Insights into IG Success: Julie’s Instagram Journey

The Design Twins Share Insights Into IG Success

What creates a successful IG account? Incorporate these proven, powerful insights into IG success and find joy along the way.

Insights into IG Success How I Gained Over 100K Followers pin

How Do You Successfully Create and Grow Your IG Account?

What creates a successful Instagram account? There are as many different pathways to success as there are successful feeds. I am fascinated by the different pathways because they are as unique as the people themselves. This is my story. It is my personal path, one I have enjoyed and continue to love. I devote myself to my Instagram account because of the intrinsic rewards.

Additional rewards have been a bonus and a blessing, but not a goal. I didn’t set out to be rewarded in any other way. Perhaps that is the main reason for my success. Even if you don’t have tons of free time, even if you have other motivating factors, I know you can still apply all that I have learned to help you achieve your goals. Here are my most powerful insights into IG success.

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Insights into IG Success: Motivation

Originally, I began my account to share pictures of my home and make friends. Both these factors remain very important to me. It is as much about the friendships as it is the pictures. However, over time I evolved. I began to hear God calling me to use my platform to share His love and truth. Now, sharing my spiritual strength is very high on my motivation. I also love to use my platform to help others, whether it is for their businesses or simply to spread the word about their wonderful feed.

Keys to success:  I am choosy, and I always stay authentic to who I am and my beliefs.

Insights into IG Success: How to Begin

Honestly, beginning is the hardest part. Everyone begins the same way, with zero followers and an empty gallery. I always tell people that the first 1000 was harder than the rest, and it’s true.

  • How do you attract people?
  • Why would anyone want to follow you?

You need worth before anyone will follow you (besides your dear friends and family). So, you must create a gallery.

Create a Track Record

You can’t put the cart before the horse. Creating a consistent cohesive-looking feed is number one. To me, (and I hope most of my followers) my words are as important as my pictures. But Instagram is predominantly pictures first, words second. Your pictures should not be all over the place. Otherwise, people won’t know what they are following.

Key to success:  Show consistency and something of outstanding value and your audience will find you.

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 Insights into IG Success: Activity

Interaction is everything. You must be willing to give, give, give before you receive. While you are busy creating something of value on your own page you must reach out and connect. This is very time consuming, but it is also rewarding. I searched and followed people who were successful in the home decor community. These people were modeling for me what success was. It was important for me to follow, study, and learn.

During this phase I was a student, and they were my teachers. Even now when I follow someone new, I act like I am meeting them in real life. You wouldn’t “stalk” someone without at least saying hello, would you?

Be friendly. If you want to make friends, be a friend.

I usually introduce myself and tell them why I love their feed. I am building a relationship; one I am committed to. It’s rare to see people use this technique, but this is authentically me.

Key to success:  Engagement is king and it must be two-sided.

Insights into IG Success: Authenticity is Essential

On Instagram just as in real life it is utterly imperative that you be yourself. Be yourself and be your best self. Take all your beauty, love, generosity, humor, and goodness and don’t hold any of it back.

Think about this. Each comment is an opportunity to stand out and truly connect. Will you waste it and blend in, or will you use it to powerfully connect? People can see through phoniness. Be real but be as gorgeous as can be.

Key to success:  Give what you hope to attract.

Be Bold

You are meeting people but without your facial expressions, without body language and without tone of voice. Therefore, all you have to make an impression and to express yourself are words and emojis. Instagram is no place to hold back and no place for shyness. You must be all you can be. Let your personality shine or you will be lost in a sea of mediocrity. It is no time to blend in.

Key to success:  You must stand out.

Insights into IG Success: Get Involved

Direct Messaging is the behind the scenes activity on Instagram. There is a lot happening back there. Be proactive and reach out to people. You can DM individuals and propose ideas or share swaps. My philosophy is it never hurts to ask.

Key to success:  Use DM to interact, get personal, and create real bonds.

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Insights into IG Success: Make the Most of Each Post

Each post has two avenues to attract, or two points of power: The picture and the message. If you choose to skip one, I believe you are missing half your potential influence. To make the most of each post the picture should tell its own story without anyone needing to read a word. Many don’t slow down long enough. It should be unique, beautiful, inviting, and captivating in some way. Lighting, details, something that draws the eyes visually to pause.

Next, share something with your message. Add value. You message can be light and cheerful, or it can be words of wisdom. It could be a personal story that helps present yourself as a real person and helps people connect with you. Your caption can be humorous and witty, spiritual and uplifting, didactic and informative, something that ties your readers closer to you and says, “I am worth reading” and “I am worth following.”

Key to success: Be a storyteller with both your photos and your words.

Insights into IG Success: Define Your Niche and Stay Consistent

Each post has power, power to grow your feed and power to hurt your feed. Therefore, post carefully. Remember the rule of consistency. All your photos do not need to look alike. However, I recommend defining your niche and continuing on that path. For example, if you want to be followed in the home decor community on IG don’t post pictures of your teenagers playing basketball.

Keep the personal, non-decor photos for your personal feed. If part of your niche is more lifestyle and you regularly include artistic photos of your home decor with your children also captured that is totally fine. It is consistent with what you are offering. People who love that will follow and won’t be shocked into unfollowing.

Also, pay attention to what does well. The reaction of my followers to each and every post is valuable information. They will tell you whether they want more of that type of post or not in how they like or don’t and how they comment or don’t comment. If you don’t pay attention to how your followers react then you are halting your own success.

Key to success:  Post within your niche.

Insights into IG Success: Hashtags

Hashtags are considered “insights into IG success” because they are an integral part of the Instagram platform. To ignore them is a mistake. Hashtags are the IG search engine.

Instagram allows up 30 total hashtags per post. We suggest using 25-30 on every post. You can add them to the bottom of your actual post. I like to put a little distance visually between my words and these tags.

I recommend using hashtags to help the visibility of your post. You should always choose appropriate tags. Using random tags that don’t apply is considered spam by Instagram. Now that people can follow hashtags you risk being reported if your post doesn’t seem to fit with the hashtag.

Choose some specific and some general. You can get ideas for which hashtags to use by looking at people you follow and pick and choose ones that apply to your particular post.

Keep in mind that hashtags with over a million posts are extremely hard to get seen in. Smaller hashtags give my posts a better chance to be seen. My best advice is to vary your hashtags for every post. Choose 30 specific and appropriate hashtags in a variety of sizes, some under 5,000, some under 50,000 and the rest under one million.

Key to success:  Use hashtags to help get your posts seen.

For more Instagram success tips, read Peg Fitzpatrick’s blog post, “Instagram 101: 7 Key Steps To Instagram Success.”

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Insights into IG Success work station

Enjoy the Journey

As anything in life, you get what you give. Instagram is no exception. Don’t expect overnight success. You will most likely be disappointed, even frustrated. For me it is a labor of love and a lesson in patience. My number one insight into IG success is enjoy the journey, for it is the greatest reward.

If you feel joy in the process you will exude joy to others you encounter. Give what you hope to attract. Go spread joy!

To continue reading more insights into IG success read our other Instagram blog posts:

“Our Top 5 Tips to Increasing IG Followers”

“Turn Your Instagram Into a Money-Making Business: Part I”

Stay tuned for future posts in this series.

jodie & julie
Article Name
Insights into IG Success: Julie's Instagram Journey
What creates a successful IG account? Incorporate these proven, powerful insights into IG success and find joy along the way.
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The Design Twins
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  1. Hi Julie,
    I’m just starting out on instagram so this information is very helpful and I really appreciate you sharing it! I especially like the part about making friendships and letting your personality show through. I have only posted a few times but I have found myself holding back a bit with my captions because I don’t want to seem silly. I’m in the process of redecorating my home and would really enjoy sharing the transformation! I live in Miami, Florida so no fall leaves for me, but the inside of my home does look like Fall has arrived! I find you to be a warm, friendly person with an unwavering faith in the Lord. I love that!
    Take care

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Jodie and I are so happy you joined us on our blog! We are even happier that you found our most recent post on insights into Instagram helpful. This is an on-going series so we hope you will sign up for our weekly email updates so you’ll always know our latest topics. If you have specific questions as you travel this new road feel free to direct message either Jodie or myself or ask us here, and we’ll be happy to help. Don’t forget to say “hi” on Instagram and most of all…have fun! Best wishes, Julie & Jodie

  2. Denise says:


    I’m so glad I found you on IG! I’ve just started my IG journey and this post is VERY helpful and honest. I had that ahh-haa moment while reading. It was like my best friend was telling me stop trying to be everything and just be yourself and stay true to yourself. When I think about what made me find you is a comment you made on another’s post. It struck me, then I read through post after post on your feed. Thank you for this post and I have my list of things I to improve on!

    Safe travels!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      I am beyond words thrilled to hear that my post helped you! I also love how you found me…that’s awesome! We all follow people for different reasons. Sometimes it’s sheer visual inspiration, sometimes its creativity, sometimes it’s that you’ve connected in some special way. If you can share your talents, vision, and HEART you will capture people’s attention and earn their following. So very excited that you are on this journey. We hope you sign up for our blog so you can stay in touch with new posts and topics. Thank you for sharing. It means so much to Jodie and me! Blessings, Julie & Jodie

  3. SoniaToombs Saunders says:

    Again, another very insightful post! The ‘hashtag’ section was especially helpful, and there are so many that I’ve began to write them down! I’ve had a bit of a hard time in the hashtag games. I’ve invited myself on a few of them and posted, but hey, at least in trying, right !? Right now, no one really knows me in the home decor community, and I haven’t stated a blog yet, but it’s in the works to blog about our home build. Thank you for your advice! You girls brighten my day with your photos and blog posts! XO

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Aw Sonia!! You are awesome! Jodie and I are incredibly happy to hear you found our articles helpful. That is all we hope for. We hope you will stay the course. Patience, authenticity, connecting, passion…all these elements are key. And if you enjoy the journey it will show. None of us begin with perfect pictures or perfect posts…and who wants “perfect” anyway? Learn and grow and improve. Follow those who inspire you and learn from them. Soon you will be inspiring others…it’s the same as in life. Thank you again for reading and leaving such a generously kind reply. God bless, Julie & Jodie

  4. Wonderful and insightful post! I’ve been trying to incorporate a lot of the things you’ve mentioned and finally feel some momentum growing..
    Thank you for your encouragement! The warmth you convey in your writing makes the me feel like you’re talking to just me.. It’s so inviting! ? Love your posts!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Jenni, That feedback is so great to hear. All of the information and insights come from our own experiences, so we know what has worked for us. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. But we have witnessed and paid attention to what has worked for others as well, so we feel confident that the insights can be applied to others. So happy you are making progress. Thank you also for the compliment on my writing. You really made my night! I am enjoying it so much. I just quit my “day job” so I can devote myself fully to blogging (and IG). I am so happy! Thank you again dear friend! With gratitude, Julie

  5. Marcy Riley says:

    Julie, Wow! Thank you so much for the great info! We bought our Farmhouse 3 months ago and I created my account! What I thought would just be a “fun to post account” has truly turned into a passion of mine. Thank you for all of your pointers and great advice! I am really going to work and focus on having a “swoon photo” ?… I love this community and platform to share my passion, which is Jesus, and my home decor! I have loved connecting with some amazing women in my short 3 months! I am really excited about the opportunities on IG and I’m reading to do the work! Thank you again and I can’t wait until I earn your follow!
    Marcy? @ TheConcordFarmhouse

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Marcy, You are too cute and too sweet. I had to go straight over to IG and follow you! You have made my day because that post really was written for you! Nothing brings me greater joy than to see that my sharing can reach and help someone else. It makes it all worthwhile and then some. So today I started my day making a new friend named Marcy. It’s going to be a great day. God bless you sweetie! Your newest follower, Julie

  6. Kim says:

    Julie and Jodie, Im loving you posts ! Very informative and interesting! Julie, it was so fun to read about you IG journey and get an insight into how this home decor community has changed and grown! I’m so happy to have met both of you here! Keep up the good work!


    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Dear Kim, What a treat to receive your sweet comment! We are so very glad you made it over to our blog again! We feel privileged and even happier that you enjoyed reading about my IG journey. As any journey in life, it is full of surprises and turns, learning and growth. I would say a day doesn’t go by when we don’t learn something new, often about ourselves, in the midst of this path we are on. The best part of it all is meeting and connecting with amazing individuals like yourself. We are inspired in so many ways and feel blessed for it all. We love our added blogging adventure and look forward to continuing our friendship as we navigate this adventure. Many blessings, Julie (and Jodie)

  7. Sherry Hudson says:

    Keep that creativity flowing girls! We Instagram followers enjoy every photo!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Yeah Sherry! That’s the plan! Thank you so much! Your encouragement, support and love is why we do it!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to come over to our blog!

      With love and blessings,
      Jodie & Julie

  8. Sheron says:

    Great stuff…March Madness..

  9. Sukhi kaur says:


    I always wanted to do something with my home decor interest. But I don’t know what was holding me back. You have such an inspirational posts that I finally decided to start my instagram page.
    Thank you so so much, you have done what I have been waiting to hear.
    March Madness!

    Sukhi kaur

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Sukhi, I absolutely love hearing this. Now you should read “6 Simple Habits to Change your Life” …attitude is everything. It doesn’t matter what your dreams are…life with purpose, live with intent, treat each day like the true gift is it, and DREAM. We have lots more inspirational posts on their way, and they are intended for YOU, dear one. Stay tuned. With love & friendship, Julie & Jodie

      • Sukhi kaur says:

        Aww, sweetest people ever on instagram. You are investing your time in each one of us, which is so impressive. I don’t know if I can ever meet you ladies but you are becoming part of my everyday life. We all have different backgrounds, culutres and lifestyles but on your blog it feels like a one big family, where everyone seems so loved and appreciated.

        March Madness

        Sukhi kaur

  10. Pam says:

    I’m enjoying reading your “tutorials” about Instagram but wish I could sit with you one on one and get a real life lesson!
    I will reread this post to absorb more later but as I was reading it just now the hashtags section still confuses me. One thing you mentioned was one of the old “games” (that term alone in regards to using hashtags leaves me with many questions lol) was #widm. Surely, that must be an acronym for something?

    I just wish I knew someone that I could sit with and say “what is this and how, why and when would I use it?”

    Also March Madness!. Which because of your giveaway and me reading your blogs posts is in fact giving me Madness (so many questions and confusion filling my head) in March!! ????????????????

  11. Deborah says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this wonderful IG info! Ive followed your account for a while and love all of your inspiring posts!
    I’ve had a personal private account for a few years with not a huge following . However, I’m a big diy/home design person and have friends telling me I should post and create more of a “home decor” account. Would it be better to start a whole new account or could I just change the name, profile etc & make it public?
    I know my past pictures would not be consistent with the look I’m going for but hate to start all over!
    Thank you for any info you could share!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      We are thankful for your sweet support and so glad you found our blog helpful. I’ll try to help you here. Answer this question and you’ll have your answer. Do you want to continue to have a personal account for any reason? If so, you should keep your personal account, and make a new home decor account. You say you don’t want to start all over but you also say that 1) you don’t have a big following and 2) the photos would not be consistent. So really, you are starting new. I suppose it depends on how many people you have following. If you don’t want to have a personal account any more then you can easily “recreate” the one you have been using. I recommend following all our advice like you are creating a new account with the old one. I recommend “cleaning up” the old account by removing all past personal photos that don’t align with your new goals/identity. That’s just my advice. Wishing you great luck and joy along your journey! XO ~ Julie

  12. Alicia says:

    Great tips on the hashtags, Julie! I have completely scratched what I was previously using and now researching and finding appropriate hashtags for my photo. It’s worth the effort. Thank you for the article to assist those of us who are still in learning mode for IG! You are cherished and loved!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Thank you so much sweetie! We are so glad you found this post helpful. You are doing so great! Keep on going!
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

  13. Susan says:

    Thank you so much for all the informational tips. I’m trying to step out of my comfort zone. I need a push though. If you look at my profile can you offer advise what may need revised. My niche seems to me are consistent with my profile and I did post a video. Haven’t shown my face yet. Working on that. I’m not photogenic at all. I’d appreciate your input. You both are very inspiring. Thank you in advance. Sincerely, Susan (aka) PinesonJefferson. Pgh,Pa

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Thank you for the kind comment! We took a look at your profile and have some advice! Here’s some advice for you IG profile: We recommend you don’t repeat your handle as your name (pinesonjefferson), and narrow down your interests to two, instead of the 15 that you have listed in your bio right now. You need to dig deep and decide what’s unique about you so you can attract others to your page. Your bio is supposed to show how you can help others and define and attract your ideal audience, not describe the things you love. I hope that helps.
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

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