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How To Grow On Instagram in 2021 (0-50k followers)

Person holding phone with Instagram analytics.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites on the internet. This being said, many people want to know what the best ways to grow an Instagram in 2021 are.

Growing on Instagram can be a fun way to start your journey into making money online. It takes absolutely no money to get started and can be done at any age.

Whether you are 13 or 21, anyone can start growing an Instagram page in 2021. Social media is a necessity nowadays and Instagram is no exception.

If you are a brand or business on Instagram and you have not been following the tips listed below, you’re missing out on millions of potential followers and customers.

Even if you just want to grow your personal account and become Instagram Famous, this article will help you out.

In this article, I will go over how to grow an Instagram page from 0, all the way to 50k followers. This can all be done completely free!

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.

How To Set Up A Viral Instagram Page?

Phone with Instagram.

So you want to create an Instagram account and have your posts go viral. How exactly do you get started?

By following the steps below you will be well on your way to getting your first 10k followers, or even your first 50k.

I will show you the best way to get more exposure using one simple trick to grow your following massively.

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How To Grow On Instagram In 2021

These are the steps that I took to grow my Instagram accounts from 0 to over 50k in just three months!

The Niche and Name

The first step in making a successful Instagram page is to create your account the correct way. If you already have an account made you can briefly skim over this section to make sure you are not missing out on anything.

Instagram Account Creation steps:

1) Pick a niche you want to create content for.

Picking a niche just means picking a popular topic, or interest to post about. Some niche examples are cars, puppies, fishing, fashion, lifestyle, and makeup. The list goes on and on. There are so many options to choose from.

Some niches are easier to grow on Instagram with than others.

The reason you will be picking a niche is so you can narrow your audience and create content specifically for them. Instagram has many creators on its platform and we need to make sure you have the best chance to distinguish yourself from others. This is why picking a niche is important.

2) Make a free Gmail account

Next make a free Gmail account specifically for your Instagram account. You will use this as your email account for your Instagram account.

3) Pick a username

Pick a username for your account. Preferably your username will be one word with no underscores or periods. Pick a name with a popular keyword people would search for.

We do this to better your chances of your account showing up in the Instagram search engine. (For example, if you were to make an animal theme page you might choose a name like funnyanimals)

A good username makes it much easier to grow on Instagram compared to a random username nobody can remember.

4) Choose an Instagram name

Your Instagram name can be either your username or what you post (ex: Animal Videos)

Creating The Perfect Bio

Example Instagram bio.

Creating the bio is one of the most important parts of starting your Instagram account. Your bio is the first thing someone visiting your page will read. This is why its so important to have a captivating and intriguing bio.

A key part of a caption that many people gloss over is having a call to action in their bio.

A call to action is something like “Follow today for good luck” or “Follow for free today!”

You also want to briefly discuss what your page is about and what content you post. Basically, just summarize exactly what the viewer will get from following your Instagram page.

A good bio makes it easy to grow on Instagram because more people will be following you as a result of your call to action.

Once you have your bio made you can switch your account to either a business or creator account. You can do this either by editing your profile or going in the Instagram settings.

For now just switch your account to either of these two options and continue on.

Get The Perfect Profile Picture

Now that you have your account created and all your page details filled out its time to pick a profile picture.

You have a couple options when choosing a profile picture.

1) Option 1 – Free or paid logo generator

For this option simply look up logo generator and create a logo using those or if you know how to use Photoshop create your logo / profile picture using that.

2) Option 2 – Google Search

Google search example.

Go onto Google and search up images related to your niche. Make sure they are not copyrighted though. You can search for no copyright images by going to google images, click “Tools” and then select “user rights”. Select the labeled for reuse option and pick an image.

3) Option 3 – Use a picture of yourself or a picture you took

This is a great option if you are creating a personal Instagram or a photography account and you want to use your own content.

Hashtags and High Engaging Post Template

Hashtags are one of the most important parts of growing from the start. You can have up to 30 hashtags and I recommend using all 30.

To find a good set of hashtags I suggest going to a larger page in your niche and see what types of hashtags they use.

You want a variety of hashtags. There are three types of hashtags, small, medium, and large hashtags. You want to utilize all three. Preferably ten of each kind.

Small Hashtags – Under 50k posts

Medium Hashtags – 50k – 500k posts

Large Hashtags – 500k+ posts

Find a good set of hashtags and paste them into the notes app on your phone (or a similar app). This way you can easily copy and paste them whenever you make a post. This is a HUGE time saver!

Having a post template is another huge time saver. This is a trick that is never really talked about in the Instagram community.

Your post template will include 3-4 different call-to-actions (ex: follow @funnynichevideos for more!). It will include a place for you to write a quote or an additional call to action, or even just a few emojis.

Lastly, it will include a place for you to credit the owner if you are reposting content and a place for your hashtag set.

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What, When and How to Post Content

Choosing what to post depends on what type of Instagram page you have.

Theme Pages

When I first heard about Instagram theme pages I had a hard time wrapping my head around what exactly they were.

Theme pages are Instagram pages in a specific niche that usually repost viral content to grow their follower base.

You might think that this sounds like a bad way to grow on Instagram but it is actually one of the best.

Just make sure you credit the owner of the content and all is fine. Most of the time they are thankful for you reposting their content because it gives them more exposure.

As you grow your theme page, businesses will start reaching out to you about promoting their products. I have made thousands of dollars promoting products on my theme pages and I did not spend a dime!

I personally think that theme pages in general are something that every entrepreneur should start to get a basic understanding of how the online world works.

Instagram Influencer

Instagram influencers usually produce their own content and are more personality-based. This is a great option to choose if you make your own content and want to show it off to an audience.

Business Page

Business pages are very useful when a business owner wants to market their product or services to an audience. These pages usually create their own content.

When to post is really up to you. You can look at your Instagram insights once you reach 100 followers and find out when most of your followers are online. I recommend posting during those times.

Instagram most active times graph.
With these analytics, the best time for me to post 3-4 videos is between 9 am – 12 pm.

Try to at least post 3 times when your followers are most active and a few other times throughout the day whenever you want.

Make sure you post at least five times per day. This is vital to your success on this platform. As long as you post five times per day Instagram will be more likely to recommend your post to others with their algorithm. The more you post the quicker you will grow on Instagram!

Stories – Instagram stories can be vital to the success of your page. Make sure you post videos of content specific to your niche. It seems that videos have a higher chance to go viral than pictures. 

Reposting Videos – To repost videos on Instagram download the free repost app. Make sure you do not put any watermark on your videos, it makes your page look less professional. 

The more you post per day the better. Instagram is a numbers game. Especially after you get your first 1000 followers growth gets easier and easier.

Understanding Instagram Analytics

Utilizing Instagram analytics is vital for the success of your page. You gain access to Instagram analytics otherwise known as insights when you get your first 100 followers and you have chosen either a business or creator account.

This is why I previously told you to make your account one of these two options very early on. This way you can see the insights to each of your posts.

These insights will let you know which pieces of content work with your audience and which do not. You do not want to waste your time making content that your audience will not enjoy. 

Instagram analytics graph and stats.

Engagement Rate

Understanding engagement is one of the most important parts of becoming successful in the Instagram world.

The formula to find your Instagram engagement rate is to divide your total number of likes and comments by your follower count, and then multiply by 100 to give you a percentage.

I usually do this with my 10 most recent posts to find my average engagement rate.

The higher the engagement rate the better. Basically, your engagement rate just means the more people interacting with your posts the higher your engagement rate.

Companies will ask for your engagement rate. If you have a high engagement rate you can charge a lot more. Even if you only have a few thousand followers!

First 1000 Followers

Getting your first 1000 followers is a huge accomplishment. It is probably the hardest milestone to hit at first and the most rewarding. It is a landmark to future successes.

Remember: While you are using these strategies you are posting at least five times per day.

There are a few strategies to gain your first 1000 followers:

1) Follow for follow (fff)

This strategy is used when you have absolutely no audience and do not want to spend money on advertising. 

All you have to do is go to a larger account in your niche and click on their most recent post. Follow the top people who liked their post. Do this only about 10-20 times per hour so you do not get action blocked.

Risks: The follow for follow strategy can get you action blocked because Instagram might think you are a bot. So if you have a newer account only follow about 10 people per hour, maxing out at 100 per day.

2) Comment on other niche pages posts

This strategy takes a bit longer but it is very simple. You just need to follow other niche pages in your niche and comment on their posts. People see your comment and look at your page which results in followers!

Make sure the comments you are leaving are witty, funny, and engaging so people actually want to look at your page.

Risks: If you comment too quickly or you repeat the same comment you would risk an action block.

3) Shoutout for shoutout (sfs)

This strategy requires you to DM Instagram pages that are of similar or bigger size than you and ask them if they will give you a shoutout if you give one to them in return.

This is a good strategy if the niche you are in the page owners are nice and friendly. Then they would be more willing to give you a shoutout. This is by far the safest option when trying to grow on Instagram in 2021.

Risks: none

Gaining 1000+ Followers

Social media apps on phone.

Increasing your followers past your first 1000 gets gradually easier if you post the right content.

Here are my top tricks when looking for content to post if you are a repost account:

1) Look for viral content – the explore page is one of the best pages to find this content

2) Go to popular hashtags – this is also a good option if you want to look for specific content for your page that is doing well.

3) Go on repost pages that are around your size and see what content does well for them.

If you are an influencer that makes your own content just continue following trends and post viral content that others enjoy and the followers will come. Make sure the content you put out on Instagram is easily consumable by the average user.

How To Master Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels is a new feature on Instagram. It is similar to the well-known app Tik Tok where Reels in an endless feed of video content. All this content means an opportunity for you to gain huge amounts of views as well.

You can find the Reels feed on the Instagram Explore Page. Instead of only seeing Reels from accounts you follow as you scroll, you will see Reels from popular and trending accounts on Instagram.

In my opinion, every Instagram account on the platform should be posting Reels. I have seen accounts with only 1000 followers gain hundreds of thousands of views in a day!

How to Post a Reels Video:

Posting a Reels video is similar to posting a story. You go to your Instagram feed page. On the top left you select the camera and on the bottom select ‘Reels‘. You can then select the icon on the bottom left to choose a video from your camera roll to post. You are then going to need to select the continue arrow on the right a couple of times to get to the final page before you post your Reels.

On this final page, you should add an interesting/funny caption with a call to action (Ex: Follow @insert.your.name). Also, include 10-15 niche related hashtags at the bottom of your caption.

Make Money on Instagram

Woman holding money.

There are many way to make money on Instagram in 2021.

Below I will list different ways to make money and the requirements needed to start.

Shoutouts and Promotions:

Shoutouts are when you tag someone on a post and tell your audience to follow them or their website.

Promotions are when a company or person gives you an advertisement usually in the form of a picture or video to post on your account in exchange for money similar to shoutouts. 

Requirements:

PayPal Account – this is the easiest way to get paid by sending someone your PayPal email.

Affiliate Links

Affiliate marketing is a good way to make some passive income. Usually, a brand will give you a percentage of each product that you sell using your link.

When doing affiliate marketing make sure you get a decent percent. Somewhere around 20-50% is best. Companies will try to rip you off by making you promote it for cheap.

Promote Your Website

Using Instagram to promote your website is a great way to make money.

You will notice other creators promoting their own products or services on their website. You can do this as well.

Using Bluehost, you can easily make your website and monetize it however you like!

>>Make your own website today<<

Dropshipping

This is a whole other topic in itself but you can use your Instagram accounts to dropship products to your followers.

In short dropshipping is when you buy products for cheap from websites such as Aliexpress and fill out orders made using your own website for a marked-up price.

You are basically the middle man in this situation. You can use website builders like Shopify to easily start your own dropshipping business.

Instagram Algorithm Solved (How To Get On The Explore Page)

Reaching Instagram’s explore page in 2021 is everyone’s dream. Here is how you rank on Instagram’s explore page in 2021.

Your post goes through a series of tests to see how well people interact with it. If you get enough interactions you get on the explore page.

Knowing this you need to make sure the content you put out is high quality. This is the difference between a successful and failing Instagram page.

For your posts to start going on the explore page in 2021 you need around 2000+ followers. Sometimes you can reach Instagram’s explore page with less. The more followers you have the more immediate interactions you receive and your post will get shown to more people.

The KEY to more followers!

STORIES! I cannot express this enough. Post stories 2-3 times a day. From my experience stories that are videos rank on the explore page easier. So post stories about your niche topic at least twice a day.

This is one simple trick to gaining more followers every single day for very little added effort!

Here is one of my recent Instagram stories that did very well. I have had quite a few take off like this one.

Instagram story analytics.

All the profile and sticker taps are people looking at my account and most likely following when they see my call to action in my bio.

The trick with stories is you need to post highly engaging stories. The first few seconds are the most important to catch someone’s attention so they stay engaged and continue watching your stories. You only need one story to go viral for all your current stories to go viral. For example, say my first story got 30k reach, the next one might get 20-25k reach and the third would get 15-20k reach. This is why always having multiple stories is important!

Conclusion

By now you have all the necessary information to grow on Instagram, gain your first 1000 followers, and much more!

You also now have the tools to make money easily on Instagram.

My goal with this article was to help you either start or improve your existing Instagram accounts so you can eventually monetize your accounts and make a solid income.

Remember the key to growing on Instagram is time and dedication. Stay at it! Do not give up and you will eventually see results!

If you follow the steps in this article, you will grow your account past 1k, 10k, even 50k, given enough time and effort!

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out our other articles below.

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