Make Money on Instagram Without Followers

If you’re wondering how you can make money on Instagram without having any followers, you’re in the right place.

I was in your shoes five or six years ago, I wanted to make money on Instagram but I had barely any followers, just a few friends and family, the usual – nothing that I could monetize.

But then I tried something different that no one was really doing, and it literally made me thousands and thousands of dollars. And the process still works today!

Here is my 5-step process for how you can make money on Instagram without having any followers.

  1. Find Inactive Instagram accounts with large followings.
  2. Direct Message these accounts and see if the owners will sell it.
  3. Buy the Instagram account.
  4. Start posting on the account to re-engage the followers.
  5. Sell the Instagram account for a profit.

So that’s the snippet version of how you can make money on Instagram without having followers of your own. But now let’s dig into each step a little more.

1. Find Inactive Instagram accounts with large followings

The first step in making money on Instagram without having followers is to find accounts that do.

Now this process could take anywhere from 45-60 minutes.

Go down one of those classic Instagram rabbit holes that we’ve all been down before, look at related and suggested accounts and look at accounts your friends are following.

However you do it, the goal here is to find accounts with at least 10,000 followers or more.

Once you find accounts like this, check when their most recent posts were. Then check how frequently they posted before.

This should give you a good indication of how committed they are to running their page.

If for the last two years they posted every single day, but now during last two months they’ve only made three posts, bingo, you’ve found a potential seller.

These types of situations clearly show that the account owner is tired of running the page and is no longer interested. And that’s where you come in!

First make a list 10-20 accounts that you’ve found like this, then move onto step 2.

2. Direct Message these accounts and see if the owners will sell it

By now you might be starting to realize that making money on Instagram without currently having any followers is possible, but keep reading, the tips I give throughout the next few sections should help you out a lot.

Now that you have a list of accounts that fit the criteria outlined in step 1, it’s now time to direct message each of these accounts.

I’m already assuming that you know how to send a direct message, or as the cool kids say “send a DM”, but let me give you one quick tip.

Create a 2-3 sentence buying pitch and send it to each account you reach out to, it’ll save you a lot of time.

In other words, don’t type out a separate message to each account, spend five minutes crafting a nice, easy to read, approachable message and then send it out separately to each account.

For example. “Hey there! Great account you have here, any interest in selling it? Been looking to buy an account like this for a while now, let me know!”

Quick, easy and right to the point. Feel free to copy and paste this directly for your own use, I’ll never know!

Only send 1 or 2 direct messages per minute, if Instagram notices you sending out multiple DMs in one minute, they might flag you for spam.

Quick Tip #1

After this, now you wait for responses.

The most typical responses will either be “no”, in this case move on, or “what”s your offer” in this case, I recommend offering $6-$7 per 1,000 followers they have.

So if it’s an account with 20,000 followers, offer $140.

[$140 = (20,000/1,000) x 7]

The typical going rate is $10 per 1,000 followers, but take advantage of their willingness to sell their account (and lack of interest) and try and get a bargain.

You won’t come to agreement with everyone you message or even everyone that responds, but if you DM enough accounts, you’ll be able to find at least one seller that is willing to accept your offer.

Once this happens, move onto Step 3!

3. Buy the Instagram account

Step 3, you are almost there!

Once you’ve come to an agreement with the seller, it’s time to put your money with your mouth is and pony up.

Unfortunately, the buyer always pays first. It’s just the way it goes.

I recommend making some sort of personal connection on the phone, via email or through his personal Instagram account first before making the transaction.

This way, if they do scam you – you know who you need report.

The easiest way to make the transition in my opinion is through PayPal, that’s what I used and it worked great.

Once the seller sends you their Request Money PayPal link, pay the agreed upon amount and then make sure you get the credentials for your new Instagram account.

Usually all you need is Username and Password, once you get into the account you can change all the other settings and account details yourself.

I’d also recommend changing the account password once you get in. I’d probably do this first.

Once you’re into your new account, take a breath, a sigh of relief, maybe dummy a Bud Light – and then move onto step 4.

You’re almost there! And trust me, the hard part is over.

4. Start posting on the account to re-engage the followers

At this point, you now own an Instagram account with at least 10,000 followers. But if you bought an account that hasn’t posted in a while, as recommended, your followers have potentially forgot this account even exists.

So you need to re-engage this audience by posting on your new account regularly.

I recommend 4 posts per week for a 4 week period. 16 posts overall.

Think of this step as like upgrading a house. You’ve bought one on foreclosure, now you need do some minor upgrades before you sell it for a gain.

After this 4 week period, the followers should be re-engaged with your page – liking, saving, sharing and commenting on your posts.

Once you get to this point, it’s time to flip the account for a profit. Which brings us to step 5.

5. Sell the Instagram account for a profit

Earning money from Instagram without having any followers of your own can be a difficult concept to wrap your head ahead around, but of all the steps outlined in this process, step 5 is the most rewarding.

Now that your account is all primed up and ready to be sold, make an Instagram story telling your followers that you are looking to sell your account.

It doesn’t have to be fancy, it can just be a black screen that says “Selling Account, DM if interested!”

Again, direct and to the point.

After that, just wait a few minutes for potential buyers to rush into your DMs asking for a price.

I recommend not putting the price in your story post, I wait until they send me a DM, the more leads the better! But that’s just a personal preference.

In terms of price, charge full market value if not more for your account. I would start out looking for $13-$15 per 1000 followers, and don’t go below $10.

So for the example given above, if you managed to get $15 per 1000 followers for a 20,000 follower account, this would equate to a selling price of $300.

[$300 = (20,000/1000) x $15]

Then looking at your total earnings, based on the same example, your total profit would be $160.

[$160 = $300 - $140] 

I usually liked to make more than this for each account I bought and sold, but these numbers are just to give you an idea of how the profit is made.

Tips for Selling an Instagram Account

  • Use Paypal.
  • Receive the money first before you give up the account’s credentials.
  • Take any personal information out of the account before giving up control.
  • Don’t be a scammer.

Seeing that notification come through on your phone from Paypal is a blissful experience. – “Joe Smith has sent you $300“. Gosh, what a feeling.

What next? Once you receive your money and give up control of the account, now it’s time to rinse and repeat this process.

In other words, do it again and earn more profit.

If you want to speed up the process, post 8 times per week for a two week period.

Quick Tip #2

The more you do this the quicker you’ll get. Eventually you’ll have this process down to a science and you’ll be making money hand over fist.

Quick plug here, but I also wrote an article 9 Simple Ways a Teenager can Make Money on Instagram. If you’re interested, have a read through!


So that’s it folks. That is my 5-step process for earning money on Instagram without having any followers of your own.

To recap, here are the 5-steps again.

  1. Find Instagram accounts with big followings that haven’t posted lately.
  2. Direct Message these accounts and see if the owners will sell it.
  3. Buy the Instagram account.
  4. Start posting on the account to re-engage the followers.
  5. Sell the Instagram account for a profit.

As long as you have $50-$100 to purchase your first account, you can do this.

It’s not rocket science but it does take a bit of work – luckily though, this work can happen while you’re in bed watching Netflix. So why not give it a try?

Thanks for reading! I hope you learned something from this article here today.

Trust me, this plan works. I’ve done it dozens of times and made thousands of dollars from it.

Go gettem!

Geek, out.

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