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Instagram is a place to share your passion through pictures and short videos. You can connect with fellow enthusiasts, build up a fan following, and become a major influencer in your niche area of interest. Many Instagram accounts now count their followers in the tens of millions and wonder how to earn money from Instagram.
Naturally, brands have realized the advertising opportunities afforded by the reach and influence of such accounts. This has opened up interesting possibilities for users with sizeable Instagram followings to make money. So here are some of the ways you can make money on Instagram.
1. Sell Affiliate Products
Instagram allows you to add tracked links to your bio section and in the description of each post. These tracked links connect your page to various company websites and their products that you sponsor on the company’s behalf.
For every customer who visits the company’s website using your link, the company pays you a certain amount of money. Sometimes, you’ll also get a percentage of the profit if the user makes a purchase.
Some ways to optimize your affiliate marketing links are:
- Shorten the affiliate link using a link shortening service like Bitly so your post doesn’t look too spammy.
- Use the relevant hashtags relating to the product to draw users to your post.
- Mention a special discount code on your post and ask the users to use the code while purchasing the sponsored product. This is known as a referral code and lets the company know your page is driving sales of their products.
2. Advertise Products for Companies
Once you become a social media influencer, you can sell sponsored products through your Instagram page. That means companies will pay you to make posts relating to their products or services.
You can do those posts once in a while for various companies, or associate your brand with a few particular companies and post regularly on their behalf. Some of the ways in which affiliate posts work are:
- You will be asked to share your personal experience with the company’s products through your posts with fans.
- You will re-post some of the company’s posts on your own page.
- You will share pictures of yourself using the company’s products and tag the company in the pictures.
3. Sell Your Own Merchandise
This is an option for Instagram users with a more entrepreneurial instinct. You can fashion your own products and sell them to your Instagram audience. All you need is a marketable product and a brand on Instagram that followers can rally around.
Instead of trying to license your product to a larger company for better marketing options, you can cater to your own personal online audience.
Note: Remember that when you sell homemade products, you will be responsible for any legal, medical, or physical issues that the buyers suffer from. Make sure you have been issued all the required licenses for selling your product beforehand.
4. Offer a Paid Service
If you have a sizeable following on Instagram, it means you have access to a skill or resource that other users are interested in. Your talent might not always translate into a physical product, but you can offer your talent in the form of a service, like dance lessons.
This can be done in many ways:
- Include a link in your bio that takes users to your website for a full description of your services.
- Include your skills in your bio and mention that you are open to work offers, with a method of contacting you professionally.
- Offer your services at reduced rates for limited time periods.
- Connect with other users who offer similar services to build a professional network and exchange tips, leads etc.
- Use your posts, your pictures, and videos, to advertise your skill. Whether you are a photographer, a dancer, an artist or skilled any other niche.
5. Sell Your Instagram Photos
One of the most basic ways to make money on Instagram is by selling your photos. The great thing about this option is that you don’t even need a large following to sell your photos.
If your interest in photography or drawing is what attracted you to Instagram in the first place, you can cash in on your interest. First, take some time to hone your photography skills using online courses.
Once you’ve started taking professional photos, you can use the following methods to sell your photos:
- If you have a large following, you can offer to sell prints of your Instagram photos to your followers for a fee.
- Sites like Shopify allow you to subscribe to their service and sell your photos on their website. These sites cater to audiences that are specifically looking to buy relevant photos.
- You can print your photos on merchandise, like mugs and T-shirts, and sell those products for a profit.
- You can reach out to companies on Instagram and offer your picture services. The companies could then pay you to post specific types of photos relating to their products.
6. Sell Shout Outs to Smaller Instagrammers
Popularity on Instagram is a hard-won prize. There are only a handful of influencers at the top, and thousands of aspiring channels looking to boost their popularity.
In such cases, you can leverage your popularity for money by offering to provide shout-outs to other Instagrammers in return for a fee. The shout-out can take the form of:
- Sharing the client’s post.
- Tagging them in your posts.
- Asking your followers to check out their page.
- Becoming a follower of your client’s page, and liking and commenting regularly on their posts.
7. Offer Instagram Tutorials for Money
Becoming a significant Instagram Influencer is a difficult task to accomplish. Your success on the site will be a testament to your marketing skills and your knowledge of how Instagram works. You’ll also need to leverage Instagram’s algorithm to get the most likes, comments, and followers.
You can offer to share your knowledge with new users in the form of tutorials and/or consultation fees. There are many types of software which allow you to create classes and presentations using your knowledge that can be accessed by subscribers in return for a fee.
Cashing In on Your Instagram Popularity
Having a popular page or brand on Instagram can be a profitable venture. Provided you are willing to leverage that popularity properly, you too can earn money from Instagram. Take some time to figure out which of the money making methods discussed above best suit your particular brand on Instagram.
Finally, remember that one significant way to boost your business is to get verified on Instagram to show your followers that you are not running some sort of scam.