How I Went From Zero To 2,000 Instagram Followers In Less Than Two Months
I never seemed to have the best luck with my personal Instagram page, having been using it since 2011 and still not quite to 1,000 followers yet. So I decided to make a separate account for my blog that only featured my high-quality travel photography and watched the followers start to roll in. By seven weeks, I had hit the 2,000 follower mark and felt like I found a strategy that works without being shady. This guide is specifically for lifestyle and travel accounts by the way.
Gather Your Best Photographs
While it would be lovely to just use your iPhone pics for Instagram, the photos that get the best engagement tend to be high-quality shots taken on a fancier camera and edited. I've noticed that bright photographs with lots of saturation do better than basic edits. The more of a portfolio you can turn your IG into, the more followers will keep up with your post because they see you have good content. Make a folder of your best images, send them to your phone and upload from those.
Upload 5-7 Photos A Day
Don't worry about bothering people by posting multiple times a day. By posting at 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, 11pm and sometimes a few in-between those times, I've seen a high growth in followers. And if you consistently do this, you'll see that people won't unfollow you just because of frequent posts. Don't go overboard (maybe at first you can, but later make sure to slow down a bit), but it's okay to post in batches of 3 photos if you don't have time to post later. Just make all the photos different so people don't think you accidentally posted variations of the same thing.
Use The Hashtag Hack
This hack has changed my life. So you're only allowed to post 30 hashtags for your photos...However there is a way around this. Open the Notes app on your phone and make two files, each with 30 hashtags. When you post your image, only add a caption, but no hashtags. Go copy one of the files with 30 hashtags and go back to the photo and comment on it with the pasted hashtags. Then go back to your notes and copy the other 30 hashtags and head back to your photo and click "edit." Then paste in those 30 hashtags next to your caption and voila! Now there's 60 ways people can find your image.
Follow Everyone Back (to a certain point)
Up until I hit 2000 follows, I followed everyone back who followed me. This was crucial to retaining followers. Others will be shady and follow you, see you followed back and unfollow you. This is super rude and I didn't want to be that person. I followed even those who unfollowed me. I could have used apps to figure out who had unfollowed me, but it wasn't worth it. So I followed all back and even though I lost some followers each day, I gained more than I lost and kept many of them who would've left had I not followed them back. You can only follow 7500 people, so I've slowed down with who I follow back, but it doesn't hurt to have a high number.
Like And Follow Similar Accounts
Once you post a photo, click on one of your hashtags and go through the photos and like and comment on others in the same category. Also, follow people if you like their feed. If you do this, sometimes the person will follow you back and give you some engagement on your photos too. Some people spend hours a day doing this, but 30 minutes is probably enough. You can only follow 20 people per hour, so don't go too crazy and don't leave fake comments that are obviously copied and pasted, because people can see right through that.
Join Engagement Facebook Groups
Facebook has tons of niche groups for you to join and post your account and get some cross promotion going. I won't link to any because some are more aggressive than others and you have to find one that works best for you and the category you're posting in, but these can be great if there's a thread of 100 people and the rules say you all need to follow each other. Make sure you follow through though, because it's not good to slack off because you'll get removed from the group.
Travel Hashtags I Use
#travel #ig_travel #travelphotography #travelpics #travelsnaps #travelphotos #instapassport #passportready #travelingram #travelblog #travelblogger #solotravel #globalnomad #travellife #traveltheworld #globetrotter #traveladdict #traveldiaries #travelguide #goexplore #lovetotravel #aroundtheworld #travelgram #traveler #travelbug #travelawesome #girlswhotravel #travelgirl #travelogue #travelporn #traveldiary #travelmore #traveldeeper #travelnow #travelling #traveltips #traveltime #travelnoire #travelquote #traveljunkie #wanderlust #beautifuldestinations #wonderlust #traveltheglobe #internationaltravel #travelfun #explore #travelphotographer #mytravelgram #travelgram #travelbloggers #femaletravelbloggers
So that's basically what I did to reach my first target of 2000 followers. Now that I've hit this number, I don't have to do as much as before since followers seem to roll in a bit easier now than when I was under 2000. But it's almost like a part-time job to keep your numbers growing, so it takes time and an investment in creating a following. I don't know all the secrets, but I know it doesn't happen overnight. Good luck with trying to grow your numbers. It's worth it waking up to 25 new followers and hundreds of likes.