previous article in this series, you learned a lot about how to make money on Instagram, when you should monetize your account and different ways you can do it. We talked about shout-outs and how you can make sure you get the most money selling them. If you haven't already, start by reading that article and then move on to this one. Everything said in this article already assumes you've read the first one, so I won't waste time on that.
Our focus in this article will be on the other two categories I mentioned, with which you can make money on Instagram - being an affiliate for a product and selling your products.
Being an affiliate on Instagram
Being an affiliate has many shapes and forms, but all affiliates have one thing in common - they work on a per-sale basis. What that means is, you earn a percentage(or fixed amount) per sale you generate for the brand. This is quite different from selling shout-outs since with shout-outs you earn money no matter what, it's not performance based. Consequently, remove the risk for themselves, since they pay only for what they get. For you, the affiliate, you may not even earn a single dollar from your posts. So, why do people choose to be affiliates rather than selling shout-outs(sponsored posts)? There are several reasons someone would prefer being an affiliate.
Firstly, since brands transfer the risk from themselves to their affiliates, they have to pay a competitive commission to attract those affiliates. Depending on the quality of your traffic, this will be more beneficial to you than selling shout-outs. Think about it, if your followers are not interested in the specific products you advertise, you will make very little sales or no sales at all even. However, if your followers are highly interested in the product(s) you offer them, you might earn A LOT of money this way. Seriously, affiliate marketing if targetted properly can be a gold mine. If you start generating a lot of sales, you may even negotiate a larger commission for yourself.
Finding a product to advertise
Often, brands will contact you on Instagram if you have a large account and offer you an affiliate deal. But, before you even start negotiations, be sure to check whether or not the product will fare well with your followers. You probably already have a good feeling on what your followers like and what they don't like. You can see this easily by previous post engagement. If you think that it will fare well with your followers, you should try to negotiate the largest possible commission for yourself. You also need to decide how will you be tracking the sales you make. Some brands offer you special discount codes which your followers can use, others give you a special link to put in your bio. Whatever the method, make sure the tracking is transparent before starting.
For those of you that want to find products to advertise yourselves and not rely on brands reaching out to you I’ve dedicated the following section. I'm going to talk about two main ways to in this article - Clickbank and Amazon Associates Program. Both are great ways to make money on Instagram selling other peoples products. One thing I'd like to say before continuing is that BOTH of these methods require you to have your website. It doesn't have to be complicated in any way, just a basic website with product reviews and buyer guides. You can do it yourself in Wordpress or hire someone online to do it for you. Instagram doesn't like affiliate links from Amazon or Clickbank since they come off as spammy, so there's no way around this.
Amazon Associates Program
This is one of the most well-known affiliate programs out there. Amazon offers you, the advertiser, a commission going up to 10% for each sale made through your affiliate link. The benefits of using Amazon Associates is that the products are listed on the most trustworthy marketplace in the world - Amazon.
You eliminate the potential fear shoppers have when purchasing online by using a trustworthy marketplace. Another benefit of making money on Instagram with Amazon is that you have a wide(and I mean REALLY wide) assortment of products to choose from. There is no way you won't find something to sell, no matter what niche you're in. Like previously stated, all you need is a website with quality content, it doesn't have to look perfect, and you're good to go. The only drawback of Amazon Associates is the relatively low commission you get compared to other affiliate programs, but then again, the conversion rate should be higher on Amazon since it's trustworthy.
Clickbank is more focused on selling digital products such as courses, e-books, video programs and much more. It's a marketplace with many vendors from various niches, so you have a lot of products to choose from here as well. Each vendor has different terms for his affiliates, so you'll have to choose the right one for yourself. In general, the commissions are much higher than with Amazon and can go up to 80%! There's a lot of money to be made with Clickbank, and people have been doing it for years.
Just like with Amazon, you have to have a website related to the Clickbank product and then invite users to visit the sales page. You can ask the vendor for advice or even for an article regarding the product which you can place on your website. Clickbank is a great way to make money on Instagram since the commissions are high and if you choose the right product it's a gold mine.
E-commerce(selling your products)
I'll just briefly discuss this as I feel it would take too much time to go over everything and it falls outside the scope of this article. E-commerce has been on the rise, and with out-of-the-box solutions such as Shopify, it has never been easier. Selling your products is the same as being an affiliate, except all the risk and reward is yours. You can invite other people to be your affiliates, buy shout-outs for your account and even run Instagram Ads.
With e-commerce, it's all about having the perfect product in front of the right audience. The profit potential is huge, but so is the risk. While affiliate programs are great if you lack the funds(or time) for your own product/store, the profits are lower, and you have no control over the product.
So, to conclude this two-part series I'd like to think that I covered all the main methods on how to make money on Instagram. These are tested and proven ways to earn your first dollars and get started with building your Instagram empire. You won't go wrong with any path you choose, so read the descriptions, choose one that suits you best and stick with it. Until next time, keep on improving!