I know lots of people have probably been trying to crack the code to making money on Instagram and I have done it. It isn't something I invented myself it came from spending tons of time on Instagram. I started noticing these cool niche accounts that were about all kinds of things like bodybuilding, fitness, weight loss, funny memes, funny videos, cool cars, cool trucks, colorful things, luxury houses, treehouses, movie scenes, cool quotes, music video clips and all sorts of niche accounts that had great pics and videos to look at.
After a while of following these accounts I started to take a close look at them and was astounded to see that most all of them had anywhere from 100k - 2 million followers. I also noticed, since I was following them, that they were doing something called a shout out which is where they tell their followers to go and follow this cool new account they found and I realized quickly that this was similar to solo ads from email list building. Then they started doing what is called a shout out for shout out which is where 2 accounts each promote the other persons account to their massive following which is similar to adswaps again from the email list building technique.
When I took a look at their bios they all had something that said - For Business/Promos contact me here: and they would list their email address and/or Kik username(Kik is an instant messaging app). So it turns out after I contacted them to find out how to get a shout out that they were charging for them and taking payments by paypal. So a shout out was something you paid for and a shout out for shout out was a free exchange between 2 accounts. I started to follow all the large accounts I could find and in my photo stream they were always shouting out accounts all day so I started following those accounts. I noticed lots of these accounts grow from nothing to hundreds of thousands of followers very fast and then they would turn around and put the same thing in their bios - For Business/Promos email me or Kik me and then they would start selling shout outs themselves.
So I thought this was a great easy way to make money so I emailed all the large accounts I had in a notes file(I'm on an iPhone) that had an email address and found out their rates and learned how they charge - some by the day and some by the hour. So I paid my way to 120k followers with my first niche account which took about a month of slowly randomly getting shout outs for my account and probably spent $500-$700 dollars. I didn't keep great track of it because it was a whole bunch of small payments over and over. I then put my gmail address in the bio and started to promote myself for free on Instagram by liking and commenting on photos of these large accounts and in about a week I got my first order for a shout out. I charged $30 for it for 4 hours. That means I would post the person requesting the shout outs picture and put in the comments for my followers to follow them and I would list their account name 10 times which is clickable and you couldn't miss it because it was listed 10 times and I left it in my account for 4 hours which gave my followers a good chance of seeing it in their photo stream. I was super excited at this point. After getting a few more orders I started pouring the money back into paid shout outs to start growing my other niche accounts I was working on. By the way that first account of mine was funny memes and jokes and all pics, no videos at this point.
So my other accounts started to grow quickly. I would go to hashtag categories and download photos I liked with an app called Instant Save(you can't save pics or videos from within the Instagram app itself so you need Instant Save) and just re-upload them to my account. So getting the content for your account is super easy plus you can find loads of pics on your computer and transfer them to your iphone with iTunes.
Now this is big business on Instagram and more and more people are jumping on this easy cash bandwagon by the day but compared to the amount of users on Instagram I don't think this could ever get saturated. Anyway now I have 5 accounts ranging form 70k - 135k and growing more and more by the day. People love these niche accounts as they provide fun, cool and interesting content to look at. You of course want to get user engagement so in the comments you can say anything like comment and tag your friends if you think they will like this and this spreads you around more and gets you more followers for free.
By the way shout outs get you actual REAL followers. As you may know there are loads of sites online where you can buy followers but most of them are fake followers and they even say that in their ads. But fake followers are totally useless. If you built a massive account with fake followers and charges for a shout out you would be scamming people and they would never order from you again and they would comment on all your pics saying this person is a scammer so it wouldn't pay off if you tried the fake followers route. These methods of buying shout outs from large accounts are great because they actually get you REAL followers which will give you a long term sustainable business.
So if you want to look into this just launch your Instagram app and use the search feature and type in things like funny memes, bodybuilding, fitness, weight loss, cars, trucks, funny videos, etc and you'll find these large accounts. I would recommend setting up one Instagram account just for following these large accounts so you can see how they run their business and very, very quickly you will figure it out and know what you have to do to cash in yourself. Basically you need a massive following and you can pay for it and build up your following quickly. You could also find other accounts that have the same following as you can Direct Message them to do a shout out for shout out which is like an adswap and is free and build your account totally free if you want.
But this is what the big dogs are doing on Instagram. You can also do what is called a Promo where you charge a business to advertise their product, service or website to your followers. Basically these massive large accounts are a great source of traffic on Instagram. You can even just search for them and have them do a Promo for yourself and promote things like your own products, affiliate offers, CPA offers and even Tee Spring Tee Shirts. Just go to the search feature in Instagram and click hashtags and type in teespring and you will see loads of people promoting tee spring tee shirts.
These accounts are like advertising platforms with their massive followings. They are like the Instagram Ads of Instagram before Instagram has even rolled out their inevitable advertising platform. I also think that Instagram is a prime candidate for a partner program like the YouTube Partner program where people who post popular videos and get loads of views share in the advertising revenue with YouTube. If Instagram ever implements a partner program they will do it with these large accounts so having a large account can put you in prime position to cash in big if they ever implement a partner program.
Also you can promote your stuff with Hashtags for free. Just post your pic and you can add up to 30 hashtags per pic. A hashtag is a keyword with the pound sign in front of it - for example - #teespring, #weightloss, #bodybuilding, #funnymemes etc. Using hashtags categorizes your images under those hashtags so when people search through those hashtag categories they can see your pic and then if they click the pic they can see the pic and the comments below it. So you can promote stuff for free by using hashtags.
Well that's it. Any questions or anything just post below I will try to check in daily to answer any questions you may have about making money with this method on Instagram.