My most asked question: How did you grow your Instagram following? I have been blogging a little over a year and there are a several things I have learned and I am here to spill the tea! I will say first that you get out what you put in. Hard work pays off! To be successful, it takes time and work, let me say that again…to be successful, it takes TIME AND WORK but if you really have a passion for it and fun with it, good things will come!
- Brand yourself, find your niche- What I mean by brand yourself is, what is your purpose for your Instagram page or your blog? Once you find your niche, you will be able to find your community and target your followers. For example, my niche is affordable fashion so if I was to post that I just bought a Chanel bag, that would be a little off brand for me, right?? I have actually turned down several collaborations because of the products being to expensive. I can’t expect my followers to purchase something that I would never actually purchase myself.
- Cohesive Feed – I mentioned this in my previous blogging tips post but a feed that is aesthetically pleasing and flows, just catches my eye. Think of yourself as being the person scrolling…would you stop and look at your feed? There are so many presets out there, or you can make your own. My presets are from amalfiboutique.com.au (burnt orange preset pack)
- Content Creation- Creating QUALITY content is key! If you are a fashion blogger make sure you are taking clear photos of your outfits, no blurry photos or photos taken in too much sunlight (that’s a whole different blog post) I am constantly scouting out locations in the city or cool places online where I can take photos or ways I can put outfits together or unique ideas for my feed. I am a perfectionist so when it comes to the photos I take, I do it until I feel like they are 100%. Don’t post just to have something to post. You should take pride and absolutely LOVE every single photo on your feed. I also feel like it’s good to have a variety of photos…flatlays, mirror photos, full body shots, half body shots. It gives dimension to your feed. It’s also so important for me to prepare my content ahead of time and stay organized. I take all of my photos on the weekends so I can plan my feed for the week.
- Reply to comments and DM’s– Let’s face it, you are not famous so there’s really no reason why you should not respond when someone comments on your photo. A way to make the reply more personal is to visit that person’s profile and get their name and respond calling them by name. You can also comment on their most recent photo. After you post your photo, you should at least be active on Instagram for an hour to respond to comments. Responding back also creates a relationship between you and your followers which is so important.
- Engagement- Engagement pods are very popular now on Instagram and now most in Telegram and I do personally use them but honestly have been trying to reduce my usage to more organic engagement. To each their own really. I have met some of my very best friends in like pods but I’ve also starting a new thing called “mining.” I will go to a page of someone I follow and see who is commenting or search a hashtag I use and if I enjoy their content, I will like and comment on several of their posts and follow them and if they feel the same they will follow me back 🙂 Just take the time to love on each other’s posts!
- Giveaways- I know feelings are really all over the place about giveaways but if you want to gain followers quickly, this is the way to do it. The only downside is most giveaways now are pricey and lots of people unfollow when the giveaway is over. I have a few recommendations, but make sure you use a giveaway page that is very well ran! Believe me, it makes a difference! I have recently put together my own giveaway with a very dear blogger friend of mine! Fingers crossed it goes well! **Never buy followers because these are fake accounts!!**
- Loops- Instead of a gaining followers with a giveaway page, you can use a loop page. I personally suggest paying for a ghost spot (ghost meaning you don’t post on your feed). The difference with people involved in loops is that they want to make genuine connections instead of just wanting to win something.
- Be consistent- I try and post 5-7 days a week depending on how much content I have prepared and need to get out. Instagram favors active users and also lets your followers know you’re serious about what you’re doing. Even if you’re posting 3-4 days a week or every other day, be consistent with it. A good work ethic is ideal and you must commit to being serious about growing to make it happen.
- Blogger Collaborations- One of the best things to come out of this blogging gig is the connections I’ve made with other blogger gals! An example of a blogger collab is getting several of your favorite blogger babes together and all styling the same dress or sharing how to style a certain item, pick a day to do a try on in stories with a giveaway at the end, or come up with something unique all your own. This way you all get exposure to each other’s followers.
- Hashtags- I’m not convinced that hashtag views will convert to followers but they are very important and choosing the right ones will impact your post and how many times your post is viewed, so I feel like it’s worth mentioning here. I’ve been doing lots of research and switching out hashtags here and there recently to see what works and what doesn’t. I have found that if I post at a bad time, like really early in the morning as opposed to my normal time 8am-10am then my hashtags basically don’t work. I get around 2 hashtag views! Your hashtags should include what’s relevant to your post. I will go to the explore page for hashtags and search for some there and see what works best for me. Also, change them out often so your post isn’t seen by the same group of people constantly. Stay away from banned hashtags, you can google to see what is temporarily and permanently banned for this year.
- Use other social channels- Try branching out of just Instagram and using other social channels such as Pinterest, YoutTube or Facebook to promote yourself and your blog. This year, video is very much trending so YouTube would be a great place if you are a beauty blogger to get your tutorials out there or for fashion bloggers to get try on’s seen. Pinterest is also huge! Create a business account and start pinning your photos and blogs and direct traffic to your blog and Instagram page.
- BE YOURSELF!!- Nobody likes a fake. Just be yourself and have fun with it, people will notice. Let your personality shine through your photos and get on stories! This was really hard for me because I am normally a shy person and very much an introvert. I didn’t think that people cared what I had to say but that’s how your audience gets to know you and another way they can interact with you and you with them through questions and polls.
- Do your research- If there’s something I’m interested in I’m going to learn all I can about it because I want to understand it. Listen to podcasts, buy books, share and get advice from other bloggers, research different strategies and see what works best for you.
To be blunt about it, it’s hard work. Engagement takes time, taking photos takes time and sometimes, time you don’t have. Believe me, I get it. I have done it with a family and a full time job. You can ask my husband, my son, any member of my family, how much time and effort I put into my blog and Instagram. It’s just like with anything in life, success doesn’t happen over night. Big following or not, starting this blog has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and I wouldn’t change a thing! If I can ever help you in any way or answer any questions, please message me! I would love to chat! Remember that we are all learning together!