How to Earn Money from Instagram Reels: Best Practices To Boost Your Success

With the discontinued Instagram Reels Play Bonus Program, it’s important to know how to earn money from Instagram Reels using other methods.

There are three main ways to monetize Instagram Reels, and we will thoroughly explain each one below.

We’ll also review Instagram Reels’ best practices to ensure your branded content performs well for your creator account.

What Was the Instagram Play Bonus?

Unfortunately, the Instagram Play Bonus was discontinued. It was the only way for creators to earn money directly through the platform. Creators were able to earn thousands of dollars directly from Reels Play Bonuses.

When this program was still available, the criteria of the Instagram Reels Play Bonus included:

  • Videos had to get at least 1,000 views over 30 days
  • Creators must be based in the United States
  • Invite-only program

Unfortunately, this program is no longer available, so creators must turn to other methods for earning money from Instagram Reels. Fortunately, many options exist for earning money on your own through Instagram Reels!

Ways to Earn Money from Instagram Reels

Even though the invite-only bonus program was discontinued, other ways exist to make money with Instagram Reels.

The 3 main ways to earn money from Instagram Instagram reels include:

  • Affiliate links
  • Brand partnerships
  • Advertising your own business

We dive deeper into each method below.

One of the most common ways you can get paid by creating Instagram Reels is through affiliate links.

Affiliate marketing is a great way for you to earn money when you create Reels because you don’t have to:

  • Own the physical product
  • Manage the order fulfillment process
  • Handle customer service like you would if you were promoting your own brand

In the same way that you use affiliate links when earning money on Pinterest or when you monetize your blog, you can also get paid by the Reels you post on the Instagram app.

For example, if you have an Amazon Affiliate store, you can put your affiliate link in your bio.

Your Reels should then direct your audience to find the link to your Amazon store in your bio. Each Reel can promote its own products. Then, your audience can find the link to all of the products in your Amazon store.

Outside of Amazon, many brands offer affiliate programs. From online courses to books and everything in between, you’re sure to find affiliate programs that are relevant to your niche.

The more relevant the products you promote to your audience, the more likely you will get paid from your affiliate partnerships.

One of the biggest benefits of affiliate marketing is that after you’ve created and posted the content, the money you earn from your themed Reel is passive.

While there are challenges of passive income businesses, there are various benefits to using this model to make money.

Brand Partnerships

Partnering with brands is a great way to monetize Instagram Reels. Brand partnerships are mutually beneficial for both the brand and the influencer. This is because the influencer is able to make money from creating entertaining Reels, and the brand can reach the target audience that the influencer has already curated.

Brand partnerships occur when influencers work together with brands to create exclusive content that promotes the brand’s products or services.

Choosing the brands that you want to create short-form videos for is an important part of this type of influencer marketing because it will ultimately determine the success of your content.

The products and services the brand wants you to promote need to be relevant to your audience. This will help set your brand partnership up for success.

There are 3 main things brands look for when working with influencers, and it starts with authentic storytelling and high-quality content. If you’re able to authentically connect with your audience, tell engaging stories, and create high-quality Reels, you are going to be appealing for brands to work with.

Within this category of brand sponsorship, there are a couple of different types of content you can create for brands to make money:

  • Sponsored Content
  • User-generated Content, which is commonly referred to as UGC in the industry

We explain each type of brand content below.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is a very common form of influencer marketing. It occurs when a brand pays an influencer to share promotional content about the brand on their social media channels.

The best kind of sponsored content makes audiences feel like they’re seeing another engaging Reel on their Instagram account, not an advertisement. The partnership and the content should feel authentic and seamless.

Whether you’re a photographer looking for traveling jobs or a marketing thought leader looking to partner with well-known brands, there are so many partnership opportunities available to creators through Reels.

User-generated Content

As the name suggests, user-generated content involves content that was created by an individual, not a brand or company. This means that a brand is paying you to create an authentic Reel about their products, and they then post this UGC Reel on the brand’s social pages.

This is an effective form of influencer marketing on Instagram Reels. Brands receive beautifully created content, and creators are paid for their work. User-generated content is winning right now, and it’s easy to see why.

UGC partnerships can be structured in a few different ways. They can either be paid as a one-time fee for creation, or some influencers negotiate to be paid on commission based on the sales the brand earns from their Reel.

Additionally, you can also be paid in some combination of both methods. This means you’d be paid upfront for your hard work in creating the Reel, but you’ll also receive an additional commission if it performs well.

Influencers are paid by posting Reels for brands based on a variety of factors like their engagement rate, follower count, quality of their content, and more. When done correctly, brand sponsorships can be one of the most lucrative ways to make money on Instagram Reels.

As a business owner, Instagram Reels is a great place to advertise your own brand. Whether you sell physical products, have a brick-and-mortar store, or sell online, you can monetize Reels for your business.

For example, if you already run a website that sells courses on digital marketing, you can create a new Reel that promotes your course.

If your audience finds your Instagram content valuable, you will draw them to your website, where they can learn more and purchase your course.

If you sell a physical product, you can subtly use that product throughout your videos without directly talking about it. Alternatively, you can also post Reels that directly advertise your products.

Use Shoppable Product Tags

When selling products in your Instagram posts, you can include shoppable product tags. These shoppable product tags enable your audience to click on a link that takes them directly to the product you’re trying to sell them.

It creates a smooth and easy selling process for your audience, allowing you to get paid directly through your content.

Build Up Your Subscribers

First announced in 2022, the Instagram app offers a subscription model that provides creators with another way to get paid on the platform.

Instagram subscriptions allow you to charge your subscribers anywhere between $0.99 and $99.99 per month. This means that you can earn recurring income from your subscribers, and in return, they receive exclusive content and access to you. Your subscribers will show up with a purple icon next to their profile picture so you can always prioritize interacting with them in comments and DMs.

Instagram subscriptions are not right for everyone, but they’re another great way to monetize Instagram Reels and get paid for creating content.

Instagram Reels Best Practices

Now that we understand how to earn money from Instagram Reels let’s discuss some Instagram Reels best practices to help set you up for success.

Format Your Videos Properly

The success of your Reel starts when you pick up the camera! For Instagram to promote your Reels, you want to make sure that you’re formatting your videos properly.

Each Reel you create should be in a vertical orientation with the proper ratio of 9:16. Even though it might look better in a horizontal orientation, almost no one is going to rotate their video sideways to watch it.

The correct ratio for an Instagram Reel is 9:16.

Existing Instagram Reels are almost exclusively watched on mobile, which means that you need to create content that can enjoyably be consumed on mobile in order to set yourself up for success.

Make Sure You Add Captions

Adding captions is a must for every Reel that you create for two reasons:

  1. Captions make your videos more accessible to people with hearing loss.
  2. The majority of audiences watch Reels on mute.

Captions are important for making your Reels more accessible, and they also make sure that your message gets across even when people are watching on mute.

Share Each Reel to Your Instagram Story

Every Reel that you create will not show up in your followers’ feeds every single time. This makes sharing content to your Story very important.

In the same way that you share your Instagram posts to your Story, you should also be sharing each Reel to your Story.

Your loyal followers who routinely watch your Instagram Stories will then be exposed to your Reels. This can help increase your views and help make your Reels show up in their feeds in the future.

Find a Posting Frequency that Works For You

Finding the right posting schedule that works for both you as a creator and satisfies your audience can be a tough balance. However, finding the perfect content schedule is an important part of building Instagram Reels best practices.

So, how many Reels should you be posting every week?

As a creator, you want to be posting at least 5-7 times per week. Initially, if you’re unable to keep up the quality of your content with this posting schedule, you can dial it back.

There needs to be a good balance between creating quality content and a significant quantity of content.

Use Engaging Hooks

The first few seconds of your Reels will determine if your audience watches the rest of your video or quickly scrolls on to the next one.

When creating a hook for each Reel, you want to make it customized to each video, written in the same tone of voice as your brand, and authentic to the content of the video. If your video appears to be underperforming, analyze your hook to see how you can improve it in future Reels.

Here are a few examples of engaging hooks:

  • “You’re doing your TikTok captions wrong, and I’m going to show you the right way to do it.”
  • “Here are 3 things I do every day as a freelance content writer.”
  • “You need to know about this underrated graphic design AI tool.”

Repurpose Your Content for Other Platforms

You’ve already done the hard work of creating your Reels. At a bare minimum, consider uploading your Reels to your YouTube channel and turning them into TikTok videos.

This will help you increase engagement across a variety of social media channels, potentially helping you earn more money in the future. Diversifying your marketing strategy is typically very beneficial for creators and brands.

Get Paid from Instagram Reels

Even though Instagram took away its Bonus Program that directly paid its creators, there are still many ways to earn money through the platform.

We hope these methods for making money on Instagram Reels have shown you that it is possible and given you a path to get started today!

Combined with our Instagram Reels best practices, you should be on your way to success on the platform in no time.

Tran Danh

Tran Danh

I'm Tran Danh, the author behind Smart Passive Income (SPI), a blog dedicated to online business and entrepreneurship. I started this blog in 2008, following in the footsteps of Pat Flynn, the founder. Being one of the leading business blogs globally, SPI attracts over 2 million readers each month. Through my content, I aim to assist individuals in generating passive income from various online sources. Join me on this transformative journey as we delve into the world of online business and uncover the strategies and tactics that have led to tremendous success for myself and countless others.

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