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Instagram Affiliate Marketing in 2024: Ultimate Guide of Do’s & Don’ts

January 28, 2022

Today you're going to see, step-by-step, how to transform your Instagram following into a profit churning machine through affiliate marketing.

(in 6 months)

The best part?

You don't need to start with a million followers to do it. 

In fact, you can generate a considerable income when your posts begin to average a few hundred likes.

In this article, 

I'll show you what to do and what not to do as an Instagram Affiliate Marketer in 2020. 


Let's go!

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

In general, affiliate marketing can be summed up as “selling other people’s products.”

A more thorough definition of affiliate marketing is:

Definition of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the ongoing process of earning money through the promotion of a company's (or brand's) products.

The most successful affiliate marketers find products they like and promote it to their followers,

getting a commission on each sale that is made. 

Let’s outline the affiliate marketing process:

Why Use Instagram as an Affiliate?

You may have heard of influencers using affiliate marketing methods on other platforms,

such as:

While these influencers can certainly earn considerable sums through affiliate marketing,

those on Instagram can make even more.

Because of the activity on Instagram is so high,

you can reach much higher levels of performance with affiliate marketing on Instagram.

If you specifically wondering how to make money on Instagram in 2020, 

you might be interested in this guide:

As an Instagram affiliate marketer, you partner with brands,

enabling them to reach a larger audience.

Because of your promotion,

these brands sell more products,


in return they’re willing to pay you a pretty penny.

Getting Started as an Instagram Affiliate Marketer: Step by Step Guide

Affiliate marketing is definitely a way to earn money online,

though not as profitable as lead generation

Instagram Affiliate Marketing can put more money in your pocket,

but only if you know what you’re doing,

and only if you execute your strategy properly.

Starting as an Affiliate Marketer on Instagram

The first step is simple: generate a sizable online audience.

Once you have a decent following,

you’re already halfway towards financial success with your affiliate marketing efforts.

Affiliate marketing depends heavily on the size of your audience.

The more followers you have,

the higher the profit potential.

But with that said, you can still get started with affiliate marketing if you have a relatively small audience.

When you use the right methods,

you can turn many your followers into paying customers.

An influencer who understands how to make the most of their affiliate marketing efforts may end up earning more than an influencer with a larger audience.

It all comes down to whether you know what you’re doing.

How does Instagram Affiliate Marketing Work?

Phase 1: Gathering a Following

By taking these steps:

  • Posting a few times a week
  • Engaging with Your Followers
  • Developing a Content Strategy

you’ve gathered over 10,000 followers,

10% of which regularly engage with your posts,

Via likes and comments.

Phase 2: Partnering with a Brand

After some time,

you make a deal with a relevant brand,

specifying a set of goals and “deliverables,”

and you create posts that promote their products.

And somewhere contained in that post,

you’ll add a special affiliate link.

This link will take customers to the brand’s eCommerce page,

where they can purchase the same product that was highlighted in your Instagram post or story.

Answers to Common Questions

What is an Affiliate Link?
This url is called an “affiliate link,”

and it’s the cornerstone of the affiliate marketing system.

With this link,

customers are tracked and recorded when they make a purchase.

Because of the properties of the link,

the brand can trace the source of the customer back to your Instagram page,

and credit you with the sale.

When the company you’ve partnered with confirm that you were the one who sent the customer to the page,

they’ll reward you with a commission fee.

Instagram Affiliate Commissions: What Kickback Should You expect?

The commission rate can vary dramatically depending on the brand, the affiliate program, and the specific product.

You might earn 1% (video game consoles via Amazon Affiliates).

Amazon Affiliate Commission Rates for Different Categories

One of the highest commissions that affiliates can achieve is Clickfunnels' 40% commission rate. But that's after the affiliate has 40+ Clickfunnels Subscribers already signed up. (Updated April 2020)

The Instagram Affiliate Marketing #1 Ingredient for Success

Now that you actually understand how affiliate marketing works,

let’s talk about the Instagram Affiliate Marketer’s #1 Ingredient for Success:

Develop a strong sense of trust and loyalty with your followers

Since your entire enterprise depends heavily on trust,

you should ensure that your followers believe in you as an influencer before you move heavily into affiliate marketing.

You might have a large following,

but how do your followers really feel about you as a person?

Why do they follow you?

Is it because they appreciate you as a person, or

is it because of your values your content exemplifies?

When you become an affiliate marketer,

you’re depending on a more intimate, personal relationship with your followers.

Instead of merely viewing your content and becoming entertained,

your followers are now being asked to trust your opinion

and use that opinion to make a decision to spend their money. 

Many influencers will work on building this personal relationship with their followers from the very beginning.

In this case, it’ll be easy to segway directly into affiliate marketing.

But some influencers may need to spend a little more time generating that same level of trust and appreciation with their followers before they dive headfirst into affiliate marketing.

Benefits of Instagram Affiliate Marketing

When Instagram Affiliate Marketing is done well,

Everybody involved wins.

The customer gets their product,

The brand receives more attention and sales,

And the influencer earns a slice of the action.

It’s truly a symbiotic relationship

– which means that all parties are getting something out of the deal,

with no loss or disadvantages for either side.

You could even argue that the customer benefits as well.

The Instagram Influencer's "Trust Factor"

If you’re a successful Instagram influencer,

your followers probably trust your opinion.

When you recommend products that are actually effective,

you’re building loyalty within your following – and making sure that your followers only choose the very best products.

The products of all kinds are designed to solve problems,

and these customers are able to find real, vetted items that relieve an issue or satisfy a desire.

So, like I said – everyone wins.

The Size of Your Instagram Following

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room:

The size of your following.

In order to succeed as an affiliate marketer on Instagram,

you need to have a certain amount of followers.

Notice we didn’t say that you need a large following…

You can actually get started in this business with a relatively small audience,

and you might be surprised to learn the profit potential with just 5,000 followers.

Quality over Quantity

So how many followers do you actually need?

Like we said, you can begin to monetize your Instagram account with as little as 5,000 followers. 

2020 Stats about Small Instagram Accounts
Statistically, these smaller Instagram accounts have over 2x the engagement rate of accounts with larger brackets of followers. (source)

You might not earn an insane amount of money,

but it’s enough to get the ball rolling.

and when it really gets going,

it continues to get bigger, 

like a snowball that travels down hill.

Grow your instagram affiliate business is like growing the size of a snowball

Some followers wait a little longer before becoming affiliate marketers – perhaps they’ll reach a level of 15,000 followers before starting.

Case Study: Influencer with >5000 Followers Cashes In

The Guardian featured this Instagram influencer who collected 100 dollars per sponsored post when she had less than 5,000 followers. (source)

One of her recent posts:


The Real Metric to Determine Profitability:

Engagement (Not Followers)

It’s interesting to note that many influencers might have massive followings with relatively low engagement.

This is especially true if they’re relying on things like bots and automation to gain followers.

At the end of the day,

these aren’t “real” followers.

And since bots can’t buy products,

as impressive as your follower count might be,

you won’t earn much as an affiliate marketer with a following filled with bots.

So even if you have 15,000 followers,

you might not be in the right position to start affiliate marketing.

Final Takeaway about Following
Remember, Instagram is all about creating engagement, and your affiliate marketing efforts depend on having a high level of engagement from your followers. 

A Practical Example of Instagram Affiliate Marketing

In many cases,

influencers with a small following of just 5,000 followers have an incredibly close and personal relationship with their followers.

Since the following is relatively small,

influencers can engage effectively with almost every single follower.

This level of trust is essential for affiliate marketing,

and you can earn considerable sums even with an audience as small as this.

For example, let’s say that you promote a relatively cheap item – maybe it’s a pair of socks or a set of three pens.

The price is five dollars – and you earn a 20% commission fee on that item.

If you have a close and personal relationship with your following of 5,000 people,

it’s not crazy to expect almost every single follower to purchase the product.

After all, it’s only five dollars.

So if you earn a commission rate of 1 dollar on each item,

that’s a net income of $4,500… from one single post.

Now let’s say that you have an audience of 15,000 followers…

But you don’t have that same personal relationship and level of engagement with them.

Promote that same product, and only 1,000 people might be persuaded to buy the item.

This will net you an income of just $1,000…

That’s a sum of only 20% of our previous example – even though that influencer had a much smaller following!

This is just a very basic example,

but it illustrates our point:

Sometimes, having a large following isn’t as important as developing a strong relationship with your audience,

and promoting a close level of engagement.

4 Ways to Increase Increase Instagram Following

If you’ve never engaged in affiliate marketing before,

your Instagram presence could go through some notable changes

as you start investing your time and energy into this monetization method.

So how do you ease into the world of affiliate marketing while keeping the personality of your Instagram presence?

What are some good tips for making the move into affiliate marketing in a professional and honest way?

step 1 to build your instagram audience organically

Instagram Growth Tactic 01: Going Old School

The first thing you need to do is differentiate yourself.

Many Instagram influencers today have lapsed into using bots to create followers for their profiles, 

but as an aspiring Instagram affiliate, 

you know that bots don't buy products,

so your main ambition will be to go old school, 

building your following using sweat equity as opposed to modern automation. 

Because affiliate marketers depend on engaged audiences,

this human touch is always going to be key.

Previously, we've emphasized the need for engagement and a “real” relationship with your followers is very important,

even as you build your following into huge numbers.

So that means that when you try to grow your following as an affiliate marketer,

you should definitely steer clear from bots and automation.

But if you’re not relying on bots,

then how can you grow your following quickly?

Well, we’re not going to lie…

It takes a lot of hard work and effort.

But at the end of the day,

it all pays off because you’re building real connections with new audience members,

many of whom will support your future affiliate efforts.

step 2 to build your instagram audience organically

Instagram Growth Tactic 02: Staying Niche Focused

Basically, your goal should be to reach out to Instagram users who are obviously within your niche.

Check out other pages that might attract the same kind of followers that you want to have.

When you’ve found some good potential followers,

don’t be afraid to engage with them.

You can do this directly,

through instant messages

and by replying to their comments.

step 3 to build your instagram audience organically

Instagram Growth Tactic 03: Topically Relevant Comments

On the other hand,

you can draw attention to yourself indirectly by simply commenting on posts that they might be interested in.

Say something funny or insightful,

and people will take notice.

In the most ideal scenario,

they’ll click on your name,

check out your Instagram page,

and follow you.

Build Up Your Commenting Muscles
You can work seriously hard on this method if you feel up to the task.

Some influencers leave hundreds of comments and replies every single day,often with great results.

But if you’re just starting out,

you should aim for about 5-10 comments per day on posts that are related to your niche.

If you’re feeling up to it,you can send instant messages to people as well.

5-10 messages is barely anything,

A good goal would be to put out 5-10 comments within 30 minutes each day without much of an issue.

Although this method won’t require much effort,

the rewards can be quite high.

step 4 to build your instagram audience organically

Instagram Growth Tactic 04: Incorporating Hashtags

Hashtags are obviously very important when it comes to Instagram.

Pretty much everyone already knows this,

so we won’t go into detail about why they’re important.

Basically, people can’t really find your posts on Instagram unless you’re using hashtags effectively.

Many influencers who are trying to build their following use tons of hashtags on each post,

 to the point where it hardly even makes sense anymore.

They might throw in all kinds of hashtags,

even ones that aren’t related to their niche or the post they’ve just published.

While this method can certainly make your posts more visible to a wider range of people,

it’s probably not going to be effective in the long run.

You’ll be attracting attention from people who have no interest in your account.

It’s much better to choose hashtags that are directly related to your niche

– even if you’re just using a few of them.

Consider using less hashtags that are targeted towards your ideal audience.

Why Brands Want to Partner with Instagram Influencers

We’ve already stated how affiliate marketing benefits both the brand and you as an influencer.

But zooming out to the 40,000 foot view,

why would these big brands even bother with affiliate marketing?

If you do the math,

these brands are paying serious money in commission fees with this method.

Wouldn’t it be more effective if they simply took that budget and invested in a TV commercial or something similar?

What kinds of advantages does affiliate marketing have over other,

more traditional forms of marketing and advertising?

In this section, 

I show 3 reasons why partnering with an Instagram influencer is often more effective for a brand than other marketing opportunities. 

Advantage #1 of Instagram Affiliate Partnerships: Direct Consumer Engagement

The main advantage of Instagram is its direct engagement with followers.

But what does that even mean?

Simply put,

users can click directly on the Instagram post which features their product

– leading them to the brand’s Instagram page,

their other products,

and their overall web presence.

They can also interact with the post by making comments,

asking questions,

and speaking with other fans about the products;

overall learning more about the product. 

This direct level of engagement is something you simply don’t get with a TV commercial or another type of traditional advertisement.

You can’t “click” on a TV commercial and explore the brand’s other products.

You can’t instantly ask questions and interact with other fans.

Even if Instagram users don’t actually buy the product,

they still might go on to follow the brand’s page.

At the very least,

the Instagram post generates incredible brand awareness.

And remember,

brands don’t actually pay Instagram users a single cent unless their followers buy products…

Which means that all of this brand awareness and engagement is generated for a grand total of zero dollars.

Hopefully now you’re starting to see that affiliate marketing represents an amazing opportunity for all kinds of different brands.

But there are many more benefits to consider.

Advantage #2 of Instagram Affiliate Partnerships: Consumer Targeting

When a brand forms a partnership with an Instagram influencer,

they’re establishing a strong connection with their audience.

And because Instagram influencers often have incredibly loyal audiences,

this represents access to an incredibly promising customer base.

Which has Better Targeting? Television or Instagram Affiliate

With a TV commercial or a traditional ad,

you can’t really target who sees the ad.

You’re just putting it out there randomly,

and hoping that the right people see it.

But when brands choose to partner with specific Instagram influencers,

they’re making an extremely calculated move based on that influencer’s niche and their audience.

Connecting with their audience also creates a more long-term level of engagement.

Brands can grow with influencers as they get more followers and become more important on the platform.

Establishing that connection early on in an influencer's career ensures that they’ll always have some level of access to their followers.

Many influencers essentially become PR representatives of the brands they partner with over time.

Their name and image becomes synonymous with the brands they’ve worked with.

Whenever the brand comes out with a new product,

the influencer is immediately and eagerly promoting that product.

Advantage #3: Instagram Affiliate Partnerships are Inexpensive 

This type of relationship is incredibly valuable as a long-term business investment for big brands.

Of course, almost all companies are interested in one thing, and one thing alone:

increasing their bottom line.

If their marketing efforts don’t directly result in increased revenue,

then what’s the point?

This is obviously a very important consideration when a brand considers investing in affiliate marketing…

So how much revenue does affiliate marketing actually generate for big brands?

Fortunately, affiliate marketing is proving to be incredibly profitable,

All the marketing and brand exposure done by the affiliate is free until one of the followers buys a product, 

at which point the influencer receives a commission. 

And Instagram is one of the younger, 

still exponentially growing,

provides a lot of untapped marketing opportunity. 

So in the end,

it really just comes down to viewership.

It’s no secret that “traditional” forms of media like television and radio are slowly dying out,

gradually being replaced by alternate models like YouTube and Instagram.

According to Statistica 2020,

Instagram has over 1 billion users.

Most of these users access Instagram every single day.

Marketing products on Instagram allows brands to access a massive audience.

And that means – increased revenue (for both you and the brand).

The Triangulate of Trust Present in Long Term Marketing Partnerships

When forming a real business partnership,

it’s important to communicate what you can bring to the table as an Instagram influencer.

At the end of the day,

affiliate marketing is built on trust.

You need to trust the brand that you’re working with.

You should believe in their products,

in their ethos,

and their general mission as a brand.

If you don’t feel passionately about this brand,

you won’t be motivated to promote their products.

You’ll also find it much easier to promote brands and products that you’re actually interested in.

On the other hand, brands also need to trust you as an influencer.

Brands need to feel confident that you’re going to represent them well as a company.

Remember, you’re essentially acting as a PR rep – especially in more serious affiliate marketing relationships.

Brands choose influencers that reflect their company’s goals and image.

Obviously, they don’t want to you to make controversial statements or do things that will damage their reputation.

And finally, we can’t forget about the customers either.

They also need to trust the influencers that they follow to recommend excellent products.

Because that’s basically what you’re doing as an affiliate marketer.

You’re saying: “Hey guys, this is an amazing product and you should really buy it.”

So what happens if your followers that the item is actually terrible?

That’s right, their trust in you as an influencer is instantly destroyed.

They probably won’t buy any of the products you promote in the future – because they don’t want to get “burned” again.

This is why trust is so important in affiliate marketing.

Think of it as a triangle of trust.

The brand needs to trust the influencer, the influencer needs to trust the brand, and the customer needs to trust the influencer.

If trust is broken between any of these three partners, the whole thing falls apart.

Find the Right Affiliate Partner

Simply partnering with a brand can destroy your relationship as an influencer.

What if the company has been engaging in negative business practices?

Perhaps they treat their employees badly,

or contribute to pollution or global warming.

(younger generations are increasingly concerned about the environment).

If you partner with a brand without doing your homework,

your followers can become furious with you,

and many will stop following you.

At the end of the day,

both the brand and the influencer need to ensure that they have a positive reputation before going into this business relationship.

Key Takeaway
Do your due diligence on every brand you are looking to partner with.

Your research before partnering with can save your reputation,


as an Instagram influencer,

is your livelihood. 

How to Land an Affiliate Partnership with a Brand

What you need to do is put yourself in a position where they’ll desire to form a partnership with you,

so being aware of their ambitions is crucial.

As an Instagram Affiliate Marketer,

This is the intelligence you need:

Know the benefits of affiliate marketing allows you to market yourself more effectively to big brands who are looking for trustworthy influencers to partner with.

Basically, you need to be able to showcase the idea of affiliate marketing to brands.

This is especially true if you’re a relatively small influencer,

and you’re trying to get started in the world of affiliate marketing.


While it’s true that you can simply sign up for affiliate marketing programs without even communicating with some brands,

that’s not always the case.

Many influencers choose to reach out directly to brands that they specifically want to work with.

If you’re just starting out,

these might be smaller, local brands.

These brands might not understand the benefits of affiliate marketing.

Perhaps they’re a little outdated,

and they haven’t kept up with the marketing trends of the last few years.

If you understand the benefits of affiliate marketing,

you can meet with them and explain how this method only serves to benefit both parties equally.

You can also use these skills when working with larger brands.

These reputable brands might only want to work with influencers who they truly trust.

How To Reach Out To Companies For Affiliate Marketing Deals

So far, we haven’t really covered how to actually get started as an affiliate marketer.

How do you form these business partnerships? What’s the best way to get started?

By far the easiest way to “dip your feet” in the affiliate marketing world is an affiliate network.

For first-time affiliate marketers,

you can simply start an account with one of these networks,

sign up for a program within your niche, and start earning cash right away.

This is a booming industry right now,

and there are tons of different affiliate programs to choose from.

Affiliate Program 1: ShareASale

ShareASale is a great starting point for Instagram affiliate marketers.

It’s one of the largest networks in the world,

which should give you plenty of options to choose from when choosing products to promote.

You’ll get paid reliably every single month,

and their system will even show you some of the most profitable deals to choose from.

Their recommended deals are chosen based on:

 earnings per click,

commission rates,

the average sale amount,

and other factors.

Affiliate Program 2: Flexoffers

Flexoffers is another very well-respected name in the affiliate marketing industry,

and this network provides you with tons of features and tools to help you make the most of your affiliate marketing efforts.

The great thing about Flexoffers is that they cater to all types of content creators,

including YouTubers, bloggers, and of course Instagram influencers.

So if you have aspirations to expand from Instagram to another platform,

Flexoffers offers that “flexibility.”

You can choose between thousands of affiliate programs with a wide range of different brands.


 there are plenty of small and medium brands on this network,

which might be a better starting point for smaller influencers.

Of course, there are also huge brands on this network as well,

so you’re really spoilt for choice.

Because this network is neatly organized into different categories and sub-categories,

it’s very easy to find programs that fit your Instagram account perfectly.

Unlike many other affiliate networks, you won’t have to spend hours scrolling through various programs in order to find the right ones.

Flexoffers also has its own internal affiliate programs.

If you let other influencers know about Flexoffers and they start earning cash with the platform,

you can earn a referral commission rate.

It’s just another great reason to get started with Flexoffers – and you won’t find this feature with most other networks.

Affiliate Program 3: CJ Affiliate

CJ Affiliate is an excellent choice if you want to work with major retailers.

This massive network has programs from just about every big name you can think of.

And with this network,

you can quickly and easily compare offers to find the most profitable options.

This network gives you tons of different options,

which is ideal for Instagram influencers.

Not only can you choose from thousands of advertisers,

but you can also from many different options for how your affiliate link is displayed.

Affilate Program 4: Rakuten

Rakuten is a network that has been around for a very long time,

and it has established a firm reputation as one of the best networks out there.

Tons of innovative features give you almost limitless options for how you post your affiliate links,

and how your advertising methods work on Instagram.

Deep linking is just one example of their increased functionality.

Some affiliate marketers steer clear of Rakuten because there are only about 1,000 advertisers on the platform.

But from those advertisers,

you can feel relatively confident that you’re seeing the best of the best.awin

Sometimes, it’s a really good sign when affiliate networkers are very choosy about who they allow onto their platform.

Sometimes, affiliate networks aren’t very good at quality control,

and they allow very poor quality products and brands onto their network.

So maybe a small number of advertisers on Rakuten isn’t such a bad thing.

On the other hand,

a slightly unreliable payment scheme is probably a more viable complaint that many influencers have when working with Rakuten.

Affiliate Program 5: AWIN

AWIN is an amazing affiliate network if you want to choose from a seriously wide range of options.

This affiliate network works with over 13,000 advertisers,

which blows most of the competition right out of the water

(at least when it comes to selection).

Although AWIN is headquartered in the UK,

it operates in over 11 countries.

This is a truly global affiliate network.

Although you can choose between countless niches,

there are a few that this network seems to specialize in.

If you run an Instagram page centered around beauty, sports, fashion, or travel, you’ll love this network.

There are plenty of deals and products that are focused around these niches.

The downside is that you have to pay a fee in order to join the network 

(similar to Affiliate Institute).

If none of the above networks offer what you are looking for,

consider taking a look at my library of 2020 affiliate programs (button below).

Solving the Instagram Affiliate Link Issue

Part of the learning curve that Instagram Affiliates face starting off is:

"Where to Put Your Affiliate Link on Instagram?"

This is what countless influencers have managed to do,

and you can use the same methods.

As a heads up, solutions 1 & 2 are free,

while the 3rd solution costs 120 dollars a year or 15 dollars a month.

Solution 1: The Bio Strategy

The first method is to simply post the affiliate link in your bio.

You’ve probably seen this before on Instagram – even if you didn’t realize these were affiliate links.

Influencers might post a picture,

and in the caption they’ll say something like “check the link in my bio.”

If you're not familiar with the process,

here's a 1 minute video showing how to set up a link in your Instagram Bio:

This is an easy and effective way to use affiliate marketing methods with your Instagram presence.

A future issue that you'll face if you continue the journey of posting affiliate links in your bio is

 that you’ll eventually end up with a bio filled with various affiliate links from various brands and products.

Obviously, having a bio that is crowded with affiliate links is spammy,

so it's obviously is not ideal.

As long as you want to work with only one or two brands,

you can keep referring customers back to the same affiliate links in your bio.

But if you’re planning to partner with additional brands,

you may consider an alternate approach:

Solution 2: Operation G.A. 

You can also make use of something called a Gallery App.

What is an Instagram Affiliate Gallery App?
An affiliate gallery app is an add-on to your Instagram profile, enabling you have have a lot more affiliate partnerships connected to your profile in a way that looks professional. 

When it comes to gallery apps,

you can either make one (DIY) or rent one (DFU). 

DIY Method: You can create your own using a WordPress website and set up your own gallery,

making clickable pictures that enable your followers to purchase your partners' products. 

What does a Gallery App do?
With this tool, all you need to do is post one link in your bio.

When people click this link,

they’ll be taken to a page where all of your affiliate links are posted.

They can scroll through an image gallery of all your recent posts,

find the product they’re interested in,

and click the related affiliate link.

DFU (Done For You) gallery app services:

1. offers the ability to have a free account then upgrade as you increase your affiliate offers. It grows with you. 

To see how works, 

feel free to view the short video below. 

Like the tool before it, Like2Buy offers multiple plans with different tiers for how many affiliate products you are offering to your Instagram Followers. 

The Downside to Placing Your Affiliate Link in Your Bio

While gallery app tools makes purchasing your partners' products much more convenient,

and many affiliate marketers absolutely love using this tool on Instagram,

it's still extra work for your followers (and potential customers),

as they need to click to your bio. 

They might not bother,

and you could lose customers because of this one added step.

Solution 3: Swipe Up to Sell

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest trends on Instagram,

you already know that Instagram stories are huge right now.

Instagram is moving more towards videos,

and influencers need to be aware of these changes.

Fortunately, Instagram is making it easier for entrepreneurs to profit from these new trends and changes.

For example, you can add a “swipe up link” to your Instagram stories.

With this feature,

customers are sent to your eCommerce pages with a simple swipe of the finger.

This method has massive profit potential,

especially as more and more followers focus on stories rather than actual posts.

However, there are some notable considerations you need to take with this method:

First of all, you can only use this feature if you have a business account or 10,000 followers.

This will immediately exclude many influencers – either because they don’t have the followers or they don’t want to upgrade their account.

Some influencers also claim that this feature might drive down engagement.

When you use this affiliate marketing method with posts rather than stories,

you’re basically interacting with your customers in a more effective way.

Algorithms might also be less forgiving if you focus entirely on the swipe up feature with your stories.

Believe it or not,

there are even more ways to include affiliate links.

Solution 4: Embed Code in Image

One way is to actually embed the code directly into your image.

Although your viewers won’t be able to click on the link,

they can still see it.

A Quora member asked this question and Sara Gattoni,

a blogger,

supplied the answer:

Solution 5: Make the Link Short and Sweet

Use a link shortener,

and they can easily take a screenshot and manually enter that URL.

This is probably one of the least effective methods,

because you’re asking your customers to do tons of work.

Link Shortening Tools:
As of April 2020, Bitly commonly known for its ability to shorten links, but in reality, Bitly can do significantly more than make your urls have fewer characters.

Some of the well-loved features of this tool are:

  • Memorable: Customize the URL to Make It Relevant and Easy to Remember
  • Integratable: Bitly connects into the flywheel hub of your operations, whether you use SalesForce or another CRM via Zapier.  
  • Numbers: Total Clicks, Organic Share Clicks and more.

Interested in Learning More about Bitly? 

Here's a quick 3 minute overview of Bitly from a non-affiliate user:

It's one of the best link management platforms with which you can brand, track and share short urls using unique brand names

Some of the well-loved features of this tool are:

  • Multiple Domain Names: This tool offers the ability to manage many different domains from the same place. 
  • Integratable: Rebrandly integrates via Zapier as well as with project management platforms such as Slack and ZohoFlow
  • Collaborative: As your organization grows, you can enable different users to manage different domains for you. 

To learn how Rebrandly compares to Bitly from an affiliate marketer who's used both of them, check out this 5 minute video. 

Solution 6: Implement a Promo Code

The last method is to simply use a promo code.

This is probably the most convenient,

because your customers can easily remember things like BONUS20,

rather than a long URL.

You can embed this code into your post’s image,

and it shouldn’t cause the same level as inconvenience as a URL.

With all the various methods available to you,

this might seem like overkill.

But rest assured,

it’s very important to present these affiliate links to your customers in a convenient way.

If they get frustrated,

they’ll just move on.

It’s as simple as that.

And remember,

they can always just google the name of the brand,

and buy it directly from their online store – without going through your link.

This is why it’s so important to make your affiliate links convenient.

Your followers might want to support you,

but they won’t want to jump through dozens of hoops in order to ensure you get your commission fee.

This is why promo codes are effective – they actually offer customers an incentive to buy products through you as an affiliate marketer.

The Importance of Sticking to Your Instagram Micro-Niche

If you’re already somewhat successful on Instagram,

you already know one of the golden rules:

Stick to your niche.

Picking a niche is one of the most important steps as you start your Instagram account,

and it continues to be crucial as you explore affiliate marketing.

Staying within your niche ensures that you’re always appealing to your target market.

Trying to access a broad market will make your content vague and unfocused.

People choose to follow you because you focus on a subject that interests them.

Typically, they don’t want a mixture of all kinds of different subjects popping up on their feed from your account.

So when you choose to engage in affiliate marketing,

you need to choose products and brands that are highly related to your micro-niche.

Think about your following when choosing products to promote.

What kinds of things would they want to buy?

This is an important consideration,

because it’ll affect your profit potential.

Don’t just choose affiliate marketing programs that seem profitable or easy.

Key Takeaway
Choose to partner with brands that closely fit your niche.

If you start to promote products that seem totally random and unrelated to your niche,

your followers will immediately notice.

Your attempts to monetize your Instagram account will be obvious,

and your followers might even accuse you of being a “money grabber.”

But if you choose to promote products that fit in with your account’s focus,

your affiliate marketing efforts will seem much more genuine.

Because these products fit your account,

it’ll seem like you’re genuinely interested in these products

and you’re making actual recommendations based on your own personal preferences.

And by the way,

you should actually try these products yourself before promoting them.

Brands often do Their Due Diligence

It’s worth pointing out that brands will also choose influencers that fit their niche.

They might spend weeks researching your account,

looking deeply into your followers,

your niche,

and the topics that your profile touches.

They can use analytics tools to analyze your most trending posts,

gaining deep insights about your channel.

They might only reach out to influencers who are closely related to their niche.

Legal Considerations for Instagram Affiliate Marketers

Before starting your affiliate marketing efforts on Instagram,

you might want to research the various legal considerations that surround this practice.

The most obvious and important legal consideration is a requirement set forth by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).

The FTC states that if you’re posting content for financial gain in digital space,

you need to clearly state this fact.

As required by law, your audience needs to understand that you’re making money from these posts.

Fortunately, you can do this with a simple hashtag.

The FTC has stated that including “#ad” in your post is more than enough to fulfill their legal requirements.

Just remember that this hashtag should be “clearly noticeable-”

which basically means that it can’t be hidden among tons of other obscure hashtags in your post.

See the details from the FTC here

Affiliate Marketing is Okay, but Local Lead Generation is better

The issue with affiliate marketing is the low commission rates (10%ish) on a product that’s like $60 which means you need so much traffic to make decent income with it.

Here’s an example:

If your product is 60 dollars and you get a 10% commission,

you make 6 dollars for every sale.

Now, if every follower  bought the product,

You’d make money quickly,

I made my fair share of income with affiliate marketing

(see my review of Wealthy Affiliate),

but I didn’t make a fraction of what I make now having taken the time to set up my lead generation business.

That being said,

Here’s a quick introduction to the business model that enabled me to quit my 9-5 in 6 months.

Here’s a site that I built and ranked back in 2015:

Proof that it's my site:

that’s been paying me ever since since then.

A tree removal job can be anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000

It’s ranked as one of the most dangerous jobs in the US.

My tree care guy pays me 10% of the job he closes.

On a $5,000 tree removal job (average), I make $500.

Before long,

This site alone started generating me over a thousand dollars a month,

And that’s not the only site that brings in monthly money.

I have ranked sites in other high-ticket niches out there like roofing, asphalt & concrete paving, limo rental, foundation repair, water damage restoration, sewage repair, etc.

Although I make plenty of great income in lower ticket but high volume niches like towing service. $120 for a tow, 10% is $12 but when you generate 300 calls in one month it can quickly add up.

The biz owners will pay you like clockwork because you’re the lifeline of their entire operation, providing the customers that pay them.

I grew my income from 2k a month to over 52k a month in less than 5 years, what can you do?

Follow Me
Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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  1. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

    1. Hey Brodie-thanks for the kind words. I appreciate the feedback and am pleased that you enjoyed the post. Are you an affiliate marketer? I post new content regularly so come back anytime.

    1. Hi Ayanna thanks for taking the time to comment. Glad to hear you enjoyed the article. Are you an affiliate marketer?

  2. Hi Ippei Leads, I think Working as an affiliate marketer to advertise a company's products is referred to as affiliate marketing. You promote goods and items using your social media following (in this example, Instagram). You get repaid for each Instagram post related to these items and services. Alternatively, you get paid a percentage on top of your fee for every new customer that purchases from them as a result of your post.

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