Instagram has almost a billion users a month, and 99% of them use the platform just to share pictures, look at what their friends are doing, or see what their favorite athletes or singers are doing. For the remaining 1%, however, there is only one thing in the foreground: making money. Instagram has an enormous number of users, from different countries, in different age groups and with different interests. For me and those of you who know how to monetize reach and traffic, Instagram is pure paradise. And the best part is that because there are so many users and different niches, there is something for everyone. The market is not “saturated” or anything like that.
Here are some of the best ways to make money on Instagram in 2021
Become an influencer and sell reach
This is probably what most users are dreaming of right now, and Instagram offers the perfect platform for it. Really, anyone can become an influencer. Here we have to distinguish between “personal accounts” and “niche accounts”. I’ll explain the difference a bit further down.
Personal Influencer Accounts
Personal influencer accounts are profiles of real people who reveal most of their lives and mostly upload pictures of themselves for sure. These influencers usually have a personal relationship with their followers or community. Some are in the lifestyle niche, some others in the fitness, travel or gaming niche for example. There’s really nothing that doesn’t exist. Many of the influencers started on YouTube or Twitch and have amassed a huge community there. But there are also influencers who have made it through Instagram alone.
But now the question is: How did they do it? There are many methods. I’ll explain one method here.
How do they earn money?
Mostly through sponsorships, product placements and advertising. They sell one thing above all: their reach. Because they usually have a personal relationship with their followers, they have a great influence on their followers. For example, if an influencer wears a certain t-shirt, there will be many followers who would also like to wear the t-shirt. This increases even more if the influencer actively promotes the t-shirt.
How much money do they earn?
That depends on several factors. However, the most decisive factor is how many followers they have and how high the engagement rate is. Another factor is how well-known the influencer is. The higher the reach of the person, the higher the income.
You don’t necessarily have to constantly share images of yourself to reach many users. Niche accounts are accounts that post high-quality content in a specific niche. Here are some examples of niches that are currently quite successful:
- Athletes, singers or sports teams
- Animals (dogs, cats and mostly even for the specific breed like German shepherds or wolfhounds)
You know what I’m getting at and you’ve probably seen accounts like this yourself. They focus them on one main niche or sub-niche. For example:
Main niche: Dogs (posts about dogs in general including German Shepherds).
Subniche: German Shepherds (only posts about German Shepherds)
These accounts have the advantage, as mentioned above, that the operators can mostly remain anonymous. Also, they can create as many accounts as they want. This is not possible with personal influencer accounts. I myself already had a network of niche accounts with which I had a gigantically high reach.
How can you make money with niche accounts?
Similar to personal influencer accounts, you can sell your reach. Online stores, brands, blogs, etc. would write to you and ask if you can post articles or stories and make a link in your description. You could also create your own store or brand and sell products. You could also sell the whole account which is not the case with personal accounts of influencers.
How much money do you make with niche accounts?
Again, it depends on several factors. The number of followers, how strong your brand is, how high the engagement rate is and also the quality of your posts. However, it can be said overall that niche accounts earn you less money from sponsored posts than a personal influencer account. This is mainly for the following reason: the impact on followers is not that great, because most followers don’t really have an emotional connection to the niche account.
Your own online store
Let’s say you have a very popular Instagram niche account that is all about dogs. It would be very easy for you to offer and market products that have to do with dogs. You could build your own store and sell products. For influencers with a personal account, it’s a little different. They mostly sell merchandise and some influencers like Logan Paul create their own fashion brand. If your only goal is to make a lot of money sooner or later, you should go for a niche from the beginning where you can sell something or which you can monetize well. A negative example would be Instagram accounts that only post pictures of memes or funny videos. You will hardly be able to monetize this traffic. Almost no followers will buy any products or press the link in the bio. Simply for the reason that followers are not interested. They just want to see memes or funny videos.
Use paid advertising
Of course, you can also use Instagram for paid advertising. It depends on what kind of products or services you offer. Since Instagram is part of Facebook, you can also advertise on Facebook, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. You can find all the settings in the Facebook Business Manager. It depends on your budget, your landing page, your niche and your product/service. If everything is right, you have a good conversation rate and ROI (Return on Investment), you can earn a lot of money. In the end, it all depends on your budget and how much you can scale. By the way, you can also promote your own Instagram account to get more followers. Some case studies will follow soon.
Sell Instagram accounts
Growing accounts to sell them is a real business model on Instagram. There are entire “account farms” that automatically accumulate tens of thousands of real followers in a certain niche, only to sell the account afterward. Usually, these accounts are then sold in forums, Facebook groups or other marketplaces. There are also entire sites such as Fameswap, which are only there to sell accounts. Unfortunately, there are also many scammers, so if you want to buy an account yourself, you should be careful.
Digital Marketing Services
If you already have some expertise in digital marketing and know-how to grow Instagram accounts, you could of course offer a service. For example, you could manage accounts from other users or use bots like Jarvee in conjunction with the Mother/Slave method to grow the account organically. Otherwise, you could also launch your own Instagram Engagement Pod and offer a premium service where users don’t have to manually like and comment on pictures all the time. There’s really nothing that doesn’t exist.
Digital marketing has become very popular in the last two years. It’s a huge niche. Unfortunately, there are also many “fake gurus” in this niche, just like in any other niche. Some are just out to sell their own course. If you don’t have the expertise, you shouldn’t offer a service in my opinion. One thing is for sure: those who really have skills in digital marketing would definitely make more money offering services instead of selling an online course.