Social media is more of a time suck than a moneymaker for most people, but not you. You know that with a little research and a lot of hard work, you can make social media work for you. It’s a brave new world out there, and technology has forever revolutionized the way we socialize, shop and, most importantly, make money.
If you’re ready to take your blog to the next level, here are tips for making your Instagram account one of your best moneymakers.
Make Money on Instagram
Get Your Pics on Point
Good bloggers have the system down pat: write the post, get with the photographer, do the photoshoot and boom, done, blog post complete. But the difference between running a successful blog and monetizing the adjoining Instagram account is totally different for one main reason: your blog needs updated content only every two weeks or so (although the more content the better, always), and your Instagram needs to be updated every single day, preferably multiple times a day. That means you’re going to need to be your own photographer. Don’t panic — it’s easier than it sounds.
The first step to great pictures is obviously your camera. The current industry standard is the newest iPhone, according to fashion blogger Marianna Hewitt, who offers her tips for taking great Instagram photos. But even off-brand cameras are insanely well made with gargantuan pixel counts and all kinds of cool features.
Tons of accessories are available for your top-of-the-line camera phone, such as the ubiquitous selfie stick, wireless Bluetooth remote control and a handheld stabilizer for crazy professional videos on the go. These quick videos are becoming the standard for high-end, stylized Instagram accounts, as are GIFs. We love this one from Ketel One’s Insta account. It’s short and sweet while still capturing the tone and feeling of an upscale bar. Doesn’t it make you want a cocktail?
Always Take the Picture
No matter who you’re with, if a great picture presents itself, take it. Don’t second guess yourself or tell yourself you’ll come back later. You need as many high-quality photos as you can get because your fans rely on you to inform, entertain and be there for them every day.
It’s also important to have pictures of yourself on your Instagram account. Your audience needs a face to relate your sparkling personality to, whether you’re blogging about food or fashion. With that being said, beware of selfie overload. An occasional selfie is no big deal, but constant selfies are annoying and can give off a narcissistic vibe. Plus, readers want to see you doing something, or at least your outfit, not just your face. Makeup brands, such as CoverGirl, are great at finding this balance. CoverGirl has even started adjusting its products to look good in selfies because that’s an important factor to its customers. For example, when CoverGirl found that one of its products made its customers’ skin look too glittery in certain lighting, it altered its formula to tone down that specific quality.
Become familiar with the timer setting on your camera and learn your best angles. You can practice at home and take a million pictures until you get the timing and angle just right.
The first thing you need to show prospective sponsors is the level of your engagement with your followers. An account can have thousands of followers and terrible engagement. So be sure that you are hashtagging smartly, responding to comments and reaching out to followers regularly with shout outs, likes and comments. The free Followers + app helps you track your followers and engagement with metrics and analytics. It helps you identify your best and worst followers as well as ghost followers. You can see if you forgot to follow a fan back and where most of your followers are located. With this app, you can access everything from your like average to your average posts per week. Once you have this information, use it to better engage with your most active fans and to reach out to your quieter followers.
Once you boost your engagement, it’s time to reach out to potential sponsors. Affiliate programs are a great way to deliver value to your customers and put money in your pocket at the same time. To work with these programs, you promote a product and receive compensation for each sale. There are different ways to promote the products, including side banners, posts promoting a specific product and encouraging your followers to buy products through your link. Having your followers buy items through your profile is a good option if you focus on beauty or fashion. Want My Look, Share Sale and Stylinity are three of the most popular Instagram affiliate programs with a clearly defined style and audience.
Before you start working with sponsors, be sure you know the FTC’s rules for these types of posts. Take a look at our five suggestions for sponsored posts to make sure your work will help both you and your followers.
This post was written by Stacy Eden, a Phoenix, Arizona native with a passion for art, power tools, and historical significance. She draws inspiration from classic cars, ancient mythological sculptures and jewelry designers such as Delfina Delettrez, Shaun Leane, and Dior Jewellery creative director Victoire de Castellane.