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How people are making money on Instagram for free

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Instagram is helping ordinary citizens make cool money online.

Be it as a side show with other jobs or solely full time, you only need as little as 1,000 followers to start earning some cash.

Instagram has 700+ million users, many of whom check out various profiles and posts, potentially like them, comment or even follow, which is increasing following potentially worth the ker-ching.

What is there not to like about this?

In some cases, having the basic 1,000 followers many of whom are engaging with you – through real comments+likes – could make you more important to an advertising brand than a person who has more followers and small engagement.

Check out how Shelcy and her sister of Nycxclothes are making money with 4,000 followers
Estimated rate of pay by Takumi App which is generally expected across most money making means on Instagram

So, you have 1,000+ followers, how can you start making money on Instagram?

There are numerous ways to start making money on Instagram.

Before going straight for the jugular, some tips to consider in respect to your profile and its impressions on advertisers:

  • Be original, be you – If your style is to show off different poses, look fabulous in pictures, hang out with friends, open your yansh if you like (18+) – na your cup of tea –  chances are you will find potential advertisers.

    Trying to be someone else could lose momentum which in turn could cost you followers.

    Suggested tips: Have a look at previous pictures and see what is promote-able without losing who you are (is it your make-up, your swimming costume, tea cup, which is it?)

Jenna Farmer owned the now defunct Instagram account: Abalancedbelly, focusing on a niche – her personal health with Crohn’s Disease. Read full story here
Despite 3,368 followers, Jenna only received 98 likes and 15 comments on this post, which is considered to be engagement!.  Source: Neil Patel
  • Find your niche – After discovering ‘you’, ‘your brand’ and looking into what will work from, maybe, previous pictures, you may start to get an idea of a product/place/thing you want to cover. It could be from the posts that attracted a lot of likes and comments.
  • Hashtag– This is a huge one. Hashtags guarantees you exposure and likes (potentially comments) beyond your followers. Say you now have an idea of what to make money from, using Instagram’s search bar, we could look for say #nigeria (you will come up with a better/targeted idea than this) and various pictures of Nigeria from the country’s scenery, weddings to sports and lots more will show up. Thousands of people look through these daily – take advantage of hashtags.

So back to the questions, how can you start making money?

Note: If you have less than 1,000 followers, start building up your profile (avoid buying fake followers – see Don’t below) by posting content consistenly (more than 1 throughout various times of the day), captioning it with what inspires an you and will inspire your audience. Don’t forget to use #s.

  1. Apps and Brand Marketing agencies

    The Takumi app is huely popular only requiring at least 1,000 followers to join. There are other apps like SnapInfluence, The Mobile Media Lab and OpenInfluence.

  2. Affiliate Marketing

    This is where you promote other people/company product for a commission/fee. This method is popular among bloggers and youtubbers, but it is not restricted – anyone can make money out of it.

    It works on Instagram by creatively posting an image of the affiliate product and directing people to the link in bio. Using a shortened url with services like reduces and neatens the link. This type of money stream only see fruition when someone buys unlike a sponsored post.

    Amazon is one of the largest affiliate marketing opportunities with 10% commission rate. Uber is also a one – you may have come across ‘use my Uber code…’ – so are others like Commission Junction (UK based), Jumia, Konga and Kara (All Nigerian-based). These and most other Instagram money making schemes require signs-ups (for free).

  3. Do Sponsored Posts

    Many celebrities, Youtubbers like Patricia Bright, Kim K and Sisi Yemmie are sought after by big brands to do sponsored posts because there is so much money to be made through Instagram. Fashion Nova’s sales went out the roof a huge thanks to regular plug-ins by The Shade Room to its millions of followers.

    Nigerian Blogger and YouTubber: Sisyemmie and UK-born Nigerian YouTubber: Patricia Bright regularly post ads on their Instagram. Patricia posts eye-catching yet subtle ads after approximately every 4 non-ad pictures

    You do not have to be as big as these stars, if you have a reasonable following (3,000+ followers are considered micro-influencers) with good engagement rate, you are on!

  4. Promote self/business

    Almost everyone that owns a blog, Youtube, snapchat, hairshop – everyone – benefits from Instagram. Research suggests instgram gets 15x more user engagement than Facebook and 40x more engagement than Twitter. When I was on Instagram (temporarily off), I had more visitors than I do now now – why am I off Instagram (I am discovering my niche).

    Laura Ikeji, Linda’s sister, gained popularity and sales from her shop, by primarily promoting self and shop on te site. Lots other smaller Nigerian ( are doing it – because it works. In turn, Laura secured a sponsored hair deal.

    You hear instagram model here, instagram star there, most of these people are simply promoted their talent for free and gained publicity and inturn securing jobs, affiliation or sponsored posts. It is amazing that there is nothing to lose, something to gain. If you think, hell yeah, I can make money off this site, here are a couple of dos and dont’s to get you becoming a mega star.


    Post regularly (engaging and attractive photos)
    Use Hashtags


    Over-use hashtags – it becomes confusing and we just want to skip
    Post low quality photos frequently
    Buy fake followers (Sites like Followerco, FameAudit are accesible to check if your followers are real or fake)

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