How I Gained 1,000 Instagram Followers Last Month

How I Gained 1,000 Instagram Followers Last Month

🎉 I finally managed to reach 5,000 Instagram followers! 🎉 Although it was a lot of work, it was so, so worth it. I implemented some of the methods I listed in my guide on how to boost engagement on Instagram and tested out some new ones.

This time last year, I had almost 1,800 followers, but I didn’t seriously start growing my Instagram until about 9 months ago. It took 8 months for me to gain over 2,000 followers, and I managed to gain half that number in just one month. I started at almost 4,000 followers on March 1st and ended with 4,960 on April 1st.

How the heck did I manage to do it? The real question is, how did I manage to stay sane while doing it? I spent most of my free time and every chance I got on Instagram for an entire month, and it’s not as easy and fun as it sounds. Some people use like or comment bots, some use apps that help you follow and unfollow people, and some simply buy their followers, but I prefer to be as organic as possible, and it can get pretty time-consuming.

If you’re curious to see how I managed to gain 1,000 followers last month, these are the things I did.

Marble Flatlay

1. I made sure to like at least 100 photos under different hashtags every few hours during the day.

Every two to three hours, I searched up hashtags relevant to my niche and liked photos. I made sure to like a minimum of 100 photos, but I usually liked around 200 photos from at least two different hashtags. I wasn’t extremely selective, but I made sure to avoid liking photos of things like drugs, male selfies, and children, because none of those matched the target audience I was looking for.

Most people don’t get many likes on their photos, so when you like their photo, it catches their attention, and they oftentimes like your photos back. One of my older photos went from ~900 likes to almost 1,100 during this time. If you use this method, be sure not to like photos too quickly and not to exceed 350 likes per hour, as you will get temporarily banned from liking photos.


2. I tried to comment on at least a third of these photos.

Liking isn’t always enough to get people’s attention. I tried to leave genuine comments on at least a third of the photos I liked, and I made sure to comment only on photos I truly thought were nice. I really dislike when people leave comments like “nice!” or “fun!” on my photos, so I kept that in mind when commenting on other people’s photos.


3. I tried to post every single day.

I don’t know how people find time to create so much content! I tried to shoot a lot of outfit photos last month as these tend to get the most engagement for me, and I tried to spend at least a few hours every weekend shooting flatlays. According to Social Blade, I gain an average of 31 followers a day, and I don’t think that would be possible if I didn’t post daily. How else are people going to find your account if you don’t post new photos for them to find under hashtags?

If you’re stuck on what to post on Instagram, I have some photo ideas here. If you don’t have time to shoot new photos, look through old ones for things you haven’t posted before.


4. I created an aesthetic.

Back in January, I decided to get rid of my Instagram aesthetic and just post whatever I wanted. While it was more relaxing to not have to worry about planning how my feed looked, I wasn’t really seeing much growth and my photos weren’t doing as well. I definitely think having a theme or aesthetic is essential to growing your Instagram. Have a plan for your feed and make sure everything looks cohesive together. I like to use the app UNUM to plan my feed.


So there you have it: all the methods I used to gain 1,000 followers last month. If you decide to go all out and try all of these methods, I’d love to know how it works for you! While it was fun to watch my account grow, it wasn’t really fun spending all my time doing “chores” on Instagram.

Last month I heard a lot of people struggled with engagement because of the new algorithm, but I found that doing all of these things really helped mine. I haven’t been doing these things since I reached 5,000 followers, and my photos have dropped from getting 500-900 likes to just 500-600 likes per photo. I’m thinking of doing a separate post on the new algorithm and how to beat it – let me know if that’s something you guys would like to see!

P.S. I’m currently doing a 5,000 follower giveaway on Instagram and you can enter here. If you found this guide helpful, be sure to subscribe for more Instagram tips!

Jessica Lam

Jessica Lam

22-year-old lifestyle blogger and social media addict. Follow me + keep updated with my latest posts on Bloglovin & Facebook.
Jessica Lam
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  • Thank you so much for sharing this advice! I look forward to seeing the results of implementing it in my own strategy (:

  • Wow!! Will definitely try and implement this advice!!

    xo Tracey
    http://www.thestyletrunk.com

    • I hope some of these tips help you Tracey!

  • Looking Beyond The Cover

    Not that is indeed some greta advice. One of my goals for 2017 is to grown my Instagram family to 1000!

    Vani Sivasankar
    Looking Beyond The Cover
    W: http://www.lookingbeyondthecover.com
    I: @lookingbeyondthecover
    T: @beyonddcover
    E: lookingbeyondthecover@gmail.com

    • I wish you the best of luck with your goals Vani! 🙂

  • Pingback: Weekly Discoveries #2| Inward Learning – My Blog()

  • that does sound time consuming but i’d rather have an organic following as well, thanks for sharing your tips!

  • Wow, that is some real dedication! Congrats! I only have a 150 followers right now, and Í’m working my way up slowly :’). I’m gonna try your tips!

    • I hope these tips work for you Johanne! I’d love to hear about it if they do 🙂

  • Congrats on your efforts and great post! Instagram is really time consuming. I am still trying to figure it out. I will being trying some of your tips. Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks so much girl! I hope these tips work for you 🙂

  • Ashley Erickson

    Good tips! I try to go through different hashtags and like a bunch of photos too. If I have the time I also go and visit the people who like my photos and engage on some of theirs. People seem to really appreciate that lol!

    • Haha I try to engage back with people who engage on my photos as well – sometimes it results in making Insta friends! 🙂

  • Kimberly Hsieh

    CONGRATS GIRL!! These tips are super helpful and I will definitely try to do them more!!

  • great tips my love!

  • I love how you did all of this by yourself authentically as opposed to cheating the system. I definitely need to work on my Instagram presence, eventually anyway!

  • Miranda Knudtson

    Loved these ideas—I especially like that you mentioned you do it ORGANICALLY. There’s too many ways out there to “cheat” the process, for lack of a better term.

  • Lindsay

    Great job girl! Love seeing these tips on gaining authentic followers in an authentic way! xx, Lindsay | Paris, Meet Boston | http://www.parismeetboston.com

  • Great tips! I think it does make a difference when you’re organic vs. the bot programs!
    Xo,
    Alexandra Christine Blog
    http://www.alexandrachristineblog.com

    • Agreed! People can totally tell when you’re a bot!

  • Kaitlynn Charalambopoulos

    wow these are great tips! I wasn’t sure if I should have a theme or not but I think now after reading this, I am going to try and be more consistent with mine. I’ll also try to post more since it plays such a big role.

    • I hope these things work for you Kaitlynn! 🙂

  • This is just what I needed! I was just thinking about this today and what I needed to do to help boost my following. Thank you for sharing your tips love.

    xo, Milan
    MilanDarling.com

  • I’m trying to build my following so this was a good read. This is wonderful advice. I have trouble gaining 30 followers a week, I can’t imagine 1000! Congrats on this though! 🙂

  • Man oh man! You like 100 photos every few hours? Jeez o Pete! I do t even think I like 100 a week! This has definitely encouraged me to try harder! Congrats 🎉

  • Man oh man! You must have a decent amount of free time to like 100 photos every few hours! I don’t even think I like 100 photos a WEEK let along ever few hours! I’m glad u truly earn your followers or in ur words organically! If I had more time I’d probably do this! I’m working on it !! Congratulations on your growth and increase of followers!

  • You had me at organic! I’m quite impressed with how you were able to grow your following! I don’t know if I could like 100 photos every few hours!

    • Thanks so much Danielle! I definitely wanted quick results, but I think even doing this once a week would produce great results!

  • Lindsey Ann

    These are great tips! Thanks for sharing and congrats on your growth!!

  • Anita Nicole

    Thank you for the tips…I am really struggling to increase my IG followers. I definitely haven’t created an aesthetic or a fluid looking page and no colour consistency that’s for sure. Hopefully your tricks work for me.

  • Audrey Knizek

    Wow, I’m really impressed with how you were able to grow your following! I’m currently trying to grow my Instagram and found your tips really helpful!

    • I’m glad you found this helpful Audrey! 🙂

  • Christina Daltoso

    Thank you for these amazing tips! I’m going to try them out, as I’ve been working on growing my Instagram account! 😀

  • Britt K

    Some great tips here! You’re right – organic growth is the way to go. Congratulations!

    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca/

  • on point! It’s crazy, the more time and effort you put into IG, the greater the return always is!

  • Anne Markey

    I have never tries searching for hashtags and then liking those pictures and commenting on some of them. Those are great tips! Thanks

    • It’s a great way to get engagement back! Good luck Anne!

  • Thanks for your tips! I will start to try them now.

    xx, Melissa

    • Good luck Melissa! I’d love to know if these tips work for you 🙂

  • Oh, I hate dealing with all those constantly changing algorithms. i put so much time into Facebook until I realized that I was never going to beat that damn algorithm. So now I’m just starting to focus on Instagram and have had much better luck with just a small following. Thanks for all the great ideas for getting my Instagram following going.

    • I wish you the best of luck with it! 🙂

  • Brittany Daoud

    Thanks for sharing these tips! I would defnitely be interested in your tips on beating the new Instagram algorithm! Thanks so much for sharing, and congrats!

  • Some great tips here thanks for sharing! Need to try some of these out. I’ve been stuck at around 1.8k followers for around 4 months and can’t seem to budge no matter what I do! The new insta algorithm is so frustrating. But I’ll definitely be trying these out!

    Amanda | http://ldnrose.com

    • The new algorithm is the worst! I hope these tips work for you!

  • This is so useful! I’m trying to grow my instagram too, so thank you for sharing you good key practices. Also I woud appreciate it a lot if you could take a look at my insta and maybe give me some feedback (@janded)?
    Thanks!

    Cristina | *janded

    • Your photos look great! Perhaps try to edit them all more similarly (perhaps with a certain filter)? I’ve seen in a few places that filtered and cooler-toned photos tend to get more likes on Instagram. I hope this helps!

      • Thanks! Well, I edit my photos in Lightroom, since most of them are taken with a DSRL camera and I edit them according to the composition, to make them look closer to how the naked eye would see them. That’s probably why it looks like I don’t follow a certain pattern, but I’ll try finding and using one. Thanks a lot again, Jessica!

  • Christa Stull

    Great tips! Thank you!! Best of luck on another 1000 the next month!

  • Ooooh, this is very interesting! I totally feel you on the hard work pays off thing. I spent a good time posting 2-3 times EVERY day and definitely saw growth, but ended up getting burnt out. I’ve been hella stagnant at 6k (always gaining, always losing) and I think I’ll try your liking and commenting strategy to see how it works for me! Great post!!

    http://www.insearchofsheila.com

  • Victoria

    I’m always looking to grow my instagram account. These are great tips… I can’t believe you would like 200 Pics in a couple hour span! That’s nuts but obviously, it worked for you. Incredible job

    • I really wanted to grow my Instagram as quickly as possible, and it definitely paid off haha. Thank you Victoria!

  • Bre Fowler

    You can always tell when someone’s comments are automated and it’s so annoying! I definitely need to dedicate a bit more time and effort into hashtag engagement though. Thanks for sharing what worked for you!

  • Lyndsay Burginger

    Wow, some great tips! I think I would lose my sanity if I spent so much time on Instagram!

    • This is definitely a hardcore method, but even doing this once a week would probably make a difference!

  • thesofieyahdiaries

    Thanks for the tips!! If I wasn’t at school right now I would totally be implementing these tips xD I wish I had the time…

    http://thesofieyahdiaries.com/beauty/one-eyeshadow-make-up

  • These are great tips or simple ways to elevate regular activity. I plan to try a few of these for sure

  • Nina Ahmedow

    Great tips! I’m trying to post every day this month to see how that goes. I don’t really have the time to follow all these tips, so I want to go step by step. Once posting every day becomes second nature, I will continue with the next steps. Even if that takes more time, I think it makes more sense for someone who has a full-time job. 🙂

    • That’s a great way to go about it! I’d love to hear if these tips end up working for you 🙂

  • Nakeya Fincher

    These are some really great tips. I’m IG is my account with the most followers, but I don’t have as many as I want. I’m going to try your suggestions.

  • Treslyn

    Thanks for sharing these tips Jessica! Will definitely be implementing these in my Instagram growth strategy.

  • Francesca Gariano

    Congrats on 5,000 follow Jessica! Your feed is always top notch. Thanks for the awesome advice! 🙂

  • That’s some serious growth but you definitely put in the work. I’ve been hovering below a thousand for a while but I’m definitely gonna set a reminder on my phone and test this out for a month to see the difference in growth.

    • I’d love to hear if it works for you Rubi! 🙂

  • kiki

    thanks – The aesthetic aspects stumps me a bit – I’m a home stager and interior decorator (and blogger) I post pics of my projects and they all look different (as my clients all have different tastes) Do you think I should stop doing that and only post images that are more or less of the same look?

    • I think as long as all the images are edited similarly and taken in the same kind of lighting, it should look fine! This account posts photos of very different interiors, but it all looks cohesive because their photos are all taken in natural light and are taken from afar to show a lot of detail: https://www.instagram.com/the_real_houses_of_ig/

  • Diedre Anthony

    I’ve been hoping to reach 5,000 soon. Thanks for the tips!

  • Marta A Rivera Diaz

    I love the fact that your not a “bot”!! Good, solid, and PRACTICAL advice! Thank you for sharing.

  • yay! congrats! I haven’t been very good with my IG yet since I’m still focused on writing content for my blog — but this is very high on my to-do list! Pinning this and saving it for later <3

    • Thanks Justine! I hope this helps you 🙂

  • Yes, teach me your ways, babe <3 Such hard work and you totally deserve it!

    Enclothed Cognition

  • Nele

    Great article! Also trying to grow my instagram recently and ohh its so much work (if you don’t want to use bots, buy followers, etc.)…will definitely keep your tips in mind 🙂

  • Julie

    Nice tips! Instagram is a lot of work, but the tips you have definitely really help!

  • Kim Gammage

    This is super helpful thank you so much, will have give your advice a try.

  • Tatiana

    Nice tips. I needed this! xxx

    http://www.sieff.co