How to Make Money on Instagram: 5 Best Ways

  • Instagram is a hub for influencers and content creators.
  • From branded deals to Instagram direct payment, there are plenty of ways to profit from the app.
  • Here’s how influencers make money on the app and how much they earn.

Being sponsored by brands is the best way for influencers to make money on Instagram. But this is not the only way.

Content creators and influencers often have multiple streams of income at once. From selling products directly on Instagram to getting paid for by Instagram itself, there are plenty of ways to make money on Instagram in 2022.

Here are the top 5 ways influencers make money on Instagram:

  • Working with brands on sponsorships
  • Earn commission from affiliate links or codes
  • Sell ​​and market DTC products or merchandise on Instagram
  • Link to exclusive and paid content
  • Get paid directly by Instagram

For example, lifestyle influencer Jera Foster-Fell has earned around $2,700 in the past month for garnering millions of views on her Instagram reels, which is one of Mark Zuckerberg’s top priorities. She’s paid for by Instagram through the “Reels Play” bonus program, part of Meta’s broader commitment to pay out $1 billion to creators through 2022.

Find out how much money 9 influencers were paid by Instagram and Facebook for their reels

Other creators are taking advantage of Instagram’s option to add links to stories, a tool that was rolled out to the general public in 2021. There are a number of third-party brands and platforms like LTK (formerly RewardStyle) that allow creators to generate affiliate links and earn commissions on the sales they generate.

While some creators only make a few hundred dollars here and there, others like skincare influencer Vi Lai have turned affiliate marketing on Instagram into a lucrative business. (Read more about how Lai makes around $5,000 a month.)

Instagram is also testing its own native affiliate program that pays creators for sales made directly on the Instagram app.

Here’s an overview of Instagram’s affiliate program and how much money creators make initially

Creators also often sell their own products or other DTC products on Instagram.

Some of the companies that help creators make and sell products also have strong ties to Instagram. For example, Spring, a merch company formerly known as Teespring, partnered with Instagram in late 2021 to encourage creators to link their Spring products directly to Instagram. In return, some creators earned extra money. (Read a list of the top 9 merchandising companies.)

There’s also a growing number of startups, apps, and platforms that are expanding the ways creators can make money on Instagram. For example, link-in-bio startups, such as LinkTree, allow creators to direct subscribers to their OnlyFans or


pages for exclusive and paid content. And Instagram also has its own version of paid content called Subscriptions, which launched earlier this year.

Insider interviewed dozens of influencers and industry insiders on how exactly they make money and how much they earn:

Getting paid by brands remains the biggest source of income for most creators

Branded deals have become more than just a quick photo post. These are often robust campaigns and include video elements, like reels, as well as content that can be reused across platforms.

In addition, some influencers do dozens of brand deals per year. For example, Emma Cortes, a lifestyle influencer with 47,000 Instagram followers, signed a total of 68 endorsements last year, most of which included a number of different deliverables, like in-feed posts, stories and videos.

Find out how she made over $300,000 in one year

In order to get deals, influencers don’t need huge followers. Mary Margaret Boudreaux started “taking social media seriously” when she had just 1,500 Instagram followers.

Find out she made over $10,000 from brand deals in three months

Depending on how an influencer (or an influencer’s manager) pitches or negotiates a deal, brand partnerships can easily pay the bills. And even if they don’t have managers or agents, creators can get sponsorships by contacting brands via DM or email. (Read 3 Brand Awareness Email Templates an Influencer Uses to Get Deals.)

Here’s our full list of interviews with 22 influencers about the money they make working with brands on sponsored posts:

How much “macro” and “mega” influencers are paid by brands

  • Alexa Collins, a lifestyle influencer with 1.2 million followers
  • JaLisa Vaughn-Jefferson, a lifestyle influencer with 275,000 followers
  • Katy Bellotte, a lifestyle influencer with 176,000 followers
  • Macy Mariano, travel and fashion influencer with 102,000 followers
  • Jade Darmawangsa, a YouTube creator (382,000 subscribers) with 52,000 Instagram followers
  • Symphony Clarke, a TikTok creator (200,000 followers) with 26,000 Instagram followers

How much “micro” influencers are paid by brands

  • Jehava Brown, a travel and lifestyle influencer with 70,000 followers
  • Nick Cutsumpas, a plant influencer with 63,700 followers
  • Ashley Jones, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 45,000 followers
  • Emma Cortes, lifestyle influencer and podcast host with 47,000 subscribers
  • Britney Turner, a lifestyle influencer with 27,000 followers
  • Caitlin Patton, a lifestyle influencer with 22,000 followers
  • Mary Margaret Boudreaux, a lifestyle influencer with 20,000 followers
  • Gigi Kovach, part-time lifestyle blogger and mother of two with 13,500 followers
  • Tyler Chanel, a lasting influencer with 12,000 followers

How much “nano” influencers are paid by brands

  • Khadijah Lacey-Taylor, fashion and lifestyle influencer with 9,800 followers
  • Julie Tecson, a lifestyle influencer with 7,000 followers
  • Laur DeMartino, a nano-influencer and full-time student with 5,200 Instagram followers
  • Jen Lauren, a part-time lifestyle influencer with 2,900 followers
  • Amber Broder, a part-time skincare influencer and full-time student with 2,300 followers
  • Kayla Compton, a part-time lifestyle influencer with less than 2,000 followers

Creators also make money through affiliate links and selling their own merchandise

Instagram is a powerful platform for driving purchases, whether it’s a brand an influencer likes or a brand an influencer owns.

Some influencers also use Instagram to promote their resale stores on apps like Depop or Poshmark.

Here’s how 6 influencers are using Instagram to drive sales and make money:

How much do influencers earn from affiliate marketing

How much do influencers earn selling merchandise and other products

There are also a growing number of ways to get paid directly from Instagram.

Compared to YouTube, Instagram may have been lagging for paid creators in the game, but in 2022, there are several ways to make money from Instagram.

Here are 5 examples of how creators get paid directly by Instagram:

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