How much money can you earn on Instagram?

Chris Roper


We’ve explained how to earn money on Instagram by attracting sponsorship from businesses and brands. Today, we’re going to look at the figures: how much can you earn?

Since it was created in 2011, Instagram has been one of the fastest growing social media platforms. With over 800 million accounts, and a reported 500 million daily users, Instagram is a marketer’s dream.

Brands continue to pour more money into sponsorship and advertising as they reach out to Millennial and “Gen Z” audiences. Currently, the influencer market size is estimated at $1 billion, and expected to double by 2019.

Those with more than 100,000 followers can earn $700-$900 per post. Those with 500,000 followers can command $2,000 to $3,000 per photo. To understand how, let’s take a look at some examples.

Top of Their Game

Jack Morris

A post shared by JACK MORRIS (@doyoutravel) on

With 2.8 million followers, veteran travelers Jack and Lauren are the epitome of high-flying influencers. Their account documents their journey to destinations all over the world, and with that sort of reach and engagement, they can work with anyone they want.

Morris told Cosmopolitan he once earned $9,000 for a single post on Instagram. He added that he won’t post for less than $3,000, and will only work with brands that resonate with him.

Elma Beganovich

With 2.3 million followers across social media, Elma (former lawyer) and her sister Amra (former economist) have built an Instagram empire based on travel and fashion. They told Business Insider that when they started back in 2013 they were charging around $99 per post. Now, with each of their posts averaging around 30,000 likes, they say they can charge brands up to $20,000 for a sponsored link.

Emily & Corey

With 181,000 followers, Emily & Corey aren’t quite as big as the accounts above, but they have an extremely dedicated fanbase who love #vanlife, and are moved by Emily’s inspirational attitude. Quitting their jobs and buying a van to travel across the world, the couple has worked with many different brands, promoting chocolate, probiotic drinks, and kettle chips.

While they might not be able to charge as much as others, their super-engaged audience means they can earn between $1,000-$2,000 per post. More importantly, GoWesty, a parts supplier for the VW van that the couple drive, sponsors their vehicle and does all the repairs for free, making their lives on the road that much easier.

What’s the science?

Although it might seem random, there is science behind a post’s potential value, and a formula for working it out. According to Social Media expert Eduardo Morales, the breakdown is:

Instagram post’s potential value = Engagement Rate + Follower Growth Rate + Follower Demographic and Lifestyle MatchSponsored Post Promotion Rate

A simpler way of working out your potential value is to plug your handle into the Instagram Money Calculator.

If your followers are far fewer than the examples above, you can still earn money on Instagram as a micro-influencer.

Small but mighty

Very few of us will earn a fortune for posting pictures of our dinner. However, brands and businesses often find themselves priced out of the market with Instagram’s highest paid superstars.

Enter the micro-influencer.

If you’ve got 20k followers and a high engagement rate, you’d be surprised how many businesses would be eager to speak to you, particularly if the demographic and lifestyle of your followers is in line with the brand’s own values.

There are some great examples of micro-influencer campaigns from brands like Banana Republic.

Free stuff!

It’s not just about the cash. Growing your influencer base and working with brands and businesses might result in you grabbing some free merchandise, or getting the opportunity to test products before everyone else. If you have a brand that you love, getting all of their stuff for free is a pretty sweet deal.

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