Instagram has nearly 180 million users in India, and the number has grown at a steady rate in India. So naturally, many users are increasingly looking at new ways to make money from Instagram in India.
In July 2020, Instagram rolled out Reels in India after TikTok was banned in the country. Reels is now available in 50+ countries, and the platform also started placing full-screen advertisements in Reels which can run up to 30 seconds.
With nearly 70-80% of all the data in the country being video, India is a data-first market. Instagram is betting on IGTV and Reels to compete with YouTube and other platforms. With YouTube launching the $100 million Shorts fund, Instagram is certainly feeling the heat.
Facebook and Instagram are planning to pay $1 billion in creator incentives. The payments will go through 2022 as the company seeks to “reward creators” for creating content on its platforms. Facebook is desperately trying to lure creators from other platforms like TikTok.
The Black Gaming Creator Program that the platform launched last year is also expected to pay a total of $10 million over the next two years as a way to lure gamers over from Twitch.
As a creator, if you have managed to grow your reach and influence on the platform, it’s about time you started monetizing your presence. Before we deep dive into how you can make money from Instagram in India, let’s address the elephant in the room.
How much can you make from Instagram?
If you have established yourself as a creator on Instagram, then there are various ways in which you can monetize your presence.
Instagram allows you to earn money with the help of IGTV Ads, Branded Content, Badges, Shopping, and Affiliate Marketing. But creators can also earn from sponsored content, fan membership, licensing the content they produce, and also by becoming a consultant.
It is difficult to determine the exact revenue that a creator makes. Still, the figures below indicate how much money some of the most popular Instagrammers make for each sponsored post.
|Creator||Estimated Average Price Per Post (INR)|
|Christiano Ronaldo||₹3,45,92,543 – ₹5,76,54,214|
|Ariana Grande||₹2,90,58,182 – ₹4,84,30,303|
|Dwayne Johnson||₹2,84,26,150 – ₹4,73,76,867|
Most micro-influencers who have 5-10k followers make an average of ₹6,531 per post. Creators with 50,000 to 80,000 followers usually charge around ₹14,843 per post and as you move higher up the ladder creators with 250,000 to 500,000 followers charge around ₹49,725 per post.
But it is important to note that the figures change based on your content’s niche, location, and nature. Also, creators earn from various sources, including ads, partnerships, fan membership; hence it is difficult to estimate the exact revenue that a creator earns.
9 Ways to Make Money from Instagram in India
1. Brand Partnerships
As a content creator, you can partner with brands to promote their products and services. Instagram has placed some restrictions on sponsored content that you will have to follow. Creators are not allowed to promote products like drugs and weapons.
The average revenue you earn from sponsored content is usually determined based on your existing follower count and engagement rate. Both the rules created by Instagram and new rules framed by ASCI mandate that you disclose paid partnerships. To understand what qualifies as sponsored or paid partnership, we recommend that you read the full list of scenarios listed by Instagram.
2. Promote Affiliate Links
Affiliate marketing allows you to earn a commission for promoting other companies’ products and services. As a content creator, you can partner with brands or affiliate marketing networks like Commission Junction to promote various products and services relevant to your audience.
You can promote affiliate links via your bio, captions, videos, and posts to your audience. Content creators can expect to earn 5-15% commission on every sale. If you are confused about which affiliate marketing programs in India will suit your channel, we have developed a comprehensive list that you can check out by visiting the link above.
Suppose you are new to affiliate marketing and are looking to learn more we also have a beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing which will be beneficial for you. Most content creators would agree that affiliate marketing is among their strongest channels to make money from Instagram in India.
3. Sponsored Content
Brands usually collaborate with Instagrammers to promote their products and services; unlike brand partnerships, such deals are more transactional in nature. As a content creator, you will be expected to promote a post or video to create awareness for the brand that you are partnering with.
Unlike brand partnerships, such deals are usually managed by marketing agencies that work with the brands. The average revenue per post again, as mentioned earlier, is determined by the number of followers and engagement rate.
If you have a product that you want to sell on Instagram, the platform allows you to set up a store. This requires you to create an Instagram for business account and create a product catalog. Once you have set up your product catalog, you can promote it by making all your content shoppable. You can tag products on Instagram products on the Instagram surface. You can also organize products in different collections.
Instagram also provides rich insights on your store’s performance. Instagram Shopping is only available for managed clients in India currently. You can also promote your store with Instagram ads in case you have your own website. Shopping will continue to grow as one of the best channels to make money from Instagram in India.
5. Fan Membership & Exclusive Content
Patreon is a membership platform that allows artists and creators to earn a monthly income by providing rewards or perks to their subscribers. The easiest way to promote the Patreon link is by placing it in your Instagram bio. Additionally, the Patreon link can be also be placed in your posts and stories published on the platform.
Another effective way to promote your Patreon account is to conduct a giveaway contest. When setting rules for the contest, you can specify that the follower has to opt for the Patreon membership to be eligible for the contest.
The Patreon account can be utilized to publish long-form videos, including tutorials, step-by-step guides, and behind-the-scenes content from your channel.
6. License photographs and videos
As a content creator, you can license your photographs and videos to select brands. If a brand chooses to use your photograph or videos, they are obligated to pay you a fee to use them.
But this is clearly a very complicated domain, and the recent policy changes that Instagram has made only complicate it further. The platform’s terms clearly state that they have a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use user’s content. This means Instagram has all the rights from the original content owner – aside from it being not an exclusive license.
If you register your content under creative commons, this allows people to use your work with attribution. Under creative commons, you have different types of licenses which determine how the image can be used.
As an influencer, you can share your knowledge and expertise with other content creators to help them build their audience. Brands, small businesses, and individuals looking to optimize their online presence on Instagram are always looking for Instagram Consultants.
As an Instagram Consultant, you can charge $15-$50 per hour; more experienced Instagram Consultants usually charge between $50 and $100 per hour. As the platform grows in size, there will be an increasing need for consultants as most creators are clueless about how to make money from Instagram in India.
8. IGTV Ads
IGTV has become a powerful way to connect with your audience. With IGTV ads, creators you can earn money for the content you produce. When you monetize content on Instagram, you provide brands the option to promote themselves within the videos you post.
How much you earn will be determined by the number of views your video produces, called Monetizable Plays.
You’ll get 55 percent of the ad income generated for each view that will be paid monthly. Once advertising is enabled, new monetization metrics may be found in Insights.
With badges in Live, your community can support you as you earn money from the content you’ve previously created. Badges are subject to the same regulations as Live.
When supporters purchase badges, you’ll notice a heart(s) next to their usernames. Additionally, you may view the total number of badges purchased and your revenue. To view your revenue in greater detail, hit “View” during your Live video. Alternatively, you may view your total badge count by visiting “Badges Settings” at any time after the event has concluded.
Fans can purchase multiple badges in amounts of $0.99, $1.99, and $4.99 during your Live video.
As a content creator on Instagram, you must comply with the platform content monetization policies to be eligible for monetization. If you are unaware of the rules, please take your time reading and understanding them well. Ultimately as an Instagrammer, how you can earn is purely dependent on how well you can engage your audience. The above list of services will serve as a starting point for you to make money from Instagram in India.
You’ve probably heard stories of Instagrammers who are cashing in on the pictures they snap and share every day. You might’ve even looked at your own sizeable following and thought, “Maybe I can do that too”.
Just like bloggers, YouTubers, and anyone who’s amassed an audience around the content they produce, Instagrammers have reach and influence figured out—two things many companies struggle with.
Together, these two things offer the opportunity for Instagram creators to explore multiple streams of potential revenue, whether they want to build an empire or just earn some extra cash and free stuff.
How many followers do you need to make money on Instagram?
If by now you’re wondering how many followers you need to make it happen, the short answer is “not as many as you think”.
The long answer depends on factors that range from:
- What niche you’re in and how easily you can directly tie it to a product category (fashion, food, beauty, and fitness are popular niches, based on top Instagram hashtags)
- How engaged your followers are (100K fake followers won’t amount to much).
- Which revenue channels you explore.
Naturally, the more engaged followers you have, the better. Check our tips on how to get followers on Instagram and also how to get the Instagram blue tick (or get verified) before you get started.
While top Instagrammers make thousands per post on the photo-sharing platform, even those with a smaller-but-engaged following of 1000 have the potential to start making money.
How do you make money on Instagram?
Depending on your unique brand of Instagram content, your audience, and your level of commitment, you can make money on Instagram in the following ways:
- Doing sponsored posts for brands that want to get in front of your audience.
- Becoming an affiliate and making a commission selling other brands’ products.
- Monetizing your videos or content with advertisements
- Going live with badges is another way of making money on instagram
- Creating and selling a physical or digital product, or offering a paid service.
- Selling licences for your photography or videos.
- Pull people with powerful content
The beauty here is that chasing one revenue stream doesn’t necessarily rule out another.
So, going by that rule let’s start with the most common approach to Instagram monetisation: partnering with brands as an influencer.
How do I work with brands on sponsored posts?
The term “influencer” gets thrown around a lot these days.
An influencer is basically anyone who’s built themselves an online reputation by doing and sharing awesome things online. To their audiences, influencers are tastemakers, trendsetters and trusted experts whose opinions about certain subjects are respected. Influencers pay a crucial role to help you make money on instagram.
Many brands just can’t compete with that and so they partner with influencers instead for sponsored posts that help get the word out about their products.
But it’s not just the size and reach of your Instagram account that brands want. It’s your audience’s trust and engagement with your content.
It can be hard to balance your revenue as an influencer and your integrity as a creator, but if you’re not relying on your Instagram income to stay afloat, you always have the freedom to be selective about the brands you work with, just as brands will be selective about the Instagrammers they work with.
How do you decide what to charge as an influencer?
Typically these influencer deals involve the creation of content—an Instagram post, video or Story—and will sometimes include permission for the brand to use this content on their own site or in an ad.
Most of these deals are negotiable and can involve a single post or an entire campaign in exchange for a fee, a free product, a service, a gift, the promise of exposure, or some combination of these.
Keep in mind when negotiating that you’re not just offering content but access to your audience, a potentially large reach on one of the most popular social platforms around, and usage rights too.
In a survey of 5,000 influencers, around 42% said they charged $200 to $400 per post—just to give you an idea of what some brands are willing to pay, and how to negotiate based on the cards you’re holding.
Finally, it’s important as an influencer to also know your own audience.
What is the make-up of your audience and what is your engagement rate (total engagement divided by your number of followers)? You can dig up numbers to back this up in your Instagram Analytics report, if you’ve switched to a business account. This will help you be prepared when it comes time to negotiate.
How do I find brands to work with?
If you’re big enough, chances are brands will find you. But you can also look for brands to work with that are on a similar level in terms of personality and values, so your audience won’t feel like you’re “selling out”.
You can reach out to them directly to try to work out a deal, but you can also list yourself on one of the many influencer marketplaces out there to increase your chances of being discovered:
- Fohr Card: Connect your Instagram, blog, YouTube channel, and other social platforms to create an influencer “card” that shows your different profiles and total reach for brands shopping around for a partnership. You also get access to a list of brands and their wants, so you can take the initiative to reach out too.
- Grapevine: If you have 5000 or more followers, you can list yourself in the Grape Vine marketplace for the opportunity to work with like-minded brands.
- Crowd Tap: Do small content creation tasks to earn rewards. This is great if you’ve got a smaller audience. Available in the U.S only.
- indaHash: Brands put up campaigns that you can participate in. Post a picture with the specified hashtags on Instagram and get paid. You need 700 engaged followers to be eligible.
The rules vary when it comes to sponsored content, but to be on the safe side and respect your audience’s trust, consider adding a #sponsored hashtag to indicate sponsored posts. If you need reassurance, about 69% of influencers in one report said that being transparent about sponsorships didn’t affect how consumers perceive their recommendation.
You can find examples of sponsored posts and how Instagrammers integrate brands into their story or caption by searching up #sponsored on Instagram, like this one from How They Asked, an account that shares wedding proposal stories and partners with a jewellery business:
Instagram also has a “Paid Partnership with” tag that prominently identifies sponsored posts, which some brands might require you to use to disclose your relationship with them.
Become an affiliate
Unlike an influencer, an affiliate is more invested in making sales for the partner brand—not just generating awareness—in exchange for a commission.
This is typically done with a trackable link or unique promo code to ensure clicks actually translate into sales. Since Instagram doesn’t yet allow links anywhere outside of your bio, you can only focus on one product at a time if you choose to rely on affiliate links, making promo codes a better option for Instagram since you can actually incorporate them into your posts.
Consider reaching out to one of the many online merchants that offer affiliate programs that you can participate in. Or you can also explore popular marketplaces like:
- ClickBank: An affiliate platform with a tier-based commission that’s open to everyone.
- RewardStyle: An invitation-only fashion and lifestyle influencer network that offers 20% commissions.
- Amazon’s Affiliate Program: A popular option that pays out a 10% commission.
Though it sounds like a numbers game, affiliate marketing is also an art, and you’ll have a better chance at success if you have a plan going into it and expand your online presence to include a website and other marketing channels.
Monetise your videos
Another avenue to make money on instagram is through monetizing. From the sea of brands available looking to promote and advertise their product or service, pick a few to do you some benefit.
Taking a page from the YouTube playbook, you could easily make money on instagram too by streaming ads in your video content. Your earning would depend on the number of views your video gets. Here the catch is, you will only get to keep 55% of the revenue generated per view as informed by instagram business.
How to turn on monetisation?
Start earning through advertisements by simply turning on the monetisation setting on your instagram account in few simple steps:
- Step 1: Access the Account settings then click on Creator and select In-streaming video ads.
- Step 2: Click on Get started. Go through the terms and agreements and navigate to Allow monetisation.
- Step 3: Post videos as usual and start making money.
Things to ensure
There are some requirements imposed to allow you to make money on instagram through your videos that include:
- Video needs to be a minimum one minute longer (sweet spot= 2-4 minutes) to monetise.
- Creating video content with static images, loop videos, polls, slideshows and text montages will be eligible for monetisation.
- Original content, i.e., no violation of intellectual property rights.
- Advertise-free content and adherence to content monetisation policies.
- Your content may not qualify for monetisation if it includes engagement baiting.
Going Live with Badges
Inspired by the popular “tip” feature on TikTok and Twitch, the Instagram Badges are a new monetisation concept enabling influencers/ creators to make money on instagram.
This feature enables viewers and followers to buy badge(s) during a live stream. The number of heart(s) next to the username of the followers denoted the badges they purchased. The followers/ users could buy badges for $0.99, $1.99 and $4.99.
Creators in the US, UK, France, Sapin, Italy, Germany, Japan, Australia, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico can take advantage of the new monetisation program. But yet to hit the Indian market.
Instagram badges gave the followers of Charlee Atkins, a New York based fitness creator, to show their whooping support. Charlee takes free live classes for her 120k followers every morning. Now she can make money on instagram with the badges.
Get started with badges
Don’t forget to turn on the settings to bag some hearts, by following these simple steps:
- Step1: Head to Profile and click on Professional dashboard. Locate and click the Set up badges options button (which will only appear if you are eligible for monetisation).
- Step2: Do your magic and go live.
As your followers and views are showing their support through hearts, it’s a good practice to:
- Intimate them when the badges are enabled
- Share your badge goals with them
- Appreciate their support
- Thank them
- Bridge a consistent connection with them
- Always give them the best content
Wondering if you are eligible for badges?
Creator are to ensure the following to become eligible for the Live Badges:
- Possess a professional account (business/ creator)
- Age 18 years or above
- Bagged over 10K followers
- Fall under the region of access
- Compliant with Monetisation Policies and community guidelines of Instagram
Open your own online store
By now it might sound like the only way to make money on instagram is to sell out and work with other brands.
But creators of all kinds are also in a good position to “sell out” with their own products: physical goods, services, or digital items that can be an extension of their brand, building a business with an audience at its centre.
Just look at Doug the Pug, one of the biggest Instagram dog-preneurs of his time.
By selling your own stuff, you don’t need to worry about integrating messages from other brands into your posting strategy. Better yet, you can get your own brand out there on the products you sell.
Fans can show their love and support your work by buying from you—a purchase they can feel good about.
There are a few ways to do this:
- You can use a print-on-demand service to print and ship your own t-shirts, pillows, coffee mugs, wall art, and more.
- You can sell services such as photography or consulting, using your bio to direct interested people to a contact email or a link to your professional website.
- You can sell digital products such as courses, ebooks, or design templates.
- You can use your Instagram account to launch a business selling your own original products, or even a book.
If you plan on selling several items in your own Shopify store, you can also make purchases through Instagram possible on your website using one of the available Instagram gallery apps.
Take it a step further with our shopping on Instagram integration to enable product tags and product stickers that make the experience from Instagram Stories and posts to your own products more seamless and fluid. To use it, you’ll also need to switch to an Instagram business account, have a Facebook page, and an approved Facebook shop (all of which you can set up for no additional cost).
Sell your photos online or on things
Someone might get famous on Twitter by telling 140-character jokes, but Instagram is a photo-sharing app at its core. And photos are assets that can be licensed, printed, and sold in a variety of ways.
If photography is what got you into the Instagram game in the first place, you can list your photos in marketplaces like 500px or Twenty20 where brands and publishers might licence them.
However, you can also sell your photos as prints and on other physical products using similar methods described in the last section. Services like Printful and Teelaunch can let you put your photos on posters, phone cases, pillows, and more, taking care of fulfilling orders and customer service so all you really need to worry about is making sales.
Take the story of Daniel Arnold who went from “eating toast 3 meals a day”, according to an interview on Forbes, to making $15K in a single day by offering to sell prints of his popular-but-controversial photos. If you’ve already got the demand, all you need to do is take the initiative and offer your audience the opportunity to buy your photography from you.
Pull people with powerful content
Perhaps the most important way to make money off Instagram is “the power in your content”. With the burgeoning influencers, creating original and unique content is the way to stand out.
What started as a photo-centric platform has evolved into a medium incorporating stories, videos, reels, ads, expanding the scope of the content. Now it’s up to you to come up with creative, relatable, informative, inclusive, diverse, entertaining, educational, socially considerate and value-laden original content.
You can ensure the quality of the content:
- Understanding the target audience and what they anticipate from you
- Offering distinct content than your competitors
- Monitoring and measuring performance to improve
- Trying different content forms to expand reach
- Write captivating captions/ descriptions
- Collaborate with other influencers and creators
- Embrace feedbacks and critical criticism
- Avoid monotonous content
- Explore new niches
Do it for the ‘Gram (and get paid)
What started as a hobby—making people laugh, doing silly photoshoots with your dog or sharing pictures of food—can snowball into the chance to turn Instagram into a source of income fuelled by your engaged following.
There’s a world of possibilities out there as a creator with a large online audience made up of people who can’t help but stop when they scroll past your post in their feed. It’s this special appeal that you have that opens the door. You just have to walk through it.
FAQs on how to make money from Instagram
How much money can you make on instagram with 10k followers?
As an influencer or content creator reaching the 10k followers mark shows your reaching potential and the impact you can make. Your earning potential with 10k followers will depend on the niche and monetising concept you pick. However, on an average you can earn upto $88 per post.
How to earn from Instagram without followers?
The notion that you must have 10k followers to make money on Instagram is false. Even if you don’t have 100, 500 or no followers you could still earn through instagram. Some ways to make money on instagram without any followers are:
- Affiliate marketing
- Offer educational content
- Build a professional/ business account
- Social media marketing
- Sell/ buy Instagram account
What are some Instagram post ideas?
Post ideas know no bounds, what’s important is whether it resonates with your and the kind of content you want to portray. Try these post ideas and see if they are your cup of tea:
- Reel to Real- Post real life content using reels
- Product give-away announcements
- Memes-relatable, socially relevant, funny and sarcastic
- Answer questions/ feedback of your followers
- Exposing industry myths (beauty, film-making, makeup)
- Participating in the trend
How to earn money from Instagram in India?
- Affiliate marketing (posting/ promoting affiliate links)
- Brand sponsorship posts
- Instagram shopping (selling products/ cultivating business on Instagram)
- Reviewing products
- Promoting brands/ products
- Becoming an Instagram marketing consultant
- Becoming an influencer
- Monetising videos/ IGTV ads