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How To Make Money On Instagram

Published on 16.02.2023 by Maiko Maisadze

Making money through social media has become a very real thing. Just think about the amount of social media influencers that get to live the life of fame and luxury that have started from a single post. Yes, the turning point for most people is the moment one of their posts goes viral. After that, you are launched into the limelight, your audience increases, and your brand value soars. Instagram, like every social media platform, can put you in front of the those who are interested specifically in whatever content you create with just one viral post, Story, Reel or maybe a Live moment. Maintaining the spotlight and taking advantage of the opportunity is on you though.

Frankly speaking, if you are trying to achieve a commercial goal through social media, you should not be using it for communicative purposes only. Or to keep an eye on your favorite celebrities, influencers and businesses. If you know what to do and when to take action, you can become one of them. You can go from an observer to the inner circle if you know how to navigate Instagram to increase your net worth. To point out the basics everyone is aware of, to make money on Instagram you should create good content, offer services or products a certain audience is looking for, and utilize Instagram promotional power. 

Content Creation

Creating content is the basis of everything else on Instagram. Successful people hire a team of content creators who make something that enhances their personality, fit their audience, increases their brand value and ultimately hits all of their SMM goals. You have to put in the work and be consistent to be successful. Some tools within or outside the platform can help accelerate your post outreach, most of them are free or have a free trial. However, internal tools like Story, Reel, most stickers and visual effects are free to use whenever you want.

Niching Down

You cannot go about posting baseless content and expect growth on your profile. An account that posts about everything and being all over the place, is not attractive to would-be followers. Having a niche positions you as an expert and enables prospects of attracting a very targeted audience that is likely to give you engagements (not like someone with a 4K followers that gets less than 20 likes on their posts). A visitor should get the idea of what you do after a quick preview of just a few of your posts. Note that contrary to popular opinion, any niche can succeed on Instagram. It all depends on creativity, engagement, and consistency. 

Social Media Strategy

You should have a strategy before creating an Instagram business page and not the other way around. Be ready and don't go in blidnly, hoping you will get the hand of it as you go. The kind of approach will only slow down the process of becoming successful. Social media strategy is like a map, plan, or a guide to control and adjust your Instagram activity as needed. While drawing out a strategy, be sure to include the detailed purpose of your brand, planned activities (scheduling, budgeting and more) and the target audience. A good strategy helps you to stay focused on your goals and plan your next moves.

Instagram Tools


Organic growth is good, but if you want to speed up your outreach, some tools can provide the boost in a timely manner. Such tools include: obviously the Instagram Business account, Instagram reels, highlights, insights, and more specific sub-tools like a stickered hashtag that you can use to make your Story updates more fun and engaging. Instagram business accounts rank your brand and put it on the faces of prospective followers. They do this by offering varyingly helpful services like promoted posts and ads. Use reels so that your content has more chances of appearing on the Discover page. Unlike stories, reels last longer than 24 hours. And you would agree, with the massive popularity of Tik-Tok, no matter what platform you use, reel type of videos are the hottest thing right now.

Optimizing Your Profile

Can you remember the last time you met a new person? What you thought of them and your initial conclusions about them? Your profile is your first impression. It is what comes up when people search for you. The profile is your first opportunity to attract, hook, and gain followers. An optimized page has a simple, easy-to-remember username with a concise and explanatory bio. Professional profile picture is a must. It doesn't mean you should definitely put a headshot. Just make sure whatever you put up demonstrates your brand well.

Quality Posts

Now onto the most important part of your account - posts. If you utilize all of above correctly, you already have a general idea about the kind of posts that will interest your intended audience. Genuine, original content with quality graphics (videos or pictures), relevant hashtags and tags is the ideal post. To be consistent, you can follow or peek at the brands that are in the same niche as you and take some inspiration from them. Especially when experiencing a creative block. If you feel particularly creative, make several posts and schedule them to save time and ensure you remind the followers of your existence even on the days you don't feel creative at all.

Timeline & Re-strategizing 

What's to say that you will get it right when you initially start using Instagram? The possibility that you make a mistake is why you must have a timeline for executing your Instagram strategy. With a reasonable timeframe in mind, you can spread out your posts and reels and then monitor them closely to see what's working and what needs to be changed. If your content is not getting enough engagement, then you know that it is time to re-strategize. This way, you are saving time, and energy and focusing on what you can do better. 

Scheduling is important because it gives you the ability to focus on adjusting and fixing things up, or doing literally everything else outside the Instagram. If you don't time your activity, you will have to think about coming up with the ideas, actually executing them and then monitoring them all at the same time. Sounds like a nightmare. And a burnout.

Influencer Marketing on Instagram


Influencers have the power to affect the buying habits of people through sponsored posts. It is important to note that influencers must first establish credibility and build large followings. You would think only celebrities can become successful influencers. While that's true, Bretman Rock was once an ordinary person. Celeb power is real because their past and current posts solidify their credibility by getting huge engagements no matter what they post (could be an egg really).  Although it should be noted that a large number of followers do not equal influencing power. Influencing power has to do with a deep connection with your followers that translates directly into the engagements you get.

For example, compare a tailor and a comedian, they both have years of experience on hand, with lots of posts and engagement on content in their niche. Who would be a good candidate to influence their followers to buy a sewing machine from your brand? Definitely the tailor. Even if the comedian has more followers. That's because the tailor can showcase the creations done using the machine. 

Another important tip when influencing is the content. Yeah, we have discussed content, but there are things you should take note of if you want to go into this business:

  • Good copywriting skills, you need to know how to sell without selling.
  • Captions and tags. Use catchy captions and tag relevant accounts.
  • Clear, high-quality graphics. The product you are advertising should be visible in all pictures and videos. Blurry or shaky visuals are okay if intentionally done.
  • Creative and consistent posts. Be sure to post original and creative content to keep followers hooked and get them to buy from your brand. Do not plagiarize.

Accounts with fewer followers can also be influencers for brands. They may not be paid as much as the Kardashians, but it's something. Also, most of the time they get free products from brands. Influencer marketing is a sure way to make money on Instagram, but it has two major disadvantages for the brand and yourself: fake influence for the brand and loss of integrity for you.

Fake Influencing

This happens when influencers build accounts with fake followers (bots) and engagements. According to a publication by Forbes, "There is talk of 83% growth in a so-called industry built on false metrics, trivial and absurd premises, and distorted mechanisms". Fake influence hurts real brands and businesses. As a business owner, always make sure whoever you reach out to has genuine followers and gets real engagements.

Loss of Integrity

Do not make the mistake of assuming that you will not be affected if a brand that you recommended doesn't perform well, because you WILL be affected. Your integrity is on the line for every business you promote. In the case of a popular influencer for a property company (which we are not going to name here), many of their unsatisfied customers started tagging them and calling them out for a disservice to the brand. That is the power of influencing, you have to vouch for any brand before you influence it. It is not worth losing the authenticity and trust of your followers because of a brand. 

Offering Services And Selling Products on Instagram

The most common way people make money on Instagram. Many users have complained of having little to no sales on Instagram. There are many reasons why you may not be able to profit from your Instagram business, including lack of credibility, lack of engagement, and lack of customer interaction. 

  • Credibility: simply means establishing yourself as an expert in your field. If you have been selling and offering your services before coming to Instagram, you should make content showcasing your current as well as past activities/items. If you do not have such pictures, consider building a portfolio first before launching a brand on the platform.
  • Engagement: imagine having only 2% of your followers engage with your post. To intending followers, it means they are not interested in your products, and frankly, this can discourage even the most motivated business owners. Boost engagements by responding to every single comment on your posts (until you reach the point where everyone understands you can't physically do that). Maybe also consider personally appearing on your Reels. This way, you show the followers there's an actual person behind the account.
  • Interaction: involves how fast you respond to DMs and check up on your customers. Good customer interaction is a prerequisite to building a solid customer retention strategy. As are attending to inquiries and DMs with respect, directness, and tact. When you get tagged in posts, be sure to respond by commenting or liking them. You can also feature them on your Story and then pin it on top of your page. To utilize your Instagram account further, use highlights for reviews, testimonials, price lists and available goods. 


Your business is your baby, guide it well with all you have. Do not allow anyone damage the reputation of your brand. Respond to false claims and fake news by debunking them immediately. Stay active, fun, respectful and offer something to the target audience. If you try to implement at least some of the above discussed strategies, you will generate money on Instagram in no time.