This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I make a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Disclosure here.
Is there a way to make money on Instagram with only 1000 followers? Or can you make money on Instagram with 500 followers even? And when is the right time to start monetising your Instagram?
We’ll dive into all these questions in this post to get you started on the right track with monetising your Instagram.
It is a big misconception that you need a huge following to make money on Instagram. You can absolutely make money on Instagram with 500, 1000, 3000 followers.
You do not need to wait until you have the so-called-magical 10k followers count to have the swipe up feature.
Let’s talk about 11 clever way on how to start making money on Instagram even if you have only 1000 followers or less.
Some of these might be super obvious to you, but some of them might really surprise you.
Can I make money on Instagram with 1000 followers?
You can absolutely make money on Instagram with only 1,000 followers or even less.
Here’s how: affiliate links, drive traffic to an affiliate blog post, sponsored posts, brand deals for content only, sell a physical, digital product or service, social media management services, use an email list, drive traffic to a blog post with display ads on it, sell through DMs (the right way).
Related: FREE 30 Instagram Reels Prompts
1. Affiliate links
You might already know this, but you can use affiliate links to monetise your Instagram easily.
In order to use affiliate links you will have to join an affiliate network.
After you’ve joined a network you will then be able to place affiliate links to different products on your Instagram.
The way this works is whenever someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you will then get a commission from that sale.
Here are a few places where you can use affiliate links on your Instagram:
- In your Instagram stories: You can mention a product that you like and if you don’t have the swipe up feature yet, you can send them to the link in your bio. Or if you do have the swipe up feature just add the affiliate link to the swipe up. Make sure you always disclose when you mention an affiliate link.
- In your feed posts: If you mention an affiliate product in your post make sure to direct your followers to the link in bio so that they can click on the affiliate link there.
Income from affiliate links can be little in the beginning, but it adds up in time. Your commission also depends on the type of product that you recommend. But if done right and consistently, affiliate marketing can be a really great way to monetise your Instagram.
You can now also become an affiliate for Cappuccino and Fashion.
2. Drive traffic to affiliate post
Another way to monetise through affiliate marketing is to drive traffic from your Instagram to an affiliate blog post or YouTube video, for example.
So instead of placing a direct affiliate link to a product on your Instagram, you will make people interested to find out more about your blog post or YouTube video.
Make it enticing and give people a reason why they should click over to that post and what they are getting out of it.
Always think about providing value to your reader through your content.
When they do go to your affiliate post, make sure it is a thorough guide, a review or a comparison type of post, so that you can help them make an informed decision before buying that product through your affiliate link.
This is likely to have a higher conversion rate than just a simple Instagram post, because people are getting more information about the product before they actually make a purchase.
3. Sponsored posts
Sponsored posts are one of the most popular ways to make money on Instagram and almost every influencer uses them to monetise their own Instagram account.
You might think that you need tens of thousands of followers in order to get sponsored posts on Instagram, but that is really not the case. You can absolutely start charging for your Instagram posts even if you have a smaller following, as long as your content is valuable and good quality.
Starting with gifted campaigns can be a really good place for you to build up a portfolio and some confidence. But I highly encourage you to start charging for your posts because creating content is a time-consuming task. And you really deserve to be monetised on that.
If you’re unsure how much to charge or when you can start charging for your influencer posts, you can get the influencer rates cheat sheet and guide on how to start charging for your Instagram posts in the Insta Glow Up Kit.
This will give you a more accurate representation of how much you can charge for an in feed post, for a story, for an IGTV etc.
4. Brand deals for content only
This is a monetising way that not a lot of people are aware of. There are actually two types of brand deals you can make:
- One of them is the one we have previously discussed where you pretty much sell the influence that you have on the platform. That is the traditional influencer sponsorship post, where you create content for a brand and post it on your feed in order for your audience to see and engage with that post. For this type of sponsored work, the brand is looking for brand awareness and conversion rates.
- The second one, that you might not know about, is a brand deal that is for content creation only. This means you create content (AKA photos, videos, reels etc), you send it to the brand for them to use in their marketing, but you don’t have to post it on your own Instagram account.
This type of brand deal works really well for small instagrammers who don’t have a large following yet.
You basically use your Instagram account as a portfolio of photos and editing skills that you have, and you simply sell photos/content to brands so that they can use those in their marketing campaigns online.
This is how I started monetising my Instagram when it was really small and even to this day, because you do not need to have a huge following in order to do this kind of campaign. It’s a really great way to start monetising as a beginner instagrammer.
The way that you find brand deals like this is through influencer apps that connect you to brands or through pitching yourself directly to the brand.
We also go through the exact process for pitching to brands and how to get more brand deals this way in the Insta Glow Up Kit.
5. Sell a physical product
Another way to monetise your Instagram is through selling a physical product.
This requires a lot more active work on your part, but it is a really great way to monetise your account as a small creator.
You can sell your physical products either on a website like Etsy or Shopify or you can create your own website where you can sell them easily.
Then you will use your Instagram to showcase your products, bring more awareness to them and drive more sales to your shop.
You can do this by using Instagram, especially reels these days, because it’s a great way to reach a larger audience for your products.
6. Sell a digital product
One of my favourite ways to monetise my Instagram account is through selling a digital product.
The reason why I prefer this method instead of the physical product method is because it’s a lot more passive work.
You basically create your product once. Post it on your website or whatever platform you are selling it on. And then sell it over and over again without a lot of work on your part, except for maintenance and customer service.
There is a lot of work to be put in creating and setting up everything for digital products as well, but it is a lot less work after it’s been launched.
You can also find digital products to sell in almost any niche. For example: you could sell fitness cheat sheets, workout plans, meal planning kits, kids activities ebooks, workbooks, guides, planners etc.
7. Sell a niche service
Another way you can start making money on Instagram with a small following is to sell your services in your niche.
For example, you can offer your services as a coach, consultant, designer, website developer, content writer, photo editor, logo creator etc.
Anything that would help someone who is looking to outsource some sort of project in their business.
You will need to have a website for this, because it is the best way for people to find out more about the services that you offer and it allows you to create a portfolio of previous clients that you have worked with.
Testimonials and feedback in this type of business is what helps the most to get new clients.
It might sound intimidating at first, but it’s a really great way to monetise your Instagram even if you are just a beginner.
Ready to start your own website? I use and recommend Bluehost for your blog. If you have no idea where to begin, use my free ultimate guide on how to start a blog and make money blogging.
8. Offer social media services
Another way to monetise your Instagram is to offer your social media services.
What this means is you can use your Instagram as a portfolio, again, to show your style and the type of content you can create.
You will then use this to get clients that might need someone to manage their own social media platforms.
You can create Instagram photos for them or Facebook posts. Reply to their comments or Dms and just be their social media manager in general.
A lot of small businesses these days know they should have a social media presence, but they don’t have the time to spend being active on those platforms. Which is why they look to hire social media managers and assistants to help them stay consistent on those platforms and grow engagement for them.
You do not need to have a huge social media presence for this. You just need to show that you are serious, you know what types of posts would work well for their niche and you have the skills necessary to post consistently on Instagram, for example.
9. Add to email list
Something not a lot of people talk about when it comes to monetising your Instagram account is how important an email list is for this.
An email list has one of the highest conversion rates out of any platform out there these days.
It is the best way to have a direct connection to your audience, because you have their exact email address.
If something were to happen to your Instagram account, you might lose access to all of your followers and not be able to get them back.
But on your email list you can save a backup of that list of email addresses and you always have a way to contact them if anything should happen.
If you want this to be a full-time business for you, an email list is crucial in order to have a safety net. So you don’t panic if for some reason you lose all your followers or access to your account.
But how does this make you any money?
An email list is one of the best ways you can monetise, because people are more engaged and they trust you more.
So regardless of what type of monetising you choose (whether it’s affiliates, sponsors or selling your own products or services), an email list will help you get more sales and a higher income faster.
10. Drive traffic to post with display ads
If you already have a blog, a great way to make money through Instagram is to drive that traffic from Instagram over to your blog.
For example, if you have a blog post that is monetised through displaying ads, you can direct your audience from Instagram over to your blog.
You can do this by asking them to do so in your Instagram stories, giving them a reason why reading your blog post will help them. Obviously, the more traffic you can drive to that blog post, the higher your income will be from it.
If you do this consistently and you have an engaged audience that you have grown in an organic way, you can start to see an income coming in even if you have a small audience.
11. Sell through DMs (the right way!)
Selling through DMs gets a bad reputation, because it is often done the wrong way.
Cold messaging people in DMs is not an effective way to do this and I do not recommend this.
This is viewed as spam these days and people don’t respond to it, so it is a complete waste of your time.
However, there is a right way to sell through DMs.
The way to do this is to create a connection to your audience through your stories and your post captions. Use engagement stickers, such as polls or question boxes, to get people who are interested in your story to engage with you.
When they reply to that engagement sticker, you can then DM them back and give them more info on what you have to offer or give them more help on that topic.
This way, you are not cold messaging anyone and you’re not annoying people by spamming their accounts.
Instead, you are simply messaging back someone who has shown an interest in what you have to say or how you can help them.
Can I make money on Instagram with 500 followers?
Yes, you can absolutely make money on Instagram with just 500 followers. You just have to get more creative on how you do this.
Simply waiting for sponsored posts will not be an effective way for you to monetise your Instagram if you only have 500 followers. But using some of the other methods in this post can work really well even with a small following.
For example, you could easily monetise your Instagram with 500 followers if you sell a physical or a digital product, if you offer a service of your own, if you become someone’s social media manager, if you do brand deals specifically for content creation etc.
Can you monetise Instagram posts?
Yes, you can monetise your Instagram posts easily.
Most people are only aware of the traditional ways to make money on Instagram, such as affiliate links and sponsored posts from brands.
However, as you might have noticed from reading this, if you get creative you can actually start monetising your Instagram posts in a lot more ways than you might have expected.
How many followers on Instagram do you need to make $1000 per month?
You do not need a lot of followers in order to make your first $1,000 per month.
Depending on your strategy and how much time you have to dedicate to this, you could easily make your first $1,000 per month from Instagram if you get creative and use a few of the ways presented in this post.
For example, if you strictly want to focus on sponsored posts, you will need 10 posts at $100 in order to make the $1,000 month. But this is only realistic if you do have a bit of a following already.
However, if you use some of the other methods you can start reaching that goal faster without having to wait for followers.
You can offer a service package at $200 per month, which would mean you only need 5 sales for you to reach that income goal.
You could also sell a content creation package to brands even if you have a small following.
Or you could sell your physical or digital products in order to reach the $1,000 month goal.
The number of followers is not everything. It really depends on how engaged and how niched down your audience is to the product or service that you sell.
How to make money on Instagram without followers?
In order to make money on Instagram without followers, you cannot count on sponsored posts. But you can use the other methods to make money even if you don’t have a following yet.
For example: selling a service, selling physical products, selling digital products, becoming a social media manager for other accounts, doing brand deals for content creation only or some of the other methods mentioned above.
How much does Instagram pay for 1k followers?
Instagram does not pay you simply for having a number of followers.
This might be a feature to come sometime in the future, but at the moment it is completely up to you to monetise that audience.
Some people have accounts with 500 followers and make the same amount of money as people who have 10K followers.
Simply having a follower number does not mean anything, unless you know how to actually monetise your account.
Using the methods presented previously, you should be able to start monetising efficiently even if you only have 1k followers.
Does Instagram pay you for having a lot of followers?
No, Instagram does not directly pay you for having followers. At least not at the moment.
As mentioned above, it is completely up to you to monetise your Instagram and find ways to make money with the following that you have.
However, using one of the 11 monetising ways presented above you should be able to start making money on Instagram without having a lot of followers.But obviously, the higher the engaged following, the more income opportunities you have.
How many followers on Instagram do you need to get paid?
You can start making money on Instagram without having to wait for follower counts. I would focus on creating an engaged audience for the first few weeks, but you can easily start implementing the monetising strategies above from the very beginning.
If you already have 500 to 1,000 Instagram followers that are engaged and you have acquired in a real and organic way, I would highly recommend that you start using some of the monetising ways above.
Do Instagrammers get paid for swipe up?
Instagram does not directly pay you for using the swipe up feature. The way instagrammers monetise the swipe up feature is they add an affiliate link or a link to their products in the swipe up.
Saying that, you do not need to wait to have the swipe up feature (AKA reach 10K followers) in order to start monetising your Instagram.
You can easily use the link in bio to do so.Read how to create your own Linktree easily, so that you don’t have to use a service like that and you can do it for free, while being able to customize it yourself.
How to make money on Instagram as a teenager?
Congrats, the fact that you’re even thinking about monetising your Instagram as a teenager shows that you are one step ahead of a lot of other people.
Having a niche or a target audience in mind will really help you focus on the type of content that you need to create for them.
And this in turn will help you find more ways to monetise your content.
In order to make money on Instagram as a teenager you can use one of the following ways: sponsored posts, affiliate links, brand deals for content only, selling your own products or services or any of the methods mentioned above.
I hope these 11 clever ways on how to make money on Instagram with 1000 followers or less was helpful.
Have you tried any of these methods before?
Which way to make money on Instagram are you looking to try next?