How to make money on Instagram?

Our day starts with click-tapping into the world of social media, and it is safe to say that communication of all sorts is heavily dependent on social media apps. With the advent of Facebook and Instagram, businesses are now using these platforms to boost their sales and create a better brand presence. 

With over a billion active user base, Instagram has emerged as one of the hot-favourite apps of youth today. Brands have realized the power of visual-driven content and have been strategizing on making their marketing insta-friendly. Now we know the worth of the platform, and it comes as no surprise if you are thinking to cash this opportunity. 

Is it worth it? 


Is it easy? 

Yes, but only if you know how to use it efficiently.

To elaborate, there are several ways to venture into the exciting world of Instagram. The accessibility and easy-to-use features make this app more enticing and binge-worthy. Many micro-level entrepreneurs like those who run cafes, sell home-baked products have been leveraging this platform to reach their potential customers. 

How to make money on Instagram?

It’s no brainer that Instagram is easy to use and easy to get visibility. The question is how to make money on Instagram? 

Fret not! In this article, we briefly explain how to use Instagram to earn money. There are three thumb rules for building a good profile on Instagram

1. Building followers range: 

Reach is the protagonist that helps you in building an influential profile on Instagram. Brands are always on the lookout for profiles that have a decent amount of followers. Once you define your niche (can be travel vlogging, food vlogging, fashion and lifestyle, tech review, etc.) – start posting user-loving content and keep your work going. 

2. Posting engaging content: 

People love experiences and creativity. The more creative your content is, the more traction it generates. Informative content and relatable click baits are the best duos to retain your followers. For people to double tap on your posts, keep up with the trends, and get your creative juices flowing.

3. Using relevant hashtags: 

Ever wondered why that ‘#’ s are showered at the end of each post? In Instagram, hashtags are words tagged with ‘#’ that is used to categorize the content. For a specific visual-driven post to reach a wider audience, hashtags unify the people who prefer to see content like yours. While posting any content, you can ideally use 15-20 hashtags that are related to the content you intend to post on Instagram. 

Amassing followers is not the end of the tunnel. In contrast, your responsibility for increasing engagement comes into play. Keeping up with the frequency of posts and quality content is the key. 

Effective ways to make money on Instagram:

There are six effective ways to make money on Instagram. It is undoubtedly easy to use and easy to navigate. The right way can open your doors to a multitude of opportunities to make good money. 

Promoting sponsored posts: 

It is the best way for you to get started if you have more than 8k or 10k followers. But for brands to approach you for promoting their products, you must be able to define your niche. It is not worth it if you are a lifestyle blogger and wish to post about tech reviews. Once you decide on your niche- start posting engaging and informative content regularly.

With the right hashtags, you can reach a wider audience. It is an easy and creatively-demanding way to make money on Instagram. Nevertheless, if you love doing what you do and have a knack for being a kick-ass influencer, this could be the right way for you. Here is a small checklist for you to know whether your profile is garnering enough attention:

Engaged followers

Engagement is the factor that is often stressed upon, as a better engagement rate proves that your profile caters to a relevant audience bracket most effectively. 

Consistent growth in audience numbers:

It all sounds the same and revolves around one factor ‘posting relatable content consistently’. Only when you can cater to a larger audience range and make them trust you, you can experiment and brainstorm on new content creation.

Pitching to brands/ brands approaching you:

Connect with brands or mention the desired brand in your story or post. Brands nowadays are proactively looking forward to partnering with influencers to promote their brand. You can pitch directly to the brands about your profile and interest to promote their brand. Many times they approach you based on your Instagram profile and the brand’s requirements. Not to mention, keep your country’s laws and agreement with brands in mind and disclose the ‘paid partnership’ tag or mention the collaboration wherever or whenever necessary.

Micro-influencers (those with less than 100,000 followers) have a greater scope in leveraging the opportunity of brand collaboration. The engagement that micro-influencers drive is authentic and it ensures that the brand visibility is reaching directly to their potential consumers. If you are a micro-influencer with a decent follower range, you can definitely try this to make money on Instagram. 

Sell visual content: 

Initially, Instagram was a photo-sharing app with minimal features. With time, it has evolved to become one of the top social media platforms surpassing all the odds. Although now this platform allows people to share stories, go live, and open doors for influencers to make money, what stands the same right from its inception is- visually driven content. The major contributor to Instagram content is photos. The memes we tag each other all day, the relatable photos we share, the funny comics, photoshop- all these tools in the bigger picture convey a strong message in a minimalistic projection. The visually-driven content is a powerful tool that makes communicating any complex message simple. 

In the era of moment marketing, we see the trend of brands investing dedicatedly in graphic images, memes, and photography. Many travel companies like Airbnb, Klook, Holidify, Thrillophilia collaborate with independent photographers and give shoutouts via handles.

If you are a photographer or someone who wishes to venture into photography, you can sell the pictures you shot at reasonable prices. You can sell the pictures not just to the brands but also to individuals who wish to give portraits to their friends or loved ones. 

Sell your art or customized gifts:

As mentioned above, there’s a lot of room for individuals to make money on Instagram just with creativity and promotion. Now is the time to dust your long-forgotten hobby to turn it into a side hustle. Many freelance artists and hobbyists have been using Instagram to showcase their artworks. You can create an art page or a business account on Instagram and post your art in an appealing format.

Make sure that the grid is aesthetically pleasing as the first impression lasts. Once you build your profile, link your website or cart to the -‘Shop now.” If you are open to providing customized artworks or gifts, mention- ‘DM for customized work.’ Basically, your bio should give a gist of the services you offer and what your profile is about. 

Affiliate marketing: 

Affiliate marketing is more about performance than brand awareness. It is the best way if you wish to earn money passively without taking any risk and investing too much of your time. Affiliate marketing is all about selling others’ products and earning your commission through the sales you make. Generally, people start affiliate marketing via product reviews or writing product reviews on the blog. You can even make money via blogging by posting relevant product reviews. 

For getting started as an affiliate marketer, choose the products that you think would make a good sale. Although sales are heavily consumer-centric, based on the metrics like geographical location, local consumer preferences, trends, you can decide on which products to sell. It is wise to choose products that you are confident about, as affiliate marketing is sales-centric. The more you sell, the more commission you can earn. 

Once you decide what to sell, find an affiliate program. The affiliation could be with the desired brands directly, or there are many affiliate programs like Amazon affiliate program where the marketer can choose their niche- get a unique link- sell the product via that link- earn a commission. 

Subscriptions or Patreons:

If you are a writer, or poet, or cartoonist with active follower engagement and great content on your profile, you can earn money through subscriptions or Patreons. The definition of great content varies, but the reader or user engagement speaks. Although it seems like people wouldn’t pay for art or write-ups, there has been an increasing trend of people paying for a subscription via Patreon.

Your content can be about anything- ranging from philosophy to Economic analysis. Post crisp content on slides (content that increases curiosity- like stats, research findings, quotes, etc.) and link the detailed writeup in the blog post. You can put your blog link in the bio where interested people can read the full article. 

But for providing subscriptions, a weekly or monthly newsletter pattern would be ideal, where the Patrons can access all the content in a seamless experience. For getting a good number of subscriptions or Patreons, post your content consistently and brainstorm on topics that can garner traction. You can go live occasionally with co-content creators for branding your Instagram profile.

If you wish to know about what your followers want to read: In the story section, you can find the option- ‘poll’.

Here you can type the two topics that you are planning to write and put a poll between the two. Prioritize the topic with more votes and plan the content accordingly. Although Instagram is a virtual place, the option- share is just like the word of mouth tactic that we use in an on-ground marketing strategy. The surge in shares is a sure shot for getting more followers, thereby increasing your chance of getting more subscriptions. 


Videos are a powerful tool in social media to convey messages directly. Vlogging is an emerging conversational tool for brands on social media to stay connected with their followers. Often brands leverage the follower base of micro-influencers to increase visibility and build trust. Travel companies, resorts, cafes, restaurants, etc are some of the brands that sponsor or pay vloggers to promote their brand or spaces. 

  • Travel blogging/vlogging :

Love venturing out into the wild or exotic locations and adventures? Travel Vlogging is perfect for you. Although this predominantly doesn’t serve the purpose of direct revenue generation, it helps you make money in different ways. An average travel blogger posts at least three videos and three images per week. Travel companies often pay travel vloggers or sponsor a fully-paid trip to cover the unseen stories of authentic travel destinations around the country. Travel Vlogging is all about presenting the grandeur of nature in an appealing format. If you love travelling around and exploring experiences, travel vlogging could be an ideal way to make money on Instagram. 

  • Food vlogging:

Who wouldn’t want to earn money at the comfort of the good of lip-smacking food? Food vlogging is a favourite side hustle for foodies for both recreation and to make money. You can get started by posting reviews about eateries or by collaborating with affiliates. Some restaurants or cafes will pay you for promoting their place or many times offer free tasting platters. Food vlogging is also one of the passive income generators if you have a good follower engagement. 

Wrapping Up

Instagram is an open space where everybody can make money. But the variation in strategies will play a role in succeeding. It would be tempting to cold message profiles and buy fake followers, yet it’s not just the amount of followers that matters, but the authenticity. By posting consistently and monitoring competitors’ strategies, you can plan your strategies more effectively. It’s likely that you can earn a decent follower base with the above-mentioned points. Make your profile stand out by working on what you love and make people love your profile!!

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