This Travel Blogger Shares 6 Tips on How to Make Money on Instagram

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Instagram has more than 800 million users, but not all of them have figured out how to make money from their feeds.

However, Viktoria Altman, the blogger behind TravelTipster, is a social media maven who has cracked the code. Since she started using her Instagram for business purposes in late 2016, Altman has built a following of over 33,000 fans by sharing breathtaking images from around the globe.

I spoke with Altman to learn how she turned her love for travel and photography into a source of income (which, by the way, brings in over $1,000 per month).

Here’s how Altman earns money from her travel photos, along with her advice for aspiring Instagram influencers looking to follow in her well-traveled footsteps.

1. Capture your passion with quality photos and equipment

One of the best day trips from Madrid is a visit to the Escorial Monastery, easily accessible by public transport. This huge palace is reminiscent of Hogwarts and even has an on premise elementary school, so the illusion is complete. Wander the grand halls and gardens to witness the place that was a seat of power and glory during the Spanish Renaissance. The library here boasts 4,700 manuscripts and 40,000 printed books, one of my favorite rooms. We were lucky to visit when the weather wasn’t great, lucky because we almost had the whole palace to ourselves, rarely encountering another wanderer in the great rooms. The security here is very strict about the no pictures rule, although truth be told I did sneak in a few. When you walk downstairs watch out for the ghosts – many famous notables rest here, and some, its so told, wander the halls. 🙂

A post shared by Viktoria (@traveltipster) on

These days, Altman works full time on her blog and Instagram feed. She also deals with other platforms, including Pinterest and Facebook.

But Altman didn’t start out as a blogger. She began as a full-time traveler.

“The more places I visited, the more inspired I felt to try and create something that would help me preserve memories and help others to create their own experiences,” said Altman.

She initially took pictures with her cellphone. But in November 2016 she decided to take her photography up a notch to produce exceptional images for Instagram.

“Start with buying a good DSLR [digital single-lens reflex camera] and a starter lens,” she advised.

Now Altman uses her website and Instagram to inspire others and help travelers build their own adventures.

“I provide lots of travel tips, talk about places to visit in a location, how to save money, and how to get the most out of the experience,” said Altman.

Focusing on practical tips also helped her stand out in the travel blogging and Instagram world.

“Having a unique voice [on] Instagram and [in the] blogosphere is very important to grow your following,” she said.

By choosing a field you’re passionate about — whether it’s travel, fitness, food, or whatever else — you’ll be more likely to add value and a unique perspective.

2. Boost your photography skills with free online courses

Of course, Instagram isn’t just about the information you can provide. It’s primarily about the quality of your images. That’s why Altman made it a priority to improve her skills as a photographer.

Once you’ve secured the right equipment, take advantage of free online tutorials to sharpen your skills.

“There are a million free videos on YouTube, and the best way to learn, I find, is to watch the videos about photography and then practice on your own,” she said. “Same works for Photoshop and Lightroom. There is a learning curve, but it’s very doable without any expensive classes.”

Altman has also improved her photography skills by taking advantage of the “social” part of social media.

“I have been able to make friends with great photographers through Instagram and Vero,” she said. “I often ask them for advice.”

Without standout photography skills, you’ll be hard-pressed to succeed as an Instagram influencer.

“It’s a very competitive world,” said Altman. “Making a living as an Instagram influencer means you need to constantly work hard on yourself and your skills.”

3. Find your tribe and engage with them

Along with mastering the art of photography, you must also grow your following and boost engagement.

“Instagram has always been about community, and by finding a group of like-minded people whose work you admire you can help yourself grow,” said Altman. “I am networking with many big landscape photographers who also follow me and comment on my pictures. This means the Instagram algorithm favors me and helps me grow faster.”

Along with growing your following, you should also focus on building engagement. This could mean following other Instagram users or responding to any comments left on your photos.

“You would start to create your Instagram family by following bloggers whose work you admire, commenting on their pictures, and building a relationship,” said Altman. “Building a genuine community is the No. 1 step to becoming a professional Instagram influencer.”

4. Collaborate with companies offering products you’d use

You don’t need thousands of likes per picture to monetize your Instagram feed, Altman said. She said clients will start to approach you once you steadily have about 700 to 1,000 likes per picture.

Of course, you can also reach out to them when you’re ready.

“Every brand has a PR team,” said Altman. “Send them an email, tell them you love their product, [but] only approach companies you would genuinely use.”

Some clients will give you products in exchange for a post, while others will pay you for a campaign.

“On average, an Instagrammer with 30,000 followers and a strong blog can expect to make $500 to $3,500 a month depending on the month,” said Altman. “An average campaign probably brings in about $1,000 for an Instagrammer of my size.”

5. ‘Under promise and over deliver’ for your clients

One of my favorite things on a trip is running into people who can educate me on the local culture and history.  I always get super lucky and meet people like that on almost every trip.  I met some amazing people in Bali, but the one who probably educated me the most on my host country is my Ubud based driver Nick @sumartawatoetnick. He knew some really cool hidden spots, such as the rice fields nobody visits – as opposed to the paid rice fields full of tourists.  He was very patient with all my photography and helped me get this shot. In addition, his fantastic English and patience allowed me to ask my million and one question about the Balinese people.  One thing I learned which I did not expect – Balinese (who are Hindu, a religion they share with many Indian people) all believe there is only one god. All the gods they refer to are actually “manifestations” of the same god, the same god of all the other big religions.  The way Nick explained it to me, right now I am a driver but when I get home I’ll be a husband and I’ll also be a father.  I am still one person but I can perform many different functions and go by many different names.  This made so much sense, and I found the thought comforting somehow.  If you’d like to hire Nick as a driver while you are in Bali I am happy to give you his whatsapp (just dm me) or you can dm him directly via his insta.  He and his wife also run a cute little hostel in Ubud, so if you are looking for affordable accommodations you can get in touch with him for that as well. #bali #theglobewanderer #eclectic_shotz #visualambassadors #theimaged #thegramslayers #beautifuldestinations #travelingthroughtheworld #thediscoverer #wonderful_places #igtones #wanderlust #luxurytravel #luxury #familytravel #bali #sheisnotlost #dametraveller #girlslovetravel #womenwhoexplore

A post shared by Viktoria (@traveltipster) on

Once you start getting clients, Altman said it’s important to “under promise and over deliver.”

“If a client asks for three Instagram posts, I try to deliver four,” she said. “If a client asks for just one article, I try to add one more as a guest post on a different blog.”

The world of Instagram influencers is a competitive one. By exceeding clients’ expectations, Altman ensures they keep coming back. And a happy client can turn into a source of referral.

“Make the work great, put your heart and soul into it — and they’ll be back and refer others,” said Altman.

She also said you can’t expect to score lots of clients right away. Building a customer base takes time, so be patient. If you keep at it, you can make money doing what you love.

6. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new platforms

Rather than sticking solely to Instagram, Altman said it helps to also create blog posts, Pinterest images, and YouTube videos. Building up several sources of influence will help you bring in the most income from your online business.

Additionally, Instagram influencers should also be on the lookout for the next great platform.

“Everyone knows that Instagram is huge,” she said. “But consumers can change their habits. Remember Myspace?”

For her part, Altman has been experimenting with the social network Vero. Since it’s still fairly small, she feels she can score big clients by getting in on the ground floor.

“Be open to new media,” Altman advised. “Instagram users who got on Instagram at the very beginning had a huge advantage. I am always looking for new networks and trying new things.”

So while there are tried-and-true ways to get big on Instagram — great photography and engaging with your community being two of them — you also can’t be afraid to experiment.

By trying new things, you can carve your own niche in the Instagram influencer space. What’s more, you can turn your passion into a lucrative job that brings in hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per month.

For even more inspiration, learn how this blogger makes $9,000 per month writing about cruises or how this stay-at-home mom makes seven figures after turning her blog into a business.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 16.990% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.72% APR to 14.60% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of February 15, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.72% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.49% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  5. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 5.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 5.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.79% – 20.89% (6.79% – 20.89% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 9.99% APR to a high of 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.

†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at

**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.

7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

5.72% – 16.99%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

7.54% – 35.99%$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

7.99% – 35.89%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

5.99% – 24.99%2$5,000 - $35,000

Visit Payoff

5.99% – 29.99%3$7,500 - $40,000

Visit FreedomPlus

6.79% – 20.89%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

9.99% – 35.99%5$2,000 - $25,000

Visit LendingPoint

6.95% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000

Visit Earnest

9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000

Visit Avant

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.