How I Gained 1,000 Instagram Followers Fast

How I Gained 1000 Instagram Followers Fast

Are you feeling defeated by the Instagram algorithm? I was too, which is why I used my own account as a guinea pig and created this guide on how I gained 1000 Instagram followers in 30 days.

Let me start off by saying that it is close to impossible to gain authentic Instagram followers without any effort. Like most things in life, gaining Instagram followers takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears (kidding–but you get what I’m saying). If you’re looking for a get rich quick solution, this is not the article for you.

I would also like to mention that I am definitely not an expert– and to be honest, before I started this experiment I kind of hated Instagram. However, I knew if I wanted to take my blog to the next level I had to take the plunge and make an account.

I decided to run an experiment. I would take a break from Pinterest and dedicate as much time as possible to grow my Instagram account. I wanted to see how many Instagram followers I could gain within one month while using these tips. I can’t believe I need to say this, but no, I did not buy a single follower or have any help. I created my Instagram account on August 17th with 0 followers, and as of today I have 1,049.

Tip #1: Do not play the follow/ unfollow game.

There is nothing that makes my blood boil more than influencers who utilize this technique to gain Instagram followers. I am truly so grateful for each and every person that follows me, and because of this I am happy to support my Instagram followers and follow them back.

The guideline I followed this month was to follow 95% of accounts who followed me, given that they were within my niche. I truly believe I am only able to be successful on Instagram if I’m cultivating relationships with people who follow me.  Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule: I did not follow back spammy accounts trying to sell knockoff designer bags or creepy middle aged men (lol).

So what did I do if someone within my niche followed me, but for whatever reason I didn’t love their content? This may be kind of controversial, but I find the “mute” button really helpful in these situations. If the person follows me and is within my niche, but for example, I’m not into their feed style, I will mute their account. This way, I’m still supporting them by following them back, but the posts that do not interest me are not cluttering my feed.

Now, will I be able to keep up with following back 95% of all accounts as my Instagram continues to grow? Probably not. But for now, I have found great success with this method.

Bottom line: treat people the way you would like to be treated. If I see that someone follows me and then unfollows me an hour later, I don’t care if you’re Channing Tatum– I’m unfollowing you back.  Just don’t be that person.

Tip #2: Engage, engage and engage some more!

This is probably one of the most important, if not the most important tip on how to gain Instagram followers:
1) Follow people within your niche, who are within the same “stage” as Instagram growth as you
2) Like their photos
3) Leave them MEANINGFUL comments

PSA: “cute!” or a heart emoji are not genuine comments. I always read the caption first and see if there is something I can comment off of from there. If the caption doesn’t contain a question, I will give a genuine compliment on something they are wearing, their makeup, their hair, etc.

Now when I say engage with other accounts within the same “growing stage” as you, I mean find people within your niche who have a similar amount of followers. Right now, I’m focusing on engaging with accounts within the 500 – 2,000 follower range. I find that these accounts are much more likely to reciprocate and follow back. I still do comment on accounts who have many more followers than I do, but if I comment on Dress Up Buttercup’s Instagram page, I’m certainly not expecting her to follow me back.

Another great way to find accounts to engage with is to look at who is commenting on your favorite influencers posts, and engage with them. If they’re engaging with the same content as you are, chances are they will also want to engage with you.

As far as how much time I spend engaging: I usually spend 15-20 minutes in the morning before I get to work, around 30 minutes during my lunch break, and 30 – 45 minutes after dinner. I know this seems like a lot of time to spend on your phone, but you have to remember that there are girls who do this as a full-time job. Until I get to that point, I’m trying to dedicate as much free time as I can to engaging with other accounts.

Tip #3: Use your Geotag to your advantage.

This is a quick tip I took advantage of last weekend. I knew that the Newport International Boat show was in town and that there would be a lot of social media buzz behind the event. I used this to my advantage and tagged the boat show as my location all weekend. I ended up in the top post section a couple of days in a row and gaining a lot of Instagram followers who were in town, who I otherwise may have not reached.

Tip #4: Be consistent.

This is pretty self explanatory, but post as often as possible and only at peak times. For me, I post almost every day at 12:15 PM during my lunch break. This is when I receive the most engagement. You can use an app to see when you should post, or if you have an Instagram business account, you can look at your insights page.

Tip #5: Post good content.

Another important piece of advice: if you were scrolling through Instagram, would you stop to like and comment on your own post? If the answer is no, then don’t post it.

Listen– I am in no way a professional photographer and I have zero experience in social media marketing. I take all of my own photos on my two year old iPhone 7. I do not have someone to take photos for me, and my boyfriend has no interest in becoming an insta-boyfriend haha. I set up my broken tripod on an old shitty table on my porch, set the 10 second timer and pose awkwardly while my neighbors stare at me in horror. It’s really not an ideal situation, but if I can do it, you can too. Finally, I invested in a great preset so that my entire feed looks cohesive.

I do these photo shoots every Saturday or Sunday and make sure that I have enough content for the entire week. I try to produce 5 outfit posts, 1 to 2 flat lay posts and then one home decor or beauty post. With that being said– do not post just to post. I find that pictures of me wearing an outfit do much better with my Instagram followers than a “filler” quote post.

Final thoughts

I cannot stress these last two points enough: do this because you love it and be YOURSELF. The market is so over-saturated right now with millions of Instagram accounts, and the only way to stand out and gain Instagram followers is to post unique content. If you don’t love posting unique content and engaging, it’s going to get very discouraging very quickly. There are days when I lose 40 followers in a day, and while that sucks, I’m not bummed because I love what I put out there and I genuinely have fun doing it.

If you found this post helpful, I would for you to check out my Instagram and leave a comment that you came from this post. In exchange, I’d be more than happy to take a look and provide constructive criticism on your feed. As always, feel free to reach out with any comments or questions and don’t forget to share this post!


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  • Tracy

    Thanks so much for the helpful and honest post! I also take all my own photos awkwardly haha doing my best. Which presets did you decide to invest in?

    September 25, 2018 at 2:16 pm Reply
    • rightsideoftwenty

      Thank you so much for reading! I purchased my preset from Dreamy Presets 🙂

      September 26, 2018 at 3:41 pm Reply
  • Jen

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!! I found you on Instagram by the way 🙂 Love your writing, you’re so upfront and completely honest! <3

    September 26, 2018 at 1:31 am Reply
  • Andrea

    This is so helpful! I’ve been trying to up my Instagram game, and I’ve sadly not gotten far. I’m going to try several of your tips as well!

    September 26, 2018 at 9:19 pm Reply
  • Emily

    Thank you for sharing these tips! I can’t wait to use them to grow my Instagram!

    September 26, 2018 at 9:23 pm Reply
  • Jill

    These were really great tip s. I’m new to Instagram and this is some really great information. I especially like your tip about using your location!

    September 26, 2018 at 9:24 pm Reply
  • Hafsa

    These are all really great tips. Thanks for sharing!

    September 26, 2018 at 9:28 pm Reply
  • Nicole

    Great Post!

    September 26, 2018 at 9:46 pm Reply
  • Keara

    Great tips!

    September 26, 2018 at 10:24 pm Reply
  • aysia

    These were great tips! Great job growing your account in a month! I can’t wait to try some of these!

    September 26, 2018 at 10:37 pm Reply
  • Kristin @ K Design Co.

    Thanks for the tips! I’m pinning and saving for later! I just started my Insta account and am in desperate need of followers 🙂 Cheers!

    September 26, 2018 at 10:47 pm Reply
  • Nikki lee

    This was perfect! Thanks I started a new insta for my business going to use all of these tips

    September 26, 2018 at 11:09 pm Reply
  • Ali

    honestly, so helpful. the follow/unfollow game is EXCHAUSTING! great advice!

    September 26, 2018 at 11:13 pm Reply
  • Karen Monica

    Hi Taylor, first of all, let me say that I love your presets. I am trying to gain followers and beautify my Instagram, its a mess at the moment…haha. Will try out the tips that you have shared. Hopefully, it will work for me too. Thank you

    September 27, 2018 at 12:41 am Reply
  • Rachael

    The follow/unfollow game is so annoying. My biggest problem is trying to get regular people to follow me and not just bloggers. Great idea on engaging with people who follow big names in my niche. I will have to try that.

    September 27, 2018 at 10:21 am Reply
  • Lindsey C Galassi

    Thanks for posting this, I just recently started blogging/ig and love what you wrote and is very helpful to me. Check out my page and let me know if you have any tips.. I’ll also leave it on a photo on your IG! @linds.catherineblog

    September 27, 2018 at 1:23 pm Reply
  • Lanae Bond

    Not engaging as much and following those outside my range is a problem for me! That really explains why things have not.been going as well! Thank you for these tips!

    September 28, 2018 at 8:41 pm Reply
  • monica

    Great tips, it is refreshing to read something different and doable! Thank You!

    October 3, 2018 at 9:03 am Reply
  • Chelsea E Brown

    Thanks for the tip on engagement and also making your instagram feed cohesive! I see the most influential people on instagram post good content but have a consistent feed!

    October 4, 2018 at 9:29 am Reply
  • Brittani Shantel

    Extremely helpful article!!!

    October 4, 2018 at 10:08 am Reply
  • Jhalen Aaliayh

    These are such great tips and I can’t wait to put them to use 💕

    October 10, 2018 at 2:46 pm Reply
  • Jacqui

    Thanks so much for taking the time to put this article together. I’ve just started out on Instagram (2months ago) so need to give it time. All yr content has been most helpful…thank u and I’ll be checking out yr feed.

    October 10, 2018 at 5:22 pm Reply
  • Amber

    I absolutely needed this post today! I’ve been really frustrated with my content/readers, since I’m still a fairly new blogger… although I’ve been on Instagram forever, it was for personal use. So joining “the game” was different for me. There are SO damn many blog posts from influential bloggers/social media mavens, but this post spoke to me the most of actionable ways to get where I want to be!!!!!! Thank you SO much! Looking forward to reading the rest of your blog, because your attitude is fantastic.

    October 14, 2018 at 12:16 am Reply
  • How I Gained 2,000 Instagram Followers Fast - Right Side of Twenty

    […] gained 2,000 Instagram followers fast, I highly recommend reading the first post in this series, How I Gained 1,000 Instagram Followers Fast. In my first blog post I explain in great detail how I was able to go from 0 followers to 1,049 […]

    October 22, 2018 at 11:02 am Reply
  • Blessed Mama Bear

    Thank you for giving us all the details in this post! I get so tired of reading a post that halfway through makes you buy the course so you can find out the rest of the story!!

    November 25, 2018 at 6:40 pm Reply
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