Instagram has become one of the top social media platforms, with over 1 billion monthly active users. With such a massive audience, it’s no wonder so many people are trying to make money on Instagram.

But here’s the thing – you don’t need to have a physical product or online store to earn an income through Instagram. There are plenty of ways to monetize your account and start making money even if you have nothing to sell.

In this guide, we’ll break down the top strategies for how to make money on Instagram without selling anything yourself.

Partner with Brands as an Influencer

One of the most popular ways creators earn money on Instagram is by partnering with brands as an influencer.

If you have a strong niche and engaged follower base, brands will actually pay you to promote their products and services through sponsored posts and stories.

The key is to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. For example, if you’re passionate about fitness, share training tips, healthy recipes, workout ideas, and relate fitness to your lifestyle.

Once you build an audience who clearly cares about what you have to say, brands related to the fitness space will be eager to get their products in front of your followers.

You don’t need millions of followers to start – you can potentially negotiate influencer deals with only 10,000 engaged followers.

Influencer rates vary greatly, but as a benchmark, you can earn around $100 per 100K followers per sponsored post. Top influencers easily charge over $10,000 per post.

It takes work to build an audience and become an authoritative voice that brands want to sponsor. But it’s one of the most financially rewarding ways to leverage Instagram without selling your own stuff.

You can join the platforms like Influencer kit for connecting with brands seamlessly.

Earn Ad Revenue from Your Content

If you consistently post engaging, high-quality content in your niche, you can monetize your account by allowing ads to run against your content.

This is the social media version of the blogger ad revenue model. By serving ads on your profile and allowing affiliate links, the social platforms share ad income with you.

On Instagram specifically, they use Instagram Reels as the main content for generating ad revenue through the Instagram Partner Program.

If your Reels generate a lot of views and engagement on a consistent basis, you can apply to the program and start earning a cut of the ad money. Requirements vary by country and change over time, but typically you need:

  • 10K+ Instagram followers
  • Get consistent views and engagement on Reels
  • Original Reels that follow content guidelines
  • Instagram account in good standing

The earnings potential scales up as your audience and views increase. Top creators with millions of engaged followers can earn tens of thousands per month through ad revenue.

So focus on creating binge-worthy Reels in your niche, building loyal followers, and applying for Instagram’s partner programs when eligible.

Earn From Live Videos

Image by Freepik

Instagram Live allows you to video chat in real-time with your followers. And the platform is now rolling out features that allow creators to earn money from their live videos.

There are a few ways Instagram Live can generate revenue:

  • Receive “Stars” from viewers, which are basically small tips.
  • Earn a share of revenue from ads displayed during your live videos.
  • Promote your own products/services or brand sponsorships.
  • Drive traffic to other monetized profiles, like your YouTube channel.

The key is to host consistent, engaging livestreams that give followers incentive to tune in and interact.

You want to essentially turn your streams into can’t-miss events that followers actively look forward to attending. Then sprinkle in some strategic monetization.

For more details check Office Page of Instagram here

Promote Affiliate Links in Your Bio

Most Instagram profiles only allow one clickable link in the bio section. Make that link count by promoting affiliate programs!

Find affiliate programs related to your niche that offer generous commissions for referred sign-ups and sales. Sign up for the program, grab your unique affiliate link, and post that in your Instagram bio.

Then anytime you drive followers to your link and they complete a qualifying action like signing up for a service, you earn a commission.

For example, a fitness influencer could promote affiliate programs for workout programs, gym gear, nutrition supplements, and more. Simply sharing a helpful resource quickly adds up.

With an engaged following, promoting just one affiliate link could easily earn you hundreds or thousands per month in passive income.

Sell Digital Downloads

One type of “product” you can sell without the hassle of shipping physical products is digital downloads. These are immediately delivered files like ebooks, courses, printables, guides, stock imagery, and more.

For example, an Instagram food blogger could sell an e-cookbook of their best recipes. An interior design account could sell home decor printables.

A photographer could sell photo filter presets. An educator can package their expertise into online courses.

Even boutique style Instagram accounts with smaller, niche audiences can earn substantial income from digital products aligned with their content and audience interests.

Digital downloads check all the boxes:

  • Easy to create with skills you likely already have.
  • No inventory or order fulfillment.
  • Buyers get instant access to their purchase.
  • Allows you to scale your earnings.

So if you have expertise that you can package into a digital product, promote it subtly on your Instagram profile to generate hands-free income.

License Your Own User-Generated Content

All those photos and videos you post on Instagram could be earning you residual income through stock image and video sites.

Sites like Shutterstock and iStock allow content creators to upload and license their Instagram content for other people to use.

When someone purchases one of your photos for a project, you earn royalty income. An especially compelling, high-quality photo can earn up to $100 when licensed commercially.

So if you have an eye for great photography and video, you can absolutely monetize your user-generated content without overt self-promotion.

How Can I Make Money on Instagram Without Selling Anything (Summary)

Instagram opens up immense money-making potential, even if you don’t have physical products to sell. By becoming an influencer, monetizing your content, selling digital goods, or promoting affiliate offers, you can earn an income by leveraging your audience and expertise.

Focus on building an engaged community around your niche passion, whether through gorgeous photography, funny Reels, or educational content. Offer value and establish trust. Then subtly weave in opportunities for your followers to support your work.

Don’t get overwhelmed trying to utilize every monetization method at once. Start with 1-2 strategies aligned with your strengths. Continually test new income streams and double down on what works.

The key is consistency. Post engaging content regularly, interact with your audience, roll out promotions strategically. With the right blueprint tailored to your skills, you can absolutely turn your Instagram account into a profitable asset.

So get creative, lean into your niche, and start mapping out your plan to convert Instagram into cash today. Your next big paycheck could be just one post away.


How Do Beginners Make Money on Instagram?

For beginners with smaller followings, affiliate marketing is likely the easiest way to start earning. Find relevant affiliate programs, share your custom link in your bio, and casually recommend helpful products and services.

Doing occasional brand sponsorships for smaller brands can also be a good starting point before working up to bigger, more lucrative deals. Don’t be afraid to start small!

How Do You Activate Instagram to Make Money?

You need to apply and be approved to make money directly through Instagram via the Partner Program or badges. Check eligibility requirements and submit an application through the Instagram app.

Affiliate links and influencer sponsorships can be done at any time to earn money by driving traffic off of Instagram.

Can I Earn Money by Posting Photos on Instagram?

Technically yes, by licensing your photos through stock image sites. But it’s unlikely to earn significant income posting random photos with no specific strategy.

To earn directly from Instagram, you need a niche account with great content that builds an engaged audience which you can then monetize in various ways.

How Much Does Instagram Pay for 1,000 Views?

It varies a lot based on audience, engagement, content type, and monetization methods. As a very rough benchmark, top creators earn around $2-$4 per 1,000 ad views. But normal posts earn nothing – you need Reels in the Partner Program.

Does Instagram Pay for Reels?

Yes, if your Reels are eligible for the Instagram Partner Program. There are also badges that allow creators to earn payments from fans for Reels.

How Instagram Pays You?

Instagram pays eligible creators through:

  • Ad revenue share from Reels in the Partner Program.
  • Gifting from fans using Stars and badges.
  • Affiliate commissions when driving traffic to other sites.
  • Sponsored influencer posts for promoting brands.

Payments are made through direct deposit or PayPal.

Does Instagram Pay for Normal Posts?

No, Instagram doesn’t directly pay creators for normal feed posts – only Reels in the Partner Program. You need to use monetization strategies like influencer sponsorships or affiliated links.

Does Instagram Pay for Likes?

No, Instagram doesn’t pay creators for likes. Ad revenue is based on content views and engagement rate rather than likes alone. You need an overall high-quality account to earn.

How Do You Get Paid for Reels?

To earn money directly from Reels, you need to apply and qualify for the Instagram Partner Program. Once approved, you can start earning ad revenue share when your Reels get views.

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