How To Grow Your Following

I have wanted to write this post for sometime. I get asked a lot about my thoughts on growing your following over on Instagram. The reason it has taken so long for me to actually tap tap tap my thoughts down on my keyboard, is a mixture of not actually having the largest following and the fact that I am no longer chasing followers.

It used to be so important for me to hit those milestones and I remember saying to Si ‘when I hit 5K I am going to make Instagram my business’. Back then I had a dream about starting my own children’s Pyjama company. (It still is a little dream of mine but I don’t think it will ever happen) It felt like once I had hit 5K I would have a big enough audience to make a start on creating a brand.

Now at just over 40k I, hand on heart, am not interested in having massive numbers above my name. Never wanting to lose sight that each number is a person, I find it more and more difficult to reply to everyone which leaves me feeling like the biggest twat. I am very much just a normal girl trying to earn a part time income from Instagram so that I am able to spend more time with my children. Therefore I am happy where I am sat within the Insta realm.

However I thought it might be nice for me to share how I believe I have grown my following. This is everything in its most basic form because I literally feel like I could write a book on my opinions and I’m much more of a 500 words blog post kinda gal.

Just Do You

I started with this tip because its the most important. Don’t spend your time copying or comparing yourself to anyone else. Just be you. The more of your personality you are willing to share on Instagram the more you will get back from the app. You will attract the people who actually connect with you and you will be able to build relationships, virtual or otherwise.


Engagement is key on Instagram. Algorithm favours accounts with higher engagement. Write captions that are funny or require a response and ALWAYS reply to the people who have taken the time to comment or message you. Invest as much time commenting and enjoying other peoples accounts as you do your own. Instagram is a community and being part of that means not only will you get higher engagement but you will also get the most fun out of the app.


Oh how I love stories. Stories are without a doubt a massive reason behind me growing my following. It goes back to what I was saying about sharing your personality. Unless you are a moaning Michael then I’d probably stay away from them. I story everyday. I think its important to be consistent in how you decide to use the app. I actually get the most enjoyment out of stories as they are unedited, real moments and thoughts. I feel like a story doesn’t ask anything from my followers. I don’t ask for a like or a comment. I am just chatting to my phone and for some reason I really like that. Stories can definitely be really scary to start with but I have had nothing but lovely comments and support from them so I would say give them a try!

Use Of The Hashtag

I don’t really hashtag, unless it is a funny hashtag. They aren’t really my thing but I know a lot of accounts have grown massively by creating a hashtag for other people to get involved with. Again it comes back to being part of a community that Instagram algorithm favours. I use funny hashtags because they create good engagement rather than gain me new followers. However if I was still keen on growth I would use them just make sure you are being specific and not using the massive hashtags where your image will be lost amongst millions of others.

Top 9 Squares

Think about a new follower clicking on your page. The top 9 images should be like a synopsis on the back of a book. What is this new follower likely to see from your account? It’s this initial snapshot that will encourage someone to follow or not. I personally try to make sure I show a mixture of what I cover. (lifestyle, interiors and motherhood) I make sure my photography is a good standard. Taking photographs that capture the season where possible. I use Lightroom to edit my photographs now but for the most part just using the brightening tool on the edit function of Instagram will hide a multitude of sins. If you have started to earn money from Instagram try to limit the sponsored content against your organic content. (This can take a lot of planning and often something I am not very good at!) A good app if you want a really curated feed is Mosaico. It allows you to see what your feed will look like by uploading images onto a dummy version of your feed.

Hat Asos (Sold Out)  Similar Here Coat Great Plains Bag Etsy Jumper Next Jeans Asos

Those are my short and sweet tips. As I said I am not keen on long in-depth posts. Just remember to enjoy Instagram and it will enjoy you right back.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll happily answer them.




  1. townlifetofarmwife
    November 2, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    No matter how many of these I do, I still always fail to reach even a mere thousand followers – I’m beginning to think I’m just not very likeable 😂

    • Frances Doran
      November 2, 2017 / 4:36 pm

      Hi Cara, I enjoyed reading this! Thanks for the tips!
      Frances x

  2. jo
    November 2, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    Do the pyjamas.

  3. jo
    November 2, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    Sorry – please!

    *I would also love more of your photography tips.


  4. Ainsley
    November 2, 2017 / 2:21 pm

    I liked your comment about the mix of sponsored posts. I follow a few accounts that definitely overdo it on the paid posts and I really don’t engage on those ones.

  5. Chelsea (myforeverhomeinsta)
    November 2, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    Amazing hunni and so true and you defo need to look into doing your pjs 😘😘

  6. November 2, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    Hi so trying to do all these and keep them going to up my followers, I’m still struggling to get 1 k followers either I’m not very interesting or I’m not doing something right lol great tips and yes totally agree love your stories xx

  7. November 2, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    Good tips and suggestions .. I am 50 off the mahoosive 1k mark .. but going nowhere fast or so it seem feels .. does it get easier the more followers you have .. as in to engage more people/ get more followers .. a perpetuating thing .. if you see what I mean .. ?

    • Cara
      November 2, 2017 / 8:18 pm

      It does act a little like a domino effect. The more followers you have the more people seem to follow. x

  8. November 2, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    Great tips, I must admit I get caught up in stats and feel totally inadequate a lot of the time. I compare myself to everyone on Instagram and it becomes so overwhelming. I just can’t seem to grow my followers very well.

  9. November 4, 2017 / 8:06 am

    I’ve just popped over over from IG where I saw your post! Love these pointers although, try as I might, my account just doesn’t grow. I had a goal at the beginning of the year to get to 5K but for every follower, I seem to lose 3. The follow/unfollow culture is huge and sadly everyone seems to play the numbers game.

    I so wish I’d grown my account before the algorithm changed – all of the really huge accounts had a very decent following before that happened and they’ve just been able to build on those numbers.

    Growing an account in this climate is SO hard. I engage and have formed some lovely relationships with some of the grammers that I follow, but my account is going backward in numbers and my engagement has dropped off a cliff recently.

    I need an overhaul – someone to look at my account and tell me what I’m doing wrong. I’m totally lost with it.

    Thankfully my blog is – and always be – my main platform. All of the other platforms act as a support for that. Although I would love for IG to reflect the amount of work I put into it. I’m starting to feel like closing it down. It’s zapping my time and energy at the mo.

    Thanks for sharing your tips lovely! Always so interesting to see how others came by their success xx

    • January 26, 2018 / 12:25 pm

      I’m with you on this. Since May mine has been moving further and further away from 5k, even though my photos are.better quality and whether I engage more or less. I’m trying now to just enjoy IT for what it is when.i first joined way back but I hate the non chronological feed and how much work it is to get half as much engagement as we did before. Good luck with yours

  10. Jennifer
    November 8, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    Hi Cara, Great post. Can I ask if you spend much time on other social media such as Twitter and Facebook, do you get much following for your blog from these or is it mainly Instagram?
    Thank you x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.