Updated: Feb 8
1. Become an influencer and make money from sponsors
With your influencer status, you can propose to brands to help to promote them in your posts. An influencer is someone who has built a reputation by doing and sharing things online. They have a good following and they are able to convince their audiences about trends because of the level of trust they have built with their online presence.
Brands tend to partner with influencers to do sponsored posts that help spread the word about their products. Influencers have to manage many things at once such as the size and reach of their Instagram accounts as well as the trust and engagement that they build based on their content.
A typical influencer post includes the creation of content such as an Instagram post or an Instagram story, that will include the promotion of the brand or their products. As an influencer, that’s why it’s extremely important for you to know your audience. You need to understand who your audience mainly consists of, so you know which brands would best fit your audience. If you’ve switched to an Instagram business account, you can research your numbers a bit more through your Instagram Analytics report.
As an extra tip, be careful not to lose the trust of your existing audience in the process of making money from sponsored posts. That’s why it’s always a good idea to indicate with an Instagram hashtag that it’s a sponsored post (for instance, by adding #sponsored).
2. Become an affiliate and make money by selling other people’s products.
You can sell other people’s products and receive a cut. Many brands sell their products through affiliate programs. There are many people that make money from Instagram this way.
The difference between an influencer and an affiliate is that an affiliate is working towards making sales for the partnering brand in exchange for a commission. On the other hand, the influencer is mainly aiming to create awareness.
Affiliates make money on Instagram through a trackable link or a promo code to make sure that any clicks are converted to sales.
Create engaging posts, so you can promote the products without being pushy. The thing is, since you can only have one link on your Instagram bio, you might want to include a landing page to your affiliate link. In each post, include a caption that the product can be purchased via the link on the Instagram bio.
Our team has compiled a list of eye-catching Instagram post ideas from successful brands for you to take inspiration from.
3. Sell poster photos and other virtual products.
Instagram is all about visual content. Photogenic products would sell well on Instagram. You can sell poster photos, paintings, drawings, animations, videos, and other images or video-based virtual products. On each post, refer readers to visit the link in your bio. This is another popular way that people make money from Instagram.
You can use Instagram to promote your photography portfolio using relevant Instagram hashtags.
4. Sell your own physical products.
You can sell any physical product that you produce yourself or purchase from suppliers. This conventional eCommerce retailing usually requires stocking some inventory, meaning you’d need to spend some startup capital to stock some products.
You can sell products directly on Instagram through Instagram Posts and Stories. By simply tagging products in your Instagram images, you can lead your Instagram followers to your product pages where they can purchase products quickly.
5. Sell dropshipped products.
Dropshipping is a business model that you can use to run your store without ever holding any inventory. Once you’ve made a sale your supplier will ship your products from their warehouse, straight to your customer’s doorstep. You’ll never need to worry about storing, packaging, or shipping your products.
This works in a similar way to the previous point of selling products on Instagram to earn money. Just that you won’t need to store any inventory. You can easily set up a dropshipping store with Shopify’s eCommerce platform, which is free for 14 days, and Oberlo’s forever free plan dropshipping app. With dropshipping, you can experiment to find the niche products that would sell well, without wasting startup capital.