9 Proven Ways How to Make Money on Instagram (2020)

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As one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, the Instagram community has quickly gained over one billion active users. Just in a few past years, it has evolved from a simple photo-sharing app to a powerful marketing tool as Instagram has many opportunities for businesses of all sizes and shapes to reach their target audience.

Ways How to Make Money on Instagram

The Growing Popularity of Instagram.

According to Business Instagram, 60% of people use this platform to discover new products, 80% of them follow at least one brand, 200 million accounts check out a Business Profile each day, and 2 in 3 of these visits are from non-followers.

Instagram has strong sales potential, so it’s a powerful sales machine: Businesses jump on the bandwagon to start selling their physical and digital products on the platform and they turn to social media influencers who also get paid for the promotion.

Simply put, Instagram is a goldmine for every person who wants to make money online. Whether you’re a business owner, influencer, creator, or digital nomad, they offer various ways to monetize your Instagram account or leverage your social media marketing skills.

In this article, you will find different ways to start making money on Instagram in 2019.

What we’ll cover:

  1. The Growing Popularity of Instagram
  2. How to Make Money on Instagram
  3. Publish Sponsored Posts
  4. Become a Brand Ambassador
  5. Use Affiliate Links
  6. Sell Physical and Digital Goods
  7. Create Visual Content for Sale
  8. Provide Social Media Marketing Services
  9. Write Captions for Businesses
  10. Make Instagram Stories Masks and Filters
  11. Find Freelance Clients
  12. How Much Money Can You Make on Instagram
  13. The Bottom Line

How to Make Money on Instagram.

In 2019, people can make big bucks on Instagram: The recent Hopper HQ report claims that Kylie Jenner is paid around $1.2 million for a single post on Instagram. Pretty amazing, huh? Obviously, if you’re not one of the world’s most well-known celebrities, your estimated earnings may vary depending on the following count, engagement, reputation, etc.

However, every person can still find an individual approach to Instagram monetization even though the competition is high. Here are the top nine ways to make money on Instagram:

1. Publish Sponsored Posts.

Influencer marketing is on its rise, according to Social Toaster: 92% of individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations, 76% of people say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by common people than brands, and 82% of customers want to get referrals from friends before making a purchasing decision.

Simply put, people seek out peers’ recommendations, so it’s no wonder more and more brands reach out to influencers to get shoutouts for their brands.

Since users crave transparency on Instagram, all influencers need to disclose sponsored posts, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for online advertising. And here’s how a sponsored post may look like on Instagram:

Daphne Oz Instagram

Daphne Nur Oz is a popular TV host with over 387k followers, so it’s no wonder that big brands like J.Crew reach out to her for a chance to enter an already-established community of engaged Instagrammers.

Want to know the best part? There’s no need to have a solid following to start making money with sponsored posts. When choosing the right influencer, most brands pay close attention to the engagement rate, so even big brands like Dunkin’ want to work with nano- and micro-influencers.

Since these influencers have in-person interactions with the majority of their subscribers, they deliver better results, which means you can get an offer even if you have less than 1,000 followers count on Instagram.

2. Become a Brand Ambassador.

Sponsored posts work well on Instagram, but most companies want to establish long-term relationships with influencers, so they seek out brand ambassadors who can promote a company in a positive light on a regular basis.

Since Instagram is the most preferred channel for influencer marketing, it’s a perfect place for users to find brand ambassador programs and collaborate with companies to promote their products within your community.

For example, Jay Alvarrez is a lifestyle blogger who lives a life of travel and creates stunning Instagram photos and videos on his Instagram and YouTube channel. With a highly engaged community of over 6 million loyal followers, it’s no wonder brands want to build long term associations with this influencer.

Not only do brands invite Jay to become a brand ambassador, but they also offer him to create capsule collections and co-branded products. In 2018, he designed a travel and luggage bag line for the Norwegian company Douchebags.

Jay Alvarrez Instagram

Most brand ambassadors sign up contracts with brands to promote their products within their communities. And to get better results, brands need to find an influencer who has a following that represents the target audience. For ambassadors, this means a great opportunity to make money as the standard salary for a brand ambassador is somewhere in the $40-50,000 range.

3. Promote Affiliate Links.

Most companies are ready to pay for promotion if it gives results. Thus, it’s easy to find high quality affiliate marketing programs that offer recurring commissions if your referrals get paid subscriptions. When done right, affiliate links can bring big money. As you can see from my September Blog Income Report, I made $18,133 from affiliate programs.

To do this, look at joining companies like Shareasale, Clickbank, Awin, and Impact.

Since Instagram has a solid user base of engaged people, it’s a perfect place to promote affiliate links.

No matter how many followers you have, you can insert a clickable link in your Instagram bio. For instance, a fashion blogger Sophie Shohet uses this feature to promote affiliate links:

Sophie Shohet Instagram

Since Sophie has more than 10k followers, she can also create clickable Instagram Stories. And here’s how she promotes affiliate links within her post:

Sophie Shohet Instagram 2

Instagram followers pay close attention to Instagram posts, so using captions to tell about affiliate marketing links is a great way to grab the attention. However, all links in Instagram posts are non-clickable, so adding a URL isn’t the best idea as readers have to copy the link manually from your text.

Thus, it’s better to write a call to action, inviting your readers to click on the link in your bio. Anyway, it’s important to disclose affiliate links as you get a commission on each sale, and using hashtags is a great way to do it.

4. Sell Physical and Digital Goods.

Over the last few years, Instagram has turned into a powerful sales machine. Since people use this network to discover and buy products, Instagram rolls out business-specific features like in-app checkout, the shop button, product tags, and shoppable stickers to make the shopping process easier.

While big brands like Zara and Michael Kors use Instagram to increase ecommerce sales with platforms like Shopify, this platform is also a perfect place for common people who want to sell something. Whether you want to sell physical or digital goods, you can make the most out of your Instagram bio.

Just write a call to action and include a website link so that interested followers can learn more about your offer:

Adam Enfroy Instagram

And if you have switched to an Instagram creator account, you can create shoppable posts to sell physical products in-app. Check out how Katie Sturino did it:

Katie Sturino Instagram

From cheap cosmetics and second-hand clothes to luxurious apartments and expensive cars, people buy various stuff on Instagram. No matter what you sell, your potential customer is on Instagram. However, it’s important to find and interest your customers, so it’s important to showcase your own products, prove it’s worth giving a try, and finally sell it on Instagram.

5. Create Visual Content for Sale.

It’s no secret that Instagram is a visual platform: People upload 100 million+ of photos & videos daily. However, it’s not enough for brands to upload overly polished professional photos of their product to stand out from the crowd; modern customers crave authenticity, so they pay close attention to user-generated content.

In fact, most consumers believe that UGC is 35% more memorable than other media, so businesses of all sizes and shapes want to publish content created by their customers. Simply put, it’s your opportunity to sell photos and videos you create.

When it comes to the travel industry, companies of all sizes invite real travelers to take photos showcasing their experiences while staying at brand properties in exchange for free accommodation and payment.

What is more, it has become one of the travel jobs: a blogger shares images on Instagram and the company uses these photos as user-generated content.

Here’s an example:

Meirr Instagram

And here’s how the company uses the same photo on their Instagram profile:

Jumeirah Vittaveli Instagram

Publishing user-generated content in the travel industry gives great results. For example, a small town in New Zealand, Wanaka, achieved a 14% increase in tourism after working with Instagram influencers who shared the images of the city on their profiles. However, brands of all sizes, shapes, and industries crave user-generated content to provide potential customers with social proof, and they are ready to pay for fan-made images.

6. Provide Social Media Marketing Services.

It’s no secret that Instagram has strong sales potential, so more and more brands want to use this platform to promote products, reach out to the target audience, and increase sales. According to Business Instagram, over 25 million businesses and 2 million advertisers are on the platform.

The competition is growing, so brands need professional assistance if they want to cut through the noise. In other words, social media marketing services are in great demand.

Case in point:

Jenn Herman is an Instagram expert who has proved her niche expertise – she writes for Social Media Examiner and she has worked with big brands. Today, Jenn Herman offers a great variety of services, including social media strategies, consultations, and training. Guess what? Jenn uses Instagram to promote her social media marketing services:

Jenns Trends Instagram

In 2019, brands crave various social media marketing services – from training and guidance to monthly support. This means social media experts have many opportunities to find freelance gigs and make the most out of their knowledge on Instagram.

7. Write Captions for Businesses.

The days when only big brands could afford Instagram marketing are far behind us. Today, brands of all sizes want to use this platform to promote their products and services, and 92% of small businesses plan to invest more time and effort in social media marketing.

While big brands have a great in-house content creation staff, small businesses seek out freelance talents to reduce social media marketing costs. Thus, they often want to find creative specialists who can write captions for their businesses without charging much.

Take a look at the most popular online workplaces like Freelancer and Upwork, and you’ll find hundreds of offers like the one below:

Upwork Social Media Marketing

Image Source

To get a full-time job offer, you need to prove that your application stands out from the crowd, and the best way to do it is to show your social media marketing writing portfolio. Plus, you need to run your Instagram page creatively so that interested employers can see examples of captions you write. The more creative and engaging your captions are, the more potential clients you can hook.

8. Make Instagram Stories Masks and Filters.

Back in 2016, when Instagram copied Snapchat’s short-lived content and launched Instagram Stories, no one could have predicted the booming popularity of this content format.

Today, over 500 million people watch or create Instagram Stories daily. Since this type of content is available for a limited period of time, people are highly engaged, and it gives brands more opportunities to hook their target audience.

What is more, companies create Instagram Stories masks and filters to prove their niche expertise and promote their products. While some companies have in-house designers who create filters for their brand, other brands want to collaborate with talents who specialize in Instagram masks and filters.

And if you’re interested in creativity, it’s your perfect chance to make a good amount of money on Instagram as the Spark AR Studio allows all users to create AR filters for Instagram Stories. For example, Brend Cardenas uses her Instagram to promote Instagram filters she creates:

Brenda Cardenas Instagram

Image Source

With the growing popularity of Instagram Stories, there’s no doubt that ephemeral content is the future of social media. Thus, making Instagram masks and filters is a great way to showcase your creativity and earn money on the platform.

9. Find Freelance Clients.

Instagram is not just about posting cute photos of your puppy. Since we’ve hit the 1 billion active Instagram users milestone, it has become a wonderful platform for networking, especially for people in the creative fields. Today, more and more professionals use this platform as an online portfolio.

No matter what you do for a living, whether you’re a filmmaker, ghostwriter, or public speaker, you can utilize Instagram to find clients.

Case in point:

Jing Wei is an illustrator who has worked with Etsy, Panda Express, New York Times, etc. With over 20k followers, Jing uses her Instagram profile to share her latest works. In collaboration with Shake Shack, Jing Wei created the mural and she posted the result of her work on her profile:

Jing Wei Instagram

Image Source

When people dedicate their Instagram accounts to work stuff as Jing Wei does, it’s easy to understand that they can be interested in finding new clients. Moreover, you can always use your Instagram bio to tell your visitors that you’re open to finding gig jobs. Here’s a good example:

Upwork It Agency Instagram

Image Source

Furthermore, you can stay proactive and offer your services – just find an Instagram account that must be interested in working with you and slide in their DMs. For example, Al Falk is a web designer who uses this technique to find freelance clients, and it gives results.

All in all, the key to success is to stay credible in your niche, so it’s important to showcase your work on Instagram and tell your visitors that you’re open to new freelance opportunities.

How Much Money Can You Make on Instagram?

Celebrities make big bucks on Instagram, and the most paid influencers can get from $8,400 to $1.2 million per post. Obviously, your income depends on your reputation if you’re an opinion leader.

To calculate your estimated earnings from an online presence from any social account, like a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram account, it’s important to calculate the engagement rate. Why? Engagement shows that your audience is live, so it’s no wonder that influencer prices and costs depend heavily on this metric.

The formula is pretty simple: Combine the number of likes and comments per one post and divide it by the number of followers, and then centuple that number:

Engagement Rate Formula Instagram

But if you want to understand the engagement rate of your account, you’d better find a math helper as you need to analyze all posts for the last 30 days as a minimum.

No matter what your engagement rate is, you can make money on Instagram if you use this platform as your online portfolio or help other people make the most out of your expertise. The main idea is to find your niche and promote your services so that your income can also grow.

The Bottom Line.

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms with the highest engagement, so it’s easy to make money on the platform if you use it the right way. From sponsored posts to social media marketing services, there are many creative ways for anyone to make money on Instagram.

In 2019, putting much time and effort on Instagram is a great investment that helps to make money online. And it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon and monetize your Instagram account if making money on the platform is your cup of tea.


By Hugh Beaulac, Content Manager behind MC2 blog.


  1. Thanks for writing this in depth post. You covered every angle.
    the information is very well detailed and point by point about this one of the most famous social media platform.
    Thanks so much for posting this..

  2. Hi Adam,
    So many ideas to make money on Instagram. This is great content I found. You are great blogger and coach too.
    Thanks for this content. I will try some them for my Instagram account for my blog.

  3. Hey Adam,

    As a mature online worker I am kinda phased by all the social media stuff, in particular Instagram. And I will not even start on the issues I have with FaceBook.

    Do you think anyone can use this tool or is it just for the “kids” you know millennials?

    How do you think a hard working online worker can tap into this young persons area without looking like a fake?

    1. Hey Carl, I think you can definitely tap into it, but the first question is what’s your goal? Is it to make money? First, I’d focus on building your owned property with a website.

      1. Hi Adam,

        Yeah, I am building out a website and promoting affiliate products already but it’s getting traction that akes the time….oh well onwards!!!!

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