How Does Instagram Make Money?

How Does Instagram Make Money? A Complete Guide

Instagram, the popular social media platform known for its visually engaging content, has become a powerhouse in the digital world.

With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram has not only captured the attention of individuals but also businesses looking to reach new audiences. But how does Instagram, a free app, generate revenue?

In this article, we’ll dive into the various ways Instagram makes money and explore the opportunities for creators and businesses to monetize their presence on the platform.

Can You Make Money On Instagram?

Can You Make Money On Instagram?

The short answer is yes, you can make money on Instagram. Whether you’re an individual creator or a business, Instagram offers several avenues for monetization.

From sponsored posts and affiliate marketing to selling products directly through the platform, there are numerous ways to turn your Instagram presence into a profitable venture.

However, the amount of money you can make on Instagram depends on factors such as your niche, follower count, engagement rate, and the monetization strategies you employ.

How Does Instagram Make Money?

How Does Instagram Make Money?

Instagram, owned by Facebook (now Meta), has developed a multi-faceted business model that generates substantial revenue.

Let’s explore the primary ways Instagram makes money:

Collaborate With Brands on Sponsored Content

One of the most common ways Instagram users make money is through sponsored content.

Brands partner with smaller influencers and creators to promote their products or services to their target audience. Influencers create posts, stories, or videos featuring the brand’s offerings and are compensated for their creation of content and promotion.

The amount paid for sponsored content varies based on the influencer’s follower count, engagement rate, and the scope of the partnership.

These sponsored posts can be seen in your Instagram feed, even if you are not following the brand, as they are paid for by the company to reach a wider audience.

Get Paid by Instagram as a Creator

Get Paid by Instagram as a Creator

Instagram has introduced several features to support creators directly.

The Instagram Creator Fund rewards creators for producing engaging content on the platform.

Creators can also earn money through Instagram Live Badges, where viewers can purchase virtual badges during live streams to show support.

Additionally, Instagram offers Bonuses for reaching certain milestones or creating specific types of content through the professional dashboard.

As a creator, you can also monetize your live videos through live badges, where viewers can purchase virtual tips to support your content.

Open Your Own E-Commerce Store

Open Your Own E-Commerce Store

Instagram has become a powerful platform for e-commerce. Businesses can set up an Instagram Shop, allowing users to browse and purchase products directly within the app.

By tagging products in posts and stories, businesses can streamline the shopping experience for their audience. Instagram takes a percentage of the sales made through its shopping features, generating revenue for the platform.

Additionally, creators can also monetize their posts by creating shoppable posts with product tags, allowing them to showcase and sell their products directly to their audience through product images.

This can be a lucrative opportunity for creators looking to open their own e-commerce store on their Instagram profile.

Make a Personal Brand and Launch Your Merch

Influencers and creators with a strong personal brand can monetize their Instagram presence by launching their own merchandise.

By creating and selling branded products such as clothing, accessories, or digital goods, creators can tap into their loyal fan base and generate additional income.

Tools like Shopify and Printful make it easy to set up an online store and handle the production and fulfillment of merchandise.

Become an Affiliate Marketer

Become an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing is another way to make money on Instagram.

By partnering with brands and promoting their products using unique affiliate links, creators can earn a commission on sales generated through their referrals.

Affiliate programs, such as Amazon Associates or ShareASale, provide a wide range of products to promote, allowing creators to choose brands that align with their niche and audience interests.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Instagram can be an effective tool for driving traffic to your own website or blog.

By including links in your bio and directing your audience to your website through calls-to-action in your posts and stories, you can increase website traffic and potentially monetize through ads, affiliate links, or product sales on your site.

Tools like Linktree or allow you to create a landing page with multiple links to your content or offerings.

Enable Instagram Shopping Features

For businesses selling physical products, Instagram Shopping is a game-changer.

By setting up an Instagram Shop and tagging products in your posts and stories, you make it easy for your audience to discover and purchase your products without leaving the app.

Instagram Shopping streamlines the buying process, reducing friction and increasing the likelihood of sales. Businesses can also create shoppable posts, where users can tap on tagged products to view prices, descriptions, and make purchases.

Sell Your Photos or Art Online

If you’re a photographer or artist, Instagram can serve as a platform to showcase and sell your work.

By building a strong portfolio and engaging with your audience, you can attract potential buyers and direct them to your website or online store to purchase your photos, prints, or digital art.

Platforms like Etsy or Society6 make it easy to set up a shop and sell your creations to a global audience.

Earn Live Badges From Fans

Earn Live Badges From Fans

Instagram Live has become a popular way for creators to connect with their audience in real-time.

With the introduction of Instagram Live Badges, viewers can show their support by purchasing virtual badges during a live stream. Creators receive a portion of the revenue generated from badge sales, providing another avenue for monetization.

Live Badges not only offer financial support but also help creators identify their most engaged and loyal fans.

Offer Paid Subscriptions

Instagram has been testing a subscription feature that allows creators to offer exclusive content to paying subscribers.

By setting up a subscription tier, creators can provide their most dedicated fans with access to behind-the-scenes content, Q&A sessions, or early access to new releases.

Paid subscriptions create a recurring revenue stream for creators while fostering a sense of community and exclusivity among their supporters.

Sell Used Stuff

Instagram can also be a platform for selling used or pre-owned items.

By leveraging the power of visual storytelling, individuals can showcase their gently used clothing, furniture, or other goods to their followers.

Instagram’s direct messaging feature makes it easy to communicate with potential buyers, negotiate prices, and arrange for payment and delivery. Selling used items on Instagram is a sustainable way to declutter while earning some extra cash.

Retail Arbitrage (Flip Items)

Retail Arbitrage (Flip Items)

Retail arbitrage involves purchasing products at a low price and reselling them at a higher price for a profit. Instagram can be a platform to showcase and sell these items to your audience.

By sourcing products from clearance sales, thrift stores, or online marketplaces, you can curate a selection of items that appeal to your followers. Retail arbitrage requires an eye for trends and an understanding of your audience’s preferences.

Print on Demand (POD)

Print-on-demand services allow you to create and sell custom-designed products without holding inventory.

Platforms like Printful or Teespring enable you to design products such as t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases, which are only printed when an order is placed.

By promoting your POD products on Instagram, you can tap into a passive income stream without the upfront costs and logistics of traditional product manufacturing.

Offer Your Audience Exclusive Content

Creating exclusive content for your Instagram audience is another way to monetize your presence. This can include e-books, courses, webinars, or access to a private community.

By providing value-packed content that solves your audience’s problems or helps them achieve their goals, you can charge a premium for your expertise. Promote your exclusive content through your Instagram posts, stories, and bio link to drive sales.

Dropship Products

Dropship Products

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where you sell products without holding inventory. When a customer places an order, you purchase the item from a third-party supplier who ships it directly to the customer.

Instagram is an excellent platform for promoting dropshipped products, as you can showcase them through attractive visuals and engaging descriptions. Dropshipping allows you to test different products and niches without the risk of upfront inventory investments.

Create an Instagram Feature Account

An Instagram feature account is a curated account that showcases user-generated content (UGC) from other Instagram users.

By creating a feature account in a specific niche, such as travel, fashion, or food, you can build a large following by sharing the best content from other users.

Once you have a substantial following, you can monetize your feature account through sponsored posts, affiliate links, or selling shoutouts to other accounts looking to gain exposure.

Instagram Influencers: Tiers, Rates and Top Earners

Instagram influencers are categorized into different tiers based on their follower count and engagement rate.

Here’s a breakdown of the tiers and their typical rates:

  1. Nano influencers (1,000-10,000 followers): $10-$100 per post
  2. Micro influencers (10,000-50,000 followers): $100-$500 per post
  3. Mid-tier influencers (50,000-500,000 followers): $500-$5,000 per post
  4. Macro influencers (500,000-1 million followers): $5,000-$10,000 per post
  5. Mega influencers (1 million+ followers): $10,000+ per post

How Many Followers Do You Need to Make Money on Instagram?

How Many Followers Do You Need to Make Money on Instagram?

The number of followers you need to make money on Instagram varies depending on your niche, engagement rate, and the brands you work with.

While having a large following can increase your earning potential, even nano and micro influencers with engaged audiences can secure brand deals and make money on the platform.

The key is to focus on building a loyal and active community that resonates with your content, and can potentially lead to lucrative opportunities such as a single post deal with a high-paying brand.

However, it’s important to note that the number of followers is not the only factor in determining an influencer’s earning potential on Instagram. Other factors such as engagement rate, niche, and brand partnerships also play a significant role.

Who Are The Top Earners on Instagram?

Some of the top earners on Instagram include celebrities, athletes, and mega influencers.

According to Hopper HQ’s Instagram Rich List 2021, the highest-paid celebrities per sponsored post are:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo – $1.6 million per post
  2. Dwayne Johnson – $1.52 million per post
  3. Ariana Grande – $1.51 million per post
  4. Kylie Jenner – $1.49 million per post
  5. Selena Gomez – $1.46 million per post

How Much Money Can You Make on Instagram?

How Much Money Can You Make on Instagram?

The amount of money you can make on Instagram depends on various factors, such as your niche, follower count, engagement rate, and the monetization strategies you employ.

Nano and micro influencers can earn anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month, while top influencers and celebrities can make millions annually.

The key to making money on Instagram is to consistently create high-quality content, engage with your audience, and diversify your income streams.

Brands Making Money on Instagram

Brands Making Money on Instagram

Instagram has become a powerful platform for brands to reach new audiences, build brand awareness, and drive sales.

Many businesses have successfully leveraged Instagram to grow their customer base and increase revenue. Some notable examples include:

  1. Fashion Nova – The fast-fashion retailer has built a massive following on Instagram by partnering with influencers and leveraging user-generated content. They have successfully used Instagram Shopping to drive sales and make it easy for customers to purchase their products.
  2. Glossier – The beauty brand has cultivated a strong community on Instagram by showcasing their products through visually appealing posts and engaging with their followers. They often feature user-generated content and offer exclusive promotions to their Instagram audience.
  3. Gymshark – The fitness apparel brand has grown rapidly by leveraging Instagram to showcase their products and collaborate with fitness influencers. They have built a loyal community of followers who resonate with their brand values and aspirational content.

How to Make Money on Instagram as a Business?

How to Make Money on Instagram as a Business?

As a business, there are several strategies you can use to make money on Instagram:

1. Promote Special Offers

Use Instagram to promote special offers, discounts, or limited-time deals to your followers. Create visually appealing posts and stories that highlight your promotions and encourage users to take action. Use Instagram’s shopping features to make it easy for customers to redeem the offers and make purchases.

2. Set Up Countdowns to New Launches

Build anticipation for new product launches by using Instagram’s countdown sticker in your stories. This creates a sense of urgency and excitement among your followers, encouraging them to stay tuned for the release. When the product launches, direct your audience to your Instagram Shop or website to make a purchase.

3. Set up an Instagram Shop

Setting up an Instagram Shop allows you to showcase your products directly on the platform. Tag your products in your posts and stories, making it easy for users to discover and purchase them. Instagram Shop streamlines the buying process, reducing friction and increasing the likelihood of sales.

4. Schedule Shoppable Instagram Posts With Hootsuite

Hootsuite, a social media management platform, allows you to schedule shoppable Instagram posts in advance.

By planning your content and product promotions ahead of time, you can ensure a consistent and strategic approach to your Instagram marketing efforts. Hootsuite also provides analytics and insights to help you track the performance of your shoppable posts.

5. Set Up A Chatbot

Implementing a chatbot on Instagram can help you automate customer support, answer frequently asked questions, and guide users through the purchasing process.

Chatbots can provide instant responses, improve the customer experience, and free up your time to focus on other aspects of your business. Platforms like MobileMonkey or ManyChat offer Instagram chatbot solutions.

6. Partner With Creators

Collaborating with influencers and creators can help you reach new audiences and build trust with potential customers.

Identify influencers who align with your brand values and have an engaged following in your target market. Partner with them to create sponsored content, product reviews, or brand ambassadorships.

Influencer partnerships can increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and boost sales.

7. Partner With Other Businesses

Collaborating with complementary businesses can help you cross-promote your products or services and reach new audiences.

Identify non-competing businesses that share a similar target market and explore partnership opportunities. This can include co-branded content, giveaways, or bundled promotions.

Partnering with other businesses can expose your brand to a new set of potential customers and create a win-win situation for both parties.

8. Straight-Up Advertise

Instagram offers a strong advertising platform that allows businesses to create targeted ads and reach specific audiences.

With Instagram Ads, you can promote your products, services, or brand to users based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics.

Instagram Ads can appear in users’ feeds, stories, or explore page, providing multiple touchpoints to engage with potential customers. Set clear goals, define your target audience, and create compelling ad content to maximize the effectiveness of your Instagram advertising efforts.

Making Money On Instagram Vs Youtube

Making Money On Instagram Vs Youtube

While both Instagram and YouTube offer opportunities for monetization, there are some key differences between the two platforms:

  1. Content format – Instagram primarily focuses on photos and short-form videos, while YouTube is known for longer-form video content. This difference in content format influences the types of monetization strategies that work best on each platform.
  2. Audience engagement – Instagram’s engagement rates tend to be higher than YouTube’s, as users are more likely to like, comment, and share content on the platform. This high engagement can be attractive to brands looking to partner with influencers.
  3. Monetization options – YouTube has a more established monetization system through its Partner Program, which allows creators to earn a share of the ad revenue generated from their videos. Instagram, on the other hand, relies more on brand partnerships, sponsored content, and shopping features for monetization.
  4. Discoverability – YouTube’s search algorithm and recommendation system make it easier for users to discover new content and creators based on their interests. Instagram’s discovery features, such as the Explore page and hashtags, also help users find new content, but the platform is more focused on curated feeds and social connections.

Ultimately, the choice between Instagram and YouTube for monetization depends on your content style, target audience, and overall goals. Many creators and businesses choose to leverage both platforms to maximize their reach and income potential.


Does Instagram Pay You For Likes?

No, Instagram does not pay users directly for likes. Likes are a form of engagement that can help increase the visibility of your content and attract brand partnerships, but they do not directly translate to income.

How Do You Sign Up For An Instagram Business Account?

To sign up for an Instagram business account, go to your profile settings and tap “Switch to Business Account.” You’ll need to connect your Instagram account to a Facebook Page associated with your business. Once connected, you can add contact information, view insights, and access other business features.

How Do You Get Sponsored on Instagram?

To get sponsored on Instagram, you need to build a strong and engaged following in a specific niche.

Brands often look for influencers who align with their values and have an audience that matches their target market.

You can reach out to brands directly, join influencer marketing platforms such as influencer marketplaces, or work with agencies that connect influencers with sponsored opportunities.

It’s essential to create high-quality content, maintain a professional image, and engage with your audience to attract potential sponsors by putting a lot of time and effort into growing your Instagram audience using a social media strategy.

How Much Does Instagram Pay For 1,000 Views and 1 Million Views?

Instagram does not pay users directly for views. The platform’s monetization opportunities come from brand partnerships, sponsored content, and shopping features, rather than a pay-per-view model. The amount you can earn on Instagram depends on your niche, follower count, engagement rate, and the specific monetization strategies you employ.

How Many Instagram Followers Do You Need to Make Money?

The number of followers you need to make money on Instagram varies depending on your niche and the brands you work with. While having a large user base can increase your earning potential, even nano and micro influencers with engaged audiences can secure brand deals and make money on the platform. The key is to focus on building a loyal and active community that resonates with your content, making it a lucrative side hustle for anyone looking to make money on social media.

Do You Get Paid For 1,000 Followers on Instagram?

There is no set payment for having 1,000 followers on Instagram. The amount you can earn depends on various factors, such as your niche, engagement rate, and the monetization strategies you use.

Some nano influencers with 1,000 followers may be able to secure small brand deals or affiliate partnerships, while others may focus on other monetization methods like selling their own products or services.

How Do People Make Money on Instagram Without Followers?

While having a substantial following can make it easier to monetize your Instagram presence, there are still ways to make money on the platform without a large audience. Some strategies include:

  1. Affiliate marketing – Promoting products or services using affiliate links and earning a commission on sales, regardless of your follower count.
  2. Selling your own products or services – Using Instagram as a platform to showcase and sell your own offerings, leveraging features like Instagram Shopping or directing traffic to your website.
  3. Offering freelance services – Promoting your skills and services, such as photography, graphic design, or social media management, to potential clients who discover your work on Instagram.
  4. Participating in Instagram’s monetization features – Taking advantage of features like Instagram Live Badges or Bonuses, which reward creators for creating engaging content, regardless of their follower count.

How Can Beginners Make Money on Instagram?

Beginners can start making money on Instagram by focusing on the following strategies:

  1. Defining their niche and target audience
  2. Creating high-quality, engaging content consistently
  3. Using relevant hashtags and engaging with other accounts in their niche
  4. Collaborating with other creators or businesses
  5. Exploring affiliate marketing opportunities
  6. Offering their skills or services to potential clients
  7. Participating in Instagram’s monetization features, such as Live Badges or Bonuses
  8. Building relationships with their audience and providing value through their content

As beginners grow their following and engagement, they can explore more advanced monetization strategies like brand partnerships, sponsored content, and selling their own products or services.


Instagram has evolved into a powerful platform for individuals and businesses to make money.

From sponsored content and affiliate marketing to selling products and services directly through the app, there are numerous ways to monetize your Instagram presence.

The key to success lies in creating high-quality content, building an engaged community, and exploring various monetization strategies that align with your niche and goals.

As Instagram continues to introduce new features and tools to support creators and businesses, the opportunities for monetization will only expand.

By staying up-to-date with the latest trends, engaging with your audience, and consistently providing value, you can turn your Instagram account into a profitable venture.

Whether you’re an individual creator or a business looking to reach new audiences, Instagram offers a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape for monetization in the digital age.

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