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These days there are so many ways to make a living on social media. Instagram monetization is one of the most popular methods of turning content creation into a full time job. And that is no surprise seeing as Instagram has started to invest a lot money and focus into content creators on the platform. Many think monetizing social media is a quick rich gimmick. Now there are many content creators out there that do find success over night. But like with any business if it’s managed correct this is an opportunity that can be sustainable in the long term.

There is no limit as to who can take advantage of Instagram monetization. Anyone who create impactful content has the opportunity to earn. Before making money off of social media was reserved more for celebrities and big time influencers. But in 2022 as long as you have some sort of reach you’re a contender. This means not only can beauty influencers and style creators make money, but so can fitness professionals, photographers and other content creators.

What is Instagram Monetization?

Instagram monetization is a fancy way of saying making an income off the platform, without actually selling products or services. There are several ways one can monetize like working with brands on campaigns or by joining affiliate marketing programs. And there are even some amazing built-in opportunities that Instagram is developing to help creators maximize their income.

One thing to note is the key difference between monetizing your Instagram, and using it to sell products or services. With Instagram monetization it’s your content and your overall brand on the platform that is earning you money. So instead of having to focus time on coming up with a product to sell, influencers and creators can capitalize on the content they’re already publishing.

When You Should Consider Instagram Monetization

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Back in the day profiting off of Instagram was exclusive to those with big follower counts and engagement rates. However today as long as you have a strong online brand with loyal followers anyone can have a piece of the game. Generally in the industry there are 5 tiers of influencers, which is determined by following: Nano (1K-10K), Micro (10K-50K), Mid-tier (50K-500K), Macro (500K-1M), Mega (1M+). Depending on where you fall within those ranges you can charge brands anywhere from $10 to $10K+ depending on the campaign requirements.

Generally Nano and Micro Influencers tend to have a harder time breaking into the monetization game. At their level brands are usually more inclined to gifting product as their payment. However slowly both brands and creators are starting to recognize their worth and requiring payment for the work done. Ultimately regardless of where you fall on the influencer scale monetization is something you should consider.

The main rule of thumb is as long as you have a strong engagement rate in relation to your following you should look into profiting off your content. Sometimes brands focus more on the quality of content versus engagement. This will happen when a brand is looking to re-purpose content for their own marketing needs. So don’t discredit your talent and the effort invested into your content just because your following isn’t as big as you’d like.

How to Monetize Your Instagram Content

There are many ways that one can begin to earn an income through their Instagram content. We mentioned a few of those ways above however let’s dive a little deeper into reach of those, and explore some other options too.

Sign Up to Influencer Platforms

One of the best ways for smaller influencers to get paid to work with brands, is by signing up to influencer platforms. There are so many out there like Aspire and Tribe that help connect brands and creators.

Every platform works slightly different to another however the process is roughly the same. Creators sign up for the platforms, create a profile and connect their social accounts. From there either brands select influencers to work with for different opportunities or they publish campaigns that influencers can apply too. Depending on the platform and the particular campaign these can either be gifted or paid opportunities.

Influencer platforms are especially beneficial to smaller creators who don’t yet have a reach or a name for themselves. Having a network to connect them with brands gives them a foot in the door and gets them out there for other opportunities. Some of the biggest influencers on Instagram got their start by connecting with brands on these platforms.

Join An Affiliate Marketing Program

Affiliate marketing is one of the most traditional ways for creators to make money online. Affiliate marketing is basically when influencers promote a product or services and earn a commission off those sales. Some of the biggest affiliate programs today are Amazon Affiliate Program and LikeToKnow.It. Many smaller brands may also have their own form of unofficial affiliate marketing opportunities. They’ll provide you with a discount code and an written agreement where they’ll pay you a percentage of the sales generate with your link.

One thing to note with affiliate programs is often times the payouts are on a schedule. Meaning you don’t receive payment as your content is created, rather based off of a pre-determined schedule. This could be monthly or quarterly depending on how the brand manages their program.

Work With Brands & Agencies

Influencer marketing accounts for a large percentage of marketing budgets these days. This opens up so many opportunities to directly work with brands and/or their agencies on paid content. And like with affiliate marketing it’s one of the original ways influencer began making money on Instagram. Originally brands would work with celebrities and public figures to pay them for posts. As the age of the social media influencer took hold brands slowly began realizing that they could pay them (less fees) to promote their products as well.

Generally working with brands either means you will work with them directly, or with their PR agencies on campaigns. It can be a one time post or transform into a long term relationship or ambassadorship. Their payments may include a set retainer, per post and even a hybrid of affiliate marketing where you earn income off sales generated from your discount code.

There is a couple ways to do this. First is to connect with brands and agencies to get their attention. Following them on social media, interacting with them and even tagging them in your content when applicable. You could also send a pitches directly to them which should include a bit about you, your social stats and any compensation information you feel is important. Generally PR agencies send gifting on behalf of brands which doesn’t include a fee. However it does allow you to build these relationships which can eventually lead to bigger campaigns, trips and even income.

Try Instagram Subscriptions

Instagram has really worked over the last couple years to make the platform more friendly to creators. One way they did this is by providing more built-in monetization opportunities. One of their latest launches is Instagram Subscriptions. With this feature creators can set a monthly subscription fee that users pay to access exclusive content. This is a great way for influencers with big followings to monetize and build more exclusive relationships with their most loyal followers. Subscriptions also give users access to a private group chat for subscribers and a badge next to their username so you know who your subscribers are.