How to Have A Successful Instagram: Guide for Beginners

By Tata Rossi 13 days ago, Photography Tips

With 2021 coming closer to the end, Instagram has more than 1 billion active users a month while people give each other around 4.2 million likes a day. That’s why it’s not surprising that many people are wondering how to have a successful Instagram these days.

Instagram used to be a social network where people shared the news and food photographs, and now it’s a platform for bloggers. Users post high-quality content to gain and retain followers. Read this article if you want to learn how to attract potential followers/clients and develop your business.

15 Tips to Have a Successful Instagram

If you are a beginner, you probably don’t know where to start. You need to know how to create a bio and how to meet Instagram profile photo requirements. You should also learn about how to edit Instagram photos and advertise your goods or services. To generate a successful Instagram strategy, follow the tips described below. 

1. Plan Out Your Content Strategy and Analyze the Competitors

Today, Instagram is a powerful marketing platform with specific rules and algorithms. To promote your page, it’s not enough to post several pics and funny videos. You need a thoroughly developed strategy to make people follow your blog.

The first thing you need to do is to analyze the competitors. Find the most popular posts in your niche and see what you can learn from them. Pay attention to the visuals and colors used by your competitors. Evaluate how followers interact with such content and decide what works in your niche.

To enjoy Instagram success, you should regularly analyze the market. This way, you will know what is going on in the industry and keep up with the latest trends.

If you are a photographer, you can get inspired by popular Instagram photographers. You may search them on Google or by hashtags on Instagram.

Pro Tip: I also recommend using special services to analyze your competitors, like Livedune, Instahero and SpamGuard. You can learn from other people’s mistakes, choose the most beneficial promotion method, etc. In brief, if you don’t want to lag behind, you can’t do without the analysis of your competitors.

2. Find Your Visual Aesthetic

Another tip on how to make your Instagram account popular is related to images. Some visuals might work for one business page and be a complete failure for another one. You should think of the aesthetic you want to show in your blog, design branding guidelines, and try to follow them.

Don’t forget about the color palette. Pick several colors in one style to make your business page consistent.

Besides, you can make your profile look aesthetic with different picture location techniques. If you decided to impress your followers with beautiful shots, use the post production services or color correction services. Within several days, experts will professionally correct colors, create digital drawings, or perform surreal photo manipulations to enhance your photographs.

instagram checkerboard feed

Checkerboard feed. This stylish solution will make users pay more attention to your pics. You should post a photo, then a quote, tip, or review, followed by another photo. Post photos of goods for sale followed by personal shots or pictures of calm colors with pics of bright ones.

The “checkerboard order” is convenient to implement. The technique means you should plan beforehand, but you can achieve the required results post by using the filters.

instagram row by row feed

Row by row. To use this technique, you should prepare three shots; you need to simultaneously post the whole row. Each row should feature the same color, style, and content type. Mind that rows may be both horizontal and vertical.

instagram diagonally feed

Diagonally. This way you can make your profile look unique. Here, you should also publish three photos simultaneously.

3. Remember about Instagram Bans

instagram bans warning

On Instagram, it is prohibited to publish nudes, posts inciting conflicts on religious, political, and social topics. Plagiarism is also not permitted. For sending spam messages to Direct and posting spam in comments, your account may be banned.

Plus, the service might suspiciously take the publication of several posts within one day:

  • New profiles from 2 to 4 weeks can publish no more than 3 posts a day.
  • Profiles that exist more than 6 months can publish up to 25 posts a day.

Instagram is sensitive to any mass actions. Numerous similar hashtags, comments and direct messages are taken as spam. Endless likes, subscriptions, unsubscriptions make the page look suspicious. For various violations, Instagram can ban you for several hours, days, months, or even forever.

4. Create the Bio with Clear Call-to-Action and Good Profile Image

make my instagram popular

If you use Instagram to sell goods or services, your profile should look like a homepage. You have 150 characters to describe your company, 30 characters to name your profile, one link, and several action buttons to gain clients. So, you should do your best to make your profile appealing and engaging. It should include:

  • A short description of what your company does.
  • Your category/niche (Shopping & Retail, Business Service, Restaurant, etc.).
  • A tone that matches your brand’s personality.
  • Contact information (phone number, email, address, etc.).
  • A link.

As for the profile picture, it should represent your brand identity and be recognizable. So, pick one of the options from this list:

  • Logo
  • Logomark (the logo, minus any words)
  • Mascot

Your profile picture should meet specific requirements. Its size should be 110x110px while the maximum resolution is 180x180px. Of course, these are not super strict rules, but these are optimal values that will make your picture recognizable.

Pro Tip: If you have a business account, and it is directly connected with the Facebook page, your Instagram success depends on this page. You should create a custom Facebook cover photo that will help you promote your brand and attract a new audience. To make your profile picture professional-looking, contact headshot retouching services. Skilled retouchers can edit corporate, entertainment, modeling, and branded portraits for promotional purposes. You will get professional results within the shortest time possible.

5. Use Various Editing Applications

usage of editing apps for social nets

Every blogger uses several good apps that allow enhancing photos. Check out a list of such apps:

VSCO. This editor includes many high-quality filters and a built-in camera with convenient controls. It’s compatible with iOS and Android.

Snapseed. This app is suitable for overall photo enhancement. It works smoothly on iOS and Android devices. Snapseed allows you to work with RAW DNG files, save them without quality loss, or export them in JPG. Users can also automatically or manually adjust the exposure and colors.

Lightroom Mobile is a free Instagram photo editor that allows you to capture and improve pictures. Bloggers use it to enhance full-resolution images, apply filters, or use ready presets to edit pics in one style. It is compatible with iOS and Android.

InShot. The application enables you to select preset image and video sizes to create stories, images for galleries, etc. With InShot, you can also add music to the video, cut clips and join them, rotate videos, blur the background with one mouse click, or insert text into the video. It is supported by iOS and Android.

TouchRetouch. It is an app for iOS and Android with a range of tools for removing wrinkles, improving facial lines, enhancing skin tone, etc. With several finger touches, you can select the imperfections you need to get rid of and press the Start button. The app will do the rest.

Tip: If you need professionally edited images, you can use photo editing software for PC, like Photoshop and Lightroom to improve your photos. Both programs support batch processing, which enables you to enhance dozens of pics simultaneously.

6. Outsource Editing to Professionals

fixthephoto portrait photo editing service fixthephoto portrait photo editing service

If you don’t have essential editing skills, it’s better to delegate enhancement tasks to professionals. Expert retouchers will skillfully improve your pics according to the latest standards. You will get appealing photographs that will help you attract more followers on popular social media for photographers.

Don’t worry if you initially used inappropriate settings. The experts will correct any issues with exposure, contrast, and colors. This might be particularly useful for newbies who have never improved pics by themselves. The photo editing pricing starts at $2.5 per image and depends on the complexity of a task. On our official website, you can find before and after retouching examples and evaluate our works.

7. Pay Attention to the Text

When Instagram appeared, it was enough to post beautiful pics with emojis. If you want to find out how to have a successful Instagram today, you should pay attention to the text. You will get more likes and comments if you port an interesting story, describe your feelings, in other words, write something that makes people think.

You can include the content of the following types:

  • informational — news, useful tips and advice;
  • entertaining — describes situations that photographers face;
  • involving — contests and subscriber polls;
  • selling — advertising your services or advertising integration with brands.

The maximum length of the post is 2200 characters, but bloggers have already learned how to bypass this restriction. Two ways allow you to publish a long text:

1. Text on the carousel photo. Besides the first photograph, you have 9 slides on the carousel where you can add the text that didn’t fit into the post. Don’t forget to write in the post that one can read the continuation in the carousel.

2. Comments under the post. Although fewer people use this method, it’s still quite effective. Each comment includes up to 1000 characters. Don’t forget to pin it so that people don’t have to search for it in the pile of other comments. To pin the comment, you have to publish it from the other account.

Pro Tip: Use such tools as Spacie to format your text and put the correct paragraphs.

8. Publish Stories and Reels

how to make a good instagram with stories

In Stories, tell about yourself and personal insights; describe your working routine and share achievements. The emotional content brings a blogger closer to their audience. It’s important to publish stories daily not to vanish from followers’ feeds.

Business accounts can post current deals, new products, arrange interactive events about goods and services.

Owners of personal blogs should focus on real communication. They can post polls, tell about everyday situations, the latest news, etc.

Professional bloggers can share their achievements in stories. Show followers the clients’ feedback or reviews of your products and services. Make an interactive activity with the vote or ask to evaluate the before/after results. Don’t forget to show something personal in the blog since it positively influences the coverage.

Note: Reels is a new Instagram feature and also an attempt to replace TikTok. Reels appeared in August 2020. These are short video clips (15-60 sec). They are shown on the special tab and disappear within 24 hours like stories. What makes them different from stories is that they are shown not only to your followers but also to random people in the feed.

9. Study Correct Sizes and Photo Formats

To avoid blurriness, you should know the correct photo sizes for Instagram. The maximum size of a picture is 1080x1080px in height and width. It’s an ideal square. If the image doesn’t fit the square form, you can adjust it to the size 1080x1350px.

The maximum weight of the image is 30 Mb. It’s better to post photos in JPG or PNG formats. In case the image is too heavy, you should compress it. You can do it in Caesium, a simple tool with an open code designed to compress PNG, JPG, and BMP files. You can also choose FileOptimizer that offers better compression without quality loss.

Pro Tip: To create high-quality shots, use smartphones with good cameras, like iPhone 12/13 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. These are new models that support great picture quality and image stabilization.

10. Publish Posts Regularly Using Post Schedulers

how to make a good instagram

You won’t achieve Instagram success without publishing content regularly. You should be very active and make at least one publication a day. However, it would be great to have 2 or 3 posts daily since you will enhance coverage and promote your account.

I recommend learning more about what Instagram posting is. This method is convenient for personal blogs and business accounts. By using special programs, you can schedule auto-posting of your content with little effort. Such tools will save much time that you can spend on creating qualitative content.

Post schedulers allow you to:

  • implement a specific content plan on the scheduled date;
  • segment your audience;
  • promote several commercial accounts simultaneously;
  • duplicate posts for posting them on other social media;
  • add a logo to images and edit photos;
  • track the users’ response to publications and content history;
  • re-publish successful posts from the feed;
  • remove the unnecessary content, old deals and discounts at a specific moment.

The best services in the niche are InSMM, Onlypult and Amplifr. All these platforms are designed for freelancers, marketing agencies, and entrepreneurs.

Pro Tip: As a rule, it’s better to publish posts on Instagram in the afternoon (from 11:00 to 13:00) and in the evening (from 19:00 to 21:00).

11. Use Branded Hashtags

using branded hashtags to make instagram successful

If you have a personal brand, you should promote some products and services on your Instagram page. However, you shouldn’t overdo. The statistic claims that 57% of users unsubscribe from brands if their social media pages are too promotional.

To avoid this, use branded Instagram hashtags or, if you are a photographer, photography hashtags. 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded. So, make sure your hashtag is original, recognizable, and engaging.

Pro Tip: I recommend using special apps and services for selecting hashtags, like Top Tags: TagsForLikes app and Hashtagify. These solutions will help you choose perfect hashtags for your brand.

12. Take Advantage of Instagram Highlights

using highlights for instagram success

If you are wondering how to make your Instagram account popular, you should keep up with all the updates and use them to promote your account. One of the recent updates is the story highlights. You can create several story highlights to promote your product or services and engage your audience.

Also, you can create story highlights with a hyperlink to your goods. When it comes to Instagram success, you should use all the ways possible to engage your followers and increase traffic.

13. Arrange Joint Live Broadcasts

No matter how many followers you have, you should take part in joint live broadcasts. As co-presenters, choose people whose accounts are more popular than yours. The topics of your pages should be similar or close. This way you can present yourself and attract a new audience.

To conduct a live broadcast, you should pick the topic beforehand and discuss all aspects of the future broadcast. Try to discuss a topic you specialize in. It’s enough to have live broadcasts with interesting people once a week.

14. Use Comments as a Promotion Method

If you think of how to have a successful Instagram, you should try to attract more subscribers. A good way to get the first 1,000 followers for free is to write comments under other bloggers’ posts.

Make a list of successful bloggers to which your target audience is subscribed. Choose the topic you are interested in and comment on the posts.

The more often you write and the more interesting your opinion is, the more people will visit your profile and subscribe to it.

Mind that you should leave comments regularly, Plus, it’s better not to be rude to the account authors and other users to avoid bans.

15. Use Paid Promotional Methods

Today, you can buy placement of your promotional materials among posts, Stories, Reels, and IGTV only via the Facebook Ads Manager. Yet, you can always buy advertising on other bloggers’ accounts and bypass official advertising tools.

Target advertising. You can choose the promotional goal, like more profile visits or the increase in the number of comments. Segment your potential audience by sex, age, and location. This way, you can show your posts or stories to those users who can be your potential clients. It may also engage people who have already visited your profile, saved posts, but haven’t subscribed for some reason.

Advertising on bloggers’ accounts. Choose microblogs with a small number of subscribers. The audience of such accounts is rather engaged so you can get more benefit from advertising in such profiles. You can also use popular platforms like Sociate, but I recommend looking for bloggers on your own and contacting the blog owners directly.

Bonus Tools

powerful instagram photoshop actions by fixthephoto

If you want to have ideal pics in your profile, use free Photoshop actions. These effects will help you get more likes and attract new followers to your account. Photoshop actions might be helpful for everyone who has an Instagram blog, an online store, or is just interested in the latest trends.

By using the effects, you can create professional-looking images in one style. They will definitely work better than standard Ps tools. You can apply them to various photo genres, like portraits, traveling shots, group pics, etc.

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