Instagram Theme Pages: How to Start and Earn Money

What are Instagram theme pages?

Instagram theme pages are pages that are created around a specific interest. They are also called niche pages. The main goal of these pages is to repost viral content and to gain followers and influence over time.

A theme page can be about anything you are truly passionate about or like in general. From the overly saturated cats, dogs, memes, and makeup to something really specific such as “Minecraft book motivational quotes”, daily baby elephant content, and much much more.

The main idea is to find something that people want to see every day and like. The rest is about consistency and knowing how to engage your audience.

Well… I have great news for you. This article is all about how to grow your Instagram theme page and earn your first money using Instagram.

Let’s dive right in!

The format of this article

This article is created mainly from hours and hours of watching YouTube videos, testing all advice I got from different YouTube gurus on Instagram theme pages and putting them into practice on my own Instagram theme page.

So as the day I am writing this article, I’ve been growing my page for the past 9 months and it has 11,7k followers and I have made just over $20.

Before you click off and stop reading because, yeah, I’m not a millionaire and I don’t have 100k followers, I really do have something to share with you.

Most of the YouTube gurus promise fast results and show how they make tons of money using their Instagram page but after a while, you understand that everything is scripted for the view. I’m here to tell you the cold hard truth about growing an Instagram theme page.

Let’s start from the beginning!

Creating your Instagram theme page

Creating your Instagram theme page

Every story has a start and let’s avoid the drama in yours! (Yeah, too much time in Instagram and you start using sh*tty quotes 😀 )

If you are reading this article I bet that you have Instagram installed on your smartphone and you know how to use it. You have your own profile and you have tested stuff out. You might have 1k followers on your personal profile! Who knows?

Now you want to start a theme page. You open the settings you select “Add or switch account” and in a few moments you end up on a black page where you have to choose your username and start your Instagram theme page.

But there are so many questions that need answers. Where to start? How do you start? Well, I’ve got you covered. The first thing that you need to choose is what kind of content you want to post and that will determine your niche.

How to pick your niche?

Niches are super important! They determine a lot of factors:

  • How fast your page grows – The harder the niche, the harder it is to gain followers;
  • How much your page grows – If you pick a niche that is easy because it does not have a lot of competition, that might mean that you have lower scaling capabilities. Some pages can grow to millions of followers and some pages can grow only to a few thousand based on the niche they are in;
  • How much money your page makes – It is important to say that the harder the niche, the higher the chance someone is willing to pay you to show their ad in front of your audience. In other words the harder the niche the more valuable your influence is.

So what is the best thing to do? Is there any magical formula that you can use to pick the right niche?

Well, unfortunately, there is no such formula!

The thing that I would advise you is to pick something that you enjoy spending time around. Something that you know things about.

Why is that?

If you don’t like the subject matter and you pick the niche solely because of the money that can be made, then you are setting yourself to a failure. Not enjoying the process and not knowing enough about the subject matter (or not willing to know because of reasons) is the way not to make it in the Instagram theme pages game. You will get bored, you will get tired and you will quit.

There are countless examples of people that turn their hobbies into a side business or even a full-time business. That is why I advise you to pick your hobby and build a page around it.

How to choose your theme page’s name?

How to choose your theme page's name?

I’ve watched a lot of YouTube gurus give different advice on the topic. Some say don’t put underscores in your name (dont_use_underscores) or not to use dots (dont.use.dots) but in my honest opinion, I think that you should work around what your audience likes.

Here are some of my advice:

  • Use something that is easily recognized and remembered;
  • Use something that is easily typed in the search of Instagram and people will easily share it with friends;
  • Use something that is related to your niche and culture. It has to make sense to your audience, not to everyone;
  • Use something that you believe can become a brand;
  • Don’t stack keywords in your name, but consider having one because it helps with SEO.

What kind of profile pic should you use?

What kind of profile pic should you use?

I can’t believe that there are so many people being stuck in a profile picture that you can always change in the course of growing your page.

The short and sweet answer is: Put something that fits the page and start growing as soon as possible.

The long answer: You would want to put something that makes your page aesthetically pleasing. That doesn’t mean logo, but it might.

If you choose to use a logo, I advise that you make it with bright colors so it can pop out and stick in people’s memory.

If you choose to use a basic image, I advise you to put something that resonates with your content and represents your niche. It has to be centralized, it has to be good quality and it has to be understandable. Don’t put 14 people in there expecting them to notice that they are all related somehow. It is a profile picture, not a cover art for Facebook.

Note: And for the love of God, don’t go to Google Images and download something to put on your profile image. Those images might (and probably are) copyrighted and you might get yourself in trouble. Use some free stock websites like Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash and etc.

What to put in your theme page’s description?

Don’t neglect the importance of the theme page’s description!

It is simple but a lot of people get it wrong. They overdo with emojis or they try and tell a story in the description… Obviously, that’s not a good idea.

Share the most important highlights of your profile. Add call to action. Make people stay and browse your profile.

Here’s what I did.

What to put in your theme page's description?
1. what content they can expect from me
2. Information about recent events
3. Call to action
4. Information for paid promotions

it is simple, yet very effective. It says everything about the page and most importantly it suits our goals. We want to grow and earn money from our page. Try and do the same for your page.

Posting content

Okay, we’ve made it past the first stage of creating an Instagram theme page. We are officially live and ready to reach millions of followers. Or are we? We don’t know what to post, when to post it and what hashtags to use.

Lots of questions, just like in the previous section. But yet again I am here to share the answers with you!

Before you start posting and watching your notifications with excitement, you have to prepare your account for launch. We are not ready! We are 1 step away from being ready and here it is.

Basic theme page set up

You have your profile pic, you have your description, you have your amazing name but you don’t have posts.

No one wants to see an empty Instagram profile with 1 or 2 posts. That’s why you need to prepare your grid with your first 9 posts. This means that you have to post 9 posts one after another right away. You have to have them prepared.

Basic theme page set up
Your first 9 posts for your Instagram theme page. Screenshot from @stand4elephants

After that, you can call your basic setup completed. Now you are ready to go and find the best content there is and repost it on your theme page (while giving the authors credit).

How to pick your content?

YouTube is a gold mine for ideas on how to pick the best content on Instagram. There are a lot of useful and just as many bad pieces of advice that you might end up hearing. So let me spare you some hours of videos and share the best way to pick up good content.

  • Go to your search and search for some of the most important hashtags for your niche. (In my example #elephants, #babyelephants and etc.);
  • Find pages that are performing well and have a lot of followers;
  • Check if they are active and posting frequently;
  • Try to find pages that are not too far from your scope (don’t look at accounts with more than 100k followers when you start out);
  • Pick 10 competitors (or as much as you can find);
  • Browse their profile (I prefer doing it on the desktop because it is easier to see the likes) and analyze how many likes they are getting on average. Some posts will stand out;
  • Grab the top 10% of their best performers and use them as posts.

This way you have the best chance of getting picked up by the Instagram algorithm because when people like certain content they will usually hit the heart and leave a comment. Usually, then the post picks up and goes on the explore page where your page gets shown to new people.

How often should you post content on your Instagram theme page?

How often should you post content on your page?

If you ask me? As much as you can when you start.

That’s what I did.

I follow Gary Vee on YouTube and that guy says that there is no “too much content”. I grabbed that principle and applied it to my profile. And there is a specific reason why it did work out for me.

If you post every hour 24/7 for the next 3 weeks, you will be always visible on the “most recent” posts. And if people start to notice your posts then they are more likely to start following your page as well.

The best answer to the question is as much as you can, based on your circumstances. If you can post 1 time a day, okay. But you should know that your growth will be in direct correlation on how much effort you put into the page.

What is the best way to post content on your Instagram theme page?

Of course, you know that using the app to post is the original and go-to way to do it. Instagram does not like third party integrations and can “Shadowban” your account if you use them too much.

*Shadow bad – When your profile gets limited for a certain period of time due to not following Instagram’s policy.

But as I already mentioned, we don’t have the whole time in the world to sit on Instagram and post on every hour. And 24/7 is not possible with manual uploading.

That’s why I combine manual with automation.

But I just said that third-party apps are not good. How come I can use automation?

The good news is that Facebook has official free post scheduling automation.

It is called Creator Studio.

What is the best way to post content on your page?

You can log in and schedule most of your posts there. It is super easy and it takes only a few clicks to set up everything.

Note: It is important to keep the mix going because Instagram is a social media platform. It expects its users to be in the social media, the algorithm helps your page when you have time spent via the app, and when you interact with your content and other people’s content.

In other words, don’t solely rely on automating your account.

What about hashtags?

What about hashtags?

Hashtags are a big topic. You can’t talk about Instagram without mention hashtags.

They are the main way (for now) to reach other people on Instagram.

Posts without hashtags do not reach new people and therefore can’t be shown on the Instagram explore page.

Okay, so what is the plan here? Maybe we should use the most popular hashtags? Maybe we should use the most precise hashtags? Where is the holy grail of hashtags?

Well, there is a method that combines popular and not so popular hashtags into one mix. I have used it on my theme page and I haven’t changed my hashtags since I started. They still work.

So the idea is that you can put 30 hashtags in your description (or in the first comment just after posting). The main breakdown is like the following:

  • 5 hashtags with posts between 10k-50k;
  • 5 hashtags with posts between 50k-100k;
  • 5 hashtags with posts between 100k-200k
  • 5 hashtags with posts between 200k-500k
  • 5 hashtags with posts between 500k-1m
  • 5 hashtags with posts above 1m

Important note: This formula is suitable for all niches if you follow the ratio. It is not to be followed strictly it is only for demonstration. In the elephant niche, we don’t have hashtags above 1m and therefore 5 hashtags with 1m+ are not possible. Follow the pattern, from small to large, and 5 in each group.

This strategy guarantees maximum exposure and different chances for reaching the explore page.

Don’t forget to give credit to the authors!

Don’t become pirates on the web when you try to build a business.

You should always give credit to the author of the post that you are resharing. And giving credit to another theme page for reposting their content is not a good idea. In the cases where you can’t find the original author of the post that you are sharing, just add the following text in your copy: “DM for credit”. And when someone comes and wants credit from you. Tag them and change the description and tag them as well.

How to grow your Instagram theme page?

One is the most popular method of growing an Instagram page (besides posting consistently each day). That is the follow for follow strategy.

Follow for follow strategy

Back in the days when Instagram was still on a rise as a new social media platform, people used to do the classic follow for follow. You go and follow a bunch of people until they follow you back and then you unfollow them. This strategy worked until some major algorithm updates and the ability to check who unfollowed you with third-party apps.

Today some people say that follow for follow is dead and some say that it is still reliable for page growth.

My personal experience? It doesn’t work for me. I don’t have that free time to do it properly. But it could work for you!

Even tho I said that it doesn’t work for me I am going to share the best advice I received for this strategy. It goes by the following:

  • Find another theme page in the niche that has just started out (look for just about 1k followers);
  • Look if they implemented the follow for follow strategy (they should have about the same number of followers as the number they are following);
  • Go to their followers and follow a bunch of them (if you want to be super targeted, look at their profiles and if they are not from the country you wish then skip);
  • They will follow you back with a high percentage of success rate

The reason being is that these people are following a new profile, someone just like you, and they are not following it because it has huge numbers but rather that they enjoy the content that is being shared. These kinds of people will be the people that bring your profile to about 2-3 thousand.

It is worth the try. I think it could work.

Mass posting strategy

Well now, this is my type of strategy!

This strategy is based on the way Instagram functions.

You have two ways of reaching your audience. If they follow a specific hashtag, you will appear on recent and (if you have the luck) on top posts.

Since you are just starting out and you need to generate as much exposure as you possibly can (based on Instagram rules, of course) you want to post as much as possible.

If you are getting noticed on “recent posts” soon you will be recognized and people will start to follow you.

I started with 7-15 posts a day, and when I discovered Creator studio, I started posting every 3 hours for 2 months straight.

That made my account from 200 followers to 4000 followers in the time span of two months.

Note: It is important to note that I was replying to all comments for the first 5 months until I reached a point where answering all comments was taking way too much time from my daily life. Now I like all the posts. The important thing to take away from this section is that posting without interaction is not going to work.

How to be consistent?

How to be consistent?

I’ve been posting for the past 9 months and I have not yet reached a point where I can get solid paid promotions on my page. Still, I continue to grow and I don’t quit.

Why is that?

Because when I decided to start I promised that I will give this Instagram theme page game a solid 12 months before I judge it and decide if I want to continue or not.

There were times where I wanted to quit and do something else but I didn’t.

There were days where I didn’t manage to post, but I didn’t quit. I posted twice as much the next day.

I had days where I spent all day scheduling next month’s content and then not worrying about the page at all.

The main way not to quit and to stay consistent is to put yourself in a situation where you have as little friction as possible.

You want to have posts ready in your library if you post manually. And if you post with the scheduler? Yes, you need to spend some time preparing your content.

Whatever you don’t quit because all the effort that you have put into growing the page will be for nothing.

How to make money with Instagram theme pages?

How to make money with Instagram theme pages?

Oh, I bet that you all waited for this section. Or you just skipped and went here directly.

I get it, I wanted to know how to make money online. We all want to have passive income and to make our lives better.

The good news is that if you have followed all sections from these posts and applied them for some solid amount of time, you know that you can earn money using Instagram them pages.

Let’s go right into the methods of making money with Instagram.

Paid promotions: Posts, stories, reels, and IGTV

The main way that you can earn money with Instagram theme pages is by making paid promotions via paid posts, paid stories, reels, and IGTV.

You have a following. They like your page. They interact with you. You entertain them.

You have everything.

In order to make money with paid promotion someone has to contact you with an offer or you can go around and cold DM brands that offer products that your audience wants and likes.

I got my first paid promotion for a story just when I hit 10k followers. I received the swipe up function. (Sometimes it takes a day or two to get it, don’t worry if you still don’t have it but you have reached 10k)

I earned the amazing amount of $10.

Yes, 10 dollars for a story. Only $999 990 to go until I become a millionaire.

You might be disappointed. 9 months of work for $10? That’s awful!

But it isn’t! I just created a new revenue stream for me and from now on I will continue to grow the page knowing that there are people who wish to offer me money for paid promotions.

Everything depends on the niche you are in and what kind of products you are trying to sell but when you are small page, still around 10k-15k, don’t try and offer huge prices for shoutouts. Start small, see what the process is like and bump up the price when you get a new offer.

Start dropshipping or drop servicing

Start dropshipping or drop servicing

If we talk about Instagram theme pages we have to talk about dropshipping / drop servicing.

Why?

Because you can generate free traffic towards your own store and sell whatever you want.

Basically, you are your own customer for paid shoutouts. But you don’t get paid for the shoutout but rather you get your income from selling products or services.

It’s an amazing business if you have the time and energy to go really in-depth but it is not an option if you are trying to win some side money while you maintain your main job.

Note: More on dropshipping here and drop servicing here.

Sell your data for money

Sell your data for money

This is something that I never heard on YouTube. Either it is the best way to earn money and everyone is hiding it from the mass or I came up with it.

Nah, of course, I didn’t come up with it. But is cool to share it because it is quite unknown.

The model is really easy and simple.

You find digital agencies or freelancers that want to advertise to an audience that is similar to your followers and you offer them a price.

I could call this model “Rent an audience“.

You create a custom audience based on everyone who has engaged with your content and you share it with their business Facebook manager.

You can also create audiences like “everyone who has saved your posts or ads” and “everyone who has visited your profile”.

Not to mention that you can create LLAs (Look A Like audiences) and share them with their business Facebook manager.

You just continue to grow your page and you earn money because you do.

You ask for monthly payments for each audience you share with your clients.

The best thing about it?

You don’t use your profile directly for the ads and you never disappoint your audience by posting ads on your page at all.

Bonus tips

Thank you for reaching this section of the article. It means the world to me that you have invested your time and energy to read this blog article. I hope that you managed to learn something and you enjoyed the process.

I am leaving you with 2 bonus tips for growing your Instagram theme page. They are kind of lifehacks that I learned from my experience and have shown me some great benefits of incorporating them into my strategy.

Archive your posts to maintain а low number of publications

Whenever you reach a high number of posts on your page and you want to keep it as aesthetic as possible, you can archive old posts in order not to surpass a certain number of posts on your profile.

I also use it to reshare old content from months ago.

When I am out of content or ideas for content I scroll back to the first posts that I have put out on the page, I get the image/video, and post it again. Then I archive the old post.

I have reused the content. This is okay because overtime you gain new followers and something that worked months ago and went “viral” for the standards of the page you were months ago, performs even better now.

Post a story every time you publish a post

It is extremely important to have a story up when you post new content.

Why?

Because that red circle grabs so much attention that you see at least a 40% difference in your performance.

Your posts get noticed more, you get more comments and likes and that puts you on the explore page.

Conclusion

Instagram theme pages are long term time investment but require no other upfront costs of starting this side business idea.

It requires consistency, it requires dedication but like everything in life, there is, it pays off in the long term.

Should you start an Instagram theme page? My answer is yes. But only if you are willing to put in the efforts.

I’m not going to stop and I will grow this account even further, in the future I might start another theme page in a bigger niche with bigger opportunities for return on investment but until then I wish you all the best! Stay healthy and thank you for reading my first ever blog post!

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