Instagram monetization shares much in common with other social media monetization strategies.

But one major limitation hinders affiliate marketers: you can’t place links inside photo posts.

So how do you make money from this network?

Read on to find out…

1. Point Traffic to Your Site

Affiliate marketers are in a quandary. After all, the only place you can place external hyperlinks is in your portfolio page.

So that’s what many marketers do. They develop a feed of photos that caters to a specific audience, then promote their own affiliate site from their portfolio.

Once on your own site, of course, you can monetize however you wish.

2. Cover Your Feed with Calls-to-Action

Calls-to-action are necessary for everyone who wants to make money online. You need to tell people what to do, otherwise they won’t do it.

So place calls-to-action inside your profile page, inside your post descriptions, and even inside your photos. Most marketers who use Instagram effectively don’t try to sell directly from Instagram. Instead, use calls-to-action that send people to your site, ask you to connect on other social networks, and so forth.

Since Instagram is a photo-based sharing medium, it’s harder to convey lots of value. For that, you need sales copy. So use Instagram as part of a funnel that draws users deeper in to your brand presence.

3. Use Hashtags and Descriptions

People search Instagram regularly for hashtags, so they are a great way to tap into your target audience.

Every single post should have a list of popular hashtags…as long as they’re relevant. These will help you reach out to Instagram users who are deeply interested in your niche and market.

Also include descriptions

4. Build a Following…By Following

Get people to follow you by following them. Like Twitter, Instagrammers want people to follow them. So there are plenty of people who will follow you if you follow them back.

Having a large follower count helps, of course, because you’ll have a larger audience. Also, a large follower count acts as social proof: people are more likely to trust and follow you if you already have lots of followers.

If you’re just starting out, it can seem daunting…but don’t worry. Just keep following new people every week and you’ll be able to grow a modest following. Over time, your other marketing endeavors will help you increase that following even more.

5. Think of Your Stream as Marketing

If you’re really trying to monetize your Instagram feed, communicate as much value as possible. From photos and videos to descriptions, hashtags, profile pages, and comments, your goal should be marketing – that is, communicating the value of your products or services.

Don’t be shy about selling, either. As long as you aren’t annoying people or spamming, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be up-front about your intentions.

6. Use Instagram to Network

Business is built on relationships. And, like other social media, Instagram is a powerful marketing and sales tool. But it’s also a powerful networking tool.

By following, hashtagging, and commenting, you can build a following. But don’t just think of your following as a list or a number. Your followers are people who may be able to help you out with your monetization goals.

7. Create Videos

Instagram’s short video clips can be a great way to highlight your products or services. Or, if you’re an affiliate, the products and services of your merchants.

In fact, you can simply create commercials to advertise these services. And Instagram is essentially a free publication platform, so it costs nothing to advertise in this way to your own followers.

Video advertising and marketing is quickly becoming a dominant form of online advertising. Here are a few ideas for creating low-budget videos to help monetize and market:

  • Create your own commercials. If you’re selling your own products and services, you can design and develop as many ads as you like.
  • Post product reviews. If you’re an affiliate, then you can use Instagram to post product reviews. Just remember to follow essential sales and marketing tactics: include calls-to-action and point people back to your website, profile, or sales page.
  • Post testimonials. Many businesses use YouTube as a publication channel for customer testimonials. If you have any short video testimonials, then you can publish these directly on your Instagram feed.
  • Create a video portfolio. If you create physical products, then a photo portfolio is a good way to showcase your products. But a video portfolio is even better – because videos convey more information and people prefer video. Ideas for a voice-over narrative includes: features, benefits, and client feedback.


Your own blog or website is probably the best portal for selling products, services, or affiliate products. But when you use Instagram as a marketing tool, you can monetize your business more effectively by growing your audience, making more connections, promoting your products, and directing people to sites that make the money.