how to grow your Instagram following

Instagram just got to be my favourite social media platform of all time. I have been able to considerably grow my following and engagement the past year. So I thought it would be a good idea to share my insights. As mentioned in my post recent post, I want my blog to be a resource for you guys as well! So here we go: my do’s and don’ts on how to grow your Instagram following.


1 . Engage with your audience | I used to value my number of followers, but now I focus more on the engagement and brands too. Given the fact that everyone can literally buy followers nowadays, the number of followers you have does not hold that much value.

You should invest some time into engaging with your audience, leaving thoughtful and truthful comments on your favourite Instagrammers‘ feeds.

I have subscribed to Iconosquare and it’s such a helpful tool. I like to go in my account and reply to a few comments and also leave some love on my most engaged followers. They take the time to leave nice comments on my post so that’s the least I can do.

2 . Post quality photos | Instagram is literally a visual diary for me. Some people don’t like to put that much effort in the quality of the photos they post; but I do. I can take up to 15 minutes before posting a photo on my Instagram page (haha, it drives my husband crazy). I follow some specific editing steps — have a look at my 2016 most read post HERE to see how I edit my pictures — then I make sure to use the appropriate hashtags.

3 . Use hashtags |  As long as they are relevant, I seriously don’t have any problem with the use of hashtags. Don’t be afraid to use them, I know they have played a huge role into helping me grow. FREE PDF: Receive a list of the top Instagram hashtags I am currently using. Please download link at the bottom of this post. * Update* with everything going on regarding Instagram’s shadow ban, lower engagement etc … I have seen suggestions to stop using the maximum hashtags allowed or not use them at all for a certain time. I still use them but mostly in the comments section.

4 . Know what your darling followers like | Don’t hesitate to experiment with different kind of photos such as flatlays, scenery pictures, from above photos. With the time, I have noticed that people really like my flatlays and streetstyle pictures, so I try to post these types of photos very often.

5. Share your personality | Just be you basically. Your personality has to come through the squares of Instagram. People love to know how you are in your daily life: goofy, silly, serious, inspirational. Just have fun!



1 . Work with brands you don’t genuinely like | This is something I truly value and which is a chore of my brand, I won’t work with a company just for the money or the exposure I can get. In the long run, this can turn into a nightmare for something you have been working on so hard: your branding. I have declined so many collaborations because I was certain they were not a fit for Petite & Bold.

2 . Don’t over post but be consistent | I try to post one picture each day. If I skip one day, it’s not the end of the world. In general I post at least 5 times per week. It’s important to have a certain schedule on Instagram.

3 . Don’t be afraid to be creative in your way | There is nothing wrong about getting inspiration from fellow bloggers / Instagrammers … I certainly do, but I don’t copy. Look for inspiration then come up with something that has your personal touch.

4 . Don’t give up | I admit, some days I get so discouraged by how many followers I lose or how my engagement lowers. But I try to keep my head up. Some days are better than others. I just keep on doing what I do best and always try to think about new ways to make my profile more attractive.

5 . Do not buy likes or followers | Meaning do not PAY a third party to send followers or likes your way. By doing so, you will be followed by fake accounts or people who will never engage with you. Keep in mind that participating into loop giveaways is a little bit different but does have a downside. The amount of people unfollowing right after the giveaway has ended can be so discouraging.

I really hope you love this type of posts. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter to receive a list of the hashtags I use the most.

FREE PDF: Receive a list of the top Instagram hashtags I am currently using 


  1. I love these Do’s and Dont’s because they are all very true. I think it gets discouraging to see others purchase followers and see them excel but in the end I know it will even out. I know we are all in it for the long haul and focusing on your engagement and staying true to yourself will benefit everyone. xoxo, Christine

  2. These are definitely some great tips! I agree with absolutely all of them! However sometimes I still post for me, if you know what I mean. Even if it’s not a post that my followers will love, it’s special for a reason, and that’s okay too. I just make sure it’s edited to match my theme haha!

    Stephanie //

    1. No problem darling! I really use Iconosquare for the comments and to check the engagement. It’s so much easier to make sure I reply to the maximum of people!

  3. Great post. I love this list! Sometimes I overpost and other days I don’t post at all. I have been reducing the amount I’m posting because as you mentioned, it’s easy to get discouraged. Sometimes I engage a lot and lose tons of followers which never feels good. It can be really long and exhausting, especially since I love to go out. It’s hard to be on the phone when you try to go out more. lol Thanks so much for sharing this! It definitely helps someone like me. :)


  4. Thanks for the great tips. I adore instagram, it is my favorite form of social media because I adore good quality photos ! Your page is beautiful, you can tell you really put a lot of time into it. I have recently started using an app called UNUM and it is very helpful with edits and page layout. You should check it out if you don’t already use !
    xx, gracie

  5. I found all these tips very valuable. I like what you said about being aware of what your audience likes and to pay attention to the quality of your photos . I’ve been trying my best to produce better content and no longer worry about missing a day of posting. Thank you so much! I am going to save and also share this post.

  6. Great insight and helpful hints. I wish someone would have shared the above with me when I first launched my blog! It was so dos discouraging!
    And totally agree with the DON’T buy followers/likes. It’s better to have real engaged follower and that you win over by the quality of your work then fake people who will eventually get weeded out.

  7. I’m an IG addict. And I agree with you on buying followers / likes cuz those accounts are fakes and can be easily identified. It would be so damn embarrassing if you were to be found with fakes. But that said, I will definitely download your hashtags cuz i’m too lazy to update my hashtag lists now hehe.
    Thanks for sharing hun!

  8. Thanks for this list of really great tips for Instagram! I love your beautifully curated Instagram feed! I’m really trying to post at least once a day and also not get frustrated if I miss a day. I’ve missed a day here and there but you’re so right, it’s not the end of the world if you miss a post.

    xo, Jo

  9. Agree about the loop giveaways. I haven’t participated in one because I feel like people will only follow for the giveaway and then unfollow you. Especially if there are 20 something other people they have to follow as well. I wouldn’t mind doing one with a total of 5 people or so.

    1. Loop giveaways definitely have a huge downside. But think of it that way: only the people who are really interested in your content and who love your feed will keep following. Therefore there is a big chance that those people will engage with your content!

  10. Really great post Josie. Thank you for sharing all the great tips of Do’s and Dont;s. Will definately follow them all and I totally love your feed..its soo gorgeous .Wanted to know about the filters you use for your pictures and also any suggestions for my IG feed will be of great help to me .

    Thanks for all the tips again !!

    1. Hey Aldina! Engaging with others is the best you can do! Take time to connect and people will notice you and follow you if they love your content! Yay for 30 followers gained!

  11. What a great and informative post darling! The one thing I really agree with, is posting quality pictures. It’s a very important key as Instagram is all visual.

  12. Hi

    These are such an amazing tips as I follow you too! I love your instagram feed and can’t wait to see more of your business. I totally agree with the engagements and I should check out iconosquare. I use planoly and I super love it.


  13. I can agree with each and every one of your tips and especially the thing that we should focus more on quality and not quantity as basically anyone can but themselves two million followers like that. Also engaging with your followers is on top of that list for sure!
    Thanks for some great tips! :)

  14. I love your flat lays. You have beautiful photos. This is such a great post and is so helpful. I find the new algorithms really painful as an instagrammer and it’s just getting really difficult to share your content and grow even with more engagement. Such a shame that Facebook has really messed with the original successful formula. Definitely great tips you have here to just keep doing all the right things. :)


    1. Hi Victoria! I’m really glad this post found you and that you like the content. Hope it will help! Keep me posted and make sure to sign up to my newsletter so you don’t miss my “blogging tips” posts! Bisous

  15. Fellow petite girl here… Very appreciative of you sharing your Instagram strategy. I just started up my account and my blog is fairly new, so I’m trying to stay up to date on the latest tricks and tips.

    1. Hey fellow petite ;)
      So glad to hear these tips can help! Growing on Instagram is a full strategy now with the algorithm. However, I do think that staying authentic and engaging with others are key points.

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