How to gain more followers on Instagram

The question we get asked a lot when chatting to other bloggers and users is ‘how do you gain more followers on Instagram? This social media platform is quickly becoming a focus point for many brands, bloggers and marketers looking to use social media to connect with current and potential customers. With over 500 million monthly active users, it’s no surprise bloggers are making it their priority to sign up for an account to try and increase their presence.

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Instagram is our favourite social media platform, and currently the highest social media following: at 70,000 followers. You may be thinking how the heck have you accumulated that many over such a short period of time (just over one year)?!

Well, here are some secret tips and tricks:

1. Create a Clear Instagram Strategy

Like all things in life you’ve got to be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort if you want to reach your goals. Becoming popular on social media is not an easy job! But creating a clear Instagram strategy will help you big time. Think about what you want to achieve, by doing this it can help target and attract followers who are interested in your niche, whether its travel, photography, blogging or anything!
Make sure to:
Research your competitors – analysing and following their success can really work in your favour. See what they are lacking and apply that to your account. Research the frequency they post, what hashtags they use and the type of captions they use.
– Decide your focal point and be different – a compelling focal point will help you stand out from others. People who are already following 10 of the same niche Instagram accounts are unlikely to engage well in yours too. Make your Instagram attractive and unique, instead of posting pictures of anywhere and everywhere, focus on a smaller niche that you have lots of knowledge in.
– Set realistic and motivational goals – every month we set a goal that we have to reach. It may be averaging 2,000 likes on each post or a certain following. By doing this it will motivate you to increase your social media presence.

2. Post High Quality Pictures

People will not follow you if your Instagram account doesn’t look appealing or creative. Posting high quality photos will attract more people to your profile. Compared to a blurry image, which doesn’t look professional, and it does not exactly helping your brand image for your blog or website.

High Quality Photos

3. Stick to one or two topics

This links back to choosing your focal point. This means if you are uploading travel pictures and people start following you they are not interested in your dog or family pictures. There is nothing wrong with uploading them, but you will probably not catch the eye of someone who is roaming Instagram for cool travel snaps, and you run the risk of a vast amount of people unfollowing you. Only uploading travel related pictures can limit your reach. That’s why a lot of large Instagram accounts stick to around two primary topics. For example, you can post photos of travel and food, or travel and luxury living. Their reach is obviously bigger, as different followers are following for different reasons.

4. Find the best time to post

This is so important to earning high engagement and to even gain more followers on Instagram. You don’t want all your loyal followers to be asleep or at work when you post. The most effective way of determining the best time to post on Instagram is by testing how your photos perform at different times of day and week. If you notice that photos you post in the mornings are consistently earning you more likes, comments, or followers than those posted in the afternoon or evening, then make sure to post a peak times. We’ve found the best times to be during the morning and late evening, but this may be different for your followers depending on what time zone you’re in.

5. Post consistently (preferably the same time every day)

There is no magic number that you should be posting everyday. We recommend a minimum of once a day and maximum of three a day. Theoretically, the more often you post the higher your chance of getting noticed to potential followers. However, posting too often will start to annoy your followers, and you may run the risk of loosing some, due to spam. Your followers want to see content from you, as after all, that’s why they followed you in the first place. Don’t leave them hanging by posting on an inconsistent basis.
By posting at roughly the same time everyday, your followers will get to know this and be active at those times. We’ve noticed this a lot with ours and as a result we try to post at the same time everyday, which has really boosted our likes and comments for each post we publish and has even helped us gain more followers on Instagram.

6. Use relevant hashtags

Without any hashtags you will not get noticed and future followers won’t be able to find your photos. Using hashtags seems simple, but we see that 90% of Instagram users have no clue what they are doing when it comes to hashtags. Using relevant hashtags is so important, a travel blogger would gain no benefit by using the hashtag #amazingkitchens. Similarly the hashtag #travel is so over saturated (over 150 times a minute!) there would be no use using this hashtag either, as even after 10 seconds of publishing your post would be way too far down.
The best way to get noticed by a wide range of Instagram users is to be featured in the top 9 pictures for a certain hashtag. If you click on a hashtag you will be shown the most popular photos on Instagram for the day with that exact hashtag. Analyse your hashtags! Are you going to make it to the top 9 photos? No, then try to find other hashtags that might be a little less popular but where you at least will be highlighted. Of course for smaller accounts this is very hard as the most hashtags related to your topic are used many times and have a high engagement rate, but starting somewhere will help you grow in no time, and we suggest using the maximum 30 hashtags on every post for full engagement.
Create your own hashtags that your audience and followers will want to get engaged with. We created the hashtag #luxurybackpacking, and since starting we have had over 2,000 people use the hashtag on their photos! This will create a strong sense of community, and in no time others will start to join your tribe too!

7. Engage with your followers and similar accounts

High engagement is just as important as gaining followers. You don’t want hundreds of followers, but only a small handful are actually liking and commenting on your pictures. The higher your engagement is, the bigger the chance that you will get noticed on Instagram with large accounts. As a result, you will gain more followers on Instagram. Interaction with your Instagram followers and other Instagram accounts is therefore very important. Like back, go to their profile like some of their pictures and simply thank them for commenting. Maybe they asked a question? Make sure to answer it back. Followers will appreciated it and you will build up a more personalised relationship with them.
Make sure to always add a location to your photo, as this will automatically gain a higher engagement rate. People in this location are likely to search this, or famous places will get a lot of engagement. Users that search for a specific location are also interested in a certain topic, so always add the location!

8. Create engaging captions

Always write a well thought out caption. For example, describing where the place is, what happened, and ask a question. This will encourage followers to comment on your post, making it more visible to potential followers.

Engaging Captions

9. Follow users who follow similar accounts to yours

Don’t go overboard on this one, as you can get banned if you follow too many people at once. There is a follow limit of 7,500, but we don’t advise you get to that. This is a really great way to increase your Instagram following, as users who follow similar accounts to yours will nearly always interested and follow yours too. We suggest researching quite a few accounts, and then follow users on the accounts that have the highest engagement rates, for example likes to follower ratios.

10. Join comment pods

We’ve found comment pods to be an excellent and organic way of gaining more followers. It is also a great support system of likeminded people, where you can gain knowledge and experience from the best. The easiest way to join comment pods is by messaging other accounts in your niche if you can join one their in, or going on Facebook groups and asking there. We advise you reach around 3,000 followers before doing this and standing a chance of getting accepted into them.

11. Create an eye-catching bio

Before a potential user follows you, it’s nearly guaranteed they will read your bio. A well thought through and eye-catching bio will increase the number of people who follow you. Make sure to introduce yourself, what you post about and create a grabbing punch line. Also don’t forget to add your blog/website to your bio so people can check out your blog.
The following is what we use for our bio:

Luxurybackpacking Bio

12. Convert to an Instagram Business Profile

If you haven’t done this yet, we suggest you do this now. It is a great way to for potential marketers to work with you through the contact button on your profile. You also get access to all your insights including: impressions, reach, profile views. It also shows your top performing posts meaning you can see the type of pictures your followers like compared to less performing ones. You can also see what days of the week your followers are most active and what cities/countries they come from! Pretty awesome if you ask us!
Just head to settings and scroll down till you see ‘Switch to Business Profile’ and follow the steps required, easy peasy!

Follow us on Instagram: @luxurybackpacking

Did you find these tips helpful? Have you got some great tips that you want to share? Comment below, we love hearing from you guys!

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 Easy tips to gain more followers on Instagram

By | 2017-09-15T13:01:27+01:00 January 3rd, 2017|Travel Blogging|57 Comments

About the Author:

Hey there I'm Emma! A luxury and adventure travel blogger. I've currently travelled to 53 countries with no plans to stop! I hope I can inspire you to travel the world with my travel guides, travel and blogging tips, as I believe travel is for everyone. So come and travel well for less with me!


  1. Fiona Mai 01/03/2017 at 4:06 am - Reply

    Thank you very much for your comprehensive guide! I just started opening a travel-related Instagram account to complement my blog last month. These tips are really helpful for me! What do you think about hashtags like #like4like? Are they useful at all?

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/03/2017 at 4:10 am - Reply

      Hi Fiona Mai!

      No worries, glad we can help! That’s great we really hope these tips can help you grow quickly. From our experience the very popular hashtags like #like4like are too saturated, therefore won’t be beneficial to your post. Try hashtags like #Instatravel #Travelgram and #amazingplaces. 🙂
      Hope this helps!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  2. Harsh Gupta 01/03/2017 at 4:34 am - Reply

    These are really helpful strategies. I am happy to have found your blog and now can implement these to improve my insta following. Thanks 🙂

  3. Romy 01/03/2017 at 4:47 am - Reply

    This is a very helpful post! I was already on the right track with some of these pointers, but this got me thinking. Also I think I’m finally going to switch to a business account. Was it only positive? or did it also have negative effects?

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/03/2017 at 4:50 am - Reply

      Hi Romy!

      That’s great news! So far it has been only positive, we haven’t seen any harm in our followers, likes or comments because of it 🙂 We love the business profile due to the analytics that come with it, as you can see which posts people like etc.

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  4. Katherine @ The Travelators 01/03/2017 at 5:24 am - Reply

    So helpful thank you! I’ve been getting so frustrated with the follow/unfollow strategies so many people seem to use that I had almost given up on our Instagram account. This is really helpful stuff that looks like it leads to real followers!

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/03/2017 at 5:38 am - Reply

      Hi Katherine!

      No worries so glad we could help! Yes I know exactly what you mean, it’s a right pain in the a**!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  5. Kim 01/03/2017 at 5:24 am - Reply

    Thanks for the tips! I will look more into comment pods!

  6. Crazy Travelista 01/03/2017 at 6:16 am - Reply

    Captions are really key! Sometimes I’m lazy with them and I definitely notice the difference when I am. The time of day is super important too. I forget sometimes when i’m in a completely different time zone. Like I had extremely low engagement on most of my Australia photos until I realized it was like 3am my time haha. Oops! Great tips! 🙂

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/03/2017 at 6:19 am - Reply

      Hi Crazy Travelista!

      It really is so crucial! We travel a lot and when it comes to Instagram it can get quite confusing with best engagement times! Thanks for your kind comments 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  7. Mike 01/03/2017 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Great tips and suggestions. I totally agree with everything you wrote although I can never find time for the comment pods.

    The things I think are most important are posting consistently, tagging the right hubs, keeping a high quality style and engaging with your followers.

    My Instagram is @mikecleggphoto btw! 🙂

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/03/2017 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Hi Mike!

      Thanks! Yes comment pods do take a lot of time and effort, but they do pay off in the end!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  8. Sasha 01/04/2017 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    This is a great guide! Some things on the list I already knew of but others I had never thought of before. Its hard to stay motivated on Instagram, I feel like we have to give so much before we reap the rewards. You’ve spurred me on to get back into it. I will definitely switch to a business account too!

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/04/2017 at 11:34 pm - Reply

      Hey Sasha!

      Glad we can help! Business accounts are awesome 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  9. Great tips here. I need to get better at Instagram. I have let it slip a little bit recently. Thank you for giving me that motivation i needed to get back into it again this new year.

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/05/2017 at 1:38 am - Reply

      Hi Kathy!

      Thanks! Instagram can be very time consuming, but it definitely pays off in the end!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  10. Kate @ Love From Scotland 01/05/2017 at 1:39 am - Reply

    Nice guide! I’ve been seriously thinking of switching to a business account, but I have a tiny amount of followers (although a high engagement rate) Do you think it is worth it for a small account?

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/05/2017 at 1:41 am - Reply

      Hi Kate!

      Yes! It really doesn’t matter how many followers you have for switching to a business account 🙂 It really helps with analytics and finding which posts your followers like best, so you can engage with them more. I would take the plunge a go for it! 😀

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  11. Stacey 01/05/2017 at 2:15 am - Reply

    The instagram game is so tough! I hate the whole follow and unfollowers thing. Putting more of these points into action though. Thank you so much

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/05/2017 at 2:31 am - Reply

      Hey Stacey!

      Me too, its just a petty way of gaining more followers, not to mention your engagement would be low if you took this strategy. Hope to have inspired you to get back into Instagram!

      Happy Travels
      Emma & Yannick

  12. ROSHNI RAY 01/05/2017 at 3:37 am - Reply

    Don’t have an Instagram account but after reading your comprehensive guide definitely intending to create one 🙂

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/05/2017 at 11:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Roshni!

      I would highly recommend starting one, its a great way to increase your following, not to mention being fun and a little photo journal for all your memories 😀

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  13. Katie 01/05/2017 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Oh these are some great tips! We are starting up our travel instagram account so thank you so much for sharing these tips! Will start working my way through them right now 🙂

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/05/2017 at 11:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Katie!

      Thanks! We’re so glad you’ve benefitted from these tips and tricks 🙂

      Happy Travels
      Emma & Yannick

  14. Abigail 01/05/2017 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    As the hottest social media network right now, everyone is clamoring for success on Instagram. But I guess you also mentioned the most important point in this list. If you post quality content, people will see through that. Just try to do your best and showcase the best photos. You’ll naturally gain more followers.

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/05/2017 at 11:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Abigail!

      Exactly, if you post great quality photos and are yourself, people will organically start following you. 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  15. Kreete 01/05/2017 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    What a great article and at a great time! One of my resolutions for 2017 was to focus more on Instagram and hit 10k by the end of the year. Some of the things suggested here, I already do while other aspects need improvement. I have also shared it with some of my friends who would benefit from it, so thanks a lot for writing it all down for us!

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/05/2017 at 11:21 pm - Reply

      Hi Kreete!

      Thanks, we are so glad you are benefitting from this! Good luck in the future and for 2017, you’re sure to rock at Instagram if you follow these steps!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  16. Great post, Emma! I completely agree with posting consistently and sticking to just one niche. Following people who follow people similar to you is another great tip (and is what I usually do when I’m trying to find more people to follow) 🙂 It’s definitely a lot of work, but I love Instagram – it’s so much fun!

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/05/2017 at 11:21 pm - Reply

      Hi Vicky!

      Thanks! Instagram is a great social media site, we love it too!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  17. Del 01/06/2017 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    # is one I found to help boost my Instagram posts, especially if it’s a popular beach. I will be taking note of the rests. I have a question, does your Instagram presence give you visitors to your website? Thanks!

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/06/2017 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      Hi Del!

      Yes hashtagging is an easy way to get noticed by potential followers. Using a business account I can see how many clicks go through to our website each week. Whilst it is less than other social media platforms, it still does bring traffic.

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  18. Ticking the Bucketlist 01/06/2017 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    This is such a useful post. I have been trying to increase my following on insta for the longest time… it isn’t working. Let me try to use your strategies!

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/06/2017 at 9:29 pm - Reply


      Thanks so much, I really hope these strategies work for you like they did for us!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  19. LC of Birdgehls 01/07/2017 at 10:17 am - Reply

    I neglected all SM for so long as I merrily blogged away, scrambling to catch up now. I find instagram most frustrating to grow, which is annoying, as it used to be my favourite platform. Oh well! Some great tips here, thanks.

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/07/2017 at 10:19 am - Reply

      Hey LC!

      That’s a real shame! Instagram can be tough to start off, but once you get the ball rolling, its like a snow ball effect. Use our tips and you should be gaining followers in no time 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  20. Marge Gavan 01/07/2017 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Wow you receive over 2,000 likes. Wow! I’m already happy when I get 300 and I must admit it doesn’t even happen all the time. I have a friend who also has many followers on IG and she said that it’s all hard work, pretty much what you’ve narrated here. The problem with me is I don’t have the patience to do it. I can’t go and like and comment all the time, I’m just lazy that way. But let’s see, maybe I can start somewhere and put your tips to good use. And maybe, just maybe I’d be able to do it.

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/07/2017 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Hey Marge!

      Don’t be disheartened, it does take a lot of hard work and hours to gain a decent amount of followers, but if you use our techniques, we can guarantee you’ll be gaining lots of followers in no time. 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  21. neha 01/07/2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    very useful tips. I am glad I came across this post. Because this weekend I am going to focus on my instagram account. So, this will help immensely. Thanks for compiling this.

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/07/2017 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Neha!

      Thanks a lot, good luck this weekend, we know you’ll rock!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  22. Vanessa 01/07/2017 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Wow you are an Insta master! Instagram is the platform that I struggle with the most, probably because I don’t take enough photos to be able to upload often, and the idea of needing a “theme” always puts me off. Thank you for your guide, its definitely motivating me to try and put more of an effort in!

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/07/2017 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Vanessa!

      Thanks so much! A theme is very important, as you want to attract a certain following, if they don’t know exactly what you post about they may be turned away. Stick at it and you’ll be seeing great results. 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  23. Alexis @FITnancials 01/07/2017 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    I’ve noticed that my Instagram is kind of all over the place, which has really unmotivated me. I don’t really want to post until I have a game plan in place. Thanks for the help!

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/07/2017 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Alexis!

      Great idea, think about your strategy first, then implement it. 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  24. cathy 01/08/2017 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    Yay! After reading this, I know I should follow all of these to gain more followers on Ig! not only informative post but well detailed post as well! I personally liked it
    and I will start doing it so soon! Thanks much you guys! More and happy travels !


    • Luxurybackpacking 01/08/2017 at 11:29 pm - Reply

      Hi Cathy!

      Glad this has helped you 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Happy Travels to you too!
      Emma & Yannick

  25. Stephanie Lee 01/24/2017 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    Great and helpful post! I was wondering if you still recommend switching Instagram accounts to a business profile? I heard they can hurt engagement? Thanks!

    • Luxurybackpacking 01/24/2017 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Stephanie!

      Thank you we’re glad its helped! Yep, we sure do! We switched over to a business account a couple of months ago, and saw no change in engagement (maybe even better engagement, as we could see when our followers were most active, what posts they enjoyed most and their nationality!) We highly recommend the change 🙂 Hope this helps!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  26. Myesha Slicker 02/10/2017 at 1:11 am - Reply

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe that this web site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the info!

    • Emma Lomas 02/10/2017 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Hi Myesha!

      You’re very welcome!

      Happy Travels!

  27. Paul 02/14/2017 at 12:33 am - Reply

    I think that’s the only way to get more followers fast is to use some apps or services. It is really useful tool and helps.

    • Emma Lomas 02/14/2017 at 2:57 am - Reply

      Hi Paul!

      One way to track your followers and unfollowing is through apps but I wouldn’t say thats the only way to gain followers. If you read the post there are many ways to increase your following 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma & Yannick

  28. Joanne 02/27/2017 at 7:24 am - Reply

    Interesting and useful. Thanks. My blog is not commercial and I only post fortnightly. I started Instagram to try to increase blog followers, but don’t post often enough. Do you think Instagram is worth it for such a niche (Discovering Suburbs of Sydney)? Thanks

    • Emma Lomas 02/27/2017 at 11:29 am - Reply

      Hi Joanne!

      So glad this article has helped you! Personally I love Instagram, and do see a lot of our traffic from it. If you’re committed to setting time aside each day to post, engage and interact with others on Instagram I’d definitely recommend using it! 🙂

      Happy Travels!

  29. Tahir ahsan 03/18/2017 at 2:34 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing very attractive and informative blog.

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