The Ultimate Instagram Guide 2018

A lot of people know that Instagram is a very important tool for your personal and business brand. With over 800 million users Instagram is growing really fast.

But some people have serious problems with the new algorithm. Because your pictures are not shown chronological anymore, and it seems harder to gain new followers.

That’s why we decided to learn more about Instagram. We talked to everyone we know who is successful on this platform. Then we wrote down all useful information so we can help you get more followers.

First, we have to say that the new Algorithm is not bad at all. It simply wants to increase the user’s experience, because no one likes to see shitty posts on their timeline, or do you?

Instagram is now ranking posts higher which have a good quality and a lot of engagement (we will explain it later).

So our job is to work with the Algorithm and not against it, but how do we do that?

I will start very basic and will go deeper within the post. If you don’t have time just download the checklist at the end of the post. There you will find all the important information.

So let’s get started.

Choosing a great username

Before we even get started we have to sit down and think about a username. Why do I say that simply? because the username is one of the 2 things that people see first so it is very important that it is something that makes people want to click.

Obviously, chsdjka342q_ is not a good choice for that. You want to have something that gives the reader a clue of what your site is about. Let’s take for example the following account.

If you see this account commenting on a picture you would guess that it posts travel pictures from Colombia. So if you want to see Colombian content you are very likely to click on the profile right?

So try to get a catchy name that lets the user know what your content is all about.

Obviously, that doesn’t work with personal brand accounts. And if you didn’t know it by now,  it is harder to grow personal accounts because of that.

Have an eye-catching profile picture

The next big step is to find a good profile picture because, after your name, it is the first thing they see.

A selfie of you and your homies is not something people want to click on. So change it to something that tells other users what you are doing or put an eye-catching logo inside.

Take for example our profile picture

It shows a couple on the beach walking hand in hand that describes perfectly what our Instagram is about don’t you think?

If you have a brand site just use your logo but make sure that it is in a good quality so that the people can see something.

Always go with quality content

Yes, I know you heard that a million times. But what can I do? It is the most important thing on Instagram and in life.

If we leave Instagram on the side for a second and take a look at the big blogs out there, did you ever see a blog which was successful and had really bad content? I saw a lot of blogs which looked really shitty but the content was always great.

The content on Instagram is your photos, so make sure they have really good quality.

If they aren’t you will never ever hit the explore page, also known as going viral. Good that we talked about it right now so that I can tell you something very important that I see all the time happening.

Have an attractive feed

Having a nice profile is also very helpful. When people click on your profile and see a nice looking feed, organised, with same colours and matching pictures there are more likely to follow you.

Especially in the lifestyle niche this is very important. There are many people doing the same, and if you want to stand out you need to make it good.

There are many ways to organise your feed. You can all the pictures with the same type of colors, or every row with a theme, or in diagonal… Whatever you choose, be consistent with it.

Here are some examples of really good profiles with eye-catching content:

Monicavisuals Instagram ProfileBuzzingcreatives Instagram Profile Elskabody Instagram Profile    mariefeandjakesnow instagram profile

Know the account types

Instagram has 3 types of accounts: influencer, spammer, and user.

99 % are either spammer or user. With all the bad tips you might get from other people you will never become an influencer. But why is it important to become an influencer? Simply because Instagram will show your content to more people because you earned its trust.

Contrary to that if you are a user Instagram is just going to show it to your friends. And even worse a spammer Instagram is going to shadowban you and make it impossible for you to gain organic followers.

If Instagram put you in the spammer category it can take from a week to months until it changes you into an influencer account. So for some people, it might be the best idea to just create a new account.

How to become an influencer account?

To become am an influencer, Instagram asks you for a lot of things but those things are not impossible to fulfill.

You have to be consistent. Instagram doesn’t like it if you change your upload routine every few day. Try to upload at least 1 picture a day at the same time and stick to it.

Get other influencers to like and comment your photos. Those accounts don’t need to be Kyle Jenner they just need to be influencer in the eyes of Instagram (if you get Kyle to like your pictures that’s awesome).

And you need a lot of those influencers interacting with your picture in the first 1-3 hours after you uploaded it because that’s the timespan where Instagram decides if it will take your photo to the explore page.

By the way, one save is about 10 likes so if you get the people to save your photos that’s even better than just liking and commenting.

Now I will get really serious and tell you exactly how friends of mine grow accounts up to 200k followers but first, I’ll tell you what not to do.

Things to avoid on Instagram

Follow & unfollow

In the beginning of Instagram, that was a legit way to grow your following and it still works today but there is a catch.

Yes, you will get some followers with that method but what kind of followers? You only get those unloyal folks that are doing the same as you following and unfollowing thousands of people.

With the new algorithm, you can only follow 20 people every 20 minutes.

If you just want to have dead follower go for it even when there are faster and less time-consuming ways.

But the thing is you want to have reals followers who engage with you on a daily basis. You want them to like you and trust you to eventually buy products from you. You will never have it with Follow 4 Follow.

And even more important Instagram is going to put you in the spam category and like I said before with that you’ll never ever hit the explore page and go viral.

Automation bots

I don’t even want to comment this one but I have to.

First, the Algorithm is really intelligent it will spot spammy bot comments and likes from miles away. Second, it sees if a bot is logging in into account with another IP address.

Both things will end up with a shadowban or a full ban because you used illegal third-party tools.

Buying followers

Here you have the same problem with dead followers. I mean you want to form a community of people who trust you. If this is all about the followers to get the hot girls then there are other ways to get them just get a well-paid job.

Buying followers is just about having a high number of followers. But, if you have a lot of followers, but no engagement it isn’t worth anything.

But what are the best ways to grow on Instagram?

Those where the things that you should avoid doing if you really want to build up a community around your instagram. Now we are going to tell you the things that you should do to grow.

Stay in your niche

Like I said, Instagram likes consistency. If you stay within your niche Instagram will show your content to people who are interested in the same niche. Do you see how nice the Algorithm is? It wants to help you with nothing in return except good content!

Engagement pods

Engagement pods are basically a group of people in the same niche who share their photos and comment on each other to increase the engagement in the first 1-3 hours. This helps you hit the explore page.

Now a lot of people say DM pods are dead and Telegram is the new thing because Instagram cant detect what you are doing.

But that’s simply not true. Even I see on my insights on the picture that the likes come from outside so, don’t think Instagram does have even more insights?

I don’t think DM pods are dead you just need to use them the right way. First, the people need to be within your niche and second, never post your link inside the Pods. Instead, send a message saying that you uploaded a new photo so that the people can then go to your profile and like the newest one.

Something that is really important in order to hit the explore page is that the accounts in the POD are high-level influencer accounts. So if you can, try to get into pods with 100k+ from the very beginning.

I know that it’s hard but that’s why you also can join 10k+ pods. But in that case, you need 10 of them to have the same effect as a 100k+ pod, which is 10 times more work.

Also what you want to do if you set up a new account is to have some pods before you even start posting pictures.

Instagram, in general, helps you at the beginning that’s why you often see accounts with 40 followers and 200 likes on a picture. If you now put your account on steroids (pods) Instagram will but you on the explore page if your content is great.

With that method, it is possible to gain 200-2000 follower a DAY.

Buying shoutouts

If you are not afraid to spend some money, shoutouts are way more effective then doing Instagram adds.

But for that, you need to get posted on those really big 1 million+ pages which costs between 250$ and 450$ for a shoutout. But you have to do a really cool add to promote your account because otherwise, it will not be worth it. You will have spent a lot of money for very little ROI.

If you do it try to make a call to action inside the picture. Something like “Follow @excitingadventure ” on the picture. Or, even better, a short video showing your best content with a call to action to follow you at the end. It needs to be your best content with the best quality.

You need to put the call to action directly in the content. If you don’t the people will not notice it as an advertising and scroll through.

The caption of the Foto should immediately have another call to action something like:

“Help @excitingadventure reaching 100k follower


I am sure that you have seen something like that already. You put the link 3-4 times because some people have big thumps and if they can’t click it within the first 2 attempts they just scroll through (yes that’s true).

Get reposted by big pages

Most niches have profiles who repost a lot of photos. To get reposted you have to use their hashtag (#) or you need to tag them in the picture.

The best way to get reposted by this pages is to use all kind of methods to get their attention because usually, they get hundreds of posts each day.

So if they have a hashtag use it and tag them in the picture. And if you are stubborn just send them your picture via DM. And if they have an E-mail address, guess what? You send it there as well.

Seems a little bit annoying, but most likely they will only notice 1 of those because they really get a lot of messages.

Gary Vaynerchuck’s 1.80$ Strategy

Gary Vaynerchuck is a popular businessman and youtube star who has his own social media agency. He posted a video where he said all you have to do is, going into a hashtag in your niche and leave your 2 cents aka your thoughts on the Top 9 ranked posts. Of course, those thoughts have to be meaningful.

2 cents x 9 = 18

Now he said to that 10 times. Which means instead of going to just 1 Hashtag you now will go to 10 different ones and do the same in all of them.

2 cents x 9 = 18 x 10 = 1.80$

With that method, you will be a part of the community. People will see your 2 cents everywhere and some of them will follow you.

The good thing about this method is that you really get those loyal people who like you because of your content. The only downside is that it is really time-consuming.

But if you add that to the other methods I told you, you will form a loyal and big community within a short time.

“Ah, fuck it! I’ll just do 3.60$ instead”. Yes sure you can, work your ass off and you will be ahead of everyone!.


Instagram requires a lot of time to really pay off, but it is something you don’t want to miss out on. Unlike Facebook that has a very low reach, if you do things right on Instagram you can get to a lot of people without having to pay to get extra traffic.

We hope you liked the Guide. If you have some success with the techniques I showed you here please let me know in the comments, maybe others will be inspired by your success.

If you want to go deeper or if you already have a big Instagram account but you don’t know how to make money with it I highly recommend this course.

Jeremy is the owner of the popular @millionair_mentor, he explains exactly how to make money with Instagram.

Millionaire_mentor profile

Now you can download your checklist to make sure that you follow all the steps when growing your account.

Download your Free Instagram Checklist 2018

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