[FREE] How to make money on Instagram as Programmer: The Ultimate Guide
Table Of Content
- Change your mindset
- Select Profitable Niche
- Optimize Your Instagram
- Create High Converting Posts
- Scale Your Instagram Growth
- Monetize Your Instagram
- Build Your Product - a note for you
- Sell Your Product - Landing Pages
- Call to action
- Why Ebooks
- Ebooks are better than videos
- Why Gumroad
- Competition is good
- Case Study of my student Damien who made $30,000 with one message
This article contains some of the most important lessons from my most popular book How to make money on Instagram as Programmer. I am offering these lesson for free to help you start a steady monthly income stream.
Let's go through some of the most foolproof strategies to grow your Instagram audience and monetize it
Change your mindset
- The sequence is important here
- One cannot expect to earn money on Instagram until they have true fans
- And once you have enough true fans no one can stop you from creating a money generating machine on Instagram
How big of an audience do you need?
100K or 1M followers?
The answer is - it does not depend on the number of your followers
There are many accounts on Instagram that have 1M+ followers
But, the problem is - most of them are fake or bots or dead-accounts
What you need to focus on is earning true fans
Even 1 true fan can pay you for a lifetime!
So, change your mindset - don't look at the wrong parameter
This handbook will go in-depth on how to set up your Instagram account for success - and turn it into an auto-true-fan-generating machine!
Making money on Instagram is something that everyone wants to do. However, it is not as easy as you think. In this article, I will share how to generate $1,000 per month on Instagram, on a repeat mode.
Select Profitable Niche
- Building a successful business depends a lot on choosing the right niche
- Posting random photos on Instagram just because some bigger account is doing it will not get you anywhere
- Every piece of content you post must have a purpose to it
- Your content should attract the right audience to your page
- So that, when you are trying to sell them something you can connect to them and convince them to buy from you
- Follow these strategies to choose the perfect niche for your business
3 Step process to identify a profitable niche
- Identify your passion
Your business niche depends a lot on your interests
If you are not interested in the niche - you will not put 100% into the business
So, identify your passion
List all your interests
At least 10 of them
Example of passion: Fitness, Life Coaching, Career guidance, Personal finance, Programming, Luxury lifestyle
- What problems do you care about the most?
- After you have created a list of your passion
- Jot the some of the major problems you face in that field
- Which problems do you really care about? So much so that you are willing to pay someone if they solve that problem of yours
- Evaluate the market
Now that you are aware of your passion
And also the problems you face in that field
Now it's time to see if there are other people in the field facing that problem too
Furthermore, do they really care about it?
Quick and free way to find that out is to check the search volume
You can use Google keyword planner tool for this
Check for keywords, phrases from your niche and observe the search volume
Another quick way is to find your competitors in that field
Observe what they are talking about the most
Observe how do they add value to their audience
And finally what are they selling to their audience
- Follow the above 3 step process to choose a niche for your Instagram account
- Don't skip this step - because skipping this can cause you to lose time and add frustration to your hustle
Optimize Your Instagram
Now, it's time to open your Instagram account within your selected niche
Your Instagram BIO is one of the most important things you would want to focus on
Because that's how a person coming to your page would convert into a follower
Key points to optimize your Instagram
1. Choose a suitable account name and handle
- Choosing the perfect name and handle for your brand is very important
- That is how people will find you and your account will start growing
- Ideally, your IG handle should be that business name
- If you don't have a business make it one of the most popular words/phrases from your niche
- Example for fitness niche: @fit_instagram, @healthyrecipes, @backpainworkouts- Example for personal finance niche: @passiveincome, @stockinvestor
2. Choose a suitable profile picture
Profile picture on Instagram should be clean and something that stands out
It should look professional if you have a business but it should be clean at the very least otherwise
Instagram profile picture dimensions should be
180px x 180px
Instagram profile pictures are circular - so be careful that your corners are not cut off unexpectedly
Tip: While uploading a profile picture - zoom in or out of the circle to customize the cropped image.
3. Write an impactful bio
This is very you will make your first impression on your visitors
Make it impactful and enticing
Write a quick note about the "what" of your brand
- Example: "Actor/Director/Singer"
- But, focus on the "Why" of your brand
- Why should someone follow you
- Why should someone buy from you
- What will they get if they follow you
- Make it about the customer
- Example: "Lifestyle guru", "Personal finance coach"
- Use the above key points to create an amazing bio and send me the screenshot of it via email at
- I will review it and give you my feedback
Create High Converting Posts
Capture the attention
With creative posts, colorful posts (with a theme, brand colors)
Capture the photos at the right angle - learn some basics of photography
If you are not posting photos from a camera you can use tools to create the posts
Tools like Canva, Illustrator are very popular
Inspire your audience with quotes or inspirational messages
Engage with your audience by giving them challenges or quizzes
Post tutorials on the most painful concepts in your field
Post DIY videos
Click beautiful photos of the places you visit if your niche is travel
Show your results to your audience to inspire them
Sometimes, also share your vulnerabilities with them so that they know there's a real person behind this Instagram account
Pro tip: Find what your competitors are posting. Jot down the topics and create your own content in your own style and post it.
Focus on adding value to your audience
Give out daily tips and lifehacks to make your audiences' life better
Here is a sneak peek for you:
- Stop seeking for support. Learn to figure it out yourself and do it on your own.
- Life is not just about hard work - you should have some fun too.
- Make a list of recurring expenses. Prioritize them - see which ones are not really needed, cancel them.
Don't just add posts
There are so many different types of posts Instagram allows you to add
Type of content
Experiment with every type of post
See what you are most comfortable with
And see what your audience engages with the most
- Textual captions of your posts are equally important
- Don't go lazy on it
- Use it as an opportunity to tell a story, inspire, teach them a valuable lesson
- You can also add a call to action in your captions - telling your audience to visit the bio and click on the link
- Try a different strategy
- Write a caption first - tell a story to your audience to inspire them or entertain them
- Then create an amazing post around it (image or video)
Scale Your Instagram Growth
Once you have optimized your bio and start post content consistently you will see your fan-rate rising higher
But, there are some other strategies you can use to expedite the process
Post daily content
- This is a no brainer - you must post content consistently
- Some people post 3 posts per day - but it is not sustainable
- So, aim to post at least one post per day
- There are tools like the Facebook creative studio and Later that you can use to schedule your content
Engage with your audience
Let your audience know that there's a real person behind the account
So, don't just post the content
Engage with your audience too
Reply to their comments on your posts
Answer their questions
Reply to their DM's
Reply to their story replies
Like their responses
Thank them for taking their time to respond to your posts
If you lose money, you can earn it. If you lose your health, you can build it again. But it feels if you lose your time, your time is lost forever.
Target your competition
Competitor analysis is a super important concept in business
To simplify it for our purposes - follow these tips
Identify your competition (larger accounts)
Observe what they post
Answer the questions that users ask on their posts
This is how people will start noticing you
They will realize you are adding value to them
They might visit your profile and if they find anything interesting - voila! you would just earn a new fan!!
Similarly, ask questions on bigger accounts in your niche
That is another way to get noticed
You can also DM users who are facing problems and you have an answer to that problem
Then post that conversation snippet to your profile - that will win the trust of your audience
Sky-rocket your growth by collaborating
When it comes to building a brand or a business - networking is the key!
If you keep posting photos on Instagram in isolation there is only so much you could grow
Even if your photos are super-awesome
This is where networking comes into the picture
The key here is to find other similar accounts like yourself (slightly larger)
Engage with the account holder
Start by helping them
Helping their audience
Adding value, giving free service to that account
Next step is to reach out to them
Via DM or email
And ask them if they would like to collaborate
This is a lot more common than you think
Simply ask them this
Hey, love your content!My IG account is in a similar niche too.Would you like to collaborate?We could help each other grow fasterand help our audience better.How about promoting each other on a story?
If you have built up your relation - you will surely get a positive response
And finally, simply tag them in your story - and they will do the same
Find 3-4 similar accounts
Repeat the above process
Pro Tip #1: Beware not to spam your audience by only doing promotions. Your first duty is to provide value to your audience.
Pro Tip #2: Don't stop at only story shout-outs. Try such shout-outs on posts too. Posts usually have higher engagement than stories.
Monetize Your Instagram
Now that you have worked hard to grow your Instagram it's time to cash in!
Remember before you even think about making money on Instagram - focus on providing relentless value to your audience
Have a system in place wherein you are posting consistent content
Engage with your audience
And once your audience has turned into your true fans - then start thinking about monetizing it
Instagram is a powerful platform to earn serious income on a consistent basis.
Wait! This is not a clickbait. In fact, it's the opposite. This article is meant to give you the actionable steps to become that wealthy person you always wanted to be.
Ways to make money on Instagram
- Depending on your niche there are different ways you could make money on Instagram
- Let's look at them starting with the level of difficulty
This is simple
You just reach out to similar IG accounts in your niche
Ask them if they want to promote their account or their product on your page
Promote their content on posts or story
And take a one-time fee from them for this
You could offer them package deals of 3 or 5 posts as an upsell
After you have earned the credibility and some expertise
You could start charging your audience for consultations
Remember - you don't need to be an expert
You just need to be a few levels higher in the subject than your audience
Please do not fake your expertise!
Coaching calls are trending
Students are also willing to pay - because they get 1:1 attention
You could start by charge $45 per hour
Then increase to $95 per hour
Depending on your niche there's potentially no limit to how much you could charge your students
Create A Course
This is another new trend
And for a good reason
If you have an audience
And if you have the drive to teach the masses
Why not create a course instead of doing 1:1 coaching calls
You can create a simple e-book
Or you can do video tutorials
You don't have to show your face - if you are not comfortable
Just walk through the slides and explain the matter in your voice
Then host it on Gumroad
And collect a one-time fee for your course
If you don't have the skills or the patience to create a course
You can simply market someone else's course
Simply reach out to the creator
And ask them if you could become an affiliate partner for their content
You'd get a unique link
If your audience uses that unique link to buy the creator's content you earn a commission in between
For digital content, the commission is usually around 40%-60% of the total price
So, that is a pretty good commission for almost no efforts!
Please reach out to me at email@example.com if you'd like to become my affiliate partner.
Similar to digital content - you can also sell physical products on your account
Dropshipping is pretty hot - and super-profitable
But beware - it takes some skills and patience to nail down the art of dropshipping
If you have those or are willing to learn through the process - give this a shot
Basically, you create a shop on Shopify.com
You add products from Aliexpress to your store
You promote those products through your IG account
Send the audience to your shop
And when someone places an order - you simply fulfill it
Pro Tip: Most of this fulfillment process can be automated with various free/paid tools. Example - Oberlo.
I hope this gives you an idea about how to monetize your Instagram
There are potentially hundreds of other ways I can teach you to monetize your Instagram account
The first step is to start building your Instagram account
Provide value to your audience
The money-making part becomes a piece of cake after that!
Pro Tip: I repeat. Do not focus on money-making at first. First, add value to your audience. Turn them into your die-hard fans.
Build Your Product - a note for you
After you have come with your amazingbusiness idea and also havevalidated that business idea it is time to execute.It is time to build your info product.It maybe a video course, a SaaS product,or an eBook.If you have chosen to go with createthe eBook guide route -use my other modules where I exactlytell you how to create your info-products.If you have chosen to go a different route -still check those modules out itstill contains a lot of hidden gemson my strategies and tools that I use.
Sell Your Product - Landing Pages
Now that you have built your info product - it is time to sell it!
YAY! Finally the step you were waiting for...
You need a landing page to sell your product
It is also called a squeeze or splash page
It's a web page
The objective is
- To convey your audience the benefits of your product
- To collect visitor's information through a form
- Offer them some incentive in return
You can give away a free item to capture user's email and other details
- Free ebook
- Free webinar
- A free course
Landing page is typically only one page
- It can be as long as you'd want
- The goal is to convey enough information about your product
Check out my landing page example
The landing page was done for HTML to React: The Ultimate Guide
I use Gumroad extensively for my info products
I am planning to implement it and design it better on my own site - SleeplessYogi
- But, my Gumroad landing page is working amazingly
Tip: Don't over complicate things. Use tools that are easy and free - don't spend too much time trying to overdo something. If it's working keep it as is - prioritize something else that you should be focussing on.
This post is going to reveal my darkest secrets and guilty pleasures. More importantly, this post is much more than that - it is packed with a lot of tips and tricks on budgeting, managing finances, and frugality. So don't miss a single line below this one.
Call to action
The most important parts of your landing page
- One - headline
- Two - call to action
Call to action should guide user to take some action on your page
Make it clearly visible
- Make it big
- Not too big
Play around with the colors of the button and the text
- See what your users like
- This point can make or break your conversion
Don't be vague with your CTA copy
Write a phrase if you have to
Ex: "Get Started"
- "Subscribe Me"
- "I want it"
- "Try 7 days FREE"
- "Claim the discount"
TIP: Make a list of power phrases (CTA). You will need it everywhere.
Measure and test - Analytics
You have to measure how your page is performing
Else there is no way you would know what is working and what is not
Add Google Analytics on your page
- Look at numbers
- Number of visitors
- Bounce rate
- Time they spend on your site
If the bounce rate is high
- It means your copy is not good enough
- You are not using language that will connect with your audience
- The page is confusing
Run A/B tests on your site
- Split traffic in half
- Half traffic see version X of your page
- Half traffic see version Y of your page
- Half traffic show X call to action
- Half traffic show Y call to action
You can then make informed decisions
- Which page gave you better results?
- Which CTA gave you better results?
TIP: When doing A/B testing try changing only few things at a time. Else you won't know what exactly worked and what did not
TIP 2: Don't forget to check out the checklists. For all the tools you can use to create a dope landing page for your product.
First and foremost question - WHY eBooks?
- Why not video
- Why not SaaS app
Writing content and creating ebooks is simplest way to put yourself out
- In front of your audience
- Start generating side-income
- It can easily be turned into a full time job for yourself
It's a build once sell multiple times strategy
- You just need to spend time and efforts one time to create it
- And then it will generate you revenue for the rest of your life
There can be various reason you'dwant to write ebooks forExamples:- Increase traffic- Get more sales- Lead magnet- Explain about your product- Teach your students about something- Repurpose your existing content
It is a perfect opportunity for creators who do not prefer going on camera or a microphone
- There can be multiple reasons for this
- Maybe they are shy
- They are not good on the camera
- Their employer might not appreciate it
Creating ebooks is easy and FREE
- Tools to create ebooks are FREE
- Even hosting your ebook is FREE - and I will tell you later how you can do it!
- So, basically this is FREE money!
- You just need to put in effort one time
Ebooks are better than videos
- I believe ebooks are better than other form of content ex videos
- Videos are easy to forget.
- You watch it once - and you forget it after some days
- Then if you want to search something again
- You won't remember where in the video exactly to search for
- Searching in ebooks is super easy
- You cannot skim through the videos
- Skimming through ebooks is easy too
- To get the entire picture of what is being taught in the book
Simply put - Gumroad is a super easy and minimalist platform
- Especially for beginners
It also handles payments pretty easily
It is a secure platform
Are you one of these?
- Software Developer
- Anything of this sort
Then Gumroad is for you
It's a simple platform to sell stuff that you make
- Using Gumroad you can
- Build email newsletter
- Sell on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, any social media
- Integrate Gumroad onto your website
Your location is not a problem
- They support creators from many countries
You can collect payments via Paypal
- This now depends on the country you are in.
- So remember to check out
They provide sufficient analytics to understand your customers
- Number of views
- Sales by dates
- Consumption analytics
Details of your product
- On the next screen you will be asked to add more details about your product
- You can edit the name of your product here
- You can edit it even after your launch it - don't worry
In the description field you can add the copy of your sales pitch
This is the landing page of your product
Check out the "Building Instagram Business" module for more details on Landing Page
Here are some examples you can use for inspiration
Then add a cover for your product
This is where you can reuse the ebook cover you have already created from the previous section
You can choose the CTA - call to action from these options
- I want this!
- Buy this
You can then a add summary of your product
- You will get 1 eBook of 200 pages
- You will get 1 video webinar and 10 homework sheets
Describe what your customers will get after they make the payment
This will make it easier for the customers to set their expectations
Competition is good
Research your competition
- Go through their posts - especially the top performing ones
Jot down the hashtags they used for those posts
- Make a list of them
- Try and see which ones work for your own posts
Don't use the hashtags that are overused
- You posts will get lost in the crowd
- You the hashtags which are a little less popular
- So that your posts will stang out
I am a Software Engineer by profession. So obviously I code for 8-10 hours out of my 24 hours every day. I always had that drive to do something extra and master the skills in other fields.
Congratulations! For making it this far.
Now here's a bonus inspirational story of one of my students as a gift to you.
I hope you take MASSIVE ACTIONS after reading the story.
Case Study of my student Damien who made $30,000 with one message
How Damien made $30,000 by sending one message on Instagram following my scripts and strategies?
If you have come this far through this ebook I am sure you are interested to learn the advanced strategies of making money on Instagram.
Some people still think Instagram is not a mainstream platform to build your business upon. I am here to bust that myth today. Well, my student Damien is actually.
So, here's a story about Damien and how one IG DM changed his life forever - following the exact scripts and strategies I gave it to him.
Little about Damien - he is an indie-hacker. He has been a hustler all his life and to date, he's worked on more than a dozen of projects - but unfortunately, none of them made it far, until this one.
Like you, he also got this ebook and followed all the strategies and tips. He was doing all the right things, putting in consistent hard work to grow his account. Starting with 0 followers 6 months back now he's sitting at 12K followers (Damien was not comfortable sharing the account handle for privacy and copyright issues).
While Damien was studying his competition - one of them stood out to him prominently. That account was doing things very similar to Damien's niche did. But, based on the engagement they were getting they obviously were converting a lot better than him. He was immediately compelled and he knew that very moment that he had to connect with that business somehow - and probably get mentored by them.
So, following some of the advanced strategies mentioned in my ebook "Build. Create. Sell. Scale." (more details below) he decided to reach out to him via IG DM.
Mind you - the first rule of sending DM to bigger influencer accounts is to keep it short, simple, and grab their attention. That's what he did. In a very crisp manner, he described his venture, explaining his strength and weaknesses, and asked them for very specific advice on his business.
He was prepared to be ignored! But, little did he know - how well my strategies worked!
He received a quick reply with some actionable advice that had an immediate impact on Damien's venture... and that business was even interested in investing in Damien's venture!
They went back and forth over emails and a few calls. Damien did his due diligence - it was for the first time someone had shown interest to invest in his venture.
Long end short - Damien was offered $30,000 as a sign-on bonus + an experienced investor will now advise him to scale his business + they are negotiating further terms that would potentially result in even more funding.
Now, if that does not inspire you - I am not sure what will?
An indie-hacker who is diligently working on his Instagram business, growing his audience, putting in the hard work every single day. And one fine day all his hard work pays off. And although I am proud I was able to help him out with my ebook "Build. Create. Sell. Scale." - I feel the entire credit goes to Damien's relentless efforts.
Below was Damien's message to me -
I hope you got that push that you needed through this ebook. Make sure you don't let that push go in vain - use that fire to ignite your IG business.