How to Make Money From Instagram With Under 10K Followers

How to Make Money From Instagram With Under 10K Followers

You can make money — and lots of it, from Instagram.

Just take a look at the ratings for January 2017:
















With over 600 million monthly users and 400 million daily users, it ranks higher than Tumblr, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn.


I guess photography isn’t dead, it’s just evolved.

…and by the looks of this chart, it won’t stop evolving anytime soon.


…But how do we take this ultra-visual platform and gain tangible cashflow from it?

The opportunity for monetization

In today’s world, everything you do can virtually make you money (get it, virtually¬†ūüėČ). And it’s a marketers instinct to learn¬†how.

So, do you want to leverage Instagram’s 400 million active users per day to¬†generate legitimate income?

Great, because in this post I am going to discuss a range of techniques and strategies to go about it.

…but not all techniques are alike.

While some are on the smaller scale, where you may earn as little as $200 a month.

Some are on the larger scale, earning you upwards of $10,000 a month.

It all depends on you, and how hard you’re working¬†on your following, engagement and promotion.

So, how do you go from zero to thousands $$$ on Instagram?

Let’s¬†get down to biz.

Tactic #1 — Affiliate marketing through Instagram shoutouts

Affiliate marketing is where you pay out influencers to promote your product.

And on Instagram, it involves giving shoutouts.

‘Instagram Shoutout’ actually has it’s own definition:

‚Äúa screenshot of another user‚Äôs profile page uploaded to your account to show support and give exposure to the other user. Shoutouts can increase a user‚Äôs followers and provide advertising to small businesses and websites.‚ÄĚ

To start utilizing this tactic, first you have to have an affiliate product to promote.

If you’re new to affiliate marketing, there are a number of great articles available to you on the internet, but for me¬†this one¬†was the most jam-packed with knowledge.

After you’ve caught up on all things affiliate marketing, you’ll want to join one of the popular affiliate sites like:

Joining one of the above programs (or a similar affiliate program) is way easier than going brand-to-brand asking to join individual programs.

This is because you might not always get paid regularly, and you have to log-in to a million different dashboards to manage your affiliate earnings. It’s hassle central. Plus the above programs offer an easy to use dashboard with all of your affiliate earnings, across multiple brands, in one place.¬†I prefer this, but it’s ultimately up to you!

Once you’ve picked one (or a few) different affiliate sites¬†to join, it’s time to pick your products.

You always want to promote the high-converting products, and luckily for you most affiliate programs will tell you the average earning per sale so you can choose wisely.

For example, Commission Junction will show you on a scale of 0-5 how well their advertisers perform. As you can see, 123 inkjets performs pretty well and pays out 2-10% of the sale, depending on certain criteria.

Buying shoutouts

Once you’ve found your¬†affiliate product(s) head over to¬†


This is a goldmine for finding influencers with large followings, and buying shoutouts from them.

Here’s how it works:

You browse through Shoutcart’s list of featured Instagram influencers to find someone who’s in the right niche that matches your product.

Here is an example of what you’ll be looking at:

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 12.20.39 AM















You can find shoutouts as cheap as $5 and as expensive as a couple of hundred dollars.

Pick a price that works for you and your budget.

You can also filter by niche:
















…or filter by the number of followers you want your influencer to have.

Research before you buy

Do your research.

Don’t just buy shoutouts from anyone.

Here is what you should look at:

  • Number of likes + comments per post
  • The bio and description of the account
  • The number of followers

You shouldn’t be buying shoutouts from accounts with less than 50,000 followers¬†because you want to see plenty of engagement.

Once you’ve found an influencer that meets your criteria for optimal engagement, you’re going to want to check-out.


















BOOM. You should see traffic and engagement rolling in.

As well as some great $ales, if you’ve chosen the right product.

From here on out, I recommend experimenting with different influencers and products to see what drives the most sales!

If you feel like you want a change of scenery, other sites similar to Shoutcart that I use are Buy Sell Shoutouts and Plug Hype.

Rachel's Social Media Course

Tactic #2 — Sell your own online store

So bypassing the fact that this requires the biggest investment, it also tends to net the biggest returns.

In a nut-shell:

  1. Open an online store (e.g. sell clothing on Zazzle, sell products on Shopify or on Etsy)
  2. Create an Instagram account built around your niche
  3. Feature your products on your Instagram account
  4. Make money

The internet has created a plethora of opportunities for those savvy enough to take advantage of them.

A killer example

One Instagram page that’s completely killing it is ¬†Doug the Pug.

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 1.57.30 AM

Doug the pug is the Internet’s coolest pug (or at least Instagram).

With over 2.6 million followers, it’s safe to say Doug is a¬†viral sensation.

Doug now has his own coloring book titled, Doug the Pug: King of Pop Culture.

Mine is in the mail.













…but wait, there’s more.

Doug the pug also has an official store.



















Doug’s owner has created a massive brand centered around their instagram page — which is what we set out to talk about doing today.

Doug the pug is a great template for you to use as you dive into promoting your own store on Instagram.

Yes, building a follower tribe of 2.4 million like Doug The Pug will be time consuming, but the dividends that it will pay you in the long run will be substantial.

Plus the more your followers grow, the more ways you can earn money.

Tactic #3 — Sell your photos

Stock photo sites are booming right now.

It could be because you don’t actually have to be a “professional” photographer to upload and sell your images anymore.

Like¬†Foap¬†for example, a new stock photo site that claims to be “the next wave of stock photography” licenses only the most authentic and engaging content — from real people.

Sites like Foap are becoming a popular alternative for big brands and businesses because the era of “cheesy” and staged stock images are long¬†gone.










People want to see real life.

How it works:

  1. You sign-up
  2. You build a portfolio
  3. You create a portfolio of your best images you’d like to sell
  4. You earn 5$ for each image you sell (you can sell the same image an unlimited amount of times

Let’s visualize the sign-up process for a second:

Click sign-up at the top right hand corner of the page.


Select “Photographer”
















Download from either the Apple Store or Google Play.






Click on “Install”










Just remember, quality is essential when it comes to any kind of photography.

Even though you don’t need to be a “Professional” to sell on Foap, or any site like it, doesn’t mean your photos can be poorly shot.

You won’t make any money if they are.


Instagram is exploding with money-making opportunities.

Having success is up to you putting the time, and right resources in to get there.

Whether you’ll be selling your photos, sponsored posts, paying for shoutouts, or selling from your own online store, there are a ton of different tactics¬†to make money from Instagram.

And with an increasing audience of 400 million active users daily, the opportunities are only going to get bigger.

Can you think of any other ways to monetize with Instagram?

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  • Posted June 2, 2017


    Interesting post! I’ve never really thought about using Instagram for affiliate marketing, might look into it more! ūüôā Thank you!

    • Posted June 2, 2017


      Thanks for reading! ūüôā If you do decide to get into Instagram marketing, let me know what strategies work best for you.

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