4 ways you can make money on Instagram


With brands these days focusing most of their marketing efforts on social media sites, new avenues of income are opening up online. Instagram, for one, with its 600 million plus active users and an engagement rate unmatched by rival social media sites, has become a key platform for individuals who want to make money online. Instragrammers who have a large, engaged follower base are being tapped by countless brands for marketing objectives ranging from increasing awareness to driving sales and everything in between. Even if you have an Instagram account with a thousand quality followers, there are several ways you can make money on the photo-sharing app. Here are four of the most popular and successful ways in which people make money on Instagram:

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Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular and lucrative ways to earn money online. As an affiliate marketer, you refer products to your followers and if a purchase is made, you receive a commission from the brand whose product who help sell. Your referral is tracked either through a unique link or promo code. Since Instagram doesn't allow you to post links in posts (links can only be shared in the profile bio or Stories), using promo codes is the best option for affiliate marketers on Instagram. You can sign up on a platform like Amazon Affiliate Program and tout products relevant to the niche your Instagram account is based around – whether it's travel, fashion, art, gadgets, or anything else.

Become an influencer

Affiliate marketing is about acquiring sales and influencing is about generating awareness. Partnering with influencers gives brands an opportunity to flout their products or services to a highly-targeted and interested audience. To become an influencer, you need to cultivate a large, engaged follower base that considers you an expert in, and respects your opinions on, a niche. If this holds true for your Instagram account, you can earn money through sponsored posts from brands who want to engage with your followers. If your account has established itself as a prominent voice in a niche, you can also make money through individual shoutouts – sharing posts of awareness-seeking individuals on Instagram for a fee.

Sell your photos or designs

Instagram, as a visual content sharing app, is the perfect place for photographers and graphic designers to showcase their talent. If you're a photographer looking to sell your photos, for example, you can list them on sites like 500px and Twenty20 and then use the hashtag-fuelled world of Instagram to spread the word. The same goes for graphic designers as well. While sites like Behance are important for maintaining a design portfolio, you can popularise your work through Instagram. Look at the many web comics that have witnessed a massive surge in readership thanks to viewers from Instagram for an example. Instagram also allows you to get in touch with brands directly which makes contacting potential clients for your graphic designs an easy task.

Sell your account

In the world of online marketing, a readymade audience in the high thousands is invaluable. If your Instagram account has a large number of followers and you no longer want to manage it, you can make a fair amount of money by selling it. There are several marketplaces like Viral Accounts and FameSwap that facilitate such sales so doing this is way easier than you would expect.

Of course, you do need an Instagram account with many followers for any of these tactics to make money on the site to work. If you need to start with that, check out these six steps for getting more followers on Instagram.


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