How to Make Money on Instagram: 5 Proven Strategies for Small Creators

Tips to make money on Instagram

Instagram is a powerful platform for small creators and entrepreneurs to monetize their passions and make money online. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram provides massive audience reach and money-making potential. This guide covers 5 proven strategies on how to make money on Instagram, even if you’re just starting out with a small following.

– Analysts at Goldman Sachs have valued the creator economy at $250 billion. They predict it might grow to $480 billion by 2027.

– 81% of US Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform

You need not be a mega celebrity or massive brand to turn passions into profits. Micro-influencers can earn $100 per post. This applies even if they have only 1,000 followers. This can boost your annual income by $3,600, just by doing what you enjoy.. 

A survey by Linqia notes that nano influencers, those with under 10k followers, typically earn $107 per brand promotion. While that may not sound like much, it adds up. Posting 2 sponsored ads per week at that rate results in $11,144 in annual revenue.

Take Bethany, a nature photographer in Oregon with 8,200 Instagram followers. She sells forest prints for $20 each on Instagram and promotes hiking gear as an affiliate. This part-time venture brings her an annual income of over $46,000, offering her the flexibility to set her own hours. 

MuseFind analyzed over half a million Instagram accounts. The study showed that influencers’ earnings vary. This variation is based on their specific niche and the number of followers they have. Fitness influencers with 100k-500k followers earn an average of $753 per post. Fashion influencers with 500k-1M followers average $2,642 per #ad. Even smaller food bloggers with just 10k-50k followers secure $136 per sponsored post.  

At 20, Cailin juggles her architecture studies and her jewelry business on Instagram. She runs sponsored promotions for gemstones and chases her #LadyBoss dreams. She says: “Instagram allows me creative, financial, and location independence to thrive as a maker while being a student.”

The platform empowers regular creators to build fulfilling ventures matching their passions. This article explores effective strategies for small artists and entrepreneurs. The article details how artists and entrepreneurs use Instagram. It shows how they can gain financial freedom by diversifying their income.. Shall we begin?

Sell Handmade Products and Art on Instagram

Every artist, crafter, and maker has the potential to turn their passion into a thriving online business by selling directly to their engaged Instagram audience. Linking e-commerce tools like Instagram Shopping to your profile allows you to seamlessly facilitate global sales within the app.

Linking e-commerce integrations to Instagram profiles and posts serves as a powerful mechanism to seamlessly facilitate global sales directly within the app. This straightforward approach enables creators to transform their social media presence into a virtual storefront, breaking down geographical barriers. 

Over 1 billion people visit shoppable Instagram profiles monthly. The platform continues rolling out new shopping features to simplify social commerce, like Instagram Shops that acts as a digital storefront.

The dynamism of Instagram’s features provides an additional layer of promotional prowess. Instagram Stories and ephemeral content becomes a canvas for unveiling new product drops, creating an immersive experience for engaged followers. Shoppable posts add frictionless purchasing options, capitalizing on the instantaneous nature of scrolling and engagement. 

Furthermore, IGTV and Reels offer avenues to share captivating behind-the-scenes sneak peeks into the creative process, cultivating a sense of authenticity and building perceived value around artistic products. Over 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories daily, making it a prime channel for conversions.

The prevailing trend of the creator economy has significantly lowered the barriers to entry, empowering individuals to construct portfolio careers aligned with their passions. This shift allows creators to curate their own professional journey on their terms, turning artistic pursuits into not just a hobby but a sustainable and fulfilling livelihood. 

In 2022, over 50 million people globally consider themselves creators. The total creator economy value is projected to grow to $100 billion by the end of the decade. Instagram serves as the launching pad for this entrepreneurial revolution coming as a huge opportunity to make money on Instagram. 

Creators can leverage the global connectivity and frictionless commerce capabilities of the platform to forge a direct and lucrative connection with their audience. This isn’t merely selling products; it’s crafting a brand narrative and fostering a community around creative expressions. The possibilities are as boundless as the artistic spirit itself.

Start an Instagram Dropshipping Business

For creators looking to sell trending goods without holding inventory, dropshipping is a lucrative model. By monitoring viral product hashtags and trends on Instagram, you can quickly identify and market hot sellers to your audience.

The power of dropshipping is most evident when tapping into viral product trends that capture consumer attention on Instagram. Strategically monitoring the platform for enthusiastically tagged products creates visibility into rising demand. Entrepreneurs can then leverage this insight to replicate interest by curating similar products, advertising through lifestyle imagery, and fostering influencer collaborations targeting engaged niches. The endgame is guiding customers through a streamlined checkout converting traffic into sales.  

Dropshipping allows you to test new product ideas with minimal risk. Newcomers have demonstrated driving over $60,000 in annual revenue through this lean business model, according to

For example, when a collapsible straw gained momentum on Instagram in 2018 with over 800,000 hashtags, savvy merchants jumped on board. Advertising the straws for $9 apiece while costing just $2 to fulfill, they leveraged the viral momentum to build an audience of engaged followers in the process. Some have even grown dedicated “kitten stores” amassing 200,000+ followers as their niche ecommerce brands.

The success of dropshipping lies in its accessibility without a major upfront investment. Entrepreneurs can swiftly identify and respond to consumer demand on Instagram, creating a dynamic business constantly adapting to the next viral moment. By staying ahead of trends and converting social media traction into sales, this pathway empowers newcomers to build an audience and brand while generating a lucrative income stream.

Become an Instagram Influencer with Sponsored Posts  

As a content creator in your niche, you can earn steady income by promoting brands through sponsored posts on Instagram, also known as influencer marketing. Brands work with influencers whose voice resonates with their target audience.

Brands connect with influencer voices that genuinely resonate with their loyal, like-minded target consumers who are already following you. They realize sponsored social media content performs better from creators vs anonymous digital ads.

Micro-influencers with 50,000 to 500,000 followers can charge a few thousand dollars per sponsored Instagram post. Even nano-influencers with just 5,000 to 50,000 followers earn $100+ per commercial promotion on average.

“Influencer marketing creates an 8x higher engagement rate than paid media campaigns.” – Neal Schaffer, Influencer Marketing Expert

Even nano-influencers with 5,000 to 50,000 followers secure $100+ per commercial promotion. One survey found nano-influencers earn an average of $315 per post. While mega-celebrity influencers with over 1 million followers command bigger one-time paydays that can stretch into the millions, brands tend to work with smaller names across months, fueling an enduring income stream.  

For example, an energy bar brand could contract with 50 mid-tier, fitness micro-influencers posting 4 times each month for $2,000 per post. That’s $4.8 million in sponsorship fees yearly distributed across a diverse yet relevant content creator group…far more affordable than one-off celebrity deals while keeping the brand top of mind across key niches.

Patience and persistently putting out quality content pays dividends. As your Instagram brand and audience grows over time, so too will your sponsorship deals and rates.

Sell Online Courses and Coaching Services on Instagram

By leveraging your Instagram-honed expertise in areas like photography, crafting, or fitness, you can create in-demand digital courses, tutorials, and coaching packages to monetize your skills.

The online course market is projected to grow to $350 billion by 2025. Top course creators on platforms like Teachable and Thinkific earn over $100,000 per year selling their knowledge.

Learn how to make money on Instagram


Consider exclusive membership sites too, granting access to live Q&As, personalized feedback, continuing education and networking opportunities unmatched elsewhere. Charge $29-$99 per month for this tiered level of access. If you secure 500 members at an average of $50 per month, that’s $30,000 per month or $360,000 per year in recurring revenue.

Place course and coaching program ads across Instagram driving conversions ultimately helping you make money on Instagram. influencer Arielle Charnas earned over $1 million in sales of her Something Navy box subscription service promoted solely to her 1.3 million Instagram followers. Six-figure coaching incomes empower you to live life your way.

Make Money on Instagram with Affiliate Marketing  

Every product mention and recommendation on your engaged Instagram presence can earn you affiliate commissions from partner brands. Sign up for relevant affiliate programs and share your exclusive tracking links and codes.

For those looking to streamline their affiliate marketing efforts, especially on platforms like WordPress, tools like’s WordPress Affiliate Plugin can be incredibly valuable. This plugin can help you manage and optimize your affiliate links, ensuring you get the most out of your promotional efforts.

Heartfelt homages feel seamless for followers while earning you tasty commissions from resulting sign-ups and sales using your exclusive tracking links and special discount codes. You can earn anywhere from 1-15% per sale depending on the brand. For example, the Sephora affiliate program pays around 8% per sale. So if you drove 100 sales of a $50 product, you could earn $4,000 (100 sales x $50 product x 8% commission). estimates that top influencers make money on Instagram anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 per month on affiliate commissions alone. One influencer they featured is on track to make $100,000 this year in commissions. She has 1 million Instagram followers.

Top Instagram influencers earn $5,000 to $10,000 per month in affiliate commissions alone. Even smaller creators with 40,000 followers can reasonably drive $8,000 monthly from converting just 2% of their traffic.

The key is pairing authentic content that genuinely aligns with brands you love while sprinkling in occasional affiliate links and promo codes. Followers sign up or shop to support you while skimming tidy referral profits from devotees already itching for what you’re preaching!

Realizing Your Creative Potential

Instagram removes geography limitations, minimizes financial hurdles, and maximizes creative expression, allowing small creators to control prosperous side incomes or full-time ventures right from their smartphones.  

The platform’s immersive features and expansive reach unlock various monetization pathways tailored to your skills and interests. As Instagram’s creator economy lead Justin Osofsky remarked, the company aims to “give people more ways to earn money, no matter what level of following they have.” 

Combine multiple income streams for diversified earnings. Lean on affiliate promotions as you build your personal brand and audience. Eventually transition into selling your own products, services and paid content to maximize profit margins over the long-term.

Instagram shopping and commerce capabilities continue to mature as well. New features like Instagram Shops, AR try-ons, integrated messaging and shoppable video continue rolling out, further simplifying social selling.  

Over 2 billion global social commerce sales are projected by the end of 2025, per Insider Intelligence. Now marks the optimal moment to start laying foundations for long-term creative wealth, built on your own terms around things that genuinely light you up inside.  

Small starts today lead to massively fulfilling tomorrows. Every million-dollar business begins with a single sale. Don’t overlook the power of those initial few champions who believe in your mission and value what you create.

Progress compounds over time. As Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot once said: “Build your flywheel. Get your flywheel to spin. Then improve your flywheel, make it go faster.” Momentum fuels momentum. So carpe diem and prosper, dear creator! The world is waiting for what you have to share.

Scroll to Top