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How to Make Money on Instagram: 10 Ways to Strike it Rich

Would you like to know how to make money on Instagram in 2024?

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Instagram is an awesome place for looking at gorgeous pictures and shopping, but earning some kind of income through the app is my favorite reason to use it.

When Instagram launched in 2010, it was a simple photo-sharing app.

Without the noise and fluff on Facebook, Instagram was a respite, only featuring visual content.

Eventually, it expanded into a video-sharing app as well, with users initially being allowed to upload a 15-second video, which increased to 60-second videos. Then came Instagram Stories for shorter-form videos, followed by expiring content and IGTV for longer videos.

By 2020, Instagram saw over a billion active users monthly, with 500 million users daily logging in and actively engaging on the platform.

Instagram usage

Obviously, the demand is there, and marketers, brands, and companies willing to ride the wave will be there too.

Yes, even if TikTok seemed to be growing by the day.

So how do people as young as 13-year-olds make money on Instagram?

Let me explain the tried-and-tested income-generating methods for you, and give you real-life examples and success stories for each one.

How to Make Money on Instagram: 10 Ideas to Try in 2024

Before we dive in, I just want to refute a point that you might have encountered when reading about making money on Instagram.

Don’t believe anyone who says you can make money on Instagram WITHOUT followers.

You’d need customers to buy what you’re selling—whether you’re selling an idea, information, or an actual product.

The first 5 methods below can be used by Instagram users who are just starting out, while the last 5 money-making methods are best for influencer-level users.

1. Affiliate Marketing

In traditional affiliate marketing, you’d need to set up a website and promote products on multiple platforms in hopes of getting a commission.

Affiliate marketing commissions are possible whenever one or more people click on the link you posted and buy at the third-party website. You then get a cut of the sale.

To make money on Instagram via affiliate marketing, you only need your Instagram account and accounts on various platforms like Amazon, Clickbank, Skimlinks, Shopstyle, Shopify, and others.

Probably one of the most popular affiliate marketing tools for Instagram comes from LTK (formerly rewardStyle), a members-only affiliate network with only a 10% acceptance rate.

What makes rewardStyle amazing is the invention of its app.

You can download it on Google Play Store or Apple Store.

With, followers of your Instagram account can just “like” your post and they’ll be e-mailed details of your outfit, products included in the shot your posted, and so on.

liketoknowit screenshot

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This is how works:

  • You post a photo on Instagram.
  • The photo featured a close-up of your makeup-perfect face with a pair of gorgeous earrings.
  • A follower likes your post.
  • If that follower also has installed on their phones when they liked your post, they’ll receive an email with links directing them to where they can buy the earrings and all the makeup products you used.
  • If this follower buys from when they clicked the link, you get paid a commission from the sale.

Imagine how much money you can earn from Instagram if you have thousands of people stalking the things you wear, use, or feature via

2. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is similar to affiliate marketing, in that you don’t have to manufacture or buy stocks of products to sell them and make a profit from selling them.

Here is what happens with dropshipping:

  • Choose a product that you know people will buy.
  • Make a deal with a dropship supplier, such as AliExpress, that sells that product.
  • You promote a product on Instagram and direct it to your store.

Note that if you use Instagram Business, you can integrate it with Shopify seamlessly.

  • When an Instagram follower buys that product on your store, the dropship supplier will handle processing, shipping, and post-sale customer service on your behalf.
  • You earn either a pre-discussed flat fee or a percentage of the sale as commission.

To learn more, read this case study on Seven Kingdoms Mart and how they promoted their dropshipping business on Instagram.

3. Sell Photos

Instagram is full of fantastic photos from both beginner and professional photographers.

If you have an eye for photography or exceptional graphic design skill, you can sell your photos on Instagram.

It’s up to you if you want to sell usage rights, print them as posters, or just sell digital copies of your drawings, paintings, animations, and so on.

Forbes featured photographer Daniel Arnold’s story in 2014.

At that time, Arnold had about 22k followers and decided to put all his Instagram photos for sale on the eve of his 34th birthday. He priced a 4×6 print of any of his Instagram images for $150, even if he hasn’t really sold any of his images professionally.

Arnold Daniel Sale

24 hours after announcing the sale, he has sold $15k worth of prints and extended the sale.

Learn all about hashtags. Mastering hashtags is the secret to reaching the right audience for your products.

4. Create Masks and Filters for Instagram Stories.

Back when Instagram Stories were introduced, skeptics thought it was a mere Snapchat knockoff and wouldn’t last.

Today, over 500 million users watch or create Instagram Stories every day.

Because there’s a time limit on these stories, users who see them are highly engaged.

Businesses see this as an opportunity to engage their target audience through Instagram masks and filters.

They usually hire graphic artists to do this for them, but many brands also work with Instagram influencers who specialize in Instagram masks and filters.

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You can start with Facebook’s Spark AR Studio to create masks and filters.

You can do this as a side gig, or even turn it into a full-time job.

5. Set up an Instagram Shop – Enable IG Shopping Features

Social media platforms are no longer just exclusive for “socialization.”

Social selling has been growing in the last two years.

If you have products to sell, this is great news for you since Instagram gives you native features to just turn on the ability to sell stuff directly from the platform.

Meaning, even if you have a separate website (and ecommerce store), you don’t have to make your Instagram followers go “out” of the platform in order to buy.

Plus, even those who are not your followers can find your products because of Instagram’s smart shopping tags. These tags can reach over 130 million people on the platform.

You do have to work on setting up your Instagram shop at first. From there, you have an option to post products on Stories or posts, buy ad spots (and include shopping tags), or conduct live shopping.

6. Sponsorship: Earn Money Promoting other Brand’s Products

This is the most common way to get paid for your Instagram posts.

Companies can make a deal to sponsor a few posts on your Instagram feed to market their product to your followers. In most cases, companies give an Instagram influencer control over how the sponsored post looks, feels and sounds like.

Sponsorship can be pitched by the Instagram influencer, or submitted by companies.

You can actively search for brands with the help of tools like TapInfluence or Ifluenz.

The important thing is you disclose to your followers that a post is sponsored and follow FTC guidelines.

Shelcy Joseph began her personal fashion/lifestyle blogging with her sister on Instagram and YouTube around August 2014. By 2017, she was earning between $75 and $100 per sponsored post. Imagine how much she’s been taking home by now.

7. Become a Brand Ambassador

Ambassadorship is a bit more long-term than sponsorship.

Depending on the company you talk to, this deal can go as long as several months to over a year.

The following three websites are all looking for influencers/ambassadors to help shape their future products:

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I highly recommend signing up will all three to increase your chances of actually making money as an influencer.

As a brand ambassador, the company sees you as someone who is in line with their values, products, and future.

Coca-Cola’s #ThisOnesFor Instagram Campaign is a great example of this. The cola giant enlisted the help of 14 Instagram influencers to create over 20 posts in a span of several months.

Earnings as a brand ambassador can be per-post or per-campaign. It can be a mix of photos, videos, and other types of media too.

Join an Instagram influencer community like Shoutcart, Tribe Group (Australia-based), and Popular Pays (among others) to find brands willing to hire you as ambassador.

Read my full guide on how to become a brand ambassador for step-by-step instructions on how to get started.

8. Promote Your Own Products or Services

You can mix the brick-and-mortar retail business with the modern magic of Instagram by selling your own products and promoting them online.

If you have thousands upon thousands of followers who just can’t get enough of what you’re selling, then you can get paid for Instagram posts through product sales.

There are a ton of “slime famous” Instagrammers out there, but you can’t look away from the creations of Nicolette Waltzer, whose Glitter Slimes Instagram account gained 2 million followers.

The New York-based, DIY slime creator began sharing mesmerizing slime videos in 2016. She then eventually began selling her creations, leading to about $500 sales from slime each week.

Waltzer now sells her slime on her own online store and sells out every time she uploads new slime variants.

9. Teach Others Instagram Marketing

Many people make money on Instagram not by selling products, but by providing useful information. Long-term experience as an influencer is a must.

Your Instagram feed can be your résumé as proof of your marketing prowess and communication skills.

As a travel blogger like Veera Papinoja, a huge chunk of her Instagram income comes from consulting for companies and other organizations. She makes around €500 to €2,000 every month to maintain Instagram accounts of other companies.

Veera also does training and lectures about successful Instagram marketing on the side. She takes home somewhere between €500 and €10,000 a month from these side gigs.

10. Earn from Instagram Badges and Subscriptions

There are two ways you can earn money directly from Instagram without selling anything.

  • Instagram Live Badges – “Badges” are like tips that your followers send your way if they love the content you share during a livestream. Badges are icons people buy in increments of 99c, $1.99 and $4.99, then give away to whoever they like on Instagram (this could be you!).
  • Paid subscriptions – If you offer valuable content on Instagram and have a solid following, you can definitely monetize your account by offering paid subscriptions. This is like a VIP section where members who pay can see your extra content. The subscription program is open to US creators only though. Plus, you should have over 10k subscribers. A good alternative to this is using third-party subscription tools like Patreon or Substack.

How to Become an Instagram Influencer

Out of all the social media platforms today, Instagram has the highest engagement rate.

Companies know this and have included Instagram into their marketing efforts.

And why shouldn’t they?

If you have at least 2,000 to 15,000 followers, fall under a trusted niche, create eye-catching content, and have a loyal audience who trusts your judgment, here are the steps to take to become a full-time Instagram influencer:

So, how do you cash in on the opportunity to make money (and more) as an Instagram influencer?

1. Grow (the quality of) your Instagram following.

Companies have gotten pickier about the caliber of Instagram influencers they’re willing to work with.

It’s not unheard of for current brand requirements to include a minimum of 100K followers and/or 1K likes per post.

Before you get discouraged, consider that many brands are also looking for a certain type of audience, regardless of the actual number of followers.

For example, if you have only 1,000 followers, but they are top-level hospital health professionals, then a company like Johnson & Johnson might be very interested in talking with you.

In light of this information, you should consider cultivating your audience to reflect a specific interest, such as beauty, travel, health, etc.

Post photos that cater to just one or two subject areas and follow influencers who do likewise.

If you repost, like, or comment on their photos, those influencers are likely going to do the same for you.

Their followers may then notice you, and then you’ll get more followers that are interested and engaged in your content.

2. Create example campaigns.

Just as you would do an unpaid internship at a company you were hoping to get hired for, you could create example campaigns on Instagram to showcase your social media talents.

Consider generating a series of photos around something that interests you, such as healthy eating.

Then, follow businesses that are also focused on this topic.

You can learn which businesses are into healthy eating by doing a hashtag search using Instagram’s search bar. Instagram will then provide you with content that uses that hashtag.

As you post your photos, use the hashtags that your targeted businesses and audiences are using.

3. Complete your profile.

Businesses and companies can’t contact you if they don’t know who you are.

Be sure to complete your Instagram profile and add your name, a phone number, a web address, Facebook page URL, etc.

You may wish to add some information about your geographic location too, especially if you are generating content about travel.

Use your Instagram profile as a mini-résumé and list your experience in the topic of your interest.

Maybe you’ve been in the food business for a few years and that’s why you started a healthy eating-themed Instagram account. Or maybe you’ve been running marathons and are trying to incorporate better eating habits into your active lifestyle.

4. Reach out to marketing agencies.

To increase your chances of being selected as an influencer, you should sign up with as many social media marketing agencies as you can find.

A good selection of these agencies focus on Instagram; two examples include Instabrand and Hashmeta.



Why should you partner up with marketing agencies?

Because some companies, especially big companies, will not bother to manually research, contact, and negotiate with individual influencers.

They either don’t have the time or would rather expedite the process using third-party mediators who can choose appropriate influencers.

Having said that…

5. Reach out to individual companies and businesses.

Smaller companies and businesses typically do not have the budget to work with agencies.

That doesn’t mean that they don’t have the budget to work with individuals, however, and this is one of the best chances you have at seeing how to make money on Instagram.

Consider reaching out to smaller operations with a proposal package that includes a set number of Instagram promoted posts, blog posts, and comments on fellow influencer sites.

You might easily score a work contract for several hundred dollars compared with three times that amount for a standard agency’s deal—as noted by this business owner’s comment on Ecommerce University:

Ecommerce University

6. Keep track of your followers.

As you grow your audience and followers, keep tabs on who these followers represent.

Companies will first follow you to learn about how popular you are and how relevant your content is to their goals.

Only after learning these facts will those businesses reach out to you.

So, if you know ahead of time who they are, you can channel your energies on specific products, trends, etc. that they are also focused on.

Making Money on Instagram still Possible in 2024?

Anyone can join, become an influencer, and make money on Instagram.

You don’t even have to follow the footsteps of the Kardashians when it comes to the number of your followers, or look like a Victoria’s Secret model to get paid for Instagram posts.

Brands and marketers prefer to work with micro-influencers (those with less than 10k followers) instead of macro-influencers (celebrities/famous people with over 10k followers) because followers of micro-influencers trust their recommendations more.

Even regular people like me and you can take Instagram for a spin and try your luck earning life-changing cash with the platform.

Did you know Instagram isn’t the only social media platform you can use to earn insane amounts of money?

If you’d rather try out other platforms instead, here are my guides for others: