Instagram can be a great platform for parents to start a side hustle or even turn content creation into a full-time job. Here is how to get started, according to parents who are pulling it off.

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Maybe you roll your eyes at the influencers on Instagram, but there's no denying that social media is a great place to find useful information as a parent, find and build community, and even monetize your content to create a lucrative side hustle. Instagram is full of content creators who are parents, sharing all the big and little moments of parenthood, launching their own businesses, and offering tips to fellow parents. In fact, a recent study found that parents are twice as likely as non-parents to start a side hustle—and why not make it a social side hustle?

Especially during the pandemic, parents found themselves needing to find additional streams of income due to job loss and financial uncertainty. "Many parents, like myself, had additional stressors when it came to providing for our kids due to layoffs and new childcare expenses," Toni Rogers, a content creator on Instagram, tells Parents. "So, like many parents, I needed a way to supplement my income that was not a traditional part-time job."

Rogers was furloughed from her job as a teacher during the pandemic. "Monetizing my Instagram was a new concept to me, and after doing a little research I quickly learned the benefits of being a producer and not just a consumer on social media," she explains. Rogers now is now a plus-size influencer and model on Instagram, and has found success offering services such as creative directing and social media management. Inspired? Here are ways you can make money on Instagram, too—you never know where it could lead.

Sell your own products or services on Instagram.

One easy way to make money on Instagram as a parent is to sell a product or a service. This could be something that you're good at making, and you could use Instagram to help spread the word about your business. You can have people people message you on Instagram if they're interested in buying, or link to an online store in your bio.

"If you make anything, like candles or jewelry, simply post them and let people know that they are available for purchase," says Minna Khounlo-Sithep, mom of two and co-founder of The Product Boss, small business coaching platform and top podcast. Khounlo-Sithep says to make sure your Instagram page is public so it can be found by people and your followers can share your posts to help get the word out more about your products.

You could also offer a service such as coaching on a topic you're an expert on that could help other parents, whether that's budgeting, organizing, parenting tips, or freelance writing services. Again, you can use Instagram itself to share your knowledge and promote your services.

Use affiliate links to promote products and brands you like as a parent.

Post links to products and brands that you use and love, and see if you can get paid for promoting the brand. Reach out to the brand and see if you can get an affiliate link or join an ambassador program that will allow you to make money every time someone makes a purchase through your link.

"When I started monetizing my Instagram, social selling and affiliate links were the two easiest ways to dive into the influencer market," says Rogers. Rogers applied for influencer or affiliate programs from brands that she already used, who would then give her a personalized discount code to be shared with her followers.

Another option is to sign up to be an Amazon Associate. "You can sign up to be an Amazon Associate at no cost and earn a percentage of sales when people purchase through your particular link," says Khounlo-Sithep. "You could let your followers know how you use certain products on Instagram, then post a link to your Amazon shop," she adds. You can use Instagram Stories and posts to talk about the items that you love as a parent, and put all the products in your Amazon storefront so your followers can easily shop your favorites, and you get a commission.

Sharing links on Instagram is now easier than ever, since the platform recently rolled out the link-sharing sticker to all users, allowing anyone to share links on Instagram stories (before, the feature was only available to those with over 10k followers).

Sharing affiliate links and gaining visibility through promoting products can lead to lucrative brand deals. "My husband lost his job in early 2018 and I've been supporting my family solely as a content creator ever since, making more than I did in an upper management level job," says Heather Castillo, content creator and blogger.

Castillo says she gets most of her income from brand sponsored deals, and uses Instagram to drive traffic to her blog, The Super Mom Life, where she also makes money from affiliate partnerships and ads. "Eventually, we plan on creating merch and using the Instagram shop option to drive sales," adds Castillo.

An image of a mom taking a picture of her baby.
Credit: Getty Images.

Build and grow your audience for more visibility.

Perhaps the most important element of making money on Instagram is to build your community and your brand. More followers leads to more visibility, which really helps when you're looking to monetize your content and score brand partnerships.

"As I gained more knowledge about monetizing my social media, I switched my focus to building my brand and building a community," says Rogers. "When I switched my focus, I found my people and my following began to grow," she adds.

Some of Rogers' tips for growing your brand include choosing three to five categories of things you love and will be posting about, planning content ahead of time, including your kids when you can, being consistent with posts as much as possible, and, of course, having fun.

Make sure you are regularly engaging with Instagram and your followers, and trying out different content styles to see what works for your brand and your audience. "Don't forget to engage—that's the social part that helps you to keep growing and building loyalty within your following," says Khounlo-Sithep.

Time to yourself can be hard to come by when you have kids and are juggling work and a side hustle, but try to set some time aside each day to follow accounts similar to yours, comment on other content creators' posts, and post your own stories. Have fun with it, and most importantly, be you; your voice and your family are unique, so allow your content to reflect that, and the audience will follow.

"You'll find your voice and your audience once you get going and prioritize authenticity," says Khounlo-Sithep. "There is nothing more relatable than parenting and the challenges that come with that, so just trust you'll find your groove."