Instagram is no longer a social media channel where you can merely share photos with your friends. Now, it’s a proper monetisation platform you can earn money on. Sometimes, rather big money, even.
And to do so, it’s not necessary to become an Instagram influencer. In this piece, we’ll cover several ways of making money on Instagram.
Yes, we couldn't help but start our guide with this. Instagram influencer or a blogger is someone who tells about their life on social media and monetises it. Unlike popular opinion about being an influencer, it’s not an easy job to do. Just imagine: what you do every day is entertaining your audience and keep it engaged.
You have no weekends; you just create content and come up with new ideas every day of the week to make sure your follower count doesn’t drop but on the contrary — grows drastically.
That’s why you see so many Instagram bloggers doing complete trash and come up with insane posts and stories — they’re ready for anything to keep this desired Followers tab with a beautiful 6-digit number.
But this job pays off; sometimes even quite generously. Popular Instagram influencers earn millions of dollars a month just because of how popular they are.
How influencers earn money on Instagram
- They promote brands in posts or stories
Brands get in touch with an influencer for sponsorship, and they agree on terms and conditions that suit both the company and the influencer. Bloggers usually test products themselves and recommend these to followers in their own specific manner and tone of voice. Well, you know perfectly well how influencer marketing works.
The price for such promotion posts may vary depending on the quality and quantity of an influencer’s followers, reach, ER, and some other stats. But reach and the followers’ count are the crucial factors that determine the price rate.
- They promote their own products.
More entrepreneurial influencers choose not to depend on advertisers — they easy come and easy go. That’s why many influencers use their platform to promote their own products — eCommerce, online classes, expertise, webinars and so on.
They don’t even need to spend much on advertising; the loyal audience is already there!
- They do affiliate marketing.
This kind of works like promoted posts on Instagram but the only difference is that influencers get paid not for publishing ad posts themselves but earn sales commissions.
- They become brand ambassadors.
Yet another way to promote a brand on Instagram. But unlike simple promoted posts or stories, bloggers get paid for long-term cooperation and representation of the brand online and offline alike. Influencers who become brand ambassadors are obliged to regularly feature a brand on their page, attend events and promote the brand there.
- They manage giveaways.
In this case, influencers help to promote other influencers, not products or services. With giveaways, they persuade their own followers to follow the blogger who hosts a giveaway. For such ‘selling’ of followers, influencers take charge.
If you don’t want to be an Instagram influencer or a blogger, consider these ways of Instagram monetisation.
Other ways to make money on Instagram
Instagram influencers are the so-called social media celebrities who have much work to do — regular content making, advertising campaigns, communication with lots of followers, and attending various fashionable events. And to help them out with these, influencers need an assistant — a personal manager who will be accountable for all administrative tasks.
What do influencers’ managers do? Well, lots of stuff.
They manage a blogger’s DM — reply to followers and advertisers in direct messages and comments. Influencer manager is also accountable for planning an influencer’s calendar, upcoming events, collaborations, and travels.
Influencers can’t do without advertising, and the primary task of their assistants is to manage, schedule and update the sponsored posts and stories calendar. Managers remind influencers to publish promo posts in time and analyse the performance of advertising campaigns.
Tip: if you want to make sure your posts and stories go live in time, use free Combin Scheduler.
Assistants also outreach potential sponsors and manage the inbox advertising enquiries.
Giveaways are a controversial way of Instagram promotion, but many influencers and brands have them, so this niche is in high demand.
Giveaway managers come up with an idea for a giveaway, promote it and prepare everything for the contest. Along with this, they find sponsors for loop giveaways, communicate with participants and pull them in.
The primary goal and KPI of giveaway managers is to attract as many people as possible. To achieve this, they think through audience retention strategies and engaging content.
After Instagram claimed that everyone could create an AR mask with the Spar AR Studio in August 2019, this niche became widely popular. AR masks are not only fun and appealing, but they’re also one of the Instagram trends for 2020.
There are probably not many Instagrammers who don’t wear such masks, so this job is extremely trendy now. Becoming an AR designer, you can create masks for brands and influencers and also earn money and following.
To become an AR designer on Instagram, you need to install Spark AR Studio on your PC and start creating. The program is user-friendly, especially if you’re tech-savvy at design software.
Earlier this year, Instagram confirmed that the platform is finally letting users monetise their Instagram content. Similarly to the YouTube Partner Program, Instagram tends to create an Instagram Partner Program too, which lets IGTV creators earn money by integrating advertisements in their videos.
Obviously, after this update, the number of IGTV creators will grow drastically.
Lengthy Instagram captions are also an Instagram trend 2020, which means that more brands and creators will put their time and efforts in creating appealing and engaging captions under their posts.
If you’re good at writing, you can try out your skills working as an Instagram copywriter and help influencers and brands grow their accounts with great captions.
Copywriters can also work as content editors and help influencers or brands develop a content plan of posts and stories for a definite window of time, generate new content ideas, proofread and edit captions.
If you’re good at creating screenplays for videos (vines, for instance) you can even offer your screenwriting services.
Another creative Instagram job is to create stickers for Instagram and Telegram. Stickers are entertaining and engaging, especially if they are animated. So illustrators who can draw them may earn quite a lot selling branded stickers to influencers and companies.
Instagram is a visually-focused social media platform, so the aesthetics of an account grid layout is essential for successful Instagram promotion. If you’re the one who can create collage feeds, endless Instagram grid layouts, puzzle feeds, create beautiful presets, edit photos and simply create a cohesive Instagram page, you can sell your services and make money on that.
Of course, you need to know how to use special photo editing apps to create all of the above.
By the way, not only Instagram grid needs special attention. You can also draw Highlights covers and help Instagrammers with stories.
If mobile video editing apps are your thing, you can easily start earning extra money as an Instagram motion editor.
Instagram is no longer a photo platform. IGTV, stories and feed video posts are gaining momentum, and now, it’s the right time to seize it.
And considering that Instagram is planning to let IGTV creators monetise their content, the amount of IGTV videos will grow. These creators will not have time to edit videos on their own. They will need a professional who is ready to take part in their job and knows how to work with different video and audio effects.
This is not the same as a social media manager. Instagram auditors don’t promote your account or develop an Instagram marketing strategy. These people analyse account and point at all the perks and flaws of your page — Instagram bio, captions, hashtags, stories, and so on.
They just guide you on how to move forward and what mistakes to avoid in your Instagram management.
Tip: If you want to have an audit your Instagram page and learn what tips will work exclusively for your profile, apply for InstaCheck. In an exclusive report made specifically for your account, you get the full analysis of your Instagram username, bio, profile photo, aesthetics, branding, content, and engagement with recommendations on what you should change or improve.
Do these jobs really exist, you may wonder. Well, you will hardly find them on LinkedIn or Glassdoor, but they do. Many big brands use specialised agencies or in-house professionals who do everything of the above.
Top influencers use agencies too, but many of them create their own teams that help them manage their Instagram blogs. For influencers, their Instagram pages are startups, so when they achieve a certain level, influencers can’t do everything on their own and start delegating.
Yet, we can’t say how much you can earn choosing of the above jobs, as it depends on the niche, demand, and a particular creator.
Grey (and black) methods of making money on Instagram
It would be rather hypocritical not to mention these methods, too. We only hope you will not use them to make money on Instagram or any other social media channel.
Not everyone who comes to Instagram tries to make money the right way and play fair. Some users are okay with utilising grey and black methods to earn money on Instagram, such as:
- Selling Instagram accounts.
Users sell hacked or stolen Instagram accounts, not their own which are organically promoted and full of loyal followers. But the latter is also quite common — selling accounts which are loaded with a genuine audience.
2. Selling bot followers, likes and comments.
You have probably got messages in your DM offering you to ‘promote’ your account and grow it in an instant. But this promotion is often merely selling bots followers, fake likes and comments. Individuals and whole agencies charge for such grey promotion methods quite a lot.
3. Hacking and blocking other Instagram accounts.
Yes, some businesses and influencers are ready to pay to have their competitors’ accounts hacked. This monetisation methods border on actual crime. The more popular the account that needs to be hacked or blocked, the more money is charged.
4. ‘Selling’ the blue checkmark on Instagram.
If you see someone texting you in DM or leaving comments under celebs’ posts and offering to sell you the Instagram verification for a price, beware: these people are scammers.