How to start making money with Instagram – All you need to know!

Instagram is growing fast and catching up to it’s big brother Facebook. A lot of people and companies are creating an instagram account for business or are looking in to how to make money with Instagram. Knowing what to do and what not to do on Instagram can help you grow your Instagram and your business’ Instagram account. Read the full guide on How to make money with Instagram below!

How to make money on Instagram

Table of content

How to create your instagram account

If you want to know how to make money with instagram, use this guide when setting up your instagram account. Once you feel to create your Instagram account, you should be very aware and have, at least, some ideas in mind, on the following:

1. The type of account you want to create

It’s very important to have some kind of plan for your account. Some kind of purpose for the account you’re about to create.
Do you want to create an account just for fun? Do you want to create an account as a hobby, or to learn more about social media and social network? Do you want to monetize it? Do you want to be an Influencer? Do you want to expand your brand, product, store or company? Whatever your preference or goal might be, you should have a claim on this issue, before creating an Instagram page you’re willing to invest time and money on.

2. Selecting the niche and subniche of your account

At this point, you’ll want to outline the thematic nature of your account. What I mean by this is, you’ll determine what type of field you want your page to be directed to.

Choosing your niche:
The most common niches are usually fashion, fitness, luxury, travel, memes or quotes. It’s completely up to you to choose the niche. Fundamentally, this has to do with your ambitions, for the page you’re creating, or simply the type of content you’d like to share, see or produce the most. However you can also choose a niche where you know how to make money on Instagram with. It is key that you only produce or share content that’s related to your niche.
Your audience will be engaged to a particular type of content from your page. If you decide to change it meanwhile, the engagement you get from your followers – and the followers themselves – will diminish drastically, as they’ve stuck around for a reason: they’re into the type of content your page provides, in that certain niche. 

For example, if you choose the luxury niche, you will want to completely avoid posting pictures of makeup, dogs, fitness, and what not.

Choosing your subniche:
Choosing a subniche isn’t mandatory, although it has an impacting advantage: your number of followers will more easily increase and engage with your content. Here’s why – say your account is in the luxury niche. If you only stick to
posting pics of watches, your followers know exactly what they can expect. You’re giving them the content they want (again, that’s why they’re following your page in the first place), and they’ll stick to it, as it’s their main interest. It is also advantageous to your account on a branding standpoint, as your page gets “out there”, as it gets to be known by its particular content. 

An example of a good subniche would be, for example, Sunsets, if your page is in the travel niche, or in the nature niche.
Another good example of a subniche would be Mansions, if your page is in the luxury niche. 

Last but not least, say you create an account in the Fashion niche. A good example would be Jackets; Nails, or even Makeup, as subniche. If you choose not to select a subniche – say your niche is luxury and you decide to post pics of watches, cars, mansions, cash stacks, etc. – there’s the advantage of you being able to post different types of pics that may attract different types of “tastes” and interests from other users, and it will also be easier to find content to share, as it’s not
confined to a single object or theme. It’s important to have all these factors in consideration, so it’s easier
for you to decide what kind of content you want to share or create. It’s really up to, and for you, to consider.
Whether you choose one way or another, it’s absolutely vital that you stick to it.

3. Correctly Categorizing your Instagram account

It’s imperative that you don’t change the niche you firstly selected. If you engage with accounts that aren’t related to your niche, you will mostly harm your account’s categorization. This happens because Instagram categorizes your account through the posts you view and / or engage with, the posts you like and comment, the hashtags you use, the captions you use, and so on.


ALWAYS ENGAGE with content that belongs to your niche and interact only with pages that do too. ALWAYS AVOID interacting, liking, commenting and engaging with pages that aren’t in the same niche as yours and, most of all, sharing
content that isn’t related to your niche. 

Also, make sure to do the following: 

  • Consistently like posts from the biggest pages on your niche, and you may as well follow them (no need to follow more than 15 or 20, as following a lot of pages lowers the value of yours); 
  • Watch their instastories and engage with them, by responding to them here and there.
    Note: Apply these two steps on a daily basis, even if your categorization
    is already on point.
  • Use the right Hashtags in your first 6 posts, to optimize your

If you follow these procedures, your account categorization will be on point. You will know that by looking at your Explore Page:

If your categorization is on point, your Explore Page will pretty much only contain the type of content that’s similar to what you post: it will be in the same niche. What we mean by this is that Instagram will “understand” the thematic of your account and the type of audience you ought to reach and will insert it, algorithmically, in a place that favors your account and its correspondent niche. 

This happens because Instagram benefits your account if it makes people spend more time in the platform. As such, let’s say that if “Michael” spends hours a day liking and commenting pictures of cars, it means that “Michael” himself is obviously interested on that type of content and corresponding niche. What’s going to happen is that Instagram tracks the user’s engagement and will adapt the concentrated destination of posts (again, if the niche categorization is on point), to the audience that is more likely to engage with it, and thus, spend more time on the platform, just like “Michael” does when he sees and engages with his favorite type of content.

4. Selecting your Instagram Username and Name

It is absolutely mandatory that your username is related to your niche, as mentioned. Not only is it common sense, but it also determines whether you’re going to present your page properly and objectively or not, in the first place and at a first glance.

Having that said, if you choose the Travel niche, it’s only advised to set a travel-related username, such as: “travelzone” /// “travelforever” /// “lovetravel” or “miketravels”

It doesn’t necessarily have to include the word “travel” on it. You can always set a username that implies your account is travel-niche related, even if it has a bit of a twist, such as: “voyagepics” /// “globalviews” /// “bestviews” or “amazingcities”

Essentially, be very objective and think about the type of content you’re set to post, as well as the way you’re presenting your page to a worldwide audience, through the massive network of Instagram. Again, it has to be clear, so people know what kind of content they can expect from your page. Remember, keep it as concise as you can. Here’s an example of a concise and an unconcise username, if you’ve chosen the luxury niche, for instance:

Example of a Concise Username: luxurymansions
Example of an Unconcise Username: luxuryy_mansions.130

As you can probably tell, a concise username is advantageous in terms of the whole page presentation, exposure, thus it easily catches people’s attention. Try to avoid underscores or any kind of punctuation or numbers, just as it’s exemplified in the example up in red. If you can’t choose a username without those elements, it’s not a huge blow, being that lots of potentially good usernames are already taken, but it is advisable that you do so.

Hence, make sure you plan your account’s username very carefully. Keep in mind that it will be there since day 1, and you will most likely not want to change it, as that can be extremely damaging for your page’s image and recognition, just as it can be very confusing for your following base.

Selecting your name:

Before I get into specifying this very topic, it’s essential to tell what your username and your name on Instagram aren’t the same. Most people that haven’t created a business account on Instagram get confused with this topic, so we’re going to explain it. Here’s the difference: 

It is the @username to your account.
It’s the username which you present your page as. If you go on
Instagram and type @travelyway on the search bar, our page will show
up. That’s our username.
As simple as that.

While you’re in the process of creating an account, though, you will be faced with two steps: to choose a username and a name.

Your name ranks your account in the search engines, which means that people can search it as well. For example, if someone searches the word “nature”, our page is still going to show up. It consists on the keywords that you set underneath your username, that appear in bold on Instagram. It’s very important to use a good number of keywords for a better chance of your account showing up in the search bar, when someone types them. 

Again, make sure the keywords are directly related to your page and elucidate the type of content you propose to share.
Emoji’s are also searchable, so we highly suggest you include them on your name. 

Here’s an example of a good name and a bad name, if your account is in the luxury niche:

Example of a Good Name: Luxury (cash stack emoji) Cars (car emoji) Money (emoji of a $)

Example of a Bad Name: Mansions Are Awesome

5. Creating your Instagram Bio & Profile

When someone visits your profile, the first thing they’re going to read is your bio. It’s important if you want to make money on Instagram that you have an impacting, clear bio. This implies that you express what your page is about, in a very incisive way. So, that being the case, make sure to settle an attractive, well structured bio. 

Here’s an outline example of how to form an effective, Instagram bio:

  • Clarify the goal of your page
  • Clarify the type of content they can expect from your page if they follow you
  • Present ways of communication, such as your business email or, through Instagram dm’s, to let people know they can dm you for all types of inquiries you’d be open to discuss.
  • If you’re a content “reposter” and not a creator, make sure to revendicate that all the content that you post belongs to the respective owners.

As for your Profile, it’s very important that it seizes people’s attention. This can be done by creating and setting a clear, attractive profile picture. Having that said, we highly advise that it includes your username, so your page and name becomes more acknowledgeable, and is compatible with the type of content / niche you’re in. 

It doesn’t need to be something very sophisticated or over-though. It’s okay if you keep it simple and clean.

How to grow your instagram account

1. Posting quality content

When it comes to Instagram growth, posting quality content is definitely a primordial aspect of it. It may sound obvious, but there are significant factors that are worth being elucidated. Quality content is not just about content that’s good looking.
If you want to grow your account quickly and consistently, you have to post viral content. That has to be the motto as for what quality content stands for, in this area. 

If your goal is to grow as quickly and consistently as possible, you will sometimes have to put away your own taste, if you’re running a reposting page. This may happen because there will be content that you don’t particularly appreciate, aesthetically wise or conceptually wise. 

Keep in mind that posting viral content will increase the chances of your page showing up on the explore and, therefore, gaining more followers, faster. You may be wondering what this type of content is viral content, read more about this below.

How to find / create viral content:
In order to find viral content, if you’re running a reposting page, carefully and judiciously follow these steps:

  • Find the best-performing pages on your niche.
  • Analyse their first 20 posts.
  • Calculate the average number of likes of those posts.
  • Multiply that by 1.5 and you will reach the minimum value in terms
    of virality.

Any post that surpasses this value, can be worthy of reposting.

If you are a content creator, here’s how to create effective content: 

1. Analyze the type of content successful creators’ pages are posting.

2. See what type of content is performing best for them and apply that into your page. Recreate what it’s working for them, without taking away your own originality.

3. Make sure that the graphic and aesthetic quality of your posts is on point. If necessary, invest in better equipment, such as cameras, and learn media editing. If you want to succeed as a content creator, you’ll most likely have to invest money on these types of things. As mentioned, it’s key that your content’s quality is ideal.

4. Experiment new ways of presenting your content. Try anything, from doing videos to post at different places, angles and times of the day. This can be substantial when it comes to getting a reference of your audience’s reaction and adhesion to your posts and, therefore, see what works better. It’s all about trying out different ways of producing content and experimenting dissimilar types of delivering it. It can be whatever fills your cup the most, as long as it’s effective in terms of
virality, if your main goal is, again, to grow your page as fast and consistently as possible.

Last but not least, all the content you search, and use has to match with your niche. If it doesn’t match your niche, don’t use it at all. Not only will it damage your page´s categorization, but also compromise its branding, image and credibility before your followers. This may seem tempting to do, sometimes, if you enjoy a certain picture or video, or if it has lots of popularity, engagement or impact, you could think to yourself, for a moment, that you could repost it for your own page’s good. I mean, it’s captivating for whatever reason it may be, and it looks pretty viral, right?

Even if that’s the case, don’t do it. 

Think about how you’d react if a page you followed and knew what kind of content to expect from it, posted a random video that had nothing to do with its theme. Even if you actually enjoyed it, it would still look weird and incongruent that it happened, considering the nature of the page itself. Having that said, I insist that you remember to ALWAYS stick to your
niche. It’s something I can’t say enough, as it’s absolutely crucial throughout the whole process, from day 1 on.


How often you should post: Instagram Posts

Instagram Posts

First off, always prioritize quality over quantity. It’s preferable to post quality pics or videos once or twice a day than four or five low quality ones. Having that said, the amount of times you should post on a daily basis, depends on any time constraints that may preclude you from posting and on how your audience reacts to the frequency of you posting.

We personally post twice a day and we massively focus on finding absolute top quality, viral content. It makes a huge difference when it comes to engagement and follower-gaining. We usually post 1 video for every 3 posts, as we’re noticing that Instagram videos are easily reaching the explore page for us and, consequently, making our page grow at a faster rate than exclusively with pics. 

Usually, we do it at midday and 6 pm, as it’s a commonly busy part of the day for those who can be called Viralgrammers, such as us. I suggest you post at least twice a day. If your followers react well, feel free to post three or four times a day at a maximum. 

Here’s an exception:
– Let’s say you post a pic in the morning. If that same pic becomes viral, it’s likely that it will keep bringing engagement and followers for several hours. If that’s the case, do not post again that day, you’re good to go. Let that pic yield to its potential.

Instagram Stories (Instastories)

Now that I’ve covered the main points of Instagram posts, it’s time for the basics about Instastories.

What are Instastories? 

Instastories are a feature that enables you to share various photos and videos that appear in a slideshow format. Everything you post as an Instastory will disappear in 24 hours.

How often you should post them:

  • You should post at least 3 Instastories a day.
  • You can post pictures or short videos. Again, make sure they’re high
    quality and strictly related to your niche.
  • They’re a very important tool and you must use it to maximize your
    engagement levels. There is, in fact, such a thing as Viral Instastories as
  • Use all features Instagram has to offer and be aware that every little
    detail influences your outcome, when it comes to growth and

If you post an Instastory, more people will spend more time on Instagram, watching your content. As mentioned
many times before, the Instagram algorithm helps your page growing because you’re causing more time consumption from a specific audience.

2. How to write an Instagram Caption

Here’s another fundamental pillar of the Instagram growth. By writing a caption, your main goal is to describe the post you’ve shared and to encourage people to engage on it. This is relevant because more engagement usually equals more followers (more growth), because it increases your chances of hitting the explore page and, consequently, the virality of your posts. Let’s start off with Instastories.


The goal is to go viral on Instastories, is to use as many Instagram features as you can, as long as it makes sense and is adequate. 

Here are the features you should use on an Instastory: 

  • Polls: they are absolutely preponderant when it comes to making people engage on your Instastories. A poll is applicable as a CTA to your Instastories, as you should ask questions depending on the context of the picture or video you’re posting, such as “Would you like to go to this beach?” and form polls containing options such as “Yes | No” or go for “Do you prefer Summer or Winter?” and do a poll with “Summer | Winter”.

These CTA’s and engagement baits will compel people to choose an option and, consequently, interact with your Instastory, which increases its engagement levels and viral potential. Regardless, don’t always go for polls, as you don’t want to be too
predictable or repetitive with your stories. Be original! 

  • Location tags: not only to contextualize the location of the video / pic you’re sharing, but also for it to be diffused to an audience that’s localized in that specific place or searching about it.
  • Tag people: this can make people respond to your Instastory via DM, which also improves your viral potential score.
  • Use Hashtags: As people will find your Instastories through them as well. Make sure they’re related to the post and its
    location. Don’t go for more than 10 per Instastory, and make sure you don’t repeat them inside a 24-hour period.
  • Tag the author. He / she may dm you as a response, or at least, as a form of acknowledgement, which again, increases your virality score. People will usually appreciate it if you do so, because you are also exposing their content and that grants them more popularity.

Instagram Posts Captions

Here’s the most commonly used structure of a successful caption for Instagram Posts: 

  • A Concise, short description of the post
  • A Call to Action (CTA), such as “Yes or No?” /// “Rate it 1-10!” /// “Would you…”
  • A CTA referring to your account, such as “Follow @username for daily travel pics!”
  • Credit to the photographer, such as “(Camera Emoji: @username)”
  • If the photographer is Unknown, do: “(Camera Emoji: Unknown – DM for Credit)”
  • Your personal Hashtag and up to 9 additional Hashtags

Example of a good caption: 

Incredible view of the Times Square! (building emoji)
Would you like to visit New York?
Follow @your username for your daily travel pics!
(Camera Emoji): @photographer’s username
#timesquare #building_shotz #newyork_world #building_shots #americanspirit #newyork_ig #travelyway

3. Hashtags

You may be wondering why I’ve chosen to insert those hashtags in the Caption. Or even why I’ve used hashtags in the first place. Let’s talk about hashtags:

Brief definition of hashtags: 

Hashtags are a powerful tool to grow your engagement towards your audience. If you use the right hashtags, your posts will reach a wider audience. 

A hashtag is a keyword that’s preceded by the hash symbol (#), written in a post, in order to facilitate its searchability. It is embedded into the whole social network so that it can be searched and found by everyone, even if they’re not your followers.
This means your content will be accessible to all other users interested in similar topics who search for your hashtag.

 Choosing the right hashtag can considerably increase the reach of your social media posts to thousands of potential followers.

Types of Instagram Hashtags

Popular Hashtags:

Biggest, most popular hashtags on Instagram. They range from about 10 million to 1 billion publications. (E.g.: #love /// #instagood /// #awesome /// #tb)
There’s a common misconception that the “biggest hashtags” are the ones that allow you better exposure. The truth is that you shouldn’t use these kind of hashtags, as they’re too saturated and overly used.

Top Hashtags:

More specific hashtags that shall be applied according to the context of your post. They’re destined for a more restrict audience, that is actually looking for the type of content you’re sharing. This is why you should use these.
If the context was a pic of Times Square, in New York, here are the top hashtags that could have been used.

  • #timesquare is associated to 1.4 million publications and it’s the
    biggest we’ve used;
  • #building_shotz to 284k publications;
  • #newyork_world to 103k publications;
  • #building_shots to 4.9k publications;
  • #americanspirit to 48k publications;
  • #newyork_ig to 706k publications;

You can use any other top hashtags you like. These are just a few examples.

Notice how I didn’t use any popular hashtags, even though some can relate to the post, such as:

  • #building (19.8 million)
  • #buildings (10.6 million)
  • #newyork (67.4 million)
  • #newyorkcity (18.7 million)
  • #america (20.7 million)
Efficient Hashtag Research

Hashtags require a careful research before being applied. Make sure you choose the right hashtags to include in your content, so they produce the desired effects. 

Also, keep in mind that every niche has different hashtags. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be confined to a short list to choose from. 

You can always use your imagination and methodology to search for effective hashtags that are related to your content.

  1. Here’s how to do an efficient hashtag research: Step 1:
    Calculate the average amount of likes your content generates.
  2. Decide the number of hashtags you’re going to use for each post.
    We personally use 10 hashtags (9 hashtags + our personal hashtag).
  3. Search for 3 hashtags in your niche whose top 3 posts have a similar amount of likes to yours.
  4. Search for 3 hashtags in your niche whose top 3 posts have fewer engagement than yours.
  5. Search for 3 hashtags in your niche whose top 3 posts have a little more likes than your average. 

Once you’ve went through those steps, apply the hashtags on your post and add your personal hashtag, if you wish.
This will result on your content appearing more often in the top posts section, increasing its exposure to a wider audience.

4. Instagram DM Engagement groups

Dm Engagement groups are another essential part of Instagram growth. 

What are Instagram DM Engagement groups?

DM groups are a joint of pages on Instagram whose purpose is to like / comment on each other’s posts, as soon as they are shared. The maximum number of pages a single group can include is 30.

Why should you join DM groups?
DM groups are one of the most fundamental tools for getting your content to go viral. This happens because Instagram’s algorithm favors and promotes content that gets the most likes and comments in the shorter period of time. That’s exactly where DM groups step in, as every engagement in your posts will increase the potential reach of it. 

Follow me on this one: If you upload a post and share it into the Dm groups, people will start liking it and commenting on it.
In the first 20 minutes, if you are in at least 10 active groups, your post will likely reach at least 100 likes and something around 40 comments. 

For the Instagram algorithm, that means your content has value and, thus, is more likely to reach the explore page, which results in more and more likes and comments and, ultimately, followers. Hitting the explore page is the pivotal way of going viral on Instagram. 

That has to be your goal, if you’re focused on growing rapidly and effectively. Having that said, DM groups have to be a priority throughout your journey as a Viralgrammer.

How to create / join Instagram DM groups

Now that you know the importance and utility of Dm groups, I’m going to teach you how to create or join DM groups. Keep in mind that this can be a relatively slow process in the beginning, and one that requires you to be persistent, as not every page will respond to you or accept the dm groups your presenting, or even accept you as a member of theirs.

  1. Start off by looking for pages in your niche that have a similar or
    superior number of followers to yours.
  2. Dm those pages and ask them if they are in any engagement groups. If
    they respond affirmatively, ask them if you can join them.
  3. If they tell you they aren’t in any, inform them that you’re creating one,
    and ask them if they’d like to join it.
  4. Once you’ve got a fair number of pages interested, create the group
    and add more members until it reaches its maximum number capacity.
  5. Repeat this process again and again, until you are in, at the very least, 10 groups.

A smart way to get in more Dm groups faster is to do the following:
Say you’ve joined someone’s Dm group that has a generous number pages on it, for instance. If you join a Dm group with a large number of new pages that you’ve just encountered, maximize your chances of joining new Dm groups, by sending those pages a Dm, asking them if they can add you to their other groups. See this as a little, yet effective trick to maximize your networking in this sense. If you’ve just been added to a group, why not try to intend for more? 😊 

Also, there’s a fairly popular thing called “Dm for Dm”, which is also an applicable strategy to get you in more Dm’s.
As the concept suggests, it’s about contacting other pages that may be, or not, in some of your Dm’s, and asking them if they want to be added to one of your “other dm’s” that you both don’t have in common and, as it’s an agreement, they’ll hopefully add you back to one of theirs, in the same conditions.

Important note: Make sure that everyone in your groups is active and engages with your posts by liking / commenting on them. Also, remember that you’ll only want pages that are in the same niche as yours, otherwise (here it comes again), your categorization can be severely damaged.

How to grow effectively through Dm groups

Now that you know what Dm groups are, their utility and importance, and how to join / create them, let’s talk about how to actually use them:
– The very moment after you share a post, be it a picture or a video, let the pages on your Dm’s immediately know it.

I say immediately, because the Instagram algorithm favors content that is receives a lot of engagement in a short period of time, as already mentioned.
This can be done by sending the post to them or individually typing in CTA’s (again, Calls to Action), in those groups, such as: 

“Hey guys! 

Just posted on @username!
Please Like and Comment, I will return!” 

You should always return, which means, engaging on other pages’ content as well.

Keep in mind that other pages will help you grow by engaging with your content, but many will only do it if you also do so to theirs. Dm’s usually create this sense of community, which is also valuable because it opens lots of possibilities of networking with other pages. Make sure that everyone is active and quickly engages with all the posts you share. (You don’t want inactive pages to be inserted on your Dm groups. This is something you may not be able to fully control).
– Don’t add pages that have considerably less followers than yours.
– Only add pages that are in the same niche as yours.
– Get in as many Dm groups as you possibly can and be active in them.

Paid Strategies

Paid Strategies can be a considerable boost to your page’s results on Instagram, especially when it comes to exposure, engagement levels and growth. If you have enough of a budget that you’re willing to invest on your page, here are some paid strategies than will most likely boost your page’s overall performance:


These are a service that can provide your account the boost it needs to reach the explore page. These involve a large network of accounts that engage with each other’s content to give it a better chance of going viral. Powerlike networks are usually composed by a community of accounts with a high following. 

Here’s how they work: As soon as you post, you’ll gradually receive likes from those accounts (usually 200; 400 or 600 likes, depending on the service you invest on), and it will increase your initial engagement levels, being that you’ll have a better chance of hitting the explore page.

The price of this service varies. It depends on the quality of the powerlikes and on who you’re buying them from. Usually, they go for 200$+, paid monthly.

DM groups:

Yes, you can purchase dm groups in order to facilitate / speed up the process of getting in them. Doing this will save you time but be careful who you buy them from. Also, make sure the groups unite every condition you demand, from the size of the accounts that they endorse, to their niche and activeness. 

The prices also vary. It’s safe to say that their average price is 6$ per DM group, which may sound like a lot, but it’s actually fairly cheap for the value and contribution these bring to your page.


These can help you to effectively and rapidly build followers on Instagram. They consist on an “advertisement” one account does to another one, be it through Instastory, which is the most common case, be it through a feed post.

They work because, whenever a page does a shoutout to another one, it is recommending it to their audience, creating a flux of new followers through that audience. In order to purchase a good quality shoutout, here are some factors / conditions to have in mind:

  • Make sure to look for pages with content that’s similar to what you post. 
  • Look for pages that have a considerably big number of followers, so it’s worth the investment. (This may be 10k+ if you’re just starting. It depends on what type of shoutout you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to invest). 
  • Check the average engagement of their posts, making sure that their following base is organic and real. If their engagement it too low, considering their number of followers, don’t proceed with a deal. You won’t benefit from it as much as you could with an actually legit page. 

Again, prices vary, depending on the pages you contact and their size in terms of followers. The prices, demands and conditions are very volatile and, as such, it’s not possible to estimate an average price for a shoutout.

Common Mistakes to avoid

It’s vital to teach one how to successfully and consistently grow an Instagram page, through successful strategies.
It’s also vital that we point out and alert you to some of the common mistakes that, being made, can mean terrible outcomes to your page’s and, on a worst-case scenario, temporarily or permanently ruin your page’s overall performance.

These outcomes vary between your page being “Like / Comment blocked”, a ShadowBan or a page removal, which means your page can actually be permanently removed from Instagram, and with that, everything that you’ve shared and invested in. You do not want that to happen to you. 

Having that said, here’s what you should avoid:

  • All types of disruptive automations, such as fake followers, fake likes, fake comments and so on. Regardless of what you may think, fake followers won’t be good for your Instagram account if you want to grow organically and healthily. Sure, it may look good at first, I mean, you’ve got more followers or likes without any effort at all. But the reality is that if you want to grow the right way, you’ll have to put in effort. If you’re not willing to do so, then maybe this is not for you. Also, more advanced Instagrammers will notice that there’s something wrong with your page, when it comes to your engagement levels, compared to your followers, which looks sketchy, unnatural and it’s a huge no-go when it comes to legitimacy, business and networking. For example, say you have 70k fake followers. If your followers are, for the most part, bots and fake / dead / inactive accounts, (say 65k out of those 70k are fake), your engagement levels will be unbelievably low, making you average terrible results, ultimately ruining your page’s overall performance. It’s WAY BETTER to run a healthy page with 5k organic followers than an unhealthy page with 50k.
  • Having multiple IP’s on your account. This can be a tough one if you have a partner or multiple partners managing the page with you. That’s our case and we can’t always avoid this. Having multiple IP’s on your account is considered damaging within the Instagram algorithm, which will disserve your engagement levels and viral potential.
  • Deleting Posts. ALWAYS archive posts when something goes wrong with them or if you just change your mind about what you want to post. Despite the reason for the alteration, never delete, always archive.

Here’s why:
When you post on Instagram, it starts accruing engagement, such as likes, comments, saves and shares. The algorithm uses the engagement as a “ranking” to determine the value of your content. If you get a lot of engagement, the algorithm will favor your post and promote it. Every time you delete (or even edit) your post, Instagram resets your engagement “ranking”.
Therefore, it’s enough to crush your post’s performance, as it will most likely lose its engagement momentum and not make it back to the top posts, alas reach the explore page or show up in the top hashtags. 

If you archive it, you can just wait one or two hours and post it back again, as it won’t have any effect on its potential engagement levels.

  • Deleting lots of comments If you do this, you’ll be removing engagement from other posts, which not only damages those pages you’ve engaged with, but also yours.
  • Using over 30 hashtags or banned hashtags (you can find the lists online) Using banned Instagram hashtags could ShadowBan, block or harm your account, and using one banned hashtag can make all your other hashtags not work anymore. Make sure to check if a hashtag is banned before you use it, as some hashtags might be banned forever, while others might be banned temporarily.
  •  Share a post that incites violence or contains total / partial nudism It’s true that these types of posts are shared quite commonly, but it’s a huge risk to do so.

The Instagram community guidelines claim that sharing this kind of explicit content is a violation to viewer’s discretion, in a diversified audience’s perspective.

This is not only applicable to posts that contain total nudism –sharing, for example, a woman’s butt in a close-up perspective, or a woman’s nipple, is also against the Instagram guidelines, as it’s still considered as explicit / suggestive content.

Last but not least, sharing pictures or videos of partially / totally naked babies or infants is also not allowed, as stated in the guidelines.

Instagram The ShadowBan

A ShadowBan is the consequence of a set of mistakes or irregularities carried out by an Instagram page. It is, as the name suggests, a substantial, yet partial ban to your page and it usually lasts about 14 days.

If you’re ShadowBanned, your posts won’t reach the explore page. The hashtags that may be associated to it, if you’ve chosen any, won’t work – other pages won’t be able to find your page through hashtags. So, your page isn’t deleted, but it is banned without a warning. Just as if it was a shadow of a page.

Essentially, if you’re ShadowBanned, your engagement levels and organic reach will be dramatically low, and so will be your growth, if not null. 

This may happen if you violate the Instagram Community Guidelines. It’s one of the most complicated situations, and of difficult resolution, that can happen to your page and can be caused by any of the mistakes that were mentioned earlier.
If you don’t commit any major mistakes or violations during your Instagram page management, this may never happen to you and, hopefully, that will be the case. Having that said, if it ever does happen, here’s how to get through a ShadowBan:

  • Stop all automation, if you’ve got any going on in your page.
  • Stop using hashtags.
  • Increase the number of DM groups (organically).
  • Post once a day until the engagement levels start increasing.
  • When they do, start posting twice a day. 
  • If the second post produces better results than the first one, try posting a third time that day.
  • If your posts’ results exhibit consistent improvement, keep doing this for 14 days and you’ll be through the ShadowBan.

How to make money with Instagram

Now that you’re set on the know-how on creating an Instagram account, Instagram growth, your focus should be on monetizing your account. Hopefully in this guide you learned how to make money with Instagram, but it will be thoroughly explained here as well.
There are may ways of monetizing your Instagram account, and you can come up with your own ways. Here are some example services you can provide:

How to make money with Instagram: Shoutouts and Advertising

Once your account reaches a considerable number of followers, enough to arouse interest from other pages, you will start receiving messages from them, asking for a shoutout or other forms of advertisement. As it’s a service you will be providing, you’re in a position of charging a certain amount you find fair, in return. After all, it’s business and people will most likely be willing to pay you for that. A shoutout is a form of advertisement, usually made through an Instastory or a feed post.
Generally speaking, other pages can look for “regular” shoutouts or for shoutouts with a direct link to their site.

The second option is usually demanded by companies or brands that have products for sale. This kind of service is truly valuable to them, on an audience enlargement perspective. By doing a shoutout to their page, not only are you advertising their page, but you’re also providing an increase to their brand exposure through your audience.

How to make money with Instagram: Selling your own products or services

Having your own products or services is absolutely key in this area. There are many choices, and they go from creating your own niche related products (e.g. selling watches if your account is in the luxury niche) – you can advertise your products and expose your brand through other pages and through your own page – to providing services such as Instagram consultation or coaching, once you feel like you’ve reached a position where you can, in fact, teach people how to properly
grow on Instagram and do business through it. 

You can also network with companies, such as hotels and online / local stores or agencies, in order to proceed with negotiations. Take advantage of the fact that you have the tools of advertising through Instagram and you have the know-how. And this is truly valuable as a service, having in consideration the fact that it’s such an underrated, yet appreciated service by companies and people that recognize its value. 

It’s up to you to decide what kind of material you can provide and how valuable it is in on a seller’s perspective.

How to make money with Instagram: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing succinctly consists on selling products / services for companies and keeping a percentage of the sales’ income, via commission. You can do this by posting a direct link in the bio of your Instagram account, that leads to a specific website that presents the products that the company is selling. The referral will be tracked through your link, which means that if they end up buying something, you will receive a certain percentage. 

As an affiliate advertiser, you can use your account to either drive traffic to your main site or to another company’s site.
There are lots of affiliate programs you can sign up to and there are lots of affiliate offers, making this a pretty scalable business and it doesn’t involve a lot of work.

Having that said, avoid supporting brands that are not related to your account’s thematic or identity. It’s fundamental to have followers that are relevant to your brand, and if the point is to sell sponsored posts, make sure they relate to the image your account projects.

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