This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

December 16, 2018

How people make money on Instagram

As an old marketing guy, I'm always wondering why people go to a lot of trouble doing stuff. Yes, my mind always goes to thinking about what's in it for them, especially money? And of course a lot of people just do stuff because they love doing it, they post pics on Instagram just because they enjoy it, they aren't doing it for the money. They're doing it for the fun of it.

And actually, that's the majority of people who use Instagram. They do it for fun, no other reason. That's why the app was invented, and why people like it so much. It's fun! There you go. That should be enough for you.

If it's not, and you're interested in making money, you have a couple of choices: 1) You can be dirty and sneaky and underhanded and scam people (which I prefer not to), or 2) You can accept help and be honest about it. I prefer the second option, and I see people doing that.

A friend of mine was telling me about people that he follows on Instagram who decided a few years ago to simply get in their van and drive around, looking at the country. I don't know who they are, but I understand it's one of those one of those old "hippie" Volkswagen vans, and these people apparently have a wonderful and positive spirit about life in general. And they attracted a large audience, including the Volkswagen company, who recently gave them some much-needed repair parts for their VW bus. As far as I know, aside from a gracious thank you to the company, these people have just kept on doing what they're doing. I like that. Whether you see this as "making money on Instagram" or not, it's at least not losing as much money as they would have had to, paying for the repair parts themselves.

Of course, there's the next level up, which is much more like the type of sponsorship that you see done commercially. When I was a kid, the TV shows used to thank their sponsors, and say, "Brought to you by Kelloggs" or whatever. These sponsors underwrote a lot of the costs of these programs, and expected that their product would be mentioned on the air, and that included commercials. Over the years the sponsorship of TV and radio shows has faded away, and nowadays you mostly just see commercials. And yes, people will a large enough following on Instagram are approached by sponsors who expect more than just a casual "thank you", and you'll see ads inserted in the feeds of certain Instagramers. And I'm also OK with that. This isn't a "kickback" or "payola", this is how things like radio, and television, have been paid for, and programs delivered for free. The next time you turn on your radio in your car, think about what makes it free - commercials, which are sponsorship.

Speaking for myself, I don't want sponsorship, but I do accept help. I have a Patreon page, which people can go to if they choose to if they like what I'm doing, and would like to see more. But my "business model" will be more like the people driving around the country in their van, my goal is to just keep on truckin', and no more than that.

If you're curious about my Patreon page, it's for my hobby which I call "history adventuring", and it's here:

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