Instagram use of for bloggers isn't given enough credit. If you have the time, it can be a terrific tool to grow your blog.
First, the basics:
Use an engaging photo of yourself as your bio picture. If you want to use your brand logo that is a good idea too. Though, through my research, I have found a personalized picture is more likely to grab an audience. People don't want to feel as if they are following a business, especially if you do not follow them back.
Include your blog address in your bio. This is very important!
Also in your bio, include succinctly what you want to convey. What is your blog about? Write down the important aspects of it (travel blogger, fashionista, foodie). Own a storefront? Sell online? There is only 160 characters allowed - make them count!
How to get followers:
Doing the above correctly will bring in some.
Following others in your niche is a good start. Just know, if you follow someone with 200K followers that follow only 700 people, you'll likely not get you a follow back. Aim for users with comparable following to follower ratios.
Make sure you include your Instagram URL on your Facebook page.
Place an Instagram link on your on your blog and if you can, add an Instagram feed in a widget.
Post frequently, but not 10 pictures a day. You do not want to overload your followers feed or get banned.
Use hashtags on every single picture! I cannot stress this enough. This will bring the right folks to your feed. When I began with Instagram years ago I never bothered with hashtags. My pictures got some likes, but not many. I always add then now. Recently, I went and added them to some of my older pictures and suddenly a picture with 21 likes had within days 300 or more likes! There is a limit of 30 hashtags per post. If you use all 30 they will make you post busy and unattractive. Use a few of the most relevant and then place the remaining as the first comment of the post.
Is there a story behind the picture? You can include the story, or bits of the story and include a link to your blog with the rest of your story.
Use Facebook groups like the ones listed here to find follow for follow threads.
Use your main Facebook page to ask friends and family to follow you.
Use your new Facebook blog-related page to ask for followers. It can't hurt to ask!
Also, make sure you include your Instagram URL on your Facebook blog-related page.
A wonderful way to plug your blog is to create a 500 x 500 px image to put on Instagram. Include the title of your post and your main blog address on an overlay of picture used in that post. If you have included a link to your post in the description folks will know how to get to the post if it intrigues them. I use Photoshop, but many people I know prefer Canva for making these. The only issue with Canva is that so many use it, there are many of the same images used over and over in social media posts.
Besides the Facebook groups from the link above here are a few more to use to boost your Instagram
These groups all post threads such as Insta-Comment, Insta-Likes, Insta-Follow, etc. If you leave you link you are required to participate 100%. If you put your Instagram link in a thread, you must like every link in the thread. Just as everyone else who leaves a link is supposed to like yours. The moderators of these groups are very good about checking to make sure all participate 100%. And, if you are found to have left a link and not reciprocated you will either be excluded from joining a thread for short period of time, be called-out for your action, or be banned from the group.
Here is an example from The Instagram Pod:
Instagram Like Thread
Please finish links by 3pm central tomorrow.
Please read. You will be banned for not following rules.
*Post a DIRECT link to your Instagram post.
Thread closes at 100 links or by 10pm central whichever comes first
*You may post more than one link if you have more than one page but you MUST reciprocate from EACH page.
*Reciprocate ALL links. Do not pick and choose you must like EVERY Instagram post in the thread.
*Please no nudity, drug paraphernalia, bigotry, etc your post must follow Instagram user guidelines.
*Like the main post once the thread is CLOSED and you have finished. Do not comment “liked” or “done” anywhere on this thread. Makes thread messy and is pointless. Like their comment instead to keep track of your place.