February 14, 2024
Min Read

How To Monetize Instagram: 5 Ways To Make Money

Learn how to monetize Instagram, no matter how many followers you have. Discover effective Instagram monetization methods and steps to start making money with your account.

Instagram logo with bills or symbols of different currencies (€, £, $, ¥…) flying around

Instagram isn’t just a social media app. It’s a huge marketplace with over two billion users who spend money on ads, affiliate links, and gifts.

Whether you're a content creator or post just for fun, there are tons of opportunities to make money on Instagram. You just have to know where to look. Here’s how to monetize Instagram and turn your content into a profitable side hustle. 

What Is Monetization on Instagram, and How Does It Work?

Instagram monetization involves making money from feed posts, Reels, and Stories. 

There are quite a few ways to go about it, but there are two main Instagram monetization categories: 

  1. Instagram monetization tools and payouts — By monetizing your content with Instagram’s Creator Tools, you’ll receive payouts from Instagram directly. Examples include Instagram Subscriptions and Badges. 
  2. Sponsored and affiliate posts — You can partner with brands to post sponsored content, ads, and affiliate links to your profile, earning money from those brands instead of Instagram. 

Can Anyone Monetize Their Instagram Account?

Some people think you need thousands of Instagram followers to earn money. However, anyone can get monetized on Instagram. Having a smaller following just means you might not earn as much.

Whether you have a large or small account, you can monetize your content if you meet these two standards:

1. A Loyal and Engaged Following

You could have 100,000 followers, but if they never see or interact with your posts, you won’t be able to make money. Monetization isn’t about how many followers you have but how engaged they are — how they watch ads, click links, and become customers

There’s no single path to building an active audience, but there are things you could do to turbocharge engagement:

  • Upload quality content — High-quality content is more likely to stand out in people’s feeds, increasing the chance they’ll stop scrolling and interact with your posts. Make sure your content makes sense, looks and sounds clear, and has a sense of purpose behind it.
  • Post consistently — Consistent activity shows Instagram’s algorithm that your account is active and relevant, which means it’s more likely to boost your content to a larger audience. This increases the number of people who might see your sponsored content — now or in the future.
  • Interact with your audience — Actively engaging with your followers through comments and direct messages helps you build personal connections and create a stronger bond. They’ll be more willing to support your monetization efforts.

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2. A Business or Creator Account

An Instagram Business or Creator Account will give you access to more of Instagram’s features and monetization tools. If you have a personal account, you can quickly switch to a Business or Creator account under Settings and Privacy, which you can access from your profile page. 

Here are a few tools that Business and Creator Accounts can access:

  • Post scheduling — You can plan your content and organize your posting schedule ahead of time. That way, you’ll create consistent content even when you don't have time to post or just want to take a day off.
  • Performance tracking with Instagram Insights — Instagram Insights shows you which kinds of content your audience interacts with most. With that information, you’ll cater to their preferences and improve engagement. 
  • Link-sharing in Instagram Stories — Sharing links through your Stories makes it much more convenient for viewers to click and tap them, leading to an affiliate link or ad. They won’t have to navigate all the way to your bio to see it.

3 Top Ways To Make Money on Instagram

Instagram’s been around for a while, and it has dozens of options for influencers and creators to earn cash. Here are three of the most popular ways you can make money on Instagram:

1. Instagram Monetization Tools

Instagram has a few in-app monetization tools, making the process easier. 

  • Instagram Shopping — With Instagram Shopping, you can tag and sell products directly in your posts, turning your Instagram into a storefront. You can also tag products in Reels and Stories and host live shopping events. Every time a follower purchases something, you’ll earn a commission. 
  • Instagram Subscriptions — Offer your followers exclusive content or experiences in exchange for a monthly subscription fee. This can become a source of recurring income, which is sometimes hard to find as a creator. However, for this monetization method, you must have at least 10,000 followers and be 18 years or older. 
Screenshot of Instagram creator account highlighting the ‘Subscribe’ button
  • Instagram Live Badges — Viewers can purchase badges during an Instagram Live to show support and stand out in the comments section. All of the money goes to you. It’s a great way to let your most dedicated followers show how much they care.
  • Instagram Gifts — If you have a Creator account, Reels viewers can click on a virtual gift icon next to the comment box to send you a gift. Viewers purchase “stars” from Instagram and use them to give more specific gifts, usually in the form of an image or emoji. You then exchange those gifts for real currency from Instagram at an exchange rate of $0.01 per star. 
  • Instagram Ads — Instagram places ads between posts in users’ feeds, and if you have enough followers and engagement, you can get a cut of that ad revenue. You can also choose what kinds of ads appear on your profile, giving you more control over your followers’ experiences.
Screenshot of an Instagram Reel ad

2. Brand Partnerships and Sponsored Content

If you have an engaged audience, you can start partnering with brands to create sponsored content. These photos, Story posts, or Reels are essentially ads, but you’re the star — explaining what a product does and why it might benefit your audience. Brands will pay you for the post, and it’s arguably the best way to make money on Instagram quickly.

Remember to be selective about the companies you work with. Talking about products your audience would like feels genuine, like you're letting them in on a secret or introducing them to the next big thing. They’re more likely to support your content and buy the products you promote. If you partner with a random brand — like a kitchenware brand when your account is a beauty blog — your audience might feel like you’re just trying to sell them something.

There are two ways to approach brands for partnerships:

  • Via Instagram Creator Marketplace — Instagram’s Creator Marketplace is a platform within the app where Instagram influencers can connect with brands and earn sponsorships. Once you join the Creator Marketplace, choose your interests by selecting from keywords like “sports” or “beauty.” Brands can use these keywords to find you and reach out to collaborate. 
  • Off Instagram — If you have enough followers, brands might DM or email you about opportunities. You can also reach out to them and explain why you think working together is a good idea. 
Screenshots of Instagram’s tools for brand partnerships

3. Affiliate Marketing

With affiliate marketing, you create personalized links to different products, and when users click the link to earn a purchase, you’ll earn a commission. You can put that link in your bio and promote the product on your profile so users are more likely to buy it.

Instagram’s Affiliate program is in its testing phase and only available to a few creators. However, there are other popular options like Amazon Associates, Affiliate Manager, and Swagbucks. 

What Instagram Content Makes the Most Money?

Feed posts, Stories, and Lives are all great options for sponsored content and monetization, but Reels are arguably the best. They have greater visibility than feed posts — appearing on a dedicated Instagram tab, on Explore pages, and in users’ main feeds — which could mean more viewers and more money. 

There are no Instagram Reels monetization requirements. Previously, Instagram paid creators for viral Reels through Reels Play deals — an invite-only bonus program that ended in March 2023. Now, you won't get paid directly for Instagram Reels views, but Business and Creator accounts can monetize Reels in other ways, like with Instagram Shopping and ads. 

Boost Your Content’s Potential With Captions

High-quality content makes the most money, and the Captions app can help you reach new heights. 

You don’t have to be a professional editor to create impressive content. All you have to do is upload your videos to Captions, and the AI tools will do most of the work for you. With Captions, you can instantly cut away mistakes or awkward pauses, automatically denoise your video, and even add captions to make your content more accessible. Followers and brands alike will notice and money will follow.

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February 14, 2024
Min Read
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