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10 sure-fire tactics how to monetize Instagram

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10 sure-fire tactics how to monetize Instagram

Instagram has exploded in growth over the last few years and it now has over 1 billion monthly active users, and 500 million of them use the platform daily, according to Statista.  With all those users comes the potential for a lot of merchandise sales. Check out our steps below on how to monetize your Instagram profile, make more money, and achieve all the things that you set out to achieve with your account.

How to monetize Instagram. What the numbers tell us

Image source: Kinsta

Firstly, even if you’re not yet monetizing your Instagram account, you might want to consider it. 77.6 million of the over one billion Instagram users are from the united states. 70% of users look up or are following at least one brand on Instagram. Users are trying to discover their favorite and new brands on Instagram to learn more about products.

  • 78% of Influencers Prefer Instagram for Brand Collaboration.
  • User-Generated Content Has a 4.5% Higher Conversion Rate.
  • Personal Instagram accounts had an average of 150 followers – in 2015, when it was three times smaller!

Use influencer marketing for your own brand, not others!  

Traditionally, influencers on Instagram have monetized their account by showing off third-party products.  An Instagram account focused on makeup, or fitness, or even some specialty markets will charge for promoting a product on the account. Third parties will pay influencers to display their products or to show themselves using the products so that their audience can see that the influencer recommends this and that he or she is using the product. This can be a great way to make extra money, but there are some downsides.

Take a look at the user engagement on branded profiles on Instagram vs Facebook. It’s no secret that Instagram holds an edge on Facebook when it comes to visually engaging subjects, such as fashion and beauty.

In fact, most brands, in general, have higher engagement on Instagram vs Facebook, which makes it incredibly attractive for brands of all kinds. Engagement is the key to knowing how to monetize Instagram!

Successful Instagram business examples

Fashion and Beauty
Jeffree Star Merch

Jeffree Star is a self-made Cosmetics Creator, beauty and fashion influencer, with over 12.9 million Instagram followers. A true inspiration to his followers, he reinvented himself after a troubled music career as a Youtube and Instagram beauty expert. His clothing line is mainly hooded sweatshirts and simple tracksuits with text or simple image logos – nothing complex! Maybe he can inspire you to some more of your own creations because he knows how to monetize Instagram as well!

Artist, photographer
Ben Lowy Instagram

How about selling some prints? Take a look at Ben Lowy, the great nature photographer, and capturer of intimate portraits. With over 228k followers, he’s amassed a huge following on Instagram doing just what the platform was designed to do – share great photography. Ben also sells quite a few of his prints, on his website. This is a great idea for the aspiring photographer or creative personality to get their work out there – especially when you’ve been wondering how to monetize Instagram followers.


Tory Burch was already a hugely successful fashion designer of women’s performance activewear when she decided to expand her brand to help empower women entrepreneurs. Her personal Instagram account has over 2.1 million followers, and she also has the Tory Burch Foundation, which raises awareness about women’s issues and helps to fund campaigns that encourage women to take the plunge into the ambitious world of business. She asks people to upload photos of women that have inspired and empowered them and to tell their story on her website. Her site’s designs are simple and elegant and are all designed to be worn and seen so as to spread her message. If you’re interested in getting your message out to the broader public, take a look at Tory’s Instagram and learn how to monetize Instagram for your cause!

Travel Nomads
Digital Nomad Girls

Digital Nomad Girls are a team of digital nomad and travelling girls that use Instagram to help fund their travels. They have 26k followers and their account supports women all around the world on their mission to become more independent and free! Right now, they are using creativity and showing how to monetize Instagram by putting a link to their two month long, Co-living adventure in Las Palmas. Their followers can sign up for any week of this time and get to live right with the female globetrotters as they spill their secrets on how to monetize Instagram!

Viral Fun
Fashion Dads Instagram

Instagram is such a unique platform because it is constantly growing and evolving in ways we can’t anticipate. Case in point, the fashion dads account takes user-generated content (submitted “dads”) in different outfits of high fashion, aka dad wear, and posts it for all to admire. The account has over 188k followers, and sells its own merchandise through its website, all while content by others and posting it for its audience. What a fantastic idea of how to monetize Instagram and pitch-perfect way to get your audience engaged.

The downsides of influencer marketing…

You’ll never get anywhere as an influence market if you haven’t found a third-party willing to promote their product on your account. This alone requires a huge effort unless you’re very lucky to know how to monetize Instagram. Speaking of effort, working with clients can be challenging. You might have to think of an idea, create it, edit it, send it for approval, then wait for feedback and repeat the process all over again. Losing creative control over your account so that you can satisfy a client might not mean much to you in theory, but if they’re requiring you to sacrifice your brand identify, you might start to think otherwise.

According to influecermarketinghub.com, an account with 30,000 + followers and about 300 – 400 likes per post, should be able to make between $150 and $250 per post with influencer marketing.

That’s a decent amount of pocket change, but if you’re posting once or twice a week, probably doesn’t add up to full-time earnings.

It also assumes that you’re going to be endorsing a product every post, which isn’t likely – and would probably lose your audience count! Know how to monetize Instagram and avoid these pitfalls so that you can maximize your potential.


Increasing scrutiny

Another concern is regulation. Influencer marketing is a cross between traditional advertising and a personal recommendation for product endorsement. Influencers are finding themselves increasingly drawing the attention of regulators and advertising standard boards because of their endorsements.

The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority which is a regulatory organization of advertisers and government offices and is responsible for day to day advertising content in the UK, has issued official guidelines for influencers Working in social media. Influencers are finding themselves increasing really regulated, and some posts have even been banned for failing to meet the standards set forth by the regulations.

What are the best ways we can tell you how to monetize Instagram?

Selling your own merch

cheap print on demand products - t-shirtscheap print on demand products - t-shirts
Printify – print on demand platform

You’ve built up a sizable audience and have high engagement rates with your fans, it might be a great time to try selling your own custom merchandise. Maybe you’ve tried the influencer path and got fed up with the effort of satisfying your clients, or maybe you haven’t been successful in attracting any vendors just yet.  One great advantage of selling your own merch: You’re going to be your own boss – and sell directly to your audience – good for you!

Most commonly, brands know how to monetize Instagram with merch either operate in a niche, have a well-established following and brand presence, or are very enthusiastic about their subject or channel.

To get started with your own merchandise or around products take a look at our guide here.

Product Designs to monetize Instagram

You may think you need some great graphic design to monetize Instagram, but most successful Instagram accounts that sell merchandise have simple designs that are not complex or expensive to develop. A lot of times it’s actually just a catchphrase, inside joke, or a simple text-based observation that sells the best to your audience. This lets your audience display that they’re fans of your channel and show other people that also might be fans. It’s a kind of micro, niche marketing that lets fans of your show who come across each other in real life instantly relate and build relationships – that’s how to monetize Instagram!

Revenue potential

Using our earnings calculator, and with a good click-through rate and audience engagement, we estimate that if you’re getting 100,000 views on your posts a month, you could be making between $800 and $3,200 in merchandise! Compared to some of the other ways of how to monetize your Instagram account, this is really profitable and low entry if we say so ourselves!

How to sell on Instagram?

Like many of the social platforms, Instagram started out as a way for photographers to share photos, and has blossomed into so many other things. Lately, it’s a robust marketplace for used children’s and women’s clothing. Instagram is also rolling out a shop feature, so you can purchase items directly within their platform. There’s no better way to monetize Instagram than to get started with Instagram shops!

Instagram Vs. Other Platforms

eBay, Etsy, and other channels like Poshmark, Tradesy and ThredUp allow you to sell clothes via their platforms, but putting them up can be a time consuming and expensive. Customers pay to the platform, which then verifies the transaction and allows for feedback. The security of the transaction to the end buyer is given at a cost – the transaction fee. The fee can be up to 3%, quite pricey for using a simple platform! The downside is you’re probably limited by those who trust you or can come pick up the items, but it’s simpler, faster, and more profitable – all great qualities for any sales method!

No Stigma

The stigma of using your personal account to sell things has disappeared, and many people use their accounts as a virtual flea markets or garage sale when they want to clean house. This is especially popular with products such as maternity gear – the perfect items when the time comes – and would be mom’s don’t judge!

Negin Mirsalehi Closet


While the sales potential is difficult to assess, because it depends on the clothes, lighting, and other factors related to salesmanship in general, tips that we can give you.

  • Stories are great if you don’t want to put items in your feed
  • Update the sold status as you get rid of items
  • Give each item a story if possible, and narrate the story
  • Price to move
  • Photos with faces get 38% more likes
  • Posts with at least one hashtag average 12% more engagement
  • Don’t neglect foreign markets – Brazil ranked second in female user share, and is the largest total Instagram user base in Latin America and is #2 worldwide
  • Weekdays with Tuesday and Thursdays have the most engagement of the week
  • 50% of Instagram captions contain emojis

These tips are a great way to help you earn some extra cash, but not living! If you’re going to sell used clothes that you buy and resell, then we recommend setting up an Instagram business account and building a traditional brand so you can reap the rewards of trust.

Sponsored posts from other brands

Sponsored posts are a bit like influencer marketing, but instead of a seemingly natural endorsement, these posts are very clearly marketing photos for your audience. This includes identifying the brand that you’re promoting, and maybe even letting them have most or complete creative control over the post. This is a fantastic way of how to monetize Instagram, and often the company will help you to create the content, maybe even sending a photographer for the day with you to get it just right!

Who’s Posting #Ad More?

The downside is that you’re going to have to find a sponsor! That’s difficult, and often a brand might want you to be a formal “brand ambassador” for them before they’ll post this type of content.

License your photos

Kylie Jenner Lip Kit Art

Another great method of how to monetize Instagram is to license your photos or art. Do you have a lot of engagement on a few of your photos? Stunning and awe inspiring photos that draw a lot of attention and break out into the wider Instagram world are perfect candidates for licensing.

The internet is demanding more authentic, less staged photos (no stock photos!). Take a look at Foap – a marketplace for photos where buyers pay $10 per image and the platform splits this with you 50 / 50.

Snapwire is another service that selects your photos and sells them for you. They also set the price for the photos, and the more they select, the more status and money you earn on their site. Check them out if you have a lot of photos and you’re confident in your photography skills!

Get your side hustle on

Are you great at designing web pages, fixing lawn mowers, or cleaning pools? It might not be your regular job, but it’s your side hustle, and maybe your passion. Connect with your audience and show them that you’re in the business of making money with your side hustle – and start to monetize Instagram for yourself!

Recommendations from friends are still the most powerful driver in sales in the service industry, with 83% of respondents in 60 countries saying that they trust these types of recommendations. These recommendations are increasingly social, with more and more people willing to ask almost complete strangers in groups on Facebook for recommendations for things like medical services, car services, and where to buy almost anything. Tap into this potential by showing off your side hustle in an Instagram story, or even a video in your feed. Get your friends to like and comment on it, and see how this can turn into cold hard cash for you!

Great ways to monetize Instagram – with some work!

print on demand brandprint on demand brand

The methods above will definitely get you some serious cash if your approach is to monetize Instagram in a significant way. The print-on-demand approach to how to monetize Instagram is, of course, our favorite here at Printify. Print-on-demand is the perfect compliment to your fantastic content and dedicated followers, and Printify is the perfect partner to make your dreams of how to monetize Instagram become reality. To see just how much you could earn on Instagram, check out our Instagram Calculator.

Article: Designer makes $700k in revenue in his first year of business, shares his hard-won lessons

Printify is a platform that brings hundreds of local printers and thousands of shop owners together to get local, high-quality printing to your customers in the fastest, most cost-effective way possible.

Get started and start selling today with Printify!

Make it happen right now.

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