#1 Secret to Gaining Instagram Followers

#1 Secret to Gaining Instagram Followers



I haven’t been as active as I’d like to be on the world wide web and there’s a reason for that. I haven’t been focused. I have all these ideas, passion projects, and interests I’ve been trying to take a stab at all at once.


For anyone who’s attempted to multi-task, you know it’s impossible to get anything done.


I’ve been trying to juggle between my part-time job, freelance web designing, blogging, and marketing my online presence for my future business goals. Please don’t get me wrong, I’ve chosen this route because I love it, but because I’ve been trying to take on too many things at once, I’m not getting a lot of traction.


So what does this have to do with Instagram you ask? Good question.


I’ve realized that in order to get things off the ground, you’ve got to really focus on one thing.


Yes just one, and that goes for Instagram as well.


You see, Instagram is this amazing platform where you can instantly share photos and videos you’ve taken. But because there are millions of active users on Instagram—including business owners, bloggers, creatives, etc., there’s major competition for getting engagement nowadays.


If you’re a bit confused as to why you need engagement on your photos, basically people are utilizing Instagram as a marketing tool to get more followers, likes, and comments so that they convert to future customers. Some people use this as a kind of resume in order to work and partner with brands, in exchange for free stuff (like press trips, clothes, photo gear, etc.)


Yes, I am totally guilty of this. I’ve been using Instagram as a tool to get my blog and photography noticed—from using hashtags, to commenting, following, liking, and just overall being on Instagram practically 24/7. But as of late, things have taken a slight turn.

Instagram used to be fun.


I’ve always loved photography and Instagram was this cool app that allowed me to instantly share my work. Now it’s all about strategizing for maximum engagement, hashtags research, insights, studying competition, blah blah blah.
So if you’re wondering why I haven’t been uploading as much, well, it’s because it stopped being fun.


The message I’m trying to convey is kind of counterintuitive.


Basically I’ve learned that the best way to get more followers on your Instagram is to stop comparing your photos, stop copying what others are doing, stop trying to market so much and just focus on one thing.


Yes one thing, and that is your craft. Whether you’re using Instagram for your freelance work, flower business, or lifestyle blog, etc., keep focusing on that.


Master your craft to the point people start noticing.


Your skills and talents are the best marketing there is—bringing authentic and honest engagement.


When you do this, you end up using all your time and energy on getting good at something, rather than trying to market yourself so much only to see your followers convert to unfollowers.


Make sense?


I mean think about it. Someone with a bachelor’s degree in—let’s say writing—with absolutely zero experience can talk up their work all they want. At the end of the day, a degree is just a piece of paper that “validates” your expertise. So having a writing degree doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a great writer.


The ultimate test is your experience.


Yes you have a degree, but can you actually write? Have you put stuff out? All the best writers out there don’t have a degree in writing and that’s because they don’t need a degree to prove that they can write. 


Obviously this isn’t applicable to everything like medical degrees because you actually need schooling for that, but you get my point.


You don’t need to talk up your work so much in order to get people to notice.


I’m not saying that I’m going to stop marketing. And I’m not discouraging you from marketing your account either. All I’m saying is, focus on mastering your craft first.


Take the time to learn a thing or two about photography. Watch tutorials, read blogs, get out there and play around with it.

You can do all the technical stuff once you’ve built a solid foundation for yourself.


When you’re putting great content out on Instagram, you’ll get authentic followers and engagement.


But you can’t put great content out if you’re trying to juggle multiple tasks at once. 


I’m trying to rekindle my love for photography. Taking photographs because I’m passionate about capturing moments, beauty around me, and storytelling—not because I desperately need the likes to move up in the blogging world. I’m also finding time to improve my skills by reading blog posts and watching tutorials.


The main takeaway here is that your work will speak for itself and that’s the best way to gain honest engagement on Instagram.


I hope that I’ve inspired you to create authentic work, to stop destroying your passions in order to gain status, or to simply focus on working on your craft. Whatever it is, I wish you the best of luck.


If you found this article useful, let me know below. I’d love to hear your thoughts and anything you’d like to share.


May your journey be filled with light,



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#1 Secret to Gaining Followers on Instagram the Honest Way | Here & Air

#1 Secret to Gaining Followers on Instagram the Honest Way | Here & Air


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  • Isabella
    Posted at 16:46h, 23 February Reply

    I love this post! Truly eye opening, thank you so much!

  • Salt in our Hair
    Posted at 03:45h, 11 November Reply

    Great post! Also love the photos you post!! <3

  • Sarah Kim, Tales From a Fork
    Posted at 03:16h, 03 November Reply

    I so agree with this post. When I first started blogging, I was focused on nothing. I spent too much time on all social media and was overwhelmed. To do well on Instagram, I agree about focusing! Thanks for reminding me.

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 16:46h, 03 November Reply

      Hey Sarah! Yeah sometimes all it takes is a step back from everything. No problem! <3

  • Leopard Couture
    Posted at 23:14h, 02 November Reply

    Such gorgeous photos babe! And I totally know what you mean, you never want Instagram to feel like a job..at the end of the day I’m glad I still enjoy it..I’ll keep it that way 🙂 – Mitra xo


    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 16:43h, 03 November Reply

      Thanks Mitra! Exactly. I don’t want to end up hating photography because of it. 🙂

  • star lengas
    Posted at 05:08h, 02 November Reply

    Yes! I feel everything you’re saying so-so-so-much! I had to take a backseat to my Youtube channel because it wasn’t fun anymore. I was way too consumed with reaching a quota/marketing/comparisons that it wasn’t fun anymore. I’m prone to multi-tasking and I’ve realized that isn’t productive. SO I’ve begun to limit what I put my energy in and so far its been working. Also I love the photos you’ve chosen for this blog piece. Gonna go follow ya on IG now ^^

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 18:49h, 02 November Reply

      Aww thank you so much! Yeah working harder doesn’t necessarily mean you’re working smarter. So much time and energy put into something that won’t last in the long run.

  • Christina Pfeiffer
    Posted at 04:08h, 02 November Reply

    The other secret is to write a post like this and you’re sure to attract more followers. I followed you! How do you get your ratio of likes per photo up?

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 18:50h, 02 November Reply

      Hahaha aww thanks Christina! <3

  • Amanda Williams
    Posted at 03:49h, 02 November Reply

    There is some great advice in here. I have stopped trying to focus on getting followers and just focus on sharing the best of my pics, that fit with my niche, when I can. Plus engaging with others whose pictures I love. And guess what, I’m enjoying instagram again and my followers list is growing organically which I’m happy with..

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 18:39h, 02 November Reply

      That’s awesome! I feel like when you try too hard to get engagement, it becomes false engagement…people will notice good work if you just focus on your photography.

  • Sally from Passport & Plates
    Posted at 19:09h, 01 November Reply

    I love this philosophy! There are so many posts out there to tell you to follow a step by step checklist and sometimes I feel like all the Instagram accounts start looking the same.
    PS LOVE your photos – keep up the great pics!

    • Carmelisse
      Posted at 18:33h, 02 November Reply

      Yeah I get what you mean! That’s what I felt like was starting to happen, especially for travel photos. Thanks Sally! <3

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