Updated April 12, 2022

How Much Do Instagram Influencers Make

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For some, Instagram is a full-time job. But just how much do Instagram influencers make? Learn more about the richest IG influencers and how they get paid.

Instagram has been around since 2010. Today, there are more than 1 billion users on the platform.

Is it really possible to make a living by posting pictures on social media? It turns out you can—but the path to becoming an influencer is harder than you think.

Find out how much money Instagram influencers make. Plus, learn how you can increase your own chances of earning money on Instagram.

How Much Money Can You Make as an Instagram Influencer?

Instagram can pay big bucks if you manage to get famous on the platform. Celebrities get paid the most, with stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson raking in $1.5 to $1.6 million per sponsored post.[1]

But how much does a full-time influencer actually make on Instagram? For the most part, IG influencers make money by partnering with brands. Influencers set their own rates and get paid by brands to make sponsored posts.

Popular users with high-quality audiences are able to charge higher rates. But even smaller influencers can turn Instagram into a good side hustle. A micro-influencer with 10,000 followers can make around $250 to $500 per sponsored post.

Instagram micro-influencers have between 10,000 to 100,000 followers

How many followers do you have on Instagram?

How Much Can You Earn With 1 Million Followers on Instagram?

Users with 1 million followers or more are considered mega influencers. At this level, influencers can make up to $250,000 for each sponsored post.

This number varies depending on factors like the influencer's engagement rate, niche, and audience fit for the brand.

An influencer who gets more audience interaction through likes and comments will generally earn more. That's because brands are willing to pay more if they know their sponsored post will reach more potential customers.

Fun Fact: About 0.5% of Instagram influencers have 1 million followers or more.

How Much Can You Earn With 100K Followers on Instagram?

Instagram influencers with at least 100,000 followers can make good money on the platform. On average, these influencers can make around $1,000 for a sponsored post—not bad for just one image!

Again, the pay rate depends on how good of a fit an influencer is for the brand.

Some niches also pay better than others. A few of the most profitable Instagram niches include traveling, beauty, and fashion.

Who Are the Highest-Paid Instagram Influencers?

Influencers make the most when they're able to sell a brand to the most amount of people. Unsurprisingly, the highest-paid Instagram stars with the most reach on the platform are also real-life celebrities.

Here are the top 10 highest-paid Instagram influencers and how much they're able to charge for a sponsored post:

  • Cristiano Ronaldo: $1.6 million; 358M followers
  • Dwayne Johnson: $1.52 million; 275M followers
  • Ariana Grande: $1.51 million; 272M followers
  • Kylie Jenner: $1.49 million; 277M followers
  • Selena Gomez: $1.46 million; 269M followers
  • Kim Kardashian: $1.41 million; 259M followers
  • Lionel Messi: $1.16 million; 276M followers
  • Beyonce Knowles: $1.14 million; 215M followers
  • Justin Bieber: $1.1 million; 200M followers
  • Kendall Jenner: $1.05 million; 195M followers

Although celebrities are the highest paid influencers on Instagram, there are plenty of other influencers who got their start online.

Check out the top 5 highest-paid, non-celebrity Instagram influencers and how much they charge per post:

  • Lele Pons: $180,000; 46M followers
  • Charli D'Amelio: $173,000; 44.4M followers
  • Addison Rae: $156,000; 40.1M followers
  • Sommer Ray: $108,000; 26.8M followers
  • Dixie D'Amelio: $100,000; 24.9M followers

Ways Instagram Influencers Make Money

Why do influencers make so much money? It turns out they have multiple streams of income. Here are some of the most popular ways IG influencers can make some serious cash:

Instagram Creator Account
Instagram recently came out with tools to help creators earn money directly through the app. With a creator account, influencers can use special links to tag products in their post and get paid a commission.

Brand Deals/Sponsorships
Many influencers make money by working directly with brands to create sponsored ad posts. Both parties decide on the pay amount beforehand, depending on the type of audience and content needed.

Affiliate Marketing
Influencers can also make money by including special commission links to products they promote. The influencer gets paid a commission each time a user follows the link and makes a purchase.

Selling Merch
Some Instagram influencers create their own custom products that they sell to fans. This could include apparel, mugs, and more. Influencers can either create their own ecommerce site or sell directly on their own Instagram shop.

5 Tips to Make Money on Instagram

Earning money on Instagram isn't just reserved for the already famous. Check out how to turn your IG account into a potential side hustle:

Stick to Your Niche
Your account will be the most profitable if it has a clear direction and audience in mind. Try not to deviate too much from your niche. Otherwise, you might risk alienating your audience and giving up sponsorship opportunities.

Know Your Worth
Brand deals are open to negotiation, so it's good to come prepared with what you bring to the table. Before accepting a rate, you can prove to companies exactly why you should be paid more for each post.

Follow the Trends
Influencers are attuned to what their audience wants. Stay on top of the latest trends happening on Instagram. You can use hashtags to make your posts relevant and reach more people who might not know about you yet.

Be True to Yourself
Instagram can feel fake and insincere to a lot of people. As a result, people are more impressed if they feel your posts are authentic and true to you. Figure out what's unique about your content and keep delivering it.

Post on a Regular Basis
If you want to turn Instagram into your job, you'll have to put in the hours. Social media minutes go by fast. And if you stop posting for an extended period, your followers won't be as engaged in the long run.

Bottom Line

Instagram influencers can make a shocking amount of money for posting on social media.

Of course, building a successful brand is easier said than done. It takes a lot of hard work and a good deal of luck to truly make it as an influencer.

Plus, not everyone wants to be an influencer full time. Many influencers use their popularity as a jumping off point to open a small business.

Turning to Instagram full time isn't worth it for everyone. But if you just want a hobby with the potential to earn a little extra cash, Instagram can be a great option.


  1. ^ Hopper HQ. 2021 Instagram Richlist. Accessed 18 Oct 21.

Donna Tang is a content associate at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Donna Tang at donna.tang@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Make Money

How many followers do you have on Instagram?
29% Less than 500
10% 500 to 1,000
8% 1,000 to 5,000
7% 5,000 to 10,000
47% More than 10,000
Source: CreditDonkey. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
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