Posted on: Dec 20, 2020
How Do You Make Money on Instagram?

You’ve probably heard the lie that’s going around on social media that once you get to 10,000 followers on Instagram you’re automatically monetized. It simply isn’t true.

Instagram isn’t like YouTube which pays based on viewership.

The reason I know this for sure is because I had an account with 115,000 followers at the end of 2018 and I made roughly $60.00 from it.

That $60.00 came from two people who asked me to post birthday shout outs.

And it was totally my fault for not doing the things that I’m going to outline for you in this blog post because I knew better.

If you want to see some “receipts” from that account, check out my e-book HERE.

How many followers do you need to make money on Instagram?

The quick answer to this question is that you can make money on Instagram with 5 followers.

The long answer is:

  • You need to have a monetization strategy
  • You need to decide what your niche will be like fashion, beauty, fitness, etc.
  • You should also have pretty high engagement

Anyone can make money on any social media platform based on followers but most large companies don’t start to take notice until you reach 10,000 followers.

This is probably why the 10,000 follower count lie that I mentioned above was started.

Even if you have a smaller following of 1000 followers, as long as you have high engagement you can make money on Instagram.

How do you make money on Instagram?

Depending on how you plan, your audience, your level of engagement, and how consistent you are, you can make money in the following ways:

  • Doing sponsored posts for brands that want to get in front of your audience

When I had my huge account I turned down many advertisers who wanted to pay me for posting because they weren’t “on brand” and I felt like I would lose followers by advertising things that had nothing to do with what I was posting.

And the offers were for a very small amount of money that didn’t seem worth pissing my followers off.

Looking back on the experience I realize that I was so caught up in the viral growth of my account, that I neglected building my business away from Instagram.(big mistake)

  • Become an affiliate of products you like and make a commission selling other brands’ products. (This is one of my personal favorite ways to make money online)
  • Create and sell a physical or digital product, or offer a paid service.

How to Become an Affiliate?

I started with affiliate marketing in 2014 and the first time I earned money online I was hooked.

When you find a product or service that you love, you earn a commission from purchases people make through your affiliate referral link.

This means you can earn a commission just by referring people to things you like.

Don’t you deserve to get paid like this?

Some companies allow anyone to become an affiliate.

But some can have requirements about whether they think your website and content is PG rated or not…??


they can have social media follower requirements.

For example, if you don’t have at least 10,000 followers you might not get approved to become an affiliate.

If you have a product or service that you adore and you keep telling everyone you know about it, find out if the company has an affiliate program.

Many companies have this info on their website but some don’t.

I recommend only becoming an affiliate of companies and products you actually like.

I also recommend growing an email list of subscribers as one of the number one things you should focus on when starting an online business. 

Don’t promote things just because of the potential commission you can earn.

Open your own online store

Even though most of what I mentioned above is about partnering with other businesses and selling other companies products, opening your own store with “merch” is also a great way to make money on Instagram.

You definitely will need to invest some time and money learning how to get your store up and running. They have some businesses who have made a business of setting up stores for you for a fee.(of course)

One of the businesses I recommend is Black Business in a Box

You can literally be up and running in a matter of hours with the service they provide.

The alternative is sell your own “merch” with your own branding.

And if you’ve built the know, like, and trust factor, your followers will be glad to buy your stuff.

Some ways to sell your own merch: 

  • You can sell digital products, ebooks, or design templates.
  • You can use a print-on-demand service to print your own coffee mugs, t-shirts, pillows, art or more.
  • You can use your Instagram account to launch your book career if you’re an author

Become an accidental “viral star” and let the Gram dictate how you grow your business

What started as a hobby for me in 2017 snowballed into a huge following because I like to make people laugh.

I sat down one day and asked myself what I enjoyed doing the most and once I took inventory, I created my instagram account and the rest was history.

Again, if you want know some of the details about the crash and burn of that account, check out my e-book HERE.

One of my favorite Instagram accounts made over a million dollars in makeup sales when she launched a makeup brand.

But she originally started out on Facebook telling funny stories about her sex life which went viral.

Now she has her own thriving online business and sometimes has thousands of followers watching her eat breakfast live on camera each week.

If you don’t mind being “insta-famous” there’s a number of ways you can make money if you’re not afraid to put yourself out there.

I’m an introvert with extroverted tendencies and prefer not to go that route. 

If this sounds like you, I recommend blogging and being an “info-preneur” by curating information for others and making money that way. (Kinda like this blog)

The most important thing is to simply get started!

Until next time, my friend.


Written by:Bianca Roberts

Affiliate Disclaimer

Note: Some links in my posts are affiliate links. This means, I will earn a small commission if you decide to buy something from one of those links. This doesn’t cost you a thing. Thank you in advance honey chile!