How to Create a Successful Instagram Account Featuring Your Dog and Monetize It

How to Create a Successful Instagram Account Featuring Your Dog and Monetize It

What could be better than going globe-trotting with your pet by your side?

Well, getting paid to do it wouldn’t be too bad!

If you’re like us, you get a serious sense of FOMO watching Tinkerbelle the Dog hit the streets and travel the world (though we do love our friend and NYC native!).

With talk of posts that can fetch up to $15,000 and all-expenses paid trips, creating an IG account for your dog - and monetizing it! - sounds more and more tempting.

So we did some research to see what tricks we’d need to learn to build up the account. Let’s go!


What Kind Of Dog Content To Post To Get Followers

The first question you might be asking yourself is how popular your dog could be on Instagram. If you’re curious which breeds do the best on social media, PurePetFood did a comprehensive breakdown. Here are the three most popular breeds in terms of posts:

  1. French Bulldogs (more than 39 million posts)
  2. Pugs (more than 29 million posts)
  3. Chihuahuas (more than 27 million posts)
  4. English Bulldog (more than 24 million posts)
  5. Labrador Retriever (more than 19 million posts)

GoCompare did similar research but based it on the number of hashtags for each breed. Their Top 3 are:

  1. Chihuahuas (more than 42 million tags)
  2. Pugs (more than 40 million tags)
  3. French Bulldogs (more than 38 million tags)

In the US alone, there are 190 dog breeds, so there’s a good chance your pup isn’t on that list.

Does that mean you don’t stand a chance of having a successful dog Instagram account?

Not at all! Beyond the breed, there are plenty of ways you can start posting to get followers, showcasing your dog’s personality is one of the best ways to build.


Why Creating A Unique Persona For Your Dog Is A Great Way To Build An Instagram Presence

One question to consider is the kind of content you have popping up on your own feed. Simple, cute pictures of dogs are great for sharing with friends and family - but what is going to separate it for the thousands (or millions!) of other people?

Take Loki the Wolfdog as an example. Here’s an account that ties into a few other wildly popular Instagram trends, too, like travel and amazing scenery. It also works with the dog’s natural desire to be outdoors (and the beautiful photography doesn’t hurt, either).

This is one way to go about building a unique persona for your dog that also separates it from the thousands of similar dog accounts already online: showcasing your dog’s natural personality.

But don’t force it. Just like we’ve all been on short hikes with dogs that just can’t quite keep up, it’s not a sustainable way to build an account if you’re forcing something unnatural on your dog just because you think it’ll make for a cute photo isn’t quite the way to go.


How Playing Off Your Own Personality Can Lead To A Successful Dog IG

While forcing your dog to take long hikes and camping trips if it’d rather be snuggled up with you home isn’t ideal, there are other ways to combine your passions with what your dog likes to build a brand.

  • Foodies - take the Popeye the Foodie Dog as an example. Though not exclusively about food, it’s a clever and cute angle that gives the owner plenty of creative freedom that has attracted over 400,000 followers. If you’re already out and about eating at restaurants all over town, adding a partner pup could be a fun way to branch out.
  • Fashionistas - though this space is becoming crowded, competition does mean something! If you’re into high fashion, your pups can become your muse, like Tinkerbelle the Dog, whose cute posts and cuter style have rocketed her well above 500,000 followers. If you’ve already got a flair for fashion and can’t stop thinking about which Halloween dog accessories you’re going to style your pup with, this might be the route for you.
  • Travel Addicts - Like Loki above or Finn (who has over 200,000 followers), dogs are natural traveling companions and can easily tap into other Instagram trends. Love van life? Got your frequent flier miles strategies figured out? This could be the right avenue for you.

These are just three proven routes that others have taken for successful dog Instagram accounts. The advantages of following in their footsteps is you can see what works and what doesn’t, how the successful accounts post, and what kind of photos resonate with people. Unfortunately, a lot of competition does mean you’ll be up against the pros.

The upside to charting your own path, to figuring out the copy that makes your dog’s voice come alive, and to coming up with a completely new idea is that your fans will likely be a lot more connected to you - after all, you’re not just creating a carbon copy, you’ve made something as unique as your pup! Still, that journey might take a while, and you’ll have to be committed to build up a dedicated audience.

Whichever way you go, it pays to be strategic about how you post. So how regularly are you thinking about updating your account?


How Often To Post To Build Up Your Dog’s Account

Keep in mind that you’ll be posting at least 5 times a week, every week, so you’ll need to create a brand and a voice that you can easily replicate.

That said, posting is just one of the variables you’ll need to be mindful of during the week. 

In this NY Times account of the journalist failing to turn their dog into an Instagram star, a marketing expert shares the need to not only post several times a day, but to come up with new ideas and to nurture relationships.

Another idea shared by Isabella Silvers is to vary the kind of content you post. What works for her is a feed post a day and a few stories in order to show people what her corgi “gets up to day-to-day.” She also finds herself liking and commenting on other, similar accounts for one to two hours each day.

Then you may want to consider what the balance will be once those other kinds of sponsored offers come in. There’s a lot more to be said about it, but we wanted to leave you with a rule of thumb to get started. You can consider Online Optimism’s advice to stick to the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should still be the same fun, engaging content you used to grow, then you can use 20% to focus on promotions, sales and leads. If you’re posting five times a week, that works out to four fun posts for every one sales-y post.

The journey to Instagram stardom for your dog may be a long one, so it’s important to understand the investment to grow the account requires more than just taking photos.


How Much Can You Expect To Be Paid Per Post For Your Dog’s Social Media

Now we get to dig into the dirty of what the going rates could be for each of your dog’s social media posts.

While there are a number of ways you can expect to monetize the account, including merch and collaborations, what most people want to know is how much they can make per post.

So, when can you expect brands to start expressing interest? 

It could be possible to start earning money from your dog’s IG account with as little as 20,000 followers. As the founder of The Dog Agency shared on Girlboss, accounts with 100,000 followers might expect a few hundred dollars per post and an account with 1 million followers might expect $15,000.

That’s a lot of kibble!


So, Should You Create An IG Account For Your Dog?

Creating a successful Instagram account for your dog can be a lot of work.

For all the fun you had in the past posting spontaneous pictures, you’ll now have to be a bit more calculating to come up with enough content to keep all their new followers engaged.

But imagine the other side of it: you’ll be getting paid to be with your dog, play with your dog, and share your dog with the world. Though there are plenty of other discussions to be had about how to best monetize your account, prioritizing the time you’ll spend with your pup is the important part now.

So, we say if you’re still able to maintain that healthy relationship with your pup, get out for plenty of walks together, and have fun, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go for it!

And you know we want to see your pup, so share their Pup-stagram below!

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