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HOW TO GAIN OVER 100.000 FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM IN LESS THAN A YEAR

We started working on our Instagram page during our trip to Bali, which was in October 2018. At that moment we just reached 4.000 followers. Exactly one year later, we had 145.000 followers on Instagram. We have never bought any followers, nor have we participated in any loop giveaways or any sorts of shady stuff.

Want to know how we did it? Keep reading!

While we won’t promise that by doing what we say you’ll also gain 140.000 followers in a year, we will give you some tips about how to make sure you gain as much new followers as possible the quickest way possible.

1. Post regularly

When you look at our statistics from last year, we have posted exactly 350 pictures. That means we didn’t post 15 days of the year, mainly due to having no internet connection while traveling. Consistency is key, and you should always try to post once per day. When we don’t post for 1 or 2 days, we notice a big drop in new followers.

2. Post at the best possible time

If you have a business account on Instagram (which we would highly recommend having to everyone who takes it seriously), you can see your statistics. Understanding these statistics is crucial if you want to build a large following. From the very beginning, our followers have been most active between 3pm and 9pm Western European time as you can see in the screenshot below. Makes sense when you know most of our followers are from the United States and Europe.

At 3pm most of our followers are online and they’ll stay online for the next 6-8 hours

So from the beginning, our goal was to post at around 3pm Western European time, no matter where we were in the world. That also meant we posted in the middle of the night when we were in Australia, or that we posted at 6am when we were on the West Coast of the USA. So especially if you travel a lot you might have to make sacrifices to post at your optimal time, but if you take the growth of your Instagram page seriously, it will be worth it in the end.

3. Content is key

No matter how many tips and tricks you use to grow your Instagram and gain more followers, if your content is bad, your page won’t grow. Try to analyse which content works best with your followers and build on that. If you notice videos work much better than pictures, try and post more videos. Or if you notice that pictures of your dog get half the likes and comments your selfies get, you might want to post less dog pictures and more selfies. It can be as easy as that to analyse what works best.

4. Build a consistent feed

When people see your feed, they will decide in less than a second if they’ll hit that follow button or not. Therefore it’s very important that your feed is pleasing to the eye. There are multiple ways of creating an aesthetically pleasing feed, but one always returning aspect of a beautiful feed is matching tones. By editing all your pictures in a similar way with the same split-toning, your feed will will look much more attractive. We manage to do so by using our self-made photo filters which all have the same split-tones. With just one click of a button, you change the tone of your pictures and you’ll make more people click that follow button! Our photo filters (or presets as we call them) can be purchased here and they’re 50% off for Black Friday!

5. Have accounts share your content

A great way to attract new followers and have other people than those who are already following you see your content is by having other pages share your work. There are thousands of Instagram accounts that share other people’s best pictures and videos and have gained a huge following doing that. Let’s call them inspirational accounts. Those inspirational accounts are constantly browsing the web looking for the best pictures and videos to share which their followers will like. Try and find some of these accounts that repost similar pictures to what you post and contact them. Send them a couple of the pictures you think would work best on their page and maybe they’ll share it and tag you in the picture and in the caption, generating more traffic to your own account!

When an account like @wonderful_places with over 13 million followers shares your picture, you know you hit the jackpot and will get a few hundred new followers!

6. Use the best hashtags

Having a good hashtag strategy can be hard. We feel it’s probably the aspect of our Instagram that we have most difficulties with, so we’ll keep this short. Try out different strategies and see what works best for you by looking at your statistics later. We have tried to use all 30 hashtags, only 10 hashtags, used them in the caption, used them in the comments, used different ones every day, used the same ones over and over, but haven’t really found something that works every single time. We have had pictures that reached over 10.000 new accounts only with hashtags and pictures that had trouble reaching 5 new accounts with hashtags. So if you have a good strategy for us, definitely share the love and let us know in the comments what works best for you!

7. Engage with other people

To attract new followers, you have to make people come to your profile first. A great way to have people click on your name is by having your name out there, a lot! A trick we used a lot in the past when we had periods with less new followers was to engage with other people. Go to your explore page and scroll. When you see a cool picture, like it and leave a (funny) comment. Maybe the owner of the picture will have a look at your profile to see who the account that left that funny comment belongs to, maybe he or she will like your beautiful looking feed and decide to follow you. It’s a time intensive method, and if your comments are lame or spammy it won’t work, but if done correctly, it can definitely gain some extra followers.

8. Optimize your Instagram bio

Having a great bio is almost just as important as having a beautiful feed. It’s the first thing people will see who visit your profile, and if they like what they see, they’ll smash that follow button. A good Instagram bio should tell who you are, what you do and what people can expect from you in a few words and emoji’s. Also make sure your email address can be found in your bio, not only for receiving fanmail, but also for brands who want to work with you.

With just a few words, people know we travel, focus on fashion and lifestyle and have a blog

9. Put some effort in those Instagram stories

Nowadays Instagram is more than having a pretty feed. People start following you for who you are just as much as for the beautiful content you publish and what better way to show your true self than through Instagram stories? Try to upload stories regularly (5 per day is a good start) and don’t be afraid to show your face and let people hear your voice. It will create a stronger relationship between you and your followers and they will be more engaging, which in the end will always result in new followers. You should also use text (most people don’t have their sound on when watching stories), use stickers, ask questions, and every other tool Instagram gives you to be more engaging with your followers.

10. Enjoy the ride

Instagram can be a tough place, and sometimes you’ll hit a plateau and stop growing. In those moments you should remember to enjoy the ride and don’t focus on numbers too much. Look at the new followers you already gathered who follow you for who YOU are and what YOU do! Isn’t that amazing?

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26 Comments

  1. Anna Ofelia Lunden Jacobsen
    November 25, 2019 / 12:59 pm

    Thank you so much for the tips! I’m currently putting a lot of effort into my profile @annaofelia, so your tips are great for someone like me <3 Love following you guys and wish you luck in your future travels!

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 25, 2019 / 1:29 pm

      Hi Anna, thanks for liking our tips and letting us know! Best of luck with growing your account! Your Indonesia pics are looking really good! πŸ™‚

  2. twotraveluvers
    November 25, 2019 / 6:20 pm

    Thanks so much for those valuable tips! I’ve been applying some already specially the ones that include genuinely appreciating other peoples work! We do need to work alot on our stories, some days we have stories to post well atleast that’s how we feel!! But thank you for the amazinggg tipsπŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

    Twotraveluvers

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 26, 2019 / 9:10 am

      Hey guys! Great to hear you’re working on it! Stories are difficult, especially on the days when you’re not doing anything exciting, but just be creative! <3

  3. Alma gjonaj
    November 25, 2019 / 8:04 pm

    Thank u guys for this tips.its very helpfull.
    U r awsome

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 26, 2019 / 9:10 am

      You’re very welcome, Alma <3

  4. Sanne Boghmans
    November 25, 2019 / 11:03 pm

    Hi Laura & Nicolas! Thanks for this blogpost! I a currently trying so so hard to gain more followers. But I feel that Instagram is just working against the small accounts trying so hard. So thanks for all the tips β™₯️
    Lots of love, @shegoesoverseas

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 26, 2019 / 9:11 am

      Trust us when we say even the big accounts will have the feeling that Instagram is working against them! Just don’t give up and keep going forward! <3

  5. Isabelle verhaeghe
    November 26, 2019 / 6:54 am

    Hi thank you for the tips. You guys are really an inspiration to us. πŸ₯°

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 26, 2019 / 9:12 am

      Aww, that’s so great to hear, Isabelle! Lots of love <3

  6. Saaji
    November 26, 2019 / 12:00 pm

    Thankyou for the tips 😘β™₯️
    Favorite as always β™₯️

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 26, 2019 / 2:12 pm

      Thanks for letting us know :-)!
      Love <3

  7. Yapitravel
    November 27, 2019 / 2:10 pm

    Thanks for this article! Concise and clear!
    We just started our account and we will see where it brings us in a year πŸ˜‰!
    @yapitravel

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 27, 2019 / 9:13 pm

      Good luck! Feel free to DM us on IG if you have any questions! ❀️

  8. Keleeci DaCosta
    November 27, 2019 / 4:59 pm

    So amazing! You guys are inspiring! I just recently began my travel blog, @keleeci, and I am still in the trial and error process but your tips are extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing and being so kind to do so πŸ™‚

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 27, 2019 / 9:14 pm

      Our pleasure! Hope our tips will help and you’ll be able to grow your account quickly πŸ₯°

  9. Funky
    November 27, 2019 / 9:51 pm

    Thank you for this inspiring blog! We have been applying a few of your golden rules and just like you still struggle with the hashtag strategy but if we figure it out for sure we will share πŸ™‚ you are a true inpiration (and by the way love the design of your blog too) Love, @funkyterrone

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 28, 2019 / 9:56 am

      Wishing you guys all the best! Those hashtags can be a pain πŸ˜…! Let us know if you find the golden ticket to it! <3

  10. whereweareheaded
    November 28, 2019 / 5:30 am

    Thanks for the post! Such a good reminder to just enjoy the ride! I find it so hard to find content to post to stories! I’m a family travel account – but we don’t travel full time and our everyday life isn’t exactly related πŸ˜‚ any tips? @whereweareheaded

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 28, 2019 / 10:00 am

      We know similar accounts to yours who make extra stories while traveling and just immensely stretch it out, so a 1-week trip will look like a 1-month trip.

      Another option would be to find creative things to put on your stories to keep them alive: think a Q&A with your followers, a top 10 of your favourite moments for your last travels, some stories about how you plan your next travels, why you decide to go to a certain country,… Just be creative and keep those stories alive πŸ₯°

  11. November 28, 2019 / 3:17 pm

    @omynewland Hello beautiful couple! Thank you for sharing this. I was one of your first followers and it’s been so wonderful and exciting seeing you grow and evolve as world travellers πŸ™‚ loving your journey and how inspiring it is watching you every day. I would love for you to check out my profile and see what you think? And last question – How many hours daily you dedicate to your instagram (editing, posting, emgaging etc) Love you guys!! keep inspiring us @omynewland

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 30, 2019 / 9:26 am

      Hi Omy! Thanks for the kind words! So great to hear you’ve been following us for this long already!
      You have some very beautiful pictures, especially love the one from the Louvre in Paris, but also notice you’re not really following the first 2 steps of our guide, which are crucial! (Post regularly and on specific times!). Nowadays we typically spend 1-2 hours on IG daily, but in the beginning we spent way more than that! Sometimes up to 6 hours! Hope that helps! Lots of love

  12. Hafiz
    November 28, 2019 / 4:58 pm

    My account @travelwithhafiz needs to have improvement I know. Thank you for you guys!

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 29, 2019 / 8:44 pm

      Some great landscape pictures on your profile! Keep going πŸ‘πŸ»

  13. LK
    November 28, 2019 / 9:20 pm

    Amazing blog post! @lukas.klicimunka

    • passportinonehand
      Author
      November 29, 2019 / 8:45 pm

      Thank you! Loving the darker style of your pictures πŸ™ŒπŸ»

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