How to Build a Following on Instagram

It's a year since I started using Instagram and I now have over 11,000 followers. This is not exceptional, but it is a reasonable size of following given that I started from zero and have not invested a huge amount of time. So how have I achieved this?

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How to use Instagram Hashtags

Hashtags provide a way of labelling a post so it can be found by others. Without hashtags, the only users who are likely to see your Instagram posts are your followers. Unless you already have lots of followers, hashtags are necessary if you want your images to be seen and to build up your following.

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My Instagram 100

When I first reached 100 posts on Instagram, I started to ask myself whether it made sense to just keep indefinitely adding images. How many images would someone discovering my feed be likely to go back and look at? 20? 50? 100? More than a 100?

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Getting Started on Instagram

I outline the basic workings of Instagram with a view to getting you started posting images. First, it is important to understand what Instagram offers and how you can access its main features. Second, I will give some tips on what and when to post. 

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Why should you be on Instagram?

Instagram has the potential for much greater reach and engagement than other platforms used for photo-sharing such as Facebook, 500px and ViewBug.  Reach refers to the number of people who might see your image. Engagement refers to the number who like or comment on your image.

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Choosing a photographic safari

I’m often asked for advice about choosing a photographic safari so here it is in writing based on my own experiences as well as feedback from friends who sometimes had false expectations. Note that it is not about where to go but rather who to go with and what to expect from them.

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How does your website look to others?

If you've made the effort to set up a website to show off your photography, it is important to test how it looks to others. So you have to consider the range of devices in use today - phones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs.

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Setting up your DSLR camera

Camera manuals do a good job of taking you through the various settings and describing the options. However, there are a few important things that some people seem to skip over that I think it’s worth highlighting.

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