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How Many Followers Do You Need To Make Money on Instagram? How many followers do you need on Instagram to get paid? This article will give you the answer and explore what else you may need.

By Gajura Constantin

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Active Instagram users and influencers can earn thousands of dollars per post. You've seen them — the sponsored posts, the product placement, the shoutouts, hashtags, and unboxings.

Big influencers seem to be living the life and raking in profits. Bloggers and Instagram models are joining affiliate programs, getting free products, and even starting their own Instagram shops. But how many followers do you actually need on Instagram to get paid?

Because of visibility on TikTok, Instagram Stories, posts, and Reels, being an influencer seems like a piece of cake. However, many users struggle to see their follower count grow each day.

Related: 7 Ways to Grow Your Instagram Without Buying Followers

Indeed, Instagrammers want to sign big, sponsored deals that can help them put in their bank account, eat the best-looking food or travel around the world. However, brands measure your account influence based on both your follower count and engagement rate.

Because of that, well-known celebrities with huge followings grab those big deals while other content creators struggle to build their follower count, reputation, engagement, and much more. But many wonder: What's the secret formula for how to make money on Instagram? And what factors affect how much one can potentially earn?

Related: 5 Ways You Can Turn Your Instagram Account Into a Revenue-Generating Machine

How do you make money on Instagram?

The first question that most Instagram users ask is how much money they can make on this platform. Frankly, there is no direct answer to this question. According to Instant Famous, several variables influence the amount of money you can get per post on Instagram.

Some of these include your niche, follower count, the method of monetization, engagement rates, and quality of posts. While there is not always a surefire way to ensure you'll succeed, there are a few factors to consider in your marketing strategy.

Related: 6 Steps for Better Social Media Engagement

Sponsored posts

Regarding influencer marketing,sponsored posts are one of the most popular ways of making money on Instagram. The industry ranks influencers based on their follower counts and sets the prices for publishing sponsored posts based on the number of followers.

For instance, the nanoinfluencer category has influencers with less than 10,000 followers, the micro category has up to 100,000 followers, the macro category has between 100k and a million followers, and influencers in the mega category have over a million followers. The lower-level influencers, like nanoinfluencers, earn $10 per 1,000 followers, micros earn $100, and macro earns $1,000.

On the other hand, influencers have the right to set their own price, and their charges are mostly outside these guidelines.

For instance, less famous influencers with up to 10k followers may set their rates at $25-$50 per post, an established one with 30-80k followers may charge $150 or $350 a post, while a celebrity with over 100k followers can charge between $1,000 and $500,000 a post. They use other factors when setting these figures.

Related: How to Advertise Your Small Business on Instagram

Four factors that can affect your Instagram earnings

1. Follower count

How many followers do you need on Instagram to get paid? It depends. Many believe that follower count is the only factor brands look at when paying you on Instagram. However, that is not true.

They also look at your niche, the quality of your posts, reputation, and follower engagement, because these factors influence their product awareness and sales.

Related: Here's How to Create Quality Content in the Age of Social Media

2. Engagement rate

The engagement rate is one factor that influences how much money one can make on Instagram. Based on this, lower-level influencers with a high engagement earn more when brands pay based on the number of engagements. As a result, companies use a different pricing model, which is $250 to $750 per 1,000 engagements.

Related: 8 Ways to Get More Engagement on Instagram

The engagement rate on Instagram is a percentage obtained by dividing the total number of likes and comments by the number of posts and multiplying that by 100. You can use a few online tools to do the calculations quickly. Instant Famous states that four to six percent is a high engagement rate, two to three percent is average, and above ten percent is viral.

Related: 8 Ways to Get More Engagement on Instagram

A high engagement rate tells brands that you produce high-quality content and that their target audiencelistens to what you say or accepts your recommendations. This encourages them to invest in you and your personal brand because many of your followers may buy their products.

Therefore, whether you have 1,000 or a million followers, you can make money on Instagram as long as your account has a high engagement rate. The rate shows that your followers see and interact with your content. It also means your followers pay attention to what you say, and a couple of potential buyers are among them.

Related: 5 Digital Content Types Prospective Buyers Love to Engage With Online

Although your Instagram follower count is important, a lower-level influencer with a higher engagement rate may earn more than another with a huge following but few likes and comments on their posts. Followers that engage more are more likely to purchase in the near future, and that's what brands are looking for.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Analytics: Metrics, Insights, Tools and Tips

There are several strategies to try when it comes to boosting your engagement. When it comes to optics, people like consistency. As you build your brand, ensure you have an identifiable aesthetic that you can maintain throughout your posts.

This can enhance your photo and video content's creativity, consistency, and overall quality.

In addition to that, make sure you engage with your users by responding to comments through likes and comments to show them that you notice and appreciate them.

Finally, make sure you post at optimal times of the day. While that might seem like obvious advice, providing visibility for your posts is essential, which means uploading when you know your users are browsing social media.

Related: How to Build an Authentic Instagram Audience

3. Your niche

Social media has become part of people's daily lives. In fact, seven out of 10 people turn to social media networks when deciding what to buy. Most of them make purchase decisions based on the opinion of those they trust.

Therefore, you can give your followers reasons to follow and listen to you if you're knowledgeable and passionate about a particular niche. Promoting brands and products in the niche you already love can earn you money even if you don't have a ton of followers.

Related: The Step-By-Step Guide to Finding Your Niche and Target Market

This leads to the question: Which are the most profitable niches on Instagram? Beauty, fashion, health, fitness, wellness, travel, business, finance, lifestyle, and luxury are some of the most popular niches on Instagram.

Further, there are many brands in these niches that help you create a lot of content for them and successfully monetize them. Therefore, opt for a niche with a lot of followers, so you can easily land sponsored posts. In fact, most brands work with micro-influencers with a more engaged, targeted following in these specific niches to promote them and their products.

Related: How Micro Influencers Will Fuel Monetization in the Future

4. Your overall reputation

Some social media influencers are famous on Instagram and other social media platforms as well as in their industries. They include well-known athletes, scientists, and other subject matter experts. These individuals have both excellent online and offline reputations. Brands want to work with such individuals even if they don't have a huge following on Instagram.

It's always great to have many Instagram followers because brands are drawn to users or influencers with a huge follower base. On the other hand, the follower count is not the only factor needed to start earning on Instagram. Your niche, engagement rate, and reputation also greatly affect your ability to earn on this video-sharing platform.

Related: [Start It Up] How To Become An Instagram Influencer

As a result of these factors, there is no explicit answer to the question of how many Instagram followers you really need to start making money in the future. Even so, you can start making money even with 1,000 followers by exploring various revenue streams.

Social media promoters like Instant Famous encourage active users to leverage their influence on Instagram and search for opportunities to publish sponsored posts, engage in affiliate marketing, sell their own digital and physical products, serve as brand ambassadors or offer social media marketing services.

The article has mentioned a couple of influencers that make money on Instagram with or without a large following. This is clear proof that the number of Instagram followers doesn't count, but a high engagement rate of 2,000 loyal followers can earn you decent cash on this platform.

Related: Dear Brit: 'How Do You Get Your Instagram Followers Engaged?'

Ready to make money on Instagram?

Just like in any other industry, making money on Instagram takes hustle. However, the roadmap to success is less clear than in other sectors, as social media is still relatively new territory.

If you're ready to try to make money on Instagram, remember: even if you use Instagram as a part-time way to try to make money, there are full-time influencers, athletes, and celebrities out there that you'll have to compete with.

To make money on Instagram, you need to commit to your content to work your way up to sponsored posts.

You should think about all of your Instagram posts, what they mean for your brand, and how they can boost your engagement rates. Your follower count matters, but your niche and the overall strength of your community are where the proper growth lies.

Another important factor is that you need to be just as engaged with others as you want them to be with you. Building a community is a two-way street. As you gain followers, you should show appreciation for their attention to keep them around.

You also need to build relationships with other influencers in the same space. The more support you can gain from fans and peers, the more likely you will receive respect, credibility, and heightened analytics.

To learn more about the intricacies of social media, how to build an ecommerce business, and other ideas for how to make money online, visit

Gajura Constantin


Gajura Constantin is an SEO expert and CEO of IUWO, GAJURA and WERAX. Gajura is one of the first digital marketing and advertising experts, helping businesses online since 2010.

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