Real Talk on how to make money on Instagram in 2022

When most people open Instagram on their smartphones, they see an opportunity to post photos of their weekend activities, #selfies with their #besties, and images of the delicious meal they ate. Many more see an opportunity to check out their favorite celebrities and connect with the brands they love. However, others see an opportunity and think about how to make money on Instagram.

And for good reason! Of the many social media platforms out there, Instagram is uniquely positioned as a means of monetization. It is hugely popular, very visual and offers many practical ways to make money with a whole range of attractive features.

Indeed, many Instagram users are currently making serious sums of money on the platform, and some successful influencers charge upwards of $1,000 for a single sponsored story.

Are you hoping to use this platform for similar purposes rather than just a fun thing to do with friends? Well, you’re in the right place. Here’s a primer on how to make money on Instagram.

An overview of Instagram’s audience

Ultimately, the reason you should try to make money on Instagram comes down to its popularity. Since its inception in 2010, this free photo and video sharing app has become one of the top 4 social media platforms online.

According to Backlinko, it now has a whopping 1 billion active monthly users, which equates to nearly 25% of internet users worldwide! In addition, Instagram was also one of the top 5 most downloaded mobile apps in 2020 (with only WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok and Zoom above it), demonstrating its continued growth (which is no mean feat in the ever-changing tech space).

However, Instagram’s sheer reach isn’t its only strength. The medium itself also contributes to its potential. For example, its visual nature facilitates storytelling and helps develop a relationship with an audience. It’s also less tangible and more accessible to interact with than written content (try to work through as many long blog posts as Instagram videos, and you’ll see what we mean!).

Engagement rates are also sky-high, and hashtags allow you to expand your reach even further (as well as target specific audiences and capitalize on current trends). You get the idea: Instagram is full of potential to make money.

Can you make money on Instagram?

People can and will make money on Instagram! We are not talking about insignificant amounts either. We’ll take a closer look at this topic next, but with some influencers making 6 figures on Instagram alone, the sky is the limit on how much money you can make.

However, achieving monetary success on Instagram requires time, dedication and hard work. So, while there are plenty of effective strategies to speed up the process, don’t expect to create a profile, post a few photos, and start rolling into Benjamins overnight.

How much do Instagram influencers earn?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. While influencers with more than 1 million followers can earn more than $250,000 per post, most bring home much smaller amounts, such as $25 to $50.

The good news is, you don’t need a huge following if you’re wondering how to make money on Instagram. far from! According to Business Insider, a few thousand followers is enough to make money as an afterthought, and 100,000 followers can bring you a thriving full-time income.

While there’s no cap on what you can earn, the amount you earn depends on two interrelated factors: the size of your followers and the level of engagement your posts receive (the specific niche you’re in can also be a make a difference with categories such as travel, beauty and fashion that are particularly lucrative).

While a large number of followers can help, size is certainly not everything. After all, having 1 million followers sounds great, but what if only a small percentage of them see or respond to your posts? It’s hardly alluring to a brand that wants as much exposure as possible, so engagement (ie likes, shares, and comments) is the real secret to success. Having fewer followers with higher engagement is always preferable when learning how to make money on Instagram.

Make money on Instagram: 4 effective ways

We took a look at why Instagram is such an excellent social network for making money and discussed how much you can expect to earn. Now let’s look at four specific ways people make a living through the platform:

1. Sponsored Posts and Stories

Sponsorship is arguably the easiest, most common, and most lucrative strategy for anyone wondering how to make money on Instagram. That’s when brands pay you to promote their products and services in your feed.

Imagine consistently posting photos and videos of your cat doing funny things. Whether they contact you or vice versa, a company like Petco may be willing to pay you to show its products in upcoming posts. Then you would walk away with money in your pocket after mentioning them in the caption, including a branded hashtag with a link to their company, and sharing it with your audience!

2. Affiliate Promotions

Affiliate marketing is when you promote a brand’s products or services to your audience and receive a commission every time someone buys something through your referral. Promoting affiliate offers is another popular approach people use to learn how to make money on Instagram. However, unlike sponsored posts, there is no guarantee that you will earn anything!

That’s not to say that affiliate posts can’t be profitable. On the contrary, they can pay more than sponsored posts if you can generate enough sales. That, as you can imagine, is where having an engaged audience is so valuable.

3. Instagram shopping

Do you already sell products through a webshop? If you’re not already using it, Instagram Shopping can be a perfect new sales channel to experiment with.

A dream come true for ecommerce store owners, you can post photos, videos and stories featuring your products and tag up to 5 at a time (up to 20 if you post a carousel). People can then view those products in the app and click through to your store to buy them.

4. Monetize Content

That could be the best option for anyone wondering how to make money on Instagram with minimal effort! Just as you can monetize YouTube videos by allowing businesses to advertise on them, Instagram lets you do the same. Once you’ve set them up, IGTV ads (Instagram TV) will deliver 55% of all ad revenue generated by your videos (assuming they’re at least 2 minutes long).

Similarly, badges allow you to monetize any live videos you create. See them as tips. While filming yourself through the platform, viewers can purchase badges (worth $0.99, $1.99 or $4.99) that will deposit funds directly into your account.

Tips to make money on Instagram

1. Focus on engagement

While it’s tempting to focus on follower count, it makes more financial sense to focus on engagement. After all, as we noted, the more likes, shares, and comments your posts receive, the more valuable your profile becomes to brands. Here are a few ways to increase engagement, even if you can only work part-time:

Go live, post carousels and use Instagram Stories Get to know your audience (so you can give them what they want) Respond to comments Create standout posts that are relevant to your audience Be authentic and show your true personality Use calls to action in captions

2. Don’t go overboard with sponsored posts

Sponsored posts are an effective way to make money on Instagram. However, there is one caveat. Posting them too often can frustrate your followers and make them lose trust in you.

Instead, try Gary Vaynerchuk’s “jab, jab, jab, right hook” approach from social media maestro Gary Vaynerchuk. In other words, focus on releasing value in every post and only occasionally ask your audience through a sponsored post. Also, make sure you believe in (and, in an ideal world, actually use) anything you promote.

FAQs on how to make money on Instagram

How long does it take to make money on Instagram?

Building the engaged followers that are fundamental to success takes time and persistence. How much time can anyone guess! The more quality content you post, the sooner you will start making money.

What is the best way to make money on Instagram?

Again, this depends! It’s different for everyone. Everything from your particular niche to the size and nature of your followers comes into play. Experiment with the different options to find which one works best for you.

How many followers do you need to make money on Instagram?

You will struggle to make money on Instagram with less than 2 to 3,000 followers. Remember, though, that engagement trumps numbers. Someone with 1,000 loyal fans could make more money than a creator with 100,000 unengaged fans.

People on Instagram make some serious money, and there’s no reason you couldn’t do the same.

This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.

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