Meta rolled out the Reels Play Bonus Program to compete with the TikTok Creator Fund, making it possible to monetize Instagram Reels directly. Unfortunately, as of March 9, 2023, the Reels Play Bonus program was shut down, leaving content creators and businesses looking for other ways to make money with Instagram Reels.
The Instagram Reels Play Bonus Program was an invite-only program that allowed content creators to make money from Instagram Reels. Creators were paid based on the performance of the Reels they created, how many Reels they created, and by participating in themed Reels “challenges.” Now that the Instagram Reels Play Bonus program has been discontinued, there’s no way for creators to earn money by simply posting to the platform.
That doesn’t mean there’s no way to monetize Instagram Reels, though. We've compiled a list of 10 proven ways to make money from Instagram Reels that can help supplement lost income from Reels Play Bonuses:
- Partner with brands
- Promote a physical product
- Add shoppable product tags
- Promote a digital product
- Become an affiliate
- Sell a service
- Build a community of subscribers
- Accept donations through Patreon
- Accept Instagram Gifts
- Promote your other channels
Let's dive into it.
How to make money on IG reels (with examples)
1. Partner with Brands
If you want to know how to monetize Instagram Reels, take a quick look at some of the relevant brands within your space and look for opportunities to partner with them. When your Instagram account centers around a niche instead of a random compilation of things or your life, it's easier to attract popular brands with partnerships. That's because small, engaged audiences in relevant niches tend to convert better for brands than large followings.
As long as you have a following and an engaged audience in a popular niche, you have value to offer brands with a campaign they're running, whether it’s to help them build their audience or to promote their products or services for them.
Practice Instagram SEO by using relevant keywords, hashtags, and location tags to increase engagement on your posts. You can also find the best times to post Instagram Reels to boost engagement. High engagement, even if you have a smaller following, will make your account more attractive to brands and more likely to earn more paid partnerships.
As always when working with brands, remember to keep it relevant to your niche and your followers – if you’re promoting something your followers actually care about, they’ll be more likely to buy it, earning the brand more money and making them more likely to work with you again. Plus, your followers get a great product or service recommendation. It’s a win-win-win.
Check out this example from lifestyle influencer, Lauren Luyendyk:
She created an Instagram Reel for a paid partnership with PCA Skin to showcase a before and after of the service, debunk some of the myths about the industry, and give an overall review of the experience using their skincare services.
2. Promote a Physical Product
You can monetize your Instagram Reels by creating branded content selling a physical product. For example, if you own an online store selling shoes, your Instagram Reels can be used to promote your collection of shoes through slideshow reels, influencers walking in your shoes, product videos, and more.
Alternatively, if you're an influencer, you can launch a merch brand that you promote in your Instagram Reels more subtly. You might wear your merch in videos without over-emphasizing it; keeping the focus of your content on entertaining your followers and keeping them engaged. Let them know in the caption or in a comment where they can buy the merch and make sure to link to it through your link in bio.
Or you could take the even more direct route and...
3. Add Shoppable Product Tags
If the products you’re selling are your own, you have the option to let your viewers shop right from your Reels.
Online stores that sell physical products can add shoppable product tags to their Instagram Reels to direct people to their Shop so they can purchase some amazing products. If you have a huge collection of items in your store, such as a clothing store, you'll be able to create multiple Reels to continuously send people to the Shop section of your Instagram account.
Brands like Lulus make compilation videos where they'll show multiple outfits in a single Reel. Their Reels are often based on themes. For example, they might have a Reel about "White dresses for graduation" or "Blue Floral Sun Dresses" so that people who are looking for something specific can see different styles under the same category. By adding multiple styles to a single Reel, you increase the likelihood that someone will find at least one dress they like or even purchase multiple styles.
The best part is you can monetize existing Reels by adding tags to them, too. This means you can make more money off of content that’s already performing well without having to rush out to film something new.
4. Promote a Digital Product
You don’t just have to stick with physical products, either. You can monetize your Instagram Reels by selling a digital product, such as an ebook, online course, printables, membership sites, themes, and more.
For example, if you want to promote your wildlife photography course on Instagram, you can make Instagram Reels showcasing some of the wildlife photography and videography you've captured over the years. You might also create Reels about how you've been featured in specific publications or won awards for your photography to help build social proof. It's extremely important to showcase why you're an industry expert, so that people will want to enroll in the course you've created.
Add a link in your bio where people can sign up on your course website directly.
Courses aren’t the only digital product you can sell, of course. Tezza Barton promotes her photography editing app, the Tezza App, in her Reels. She often shares great photos or video footage then lets you know which of her filters to use to get the same look in the caption.
It’s direct enough that you know how to buy the product if you’re interested but not so salesy that you can’t just enjoy the pretty video if you’re not.
5. Become an Affiliate
Creating content to promote a product doesn't mean you need to own the product either.
For example, Amazon affiliates can promote Amazon products via their Instagram Reels with their affiliate link in their Instagram bio. So, you don't need to launch your own online store or merch to sell physical products on your Instagram account or any other platforms.
An affiliate takes a small commission of every sale made from their link, without any of the headache of needing to set up their own storefront, source product, or design a course. Depending on the price tag of what you’re selling via affiliate marketing, you could make a pretty decent commission.
You can even be an affiliate for a digital product. Travel influencer and podcaster, Caroline McKenna, is an affiliate of anzuk Education Australia, an organization that helps place teachers in Aussie schools where they’ll make the most impact.
6. Sell a Service
You can also monetize Instagram Reels by offering a service, such as a coaching session, group trips, catering, bookkeeping, or even construction. There's no limit to the types of services you can offer to better monetize your Instagram Reels.
For example, a home renovation company could showcase their finished renovations by creating Instagram Reels for their social media accounts and making it clear in their bio or in the captions of their Reels that they’re taking on clients. People who like their work and live locally can then reach out to them about hiring them for their own home renovation projects.
Lukas Piatek is a destination wedding photographer who uses his Instagram to book new clients by showcasing his talent through Reels:
If you prefer offering digital services, you can also offer coaching sessions. For instance, a personal trainer could offer coaching services on a weekly basis to their clients around the world. They could create Instagram Reels where they share fitness information to attract more clients, showcase before and after video clips of the progress their clients make, and create easy workout reels to show the type of training they offer. Creating Instagram Reels will help attract a new and relevant audience to your business, so you can upsell them with the coaching services you offer.
7. Build a Community of Subscribers
You can monetize Instagram Reels by offering exclusive content to people who subscribe to your Instagram account. You’ll receive a payout directly from Instagram while strengthening your relationship with your followers. It’s like Patreon, for Instagram.
By enabling subscriptions, you can earn a recurring monthly income from followers who want access to exclusive content. The best part is that you get to set your own price between $0.99 and $99.99 for how much it costs your subscribers (and how much you’ll earn). People who subscribe to your account will be highlighted in purple so they'll stand out in your DM's and comments so you can engage with them when they reach out to you.
Beyond Instagram Reels, you can create exclusive posts, Stories, Lives, and even Chats. So, if you run an exclusive community or are hosting a course, you can have up to 30 members in an exclusive chat all communicating with one another and you. This is a great way for a creator to build a relationship with their most loyal followers or for a business to engage with their best customers.
8. Accept Donations through Patreon
Promoting a Patreon account to your Instagram followers could be an alternate way to monetize your Instagram Reels. If you can't directly monetize your Instagram Reels now that the Instagram Reels Play bonuses are gone, you still have a loyal audience of followers who will support you in other ways.
By continuing to post Reels on Instagram, you'll keep growing your follower count. Having a Patreon account in your bio link could be a great way to monetize your audience. Influencers with big audiences often monetize their accounts with Patreon to give people exclusive content in a gated community, but it can be a useful tool for smaller creators, too.
This could be a helpful way to strengthen your relationships with your fans while still earning income from the content you produce via an Instagram Reel.
9. Accept Instagram Gifts
If you're wondering how to monetize Instagram Reels using Instagram features, you might want to see if your Instagram account is eligible for Instagram Gifts.
The Gifts feature is currently only available for select creators but it allows you to earn income directly from your audience. Your video viewers can purchase stars to send to you as a gift. Instagram shares the revenue with you, which equals about $0.01 USD for every star someone sends your way. To withdraw your funds, you'll need to have made at least $25 from the program.
Keep in mind that you'll also be able to accept gifts on other Instagram content you create, such as live broadcasts, posts, and more. So, this can add up over time for you to monetize Instagram Reels and other content you create on the platform.
10. Promote Your Other Channels
Now that Instagram doesn't pay its creators with the Reels Play Bonus Program, you might start turning to other social media platforms that do pay their creators.
TikTok pays creators between $20 to $40 for about a million views allowing you to make money on TikTok. Better than the amount you'd make on Instagram for the same number of views (aka $0, RIP Reels bonuses), although still not great.
You can also make money on YouTube with the video content you create. As soon as you qualify for the YouTube Partner Program, you can earn ad revenue on your videos.
Plus, if you'd rather stick with short-form content, you don't even need to qualify for YouTube's Partner Program to start monetizing your YouTube Shorts channel from day one. As long as you adhere to YouTube's policies and accept the Shorts Monetization Module terms for your account, you'll be able to earn money from YouTube Shorts on day one.
Promoting your other social media accounts that do earn revenue from video content might be a good approach to better monetize Instagram Reels.
Reels Play Bonus May Be Gone But...
While the Reels Play Bonus is no longer an option for monetizing your Reels, you can make money from your Instagram Reels in multiple other ways. The options on this list are some of the most viable ways to earn money via Instagram Reels. So, find a brand you can create paid partnerships with, sell physical or digital products, offer a service, accept donations via Patreon, or one of the other ideas on this list to get you started.
1. How do you monetize reels on Instagram?
You can monetize reels on Instagram by doing paid partnerships with brands, offering a physical or digital product or service, allowing followers to send you a gift, accepting donations via Patreon, becoming an affiliate, starting a subscriber community on Instagram, and more.
2. How many views do you need to monetize Instagram reels?
You won't get paid directly from the views you get on Instagram reels. However, brands will typically partner with influencers who get at least 1,000 views on their Reels.
3. Are Instagram reels eligible for monetization?
Reels are eligible for monetization via paid partnerships, the send a gift program, and more. However, the Reels Play Bonuses are no longer an option for monetizing your Instagram reels.
4. Do you get paid for 1,000 views on Instagram Reels?
You don't get paid from Instagram for 1,000 views on Instagram Reels. However, you may be able to monetize your 1,000 views via product offerings, paid partnerships, or the send a gift program.Create content faster with Kapwing's online video editor →