How to make Instagram your side hustle

Here are 5 simple steps to creating a side hustle you can cash in on—just remember: quality should be at the heart of each step.

  • If you choose a niche you are passionate about and people are interested in, you can create a lucrative side hustle on Instagram.
  • Once you gain an engaged fanbase, you can monetize your account through advertising and affiliate links.
  • Here are 5 simple steps to get your on your way to becoming an influencer.

Instagram is more than a photo-sharing social media platform. It is a tool for making money if you know how to use it properly, which anyone can learn to do.

You won't make money immediately, so don't quit your day job just yet. But you can turn Instagram into a side hustle and make some extra cash if you follow a few simple steps. At some point, perhaps you can become the next big Instagram influencer.

Below are the top five steps for making money on Instagram.

1) Choose the right niche

Like any business model, you must center your Instagram side hustle around a particular niche. It must be a niche that is popular and attracts an audience regularly. Some of the most popular Instagram niches are fashion, food, travel, and entertainment.

For instance, you could start a travel profile where you take trips and upload pictures of what you saw in various exotic locations. People love to follow Instagram accounts with travel themes because it gives them a chance to see places they don't get to see normally.

Whatever niche you choose, make sure it is something that interests you so you can stay committed and passionate about it for the long haul. Also, make sure you're in a position to take photographs of things that relate to it.

2) Upload high-quality photographs

Instagram is all about visuals. If you want to maintain a long list of followers, there's no question that you need to upload high-quality photographs to your account. Instagram requires you to take pictures on your smartphone or tablet camera and upload it to your account with the Instagram app.

However, there is a way you can upload photographs to your Instagram account from your computer desktop or laptop. For Mac and PC users, you can try Chrome extensions like Desktopify or Desktop for Instagram. After these are installed, you can start uploading pictures from your computer.

That way, you'll have more opportunities to photoshop your pictures and make them look even better with advanced touchups.

3) Purchase Instagram likes

Building up a new Instagram profile is difficult. Everyone wants to create a special post that ends up trending and attracting thousands of people. But there is nothing you can do to guarantee that will happen. The best you can do is get likes to your Instagram posts. The more likes that your posts receive, the more people will want to check them out because they will appear to be popular posts.

Since it is so challenging to get likes to Instagram posts when your account is new, you can speed up the process by buying Instagram likes. When you buy automatic Instagram likes, you get a service where a specific number of likes are automatically applied to your posts each month.

For instance, you can spend $15.99 per month and get likes on up to 120 posts for that month. The most likes you can have per post is 50 likes. If you want to pay extra, you can have up to 100 likes per post for $24.99 or up to 250 likes per post for $33.99. It is recommended that you don't flood a single post with too many likes at once. Try to spread them around a little so that they look more natural to your audience.

4) Use the right hashtags in your posts

Hashtags are essential if you want to attract more attention to your Instagram posts from people who are interested in your niche. Each time you publish an Instagram post, you're allowed to include hashtags in the post or in the first comment. Users can select a hashtag and view all the Instagram posts that have the hashtag in it.

The idea is that if you research popular hashtags used in Instagram posts that are related to your niche, then you can use the same hashtags in your posts. Then it will be easier for people (and the discover algorithm!) to discover your Instagram profile and follow it.

5) Cash in

The part where you make money comes from advertising in your posts, both directly and indirectly. Once you have a popular Instagram account, you can become an influencer.

As an influencer, you get paid for promoting the products or services of other companies or people. You can also do affiliate marketing through your Instagram posts as well. Just get creative by finding ways to monetize the thousands of new followers that you've received.

U.S. Navy controls inventions that claim to change "fabric of reality"

Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.

U.S. Navy ships

Credit: Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
  • Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
  • While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
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Meet Dr. Jennifer Doudna: she's leading the biotech revolution

She helped create CRISPR, a gene-editing technology that is changing the way we treat genetic diseases and even how we produce food.

Courtesy of Jennifer Doudna
Technology & Innovation

This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink.

Last year, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier became the first all-woman team to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work developing CRISPR-Cas9, the gene-editing technology. The technology was invented in 2012 — and nine years later, it's truly revolutionizing how we treat genetic diseases and even how we produce food.

CRISPR allows scientists to alter DNA by using proteins that are naturally found in bacteria. They use these proteins, called Cas9, to naturally fend off viruses, destroying the virus' DNA and cutting it out of their genes. CRISPR allows scientists to co-opt this function, redirecting the proteins toward disease-causing mutations in our DNA.

So far, gene-editing technology is showing promise in treating sickle cell disease and genetic blindness — and it could eventually be used to treat all sorts of genetic diseases, from cancer to Huntington's Disease.

The biotech revolution is just getting started — and CRISPR is leading the charge. We talked with Doudna about what we can expect from genetic engineering in the future.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Freethink: You've said that your journey to becoming a scientist had humble beginnings — in your teenage bedroom when you discovered The Double Helix by Jim Watson. Back then, there weren't a lot of women scientists — what was your breakthrough moment in realizing you could pursue this as a career?

Dr. Jennifer Doudna: There is a moment that I often think back to from high school in Hilo, Hawaii, when I first heard the word "biochemistry." A researcher from the UH Cancer Center on Oahu came and gave a talk on her work studying cancer cells.

I didn't understand much of her talk, but it still made a huge impact on me. You didn't see professional women scientists in popular culture at the time, and it really opened my eyes to new possibilities. She was very impressive.

I remember thinking right then that I wanted to do what she does, and that's what set me off on the journey that became my career in science.

CRISPR 101: Curing Sickle Cell, Growing Organs, Mosquito Makeovers | Jennifer Doudna | Big Think www.youtube.com

Freethink: The term "CRISPR" is everywhere in the media these days but it's a really complicated tool to describe. What is the one thing that you wish people understood about CRISPR that they usually get wrong?

Dr. Jennifer Doudna: People should know that CRISPR technology has revolutionized scientific research and will make a positive difference to their lives.

Researchers are gaining incredible new understanding of the nature of disease, evolution, and are developing CRISPR-based strategies to tackle our greatest health, food, and sustainability challenges.

Freethink: You previously wrote in Wired that this year, 2021, is going to be a big year for CRISPR. What exciting new developments should we be on the lookout for?

Dr. Jennifer Doudna: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were multiple teams around the world, including my lab and colleagues at the Innovative Genomics Institute, working on developing CRISPR-based diagnostics.

"Traits that we could select for using traditional breeding methods, that might take decades, we can now engineer precisely in a much shorter time."
DR. JENNIFER DOUDNA

When the pandemic hit, we pivoted our work to focus these tools on SARS-CoV-2. The benefit of these new diagnostics is that they're fast, cheap, can be done anywhere without the need for a lab, and they can be quickly modified to detect different pathogens. I'm excited about the future of diagnostics, and not just for pandemics.

We'll also be seeing more CRISPR applications in agriculture to help combat hunger, reduce the need for toxic pesticides and fertilizers, fight plant diseases and help crops adapt to a changing climate.

Traits that we could select for using traditional breeding methods, that might take decades, we can now engineer precisely in a much shorter time.

Freethink: Curing genetic diseases isn't a pipedream anymore, but there are still some hurdles to cross before we're able to say for certain that we can do this. What are those hurdles and how close do you think we are to crossing them?

Dr. Jennifer Doudna: There are people today, like Victoria Gray, who have been successfully treated for sickle cell disease. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

There are absolutely still many hurdles. We don't currently have ways to deliver genome-editing enzymes to all types of tissues, but delivery is a hot area of research for this very reason.

We also need to continue improving on the first wave of CRISPR therapies, as well as making them more affordable and accessible.

Freethink: Another big challenge is making this technology widely available to everyone and not just the really wealthy. You've previously said that this challenge starts with the scientists.

Dr. Jennifer Doudna: A sickle cell disease cure that is 100 percent effective but can't be accessed by most of the people in need is not really a full cure.

This is one of the insights that led me to found the Innovative Genomics Institute back in 2014. It's not enough to develop a therapy, prove that it works, and move on. You have to develop a therapy that actually meets the real-world need.

Too often, scientists don't fully incorporate issues of equity and accessibility into their research, and the incentives of the pharmaceutical industry tend to run in the opposite direction. If the world needs affordable therapy, you have to work toward that goal from the beginning.

Freethink: You've expressed some concern about the ethics of using CRISPR. Do you think there is a meaningful difference between enhancing human abilities — for example, using gene therapy to become stronger or more intelligent — versus correcting deficiencies, like Type 1 diabetes or Huntington's?

Dr. Jennifer Doudna: There is a meaningful distinction between enhancement and treatment, but that doesn't mean that the line is always clear. It isn't.

There's always a gray area when it comes to complex ethical issues like this, and our thinking on this is undoubtedly going to evolve over time.

What we need is to find an appropriate balance between preventing misuse and promoting beneficial innovation.

Freethink: What if it turns out that being physically stronger helps you live a longer life — if that's the case, are there some ways of improving health that we should simply rule out?

Dr. Jennifer Doudna: The concept of improving the "healthspan" of individuals is an area of considerable interest. Eliminating neurodegenerative disease will not only massively reduce suffering around the world, but it will also meaningfully increase the healthy years for millions of individuals.

"There is a meaningful distinction between enhancement and treatment, but that doesn't mean that the line is always clear. It isn't."
DR. JENNIFER DOUDNA

There will also be knock-on effects, such as increased economic output, but also increased impact on the planet.

When you think about increasing lifespans just so certain people can live longer, then not only do those knock-on effects become more central, you also have to ask who is benefiting and who isn't? Is it possible to develop this technology so the benefits are shared equitably? Is it environmentally sustainable to go down this road?

Freethink: Where do you see it going from here?

Dr. Jennifer Doudna: The bio revolution will allow us to create breakthroughs in treating not just a few but whole classes of previously unaddressed genetic diseases.

We're also likely to see genome editing play a role not just in climate adaptation, but in climate change solutions as well. There will be challenges along the way both expected and unexpected, but also great leaps in progress and benefits that will move society forward. It's an exciting time to be a scientist.

Freethink: If you had to guess, what is the first disease you think we are most likely to cure, in the real world, with CRISPR?

Dr. Jennifer Doudna: Because of the progress that has already been made, sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia are likely to be the first diseases with a CRISPR cure, but we're closely following the developments of other CRISPR clinical trials for types of cancer, a form of congenital blindness, chronic infection, and some rare genetic disorders.

The pace of clinical trials is picking up, and the list will be longer next year.

Ancient megalodon shark was even bigger than estimated, finds study

A school lesson leads to more precise measurements of the extinct megalodon shark, one of the largest fish ever.

Megalodon attacks a seal.

Credit: Catmando / Adobe Stock.
Surprising Science
  • A new method estimates the ancient megalodon shark was as long as 65 feet.
  • The megalodon was one of the largest fish that ever lived.
  • The new model uses the width of shark teeth to estimate its overall size.
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