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How To Make Money on Instagram: A Guide To Social Media Income

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Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, boasting more than 2.3 billion users. Once a platform to share snapshots of your day, Instagram is now a powerhouse platform for Creators looking to make money. If you’re wondering how to make money on Instagram, you’ve come to the right place. With the right strategy, it has the potential to provide you with a lucrative source of income. 

There are various ways Instagram Creators can turn a profit on Instagram. The strategies, techniques, and tips below can help you transform your presence on the platform into sustainable income. Whether you’re a budding Creator getting started or a master of content creation, this guide is for you. Let’s get started.

Why Instagram Is An Ideal Platform To Monetize Content

There are many ways to earn money as a content Creator. But For Instagram in particular is a top platform for monetizing content and securing brand deals. From showcasing your unique imagery to creating engaging Instagram Reels , there are so many opportunities to create authentic content that’ll attract audiences and potential partners. 

If you’re wondering how to make money on Instagram, there are a few things you need to learn. Specifically, the various features that allow you to monetize your content. 

  • User Base: Yes, many social media platforms have a broad audience base. However, as we mentioned, Instagram has more than 2.3 billion users. Additionally, Instagram’s the world’s fourth most-used social media platform. Finally, according to SEO tool Semrush, Instagram ranks as one of the top 10 most visited websites globally. With such a large audience, Instagram is an important, compelling platform for Creators who want to grow their following.
  • Eye-catching Visuals: Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Instagram is a site built around visual content. Are you a Creator who specializes in capturing photography, editing videos, or sharing any medium of visual imagery like illustrations or artwork? If so, then Instagram is for you. Instagram stands apart from its competitors because of its multi-modal capabilities. Users can share various types of visuals, from still to motion, through their profile posts, Instagram Stories, and video Reels. Plus, users can make edits, add music, and tag people, locations, brands and more 
  • Engagement and Community Building: Because Instagram has a vast user base, there’s huge potential for engagement. In addition to the platform’s expansive number of users, they come from all walks of life with endless interests. Meaning, it’s surprisingly easy to cultivate an engaged community that’s interested in your content and your particular niche. Once you cultivate a community of followers, you have their attention to market your products or services.

Instagram Monetization Requirements

Before discussing specifics on how to make money on Instagram, we must discuss the Instagram monetization requirements. While these requirements differ depending on the program or monetization strategy you use, there are some that remain constant no matter how you choose to monetize.These include:

  • Complying with Instagram’s terms of use and community guidelines. 
  • Meeting the minimum 18-year-old age requirement.
  • Residing in a participating location. 
  • Posting original, authentic work that doesn’t contain prohibited content.

If you want to participate in branded content, subscriptions, badges, or other income-driven content programs, familiarize yourself with their individual requirements.

How Many Followers Do You Need To Make Money on Instagram?

So, how many followers do you need to make money on Instagram? While there isn’t a follower minimum for many of the monetization programs on Instagram, you do need a public, professional account. Of course, the more followers you have, the better. But even Creators with small audiences can make money. A survey conducted by Hype Auditor found that “micro-influencers (accounts with one thousand to ten thousand followers) earn on average $1,420 per month.”

However, it’s important to note that Instagram’s Subscriptions and badge programs require users to have at least 10,000 followers. So, if you’re wondering how to make money on Instagram, you’ll want to focus on building your audience before monetizing.

How To Use Affiliate Marketing To Make Money on Instagram

One way to earn an income from Instagram is to use affiliate marketing. When you’ve cultivated an engaged community on Instagram, you can direct them to your favorite products using affiliate links and earn commission when a purchase is made.. 

Here are a few ways to maximize your affiliate marketing potential on Instagram:

Ultimately, making money from affiliate marketing on Instagram requires creating interesting and engaging content that persuades consumers to see the value of the brands and products you’re sharing. Don’t forget to cross-post your content to other social media platforms, as well as your own owned and operated channels, to maximize your exposure to potential customers.

Monetize Your Instagram With Brand Partnerships

If you’re wondering how to make money on Instagram by working with brands, then let’s dig into one of the most lucrative ways to make money as a Creator: brand partnerships.

Brand partnerships are paid collaborations between brands and Creators, and they can come in different forms:

  • Flat-fee campaign
  • Affiliate partnership
  • UGC partnership
  • Social media whitelisting

Often, brands will seek out Creators to cast in their marketing campaigns, paying them to promote certain products, services, messaging, or tentpole moments like a new product launch or upcoming sales. Brands seek out Creators whose authentic interests align with their mission and products, and who have engaged audiences they can market to. 

To get cast in campaigns and attract brands for partnerships on Instagram, you should have a growing, engaged following, high-quality content, a consistent posting schedule, and a clear point of view. Brands look to work with Creators with a proven track record of success, so put together a short media kit that highlights your biggest accomplishments as a Creator, like the sales you’ve driven or the buzz you’ve helped generate for a brand. You can send this to potential brand partners to help you seal the deal. Over time, your successful collaborations can help you become a brand ambassador, and turn those partnerships into ongoing financial opportunities. 

Keep in mind that when you create content as part of a paid partnership, you must add disclosures that follow FTC guidelines. Instagram has a feature that marks your posts with the “Paid Partnership” label. But before you get started with your first branded post, you need to set up the “Branded content tools” option in your Instagram settings menu.

Two people filming content to make money on Instagram from brand partnerships.

How to Make Money on Instagram Through Subscriptions

Instagram launched its Subscriptions feature in January 2022 as another way for Creators to earn income on the platform. Instagram Subscriptions allow Creators to offer exclusive content to followers who subscribe.

If you’re wondering how to make money on Instagram through Subscriptions, the set up is fairly straightforward. You set your own monthly subscription price from a range of preset amounts. Currently, you can charge $.99, $1.99, $2.99, $4.99, $9.99, $19.99, $49.99, or $99.99. Instagram doesn’t take a fee from Subscriptions. However, they explain that “Google and Apple deduct 30% of all in-app purchases in fees.”

Instagram Subscriptions benefit both Creators and their subscribers. As the Creator, you earn recurring monthly income and build deeper relationships with your devoted fans. And your subscribers get to be part of an exclusive community of like-minded fans and gain access to special content. 

If you’re curious about Subscriptions, check out these Creator’s Instagram accounts:

  • Aliza Kelly is an astrologer and author with 134K followers. She offers a subscription to exclusive astrology-themed content for $4.99/mo. She also offers classes linked to her bio, each one is priced at $33.
  • Jordan Chiles is an Olympic gymnast that shares special content with her subscribers. She charges $1.99/mo. to view her content. 
  • Don Stevenson is an XR Creator. His Instagram Subscription features “chats and talks with key players in the XR industry.” Additionally, he’s the only XR Creator with a Subscription-based account at the moment. He charges $4.99/mo for exclusive content. 

These are the requirements to use Instagram Subscriptions:

  • You have to be 18+.
  • You have over 10,000 followers.
  • You reside in an eligible country.
  • You comply with Instagram’s monetization policies.

How To Make Money on Instagram From Different Types of Posts

Do you meet all the requirements for Instagram’s proprietary monetization programs? If not, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to make money on Instagram. There are still a few additional ways to earn income on the platform—especially if you’re a UGC Creator or use shopping discovery apps. Just remember the basics: if you create high-quality content, post regularly, and engage with your audience you have a better chance of success. Here’s how to monetize your content through various posting methods.

A food blogger learning how to make money from an Instagram grid post.

How To Make Money on Instagram Grid Posts

You can learn how to make money on Instagram by going back to the basics. We’re talking about creating static posts for your Instagram grid. Static posts on your Instagram grid are best for:

  • Using high-quality imagery to showcase physical or digital products. 
  • Promoting branded content with your followers. 
  • Creating image carousels and adding any commissionable links in the caption. 
  • Keeping your audience updated on any upcoming Instagram Live content scheduled or new Instagram Subscriptions content. 

Your grid posts aren’t just about the visuals, though. You want a catchy, relevant caption alongside your high-quality image or content, along with a clear call-to-action that can help drive sales, traffic, or awareness.

How To Make Money on Instagram Live by Earning Badges

If you’re a Creator who loves to utilize Instagram Live, the platform’s badge program is especially for you. Instagram badges is a feature that allows your viewers and followers to purchase badges during your Instagram Live stream. Think of them as a tip for your hard work and amazing content. It’s a great way for your audience to show support and let you know they like your content. 

If you’re learning how to make money on Instagram, rest assured that your badges add up. Badges cost $.99, $1.99, and $4.99, and users can purchase more than one badge during a Live stream. When a user purchases a badge, a heart icon appears next to their username. You’ll see it when they interact with you during the stream so that you can thank them and interact back, if you chose to. 

In order to participate in badges, you have to meet the same eligibility requirements as Instagram Subscriptions.

A guy filming a live video on Instagram.

How To Make Money on Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels have taken off in the last few years, leading many Creators to wonder how to make money on Instagram Reels. With the rising popularity of short-form video, Instagram Reels has created an entirely new format for Creators to generate content, come up with new creative ideas, reach a larger audience, and engage with their followers. Not to mention, Instagram Reels are one of the most engaging formats on the platform right now, making them a powerful format for making money. 

Here are ways to generate income from your Instagram Reels content. 

  1. Sell them as part of a brand partnership package: Because of the high reach potential and engagement rates, brands are very interested in leveraging Instagram Reels. If you’re getting paid to partner with brands, offer to include an Instagram Reel video as part of the campaign package. 
  2. Create product reviews for brands to repurpose as sponsored User-Generated Content (UGC): Brands love to repurpose UGC for their own social media and marketing channels. When you create brand and product-specific videos, you can license or sell the videos to brands to post on their own channels, or whitelist through your profile. 
  3. Use them to direct your audience to your affiliate links: Instagram Reels are great formats for showcasing your favorite outfits,  makeup tutorials, home decor ideas, and more! Use a voiceover or onscreen text in your Reel to direct your followers to your link-in-bio so they can shop the products in your video through your affiliate links.

How To Make Money on Instagram Stories

Even though Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, their big draw for Creators is their easy linking capabilities. With Stories, you can add a link sticker to your photo or video slides, and your followers can simply tap the link and be redirected wherever you want them to go. Which means that Stories are a great solution for bringing your followers straight to your affiliate links! 

Here are a few ideas for making money from Instagram Stories:

  • Create a weekly Instagram Story series that you can produce consistently, that shows off your favorite outfit this week, or a recipe you’ve been perfecting. Make sure to add link stickers to the products in the Story slide.
  • Sell merchandise or products you make: If you have an online shop or merchandise, use Stories to link your audience directly to your merch or website. Tease images or videos of your latest “drops” and showcase testimonials from shoppers who love your products. 
  • Sell courses: Are you a video creation expert or have you cracked the code to affiliate marketing on Pinterest? Design an e-course and use Instagram Stories to promote it. Use question and poll stickers to create a conversation with your audience, and let them ask you questions about the course and your strategy. Then, use a link sticker to get your followers to purchase your online course.
A person filming content to make money on Instagram stories.

How To Receive Payment for Instagram Monetization Programs

Now that you know how to make money on Instagram through their  proprietary monetization programs, you might wonder how you would receive payment. First, you have to add a payout account on the platform. Not sure where to start? Here’s how to add this to your account.

  1. Log into your Instagram account and tap on your bio picture to bring you to your profile. 
  2. Tap on your professional dashboard link at the top of your profile. 
  3. Go to “Payouts.”
  4. Hit the “Update payout method” option. 
  5. Select PayPal or add your bank account information for future payouts.
  6. Complete the setup by following the prompts.

Take note that you won’t receive payment until you reach the $25 payout minimum requirement. Instagram releases funds every month on the 21st for any earnings from the previous month. Keep in mind that it might take a little extra time to receive earnings based on your bank. 

It’s essential that once you set up your content Creator account that you also set up your payout account. You have to set up your account within the first five months or before you generate income over $500. If you don’t have a payout account by those standards, Instagram won’t let you monetize on the platform. After six months, you forfeit your payout.

Final Thoughts on How To Make Money on Instagram

Does it feel like the tactics are limitless when learning how to make money on Instagram? It’s because Instagram has evolved from a simple photo-sharing platform to a platform where Creators turn content into real income earning professions. More than ever, social media platforms like Instagram play a vital role in the growth of the Creator economy. You can unlock a world of content monetization opportunities through Instagram. Especially with its ever-expanding income-generating options—the possibilities are endless. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a long-term content Creator or brand new to the scene, Instagram is a formidable platform to earn an income from your content. Just keep the basics of content creation in mind. Keep your content relevant and engaging, interact with your followers and audience, and leverage various monetization strategies. Pair these basics with the aforementioned approaches, and you’re on your way to amassing a pretty profit.

Let Collective Voice help you with all of your Instagram income generating needs. Our content monetization platform and branded campaigns opportunities will help you turn your content into a revenue stream. Our platform is easy to set up and use. Plus, we make it so easy to make money. Are you ready to start earning? Sign up for Collective Voice today.