How to run an affiliate program on Instagram

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Running an affiliate marketing program can be a great way to generate passive income. But you have to know how it works and how to set up your program on the platform you’re using to get traffic.

Many people think that affiliate programs are complicated simply because they don’t understand how they work. They also believe that running an affiliate program is expensive because you need a lot of time, money, and effort for it to work.

If this sounds like you, then read on! We’re going to show you exactly how easy it is to run an effective affiliate program on Instagram without breaking the bank!

This article will teach you the things you need to know about starting an affiliate program with Instagram — from the affiliate network to choose to what you need to focus on to maximize your sales. Let’s dive right into our topic.

How to Run an Affiliate Program on Instagram

Let’s speak about the tips and strategies that will set you up for success, maximize your sales and help you stand out from competitors.

With Instagram having such a huge potential reach of advertising, getting things set up right from the beginning pays off in the long run.

1. Pick an Affiliate Network

The first step to converting your Instagram feed, website, or blog into a money magnet is to find the right affiliate network. While we’ll focus on Instagram in this article, nothing can stop you from taking the same concepts and applying them to multiple channels.

Affiliate networks can offer you many benefits like earning reports, tracking technology, and payment processing. These will speed up your workflow and help you focus on running your business — rather than focusing on the little details.

The most commonly used affiliate networks are:

  1. ShareASale
  2. CJ Affiliate
  3. Rakuten
  4. Clickbank

Choosing the right affiliate network will make your affiliate program that much easier.
Some factors that people look for in a network include:

  • Average Commission Rate
  • Commission types
  • Cookie length
  • Customer support
  • Fraud protection

Choosing the right network is also essential because it will help you scale when you start making money with your affiliate program.

2. Set Your Commission Rate

Another great thing about affiliate networks is that you can pick the commission model type.

In essence, setting the correct commission rate ensures that you can make a profit while also making it fair to the people promoting your products. In this case, since we are speaking about Instagram, you will be using influencer marketing.

Ensuring that these influencers get the right commission when someone buys through their link is the key to ensuring that a long-term business relationship can develop between you and them.

You can explore various models, such as influencers receiving a commission after every click or after someone makes a purchase.

You should also choose the commission rate — how much will you pay influencers? As you get more experienced, you’ll pick a rate that makes it worthwhile for both sides.

3. Find Influencers to Partner With on Instagram

There are several different ways to find an influencer to partner with on Instagram.

For instance, you can:

  • do a simple search on Google to find bloggers open to monetizing Instagram by promoting products
  • see what YouTube channels are available in your niche
  • use Instagram hashtags to find content created by influencers that you might want to work with

Despite there being tons of ways to find influencers, the most important thing isn’t the number of influencers. It’s their quality.

Choose influencers that are within your niche, have a big following, and get a lot of engagement on their posts.

If you’re just starting out, it’s better to concentrate on micro-influencers with up to 10k followers. That’s because they’ll be more affordable and easier to work with.

With that said, make sure their followers are real and engaged — increasing engagement on Instagram should be one of the main goals that any influencer should have and something you can judge before making a final decision.

4. Produce Beautiful, High-Quality Images, Videos & Profile

No matter what influencers you pick, if you have poor images and videos, you’ll make no sales when their audience visits your profile.

We are visual creatures and sometimes, we buy something we neither need nor want. We just buy it because it looks pretty in the pictures.

That’s why you should strive to make your Instagram profile as visually beautiful as possible.

Use vibrant colors, take high-quality pictures and add a killer description to each of your photos. It’ll help you with building a personal brand and will allow you to drive more sales.

If you want to take things to the next level, consider your Instagram feed’s general look and feel, stories, reels, and anything else that Instagram might come out with in the future.

It may also be worth investing in an experienced production crew to help you create engaging live stream video productions and other videos for your Instagram.

Creating beautiful posts is one thing but looking at the overall appearance of your account is another. You should have a cohesive theme that you keep in mind whenever you are posting anything on Instagram.

You could even try to stick with a preset you’ll use on all your photos, which means that you will use the same colors, edit photos nicely and create a beautiful profile people will love.

5. Analyse, Adjust & Split Test

Not happy with the results or looking to further enhance your strategy?

No matter which marketing channel you’re using, you should be analyzing your affiliate program to find out problem areas, see what works, and even get better results.

Doing A/B split testing will give you insights into what products your audience loves the most and which one of them yields the most conversions. And of course, it will also notify you about underperforming products.

You should focus less on those, give more effort to the ones that work, and maximize the effectiveness of your affiliate strategy.

6. Utilize Coupon Codes

Why should customers buy from you rather than the several other hundred selles found on Instagram? You must give them a compelling benefit to pull the trigger and choose you — using coupons is a good way to do just that.

Most people are looking to buy products as cheaply as possible which is why offering discount coupons might be a good idea. Such coupons will allow you to drive more sales while keeping your customers satisfied.

Coupons can also be made to be time-sensitive or limited to a specific number. Both of these mean you will introduce urgency into the mix, thus turning on the pressure when it comes to someone making a buying decision — or missing out on getting your product or service.

7. Make Sure to Edit Your Bio

If you’re promoting only one website, you should put its link into your bio. If you’re promoting multiple, consider using a service such as Linktree. This will allow you to add numerous links all through a single source.

Also, keep in mind that you must make it as simple as possible to get people to take the action you desire — so make sure that when people click on your links, they end up on the page they expect.

On your website, keep the same color, same messaging, and most importantly, the same offer that you promised on your Instagram feed.

8. Don’t Focus Only on Selling

Trying to make as many sales as possible isn’t bad, but it shouldn’t be your priority.

Remember that your audience follows you not because of what you sell but because they want to learn more about whatever you’re doing.

You should be genuinely helpful and engage with your audience on your Instagram feed, in the comments, and everywhere else — strike a balance between selling and helping. For instance, you could create posts or stories with links to helpful articles you’ve created, podcasts you’ve hosted, or even videos you’ve produced.

Stay helpful to your followers, engage with them, build rapport and they’ll be happy to buy when you make an offer — simply because they know, like, and trust you.


Running an Instagram affiliate program can be a great way to start generating passive income and building a list of followers that love the content that you produce.

On the flip side, Instagram is also very competitive, and to be successful, you must find a way to stand out.

In this article, we’ve covered the eight tips that will help you make your affiliate program successful. Use them in your strategy, and remember to test and tweak the things that aren’t working to make them better.

By the end of this process, you’ll be able to enjoy the results that you get from implementing this strategy in your business.

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