How to Grow your Instagram Following in Six Easy Steps

Whether you’re a blogging newbie, or a seasoned pro, we can all agree that Instagram is one of the most important platforms for growing your blog following.

Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert on this topic, but today I want to share how I’ve grown my Instagram from a mere 50 followers when I started out just months ago to over 2,600. (And counting!)

And guess what? They’re ALL people in my ideal target audience. No robots, no spammers. Because ENGAGEMENT, not NUMBERS, matters. That’s what the good brands look for when they’re deciding who they want to work with, because having an engaged audience really makes all the difference.

Here are six things that have helped me grow my followers by the thousands in just a few short months:

  1. YOUR BIO MATTERS.

    Your bio is often the first impression people get about you when they visit your Instagram profile. It should ideally include these things:

    • WHO YOU ARE
    Obviously you should include your first name if you’re not a brand. (You’d be surprised how many accounts I see without a name!) And add your last if you want. I’ve heard that it makes it easier for brands to contact you from your profile when your last name is included.

    Who you are goes beyond your name, though. What makes you unique? Include anything that you want to define you. For example, I include that I’m a college student, a #GirlBoss, and a bride-to-be! You want your followers to know who you are and what you’re about.

    • WHAT YOU DO:
    Are you a fashion blogger? A lifestyle or beauty blogger? Include that in your bio! When potential followers or brands visit your Instagram profile, they’ll want to know.

    • YOUR LOCATION:
    This can be as specific as you feel comfortable with. If you live in a super small town that most people might not be familiar with, you can put your state or capital. I’ve connected with a lot of fellow bloggers in my area through putting this in my bio, as well as been invited to some cool local events through brands knowing my location!

    •HOW WE CAN FIND YOU OFF INSTAGRAM:
    If you’re a blogger, link to your blog or latest post! I also include my Snapchat handle in my bio, because you know, Snapchat is super fun.

    •EMAIL ADDRESS:
    A lot of brands and companies can discover you through Instagram. Save them the work and include your email address!

    Instagram_bio_to_grow_your_followers

  2. YOUR PROFILE PIC IS JUST AS IMPORTANT.

    Your profile picture is also the first impression other Instagrammers get about you! This is the perfect time to show a little personality. People want to see who they’re following though, so save your artsy pictures for your feed and show your face! 🙂

  3.  FOLLOW OTHERS IN YOUR NICHE.

    Follow other bloggers who are doing what you do, or what you hope to do! If they like your content, odds are they’ll return the favor and follow you back. But please, for the love of God, don’t play the follow and unfollow game. If you’ve been on Instagram for more than a day, you know what I’m talking about. It just makes you look desperate. 😉

  4.  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF #HASHTAGS.

    This will allow for a wider audience to see your pictures, and hopefully, grow your following. Instagram will allow you to include up to thirty, and I definitely take advantage of that. In order to not clog up my caption, I include them in a comment immediately after posting so everything looks clean.

    The right hashtags will largely depend on what kind of blogger you are, but some of my favorites right now are: #bloggervibes, #lifestyleblogger, #collegeblogger, #photosinbetween, #prettylittlethings, #livethelittlethings, #postitfortheaesthetic, and #thatsdarling.

    Do some research and use them to your advantage! They make a world of difference, I promise.

    Hashtags_for_growing_your_instagram_followers

  5. ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE.

    Ask questions in your captions. When you’re just starting out and barely have any followers, you might feel a little silly asking questions and getting no comments. But keep at it, eventually you’ll find your audience and will be able to connect with a lot of amazing people who are like you!

    And definitely take the time to respond back, after all, those followers bothered to comment in the first place. 🙂

    Spend a little bit of time each day leaving genuine comments on other’s posts if you’re really feelin’ it. This has allowed me to slowly develop relationships with a lot of other fellow bloggers, and build up an amazing following!

  6. POST CONSISTENTLY.

    With the new Instagram algorithm change, posting consistently has really done wonders for my engagement, likes, and following. I try to post once every single day, but I think you could post up to three if you really wanted as long as they’re spaced out appropriately. No-one likes spammers! 😉

These six tips have allowed me to build up an amazing following that has made blogging and being active on social media so much fun. Not to mention that a good following provides the basis for a lot of cool sponsorship opportunities!

Remember that growth doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to organically grow your social media followers, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t like where you are right now.

Do you have any Instagram tips? Share with me down below in the comments!

Want to be Instagram friends?? You can find me here. 🙂

12 Comments

  • All excellent tips…I think I pass the test on them ha.:) I have really enjoyed instagram and find it’s fun and fulfilling whether or not it draws blog traffic. So I guess to answer your last question, that would be my advice…to remember to have fun with it and be yourself…granted a pretty edited version ha. It’s so important to have fun with it so that whenever it feels like it’s lagging a bit in terms of success, it’s still satisfying to you personally. See you around on Instagram!:)

    ~Krisztina
    http://www.krisztinawilliams.com

    • Yay, that’s awesome! I feel the same way, it’s one of the most fun platforms for me too, but one of the lower for me in terms of blog traffic when compared to Twitter or FB. I love your advice! Thanks so much for reading, Krisztina! See you around on Insta! 🙂

  • I love this I took your steps right away what awesome tips!

    Corsica | kissesfromcarolina.com

  • Christina says:

    I’m so glad you came out with this post. Instagram is definitely my favorite social media outlet because I love pictures so much. I’ve never had an Instagram account until I started my blog last October, so it’s been taking some getting used to up to this point. I’ve been doing all the things you mentioned on a daily basis and my following keeps growing, but it’s slowing down by a lot recently. I just had a question I was wondering if you could help me with…how do you keep real and genuine followers without following many back? I don’t mean this in a negative way as in I’m not interested in following a ton of people. Because I am, it just gets incredibly difficult to keep up with everyone’s posts when I have so many other things to do. I make it a point to sit down multiple times throughout my day and like everyone’s post on my feed, but I feel so overwhelmed. With following close to 800 people, it’s becoming almost impossible to do what I want to do on there while still maintaining other things I have to do in my life. I’ve been losing followers consistently when I don’t follow them back. It’s heartbreaking and discouraging because it makes me feel like they really don’t care about me and the content I have to offer, they just care about my follow. Any tips on how to get out of this rut?

    • I know EXACTLY what you mean. I’m experiencing the same thing, and it definitely doesn’t sound rude but there’s just no way any one person can follow so many people. The way I see it, there’s so many people that will just follow you so you will follow them. And you have to just accept that a lot of people are following you for that reason. I constantly see the same accounts follow/unfollow me, and it’s incredibly annoying! Also, I’m following almost that many people too and I just have accepted that I’m not going to be able to catch what everyone posts all the time, every time. I would make it a point to sit down a couple times a day like you have been doing and liking and engaging with others, but definitely don’t let it consume your day, because it can get really overwhelming and we have lives outside of Instagram! The best advice I can give you is to just trust that you will attract the right kind of followers who will stay, and not to worry too much about everyone else. I hope this was helpful and not too much of a rant! I’d love to chat some more about the struggle of Instagram, haha! 🙂

      • Christina says:

        Definitely not a rant! Lol. I was thinking mine was because I had so much to explain, but I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from. I guess I just need to talk myself down and come to the realization that I can’t do it all because when I spend so much time on Instagram, I’ve been neglecting my other social media and that’s been weighing on me too. I just need to do what I can and hope people understand..

  • solaonitiri says:

    This is a great breakdown. I’m trying to grow my following for sometime but it’s totally a little tricky.

    Sola @ http://www.lifestonedadventures.com

  • Girl you are the IG queen. I Love the way you have grown your account so quickly AND organically!!
    xx, LO {www.rosesandrainboots.com}

  • I can’t thank you enough for this post! This really helped and it made me go in and use your tips to really make the necessary changes to my blog. I try to stay consistent but I was definitely feeling like something was lacking and it really was my Bio and picture. I feel as though now I have a much better chance of getting myself out there and making more connections. Thank you so much for an insightful post!

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