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How to Make Money on Instagram: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024



Instagram has evolved from a photo-sharing app to a lucrative platform for influencers, creators, and businesses. With over a billion users, it offers numerous ways to monetize content and influence.

In 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced efforts to help creators monetize their influence, signaling Instagram’s commitment to becoming an income source for many.

The Potential of Instagram for Making Money

The question isn’t whether you can make money on Instagram, but how. While having a large following can be beneficial, an engagement rate of around 3% is key, as it indicates a highly engaged and niche audience that brands value for sponsorship opportunities.

This shift towards quality over quantity means that even accounts with fewer followers can find opportunities to generate income.

Key Ways to Monetize Instagram

Collaborating with Brands

One of the most popular methods to earn money is through sponsored content. Influencers can partner with brands to create posts that promote products or services. The earning potential varies based on the influencer’s tier, with nano influencers (1,000 to 10,000 followers) earning anywhere from $10 to $100 per post, while mega influencers with over a million followers can make from $10,000 to upwards of $1 million per post.

Brands are increasingly looking for influencers with high engagement rates rather than just a high follower count.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another avenue where influencers can earn a commission for sales made through their posts. By using product tags and promo codes, influencers provide a trackable link for their followers to purchase products or services. Commission rates can vary, with an average between 5% to 30%, offering a significant income stream for those with a dedicated following.

Selling Merchandise

For those with a creative streak or a brand of their own, Instagram allows users to set up a shop directly on the platform. This feature enables businesses to tag products in their posts and sell directly to consumers without them having to leave the app. It’s a seamless way to convert followers into customers.

Monetization Features by Instagram

Instagram has rolled out several features to help creators earn money directly from the platform. Instagram Live Badges are digital tips that fans can purchase during a live video, giving creators a new way to earn from their content.

Additionally, Instagram is testing “Ads on Reels,” where creators can earn based on the number of plays their reels receive. Although this program requires an invite from Meta, it signifies Instagram’s direction towards more creator-focused monetization options.

Offering Exclusive Content and Services

Creators can also monetize by offering exclusive content, such as online courses, guides, eBooks, or templates. Instagram serves as an excellent promotional tool to drive registrations and sales. Furthermore, many creators offer Instagram marketing services, leveraging their expertise to help others grow their presence on the platform.

Other Monetization Strategies

Driving traffic to an external website is a common strategy for monetizing Instagram. By converting followers into website visitors, creators can boost sales and grow their email marketing lists. Dropshipping is another method where creators can run a store without holding inventory, choosing products from suppliers and setting their own prices.

Factors Influencing Earnings Potential

Several factors influence how much one can earn on Instagram. While a higher follower count generally means higher earnings, the engagement rate is crucial for attracting brand partnerships.

Certain niches, such as travel, beauty, fashion, health and fitness, lifestyle, parenting, business, music, photography, food, and animals, tend to be more profitable. Additionally, a creator’s reputation, both online and offline, can significantly impact their earning potential.

Business Considerations for Instagram Entrepreneurs

When venturing into making money on Instagram, it’s essential to consider the business side of things. This includes creating a website or blog, understanding business liability, preparing for taxes, and setting up business banking. These aspects ensure that the financial side of your Instagram business runs smoothly.

Instagram vs Other Platforms

When comparing Instagram to platforms like YouTube, it’s important to note that Instagram does not have an ad revenue-sharing model. Instead, monetization comes from sponsored posts, affiliate links, product sales, and features like Instagram Reels and Live. This distinction is crucial for creators to understand where their efforts may be best rewarded.

Promoting Business and Content on Instagram

To promote a business and monetize Instagram effectively, strategies such as paid advertising, community building, and creating content with the potential to go viral are essential. Building a solid community on the platform can lead to more opportunities for monetization through various channels.

Success Stories and Examples

Instagram has been the launchpad for many successful brands and influencers who have turned their passion into profit. For example, Mike Holston (@therealtarzann) has made a name for himself by sharing his love for animals, while Amie (@rebellenutrition) leverages the platform to promote her health and wellness expertise. These influencers have tapped into their unique niches to create engaging content that resonates with their audience, leading to various monetization opportunities.

Brands like Palm & Wild and Sweet Mana have also utilized Instagram to showcase their products, engaging with customers directly through visually appealing posts and Instagram Shops. Underwater Photography Nature and Joy McElveen are further examples of how creatives can use the platform as a digital storefront to sell their art and photography.

Tips for Succeeding on Instagram

To maximize your earning potential on Instagram, consider the following tips:

  • Pick a niche: Focus on a specific area to attract a targeted audience. This helps in creating content that is more likely to engage and convert.
  • Engage regularly: Build a community by interacting with followers and other users. Regular engagement can lead to higher visibility and more opportunities.
  • Use tags: Employ hashtags, geotags, and brand tags to increase your content’s reach and visibility.
  • Multi-channel approach: Expand your presence by being active across different platforms and cross-promoting your content.
  • Be proactive and resilient: Seek partnerships with brands and be persistent in your efforts. The road to monetization is often paved with challenges, but resilience can lead to success.

External Resources and Further Reading

For those looking to expand their knowledge and resources, consider exploring the Instagram creator marketplace for opportunities to collaborate with brands. Additionally, platforms such as Shopify provide valuable insights into influencer tiers and earnings.

For a deeper understanding of engagement rates and their importance, Hootsuite’s blog offers a comprehensive guide. And if you’re looking to identify profitable Instagram niches, Sellfy’s blog is an excellent resource.


Making money on Instagram requires a strategic approach that combines creativity, engagement, and business acumen. Whether through sponsored content, affiliate marketing, selling merchandise, or providing exclusive services, there are numerous ways to monetize your presence on the platform.

By understanding the factors that influence earning potential and implementing best practices for success, anyone can turn their Instagram account into a revenue-generating asset. With the right strategy and persistence, the possibilities are endless for aspiring Instagram entrepreneurs.