How To Make Money On Instagram Without Followers

Wondering how to make money on Instagram without followers? You have come to the right place. Instagram has become one of the most influential social media platforms of the 21st century. This influence has led hundreds of thousands of businesses to promote their products and services through Instagram. Due to this influx of businesses, Instagram has become a money-making hub for normal people like you and me.

Best of all, you don’t need a lot of followers to make money on Instagram. Of course, a big following would definitely help however not a necessity. In this step-by-step guide, I will take you through my favorite strategies to make money on Instagram without followers from the ground up.

1. Choosing A Niche :

In order to make money on Instagram without followers, you need to choose a niche. A niche is an audience group with similar interests. Niche pages in Instagram are the pages dedicated to these niche audiences. Some of the niches you can pick are travel, personal finance, pets, motivational quotes, memes, food, confession pages, etc.

Make sure to choose the niche that you are interested in. A lot of people make the mistake of choosing a niche that they have no idea about. This doesn’t have any short-term effect, however, in a long run, the process is going to be very boring and burn you out pretty quickly.

2. Creating An Account :

The second step to making money on Instagram without followers is creating an Instagram account. It is a fairly simple process. Make sure you use the correct email address and choose a relevant username for your account. Once your account is ready, make sure to go over the settings and switch your account into a professional account.

With a professional Instagram account, you get access to various helpful tools from Instagram such as insights of your followers, account performance overviews, new contact options, and much more. Keep in mind, switching over to a professional account means your account will be public. However, you can always switch back to a personal account whenever you wish.

After your account is set up, make sure to provide a great bio for your account. Your bio should be simple and it should clearly describe what your Instagram page is about and why a potential visitor would want to follow your Instagram page.

3. Targeting Hashtags:

Hashtags are one of the best tools for targeting your audience. They can make or break your growth strategy. A hashtag is a combination of letters, numbers, or emojis after the ‘#’ symbol. They are used by Instagram and many other social media to categorize the content. 

Hashtags are clickable and anyone who clicks a hashtag on Instagram is directed to a page with all other contents having the same hashtag in their captions. Currently, Instagram only allows 30 hashtags per post and up to 10 hashtags on a story. Therefore make sure you use all of them. 

Keep in mind, hashtags come in different flavors. Some hashtag like #love has 1.8 billion posts while #bakerylove has only 87,000 posts. Normally you’d think the bigger the hashtag the better to target. However, it’s not as simple as you’d think. The bigger the hashtag is, the higher the chance of your post getting lost in thousands of other similar posts.

Your post should have a mix of different hashtags ranging from highly popular to lesser ones. The rule of thumb that I follow while posting my content is to go for 25% of hashtags that are highly popular, 25% of hashtags that are related to your content, 25% of hashtags with less than 5000 posts, and the last 25% of the hashtags that your followers follow.

4. Understanding the Explore Page

The Explore page on Instagram is a great way to promote your content with like-minded users. If you want to make money on Instagram without followers, the Explore plage is your best friend. Instagram automatically fills up this page with content that contains the hashtags that you are interested in. Your aim as a beginner should be to get your post on the explore page of Instagram.

With the right targeting of hashtags, I was able to get into the explore page multiple times. On average, 24 hours into the explore page yield around 270 organic followers. So get ready to work, post content regularly, and target those right hashtags for organic growth of your page.

5. Follow-for-Follow Method

The next step is getting a few followers to keep your Instagram page going. A lot of people find this step a daunting task. But trust me, it’s not.

The first golden step of increasing your followers is sharing your content with your friends and family and asking them for a follow. However, for most people, this will only generate 10-20 followers.

Therefore, let me talk about the follow-for-follow method to increase your Instagram followers. This is my go-to method of getting the first 1000 followers on any Instagram page. It is basically following people and expecting a follow back. The best practice is to go to your competitor’s  Instagram page, from the same niche, and follow the people who liked their recent posts. The success rate for this process is around 20%, which means when you follow 100 people you will get 20 follow backs.

There are also hashtags on Instagram that are used for this specific reason. Hashtags like #followforfollow ,#f4f, #follow4followback etc are really popular for getting higher return on follow backs. The success rate on these hashtags is around 60%, which is significantly higher than the vanilla follow-for-follow method. Therefore go to the search page, search for these hashtags and follow all the Instagram accounts from the recent tab.

Keep in mind, following too many accounts in a short amount of time will lead to a shadowban. And multiple shadow bans may lead to permanent bans. So make sure you are not doing it too much. 30 follows per hour is a great milestone to aim for and anything above that puts you in a risk zone.

Also, keep in mind that this method only works to get your first 1000-1500 Instagram followers. Once you reach this milestone, the only formula to get more followers is through quality and regular content. If you want a free tool to make content for your Instagram page, then head over to Canva. They have got a plethora of tools and graphics for you to work with. Also, you can opt for Canva Pro if you’d like millions of more premium graphics and images.

6. Affiliate Marketing:

Once you have a few hundred active followers on your Instagram page, you should plan to monetize them. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways you can make money on Instagram without followers.

Affiliate marketing is just a commission-based business model. You sign up for affiliate programs of big brands and they pay you in commissions if you refer someone to their product or service. Commissions can range from a few bucks to hundreds of dollars. Some of the best affiliate marketing networks are Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and ClickBank.

7. Sponsored Content and Advertisements:

Yet another way to monetize your Instagram followers is through Ads and sponsored posts to your page. You can make anywh$1ere from 5 to $5000 per day from this. However, brands and businesses usually go for pages with higher follower counts.

Once you get around 5000 followers on your Instagram page, you will automatically start receiving messages from businesses to promote their content. Make sure you charge them fairly and provide every detail of their ad campaign transparently to form a long-lasting business relationship.

However, if you do not have enough Instagram followers or don’t receive any messages from businesses, I would highly recommend reaching out to them yourself. If you are really struggling to find advertisers for your Instagram page, offer free trials to hook businesses up.

8. Diversifying your Audience:

I can’t stress the importance of this point enough. Once you build a solid community on Instagram, make sure you take them to other social media as well. The reason for this is if your page gets banned or something bad happens to your Instagram account, you have your followers intact on other platforms as well. That way, you can create a new Instagram page and direct them there instead of completely losing them. The bottom line is never put all your eggs in the same basket.

Best of all create a website and drive traffic to the site using your Instagram page. This way you can monetize your website using Google Ads and Affiliate marketing. On average, I make around $40 per 1000 visitors to my sites. And I primarily use Instagram and Pinterest to drive my traffic to my niche blogs.

You can use Bluehost to get a free domain name when you purchase a 12-month hosting plan($2.95/mo) for your website. If you need help with setting up your website, please get in touch with us. We will help you to set up your first blog completely free of cost.

9. E-commerce :

Once you are in a stage where you have a big enough audience on your Instagram page, you should always look to move ahead of affiliate marketing and start selling your own products. Selling products online is one of the most confusing things for beginners. But trust me, once you get hold of everything it is really simple.

You can use Shopify to create your online storefront. The great thing about Shopify is they offer a 14-day free trial(no credit card required). That means you will only be charged after 14 days, and it is enough time for you to play around with the menus and figure out if it is worth your time.

To source the product, you can either follow a dropshipping model or you can source your merchandise from printing agencies like Printful and Printify.

9. Digital Products :

If physical products are too much of a hassle for you, the great news is digital products are the golden nuggets to monetize your content. If you’re wondering what kind of digital product you should go for, you could sell anything from design, art, ebooks, to paid courses.

The great thing about digital products is you only need to write or make the content once and you can sell it multiple times. A few years back, I sold canvas designs on one of my Instagram pages and made around $200 extra every month. Eventually, I sold the page for $7,000. Therefore, selling digital products is one of the best ways to make money on Instagram without followers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money do you make from Instagram?

I started making money from Instagram in 2019 during the COVID lockdowns. There were some months where I made a whopping $1200, while some bad months yielded only around $75. 

All I did was make a new Instagram account and gain my first 1000 followers by using the follow-for-follow method. It usually took me around 10 days to get my first 1000 followers. After that, I used to post content twice a day and one engaging story on my Instagram page. Using this strategy I was able to gain almost 2500 followers by the end of the month. At this point, I start using my ShareASale affiliate links in my bio and DMs. Within 3 months I would normally acquire around 10,000 followers and at that point, I used to sell my account for 25x monthly revenue. That means, if I was making 200$ a month, the page would easily sell for around $5,000. Once I sold my page, I created a new page and rinse and repeat the process.

Currently, I do not actively make money from Instagram, rather I try to drive traffic from Instagram to my blogs, which generates me passive income month in month out.

How much does Instagram pay for 1k followers?

Currently, Instagram doesn’t have any revenue-sharing business model. Therefore Instagram does not pay anything even for millions of followers. However, you can partner with brands and earn money from affiliate marketing using your Instagram audience.

How to sell feet pics on Instagram?

I get asked this question a lot. But before I answer how to sell feet pics on Instagram, we first need to know ‘Do people really buy feet pics on Instagram?’. It may surprise a lot of you but a simple answer to this question is – Yes! Absolutely.

Sure, the idea of paying someone to see their feet may sound weird to you. Regardless, there is a huge market in this sector and there is an incredible earning potential if you sell feet pics on Instagram.

A good friend of mine(female) used to sell feet pics on Instagram and made more than $2000 a month. I am not saying you will start to make the same figures as soon as you jump into the feet picture business, but the potential to make great money is there if you put in the work.

Selling feet pics on Instagram is completely legal. However, it is very important that you are above 18 years old before getting into this kind of business. Similarly, If you are uncomfortable with these kinds of business, please don’t do it. It is not for everyone. 

The selling process is fairly simple. You can register for PayPal Business Account for ease of transactions or could use stripe. Just send them the charges to their email through PayPal or Stripe. And once they pay the bill, send them the pic on their DMs.

How to make money on Instagram with 500 followers?

If you are wondering how to make money on Instagram with 500 followers, you are not alone. I was in a similar position to you and let me tell you this – 500 followers is a great point to start your money-making journey on Instagram. It’s not that hard to make money on Instagram with 500 followers. All you need to do is post content regularly, post some engaging stories every day, and use the follow-for-follow method till you reach 1000 followers. Once you reach 1000 followers, register as an affiliate of companies like ClickBank, ShareASale, or Amazon and share your link in bio and DMs.


I hope you have now understood the process to make money on Instagram without followers. It is not rocket science but it definitely does take a lot of work and some luck on your side. If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below or contact me through this contact form. I am more than happy to respond to your queries and help you along the way.

Comments are closed.