How to Make Money on Instagram: Everything You Need to Know APRIL 23, 202410 MIN READ
How to Make Money on Instagram: Everything You Need to Know


Don’t simply pass the time on Instagram—turn it into a positive income instead. From selling merchandise to becoming an influencer, you can choose lots of methods to make money on Instagram.

With this guide, you will not only learn how to make money on Instagram, but how to significantly scale your presence as an online entrepreneur too. To strengthen your off-platform Instagram marketing strategy, create a website and link to it for eCommerce, influencer, traffic opportunities and more.

Partner with a Brand for Sponsored Posts

One of the most promising ways to make money on Instagram is by becoming an influencer, which means to be a micro influencer or nano influencer. As any of these types of influencers, you will be compensated with gifts or money in exchange for creating and sharing content around a brand or business. These might take the form of sponsored posts, where you positively shoutout about a brand or product on your Instagram account with a story. Reels can also now be used to promote sponsored content or include links to your own website and services.

Understanding what to charge as an Instagram influencer

Typically, influencer contracts involve the creation of content—posts or Stories that act as Instagram ads for the brand—and will sometimes include permission for the brand to use the content for their own purposes.

In exchange for this Instagram marketing, influencers will receive a fee, free products or services, the promise of exposure, or some combination of compensation.

Pricing and contract negotiation tips for Instagram influencers:

  • Set your own limits. Beware of contracts that promise exposure or undervalue your worth.
  • Understand your value. When negotiating, remember that you’re not just offering content but access to your audience and usage rights.
  • Know your audience. Who are they and what is your engagement rate (total engagement divided by your number of followers)? This will help you be prepared when it comes time to negotiate.

Finding the right brands to work with

If you have enough influence on Instagram, chances are brands will find you and offer you sponsorship deals. But you can always be picky about the brands you work with and reach out to them first.

Try listing your details on influencer marketplaces to signal to brands that you’re open to collaboration. You can build websites with shopify,or create a shopify account, such as Shopify Collabs, which is an influencer marketplace that connects creators with brands looking to get exposure to new audiences.

The rules vary when it comes to sponsored content, but to be on the safe side and respect your audience’s trust, consider adding a #sponsored hashtag to indicate sponsored posts. You can find examples of sponsored posts and how Instagram creators integrate brands into their Stories or captions by searching the #sponsored hashtag on Instagram.

Open an Instagram Shop

An Instagram Shop is a lot like running an online store, except it’s all on an app. Their slogan “post, tag, sell” explains how it works. After creating your shop, upload product images, descriptions and prices of your merchandise. Then users can discover your items and check out without ever leaving Instagram.

Follow these five steps for creating a shop on Instagram:

  • Convert to a business account.
  • Connect your Facebook Page.
  • Upload a product catalog.
  • Complete account review.
  • Turn on Shopping.

Tip: Creating custom products from scratch can be a lengthy process, from product development and design to branding, shipping, and manufacturing. For a lower lift way to sell products to fans, jump to the next idea.

Become an Affiliate Marketer

Unlike becoming an influencer and getting paid per post, as an affiliate you get paid on commission. The average affiliate commission rate to expect is anywhere between 5% - 30%. Your sales will most often get tracked with a unique promo code or UTM link. On Instagram, affiliate programs often go by the name "Brand Ambassador." You can either apply to become one on a company's website or be approached by the brand, such as applying to Alibaba marketplace for more services.

The number of followers you have is not a deciding factor for brands looking to hire affiliates, rather they want to see that you’re a fitting person who connects with their audience.

An affiliate program is a system set up by brands to manage the details of their affiliate relationships with Instagram users. Approach brands with affiliate programs directly or try popular affiliate marketplaces like the following:

  • Rakuten Advertising is a popular affiliate network with carefully vetted advertisers and a weekly payment structure.
  • LTK is an invitation-only fashion and lifestyle influencer network that offers access to more than 5,000 brands.
  • Amazon Associates is a popular option that pays a 10% commission on qualifying sales.

Tip: Use a URL shortener like Bitly to shorten affiliate links, especially if you’re using them in your Instagram bio.

Offer Instagram Marketing Services

Are you skilled in Instagram marketing, caption writing or content creation? If so, you might be suited to take on an Instagram freelancing gig. By consulting other companies on improving their Instagram marketing techniques, you can make a nice profit, charging service fees between $20 - $50 per hour and even $100 for writing captions.

Book more freelance customers and spread the word about your services in your Instagram bio. You can also advertise your services on platforms. Plus, consider adding online scheduling to your website so people can book services directly from your site.

Sell Photos, Illustrations or Digital Files

Instagram is all about the visuals, so if you're a designer, photographer or creative, it's time to cash in on your talents. You can sell your photos to other businesses, or figure out ways like how to purchase wholesale items,which is very common in the travel industry, or you can sell your own content, such as prints and illustrations.

While video and other features increase in popularity, at its core, Instagram is a photo sharing app. That makes it a great place for artists and photographers alike to monetize their Instagram account by selling prints and originals.

There are a few ways to do this:

  • Use a photo selling marketplace and link your pages in your bio.
  • Sell your photos or sell art as originals or prints through your own online store and link to your Instagram bio.
  • Sell these items directly on Instagram using Instagram Shopping features, for example, if you are dealing with a shein clothing sale, you should show the pictures of your products
  • License your work on stock image sites and drive businesses to your work using Instagram.
  • Use a print-on-demand service to print photos or art on items like totes, mugs, and t-shirts. Promote these in your Instagram content.

Create an Instagram Feature Account

Instagram feature accounts act as hubs to showcase photos from several different creators within a niche. For instance, a travel page shows images of various top travel bloggers and tags them for credit. Here are countless Instagram feature accounts sorted by topic that you can look at for reference.

But can you make money on Instagram from this type of page? Once you’ve grown your account to a favorable size, you can offer paid spots to users who wish to get featured on your accounts’ feed or Instagram Stigories.

Tips to succeeding on Instagram

  • Pick a niche: Choose a niche to focus on and be an expert in. It will be much easier to gain followers and brand partnerships when you have a clear and specific target audience from the start. For instance, being a food influencer can be seen as far too broad. A niche example could be focusing only on vegan or gluten-free cuisine. Honing in on a subject will also differentiate you from the competition and make you highly relevant to brands in that industry.
  • Regularly engage with others: Build a strong community by often liking, commenting, messaging and sharing other people’s content. Simply taking a beautiful shot and hitting “publish” won’t do the trick. Instead, allow people to get to know you can see you as a real person who is equally interested in others’ content. Storytelling is an essential part of securing engagement across all social media platforms and Instagram is no exception. Hone your storytelling skills across all of your content and it will make a difference.
  • Add tags: Use hashtags, geotags and tag brands in your posts and across your branded content. This will drastically help you get discovered by new followers and maybe even land new brand deals.
  • Use a multi-channel approach: Be active on other channels such as YouTube and TikTok. Start a blog and newsletter and cross-promote your accounts. This will help you attract relevant people from all angles and inform them of more places to keep up with your content. Extend your reach across other money generating platforms, such as Patreon. As a musician you may use Instagram to promote your music, and even include links for fans to download it for a fee. With Patreon you can extend its monetization potential by offering behind the scenes footage or priority access to new or unreleased music.
  • Be proactive and resilient: Whichever of the ten methods you try, take strong action with messaging brands about new partnership deals. Apply for several ambassador programs and often collaborate with others (even for free when you first start). As you kick off your Instagram monetization efforts, remember the words of Robin Sharma, "the only failure is not trying."

Brands making money on Instagram

  • Wix user Palm & Wild created an Instagram Shop for their elegant art prints. By selling beyond their website, they can reach new users and make money on Instagram. They've also kept their URL in their Instagram bio to help potential customers learn more about the other products and drive traffic to their website.
  • Wix user Sweet Mana created a dropshipping business dedicated to handcrafted botanical skincare products that promote relaxation and mindfulness. Sweet Mana's Instagram is filled with bright product shots and tropical nature images that help you feel like you’re experiencing the product first-hand. By not storing inventory, they’ve likely saved a lot of time and money getting products into customers' hands—putting them in a position to make their Instagram even more profitable.
  • Underwater Photography Nature dedicates their Instagram page to water shots that have accumulated over 135,000 followers with an average of 5,000 likes per photo. They’ve monetized their Instagram in two ways. One, in their bio, they’ve written, “For features/promo/shoutout use email contact.” Two, they use captions to monetize, like a recent caption that says they offer advertising promotions on their popular page.
  • Influencer SouKeyna serves as a strong example of what Instagram brand partnerships can look like. In the post, SouKeyna shows herself applying Armani Beauty makeup. She’s also added a paid partnership label at the top of the post to provide transparency, a required practice in social media and influencer marketing.

If you're looking for further inspiration and examples of how huge influencers and celebrities have turned into a money making venture, check out the accounts of Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez and others.


Instagram is a great place to build a community of your target audience, and one you can engage with regularly and directly. There is no shortage of ways to make money online with the tools and channels available to creators today. Instagram alone has multiple monetization options allowing influencers, creators, and artists to earn an income through the platform.

This is the best way to grow a loyal audience that you can eventually monetize. Build your brand, set up an Instagram shop, and find exciting ways to make money on Instagram.

contact with