How I gained over 1800 genuine Instagram followers in 6 months
Hi everyone, today I want to talk to you about Instagram. Ahhh that lovely, complicated app that I just happen to love. I have had a personal Instagram account since it first began back in 2010, but after starting Hannah and The Blog 6 months ago, I wanted to create a new account purely for my blog stuff. This obviously meant starting from scratch, with a follower count of zero.
These past six months have brought ups and downs with my grid, and I have to say it’s only over the past three months that I’ve started to see real growth and engagement. I have put more effort into my photos and have seen some really great results because of this. I know I still have a long way to go before I get to the big 10k, however I’m pretty proud with what I have achieved with my Instagram account and so I thought I would share my secrets with you.
- Try to stick to a theme, even if it’s a loose one. Use the same filters and editing style throughout your photos. It will make your profile more consistent and visually appealing. I have three different but similar filters that I use on mine (using the VSCO app).
- Make your Instagram account into a Business account (option found in settings). Once this has been created you will have access to your profile stats where you can see your impressions, reach and how many website clicks you get. You can also see the time of day your followers are mostly active on Instagram which is useful, however I don’t normally rely on it. Some of my most popular posts have been when I just fancied posting a photo despite Instagram showing it as being a low active time. Post when you want to!
- Think before you post. Don’t just post photos just for the heck of it. Put yourself in your follower’s shoes – would you ‘like’ the photo if it appeared on your grid from another Instagrammer?
- Try to post 2 – 3 times a day spread out throughout the day. I normally post between 8 – 9am on my way to work, 12pm – 3pm over lunch time and then again in the evening between 7 – 9pm. I find weekends, especially Sundays are good days to gain more likes and followers.
- Bank images! I have about 5 photos at a time saved up for days when I don’t have much to post about.
- Only use good quality images. Blurred or pixelated images don’t look good anywhere…. unless that’s the look you’re going for of course!
- It’s fine to gain inspiration from other Grammers for your photos but always credit them when you do – it will be much appreciated!
- Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags in your post. I definitely recommend using all of them.
- Change the theme of the hashtags depending on what sort of photo you’re posting. For example I wouldn’t use #ootd on a travel photo that doesn’t feature me or an outfit I am wearing.
- Keep a list of hashtags in the notes app on your phone to copy and paste into your posts. Use different variations of each list in each subject you normally post about. For instance, I have travel, fashion, lifestyle and food.
- I always put a few full stops in-between my comment and my hashtags like in the photo above.
- Gain inspiration for hashtags from other Grammers and use hashtagify.me to find current popular ones. Instagram also has a good feature when typing in a hashtag it shows how popular it is along with other similar ones
- Don’t stick to the same hashtags. Instagram’s complex algorithm means that if you use the same hashtags over and over again it may wrongly confuse you with a bot and you may get shadowbanned (for more info about shawdowbanning check out this great post from PaperRoute.
- You don’t have to lay yourself bare but I find I get more interaction with my followers when I tell them a bit about my day and what my plans are for the weekend. I love it when I have people reply to me!
- Ask questions in your posts – I love to find out what my followers think and what they’re up to.
- Make friends! I am quickly learning that the blogger community is so lovely. Finding people who are similar to you is the best feeling!
- Use Instagram Stories to document your day. It could be anything – your walk to work, your breakfast, your outfits. If you aren’t comfortable talking in front of the camera (like me!) then you don’t have to. Static photos or mute videos still look just as effective. Watch other Instagrammer’s stories and get inspiration for how they create their stories – what filters, stickers and wording they use and find your own style.
- Use other social media networks to promote your Instafeed – I find Twitter and Pinterest are best. You can link your Twitter account directly on Instagram so it posts on your Twitter feed every time you post an image on Instagram. With Pinterest, I get the URL to my Instagram photo (using the share button after posting) and then directly upload from there.
- Tag and follow Instagram accounts that re-gram your photos (ie: @thebloggercrowd and @femalebloggersRT).
- I also am a member of a few Facebook groups that are purely for promoting your blog and social media accounts. I post my links on them from time to time and really see my engagement go up when I do. Just remember to follow their rules and reciprocate otherwise you could get yourself deleted! The ones I am a member of are:
I hope these tips help. Remember though to have fun with it and don’t get bogged down with the number of likes or followers you have. As long as you’re true to yourself and what you want your profile to look like then it will come through on your grid. If you don’t have time to post a photo one day then it’s not the end of the world – there is always the next day. Am I following you on Instagram? Leave your username in a comment below – I love finding new people to follow and photos to look at.