How to Make Money on Instagram

You’ve probably heard stories of Instagrammers who are cashing in on the pictures they snap and share every day. You might’ve even looked at your own sizeable following and thought, “Maybe I can do that too”.


The reason? Instagram is a powerful platform that carries massive value for brands. Today, it has over 800 million active monthly users. This implies that all of the people that brands try to target are mostly available on Instagram.

And these people actually make purchases based on influencers’ recommendations. Influencer Central found that consumers have ranked Instagram influencers at the sixth most effective at influencing purchases.

Here we explore 11 ways that social media influencers can leverage their skills, expertise, and influence to make money from multiple revenue streams by supporting brands in their digital marketing:

1. Get a Business Account

There are 2 types of Instagram accounts: personal and business. The business account was launched back in July 2016.

Via Instagram

If you’re serious about becoming an Instagram influencer, you need to let the seriousness show. And nothing does a better job of doing this than having a business account.

The other advantage you get with a business account is the ability to run ads. You can promote one of your posts if you want, in order to get some additional engagement.

2. Digital Products

One increasingly popular way for influencers to make money is e-products, as they are relatively cheap and easy to produce, and can scale rapidly online with seamless distribution. E-products can be anything from an eBook, downloadable travel guide or workout program, to a one-page meal plan or organizational template.


Digital products give influencers the opportunity to create something tangible that they can distribute and sell to their network to earn an income from their knowledge, influence, and expertise.

3. Engage Meaningfully

Social media is all about people and how you engage with them. Engagement is one of the most important factors to help you become an Instagram influencer. When someone comments on your photos, make sure that you reply to them. Also, return the favor by liking and commenting on their content.

Via MadeFreshly

Here’s a checklist that you can use to increase your post engagement:

  • Include a call-to-action in your caption
  • Post at a time you’re likely to get maximum engagement (Use insights if you have a Business Account to find the best times)
  • Host giveaways and contests
  • Use polls in Instagram Stories
  • Follow similar accounts and engage with their content

4. Tag Relevant Brands and Contact Them

So, once you have been able to grow your followers above a thousand and have decent engagement, start your outreach. The easiest way is to tag relevant brands on your photos to put yourself on their radar. Sometimes brands even feature such photos on their Instagram account giving you greater visibility.

Via RoseSimmonds

You can also send direct messages to brands you think would be relevant to your niche. Especially, if you have seen them collaborate with other influencers like you. Work on a pitch that talks about why you are reaching out and what you can offer them. I’m not saying it’s easy but you might be pleasantly surprised at the responses.

5. Leverage Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are probably the biggest thing right now on Instagram. More and more users are joining this bandwagon. In fact, more than 200 million Instagram users are using them every day. This makes them a perfect weapon to grow more followers and gain visibility.

Via Crowdfire

Even people, who aren’t your followers, can discover you from Stories. By adding hashtags or location to Stories, you can be discovered by more people. And if you have 10,000+ followers, you can include an outbound link using a “swipe up” option on Stories.

6. Choose the Right Hashtags

Hashtags are important because they enable your content to be found by other Instagram users. Instagram allows you to use a maximum of 30 hashtags on a photo, and I recommend using them all. But what kind of hashtags should you choose?

Via Stefano Lanfranco

Choose hashtags that have decent search volumes that maximizes your chances of appearing in the top posts. Ideally, use a combination of hashtags varying in search volumes from above 10,000 to 1 million. But definitely, not more than a million.

7. Post Content Consistently

Posting content consistently is another crucial prerequisite to becoming an Instagram influencer. Most influencers on Instagram post daily. However, some of them post a few times a day or even a few times a week.


Studies have revealed that an increase in your content posting frequency can boost engagement rates. However, when you decide what your posting schedule needs to be, make sure that you choose wisely. Because it needs to be something you can stick to. Setting an unrealistic goal to which you cannot adhere will not help you in any way.

8. Make Your Instafeed Appealing

This is one of the pre-requisites if you’re trying to become an Instagram influencer. Not only should each of your photos be visually-appealing but also adhere to an overall theme. This means that all of your photos in the feed should look good against one another.


Many Instagram influencers follow a particular style of editing their photos so that the color or composition is uniform. You can use tools like VSCO or Lightroom to edit your photos or just the built-in filters in Instagram. But make sure that your photos are taken in high-resolution and plenty of light to make them look really good.