For the longest time I’ve struggled with my Instagram. Growing it, figuring out an aesthetic, etc. Although it was tough, I learned some things along the way.

I've learned some lessons while growing my Instagram... read this post to read about it

Now I by no means have a huge following, but I hit my goal and I promised myself that when I do I would write a post about growing my IG.

Be consistent

With your picture subjects, the filters you use or don’t use, or a pattern of posting (if you have one). One pattern I really love is the picture-quote one like these accounts: 


I tried it, but couldn’t keep it up. Plus I think it looks messy if you mess up the pattern so I stayed away.

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Only posts pictures that will fit your theme

This was a HUGE game changer for me. Once I established my ‘theme’ and stayed consistent I only posted photos that fit that theme. When I first started using IG for my blog, I signed up for like a trillion stock photo sites and I wanted to post all the pictures I found cute-no matter how much you love them, if it doesn’t fit then quit (trying to make it fit- I just tried to be cute there…)

Use hashtags

Discovering hashtags was seriously the most beneficial. Did you catch this and this post? + the hashtag guide I made for you? I try to use <30 hashtags (that’s all IG allows) and my post gets seen by a lot more people therefore a lot more followers. 

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That being said, switch up your hashtags

I also noticed a significant spike in engagement and reach when I use different hashtags. Careful not to use any banned hashtags too!

Plan, plan, PLAN

Treat your IG as a business channel, think about the future. I personally love UNUM- I’m on it like seriously all the time. I plan my posts a week to a month in advance. It’s kind of like a game for me.

Here are some questions to ask yourself while planning your Instagram feed:

What colors do I post a lot of? This app is GENIUS! 
What objects do I use all the time?
Does this fit in the ‘feel’ I’m going for?

Related:  Instagram tricks, tips and a 200+ hashtag guide

What have you learned while growing your Instagram?

Author: Alix Maza

Alix is a college student, Step Up Magazine contributor, wannabe author, blogger and a super girly-girl who loves dogs and is entirely too dependent on coffee.

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  • Great tips! Back in May I reevaluated the content I was sharing and decided to start being better about strategically choosing colors. Now, I stick to shades of blue and I think it helps my feed flow a lot better and look more cohesive!

    • I agree! I did that too and it definitely feels more cohesive.

  • Taunita Stephenson

    Your tips are spot on! We ( plan out our content every month using a lot of these tips!

  • Rachel Ritlop

    I couldn’t agree more that if you really want to grow your Instagram, this methods are extremely helpful! Do you have any additional tips that weren’t in the post?

    • ENGAGE! Engage with your commenters and engage with the other users of your favorite hashtags.

  • Sarah Jean

    I did not know there were banned hashtags! And I’ve always been trying to be consistent with my colors. It’s helped a lot!

  • This was super helpful thank you! I also checked out your feed and it is so pretty!

  • Alex Balmert

    Thank you for this! I need to do SO much research on hashtags. I struggle with consistency in my photos, as I’m a Planner and typically use photos from different photographers I work with. I didn’t even think of stock photos!

    • Omg when I find stock photos that fit my theme I freak out a little.

  • I have such a hard time using instagram for my blog and not just as a social platform! These are all such great tips.


    • Yeah I had trouble transitioning also.

  • I have been trying to stick to a theme lately. It can be hard to not post something but I think it looks better overall.

    • Gosh that is the hardest! Your feed looks good!

  • Jaye shields

    Thank you for the tips on hashtags! I’m def going to check out that post too!

    • Gah the rules on hashtags are always changing and giving me a headache lol.

  • Shelly

    I definitely don’t plan out my IG like so many successfully do. While I believe people are getting huge success with beautiful, cohesive themes…I also feel like rules are made to be broken. You are the only “you” you can be!

    • Yeah, that’s why finding a theme that suits you is so important!

  • thesophiadiaries

    these are totally great tips!! I like to plan my content too, and have some sort of consistency when someone really quickly browse my IG 🙂

    • You do! Great content, love all the food haha.

  • I really need to plan my IG content better! Love your lessons learned!

    • Planning is like a game to me now! Lol.

  • I have such a love/hate relationship with IG. It’s one of my favorite apps, yet I hate how staged everything has become…
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

    • Gah me too! I love sharing content, but hate all the work and thought a simple picture takes.

  • Marie Rau

    This is so true. A wake up call for me to make sure I am planning my insta post better. Thanks!

    • I seriously love planning posts now!

  • Ayana Pitterson

    Amazing tips that I haven’t even considered. Thank you very much for sharing. I guess I have some work cut out for me when it comes instagram.

    • Haha since IG is always changing I think we all have our work cut out.

  • Uh, I just learned about those banned hashtags. I wonder why some of the soft-banned ones are restricted?? So odd. My biggest lesson has been about the importance of networking – making an effort to not just engage but network with people on multiple channels has hugely boosted my IG presence 🙂

    • I know! The algorithm is cray-cray lol. That’s a great tip!

  • Melissa Chapman

    Love your sayings I would check out your instagram for that alone. I have used some of your ideas but learned a lot from this , thanks.

  • I’m trying to post to Instagram every other day…religiously…so staying consistent has definitely been a game-changer for me, too. Even thought it’s hard!
    I need to be a LOT better at planning things out though. I dedicate time to scheduling things on Twitter, but haven’t master Insta yet. 🙂

    Tendril Wild

  • jillconyers

    Slowly but surely my Instagram is growing. Great tips especially for beginners.

  • Allison Ellzey

    I love those accounts! I’ve been trying to plan more (but it can be so hard)!

    • Aren’t they pretty?! Planning can be super hard.

  • Super Millennial

    Great ideas — my Insta game is slacking…thanks for motivating me

    • Lol it feels like I worked so hard on very few photos.

  • YES! Can’t believe I forgot that one.

  • Love this! I definitely do the pattern thing and love it.

    • Yes! Yours is another account I love.

  • Danielle Randall

    IG is tricky. But consistency is key! Good luck on reaching your next goal!


  • Mariette Photography

    still figuring out my “voice” on IG, trying to be post every day, this post was very useful, need to do a few changes!

    • Lol I used to post every day then I started running out of content lol. Good luck!

  • Patricia Conte

    Great tips – I’m glad I came across this! I’m trying to grow my account, so this will be super helpful. Thank you!

  • Mary

    I had no idea there are hashtags that are banned!! I’m just now learning how important hashtags can be.

    • I didn’t realize till like a month ago!

  • It is SO hard to create a consistent theme for your Instagram! You are doing an amazing job!

  • These are such important things to keep in mind if you’re growing a beautiful Instagram. Your’s looks lovely by the way!

  • Anna Hubbard

    These are all great tips, Alix!

  • These are all such great tips! Consistency is SO important!

  • Trecee Hutchinson

    All of these tips are so helpful. Ive been working on getting my Instagram more consistent and these lessons will definitely help!


  • Oyinkan Ogunleye

    Yesssss having an aesthetically pleasing feed is very important! That’s the type of accounts I like to look at.

    • Haha that was what I was struggling with.

  • I’m still struggling with IG. I’ve been trying to find an asethic/editing process that I like for every picture. I really really really struggle with content.

    • When you find what you’re looking for it’s like ‘WHY HAVEN’T I DONE THIS BEFORE?!’

  • Sydney Power

    This is such a wonderful tips! IG is the most important account for me, some tips are really helpful. glad that you shared it.

    • Thank you! I’m always on IG haha.

  • Instagram used to be so much fun for me, but not it’s a huge joy suck. Knowing that most of my followers miss out on my photos and watch my engagement tank has been so discouraging! I’m trying not to let it weight me down too much, but I am pretty much over it, to be honest!

    • I totally understand that! The algorithm suuuuucks.

  • Yes to all of these tips! It’s been pretty hard these past couple of months.

  • Karen Tchuindjo

    Great advice! I am definitely have a goal of growing my instagram, I will definitely try to implement some of these tips.