How to Make Money on Instagram – Promotional Methods, Tips and Hacks to Get You Started

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In this post I am going to show you how to make money on Instagram. Instagram is one of my favourite traffic sources, and one I spend a lot of my time on building my audience. Out of the 800 million users on Instagram, a massive 80% follow a business on Instagram. And the best part? At least 30% of Instagram users have purchased a product that they first discovered on Instagram.

5 Main Methods to Make Money on Instagram

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1. Become an Influencer yourself:

This can take time. But if your patient, savvy, and can build an authoritative personal brand on Instagram, other businesses will pay you to promote their products. This is more of a long term plan once your established, but to reach this goal you need to take action on it now!

2. Create and sell your own digital products:

For example, try selling online courses, ebooks, and design templates. This can be a great money-making tactic, but you do need to create these products before you can sell them.

You may be thinking “but I don’t know how to create my own product” or “I don’t have enough knowledge to create my own product”. You do not need to be an expert in your niche and creating your own product is easier than you may think. In the very near future I will be writing a guide on this subject, so keep checking back fro more info.

3. Create and sell your own physical products:

If you’ve already designed, patented, and manufactured a product, Instagram is a great channel for marketing it. But this is only for more serious ecommerce entrepreneurs. product, patent it, have it manufactured, manage the storage, and handle shipping them out. This method is great for more experienced ecommerce entrepreneurs.

4. Promote affiliate products:

Now, this method is relatively easy, and faster, to get going. Because, there are plenty of sites online that will connect you to other businesses willing to pay you to sell their products. But, the downside is that you’re not in control of the offers you’re promoting.

The upside is you do not have to create the products yourself, and you do not need any kind of budget to get going. All you need is to apply for your affiliate link and you can get earning straight away.

There are some great affiliate platforms out there but I will not list them all here as there are way to many, and there are too many niches to cover. The best platforms in the make money online niche are Warrior Plus and JV Zoo.

5. Start a dropshipping business:

This is the method I recommend. Especially if you’re just starting out, and want to create a successful, sustainable business where you’re in control. But, what is dropshipping? Dropshipping is where you sell physical products. But, you don’t need to order any products upfront, store the products yourself, or even ship them out to customers.

All this is taken care of for you. What you have to do, is create a store, add some products and market your products on Instagram. Then, when a customer submits an order, your supplier will charge you the cost of the product, and ship it to the customer — and you get to keep the profit. Dropshipping is an incredible opportunity for new entrepreneurs.

Why? Firstly, you’re in control of your business. And secondly, you don’t need a lot of money to get started. Also, with apps like Shopify and Oberlo, it’s easy to get a profitable business up and running quickly and easily. What’s more, this is a method that you can scale into a long-term, sustainable business.

The Setup

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The first steps are to create a dropshipping store, and setup your Instagram account.

Setting up your store:

You can set up an ecommerce business in minutes at Shopify.com — this is free for 14 days, and then only $29 a month thereafter. Then, you’ll need to install the Oberlo app — which is free for life! Shopify is your store itself.

It’s your website, and it’s where you’ll showcase your products, and take sales. And, Oberlo enables you to find products, and add them to your store. Between the two, you can have your own fully functional dropshipping store set up in minutes!

Pick a niche:

Now, you might be tempted to create a store that sells all kinds of products, like Amazon. But, it’s far better to start off with a narrow niche. In fact, the narrower, the better. Choosing a small niche allows you to cut through the noise on Instagram and start making sales.

Based on Instagram’s top hashtags, popular niches include fashion, food, beauty, and fitness. Whatever you choose, try to pick a niche you’re familiar with. Because, it’s best to have a solid understanding of your target customers. This will make it easier for you to create engaging posts, captions, and product offerings.

Then, use Oberlo to find products in your chosen niche, and add them to your Shopify store. It’s very newbie friendly and simple to get up and running. Results vary from person to person, but it’s a possibility you could sell products within the first day of setting up.

Creating your Instagram profile:

Next, you need to create a Winning Instagram Profile Upload a profile picture that features a person using one of your products, like fashion brands Military Hippie, and Chubbies. In your bio, write a snappy description of your brand like you would in a Tweet.

Try to make it emotional, about your customer, and finish with a call-to-action that encourages people to click your link. To start, link directly to your products page, and make sure your link is easily readable. Okay, now that you’re all set up, it’s time to make money on Instagram!


Instagram Promotion Methods

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So, how can you use dropshipping to make money on Instagram? Well, there are three main ways to promote your products on Instagram: Grow your audience organically, Use Instagram ads, or… Partner with influencers to promote your store. All of these are great ways to make money on Instagram.

Organic method:

Let’s run through each of them. First up? Grow your following organically. Here’s 8 top tips to get you started:

1. High quality content:

It needs to be in HD and well-lit. And, take advantage of Instagram’s inbuilt editor and filters. There are also a ton of free editing apps you can download on the Apple store or Google Play

2. Share lots of different content:

You never know what’s going to work until you try it. For example, while Instagram video consumption has increased 40%, photos actually generate 36% more likes. You could share inspirational quotes, how-to videos, or run competitions. To get inspiration, check out what’s working for your competitors.

3. Don’t Spam people with your offers:

One study showed that Instagram users enjoy seeing photos of products. In fact, product posts are actually more popular than lifestyle images from influencers, and celebrities! But, it’s generally understood that people hate to be sold to. So, by all means promote your products, but make sure you’re also creating a good experience for your followers.

4. Post photos that feature faces:

Why? Because, images that feature faces get 38% more likes than those without. Images with a face show more trust in the brand, therefore increasing your conversions.

5. Instagram Stories:

Using Instagram Stories is a fantastic addition to your marketing strategy. In fact, one-third of the most viewed Stories are from businesses. Start out by posting several Stories a day, and see what works.

I’ve only recently started using Instagram stories myself. You can create different highlight categories that people will see on the front of your profile.

6. Repost content from other accounts:

This is a great way to share good content without needing to create it yourself. Instagram’s Terms of Use, state that you must reach out and obtain written permission from someone before reposting their content.

You can do this by sending them a direct message, or commenting on the post itself. You can use an app like Repost for Instagram — I’ve included a link to it in the description below.

7. Use plenty of hashtags:

Images with 11 or more hashtags perform the best. Also, download a hashtag app like Focalmark to help you find the best hashtags to include. In my own business I use Google Docs and Sheets for all of my hashtags. All the hashtags I find are copied into Google, then when I upload a new image, it’s simply a copy and paste job with the hashtags.

8. Engage with your community often:

aim to post 3-5 times a day. Also, reply to comments, and reach out to other users on the platform. The more you engage, the more engagement you will recieve in return.

Instagram ads method:

There are now over 1 million advertisers on Instagram — and for good reason. Instagram ads are a great way to promote your products to the people most likely to buy them. To get started with Instagram ads, you need to setup a Facebook ad account. There are 3 key steps to creating a killer Instagram ad. Let’s take a quick look at them.

1. Select your target audience:

First, clearly identify who your target customer is. How old are they? Where do they live? What are their interests? The more specific the better. That way, you’ll make sure that you’re not wasting money on ads which aren’t reaching your ideal customers. Then, use the Facebook ad manager to hone in and select your audience.

2. Create a compelling offer and write your ad:

Remember, people love to buy stuff, but they hate to be sold to. So, always ask yourself, “What’s in it for them?” Maybe try a discount or sale for a limited time only, to increase urgency. Or, see what’s working for your competitors. And when writing your ad, make sure you don’t just tell people what your product is — tell them how it benefits them.

3. Choose your picture or video:

Images account for 75-90% of Facebook advertising performance. But, your image is even more important on an entirely image-based platform like Instagram! Remember, images with faces perform better. So, make sure you feature a model using your product. For more tips on how to create awesome Instagram ads, I will be writing an article in the near future.

Partner with Instagram influencers method:

Instagram is the place for Influencers. So much so, that almost 80% of influencers prefer Instagram for brand collaborations over any other channel. And remember, influencers aren’t just celebrities, or famous YouTubers.

Anyone with a reasonably large following can be an Influencer. So, although Kim Kardashian might be a little too pricey for your first campaign, you should be able to partner with a micro-influencer in your niche.

Micro-influencers with 2,000 to 100,000 followers charge, on average, between $30 and $258 per Instagram post. This might be a lot of money when you’re first starting out. But, if you do your homework and find the right Influencer, it can be worth every cent and you can make a huge return in investment. So, how do you find the right influencer?

First, look for an account with at least a few thousand followers — ideally, over 10,000. Then, identify those with high engagement. How many likes do they get on average? How many comments? Have they promoted products before? And, if so, did the posts receive a lot of likes and comments?

Once you have a list of influencers who might be a good fit, you need to create a compelling offer. Simply, what’s in it for them? And, what’s in it for their audience? To start, offer them your product for free, and perhaps a small payment.

And, provide a special discount just for their audience. Also, a dedicated discount code will let you tell how many sales are a result of the influencer campaign. And, if it works out, you might want to pay them a larger fee to do a more in-depth video promotion.


Ahere are tons of ways to make money on Instagram, dropshipping is an awesome business model that you can get up and running quickly and easily. But a personal favourite of mine is finding influencers with a lazor targeted audience.

If you need help or have any questions on how to make money on Instagram, feel free to comment, reach out to me on my social channels, or join my subscriber list below.

Chris Burston
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How to Make Money on Instagram – Promotional Methods, Tips and Hacks to Get You Started

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