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Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram

  • September 4, 2019
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Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram

Of all the questions I am asked by others because of Maggie and Orbit’s Instagram (@maggielovesorbit) this is probably one of the ones I get frequently. We’re not the largest of accounts but I have been on Instagram for over four years so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far.

So, can your dog get paid on Instagram? Yes. Your dog can get paid when you let a brand access your audience. But that’s just one of several ways you can make money on Instagram because of your dog’s account.

And even though you can monetize your dog’s Instagram account; it’s not as simple as just having an audience. You need to have the kind of audience that has money and trusts your recommendations and then buys because of them.

How Much Can My Dog Get Paid On Instagram?

Your dog can get as little as $20 in the form of product or up to $20,000 (and even more) … it all depends on how you earn your money. There isn’t an easy formula so instead I’ll cover all the different ways you can make money.

Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram

How many followers do you need to start making money on Instagram?

It depends on the brand. I’m a firm believer that there if there is a fit …. the size of your audience isn’t as important as the brand fit.

I’ll give you an example.

Let’s look at the case of a specific medical device that helps dogs that need a brace. They will be looking at dog instagrams where the dog actually needs the brace as opposed to the size of your audience.

Another example is that there are some brands that like to “grow with their followers”. I know of a particular business who partnered up with dog accounts that were the same size in following as they were (under 1000).

It’s not “because” you have an account or “because you have followers” that a brand decides to work with you.

The reason a brand will want to work with you is because of the following

– Their brand values, who THEY are as a company is closely aligned in how you live your story. It’s very rare there is an exact fit. What there will be are reflections of who you are that reminds them of who they are. In a way you are their target customer. Or they look at you as a potential brand ambassador.

– Something about your community, your audience intrigues them. And they want access to that.

Brands on a very simple level click through to your followers to learn more about them. The larger agencies have tools that provide analytics like where your followers live, age, likes and dislikes.

How NOT Get Sponsorships and Partnerships

Before I go over how to get sponsorships and partnerships, the first one to cover is how NOT to approach a brand.

Don’t send a DM saying hey I’m Buddy and would love for your to sponsor our post can you send us your product and in exchange we’ll give you a shout out on our account.

You may laugh but I field these kind of inquiries several times a day.  Not only are my dogs on Instagram I’m also in marketing and represent several brands. So I see both sides.

When you work with a brand you’re entering into a relationship. A DM like this is like trying to get to home base on the first pitch. It never happens like that.

Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram

How to Attract Brands To Offer You Sponsorships

So why would a brand want to work with you? They can easily run ads on Facebook to reach people so it’s not that.

It’s because they want:
1. You
2. Access to your followers
3. A conversation with your tribe

Brands will look at influencers to study their accounts.

They will ask themselves

1. Does this influencer have a unique voice?
2. Do they have a relationship with their followers?
3. Do they have “meaningful” conversations.
4. Do they align with my brand values?

So as an example I was having a conversation with a brand. And they told me one of the reasons they wanted to work with us through our blog and Instagram Maggielovesorbit is because we talked about what it was like to raise a dog.

He said in his conversation… there are a lot of dog accounts that dress up their dog who have high engagement but nothing was ever discussed with a lot of depth. A lot of “oh how cute’ type of comments.

They also said the conversation that were centered around the influencer didn’t provide value.

They look for accounts where you are “serving your community” and the conversations are helping someone else with a dog.

I took this to heart because although we may not have the greatest engagement I feel we have a lot of depth.

We start conversations on our social media and we delve into topics on our blog.

I have readers who come to our website time and time again because they are experiencing similar issues. And the solutions I present to them help them become a better dog parent.

And this is the core of the issue.

It’s not about you. It’s about them. Are you serving and providing value to your audience or are you simply in it because you want followers and people validating your self worth.

Do you turn the tables around and ask yourself:

How can I give back? What can I share? What story do I have to tell that allows a reader to insert themselves into.

Do I offer trajectories? In the way that I show – here’s where you start off and here’s where you end up by following this story?

And is my story authentic?

Too often I will see an account who wants to be an influencer but a brand can’t figure out how to insert themselves into their story.

So if you’re raising a dog and you want to discuss lifestyle products and partner with brands ….. are you living the life already that the brand partnerships make sense?

I’ll give you a non dog story. Years ago I was working for a company that was a start up. I worked with this company many years so we nurtured the staff and promoted from within.

I’d mentor less experienced staff who wanted to grow and say to them, “If you want to grow you’re interviewing for the job you want on a daily basis. It’s not the interview that lands you the job, it is what you do today and how you are every day that gets you the job. The interview later on down the line is merely the formality.”

Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram


DISCLOSURE:  Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive compensation.  This compensation comes at no additional cost to you, and as always I only recommend products I have tried and trust.

Maggielovesorbit, Ilovebostons  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to



This ties right into authenticity. You have to know who you are so you can properly identify and be identified by brands correctly.

As an example I raise my dogs with the philosophy that fresh food nurtures wellness. That means I do not feed them anything processed. So as example I cannot work with kibble brands or treat companies that contain artificial ingredients.

This narrows our scope and I’m perfectly fine with that because I can only authentically vouch for a brand or product that we would feed to our dogs and I would recommend to my inner circle.

Who’s the Hero In Your Story

There is a misconception that your dog or you is the Hero in the story. When in actuality it’s the reader.

The position that is more effective is positioning yourself as the Guide.

And by showcasing your experiences, your reader will see how they can in turn be the Hero in your story because you guided them.

If you want to read more on this concept a great book I recommend is The Story Brand by Donald Miller. I’ve read this book at least three times and I use it when I work with brands who want to have deeper conversations with their community.

An effective influencer knows how to storytelling. Central to storytelling is showing your readers about their gains from listing to you. When you are having conversations with them think about your reader’s aspirations, dreams, goals. This will allow you to create content that is more meaningful to them.

When you’re telling a story, create an after shot of who your reader will be when they consume your content.

Try to figure out how you can change your reader’s lives? Maybe it’s just by making them smile.

Or maybe you share things they want to learn about. What mark do you leave on their lives? Is it meaningful to them?

When you do this well… not only are you attracting your readers, you are attracting brands.

Bottom line you’re serving your community. Brands will approach you and they will say “I’m thrilled to partner with you because our mission and values align.

Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram


Having an audience does not automatically make you an influencer.

Ask yourself …. why would someone buy from your recommendations? Ultimately it’s because they trust you.

How do you establish trust – just like you would with your own friends.

You show up. You show you care not about you … but about your friends and your audience.

Passive Versus Active Income

So how do you make money. It doesn’t fall from the sky and it isn’t as easy as it looks.

I like to categorize income on two levels. Active versus. Passive. I will start with all the “active revenue: streams first”.

Active Income


A brand comes to you and asks you to partner with them on a campaign. You post content that can be a series of photos, videos and stories. And for that you get paid.

A few things to note about sponsorships:

  • Some brands will want to look at your analytics prior to the partnership and they will most definitely ask for stats after the campaign.
  • Some brands have software to determine the authenticity of your followers and engagement. Some will go further to analyze your first responders. So if you’re in part of a pod commenting or liking they will try to determine that.
  • Brands watch you for weeks prior to approaching you. I’ve seen brands steer away from influencers who are snarky about other companies. The thought being is if you’re a snarky person when you think no one is looking then why would I want you to represent and align with our company?

Also you never know who is watching you. Just because a brand’s Instagram account isn’t following you or interacting with you it doesn’t mean that an employee from that company isn’t watching or following your story from their personal account.

Almost all of the brand relationships I have started off from an off brand relationship first.

Lastly not all relationships start off as paid relationships. When your account is small you might be offered product when the brand is testing out the waters. These can eventually become paid relationships.

Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram

Event Appearances

Another way for you to monetize your dog’s Instagram is through appearances. Sometimes event planning companies will reach out to you to help you promote an event and are willing to pay you an appearance fee.

Print on Demand

There are countless ways for you to create your own merchandise with minimal cash outlay on your side. You can easily build a shop on Shopify and through that eco system start to offer print on demand products.

The possibilities can start off with something as small as stickers and stationery and go all the way up to clothing.

The advantage with print on demand is you do not have to carry the stock and items are created as they are purchased.

The disadvantage is your also customer service so if a product goes wrong you are the one processing that return or exchange.

The other thing to note is the profit margins are not that big with print on demand items.


If you decide to go directly into creating your own product, you can find local vendors are already creating the product you want. You can approach them to find out what their wholesale pricing it.

You will enjoy higher profit margins and have greater control but the disadvantage is this will require more cash outlay at the onset.


If you’re a writer and have something of value to share, you can easily write a book. You can self publish through companies like LULU or you can create and ebook to sell on your website.

Teaching / Coaching

People will pay you for your knowledge. Influencers that do well in this arena are those that are effective teachers. Trainers like have online courses teaching others how to be better in agility or obedience or whatever skill you have that someone will pay for.

Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram

Amazon Affiliate Program

The easiest way to set up an income stream for your dog’s Instagram account is through the Amazon Affiliate Program.

The application process is quite simple.

And it’s a fantastic way to test your influence. Our shop can be found :
MaggieLovesOrbit’s Amazon Page

Even though you may not have any sponsorship partnerships today, you can start to build this muscle by recommending products on your own Amazon page and start to learn about customer journeys and conversions.


There’s a new app in town where people will pay you for customized greetings. You can learn more by visiting Cameo – Personalized Shoutouts . I’ve seen some dog accounts on there and although I have no personal experience with Cameo you can certainly explore if this is an option for you.

All of the ideas above are those related to creating active revenue streams. In the following section I’ll cover Passive Revenue Streams.

Passive Revenue Streams


Blogging is far from dead. There are many bloggers that are making a few hundred dollars a month all the way up to six figures a year.

And it’s interesting to me that a lot of the most successful bloggers I know don’t even have a huge Instagram following.

Part of the reason for this is the shelf life for an Instagram post declines. Your audience will see your content for twenty four to forty eight hours. Up to 7 days if you’re lucky and then it’s no longer generating traffic.

Blogging on the other hand tends to have positive traction.

A post you create today only starts to pick up traffic in future months. It’s really starting to grow at month eight and depending on how well you wrote it will continue to be viewed by hundreds of viewers every day.

The monetization comes in through the ads that you can serve on your blog as your page views hit certain milestones. Platforms like Mediavine will entertain applications when you are at 25K page views a month an Ad Thrive accepts blogs with over 100K page views a month.

Although you are working for free for what may seem like years … once you monetize the income is fairly passive (the work was done when you published) .

Other ways you can make money through your blog is that brands are always looking for writers to align themselves with and will pay you for sponsored content.

You Tube

For those that are able to create engaging video content …. You Tube is another platform to explore. Just like ad platforms will pay you to serve ads on your blog, You Tube will pay you when they serve ads around your channel.

Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram


Often overlooked is the ability to monetize your dog’s instagram through your photography.

I’ve heard of influencers getting paid anywhere from $10K to $20K for full licensing rights to certain pictures.

Or you can work with a brand for some campaign photography earning on average $350 for a small photo campaign.


Brands need photography. And you can get paid when your dog is a model. There are agencies you can register with to be part of an agency. In our case brands have approached us and worked with us directly.

Multiple Revenue Streams

If you’re interested in monetizing your dog’s Instagram account the final piece of advice I can provide you is to think about focusing on the areas you can excel in. And then once you have nailed that down think about another area to tackle.

Getting paid as an influencer will never replace your full time job unless you have millions of followers.

It can however provide you a fun way to monetize your dog’s account.

Final Words On Making Money With Your Dog’s Instagram

Never loose sight of the most important piece to this puzzle and that is your dog. Put your dog first in all situations. Don’t do things that put you in compromising situations.

One of the beautiful things about dogs is how pure they are and how innocent they are.

The accounts that are the most endearing to me are those where they show dogs… being dogs.

If I wanted to follow a comedian’s advice or a celebrity – I would do that. I follow dogs because they represent all the good things in this world.

Don’t try to make your dog something they are not. Yes they may have a personality on their own … just be sure to show the parts about them that make them so amazing to YOU and others will see the same.

Your dog doesn’t care how many people are in their audience or how much money they help you make; they only care about you. So focus on them first and always.

Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram
Can I Make Money From Being A Dog Influencer on Instagram


Hannah Zulueta and her two dogs Maggie and Orbit

Hello my name is Hannah and I dance with my dogs.  A self proclaimed Boston Terrier addict, (aka breed advocate) I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to write on our Instagram.  Maggie is my socially awkward one; which I find highly relatable because I am completely out of place in large groups myself.  And Orbit is my sensitive flower.  Blow on her skin wrong (ok I might be exaggerating) and she breaks out in a rash.

You won’t read about cats here… but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to the Boston Terrier.    Read more about us. 

By, September 4, 2019
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