The Great Instagram Challenge – Part 1 – Intro

It’s been such a long time since I have put a blog post up on here.

I’ve been busy with various other projects which has been fun, but not efficient or particularly effective in terms of money matters.

Anyway, it turns out that I seem to have a little bit of a knack for running Instagram profiles.

I am currently multi-tasking and running 3 simultaneously, and they are all growing organically and building an engaged audience. So no fake buying followers or any of that crap. Just real, legit followers.

Presenting my 3 current “case studies” although with


So time to lay some foundations for each of these profiles and what I am going to aim to do here.

First of all, I am going to post updates every couple of weeks with each of these profiles. I am going to talk about what I did with each one, how I did it and the results.

I am keeping the profiles anonymous deliberately – mainly because I don’t want to skew or screw up my results for any of them in any way. Based on current traffic levels on this blog, that is extremely unlikely anyway, but better safe than sorry.

Over the course of the coming weeks I will be starting some new profiles from scratch for various brands/blogs I run and will attempt to do something similar. That way you can see it develop from scratch.

I am talking a little bit more about each of my profiles A, B and C below.

Here are the basics of what I have done with each profile:

  • Quick, easy to remember username – no double letters, random symbols, all short words
  • Posting twice a day religiously
  • No buying shoutouts or paying for followers
  • Spending a ton of time on content. Each post takes me 20-25 minutes on average to put together.
  • No mass following/unfollowing people
  • Putting a huge amount of time and effort into liking, commenting and interacting on other peoples’ posts.
  • Using hashtags smartly. (I’ll cover this in a later blog post as there is a bit of strategy to it!)

That is pretty  much it.

So on to the current profiles:

Profile A

  • Niche: Spirituality
  • Current followers (as of 31/1/16): 10,957
  • Current following (as of 31/1/16): 12
  • Average followers increase per day: 110-120

This is a profile I have been running for about 2 years now. However I mainly started working on it about 6 months ago. It is quite a narrow sub-niche, but has a large potential base on Instagram and people interested in this topic are very passionate about this topic.

I think a good amount of the growth is from the fact that there aren’t too many accounts in this niche.

I am only posting once a day on this account, usually early in the morning but at it’s current size and virality, that is all it currently needs.

Posts are averaging anywhere from 400 to 1200 likes, and 10-30 comments. One post has even hit 1600 likes which is extremely high.

The current plan for this one is to carry on as is – posting one image a day, and heavily interacting with others posting similar images.

This account is creeping up to 11k, the largest one in this niche, as far as I can tell is around 27k but my growth seems to be at a much faster rate and my profile seems to be more active, so I think I can take them on.

Profile B

  • Niche: Food
  • Current followers (as of 31/1/16): 4,314
  • Current following (as of 31/1/16): 92
  • Average followers increase per day: 25-30


I run a food-related subscription box business and this is the Instagram account I run for that.

We haven’t really used it much for trying to drive sales yet, just growing the profile. One of the main limitations of Instagram is not being able to geo-target that effectively so my virtually all UK account has several international followers. I would guess maybe 15-20% of the followers at most are UK based.

Same strategy, posting 2-3 times a day and interacting with others religiously.

Engagement is a bit lower on this account, but it is more saturated, more competitive and not quite as passionate a niche as Profile A.

Likes range from 150-220 usually, comments around 4-5 per post. So not bad, but would like to boost it up.

I am following more people as I directly have something to sell, so it is a better way to grab the attention of my potential customers. Still not following too many, but a few.

I have got 10k as the next target for this one, again using the same strategy.

Profile C

  • Niche: Health/wellness
  • Current followers (as of 31/1/16): 4,300
  • Current following (as of 31/1/16): 27
  • Average followers increase per day: 30-35


This is a health and wellness sub-niche profile I run for an associated blog. The first 1k followers were painfully slow to build up. After that it really did pick up.

Again, just posting good content and interacting with others, and using the right hashtags seem to be doing the trick.

10k is the next target but even that is still very tiny in this niche that I have gone for, so this one will need a lot of work to make an impact.

On the bright side, engagement and comments on each post are great, with 200-250 likes per post (one fluked it’s way to over 600 somehow) and 8-10 comments.

So that is my summary of my 3 profiles.

What is next?

Well I am going to start working on a few more profiles:

  • This site needs it’s own profile worked on. Business and marketing on an entirely consumer-friendly platform like Instagram could be interesting.
  • My own personal profile, which will be nerdy stuff and general health and wellness.
  • Starting one dog-related one which is to tie in with another blog I have
  • One fitness one, specifically focussed on strength training
  • Another fitness one on all-round health and wellbeing
  • Another food related one I had an idea for
  • A travel related one
  • A leisure sports related one

If I do all of them, that will be 11 profiles. That is way too much for one person to manage alongside other businesses so I need to wait until I have the time, resources and man power in place to master all of them.

I will cover off strategies, tools, apps, Instagram updates and all that important stuff in other blog posts as well.

It will be fun, it will be an adventure. Enjoy the ride.