Attn: Entry Level Affiliate Marketers

Here’s How You Can Leverage Instagram to Build a $5,000 a Month Income in 6-12 Months

And in 24 months you could be earning a solid six figure income if you find out you’re good at this.

Since the 1990s, affiliate marketing has stood the test of time, consistently building financial fortunes for untold numbers of online marketers.

But it’s also been the ruin of many would-be marketers who just couldn’t seem to get it right. Imagine spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars and never making a single sale.

Affiliate marketing is a skill, just like anything else. It takes time, a solid plan and plenty of practice to start making serious sales.

That’s why if you’ve never made serious money with affiliate marketing, you’re going to love this.

It’s a plan that anyone – no matter how new they might be to marketing – can use to potentially build a solid income in six months to a year. As always, your results will vary.

You get to choose the niche you want to work in and the product(s) you want to promote, and then you get on Instagram, create an account and start making content.

I’ve seen newbie marketers use this exact plan to start earning their first commissions within days. And I’ve also seen some of them go on to create a solid $5,000 a month income within 6 months by working the plan every day, tweaking, adjusting, creating lots of great Instagram content, and simultaneously building their email list.

Today I’ve going to give you enough information to get started immediately. If you haven’t written emails for your own list before, you might want to get more information on how to do that, but the rest of the basics are all here.

First, let’s quickly talk about why you would even want to do affiliate marketing, and why Instagram is the platform of choice for new marketers:


Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

No Product Creation or Inventory – This might be the biggest reason of all, because you can start selling immediately.

Low Startup Costs – Free traffic abounds on Instagram. You just need to learn how to get some of that traffic to your landing page.

Passive Income Potential – Once you build your business, you can take time off and continue to make sales. Plus, if you sell products that are billed monthly, you can earn money for months (and even years) on each sale.

Diverse Product Range – You choose the niches you want to work in and the products you want to promote. You never need to promote a product you don’t like or work in a niche that doesn’t appeal to you.

No Customer Support Hassles – This reason alone is enough for some people. If you’ve ever launched your own product, you know how much time you can spend just answering questions and solving problems.

Performance-Based Income – The more effort you make the more you can potentially earn. I know that can scare some people off but realize that once you get good at affiliate marketing, there is no limit to your income.

Scalability – Once you know how this works, you can repeat the process in multiple niches selling multiple products. You can also outsource most of the work to one or more virtual assistants.

Test and Learn – Think of it as getting paid to learn and improve your business.

Shock Your Friends – When you take your friends out for a night on the town and don’t blink an eye when the tab comes despite not having a ‘real job’ for the last year, they may be inclined to think you’re doing something shady to earn this money. After all, you can’t simply be spending your time on Instagram and watching the money come rolling in, right? 

Oh yes, you can!


Why Instagram?

Instagram is an incredibly easy platform for even the newest marketer to begin creating content, building their list and promoting products.

This platform gets over 6 billion visits per month, and you can use free or paid traffic to reach a wide-ranging audience. We’re going to be discussing the free traffic method today.

That said, there is work involved. You won’t get rich overnight or in six months, but you can use what you learn to successfully promote an endless array of products not just on Instagram but also on any platform you choose.


Choosing a Niche The Long Way

Here’s how you might typically choose a niche. Keep in mind that you can always change your niche later, but you’ll save a lot of aggravation if you get it right the first time.

  • Passion and Interest: Start by considering your own passions and interests. Choosing a niche that you are genuinely interested in will make the process more enjoyable and sustainable over the long term.
  • Market Research: Does the niche have demand and potential profitability? What products and services are selling best in this niche, and who is buying them?
  • Problem-Solving: Does the niche have problems that people want solved? And are they willing to pay for those solutions?
  • Affiliate Program Availability: Ideally you want LOTS of affiliate products to choose from in your niche.
  • Carving Out a Subniche: Try to sell to everyone and the world is your competition. But sell just to postal workers or first-time moms or accountants or newbie knitters and now you can carve out a subniche of your own.
  • Profitability Potential: Evaluate the potential for profitability in your chosen niche. Consider the average commission rates, the price point of products, and the likelihood of repeat business or upsells.
  • Evergreen vs. Trending Niches: Decide whether you want to focus on evergreen niches (consistent demand over time) or trending niches (temporary spikes in popularity). Both can be viable, but evergreen niches often provide more stable income.
  • Check Trends and Seasonality: Assess the trends and seasonality of your chosen niche. Some niches such as travel may have fluctuations based on seasons or trends, so consider how this might impact your marketing strategy.
  • Evaluate Affiliate Product Quality: Ensure that the affiliate products or services you promote are of high quality. Building trust with your audience is essential for long-term success in affiliate marketing.
  • Consider Your Skills and Expertise: Leverage your existing skills and expertise. If you have knowledge in a particular field, it can give you a competitive advantage and make it easier to create valuable content.

Ideally the niche you choose will align with your goals, interests, and the needs of your target audience. Take a little time to research and plan before committing to a specific niche in affiliate marketing.

Okay, that was the long way and you can’t go wrong if you follow all those steps.

But, there is a shortcut…


Choosing a Niche The Fast Way

You can bypass everything we just said if you’re willing to do things backwards.

That is, choose your product first.

Let’s say you bought a weight loss program a couple of months ago. You watched all the videos, read all the PDFs and followed the program step by step, getting great results.

In fact, you lost 30 pounds in 45 days and you can’t stop raving about the program – good for you!!

You are the perfect advocate for this product. You used it, you loved it, and you got great results. Just think how easy it’s going to be to tell your peers about your success and how you were able to achieve these results thanks to what you learned in this program.

Now you need to decide who you will target. After all, offering a weight loss program to everyone on the planet means you will appeal to almost no one.

But if you target people just like yourself, then you’ll know your own audience inside and out, including where to find them and how to get your message to them in a way that they will pay attention.

Here’s the drawback to choosing the product first – you might one day change your mind and want to go in an entirely different direction with a brand-new niche. This could mean starting over. Then again, this can happen when you choose your niche the traditional way, too.

And there’s nothing wrong with eventually having multiple Instagram pages, one for each of your niches.


The Affiliate Offer Checklist

When you’ve narrowed down your product choices to 5 or less, it’s time to go through this checklist to help you decide which product to promote first:

  • Does the offer convert well? If others can’t sell it, then don’t think that you’ll do any better.
  • Will you get a good commission for each sale? (Use the commission rate and sales price to determine your commission per sale.) Aim for at least 50% commissions and $20 or more per sale.
  • Does the sales letter look professional and does it do a good job of selling the product?
  • Is there a way to contact the vendor? (Send the vendor a question as if you are a prospect and note how long it takes to get a response. If it takes more than 2 business days, then don’t promote the product.)
  • Is the sales page mobile-friendly/responsive?
  • Is the ordering process easy and user-friendly?
  • Will the customer be slammed with too many upsells/cross-sells? (One or two upsells are good, especially if you get a commission for them.) More than 3 upsells and cross-sells will make customers hesitant to buy from you again.


#1 Mistake New Affiliate Marketers Make

Many new affiliate marketers are trying to promote a weight loss program and a fitness program and a dating program and a make money program and a dog training program and…

You get the point. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, then pay close attention because I’m about to reveal one of the biggest secrets to success for even the newest affiliate marketer:


Focus focus focus.

Choose one product in one niche. It should hopefully be a product you LOVE; something you’ve used yourself and you cannot say enough good things about what it has done for you.

The second part is easy – if it’s a product you love, then it’s almost certainly in a niche you know and understand. If not, choose another product that you love in a niche you understand. For example, if you’re a gardener then you can relate to other gardeners and their challenges and desires. But if you have no passion for gardening, then a gardening product shouldn’t be your first choice.

Now that you have the product, focus on promoting that one product. Think of it as your training ground. Discover everything there is to know about building an audience in that exact niche and making conversions of that product.

I can hear someone out there right now, “Oh, but if I promote a half dozen products in a half dozen different niches, then I multiply my chances of success by 6!”


You actually reduce your chances of success 10-fold.

Even if you’re sure that you know all there is to know about affiliate marketing BUT you’ve never done it before, I urge you to choose ONE product and focus on promoting that one product while you’re learning how to make sales.

And I also urge you to narrow your niche as well. For example, if the product you’re promoting is about weight loss in general, then it will be up to you to focus your niche on weight loss for busy moms, or for business executives, or maybe for men over 55.

“But I can use 20 different traffic sources to promote the one product in the one niche, right?”


Initially you’ll want to choose ONE traffic source and MASTER that traffic source before learning a second traffic source. And that is why we’re going to focus exclusively on free Instagram marketing.

The biggest problem new affiliate marketers face is trying to do too much at once. If I can impart just one piece of advice to you, it’s to start out as simply as possible, staying extremely focused on promoting one product to one sub-niche using one traffic source.

Doing this has all kinds of benefits including taking a lot of pressure off of you to do a lot of new things at once, thereby doing them all poorly. It’s better to initially do fewer things and do them well.

Once you gain real world experience, then you can scale to more traffic sources, more products and eventually more niches.


Building Your High Converting Landing Page

Some affiliates like to send their traffic directly to the offer, but this method means you are forever trying to drive new traffic. Regardless of whether or not they purchase, you have lost them.

A smart move is to focus on capturing leads first, so that you can continue to send them offers over and over again, as well as building rapport with them so that they trust your recommendations and make purchases.

Getting the email address first might make less money up front (or not), but in the long run it’s much more profitable than simply driving traffic to a sales page.

To build your first landing page, you can use a free tool such as or get a free trial at a site such as or Just click on ‘create new project,’ click on ‘create landing page’ and follow the steps.

Go to both the affiliate page and the sales page of the product you’re promoting to gather information. You want to narrow your targeting so that your landing page is an excellent lead-in to not only joining your list, but also purchasing the product.

When you click on Affiliate Tools on the affiliate page, you’ll usually find some demographics about which gender the product is targeted to, as well as age, countries and so forth. You’ll also likely find the best traffic sources, the best topics to cover in your content and bonuses, and more.

Create your landing page with a similar look to the sales page. Use the same colors, fonts and types of pictures and formatting.

On your landing page you’re going to make a free offer to get their email address, and once they sign up for your free offer you’re going to send them directly to the sales page. By making your landing page look similar to the sales letter, they are not surprised when they arrive at the sales letter, and they know they are in the right place.


Your Lead Magnet

Your lead magnet is the free offer you make to collect the email addresses of your visitors. Your lead magnet should make perfect sense in terms of the product you will be promoting. For example, if the product teaches 22 detailed methods to drive free traffic, then you might offer to teach one way to do it or simply list the 22 methods in a cheat sheet without telling them how to do each one. Your free lead magnet must have value but obviously you do not want to give away the whole store.

If you are promoting a weight loss program, then your lead magnet might be the top ten foods for maximum weight loss. You could send this out as a 10-day course, covering one food per day and always giving a call to action to go to the sales page and get the entire weight loss program.

If you are promoting a program on building charisma, your lead magnet might be 7 different case studies of how people went from being shy wallflowers to becoming the most popular, most trusted and best loved people in their circles. The case studies show what is possible for the reader to achieve along with a few tips to begin to make it happen, but 95% of what they need to know is found in the course.

You get the idea here. You are offering a taste of what they can achieve when they buy the product you are promoting. You’re like one of those people in the grocery store giving out free samples and directing customers to buy the product.

Once a person inputs their email address to get the free lead magnet, which can be a report, e-course, video series or whatever you prefer, then they arrive at the thank you page that tells them the freebie or the first installment will land in their inbox in the next 20 minutes. In the meantime, they can check out the next page, which of course is your affiliate link to the sales page. You can either make it a link they click, or have it roll over to the next page automatically in a few seconds.

You’ll want to track the performance of your landing page and test different elements to get it to convert better and better. Use Google Analytics to track conversions as well as testing one page against another.


Increasing Landing Page Conversions

Entire courses are written simply about how to create a landing page that converts like gangbusters, but here are a few basic tips that can get you well on your way to a profitable landing page.

  • Compelling Headline – Craft a clear and enticing headline that highlights the value of your freebie.
  • Eye-Catching Imagery – Use visually appealing images or graphics related to the freebie.
  • Simple and Clear Design – Keep the layout clean and easy to navigate, guiding visitors toward the call-to-action.
  • Attention-Grabbing Call-to-Action (CTA) – Use a persuasive CTA button that clearly states the action you want visitors to take.
  • Limited Fields in Forms – Minimize form fields to reduce friction; ask for only essential information.
  • Clear Value Proposition – Clearly communicate the benefits of the freebie and why visitors should provide their email.
  • Mobile Optimization – Ensure your landing page is mobile-friendly.
  • Trust Indicators – Include trust symbols like testimonials, reviews, or security badges to build credibility.
  • A/B Testing – Experiment with different elements to see what resonates best with your audience.
  • Visible Privacy Policy – Assure visitors about data privacy by displaying a link to your privacy policy.
  • Create a Sense of Urgency – Use words that create a sense of urgency to encourage immediate action.
  • Social Proof – Add a positive testimonial or user experience to build trust.
  • Highlight Benefits, Not Just Features – Clearly outline the benefits of the freebie rather than just listing its features.
  • Offer a Preview – If possible, provide a sneak peek or preview of the freebie to entice users.
  • Use Power Words – Incorporate persuasive language that resonates with your target audience.
  • Visible Contact Information – Display contact information at the bottom to enhance transparency and trust.
  • Exit Popup – Implement an exit popup with an even more compelling offer to retain leaving visitors.
  • FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) – Introduce a sense of urgency or exclusivity to trigger the fear of missing out.
  • Testimonials from Influencers – If applicable, use an endorsement from an influencer or industry expert.
  • Continuous Optimization – Regularly analyze data, gather feedback, and optimize your landing page for ongoing improvement.

I realize that list is long and scary, so let me leave you with this: Just do it.

Your first landing page won’t be perfect and that’s okay. Do your best for now and improve it over time.

Even a poor landing page is better than no landing page, and by now you’ve seen so many landing pages yourself, you already have an excellent idea of how they should look.


Getting Traffic via Instagram

Traffic is simply the people you send to your landing page. The more traffic you can get, the better. But not all traffic is created equally.

Your goal: Getting highly targeted traffic that wants exactly what you offer and is primed in that moment to give you their email address in exchange for your lead magnet and seriously considers purchasing your affiliate product.

Whew. That last paragraph is a mouthful but know this – when you can master getting that kind of targeted traffic whenever you want, there is no limit to how much money you can make.

Jump on Instagram and choose a username that closely resembles your offer. For example, if you’re promoting gardening products, then you might choose “Weekend.Gardener” or “Lazy.Gardener.5”.

Promote your landing page in your bio, using a URL that also indicates what you’re promoting, such as

For your bio, look at what others in your niche have written to give yourself ideas. You can place a benefit right there, such as “Gardening Hacks: Double the Veggies, Half the Work.”

Use a profile picture that fits with the niche or use your own face if you prefer. If you want to create a professional looking logo, you can use AI or simply go to Fiverr and have someone create several logos for you, so that you can choose the one you like.

By making your profile look as professional as possible, you will build trust, get more clicks to your landing page and make more sales, too.

When in doubt, look at bios in your niche until you have a good idea of how you want yours to look.


Getting Instagram Followers

To get free traffic, begin sharing your Instagram profile everywhere you already have a following.

If you don’t have followers anyplace, that’s okay, too, because here’s what you’re going to do…

Join Facebook Groups in your niche. Guaranteed there are many; you just have to find them and join them. Engage with people, don’t be spammy, do be helpful and do let them know about your Instagram account.

Be sure to follow the guidelines of each Group. Again, no spam, but you’ll almost always be able to say something like…

“Hey everybody, just wanted to share exciting news with you all. We’ve just launched our brand-new Instagram page, and it’s filled with amazing (insert niche) content that I know you’ll love. Follow us @your-instagram-handle for daily (hacks, tips, inspiration, etc.) behind the scenes sneak peeks and so much more. Let’s connect and share the journey together. See you on Instagram!”

Personalize this any way you like.

Continue to join Facebook Groups in your niche and promote your Instagram page in a helpful, non-spammy manner. This method alone can garner you 1000 new followers every 7 to 10 days, depending on your niche and how well/hard you work it.


Jumpstarting the Process

Here’s a little trick that will get you your very first followers, and if you’re going to do it, then I recommend you do it straight away before you begin sharing your Instagram on Facebook and elsewhere.

The one problem with sending people to your new Instagram page to follow you is people like to see that you already have followers. If you don’t have any followers yet, they don’t want to be the first. Seeing you have followers is social proof that they should follow you, too.

Go to and purchase 500 – 1000 targeted followers. Don’t go beyond a 1000 because you might raise red flags. This won’t cost you much, and the followers will trickle in over the next few days rather than appearing all at once (another red flag.)

Once you’ve purchased 1000, which will only cost you a few dollars, then stop. Do not buy any more than that. The goal here is to simply get some initial followers so that people you send from other sources see that your Instagram page is popular, and they will join it, too.

While I’ve always gotten my first 1000 followers the hard way, I know marketers who swear by this method and use it every time they start a new Instagram page.


Creating Hot, Shareable Instagram Content

The better your content, the more it will be shared by others. The more it’s shared, the more followers you get PLUS the more likely it is that people will go to your profile and click your landing page link.

Before you create any content, go to your competitors’ profiles, and see what kinds of content they are creating. Make notes of what’s being liked and shared a great deal.

Now go to or your software of choice. Canva is easy to use and free, so that’s what we’ll talk about here.

Go to the social media section of Canva and click on Instagram. Scroll through the templates on the left side of the page and choose one. Change the text to say whatever you want and add your username.

If you need more inspiration, go to Google and type in a couple of keywords and then click images. You might even be able to use some of the images you find. Just be sure to check the rights on them first.

You might also do a search for quotes from your niche. Copy and paste one of these into Canva with or without an image.

If you’re using text over an image, use a font color that really stands out and is easy to read.

Scaling Instagram

When you start out doing only what we covered above, you’ll almost certainly start making money after a few days or weeks. But there are many ways to improve and scale your Instagram marketing, and I’ll briefly cover a few of those tips and methods right here.

1: Be Consistent.

The more consistent you are with your Instagram marketing, the more you will learn what works best for your niche. When you post consistently, you get more followers, more engagement and more sales.

Like most things, your Instagram affiliate marketing will grow over time. The first week you might not make a single sale, but you’ll likely get a few people on your email list. By the end of the first month, you should have a couple of sales, or maybe more.

And in six months to a year you should be seeing some real income from your Instagram affiliate marketing. Treat it like a business and you could be earning $5,000 a month within a few months. Again, your results will vary.

2: Know Your Audience.

Understand the preferences, interests, and behaviors of your target audience. Tailor your content to resonate with them.

Simple social media trick: Notice what gets liked and shared the most, and do more of that.

3: Nurture Your Email Leads.

The first thing you want to do is train your subscribers to open and read your emails. You might do this by giving them surprises, by telling stories that continue from one day to another with a hook at the end of each one, by adding humor, by sending 10 day e-courses or whatever method works for you.

This step is important because if they don’t open and read your emails, then you don’t make sales.

4: Give Your Subscribers Buying Opportunities.

Hopefully your emails are interesting and never boring, so that people want to read them. If they do, then they will also see your offers. Sometimes they will click the link and sometimes they won’t, and that’s okay. Different people are at different stages in the buying process. Some will respond to your first email, others won’t respond until the 10th or the 100th email.

No matter what the content of each email might be, it’s always good to at the very least insert a call to action and an affiliate link in the P.S.

Some emails should do nothing but tell a story and sell the click while others will be more informational with simply a PS call to action. Always give your readers the chance to buy something.

5: Don’t do ‘Follow for Follow.’

This means that when someone follows you on Instagram, do not follow them back. If you are following as many people as are following you, Instagram suspects you’re spammy and reduces your reach, thereby reducing how many people see your posts.

6: Test.

Try offering different lead magnets and different products. Some will naturally convert better with your audience.

7: Use High-Quality Shareable Visuals.

Instagram is a visual platform, so ensure your images and videos are high-quality and visually appealing. Use proper lighting, composition, and colors to make your content stand out.

Develop content that people naturally want to share. This could include quotes, memes, behind-the-scenes footage, or user-generated content. Make it relatable and valuable.

8: Be Consistent with Branding.

Maintain a consistent visual style and theme that aligns with your brand. Consistency helps in creating a recognizable and cohesive feed.

9: Engage with Captions.

Craft compelling captions that encourage engagement. Ask questions, tell stories, or include a call-to-action to prompt your audience to like, comment, or share.

10: Use Hashtags Wisely.

Research and use relevant and trending hashtags to increase the discoverability of your content. However, don’t overdo it; aim for a mix of popular and niche hashtags.

11: Timing Matters.

Post when your audience is most active. Use Instagram Insights to determine the optimal times for engagement based on your followers’ activity.

12: Collaborate with Influencers.

Partner with influencers or other accounts in your niche to expand your reach. Influencers can introduce your content to a broader audience.

13: Leverage Instagram Stories and Reels.

Take advantage of Instagram’s features like Stories and Reels. These formats are engaging and can reach a wider audience. Use stickers, polls, and other interactive elements.

14: Run Contests and Giveaways.

Encourage sharing by organizing contests or giveaways. Ask participants to share your post, tag friends, or use a specific hashtag to enter.

Be sure to tailor your prizes to your target audience. Give away gardening supplies to gardeners and Van Gogh-like pet portraits to dog and cat owners.

15: Tap into Trends Whenever Possible.

Always keep an eye on trending topics, challenges, and hashtags. If relevant, participate as much as possible in these trends to increase your visibility and engagement. These are huge opportunities to expand your audience, so act fast and act big.

16: Always be Storytelling.

Create content that tells a story or evokes emotions. People are more likely to share content that they connect with on a personal or emotional level.

17: Post User-Generated Content.

Encourage your followers to create content related to your brand or products and then use it. Reposting user-generated content not only acknowledges your audience and makes them feel good; it also expands your reach.

If your customer Jimmy creates content for you and you repost it, then Jimmy is far more likely to become a customer for life, as well as an advocate for your brand and someone who sends you followers and sales.

One Last Note

This entire plan can be reduced to this: Sending traffic via Instagram to your landing page to build your list and sell affiliate products.

Does that sound too simple to work?

Don’t be fooled.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve seen greenhorn marketers use this single strategy to build a $5,000 a month income in 6 to 12 months. Every one of them was enthusiastic about what they were doing, posted daily or multiple times per day, and made money doing something they enjoyed.

And maybe that’s the key to not just affiliate marketing, but also to life. If you enjoy what you’re doing, then you’re never truly working. You’re simply sharing thoughts and products you love with people just like yourself.


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