How To Earn Money From Instagram—Without Followers

September 01, 2022
how to earn money from instagram

Despite the popularity of TikTok and other top-tier channels, Instagram remains one of the top social media apps, even after it was bought by Meta—then Facebook, in 2012. From being a photo and video sharing app, the platform has evolved into the perfect marketing tool for brands and marketers. Instagram accounts with massive followings can make at least $1000 per post

You can grow your Instagram presence and become an influencer, but can you earn a living wage? This article explores a few ways to make money even if you don’t have a million+ followers on Instagram. 

The Hack: How To Buy An Instagram Account And Flip It 

In real estate, flipping property means buying it, fixing it up, and reselling it for profit. The same theory can be applied when you want to make money on Instagram. On Instagram, you look for accounts that are close to being deactivated, “fix” them and resell them for a profit.

Here’s how you can start buying and flipping an Instagram account: 

Find An Inactive Account With A Lot Of Followers 

Be on the lookout for inactive Instagram accounts with at least 10,000 followers. Explore Instagram to see suggested accounts your friends follow and check inactive pages.

You’ve most likely hit a prospect if you’ve seen pages with posts a year older or less frequent for the past months. Idle accounts may indicate the owner is no longer interested in running the page, so that’s where you can step in. List down at least 10 to 20 accounts with the same page behavior and send them a Direct Message (DM).

Contact The Owners

Once you’ve made a list of your target accounts, contact the owners. Ensure your message is straightforward, be upfront about buying the account, and offer an amount to negotiate. 

The standard account rate usually starts at $10 for every 1,000 followers, but you can start by offering $6 to $7 and negotiate from there. Be patient because you might have to encounter a lot of back-and-forth discussions until you come up with an agreement. Don’t message every account you’re interested in all at once. 

Buy It 

Before making any transaction, it is important to speak with the seller over the phone, via email, or on their personal Instagram account to avoid getting scammed. Remember that every investment comes with a risk.

After agreeing on payment terms, request the credentials needed to make the payment. A reliable money transfer like PayPal is best. You can ask the seller to send the Request Money link. Once you have secured the account information, such as the username and password, send the payment. Don’t forget to immediately change your account details once logged in.

Revive The Account With Engagement 

Research and focus on increasing engagement so you can resell the account and make a profit, and don’t end your goal with only having 10,000 followers. Sustain the momentum by re-engaging them with regular content. Use editing apps to create visually appealing photos and videos, and don’t forget to schedule your posts to ensure the account appears revitalized and consistent. 

You can start with four posts per week to introduce the rebrand to your followers. When your posts start gaining traction and receiving comments, shares and saves from users, take the opportunity to sell the account for profit.

Resell The Account For A Profit

Once you’ve garnered some top posts and gained a thousand followers, you’ll finally hit your target engagement. Hence, your account is set up and ready for the next phase: reselling the account for profit.

Post an announcement on your Instagram story saying that you’re selling your account. Similar to when you purchased it, be straightforward with your post.

Wait to see if buyers contact you with an offer, and wait for direct messages from potential leads before sharing your account rate. This way, you can negotiate with leads willing to give you a good deal. Only accept offers of $10 or more for every 1,000 followers you have.

You want to sell the account for around $13 to $15 for 1,000 followers. If you have 20,000 followers on your account, you could make around $150 profit for every account you sell at the same price. Note that these are ballpark figures, and you can make more based on your negotiation skills and discussions with your chosen buyer.

How To Earn Money From Instagram If You Don’t Have Followers

There are a lot of people on Instagram who are trying to become famous. If you can get a lot of followers, brands will pay you to promote their products or post content about them. This can be a great way to earn money, but it takes time to build up a following.

As a diverse platform, Instagram can offer different ways to earn even without reaching a huge following. Here are some of the ways to explore the business side of Instagram: 


Instagram is a good platform to start your dropshipping business. Dropshipping is a type of eCommerce business model where you sell products without having to carry any inventory. When a customer places an order, you simply contact the supplier, who will then ship the products directly to the customer’s doorstep, eliminating your need to deal with any logistics or storage issues.

Dropshippers often choose Instagram as their platform of choice because of its convenient features, such as in-app checkout and its promotional opportunities. Instagram is free to use, and there is little to no risk when selling items. Lastly, it provides a great user experience for customers, who can make purchases directly through the app.

You can drop ship even with fewer than 10,000 followers but strive to attract more. Be proactive with your posts so that you can direct your buyers to check out the products on your page. 

instagram drop

Here are ways to maximize free promotional opportunities for your dropshipping account on Instagram: 

  • Post on your Instagram Stories. Stories are a great way to showcase your products and sell them to customers in real-time. You can also include your landing page in the post so customers can just swipe up if they want to find out more about your product.
  • Set up a live stream. Instagram Live can help you grow your followers, partner with influencers, and interact with your audience live. You can also save the video of your live stream and post it directly on your page.
  • Write a clear CTA on your bio. Users will first see your bio on your page, so maximize it with a solid call to action. Make the customer experience seamless by telling them exactly what you sell and how they can make a purchase. 

Sell Your Own Merch

Selling your own products is the most straightforward way to earn money on Instagram. If you’re good at making things that can be sold, Instagram is the perfect online store for your new business. Create a business account, connect your Facebook page, comply with the merchant agreement, and you’re ready to sell your products. 

If you’re into photography or graphic design, you can sell your work on Instagram to companies like Instaprints, Twenty20, and Clashot. They accept high-quality submissions into their database, which they can use to print shirts, mugs, and other merchandise. You get paid for every custom-made item based on your design.

You can exclusively sell your products without an eCommerce store or a huge number of Instagram followers by creating the right content and upping your hashtag game. 

how to earn money from instagram

Become An Affiliate

You don’t need to become an influencer to promote and earn from the products you love. As an affiliate, you can earn money from clicks or promo codes that users avail from brands.

Your focus should be on getting people to click on your sponsored links so you can earn a commission. Some affiliate networks have a minimum number of followers that you need, but startups are usually willing to work with affiliates who have less than a thousand followers.

It can be helpful to start by partnering with small companies that offer affiliate programs. For example, Amazon affiliates are typically easier to get into than bigger brands. Additionally, you usually get a kickback for any items sold (whether you promoted them or not) during your first 30 days.

You need to put double the effort into your content to capture a wider audience. Always mention in the caption that they can find the product link in your bio, and be creative with your posts to convince them to click the link and make the purchase.

Key Takeaways 

Instagram is constantly evolving and has proven to be more than just the follower count but also an income-generating strategy. Content also plays an important role in monetizing your Instagram account.

You don’t need 10,000 followers to start earning a profit from your content. Utilizing these strategies can help you make money without hitting that milestone.

  • Buy and sell inactive Instagram accounts.
  • Create an Instagram Business page for your dropshipping accounts
  • Showcase your talents and skills by selling your customized merchandise
  • Become an affiliate and earn commissions

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