With all the coming and going in the social media world, everything seems to have settled down to the big five social media players: Facebook; Twitter; YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.
Each one offers everyone the ability to make money online. Each one with their unique method and ways of turning the platforms number of visitors into potential customers. This is how these companies have amassed billions of dollars between them.
In fact, these top five social media companies are worth an eye watering $813 billion. Yes that’s 813 BILLION DOLLARS!
Out of the top five the platform with the least contribution to this value is Twitter, which is worth a meagre $20 billion in comparison.
Instagram, which was bought out by Facebook in 2012, looks to have been an amazing investment at a cool $1 billion. The amount at the time paid for the social media photo sharing platform was considered crazy! How could a site to share photos, which only launched two years prior, be worth such a colossal sum. Mark Zuckerberg though as smart as he is shroud saw the opportunity and although paid over the odds (with $300m cash and $700m in Facebook shares) has seen a return of x100.
In order to start making money on Instagram, you have to understand the platform. How it works, what it’s users’ value, how to grow your channel and how to earn an income from it:
What is Instagram and how does it work?
Instagram is still growing. The platform is much different though to the other social media platforms. Instagram is photo sharing not the written word, but to gain popularity and esteem in the Instagram world people need to like your photos.
Instagram is less about the person and more about the content. It’s quite common not to know who is behind the Instagram page in the account holder didn’t include their name – which is quite different to Facebook and Twitter in which personal profile is a major part of the platform’s success.
Take a photo, upload it to your Instagram account and it’s there for the world to see. Sharing photos is a doddle. On many mobile phones you can share a photo you have just taken with a click of a button and it’s there for the world to see.
When uploading your photo you have a range of options to edit and enhance your photo with some of Instagram’s pre-set filters. Once you have found one you like, or just leave it as it is, you can add a title, location and description for your photos along with descriptive hashtags. This title, description and hashtags can be very important to grow your channel and popularity.
What is important to Instagram users and followers
In order to grow your Instagram channel you need to understand Instagram, it’s users and what they want.
As Instagram is all about photos rather than written, it makes sense the accounts with the highest number of followers are either celebrities or those who take really good photos!
It can be as simple as that. Great photos are liked and shared by others. This is the most essential ingredient to the popularity of an Instagram channel. If you enjoy going out, exploring the outdoors with your camera or mobile phone and your creative juices lend itself to taking some great photos you could find a good place within the Instagram community.
How can I improve my photography skills for Instagram?
Even without an expensive camera it’s amazing to think how good a quality a photo you can achieve with mobile phones today. Instagram photos are most often viewed on tablets and mobile phones. The quality doesn’t have to be as high definition crisp as printed work.
With a whole range of free photography lessons and tips on YouTube, and low-cost full photography courses on places such as Udemy (at less than £10 during one of Udemy’s frequent sales), there’s no excuse not to fine tune your photography skills.
The art of photography can be rewarding enough, but to earn a passive and regular income due to your photography can be a much-needed added bonus!
How can I make money on Instagram with my photos?
Making money on Instagram is really the art of building a following and growing your channel. Instagram isn’t a place to sell photos necessarily (although that is possible) but the higher number of followers you have you enter the realm of ‘influencer’.
Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t offer the same ease of implementing adverts to earn an income like YouTube does. You have to be a little more creative.
You could direct your followers to your website, where you may be selling your photos. You could join an affiliate scheme for photography products or services and create a post with a link in it’s description showing your followers the benefit of the products or service – and for each product or service your followers purchase, you’ll earn a commission.
With an audience an Instagram influencer can encourage their followers to purchase or at least check out products and services. This must be done sparingly though (no more than 1 in every 5 regular posts) because if you turn your channel in to a channel full of adverts it will cause your followers unsubscribe quicker than you can blink.
Do it right and you can make a modest second income whilst you sleep.