It used to be Flickr, and now everyone is using Instagram to share their photos and connect with like-minded individuals. Beyond that, some people use Instagram to actually make money.
Yes, you can monetize your Instagram audience in a few different ways. First you will need an audience of course — more on that here — and after that you can keep doing what you’ve been doing and see the money rolling.
Here are 5 ways how you can turn your Instagram passion into a money-making machine:
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards affiliates for each customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. These marketing efforts may include articles on sites and blogs, Facebook posts, and yes — shares on Instagram.
Your “job” is to post attractive images that highlight the product/service you want to promote in an effort to drive visits to the merchant’s website. When the user goes to the website and makes a purchase, you get your cut of the sales.
You can promote a number of different products and services, and your best chance is to start with some affiliate network which serves multiple merchants. Once you sign-up for the network, it is easier to get into individual merchant’s affiliate programs. In most cases, you will just have to click the “Join” or “Sign-up” button.
Some of the sites to check include:
Between those five affiliate networks, you will find programs that work for you. All you have to do is sign-up as a publisher and when you’re accepted to a program, use a special link when sharing stuff with your Instagram audience. That link is used to track visitors coming from your Instagram post — so that you can be rewarded accordingly.
2. Create sponsored posts
Similar to affiliate marketing, you can create sponsored posts to promote various products and services. This way, however, won’t get you a cut of the sales but a fixed amount of money per post / image shared.
Some companies want to see content with their brands showing up on social networks like Instagram. They are looking for people that already promote their brand’s values; so if you’re a fitness enthusiast and post photos of working out, you may want to work with some healthy lifestyle brand. Similarly, if you’re into cooking, a food maker or a grocery store/chain may be your best fit.
Typically these posts are accompanied by captions that may include branded hashtags, @mentions, and/or links.
If you want to make money by offering sponsored content through your Instagram account, you can start by checking one of these sites:
- TapInfluence – it lets you create a profile to describe the nature of your content so that brands could contact you to join their programs.
- Ifluenz – works in a similar way by matching available campaigns to Instagram users.
Brands are looking for influencers and before signing-up to these services, you should build an audience.
3. Sell your photos
You may have noticed that some of the best photos on Instagram have a watermark. There’s a reason for that as individuals behind those shots don’t want anyone to borrow their work “just like that.” Rather, they look to sell photos.
If you are making good photos, you may want to sell them. In fact, professional photographers use Instagram to promote their work.
There are many websites that will let you sell your photos, including the new ones like Twenty20 and Community Foap, as well as well established players such as Shutterstock, DepositPhotos, Fotolia and iStockphoto. These sites let everyone buy photos starting from $1, depending on the image resolution. If you take this route, you will have to make a ton of photos and update them regularly for every special occasion.
Also, there is the Photography Jobs Online website, which will guide you along this route. Check it out.
4. Promote your own business
If you have your own business or work for someone else, you can use Instagram to get new clients. In fact, pretty much all major corporations — especially those selling to consumers — use Instagram to connect with their customers.
There are any number of things you can share, including how your product/service is being used, client photos (how they use your product), behind the scenes footage, infographics, special offers and more.
Even if what you are doing can’t be easily turned into a photo, you can still post some nice looking images with your company’s logo in the corner. Just make sure to find good photos to share, as you’ll want people to re-share them to their friends so you could reach even more potential customers.
5. Sell your Instagram account
At the end, when you’ve had it enough with Instagram, you may decide to sell it. Like any other product or service, Instagram accounts have their price and potential buyers are there to kick in if you have built a valuable following.
There are even a few sites that will let you do that, including:
Those two sites serve as platforms to connect sellers and buyers. In addition to Instagram, you can use one of these two to sell Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.
Now that you know how to make money from Instagram, what’s next? Try some of the services we’ve mentioned on this page to find those that work for you. Some experimentation is required but at the end of the day, you will be able to make money on Instagram.
And if you need some extra help, check out Instagram on Fire — this unique course will provide you with the top strategies the so called super-users rely on to increase the number of their followers and monetize their audience. Start by signing-up for a free report.