How To Make Money On Instagram – 4 Practical Ways

June 6, 2016 by Alex Tooby

How to Make Money on Instagram – 4 Practical Ways + How I Monetized My @menandcoffee Following of 350k

As the popularity of Instagram grows, more and more people are starting to wonder how to use the platform to their advantage {and rightly so!}. While you can use Instagram to expand the reach of your brand, cultivate a loyal audience, and build community, you can also, wait for itmake money on Instagram!

Yes, it is true. We are all capable of making money on Instagram however it takes a little more effort than simply uploading a couple of pretty photos and BAM money in the bank.. {wouldn’t that be nice though?}

So instead of writing a farfetched blog post that has you dreaming of the day you’ll finally be able to make money on Instagram, I decided to put together the 4 most practical ways to start making money with your Instagram account, TODAY. Serious! 

Prefer to watch the video version of this tutorial? Check out my YouTube Video!

1. Design & sell your own products using a print fulfillment company

This is a simple way to start generating income WITHOUT inventory and ZERO investment. All you have to do is place your custom designs on different products and sell them online.

Here’s how:

1. Sign up for a fulfillment service. I personally use The Printful and have found that they have the best products, customer service, and pricing.

2. Browse their list of products and decide which items you would like to sell (t-shirts, mugs, pillows, tote bags, etc)how to make money on instagram using the printful

3. Download the design guidelines for each product so you know exactly how to structure your design for the best results.

4. Create a design you think your audience will love and upload it to your Printful store, or to an e-commerce platform such as Shopify or WooCommerce. If you are using an external e-commerce platform, follow The Printful’s step-by-step integration tutorials.

5. Promote your products on your Instagram. When you make a sale, The Printful takes their cut, you take the profit and at this point, you’re done! The Printful will then handle the creation of the product and the shipping – amazing right?!

Is @menandcoffee monetized this way? YES – Check out my store here: Shop – Men & Coffee

To be honest I have plans to totally revamp the site, create some new designs and place more focus on this income stream. It’s such a quick and easy way to bring in extra income that it’s worth putting focus into (if only there was more hours in the day…)


(without thousands of followers!)

This free training will uncover why you're struggling to make sales and how to change that in 4 easy steps.

2. Become an affiliate & sell your favorite products

If you have an account where you regularly talk about products {maybe a fashion or lifestyle blogger} sign up for some affiliate programs and earn a commission every time you make a sale.

Here’s how:

1. Apply to become an affiliate for your favorite stores. It’s best to be an affiliate for products you actually know and love {they’ll be easier to talk about} but you can really promote anything that appeals to you. Navigate to the site of your choice and browse for their affiliate section (here’s mine!), then fill out the form and wait for approval.

2. Once you’re approved, collect or take photos of the items you want to sell. Keep in mind that “lifestyle” photos sell product the best, so try and model the products when possible. Here’s a few examples:how_to_make_money_on_instagram_lifestyle

3. Create a “store” on your website. This could be as simple as a page with a variety of images on it, all linking to the pages where your customers can purchase the prodcts {remember to use your affiliate link!} If you don’t have a usable site sign up for a service such as, where they handle that part for you.

4. Edit your bio. Be sure to add the link to your store to your Instagram bio and include a call to action encouraging your audience to click the link.

5. Promote your products. Take the time to curate photos that all have a similar style. Having a cohesive feed is important when you’re trying to sell product. Craft a caption you think your audience will respond to, and don’t forget to remind them to click the link in your bio to browse your store!

Is @menandcoffee monetized this way? NO

Being an affiliate is a great starting point for anyone who wants to make money on IG. Start with someone else’s product, then move on to your own {if you want!}. That’s what I did. I actually spent a lot of time researching coffee brands {beans and equipment} to promote on @menandcoffee but I ended up going with fulfilment products instead because I prefer the creative control of designing products specifically for my audience.

 3. Create & sell a small e-book or course

We’re all an expert in something, right? Hone in on that knowledge and put together a lesson on a topic your audience is interested in. Then sell it for a small price.

Here’s how:

1. Determine a problem your audience has. How can you help solve that problem for them? Do you know of a routine they could follow, a method they can implement, or even a recipe they could make to help resolve their issue?

2. Solve the problem by creating a step-by-step lesson. This could be a text only PDF, a video tutorial, or a document with detailed photographs. Either way, don’t go too crazy, keep it simple and to the point, provide value, not filler.

3. Host the product on your website. Use a plugin like WooCommerce to set up an actual “store” or simply create a page for the product and generate a paypal link for buyers to easily click & pay.

4. Decide on a price. It’s difficult to sell a $300 product straight from your Instagram account (people need more time and exposure to the product to make that kind of decision) so keep this as a “low ticket item”. Price it anywhere from $5 – $100.

5. Add the link to the product page in your bio and add a call to action above it stating the benefits or reasons why someone should consider your product.

6. Create a specific post for promoting your product, or simply mention it at the end of your caption on your daily posts. Remember to include the benefits of purchasing your lesson and how it will help them solve their most frustrating problem.

Is @menandcoffee monetized this way? NO

The reason I have not monetized this way is simply because my audience follows me to look at photos of men drinking coffee, they aren’t necessarily there to learn anything so this method does not make viable sense. However, I do monetize my business account @instawithalex with e-courses and paid trainings. It’s a great business model! Start with a small, low ticket item, then move up to more in depth, higher costs courses.

Want a sneak peak at the course I sell? Check it out here:

Gain followers & make money with Instagram

Steal the exact strategy I use to generate $250,000 a year from Instagram!

4. Paid advertising & shoutouts

Have an engaged audience? Sell your influence for cash by promoting other people’s accounts or company’s products and services.

Here’s how:

1. Edit your bio to include contact information so people know how to reach you. Make it clear your intentions by typing it something like this: “Collabs/Promos/Contact: [email protected]”. This will instantly increase your chances of being contacted for a partnership.

2. Determine what your rates are. How much will you charge for a single post on your feed? Keep in mind this number will vary from niche to niche. Decide what you’re comfortable asking for and what you think is worth the amount of exposure your customer will get {look at my numbers below for reference}.

3. Be prepared to negotiate. In the beginning you will have to test the waters to see what price converts best with your audience. If you aim too high, no one will want to work with you. Have a starting point, if someone isn’t willing to pay that price, work with them to come to an agreement that makes both of you happy.

4. Don’t be afraid to say NO. If someone keeps saying your price is too expensive, even after you have negotiated, don’t be afraid to walk away.

5. If you aren’t generating any deals this way, try signing up for an “influencer network” like Snapfluence, or InstaBrand where they match your account with companies and facilitate the partnership.

Is @menandcoffee monetized this way? YES

I have this income stream separated into two different categories. One is Paid Shoutouts – this is an advertisement for an individual who wants exposure for their account. For this I generally charge around $150 – $300 for a single post. The other category is Sponsored Posts – these are advertisements I post for large companies or well-known brands. This often includes a longer, more detailed caption, as well as an offer of some sort {usually a coupon code}. For this I will charge anywhere from $300 – $5000 depending on the content, amount of posts, and whether or not they’re sending me product as well.

Here is an example of a sponsored post I did a while ago. Notice how the content seamlessly fits into my theme? I mention the product but keep it conversational and not pushy – this is key! (whatever you do, don’t sell out for a little bit of cash, stick to your brand and be selective about who you work with)

how to make money on instagram

So, there you have it! Four different ways you can start making money on Instagram today! Of course all of these require a certain amount of work but realistically, it’s a little bit of effort for a lot of return. Imagine how you’ll feel when that first sale comes in? So get out there, implement some of my methods and make that money honey! 😉

Do you think any of these methods will work for your account?Let me know in the comments!

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I honestly didn’t even know you could even make money on Instagram until recently so this is really interesting to me. Thanks for sharing!

That was great! Thaanks again, Alex for your cool and really helpful tips. I can see some of these working for my account and also the new one that my partner and I are about to launch. Your courses have been the inspiration behind us delving into the world of Instagram for business.:) xx

Great blog post Alex! think I could use the first suggestion possibly? Do you get purchasers to send you photos of them wearing or using your coffee items?

As always providing excellent content for us Alex! Thank you so much! Looking forward to try some of these out!

first i would love to thank you Alex for this amazing things you’re sharing with us, I really like those tips and I think I can use 3/4 for my Instagram that is basically dedicated to lifestyle of tattooed people.

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