Tony Vitti, Music Strategist, Advisor and Marketer

How to make money on Instagram in 2018 ?

February 7, 2018

Welcome to this Medium post, I’m glad you decided to stop by to learn a little bit more on how to make money on Instagram in 2018.

Many people think they can make thousands of dollars without bringing value to the machine, without getting efforts done, without creating anything, just by opening a meme page and give it a day.

The truth is that Instagram is a very competitive platform with a lot of hustlers that are loud and clear about their message.

So today, we are going to see what are your options to make money on Instagram in 2018, and what it actually takes to keep that money coming. Just remember that these techniques may evolve in time because of updates on the platform itself and that if I realize something drastically changed, I’ll make a new post about it.

Optimize your profile

First thing first, if you want to make money, whatever if you want to be an influencer or selling your own products, your profile must be clear on your intentions.

Make sure you have the following set up correctly :

  • Email address to contact you
  • Profile picture of who you are
  • Description detailing briefly what you are selling / doing
  • Link to personal page / website
  • Switch to a business profile (in your settings, switch to business profile in order to have access to analytics and a different layout for your profile that is easier to manage for users visiting it)

Post, double, quadruple

You may be posting on Instagram one picture a day, let’s be clear :

That’s not enough, pal.

If you want to stay up in that game (because it’s all about the game), you’ve got to post at least 4 times a day.

Posting a lot of content with systematically the same hashtags will keep you in the searches (explore tab) and what you basically want is to stay up in the 9 top posts for the niche hashtags.

Niche hashtags are for example what you doing or selling. Let’s say you are a Yoga teacher and you use the hashtag #yogateacher well, you better be in the top 9 posts of the explore tab when people look for this hashtag !

Socialize, be a part of the community

Too many people forget what a social media is about. Instagram is a social media, and therefore you’ve got to be social.

If you plan on making money on Instagram in 2018, here is one of the best advice : make Instagram your office, your headquarters, your kingdom.

Therefore, act like you are the boss of your niche and socialize with your community.

I couldn’t stress you enough to be kind and humble on social medias, it always pays.

Here is a technique, that Gary Vaynerchuk calls the “18 Cents Instagram Strategy”. I will not take any credit for this, he actually took a technique that works pretty well and gave it a name, making it his own pet, therefore, here it is in video :

I will sum it up for you if you do not get what it is about (I have read the comments, a lot of people are very confused with the title).

The 18 cents Instagram strategy has nothing to do with putting money in Instagram or advertise, it is just a way to say “give attention”, in other words “give your two cents” to some posts.

So here it is :

  • Search for your niche hashtag (ex: #rockmusic)
  • Look for the top 9 posts
  • Click on each one of them
  • Analyse the post
  • Comment something meaningful and that makes sens for the picture (don’t just throw a “wow cool” or a heart emoji)

So why the “18 cents” ? Well, do the maths : “give 2 cents” per post, there are 9 posts, 9*2=18 cents.

He also calls it the “$1.80 Instagram Strategy”, which is in fact doing this on 10 hashtags.

Give, give, give

Three little principles that you should also immediately apply if you want to make money on Instagram in 2018, you would be surprised how effective this is.

People love free stuff. That’s a fact. I mean, even me I love free stuff.

Therefore, giving somebody something, or offering somebody something is a huge deal to grab attention and get clients your way.

So what I would recommend you to do is that each time someone follows you, send a pre-made message containing something you have to offer related to your business or who you are.

Are you a musician ? Give a free demo of a few songs.

Are you an influencer ? Give a little ebook with your 10 secrets to do whatever thing you’re good at.

Are you a retail business or a restaurant ? Send them a coupon !

There are hundreds of ways to give without you to be broke and this will build a bond between the customer and your brand.

Care about your community

Remember when we said you were in a Social Media and you actually had to be social ?

Well, it’s gonna be even deeper than that. We talked about being humble and kind, you will now have to couple this with taking care of your community.

Your community, your people, your followers. Call them whatever you want, you need them, they bring you business. Therefore, treat them like family.

Each time they comment, comment back. Answer every single question and be kind. Listen to what they say, answer again. Like their comments as well.

Each time you open Instagram, like the 30 first pictures that show up in your feed.

The money is in the DMs

Last tip to make money on Instagram in 2018 : master the DMs.

DMs or Direct Messages, are super powerful and if you are good at that, I am afraid you will be covered of gold.

Let’s take the example of you being a Photoshop guru. You can do everything on PS : logos, illustrations, image retouching, vectors, etc… You charge people for that, right? (Well, I hope you do charge them for your work!)

Here is how to drive clients your way :

  • Go in the explore tab
  • Select the location button
  • Type what you want to look for (businesses for example)
  • Look at their profile
  • Click on their link

Now, check their profile / link meticulously and judge if their content, their logo, their images suck. Do they? Good! Time to DM.

Direct Message them, let them know you took the time to check out their profile and their website and that their logo could take a fresh bowl of Photoshop and tell them you’d be glad to do it for a 100 bucks.

They may say yes, they may say no, in both cases they know you exist, share your portfolio, they’ll call you when the time is right.

Want to go even further ? Work on a mock up of the logo you would do for them with a little watermark on it and tell them that if they want it, it’s $100.

People love freelancers that actually work. There are a lot of posers out there that will never deliver.

Do the right thing.


  • Reply
    October 31, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    This is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Vada Hollander
    November 8, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information..have shared this link with others keep posting such information..

    • Reply
      November 17, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you very much!

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