How to Instagram like a fashion blogger.

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Oh, Instagram. It took me forever to figure out that it wasn’t Facebook.  I mean, I obviously KNEW the difference – but you know what I mean. If someone Friend requests me on Facebook without annnnny sort of mutual connections (“Did we at least go to high school together? Grow up in the same town? Are you a friend of my mom’s?”), I immediately feel violated. “How did they FIND me?” I think. Like I just caught them with a telescope peeping through my bedroom window. (Sometimes even if there is a mutual connection, I think to myself: “Why are they adding me? Do I KNOW them? Did we meet once and I forgot?”) But Instagram? Haha. That’s totally fine. Follow me. Ask your friends to follow me. Encourage random strangers to follow me. FOLLOW ME. I NEED MORE FOLLOWERS.

If you’re a fashion blogger, you’re probably already on the ‘gram, and you probably already have more followers than I do. Right now I’m trying to break 300.

Not 300k. Not 300 million — (haha, does ANYONE have 300 million?) I have 300 followers. Well – actually, no I don’t, I’m trying to GET 300 followers. I’ve been batting around 287-295 all summer.  I don’t know if I can even call myself a ‘blogger’ at this point, even people who set their accounts to private and only follow friends and family have more followers than I do. When I hit 300, I should buy balloons and throw myself a party. You know, like the real bloggers do after they’ve hit substantial numbers.

Fashion bloggers consider Instagram to be a faucet of their business. They have a fashion blog on the Internet – they post pictures of themselves wearing a bunch of different outfits, what better way to advertise that than Insta? It probably helps them to get a ton of new followers. I say “probably” because they have thousands, and I have – ALMOST – 300. But I also don’t post as many #ootds. Mostly because my “photographer” is my boyfriend and it is a special occasion when I can get him to take a picture of me. I purposely try to look extra fashion-y when we go out, so that I can pull him aside as we’re leaving a restaurant and say “Hey, can I be weird for a second? Will you take a picture of me looking out into traffic?” And he says “Ugh.” and then gives me two minutes to be weird, because he loves me.

I’ve tried to subtly hint that I’d like to spend a few hours one day taking pictures “around town” (a few months ago we moved to a picturesque little suburb town about 30 minutes outside of Chicago that reminds me of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls). “Our town is so cute!”, I say. “There are so many places where I want to take cute blog pictures!” But the idea of spending 2 or 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon just taking pictures of myself to put on the Internet…? It’s still a little… I don’t know, it makes me feel a little weird. It’s kind of like Senior pictures all over again… but not really. Because I’m not doing anything super momentous that should be documented. I’m just killing a Saturday afternoon because I want to show everyone that I know how pick out my own clothes.

Other bloggers don’t have this problem. They’re professionals. When I post an outfit picture, I secretly wonder if my family members or people I went to high school with are going to think I’ve lost my marbles and gotten really into myself since moving to Chicago. “Does she think she’s a model now…? Should we be worried about her?” 

One way to combat this fear is to have a second Instagram account. Just for your blog. Then you can go ham posting #ootd pictures of yourself. I’ve considered it – and by “considered it”, I mean that I created a second Instagram account just for my blog – but then I realized that over half of my – ALMOST – 300 followers are people that I know in real life who are obligated to follow me because they do know me in real life. And, like, I wouldn’t want to lose half my followers, you know?

So I had to do some research. Google: “How to get more followers on Instagram”. Which sounds RIDICULOUS. My little cousin has 600 followers, and her account is private. But whatever. This post isn’t for her, she doesn’t need any help gaining more followers. Nor does she probably care – since her account is set to private.

Me? I care. I’m trying to pretend that I’m a real blogger. Not just a fake one who feels awkward taking pictures of herself. I’m trying to be a professional.

So here’s what I’ve learned.

  • Have pictures that look good together. Cohesively. Pick a color scheme and make it the color scheme of allllllll your pictures. This way when someone checks out your page, your pictures have a “theme”.
    • I told my boyfriend that I was trying to have an “Instagram theme” and he was like, “lol what?”. He has over 1,000 followers. I don’t know how he does it.
    • I also couldn’t – for the LIFE of me – figure out how other people were doing this. It seems simple to edit your photos to make them all “look the same” (just edit them the same way, right?), but it’s not. I tried that. I tried editing on Facetune, I tried editing on Instagram – my pictures didn’t look the same. I would find other fashion blogger’s accounts with a white theme, or a grey theme, and say, “I want my account to look like that!”. But my picture at the beach did not have the same lighting, grey-tones that my picture in the city did. And I was like “this must be witchcraft. How are people doing this?” 
      • BUT I FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT.  HALLELUJAH! Like, recently. Last week. I downloaded this app called Lightroom. (The other bloggers out there probably know all about this already. They’re probably like, “Wow. You just discovered Lightroom?”. YEA I JUST DISCOVERED LIGHTROOM. And guess what? It’s how everyone is editing their pictures to look the same. It’s the best way to play with the color without making it look grainy or “edited” (you know what I mean). I’ve been going into the color section and turning down all of the yellows and reds to give my photos a more clean, white look. (At least that’s what I’m pretending to do. I just downloaded this app last week, so I’m still playing around with it.)

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  • Make sure your photos look clear.
    • Remember when it was cool to post your pictures with, like, borders? And fun filters? Like the Nashville filter? Or the Hefe filter? Or the Kelvin filter? (Did anyone actually use the Kelvin filter?) Well anyway, it’s not cool anymore. Now it’s all about clean, crisp photos that look professional and like they were taken with an expensive camera.
      • I don’t have an expensive camera. I have an iPhone. And while other bloggers will maaaaybe try to convince you to buy an expensive camera, I’ve read that a lot of them are actually using their iPhones as well.
  • HASHTAGS.
    • I used to see people who would use a lot of hashtags in their caption and think “Psh. They’re just BEGGING for likes. That’s sooo lame.” Well guess what? It’s NOT lame, it’s Instagram – and if you want more people to see your pictures and follow you, YOU HAVE TO USE THE HASHTAGS. Get over it.
      • If you don’t want to leave it in the caption, some people post the picture, and then leave all of the hashtags as a comment. That way Judgey McJudgerson won’t say things like, “Psh. They’re just BEGGING for likes. LAME.” 
    • Make sure you’re using the RIGHT hashtags. Like, the ones that get the most views. It took me wayyy too long to figure this out. I was posting an #ootd picture and using hashtags like #whyamipostingthis #ihavenoidea because I thought it was funny. But it’s not really that funny – and if you’re not OWNING your fashion-y #ootd picture, then it’s just kind of awkward and sad. Use hashtags like #style #fashion #styleblogger. You know, normal hashtags.

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  • You can save a list of frequently used hashtags in the Notes app on your phone.
    • I literally thought this was genius. Just copy/paste it every time. It takes two seconds and then you have ALL your hashtags. You don’t need to worry about if you forgot one.
  • You can use up to 30 hashtags before Insta will cut you off. Here are some of the popular ones for fashion:
    • #ootd #ootdshare #fashionblog #fashionblogger #whatiwore #styleblogger #instastyle #instafashion #fashionista #fashioninsta #fashiondiaries #fashionaddict #fashionpost #fashiongram #instastylist #fashionstyle #style #styleblog #fashionblog #fblogger #bblogger #whatiwear #currentlywearing #ootn #wiw
  • It’s also important to tag your city. So, for example, when I post my pictures, I use hashtags like: #windycitybloggers #chicagobloggers #chicagofashion #midwestbloggers. This helps to connect you with people in your niche and build your community.
  • Timing is apparently important.
    • I mean, it makes sense not to post something at 3 o’clock in the morning. No one is going to see it. But I guess there are “times of day” when you’ll get more likes if you post at a certain time. They say Monday mornings, or in the evenings. But I haven’t quite figured out how this works yet because I’ve posted something in the evening before, and gotten more likes on a picture that I posted at 3 o’clock on a Wednesday. So, I don’t know. Maybe I’m just not “there” yet.

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  • Ask people to follow you.
    • Hey guys, you should check out my Instagram: jennhinkle_
    • It doesn’t look like the other fashion blogger accounts. But there’s a lot of pictures of me and my boyfriend standing in front of random buildings. So if you’re into that stuff, you should totally follow me.

Hopefully some of these tips will help. They’re pretty basic, but – like – I have over 200 followers. So I totally know what I’m doing.

Let me know what some of YOUR tips are in the comments below!
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25 Comments

  1. This was so great. It is hard just starting out. I have 600 Instagram followers but it took me a long time to get there. Ironically I am jealous of your blogs 400 followers! Hopefully, with enough good content both of us will see our followings grow!
    Best wishes!
    Paige
    _imperfectly_paige

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Girl I was living for this post! My instagram is a mess. I have absolutely NO idea how I have more than 300 followers. I was like you, i hovered at the 290(ish) mark for MONTHS. And then finally, over the past few weeks have gotten up to around 500….but again, I have no theme (even though I would love one) so I have no idea how this happened! Lol. I have never heard of Lightroom (clearly I’m behind the times too – lol), but I’m checking it out ASAP! I’m also heading over to your Instagram! Thanks for sharing! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your description of your boyfriend taking your blog photos is spot-on. My husband is the same way. I used to be able to get him to spend a weekend afternoon taking photos but not so much anymore. Actually, most of the post speaks to me as a “lazy” personal style blogger. So, thank you for writing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post. I too wanted to start an insta blog but for my beauty product obsession and also wondered if people I actually know would think I was annoying or went a little cray. My solution was to make a separate Instagram for just my blog stuff and it’s not doing so well haha. Regular insta is pushing 400… blog insta is approaching slowly and inconsistently 200. :(( be proud of that almost 300!! I know I’m a random stranger but I love your blog, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Yea I tried VSCO as well, but it kept crashing when I tried to use it! Oh well. I like the idea of rotating through hashtags as well – that way you’re getting a different audience sometimes! Good one!

      Like

  5. Great post! As a newbie blogger, reading these tips are so hopeful! Haven’t started using Instagram just for my blog yet but I am planning on it, and hopefully with these ideas I will start to see an increase in followers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, after posting this, I actually JUST started using that blog Instagram account that I created, and I’m actually liking it a lot better! I feel like it’s less “narcissistic” to keep posting pictures of myself if it’s on a fashion blog account as opposed to my personal haha

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This article literally made me laugh out loud. I feel your pain… I am also slowly getting over the awkwardness of thinking that the people I know will think I’ve gone mad. Still, living my little dream of writing a blog makes the feeling worth the while. Keep at it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I totally enjoyed reading this post. Not only because it is so well written but also because a new blogger struggle is real, from switching one social media to another, learning so much and so on! My instagram is a total mess..so could you tell us more about Lightroom? Discovered this app because of you. Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OMG you made me laugh so hard which i love it! please take it as a compliment. When i read other bloggers they do not blog like you its like they are controlling… but yours? authentic, humour and warm! Its fun reading your blog.
    I thought i was the only one in the world thinking like this but hey! you went through the same too. Like my high school and university friends would think, she wants to be a blogger now? its too late… why is she taking photos like that? but i just don’t care.
    It was very difficult for me to edit photos because i have no idea on which app to download or how to adjust the angle. Hey… i am still learning and trying very hard to get more followers as its always ups and down!
    Thank you so much for being real and spontaneous. I’m gonna follow you here and insta!
    take care
    xoxo
    myris

    Liked by 1 person

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