You don’t have to be Kylie Jenner or any other big-time influencer to make money from your Instagram content. You just need a sizable following, a marketable niche, and the right partnerships. Follow our step-by-step guide to start earning. 

What You Need to Make Money on Instagram

First, let’s break down what you need before you start making money on Instagram: 

  • Reach
  • Influence
  • Engaged followers
  • High-quality content

Reach and Influence

Businesses pay Instagram users for the exposure to their follower networks. That means they’re only interested in influencers with thousands of Instagram followers. The bigger the company, the bigger following they’ll require for a partnership. Many new influencers start out by partnering with small businesses and startups with products directly related to their niches. 

Three rows of the Instgram new follower notification icon

Engaged Followers

However, a high Instagram follower count alone isn’t enough to be influencer material if your followers don’t engage with your content. If people see your posts but don’t interact with them, they’re unlikely to buy the products you promote on your Instagram account. 

If your followers like, comment on, and save your posts often, this shows that they are invested in your content and that you have the potential to sell products. 

The Instagram comment notification and like notification alternating in a row

High-Quality Content

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning anyway: your content has to be good for brands to want to partner with you. Monetizable Instagram content is:

  • Visually appealing
  • Unique
  • Engaging
  • Valuable to your audience

Since Instagram is all about the visuals, photography skills give you a huge advantage over other creators on the platform. Whether you use a camera or your phone, learning product photography skills is a great use of your time if you’re looking to earn money on Instagram. 

When you’re promoting products in your Instagram posts, remember you’re not just selling the physical product itself, you’re selling the lifestyle customers could have if they purchase it. Appealing photos that inspire FOMO, the fear of missing out if you’re not familiar, are a surefire way to drive impulse purchases.

A photographer in a studio kneeling down and taking a photo of a bottle

How to Make Money on Instagram as a Content Creator

Making money on Instagram works a little differently for content creators and businesses. These two parties usually work together to create Instagram marketing campaigns. Let’s start with the ways to make money on Instagram for creators:

  • Partner with brands
  • Join an affiliate program
  • Enable live badges
  • Sell your own merch
  • Link to your blog or vlog
  • Monetize your videos with ads
  • Offer online courses or tutorials
  • Create premium subscription content
  • License and sell your photos
  • Sell your old stuff

1. Partner With Brands

Brand partnerships are the most well-known Instagram monetization method. This is the primary thing influencers do. Partnerships with brands can look a variety of different ways. The company could pay you to make an Instagram post featuring a specific product. They also might offer you free products in exchange for reviews. These deals often include permission for the brand to use the content your create as an influencer in their ads and on their own website. 

For early brand partnerships, it’s best to start with small businesses that closely align with your pre-existing content and your personal values. Making posts recommending your favorite brands on your own is a great way to demonstrate to potential partners what your promotional content might look like.  

How to decide what to charge as an influencer

Brand partnerships are negotiable. They can involve anything from a single post to an entire campaign in exchange for a fee, a free product, a service, a gift, the promise of exposure, or some combination of the following. The payment will depend on these factors. 

When you negotiate payment, keep in mind that you’re not just offering content but access to your audience and usage rights. Your engagement rate (total engagement divided by number of followers) and other statistics about your audience that you can find if you use an Instagram Business Account will help demonstrate the monetary value of your reach. 

How to find brands to work with

If your Instagram account’s reach is big enough, brands will reach out to you. That doesn’t mean you have to wait around to be asked, though. It’s always a good idea to proactively seek out brands that you want to work with and that are compatible with your niche and values. Reaching out directly is always an option, but listing yourself on influencer marketplaces gives you better chances of like-minded brands finding you. 

Several circular icons of a person holding a megaphone

2. Join an Affiliate Program

Affiliate programs are another popular way for content creators to make money on social media platforms. When you promote products you are an affiliate for, you include a clickable link to purchase the product and you get a cut of every purchase made from the link. Like with brand partnerships, be sure to only join affiliate programs for companies that you support and that make sense with your content. And remember that affiliate marketers are required by law in the United States to include a disclaimer in all of their affiliate content. 

Three rows of a link symbol

3. Enable Live Badges

For US-based content creators, Instagram’s Live Badges are a great way to make money directly through the app. For Instagrammers who have them enabled, viewers of  live videos can purchase badges for $0.99 to $4.99 to show their support.

The first step to enabling live badges is to enable monetization. Once you’ve been approved, tap the Set Up Badges button. If you have badges enabled, be sure to mention it whenever you go live and thank people who buy them. 

The ring in the Instagram gradient that shows up around a users profile picture when they are going live

4. Sell Your Own Merch

Instagram makes a great marketing tool for your other revenue streams. If your personal brand has a certain look, logo, catch phrase or anything else that your audience can recognize and associate with you, consider selling merch with it. You won’t only make money on sales, but you’ll get your fans to advertise for you by wearing your merch out and about and posting photos of themselves wearing it. 

A T-shirt and a bag with the same square logo


5. Link to Your Blog or Vlog

If you have a blog or a YouTube channel that you’re also monetizing, make even more money by cross-promoting it on Instagram. Though clickable links in captions aren’t an option on the platform, using a LinkTree in your Instagram bio can give you a one-stop shop for self-promotion across platforms. 

Some other ways bloggers and vloggers can cross-promote their content include:

  • Posting pictures of food that you made and linking to a blog post with the full recipe
  • Posting vlog highlights as reels and linking to the whole video
  • Posting your outfit and linking to a blog post about where the pieces came from
  • Posting travel pictures and linking to blog posts about your adventures

No matter your niche, there are plenty of ways you can cross-promote your content on other platforms without looking obnoxious. 

The words link in bio in a handwritten font

6. Monetize Your Videos With Ads

In-stream video ads on Instagram are similar to YouTube ads. Companies put ads before and during your videos and you get paid based on the number of people who watch the ads. Instagram calls these monetizable plays. You’ll get 55% of ad revenue generated from each view, paid monthly to your bank account. 

These are the steps to turn on ad monetization: 

  1. Go to “Account Settings”. Tap “Creator”, then “In-Stream Video Ads.”
  2. Tap “Get Started.” Read and agree to the terms and conditions. 
  3. Toggle “Allow Monetization” on your existing Instagram videos, then tap “Continue” to finish. 

Here are the content monetization requirements:

  • Your content must be original 
  • Length must be two minutes or longer
  • You must own the rights to any music
  • Images, polls, looping videos, slideshows, or text montages don’t qualify. 

A row of play button icons

7. Offer Online Courses or Tutorials

Online courses are a great way to share your expertise and earn money from people who are eager to learn. They make a great additional stream of income for any influencer who followers turn to for knowledge. If you have a particular area of expertise, you could create an online course that requires a paid ticket. This income stream is especially popular with fitness influencers. Some other topics that make great online course material include:

  • Cooking
  • Drawing or painting
  • Clothing design
  • Jewelry making
  • Knitting or crocheting
  • Playing an instrument
  • Singing
  • Pottery
  • Writing
  • Tech
  • Woodworking
  • Foreign languages
  • Life coaching
  • Design

Anything that people would be willing to pay to learn about that you know about can be an online course. 

You can also offer live or pre-recorded tutorials for free and ask followers to tip you if they have the means and want to support your work. This is a good technique if you want to make extra money but aren’t comfortable setting a hard financial barrier around your content. 

A man presenting on a computer screen

8. Keep an Eye Out for Instagram Subscriptions

Instagram Subscriptions are a new feature from the platform that lets creators earn a recurring monthly income from followers who pay to subscribe to premium content. The feature is currently invite only, but they’re expanding it rapidly. If you do get an invite, make sure you follow the Instagram Partner Monetization Policies

A seal with a crown icon

9. Create Premium Subscription Content

While you wait for your Instagram Subscriptions invite, you can still use a similar model off-platform. With subscription sites like Patreon and Substack, creators can charge money for access to premium content. Encourage your followers from Instagram and other social media platforms to become paid subscribers on these platforms if they would like to further support you. If you want to give your paid subscribers even more value, offer a look behind the scenes with your content. 

A neon sign that says subscribe

10. License and Sell Your Photos

At its core, Instagram is a photo-sharing community. If your photography skills are a major part of the draw for your Instagram presence, you can make money from selling them on digital marketplaces like 500px or Twenty20. You can also use a print on demand provider to sell prints, canvases, and even clothing of your photos the way you would sell branded merchandise. Printful, Teelaunch, and Printify are great options for this. 

Three polaroids one of a mountain, one of a desert, and one of a city skyline

11. Sell Your Old Stuff

Even if you’re not an influencer and the work of monetizing your content doesn’t sound appealing to you, Instagram is a great place to sell your old stuff. Like Facebook Marketplace, you can make listings for clothing, furniture, collectors items, and other things you want to get rid of and make a little extra cash. If you have a good-sized following, you can get a pretty quick turnaround time. 

Various furniture and knickknacks at a garage sale

How to Make Money on Instagram as a Business

Building a presence and advertising on Instagram is also an important part of a solid social media marketing strategy for companies that sell products that photograph well. Here are the ways businesses can earn money on Instagram:

  •  Promote special offers
  • Countdown to new launches
  • Set up an Instagram Shop
  • Partner with content creators
  • Partner with other businesses
  • Create regular Instagram Ads

1. Promote Special Offers

Instagram users love shopping. In fact, 44% of Instagrammers say they use the app to shop weekly. Any online shopper loves a good deal. Any time you have a sale, use Instagram to promote it. Instagram ads for sales, promo codes, and special offers get the word out there to your followers and make the information easy to share. That way it can reach a larger audience without you having to try as hard.

The word SALE written four times, three times hollow and one time solid (1)

2. Countdown to New Launches

Instagram’s Countdown and Reminder features let your potential customers sign up for alerts when your new products will be available to purchase. These features are a great way to create hype around a product and give interested parties a nudge to make the purchase.

A calendar icon with the number 10 followed by the words days to go

3. Set up an Instagram Shop

Instagram Shops are a way to directly sell products on instagram using the platform’s native ecommerce tools. When you post something with a buyable item, the little shopping bag icon will appear on the post, so viewers know that it’s available for purchase.

Instagram Shops are easy to set up and easy to purchase from. That makes them a powerful driver of impulse shopping. They’re also a great way to provide speedy customer service. Customers can DM you or comment on posts to ask questions and learn more about your company. Using a chatbot or a customer service representative can take the burden of answering DMs off of you. 

Shoppable Posts and Stories

Using product tags lets you showcase items from your catalog in videos and images. Viewers can simply tap the post to learn more about the item. 

Shoppable Ads

You can extend the reach of your shoppable posts by using them in Instagram ads. You can either set them up in Ads manager or pay to boost existing posts.

Instagram Shop Tab

The shop tab is a destination for Instagram users who are specifically looking for new products to buy. When your shoppable posts are featured on the tab, you have a better chance of getting discovered by new customers. 

Live Shopping

If you enjoy going live on Instagram, you’ll love live shopping. To get started, simply go live and tag the products you feature. The product will show up at the bottom of the screen, and viewers can tap to instantly purchase them. 

Three rows of the Instagram Shop icon, a tiny minimalist shopping bag

4. Partner With Content Creators

On the other side of the influencer marketing partnership, businesses can partner with influencers to get a wider reach for their products. The goal is to collaborate with creators with content that’s compatible with your niche, brand image, and company values. For example, if you’re a vegan bakery, it makes sense to partner with a vegan influencer. 

A young woman holding a laptop and flashing a thumbs up

5. Partner With Other Businesses

Partnerships between businesses give both parties a chance to reach bigger audiences. Collaborating for a giveaway is a great way to gain more followers and engage each other’s audiences. 

A closeup of a handshake with a dollar sign behind it

6. Create Regular Instagram Ads

Of course, you can always simply run ads on Instagram. If you use an Instagram Business page, you can run paid ads and track their reach using in-platform analytics. The advertising algorithm lets you effectively target your audience by demographics, interests, and online behaviors. Installing the Instagram Pixel on your website also allows you to target users who have visited your site based on what they did when they got there. For example, if someone adds an item to their cart and doesn’t check out, you can serve them ads on Instagram to give them a little nudge. 

A blank Instagram post

Tips To Make Instagram Work For You

Now that you know a few ways to make money from your Instagram page, follow these tips to make the most out of your income and experience:

  • Find your niche
  • Be authentic
  • Learn how to market yourself
  • Build trust and transparency
  • Provide an outstanding customer experience

Find Your Niche

The first step to finding success in content creation is to find your niche. There are a lot of people making content on Instagram. A well-defined target audience and an angle that makes you different from your competitors will help you reach the right people and stand out from the crowd. Your niche can be anything that has a community around it on the platform. Food, travel, fashion, makeup, pop culture, video games, and pets are all examples of content niches.

A magnifying glass zeroing in on a person

Be Authentic

At the same time, users should be able to see that you’re a person and get a sense of your personality that they can connect to. As you’re building your personal brand, share stories that are uniquely yours and give people an opportunity to connect with these stories. Authentic, original content provides much more value to your followers than manufactured, strictly promotional content. The more value people get from your posts, the more they’ll interact with them and the more of your content they’ll see in their feeds. 

A blonde woman making a heartfelt gesture

Learn How to Market Yourself

If you’re a content creator, marketing yourself is essential for advancing into influencer territory. When you’re promoting something, use a personal story of everyday experiences so your followers can see how it’s used. Building your following organically, when to post for maximum exposure, which hashtags to use, and how to promote content across platforms are also important introductory level social media marketing skills. 

A person holding a giant megaphone


Build Trust and Transparency

Clear communication and transparency are essential for building trust with your Instagram followers. Whether you’re creating Instagram ads, making reels, going live, or anything in between, the way you communicate with your audience should come from a place of trust. After all, people want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. If you appear untrustworthy or dishonest in your social media presence, it could get in the way of valuable partnerships. And, of course, it’s the right thing to do. 


Provide an Outstanding Customer Experience

When you’re using shoppable posts and your own online store alike, it’s important to provide a seamless and user-friendly customer experience. Learning more about your company and products, making a purchase, contacting customer service, and navigating your website should all be simple and intuitive. 

When a customer contacts your company, whether it’s by DM, comment, email, live chat, or phone, work to solve their problem as quickly and efficiently as you can, and do everything within reason to make sure they leave the conversation happy. 

Even when you’re using it to make money online, Instagram is a community first. You want that community to be on your side and develop a connection to your company so they keep coming back and recommend your products to their friends. If you want people to trust you, it’s important to take care of them and be reliable.

A generic profile picture with three stars above and a check mark below


Top Non-Celebrity Instagram Influencers

These Instagrammers weren’t big names before, but they’ve leveraged their Instagram accounts to get millions of followers and the earnings that come with them. Though their results aren’t typical, they could be an inspiration for your own influencing endeavors. 

A trophy on a 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place podium (2)

FAQs About Making Money on Instagram 

Now we’ll answer your burning questions about making money on Instagram as a beginner. 

Can you get paid on Instagram?

Yes. You can get paid on Instagram in the following ways:

  • Partner with brands
  • Join an affiliate program
  • Enable live badges
  • Sell your own merch
  • Link to your blog or vlog
  • Monetize your videos with ads
  • Offer online courses or tutorials
  • Sell your old stuff
  •  Promote special offers
  • Countdown to new launches
  • Set up an Instagram Shop
  • Partner with content creators
  • Partner with other businesses
  • Create regular Instagram Ads
A wallet with dollar bills sticking out

How much money do Instagram influencers earn?

Some Instagram influencers have lucrative careers, but don’t hold your breath on getting there right away. The amount of money an influencer makes depends on various factors, including: 

  1. Number of followers
  2. Engagement rates
  3. Affiliate marketing tactics

There are five tiers of influencers by follower count:

Nano-influencers, micro-influencers, mid-tier influencers, macro-influencers, and mega-influencers. 


Influencer Tier

Follower Count

Average Earnings


1,000–10,000 Followers

$10–$100 Per Post


10,000–50,000 Followers

$100–$500 Per Post

Mid-Tier Influencer

50,000–500,000 Followers 

$500–$5,000 Per Post


500,000–1 Million Followers

$5,000–$10,000 Per Post


1 Million + Followers

$10,000–$1 Million + Per Post


If your follower count isn’t as high as you’d like it to be, don’t be discouraged. You can grow your following by earning your followers’ trust and engaging with them will help your account grow. Brands also value influencers with smaller but more active followings than those with large numbers of followers and low engagement rates. You can start making decent money even if you only have 1,000 followers. 

How many Instagram followers do you need to make money?

In a similar vein, the number of followers you need to start making real money from Instagram depends on a variety of factors like

  • Your niche
  • How easily you can directly tie your niche to products and popular hashtags
  • Follower engagement
  • Which revenue channels you use

Though the top earning Instagrammers have millions of followers, you can start earning money with as few as 1,000 in most niches. 

The Instagram new follower notification arranged in an increasing graph

How easy is it to make money on Instagram?

Making money online can often sound like a get rich quick scheme. However, if you do it well it is a job, usually a part-time one at first. Fortunately for you, Instagram is an easy social media platform to monetize. Their huge audience, focus on visual content, and efficient feed algorithm make it easy to grow a following and promote yourself and any partnerships you may form. TikTok is another easy platform to make money from for similar reasons. 

What’s the best way to make money on Instagram?

There isn’t one true best way to earn money on Instagram. The method that works best for you depends on your business type, niche, number of followers, and other similar factors. However, the most popular monetization methods include

  • Creating sponsored posts
  • Setting up an Instagram shop
  • Becoming an influencer
  • Affiliate marketing

A pile of dollar bill bundles


How Sav Can Help

Here at Sav, we make it easy and affordable for small business owners to set up your own professional website and succeed online. From going live to promoting your business, we can fit online success into your schedule and budget. Our website builder’s social media features help your small business build a presence, promote your website, sell your products and services on social media, and monetize your social following. What are you waiting for? Start building your website today!

Luca Harsh

Luca Harsh

Luca Harsh is an in-house content writer for Sav. They live in Chicago with their cat, Polly. Yes, Harsh is their real last name.