Building a large following on Instagram is one thing. But earning real money with it is quite another! This article shows you 4 ways to monetize your Instagram account. The methods differ in terms of how they are implemented and the expected returns. In the end, you should be aware of all important methods and be able to make the best decision for you.
#1 Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a business model where you advertise a product and collect a comission for each sale made through your advertisement. It’s easy and fast to set up but you can’t control the product and you’ll need to handle a strong competition.
With affiliate marketing, you advertise a third-party product and receive a commission if someone makes a purchase of the product through your recommendation. The best-known affiliate platform is Amazon. You have surely come into contact with a website on google with a very specific niche. These websites only compare products and redirecting you to the chosen product on amazon then. The model of niche websites on Google and Co. can also be transferred to Instagram. The core idea behind it is to use the reach on Instagram to get people to buy a product. Commissions vary from platform to platform. For example, if you advertise a product on Amazon, the commission is very low. It varies between 1 – 12 %, depending on the product type. The commission for so-called info-products is much more lucrative. That can be courses or eBooks to certain topics.
There are platforms on which a variety of such info products are presented. For example clickbank – you can simply register and start to advertise these products. Often you already receive tons of advertising material to each of the products. So you can start immediately with advertising it on Instagram. Long story short:
- Register for an Affiliate Program
- Choose a product to advertise
- Advertise the product on Instagram
- Receive money for every purchase made through your advertising
If you find a product for a broad target group, the earning potential is enormous. In addition, you have theoretically no costs to start and therefore no risk. Once you have found a strategy for Instagram and Facebook, the model is very scalable. By already provided advertising material and a landing page, you can get started quickly.
Unfortunately, you have no control over the affiliate programs. The rates for commissions or other framework conditions often change. Good products are often advertised by a lot of other marketers – so it is difficult to stand out. If you bring customers to the seller, then the seller has the data of the customer and can promote them without your participation in the future. You will only be paid once.
Dropshipping means that you’re selling products through your own online shop and handle logistics all by the manufacturer. This method gives you a lot of opportunities – it allows you to create a brand, determine products, prices and more. Due to a strong competition and usually low profit margins, it’s not easy getting successful.
While doing your research, you probably stumbled across the term Dropshipping more than once. On Youtube, there are numerous videos which promise to get you rich in no time at all. Of course, you can earn money with this method, but it’s not as easy as it’s often shown. But first of all: What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping refers first of all to a certain form of logistics – in this case behind an online shop. This form of logistics means that the seller transfers the entire logistics to the manufacturer. The manufacturer packs and delivers the goods directly to the buyer in response to a signal from the seller. This is a huge relief for the seller. Delivery conditions, custom regulations, the manufacturer’s expertise and network can be used directly.
So-called dropshippers are creating an online shop with a shop software and sell products all around the world. But wait… Which products?! Quite simply. Products of all kinds – but usually small, simple goods. Via Alibaba or Aliexpress you can easily find a suitable manufacturer, who takes care of the production and the logistics. As soon as a purchase is made in your online shop, an order goes to the manufacturer. Fully automated of course!
The dropshipping business model can be roughly divided into two categories. On the one hand is the creation of the online shop, on the other hand in marketing. I can recommend Shopify for creating the shop. Numerous add-ons make almost everything possible and you have a lot of freedom in the design. With Oberlo, for example, you can easily integrate Alibaba items into your online shop – just a few clicks away. But to make it short: The creation of the online shop is usually not a problem – it’s the right marketing.
For selling products with Dropshipping, Facebook Ads have proven to be very effective. Why? Facebook offers the possibility to integrate a so-called pixel in your online shop. The pixel captures the buyer’s data and learns more and more about the actual target group. If the pixel has been fed with a lot of data, targeted ads can be placed on Facebook, which can then show a very high conversion rate. The more data is added, the more accurate the target group can be defined by the pixel and the better the conversion rate. Sounds powerful, right? That’s what it is. Not for nothing, it’s often called the “holy grail” by marketers. But the beginning is hard, as with so many things. After all, you first have to get people to click on your online shop and buy something. This is where your Instagram account gets important. With ease, people can be directed from there through the story or feed to your shop – you can collect data (for Facebook) and sell products.
The most powerful way to use your Instagram account is to brand the shop and your account accordingly. I don’t want to go into the power of brands, I’m sure you’re aware of that. In addition, you usually also need some budget to modify the products in the manufacture according to your ideas. With dropshipping, there are numerous advantages as well as disadvantages. The advantage of dropshipping is that you only need a small amount of capital to get started, which means you can easily enter the market, but you also have more competition. On the one hand, you save a lot of time and effort by handing over the logistic part, on the other hand, you have even less control and can only ensure by detours that the quality of the products is right. Delivery routes usually take at least 2 weeks. In the Amazon Prime era, this is an eternity for most customers… To make it short, I have created the following table with all pros and cons.
#3 Your Own Infoproduct
With this method you’re selling a self-created Infoproduct to your followers. This could be an eBook or Video Course for a specific niche. After mastering the greatest challenge of creating a product there’s a huge potential for selling it to your followers.
Just create products that you would sell with affiliate marketing by yourself! Depending on your niche, you can write your own eBook, create your own video course or simply create a special email newsletter. This way you keep 100% of the revenue and everything is under your control. Once you’ve created the product, you’ll have almost the same work as with affiliate marketing. You also have a unique product which is not yet used by others. There are many advantages… But of course, there is also the challenge to create your own product.
To give you a better impression I can go through a few examples. You have an Instagram account about dogs? Then write a few pages about how to raise dogs correctly or create videos about dog education. Do you have a fashion Instagram account? Then create a Fashion Guide for your customers… There are countless ideas for every single niche. So ask your followers what they are most interested in. Even if you don’t dare to create your own content, an info product can be interesting for you. Ghostwriters can, for example, write a book for you. If you want to create a video course, but don’t want to show yourself in front of the camera, find someone on Fiverr to do it for you. Nowadays you can outsource just about anything – but of course, this is more expensive. Whether or how much you want to create yourself is up to you – in the Pro and Contra list I assume that you create an info product yourself. First of all, some useful tools to master your way to your own info product:
Skillshare allows you to share your videos easily as a course. You can then promote the course on Skillshare and your Instagram account. In addition to Skillshare, there are many other platforms. Just browse through them to collect some impressions.
Amazon is known for eBooks. Take the opportunity to sell on Amazon and get another source of potential buyers besides Instagram.
Getresponse is an email marketing tool to create and send professional emails. You also have the possibility to create landingpages and thus a lot of room for further monetization measures.
#4 Sell Shoutouts
Selling shoutouts means to sell advertisement on your Instagram account. There is almost no set up needed once you have build a large following on your Instagram account. You don’t need to invest anything but it’s not incredibly scaleable.
Every owner of a niche account on Instagram should the term “shoutout”. Accounts with high engagement in a specific niche often get tons of ad requests. By selling shoutouts you can easily & quickly earn a few dollars. However, if you want to earn more than a few dollars, there are several difficulties. First of all, a lot of time has to be invested in communication with customers. The same questions are answered over and over again and customers jump off even after a complex conversation. Let’s be honest – it’s not only take time but can also be quite annoying. If you are serious about selling shoutouts, you should also register a business, write invoices and pay taxes. In this article, you will find out why especially the topic of taxes is hard to handle alone as a “small” influencer. Once you have mastered these hurdles, you will be unlucky from time to time and meet some fraudsters who claim service from you and then reclaim the money from PayPal. The list of negative side effects is long. While these effects are barely noticeable when you’re earning less than $100 a month, they get stronger the more you earn.
For all people who want to know how much you can earn by selling shoutouts on niche account: It can’t be answered in general. Too many factors influence the demand and the resulting price you set. To give you a rough impression. With a dog account with about 300k followers and an engagement of 5 – 20k likes per post, you can earn 500 USD per month pretty easily, without annoying the followership too much. With an account of the same size and engagement in the business niche, it is 750 USD.
The question about selling shoutouts should be how to sell as many ads as possible in as little time as possible.
At this point, I want to introduce you to adstock – because adstock was developed exactly for this purpose. adstock is a tool that simplifies the way of selling shoutouts on Instagram. It allows you to create your own shoutout salespage that you can share in your Instagram bio or directly with customers.
A salespage looks like this: https://adstock.io/dogsunity
What are the benefits of using adstock to sell shoutouts?
You’ll save a lot of time because you don’t need to have long conversations with potential clients anymore. They will book directly through the link in your bio or you can just send them your link directly. It could look like this:
You can offer a variety of payment methods to your customers.
Protect yourself from scammers with the adstock fraud protection. You’ll never lose the overview. Smart calendar avoids double bookings. Never forget to upload a shoutout thanks to push notifications. adstock creates invoices for your customers automatically and takes care of VAT management. Use analytics to optimize your shoutout prices. To complete – adstock is an overall solution for selling shoutouts professionally. Just try it for free and let us know what you think!
Let’s Summarize. There are many ways to monetize an Instagram account and you have to decide which one works best for you. I hope this article could help you find a new way or is helping to make a decision about how you want to start monetization.
Do you have other strategies to earn money with an Instagram account? Feel free to add them to your comments!
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