This week I hit an absolutely whopping 60,000 Instagram followers so I thought it would be a good idea to share my ‘insta-wisdom’ with you all. Whether you’re an individual who’s just as obsessed as I am, an inspiring blogger or a business looking to boost their sales; this is the blog for you.
Instagram is my favourite social media platform. It’s friendly, inspiring & it’s given me more opportunities than I could have ever imaged with encouraging me to start up this blog which has now become a job.
I often get asked how on earth I grew my following. It started back when my daughter was about 18 months old, I was already following many home accounts which gave me inspiration. I was desperately under fulfilled working part time in recruitment from home & being a full time stay at home mother at the same time. I decided to start posing pictures of my own home considering I had been obsessed with interiors for years. This gave me a release from everyday life & I gradually became more & more obsessed with not only following beautiful homes but improving & posting about mine.
It wasn’t until January 2015 that I set up this blog after many requests over on Instagram for further information or tutorials. The first year was sporadic with a new baby but this blog grew just as rapidly as my Instagram following. I only had around 3,000 followers at the time!
A year ago, New Years Eve 2015, I hit 25,000 followers. In September my following grew to 50,000. I have never taken part in the follow to unfollow saga or bought followers (which I don’t see any point in what so ever!).
So I’m going to tell you all my top tips –
1. Don’t lose yourself – My top tip is to remain true to yourself & retain your dignity. Although I do promote brands on my Instagram profile if I’ve collaborated with them on this blog, I would never promote something I wouldn’t personally recommend or purchase myself. I’ve seen (& gone on to click the ‘unfollow’ button) on so many accounts where image after image has been shoving products down followers throats. I am always myself within my posts & Instagram stories which I think people appreciate as they follow ‘me’ as much as they follow my home.
“Social media was built for humans, not robots. It was built so people can inspire, share and build relationships. The brands that perform the best on Instagram create an emotional connection with their followers — one that triggers a human feeling.” – Madeline Popelka
2. Get your lighting right – this type of weather makes my life ridiculously hard. Dark & gloomy is every Instagramers worst nightmare as it’s so hard to get a good photo, especially when interiors are involved. I tend to take photos on bright days as natural light will be your best friend & never at night. I learnt from my shoot with Style At Home magazine photographer Colin that artificial light isn’t a good idea as it can make everything seem too yellow/orange. My most high performing posts are ones with lots of natural light streaming through the windows.
3. Post regularly – it’s no use posting once a week so make sure to keep consistent with your posting, especially in the early stages when you’re trying to boost your following. Posting constantly (& low quality images…) will have the opposite effect though & look spammy so stick to once or twice a day. I also find that posting in the evening after 6pm results in better engagement as more people are at home rather than at work not checking their phones.
4. Share the love – engaging on other peoples accounts is a great way to not only support other people but to boost your own as well. If somebody comments on your photo then try to comment back, especially if they’ve asked a question. This also helps with instagrams algorithm whereby your activity is tracked & your post will be more likely be seen on feeds if you’re commenting/liking their images.
5. Make use of hashtags – the main way to get your posts seen by accounts is by using hashtags. People searching for specific things will come across your image & potentially end up following your account so make sure to use specific & individual hashtags for every picture depending on the subject/content rather than generics. The more people that see your feed = the more followers.
6. Full room shots rather than close ups – for some reason, when I post a picture of an entire room it seems to get much more engagement than close ups. I still post close ups as personally I like them & I’d soon be running out of things to post (& in the process boring myself!) if I only had the option to post the same rooms over & over again. Try snapping from different angles to vary things up.
7. Stick to your niche – the number of beautiful interior accounts that I follow which have gone on to have babies & little Eric has taken over completely is through the roof. Obviously that isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all but personally I use Instagram for interior inspiration & as an escape from my own children let alone other peoples. If you’re thinking of taking Instagram seriously then I’d recommend that if you’re a home account then don’t post a picture of a car to keep within your ‘niche’, obviously if it’s a personal account then post whatever you like!
8. Remain consistent – use the same filter (you can see how I edit my photos here…Valencia all the way) or edit all images similarly so to keep the same look. Personally my feed is pale with lowered contrast & a yellowy tone which suits my neutral decor. For others which prefer bright in your face interiors then upping the contrast to really show them off is a good idea.
Remember, what works for one person may not work for another but these are just some of the tips I’d give based on my own experiences. I’ve definitely found that the more followers I have, the more it spirals so once you reach over say 10,000 followers, your profile becomes so much more visible & they’ll start coming thick & fast compared to say having 100 followers.
However you decide to grow your following, use Instagram in the way intended & keep it as the friendly supportive community so many of us know & love.
Finally, this all wouldn’t be possible without you lovely lot so thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me & taking the time to follow/like/comment on my Instagram page.
Ive been following you since I found you in Style at Home magazine, what I'm interested to know is how you get inspired to create so many posts? I'm scared if I start ill run out of content? @amothersstyle
Hi Gemma! Ahh that's amazing you found me in the magazine. To be honest, I feel like I've run out if ideas/content half the time but then will have a sudden lightbulb moment & quickly jot down a subject in the notes on my iPhone. The world of interiors is always changing so lots of things to talk about plus I slip in the odd personal post or talk about home stuff in general like cleaning/decluttering/children 🙂
Thanks so much for reading & following! x
Massive congratulations lovely!
Thank you! xx
Thank you for the advice. I've been trying to grow my account for a while and it's been really slow. I love looking through the photos of other people's homes!
Amazing post. Really great tips that are so useful! Your little girls room has given me so much inspiration for changes we will be making in 2017! Also, totally agree… Valencia all the way! Xx
Congrats doll! Thanks for the tips! X
Congrats!! You have done amazingly to achieve everything you have. I've been following your blog and insta for a while and also enjoy looking at peoples interior photos. I started my page a few months back so these tips will come in handy. Take a look if you have time… Love_brings_you_home
Me too – it's dangerous isn't it! x
Valencia for life! So glad her rooms given you inspiration…she's a very lucky 3 year old x
Thanks Rachel! Will definitely check it out x
Great inspiration and thanks for sharing your "instadom" 😉 I'm a newbie mumpreneur so your blog is super insightful! Thank you! Kay (aka Chief muser @WallMusingsltd) X
No problem at all – good luck with your new business & raising a following 🙂 x
I've only recently started following your instagram, and even more recently, reading your blog. I love that you're just a normal woman who has built this up and find it all very inspiring. I've wanted to create a great blog (and instagram) for a while but worry it won't be good enough or no-one would want to read it. Any tips on how you've managed to grow it so big? Also, how has it now become a job, and how long did it take to get to that point? Sorry for all the questions! x
It just goes to show that anybody can do anything – I'm by no means an expert in the interiors field but what I am is passionate & ever so slightly obsessed which definitely helps. I felt exactly the same way when I first started & never in a million years thought it would come to this but everybody has to start from somewhere & blogging is free so you've got nothing to lose (except for time!). The above tips show how I grew it really but as with everything, it takes time. It took me over a year of blogging (sporadically) to make money from it but others can take years or even less time depending on reach & commitment levels. Check out http://www.ohsoamelia.co.uk for some great blogging tips xx
Oops I mean http://www.ohsoamelia.com not co.uk 🙂 Kerry is brilliant x
Well I think you've done great and I love following you 🙂 Thank you so much for this reply, i'll check her out! Happy 2017! x
This is amazing! I started following your Instagram as I LOVED your house and the interiors!! It's so great to see you've got 60,000!! I've just started a blog myself and I'm so grateful of posts like this to help me learn a bit more about how to have a good online profile!! ❤️ Xo
Thanks Rachel & good luck with the new blog 🙂 x
This has been a great read.. Thank you. I have recently set up a business and instagram page so will 100% take these tips on board xx Also congrats on your following xx