I really wanted to make the title of this post “How to Grow Your Instagram and Blog” but I realized I have no idea how to grow my blog. My focus has been on my Instagram account and I have used my blog as an outlet when I had a lot to say about a product and it wouldn’t fit in a short Instagram post.
I do think that I know a lot about how to grow your Instagram account. It took me just under 6 months to gain over 10,000 followers. I can’t tell you which of these tips has driven my growth the most, but I do think that all of these have helped.
#hashtags #hashtags #hashtags – Someone once commented on one of my photos “too many hashtags”. This made me laugh. I spend a ton of time on my photographs and I want people to see them – the ONLY way to do that is through hashtags! My personal opinion is that there is no such thing as too many hashtags. The more the better! If you have no idea what hashtags to use I have two tips: First, find an account that is similar to yours but has a larger following and see what hashtags they are using. Second, if you are posting about a specific product – search for that product on Instagram and see what hashtags other people are using for photos featuring that product.
Post regularly but not TOO regularly – when I first started my page, I set a goal that I would post one photo a day. I am proud to say that I met that goal every day for the first 4 months. I think that posting daily definitely contributed to the quick growth of my page. However, do not post TOO regularly. I sometimes will post multiple photographs throughout the day if I have a ton of pictures that I am really excited to post. However, I try to spread them out. DO NOT post multiple photographs back-to-back-to-back. I honestly unfollow every single person who does that. I really don’t want to have to scroll through a ton of your photographs at once to see the rest of my Instagram feed.
Choose the best time to post – When I was nearing 10,000 followers I did some research on the best time of day to post. (Typically, it was in the middle of the night, or around 5-6PM when everyone is getting off work). I do TRY to stick to those windows, but I have found that I really enjoy posting when I actually have time to be on Instagram. It’s no fun to post a picture and then not be online to interact with the people commenting on your photo. I try to post right when I get home from work and plan to be on Instagram for a little bit. This makes it way more fun for me, and I have gotten comments and messages about how people really appreciate that I take the time to respond to them. (Plus: if you get a ton of likes and comments at once, Instagram “refreshes” your activity feed and you can’t see some of the older comments/likes. So, I try to look through my “activity feed” regularly after posting a photo).
Be social/make friends – I started to notice that a lot of the Instagrammers with large followings would comment on a lot of my photos. This was obviously exciting but it also made me realize that you need to comment, like, and interact with others to grow your following. This is just my personal preference, but do not just post a bunch of smiley emojis on every pic you see. I’ve noticed a few accounts (I won’t mention any names) that just go through and post the same smiley face emoji on every photo. I try to make my comments way more personal than that because I genuinely want to interact with the person. (Because, just as a reminder, I do not have an Instagram account to get a ton of followers, I have an account because I want to interact with fellow beauty junkies!!)
Post high quality photographs – I probably take 10 photographs for every 1 that I end up posting. While I do think quantity is important, I want to post photographs that I am proud of. There have been a few times where I posted a picture that I wasn’t happy with and I just ended up deleting it later.
“Like” similar pictures – I don’t know if this has helped my growth, but I do it on every photo that I post. If I post a picture of my Hoola Bronzer by Benefit and add the hashtags “hoola”, “benefithoola”, “hoolabronzer”, I then go and click on those hashtags and like a bunch of the photos that I see. The idea being that these people obviously enjoy the product that I just posted about (since they are posting about it as well) and it may draw them to my page.
Post about popular products – This one is expensive 🙂 I have found that if I purchase a brand new product or hyped up product (like say, the Kyle Lip Kit by Kylie Jenner) – I can post a picture at almost any time of day and get a ton of likes. **As long as I use the right hashtags** This is because the product is super popular and people are searching on Instagram for photos of that product.
Make your account cohesive – There are some Instagram accounts that have clear themes and when you look at their page, it is absolutely gorgeous. (Look at @makeupsessions and @trulyjolie as examples) I have to admit that I am not the best about this. I usually stick with a crisp white background, but I also like to add in more colorful photos with different backgrounds. The end result is that my page doesn’t always have a clear consistent theme. However, I do check my profile page immediately after posting EVERY photo. I usually do this to make sure that the white background flows with the white background of the photo next to it. Sometimes it doesn’t and I will immediately delete the photo and edit it a little more. (This is why my swatch photos never have a white background because I do not like to heavily edit a swatch photo).
Vary your posts – I also try to make sure my posts differ from each other. For example, I try not to post multiple swatch photos back-to-back. Or if I have a bunch of photos in a row that feature a single product, I will try to throw in a photo that has a lot of products in it. Basically, I try to think about the fact that if someone clicks on my profile page and is considering following me – I want the most recent photos that are displayed to show the variety of photos that I like to post.
I hope this post was helpful! If you are just starting your Instagram account – be patient. I found that it was VERY hard to get followers at the beginning but once my page grew, it grew quickly.
One other thing I want to point out: I have not made a single penny off of my Instagram or Blog. However, I WOULD like to start making a small amount of money off my Instagram and blog. I have spent a $*#& ton of money on beauty products this past year (in addition to the photography equipment that I bought) and I would love to make enough money that I could use on future makeup purchases. I honestly have no idea how people get free product sent to them or how people make money off of this stuff so if you have any tips let me know! Hopefully one day I can write a follow-up blog about how I am able to make some money off of blogging 🙂