Calling all Insta addicts: If you know how to turn out finely filtered photos and have a long list of followers to prove it, you may be able to score yourself a super fun side gig. Yes, you can hashtag and filter your way to financial glory — but you have to do so strategically. If you’re wondering how to get paid for Instagram, check out these three strategies for turning your app addiction into major cash:
1. Become a “Brand Influencer”
The first rule of making money on Instagram? Be really, really popular. If you’ve got a killer feed and a legion of loyal followers, you may be able to team up with brands to promote their products in exchange for some serious cold, hard cash. To make it worth their while, though, many brands won’t consider posters for “brand influencer” contracts if they don’t have a follower list in the 5,000 to 10,000 range, and often the requirements are much higher. How much you get paid for promotional posts really varies by brand; the Huffington Post reports that while some brands only pay between $5 and $10 per 1,000 followers, bigger brands could be shelling out as much as $100 per 100 followers for influencers with major marketing pull. Work on building up your Instagram following through consistent posting and well-styled snaps, then check out brand influencer companies (who connect popular Instagram users to brands) like Dash Hudson and The Mobile Media Lab. If you’re just looking to score some free swag in exchange for a positive post, the barrier to entry is much lower; check out the app Popular Pays to see what you could score. And one more word of advice: Make sure your Instagram feed is consistent with a brand’s feel before you go proposing a collaboration. Don’t apply to be an influencer on a campaign in the fitness category if your Instagram exists to mostly show off your meals of gourmet donuts and pizza!
2. Link It Up Through Affiliate Marketing
Get paid to promote other businesses’ products and services, but without the high barrier to entry (a.k.a. an insane follower count) that being a “brand influencer” involves. How? Through affiliate marketing. You promote a certain service or product in a post, then paste your unique affiliate link to the product or service in your Instagram bio. Each time someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase or signs up for something, you’ll earn a commission. PeerFly is a popular affiliate marketing network, or — if your Instagram feed mostly consists of #ootd snaps — consider clothing-centric affiliate networks like Like to Know It. Again, though, it probably only makes sense to go this route if you have a high number of eyeballs on your Insta work.
3. Sell Your A+ Instagram Photos
Are your Insta pics a step above the rest in terms of framing, composition, and plain old cool-factor? Consider selling your Instagram photos as mini works of art! Sign up for Instagram art marketplaces like MobilePrints, and you could sell your Instas as art prints, greeting cards, phone cases, and more. Another option is to license your Instagram photos for promotional use by companies. Essentially, your Instagram posts become stock photography, but way less clichéd. Check out the app Foap to see how you can start selling your photography; each pic sold earns you $5, and you can sell the same photo over and over again.