How to Get Your First 1000 Followers on Instagram
From how to create the best content and who to follow, to what to post and when to do it. This guide will tell you everything you need to know on how to get your first 1000 followers on Instagram for your travel blog (or any blog for that matter).
Table of Contents
Get your Insta brand on point
- First things first. Your username on Instagram should in some way relate to the name of your blog. This way there is a real sense of familiarity for your followers which helps to build your brand identity.
- Your name: Although your Instagram name won’t be visible in Instagram feeds, it’s prominent in follow lists. Therefore it’s another opportunity to get across what kind of account you are and for people to find and follow you. Just make sure to keep it eye catching, short and simple.
- It’s not just your name that needs to be eye catching though. As the second thing that gets read when someone lands on your profile, your bio section also needs to draw people in. Make sure not to be too descriptive. Sum up who you are in a few words and keep each point to one line.
Wanting more tips on how to create an on point bio? Later.com have a great blog post here
Switch to a business account
- Switching to a business account is key to looking more professional on Instagram. It allows you to add a link to your blog in your profile bio area, so your followers can easily visit your blog too. Anyone blog/website/person can set one up, you just need a business page on Facebook to verify everything.
- Making the switch also opens up a whole other world of opportunities on Instagram that you don’t get with a personal account. Most importantly you will be able to access Instagram’s analytics and insights of your account. From here you can track everything from your type of audience to the best day and time to post (we’ll get onto that more later) which is really useful stuff.
Content is king
- You know those Instagram profiles you see where all their photos are really cohesive and just look great together? That’s called a theme. Find one and stick to it. A theme can be anything really. It could be using the same filter on all your photos, editing them all in a similar way, or having a certain colour palette. I admit I am guilty of experimenting a bit with themes, but my current one is a colour palette of mostly greens, blues and oranges, with a similar editing style on Lightroom.
- Use an app to plan your feed before you post to ensure everything flows well together visually. I use one called Preview
- Other bloggers whose themes I love are:
@gingersnapbeth – For pretty pastels
@salt.hair – For beautiful contrasts
@thediaryofanomad – For vibrant blues and oranges
@gypsea_lust – The ultimate Insta theme envy
@whatifwewalked – vintage tones
- When it comes to building a following on Instagram, great content is king. Luckily, all the amazing content that’s already out there acts as a great pool of inspiration. When you see something you love, screenshot it and save it into an ‘Insta Inspo’ folder on your phone. You can use it later to help get those creative juices flowing.
- It goes without saying, but shoot with a decent camera. It doesn’t have to be massively expensive, just good quality and able to shoot in RAW instead of JPEG. I shoot with the Sony A6000 Mirrorless Camera.
- Look out for trends and studies that people have done on social media engagement, and test it out on your own content. Like did you know content with people as subjects tends to have more engagement than without?
- The one is really important. Make sure you edit your photos in an editing app other than the standard one that comes with Instagram. There are far superior editing tools out there which allow you to edit so much more precisely. My favourite is Lightroom (I use this both on my laptop and within the app). Other good alternatives include Snapseed, A Color Story and VSCO Cam.
- Captions! The bane of every Instagrammers life…Just joking of course. Though it can be tricky to know what to write for each post. Should it be witty? Inspirational? Informative? It’s up to you really, as you know your followers best. But generally I’ve found that a short and snappy one liner works well as an opener, with the rest of the post to then follow underneath. You can separate the different parts of the post with single full stops on their own line.
Wanting more tips on how to create great captions? Hootsuite have a great blog post here
The following game
- Follow the top accounts in your niche. This way you can keep track of current trends, news and get some serious photo inspiration.
- Use the explore page or popular hashtags in your niche to find accounts with a similar following to yours. Although it’s good to follow those larger accounts, you are more likely to receive a follow back from smaller accounts. They are also the kinds of accounts that will engage with your content more and who you can build a relationship with.
- Only follow accounts you like and relate to. That means only bloggers in your niche. And be selective as to who you follow back. If your content is good enough they are following you for a reason other than a simple follow back.
- Don’t be one of those people who follows and unfollows people constantly just to get more followers. It may seem like it works at first, but in the long run can be seen spammy by Instagram’s algorithm. In turn this can affect your chances of being featured on things like the explore page. Though it is okay to declutter your follow list every few weeks or so!
- Most importantly be patient. If your content is solid and your captions are engaging, your following will grow I promise!
Say hello to hashtags (your new best friends)
- Hashtags are one of the best ways of getting your content found by other bloggers a.k.a your new followers, so use them well.
- Research what hashtags fellow bloggers in your niche are using and save them all to the notes on your phone. That way you don’t have to try and remember them all when you come to post.
- Don’t use the same group of hashtags every time. Always mix it up, so you reach different people with each post.
- Don’t use overused generic hashtags e.g. #happy. Keep them targeted and always related to what you’re posting.
- Remember hashtags aren’t the only way for people to find your posts. Make sure you are also adding a geo location and tagging top niche accounts in each of photo too for maximum reach.
Posting: It’s all in the timing
- Post consistently and often. If you can’t post at least once a day (also guilty of this), then make sure it’s every other day at least. You’ll be less likely to build a following when you’re not putting fresh content out there regularly.
- Make sure to post at the right time too. This when those analytics I mentioned earlier come in. From here you can monitor the times your followers are most active on each day of the week. Make sure you check this each day and schedule your posts around those peak times. Read Hub Spot’s blog post for more information on Instagram Insights
- The first 10 – 15 minutes after posting is thought to be the most influential to that posts overall reach. So make sure to respond to any comments or likes you receive on a post within that initial time frame to maximise performance.
Follow all of the above and you’ll soon be well on your way to getting your first 1000 followers on Instagram. Do you have any more tips on how to get your first 1000 followers on Instagram? Let me know in the comments below!
Follow me on Instagram @collectingotherplaces
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