How to Earn Money on Instagram in 2021 (2/2)

earn money on Instagram in 2021

Keep reading to explore two more ways to earn money on Instagram in 2021.

Strategy 3: Earn money on Instagram in 2021 from your content

Creators that have built viewers with entertainment content or information value have a rising number of ways to earn money on Instagram in 2021.

Options like gated content, subscriptions, and even an NFT marketplace will be available soon on the app. For now, here are the primary ways to make money using your Instagram content.


In May 2020, Instagram started sharing revenue on 15-second ads played on their IGTV videos. This approach takes a page out of YouTube’s playbook, where rev share made the pro video star.

For creators that publish long-form video content, this might turn into a notable income stream.

Creators that broadcast Instagram Live videos can earn money from viewers in the form of heart badges. When an audience purchases a badge, a heart icon will be shown next to their name in the live chat. Badges price between $.99 and $4.99, with a cap of 250 USD for a viewer per session.

Along with badges, Instagram is starting to reward creators for achieving Instagram Live milestones, together with live streaks and teaming up with different accounts. Similar perks will be available soon to Reels creators as well.

Link in bio

Tipping via platforms like Buy Me a Coffee, Ko-fi, and Patreon has become fairly common on Instagram. If you think your followers would be willing to support your work, lead them to a relevant link in your bio or Instagram Stories.

Strategy 4: Promote and Sell your own products or services

Many creators do double duty on Instagram as entrepreneurs from photo filters to merch and runway-ready product lines.

In the past, people who try to promote and sell their products or services on the app could either go the link-in-bio route or open a separate business account for their brand. Fisayo Longe took the latter route when she launched the KAI collective in 2016 after achieving success as a digital creator.

Soon, creators will be able to open Instagram Shops from their personal creator accounts as well and have access to product launch tools among other features. Instagram plans to let Creator Shops available to eligible U.S. creators by the end of this year.

Tips for earning money on Instagram in 2021

Whatever your place in the creator economy, these tips will help you earn more money and keep your customers and audiences happy.

Find your niche

From goth vegan influencers to senior citizen fashion experts, Instagram is a place where people with multi-hyphenate interests can find their community.

Define your angle. Share your experience, whether it’s shaped by your passions, interests, ethics, experiences, occupation, or all of the above.

Authenticity is essential

“Branded content is the economic engine behind the creator ecosystem in lots of ways, but it doesn’t work unless it really feels right,” mentioned Instagram’s head Mosseri in a recent Instagram Live session with Zuckerberg.

“The best piece of advice I’ve for creators is to genuinely love the content you’re putting out there, your viewers will feel that,” says Jojo Siwa (@itsjojosiwa), a Nickelodeon and social media influencer who’s parlayed her success into deals with Target, Walmart, and more.

Learn how to advocate for yourself

Negotiating with huge brands and agencies may seem intimidating. However, it’s necessary to stand up for fair rates to keep your career viable and stave off burnout.

“In terms of negotiating rates for branded content, make sure that you know your worth,” recommends Meeka Hossain (@catchmeeksifyoucan) in a post on Instagram’s Creators account. “Get familiar with what the brand is asking for with regards to exclusivity, deliverables, and usage.”

Take a look at accounts like @influencerpaygap to compare rates and packages. Don’t forget to ask questions and say no if something doesn’t seem right.

Build trust with transparency

Follow ad regulations. Sponsored content that flouts regulations risks being deleted or fined. However, it also jeopardizes how your audience trusts your recommendations.

On the flip side, adding advertising disclosures actually builds credibility. A study published in Australasian Marketing Journal in 2020 said that influencers who explicitly state their brand partnerships look more enthusiastic about ones than those who don’t.

Make sure that you use Instagram’s Branded Content Tools and stay within the app’s advertising guidelines.

Don’t cut corners by buying fake followers either. It is not effective and it’s kind of embarrassing.

Provide good customer service

Customers have high expectations for brands on social media platforms. For influencers, the personal nature of the connection adds another dimension.

Try to return the engagement your followers give to you. Respond to questions and comments efficiently. Give shoutouts in Instagram Live sessions.

When necessary, set boundaries with comment filters and controls, or communicating directly with your audience.

This rule applies to clients as well. As an Instagram influencer, missing deadlines and ignoring contracts is the best method to burn bridges. Target to build your community by cultivating long-term relationships and partnerships.

Promote your work on other platforms

Create a blog or YouTube channel to expand your content marketing to provide prospective buyers’ information as they make their buying decisions.

Likewise, using different social media platforms will widen your reach. And email newsletters mean you aren’t at the mercy of the Instagram algorithm when notice your audience about new content.

Second-grade teacher Peter Limata promotes his read-a-longs on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Keep tabs on trends and competitors

Use social media monitoring (and listening) to remain on top of the conversation in your field, and among your competitors.

Don’t forget to control your own Instagram stats either. Track what works for your audience and what doesn’t and find your sweet spot.

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