How to Earn Money on Instagram

In this short post today I'm going to show you how to make money from Instagram. It's a lot simpler than you think it is, when you know how. There are actually many ways to make money on Instagram, but in this post I'm going to cover just a couple or three which will inspire you to get out there and use your Instagram page to make some (almost) passive income online. 

How to Make Money from Instagram

Before we get stuck in, I just wanted to clear something up from the outset, to avoid any misunderstanding or confusion. That is this...Instagram is not going to give you money.

When I say I'm going to show you how to make money from Instagram it might be better to phrase it as "how to make money USING Instagram." That being said, it had to be made clear because Instagram is not going to be paying you for anything. 

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a social media network, or platform, that people post pictures to. You can follow people and people can follow you. It is a predominantly image-based social media platform that started out only 7 years ago in 2010. Not too long ago, Instagram was actually snapped up by Facebook for about $1 billion. That's a lot of money.

Obviously, Facebook saw a competitor that could threaten its dominance and so decided to buy them out. Facebook took over Instagram in April, 2012.

There are about 600 million active monthly users on Instagram and it's growing fast. You can read more in-depth details about Instagram here (on Wikipedia) which will open in a new tab so you can leave this page open. 

Why Instagram is Great for Marketing

Instagram is great for marketing for a couple of reasons. There is far more "engagement on Instagram than there is on other social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and the others you know of.

Instagram has what I believe to be the highest rates of engagement when compared to any other social platform out there. It beats the socks off everything else when it comes to people interacting with your content and vice versa. 

What about Hashtags on Instagram?

When you post a picture on Instagram you can add hashtags, which help Instagram to categorize your pictures. For example if you posted a picture of yourself at a beach party you could use a hashtag of #beachparty. You may use up to 30 hashtags for one post on Instagram.

There are sites where you can research the best tags to use for your posts. I've listed one such site below. 

How to Make Your Own Instagram Images

Of course Instagram is great for uploading photographs that you've taken yourself. You can also make images yourself for Instagram using free pictures from Pixabay.com and editing them with Canva.com or even Snappa. They're free online image editing websites where you can make some nice looking pictures.

Remember the size for Instagram is a minimum of 1080 x 1080 pixels and you shouldn't go wrong. You could use bigger than that because Instagram will shrink them down to the default when you upload them. For example, try making an image that's 2160 x 2160 which is exactly double that of the default size.

There's a cool app that I like to sometimes use on my Android tablet and it's called 9cut (which is free). It allows me to make images in grids. Take a look at the screenshot I made for illustrative purposes just below. These pics are quite popular and get a few more likes than regular images do.

How to Earn Money on Instagram - How to Make Your Own Instagram Images

Other Useful Apps and Tools You Can Use for Your Instagram.

  • Dropbox - Cloud storage for your images and other files.
  • Hashtagify.me - A website where you can find hashtags suitable for your pictures and niche.
  • Socialblade.com - A website where you can check the health of Instagram accounts as well as Youtube and Twitter.
  • Iconosquare.com - Similar in nature to Socialblade
  • Instamate 2 - A Software you can use to post and schedule post on up to 5 Instagram accounts on laptops or desktops running Chrome browser. 

Instagram’s Default Image Sizes

When Instagram first started out the default image dimensions were approximately 380 pixels by 380 pixels (or was it 360 x 360?). They then changed that to about 640 by 640. Since then, though, they've upped the default picture size to 1080 by 1080 pixels which makes a square. Will they up the pixel count again in the future? Maybe, but for now it's 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels. 

What are the Best Times of Day to Post on Instagram?

The best times of day can depend on which audience you're targeting. In other words, where are most of your audience located? I find I get better engagement at about 6PM to 10PM New York Time (EST).

You should definitely experiment with posting times, however, as it's the best way to learn for yourself which time of day is best for you and the audience you're reaching out to. There are other peak times of day such as 8AM to about 10AM, too. Go ahead and test things out and see what works best for you. 

What Should You Write in the Captions of Your Instagram Posts?

You should definitely be adding a call to action in your captions to get more engagement. If you want people to like your image, tell them to like it. If you want people to follow you, tell them to follow you.

And if you want them to click the link in your bio, tell them there's a link in your bio. An example of a good caption, with calls to action can be seen in the image below.

How to Earn Money on Instagram - What Should You Write in the Captions of Your Instagram Posts

The Real Magic Happens in Your Instagram Bio

In your Instagram bio is where all the real magic happens. This is the only spot on your Instagram page (profile) that you can place a link to a website that is clickable. When people who are interested in your profile, your content, or what you're promoting, that's where they will go to look for a link to click and check out what you're offering.

How to Earn Money on Instagram - The Real Magic Happens in Your Instagram Bio

What Should You Link to in Your Bio?

There are many options here.

  • You could link to a free ebook which people have to enter their email address to get hold of. You can build a large email list with this method.
  • A link in your bio could be added that goes to your Twitter, or any other social media profile.
  • You can add a link that goes directly to your Facebook page and you ask your followers to go and like that page.
  • Some people simply link to a specific blog post on their website.
  • You can add a link to an affiliate product if you're an affiliate marketer. Programs like Clickbank, Amazon Associates, JVZoo, etc, spring to mind.
  • You could link to a specific YouTube video you have, or a link to your YouTube channel. 

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But wait, there's more...

You cannot add a direct affiliate link because Instagram will pick it up and say "Nope, you can't do that!"...Try it now and see what happens...

But here's a little trick that everyone uses...

Because I have a website I can use a WordPress plugin called Pretty Link which is a link shortener. Pretty Link has several features, such as cloaking and redirecting, etc. And I can also track any clicks on my links with Pretty Link by looking inside my WordPress dashboard. It's a great little plugin and I call it one of my essential tools for my online business.

Of course, the best way to use your link in your Instagram bio is to add a link that goes to your own website and people land on an email capture page. Offering something for free is a great way to get people to hand over their email address so you can "build your list."

Something Cool I’d Like to Give to You

Grab my Instagram Checklist by clicking the image below.

Or you can click this link to get the checklist 

How to Make Money on Instagram Selling Clickbank Products

Clickbank is an affiliate network that has digital products that you can promote. You could promote them on a website through your affiliate link, or you could promote them directly from your Instagram or any other social media platform you use.

You choose a product there (or any other affiliate network such as Amazon Associates). It could be a special diet ebook, or a course on muscle building, for example. You get your link and use it to place in the right places where people will see it and click on it. Perhaps they'll buy what you're promoting.

Remember, though, that you cannot add an affiliate link to the bio of your Instagram account, or indeed, other social media accounts. You'll be flagged. So it's best to learn the best practices. I recommend you learn at this place for free if that's your cup of tea.

Go ahead and have a look around on people's bios on Instagram and see what they do. This will give you some great ideas. Incidentally, here's ONE of my Instagram profiles you can click on to take a look at what I do. I prefer to show than just to tell. After all, the tagline of my website is "showing what works and what doesn't!" My Instagram Profile 

Can Other Methods Be Used to Make Money with Instagram?

There's the shoutout method. If you have a large account with say 10k followers or more, and you get lots of engagement (comments and likes, etc) then you can charge people for shoutouts on your account. You could make a nice residual income this way if you have a good Instagram account.

One such site you can use to buy and sell shoutouts is shoutcart.com and the charges and the costs vary there depending on who, what niche, length of shoutout in hours, shoutout in bio, etc. Go check it out.

How to Earn Money on Instagram - How to Make Money from Instagram with Shoutouts

Expect to pay a lot of money if you want a shoutout from a big influencer on Instagram. Influencers are account owners with many followers and a high engagement on their posts.

I've read some people charge $200 or more per shoutout! Wow! There are a couple above in the picture. I noticed that those types of accounts have gazillions followers, though.

In any case, I think paying $200 for a shoutout from the RIGHT influencer would easily make you more money back in ROI.

Wrapping Up on How to Make Money with Instagram

Okay, so now you know a few basic ways on how to make money on Instagram. There are lots of other little bitty details to consider when using Instagram for earning money, but they're for another post altogether.

You'll have to learn what hashtags are best for you, what to write in your bio, what captions to use, what pictures do best, what calls to action to use, and a few other things, too. Don't let it put you off.

If you'd like to learn about other ways to make money online, then I highly recommend you read my Wealthy Affiliate review below.

There are many many more strategies that Wealthy Affiliate can teach you, and it's free to start so you can get your feet wet without it costing you a dime.

I'm Jim. Read more about me and the purposes of this site here

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