Become Instagram Influencer and Earn Money Online

How to become Instagram influencer
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Can you Get Traffic To Instagram and Become Instagram Influencer?

Ranked as one of the most important influencer channel, Instagram is a disruptive marketing force with the most concern by marketers.

Started with the intention to encourage photo sharing, it has now transformed to become an effective business platform that can be used by brands, including common people like you and me to earn money online.

But how can people make money on Instagram?

There are just so many ways you could do it. Of course provided you can successfully get traffic to Instagram that turns into your followers.

Once you have enough followers, one most popular way is to focus on sponsored post for brands that want to reach your audience.

Alternatively, you could promote affiliate products listed on various affiliate networks such as ShareASale, CJ Commission or the famously known Amazon Associates.

If you are keen, here is step-by-step guide on affiliate marketing for the beginners where you can promote affiliate products and start to earn passive income.

You too can sell your own products like what @HudaBeauty did with creating makeup tutorial on Instagram.  

Huda Kattan is definitely one of the top beauty blogger and influencer on planet earth that you must follow!

Huda Katten _ Become Instagram Influencer

Basically, Instagram is just like your ecommerce store, you can sell literally anything. 

With introduction of “Instagram's Shoppable Post”, selling on Instagram gets easier. One brand who successfully sell via this method is @Magnolia. 

Magnolia _ Selling on Instagram

The difference is, unlike having own blog, you have to follow certain rules imposed by this platform. 

Anyway, for a start, it is viable to tap into Instagram’s millions of users to earn money online.

Once you have enough followers, you can get traffic from Instagram to your blog. If you are really serious to earn money online, ultimately you still need a blog.

Here’s how you can build one for free

In this post, I am going to share with tips on how to get traffic to Instagram and grow your followers.

Before I get there, let me first introduce to you some successful Instagram influencers so you can have ideas on how this platform works for marketing. 

Top Influencer Around the World
Be Unique With Your Niche
Write an Attractive Instagram Bio
Make Your Stories Aesthetically Appealing
Share Your Stories but Focus on Captions
Optimize Your Instagram Stories
Select the Right Hashtags
Instagram Loves Your Consistent Posting
Engage in a Meaningful Way
Tag and Contact Relevant Brand
Become Instagram Influencer Requires Hard Work
Ready to Become Instagram Influencer?

Top Influencer Around The World

Some notable brands that have built up sizeable Instagram followers include National Geographic with 91.5 million followers, Nike with 80.8 million followers and Victoria Secrets with 61.2 million followers (updated Sept 2018). 

In fact, the secret to Instagram success lies with their brand strategy. Brands that I mentioned earlier all have work with one or more influencers who have huge followers. 

With this, brands are able to reach wider audience that are beyond their internal capability. 

Here are few people who gained Instagram influencer status on the net, a few people who can be considered successful. More names can be found here.

Huda Kattan – @hudabeauty

Huda is firstly and foremostly a blogger who also operates on Instagram. She is very strong at showing makeup tips, product reviews and share how-to. She owns here range of makeup products.


Dr. Mikhail Varshavski – @Doctor.Mike

Describe as “the hottest doctor on Instagram” and “sexiest doctor alive”, Mikhail Varshavski, better known as Doctor Mike, joined Instagram in 2012 to document his journey in medical school, residency and finally becoming a doctor.

DoctorMike _ Become Instagram Influencer

Meghan Rienks – @meghanrienks

Meghan Rienks, 25 years old has embraced the internet for 9 years, sharing every aspects of her life including delectable looking food images. She owns a blog, along with accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Spotify and Snapchat, as well as Instagram.

MeghanRieks _ Become Instagram Influencer

You might be thinking that only people who are already famous with millions of followers can become Instagram influencer. 

Or maybe you feel it is too late for you to start now. If you feel this way, then “You are So Wrong”! 

Anyone can become Instagram influencer too! And here’s the good news. Brands are willing to pay “micro-influencers” (followers under 10,000) an average of $1,000 – $2,000 per mention

So, it is never too late for you to start now, even if you have yet to setup an Instagram account.

In the following section, I'll explain step-by-step guide to become Instagram Influencer so you can make money from your influence.

Be Unique With Your Niche

You can start by identifying your Instagram niche.

Everyone is unique in their own way. If you are serious to become Instagram influencer, then discovering your uniqueness and capitalize on it are the two things you need to do.

Select something that reflects your true self, something you are passionate about and do not simply follow what others are doing. This sets you apart and makes you special.

Maybe like me, if you feed on knowledge but not food (kidding, but seriously I can’t stop learning), or have unique specialty that only you yourself know best.

Manoeuvre among 1 billion Instagram users, you have to be different. Find your unique niche and FOCUS on it!

You can also choose a small niche on Instagram, one that has the most untapped potential and be highly profitable. Small niche has equal potential to accelerate success and bring home some extra cash on the side while you build bigger influence.

However, if you are not sure what niche to start with, then I suggest you to check on the latest trend by doing keyword research on Google trend. This way you will know what others are interested in and searching for on Google.

Once you pick your niche and decide to focus full time on Instagram, having your own blog can further help to engage your audience.

Becoming an Instagram influencer is awesome, but diversify your voice and get closer to your audience is important to accelerate success. 

When you can get Instagram followers to your blog, you can offer more diverse and rich content.

Write An Attractive Instagram Bio

Once you decide on your niche, the next step is to create your Instagram bio. You can write up to 150 characters. 

Your bio can consist of short elevator pitch to introduce yourself to the people who don’t know you and get them attracted to follow you. 

Do not underestimate your bio. They can potentially become your best tool to attract brand engagement. After all, who would trust an influencer who can’t even write proper introduction? 

When writing a bio, you need to ask yourself, how would you introduce yourself if you want to leave a deep impression at a networking event? The answer can determine details to include in your bio. 

Keyword is another technique you can’t ignore. List down all relevant keywords of your niche, and once you group these keywords, you are able to describe who you are and what you do. This increases your followers’ confidence on who they actually follow. 

Once you have created your bio, you should include link to your website, if you have. Otherwise you can also link to other social platforms that you own. 

This is one example of bio with clear description and link by @pegfitzpatrick

PegFitzPatrick _ Become Instagram Influencer

Make Your Stories Aesthetically Appealing

There are many articles that emphasize on the need to make your Instagram aesthetic. But what does it mean? To explain, let’s look at what most influencers do.

Influencers will make their posts look visually consistent. This can be achieved by sticking to 1 or 2 colors so it won’t feel out of place, just like what @aleksandrazee did.

AlekSandraZee _ Become Instagram Influencer

Whereas, for travel bloggers like Johan Lolos and Loic Lagarde, their Instagram feed shows vibrant theme, the former with bold colors and the latter with sunny, golden colours. 

Despite not sticking to 1 or 2 colors, the images are mutually complementing and visually appealing.

LeBackPacker _ Become Instagram Influencer
LoicLagarde _ Become Instagram Influencer

If taking images that show harmonious tone is too challenging for you, then I would advise you to choose a specific filter to show consistence. 

What you need is just a good camera and learn tricks on how to take photos. After that, determine which filter to add. 

So generally, influencer will pick an aesthetic that suits their interest and personality. 

But, do you think this is a pre-requisite to increase your followers? 
What about those influencers who do not have their Instagram aesthetically programmed? 
Don’t they also have huge followers?  

Well, I would say there are so many factors that determine you as an influencer. Of course if you are new, having your aesthetic Instagram will definitely add credits.

Share Your Stories and Focus On Caption

Being an Instagram influencer, you don’t only share aesthetically appealing photos, but also need to create caption that tell your stories with emotion. Here's how to creatively write catchy caption in minutes. 

When you can communicate emotionally, your followers will have reason to trust you, follow you and engage with you. 

Please do not get me wrong. I am not saying you need to create a “drama” or fake stories. In your quest in engaging them, being genuine is very important. Never underestimate the power of this. If you are not genuine, it can be easily seen through. 

Personal stories must be shared in a way that are both interesting and authentic. Only then you can get higher engagement. 

Remember, brands place greater importance to engagement than the number of followers you have when deciding to collaborate with you.

Optimize Your Instagram Stories

Launched less than 3 years ago, more than 400 million users are using Instagram Stories every day. It is probably the biggest thing on Instagram now.

Many brands are using Instagram Stories to promote to people who has yet to become their followers. If you want to be discovered by more people, what you need to do is to add hashtags or location to Stories.

For those who already have 10,000+ followers, you can use a “swipe up” option on Stories to include an outbound link.

Instagram is obviously a social networking platform. In Instagram Stories, you can even tag users who are not your followers. What happen is when you tag them, it will go to their message request so your brand is shown to them. And this gives you more visibility.

Select The Right Hashtags

Regardless you are active with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Instagram, hashtags are important for your content to be found by other users. Posts with hashtags are proven to get more engagement than those that do not. 

Instagram allows the use of 30 hashtags on each photo. When you include more than 30 hashtags, Instagram will not allow you to comment. In fact some research found that 11 hashtags per post is a good number to start with. 

I would suggest you to stick with 15 the maximum. In my opinion, too many hashtags may turn off your audience. But what kind of hashtags should you choose? 

Hashtags with high search volumes imply high competition. Therefore it might not be good for you. So when choosing hashtag, choose one that has “just enough” volumes.

Personally, I choose those with lesser than one million search volumes. If you are not sure what hashtag to choose, then get some idea from accounts that share similar niche as yours.

Instagram Loves Consistent Posting

Consistently in sharing post will receive rewards from Instagram’s algorithm. Instagram wants users to consistently using the app so it can increase number of its active users. And accounts that help to achieve this goal will get ranked higher in the newsfeed.

Whether you decide to post once or multiple times a day, you need to be consistent. Make decision and stick to your schedule.

Therefore, it would be a good practice to spend one or two hours to create your content for the week, craft your caption and include your hashtags.

With such practice, you can see the increase in followers and engagement soon and by that time, you can even start to promote affiliate products and make money.

Engage in A Meaningful Way

Engage, engage and engage! 

Do you think successful Instagram influencers only need to post photo then log out? You are wrong! 

Successful influencers engage with other accounts, reply to comments and DMs. By building presence among your community, you can turn casual swipers into hard-die fans. 

I am not encouraging you to spam followers with meaningless comment. But rather help your users solve their problem. 

Let’s say, you’re an influencer who focus on the niche of pregnancy. You can conduct a search on #yogaforpregnancy and identify potential followers in the comments section of each Instagram post. Then find out what these followers like and connect with them. 

Others ways include posting polls in your Instagram Stories or ask for feedback from your followers.

Both ways, you can have better understanding of your audience and decide how best your content can be improved to increase influence.

Tag and Contact Relevant Brand

Growing your followers is only first part towards becoming a successful influencer. The second, of course is to earn money as influencer. 

When you already have around 1,000 followers that you consistently engage with, the next you should do is start your outreach. How can you do this?

One way is to tag or mention relevant brands that you want to target.

If your niche is make up tutorial, you can target cosmetic brands, and for pregnancy niche, you target baby brands or pregnancy fashion.

You can also send direct messages to these brands after finding out which brands collaborate with influencers of your niche. At least you are sure these brands are already investing on influencer marketing.

When you reach out to them, make sure you craft a pitch explaining the reason you are reaching out and what you can offer them.

Be ready with rejections but this does not mean it is not possible to receive pleasant surprise from some brands.

Become Instagram Influencer Requires Hard Work

Become an Instagram influencer requires hard work. Why do you think all influencers look good on every shot? They too put in lots of time to make them work.

Influencers need to make sure their hair looks good with the right makeup (yes, even for men) and dress up in their best outfit at the same time plan in advance what content to deliver next.

Being an influencer, you need to be good in front of the camera anytime, just like a 9 to 5 job (or more) despite with higher flexibility.

The good news is, if you are successful, you will work lesser when passive income flow in.

That is when magic happens (MAGIC = HARD WORK )

And the most beautiful part is, you get to work with your favorite brand!

I know many people are eager to achieve success. But please, never buy followers. You can risk your account being closed by Instagram if you ever do this.

I know it is tempting, but don’t do it!

While you spend money to get paid followers, your engagement drop. Fake followers will not engage with you. Don’t forget, engagement is one important criteria brands are serious about when choosing you. 

Success won’t happen overnight. There is no short cut to at all… no matter what business you are in.

Beneath every successful person, there are bound to have stories to tell. If you don’t believe me, go and ask them.

CrateandBarrel _ Selling on Instagram

I bet the first thing they will ever tell you is “hard work”. So, listen to them and work hard.

Ya… before I forget, remember to opt for an Instagram business account if you are serious to become an influencer.

To know which product is selling (yes, you can use “Instagram Shoppable Post” to sell on Instagram) or how your competitors are doing, you need Instagram Insights. 

Individual account won’t be able to show you your account statistics, only business account can.

Also, set yourself a time frame to reply comment.

If you leave aside comments for too long, then it is no longer relevant to reply.

Be consistent is the key and building great relationship with your followers is your ultimate goal.

Ready To Become Instagram Influencer?

Here are some of the tools many successful Instagram influencers use to keep your daily work simpler so you can focus to plan your strategy.

For a start, I would recommend you to use Preview App for Android and iOS users. I am not an affiliate of Preview but just want to share with you as I find this app easy to use and the price is pretty reasonable.

Its features are good enough for beginner wanting to become Instagram influencer.

Personally, I do not make money from Instagram. Rather, I use Instagram to promote my business blog which has enable me to work from home. Here's the training program I've been following to build my profitable online business.

Whether you want to first start with Instagram or build a blog, you need to start somewhere. If you are serious to earn money as Instagram influencer, I strongly advise you to pick the right tool.

Remember, no marketer run their business without effective tools. As long as you stay consistence, you will definitely be on the right track to achieve success.

Now, follow the steps here, get traffic to Instagram and you will be on your way to become Instagram influencer right away.

Additional Resources

Below are my recommended tools & program to make money from affiliate marketing and email marketing:


  • Wealthy Affiliate – The best program to learn how to start a small business online with niche marketing focusing on free traffic strategies
  • CB Passive Income – The best done-for-you automated sales funnel system, created by a Clickbank top affiliate, proven to increase conversion
  • WP Profit Builder – A very affordable yet powerful page builder tool suitable for newbies who are cost-conscious

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8 Comments on "Become Instagram Influencer and Earn Money Online"

  1. Emmanuel Buysse | October 20, 2018 at 8:26 am | Reply

    Great post and it is something I’m interested for a long while already.

    What I know is that the bottom limit to be approved by companies is 10K followers, so 10.000 of them, it seems a lot, well it is, and requires a big effort.

    However, you can make it easily in a few months, just be active every day and post 3 times a day, and you’ll be fine.

    You can earn lots with this, but you need to be patienced and invest lots of time.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Florence,

    Thank you for this very detailed website. I’m an affiliate marketer as well, but hasn’t quite used Instagram too much for gaining authority. I found that now only is it hard to have really beautiful pictures posted so often, it’s hard to pick a niche to begin with. I tried it for a little bit for it was just not for me because I wasn’t into taking pictures so often. 

    I agree with the hard work part. With hard work any achievement is possible. But for those that want to get into Instagram and really make a living out of it, you also need to have ample time to shoot images. I read another article online where beauty models literally spend an entire day finding the right picture for their one Instagram post!! Yeah, crazy!

    • This is true. I used to be involved in advertising business and to take one product shoot require not less than  5 hours to complete! One additional tip for Instagram is you don’t really need to use photos that you take. You can also get photos from image sites. Here are places you can find high quality free images for your Instagram. 

  3. Hello there,

    For quite some time I’ve been curious to learn how to use social medias to make some extra income, especially with instagram. I always wondered how people manage to use social medias more than just marketing tool and thankfully, I have stumbled across Your article which I found to be very informative. It was very iteresting to discover how a person can use instagram to promote affilaite products, very exciting strategy to be honest, as instagram has enormous fan base and alot of visitors daily. Honestly, I didn’t even think that instagram could succesfully work as an eCommerce shop, great stuff! Thank You for this helpful article and keep up the good work 😉 I will bookmark this page!

  4. Thanks for sharing this informative and helpful post!!. I’ve been struggling on growing my instagram and getting it ready for my online business. i never knew hash tags were such a big deal when posting pictures and i never really made any captions when i posted my stories. 

    Once again thanks so much for handing out useful tips. ill most certainly be applying these things today to become a great Instagram influencer in my Niche!!! 

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