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1000 Instagram Followers in Just 48 Hours – How To Master Instagram

Last Friday, I hit 500 followers on Instagram which compared to my Facebook page and Twitter account, was a little bit sad and…lacking. I decided to take action and reached out to all my friends, fellow Irish bloggers, fellow female travel bloggers and essentially every other blogger group I am a member of in search of a little push in the right direction in the hope I could reach 1000 Instagram followers in just one week. Fast forward 48 hours and I  have already hit my target. Meanwhile Will, over at The Broke Backpacker is killing it on Snapchat. He has even put together a Top Snapchat Tips Guide to take your Snapchat to the next level!

I somehow reached 1000 instagram followers in less than a week. Pretty amazing.

Here’s how you can do it too…


1. Download a photo editor. Seriously.

I was originally uploading mediocre travel pics that were taken on my phone and had no real appeal. They were totally unedited and were averaging 10-20 likes per photo. The minute I invested in a decent editor, I immediately saw the difference and couldn’t believe when my photos started getting 50, 60, 70, 80…120 likes! Many people opt to put a frame on their photos, and while I have decided not to do this, I can certainly see the appeal. The photos really jump off the page given the right editing and the right frame. I recommend downloading VSCO Cam, Afterlight or Aviary Photo Editor for the best editing tools. You can find lots of other great editing tools here.


2. Only upload your BEST photos.

One of the main tricks to a killer Instagram account is to only post your VERY best images. Forget the rest, seriously. It doesn’t matter if you post once a day or once a week (however, don’t post more than 4-5 times a day or people might get sick of your images) as long as your images are of excellent quality. Check out the Instagram feed of my friend Max (@maxrmcd) who travels the world MCing The Colour Run, helping out with The Yacht Week and The Ski Week and many other adventures in between. You will find only the most spectacular photos on his feed…something that makes me what to return again and again looking for updates.


3. Pick a niche.

I talked to my friend Allan Dixon, an Instagram guru and winner of Best Job in The World in Australia, who gave me some good tips too. Try to pick a niche that is special to you. An area that you love and will enjoy posting about. The followers will then come to you. Allan, for example, absolutely loves animals and nature. So, he combines the two by uploading the cutest animal selfies around the world with photos of him doing mad things in the wildest of places. He has almost 11,000 followers! 



4. Use different photo themes

This is a bonus tip, given to me by Dr. Cacinda Maloney of the very popular Points and Travel blog. With over 24,000 followers, she sure knows what she is talking about. Her tip is that you should pick a different theme for each trip you take, so that the photos uploaded blend together nicely. You should then only upload photos that match that theme. For example, you could upload 6-9 photos over a  two day period from a market in Guatemala. Then you could upload 6-9 photos of all the colorful buildings you saw in another small Guatemalan village 2 days later. If you check out her Instagram, you will see exactly what I mean.


5. Pick the right hashtags

Use a few good hashtags, and stay away from the ones that every single Instagrammer on the planet uses. Skip #travel and #wanderlust and choose ones such as #MyVietNam #ChooseMyThailand or #IrelandInspires instead. When you are travelling to a new place, do your research and see what the right hashtags to use are. For example, when I was on a recent trip to Jersey, certain hashtags created by Visit Jersey tourism board ensured a lot more engagement than generic hashtags. You can also use specific hashtags to get the attention of some HUGE accounts such as @InstaIreland or @ExpatWoman or @Wondeful_Places. If a big account features you, your followers will no doubt shoot through the roof.


6. Find the RIGHT followers

I decided to find my followers in quite a unique way. Personally, I am only interested in travel. Fashion? Nope. Cars? Nope. Luxury? Nope. So I decided to follow every travel blogger I knew. Then I decided to see what bloggers they were following, and followed them too. The key is to target big accounts (such as @GirlvsGlobe or @DameTraveler if you are a female travel blogger like me). This will help you find the right followers in your niche. If you are into fashion and style, I recommend you check out my friend Eimear Varian Barry (@eimearvarianbarry) who is making waves on Instagram right now. The key is to follow, and take inspiration, from key followers in your area. Whatever that area might be.




7. Like some photos. Then like some more. 

Not kidding….I probably spent 5 hours or more over the weekend just liking other peoples photos. A bit extreme? Maybe, but considering it was raining outside and I probably would have wasted my time on Facebook anyway, it wasn’t a big deal for me. I also found some great, useful hashtags in the process and many amazing accounts to follow…totally worth the sore thumb!

8. Download CrowdFireApp. 

I am a big fan of tracking my followers to see what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong. I use it for Twitter all the time and find it so useful. It tells me who unfollowed me (how dare they!), who followed me, if there are any people who follow me but I don’t follow back etc etc. They now also track your Instagram account which is pretty amazing, especially when starting out. You can use it to very easily unfollow (fire the crowd!) any people that are not relevant to you, are inactive or who do not follow you back. There is a certain limit each day but it really is an incredible tool for building a large and engaged Instagram community.




Bonus Tips:

Read Allan Dixon’s ‘How To Kick Ass On Instagram’ post for some of the most comprehensive Instagram tips and tricks you will find anywhere on the net.

I’m sure I will learn a lot more over the next few weeks as I start to explore Instagram a little more. If you have any great tips or you want me to follow your account, just leave a comment below. x

39 thoughts on “1000 Instagram Followers in Just 48 Hours – How To Master Instagram”

  1. Hmm, nice app you listed. Did you hear about service? I use it to get more followers. They use some algorithm to find people in set location like city. Pretty handy. What do you think?

  2. Incredible, and now you’re at 22K only a year later?! You’re an inspiration! Totally going to dedicate my upcoming bus trip to just working on Instagram engagement, and see what happens (they better not be lying about that free WiFi)! Thanks for the tips!

  3. Very helpful tips, thank you! My Instagram is … Will try a few of these ideas soon! 🙂

  4. Instagram is no longer about ‘insta’ pics, its about timing and perfecting your images and making your feed beautiful. This was a great post I love your blog, I found your blog via another article here. You offered some great advice and its certainly a useful tool to use crowdfire for Instagram.
    What is annoying to journalists and bloggers is people who constantly follow just to unfollow without adding anything useful to the feed. I have seen people do this a lot lately! Im also still building my Instagram community as a TV Host and Travel Blogger I want to offer inspirational images and advice- not gain ‘spammy’ followers. I love your blog and will follow your posts. See you in the social media world!

  5. Great post! I”ve been struggling a little with Instagram but will definitely give these tips a go, especially the theme point…great idea! My IG is @hilltopsandflipflops, if you have time to check it out 🙂 Thanks again!

  6. Hey Janet this post really helped. I finally jumped on the IG bandwagon yesterday and realised I had no idea when and where I was meant to be placing the ####…. It kind of makes some sense now.

  7. Amy (Two Drifters)

    Loving these tips!! Totally agree with all of them. And 5 hours liking photos? been there done that lol!!!! 😀 great post

  8. With the overload of info on FB I almost missed your post. So now I turned off notifications from most of the groups I am in, to leave room for interesting posts like this one! 🙂 Thanks Janet!
    I am @worldtravel.bug

  9. Shared this on my FB and going to do this experiment over the weekend- right now I have under 100 followers- let’s see if I can get the number up 🙂

  10. intrepidtraveller

    Just follow those tips, be extreme and cut throat at unfollowing non-followers, only upload your most amazing pics and you will be flying it in no time! 🙂

  11. A really good read Janet. I am also sadly lacking in Instagram followers but will be using to tips. Hopefully I can get similar great results to you.

  12. Thanks for all these great tips Janet! I’m really looking to build my following on Instagram in the next few months and as I only put up 1-2 photos a week when I’m not travelling, I need to make the hashtags work harder and network like crazy on Insta! Well done on your success, I just hope I can imitate something similar 🙂

  13. Yes, of course! The funny thing is that my old theme does not have an IG icon yet! uggg, so I hired a designer who is making one for me now! But I am just PointsandTravel

  14. Thanks for the great tips~~~
    I only have a few followers as compared to you guys~~~
    Here is my Instagram : @xin_sheng_huo~
    Hope to reach the 1000 followers soon!

  15. We must be Instagram twins. I did the exact same thing last week. It took me four days but I was able to get my 1070 followers before Monday. 1000 was my goal. Now this week I’m going to work on Twitter. I will read your Twitter post because I have no idea on how to increase my Twitter following.

  16. intrepidtraveller

    Hi Michelle,
    I have followed you and look forward to your posts about Vienna! Glad the post was helpful. Let’s us help each other kick ass on Instagram!

  17. intrepidtraveller

    Cacinda – WOW. You’re Instagram is my new favourite thing, like ever. I have added in a new point in the blog post to highlight that great tip about photo themes and have linked back to your site. Hope that’s okay. 🙂 Janet

  18. intrepidtraveller

    I find that one so useful. When I was in Berlin and used the #BeBerlin hashtag, my photos seemed to get a lot more attention on both Insta and Twitter.

  19. Hey Janet, thanks so much for the post! I’ve been growing my followers slowly and wanted to find out how to increase that quickly and fortunatly stumbled upon your blog! Now I got some tips to help me 🙂 I appreciate it, and see you around!
    Michelle @americaninvienna

  20. Oops! You forgot to follow me! I have 24.5 K followers and I have to say, you have given good advice! One other thing I do is theme out my IG account, depending on my travels and where I am going next so that they blend together…

  21. natalietanner

    Thanks for the tip on finding hashtags from tourism boards….will look into that! I’m growing and learning a lot.

  22. Awesome post, thanks a ton! I wish you all the Instagram followers you can handle 😉 My account is @cartwheeltheglobe follow… or don’t, I’m not your boss.

    Happy travels

  23. intrepidtraveller

    Miia, feel free to put a link to your Instagram in a comment and maybe you will get more followers! 😉

  24. intrepidtraveller

    No problem, you’re an inspiration to every aspiring Instagrammer!

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