Outlandish blog Instagram challenge how grow followers week flat lay photography blogging
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How I’m Growing My Instagram Following in One Week: CONCLUSION

Continuing from Sunday, when I posted the updates from the first half of the week of this challenge:

 

Day 5 : 219 followers

After the disappointing end for the first half of the week’s challenge it was a nice surprise to see on Sunday that my results had improved even though I hadn’t actually contributed to Instagram AT ALL the previous day.

There’s no sense in this :D

So, to continue on my chosen path I posted a picture and got 18 likes and 2 new followers in the first 30 minutes. Now, that’s more like it, we’re getting back to normal.

For the rest of the day I couldn’t have given one thought to Instagram, or whether I was gaining or losing followers, because it turned out that I HAD LOST MY PHONE! I have 2 phones, in fact, and the reason for that can be found here. When I left to my boyfriend’s place on Friday I packed both phones into my backpack. But when I got to his place, one phone was missing.

But I thought that maybe I had taken it out of the bag before leaving and it’s laying on my couch when I go home… No such luck. So, when I realized that my phone was actually gone I panicked big time! First of all because I can’t get my pictures edited without that particular phone and secondly because my entire life is on that phone, and the odds were that somebody had found it and taken it.

So, for the rest of the day I spent e-mailing my bank to figure out what to do with my credit card, which is registered to Play store on the phone, and changing ALL passwords for all applications, my multiple e-mails, absolutely everything. But there was still the fact that all my photos are on that phone, and they were now gone… I was devastated.

Late Sunday evening, in a desperate attempt to find it, I went to the mall, where I had stopped on my way to my boyfriend’s, and asked the info desk if somebody had brought them a Samsung phone with a photograph of leaves on the display. AND IT WAS THERE!

I almost started crying, the entire mall heard me screaming “THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOUUUUU!!!” and I literally felt like I just got air pumped back into me. And now I need to figure out what the new passwords were for each application and e-mail because I need to log into each one again………

Haul count: altogether 47 likes for the picture and 12 new followers.

Ending the day with 214 followers (got all the way to 220 but the ’unfollow’-trend is still going strong…)

Outlandish blog Instagram challenge how grow followers week flat lay photography blogging

DAY 6 : 210 followers

There’s 3 days left of this Instagram challenge and time to boost up the game! To start off I’m posting another picture explaining the challenge and how I posted my observations from the first half of the week in my blog.

I also brushed up on being social and commenting on people’s pictures + following more accounts that appeal to my eye. I was expecting to receive a dress today that I ordered almost 2 weeks ago and the plan was to make stories including the new arrival. But no arrivals today… Better luck tomorrow?

We also scheduled a little photography session for today after work and hopefully I’ll get some new, colourful Autumn pictures to post for the rest of the week.

Haul count: the picture got 25 likes and 15 accounts started following me.

Ending the day with 214 followers.

Outlandish blog Instagram challenge how grow followers week flat lay photography blogging

DAY 7 : 215 followers

One thing I’ve forgotten to mention: collaboration requests/offers that might come along when posting on Insta. I’ve received 4 offers within this week, 3 of them were about growing my following numbers by paying a provider. I discussed this in the first post where I explained this challenge.

Through the frustration of gaining organic followers, though, I’ve started to consider these offers. Because numbers do matter when brands are looking for collaboration partners, or influencers. But at the same time I want to stay real and true to myself, and paying for bots would be acting against that…

I had a blog post scheduled for today revealing the story behind my blog’s title, so I decided to do a bit of marketing in Instagram and posted a picture with a caption explaining that there’s a big revelation going on on the blog and how to find it.

I’ve sort of given up on stories already… Basically it doesn’t contribute anything to gaining new followers because only the current followers can see your stories. And basically, from my followers, the most people who watch my stories are my family, friends or old friends from school or Uni.

Haul count: the picture got 24 likes in the first hour and I received 6 new followers + one of the sweetest comments ever: “The words can’t describe how gorgeous you are” Aaaws.

Ending the last day of the challenge with 47 likes for the picture and 217 followers. It’s an all-time high, so quite appropriate! :)

Outlandish blog Instagram challenge how grow followers week flat lay photography blogging

CONCLUSION

Tbh, I can’t blame people who have opted for paid followers. This challenge has made me look at the offers that drop into my e-mail daily with a new fondness. Because let’s face it, trying to grow your following organically takes an incredible amount of time! But if you’re determined to do it, it is possible. Here are my observations:

Pictures

You need to post DAILY and the pictures have got to be GREAT! The more hashtags you include the better. Every time you add a picture, new followers ensue and each time at least 2 or 3 of them stick. It’s slow but sure work.

I heard somewhere that going for the more rare hashtags would be the way to go, and yes, those hashtags make your picture stay up on that particular hashtag’s feed for longer but the group that sees that picture is very small. Whereas using the more popular hashtags ensures that you start with a bang!

I’ve also realized that the consistency of a feed has a big impact on whether I started to follow an account or not. So, my suggestion would be take a look at your feed first and determine what colour scheme you should follow in your pictures to keep the feed consistent.

Post often and make sure your pictures are good. Include RELEVANT hashtags, a lot of them, and probably best to use both, rare and popular ones; the popular ones ensure you get noticed immediately and the rare ones keep your picture visible for the niche group for longer.

Stories

Unless your life is bloody amazing (like Victoria’s) or you’ve got a huge following who want to know what you think and do, then you’re wasting your time with stories.

As I mentioned before, stories are anyway visible ONLY to those who already follow you. They do not contribute anything to increasing your following. And making interesting, good looking stories takes an incredible amount of time! I’m talking about putting some effort into it, instead of just shooting a video of yourself talking to a mirror.

I’m not going to give stories a wide berth, though, oh no. When I travel I intend to utilize them because they are a brilliant way of portraying what’s going on with videos and pictures that do not coincide with my feed’s theme :)

ADVERT: If you want to see what goes on on my trip to Finland -> Austria -> Slovakia, tune in this Thursday and click that follow button.

Stay social

I haven’t been big on roaming Instagram before but now that I started following other accounts, surprisingly many of them followed me back. I don’t know if they have stuck around but anyway, it worked. On top of that commenting on other people’s pictures can also help you reach a wider audience IF your comments stand out.

Posting a bunch of emojis is what bots do, so avoid that. Instead, read the caption under the picture and answer the question or comment on what they are talking about. If you compliment their outfit, do it with more imagination than just “Fabulous!”, “Love it!” or “Beautiful!”.

***

 So, being social and very active is the key for gaining organic followers. But it is super slow work. Basically this week I got over the 200 followers mark on the first day but since then have been stuck on 214. Sometimes I get to 220, some days I dropped down to 210, but I always ended up at 214.

It’s quite frustrating, if I’m being quite honest. So actually I’m rather glad that the challenge is over :D From now on I’m going to keep on doing exactly what I’ve been doing this week but thankfully on my own terms, when I have time for it and ONLY when I have time for it.

 

 

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