With Instagram’s whopping 300 million active monthly users, the online photo & video sharing social networking site is nearly tied with Twitter these days.

With these kind of numbers, there’s followers to be gained, and money to be made.

Today, we present some strategic tips on creating a lucrative Instagram following.

1st things 1st: you gotta set up that profile right!

Your Instagram username

It all starts with your name and username (Search engines pay attention to this, so pick something good, descriptive, and representative of what your photos and videos are all about!).

Description and Profile Photo

Choose a display picture that is appealing (maybe just the right amount of sexy?) that is once again representative of your entire Instagram profile.

Your Instagram profile’s description gives you the opportunity to concisely sum up what your page is all about… what your users will find, and why they should follow you.

The URL field

Entering a URL is essential.  You won’t make much money on instagram without a URL!

Enter your site URL, blog, or use a URL shortener to link to a landing page. We go into more detail on this below.

Public or Private?

To gain the maximum amount of potential followers, you’ll want to set your profile as Public.

Once you get your profile set up – this, in many ways, will serve as your first impression to your hopefully one-day massive Instagram following!

5 Simple Tips to Making Money on IG

1. The link in your profile… use it effectively!

This lays the foundation to a solid Instagram profile— if users like your Instagram content, one might logically deduce that visiting your link listed in the URL field will take them to more—or at least, similar content.

We hope this is the case, because we don’t want to mislead users!

Enter the URL of your website if you have one, but if not, using a URL shortening service such as Bit.Ly will suffice while pointing to your affiliate link.

Point people to this link in your Instagram profile & use Calls-To-Action

2. Use quality images & videos that you have permission to use

Upload appealing images with and without watermarks if applicable (only alter these images if you have permission!)

If you’re a newbie and not sure where to turn to, consider networking with other marketer — partnering with them and seeing if they’ll take you under their wing for coaching. The possibilities are endless.

 

Uploading your attractive photos regularly (with and without watermarks) will make you an integral part of Instagram.

The goal here is to make the users want more; to keep them content & tagging their friends.  they’ll see the watermark on your image and visit the site—which SHOULD take your visitor to a site with more relevant pictures or content.

The money will come if your page is optimized – or if you’re directing your users to a relevant landing page.

3. Use #hashtags wisely!

#Hashtags are a simple yet effective way to generate traffic to your Instagram page.

Of course, this is only effective if you’re using relevant hashtags.

You want the visitors who check out your page to stay… so misleading or using irrelevant yet popular hashtags will do more harm than good.

A few popular hashtags and a few unique, less popular ones are a good mix.

Don’t go overboard with them.  Between 5 – 8 hashtags per post is probably more than sufficient.

4. Stay active & engage that Instagram audience!

Growing an Instagram following requires constant engagement & interaction.

  • Make it your mission to LIKE & COMMENT other people’s posts as often as possible..
  • Make good use of @mentions — so your fellow Instagramers see your replies.
  • if someone comments on one of your video or photo uploads, always reply..
  • Spark & initiate engagement via thought-provoking and/or funny image/video captions.

Let your personality shine through to your followers.

Share content often and think about your followers as fans who you’d never want to let down or leave hanging

5. Don’t come to the Instagram table without a strategy

Know why you’re on this social media platform and who your core audience will be.

Make a schedule and plan ahead.

Figure out how often you’ll post, and when you’ll post.

Keep a steady eye on your campaigns, use plenty of unique trackers, and analyze which campaigns perform the best.

Be in position to make money!

Instagram may have a reputation for being a platform where users can upload photos showcasing the glitz and glamour of their mostly-ordinary everyday lives… but that doesn’t stop this social powerhouse from being a serious battling ground for affiliate marketers who want to make cold, hard cash.

As entertaining as all those photo filters can be, making money through Instagram is even cooler.

So go ahead…

Take these 5 tips and use ‘em to your full advantage—build that following, and get to work!