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How to Make Money on Instagram with 500 Followers

Instagram is just a big successful story. Founded by Kevin Systrom and later acquired by Meta, this platform has become a big name in the social media space.

Many people are more likely to make buying decisions based on social media recommendation.

And “0 to 100” success stories about influencers are everywhere around us.

Khabi Lame’s number of followers rose within only two years to 84 million on Instagram. Without saying a single word in the video!

Yep, not everyone will become viral like Khabi.

But most people don’t even think about how to make money on Instagram with 500 followers, as it’s hard to believe such a small following can bring you cash.

If you are not a big Instagram influencer, you might have a limited number of followers.

And it can be hard to grow your number of followers.

However, you have a few money-making opportunities even if your following did not get far from 500

You can make money on Instagram with 500 followers in a few ways. Local business collaborations, brand ambassador programs, sponsored posts, and affiliate marketing can all bring you some nice cash. More advanced ways are virtual tipping system integration or offering Instagram marketing services. 

In this post, I’ll go into more detail about each of these ideas.

Can You Make Money From 500 Instagram Followers?

Many influencers flaunt the amount of money they earn through social media platforms.

That’s probably your goal too, but these individuals have a lot of people following them.

But I would not always believe what they say, as many of them are not only good influencers but also perfect marketers.

And they want your attention.

The good news is that you can still make money from your Instagram followers even though you don’t have more than 500.

You do not need to pay for fake followers or anything of the sort.

Obviously, you will not turn rich overnight, but you have the chance to earn some extra cash that will come in handy sooner or later. 

If you want to make real money from Instagram followers, you need to make some effort.

5 Ways to Make Money With 500 Followers on Instagram

Now, you’ve got a positive answer.

But how much money can you actually make?

We’ll soon get into all the details.

Here are the different ways to start earning money on this social media app.  

1. Affiliate Marketing Commissions

One of the best ways to make money with a low number of followers is affiliate marketing.

If you’ve ever followed other social media accounts, you may have noticed that one of their influencer marketing strategies involves affiliate links. 

Affiliate marketing has become one of the most preferred ways to earn money online.

How can you make money from Instagram followers using this method? 

An affiliate program works through a link that you add to your Instagram bio or in your stories.

The link will direct your followers to a certain service or product.

If they buy and pay for the product, you will earn a “small” commission for the purchase. 

To take advantage of this great way to earn cash, you must register with an affiliate marketing program.

To make affiliate marketing on Instagram more effective, you should join and promote affiliate programs that are related to your audience.

This way, you will have higher chances of getting your audience to buy whatever the affiliate link offers. 

For example, if you’re a makeup artist, you can sign up for a program with a makeup store, then share a link to your favorite makeup palette. 

After signing up, you simply put the link in your bio and let the magic happen.

Keep in mind that you will only be able to post one link at a time.

If you want to bring more attention to these links, you can do so through Instagram stories, Instagram posts, or Instagram Reels. 

Some popular affiliate networks that pay you when people engage with the trackable link include Amazon Affiliate Program, Shareasale, Impact, Awin, and Clickbank.

But if you want to add more than one link to your Instagram profile bio, you can do so by signing up for a program that creates a landing page with several affiliate links.

Some examples are Linkfolio, Shorby, or Linktree.

One important thing: do not “oversell” your profile.

People like to buy based on Influencer recommendations.

But if you start to publish too much affiliate content, you lose their trust.

Remember, your audience is your most valuable asset.

The best practice is up to 30%, ideally, 20% of your content should be “affiliate-focused”.

The other 80% should keep them engaged and focused on growing your audience.

2. Create Sponsored Posts

A sponsored post is another great way to earn profit from your Instagram page.

Many influencers enter sponsorships with big brands from different industries to make money.

Now, you may not be able to get sponsored by huge brands, but you can always look for others that fit your specific niche. 

All you have to do is send a direct message to a brand that provides services or products that match your account’s theme or align with your audience.

You will offer to advertise their products through content creation, and if they accept the deal, they will pay you for it. 

Fortunately, numerous growing brands are looking for people to promote a certain physical product or service.

If you find a company that is willing to work with you, it’s very important to do your best and make sponsored posts that drive sales.

Usually, they will send you the products to test by your self.

And you can use it to create a content around it.

The best conversions can be made once you show your audience the benefits of the product in real life.

Even if you have various brand deals, you should know that this Instagram marketing strategy will not bring you huge earnings from the get-go.

But if you work hard to develop your account, you will earn more and more overtime, especially once your following count starts to grow. 

And the learnings you get at the beginning with small brands can be very valuable in the future once you start cooperating with the bigger ones.

3. Integrate Virtual Tipping System

One of the most popular ways to make extra money is through a virtual tipping system.

The method is quite simple.

You sign up for a service such as PayPal, Ko-Fi, or Patreon and direct your monthly active users to your customized link through your posts.

Patreon is probably the most famous platform to support content creators.

In 2021, the collective creator’s earning reached $2 billion!

The trick with virtual tipping is to create highly engaging content.

This strategy is more situated for artists, musicians, or comedians.

The reason is, they are more personally connected with the audience, and they speak directly to them.

As an influencer traveler, it might be difficult to “convince” your audience to tip you.

Of course, if you would share professional photos of landscapes and position yourself more as a landscape photographer, this would be more effective.

People who love your content and want to support you are willing to make small donations using the links you share with them.

4. Collaborate with Local Businesses

Many businesses are willing to pay people to advertise for them.

If you know some great local businesses and want to support them, reach out to them.

To find small or medium size local businesses, I would start to use Google.

Simply type in the product you believe would be interesting for your audience, and allow Google to show results based on your location.

To simplify the process, just go to Google Maps and type, for example, “hut shop”.

You’ll find some shops in your area you can reach out immediately.

Google Maps - local businesses search.

Ask if they would consider paying you for the content you make for them. 

Of course, use a more sophisticated way.

In the first step, show them that your audience is the one who could potentially buy their product.

So you increase the interest and the chances for cooperation.

There are various ways to work with a local company through this method.

You could give your followers promo codes for the brand’s online store or enter a brand ambassador program.

This way, you join the public face of the business and promote it by interacting with potential customers and creating quality content for the company. 

Supporting local businesses can also help you grow your Instagram presence and gain a lot of followers over time. 

5. Provide Instagram Marketing Services

Providing an Instagram Marketing Services has become very famous in the past.

Many influencers shift from influencers to coaches or start their own agencies.

By offering marketing services for Instagram, you can help other people get more followers and grow the audience for their brands or profiles.

Furthermore, you could help other people set up business accounts, sell products through the platform or manage influencers.

Instagram Ad’s are also very popular.

There are many possibilities how could you monetize your know-how you have gained on the way to 500 followers.

Of course, I call it advanced strategy because it requires a bit more skills and time to get in.

How to Get Additional 500 Instagram Followers

Getting the first 500 followers might not have been that difficult for you.

But naturally, you’re interested in growing and learning how to get another 500 Instagram followers.

There are many tested methods to grow your online presence, and here are some of the best ones:

1. Organize Giveaways

People love free things.

So, you could organize a giveaway and offer them the chance to win something.

It’s a proven way to get new 500 Instagram followers or more. 

2. Instagram Ads

Opting for Instagram ads is a great way to drive awareness for your profile and make people follow you.

This can be done by boosting your posts through ads, so they can reach more users. 

With average CPM (cost-per-impressions) of $6.70 per 1000 impressions and conversion rate of 1%, you would need to invest $335 to get 500 followers.

These are just numbers.

The average rate are mostly for people with deep audience knowledge and advanced Instagram ad’s skills.

So you might end up with a bit lower CPM rates when you just start with ads on Instagram.

3. Optimize Profile

By optimizing your profile, you get people intrigued and willing to click on that “Follow” button.

Add an interesting bio, a suitable and easy-to-remember username and change your profile to business profile.

This will unlock more profile and analytics features.

These are very important if you want to scale your Instagram business, as you can learn much more about your followers.

4. Create Viral Content

Many Instagram influencers focus on viral content to boost their number of followers.

Check out trends and join them, or try to post funny videos that will likely become viral fast.

This will make users more interested in your future posts. 

Be innovative and ready to test. And risk!

At the same point, stay relevant.

But most important, stay original.

Remember “Khaby”? He is the best example of how viral content can explode your follower numbers.

5. Consistency Is the Key

Consistency is very important if you want to learn how to get 500 Instagram followers.

Posting content chaotically is one of the worst things you can do when you want to grow your following.

Ideally, you should have a posting schedule.

You must find out what works best for you, whether that’s posting once a week or a day.

By having a regular posting schedule, people will know they can expect content from you and will want to stick around. 

Once you change your account to business, you can start analyzing your audience and find out when is the best time to post.

This is very important to win the social media game.

6. Post Engaging Content

The number of posts will not matter too much if your content is boring.

So, you must do your best to make your posts as catchy as possible. 

Whether you’re posting about lifestyle, a hobby, beauty, or travel, ensure you can grab people’s attention.

You should make them want to interact with you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

You may still have questions about how Instagram pays you for followers, so here are some helpful answers:

What happens when you reach 500 followers on Instagram?

Before 2022, there were limitation for Instagram profiles under 500 followers.

It was not possible to add hashtags or links to stories or open a store on Instagram.

These limitations were lifted, and now you can use all the features without any followers level.

Does Instagram pay you for followers?

There was an Instagram in-stream video ads program was disabled in March 2022.

The only way available now to get paid from Instagram is “Instagram Reels Play”.

This is an invitation-only bonus program for US content creators.

You need to have less than one million followers, meet the Partner Monetization Policies and once they invite you, you will see it in your professional dashboard.

To learn more about the bonus program, visit the Instagram Creators website.

Is 500 followers on Instagram good?

500 followers on Instagram are a milestone to celebrate. If you have a strongly concentrated audience, then even better.

Even such a small audience can not only be beneficial from an earning perspective, but more, from an experience perspective.

You can test and learn a lot with 500 followers and prepare yourself for the next milestone.


Instagram is one of those social networks that lets you make money even with a low follower count. But!

You need to be creative and know how to recognize opportunities.

Optimize your profile and use the methods in this post to be able to earn some extra cash.

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