How to make money on instagram

Being one of the most influential and growing social media platforms of today’s age, Instagram is a great way to make a side or even full income.

It is very doable to make money on Instagram, with or without followers.

Social media nowadays has a very low threshold when it comes to gaining international attention or making money online. That is the reason that people nowadays can think very broadly about their jobs and future.

In this article, read more about how many followers you need to make money off Instagram and 8 proven ways to monetize your Instagram following.

Disclaimer: I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

how many instagram followers do you need?

While many people think that you will need thousands or even tens of thousands of followers to only earn a small income, this may be true in some cases, but in many cases it’s simply a small play of business.

Even from 1000 followers you will be able to make a good sum of money. Even though there’s a big difference with 10.000 followers, it’s always from small steps to big leaps.

Most of the time it even solely comes down to consistent posting, outreaching and believing in yourself.

Initially, it may be good to just start with a couple followers, and set yourself the goal of growing your following, while not directly focusing on monetizing your content.

However, to answer the question of how many followers you need on Instagram to make money, I would recommend aiming for at least 1000, and quickly scaling to 10.000 as a first milestone.

8 proven ways to make money on instagram

There’s tons of ways on how to monetize either your Instagram account or Instagram activity. However, many can be categorized into the 8 proven ways listed below.

I have listed these 8 ways based on how common they are, and if they’d make sense for you to start with. They are even in order from advanced to starter, so you can easily decide what you’d feel comfortable starting off with!

1. Posting sponsored posts

The first and foremost way of making money on Instagram is certainly posting sponsored content.

Brands nowadays pay big celebrities upwards of $ 1M for just a single post, expecting to reach their target audience. Now, these accounts oftentimes have 100s of millions of followers as well, but these are still crazy numbers for most people.

This makes that posts from sponsors or brands are one of the biggest income streams for most influencers and make up quite a large bit of their income.

While this is certainly only possible with an insane following, it is still very useful to take sponsored posts into account as a possibility for when you’ve grown your Instagram account.

2. Promoting your own products and services

Next one is promoting your own products as for example an ecommerce store or brand.

This doesn’t exclude yourself as a brand, as you can easily sell the ways or guides of how you have come to where you grew as a person and business.

Business nowadays tends to be focused on personal contact anyway, so doing business from your personal account is not frowned upon at all.

Say you’re a consultant, you can post your testimonials or types of case studies you have done in the past. Also, you’d be able to link to your services from your Instagram bio.

If you were planning on growing an ecom brand and selling products for this brand, you can certainly make money that way by linking to your brand’s store to almost directly sell from Instagram and make money from your followers.

This perfectly directs us to the next point, which would be to directly sell from Instagram itself. The social media app recently uncovered their latest feature, which allows for integrating an Instagram shop onto your account.

3. Selling your products via Instagram shop

Instagram recently gained the ability to list your products on an Instagram shop.

The only requirement for this, is to link your Instagram page to an existing Facebook page, and connect the store via Facebook.

This is perfect for webstores or other types of e-commerce, as you can even more directly show your customers what you have to offer.

Instagram Shopping is a whole new trend, as you can even promote your products in Instagram. Beside that, your products have the possibility to be featured in the Explore page, which would be great for brand recognition.

make money on instagram shop.

4. Using affiliate marketing

Another way to make money on Instagram is by leveraging your reach as well as engagement to promote affiliate offers.

This way, you help other business gain more customers or leads by simply redirecting people to a suitable business. Affiliate marketing has been around for years and will be around for years as it’s a no-cure-no-pay business model which has a proven track record.

You can use affiliate marketing to make money on Instagram as well by promoting links in your stories or bio.

Additionally, you can offer your followers special deals or discounts which are only restricted to your account, so the company knows exactly where their customers are coming from.

This business model is also broader than you may think and is used very often by small companies to gain international attention.

5. Make money with IG TV or Reels

A whole different way to make money with Instagram is by using IG TV, or even Instagram Reels.

It is similar to sponsored posts, but you can choose yourself how to use the content on your videos. This means that you can even make a review video of a product or simply pitch a business.

Make sure that this remains valuable and relevant for your target audience and that you’re not exaggerating your ‘sales’ in this review.

The audience came for you, so they want to see you. And if you like something, that’s alright, but make sure your audience isn’t backing away from you!

6. Sell your taken photos

On Instagram, you’re basically showcasing your photos. This means that you have hopefully thought out your content strategy and that there may be some very interesting photos within those images on your feed.

Stock image websites are the perfect middleman to sell these images, as you can simply upload the photos you love so much, and earn a commission per sale.

People are actually buying the rights to use your images, so if they’re good pictures, people will pay good money to use them.

And these can be anything! From landscapes, to products to settings and even pets or gatherings.

7. Become a brand ambassador

Once you have gathered some following, some audience and some attention, people are interested in you.

And attention is very interesting for brands, as this is what they are looking for too.

Either you, or a brand manager, can reach out to set up a partnership for promoting specific items.

These range from anything, but often include gym brands, jewelry and exclusive or high-end fashion for both men and women.

Brand ambassadors often don’t get a one-time pay, but have to prove themselves and subsequently earn a commission per sale. This is often done with a discount code so marketing manager can easily calculate revenue per ambassador.

8. Make instagram Filters or effects

The last one, but most attainable, is a bit tricky. And the main goal can even be to simply gain more followers.

Instagram is collecting every single new feature from every platform and integrate in their own social media platform to become the biggest one out there.

So right now, Snapchat stories and filters have moved to Instagram, in which they are greatly used.

This also means, that the filters on these apps can be developed and used by every and any member. If you have a filter that is liked by the audience, it has a good chance of going viral and taking your account with it.

And if you are wanting to make money on Instagram, this free way of promotion is a perfect first step to gaining your first 10.000 followers.

how instagram makes money

Instagram mainly makes money from advertising. These are people who want to shortcut their way to attention and pay Instagram to show their ads to people from a specific audience and interest group.

The profits from Instagram are therefore from ad revenue and both businesses and people that pay for views, likes, comments or follows.

More questions about monetizing instagram

Below, find the most frequently asked questions about making money on Instagram and this can be achieved as a starting social media business or personal brand.


This is crazy. But if you want, you could potentially make millions of off Instagram. The social media platform is already used by celebrities for influencer marketing and this can rake in from thousands to millions per post.
However, focus on consistent growth and high engagement on your account.

How to make money on instagram with 500 followers?

With 500 – 1000 followers, you can make money on Instagram by selling your consulting services or selling your best photographs as stock images.

If you want to make money with just a couple hundred followers, you want to focus on engagement and account growth. The first is done by yourself, the latter is a matter of consistency, creating stories and filters and using the right hashtags.


Influencers make money on Instagram by being brand ambassadors for the greatest brands and receiving a fixed payment per post which includes the brand’s products.

Other ways of making money as influencer include affiliate marketing with discount codes or selling time in stories.

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