How to Grow your Instagram Following

UPDATE: This post was first published in July 2015 and since then I've added a course on all things Instagram to my resources, check it out here: My Complete Guide to Instagram

 

I wrote a post titled “I Quit” and promised you guys I would be offering more blogging tips and helping those who want to either start a blog or grow what you already have. That being said, here's a topic I get asked all the time:

“How do I grow my Instagram following?”

You just have to hope for the best and see what happens…

lol JK! Imagine? That would be nice! I think the main question you have to answer first is why do you want to grow your Instagram in the first place? For me Instagram was used to build awareness of my brand, get traffic to my blog and it's a great way for you to build engagement with your readers and give them a little look at your life beyond blog posts. Instagram has opened the doors for various brand collaborations and campaigns as a mini portfolio of my work.

Here's one major tip:

DO NOT BUY INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS!

It will only hurt you long-term. I can spot when someone buys or has purchased followers right away… and you can also tell the ones that are buying likes. Obviously there will be some fake accounts that follow you…it happens. Fake or spam accounts usually will end up just being deleted once Instagram figures it out.

There's really no point in faking your following- especially when you need the engagement to continue to grow. Fake followers don't help your brand, they only make you feel like you need to keep up appearances. Growing organically is much more strategic and even though you will have a slower start than the person who purchased 5k or 10k to look better, your engagement and readers will be real- that's what you want!

All this to say, I've narrowed it down to my top 5 tips that helped me grow my Instagram account to 64k followers in 20 months (roughly 3,200 followers a month):

Free PDF: Learn How I Edit My Instagram Photos with My Top 3 Favorite Filters

 

Content

Understand your audience and what you are promoting. For example, If you're a fashion blogger, then you need to keep your Instagram specific to your niche. You shouldn't be featuring 100% food or interior photos. You need to understand what works and keep doing that. Why are people following you in the first place? For example, my niche is affordable clothing- so if I started filling my Instagram feed with mainly designer items, then I would be losing the audience that helped me grow in the first place. Stick to your niche and understand your audience- that is HUGE.

Take clear photos and keep a consistent look of filters and overall vibe. Instagram images need to look nice but also stay true to your brand.

 

Be Consistent

Stay consistent with your posts. When I first started my @thriftsandthreads Instagram account in November 2013, I didn't know what I was doing- but I did know one thing: I wanted to grow my blog awareness and readership (I started my blog a month after my Instagram account). That being said, I commit to posting 3-4 photos per day, usually with a schedule similar to this:

Photo 1: Promoting my blog post for the day
Photo 2: Daily outfit photo or what I'm doing (i.e, interior or food photo)
Photo 3: Promoting my blog post again
Photo 4: Usually what I'm doing or post about an event/item

However, this changes a bit when I'm working on campaigns or sponsored posts that have deadlines. A content calendar helps me keep everything organized and is a total lifesaver!

This is not strictly how I post all the time, but it gives you an idea that every time I have a new blog post I will promote it twice on my Instagram that day.

how to grow your instagram following thriftsandthreads 2

 

Utilize Iconosquare

Iconosquare analyzes your Instagram statistics and lets you know which photos had higher engagement (like/comments) and at which times they were posted (among various other data they offer, but I won't get into that now). Posting times is a huge part of your Instagram growth. You will gain followers by having others like and/or tag their friends in the comments and the best way to do that is to post at times that most people (for your region) are on their phones. I use Iconosquare to analyze which times work for me and to make sure I get the most out of each post. That being said, of course there are times when I'm doing something that I post when it's most convenient for me- but my growth is definitely better when I stick to popular times for my followers.

Here's a look at my Iconosquare stats:

iconosqaure posting habits

My most popular posting times:

Mon – 5am, 1pm, 8pm
Tues – 5am, 4pm, 8pm
Wed – 5am, 11am, 2pm, 7pm
Thurs – 5am, 12pm, 8pm
Fri – 5am, 2/3pm, 7pm
Sat – 12pm, 7pm
Sun – 5am, 9am, 1pm, 11pm

The times above seem to work best for my audience, but may not fit yours. You don't want to become too analytical as trends/habits tend to change over time. Trial and error is the best approach to really finding out which days/times work best.

 

Use Hashtags

I have been using hashtags since the birth of my Instagram. However, I put them as a second comment in my photo so my photo is still categorized but the bulk of hashtags are hidden at first glance once I get other comments. These are the ones I use most frequently:

#fashionblogger #fashionblog #styleblogger #blog #styleblog #wiw #outfitpost #ootd #vsco #vscocam

You can also use Iconosquare to analyze your most used tags and also top tags currently on Instagram.

iconosquare tags Instagram allows a maximum 30 hashtags so don't be afraid to max out the limit, especially because they will be hidden. I also include anything relevant to what I'm wearing.

For example, if I'm wearing loafers and boyfriend jeans in a particular photo… I make sure to add additional hashtags: #boyfriendjeans #bfjeans #loafers #flats. Or if I'm at a certain location, I make sure to use the city hashtag and the place. Same goes for the brand I'm wearing… know the brands you wear and check which hashtags they use for features.

Brand features have helped a ton with my growth and I owe a lot of that to integrating hashtags. Especially now that Instagram changed the way they categorize hashtags (for each hashtag, the most liked photos are at the top under “Top Posts”) it really helps with user engagement and for others trying to find specifically what you're promoting. I've worked with several brands who said they found me on Instagram via their hashtag- it's a great resource!

 

Outreach

Find others in your niche and engage with them. I remember spending an hour a day reaching out to other bloggers via comments and finding other bloggers to follow via hashtags. If you are hoping others will engage with you, you need to be willing to comment and put the time into becoming a productive member of the community through the use of positive comments, likes etc.

There are also places to submit your photos to be featured. When I first started, I was featured quite a bit on @ootdmagazine and that helped get me in front of my target audience.

Here's a brief list of Instagram accounts below that can help you get started:

ootdmagazine
ootdsubmit (same submission process as above)
Wearit_Loveit
AboutALook
ootd.fash
ootdfash
ootdWatch
ootdPage
StreetStyleInspirations
Chictopia

It takes a ton of work in the beginning just to get the hang of what works for you, but once you have a system down and feel comfortable that your Instagram represents your brand well- stick to it! It will continue to grow exponentially after that.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!

Hope this helps! :)
xx Brittany

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172 Comments

  1. Erica July 20, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks to you, that hashtag thing has been really helped me out ;). The buying followers game is just unfair & sadly all brands look at is numbers, but there finally starting to catch on. x

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Right? It’s so true!

      Reply
      1. Derek December 11, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        Great article Brittany! I’ve implemented what you’ve taught in this article and have really caught some momentum.

        Question though, when you’ve submit to OOTD Mag did you submit in increments? Or multiple pictures at a time?

        Assuming they receive a plethora of submissions I wanted to hear you opinion.

        Thanks for the quality content ✌🏼️

        Derek

        Reply
        1. Mary April 26, 2017 at 6:04 pm

          I have the same question regarding the best way to submit to OOTD Magazine.

          Reply
          1. Brittany April 28, 2017 at 11:25 pm

            The best way would be to go on their website as they have a section to submit your photo. Also tagging them and using their hashtag on your photo can work as well.

  2. Leticia Marques July 20, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I started my blog and Instagram a few months ago. It takes a long time to gain followers but I’m sure the time will come. I really look up to you, you seem very down to earth and someone were easily able to relate too. Keep up the great work, wish you all the success.

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Aw thank you! :)

      Reply
  3. Katya July 21, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Hi Brittany! Lots of lv from ur Indian follower 💜 And thank you for giving out such smart and practical tips. I dont know if its asking for too much but I would really like some tips on how to click good photos for instagram and how to manage our blogging schedule. Look forward to new posts 😘 keep shining!

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 8:23 am

      Blogging tips will be a weekly topic and I have an upcoming one on how to create Instagram content plus shooting angles. Hopefully that will help, so stay tuned!

      Reply
      1. StephLacouture August 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm

        Hi Brittany – What a great post! Sharing all this information really shows how selfless you are. Thank you!

        Reply
  4. Michelle MacLaggan July 21, 2015 at 3:57 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge. And for free! That’s amazing.
    I paid for another webinar where I learned similar tips, but it took an hour of my time! Loved your quick tips!

    Thx again!
    Michelle

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 8:24 am

      You’re welcome! I want to be a resource to you guys as much as possible! :)

      Reply
  5. Penny July 21, 2015 at 6:38 am

    What’s your take on loop giveaways? I can’t remember if I’ve seen you do any. But essentially to me it is the same as buying followers. Yes, you can might get some engagement because the accounts aren’t spam accounts. However, you’re still buying into the loop. I’ve seen so many bloggers that I was following with only 2k followers and now they are over 10k because they do a loop giveaway every week.

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Hi Penny! You want to be a resource for your readers and if there’s a contest you would enter yourself and you feel strongly about- you may want to do it, but keep a few things in mind! For 2015, I had on my content calendar I would do at least 2 contests for my followers- not exactly sure what they would be when I first was planning but in no way did I want to do one every week or month.

      I participated in a loop giveaway a few months back for $1,000 Nordstrom gift card and a year supply of jeans (brand sponsored). It was a small group of girls with large followings and all of our feeds were pretty similar. I gained about 14K followers initially https://instagram.com/p/0oab2qkNiN/?taken-by=thriftsandthreads and retained about maybe 4k. You lose most of them once the giveaway is done as the retention is not great once people realize they weren’t the winners. However, I did gain a solid group of followers from it that really wanted to find bloggers similar to ones they already followed. That being said, I possibly could have gained the same amount of followers from a few solid brand features that aren’t following me specifically in the hopes to win something. When I see bloggers doing multiple loop giveaways in a row, I view it as no longer a resource for their readers but that they aren’t gaining followers that quickly without it. Typically, loop giveaway retention is 10%, ultimately not worth it unless you really feel strong about the prize or partnered with a brand that is using it as advertising as well. Or if you do a loop, I would just wait a few months in between before participating in another!

      Reply
  6. Lauren July 21, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Great tips. Thank you! For some reason my hashtags on Instagram don’t show up/work and it really frustrates me -_- I definitely think they help a lot.

    Reply
    1. Toni July 21, 2015 at 10:20 am

      I think I know why this happens because it happened to me on certain photos as well. There are some hashtags that Instagram sees as spammy. I don’t know all of them, but there is some hashtag you’re using that is blocked by Instagram and therefore it blocks all your other hashtags. One that I know of is #photography. I used that on some of my photos and my photo never got hash tagged. As soon as I removed it and resubmitted the hashtags, it worked.

      I would go through your hashtags to see which one is broken and try to remove it. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      1. Tiara Alvarado-Leon October 13, 2015 at 8:04 am

        i use #photography every now and then
        how do you know when a hashtag is “spammy” and doesnt work? (how can i tell?)
        Thanks!!(:

        Reply
  7. March Agraviador July 21, 2015 at 9:12 am

    These are great tips! I think the iconosquare will help me out! Thank you for doing such a detailed resource post:)

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      Of course! :)

      Reply
  8. Toni July 21, 2015 at 10:23 am

    This is a great post Brittany and one that I feel so many bloggers never want to share! I need to get more consistent on posting on a schedule. I have a question: do you post photos mostly taken from your phone or your DSLR to post on Instagram? Thanks again for sharing your tips!

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      All photos on my Instagram (besides blog photos) are taking with my iPhone 6. My blog post pictures are taken using a Canon 6D so anytime I promote those on my Instagram, that’s the camera that was used.

      Reply
  9. Shelby Jewel July 21, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I love love love this post! As a blogger, I am having a really hard time gaining followers on my Instagram! I try to be picky about what I post. However, I feel like everywhere I go or even my home doesn’t have great lighting or anything cool for a backdrop. How do you come up with good content when you feel there is nothing around you that would keep your followers interested? (How can you look at something and make it into such an awesome photo? I am nervous that just may be the fact that I am not as artsy as I wish I was.) I feel like I am also having a hard time keeping my Insta page consistent with filters and such. I guess it that is more of what you said above, just trial and error.

    Thanks so much for sharing your tips! Love your blog, Insta, and Snapchat, of course.

    xx,

    Shelby Jewel
    http://www.thememphisjewel.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      I guess the best way to approach this question is what do you derive inspiration from? Do you like full body photos, food photos, scenery, jewelry, etc.? Find what you enjoy and figure out ways to make those shots look nice. I have great natural light at home in my living room- so anytime I take a flat lay, it’s usually right by the window. I also always take full body photos in the shade as much as possible, they just seem to come out better- you don’t want direct sunlight washing out the photo. Or if I go out to eat (especially with my blogger friends) we try to sit outside or at a cute spot that’s a good picture opportunity but not in direct sunlight. Overall, just try to keep the photo clean and the focus on the item you’re highlighting.

      Reply
      1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:19 pm

        That’s on my content calendar! :)

        Reply
  10. Hilma July 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Hey Britanny
    Thank you for sharing such a detailed content. Do you always have a professional photographer taking your pictures? What camera and lenses he/she uses? And What Edit program do you use to edit them before allowing to your blog?
    Thank you so much, H

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      Hi! My husband takes my photos currently and he uses a Canon 6D 85mm lens. I use a combo of Photoshop and VSCOcam to edit before posting. Depending on what I’m wearing in the blog post- I use different filter layers to achieve the desaturated look I like.

      Reply
      1. Hilma July 21, 2015 at 9:19 pm

        Thank you só for answering!! Looking forward for more tips :) 🌹 Hilma

        Reply
  11. Iza July 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Hi! Thank you so much for your tips!! They are very helpful! I have been into makeup and fashion since I was a little girl. I just started an Instagram a few months ago and later on my blog. My niche is fashion and makeup. I try to do creative things to get people’s attention. I just wanted to know what is normal to get noticed? I’m pretty consistent with my posts. However, I don’t know if I should be posting more? Thank you so much for your help!

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      Hi Iza! What is your Instagram name? I can take a look at see what I think. Shoot me an e-mail: [email protected]

      Reply
  12. Melissa Laskin July 21, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    I am totally on board with all of your comments. BTW…IG does not seem to care too much about fake accts. because at least 70 per cent of accts. are fake.. The likes are fake, the followers are fake, and insulting is that influencers are fake. I am a stylist.. From 17 yrs. of entertainment, not just a made up title, like so many people give themselves. There are a lot of pics that need help, and are not stylish. The professionals have the best pics. Consistency is everything across the board. Great that you took the time to educate!

    Reply
  13. Kaelya July 21, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this! I greatly appreciate the information! Can’t wait for more! 💕

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Aw thank you! :)

      Reply
  14. Ashlee July 21, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    This is exactly what I have been looking for! I started my blog seriously in November and my blog has been doing well, but growing of course. I have been having the hardest time with Instagram though and looking for as many tips as I can! My trouble is posting multiple times a day I feel like I’m boring my audience with using the same outfit multiples times a day in a post, any more tips with this lady? Thanks for all the help!

    http://www.tusksandtails.com
    @favro

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      I would recommend if you post a blog photo in the morning that’s a full body shot- post a closer up one or a detailed shot later that evening. Personally, I don’t post more than two shots of the same outfit per day… I think it helps spread it out in between.

      Reply
  15. Andrea July 21, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Thank you so much! This is very helpful! Under “outreach” do you tag all those (@ootdmagazine,wearitloveit..) under instagram post or you submit your look on their website?
    http://fabuloustorture.blogspot.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 21, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Hi! I only would submit to the website- I’m not sure if they use photos based on the tag or not.

      Reply
      1. Diane Capozzi September 27, 2015 at 2:39 pm

        Hi Brittany!
        First, I must take a moment to express my sincere gratitude. Like so many other eager bloggers, I’m so unbelievable grateful that you have taken the time out of your incredibly hectic, busy schedule to share so much invaluable information to us. I can’t say thank you enough for your knowledge, willingness to share your insight & provide so much advice & wisdom. YOU have been an inspiration for many. You have given us the tools to face our fears of starting our blog. You have shown us that if you dream it, are willing to put in the effort & hard work; you will find success. The fact that you selflessly offered to share so much information with thousands of bloggers, they should have eliminated the Bloglovin’ voting process for your category ….. Bloglovin’ should have recognized you & presented you with the Award without question! You have provided the entire blogging world something that no other blogger offered, so I say a gigantic Thank You again!

        I’m glad that Andrea (http://fabuloustorture.blogspot.com) asked such a great question about submitting to sites (@ootdmagazine,wearitloveit, etc.). My question is about the sizing of the photos you submit. Do they have to be an EXACT square because they are going to post them on IG? Or, can you send a submission that is 4000×6000 pixels? If you need to resize photos that you took using your Canon 6D for submission, what software did you use to resize to be an exact square? Are they willing to feature your outfit even if you don’t have links to the items you are wearing …. does that ever happen?
        Just trying to put my best foot forward in hopes they will feature me in the future.

        Can’t wait to see all the exciting things you will share moving forward.
        You deserve all the success life can offer.
        Thanks a bunch,
        Diane Capozzi
        http://www.fashiononthe4thfloor.com

        Reply
        1. Brittany December 12, 2015 at 12:00 am

          Hi Diane! Thanks so much for your kind words- I really appreciate it! :)

          I would send them an exact square so there’s no extra work on their end. I use photoshop to crop, I usually make the photo 1200×1200 so it’s not too large to send. Also you could crop the photo on your iPhone in the edit mode by selecting square. I’m not sure if they will feature your photo if you don’t have exact links- that seems to be a newer thing I’ve noticed. I recommend every time you have a new blog post or high quality outfit shot- submit it to them to increase your chances of being featured. Hope this helps! :)

          Reply
  16. Christine Comer July 21, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Awesome article Brittany!!! Love your IG and blog– these tips were super honest, real, and informative! My fave forever 21 black and white loafers (you know the ones I’m talking about right!?) were inspired by you!! Just sayin lol!! Keep up the great work!
    Xo,
    Christine Comer
    @thelittlegoldmix

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Aw thanks for following along and your kind words! :)

      Reply
  17. Dayana July 21, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    This is my first time venturing over to your blog (though I’ve been following you on Insta for a while) and I have to say this is the most excellently written “blogging tips” post I’ve ever read by far. I’m looking so forward to learning more from you and exploring the rest of your blog! Keep it up, you’re awesome!

    Cheers,
    Dayana
    http://www.derniercriblog.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Thank you! Yes stay tuned… :)

      Reply
  18. Auneetuh July 21, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    I actually just started hashtaging, and it actually works. I used to find it tacky and annoying, but it really is a blogger’s friend…well as long as its not the first comment.

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Agree 100%

      Reply
  19. Ivana July 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Those are great tips and thanx for sharing! You seem like such a nice person with an amazing sence of style! I hope you will not became a brand model from head to toe as most bloggers become and that we’ll always have the pleasure to enjoy in your thrifts and threads :) Take care and all the best! :*

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Aw thank you!

      Reply
  20. Belinda July 22, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Love this post! It feels good to know that a lot of people have the same questions I have. My question for you is, how do you transfer your blog pictures (from the Canon) over to the iPhone in order to post on IG? Do you host your pictures on an app that can be accessed both on a laptop and iPhone? Thanks so much!

    Belinda
    http://www.snapshotsofmycloset.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Hi! I use the memory card in our Canon and insert it in our computer. Once I pick out the ones I like and they’re edited as final, I transfer to dropbox. I use the dropbox app to save the photos to my phone for Instagram.

      Reply
    1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Of course!

      Reply
  21. Sheree July 22, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Hi Brittany,

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I just started my blog as well as my instagram account in January and it hasn’t been easy trying to gain followers while watching some of the other bloggers gain a ton within a short period of time by purchasing and are now getting more brand collab requests. I love reading this post to get insights as well as seeing other bloggers share the same frustration and disappointments as I am. Even reading other people’s comments and your responses to them are so helpful and encouraging. I love that you are sharing your thoughts and insights and I’m a big fan of your style and your blog/instagram!

    ~ Sheree
    http://poshclassymom.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      That’s good to hear- stick with it! :)

      Reply
  22. Lauren July 22, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Great post! I’m wondering if you recommend to have a separate IG just for your blog- different from a personal IG?
    You have great photos/editing.
    Thx

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Yes I do! I actually have a personal account that I used to check from time to time, but now I don’t find myself on it at all. You want people to look at your Instagram and know what your blog is about somewhat- and if it’s too personal with not enough professional content, I don’t think you will have the same response you are looking for. For me, it was easier to separate the two and I also recommend having your Instagram the same name as your blog or as close as possible- it’s better for brand recognition.

      Reply
  23. Adaleta Avdic July 22, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Truly loved this post as it’s well written, helpful and it’s just so kind of you to share your wealth of knowledge with us. I’ve been around 7,300 followers for quite some time (instagram.com/adaatude) and am wanting to expand faster and more effectively but my brand design isn’t the same throughout my photos. I want to have a white background all the time, but it’s just not possible because there isn’t always white so I need to just get in the groove of it! Again, thanks for sharing! xx

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 22, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Aw thank you! :)

      Reply
    2. Mary April 26, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      I just checked out your instagram account, you have really grown in the past couple years! Congratulations!

      Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      Totally!

      Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you! :)

      Reply
  24. Lindsey July 24, 2015 at 6:10 am

    I’m happy that a friend sent this to me. I started my blog almost 3 years ago but have focused on it more in the past 4 months than ever before. This is super helpful in regards to staying consistent, utilizing iconosquare and I’m looking forward to more tips!

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      Thanks for following along!

      Reply
  25. Briana July 24, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Great tips! I guess one of the main problems for some bloggers (such as myself) is coming up with enough content to post. How I long for the day when I have enough outfits to make a blog/OOUTD each day (or heck, even more than once a week…). I’m averaging about 1 follower a day, which I’m definitely happier about than buying followers (I feel like that’s a cheat and cheapens the experience for everyone overall).

    One of the the things I’m struggling with currently is the fine line between self-marketing and promotion and pushing it too far into almost social media glutton territory. I’ll admit, I’m hesitant on self-promotion as I feel vain about it, but also understand that it’s a part of the business. What are your thoughts on that balancing act as a blogger?

    ~ Briana
    http://theladynerd.com
    Instagram: @theladynerd

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      Hi Briana, Try getting creative with the clothes you have and mixing and matching, you don’t need to own a ton of clothes to start out- people are interested in personal style, and if you offer inspiration in mixing and matching, that would be something to offer as a resource to readers.

      You also need to feel confident in your content in order to promote it and yes, it’s part of the business and key to getting your readership up on your blog… but you can do it in a tasteful way. Get ideas from bloggers you don’t view as vain and see how they’re presenting their posts in a classy manner.. might spark some inspiration!

      Reply
  26. Aimee July 24, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Great Post! and so helpful! I love using Instagram but defiantly don’t post as much as I should too help my blog. I started my blog Cappuccino’s in the Cloud seriously in February and have yet to find my niche. I really want to start outfit posts and you blog inspires me so much in that aspect!
    I love your tips about posting multiple times a day something I really need to achieve as I feel like I only ever really post on Instagram when I have a blog post which is something I want to change.
    Thank you for your tips and can’t wait to read more of you blogging tips!

    Aimee x
    http://cappuccinointheclouds.co

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      Glad I could help! :) Instagram is great for people to view your life between the blog posts, they need to see there’s a real person behind the blog and someone they want to follow!

      Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      :)

      Reply
  27. Pingback: The Weekly Rundown | 7.25.15 - Seasons & Salt

  28. Dominique July 27, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks! These are great tips. We just launched yesterday and haven’t a clue of how to bring awareness to our shop. I am guilty of having used the apps to get followers, but never actually bought likes/followers. No more!

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Good plan! :)

      Reply
  29. Lau July 27, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Thank you so much for providing us with this information on how to grow our Instagram following and how to use and hide all the hashtags, that’s a great tip! I look forward to other blogging tips. Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      You’re welcome! :)

      Reply
  30. samantha app July 27, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I literally just started following your blog and I just want to let you know, I’m obsessed! This post has inspired me with my blog. I’ve been blogging for three years now, but just recently I started taking my blog seriously. Thank you for sharing the different accounts you have collaborated with.. That’s the next step I want to take with my blog, I want to make it a brand. How do you reach out to these different accounts/brands without sounding “desperate.”?! Like, What is your approach? I’m kind of insecure when it comes to reaching out and marketing myself to these companies.

    Thank you!
    Sam xoxo

    thestyleappblog.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      Hi Sam! Most of my collabs/sponsored posts are when brands or mainly PR firms reach out to me, and truthfully I didn’t know the whole process until my Instagram started growing and more brands would reach out. Looking back, I would have reached out to brands I really loved in the beginning just to start the relationship sooner. I’ve just been learning as I’ve gone along, but the most they can say is no, so worth a shot!

      Reply
  31. Jeannine July 28, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Thank you! This post helped me tremendously. Keep doing what you’re doing! You’re awesome!

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      Thanks Jeannine! :)

      Reply
  32. LOVEKIKUE July 28, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I’m really glad I stumbled upon your blog and this post! It was hard doing research and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Thank you so much for your tips! Im uploading the analytics app right now lol. I just started following you on bloglovin as well so I don’t miss anymore posts like this. Thanks again for all your wonderful wisdom!

    Love,
    Kikue
    LOVEKIKUE

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      Of course, thanks for following!

      Reply
  33. Pingback: How to Create Instagram Content | Thrifts and Threads

  34. Randi Sheets (Mrs. Sheets & Co) July 30, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I am trying to branch out into blogging about fashion. I currently do a ton of beauty product reviews. This post was so helpful.

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      You’re welcome!

      Reply
  35. Lyn August 1, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Super helpful post Brittany!
    You wrote about a “content calendar”, can you do a post in the (hopefully near) future about a content calendar for your blog?
    Thank you so much for your 2 posts already on helping with Instagram/blogging :) may there come many more!
    xox Lyn

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Yes definitely! And I have some other resources that help me stay organized and are a must-have in my book, I’ll def be sharing more in detail over the next few weeks!

      Reply
  36. Natalie Horner August 3, 2015 at 12:39 am

    What a fab post! Thank you. You are also the first blogger I have seen write back to lots of your comments – I will definitely start to follow you xoxo

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks Natalie!

      Reply
  37. Anna August 7, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks for doing this post! I just started blogging and feel like my instagram followers have been stuck, can’t wait to try these tips!

    http://www.lifeandchanel.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      Hi Anna- Don’t worry, I can relate- just really try different things until you start finding the most effective methods that work for you.

      Reply
  38. Lindsey August 12, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Hey Brittany!

    I subscribed to your email on two separate occasions a few weeks back and still haven’t gotten the newsletter with tips :/

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 12, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      Hey Lindsey, send me an e-mail and I can check it out- the PDF will only be sent once you confirm the subscription, it’s a double opt-in. That may be the reason.

      [email protected]

      Reply
  39. Melissa August 13, 2015 at 7:25 am

    This post has been absolutely helpful, I’ve been taking notes! I’m a bit lacking in the instagram department, I only post once a week, but I will start to retry to post a few a day. I also recently relaunched my blog and am trying to find what best works for. I’m a bit of an “eclectic” person, I just love a bit of everything, which is so hard to implement it into a blog and have it feel consistent, but I am trying and will continue to try. Your post is so helpful in me trying to understand how to best market my brand and gain some type of recognition.

    http://www.everydaymelissa.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 17, 2015 at 8:28 am

      I’m glad I could help! :)

      Reply
  40. Chessi August 17, 2015 at 12:03 am

    This is fabulous! I love your newsletter. <3

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 17, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Thank you! :)

      Reply
  41. Taylor August 18, 2015 at 11:13 am

    I’m sooooooo happy I found this I can’t even tell you!!!!!!! Thank you so much again as I read more and more I wish I would have known this a year ago but so thankful I found it now! Thank you soooo much!!! :)

    xoxo
    B

    http://www.bohobrunette.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 19, 2015 at 7:59 am

      You’re welcome! :)

      Reply
  42. Chelsea August 18, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Wait a moment, if you use 30 hashtags, they disappear? Or did I misunderstand that?

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 19, 2015 at 7:58 am

      30 hashtags is the max amount of comments Instagram will allow you to post for one picture. After you post your Instagram photo, leave a comment on that photo with all the hashtags you want to use and when you get comments from other people, the hashtags you wrote get buried. You can check out any of my posts, always my first comment has all the hashtags I use.

      Reply
  43. Vanessa Tam August 19, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Thanks so much for your post! I just started blogging a few months ago and I have a problem with gaining organic followers on Instagram and drive traffic to my website. Your post is super helpful. It’s great that you offer helpful tips without making readers pay! ;)

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 19, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Of course!

      Reply
  44. Ashlee August 24, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks to your awesome post I have been working on polishing up my Instagram (@favro) and following your tips and it has been helping! Thanks so much! I have a question about your Instagram page, in the bio section I keep trying to fix it so I can have different lines for example.. My name then underneath my age and occupation (for example), but everything I try to edit it like that it just stays crammed up into one long sentence instead of being on different lines. How were you able to get yours like that?

    Reply
    1. Brittany October 9, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      Hi Ashlee!

      You can create what you want to say by using your notes on your iPhone, as long as you use the “Return” key for the next line. Copy and past that into your bio :)

      Reply
    1. Brittany October 9, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      Aw you’re welcome!

      Reply
  45. Stephanie R. September 2, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    This comment may not get read, but I just want to say out of all the bloggers I’ve met and blogs I’ve seen, I really am inspired that you’ve taken the time to do this. I started blogging as a way to build a platform in which I can make a difference and inspire those the way I get inspired. It’s been hard, gaining the following I’d like, but I do find these tips helpful. I want to build a brand that creates self awareness, encourages curiosity and to explore the world around us and for women to become empowered by accepting who they are.

    I don’t want my blog to be so much about what I can gain, but what I can do for someone else. So, thank you for sharing these tips, because I do want to build a business and brand that is bigger than me. You are inspiring and keep doing what you’re doing.

    Just saying. =)

    S.

    Reply
    1. Brittany October 9, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      Hi Stephanie,

      Of course! I always read my blog comments, thanks for your kind words and for following along!

      xx

      Reply
  46. Cynthia Hudson September 7, 2015 at 8:27 am

    This information is priceless!! I am a personal stylist/shopper and started my fashion and beauty blog for women over 40 a few months ago and have felt overwhelmed navigation all the info out there! Appreciate this concise, useful info. Will definitely start using your tips and start following you as well. Thanks so much! Cynthia

    Reply
    1. Brittany October 9, 2015 at 11:08 pm

      You’re welcome!

      Reply
  47. Bwabs September 14, 2015 at 8:04 am

    I must say, I just found your blog from the Bloglovin’ awards and I am so happy I did! These tips are superb. I know you really took the time to expound on these advice and I couldn’t be more grateful. I personally am at a standstill with my instagram never knowing how to make it better and sometimes always wanting to restart from scratch, but I’m glad I found this. I’m definitely going to apply the tags bit for sure and see where it goes. Thanks a ton for these tips!
    -Bwabs

    Reply
    1. Brittany October 9, 2015 at 11:08 pm

      Of course, thanks for reading! :)

      Reply
  48. Angelica Talan September 14, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Congratulations on winning the Bloglovin Awards! Your blog is amazing! I’m so happy I found it! Thanks so much for your tips on Blogging!! I’m in the process of rebranding and your tips have really helped me in the creative process!!
    Xoxo…
    Angelica
    ClarendonMoms.com

    Reply
    1. Brittany October 9, 2015 at 11:08 pm

      Thank you so much! xx

      Reply
  49. Emily September 28, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Wow! This advice looks great! I’m totally going to try it out on my blog and Instagram! Thank you so much!xoxo

    Reply
    1. Brittany October 9, 2015 at 11:08 pm

      Aw thanks Emily!

      Reply
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  51. Marina October 4, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Merci beaucoup pour tous tes conseils.
    Je mets ça en pratique dès demain.
    XOXO❤

    Reply
    1. Brittany October 9, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      xoxo

      Reply
  52. Cynthia Hudson October 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Really appreciate your tips!! Thank you!!

    Reply
    1. Brittany October 9, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      Of course!

      Reply
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  55. Nicole October 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    This is a really great and informative post. Would you ever recommend SEO for bloggers?

    Reply
  56. Linda Kang October 18, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    First of all, thank you. I just finished reading this post and it has answered so many questions for me! It was informative, easy to understand, and easy to follow. There’s a reason why you have 100K followers now :)

    I am VERY new to the game. I started my blog 5-6 weeks ago, and I’m so glad I read this post now vs. 6 months from now. I have been inconsistent with my content and filters because I get inspired by other great fashion bloggers and want to do what they do.

    Thank you and I will continue to read your posts and follow your work because you’re awesome!

    Reply
    1. Brittany December 11, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Aw thanks Linda! :)

      Reply
    2. Brittany April 28, 2017 at 11:50 pm

      As I was updating my website, I was going through old posts and saw a familiar name in the comments :) Glad to see that you’re still going strong and your blog content looks amazing! You’re doing such a great job!

      Reply
  57. Victorya Wagner October 19, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Hi! I’m working on my website but I think my biggest challenge for me is finding my community & getting out there. This post helped a lot and it’s not your normal cliche “how to grow your IG following” post. So, thank you! I’ve read a few articles from you tonight, keep up the amazing work!

    Xo, Victorya

    Reply
    1. Brittany December 11, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Thank you! :)

      Reply
    1. Brittany December 11, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  58. Maryam December 1, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Thank you for this very helpful post. What do you think of those Instagram accounts that you have to pay so they feature your photo?
    Recently, I’m getting a lot of emails from different Instagram accounts that have a lot of followers who say they will feature my photos for a fee. I’m not sure if I can trust them. What do you think of them? Is it worth paying for?

    Reply
    1. Brittany December 11, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      Hi Maryam! I think if it’s an account with really high engagement that fits your niche then it might be worth considering… almost like you would use Facebook ads to target your specific audience, but I’ve yet to see an account like that yet that has really high engagement. I look at comments more than likes usually too… if their audience isn’t responding or engaging, chances are you won’t have that great return on the followers for the price. I think your best bet would be to focus on free accounts that are regularly featuring style bloggers and try getting brand features.

      Reply
  59. Kristin Orosco February 1, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    This is so helpful!!! Cant wait to use some of these tips!!!!

    Reply
  60. Pingback: How to Use Iconosquare | Thrifts and Threads

  61. Ryan February 19, 2016 at 12:14 am

    If I’m into a different field, such as music videos & photography but i want to be featured on IG’s for those purposes how can i find instagram’s that do this?

    If i want to get more into posting fashion & talking about it, do you think it would mess up my flow of followers for directing and graphic designing? I want more of a lifestyle page & not just videos or graphics.

    I have been on your site reading for 5 hours now, your awesome and very well appreciated!

    Thanks.

    Reply
  62. Kahlea Nicole March 16, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Hi Brittany!

    I love all these posts about your blogging tips especially as a new blogger myself! I will definitely be trying a few of these things out, I can’t wait to see what will come of them. Keep up the amazing work and beautiful fashion posts as well!

    xx,
    Kahlea

    Reply
  63. Tanielle May 10, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Hi Brittany!

    I’ve been a follower for quite sometime & I just wanted to say thank you! I love how open and willing you are to help others (like me, who is EXTREMELY new in the game).

    You truly are an inspiration & I’d be happy if my blog was a quarter of what yours is!

    Hope to work with you one day, keep up the good work & blessings as always:)

    Reply
  64. Olivia Latras May 11, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Hey Brittany!

    Love your tips, so helpful! I downloaded Iconosquare on my phone but can’t seem to find the option where it shows the community interaction (like the picture you posted above) not sure if I got the wrong app or if I need to pay for an extra option.

    XO

    Olivia
    http://www.heyyolivejuice.com

    Reply
  65. La Vie En Pink May 11, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    This was super helpful! Thank you so much for the wonderful suggestions. I am trying to grow my fashion account and blog and I am sure these tips will help! It’s a struggle to make a name for yourself, but I really hope these help me grow my account! Btw I love your blog, great work!!
    Aashka ❤️

    Reply
  66. Nadiene June 26, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    These are great tips thank you so much. I am going to give Iconosquare a go as I have been struggling with outreach on my IG account. ♡

    Reply
  67. Marie June 27, 2016 at 11:43 am

    This has been so enlightening, especially for me as I’m starting my blog and hoping my Instagram will help me get noticed. Thanks for sharing. I’ll def put your tips into good use.
    Marie

    Reply
  68. Stella July 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you so much for this post, it was so helpful! I’ve been digging into the internet to try and find some realistic ways to grow my feed, and this post was a goldmine. I love your blog, and I’m working still on making my Instagram and blog content consistent. I’m going for the same aesthetic and niche as you, and I’d love to talk to you more about analytics and blog traffic. Thanks so much again for the great post, and great blog, as well!
    Stella (thestellafiles.com)

    Reply
  69. Cynthia Rojas July 18, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog early this morning. I have spent all morning reading your blog posts and especially taking note on how to get a fashion blog started. Thank you so much for your posts! You’re so inspirational. :)

    xoxo
    Cynthia

    Reply
  70. Larra July 30, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    This is EXTREMELY helpful. Thank you!

    Reply
  71. PERI August 3, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    I’m curious about “streetstyleinspirations” that was suggested, they only have 26 followers.

    This article was very helpful, I am a clothing brand trying to grow my social media, but it just hovers at the numbers it is at.
    It seems I have followers coming and going daily. I have 575 followers, for every 10 followers I gain I loose 10.. its weird to me.

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 3, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Thank you for bringing that to my attention, looks like the account has changed dramatically lol I will edit the post :) Maybe go back and re-evaluate which pictures are doing well and at what times they were posted. Then focus on that criteria.

      Reply
  72. Abigail August 3, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    I came upon your blog today and I absolutely love it! It was a God send, as your information is so helpful. I am trying to start an online shoe and accessory website and just started the Instagram page for it, so I am hoping to grow the followership in the interim, until we are ready to launch the site.

    You have been most helpful!

    Keep bringing it Brittany!

    Reply
  73. Julia August 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    first blogger to give real tips! thanks a ton..

    Reply
  74. Tara August 24, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Thank you so much for such great advice, Brittany! I have been having a hard time lately because I started my blog about a year ago and am having a hard time gaining a good following on Instagram. However, these suggestions are super helpful and even though I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of them already, I am going to just keep it up because I am very passionate about my blog! Thanks again for your help + honesty. I love your posts and look up to you in a lot of ways! (@taramichellebrose)

    Reply
  75. Mila August 26, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks for the articles, they really help.

    Reply
  76. Oindrila September 21, 2016 at 11:57 am

    This is one post I keep returning to for tips on growing my Instagram followers. It says a lot about you and your kindness that you are actually helping your competition. Hats off.
    I read here in the comments that you submitted on their website for the “outreach” part. I had been submitting through hashtag earlier but I recently realized that they accept through their website as well.
    I am confused about this bit now. Can you please explain the submission process for these websites? and any particular tips or tricks to get featured? It would be a dream come true

    http://www.thediystyle.com

    Reply
  77. Magdolna Jano October 1, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Hello Brittany !
    Thanks for sharing your experience, that really helps ! I am playing with the idea staring a blog, testing the water on my personal account which has not much, only 1700 followers .. My question is , should I open a new instalment account when I start the ‘prof’ blog or keep continue the personal account ? People are having different suggestions – not bloggers ! Waiting for your reply , and keep up the good vibes ! Magda

    Reply
  78. Jess October 28, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Wonderful post! Loved the detail you gave. I’m super new to the blogging world…as in I decided I really wanted to do this today after contemplating it for about a year. Here and there, I’ve shared posts on my instagram that I would put on a blog post, as far as quality..I TRY to keep things uniform, but when I get a cute picture of my dog that has terrible lighting..i mean..I can’t not post it. Should I start a new instagram from scratch and start from the ground up, or should I progressively start moving my current instagram into what I want it to..which is what I feel like I’ve done with my last several posts. Basically I don’t want those good pics to go to waste! Pls send help.

    Reply
  79. pia November 2, 2016 at 3:02 am

    thank you for these awesome tips! I will try a little bit more to get featured by one of the accounts you stated above :) Hope it works!
    Fash ‘n’ fudge

    Reply
  80. justin December 1, 2016 at 10:30 am

    it sucks that they don’t have iconosquare for android. It seems like a great app that would help out a lot.

    Reply
  81. Mary Grace Faulkerson December 21, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Thank you for the tips, this was worth the read. I’m looking forward to your future articles, keep on sharing! :)

    Reply
  82. Dhwani Parikh December 26, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Great post !Always love your feed and transparency in helping others:)
    However,there are some loopholes in instagram which does not do justice.For instance,people have fewer posts, really okay content and have 10k or 20k followers which sounds unrealistic! And then there are people who put great content and barely have 1k! It has been said and preached again and again that content is king but in the end turns out to be something lame that does not explain why!

    Keep up the good work👍🏻

    Xoxo

    Dhwani

    http://www.quirksofme.com

    Reply
  83. Aria M January 19, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Wow! I just found this and it is SO helpful. Starting out is definetely tough, but I can just imagine how awesome things will be if I stick it out and keep working hard. Thank you for sharing your advice!

    Reply
  84. Ashley Reed January 25, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Thank you so much for posting this! It’s so great of you to share everything you have learned through your blogging journey!

    XOXO

    Reply
  85. Muriel March 9, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Thank you for your always inspiring posts! I came to you recently and I need to tell you that I am impressed.

    I am a digital marketer, but I decided just recently that I need to start my own blog. http://www.momof4.family will be launched soon.
    Hopefully, we stay in touch. I am a very loyal reader of your blog, in fact.

    All the best,
    Muriel

    Reply
  86. Erin Czar March 30, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Can you also tell me what is the easiest/best camera to use for a new blogger? Do you hire a photographer sometimes and then use your husband other times? I’m using a self timer (as I just started out) on my iphone 6. Should I be investing in something better? DO bloggers ever use timers/tri-pods on professional cameras?
    Thank you so much,
    Erin
    The Style Zar

    Reply
  87. Gill García April 1, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I love love love love truly love your blog..I found you thru Bloglovin n saw this concept of a fashion stylish but personal and honest blog. Love your content, your tips, you’ve helped me a loooot! I want so freaking much start a fashion blog buuut there’s this thing of stereotypes n mine is my height..you know if jeans don’t fit u right, you can’t sit with us. Anyway if someday i get brave enough haha I know I could find a lot of helpful stuff here.

    Love Gill xx.

    Reply
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  90. Kathy Holloway May 16, 2017 at 5:56 am

    This is an amazing post Brittany. Hashtags are really helpful to spread your post reach on Instagram. It is also good to use hashtags in the comment because it may help to discover your post via comments too. Thanks for sharing really appreciate it..!!

    Reply
  91. Ariel August 7, 2017 at 1:52 am

    Awesome piece and helpful tips!
    I’ve noticed that most people get it wrong focusing on how it all looks, missing the strategy part to grow their IG accounts. And for that I do use an app. Been using Plann for quite some time now and it really helps me market my account and my business.

    Reply
  92. Megan Randolph August 16, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Hi Brittany!

    Question for you: Did you an create an entire separate Instagram when you began your blog? I want to be able to still post personal photos with friends, families and loved ones without disturbing the look and feel of the site.

    – Megan Jean

    Reply
  93. jasmine September 12, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Thanks for the insight! I took away few pointers. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

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