerful conversion driver – at least for those who have access to the feature.

Instagram is still rolling out the feature to different companies, so keep your eyes peeled, and jump on the Action Buttons as soon as they’re available – they’ll surely skyrocket your revenue!

How to Make Money on Instagram as an Influencer

Instagram is arguably the best, most profitable social media platform for influencers. To be able to make money off of it, influencers need to connect with brands first and, later, focus on creating compelling sponsored content.

Here’s how:

1. Find Prospective Business Partners

If you’re an influencer wishing to make money on Instagram, there’s one thing you need to zero in on: finding the right business partners.

There are two ways how to do it.

First, you can make a list of brands you’d like to collaborate with and send them a pitch. Sounds interesting? Read more about delivering powerful pitches to brands in this guide.

Second, you can set up a profile on one of the many websites connecting influencers to brands. Make sure to spruce up your profile by highlighting the topics you cover, engagement you generate, and brands you’ve collaborated with.

Here’s a quick roundup of top pages influencers can advertise themselves on:

2. Create Awesome Sponsored Posts

Sponsored content is something that almost all influencers are doing. The thing is, not all of them are doing it well.

The key to creating great #SponCon is making it compelling and effective in driving conversions while also ensuring it’s aligned with your regular content.

How to achieve this?

Perfect your CTAs. Keep your CTAs short, sweet, and in sync with your tone of voice. Also, include them at the very beginning of your post captions to maximize their visibility.  

Make it easy for your followers to purchase the products you’re advertising. Many influencers get a commission for selling the products they’re promoting. If you belong to this group, it’s important that you make buying the items you feature in your posts as smooth as possible.

One of the best ways to do it is to tag brands in your content. Tags enable your followers to quickly identify companies behind the featured products and visit their Instagram profiles or eshops.

Another tactic that can help you boost sales is including links in your Instagram Stories.
Adding links to your Stories allows your followers to quickly visit company websites, online stores, or blogs – all in a single swipe. And because it’s so easy to send your audience where they can make a purchase, the odds they’ll convert increase – and so do your chances to make money on Instagram!

Image source: Instagram

Make the most out of your creative juice. As an influencer, you’ll have deadlines for publishing sponsored content, but try to plan for it correctly and write only when you’re truly inspired. Use one of the top social media management tools for scheduling posts in advance and write them when you’re at your creative best. None of your followers will want to buy something if the sponsored post sounds just like a sales pitch, and not something you’re truly into.

3. Sell Your Visuals

As an influencer, you have no shortage of appealing images you post on your social media profiles. But it’s likely that you only use your visuals once or twice before moving on to creating new ones.

Although widespread, this approach surely isn’t the most beneficial.

To make the most of your images, consider selling them on marketplaces such as 500px, twenty20, or Fotomoto. This way, you’ll be able to make a quick buck out of all the time and effort you invested in producing your images.
Sounds interesting? Check out this guide for more info on selling your Instagram photos for the best price.

Image source

How to Make Money on Instagram as a User

If you’re a regular Instagram user, your ability to make money off of the platform strongly depends on your number of followers.

That’s because, when your following is large enough, you can:

Sell your Instagram account. Even though this idea might seem controversial to some, selling (and buying) Instagram accounts is actually a common practice on the Internet.

Many businesses that are new to social media marketing don’t want to invest resources into building their social profiles from scratch. So, to speed things up, they are looking to buy established accounts with a sizeable audience – and that’s where you can step in.

But before you put your Instagram account for sale, make sure you check these boxes:

  • You have at least a couple of hundred followers
  • You have a decent engagement rate (4-6%)
  • You publish content around a specific topic, for example travel or games

Do you meet all the conditions? Great! This means your account is likely to attract potential buyers that you can find on marketplaces such as Social Tradia, FameSwap, or ViralAccounts.

Look into affiliate marketing opportunities. If selling your Instagram account is not an option, you might want to consider leveraging your following for affiliate marketing.

The first thing you need to do here is to find companies offering attractive affiliate programs. Ideally, these companies’ offering should be aligned with the theme of your Instagram content, so every time you mention them or link to their web, it appears natural and authentic.

Where can you find potential affiliate partners? Check out this list of 67 best affiliate programs by Forex Referral.

Then, add the affiliate link to your bio to maximize its visibility. If your audience is over 10,000 followers, you can also include the link in your Instagram Stories.

The last step is increasing traffic to your Instagram profile, so more people get to see and click on your link. Some of the best ways to do it are using relevant hashtags, engaging with other users’ content, and posting at optimal times when your followers are most active.

For more info on affiliate marketing on Instagram, check out this comprehensive guide from Online Affiliate World.

The Takeaway

Instagram is a great place to make money online, whether you’re a brand, influencer, or user. All you need to do to generate profit on the platform is know the right tactics – which is something we hope this article helped you with.
Do you know of any other effective ways to make money off of Instagram? Spread the word and let us know in the comments!

See also: 10 Simple Rules for Perfect Instagram Stories