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How to make money on Instagram?

Instagram is one of the most popular social media websites. A billion people[i] use Instagram every month. 72% of teens in the US use Instagram to post pictures, share them and also comment on pictures shared by others including celebrities. Instagram is used not just for fun, but also to earn money. If you are an avid user of Instagram, then you can look to monetize your account and start earning from it. Here’s how you can do it.

Build a strong network of followers

If you want to make money from Instagram, the first thing is to ensure that you have a sufficient number of followers. Apart from your family and friends whom you can convince to follow you; it is important to add followers from all over the world. Why would someone follow you on Instagram? It is very simple;you need to share photos and content that are interesting. You can make use of the hashtag feature of Instagram by posting pictures on hashtag topics that are trending.

This can help you bring invisitors to your account. If visitors like all that you have posted, they will start following you. Once you cross a thousand followers, you can then start planning to earn money. You first thousand followers will share your pictures with others and that can help bring in more followers, provided you keep posting interesting stuff. The more the followers, the higher are your chances of making money.

Engage with followers

It is not enough having followers, who view your pictures and like or heart them. You need to engage with them. Reply to comments posted, view pictures that your followers have posted, and follow them back. Engage regularly with your followers. This is very important and can help you when you start making strategies to earn money.

Become an influencer

An influencer on Instagram is one who has many followers. The followers are likely to view all that is posted by the influencer. This is how you can earn money. When you are an influencer, your followers will eagerly look forward to what you share with them. If you share a post, where you promote a brand or a product, your followers may show interest in it. This is why influencers are signed up by brands for promotion.

Brand/Product promotion to earn money

Companies look for influencers on social media websites who can promote them. For a company, this is an easy and cost-effective way of reaching out to thousands of people. This works out much cheaper than conventional advertising. Companies are willing to pay influencers to promote their brand and products directly or indirectly. If you are an influencer having a large number of followers, you can be signed up by brands to promote them. The more the number of followers, the higher you’ll be paid.

We spoke earlier about engagement. This matters a lot for brands. Let’s assume you promote a health drink by sharing an infographic on it. The likes you get and the comments from your followers determine your reach. If a brand sees more engagement and reach, they would be assured that you are worth spending on. This can help you earn more from brands. A study[ii] showed that influencers charge $10 per 1000 followers. If you have 10,000 followers, you can expect to earn $250 per post. The higher your reach, the more is your ability to earn.

An influencer can be a micro, middle, or macro influencer depending on the number of followers. A micro influencer is one who has less than 10,000 followers. A middle influencer would have 10,000 to 250,000 followers. More than 250,000 followers will make you a macro influencer and you can look forward to earning big money. If you have million people following you on Instagram, you can become a celebrity and earn a lot of money.

Be an affiliate and sell products

This is direct selling, where you share product details to your followers and provide a link for them to purchase products. Depending on the products sold, through the link you shared, you would get a percentage of the total sale. You can even add the link to your products in your Instagram profile. This will help it be noticed by more people. As long as you have a large follower list with whom you engage, you can look to earning money through affiliate sales.

Sell virtual and real products

You can sell virtual products like photographs, videos, and animations created by you. If you are talented and can create top-class photos and videos, there is no reason why you can’t monetize your talent. You can showcase your products on Instagram, which is the perfect platform since it is a photo site. You can share your website link from where your followers can buy products. The benefit of this method of earning from sales is you don’t need a warehouse for your products. They can all be on your laptop or mobile.

Apart from virtual products, you can also sell real products. These can be products you deal with or make yourself. This is nothing but e-commerce. You can have your own website to sell your products or link up with a site like Amazon. You can use your Instagram posts to promote these products. You can offer special discounts and other freebies for your loyal followers. This is a good way of making money.

There are many options to make money on Instagram. You can start today by posting interesting content that can help you gain followers.