In this section of The Next Trip, we are sharing all our Instagram tips and secrets. You can learn what to do when you experience an action block, how to take the best photos for Instagram, what our favorite Instagram locations are, and more!
The Valley of Fire is one of those places highly recommended as a day-trip from Las Vegas, but not everyone makes the drive. However, you have probably seen countless photos of the spectacular Fire Wave or strange-looking Elephant Rock and thought it would be great to explore the state park.
I'm here to convince you that Valley of Fire state park is a must-see when in Las Vegas or Nevada!
The Valley of Fire has some of the most incredible scenery I have ever seen, even after spending 3 month living Vanlife and exploring Utah. Seeing the Fire Wave alone is well worth a trip!
If you are looking to go on a road trip to see the Valley of Fire in Nevada, I am sharing everything you need to know before you go. And if you would like to snap a few photos for Instagram, I'm also sharing the 7 most instagrammable places in Valley of Fire State Park, including the spectacular Fire Wave.
What is the Valley of Fire State Park Known For
The Valley of Fire State Park is a nature preservation area south of Overton, Nevada. The state park is known for its incredible rock formations created from red sandstone. These formations stem from shifting sand dunes and were formed 150 million years ago. One of the most iconic of these rock formations is the Fire Wave which is an impressive hill with red and white zebra-like stripes.
With it's 40,000 acres, Valley of Fire State Park is home to some incredible sights, ancient petroglyphs, and a dream come true for anyone interested in geology, human history, and photography.
How to Get to the Valley of Fire
The easiest way to get to the Valley of Fire State Park is by car. It is a 50-minute drive from Las Vegas, Nevada, on I-15N and a 1 hour, 30 minute drive from St. George, Utah, on I-15S.
There is also a possibility to get to the park with a tour bus company. However, since the trail heads within the park are dispersed, I highly recommend you go there by car so you can explore the park at your own pace and spend as much time as you like at the Fire Wave.
Best Time to Visit the Valley of Fire State Park
Being located at the southern tip of Nevada, the weather at Valley of Fire is extremely dry with an average of 1 day of rain per month. Temperatures can get extremely hot in summer, with highs of well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). The best time to visit Valley of Fire is from October to April when the temperatures are cooler and you are able to explore the park all day long.
If you choose to visit during the summer months, make sure you are prepared for the heat by bringing a lot of water and having an air conditioned car. You can try to avoid the heat by entering the park right at sunrise and staying indoors between 11am and 3pm.
Many trails, such as the Fire Wave trail, are in direct sunlight with little to no shade. Hiking in the intense summer heat can be dangerous.
Valley of Fire State Park Details
Entrance Fee: $10 per vehicle for day-use, $20 per night if you like to camp plus $10 for camping sites with utility hook ups.
Cell Service and Wifi: You won't have cell coverage throughout most of the park but there are some spots such as at the visitor center or at the White Domes Trail parking lot which have cell reception. The park offers wifi access and a 24-hour access for 1 device is $8. You can find more details about the wifi access price plans here.
Visitor Center: The visitor center is located towards the entrance of the park and is open from 9am to 4:30pm.
Facilities: There are outhouses located throughout the park at Atlatl Rock, Seven Sisters, the Cabins, near Mouse's Tank Trailhead and White Domes parking lots.
Drone Usage: The usage of drones or any remote controlled aircrafts is not allowed in the park.
With a landscape this beautiful, the Valley of Fire is more than just a compilation of rocks. The best thing to do in the park is to go on hikes and explore the different areas and rock formations. Most of the loop hikes are relatively short at only a mile or less, such as the Fire Wave Trail, the Rainbow Vista hike, and the White Domes Trail.
There are a few other hikes which are longer such as the Old Arrowhead Road, the Prospect Trail, and Charlie's Spring. For more information on the trails, you can find a full map of all Valley of Fire hiking trails here.
In addition to hiking, Valley of Fire is also a great spot for rock climbing, camping with incredible views, wildlife viewing, and my personal favorite - taking photos of everything, especially the Fire Wave!
Valley of Fire 7 Most Instagrammable Places
With a park this big and this beautiful, knowing the most picturesque places ahead of time will help you plan your trip as well as save time while you're in the park. I put together the 7 most Instagram-worthy locations in Valley of Fire State Park, including the Fire Wave, the best times to take photos there, and also added them to a map to help you plan your trip.
The Fire Wave is by far the most impressive rock formation within the Valley of Fire State Park and it makes for an incredible Instagram photo. The combination of the red and white sandstone in zebra-like stripes across a wave-like hill is a sight like no other and also the reason why the Fire Wave is so popular.
How to Get There
From the Fire Wave parking lot, there is the Fire Wave hiking trail which will take you directly to the Fire Wave. The hike is less than 1 mile and relatively easy. Note that there is no shade along the way. Please make sure to bring lots of water and wear sun protective clothing.
Best Time to Take Photos at Fire Wave
Generally, the best times to take photos to have soft lighting are the first hour of sunlight in the morning and the last hour before sunset. However, if you want to capture the true vivid colors of the Fire Wave, taking photos later in the morning or early in the afternoon provides for some stunning shots as well.
Since there are no trees and is almost no shade at the Fire Wave, you won't need to worry as much about shadows in your photos.
Mouse’s Tank Road
Imagine a road which makes its way through the fire-colored sandstone rock at sunrise. You may not have heard of Mouse's Tank Road but chances are you have already seen a photo of this iconic road. The road itself is not anything out of the ordinary as it is part of the main road going through Valley of Fire State Park. However, it offers incredible views.
The best part about this instagrammable photo location is that you can create the illusion of a drone photo without actually using a drone thanks to the way the road is sloped. Make sure your photographer stands on the high point of the road and the model is further down the road. That way you can create the impression of an aerial view.
How to Get There
The perfect photo location is only a 12 minute drive from the entrance of the park and a 9 minute drive from the Fire Wave. It is right on the street and you can easily pull over with your car and snap photos as long as there is no traffic.
Best Time to Take Photos at Mouse's Tank Road
Since you are taking photos in the middle of the main road through the park, I suggest taking photos right at sunrise or sunset. That way, you will encounter the least amount of traffic and you will also have beautiful light without having to worry about harsh shadows.
Elephant Rock is exactly what the name suggests: a rock which looks like an elephant. Now you might think that these rock formations might not really look like an elephant but trust me - they do! I didn't believe it either until I was there in person.
The entire rock and arch which forms the elephant trunk is extremely impressive to see in person and makes for the perfect photo opportunity.
How to Get There
Elephant Rock is a mere 3 minute drive from the park entrance and is on the right side of the road when driving in. Leave your car in the parking lot and take the super short hike to see the rock formation. The hike is pretty easy and is less than a mile.
Best Time to Take Photos at Elephant Rock
Given the formation of the rock, the light is best at Elephant Rock later in the afternoon when the sun is low but has not yet disappeared behind the hills right next to Elephant Rock.
Welcome to Valley of Fire Sign
While this seems like an obvious place to take photos, there are so many unique locations within Valley of Fire that people forget to take a cute photo at the Welcome to Valley of Fire sign.
How to Get There
The sign is located at the Elephant Rock parking lot, right where the Elephant Rock trail starts. You really can't miss it.
Best Time to Take Photos at the Valley of Fire Welcome Sign
Almost any time of the day would work well to take a photo here. Keep in mind though that the light might be softer and conditions generally better to take a photo early in the morning or later in the evening.
If you are looking for rainbow-colored hills to take photos of, this is your spot! The entire rainbow vista hike provides beautiful rainbow rock views along the way and ends at the Fire Canyon Overlook. It is perfect for creating instagrammable content. There is even a mini arch on this trail which you can be creative with.
How to Get There
The Rainbow Vista parking lot is only a 15 minute drive from the park entrance and a 6 minute drive from the Fire Wave. The hike to the rainbow vista is relatively easy and only a mile long.
Best Time to Take Photos at the Rainbow Vista
Given the hills surrounding this hike, taking photos right at sunset or sunrise might cause a lot of shadows to be in your photos so you will be better off taking photos later in the late morning and early in the afternoon.
White Domes Trail
White Domes Trail is another great place to take instagram-worthy photos as it is packed with colorful rocks and a slot canyon.
The beginning of the trail is marked with purple and yellow colored rocks whereas later in the trail you make your way through the slot canyon and stumble upon white and red striped rocks. It's a gorgeous spot to explore and has countless photo opportunities along the way.
How to Get There
The White Domes Trail is the furthest trail from the park entrance but only a 23-minute drive from there, and a 3-minute drive from the Fire Wave. The drive itself is incredibly beautiful as you get to see the entire park and stop along the way to take photos.
The White Domes loop is only 1 mile and pretty easy to hike.
Best Time to Take Photos at the White Domes Trail
The best time to take photos along the White Domes trail is mid- to late-morning for the best light. If you are looking to take photos in the slot canyon, doing so later in the morning will provide for better light.
White Domes Trail Movie Set
While you're on the White Domes Trail, make sure you stop by the remnants of an old movie set to take a photo. It was used in 1965 to film the movie 'The Professionals'. You can watch the Professional trailer here. A small part of the movie set is still there and there is also a monument explaining the history of commercial filming in Valley of Fire State Park.
How to Get There
The movie set is a few minutes into the White Domes Trail hike and impossible to miss.
Best Time to Take Photos at the White Domes Movie Set
Any time of day would work to take photos here, depending on what light you are looking for. However, if you are spending the morning hiking the White Dome Trail stopping by here makes perfect sense.
Map of Most Instagrammable Places in Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire is an incredible place to discover, take photos, and a perfect stop for any road trip in the Southwest US. Use this map to help you plan our your trip and include as many instagrammable places in Valley of Fire, such as the Fire Wave.
What are Your Favorite Instagrammable Places in Valley of Fire?
Now that I have shared my favorite instagrammable places in Valley of Fire - especially the Fire Wave - I am curious to hear what your favorite spots are and if I missed any to include any in this post. Please let me know in the comments as I would love to go back and explore the park more!
Make sure you pin this post to your USA road trip Pinterest board or Instagram Pinterest board for when you plan your road trip to the Fire Wave!
Whether you have just created your influencer Instagram account and posted your first photo, or you have been on Instagram for a while – your goal is likely to grow your account to 10k Instagram followers, especially as an aspiring influencer. But how do you do that? Where do you even start to grow Instagram organically?
I reached 10k Instagram followers in February 2020 and am now at 17k only a few months later. I want to share all of my knowledge, tips and tricks with you that helped me get to 10k Instagram followers organically, without buying them.
Growing your Instagram is not going to be easy and you will experience many frustrating days when you just want to quit and throw it all away. There is no specific recipe you can follow to grow but there are a few tricks which will definitely help you increase your reach on the app and grow your account organically.
In this post, I am explaining all the perks of having over 10k Instagram followers, and all my tips to get 10k Instagram followers. I’m sharing my experience with action blocks, whether giveaways help you grow and what the best hashtags are to use to maximize your reach.
Nano vs Micro Influencer – Instagram Influencer Tiers Explained
First let’s talk about Instagram Influencer Tiers. Every Instagram account can be categorized into tiers based on their following. Accounts with 1k – 10k followers are usually referred to as Nano Influencers. Whereas Instagram accounts with between 10k – 100k are called Micro Influencers. You probably wonder why does this matter?
Instagram influencer tiers matter a great deal when it comes to influencer marketing. Each of the tiers comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your tier and account size, you will have a different type of influence in the market space.
Not only do you have a different account reach, but the way you are connecting with your followers changes with the size of your account. This in turn affects your position in the market space and how you can position your account to help brands reach their target audience and marketing objectives.
Because of their smaller following, nano influencers are likely to have a higher percentage of “real life” friends following them. Any advertisement through nano influencers generally resembles word of mouth advertising. The reach of nano influencers is generally lower than the reach of micro influencers but they often have a higher conversion ratio, i.e. click throughs and sales driven by the campaign as percentage of followers, than accounts with more Instagram followers.
Micro influencers on the other hand can profit from their greater reach and following compared to nano influencers. Their account size is still a manageable size, so they are able to build true connections with their followers, have an engaged audience, and respond to comments and DMs.
Micro influencers are often viewed as industry experts with a very targeted reach and a loyal following. When it comes to hiring content creators for marketing campaigns, this is exactly where micro influencers fit in: a large reach to a highly targeted audience.
Influencers with an Instagram following of between 50k and 500k are referred to as mid-tier influencers, whereas accounts with over 500k followers are called macro influencers. Mid-tier influencers are story tellers with a high reach and are often sought after for campaigns that involve a significant story-telling aspect.
With their incredibly large reach, macro influencers are best placed in a marketing campaign to raise awareness of a product, service, or subject matter. Due to their large size and compared to smaller influencers, they generally don’t have a strong connection to their followers, however, they are able to reach a wide spread audience.
Why You Want to Be Over 10k Instagram Followers
Having lots of followers looks great on paper, especially when you are trying to work with brands. Almost every blogger and influencer I know is aspiring to get there. But why should you want to get 10k Instagram followers? These are the reasons why having over 10k Instagram followers is beneficial to your brand.
Swipe Up Feature and How It Helps Your Brand
The famous swipe up feature on Instagram is by far the most exciting part of reaching 10k followers. As you may know, the swipe up feature was rolled out by Instagram a few years ago and is the option to include a link in your Instagram story. Your Instagram story viewers are able to swipe up on the story and visit the website link you added without ever leaving the app.
This feature makes it easy for your followers to view what you are talking about without having to close the app and open a new app, without having to manually type anything, and without “losing” their place in watching stories. In other words, it’s super quick and convenient for your audience.
Even though you can add the same links in your Instagram bio, the motivation of a follower to close out on stories, go to your profile, and click the link in the bio needs to be much higher than just swiping up because there are so many more steps involved. This ultimately results in fewer clicks.
If you use Instagram to promote your own brand or blog, having the swipe up feature can help you increase your website traffic as followers are more likely to visit your website by swiping up.
Working with Brands
Each tier of influencer has its own space in the marketing world and can tell a different story. In theory, nano influencers are just as relevant and important as macro influencers. They help fulfill a completely different marketing strategy.
In practice, however, things work differently. While more and more brands recognize the value of Instagram accounts with less than 10k followers, there are still many brands out there who refuse to work with accounts below 10k Instagram followers.
Reasons could be that their marketing concept is targeting a larger audience, that they don’t have the capacity to set up multiple different influencer relationships when they could work with fewer but larger accounts, or they sadly don’t see a value in working with accounts below 10k.
I have been working with brands since my Instagram account was at 1,000 followers. I would pitch to companies I genuinely like to promote products I use in my every-day life. With my account being so small, companies often wouldn’t respond to my email or they would get back to me saying they only work with influencers with an account size of 10k+ followers.
I also came across many companies who only reserve marketing budget for collaborations with accounts over 10k followers. This means that in addition to getting free product, these accounts would get paid per Instagram post or story to promote the company.
The industry is slowly changing and many companies (especially smaller companies) are working with nano influencers. I also see more and more companies being open to compensate smaller accounts in monetary form. However, having 10k followers on Instagram certainly helps in obtaining more brand deals.
Instagram Follower Growth Snowball Effect
They have 10k followers, their photos must be good! Have you ever heard that or hear yourself think that? I sure have!
It is generally true that the more followers you have, the more people are going to have the impression that your content is great and will follow you as well.
This snowball growth effect doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the quality of your content but more so with the impression people get by your account size. But it is another motivation why you might want to get 10k Instagram followers.
The Instagram Algorithm 2020
Instagram has an algorithm to help every account decide which posts they should see in their feed. The algorithm decides what to show you based on the accounts you follow, the photos you have liked and saved in the past, what photos your friends like, and likely your location. This all seems relatively straight forward but the Instagram algorithm in 2020 is very much a mystery!
Whether or not your followers see your post in their feed depends on if they have previously engaged with your content. If they like your photos, comment on them, and interact with you in DMs, the chances of them seeing your posts are much higher. As a rule of thumb, the first 30 minutes after you post will decide if your post is deemed good and worthy to be shown to others by the algorithm.
This means, the more engagement you get on your post (i.e. more likes and comments) within the first half hour, the better. And the higher the engagement on your most, the more likely it is for non-followers to discover you and for you to get to 10k Instagram followers.
Even if you follow all the steps I’m discussing below, there is still a chance that Instagram won’t show your post to your followers. I had been struggling to increase my reach for the majority of 2019. My Instagram posts would be shown to the same number of people each time, which made growing my account very difficult, as my posts weren’t being shared with new users. The below screenshot shows my reach of a standard post in February 2020.
Starting in February 2020, things started to turn around. All of the sudden, my posts obtained a reach of 13k people and I wasn’t doing anything differently! I was using the same hashtags, locations, tags, and similar captions – yet Instagram decided to push my posts and show them to more people.
The Instagram algorithm is often a mystery and it may seem that whether your post is seen may have more to do with luck than with skill. However, there are a few things you can focus on to increase the chances for Instagram to really push your account and for you to get 10k Instagram followers faster.
Your Instagram Feed – Setting Up Your Brand on Social Media
The first thing people see when they find your account is your Instagram feed and biography. You only have a few seconds to convince someone to follow, so you will want to leave a great impression. The first thing I do when I look at someone else’s account is I look at the photos and scroll a few rows down and then read the bio. If I like the photos, they are consistent, and the biography resonates with me (i.e. is covering a niche I am interested in), I will follow the account.
Your Instagram Niche
Having a niche is key when you are trying to get 10k Instagram followers! If you are looking at a profile that has a travel related post, followed by cooking, beauty, fitness, outdoor living, high-end fashion, you are less likely to follow them if you don’t relate to some of these topics or if you are simply confused what the account is about.
If, however, you come across an Instagram travel account and you are interested in traveling, you are more likely to follow them because you know what you can expect from the account. It’s a clearly defined niche. Further, if you were looking to travel somewhere, you are more likely to seek out this niche account for destination guides and tips.
Your niche could be anything you want. And I highly recommend it’s something you are passionate about. Growing your account and getting 10k Instagram followers can take a lot of time and you want to make sure you use your time to do something you love. If you are passionate about beauty, have your Instagram account be focused on beauty.
If you love traveling, post travel-related photos! This is not to say that you have to focus on one niche only. Many great content creators and bloggers have multiple niches that go together well, such as travel and fashion, fitness and cooking, beauty and fashion, etc.
The most important thing is that you stick with your niche with 80% of your posts and that it is very easily apparent. This will not only help you grow your following but will also help you establish your own personal brand for collaborations. I say 80% because I believe it's okay to post a different photo the odd time and if done well, it will stand out more!
If you find that you want to change your niche down the road because you can’t relate to it anymore – no worries at all! I have seen many fashion bloggers change their focus after they became moms and I think it’s great to be able to do that. Your following might change if you do so since not everyone can relate to your change. But you will gain more followers who connect with your new niche which is ultimately what you should be looking for.
Creating Your Own Brand
Once you find your niche, start creating your brand. Your brand consists of everything you share on social media – from your photography, to your captions, to any videos. This can sound very intimidating, but it often comes naturally. Your brand is what people will be able to recognize you by and is incredibly important to get 10k Instagram followers.
I personally have always loved photos with lots of blue tones in them and started working towards a blue-centric feed. A few months later at a PR event, I was introduced to other members of the PR firm as the “girl with the blue feed.” This has evolved so much that I now get approached by brands who are specifically looking to promote blue colored items. I often switch my secondary feed colors on @thenexttrip as shown below with orange, but the blue theme always remains.
So how do you create your brand? Your brand is often closely related to your personality. If you are a positive person and like to make people laugh, your brand could integrate telling jokes in your captions and stories. Do you like bright and airy spaces and all things pastel? Your brand could be sharing pastel colored photos with a bright edit such as the photos from Elena (@thecarryonchronicles).
If you are all about empowering women, your brand could be to share motivating messages targeted towards women. A great example is the feed from Kelly (@lipstickandink). Her messaging is clear in every single post and she even includes quotes in a diamond feed pattern.
Or if you have a love for twirly dresses, your niche could be twirling in dresses wherever you are. One of my favorite feeds out there is by Talia (@travelwithtalia) who specialized in sharing twirly dresses in great places and combining travel with fashion.
Whatever your brand may be, it should be reflected in your photos, caption, and in your stories. Similar to your niche, this will make it easier for followers to understand what your account is all about and for brands to see if you are a natural fit to work with. In general, having a defined brand is an important step to get 10k Instagram followers.
Brand and Posting Consistency
By far the most important thing when it comes to growing your Instagram account is consistency! There are two types of consistency I am talking about: consistent branding and consistent posting.
Consistent Branding - What Should I Post?
Consistent branding means that your posts are all consistent and have the same overall branding. Your goal is for people to start recognizing you when they see your photo or your caption, without even having to see your name. Once people recognize you – they are more likely to think of you when seeking advice, inspiration or help in your niche. And they are more likely to think of you and recommend you to others which helps you get 10k Instagram followers.
For example, if you post photos that go back and forth between bright cheerful edits, dark and moody edits, punches of color, and soft pastels, it doesn’t show a cohesive or consistent brand, which makes it harder for your followers to recognize your photo in their feed. On the other hand, if you love soft pastel tones and edit all your photos accordingly, your followers are going to be able to tell the photo is from you without even having to read your handle.
This recognition value is huge when it comes to your followers remembering you and recommending you which helps you get 10k Instagram followers.
Consistent Posting - How Often Should I Post?
Consistent posting means that you post on Instagram regularly. While there are many people who seem to be doing fine posting only a few times per week, I found that I was only able to grow my Instagram account once I started posting every single day. Generally speaking, the more often you post, the faster your account grows.
This means having a new photo and a new caption every day and being online on holidays, when you’re sick, and even when you’re too busy with other things. Now this sounds like a lot of work and it is. But if you are looking to get 10k Instagram followers, posting every day is one of the key ways to do so.
Every time you post, your photo will reach a certain amount of people and will show up in the “recent” section of the location tag, hashtags, and tagged accounts. As other people post with the same tags and hashtags, your post will be pushed down in the grid and less likely to be seen by other accounts.
If you want to get 10k Instagram followers, you will want to increase your chances of being seen by other accounts. Posting every day will put you at the top of the recent section in each tag, hashtag, and location for a certain amount of time every day. If you post every single day in a year, other accounts have 365 chances to see your photo at the top of the recent section in each tag, hashtag, and location tag.
Taking photos and coming up with a caption every day is by no means easy. On the contrary, it is incredibly time consuming and posting every single day might simply not be feasible for you. That’s totally okay! Focus on posting as many times as you can, even if it’s not daily, and make sure your posts are on brand.
Posting on Your Instagram Feed – How to Prepare and Post a Successful Instagram Post
Posting on your Instagram feed frequently and consistently is incredibly important to get 10k Instagram followers. Equally important is what your post consists of, what hashtags, account tags and location tags you are using and how much work you put in after you posted.
Post High Quality Photos
A photo can speak more than a thousand words. And a great photo can give your Instagram account the push you are looking for! Because Instagram is a visual platform, posting high quality photos is incredibly important. This holds even more true if your niche is a visual niche, i.e. travel vs. career coaching.
A lot goes into creating high quality photos. You need the right camera gear, a great eye for framing, the right editing software, and the right location. Check out my Instagram location guides if you are looking for Instagrammable places around the world.
This all sounds like a lot. Don't be discouraged! I started my Instagram journey with a very old camera and with no idea how to use it. But as I was out taking photos with friends every single day for a year, I learned how to use my camera, how to improve my editing process, and how to frame pictures better.
Taking great photos requires hands on practice – much like everything else. But what you can easily focus on today is making sure:
All photos are straight
All photos are crisp and not out of focus
All photos are not too bright or too dark
Your head or your feet are not cut off awkwardly
Further, a great editing software can make all the difference when you need to adjust exposure, contrast, or do some color corrections.
I have been using Lightroom to edit all my photos and even created my own preset which I will be giving away to all my readers soon (stay tuned)! If you are looking to test Lightroom yourself, sign up here.
What Hashtags Should I Use?
Having great photos alone is not everything. If you are looking to get 10k Instagram followers, you need to increase your chances of being “found” by others. Hashtags are a great way of increasing your reach. Every hashtag has its own “page” on Instagram showing the top posts, most recent posts, and stories including that hashtag.
Every time you post and include a certain hashtag, your post can show up on that “hashtag page.” You can use up to 30 hashtags in every single post and there are multiple theories out there on how many hashtags provide the highest reach. I personally use all 30 hashtags for every single post as it gives me 30 chances to be at the top of a hashtag page. The below hashtag page of #utahtravels shows one of my posts featured in the 9-grid.
But what hashtags should you use? A common mistake I see people make (and I still make as well sometimes) is using the wrong hashtags. Make sure you do your hashtag research before you post. Your hashtags should be relevant for your post and in your niche.
If you are posting travel related content, use travel related hashtags. People are unlikely going to look for a travel account when searching for food. You can also add location related hashtags which I have found to be the most frequent way brands find my account.
Further, make sure that your hashtag is not blocked by Instagram. A hashtag can be blocked by Instagram if it has been associated with inappropriate content. If you end up using such a hashtag, Instagram won’t show your photo in any of the hashtags you used as it immediately thinks your content is inappropriate as well. This can reduce your reach substantially and keep you from getting 10k Instagram followers.
Another thing that often gets overlooked is hashtag size. Size matters – even with hashtags!
Think about a hashtag with 1 million posts. A hashtag with 1 million posts gets about 400 new posts per day. This means every 3-4 minutes, there is a new post and your post will drop further down in the recent grid. This means that after only 27 minutes, your post won’t be shown on the initial recent grid anymore and someone looking up this hashtag would need to scroll to see your post.
If you look at a hashtag with 100k posts instead, there are only 40 new posts per day which translates to a new post every 30-40 minutes. Your post will have a much higher chance of being at the top of the hashtag page and being seen if you use smaller niche hashtags in your Instagram post.
Generally speaking, you want to use hashtags that get looked up often enough but are not too big. To start out, look for hashtags with between 10k and 100k posts.
Why You Need to Add a Location Tag on Instagram
Similar to hashtags, location tags provide the opportunity for your photo to be found when someone searches that location and help you get 10k Instagram followers. Make sure to add a location to every single one of your posts for increased visibility. Your location tag does not have to be the exact location of where the photo was taken, as not every location will be searched.
For instance, if you are taking a photo in front of a mural in Chicago, instead of adding the exact mural address, I recommend adding Chicago as your location. This is because people who are looking to find murals in Chicago would not likely look up the exact address but instead search within the Chicago location tag to find murals.
Once they find your photo, you are already a step closer to 10k Instagram followers.
Why You Need to Add Account Tags to Your Post and Get Re-Posted
A fourth way to increase your visibility is by tagging relevant accounts in your photo and getting re-posted by feature accounts. Feature accounts are accounts set up to feature non-original photos. This means the sole purpose of those accounts is to re-share other people’s photos and they do so legally by tagging you in the photo and giving you credit.
Getting re-posted by a large feature account is a great way to increase your reach as their followers will now see your photo. This in turn can help you grow your account to 10k Instagram followers. When I was starting out, I thought getting re-posted would help me grow my account overnight. This was certainly not the case. It is a nice boost but don’t expect any wonders from re-posting.
Even if you don’t get re-posted, tagging accounts can increase your reach as people may look at tagged photos in a feature account. When you use account tags, make sure they are relevant for your niche and brand. If you are a beauty blogger, it doesn’t make sense to use a travel feature account as other accounts would not think to look for beauty related posts there.
I make sure to tag 20 accounts in each of my photos to increase my visibility. I often tag the clothing company where I have my outfit from and use the rest of the available 20 tags for location specific tourism accounts if I show a lot of scenery, such as @visitutah, and travel community accounts which feature travel bloggers such as @sheisnotlost.
If you don’t know which accounts to tag, try looking at other Instagram accounts in your niche and see which tags they use. It is highly likely that those account tags would be relevant for you as well.
Engage with Your Audience and Build A Community
Now that your post is ready to go, all you have to do is hit the “share” button and done, right? WRONG! What I learned in a seminar a while back is that the more active you are on Instagram, the better your posts will perform and the faster you can get 10k Instagram followers.
Engaging with your audience after you post is very important. Some argue that you should engage at least 30 minutes before and after you post. I personally spend at least 30 minutes before and after I post engaging and I am also on the app throughout the day. As a reference, I average about 3 hours on Instagram every day.
So what does engaging even mean? By spending time on Instagram, I don’t mean scrolling aimlessly through your feed. Engaging means liking and commenting other people’s posts. If you comment on another content creator’s/blogger’s/influencer’s post in your niche, chances are they will comment on yours as well. Of course, if you comment as soon as they posted, chances are higher that they see your comment and will return the love.
With time, you will start having a set of people who always comment on your posts and you comment on theirs. You can then start looking at their comments and find new accounts to interact with.
While this might sound very calculated, you will find that you really get to know one another by interacting every day over a few months. I have connected with several people across the globe by interacting with their content daily and have even met them in real life and established great friendships.
By interacting with other accounts, you will start to build your own community on Instagram that supports you and vice versa. Having a community on Instagram that supports you will help you get 10k Instagram followers.
Understanding Your Instagram Insights
If you have an Instagram business or creator account, Instagram will show you insights for your posts. If your account is private, I highly recommend you switch to a business or creator account. (I personally had a business account and switched to a creator account and didn’t notice any difference in post performance or reach.)
Switching to a business or creator account definitely helped me get 10k Instagram followers because I was able to create strategies based on the new insights. This is not only for your own benefit, as some companies will ask to see your insights before agreeing to a collaboration.
Your Instagram insights are your best friend. They don’t only reveal how well your post has performed and which photos perform best, but also show where people found your post. Understanding your insights can help you figure out what you need to improve to reach more accounts with your next post.
For each post, Instagram shows you the number of likes, comments, shares, and saves. You can also see how many people have visited your profile, clicked on your website, and how many accounts have been reached with this one post.
Arguably the most important feature of Instagram insights is seeing where your impressions come from. Impressions are the total number of times your post has been seen. Reach on the other hand is the number of unique accounts that have seen your post.
You will want to pay attention to where your impressions come from as this is a great way to know where your content needs improvement. Your Instagram impressions can be:
From Home: if someone sees your photo when scrolling through their home feed;
From Hashtags: if your photo is shown in either the hashtag recent or top page;
From Profile: if someone sees your photo by scrolling through your feed;
From Explore: if Instagram shows your photo to others on the explore page;
From Location: if your photo is shown in the location tag;
And from Others: which includes mostly account tags but can also include explore and location if those categories are not large enough the be shown separately.
If you find that one of your posts has a much higher amount of impressions than another, look at your insights and see where the difference is. If your hashtag reach is much lower, consider changing your hashtags. If your others impression is lower, consider tagging different accounts or using a different location, etc.
The best strategy to get 10k Instagram followers is to look at your most successful posts as they indicate what your followers and other accounts are most interested in seeing. Use a similar hashtag, caption, and/or photo concept for your other posts as well.
Being active on Instagram stories is a great way to connect with your followers and share your personality. It is also a great way to grow to 10k Instagram followers. Stories are much quicker to put together than an Instagram feed post and as they generally don’t require as much preparation. They are an easy way to share little snippets of your brand throughout the day and yet they are extremely powerful to build connections.
Why You Should Post Instagram Stories
I personally find that I am more likely to engage and keep following an account if I can see the creator on stories and relate to what they are sharing. If you show your face and talk on stories, you are better able to connect with your followers on a personal level as people are interested to see and hear you talk as they would if they met someone offline.
To make your stories engaging and interactive, think about using the Instagram poll and questions features, as well as adding music to your stories.
Stories also allow you to increase your visibility when you add location tags and hashtags as your stories can then be shown in the hashtag or location tag story compilation.
How many stories should you post per day? There is no right or wrong number of how many stories to post daily. I recommend posting at least one talking story every day so that any new follower can immediately connect with you when they first start following you.
Every time you post a story, it will show up at the beginning of your followers story feed. As the day goes on, your story will be pushed away by more recent stories from other accounts that they follow. As such, the more often you post in a day, the higher the chance that a follower will see your stories and watch them.
If you struggle coming up with content to share on your stories, you can also use Instagram story templates which are relevant for your niche. I created a few fun Q&A and travel related Instagram story templates which you can download for free.
How Many Stories Are Too Many?
One thing to keep in mind when posting stories is that your audience likely does not have an unlimited attention span. Try to keep your message relatively short to keep their attention. Further, if you post too many stories, your followers are more likely to skip them altogether as they may not be interested in watching 20 stories from the same person.
Similar as with Instagram feed posts, keep an eye on your story insights and find out what number of stories and what type of content resonates best with your audience.
One of the worst things that can happen to you when you are trying to grow to 10k Instagram followers is getting blocked by Instagram. Now there are several possible types of Instagram blocks:
Action block: meaning you are not able to take any actions on Instagram including liking, commenting, following, and posting. Instagram stories are usually excluded from the block and you can still post to stories.
Comment block: you are blocked from commenting.
Like block: you are blocked from liking other posts.
DM block: you are blocked from sending direct messages.
Instagram blocks occur when you use one or several Instagram features too many times according to their standards. This behavior resembles robot behavior and will be flagged by the Instagram algorithm as “unusual.” If you continue with your activity, your account will get blocked.
The duration of each block is different and depends on every situation. In some cases, Instagram will provide you with an Instagram block expiration. In other cases you are blocked temporarily which in my experience can range from a few hours to 24 hours.
Your best bet is to try and avoid Instagram blocks at all costs as they hurt the reputation of your account within Instagram. However, if you end up getting blocked, don’t worry! I have been in your shoes and am sharing how you can fix your Instagram block and avoid future blocks.
Why You Should NOT Buy Followers on Instagram
After all of this, buying Instagram followers might seem like an easier way to grow to 10k Instagram followers, right? Well it might, but there are several reasons why buying followers is going to hurt your account in the long run.
The main goal of any social media platform is to connect people. It is a platform where people can socialize virtually and exchange ideas, concepts, photos, videos, etc. The same is true for Instagram. The main reason why this platform exists is to connect people and enable them to share life moments. And this is exactly why it has been so successful when it comes to implementing marketing campaigns and ads.
Bought Followers Reduce the Effectiveness of your Collaborations
Through social media, any company can launch extremely targeted advertisements to an audience which trusts and engages with an influencer/blogger/content creator. If you purchased followers to get 10k Instagram followers fast, you are missing the most important aspect of being valuable to a marketing campaign: real connections.
Yes you may still get some collaborations, but if all your followers are fake, none of them will click on the dress you are showcasing and the company you are working with will notice that they are not able to generate any increase in page views and/or sales by advertising through you. As a result, they will likely stop working with you. If the marketing or PR representative shares this information with other companies, this could even hurt future collaborations.
Buying Followers Is Noticeable
You may think that buying followers is something nobody is going to notice. After all, how is anyone going to be able to tell where they came from? You’re wrong!
There are multiple platforms out there with the sole purpose to analyze Instagram accounts. My favorite platform, Ninjalytics, shows you the progression of follower growth, whether the account is engaging in follow/unfollow activities, how their engagement compares to others in the industry, and how each post performs.
Accounts that buy followers or do big loop giveaways are very easily identifiable. Below is what my follower growth chart looks like. My following has been increasing steadily over a year with no apparent spikes and had one negative growth period during the time I was action blocked.
An account that clearly buys followers has a lot of spikes in follower growth, followed by a decrease in followers over time. The decrease results in fake accounts being identified as such and being deleted by Instagram, or accounts unfollowing you again.
Buying Followers Throttles Your Organic Growth
In addition to hurting your brand relationships, buying Instagram followers also reduces your ability to grow 10k Instagram followers organically afterwards. While there is no official Instagram document certifying this information, I know a few accounts which have purchased followers and have later struggled to grow organically without buying more.
An explanation could be that Instagram notices the unusual spike in following and as a pre-caution flags the account and throttles its visibility in hashtags, tags, and location tags. That way, you will have a harder time being found by others which in turn reduces your growth.
Instagram Giveaways – Yay or Nay?
There are two types of giveaways on Instagram: small account specific Instagram giveaways and big loop giveaways. Both of them can be used as a strategy to get 10k Instagram followers. But do they work?
The small account specific giveaways are often used by creators to promote a specific company or product and give it away to one or more followers, or a way to give back to their community by generously giving away a gift card or item. Small giveaways are a great way to give back and if they are in your niche and something your followers would be interested in.
I have not noticed any negative draw backs from accounts doing small giveaways and did not experience a slow down in my growth to get 10k Instagram followers. Small giveaways are definitely a YAY!
Loop giveaways on the other hand are very large giveaways and often structured in a way that in order to win, people will need to follow 50+ other accounts. In order to participate in Loop giveaways, you likely need to “buy in,” i.e. purchase your spot in the Loop. The host of the giveaway will decide on the prize which is oftentimes a trip, expensive gadget or accessory, or large sum of money and will create the post which you then share on your feed.
Once the giveaway is live, your followers as well as the followers of the other participating accounts have the chance to win if they follow everyone participating in the Loop giveaway. In the short run, this will increase your following effectively. After the giveaway is closed and a winner is announced, you may start noticing a drop in your following as certain people might not be interested in your content and only followed you to win.
The real issue with Loop giveaways is trying to grow 10k Instagram followers organically afterwards. Similar to buying followers, the Instagram algorithm likely notices your follower spike as unusual and will throttle your visibility and growth thereafter.
I personally did a Loop giveaway in February 2019. The giveaway was in my niche as you could win a trip to Bali. My following increased as predicted, but dropped again substantially after the giveaway was closed. It took my account until February 2020 to get to a higher growth rate, i.e. a year! If you are looking to grow your following to 10k Instagram followers organically and sustainably, Loop giveaways are a big NAY.
There is a lot more to Instagram and growing your account to 10k Instagram followers than meets the eye. It is a lot of hard work but it can also be a lot of fun (at least it is for me) to create content, share it with others, and build a community. If you have any questions about other topics that I was not able to cover or anything I mentioned in this post, feel free to reach out to me via DM on Instagram or via Email. I am always happy to answer any questions and would love to help!
Pin this post to your Instagram tips Pinterest board to find it again any time!
Instagram stories are by far the best way to connect with your followers. They are quick and easy to create and super interactive. The Instagram feed is nice and all, but let's be honest, what we really do when we wake up or before going to bed is watch stories!
I put together some free Instagram story questions templates for you to use in your stories. These Instagram story questions templates are perfect for when you are lacking story content (we should be posting every day, right?) and when you want to share more about yourself! I also put together an extensive guide on how to grow your Instagram account to 10k.
What Are Instagram Story Templates?
Instagram story templates are layouts with graphics, text, or animations that have been pre-made and you can use in your own stories. Chances are that you have probably seen them on Instagram accounts countless times. Many bloggers and brands use them as part of their branding strategy. Instagram story templates provide a great way to keep your stories cohesive and in line with your branding, without taking up a lot of time and work.
Why Should I Be Using Instagram Story Templates?
The Instagram algorithm is a very tricky thing. If you want to grow your audience, posting on your feed and stories regularly is necessary. After all, how are other people supposed to find you if you don't post? Your story views will increase the more you post stories because every time you post a story, you will show up at the front of your follower's story feed.
Now imagine posting one story and then nothing else for a whole day. Your followers will have to scroll all the way through their story feed to find you. That's why it's best to post multiple stories daily as you will show up at the front of the story feed over and over. I'm by no means an Instagram expert but if you struggle with being action blocked on Instagram, this is my guide on how to fix an Instagram Action Block.
But how can I post so many stories daily? That's a great question! Most of us don't have so much time to record stories all day. This is where Instagram story questions templates come in handy. You can find your story templates online and use them or create your own (I use Canva to create them). Download/or create a few on a rainy Sunday, and you immediately have a few slides of story content without having to leave your couch.
Instagram story templates make it incredibly easy to share and connect with your followers. If you want your followers to notice, and remember your stories, using Instagram story templates is the perfect strategy!
How Do I Use Instagram Story Templates?
It is SUPER EASY! The beauty about having Instagram story questions templates is that they are super quick and easy to use! Here are the 6 steps to use story templates on your phone:
Click on the template you like below
Hold your finger down until a box pops-up
Select "Add to Photos" or "Save"
Open a new Instagram story in the Instagram App
Click on the bottom left square which takes you to your Gallery and select the saved Instagram questions story template
Fill out the template and post it!
Free Instagram Story Questions Templates
I put together a few Instagram story questions templates for you to use for free! You can just download these and use them whenever you don't have any other story content to share or don't feel like creating any new stories.
Quarantine Edition Instagram Story Templates
Creating Instagram stories during every-day life is already super time consuming. But during quarantine, it is even worse to find something to talk about on stories! Creating content has become a chore as indoor content inspiration is simply not as exciting. This is why I created a set of fun quarantine Instagram story questions templates for you to use, including a quarantine snacks and quarantine activities challenge.
Travel Edition Instagram Story Questions Templates
Being a travel blogger can be a ton of fun! Sharing new places and countries with your followers is one of the main reasons why travel bloggers are travel bloggers. However, you can't be on the road all the time and most people don't travel full time. What should you be sharing if you're not traveling?
I created some cute travel Instagram story questions templates for you which you can use to share your latest travel goals, your bucket list accomplishments, and simply to share your love for travel. I also included a template on embarrassing travel moments for those days when you feel like sharing your mishaps on the road with your audience. Trust me when I say, you will get a ton of responses! Everyone loves to hear about mishaps!
Q&A Instagram Story Templates
Sometimes, sharing basic facts about you will be the one thing that connects you most with your audience. Your followers might connect with you over a shared love for ice cream, having grown up in the same city or State, or your favorite TV show. Such little details can turn a follower into a super-follower! If your audience feels connected to you, they will engage with your content, with your Instagram stories, and most importantly, they will keep following you.
I created some simple but very effective Instagram story questions templates for you for free which you can use to build exactly these connections with your followers. These templates are perfect for your audience to get to know you better.
I would love for you to tag me when you use my templates so that I can get to know you better as well! I would love to follow along your journey and connect with you over a shared love of our favorite TV shows, favorite food, or dream vacation!
Pin these templates to your Instagram Pinterest board for those days when you are looking for Instagram story questions templates!
You are Instagram action blocked! It's one of the most dreaded messages you can receive in today's world of Instagram.Your message might look similar to this:
Based on previous use of this feature, your account has been temporarily blocked from taking this action. This block will expire on .... We restrict certain content and actions to protect our community. Tell us if you think we made a mistake.
So Instagram action blocked your account. Now what? There are multiple things you can do to try to fix the issue. I have been blocked on The Next Trip Instagram account for 10 days now (and it's still ongoing). I finally called Facebook Support and learned exactly what to do to resolve the issue! Read on to learn about the block and what you can do to fix it!
If you are being blocked, chances are you are looking to grow your Instagram account. I published all my tips and tricks on how to grow your Instagram to 10k including proven strategies I use.
What Is An Instagram Action Block
Instagram uses an algorithm to run the platform. The algorithm decides which picture to show on your feed or explore page based on your likes and dislikes. The algorithm also decides if your photo is "good" enough to show to your followers and if your account is "interesting" enough to show to other people. The purpose of the algorithm is also to reduce or eliminate robots on Instagram. Yes, there are a lot of robots out there to like photos, comment on photos, answer Instagram story polls, etc. and all serve to grow an audience faster with less work.
In order to determine whether an account is using a robot, Instagram has rules on how many photos you can like in a certain amount of time, how many people you can follow, and how many comments you can write without being deemed "suspicious." If you are Instagram action blocked, you likely used a feature too often in a set time frame and exceeded the unwritten limits of Instagram activity.
An Instagram action block can be temporary and not have a date when it is lifted or it may come with an expiration date. Action Blocks come in increments of a few hours, 24 hours, a few days, a full week, or even up to two weeks! In my experience, the length of the block highly depends on the amount of blocks you have had in the past and on the age of your account. New accounts that show robot-like activity from the very beginning are more likely to experience longer blocks.
Types of Instagram Action Blocks
There are multiple types of action blocks and the error message Instagram provides, doesn't usually specify which type of block you are experiencing. However, it is easy to find out what type of block you have as you won't be able to use those features.
Instagram can action block the following features: likes, comments, follows, DMs, and posting. I am currently experiencing an engagement block which includes liking, commenting, following, and posting.
Why Am I Instagram Action Blocked? The Most Well-Known Unwritten Instagram Rules / Limits
I have not been able to find any documents issued by Instagram or Facebook which define these Instagram activity rules. However, based on my own experience and based on experience of other influencers I know, I'm sharing the most common and well-known unwritten rules or limits of Instagram engagement.
Like between 100-350 photos per hour, but no more. This number highly depends on the age of your account. The older your account, the more you can like.
Comment no more than 60 comments per hour. Again, this number depends on the age of your account.
Do not use the same comments over and over again, including emojis.
Follow no more than 100 accounts per hour if you are an older account. Follow no more than 20 accounts per hour if your account is relatively new. In total, you cannot follow more than 7,500 accounts.
Do not copy and paste the same direct message more than 10 times. In my own experience, I found that I was blocked if I sent more than 10 identical DMs in a short time.
There are also daily like, comment, and follow limits which can cause you to be Instagram action blocked if you exceed them. This is likely what has happened to my account as I attempted to like one photo after 2 hours of inactivity.
You can like 1,000 posts per day. This is a general idea how many likes you can give out and the number might be less if your account is new and smaller.
Daily comment limits vary depending on who you ask. To be safe, try to stay below 200 comments per day. Instagram flags duplicate comments as spam activity so try to avoid those.
You can follow between 500 - 1,000 accounts per day, depending on your account age. Younger (and likely smaller) accounts can follow less people.
Have You Been Instagram Action Blocked in the Past?
Is this the first time you are Instagram action blocked? You're in luck! The first action block usually does not contain an expiration date and is relatively short. I left the app alone for 4 hours and when I went back on and liked a photo, the action block seemed gone.
If you have been Instagram action blocked you more often, it will flag your account as spam or containing "robot" activity. This means that your action blocks are likely to last longer and take longer to fix.
First Signs Of An Action Block
Instagram warns you that it might action block your account if you're not careful with your actions. It's a very subtle warning and you will only be able to notice it if you are liking photos manually (I assume you are not using any robot activity on your account).
If you like a photo and Instagram instantly removes your like, i.e. the heart turns red and instantly turns white again, and you have a stable internet connection, this is a sign that you might get Instagram action blocked shortly. You are close to exceeding your limits and should take a break liking and commenting for a few hours.
How To Fix An Instagram Action Block?
Now this is what you have all been waiting for! How can you actually fix your action block? How can you unblock your Instagram account?
There are several ways to fix your action block. The fix highly depends on how "severe" your block is, your account age, and how many blocks your account has had in the past.
How to Fix Minor Instagram Action Blocks
Report the issue immediately by hitting "Tell Us" on the action block. You can also go to "Settings", "Help", "Report a Problem" on the app. Don't expect to hear back from Instagram but it can help showing the app that you are not a robot.
Leave your account alone for a few hours. Instagram unblocked me once after I left my account alone for 4 hours. I would recommend to leave it alone for 4-24 hours.
Sign out of Instagram and sign in again
Uninstall the app and install it again.
Try to get off the wifi connection and use mobile data instead. Instagram possibly blocked your IP address and you can still use your account on mobile data.
Try to log in with a different device on mobile data. Similar to the previous point, Instagram may have blocked your device and you can still use your account on a different device.
Uninstall or disconnect any third party apps. Instagram is trying to restrict the usage of third party apps. These could be follow/unfollow apps, or simply apps to monitor who unfollowed you, etc.
STOP USING A BOT! Needless to say, bots completely defy the purpose of the app. Instagram is a social media app and it is all about being social and forming connections. If you use robots to engage with other accounts, you won't create any real connections which will hurt your account in the long run. I highly recommend not using one, regardless of whether you're blocked or not. You are missing out if you're using one. And yes, I can tell if any of my comments are robot comments.
How To Fix Severe Instagram Blocks
Have you tried all of the above and nothing works? I'm so sorry to hear that! Trust me when I say I know what it feels like! All your hard work could disappear, you're already losing followers, your engagement might tank, etc. This is exactly what is happening to me right now. Instagram has action blocked me since December 10, 2019!!! It has been 11 days and there is no end in sight!
I decided to reach out to Facebook support (Facebook owns Instagram) to see if they can fix my problem. Facebook Support offered to give me a call and talk to me about how my block came about and how I can fix it.
The resolution they gave me on the phone is to leave my account alone for "a few days." But what does a few days mean exactly? And how can you get back to your regular Instagram activity after a long block?
I asked exactly these questions on my call with Facebook Support. You can get the recording of the entire phone conversation by signing up to my newsletter below. You will receive a video in which I share the recorded phone conversation with Facebook Support, my story of how I have been action blocked since December 10, 2019, all my action blocked messages, and how to fix the issue!
I have officially been unblocked since January 1, 2020. I was blocked for almost 20 days! This is extremely long in the Instagram world. It doesn't have to be this long for you though. Here is what I learnt during my block: if you experience a severe block like I did and none of the above methods fix it, leave your account alone for 5-7 days!
It sounds harsh but it could have spared me 10 days of blockage. Instead of seeing if I was unblocked after every expiration, I should have left my account alone for 7 days sooner. I tried taking a 3 day break first before doing a 7 day break and wished that I didn't waste those 3 days.
My best tip is to leave your account, maybe even de-install the app to not be tempted and enjoy your social detox. Make sure you reach out to any collaboration partners and let them now you are blocked. You can also send them your planned posts and let them know you will post as soon as you're unblocked. Most importantly, don't let it stress you out too much! This is easier said than done, but it's not the end of the world. I promise! After being unblocked, I managed to grow my account again and my engagement slowly went back to "normal" levels.
If you have any further questions about why you got Instagram action blocked, about the Instagram algorithm, or anything else Instagram related, feel free to reach out to me via DM or via email. While Instagram is the platform I am most active on, the heart and soul of The Next Trip is this blog, the travel tips we share and the places we introduce you to.
Is your Instagram account action blocked? Have any of these resolutions helped you in the past? Share your experience in the comments!
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Winters in Chicago can be long and cold. Even though it's April, we are still experiencing temperatures only just above freezing. To help you stay warm while you're taking pictures, I rounded up my favorite 10 indoor Chicago Instagram spots for you. Most of these instagrammable coffee shops, stores, and restaurants are free to access, although I recommend always asking the owners or staff if they are okay with you taking pictures. Also, while you’re there, why not try that new featured coffee or a delicious snack?
I hope this guide helps you pass the time until the temperatures are high enough to roam the streets. I would love to see your content and connect with you. When taking pictures at these Chicago Instagram spots, make sure to tag me in your posts!
The Skydeck at the Willis Tower is one of my favorite places to take photos in the city! It is a great spot to capture the incredible views of the city. The Skydeck is the only place I'm featuring in this post that is not free to access. However, the views are completely worth it! It is located on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower - the tallest building in Chicago. The Skydeck features 4 glass ledges which you can stand on and look straight down onto the street. Being there and looking down 1,353 feet is a humbling experience.
If you're trying to take photos there, make sure you visit early and on a weekday. By early I mean really early! The Skydeck opens at 9am from March to September and at 10am from October to February. However, people are already lined up at the ticket office 30 minutes before opening. I highly suggest you get there at least 30 minutes before opening so that you get enough time on the glass ledge to take as many photos as you like. Another tip, make sure the weather is clear on the day of your visit! Your photos will look that much better if the weather is nice and you have a view.
Brand new to Chicago and located in Wicker Park, this restaurant has everything an Instagrammer’s heart could desire. From beautifully decorated bars, to flower walls, Instagram-worthy drinks (which also happen to be delicious), and a flower shop – Machine: Engineered Dining and Drinks has it all. Furthermore, check out this post to get a full tour of the restaurant.
Just as sweet as their treats is the interior of this bakery and coffee shop. Step into a world of pastel tones, striped walls, and colorful furniture. You can’t help it but take a few pictures here, and their cupcakes will make your visit even sweeter.
The space at Sweet Mandy B’s is limited so I recommend arriving early in the morning to ensure that you have time to take pictures before the crowd arrives.
Speaking of sweet, if you’re looking for a hue of pink, you can’t miss Le Macaron. It’s a French bakery owned by Jeanne and Julien, specializing in, you guessed it, macarons. Their macarons are directly imported from France and are the perfect combination of a firm shell with a soft center that make your taste buds melt away. Besides the delicious treats, the highlight of the bakery is certainly their bright pink wall.
Situated a 30 minute drive from the Loop, the Garfield Conservatory is a botanical conservatory and transports you to a tropical mood as soon as you enter those doors. There are a variety of rooms at the Conservatory, each of which are home to different fauna and flora. The mosaic fountain was a present from Chicago's sister city Casablanca, and it provides the ultimate Moroccan feeling.
Note that professional photography is restricted at the Garfield Conservatory and a permit is required prior to taking pictures here. I was able to take pictures for my personal Instagram account, but no outfit changes were allowed. To request a permit, you can give them a call: 312 742-4786.
Where La Bodega lacks in space, it sure makes up in instagrammable drinks and décor. Their churro hot chocolate makes every blogger heart melt and is only topped by the churro cone with customizable toppings. Did I mention that they also serve delicious tacos?
If you’re looking for some shabby chic spring vibes paired with delicious brunch or afternoon tea, Maison Marcel is your place! Originally from Marseille, the owners brought the French je ne sais quoi to Chicago and paired it with a cozy ambiance, wicker furniture, turquoise accents, and a bright space.
As a result, Maison Marcel is just as popular as you might think. I suggest you go early in the morning or mid-afternoon on week days to get as much space as possible, as it is one of the great Chicago Instagram spots!
Maison Marcel also has the cutest pick-up window in Lincoln Park. It's an outdoor photo location but still super adorable. The wall art there is to die for and will look amazing in every Instagram feed. If you go early in the morning, you won't have to worry about any crowds. During the day, you will have a few customers come by and you might have to be more patient to get the shot. Make sure you visit on a cloudy day as the light tends to be better to shoot the wall if there is no direct sun.
Easily one of the most beautiful furniture and home décor stores in Chicago is Serena and Lily. Their new location right on Armitage is exquisitely decorated and transports you into spring even on the coldest or rainiest winter days. I was dreaming about decorating my future home with their blue and white pillows.
Serena and Lily is a retail store, however they allowed me to take pictures while the store wasn’t busy and as long as I did not interfere with any customers. I recommend giving them a call before going to ensure that they know you will be there.
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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting the brands that support us.
Hi, we are Bettina and Kyle! Originally from Switzerland and Canada, our goal is to inspire you to explore the world, even if you have a full-time job. With our travel content and photography, we want to spark your sense of wanderlust!
Our passion for travel started when we met studying abroad in Finland in 2011 and we have not been able to stop since! In September 2019, we quit our corporate jobs, sold our apartment in Chicago, and embarked on a trip to discover North and South America in our pop-up camper (named Swifty).
We love exploring different cultures and meeting people from all around the world. We hope we get to meet you on one of our trips around the world! If you are curious about our daily travel updates, follow along on Instagram!
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