How to grow an Instagram following when you are just starting

Have you ever wondered how to grow your Instagram account when you are starting out? It’s not hard work, but it does take time. Here are some of the steps I’m using everyday to grow my following.

Use a combination of hashtags and looking at comments on other people’s posts to find accounts that have similar number of followers that you have. Make sure you share a similar interest, and follow, like, and comment on their posts, stories and reels. If you do this frequently, you can establish a friendships with them on-line, and get more followers.

This method has been working for me. It’s fun and I get to make new friends, meet new people (virtually) and share a part of my life on Instagram to grow my business.

How do I find smaller instagrammers?

Instagram makes it super easy to start a new account, but the trick is how to get people to see your account, and get interactions (likes, comments, and shares) when you only have a handful of followers.

The strategy I continually use with success, is to find other NEW instagram accounts, or at least accounts with a similar number of followers that I have.

Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way to search for accounts by follower number. So this is what I do. I use three different methods to find younger accounts.


There is a TON of information about using tags on Instagram. I’m not going to talk about how many to use, or if you should put them in the body, or comments.

Instead I want to talk about Hashtag selection.

Hashtags are a fantastic way to FIND accounts to follow. Especially accounts that are just starting out.

Established accounts tend to ignore the hashtag. They HAVE an audience, and aren’t in the growth phase anymore. But new accounts DO use hashtags, and they work!

The key is to find the less popular tags. The ones that aren’t used as frequently. But they MUST be highly relevant to what you are posting, or at least the field you are in.

In the DIY, Interior Designer, and Home Renovation space there are some really good hashtags to follow that seem to get more new accounts:

  • #oneroomchallenge
  • #Interior123


Comments are another great way to find new accounts.

I’ve found that most established IG-ers have 2 kinds of people that comment on their posts and reels.

First is their friends. There will always be a group of friends that comment on each other’s posts. Remember, Instagram is a SOCIAL network, and I know my friends (and my Mom even too) comments on my posts. I may not always like what they say, but I love the interaction.

The second major group that posts comments are new bloggers and people with younger IG accounts (or not that many followers). These are the people to look and and follow.

Just click into the commenter to see their profile, and look at their follower count. Is it similar to yours? Is their content similar? This is a great person to follow and interact with. Over time, you can build a relationship and create your own circle of Instagram friends.


A very underrated search feature on instagram is the ability to search for similar accounts near you.

I’m in Austin, and there are a ton of great bloggers and Instagrammers here.

Finding them is easy! Use the search feature to type in your location, and a relevant keyword – I often use Austin Bloggers and get a great list of accounts to check out. Give it a try!

Reels are a great way to grow new Instagram Accounts

Of course, posting on a regular basis is another great way to grow you account. Instagram NEEDS new content all the time, and I have a feeling that the more you post, the more you are rewarded.

What’s the reward? Your post getting more exposure.

Remember, Instagram uses an algorithm to show content to you. It doesn’t show you stuff in a chronological or logical order, but instead based on what it thinks YOU want to see next.

Sometimes it is right, other times not so much.

But what I do know is that the more content you have, the more chances there are for it to get in front of other users.

Currently Instagram is promoting reels a little more than regular posts. At least that is what I have been reading from other bloggers.

I have even experienced this firsthand on my own account, and am focusing a lot more on reels and videos that ever before.

Can you gain instagram followers from other industries

I’ve found it is much easier to stick to your industry or field, if you are trying to gain followers.

What I mean is if you are into DIY – try to find other accounts that are also showing DIY projects.

  • Home Renovation -> Home Renovation
  • Interior Design -> Interior Design
  • Home Decor -> Home Decor
  • Ikea Hacks -> Ikea Hacks

Keep in mind that not EVERY post you make or someone else makes is going to be 100% on topic. But look at the general feel and trends of their profile, posts, and reels. What does their description say?

Going to adjacent fields can be a great way to grow your base. I’ve learned that if I stray too far adjacent, I’m not going to be as successful. For instance I have a few other hobbies, one is LEGO, and the other is 3-D printing. The first doesn’t really go with the Home renovation, however with the 3-D printing it is possible because I can make organizers, furniture, and even home decor that is

What are some things new DIY bloggers need to watch out for?

You will see lots of businesses and get rich quick scammers leaving comments. Treat these like mosquitoes. Swat them away, or if it is especially bad use a plugin like akismet on your blog to help keep them at bay. If they are commenting on your instagram, you can delete, or even block them if you choose.

Just know that these accounts don’t last long, and you are in it for the distance. Follow the best practices, and you won’t have anything to worry about.

Final thoughts

Starting a new account on instagram is a fun and exciting time, but don’t fall prey to the endless scroll. Instead, take time to leave comments on accounts similar to yours. Grow and foster an authentic follower list, and reward them with great content. That’s what I have learned to be the success for new instagram accounts.