It is estimated that brands spend around $1 billion per year on sponsored Instagram posts and this number is only expected to rise as the social media platform becomes more popular.

With all this money being thrown around on Instagram, you are probably wondering how you can get a piece of the pie…..well the good new is that you can, as long as you have a following.

Today, close to 250 million people use Instagram which is up by nearly 64 percent since 2014, making it the largest growing social media platform in the world.

In fact, over 60 million photos are uploaded every day and the average user spends 3.7 hours on the platform every month which is more than both Twitter and Pinterest.

This is not too shabby considering that when Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg purchased it for $1 billion a few years ago, people thought he was crazy.

Social media has already changed the way brands advertise through sponsored posts, but Instagram is taking it to a whole new level.

Instead of paying a celebrities hundreds of thousands to endorse their products, brands are going after bloggers with a strong following in order to reach their customers.

“There is a rapidly developing economy on Instagram,” says Thomas Rankin, CEO of Dash Hudson, “it’s kind of crazy.”

He continues, that for every hundred thousand followers you have, you can make anywhere from $500 to $5000 per shot. If you have upwards of 6 million followers however, you can make up to $100,000 per shot.


One reason why Instagram has been so successful, especially in the world of fashion, beauty and lifestyle is that it allows brands to “capture a moment” rather than a staged picture like you would see in a magazine or on TV.

Consumers also respond more to the down-to-earth style of a “randomly” captured picture and have a stronger feeling of trust towards bloggers whom they read and follow religiously.

See, it’s not only celebrities who can make money from their followers….

Bloggers are also highly desirable to brands who don’t have a big budget but are still looking for a way to get their products out to the consumer.

Anyone can make money on Instagram, it just comes down to how many followers you have, how engaged they are and whether or not a brand wants to reach your demographic.

Keep in mind however, most brands are usually unwilling to even consider forking over money to those with less than 10,000 followers.

In order to build and grow a following, most bloggers recommend posting daily. This way, followers are always engaged and are always hanging on to see the next image.

Another important factor in getting followers is to use relevant hashtags. Hashtags have truly changed the Internet and are an important marketing tool if you want people to really see and respond to your content.

Some of the most popular Instagram accounts use anywhere from 5-10 hashtags per post which may seem like a lot, but this allows the images to reach the right audience.

And of course, the most important factor to getting followers is to create appealing, visually-appetising and beautiful images that draw in and keep your audience.

This is key as more and more information is shared on the web, consumers are looking for a quick and stimulating way to get information instantly and the best way to do that is through an image.

If you don’t have a super high following, another option you can explore on Instagram is earning per like that you get on each image.

Usually the going rate is around $1 per like. This means that if your sponsored image receives 20,000 likes, you could be on your way to a very nice pay day.

Brands are also allowing bloggers to ‘take over’ their Instagram accounts and provide unique images, comments and hashtags.

This is commonly seen for travel brands that collect images from bloggers from all over the world and share them to inspire their followers to travel.

Eventually you can also sell your Instagram account to a brand or business.

The going rate? An Instagram account with 500K to a few million followers could get you up to six figures.

Before you go quit your job and purchase a selfie-stick however, it’s worth mentioning that with more and more bloggers and Instagram users, competition is getting stiff and brands are becoming more savvy about who they choose to enter into business with.

In fact, most brands will ask for exclusive deals with their Instagrammers, demanding that they share no other sponsored posts within 7-10 days of posting theirs.

Others will also negotiate that bloggers cannot use any competing brands and that they must adhere to a strict photographic style.

Instagram has also started to crack down on users who try to abuse the system by paying for followers and trying other tactics to get fake followers.

Social Media platforms are definitely changing the way that brands advertise and really, it can be anyones game as long as you have a following (and perhaps a selfie-stick).