How I Grew My Instagram From 0 to 20,000 REAL Followers in One Year

Follow These Easy Steps and You Can Do The Same – Trust Me!

5 Critical Steps For Building a Successful Wine and/or Food Instagram

1. Choose A Niche That You’re Passionate About

It’s important that you’re specific about your niche because that is what will set you apart from the crowd and catch the attention of your future followers. For example, you may love wine and food but try taking it to the next level and think about specific themes around those topics make you unique. See below for some examples (and this is just skimming the surface!):

  • Wine: What types of wines do you love? Budget-friendly or luxury? Are you partial to a specific region? Are you a sommelier or every-day wine drinker? Do you travel for wine? Why do you love wine?
  • Food: What kinds of food do you love? Are you a recipe creator? A restaurant reviewer? Do you cook easy or complex recipes? Are you a pro at a specific cuisine? Why do you love food?

As an example, for Wine Country Chick, I focus primarily on the experience of wine for every day & amateur wine drinkers. More specifically, I’m passionate about:

  • Easy wine & food pairings
  • Fun wines for gatherings & celebrations
  • Unforgettable California wine experiences

2. Do Some Market Research

Before diving in, I highly recommend doing some “market research” and see what others are doing. Whether its someone in your niche or someone you’ve been following for years, go check out their feed. Ask yourself some of the general questions:

  • Why did I follow them in the first place?
  • How do they serve their audience?
  • What makes them unique?
  • Who inspires me and why?

3. Find Your “Style” and Stick With It

The “Early Days” – Inconsistent and Cluttered

Recent Feed – Consistent and Cohesive

Using my feed as an example in the two photos above, my eyes are instantly drawn to the feed on the right. Not because the quality of the photos are necessarily “better” but because its consistent. Potential followers love a clean and consistent feed. Period. And for me, the key to consistency is using the same Lightroom preset for every photo. At first I was afraid that it wouldn’t work for every photo, but just make sure you choose a preset you love. And take my advice. It works.

4. Post Regularly

This may be an obvious one, but its important (especially at the beginning) that you’re posting almost every day (I recommend 5-7 days a week), but don’t post more than once per day. When I first started my wine blog, I posted on Instagram every. single. day. It’s kind of like a corporate job – you build trust and reliability by showing up every day.

Sound daunting? Plan ahead with a content calendar! Check out my January 2019 Content Planning guide for food & wine bloggers for an example on how I strategically plan my content ahead of time!

5. Actively Participate In Your Niche Community

You may feel intimated at first, but its important to start building your community from day one. DON’T view other bloggers or business owners as your competitors because most of these people will become a vital part of your community. In the wine community I quickly discovered that there are plenty of Instagram groups with people who all have the same passion as I do. We exchange ideas, pump each other up, and share our accomplishments with each other on a regular basis.