Making money on Instagram, or anywhere online, while traveling the world is a dream many have these days. Instagram itself has made this dream a reality for many online entrepreneurs.
However, many shy away from the opportunity of making money on Instagram and travel the world because of the misconception that you need millions of followers (or even hundreds of thousands) to start earning full-time.
But anyone can be an Instagram entrepreneur, regardless of your skill set or background or your number of followers.
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How to Make Money On Instagram
To make money on Instagram, I recommend researching and picking a business model that best suits you: launching ads and promoting affiliate offers or your own products, or sponsored and brand partnership if you have solid following and strong engagement. Launching ads to monetize Instagram allows you to target the platform’s billions of users to drive quality traffic to an offer or a product without needing hundreds and thousands of Instagram followers.
On the flip side, tapping into the sponsored or brand partnership (with brands, luxury hotels, or tourism companies) on Instagram allows you to monetize your audience (as a micro or macro influencer) and set a price for every post you publish for brands.
Mastering these different facets on how to make money on Instagram has allowed us to work anywhere in the world and earn full-time income, just as long as we have a wifi connection.
Before making money on Instagram, it wasn’t that long ago that I got laid off from my corporate 9-5 desk job. For six years, I went to work and waited until I accrued enough vacation days to travel far and away, fulfilling experiences and checking off places to visit on my bucket list.
Today, this little platform called Instagram has allowed me to live a fantasy that I didn’t think was possible: travel while earning money at the same time.
But the process where I travel and make money on Instagram was definitely not overnight.
I was already posting travel photos on Instagram before I even knew I it was going to make money . It just got to a certain point where my travel pictures started snowball by attracting followers little by little, to the point where I started securing Instagram sponsorships from different brands.
In this article, I will show you our strategies that allowed us to make money on Instagram: how to approach brands for possible collaboration or sponsorships, how to create an online brand, growing your audience, and other business models on Instagram that will allow you to have a full-time online job while traveling the world!
How to Make Money on Instagram With Affiliate Marketing and Drop Shipping
There are billions and billions of active users on Instagram and Facebook, who are engaged on the platforms more so than ever.
Among these engaged, active users are people who are spending money on Instagram and Facebook.
People are spending money on Instagram in the millions every day. It creates an opportunity for those who are looking to quit their 9-5 if they only know how to make money on Instagram.
For those who left their traditional 9-5 and pursued the laptop lifestyle, many started off with affiliate marketing and/or drop shipping – mostly by launching sponsored ads on Instagram.
These two business model allows you to work from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an Instagram account and a good WiFi connection.
For myself, I started launching affiliate marketing campaigns on Instagram for a client, where I learned and seen first hand the potential to make money just by launching the right product and targeting the right people.
The potential to make money on Instagram is enormous once you find the right product or offer. And the best part, you DO NOT need SUBSTANTIAL capital to start an affiliate marketing or drop shipping business!
A. Make Money With Affiliate Marketing on Instagram
In plain English, making money with affiliate marketing on Instagram is a process of earning a commission by promoting somebody’s products or services online.
Basically, if somebody clicks on the link you are promoting on Instagram, and took action through a purchase or something simple like giving their email, you will make money trough commission from the affiliate link.
Signing up for these affiliate programs that you can promote and make money on Instagram are for free.
The affiliate links that you promote on Instagram are unique to you and you only. The links contain the affiliate ID that is used by the affiliate programs to track if the sales are coming from you.
Generally, when people are exploring and researching the idea of making money on Instagram, they decide whether to pursue affiliate marketing or drop shipping.
The payout depends on the types of offers you promote on Instagram. The payout can range anywhere from $1 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the niche.
Even if you are making money on Instagram for as little as $1 per commission, there are BILLIONS of active Instagram users who are spending money daily.
As long as you know the right strategy to target those billions of people on Instagram, that $1 dollar commission could add up rather QUICKLY!
B. Can You Make Money on Instagram with Dropshipping ?
Dropshipping is essentially having your own online store. But the appeal of drop shipping is you don’t have to carry any inventory at all!
This is how dropshipping works on Instagram:
1) You research a product that is popular in that niche
2) Once you’ve done your research, you contact a supplier (most likely suppliers in China) and negotiate to price.
3) You open an online store (most likely Shopify).
4) You put the items in your Shopify store
5) Launch ads on Facebook and Instagram
6) Once somebody orders, the supplier will directly handle the shipment to your customer!
The key with a successful drop shipping store is knowing your product is a hot seller and could potentially go viral AND knowing how to launch Instagram campaigns.
I’ve met people in their early 20’s making $100K a month solely on drop shipping on Instagram. The return on investment of their money is insane once you find a winning product!
How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing on Instagram?
To make full-time income with affiliate marketing on Instagram requires thorough research, perseverance, and an in-depth understanding of the algorithm. When I first started with affiliate marketing, I was under the impression that all it took was posting pictures or videos on Instagram with a link to the affiliate offer. But as I found out, it required a little bit more work for a career in affiliate marketing to make money. Below is a typical workflow of how I launch campaigns with affiliate marketing on Instagram.
Decide on a Niche
Deciding on a niche, whether it be in affiliate marketing or another business model, allows you to zero in on what type of product or offer you promote, and your approach to your content marketing strategy on Instagram.
One of the mistakes when I first started (there were many!) was not doing enough research on Instagram regarding the niche. My research focused on the payout amount, instead of having a better understanding of the niche audience and how advertisers speak to them to get their attention.
In the end, my content marketing was somewhat all over the place and took me longer to figure out if my posts on Instagram were resonating with the audience of that niche.
Once you decide and truly understand your chosen niche, you will have a smoother transition to the next phase, which is to determine the affiliate offers you would want to promote and make money on Instagram.
Join an Affiliate Network and Pick an Offer to Promote on Instagram
Once it’s decided on a niche, it’s time to research an affiliate network to join. Major affiliate network, such as Max Bounty or ClickBank, generally have multiple offers for their members to promote on Instagram.
The affiliate network contains a specific link that is unique to you, which allows you to track the number of clicks and sales you earn on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis on Instagram.
In many cases, you may find the same affiliate offer on different networks. The only difference would be that one affiliate network may pay more than its competitor – which means more money for you!
To cut your research time in half, I recommend using offervault.com, because it allows you to research directly the type of offer you want to promote without having to apply to different kinds of networks.
Launch an Instagram Account
For every niche you decide to venture in, it is crucial to have an Instagram account dedicated to that niche.
Unless you have a brand sponsorship, I never recommend mixing promoting products or affiliate offers through your own personal Instagram account. It may come across as spammy and may result in a few unfollows!
Starting an Instagram account per niche is easy. All that’s required is to sign up, pick an Instagram handle name related to the niche, and brand it with content that is related and focused on the affiliate offer you are promoting.
My Instagram account focuses on content related to travel and digital nomad lifestyle – which goes hand in hand with the products and brand sponsorships we promote.
How to Monetize Instagram with a Landing Page
In digital marketing, preparing a landing page is necessary when it comes to promoting affiliate offers on Instagram or Facebook. Without a landing page, Instagram and/or Facebook will automatically block your affiliate link because of the platform’s terms and policies.
The landing page is where you put your affiliate link and serves as your sales page to convince your audience to purchase the affiliate offer that you are promoting on Instagram.
Considering that your landing page acts as a sales page, you would need to sharpen your skills in sales copywriting and certain advertising techniques to progress your Instagram followers to purchase your offer.
Research Your Audience on Instagram
Researching your audience on Instagram is crucial to converting the people who visit your landing page into a sale.
I’ve made a mistake at the beginning of my journey by using generic language that tries to appeal to every audience, as opposed to a targeted audience on Instagram.
Instagram has billions of users.
Now I know why I didn’t get any sales when my target audience was female, age group 45 plus, but speaking in a millennial tone!
Collecting enough information about your target audience gives you a better understanding of how to speak their language that appeals to their needs. Having this type of background to the audience in your niche will help you set the direction of the content you post on Instagram, as well as the copy on your landing page.
Launch Your Ads on Instagram
Once you have your Instagram account, affiliate offers, and landing page ready, it is time to launch your ads and make money on Instagram!
Launching a sponsored ad on Instagram (and other social media platforms) is one of the driving forces to millions of people kickstarting a full-time online venture. The platform allows you to reach its billions of targeted users in different niches, regardless of the amount of following you have.
If you’ve never launched a sponsored ad or post before on Instagram, it will require a thorough understanding of how the ad platform works and the strategies behind the launch process. It’s a necessary skill to monetize Instagram, especially if you don’t have many followers.
I recommend taking a closer look at our Digital Marketer Elite course to get our blueprint on how we launch our ads on Instagram that propelled to traveling while earning income full-time online since 2017. The course details how we monetize Instagram by launching ads and selling digital products.
Promoting Affiliate Offers to Your Audience
Posting directly on your personal Instagram account is quite effective if you have a sizeable audience, and the affiliate offer you are promoting is in line with your personal brand.
Instead of launching an Instagram sponsored ad, reaching out to your audience is more effective because you have already established some trust among your followers. It is a lot easier to convey a product recommendation to an audience who already knows you, rather than getting an advertisement from a brand or person they’ve never heard of before.
The key to leveraging Instagram is an engaged and active following!
How to Make Money with Dropshipping on Instagram
To make money with dropshipping on Instagram requires a little bit more than affiliate marketing. For those who are just starting their online venture, I would personally recommend affiliate marketing over dropshipping because it doesn’t have as many hurdles and higher risk.
The dropshipping workflow is quite similar to affiliate marketing on Instagram. Let’s take a look below:
Decide On A Niche
As we mentioned above, deciding on a niche gives you a clear direction on the type(s) of product you want to sell and lays the foundation for your Instagram content strategy.
When deciding on a niche with dropshipping, it is crucial to enter a market that is NOT super competitive or dominated by a few brands. Look for a sub-niche and explore what type of products you can potentially promote on Instagram.
Picking a Product
When it comes to picking a product, ask yourself this: can this product be easily found in any retail store?
If the answer is yes, pick a different product. Remember, you want to sell something unique on Instagram, or perhaps something that can easily solve a customer’s pain points to spark an interest and urge to buy your product.
Researching a Supplier
Once you’ve decided on a product, it is time to research your supplier.
Researching a supplier is the extra step that you would need to take if you decide to pick dropshipping over affiliate marketing to make money on Instagram.
The process of finding the right supplier is generally the step that takes the longest. You would need to do thorough research about your supplier to ensure, first and foremost, that they have an excellent track record of shipping your products to your customers.
Apart from ensuring their system and processes for shipping, expect to engage in the art of negotiating to ensure you have competitive price points.
Launch Your Brand on Instagram
Not many realize before they jump into dropshipping that they would be managing a brand once they have a product in hand.
Branding on Instagram is essential because it builds trust among your audience, which would make it easier for you to sustain a business in dropshipping as you grow your online store.
Having a clear and strategic approach to your content on Instagram will kickstart your efforts to establish a digital brand.
Prepare Your Online Store
Whereas you need to have a landing page if you are promoting affiliate offers on Instagram, dropshipping requires you to sign up for a platform to launch your online store.
Your online store will essentially be the place where you “house” your products and where your customers can order from you.
Shopify is a popular platform among dropshippers on Instagram!
Research Your Instagram Audience and Launch Your Ads
These steps are precisely the same as you would expect in promoting affiliate offers on Instagram to make money. You would need to have a buyer’s persona to have a clear strategy on how to approach your content marketing.
Once you have that down, time to launch your ads Instagram and sell, sell, sell!