Making Money on Instagram

According to Ross Dickerson, a muscle-bound fitness entrepreneur and avid Instagramer, on a low day he makes approximately 500 quid. Ross is not the only one, and perhaps it’s not news that more and more Instagramers are scrambling to make a quick buck from a picture of their abs. And the barriers to entry are dropping as advertisers see value in the Instagramers with all ranges of followers, from big to small. Dickerson is on the larger end of the scale with over 1.3 million Instagram followers, which he attributes to constant, unrelenting posting of flexing selfies. His huge following translates into big money, too, with Dickerson’s revenue
coming from two sources: advertising and selling his own fitness plans.

Every time I post, I’m trying to make as much money as possible from that post. I’m trying to get as many people from Instagram to my website. That’s the aim of the game every time. I simply earn money from a website with diet and fitness plans. It’s simple, fast but big money: ‘a low day is like £500 worth of plans a day.’ On top of his “low day”, Dickerson advertises products. He can command $300 for a two hour time slot, after which he deletes the post. The longer the picture stays up, the more it costs. Despite the selfie bravado, he’s refreshingly upfront – and humble – about all of this. It’s ridiculous money, I know people who work their asses off for weeks for that, he says.

Dickerson’s Instagram account is a business. It’s not a behind-the-scenes insight into the life of a muscular man, and it’s not an earnest collage of what he’s desperate to share with the world. It’s a cash generator. Despite this, he’s reluctant to “sell out” as he describes it. I could be earning so much more money if I wanted to. All I’d have to do is sell out. I’ve been offered serious money to post things on my Instagram like teeth whiteners. But I always decline. I could be making an extra 5 grand a month, but I’d look like a sellout. It started for me with companies approaching me. They would email me – I left my email on my profile – and ask to collaborate. In the beginning it was freebies in exchange for posts, but then as you get bigger and get more followers, it turns into collaborations and working on projects.

Dickerson, whilst operating on a more professional level, are not alone. Thousands of Instagramers are trying to 'crack’ the platform and hit the fitness highs of success stories. On the less glamorous side, armies of wannabes post and chase advertising deals, with varying results. Recently, a friend’s wife, with fewer than 500 followers, was approached by a ‘healthy’ drinks company asking her to pose with said beverage for a free crate of drinks. I suspect this is not uncommon. Instagram isn’t the sole platform that these advertisers operate on, it’s common across all social channels.
Adapted from www.forbes.com

Ex. 1 Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) a person who does business: __________
2) a day when you make less money than usually: __________
3) 500 pounds: __________
4) muscles on your stomach: __________
5) income: __________
6) a „window” of time: __________
7) to be honest: __________
8) strongly convinced about sth: __________
9) to say no: ___________
10)to formally ask sb about sth: __________
11)to work together: __________
12)things you don’t have to pay for: _________
Centrum Języków Obcych Archibald poziom B1/B2


Ex. 2 Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1. to scramble                                         into sth
2. a range                                                into sth
3. to attribute                                         for sth
4. sth translates                                     worth of sth
5. to get sb                                              to do sth
6. 500 pounds                                       serious money
7. insight                                                sth to sth
8. to be offered                                      into sth
9. in exchange                                       to do sth
10. sth turns                                          of followers


Ex. 3 Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) zapalony
2) około
3) nieustający
4) o to chodzi
5) zażyczyć sobie $300
6) skromny
7) za kulisami
8) sprzedać się
9) 5 „tysi”
10) prowadzić działalność
11) pretendent
12) napój

Grammar corner…

In the text you found a grammatical structure with „would” that referred to a past action that was repeated several times. It’s quite similar to „used to”, i.e. sth you did in the past, but you don’t do anymore, but there’s a slight difference. „Used to” can be used to talk about actions AND states, while „would” can ONLY be used for actions.


Ex. 4 Choose the correct option – sometimes BOTH are correct.

1. At the beginning of the economic transformation in Poland people used to /would be able to make huge money selling almost anything.
2. I used to / would be much more self-confident when I was younger.
3. I used to / would attend all sorts of different courses every summer when I was a student.
4. I used to / would lend money to family members in the past, but I stopped, because they never paid me back.
5. I used to / would enjoy clubbing when I was in college, but now I prefer to sit ata quiet pub.
6. I used to / would sit at the library every evening during exam sessions.



an entrepreneur –  przedsiębiorca
a low day  – dzień, kiedy są mniejsze obroty
500 quid  – 500 funciaków
abs  – mięśnie brzucha
revenue  – dochód
a time slot  – „okienko”
to be upfront  – być szczerym
earnest –  przekonany o czymś / do czegoś
to decline –  odmówić
to approach sb –  wyjść z propozycją do kogoś
to collaborate – współpracować
freebies  – darmowe gadżety
to scramble to do sth  – pchać się do czegoś
a range of followers  – liczba ludzi śledzących czyjś profil
to attribute sth to sth  – przypisywać coś czemuś
sth translates into big money  – coś przekłada się na spore pieniądze
to get sb to do sth  – przekonać kogoś do zrobienia czegoś
500 pounds worth of sth  – o wartości 500 funtów
insight into sth  – wgląd w coś
to be offered serious money  – otrzymać ofertę sporych pieniędzy
in exchange for sth  – w zamian za coś
sth turns into sth  – coś przeradza się w coś
avid –  zapalony
approximately  – około
unrelenting – nieustający
that’s the aim of the game –  o to chodzi
to command $300 –  zażyczyć sobie 300 dolarów
humble –  skromny
behind the scenes  – za kulisami
to sell out – sprzedać się
5 grand  – 5 „tysi”
to operate –  prowadzić działalność
a wannabe –  pretendent
a beverage  – napój


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Ex. 1
1) an entrepreneur
2) a low day
3) 500 quid
4) abs
5) revenue
6) a time slot
7) to be upfront
8) earnest
9) to decline
10)to approach sb
11)to collaborate
Ex. 2
1) to scramble to do sth
2) a range of followers
3) to attribute sth to sth
4) sth translates into big money
5) to get sb to do sth
6) 500 pounds worth of sth
7) insight into sth
8) to be offered serious money
9) in exchange for sth
10)sth turns into sth
Centrum Języków Obcych Archibald poziom B1/B2
Ex. 3
1) avid
2) approximately
3) unrelenting
4) that’s the aim of the game
5) to command $300
6) humble
7) behind the scenes
8) to sell out
9) 5 grand
10)to operate
11)a wannabe
12) a beverage
Ex. 4
1) used to
2) used to
3) used to / would
4) used to / would
5) used to
6) used to / would