How to succeed at Instagram (without really trying.)

Check my Instagram account out here!

I have mentioned here before about how much I love Instagram. I am a very visual person, and though it’s perhaps rude, I really don’t care to read what most people post about of Facebook. Getting a peek into their life through photos though? Count me in!

I used to use Instagram to stalk celebs and keep up with my old high school friends, but then I started blogging and everything changed. All of the sudden numbers mattered and I needed to be posting high quality images and frequently. It took me longer than I would have liked to get ‘good’ at Instagram, but just this summer I’ve seen tremendous growth in both followers and engagement and it was easy.

I’m not spending hours participating in ‘like for like’ threads, and I haven’t bought even one super sketchy Russian follower. But I’ve still managed to gain almost 1000 followers since the end of May. And because a lot of people have asked how I’ve was able to get Instagram followers so quickly, I wanted to tell you how I did it.

Want to increase your presence on Instagram without selling out? I did too, and I managed to gain nearly 1000 followers folllowing these methods!

I picked a theme.

I have an entire post about having a theme for you Instagram, and I really do think that it makes all of the difference. While your followers will see your account one picture at a time, potential followers have to go to your feed and make the decision then to follow you. These potential followers are much more likely to hit ‘follow’ if you’re posting high quality pictures that all flow together nicely, as opposed to sporadically posting blurry, oddly cropped, out of focused pictures that don’t fit together at all.

I became active in the Instagram community.

Instagram is very much a give and take community. If you offer up a comment or a like – a lot of people will return the favor. I used to only go down my feed of people I follow and then like pictures that were especially good. Now I usually like every picture I scroll past, and then comment on the especially good ones.

Another thing I do is go through hashtags and like the pictures and comment on the best ones. I choose hashtags that I like and are relevant to me, but not the super popular ones. Hashtags like ‘fashion’ have a bunch of people spamming it even though their picture has nothing to do with fashion, and I don’t want to engage with those people.

Hashtags I do go through, though, are #CollegeBlogger and #LifestyleBlogger, although sometimes I switch it up with a #wiw or #FashionBlogger. So just find tags relevant to what you like and what you post and then interact with those users – I also will follow all of the ones who have pretty feeds!

Speaking of hashtags…

Always hashtag your photos! I know they make your description look super muddled, so I just paste them into a comment below my photo and then delete it after a day or so. But I never ever skip them! So many new people are able to find me and interact with me because I use hashtags – and again I don’t use the super popular ones. Those ones might get you quick likes – but they are going to be from people who never look at your profile again.

By using relevant hashtags Instagram users with the same interests as me are going to find my photos, and hopefully like them enough to follow me. For some of the less popular hashtags (like #collegeblogger!) a community forms around the hashtag and you constantly find yourself liking the same people’s pictures and eventually you’ll start commenting on each other’s and a friendship is born! That type of community is what Instagram is about.

I am active.

I really really try to post almost everyday. It is super hard to get a nice picture daily, so sometimes I skip a day or two, but rarely. Being active is easily the best way to start gaining followers. The more you post using hashtags, the more people are going to be exposed to your photos, and the more likely you are to get Instagram followers. This one is so hard, and the ‘quality vs. quantity’ argument always comes into play, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s not either or, it’s both.

Good luck!

If you follow these tips and post nice pictures consistently, chances are that you’ll notice and improvement in your Instagram community and you will start to get Instagram followers.

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  • I do the same thing by commenting the hashtags in separate comment and then deleting it later! It saves a lot of trouble just deleting it instead of having to edit the description a few days later! You have a lot of great tips here, thanks your sharing your wisdom! Instagram has definitely become my favorite blog related social media app to use. I’m working on growing my following, so I will have to try out some of the things you suggest in this post!

    Colleen | Buckeye Bliss

  • This is a great post, Morgan. I recently made an Instagram account for the blog and I’ve been working hard at trying to maintain a theme and post daily. It’s hard though, because I work full time and when I get home there’s hardly any natural light to take pictures. 🙁
    I am seeing an increase in followers, especially because of my giveaway!! Hopefully, with a pretty theme and daily engagement, I’ll be able to get those followers to stick around.

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com