With this article I want to celebrate my Instagram achievement of 20 000 followers and my first two pictures with more than 1000 likes, all achieved in seven months. Let me start with some background and lessons learned, and finish with my top 10 Insta recognised picture parade.

Background

My father was an amateur photographer, that’s why I started taking pictures at a quite young age, learning and performing all the black and white process with film cameras. The gap in my amateur photographer biography accounts for quite a few years between the moment my last film camera broke down and the moment I decided digital cameras became good enough to work with (about ten years ago). At that time I began seriously learning through photography courses and workshops, and of course, I had to buy myself a new digital camera. I knew for certain that my travel camera had to be lightweight because I think of myself as a traveller with a camera, not a full-time photographer. So already since 2009 I use Panasonic Lumix cameras and my latest is G7.

sigulda latvia www.thesanetravel.com 1140462

Currently I have about 60 000 pictures in my Lightroom storage, most of them are from my travels. I also like to take pictures of flowers. Meaning I have a large resource for posting on Instagram.

 

How I do it

Initially I was quite excited about Instagram and I thought my pictures were good and I would only post the best ones and it would be a quick success for me, but time passed and my best pictures got some 50 likes each and the number of followers was fewer than 500 in 5 weeks. I was really disappointed and discouraged but kept sticking to my strategy implemented constantly from my second picture:
• posting 7 pictures series about the same topic which could vary: countries, places, single buildings, etc. Later I tied picture series to my latest blog posts.
• writing captions for each one of my pictures.
• posting one picture every day in the afternoon or in the evening.
The use of hashtags was a long learning process for me and I think I will never be ready with this. At the moment, I always use all 30 hashtags for every picture describing what is in the picture, general Instagram hashtags, my camera, and hashtags about myself as a traveller.
A real breakthrough for gaining more followers and likes for me was joining Instagram Posse group on Facebook and one of their comment pods. Now I am a member of two not Posse related comment groups and I really like cooperating with members and their accounts.
I learned to engage with my followers by liking their pictures and actively following accounts I like. And things started to develop quite fast. I gained my first thousand followers a bit more than in ten weeks, the second thousand took me 15 days. There were some cases when I gained 1000 new followers in five days.
Some bits of my Insta learning experience were quite hard, especially about follow/unfollow game which I don’t like and do not use myself, meaning I keep following the accounts while they follow me. I have read in quite many Instagram bios that unfollow=unfollow. It’s also true about me. My possibility to follow other accounts became very dear after I reached Instagram 7500 following limit which I was initially not aware of. Still the number of my followers was about 10 000 at that time, and this limit was only slowing down the growth of my account but not stopping it. I can admit that the daily turnover of my followers is large which might be logical for this size of an account, but it always leaves a nice surplus.

My top ten pictures

And here it is: my top 10 Insta recognised picture parade. It was not as easy to make it as it seems. I believe that 100 likes for every of my first 70 pictures are worth at least the same as 500 for the latest ones, meaning for me the first likes have much more value than the latest ones. Everything is subjective of course. Anyway, please check my pick of top ten Insta photos from more than 270 posts. This rating is some kind of a balance between the number of likes and the time when pictures were posted. In the end, you can visit my Instagram account which I really love myself, and make your own choices of favourites. If you do, please let me know what they are in the comments section!

Number 10. Milford Sound, New Zealand

Number 9. Vernazza of Cinque terre, Italy

 

Vernazza has a long history as a fishing village. Highlights include the 16th century Belfort Tower, Doria Castle and Santa Margherita d'Antiochia church.

A photo posted by The Sane Travel ✈️ Travel Blog (@thesanetravel) on

Number 8. Certosa di Pavia, Italy

Number 7. Cesky Krumlov

Number 6. Gervyaty church, Belarus

Number 5. Mir castle, Belarus

Number 4. Stratford upon Avon, England

Number 3. Autumn in Sigulda, Latvia

Number 2. Wallenstein palace, Prague

Number 1. Beautiful Alesund, Norway

  • Published by Anita on November 3, 2016 
  • Author: Anita Sāne

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveler, passionate photographer and a mature career woman from Latvia, 
    traveling mostly solo for more than 10 years. She is a skilled travel planner planning and executing her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her also on InstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.

     

     

     
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    Shane
    Congrats on this major milestone! Your pictures are gorgeous
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    Sheena
    Wow, these photos have given me serious wanderlust for Europe - and New Zealand! It's easy to see how you're so popular on Instagram, as you also have great captions with absolutely gorgeous images. I've gotta step up my game!
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    Sure enjoyed viewing your lovely photos. Since we are just experiencing autumn here, I really love the colorful photos of that time of year. I especially enjoyed reading about your process and your trial and error until you arrived at something that works for you. Lovely post.
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    Lovely pictures tell a story words can fall short of.
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    They look really stunning. I love the colours of the shots and the setting!
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    What a fabulous group of photos~ Thanks for sharing them!
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    Loved the Instagram insight behind your beautiful photos! Definitely gonna take your tips on board - Mel
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    Wow - lots of hard work and skill required but it paid off! Your pictures are wonderful.
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    Congratulations ! That is awesome. I love the concept of your blog post and your pictures are beautiful.

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