Instagram Guide To Making Money

Getting Started

Step 1 - Setting your foot

The first step here is to create your Instagram account. You can create your Instagram account through their web site or by installing the app.
But, I’ll suggest you create your account via app because you need to get familiar with it for seeing success on Instagram.
Although you can create your Instagram account via their website, they allow you to post pictures only via their mobile app, so it's beneficial to access Instagram via the mobile app.   
While creating your account, you’ll need to enter your name, username, and password.
As you can change your name, username and password at any time, for the time being I’ll suggest you choose anything that pleases you.
You can even use the shortcut of creating your Instagram account by using Login with the Facebook option.

Step 2 - Find 10 influential profiles

Your next step will be to find and follow at least 10 influential or authority profiles which are operating in the same niche as yours.
You can do this by typing your niche’s name or related topic’s name into Instagram’s search bar and tapping on People section.
For example, if you are working in home entrepreneurship niche, search for keywords like entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, entrepreneur life, business and so on.

Step 3 - Do exclusive research

Once you’ve found and followed authority accounts, you need to study and what they are doing so that you can model their strategies and implement on your Instagram profile.
I am mentioning few points below which you should cover in your research process.
1. Username - The when you visit any authority profile you should first look at their username.
Study what are they using in their username, have they created a brand name? Do they include your niche keyword? Is the username lengthy or short? What separators are they using to separate multiple words?
2. Account type - You can develop your Instagram account as a personal or business account. When you look at the authority accounts, you need to observe what approach they’ve taken.
If most of them have taken business account approach then probably it's better for you to take that one.
For example, in the home entrepreneurship niche, most the authority accounts have taken the businessapproach, and there’s no one who is personally using his name.
Hence if  I were to create an account I would have chosen the business approach.

3. Bio - While looking at the study what message authority are they trying to convey? What words are they using? How they’ve structured their bio? What’s their call to action? Are they using any emojis?
4. Profile pic - Study the profile pic pattern used by authority profiles. Observe if they’re using their full name or just the initials, have they placed a custom logo? Background colors used?
5. Posts - This is important! You need to look what are they posting on their profile? Are they posting quotes? Any vital information? New updates? Interesting videos?
You’ll also need to look at posts that are getting more likes and comments, study what images are used in them? And what information was provided?
Basically, you need to study the posting pattern and the success rate of the posts.
6. Posting frequency - You’ll also have to study on an average how many posts are published by authority profiles per day.
It will give you an idea about deciding your posting frequency.
You can find when a post is posted by looking at the bottom of it.

7. Engagement -  Study what other are doing for engaging their audience. Are they asking questions? Running any contests? Giving away reports? Posting videos?
8. Hashtags - This should be the most important part of your research.
Study which hashtags are they using on their various posts?
For now make a list of each and every one you find, in the later section you’ll learn how to use them for maximizing the reach of your Instagram posts.

Optimizing Your Account

Step 1 - Selecting the type

Before you can start your Instagram journey, it’s better to know in which direction you're are going to move.
Yes, at this stage you need to decide the approach you’re going to select for growing your account.
Decide whether you want to take a business or personal approach. If you’re just starting out with the aim of making money on Instagram, then I’ll suggest you take the business approach.

Step 2 - Setting profile pic

Use data from your previous research to select your display pic. Before selecting your profile pic just make sure it’s the perfect symbolic representation of your account.
If you’re selecting the personal profile approach, then take a smiling and happy close up photo of yours and use it.
Just remember, your profile pic should be at least 110 x 110 pixels in size, and it should be in .JPEGformat.  

Step 3 - Selecting your username

I am sure the username research which you did previously must have given you some ideas about selecting your Instagram username.
Selecting the right username is important because it reflects your account’s purpose, builds a brand and helps people find you easily in Instagram search.
Select a username that looks appealing to your target audience; it should be smart, and something that can be easily remembered.
If the username you want has already been taken then use the word separators such as dot (.), underscore (_) and so on. You can even add suffixes and prefixes to make it unique.

Step 4 - Selecting your Instagram name

The main aim your Instagram name is to grab the attention of the right audience and make them read your bio.
Therefore you’ll need to come up with a creative one liner description about your business or describe the value you provide on your account.
Another trick I would like to share here, include the main niche keyword into your Instagram name.
Yes, this is crucial, it will rank your profile in the search results when people search for the main niche keyword.
For example, if I were to work in home entrepreneurship niche I would come up with a name which includes keyword entrepreneur in it, like “Entrepreneur Guidance.”
Take a look at the profile of popular entrepreneurship magazine named Foundr.
They have beautifully carved out one liner name which describes their business and also includes the main keyword.

The keyword present in the name also helps Foundrprofile to rank higher in the search results when keyword entrepreneur is searched. Thus helping them to get exposure to their profile and bring in more traffic.

Step 5 - Writing Bio

Bio is very vital part of your Instagram profile it does the job of converting casual profile visitors into followers.

Instagram allows only 150 characters to write your bio; that’s why it’s really necessary to write a compelling bio which emotionally connects with your target audience and convinces them to follow your profile.
If you’re unable to come up with a good bio, look at the other authority profiles’ bio and use them as an inspiration to come up with your own.
Few tips for writing a high converting bio:
1.  State what your profile is about in concise and clear manner
2. Convey benefits
3. Use bullet points
4. Have a Call To Action (CTA)
5. Use Emojis strategically
Take a look at the highly optimized bio below; it has everything a bio should have.
First bullet point gives an idea about his profile; the second one conveys the benefit of following it, he’s using the third bullet point to promote his personal account.
Finally a call to action and a link to his landing page and an emoji to pointing towards the call to action to fetch the visitor’s attention.

Step 6 - Placing your link

Instagram allows you to place one link. As you’re looking to make money from Instagram this is your best chance to promote your own products, affiliate products, online store, website and so on.
Just a link that redirects your profile visitors to your offer. And make sure anything you’re promoting is relevant to your audience.

Creating And Publishing Posts

Step 1 - Getting ideas and creating a publishing plan

The research which you did in part must have definitely helped you to come up with ideas about creating your posts.
Once you have the post ideas, it’s important for you to create a solid plan about publishing them. It includes planning about post frequency.
At this point decide how many posts are you going to publish per day and what are you going to include in them.
For example, you can decide to post two times a day in which one post will contain an image and another one a video.

Step 2 - Creating posts

1. Finding images - For creating posts you’ll require a huge collection of royalty free images which you can edit and post.
In the beginning, I’ll suggest you get your images from the following websites, these websites have a huge collection of royalty free images which you can use in any way you want and don’t even need to pay any attribution.
Here’s the list:
2. Editing images - Instagram suggests you post your images in 640 x 640 resolution. Hence you need to crop your images accordingly.
In most of the cases, you’ll need to add some text toyour images and apply some effects.
I am suggesting few online free photo editors which will allow you to do all these and create a beautiful Instagram image.
Here’s the list:

Step 3 - Collecting hashtags

Hashtags are a very powerful feature provided by Instagram. If used correctly they’ll help your posts to reach millions of people.
They also have the ability to place your post in front of the right audience.
In the research phase, I suggested you study and save all the hashtags authority profiles in your niche are using on their posts.
We are going to require them in this step.
Along with the previously collected hashtags, we are also going to find new ones. Finding new relevant hashtags is very easy.
Just type the hashtags one by one from your collection into Instagram’s search bar, tap on TAGS section and again tap on any hashtag.

Now you’ll see a list of all the related hashtags, save them into your hashtag collection.

Step 4 - Publishing posts

Once you’re ready with your images and hashtags, posting them is very easy.
Copy your image to your mobile phone the tap on the + button present in the middle of the bottom bar.

Select the image you want to upload from your phone gallery, and tap on Next.

At this point you can add filters and even edit the image, once you’re done tap on next.

At this point enter a caption to your image and make sure it’s relevant to your audience.
Finally tap on Share in the top right corner, your post will instantly get published on your profile and your followers will be able to see it in their newsfeed.

Step 5 - Adding hashtags

Once your post is published, it’s the time to add the hashtags which you collected previously, hashtags will provide a largely targeted exposure to your posts and help you get more likes and followers.
Once the post is published add all of your hashtags into post’s comments.

Now you’ve done all the important things that are required to create and publish a highly optimized Instagram post.
You’ll see likes and followers coming in as soon as hashtags are added.
Now let’s move to the next past where you’ll learn about other important account growth strategies.

Growth Strategies

1. Use a call to action in image caption - When people are just surfing on Instagram they’ll see your image read the caption and move on to another.
Sometimes they’ll forget to like your image. 
Hence it’s important to make them remember to like the image by double tapping on it.
Therefore you must include a text like “Double tap if you like it” into your image’s caption.

2. Social proof - It’s an important factor to consider when you’re just starting and need more likes to your posts.
Before liking any post on Instagram people see if others have liked it previously. 
If the post has lot many likes, then there is a chance that many new will also like it. 
If there are no likes, then most of the people will just ignore it.
When you’re just starting out, you don’t have any audience. Hence it’s necessary to get likes from external sources to boost your post likes.
To do that share your posts on your other social media profiles, it’s easy to do it via Instagram. 
Just select the social media channel you want to share, and your post will share on it.

You can even use apps like Potion and Magic Likerto boost your post likes.
3. Follow similar profiles - The aim is to follow profiles which aren’t yet big and are working in the same niche as yours.
When you follow their profile they’ll notice yours and will reciprocate by following yours.
This strategy works, and it can get you lot of followers in the beginning.
4. Posting timings - “Later” a service which lets user’s schedule and manages Instagram posts conducted a survey recently.
The survey gave us some interesting facts about posting on the Instagram following are their details.
Best time to post on Instagram is at 2 AM, 5 PM and 10 PM according to Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Best days to post on Instagram are Wednesday, Thursday, and Tuesday.
So if you want to publish an important post and want it to get the more likes and exposure then try to post them on above mentioned timings and days.

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