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Earning from Instagram isn’t just for influencers—you can take one paid article and turn it into several more jobs using the power of social media. Instagram’s Stories feature is the perfect way to make more money from your articles while giving them added exposure. 

I recently turned one paid article into two additional jobs with Instagram takeovers: temporary control of a company’s account for the day to post stories on their behalf. You show their followers your point of view, giving them a behind-the-scenes look from a travel writer’s perspective. My most recent takeovers were for the venue I wrote about and the tourism board for the local city. There are opportunities like this for every article you write. 

For example, if you wrote about a new restaurant in Vancouver for a local publication, your Instagram takeover could be for the restaurant itself, the publication, or the tourism board—or all three! You’ve already written the piece and taken the photos, now all you need to do is spend a little time creating graphics for Instagram Stories.

To do a takeover you will need to create a set of assets formatted for Instagram Stories. Not to worry, you do not need to be a graphic designer or have any special skills or training for this. I use a program called Canva. They have a ton of free templates that you can use to drag and drop. There are a variety of layouts that include space for images, videos, and copy.

One thing to keep in mind when designing these is to leave space for adding copy once you are on Instagram. You must type in any hashtags or tags on Instagram for them to work. Also leave space for polls or question boxes. I design some of mine to be half empty in Canva so that I have space to add these features when I publish the story.

If you have secured more than one Instagram takeover opportunity, you should tweak your graphics to match the look and feel of each Instagram account. You can leave the copy and images the same but switch up the background colors or fonts. Watch a few of the account’s previous stories and check out their feed to match their look and feel. 

The number of graphics you create for your Instagram takeover is up to you. It will likely be determined by the amount of information and photos you wish to share. You should always create an “Instagram Stories Takeover Alert” post to post the day before the takeover. This will create a buzz and notify followers of the upcoming event.

Pro tip: I use Canva on my computer to design my assets and then go to the Canva app on my iPhone to save them directly onto my phone. Instagram takeovers must be done on a mobile phone since Instagram does not allow you to post stories from a desktop. Saving your assets to your phone is a must.

Once you have the company’s log-in details, go into the settings section of your Instagram account and click “Add Account” to log in to their account. Once you are logged in to their account, you can switch between your account and theirs by visiting the profile page and clicking on the Instagram handle at the top of the screen. 

During the takeover, be sure to use Instagram’s features such as geotagging, polls, and questions. Always remember to tag the appropriate places and tourism boards. These features increase engagement and are found under the square smiley face icon within Stories. If the account has over 10,000 followers, utilize the swipe up feature to link to the article. 

Editors will love the added attention their article receives, as will the places you write about. It’s a win-win!