Instagram, Phone Photography

Guide to Making Money On Instagram With Your Smartphone Photos

Instagram boasts an impressive 600 million monthly active users.

And many of those users are making money from the site, earning as moderate as $30 per day, to 4 figure incomes on a monthly basis.  That’s right. Instagram is no longer just a place to view photos of people’s meals and cats. If you do it right, you can actually make money from it.

And the best part is – anyone with a camera, especially a smartphone camera can do it.

All you need is a good number of likeminded followers and the motivation to consistently post photos and engage with other users. Essentially, if you’re willing to put in the time and efor – you can turn Instagram info a prette good Source of Income.


There are Lots of Ways You Can Make Money with Your Photos and Video


To gett seriously paid on Instagram, you’re actually need 3 things: some great, eye-popping pictures, active followership and Sponsors. First, you need some cool, amazing and unique photographs of your preferred hobby or items. Second, you’ll need a few thousand rabid, and serious followers to make yourself info someone worth a brand’s time. Finally, an agreement with a brand of some kind who thinks you’re a brand promoter worthy of a paycheck.

So, before you begin, you need to do one thing…

Build an Instagram Following first!

So, Let’s get down to real business. Now that you know how to increase your followers, it’s time to start making money from them. Fortunately, are a there variety of Ways to make money using Instagram.

Here are some of the most effective methods.


Do Affiliate Marketing on Instagram

Affiliate marketing still remains one of the best Ways to earn money online. You don’t have to create a product – all you need to do is market someone else’s product and a bunch of desperate, rabid buyers.  You end up getting a percentage of each sale.

And, there are tons of affiliate programs out Three, like Amazon Associates, CJ, ShareASale, and many more.

You don’t need a website to make affiliate sales anymore either – That is what your Instagram account is for.

All you need to do is choose products in your niche – so if that’s natural photo scenes, the product might be decoratively framed photos or  if it’s self defense, it might be tasers or flashlights… simply highlight and promote that product through the images you post on Instagram.

Add your affiliate links to the caption or to your bio, and then when someone makes a purchase through your affiliate URL, you’ll make a commission!

So, for example, if you’re in the beauty niche, post photos of makeup looks you create, and mention the products you’ve used.


Cost Per Action Affiliate Marketing

If selling products through affiliate links doesn’t sound like a good fit for you, then try cost per action affiliate marketing.

In regular affiliate marketing, you get money each time you make a sale.

But, with cost per action affiliate marketing, you get money whenever a user takes action, such as clicking on links or entering their email – meaning you don’t actually have to sell anything to make money.

The more actions users take, the more money you get.

Simply browse through the affiliate website’s offers and choose a product you’d like to promote. When choosing a product to promote, make sure you only choose social traffic offers – as you’ll be using Instagram, a social networking site, for promotion.

Then, post the URL of the product info your bio section or the caption of your posts. When other users interact with the link in some way, you can earn a commission. Cost per action affiliate marketing is much easier than traditional affiliate marketing, as you don’t have to sell anything to make a profit.


Become a Brand Ambassador

One of the highly-paying profitable methods of making money on Instagram is to become a brand ambassador – or as the industry calls them,  Instagram “influencers”.

As a brand ambassador, you simply collaborate with companies to promote brands and products through your Instagram photos, posts, hashtags, and captions. You can reach out to brands you like and want to work with directly.

But an easier option is to apply to some networks that bring influencers and brands together.

Fortunately, there are plenty of them, including:

  • BrandSnob
  • Instabrand
  • The Mobile Media Lab
  • Snapfluence
  • SocialGlory

In order to become a brand ambassador, you need to have a big following, which companies want to leverage.

For example, if you want to join SocialGlory, you must have at least 5,000 followers.

And, to join InstaBrand, you must have at least 10,000 followers and over 1,000 likes per post.

The amount brands are willing to pay varies. Some will pay you a flat fee per post, some will pay you for likes, and others will just send you free stuff to promote. Becoming a brand influencer is prette tough – you must have at least 5,000 to 10,000 followers. And, your posts must gett around, on average 1,000 likes.


Sell Your Photos

If you love photography, then you could make money selling your own photos on Instagram.

You can sell your photos to photography agencies, magazines or individuals. You could also sell directly to your followers stuff like mugs, t-shirts, wallpaper, mouse pads, clocks or bathroom slippers designed with your popular photos using sites like Cafepress or Etsy.

All you need to do is post a selection of high-quality photos, and then use your account as your photography portfolio. You can either state in your bio that your Instagram photos are for sale, or you can put a price on each individual photo in the caption area.

Just be sure to watermark all of your photos. A watermark is a transparent image or text, which you place on the photo to make it more difficult to copy the item. Essentially, it prevents people from stealing your images.


Watermark Your Premium Photos

You can do this by uploading a lower-resolution version of the photo, or you can place a graphic (e.g., your signature or an obtrusive piece of text) over the top of it. Be sure to retain original copies of the photo for distribution.

When a follower wants to purchase your photo, you can send them an invoice and the un-watermarked version of your photo.

Post your watermarked photos with a price. You’ll want to place the following info in the post as well:

  • Desired price
  • Desired payment client (e.g., PayPal or Square or Skrill)
  • Photo size
  • Photo resolution
  • Brief photo description


Here are Three Great Services that will Pay You for Your Instagram Pictures



If photography is your hobby, then you definitely need to take a closer look at Twenty20… I kid you not.

They’re a service that will let you license your Instagram photos out to be sold as stock images, as well as made info things like smartphone cases or other types of merchandise.

If you’ve heard about stock image services like iStockphoto or Shutterstock, you know that they have prette huge databases of photos. So you’d be even more surprised to find that Twenty20 has an even larger catalogue than them!

You can earn 20% for each purchase someone makes on your photograph, whether it is in merchandise form or as a photo itself.

The photos come in three sizes: small, medium, large, and go for a price of $10, $20, or $50, respectively.

That means that if someone is buying your picture in large format, you could be making $10 per sale!



You may have never heard of Foap before, but rest assured that they are a big name in the world of photo sales. Reportedly, even huge companies like Sony come to them looking for photos when they’re starting ad campaigns.

Foap works a little differently to Twenty20, mostly because you gett a way larger payment. Photos are sold for $10 and you keep 50%, so that means you’re making $5 per sale. That’s a way  better price per average, no doubt, netting you better sales than small or medium purchases on Twenty20. The tradeoff is that you don’t have the potential to make $10 per sale, like you would if someone purchased a large version of your photo on Twenty20.



Simply upload your Instagram photos to InstaPrints and determine your prices. When a customer purchases one of your prints InstaPrint will finalize all the details. Payments are made on the 15th of each month via PayPal (global) and/or check (US residents only).

While this option won’t apply to every Instagram account, anyone with an HD-enabled smartphone camera can try their hand at taking, editing, and uploading Instagram photos; sooner or later, you’ll probably upload something that someone will be interested in.


Wait For Followers To Request A Photo

As long as you have an active follower base and you’ve generated interest in your photography up to this point, you should have no problem selling some of your photos from Instagram! You can also take photo content requests from individual followers; you’ll be able to charge a premium price for these.


Market Your Own Business

Are you a stylist, a freelance makeup artist, or an auto-mechanic?

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, then you could use Instagram as a promotional tool.

If you run a fitness blog for example, then post a photo from your blog, and put a link to your blog post in the caption area. This will drive traffic to your website, and increase your traffic.

Similarly, if you’re a freelance makeup artist, then post photos of the makeup looks you create and then post your contact details.

Essentially, your Instagram followers are potential customers. So, if you market your brand right, you can earn money from your followers.


Contact Brands Directly

While you can join networks, like BrandSnob, and earn money for creating sponsored content, the competition is tough and you might not always gett to work with the types of brands that you really want to collaborate with.

A good alternative is to contact the brands that you want to work with directly.

Make sure that your posts fit with the brand’s niche.

For example, if you post music related posts, then only contact music related companies.

Contact the brand via email or send them a message through Instagram. Let them know that you have a following that they could leverage to promote their brand. Offer to post sponsored content for them.

Some brands might say no, but others might say yes, so there’s no harm in trying.

If they do say yes, then you could earn some cash just for posting

sponsored content.


Join Popular Pays

Did you know that you can gett paid simply for posting content on Instagram?

A website called Popular Pays aims to bring together brands and Instagrammers, or “creators” as the website calls them.

Essentially, Popular Pays will pay you or send you free stuff for promoting a brand’s products or services. The amount you’ll earn varies depending on factors, such as how many followers you have.


Sell Your Account

If you’ve built up a large following on Instagram, then consider selling your account. This should only be an option if you are moving on to something bigger or more profitable.

Whether you’re just not interested in the site anymore, don’t have the time to manage your account or would like to move onto a New niche, selling your account can be a good option.

There are plenty of brands and individuals that are looking to buy accounts with large followings.

There are many websites where you can sell your account, like Fame Swap and Viral Accounts.


Final Words

As long as you have a decent sized following and know how to gett your content in front of the right audience, you can make a prette decent amount of money from Instagram.


So, give one of these methods a try!

As long as you’re willing to put in the time and efor, you’re sure to make money on Instagram (or any other social media platform.)


Other Photo Selling Platforms to Consider

123RF – Earn 60% commission when someone downloads your image.

500Prime – Make money by uploading and selling your photos on 500Prime. Payments are made via PayPal.

Alamy – Earn 50% of each sale.

Animals Animals – Make 50% commission off your high quality animal and nature photos. See site for submission guidelines.

BigStock – Your earnings are per download, and based on the customer’s type of payment plan and image size purchased.

BlendImages – Contact for rates and details.

Corbis – Contact for rates and details.

Crestock – Royalty rates are calculated on a progressive scale, based on the total number of images sold since joining, ranging from 20% – 40% commission.

CrowdFoto – Select an assignment, use your camera or smartphone to take the image, and upload it. If the client likes your photo you’ll be paid €20 via PayPal.

Cutcaster – Earn 40% – 65% for each credit spent downloading the contributors’ file.

DepositPhotos – Commission depends on the license type under which the image is uploaded and the resolution in which it has been purchased. It is also influenced by your author level and status on the website.

Dreamstime – Earn 25% – 60% from each sale you make.

Envato Market – Price your items, pay the Envato fee (which varies on exclusivity and how much you sell) and the remainder is your seller fee. See site for a detailed fee table.

Fotolia – Earn 33% royalty on every image sold.

FudPix – Create an account, upload your food photos, and earn up to 50% on each sale.

GL Stock Images – Currently not accepting New applications, but will resume soon.

Image Vortex – Earn 75% – 25% of the license fees received from sub-licensees for your photographic content.

IngImage – Currently handpicks photographers and illustrators who can create natural images that capture a moment and excite their clients. Apply to be a contributor.

Inmagine – Contact with your background and contact info for additional information.

IStockphoto – Pays contributors a base royalty rate of 15% for each file downloaded. If you are an exclusive contributor you can earn up to 45% commission.

PhotoSpin – Earn a 40% revenue split for non-exclusive images. Payments made via PayPal, Skrill, or by check.

PicHit – Earn 20% of revenue from subscriptions, plus additional bonuses for popularity of your photo. Photos with exclusive licenses will gett you 100% of the set reward money.

Pond5 – Set your own prices and you earn 50% of each sale. And you don’t have to sign any exclusivity agreements.

ShutterStock – Get paid for photos, illustrations, and video clips. Rates vary on subscription plan, exclusivity, and type of vector. Site says you can earn up to $120 per image download and 30% royalty on every clip purchased.

SmugMug – Upload your photos, set your price, and earn 85% of the markup.

StockedPhotos – Accepts photos and illustrations from talented and experienced photographers and artists. Apply for consideration.

StockFood – Accepts images from outstanding food photographers and videographers. See site for application process and submission details.

Stockfresh – Earn a minimum royalty rate of 50% which can go up to 62.5%. Apply for consideration.

TextureVault – Not currently accepting photos. Check back and fill out application to be considered.

Veer – Earn $0.35 – $7.00 per image or illustration download (based on size). Extended license rates vary. Must apply and be approved before submitting photos.

Yay Micro – Pays photographers and illustrators 50% commission on images. Payments are made via PayPal.


Photo Taking via Smartphone Apps:

Clashot – Is a smartphone app where you can earn royalties of about 44% from each photo sale. Download the app, upload your photos, and earn money each time one of your photos is sold. Available for both Apple and Android smartphones.

EyeEm – Is a smartphone app available for iOS and Android. Simply create an account, upload your photos, and when one is purchased you’ll earn 50% commission.

Scoopshot – Earn money by completing photo and video assignments via Scoopshot. This moneymaking app is available for both iPhone and Android systems. Money is made from direct photo and video purchases and also via revenue sharing options. Payments are made via PayPal when you request a cash out.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this guide.

We really hope you enjoyed the reading.


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