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5 Easy Ways to Make Money on Instagram

5 Easy Ways to Make Money on Instagram

With over 300 million users sharing more than 70 million photos and videos each and every day as of January 2015, it’s not all that surprising to realize that several big Instagram users are raking in big bucks from the millions of people who follow them and engage with their posts.

What’s even more inspiring is that most of them are just normal people who stayed persistent with posting and interacting on their accounts to build up their followers over time.

If you love interacting on Instagram and have a sizeable number of engaged followers, or if you’re at least willing to put in the time and effort to start building it up, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to start making hundreds or even thousands of dollars from this one social platform alone.

There are lots of different routes you can take to start earning, and while they may seem “easy” on the surface, keep in mind that any kind of online income generation strategy takes time and work before you start seeing real results.

Here are five popular options you have to start making money on Instagram relatively quickly if you have great posts and/or a big following.

1. Sell your Instagram photos to brands that want to use them.

Suggested tool: Foap for iPhone and Android

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    If you just love taking photos with your mobile device and consider them to be of pretty high quality before posting them to Instagram, then it’s very possible that you could start licensing your photos to companies that are willing to pay to use them for their own brand building purposes.

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    Foap is a popular online photography marketplace that let’s you do just that. You can sign up for free, create a new user profile, build your portfolio to start attracting buyers, and browse through the “Missions” section for high paying projects that companies are specifically looking for.

    This is perhaps the easiest way to start making money from the existing Instagram photos you have, because you don’t necessarily need to have a huge following to do it. All photos cost $10, and the only major downside here is that Foap takes half of it.

    Payments are delivered to you by PayPal, and since it’s a community-based marketplace, you can browse other users’ photos, follow the ones you like to see their photography in your home feed, and also give and receive feedback. You can check out this user profile for an example of what a typical profile might look like.

    Foap Missions always start at $100 and go up from there, so if your submission is chosen and purchased by the company that launched the Mission, you could earn quite a bit. Just keep in mind you’ll be competing with several other users and their submissions as well.

    2. Earn commissions for selling other companies’ products or capturing leads.

    Suggested tool: Peerfly

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      Selling other companies’ products and services or capturing leads for them is another fast and easy way to start making money on Instagram. Peerfly is a popular affiliate network that allows you to sign up and get started for free.

      Once approved, you’ll be able to browse their current promotional offers listed as “Social” under the “Traffic Methods” tab. You can then sort through the offers by pay, earnings per click (EPC), or click-through rate (CR) to choose something you’d like to promote.

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      All you need to do to start promoting an offer is copy the unique URL and paste it in your Instagram bio’s website section. When other users’ click on it to check it out, you could earn a commission if they decide to enter their personal information (like their email address) or buy something. An example account of someone who’s selling another company’s products is @bookwcrms — T-shirts, in this case.

      What’s great about a network like Peerfly is that you can easily earn a few bucks just for capturing leads, which is much easier than making sales.

      You may have to request approval from Peerfly first before you can start promoting, however, but getting approved is usually no problem. Make sure you stick to the offers listed under the social traffic methods only, since Instagram is a social platform.

      3. Capture email subscribers and refer them to affiliate links (or your own products).

      Suggested tool: MailChimp

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        If you do pretty well with capturing leads for an affiliate or CPA network like Peerfly, you might want to consider building your own email list of leads. MailChimp is popular email list-building service that lets you gather up to 2,000 email subscribers for free. You can also create and schedule emails to be sent out to your subscribers, which you can use to send them purchase links to affiliate products or even your own products that they may be interested in buying.

        MailChimp is a fantastic tool to choose for this, because it lets you easily build your own landing page forms and email templates so you can make it look and say exactly what you want. Once you have your landing page set up, you can simply copy and paste the URL into your Instagram bio’s website link

        Instead of sending leads to another company’s email form, you’ll be sending them to your own. A good example to check out is @home_business_profits, who’s currently sending people to his own email submit form in the website section of his profile.

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        You won’t make a couple bucks for every user that signs up, but you’ll have the ability to keep in touch with subscribers by email, build a relationship with them, and sell to them again and again as long as they decide to stay on your list.

        MailChimp makes it easy for beginners to get started, but if you end up collecting 2,000 subscribers or maybe want more options to interact with your list, you may need to sign up for one of MailChimp’s premium packages.

        4. Join a multi-level marketing company to build your own team of network marketers.

        Suggested tool: Team Beachbody

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          Instagram is a very open and social place to show off visual content, making it a premiere platform for inspiring people and making lots of new friends.

          There are countless network marketers who have built solid businesses through Instagram alone, selling the products of the MLM companies they’re promoting to users who love looking at their photos or videos. Many of them even end up bringing on new people they meet on Instagram to join their teams.

          Since there’s such a massive fitness community that’s so incredibly active on Instagram, Team Beachbody is a good MLM company to consider working with.

          You can easily start posting photos of your healthy meals, your workout routines, and anything that might offer inspiration or motivation to followers who want to get in shape. Don’t forget to provide the URL in your bio to your network marketing website or product link, and make sure to include some contact information in case users have questions.

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          There are tons of accounts out there to check out how it’s done, but a popular one in particular you can check out is @mindywender, specifically for Team Beachbody network marketing.

          Network marketing on Instagram may not be as easy as some of the options presented above, but if you’re a hard worker and avid user of the products you’re promoting, it can quickly become a very lucrative home business.

          The major downside here is that most MLM companies require you to invest in a starter package and/or monthly fees to stay active and promote their stuff. On the upside, you’ll be placed under another team member who can help you start earning and building your own team.

          5. Connect with advertisers that are willing to sponsor influential Instagram users.

          Suggested tool: The Mobile Media Lab

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            This last Instagram money-making tactic is really only easy if you’ve got the followers and engagement to show for it. So if you’re someone who has ideally tens of thousands of followers or more, and you can rack up lots of likes and comments within minutes of posting, then you may be in good position to try getting at least a few good sponsorship deals from companies that would be willing to pay you to promote their brand to your audience.

            You could reach out to companies’ marketing departments directly, or you could try applying to The Mobile Media Lab instead — a creative agency specifically focused on bringing influential Instagram users and advertisers together.

            If chosen, you could easily start earning hundreds or thousands of dollars for a single post that features a product from big brands like Coach, Expedia, Timex, Puma, and others. @weworethat is a massively popular Instagram account that pulls in over six figures in sponsorships from apparel and accessory companies that want their products featured on her account.

            Making money here is the easy part — building a huge, loyal following is obviously not so easy. The good news is you may be able to score a few smaller sponsorships even if you have below 100,000 followers. The Mobile Media Lab has a sign-up form to apply to work with them, but given that they’re only interested in working with the most influential Instagram users, there’s no guarantee you’ll be approved.

            Instagram has really opened up some new doors for business owners and entrepreneurs all over the world. Whether you’re just a student looking to make a few extra bucks on the side, or the CEO of an international company looking to build its brand and reach a new audience, Instagram can help you do it.

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            Elise Moreau

            Elise helps desk workers lead healthier lifestyles. Visit her website on her profile to get a free list of health hacks.

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            Published on May 7, 2019

            How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

            How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

            When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

            Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

            Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

            You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

            Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

            1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

            Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

            But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

            • Will you spend more time with your family?
            • What does retirement mean to you?
            • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

            Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

            Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

            2. Figure out When to Invest

            “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

            It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

            The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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            A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

            Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

            3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

            Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

            Why?

            Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

            Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

            Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

            Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

            4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

            Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

            If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

            You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

            1. Vanguard
            2. TD Ameritrade
            3. Charles Schwab

            5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

            Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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            Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

            That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

            Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

            A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

            6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

            The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

            Robo Advisors

            Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

            Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

            Bonds

            Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

            Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

            Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

            1. Treasury bonds
            2. Government bonds
            3. Corporate bonds
            4. Foreign bonds
            5. Mortgage-backed bonds
            6. Municipal bonds

            Mutual Funds

            Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

            One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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            Real Estate

            Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

            Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

            This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

            But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

            Savings Accounts

            Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

            7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

            Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

            So how can you master delayed gratification?

            By building your discipline.

            Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

            Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

            8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

            I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

            It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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            More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

            But, how can you invest yourself?

            Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

            Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

            But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

            Retire Happy with Excess Money

            The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

            It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

            I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

            Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

            One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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            Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

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