Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram has been growing steadily and is increasingly coming to the fore as a marketing tool for companies. According to studies, in 2016 alone 53% of companies planned to use Instagram as advertising space. The investment volume is high. So fashion companies alone have invested more than $ 1 billion in Instagram over the past few years. It goes without saying that many of the more than 600 million Instagram users benefit from these advertising billions.

But how can ordinary users earn money with Instagram, when does a trade have to be registered and what should be considered when starting a new account?

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a social media platform where users publish pictures. These images are then commented and hashtagged so they can be found by other users. These users then have the option of adding a like or comment to the pictures and then sharing them. In addition, there is the possibility to subscribe to other accounts and so always stay informed about the activities of certain users. The entire portal has a much higher rate of interaction than Twitter or Facebook and this point is so interesting for companies but also for the self-employed.

Why is Instagram so popular?

With Instagram, more than 60 million images are uploaded and tagged every day. The platform is so popular because anyone can use it. The images can be quickly edited and uploaded with Instagram and the ever improving cameras in smart phones; the quality of the images is usually excellent.

Stars and starlets can thus keep their fans up to date about their lives or their eating habits and inform the community about current projects or dates. Fashion bloggers can use the platform to introduce their followers to the latest trends, and food bloggers have the opportunity to share their creations around the world through Instagram. In addition, Instagram is also very popular with photographers who can make their portfolio so accessible to a broad public.

Instagram is also an opportunity for freelancers or coaches to have a free platform to market themselves and their products, and even with the older generation of 55+, Instagram is becoming increasingly popular due to its ease of use.

How to earn money with Instagram?

There are several ways to earn money with Instagram. However, the core factor for success is reach and that means Instagram Followers. The more people you follow, the more attractive your account will be for companies willing to use the account for advertising.

Make money as an artist with Instagram

The easiest way to earn money with Instagram is to sell pictures. However, this is also the most challenging option, as the market is large and the images must be of outstanding quality. For example, photographers can present their portfolio on Instagram and link directly to their website, where customers can then buy the pictures. In addition, there are now many apps and platforms such as instaprints , which have specialized, against a commission, on the sale and distribution of images. prints the images on greeting cards, mobile phone cases or XL posters. The artist himself therefore has little effort and does not have to worry about the logistics and handling of the sales transactions.

Make money on advertising with Instagram

If you want to earn money with Instagram, you can also use your account as an advertising channel. You are thus paying to advertise certain products on your account. For companies, however, your account will only be interesting if you have enough followers.

To earn money with advertising, you can either do product placements or use affiliate links .Here you photograph a specific product of a company and then link and tag it in the comments field. In the field of affiliate marketing, there are special tools for this purpose, such as Share Popor OG Ads. If a visitor clicks on the posted link, a commission is automatically transferred to the owner of the account.

You can also directly contact companies whose products you would like to present or test and inform them about your intention. If your account is interesting for the company, it is quite common that the company sends you the desired product for free. Also offers of cooperation are becoming increasingly popular in this context.

How do I create the perfect profile?

If you want to earn money with Instagram and run it commercially, then you need a perfect profile for it. This begins with a memorable username that is not only easy to pronounce, but also has a high recognition value and allows conclusions about the topic of the profile. This username should subsequently also be used in all other social media, such as Twitter or Facebook. Further information about your account you can also deposit in the so-called bio of Instagram. This is also a good place to post links to other used channels or your own blog.

As usual on social media, Instagram is also about gaining sympathy to expand its own community and boost click through rates. This can be achieved by cooperating with other users who work on the same topic. The Liken and comment on images to other profiles is just as essential as the responses to comments in their own profile. More and more often it comes with Instagram to use so-called shootouts, so the advertising of foreign accounts in their own portfolio.

In addition, the account must be kept up to date and new images must fit into the profile. To keep up the interest of the subscribers, it is recommended to publish at least 4 to 10 new pictures a week.


In order to establish your own brand, you need high-quality content and beautiful images that match the chosen theme and create a recognition value. Only with it the own range can be increased. The right use of hashtags (#) is also important. Up to 30 different hashtags can be set per image and users who want to use Instagram commercially are well advised to take advantage of this number.

Purchased subscribers

Some companies not only offer their customers the opportunity to buy followers, but also tools that automatically like and annotate images. This option is explicitly discouraged at this point. If Instagram notices the fraud, the account is blocked and the work and time invested was in vain.

When do I have to register for a business for Instagram?

A trader is one if there is an intention to make a profit and there is also willingness to repeat. Thus, as a blogger you are usually not a freelancer, but a trader. By using Ad sense or affiliate links next to Instagram posts, you are showing a definite profit-making intent and need to register a trade.

Tips and Tricks

Before you start, with the aim of earning money with Instagram, you should of course inform your employer about your secondary occupation and obtain his consent.

A really helpful tip is to use a separate business account to manage your earnings and expenses related to your Instagram activity or self-employment. Why you really need an extra business account and not just use your private account, you will learn in this article. It offers you all the account features of conventional banks, is easy to use via an app and helps you especially with your taxes. Because is automatically forms for you tax returns (for sales and income tax). So you are always well prepared for your payments to the tax office. Try it out – the account is free!)


Instagram is a great way to promote your own activities on the Internet. Even people who do not have their own business can earn money relatively easily with Instagram through the use of advertising. But it’s important that Instagram is fun. If you operate your account for purely monetary reasons, you will not be able to succeed in the long run and therefore cannot earn money with Instagram. Authenticity is a top priority in the community, and a non-value-added account that includes only advertising and advertising links will be rejected by the community and ultimately will not bring in any money.