5 steps to make money doing affiliate marketing on Instagram

affiliate marketing instagram
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Using Instagram for my affiliate marketing has been the best method to do affiliate marketing.

Are you looking for an easy method to make money online without having to spend a penny?

If you’re sat right now thinking about how on earth can I pay the bills or for a holiday, then keep reading this blog post.

In this blog post, I’ll take you through the 5 steps I used on Instagram to make money with affiliate marketing.

Don’t forget to check out these 3 other ideas to make money online using your Instagram account

But why use Instagram for affiliate marketing?

Instagram has a huge following of 815 million monthly active users. Furthermore, this is expected to grow with a forecast of 1.2 billion users according to Statista.

This is why you should be jumping onto Instagram.

Choose a niche, build a following, and linking your Instagram account to a product you’re an affiliate of.

There are loads of different ways you can use affiliate products to generate a passive income stream and Instagram is one of the best ways to do this.

To get started making money with Instagram you need to choose your niche.

Choosing a niche and an affiliate product you’re proud to promote

Choose an affiliate product you’re proud to promote, not a product you’d never want to be associated with.

There are 11,400 affiliate programs in the US alone. Bearing this in mind, there will also be a vast amount of programs that are not in your niche, and the ones in your niche, you don’t want to be an affiliate for.

Main reason for not wanting to be an affiliate for a brand is because you don’t have a good relationship with the product. You don’t have a good relationship and it’s not past the friends and family test.

The friends and family test is that it’s not a product you would sell to them.

Of course, on Instagram you’re selling to strangers but if someone purchases a product you’re promoting in your affiliate marketing business and they have a bad experience, this can reflect on you.

A reflection that gives you a bad reputation on Instagram. Your followers will hear about it and start to be turning off you.

Make sure you keep your followers turned on by being an affiliate of a product or brand that you’re proud to promote.

Put your link in bio or create a link tree

Read an Instagram caption and you’ll probably see the line ‘link in bio’, there is a reason why this is done.

It can’t be emphasized enough the importance of creating an Instagram bio that pitches you and is captivating.

Your Instagram bio is telling your followers exactly what your feed is about, what they can expect, and a link to your landing page.

This one link is important.

There are no other places you can put the link. You certainly can’t write it in the captions.

With this space for one link use it to send people to a

  • Affiliate product directly
  • Lead magnet to grow your email list that you sell your affiliate product to later
  • A link tree where you have multiple links on one landing page

You can create a link tree by using the app linktr.ee or creating a free landing page on GetResponse and listing different links to a range of products.

Drive traffic to your link by giving a call to action in your Instagram captions.

Always give a good reason why they should as your followers only care about themselves.

Building your following on Instagram from scratch

Building a following takes work, but it doesn’t mean you have to resort to unscrupulous tactics.

Often times the best thing you can do is really just be yourself on social media.

Be yourself and try to come across as human by being helpful, funny, and thoughtful to make money doing affiliate marketing with Instagram.

Building up this kind of natural following (rather than paying for one) is the best way to go.

How to get your first 1000 followers on Instagram

Once someone reaches 1000 followers you can start promoting products from trustworthy companies. Get your first 1000 followers on Instagram organically by

  • Optimizing your profile
  • Posting to the platform consistently
  • Writing engaging captions
  • Networking with others in your niche and people who do engage with your posts
  • Using hashtags that are relevant to your post and niche

Use of hashtags does get mixed reviews but here’s the strategy I use that works for me.

My hashtag strategy is to use 3-5 relevant hashtags for the content I am creating and then another 3-5 for the niche.

In your own hashtag strategy see what is trending in your niche. Try different ones out to see what works for you and attract new Instagram followers to make money doing affiliate marketing.

But then again people cheat on Instagram and buy followers. Should you be buying followers and is it even ethical?

Should you buy Instagram followers?

Buying Instagram followers does seem like the easiest answer when you don’t have time to grow a following or just want to see instant results.

But what instant results will you really see? If you buy followers, yes you’ll see a quick first 10,000 followers (or whatever they promise you), but these are low quality.

Low-quality Instagram followers as they’re not real people, they don’t ever engage with your posts and have no actual interest in your niche or affiliate marketing offer.

A final point on this subject is that Instagram has this trust score. The trust score is Instagram’s way of deciding if your profile is trustworthy or spammy.

Buying followers could be seen as spammy and so have a negative effect on your trust score. So please keep this in mind if you ever consider buying your followers.

It’s always best to grow your following organically as they’re more engaged with you and more likely to be a buyer in the future.

social media content planner

Use all of the Instagram features

Instagram has a lot of features that can be used to grow your followers and make money. They include stories, posts, and Reels.

When you’re done creating this content, make sure you post it when your followers are most active. I use this free Instagram scheduling tool that helps me to put my post in front of my follower’s eyes, even when I’m asleep.


Instagram stories is the original short video but with these short videos they only lasted for 24 hours then they disappeared.

With short videos, you show your followers what you’re doing and decorate with stickers and polls to increase engagement with your followers.


A catchy photo, eye-catching location, flawless selfie, or engaging caption (in the post), and you’ll grow your Instagram following.

The idea is to get your picture and accompanying caption in front of as many people as possible. You can also do some online research to find out what kind of posts are trending right now.

If you post your content at the right time, do hashtag research, and tag relevant people in the caption and you’ll grow your following.


Instagram Reels are what Instagram is doing to rival TikTok. These new more fun and engaging types of content have become a big hit with people going viral quicker.

To use Reels in your affiliate marketing business, you can research what other people are doing in your niche, and get inspired to create your own Reel based on the format of what’s working right now.

You don’t want to be jumping on a trend after it has been a trend. That’s like wearing clothes that were in fashion in the 1970s and definitely not fashionable now.

Read here the 7 steps to create Instagram Reels like a pro

Socialize! Afterall, it’s a social media platform

Instagram is ultimately a social media site that’s there for people to socialize. So with this in mind, you need to come to Instagram with the idea of being social.

As an introvert, being social is not natural for me, but this has been perfect for me as it allows me to come out of my shell and start talking to people outside of my immediate circle.

I especially love the Gary Vaynerchuk $1.80 strategy and live by it for all social media platforms. If you’re not aware of what the strategy is, here’s a quick breakdown of it for you from the man himself.

leaving your personal .02 cents on the top 9 trending Instagram posts for 10 different hashtags that are relevant to your brand or business every single day.

Gary Vaynerchuk

To grow your following, you have to be social because your network does equate to your net worth.

Make friends with people in your niche, there’s plenty of room for everybody and everybody has their own unique angle in the niche.

The more you engage with others online, the more likely they’ll take notice of you. More importantly, they’ll take notice of what you’re trying to sell.

Nobody pays attention without being engaged first.

In A Nutshell,

Those are the 5 tried and tested methods for making money using affiliate marketing and turning your Instagram account into a mini money-making empire! Make sure that when you’re creating content, you schedule it all to make maximum impact. Schedule all of your content effortlessly with this free tool.

About Post Author

Alison Wolf

Helping you to build an online business so you have an extra stream of income or quit the day job. Don't forget to follow me on social media using the handle @heyalisonwolf
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