How To Get More Instagram Followers

2 Nov

So you want to become Instagram Popular?

Here are 10 fun tips to help you become Instagram Famous. While there’s no guarantee, and while some just follow a zillion others hoping for follow-backs (aka “ghost follower” Instagram profiles – not cool; I block ’em all) …posting interesting images and participating around the site will always be your best strategies.

Instagram Popular Page

Instagram Classic Popular Page Icon, now the “Explore” page

Instagram Cheat, Instagram Popular Formula…

Can’t be done! Sorry! That said, these tips should not only help you become Instafamous, but also improve your photography and enjoy ever more famous Instagram adventures no matter what. These are from my own experience in about a year of being on the site, rather than from an Instagram computer that magically controls the Explore Page. Like these tips? Share ’em on Twitter!

How to become popular on Instagram:

How to become popular on instagram - start with great images.

My own pics – @rsmithing

  1. Don’t be afraid to get the shot; do it! The opportunity will not come back. Who cares if someone looks at you strangely? They’ll get over it in about 2 seconds. Your image will last forever.
  2. Master a photo editing app. Get one or two apps you’re intuitive with and practice using them for edits. It may take some experimenting, so plan to spend at least $20 in the app store. Hey, do you like pizza? Well for the cost of a decent pizza, you can get a bunch of cool apps to experiment with. Don’t be a cheapo; make the investment.
  3. Enter challenges. They’re an easy and fun way to see what others are doing and grow your skills.
  4. Pick a filter and stick with it for about 20 photos to make a strong impression. The effect is undeniable and eliminates complexity.
  5. Thank people religiously, leave comments, and be funny. Or, at least try to be funny. 😉
  6. Use a 3rd party site like Gramfeed. They’re great for comment effectiveness, and much easier than typing every single letter on your tiny phone keyboard.
  7. Even moths are interesting through a macro lens.Rock and roll all night and party every day. That’s more a just general life lesson, but it should at the very least provide some good raw material. OK, real tip: consider an accessory lens for close-ups. I did this and am seeing the world in a new way, especially bugs.
  8. Hashtag the crap out of your photos. Look up keywords in other languages and make friends from around the world.
  9. Keep a bunch of hashtags handy in a note so you can copy and paste as appropriate. You might also use groups of tags for common subjects (vacation, flowers, retro, etc.). Tap around on some hashtags at the site and find the popular ones that appeal to you most.
  10. Process pics later. You might have a great photo-op in line at the TSA security check, but sometimes it’s best just to get the pic and move on as fast as possible, then dive deeply into the editing afterward (like once you’re on the plane).


Take really, really excellent photos! Get creative, encourage others, and have fun on the site!

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Do me a solid and check out the rest of if you’re interested, and say hello in the comments. Since you’ve read this far about Instagram tips, you might also like the photography category. I’d really like to know if these tips work for you, so say hi in another post or on Instagram. Thanks, and have fun!

25 Responses to “How To Get More Instagram Followers”

  1. Guy - The Beginners Lens December 4, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Very nice and useful article Richard! Thanks for commenting on The Beginners Lens.
    We should get in touch and see what we could do jointly.

  2. Appdaptation November 18, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    Great post sir! Of course everything starts with a great photo! I think learning from the successful is a perfect way to get started on IG. I followed all of the above for a long time to watch what they were doing. I eventually realized what they were doing just isn’t me so I’ve gone my own way. I think it is important for everyone to eventually “find their voice” and stay true to who they are.

    I also wrote another article titled “8 Rules for Rapid Instagram Growth” ( which some of your readers may find useful in addition to the Popular Page formula I’ve tried to uncover.


    • rsmithing November 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

      Thanks! Very, very true about finding your voice. That’s been a challenge for me, so I’ve tried to become more specialized after seeing what sticks. And guess what… my photography is improving! Poupular page or not, the true reward is the journey rather than the destination, and I think having so much to learn from and be inspired by is some of the best teaching we can get. And to anyone reading this, go right now and see Chris’s blog, including the post above. See you on IG!

      • Appdaptation November 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

        Well said, R!

  3. mspeirs November 11, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    fantastic article!!! I’ve never even considered most of these tips before! thanks

    • rsmithing November 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

      Nice! Let us know how it goes if you try something here and become InstaPopular. 😀

  4. Patrick Gervais November 9, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    Good tips, thanks. I’ll get working on them… 🙂

    • rsmithing November 9, 2011 at 11:05 am #

      See you on the popular page! I have yet to make it, but am having fun trying, and there’s no denying the success of these others with literally tens of thousands of followers. Good luck!

  5. Jennifer Jeffrey November 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Thanks for the mention, Richard! Very kind.

    I still haven’t gotten into the habit of hashtagging – I know I should, but I get so busy and it seems like that’s yet another step… Yikes!

    I’m totally going to try – thanks for the recommendation!



    • rsmithing November 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

      Hey, let us know how it goes on! You’re actually already there: Hashtagging is good for finding other photos, or winning views, but given that you have 62,000+ followers (as of this writing), I don’t think you need to work too hard at becoming popular, lol. Just keep sharing the lovely pics. 😉

  6. aviatrixkim November 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    This is great! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • rsmithing November 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

      Absolutely, Kim! Glad you find this useful.

  7. pattihenderson November 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Richard, great tips! Easy to follow and fun. Who knew a phone could make an awesome camera?

    • rsmithing November 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      Tell you what, I remember the first TV commercials for a camera phone and thinking how completely useless that would be. Now, mine may as well be stitched to my hand. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Philippe Gonzalez (@PhilGonzalez) November 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Thanks for mentioning us!! @philgonzalez from @Igers INSTAGRAMERS.COM

    • rsmithing November 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

      Absolutely! Your blog rocks. Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

  9. Mehmet Ali November 2, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    I wish one day we also have like 5000 follwers , this is also succes 😉

    • rsmithing November 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

      Keep blogging and it will happen!


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