How to make money as an Instagram


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Instagram make money

make money as an Instagram

1. Introduction

Instagram was launched in 2014 and became the second largest and fastest growing social network – increasing growth by over 50% and surpassing Twitter’s 284 million active users in Q3 with over 300 million.

Trending among millennials, it provides stunning visuals and editing capabilities like no other and is simple to use. Sharing its appealing and good-looking content is now the norm for mobile and connected consumers.

  • 300 million monthly active users
  • 80%+ people outside the US
  • 40 billion+ photos shared
  • 4.2 likes daily
  • 95 million average photos and videos per day

Of the top 50 brands on Instagram, each of them has an average of two million posts mentioning their brands, with Nike having 76 million posts with the #Nike hashtag (adding more than 300 thousand per month). This massive growth in user-created and shared content provides a great opportunity for marketers to capitalize on the authentic and persuasive content published to the world’s favourite short-form video and photo sharing network.

Believe it or not, there are thousands of people in the world who are in the same situation as you, wondering how to make money as an Instagram influencer.

If you think having an Instagram and getting paid for it is not possible, let us tell you that we know many people who have been doing this for years and are able to sustain their selves in one way or another. You don’t have to look far. Look at us. This is our third year making money as Instagram influencers and travelling around the world with the profits. We have been using some of the tactics we will be teaching you about in this book to make money as an Instagram Influencers.

, we are going to explain to you several different methods you can use to start your Instagram business and being paid for it. Some of them require an investment whether it is money, time or the process to learn a new skill.

  1. What you will learn

Instagram has become the main platform for serious business owners, advertisers, and marketers that are looking to build their business online.

The power of Instagram lies in stark contrast to setting up an Instagram account. You can have a brand-new Instagram account up and running in less than five minutes without any cost (since it’s 100% free).

Surprisingly, a huge majority of business owners, advertisers, and marketers out there aren’t using Instagram the right way to build their business or to create the kind of income they have always dreamed of.

In this book, we will share with you the skills and tools that you need to start and successfully monetize your Instagram. First, we will discuss the preparation process, such as how to set goals and plans, the skills that you need, and how much it could potentially cost you to start to begin your own project. We will then discuss the planning process and the required niche studies you should consider before you try to become an influencer.

After we discuss how to create your personal brand, we will explain how to get a large number of followers on Instagram, how to engage your audience, how to network, market, advertise your brand and start getting paid for your Instagram Influence.

Once all your social media outlets are complete and you have a substantial following, you are then able to start making money with your Instagram. So, we will explain to you how to find, approach partners or sponsors, and use specific language to close deals and get paid. Sounds like a daunting task, right? Don’t worry, this book will break the process down into many steps that make it easier for you to organize and easily complete each step with ease.

  1. Is this Book for you?

The very first step in this process is making sure you truly want to do this. If you are going to knock your Instagram marketing right out of the park and transform it into a powerful channel for marketing, you must know exactly what you’re doing.

Hearing about Instagram influencers and their way of life always sounds amazing to those on the outside. However, it is not always perfect. Instagram Influencers are constantly running into obstacles that are difficult to get through. There are times where you make no money at all, your website fails without you understanding why, or your sponsor may not pay you for months at a time.

On top of that, because you’re going up against already stiff and established competition, you also have to take advantage of as many shortcuts as possible to get you on the path to the top as efficiently as you can.

Becoming an Instagram influencer is a fantastic way of life, however, it is not always easy and it is not always happy, so just make sure that you are ready for the unknown ahead of you. Once you decide that you are willing and able to handle these types of situations, you are ready to begin the next step!

  1. What do you need?
  2. How much is going to cost?


Nothing positive is going to happen without some investment, so just like any business or project, you will need to invest your time and some money to launch your Instagram identity. It is really complicated to predict how long it will take you since it will all be a matter of effort mixed with luck. You can either reach out to the right people on the perfect timing making money and living the dream in a few months, or it can take you more than a year to grow your account and project enough in order to settle your Instagram business and Reputation. Before you start you need to plan your time investment, so your new project makes part of your daily routine.

You should also consider the different investments you will need, to adjust it to your budget and money you’re willing to invest. You can start your project with less than 100 euros, but it will take you considerably more time to achieve your goals if you have no previous experience with Online Marketing. Below are the most relevant investments you have to consider:


Website Host

WordPress Theme


Social Media Ads

Note that having a website is not a mandatory requirement to start and grow your Instagram business, however, it is a good add-on since it will bring more trust to your brand and will increase the value you can provide to any prospect partner or customer.

  1. Skills required

Becoming an Instagram Influencer is not for everyone and doing this for a living requires that you really love what you are doing. You need to be prepared to go through good and bad times: it won’t be always perfect as most photos you see on the most notorious Instagram Influencers or Brands but, having good social and networking skills is a good start. The worst part of the process is to get targeted and engaged followers, so if you already have a decent amount of engaged followers on your account you are one step ahead. The growing process is slow and boring and if you are starting from scratch with less than a few thousand followers be aware that you need to stay focused and motivated.

Skills Checklist:

Availability to receive products or represent a brand. Creativity and love for photographyDecent level of English – consider targeting another language if you want to reach a less competitive market

Know how to use good quality photographic equipment

Know how to use web-hosted blogging services such as WordPress Successfully pitch to brands and companies around the world Willing to learning new skills

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Knowledge on Social Media and marketing Knowledge of Photoshop and graphic design Sales skills and persuasion

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You don’t need to master all the skills presented in the checklist above, but you got to have a basic notion on most of them or alternatively be prepared to outsource tasks you are unable to complete.

  1. Goals and Plans

Lack of genuine connection and commitment to their goals is the main reason most people never reach the goals they set. Before you start doing random decisions without any planning you need to set your goals and take time to figure them out. Your goals are not going to get you anywhere if you don’t do something about them, so when you figured out what you really want to do, you need to set a strategy for accomplishing it.

In order to set up the perfect strategy, we’ll present you a straightforward, fail-proof goal setting template for achieving your goals. We say it’s fail-proof not because the error isn’t possible (no one can predict the future or control all circumstances), but because if you follow this plan, you’ll accomplish more than you would with any other plan you’ve tested before.

Focus on only 1-2 major goals

Figure out what’s your one major goal for your first year and stick to it. This can be the hardest part for most people because it requires extreme focus and connection to purpose. Goals to us are different than habit changes. Your main goals should be so big that it would take an entire year to accomplish. If you were to accomplish only these 2 things, you’d feel like you had a very successful year.


Have 50000 followers on your Instagram account

Successfully start a partnership and drive $20k in revenue

Work with 3 of the best brands in your niche

What do you really want to accomplish? Choose 1-2 goals to focus on for the rest of the year and do not aim for “reasonable.” Be a bit unreasonable: based on your deepest values, passions, and skills – that’s what you should make your goal!

Create monthly sub-goals

Once you’ve created your major goals, create monthly sub-goals for each one. The idea is that your monthly sub-goals would very clearly lead to you

accomplishing your 2 major goals for the year. (Note: We’d recommend planning for 12 months, but you can certainly plan for 6, 18 or whatever number you feel comfortable with.)


Big Goal: Becoming a paid Instagram Influencer


April – Starting Udemy Course and Creating an account May –optimize my Instagram accountJune – Apply and get into a Photography course

July – Start to practice my photography skills creating content to my Instagram posts

August – Implement strategies to grow my Instagram

September – Post consistently every day to make a good portfolio

October – Looking for related Brands, Companies you want to work with.

November – Reach out the brands and companies and wait for replies

December – Start new partnerships.

Breaking down your major goal this way makes the end goal seem even more tangible and you can see the natural progression of your goal and exactly what needs to be done each month in order for you achieve your main goal by December 31st. Having these monthly goals will get you super excited about the idea of taking on your plan and tackling that one big, amazing goal of yours. Is it possible that you could do all of this perfectly and still not get your main goal? Of course. But you’re significantly more likely to achieve it if you actually plan like this, versus not planning at all—or using one of the much more tedious, less user-friendly goal setting strategies out there.

Do your weekly planning.

Based on the monthly goals, you need to set aside 30 minutes to create a weekly “plan of attack” for accomplishing your mini goal for the week ahead. At the beginning of every week, you should know exactly what you’re looking to accomplish every day to achieve your weekly goals—so that you

can move on to your next goal, in order to move on to your next monthly-goal, in order to accomplish your one major goal.

You have to plan for your own success.

If you don’t stipulate what you’ll do every day, then there’s no way you’ll accomplish your weekly, monthly, or annual goals. Basically, if you don’t plan daily, you’re screwed. You choose, either you’re going to own your day, or your day is going to own you.

We see an enormous difference in our own productivity when we plan it out thoroughly versus just wing it. To actively avoid time-wasting triggers and activities, your daily plan needs to go hand-in-hand with the strategies you implement.

Make sure you get that task done before you do anything else on your daily task list. Each task shouldn’t take longer than 90 minutes. You should do your top 3 tasks in order before you do anything else, and get them out of the way.

For example, we need to publish content daily for The Portuguese Fox, but if we just focus on that, we’ll have a lot of content, but not that much growth. For us, a major sub-goal would be focusing on growth strategy. Therefore, while very important, editing and publishing photos is actually not a top task for us.

  1. Be yourself and enjoy

If you really want to be an influencer, you need to provide your followers with something they actually care about, in a creative an accessible way—  something that can improve their life in some way.

Why? Because millions of people make average posts about stuff they don’t really know much about, in a very standard way.

In such a competitive world as the Instagram industry the best way to achieve success it is to be better and different from everyone else: you need to be: YOU!

If you are going to start doing the same everyone else is doing, you have to

either be really unique or come out with super innovative ideas otherwise you will be wasting your time. No one is going to pay attention to your ideas if you are just doing the same as everyone else.

The key is that if you are entering the Instagram Influencers Industry you need to bring something new to the scene.

When we started with 55Secrets we targeted our market to people who wanted to experience each place from the perspective of the locals. That way we knew we were aiming for travelers who are not looking for the package tours but like to spend longer in the same place and mingle with the locals. All our campaigns and marketing strategies were set with that audience in mind and we used the motto “Skip the Tourist trap – Explore like a local” to make sure we let our prospect customers and audience know that’s what we are all about.

We picked a generic niche because we wanted to be able to work with as many brands and partners as possible since we are on the travel niche. If we picked something like Single Mothers Traveling, we would have a really targeted audience and we would most likely need a way smaller audience to get partnerships and sponsors but that would also restrict the kind of partners and paid jobs that we could work with. Whenever you pick a niche, make sure you consider the pros and cons of being too generic and too specific.

  1. Start planning
  2. Select your identity and niche

As an Instagram influencer, the more real and authentic you can be, the more successful you’ll become as a result, your brand is your personality. What are you passionate about? What story do you want to share? What cause truly resonates with you? The first step to consider when selecting your Instagram niche is: who are your prospect customers and audience and what they need or may need.

Let’s be real: if you’re not a movie star or an established social media influencer no one is interested in your selfies, what you ate last night or how many miles you ran over the weekend. People are only interested in themselves and in their own lives, how they can progress in life and achieve their dreams.

A good place to start is to research what other influencers are already doing and make lists of the content they share. On Instagram, you can find influencers that focus on travel, photography, fashion, pets and self-help, amongst other things. Can you make money from your current skills to become an influencer in any of these fields? Is there another field, as yet untapped that could be of interest?

Which skills would like to learn in order to stand out and differentiate yourself from the crowd of existing content? As an Influencer, you need to have your own unique “thing” — something that differentiates you makes your content unique, authentic and memorable.

Study the demographics: What’s the average age of people who are interested in your topic? Do they have another kind of interests? Would it be easy for you to connect and reach them?

Age range is one of the most relevant key elements when you seek partnerships and sponsors and a fundamental factor in the success of your project. Someone on their 30’s has a totally different perspective and interests than someone on their 20’s who just graduated and doesn’t have a stable job yet. All of these aspects will be important when you select what your niche and audience will be.

Travel-related accounts such as The Portuguese Fox will have an average age

range lower than a Cooking related account since our content will attract young and adventurous people who want to travel the world and the second will attract older people with stable lives who want to please their families with good meals. When it comes to audience gender: The Portuguese fox being a female Instagram model will predominantly attract a male audience, while a Cooking related account will have a bigger female audience. It’s clear that different contents attract different audiences that’s why it’s so important to study your audience at this point. Spending time getting to know your audience, including their age range, gender or particular interests may save you a lot of time and failed attempts, therefore, a lot of money.

  1. Audience analysis

Understanding your audience is one of the most important elements of effective communication. Audience analysis can help you gain valuable insight about your prospect customers, which can help you to choose and develop a relevant, meaningful business concept. It can also help you to create a long-term plan that is tailored effectively to your audience, with appropriate atmosphere, style, goals and content.

When analyzing your audience, there are three main areas you must consider: demographics, dispositions and knowledge of the topic. For each of these 3 areas, there are a set of questions to answer which will help stimulate your thinking about your audience. In addition to the questions below, you should consider how each of these factors (age, socio-economic status, etc.) affects your prospect customers’ attitudes, expectations and opinions about you and your company.

Demographic Analysis

Is my audience homogeneous or heterogeneous? If homogeneous, how are they alike? What do they have in common? If heterogeneous, how are the prospect customers different from one another? What do they have in common?

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What is my audience’s average age? What range of ages is represented?

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In terms of socio-economic status, how would I describe my aimed audience? Where do they fit into society’s social and economic status?

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What occupations are represented by my prospect audience?

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What ethnic, racial and cultural groups are represented in my audience?

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Disposition Analysis

What might my audience expect from your services?

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What might I expect about them attitudes toward me and my kind of activities?

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What kind of destinations do they like?

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What interests and goals do they have?

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What will motivate them to travel? What types of needs do they have?

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What biases or preconceived ideas might my prospect customers have about my selected destinations and content?

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Knowledge Analysis

How much does my audience already know about my kind of events? What, specifically, is my competition doing in my niche?

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What can I provide my customers that they do not already have other events? What new input would they benefit from? Why would they prefer my events?

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What questions might they have about my topic? Am I selecting something too unique that won’t attract any customers?

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  1. Research your competitors

“By monitoring competitors on an on-going basis, you get to know their behaviour and so can start to anticipate what they will be likely to do next,”

One of the best ways to learn and avoid mistakes is to check all your competitors work and find the mistakes they are doing and work on those gaps to make your content and projects better than theirs. Check their marketing, social media promotions, Instagram concepts, branding, and the partners they work with and take notes on what they do.

Take a deeper look at their websites and other social media channels and think about what they are doing well and what you would improve. Talk with them in person and with others who follow them and have worked with them and ask them what they like the most and what they don’t. Gathering all that information from the different competitors will bring you a big advantage because you will be able to pick all the positive aspects of all of them and combine them to make a more effective branding and business plan.

Before starting 55 Secrets we spend several days reading some of the biggest names on the online travel industry and analyzing their performances, their approach to their followers and contacted several of them in person and by email to ask more details about their business and several of them were kind enough to share the insight and enlightened us on the ups and downs they had during their first months or years in the industry and how hard they worked to reach the level they achieved today.

We have an online marketing and online business development background so that helped us and saved us a lot of time when it came to set my goals for the project and the marketing planning but having the insight and research done in the competitions was one of the most useful parts of the planning that lead us to success and to be able to grow our audience and reach sponsors in only few months.

  1. Branding yourself

You must understand that a brand is a promise and it affects what your audience, clients and prospects costumers think about you from a visual perspective. When defining and creating an online identity, it’s important to understand who you are as a brand, and how you want to be perceived in the market. Think about it as a “visual first impression.” When establishing a brand identity, the practice of personifying is an incredibly useful exercise. Accompanied by intricate audience persona research and development, mapping out your core values, mission statement and differentiators will guide you as you map out your events company exterior-facing identity.

With 55 Secrets, we’ve established that we would like our brand to reflect a positive, confident, adventurous, local friendly, not touristic, professional and fresh image. This reflected an environment of expertise and professionalism and a young but serious attitude that lead young and more mature crowds to trust the concept and brand. When we create The Portuguese Fox as an extension of 55 Secrets we wanted an Instagram model, a brand attached to face. A look adventurous, young and fresh capable to transmit the Travel lifestyle from a personal perspective. Note that you don’t need 2 Instagram accounts to be successful. You can establish yourself as a Brand or as a model, both are different approaches of Instagram Influencers, one more personal other more formal. As an Instagram model, your brand is your name!

That’s why a strong and compelling brand is essential. It is a vital component of your organization, and its strength and clarity directly impact your success in fulfilling your mission.

But how do you build a brand?

Repetition. Brand value emerges when all messengers tell your story consistently and an effective message is presented in a disciplined, passionate and consistent way. Building a strong brand requires discipline and the key component of a unified image is unified behaviour. A brand is your most valuable asset. Used correctly, it is the simplest way to communicate to your customers and audience that trusted experts are enhancing their business with the latest advances in your company’s area of expertise. The collection of

these thoughts and ideas, the brand guide, is the inclusion of a simple, clear and focused articulation of the events company as it is to be portrayed both visually and personally. A strong brand can build confidence, optimism and respect from those who support it the most and It can directly influence the mood of your audience.

  1. Your Instagram
  2. Create and Optimize your profile

First things first: you should start by customizing your Instagram profile to make it look good! Tell your potential followers who you are and give them a reason to follow you: start by making sure your username is recognizable and easily searchable (like your business name). If your business name is already taken, try to keep your business name as the first part of your username so that people searching for your business are more likely to come across you. Make sure to add your full business name to the “Name” field in the “Options” – since this will appear under your profile picture and under your username in the search).

The next step is to make sure your profile is public: open Instagram, go to “Options,” and make sure “Private Account” is turned off. Your profile picture or logo must be on-brand with your other social networks, and make sure you use a high-quality picture. Why? Because Instagram is a visual platform, and people want to put a face to the words you’re speaking on Instagram.

Fill your bio with delightful, actionable, and clear information about your brand, this will let people know what you’re about and gives them a reason to follow you. Tell them who you are and what you do, and be sure to add a hint of personality. Here are our examples:

@55secrets: “Skip the tourist traps – Explore like a local” @Theportuguesfox: “Travel, Fashion and Lifestyle”

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Now it’s time to add a link to your bio to make it easy for people to go straight from Instagram to your website if they want to. This space is precious real estate because it’s the only place on Instagram where you can place a clickable link, so use it wisely. Don’t forget to, enable notifications so you can see when people share or comment on your photos, that’ll let you engage with them more quickly. To enable notifications, go to “Options” and then “Push Notification Settings.” Select “From Everyone” for every category available.

Just remember one thing when creating your profile, if your bio is memorable

and catchy, then people are more likely to press that “Follow” button

Brush up on your photography and editing skills.

On Instagram, post quality matters, a lot. Your Twitter or Facebook followers might forgive a few bad tweets or posts, but a bad photo on Instagram is a big no-no. It doesn’t mean you have to take a photography course to be a good Instagram poster, but you should get familiar with basic photography tips and photo editing apps.

Photography Skills

Instagram is a mobile app and the truth is, most of the photos you post on Instagram will be taken on your mobile device. That’s not just okay; it’s expected. Some brands use professional photography for their Instagram photos, but the great majority uses smartphones — and that’s the vibe that Instagram is meant for, anyway.

Here are some highlights:

Focus on one subject at a time.

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Embrace negative space.

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Instagram has some basic editing capabilities, but oftentimes, they aren’t adequate to make a picture really, really great. Most of your photos should go through at least one or two other photo editing apps on your mobile phone before you open them on Instagram for the first time.

Start posting

After creating and optimizing your profile and knowing a thing or two about phone photography and photo editing, it’s time to start posting. It’s a good

idea to have a solid number of great posts before you really start (15 posts) so when people visit your profile, they’ll see a full screen of photos instead of just a handful, and you give the impression you’ll be posting great content regularly.

However, it’s not enough to have great content! There is a lot of amazing content out there that does not get the visibility it deserves, and the only thing you need to constantly do to improve the quality of your content is to “Keep posting”. Whether you have found your niche or are still in the process of discovering it, posting regularly and engaging often with people on social networks will lead you to get the best out of Instagram.

Save time with APPS

If you want to become an influencer, know that mobile APPS can be your friends! They can help you take better photos, plan your feed before you post, collect user-generated content, and edit your photos to maintain a consistent aesthetic on the go. Photo Editor by Aviary, Afterlight, Bokehful, and Overgram allow you can crop, lighten, darken, add text and effects, making your photos more appealing and impressive looking with. In case you’re looking for some help on scheduling Instagram posts you should consider Later and Wordswag for making quotes.

Key Points to Grow your Account

Creating quality, original content will always be your best bet for long-term Instagram success. Re-posting has its benefits, but you can create a solid brand by generating fresh content yourself.

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If you struggle with creating quality, original content, focus on finding good content that isn’t already popular in your niche. Watermarking this content can be beneficial for various reasons.

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Make sure when posting hashtags to keep them relevant to your niche. Keeping a notepad on your phone full of specific hashtags will save you a lot of time. Posting these hashtags in a comment work just as well as posting them in your caption.

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Look at what the leaders of your niche are doing regarding finding a proper profile picture, bio, and username; however, remember that originality can be a huge driving factor for growth.

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Don’t be afraid to be crazy and unique when it comes to your content. A lot of popular Instagram accounts have spawned from unique content.

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Interacting with others is essential for growth when your account is relatively small.

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Identify a target account within your niche. Find a popular account that has a strong following base, a high engagement rate, and followers who would also be interested in your content.

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Follow the likers and commenters of the target account, and like a recent photo of theirs and a more dated photo of theirs. This is your best chance of receiving high-quality followers.

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Just liking random photos within your niche is hardly effective.

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Find people within your niche that are willing to exchange shout-

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outs with you. When creating shout-outs, try to make them appear natural.

Understand that there are several separate phases of growth when it comes to Instagram

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