Instagram for beginners: my 5 tips to get you started

If there is an app on social media that I couldn’t do without it is definitely Instagram. Facebook? No problem! Twitter? I don’t necessarily need it! But Instagram? No way! I love how the little app animates me to discover the beautiful in everyday life and also enrich my travels. But it takes hard work to be successful on Instagram. Here are my top 5 tips for Instagram for beginners.

What is success on Instagram anyway?

Is success defined purely by a huge number of followers? I think not. The most important thing about Instagram is that you have fun, that you can express your creativity and, above all, that you exchange ideas with other Instagramers.

And that’s worth a lot more than any follower in the world.

I would rather have 10,000 followers who interact with me than 100,000 of whom I don’t see more than just a like every now and then – if at all. Then I can just buy 100,000 followers. It’s very cheap, but completely misses the point and purpose of the platform. Or not?

Get inspiration

The first thing you should do before uploading the first photo is to get inspired. Perhaps check out blogs that you enjoy reading, or browse through hashtags that you think are cool (more on that in a moment), or search Instagram’s blog for inspiring profiles to follow. Check out what they’re posting and see how they interact. I also always get a few inspirations from the greats.

Smartphone or camera? It’s all in the mix!

I know: I used to be terribly opposed to people uploading their camera images to Instagram. After years of fighting against it, I decided a good six months ago not to stick to #Smartphoneonly anymore. Because isn’t it totally crazy that I regularly buy a new iPhone just so that the camera can take better pictures for Instagram without ever reaching the quality of my DSLR? Or take a picture twice – once with the mobile phone for Instagram and once with the DSLR? Or that I withhold pictures from you on Instagram that I love – just because I didn’t take a counterpart with my mobile phone?

Expecting again, the camera images only had a positive impact on my Instagram development. My number of followers is developing better than ever and I cannot complain about the algorithm problems with decreasing reach. So, my tip: drive a mixed strategy like me – post live from your mobile phone and your favorites from the camera. Because in the end it is good pictures that count – regardless of whether they were taken with a mobile phone or a camera.

Instagram Challanges & Features

Another great way to exchange ideas with Instagramers and in the best case to gain a few new followers are Instagram challanges. Instagram itself calls out a new weekend schedule every weekend, which takes place every week under a different motto. Even if their own picture is not featured on the Instagram account, many Instagramers click their way through the most beautiful submissions and maybe one or the other will get stuck on their own profile. Also, taking part in such Instagram campaigns can’t hurt to end up on the mysterious Suggested User List (i.e. Instagram’s recommendation list) one day.

In addition, you can take part in other Instagram challenges, especially which let you interact with your followers, like 24 motives 24 names. Trust me, your followers will appreciate you engaging with them.

Develop your own style

Perhaps the hardest challenge on the way to becoming an Instagram pro is finding your own style and staying true to it. My Instagram account was as different as my interests. After a long period of experimentation, however, I slowly found my style – both in image processing (especially) and in the selection of motifs. For a long time, I always thought that I would succeed in this rather badly than well, until a blogger friend told me that she could see at first glance in her feed whether there was a picture of me. Maybe you’re just too critical of yourself!

Alen Parker

Guest Blogger | SEO Outreach | SEO