Everyone wants to be Instagram famous, but is it even possible with Instagram constantly changing its algorithm? I am not sure to be honest, but I personally would like to have a decent following where I can have sponsorships, affiliate sales, or even people reading my blog. To be honest my sole purpose for increasing my following and engagement is to be able to make some extra money to simply pay off my student loans. I’ve had this idea for a couple of years to really work on growing my Instagram and until now I have put it off. I always hear a lot of people complaining about how hard it is to grow on Instagram which I know for a fact when I tried using Instagram before and I feel like it’s going to still be difficult for me… probably even more difficult because there are more people using it. However, if I can increase my Instagram following to 3000-5000 followers with a legitimate engagement of maybe 200 people per photo… I’ll be extremely happy.
So I am going to track my journey monthly of sharing my Instagram posts and what I have done to increase my following.
My first month to becoming Instagram Famous
Evaluating my Instagram account
So I only had one post on my new Instagram page before I started which I posted in September. It has 92 likes. OF course I am sure people who just wanted me to follow their pages liked my photo over the past few months with the hopes that I would click on their page and potentially follow them, but I remained inactive. However, sometimes I would hop on Instagram to look for inspiration for outfits, recipes, and makeup. (None of which I actually even applied, but I have a lot of bookmarks and screenshots in my phone filled with inspiration now though).
My profile bio is pretty decent. It describes me and what this page is going to be about to an extent. I created my bio when I first decided that I was going to start a new instagram and a new blog with somewhat of a focus or at least somewhat consistent anyway. I am debating on changing my @ name though.
Beginning of this project: 43 followers with me currently following 319 people
Photo process & how I took my photos for Instagram
I took all of the photos that I was going to post for the month in one day (Thursday, December 2018). I know a lot of you are like, but why though? But listen… Hear me out. I know how I am when it comes to taking photos. I will go months without taking photos and it’s probably because my phone’s quality is so trash. (Note to self: I need to get a new phone next year). Another reason why I decided to take the photos in one day was because I’m lazy and I also did not want to waste any makeup that I put on because I am cheap. I know you guys are probably laughing or you’re like, “Wow…. Really?” But I knew if I took photos (the day of) as I was going to upload them, this was not going to work out. I’ve tried that before and I just didn’t want to put in the effort or energy. Plus that would just mean that I am putting on makeup for one photo when I could do multiple and have content to post at my disposal. Work smarter, not harder. Plus it’s more efficient. You won’t be wasting makeup or your photo setup if you don’t plan on going anywhere later in the day and you’ll definitely be more consistent with uploading by doing it this way in my opinion.
Anyway, I took an assortment of photos that involved selfies, flat lay clothing photography, and clothes being worn on my body (or that’s what I am calling it). My plan was to take 2 decent flat lay photos for one outfit, have 1 or 2 clothes being worn on my body photos from the neck down, and take a selfie per outfit. In total, I should have at least 4 photos for each outfit. The plan is to have enough content to update my Instagram with throughout the month. As I get better with it, I’ll try new things but I wanted to see how this would workout for me.
It took me maybe 3 hours to take all of the photos. They aren’t the best quality, but they are decent. I just used my Logitech web camera for the selfies and the clothes being worn on my body photos while I took the flat lay photos with my Canon Singleshot. I actually need to buy a legitimate camera so that’s on my list of things to do next year. I also need to get better lighting too because my lighting was pretty trash.
1st post on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 6:34 pm – Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (filter used – Hefe)
I did a slight bit of hashtag research for my 1st post. It wasn’t much, but I tried to play around with the tags.
Hashtags I used (25) and how popular the hashtags are (how many times it’s been used on Instagram):
#chocolate (64.8 million), #dessert (42.7 million), #foodgram (40.8 million), #icecream (33.6 million), #thursday (16.6 million), #foodgram (10.1 million), #igfood (5.7 million), #bloggerlife (5.2 million), #yumm (4.7 million), #caramel (4.5 million), #blogging (3.8 million), #instayum (3.3 million), #treatyourself (2.6 million), #thursdaynight (1.1 million), #Lbloggers (1.1 million), #fudge (1.1 million), #dessertlover (1 million), #benandjerrys (890k), #thankfulthursday (840k), #bloggergirl (675k), #icecreamlover (664k), #dessertstagram (646k), #dessertoftheday (491k), #thursdaymood (196k), #thursdayevening (82.4k)
Things I noticed with my first post: I received a ton of likes more quickly than I did in the past. It’s kind of weird. Usually I only would reach about 7 likes in the first hour, but it’s only been 20 minutes and I have 15 likes with 2 comments on this one photo. I also used a geo tag which I’ve never used before. It’s safe to assume that either this is a good time to post on Thursday, the geo tag actually helps, or a lot of people are just trying to engage while trying to grow their own following. Also this is the first time I used day themed hashtags. I almost never used them in the past because I felt like people weren’t actually searching for them.
19 likes and 2 comments in the 1st hour.
21 likes and 3 comments in the 3rd hour.
21 likes and 3 comments in 14 hours. (It’s safe to say that I probably won’t receive anymore engagement on this photo unless someone is liking my page to gain a follow or like back).
Total after 24 hours:
Accounts reached in 24 hours –> 21 which isn’t ideal considering all of the hashtags I used.
Ending thoughts: I am probably going to aim for more hashtags that are not in the millions for my next post. They are too overused so there isn’t enough time for me to be seen if someone searched the hashtag.
Firstly, let me mention that I changed my @ name on Instagram to something different.
2nd post – flat lay outfit at 12:19 pm Friday, December 14, 2018
Hashtags used: #flatlay (5.8 million), #outfitinspo (3.3 million), #outfitideas (2.7 million), #thrifted (1.1 million), #winterstyle (1 million), #outfitfromabove (923k), #targetstyle (916k), #redandblack (828k), #grungestyle(821k), #casualoutfit (716k), #blackandred (696k), #winteroutfit (668k), #tjmaxx (371k), #90sstyle (318k), #blackjeans (185k), #90sgrunge (141k), #tjmaxxfinds (121k), #outfitblogger (110k), #blackpants (87.3k), #outfitlayout (76.2k), #fridayfashion (53.1k), #theflatlaysquad (50.3k), #outfitt (42.7k)
Total in 1 hour – 8 likes + 1 comment
I personally liked about 50 other people’s photos that weren’t high up in followers where they would overlook me, but I realized these people probably weren’t paying me any attention because to be honest.. I usually don’t pay other people attention who would like my photos unless they had a stand out profile picture (which I need to change myself).
So I decided to speed up the process. There is absolutely no way I could grow my Instagram like this. So I joined a few Instagram engagement groups on Facebook, but I decided to only use one to see how beneficial it would be. I was accepted to 3 groups within an hour of requesting to join the groups. I want to say I requested to join 5 groups, but I can’t remember. Anyway I used one group and basically it was a Like for Like exchange where you’re supposed to like every photo and every person is supposed to like your photo too.
I started liking photos in this Like for Like group around 3:30 pm. Within an hour and a half I have liked 141 photos within this Like for Like exchange and I currently have 35 likes. So that’s 27 likes within the past hour and a half. It’d be cool to receive 100 likes at least on one photo though and maybe I can rank for a hashtag that I used, but that is wishful thinking. We all know that there are a lot of people who will be like “Yeah let’s like for like” but then they don’t like back.
Also I noticed that even after increasing likes on a post that I did not increase ranking on the hashtags. I have heard that the amount of engagement you receive in the first hour determines your outcome of being ranked for a hashtag. It’s either that or the fact that I have a business account that is affecting me. I am currently debating on if I should swap to a personal account versus having a business account.
It’s Sunday, December 15, 2018 and it’s 10:52 am. I currently have 116 likes on one photo, but my following hasn’t increased and I am not ranking for any hashtags. I plan on posting a selfie later so when I post it, I will post the photo to the engagement group as soon as possible. Also I liked at least 180 other people’s photos in this like for like group so I am assuming that I will receive at least 160 likes on this one photo.
Likes after 24 hours: 149
I posted on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 5:24 pm [I want to say I used the Lark filter, but I can’t remember.]
Hashtags used: #selfie (371 million), #black (120 million), #saturday (60 million), #goodvibes (57.6 million), #saturdaynight (19.5 million), brown (15.8 million), #sweater (12.9 million), #blackgirlmagic (12 million), #bloggers (7.9 million), #blogging (3.8 million), #winterfashion (3.4 million), #sweaterweather (3.3 million), #selfiesaturday (2.2 million), #90sfashion (1.4 million), #bloggerfashion (942k), #saturdaymood (911k), #1990s (709k), #80sfashion (647k), #vintagelook (618k), #curlyhead (206k), #90svintage (147k), #microinfluencer (103k), #oversizedsweater (100k), #90saesthetic (96.3k), #90style (45.4k)
I submitted my selfie immediately to the Instagram engagement group I used yesterday and to my Twitter peeps on my Twitter page.
Likes in 25 minutes: 25 likes
I received 3 new followers in 25 minutes too.
Likes in 1 hour: 30 likes
In an hour, I ranked for #curlyhead in the 2nd row, #microinfluencer in the 7th row, & #vintagelook in the 8th row. I unfortunately wasn’t popular enough to rank for anything else.
Questions I need answered: If anyone knows of an app that can tell you what hashtags or geo tags people used to find your images on Instagram, please leave a comment down below and let me know because I need an app like that in my life so I know what hashtags are beneficial and which ones aren’t.
Today I figured I would try something different and promote a quote on Instagram that would link back to my website in my bio. I honestly don’t see myself receiving any clicks through to this blog, but we shall see.
Posted at 11:34 am on Monday, December 17, 2018.
Hashtags I used: #quotes (66.6 million), #focus (33.7 million), #mondaymotivation (13.1 million), #motivationalquotes (13.1 million), #lifestyleblogger (12.7 million), #inspirationalquotes (12.4 million), #lifequotes (10.7 million), #quotestoliveby (9.2 million), #bloggers (7.9 million), #entrepreneurlife (7.4 million), #wordsofwisdom (6.2 million), #successful (5.9 million), #focused (5.9 million), #lifegoals (5 million), #quotestagram (4.9 million), #patience (4.8 million), #lifecoach (4.6 million), #successquotes (3.9 million), #mondaymood (3.8 million), #morningmotivation (3.7 million), #morningvibes (1.1 million), #lifehack (791k), #morninginspiration (678k), #instabloggers (468k), #patienceisavirtue (322k), #morningthoughts (253k), #successdiaries (52k), #patienceisthekey (32.4k)
I submitted my photo to the engagement group I have been using.
In the first hour I received a spam comment from another Instagrammer for me to check out their page and to follow them. (rolls eyes) I swear comments on Instagram aren’t sincere at all.
Likes in an hour: 24 + 1 comment
I am currently checking out what hashtags I ranked for right now as I am typing this. I ranked for #instabloggers on the 8th row and on the 7th row for #successdiaries. I am so happy I ranked on the 2nd row for #patienceisavirtue!! Idk how often people look up that hashtag though so we’ll see if it helps any. OMG! So I just looked up #morningthoughts and I ranked in the 1st row which is awesome. I also ranked on the 1st row for #patienceisthekey. I need to some how rank for the hashtags that people actually follow, but the topics that show up as a recommendation for me to follow that I would really want to rank for… Those photos probably receive at least 200+ likes within the first hour. I need to find some other engagement groups to join with some instant likers on Instagram. I am also contemplating if it would be better to rank for hashtags with lower competition that is under 500k.
Posted my plaid dress flatlay at 5:42 pm on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
Hashtags used: #blogs (1.4 million), #bloggerfashion (947k), #grungeaesthetic (888k), #boohoo (569k), #jfashion (542k), #sailormars (296k), #tumblrr (244k), #blackblogger (229k), #redaesthetic (218k), #doyourthing (159k), #tumblraesthetics (118k), #blackgirlbloggers (115k), #90svibes (92.1k), #guessshoes (61.8k), #tumblroutfit (57k), #plaids (56.8k), #flatlayinspiration (53.5k), #animefashion (52.7k), #flatlayphotography (48k), #plad (42.9k), #grungelove (40.9k), #aestheticoutfit (33.1k), #flatlayfashion (29.1k), #plaiddress (28.9k), #grungeclothes (22.7k), #flatlayfeatures (21.2k), #boohoobabes (2853)
In an hour : 27 likes
In an hour I had, ranked in the 1st row for #plaids, 2nd row #plad, 3rd row for #flatlayfashion, 9th row #grungelove, 10th row #blackgirlbloggers, 14th place for#blogs, 4th row #boohoobabes, 4th row #flatlayfeatures, 15th row #grungeclothes, 13th row #plaiddress, 17th row #doyourthing, and the 18th row #flatlayinspiration.
Again I am not sure if I will be found through these hashtags, but we shall see what happens.
I also participated in a follow thread in a group I am in at 8:48pm on December 19, 2018.. I originally had 67 followers. It’s 9:01 and I have 84 followers. I am currently following 367 people. In total there was 130 entries + follow 5 of the moderators for the group I am in for this follow thread. It’s 11:34 pm and I currently have 146 followers now which is pretty cool. Although from the looks of a lot of people’s pages I feel like a lot of them join these engagement groups to get as me follows as possible and then they either leave them or get kicked out of them.
It’s December 21, 2018…. I now have 203 followers and I am following 523 people.
I posted a photo on December 23, 2018 at 1:09 pm on a Sunday.
#followme (450 million), #meme (59.1 million), #twitter (12.2 million), #universe (8.3 million), #relatable (8.1 million), #memestagram (3 million), #dailyquotes (2.8 million), #relatablememes (624k), #followmyig (614k), #relateable (572k), #memelife (544k), #followmeformore (293k), #followmypage (275k), #instagramquotes (144k), #twitterquotes (117k), #icanrelate (110k), #twitterposts (103k), #whocanrelate (53.8k), #twittermeme (44.9k), #canyourelate (42.9k), #canrelate (34.9k), #followontwitter (8715)
After 3 hours: 60 likes
I ranked for the following hashtags: #followmyig (10th row), #whocanrelate (8th row), #followontwitter (1st row)
I posted a photo on Friday, December 28, 2018 at 2:16 pm.
Hashtags I used: #ootd (226 million), #instafashion (98.7 million), #outfit (85 million), #styleblogger (24.9 million), #fblogger (8 million), #outfits (5.9 million), #flatlay (5.8 million), #followfriday (710k), #casualfriday (478k), #styledaily (465k), #fashionfriday (378k), #FeatureFriday (172k), #outfitday (156k), #sweaterseason (125k), #jeanslovers (115k), #oversizedsweater (102k), #jeansfashion (87.7k), #flatlayfriday (68.5k), #Fridaystyle (60.4k), #cozysweater (56.8k), #FridayFashion (53.6k), #cozystyle (45.1k), #outfitt (43.2k), #fridayoutfit (37.6k), #fridayfeature (30.5k), #flatlayfashion (29.6k), #cozyoutfit (24.5k), #sweaterstyle (22.7k), #yellowsweater (17.3k)
Likes after an hour: 22
I decided to leave out the page ranking of stats for the hashtags since I ended up not checking my stats for features for this day.
Stats for Instagram growth in December
I posted 7 photos this month.
Total up photo likes and comments at the end of the month;
1st photo total – 31 likes
2nd photo total – 220 likes
3rd – 194 likes + 2 comments
4th – 272 likes + 3 comments
5th – 259 likes + 2 comments
6th – 212 likes
7th – 223 likes + 2 comments
Beginning following – 43 followers —-> Following – 319 people
Current following – 205 followers —–> Following – 530 people
Following increased by 162 new followers.
A review of what I did to grow my Instagram this month
Shared 6 of my posts to Instagram engagement groups.
Participated in a follow for follow thread.
Commented on maybe 5 people’s photos.
So that’s what I did last month to attempt to grow my Instagram account. I increased my Instagram likes and my Instagram following in December. Next month I hope to increase my following and consistently bring in engagement.
I hope you guys found this post to be informative and if you did, share this post on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Thanks in advance!