Building a value-creating repost account is the most accessible way for anyone to earn an income on Instagram.
Before I started @pinlord, @potteryforall, and @macramemakers (my Instagram repost accounts), I was someone who barely used Instagram and had limited content creation skills but was passionate about a topic (enamel pins) and was willing to put in the work necessary to build a small business online. Now, I make over $3500 a month and I’ve been earning a living from my accounts for almost 3 years (I share about every single activity and tactic that I use to grow my businesses through Instagram Small Business Class. Check it out. It helps me be able to continue writing these articles for you).
Creating an Instagram repost account that earns you money isn’t about being good at taking photos, or writing captions, or being “an influencer”. It’s about understanding how a repost account creates value and being willing to put in the work necessary to effectively execute the right strategy over a long period of time.
If I can do it, so can you… Here’s how:
What does a repost account do?
Technically, a repost account sorts through Instagram hashtags and accounts across Instagram to collect content about a niche topic and post it in one place.
Personally, I like to think that a repost account does what a magazine used to do but in the context of Instagram.
You gather all of the most interesting/engaging/valuable/new content about a particular topic to attract the largest audience possible interested in that topic and then you charge advertisers money to reach that audience.
For example, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine creates content about how to take care of your home and garden to attract readers who want to learn about the topic. After they’ve established a large readership they charge companies who sell home and garden related products to advertise to their readers because by promoting their products in that magazine, they sell products.
My @potteryforall account does the same thing. I post the best independent pottery-related content on Instagram to attract users who want to learn more about the best pottery on the platform and find it all easily, on one page. Once I established a large following I began charging pottery sellers to be promoted on my Instagram account because, by being promoted, they are discovered by a new audience who follows their account and buys their ceramics.
A repost account creates value by building a page that drives traffic and sales to the accounts it promotes. To make money, that’s what your repost account should do.
How do you create one?
You create a fast-growing repost account that makes money by executing the following steps:
- Pick the right niche: A niche that is in an introduction or growth phase, that is commercially driven and has not or only a small handful of other established reposters. I HIGHLY recommend reading my article about Instagram niches and their phases before you start an account. Being in a niche in the right phase is THE MOST important part of being able to grow a repost account that you can realistically monetize.
- Pick the right username: Short, memorable and starting with the word that people will type in when searching for your niche.
- Find high-engagement content, ask for permission to post from the creator, and post once per day: By posting the most highly-engaged photos and videos in your niche, you crowdsource content that has already been proven to be effective at generating interest.
- Craft a highly differentiated account: Other competing repost accounts will be created or already exist. Unless you are the most differentiated, you won't be able to build a long term business.
- Generate a large number of niche-relevant interactions: By maximizing niche-relevant interactions you reach your target audience at a much faster pace and consequently, grow faster.
- Charge money: Once you build an account that drives traffic and sales you can charge money for a repost. The more professional and effective you are, the more likely you are to build a long-term business.
To show you how all of these are applied, I’ll use my repost account @potteryforall as an example.
1. Pick the right niche.
For you to be able to build a fast-growing repost account that makes money it first needs to be focused on a niche that fulfills the following requirements:
A) It is a commercially-focused niche: When I say commercially-focused I’m referring to a niche in which there are a large number of creators that are selling something through their Instagram, like pottery, macrame, or enamel pins. Basically, any topic in which creators will make money by selling something when you promote them on your account. If the creators can make money by being reposted on your account, they’ll want to pay for that.
For example, in @potteryforall I focus on the independent pottery niche on Instagram. Most of the independent potters I promote sell pieces by driving traffic from Instagram to their website, so by getting traffic on their account, they sell more pottery and make more money.
B) You have to be the first (or second) reposter within the niche: To reliably make money from your account you have to have the first or second largest following and engagement within your repost niche (and being the largest mostly depends on how early you start within your niche). Why? Being first typically enables a reposter to establish strong brand recognition and loyalty within creators in that niche before other reposters enter. This recognition usually leads to more tags and follows in comparison to the 3rd or 10th largest reposter and that translates into faster long-term Instagram growth.
To know if you’re the first, it’s important that you do research within the niche you’re considering. If you discover that there’s already a repost account that has over 5K followers, you’re not very likely to catch up with them so my suggestion is to discard that niche. They key to success is focusing on a niche that has no (or one really small) established reposters yet. Seriously, this is very important.
For example, when I was doing research on the independent pottery niche, I discovered there was only one reposter in the independent pottery niche. They were @love_ceramic and they had 2K followers when I found them. Despite that, I decided to start @potteryforall because I considered I could overtake their audience numbers since they had recently started their account as well (and I thought I knew how to grow an Instagram account faster). I was wrong. Although @potteryforall has over 145K followers at the time I’m writing this article, @love_ceramic has over 165K followers. I never caught up with them and they’re able to charge more for their reposts. The 3rd or 10th largest independent pottery reposters that started after us aren’t able to charge anything close to what we charge, but spend the same (or more) time and energy managing their accounts. Don’t waste your time and energy being the 10th largest reposter in a niche.
2. Pick the right username.
Once you’ve found the niche for you it’s time to pick the right username. The username is an often-overlooked but essential part of growing a repost account quickly. Here’s how you pick the right one:
A) It has to begin with the word that people will type when searching for content in your chosen niche: When someone searches for a topic they are interested in on Instagram, they are likely to go to the Search tab and type in the word that describes the topic of interest. Due to the way that Instagram populates search results, the usernames starting with that word are more likely to be surfaced in the search.
For example, if I’m interested in finding independent pottery to buy on Instagram but I have no idea which are the best Instagram accounts or hashtags for that topic, I’ll likely just search for “pottery” first. If my Instagram reposter username starts with the word “pottery” (like @potteryforall does), I’m more likely to be surfaced in the search results in comparison to another account that also has pottery content but doesn’t have the word “pottery” in their username (like @pdblais). Over time, this translates into more people discovering you and more followers.
B) It has to be short and memorable: Another subtle element that will make a difference in the long-run is having a username that is short, memorable and doesn’t include any “.” or “_”. You want people to remember your username and be able to spell it easily. Over time, it’ll increase the likelihood of word of mouth and people searching for you just because they remember what your username is. For example, @potteryforall is much easier to remember than @pottery_for_all.
3 . Find high-engagement content, ask for permission to post from the creator, and post once per day:
Your success as the most influential repost account within your niche depends on your ability to post the photos and videos that get the highest engagement on Instagram within your topic. Engagement is how the Instagram algorithm prioritizes content and is the best indicator of value, so having the highest engagement in comparison to other reposters means that you’ll be surfaced in more explorer pages, home feeds and hashtag feeds. This leads to growth as well as drives more followers and sales to the people you promote, which in turn leads to being able to charge more. Here’s how you execute it:
A) Find the most interesting Instagram accounts through your Explorer page, Instagram’s recommended users feature, and niche hashtags: As I mentioned before, the Instagram algorithm surfaces content based on high-engagement, so look at what the algorithm has prioritized through your Explorer page and hashtags to discover the most engaging accounts in your niche. The posts and accounts that already get high-engagement by themselves are the most likely to get high-engagement when you repost them as well.
Start your search by going to the Explorer page tab and browse through the posts that are relevant to your niche. For example, I constantly see great independent pottery-related posts on my @potteryforall’s Explorer page. When I find one that catches my eye, I go to the account to see if it’s relevant to me. If it is, I follow it (this will increase the likelihood of them following you back) and then I look through the recommended similar accounts Instagram recommends (see below). They are also likely to be high-engagement and relevant to you. Repeat that process until you run out of new accounts to discover and follow.
For example, I know that the hashtag #contemporaryceramics is very relevant for the type of independent pottery I post on @potteryforall. To find relevant accounts I scroll through the feed of the Top posts (the posts tagged #contemporaryceramics that Instagram categorized as most engaging), look at the accounts that post what I find most interesting, and if they’re relevant, I follow them and look through their recommended similar accounts Instagram recommends, as I did before in the Explorer page.
Rinse and repeat.
By constantly continuing that process as often as you can, you’ll eventually find more than enough high-engagement, interesting accounts to follow and repost.
B) Find and save the most highly-engaged posts from the accounts you will feature and ask for their permission to feature them: Once you’ve discovered the most interesting accounts, you want to find the most engaging of their posts. These are the photos and videos you want to repost because they are likely to get high-engagement on your page as well.
I do it by quickly looking at the “like” numbers of the most recent 9–15 posts and then “saving” the post that got the largest number of likes.
Once you’ve found the exact post you’d like to feature in the future, make sure to follow the account you found it through, DM them that exact post and ask them for their permission to feature it. You shouldn’t feature posts without first receiving consent from the original artist. Not only is it the right thing to do but reposting without artists’ permission will, in the long run, greatly diminish the value that you create for other accounts as well as for yours because your account will be perceived as a faceless-bot that profits from other account’s content instead of a beneficial platform that can drive organic traffic and value to small creators. Here’s an example of the message I send to artists when I ask for their permission to repost as well as a statement where I clearly layout the process of selection as well as charging.
Through this process of finding the most engaging content and asking for consent to repost, you’ll build up a library of the most engaging posts within your niche in your Saved photos (see below). Here you’ll be able to easily reference and save everything you’ll repost later on.
C) Use Dinsta and/or W3toys to download the high-res version of the photo or videos you’re going to repost: Now that you have a library of high-engagement photos and videos to repost, you can easily download the high-res version of them by finding the post in your browser and then extracting the .jpg file from Dinsta for photos or W3toys for video (this is the file you’ll use to automate your posts through an Instagram scheduler).
Not only will they give you the high-res file — which is essential because great quality photos perform better — but you’ll also avoid that pesky little white tab that most repost apps use. Those look horrible and negatively affect your engagement.
D) Use a content scheduler to automate your posts every day: Once you have a queue of high-res images you’re going to repost, use an Instagram content scheduler to automate the process of posting and save a bunch of time and energy. To maximize the growth of your account make sure to post once per day (look at the “POSTS” section in this article to understand why), use the most effective niche hashtags and post at the time most of your followers are active on Instagram.
I like to use OnlyPult to automate my posting because it allows you to automate the placing of your hashtags in the first comment and that keeps your captions clean (some people don’t like to follow accounts that use a lot of hashtags in the caption).
E) Clearly tag and promote the accounts you repost: If you want to make money from your account, the most important element of each post you share is to clearly tag and promote the account you’re featuring, not yourself. Why? The amount of money you can charge for your posts completely depends on the amount of traffic and sales you can drive to the account you’re promoting. If the account you’re featuring isn’t the main focus of your posts, it’ll likely not driving as much traffic to them as it could and that results in having to charge lower advertising prices.
To maximize value driven per each of your posts, make sure to photo-tag only the account you are featuring, mention their username in the first line of your caption (people are more likely to read the first sentence of a post vs the 2nd, 3rd or 4th) and include a call to action, encouraging people to go to their account and follow/buy/contact them. Here’s how I execute this on @potteryforall:
4. Craft a highly-differentiated account:
Starting a repost account is so easy that it’s a certainty that you’ll eventually see other repost accounts pop up in your niche. Making sure that your account grows at a faster pace than these new competitors (meaning that you’ll be able to charge more in the future) depends almost entirely on how differentiated your repost account is. The more clearly differentiated you are, the higher the likelihood of it rapidly growing an organic audience relative to the others.
To maximize your differentiation first you have to have the most engaging content (detailed in step 3) and second, have the most visually attractive grid. You can dive deeper into the process of differentiating your grid in this article but overall it depends on how well you can sequence your posts in a layout that looks visually pleasing when people scroll through your grid.
In the case of @potteryforall, I do this by posting photos that look similar in groups of three. I never deviate from the format and this creates a distinct visual style in my grid which no other reposter had at the time I started.
The more creative you are and the better you’re able to execute your grid, the less likely it is for other repost accounts to be able to replicate your style.
5. Generate a large number of niche-relevant interactions:
At first, even if you’ve picked the right niche, found the right username, and post great content with a visually-differentiated grid, it’ll be very difficult for you to grow fast unless you drive a lot of eyes to your account quickly. The best way to do this is to maximize the number of interactions (likes/comments/follows) you have with people who might be interested in your content. In doing this, they’ll discover your username in their activity feed, check out your account, and if they like it, follow you.
The best way to find people who might be interested in your content is by identifying the most relevant content creators and hashtags within your niche and then interacting (liking/commenting/following) with as many of the accounts who follow them.
You can execute that by hand or by automating an effective bot that isn’t spammy. Here’s an article that lists the most effective and safest accounts, and here’s one that’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to automate them in a way that’s effective but not spammy.
6. Charge Money:
Let’s be clear, having a lot of followers won’t build you a business; driving sales and traffic to the people you repost will. So until you’re doing that, avoid charging money. Once you are (by properly executing steps 1–5) here’s the best strategy I’ve found when it comes to charging money for reposts.
A) Maximize inbound requests for repost by making it easy for people to contact you: The more inbound requests for repost you receive, the more money you’ll be able to make. The problem is, most people don't intuitively know that you’re open to promoting their Instagram accounts so it’s important that you clearly state that in your bio. A simple “DM me for a repost” caption will do:
B) Offer clear and specific deliverables: Once you start receiving DM’s from accounts requesting a feature on your account, your long term viability depends on how professional you are and how well you treat the people you work with. Because of this, it’s important that you offer clear and specific deliverables when charging money. Every account will be different depending on your content but in my case, here are the exact deliverables and process I offer on @potteryforall:
C) Make it is easy and safe to pay: Part of being professional is also offering people safe payment options that will protect them in case anything goes wrong. In my case, I prefer to use PayPal. Most people have it, it’s easy to use, it offers buyer protection and you can create your own simple payment website (you can learn how to create your own PayPal payment website here).
D) Be kind, friendly, professional and take your business seriously: In addition to driving results, your long term viability as a business will greatly depend on how kind, friendly, and professional you are to work with so take it seriously. Thank people for requesting a repost, be interested in what results they got following your post, ask your customers for feedback, give sincere advice whenever anyone asks, and always try to do the best job you can. Apart from good business, you might just end up helping businesses thrive and making some great friends along the way.
E) Continue to change and test in order to keep delivering results: Last but not least, remember that how much money you can charge depends on how much traffic and sales you can drive so optimizing your account for high engagement should always be your priority. Continually measure your engagement, test new content and, evolve your business. If you’re doing well in your niche, it’s inevitable that other repost accounts will pop up, therefore being the most differentiated and effective at driving results is the only guarantee you have to continue a healthy business.
And that’s it, folks…
To create a successful Instagram repost account that makes you money you have to find the right niche, the right username, post the most engaging content within your niche once a day, craft a highly-differentiated account, and generate a large number of niche-relevant interactions to build an audience that grows fast as well as drives traffic and sales whenever you feature someone. Once you’re driving traffic and sales, you can begin to start charging money as well as continue to improve and optimize in order to build a long term business. And if you’re wondering if this actually works, check out @bonsaibooth and @stikerfreaks on Instagram. It was started by someone in Japan who read my articles and decided to use the same techniques.
By the way, if you want to dive deeper into other strategies and systems to grow your Instagram faster, read these articles on what Instagram really is and how works, Is Instagram dying?, Instagram niches and why they are the key to growth, how to make money on Instagram, everything you need to know about TikTok Bots, why your Instagram account isn’t growing, how to pick the right Instagram username, Instagram bots 2021, how to create effective Instagram story ads, how to create effective Instagram sponsored posts, how to check if you’re shadowbanned, how to monetize your Medium article, how to increase your Instagram engagement rate, how to find the best times to post, as well as how to find the most valuable Instagram influencers, how to measure what an influencer is worth, how to measure your influencer marketing ROI, and how to reach out to influencers.
I hope this helps! And don’t forget, the best way to build something is just to get started. Don’t let questions or analyzing stop you. I was terrible at content creation before starting my repost accounts and now I make a living from them. If I can do it, so can you!