How to Grow Your Instagram

 

White Shirtdress from LOFT

 

The question I probably get the most about blogging is “How did you grow your Instagram that fast”? How to grow your Instagram account has probably been searched on Google millions of times. I am no expert, but I can definitely share how I got 18k followers in 6 months. I also have this amazing shirtdress for you from LOFT and I get to show you how you can wear it TONS of different ways! Two for the price of one on this blog post today!

Softened Shirtdress from LoftClareV Clutchwhite shirtdressASOS oversized Bow Tie

 

Welcome! If you haven’t seen this blog before I like to cover a little bit of fashion and a little bit of blogging tips! I do this a couple times a week! Does anyone else feel like these pictures are very Mary Tyler Moore? The sun was going down and our camera was SUPER blurry :/. Taking pictures in the city has its perks and downfalls, but that’s for a different post! This is blogging tip #2, How To Grow Your Instagram. Make sure you pin the images below so that you can easily come back to them!

Now, I am by no means a pro at Instagram. Getting to 18.5k followers was A LOT of work. Here is what I did, and hopefully you can get there too!

1. From the Beginning: Pull your resources! When I started at 0 no one would take me seriously. I called on all my closest friends (maybe even some that I am not super close to) and my family and I asked them to share my Instagram handle on their social media accounts. For weeks my friends and family would say “make sure you follow Amanda Miller’s new blog on Instagram”. I know it is hard to ask for help from those you know, but it works wonders. This is how I gained around 3,000 followers within the first month. From there, people took me seriously for giveaways.

2. Loop Giveaways: This is super tricky, because at the point I am in now, I will never do another loop giveaway, but at the beginning I think it is super important. How loop giveaways work: You have a host and everyone pays the host a set fee, usually around $20. Then you have a prize and everyone on Instagram has to follow each blogger to get the prize. You are basically gaining all of the followers of the other bloggers in the giveaway group. This is how I gained around another 8k followers on Instagram. Why was it important at the beginning? Brands started to see my following and starting asking for collaborations. This means free gifts and even MORE social media traction! I will discuss when I started charging for collaborations in a later post. To squash rumors, yes these giveaways are ALL REAL, yes we pay REAL MONEY, and yes, SOMEONE ALWAYS WINS! The host actually has to email us the receipt and confirmation of shipping and now we require the winner to post the prize and tag the host! I do not do giveaways anymore because I am concentrating more on organic traffic and more engagement. With loops you gain a following, but it isn’t an active one and you are likely going to loose half of the ones you gain within a month after the giveaway. PR firms are started to look at actual engagement on your photos, and not the number of your followers, due to these loop giveaways.

3. Engagement: This is the hardest part because it takes something money can’t buy, and that is TIME. It takes A LOT OF TIME. You also have to be willing to follow a bunch of people. Some bloggers think it looks horrible if you are following more than 1,000 people and I think that is silly. I feel like when you are following more people then people are more likely to follow you. It shows you are more personable and they also hope you will follow them back! I would sit there and follow hundreds of blogs at a time and like tons of photos AND comment on tons of posts all in hopes they would like my page and follow me. This typically got me around a 25% return rate, which was FINE FOR ME! Little did I know, Instagram actually only lets you like around 20 people at one time. Any more than that and Instagram picks it up as spam and it doesn’t work. So now I set time in my day to follow at least 100 people a day in hopes that they, in turn, follow me back. You can download InsTrack in the App Store to find out who isn’t following you back and you can just unfollow them right there in the app! It is pretty cool!

4. Features:  Reward Style has been one of the biggest factors in my Instagram growth. When RS gives you a feature you are GOLD. I gain hundreds or even 1,000 followers each time. How to get featured: Most of my features have been due to a sale. When there is a big sale going on make sure you grab whatever you have from that store and wear it! Not on Reward Style? Ask that the collaborators you are working with feature you on their Instagram account, and most importantly, that they tag you in the caption, not the photo! This should gain you tons of followers and it really adds up! You should especially be asking for this if you are doing these collaborations for free. Also, make sure when you are posting clothes that you ALWAYS TAG the designer or store you got them from. This is super important and something you should be doing every.single.time. They are more likely to feature you this way and all of their followers will see that you tagged them as well.

5. Hashtags: You should be posting around 10 hashtags every time you post a picture. I know this seems excessive, but it really works. There are definitely popular hashtags you can use and you can find them here. This helps you get recognized globally since most people look up different things using hashtags.

Follow these steps and you are sure to grow your Instagram following as fast as I did!

Apps to Download:

1. Instrack (free)- I covered a little of this above

2. Iconosquare (free)- tells you when the best times of the day to post (lets you know when your users are most active)

3. Instagress ($)- This was recommended to me by Secret Blogger’s Business. This is an automated service that ‘likes’ other photos for you based on hashtags or certain accounts.

The Outfit:

Get the Shirtdress for 40% off: LOFT – Order one size down

The Other Items In The Post:

 How To Grow Your Instagram Following

36 Comments

  1. Maggie Kirkendall
    March 17, 2017 / 1:10 am

    This is awesome! Thank you so much for being willing to help others like you step up their game. I’m definitely going to try to buy more through your blog since you are sharing the love:)
    xo – maggie

  2. May 19, 2016 / 10:55 am

    Hi Amanda!

    I am a recently new blogger and I have been reading all of your posts!! Thank you so much for all the awesome tips I have learned so much. I hope these work for me as well as they worked for you!! Love all of your darling outfits

    • May 19, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      I love this so much! Thank you for leaving me that sweet comment! I love hearing that my blog helped you in some way!!!! <3 <3 -xoxo A

  3. January 4, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    Hi Amanda!

    I just started my blog and really need to step up my game in getting followers! How do you find a loop giveaway to be a part of? Thanks!

  4. Samantha Grain
    May 19, 2015 / 7:16 am

    Great advises thanks for sharing! the only thing i’d like to add is another app that i use with those you named. Instagress and Iconosqure combine perfectly with capabilities of fast-unfollow.com to get rid of up to 5000 users not following you back. I’m pretty sure you know that follower/following ratio is very important to create right image of an account. the service is easy to try, they give 1000 unsubscriptions for free to every new user.

  5. May 12, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    Great advice, I have shared thoughts about loop giveaways, I’ve been blogging for over 6 years and I know how much giveaways can give you exposure, but so annoying that you don’t always reach your target customer. A great way to do that is partnering with brands in a similar niche that way you are pooling all of your followers and its a better engagement with your target.

    http://www.spoonfuloffaith.com

  6. May 12, 2015 / 10:41 am

    Great advice. I just wish that Reward Style would feature great bloggers on their IG account based on content and not followers. It’s nearly impossible to get featured if you have less than 10k followers.

    Melody
    http://blingaholic88.com

    • May 12, 2015 / 10:52 am

      I completely agree and it is an ongoing frustration with many!

  7. May 8, 2015 / 10:42 am

    This is the best post I’ve read all year! Thank you so much for breaking this down & I don’t even know if this is your favor for the day but I’m totally all over this one way or the other! Looks like I got some apps to download but my problem is that RewardStyle will NOT for the life of me acknowledge me. I’ve applied a few times & even used different email addresses because it won’t let you re-apply. It’s quite annoying because I see bloggers with significantly less followers than me using them and I don’t understand why they haven’t approved me. A bit disheartening to be quite honest with you! Again, thank you so much for posting this and breaking it down step by step. I did not grow mine that quick and I’ve been doing it for far longer than 6 months so good work on your part! Get it girly! xx

  8. May 8, 2015 / 12:02 am

    Thank you so much for the advice Amanda! Instagram can be so very discouraging for me. I have stopped doing loop giveaways but now I feel like I am stuck gaining very slowly! I definitely agree that getting featured helps though 🙂

    You look so pretty in that dress, love it!
    XO,
    Emily
    http://Www.idodeclareblog.com

  9. Judith White
    May 7, 2015 / 4:46 pm

    Great & easy to use tip in building your IG following-look forward to your next tip

  10. Rebecca McCall
    May 7, 2015 / 3:42 pm

    Thank you fur sharing! Your post was very helpful. I’m on it! Oh and love the shirt dress. I’m in the middle of a post on a fabulous grey one right now.

  11. May 7, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    What a great post! Full of information. Thanks. Also – I love the way you layered the red sweater over your dress. It looked so cute!
    xoxo
    Katey
    http://www.twopeasinablog.com

  12. May 7, 2015 / 1:55 pm

    First off, I just love this dress you are wearing! I have been seeing a lot of fashion bloggers sporting white dresses and I am starting to crush on this trend, too! Secondly, thanks for the IG tips! I did try to join RewardStye, but got declined… wah! I have almost 2k IG followers, but I think I may need more, or something else that they are looking for!! It looks like a great program, tho!!

  13. May 7, 2015 / 1:41 pm

    This is amazing!! Loved the tips, it’s so helpful to hear what is working for others! I just started following more people and it really works! Hoping to start doing loop giveaways also to get my following up to at least 10k , and then engage more! Thank you for this post!!

    http://www.littleblackshell.com

  14. May 7, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    love this post!!! I will definitely use these tips. Also I’m running to loft for this dress

  15. May 7, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    Great tips!! Love your IG! Will have to check out Instrack. That is new to me!

  16. May 7, 2015 / 9:37 am

    Gorgeous outfit!! Absolutely love that combo together!
    Great tips for IG, Amanda! It’s always good to research how others grew their accounts and compare what you’ve been doing. Thanks!
    xo
    Carrie
    CS Gems

  17. May 7, 2015 / 9:20 am

    Thank you for this post, Amanda! It’s seriously humbling to see successful bloggers sharing and helping us beginners. Also absolutely love your blog, you’re style is relevant and the outfits are all attainable! Xoxox
    Danela

    • May 7, 2015 / 9:39 am

      Thank you so much for letting me know you were hear Danela!! I am so glad you found these useful. It is definitely a frustrating process trying to grow on social media!!

  18. May 7, 2015 / 9:11 am

    This is such a stunning look! Love the dress layered with the red sweater and the cheetah clutch! Thanks for sharing your IG tips and linking up with Thursday Fashion Files!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

  19. May 7, 2015 / 9:11 am

    Thanks again for some amazing tips! You’re SO helpful and I appreciate all of your amazing advice. By the way – that outfit is gorgeous and I am thinking I need that shirt dress in my life! Glam Karen

  20. May 7, 2015 / 8:49 am

    I LOVE that cheetah purse. All your looks are great, but I think my favorite is the one with the big bow 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

    Elle
    Southern Elle Style

  21. May 7, 2015 / 8:44 am

    This is so helpful, Amanda! I’ve only recently started to take growing my following seriously and these tips help me know just what to do next.

    Thanks for sharing!!
    xo, Mae // Mae Amor

  22. May 7, 2015 / 8:38 am

    Have been following you for a few weeks – your posts are so honest and I love that. Love your style and your willingness to share such wonderful blogging tips. Also, your size recommendations and other tips that would help with online purchases are very useful. Thank you!

    P.S. A lot of times the product links don’t show up on my screen. It’s a blank after ” Items in the post:”

    • May 7, 2015 / 8:51 am

      Thank you so much Shagun your support means more than you know! If you are not seeing the product links, please just refresh your screen and then see if that works! Let me know! You can also comment and ask for the link if you don’t see it and I will comment back with the links! Xoxo A

  23. May 7, 2015 / 8:35 am

    Amanda you look gorgeous!!! Love the dress and how you accessorized it differently! I just now have a little over 10k on IG and I don’t think I could stomach to do another giveaway. I agree that there helpful in the beginning but I feel like everyone is their breaking point with them. I try to interact as much as I can with my followers and with other bloggers to help grow my following but it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of time. I would love to be apart of Reward Style but I still haven’t heard anything back from them, I think their silence is my answer of no!
    You are definitely a blogger that I look up to in so many ways and I’m grateful to have you has a blogging role model! xo

    • May 7, 2015 / 8:53 am

      Just teared up a bit!! Hopefully I can live up to this!!! Xoxo A

  24. TOMgirl JH
    May 7, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    This post is awesome, thank you!

    How do you find hosts for loop giveaways?
    Can you explain this more?

  25. May 7, 2015 / 8:29 am

    Great post! I’ve been trying to do this forever… I am stuck!

  26. Darcy
    May 7, 2015 / 8:29 am

    These are great tips, I totally appreciate you sharing them! I have never really focused on my Instagram and have alway sbeen more focused on growing my actual blog. I am started to put more effort into Insta so these are so helpful!
    http://www.amemoryofus.com

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