How Bloggers Make Money on Instagram

And What Are Affiliate Links?

I wrote about how I make money blogging before here but I wanted to give a little more clarity on how bloggers make money on Instagram because a lot of people still ask me about it and there seems to be some confusion about affiliate links. So, if you’ve ever wanted to know…… read on.

How bloggers make money on Instagram and how affiliate links work.

Instagram

On Instagram, once you reach 10,000 followers (I’m not there so PLEASE follow me!, LOL) the Instagram gods will grant you the ability to allow your followers to shop right from within a bloggers IG stories. For instance, a blogger could show you some cute shoes on their IG stories that they feel the majority of their followers will love, and that have just gone on major sale. The blogger can add the “swipe up” or “see more” feature to their IG stories which will take you through her affiliate link and you could purchase the shoes with a few clicks and then she would receive a very small portion of that sale.

I would say that most of the bloggers and IG’ers who are really successful at this sort of monetization, tend to be 30 yrs old and younger. With such small commission percentages, you would have to build a huge following of people who were your raving fans. And some of these girls have done just that!

You can be whatever you want to be kids!

You can see an example here from Amanda Miller at The Miller Affect. Amanda has created a huge following of people on both her blog as well as Instagram who trust her and who love her style.

How bloggers make money on Instagram and how affiliate links work.

Bloggers can also make money on Instagram with “Sponsored” posts. This is where a brand has contracted with them. The blogger and/or IG-er will be paid to promote a brand or specific product. These days, I think those posts have to be identified with hashtags like #ad and #sponsored right at the beginning to let people know. Honestly, they are going a little nuts with the restrictions and any day I’m expecting the FTC to require bloggers to put “Please don’t buy this through me.” in front of their posts!

People with smaller IG accounts (less than 10,000), like myself as I pitifully pointed out above, (OMG- Please Follow me!) we can currently make money using Instagram by linking outfit photos through the LikeToKnowIt app. If you see something that you like that I’m wearing, you can screenshot my IG photo, go to the app and you’ll see that I have linked everything I’m wearing, so you can easily see the price and shop any item. Click! Click! And it’s on the way to you! I receive a small commission from those sales. For me- very few of my readers click over from IG so it’s a time-consuming endeavor at the moment, with very little profit.

How bloggers make money on Instagram and how affiliate links work.
Please note this pose and note where I talk about it in the picture further down.

HOWEVER, I actually love using the app! I think it’s such a fun way to shop and I highly recommend it if you’ve not tried it. Just find some bloggers whose style you love and then follow them on IG and on the app- they will do all the work of finding the items, trying them on for you so you can see how they fit and even letting you know when things go on sale! For some people, this is a completely deflating way to shop for clothes, but not for THIS girl. Creativity is not my strong area so I love to glean from those who do it better than me!

You can download the free app on your phone here and you can follow me on LikeToKnowIt here. I don’t post a ton of outfits, because that’s just not “me”. I prefer to tell you guys about a bigger variety of things here on my blog where I can share more and it just FEELS more natural and genuine to me.

You can also shop my IG right here on my blog- just click the Shop My Instagram at the top of this page, or click the tabs on your mobile device – you don’t even need the app for that and it works the same way.

How bloggers make money on Instagram and how affiliate links work.

I currently get an average of 30,000 visits to my blog per month (my highest was 45,000 in January). I try hard to get followers to want to read and shop here on my blog. I’m always trying to get IG peeps to click the link in my profile to head to my blog. It’s not easy! Instagram rewards people (by showing their content more) for their time and activity spent on the platform as well as the amount of engagement each pic gets. So we appreciate it SO SO much when you like a pic or leave a coveted comment or tag a friend! This helps our images to be seen by more people who may be interested, so thank you! <3

Affiliate Links

My blog has affiliate links and if you click them and buy something through my links, I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

For instance- if you click through the link on my post about the $20 black dress, it would take you to Amazon. If you bought the dress, I’d receive about $1.40. Maybe you don’t buy the dress…….maybe you buy a bag of dog food and a case of coffee- I’d still receive a small payment because you used my link to get to Amazon.

How bloggers make money on Instagram and how affiliate links work.
Do you like this pose? I’m literally, straight up copying other bloggers, because I’m not a model and don’t know what the hell I’m doing –But having at least one limb bent does seem to produce a better photo. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

There are two main platforms that US bloggers use to be able to generate links that are specific to us (I really don’t know if it works the same in other countries):

1.Reward Style- (If you’re a blogger and would like to be referred- let me know, sometimes it can help to get accepted to the program with a referral.)

2.Shop Style

These companies contract with advertisers to work out the details on how much, when and how often bloggers get paid when their links are used to buy things. I use both of these platforms and when a blogger is accepted to these programs (not just anyone can use them) we get access to all of these advertisers and are provided with links that are specific to us. Because of return policies and other details, it’s often several months before we get paid for these sales.

I think most bloggers work to cultivate and find things that we think our followers will want to know about. While there are exceptions, most of us smaller bloggers write and edit our own content, take and edit our photos (God help me). We search to find the appropriate links to all the items that we think you will want to know about. We push out our content to as many avenues as possible so that people will actually see it on the noisy web- including all the social platforms. We have to know or learn about SEO and analytics. We pitch to brands, we work with brands, we are our own website developers, tech help, tax preparers and travel agents.

And running a blog costs money (learned that the hard way, lol, but that’s another post).

But you know what? I love it! I enjoy trying to find and then write about things to make your life over 40 easier! And BTW- I don’t promote things that I’m not actually loving. I try a ton of things that never make it here to the blog, simply because I just didn’t think they were worth it. I am writing about things that I actually think will help your day a little easier because of our common midlife struggles. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when you guys comment that it actually helped you or made things better for you! That’s why I’m here and it’s the whole reason for the existence of my little space on the web so never hesitate to contact me about something you’d like me to try out!

How bloggers make money on Instagram and how affiliate links work.

I hope this clears up how affiliate links work for bloggers and just how much we appreciate it when you shop through our links or share and comment on our posts- I promise you- your trust means a LOT and it never goes unnoticed.

If you are a blogger reading this, let me know in the comments if you think I’ve missed anything here. Also- what is your most time-consuming task or the task that you are always scrambling to get done each day/week? Mine is commenting on everyone else’s accounts and posts. I LOVE seeing and reading them- but I like to write thoughtful comments and I always feel as though I’m scrambling each day to get that thing written out!

The business of blogging is a lot like being nibbled to death by ducks. But I really like ducks.

Until next time Lovelies!

Spring and Summer Finds

How Bloggers make money on Instagram and how affiliate links work.

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6 Comments

  1. April 14, 2019 / 8:36 am

    This is spot on! I completely agree that in order to grow your instagram you have to spend several hours a day on the platform. For me that is my most time consuming blogging task! There are just not enough hours in the day!

    Jill – Doused in Pink

    • melissa
      Author
      April 14, 2019 / 9:56 am

      Jill- it’s so true! I am looking forward to seeing how other bloggers schedule their day…..I feel like I just get up and dive into all.the.things, lol. I’m a very organized person but I don’t seem to be able to organize my blogging life! Heading off to make sure I’m following you over on Insta! Thanks so mcuh!
      ~Melissa xx

  2. April 15, 2019 / 11:59 am

    Gosh it is a real slog trying to monetise a blog, isn’t it? Affiliates get me nowhere, I don’t have enough traffic and many of the brands I wear aren’t on affiliate programs. Even using Instagram swipe ups, who shops from their phone? Most people in our demographic look on their phone and later purchase on their laptop or computer, where they can see the item in a larger format. My personal opinion is that Affiliate programs benefit the retailers, not the blogger.

    Since day one, I’ve whined that blogging is less about the actual writing and more about tech stuff (like today, all of a sudden my FB sign up form stopped working because FB made changes to their layout) and social media promotion. Everything sucks up so much time and every day there is a monkey wrench to figure out. BUT! It is never boring, which is probably why I’ve stuck with it, like a difficult boyfriend ๐Ÿ™‚

    • melissa
      Author
      May 2, 2019 / 12:10 pm

      Lisa, I don’t know how I missed the comments on this page! It really IS a slog! And I completely agree that our demographic just isn’t as likely to shop on IG. And yes……i think about 3 people in the world currently read words, lol so trying to make money on an online journal may not be the smartest idea I ever had. But- I love it. And I can’t believe how much stuff I’ve learned doing it. Difficult boyfriend……yes .
      ~Melissa xx

  3. This Main Line Life
    April 19, 2019 / 3:32 pm

    This is a great post and I think you did a great job of explaining how it all works. I feel the same about commenting. I love visiting and commenting on everyone’s blogs, but that’s definitely one of the most time consuming tasks (and taking photos). Ha, I loved when you said, “..because Iโ€™m not a model and donโ€™t know what the hell Iโ€™m doing.” That’s totally how I feel when I’m taking photos.
    x, Julie

    • melissa
      Author
      May 2, 2019 / 12:12 pm

      Ha! Julie, thank you! And I feel like the biggest dork doing my photos! And I know how important images are! If you ever figure out a schedule for commenting/ sharing, etc. please let me know before you make your millions on it!
      ~Melissa xx

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