How to Succeed on Instagram in 2020: Beat the Algorithm

Overcoming the Infamous IG Algorithm in 2020 (Updated June 2020)

Learn our top tips to succeed on Instagram organically in 2020. Here are our best strategies to gain loyal followers and stay motivated for long-term success on Instagram.

woman happy working on computer because she has found success on Instagram and understands the Instagram Algorithm

Hi friends! We’re Jodie & Julie, The Design Twins. We’ve been posting on Instagram since 2014, and we’ve been learning and sharing how to grow since we started our blog in 2016. Check out our complete library of Instagram Help posts. We have roughly 45 articles to help you grow organically and succeed on Instagram.

There are many challenges that come with growing and maintaining a successful Instagram account. But perhaps the most challenging is staying committed. To succeed on Instagram requires daily commitment. No one understands this better than Jodie and me. We have been committed to Instagram every single day since 2014, over five years.

Click here to subscribe
We have been able to stay motivated and inspired on Instagram throughout our journeys, and we believe it is the single most important key to success. It hasn’t been easy, but our results speak for themselves. We have grown a devoted Instagram following and maintained our joy in spite of the algorithm changes, weathering plenty of ups and downs along the way. We want to share our best advice to succeed on Instagram in 2020. By learning the secrets behind our enduring motivation, you too can achieve your dreams on Instagram and beyond.

“If you want to experience prosperity at a miraculous level , you must leave behind your old ways of thinking and develop a new way of imagining what is possible for you to experience in your life.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer


Succeed on Instagram: Maintain Motivation

“The only way to fail is to quit.” ~ Dalai Lama

Just don’t quit. Sounds easy, but it’s not that simple. In order to be successful on Instagram you need to be motivated. You need to maintain your passion so you can inspire others.

If you aren’t inspired how will you inspire others?

Honestly, it is tough. There are all kinds of challenges that impede motivation:

  • monotony and potential boredom
  • repetitive nature of daily posting, commenting, etc.
  • lulls in creativity
  • need to constantly create new content
  • unceasing nature of maintaining an account

We looked up synonyms for “monotony” from

  • tedium
  • dreariness
  • dullness
  • ennui
  • humdrum
  • repetitiveness
  • tiresomeness
  • same old thing
  • wearisome

We have experienced all of the above, at least momentarily, during our five plus years on Instagram. We have fought against all of them. It is an on-going battle against monotony for sure. How do we power through? We will tell you.

Know Your Why to Succeed on Instagram

It is integral to focus on your reason or reasons for being on Instagram and growing a following. If you don’t have a true purpose, then you will burn out. It is just a matter of time.

Persevering against all odds takes inner drive.

You have to have powerful, tangible goals and be driven by something more meaningful than ROI (return on investment).

If your why is “to make money” you will have a hard time succeeding on Instagram.

You must be driven to deliver something of value to your followers and to fill a need

You need to be motivated as a giver and not as a taker.

There is no arrival point on Instagram. You can’t achieve a certain level and then coast. The algorithm doesn’t work that way.

Instagram hardly ever rewards us when and how we want.  Instagram is too time intensive to deliver any reasonable return on investment.

You must be focused on long-term success because if you are focused on ROI you will most likely leave long before you achieve your goals.

Succeed on Instagram: Do Whatever it Takes to Fuel Your Passion

Always be working on yourself so you are excited about who you are becoming.

If you aren’t improving, you will not be inspiring to others.

When your spirit is lit with a fire, a passion, then you will attract people.

Nurture your passions. It is like fuel to the fire inside you, and it is necessary in order to stay excited on this journey.

When your passions are ignited the journey is joyful. Work doesn’t feel like work.

Ever wonder where people get seemingly endless energy? It is their passion that drives the motivation, which in turn creates the energy to achieve.


“Who you are becoming is far more important than what you’re doing. And yet, it is what you’re doing that is determining who you’re becoming.” ~ Hal Elrod, The Miracle Morning

Stay Inspired to Succeed on Instagram in 2020

Here are some of our favorite ways to keep inspired:

  • Listen to podcasts from people who are successful in your field or people you admire
  • Browse Pinterest for exciting inspiration
  • Read high-quality blogs for new ideas
  • Read books for motivation, inspiration and more
  • Stay connected with a supportive group via DM on Instagram or elsewhere
  • Surround yourself with supportive people in real life
  • Stay away from people, both on IG and in your life, who are negative or unsupportive

Learning the ins and outs of how the Instagram algorithm works is key to success on the app. Now, if you’re ready to make the most of your valuable time and efforts spent on Instagram we invite you to join us in our comprehensive online course called “From Confused to Confident: 6 Steps to Instagram Success.” Learn all about it and sign up for our Instagram success course here.

motivational tips for business success


What Not to Do

We’ve given you dozens of strategies and activities to do to stay inspired and stay motivated. But there are a few things not to do.


  • waste time complaining
  • wallow in self pity
  • blame others: i.e. the algorithm

If you aren’t happy, if you aren’t succeeding as you want, take note and get busy making changes! Don’t waste your precious time and energy complaining or lamenting.

Strategies to Get Out of an Instagram Rut defines “rut” as:

fixed or established mode of procedure or course of life, usually dull or unpromising: to fall into a rut.”

So what do you do to escape this? Make it feel new. Here are some ideas:

  1. Take a break to get perspective (more about this option in a minute).
  2. Make new friends. Forge new connections and friendships. The more you give the more you get.
  3. Think outside the box. Do something different.
  4. Always post still photos? Try videos or vice versa.
  5. Appear in your own photos for a change.
  6. Become more personal, more vulnerable in your posts or stories.
  7. Reevaluate your schedule. Make sure it works with your life.

The main thing is to make a change. Change what you post, when you post, or how you create. Take a fresh look at your direction and your goals to create a different attitude and a newness to what you are doing. This will generate excitement and motivation and will get you out of your rut.

How to Survive the Ups & Downs of Instagram

My numbers are down. What’s up, Instagram? Why am I killing myself over here when Instagram is against me? I may as well quit. This is going nowhere!

Does this sound like you? We all have experienced the ups and down of Instagram. It’s a roller-coaster ride for sure. We are taught that analytics are king. So, if your analytics are saying “you suck,” then why even bother?

How To Ride the Waves

  1. Keep Ego Out of the Equation
  2. Remove Emotional Reactions
  3. Don’t Take it Personally
  4. Stay Connected to Your Why
  5. When Necessary Ignore the Numbers
  6. Don’t use Apps that Reveal Who Unfollows You
  7. Don’t “Keep Score”

What we have learned is that Instagram will have its ups and downs, and there’s really no fool-proof plan to avoid being affected. Therefore, it’s important to keep your ego out of it. If your self-worth is tied to the success of each post it will be hard to stay motivated when the algorithm shifts.

“The average person lets their emotions dictate their actions, while achievers let their commitments dictate their actions.” ~ Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning

Manage your emotional response. Stop taking success or “failure” personally so you can move forward regardless.

We aren’t saying don’t pay attention to what succeeds and what does not. This is valuable data. But successful people don’t get depressed or demoralized over data. They use it.

Simply take out the emotional component so you can learn, adjust, and move forward. If you don’t master this integral point, then you are unlikely to persevere on Instagram.


A Special Recommendation

Anyone interested in personal growth should be a reader of Hal Elrod. We’ve quoted him throughout this post. Have you read about how Hal changed our business? If not, this is a must read.

His latest book, The Miracle Equation, should also be on your book shelf. It teaches us how to overcome our biggest obstacle: ourselves. Hal shows us how to overcome the internal conflicts and develop what he calls “emotional invincibility.” Get your copy today and get on the road to creating the life you want.

(Simply click on the photo below. We always appreciate when you use our affiliate links. They help us continue to bring you quality content on our blog.)


woman finds happiness on Instagram with motivational strategies

How to Succeed on Instagram:  Logistics

Your Support Group

If you are going to be a success it is especially important that you are surrounded by supportive people. We’ve all experienced discouragement from people who didn’t understand what we were doing on our phones. But if your friends can’t support your goals then you may need to find new friends.

Click here to subscribe
If our families aren’t supportive it is not as simple. Obviously, we can’t find a new family. We need to work together to find mutual understanding and compromise.

In order to be successful, you will need:

  • a supportive significant other (if you have one)
  • supportive friends
  • supportive family

There is no way around it. Being committed to achieving long-term success on Instagram is a huge task. It takes a large time commitment. Therefore, the people in your life need to understand the seriousness of your goals and what it means to you.

We suggest being very honest and asking for their support. They don’t need to understand Instagram to understand what it means to you. But it is your job to communicate this with them, so they can be sympathetic, understanding, and sensitive to your journey and your necessary commitment. Ideally, once they learn of your goals and what it will take, they will be your cheering squad.

Understand Their Side

In return, you need to understand and respect how your time commitment to Instagram affects the people in your life.

If time spent on the platform is causing issues with your loved ones we recommend addressing the problems head on. Ignoring it will lead to increased impact over time. The sooner you talk to your loved ones the sooner you can reach solutions and find compromises that actually work.

Once you open up lines of communication you allow them to share in your dreams instead of leaving their feeling out of the equation. Show you care and hopefully they will get on board to support your goals. Doing this well can potentially turn a negative into a positive. Your relationships can be enhanced instead of hurt.

Succeed on Instagram: Create Your Schedule

  • Let’s face it, if you can’t make Instagram work within the parameters of your life you will not be happy, and you will not last. Therefore, one of the most important elements is managing your time.
  • Take an honest and thorough look at your life, your daily to do list, and create your Instagram schedule.
  • This schedule needs to include time to create content, time to post, and time to interact.
  • Your schedule may need to be adjusted from time to time. Many things affect our schedules:  seasons, vacations, school schedules, work, health challenges, etc.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Some changes are foreseeable, and some are unexpected. The key is to be aware of obstacles and schedule changes and have a variety of strategies to adjust.
  • When we take the time to plan, prepare, and adjust we experience less stress and end up doing a better job.

Tip: From the very beginning of my journey, I have tried to be on Instagram when I wanted to and not when I felt I had to. I am lucky in that my schedule is freer than most. Doing this helps me feel like it is my choice, not a job, and I am able to be my authentic self. Nothing feels forced because it isn’t. I am authentically joyful, grateful, and generous.

grow your instagram following and stay motivated with these helpful strategies

Succeed on Instagram: When to Take A Break

Know yourself, your life and your people. In other words, know your limits. Whether you put your phone away or delete (deactivate your account, don’t delete) the app for a day, a week, a month or longer there are definitely pros and cons to taking a break.

The Potential Benefits of Taking a Break

  1. Reset your attitude and commitment
  2. Liberating and refreshing
  3. Break the pattern of social media addiction
  4. Create a new perspective
  5. Renew your excitement and motivation
  6. Fresh start
  7. Time to reflect on your journey
  8. Take stock of your accomplishments
  9. Time to reevaluate your goals, your direction
  10. Make necessary changes in your schedule to be happier/more productive
  11. More time to accomplish other things

The Potential Dangers to Taking a Break

  1. Lose your own momentum
  2. Lower engagement with followers
  3. Decline in actual followers
  4. More difficult to return due to all of the above
  5. Get out of your hard-earned habits that create consistency
  6. Feel disconnected with IG community/support group


7 ways to stay motivated to find business success and Instagram growth

Click here to subscribe

Stop the Comparison Game to Succeed on Instagram

Instagram is supposed to be a place for inspiration and connection. However, we are all aware of the dark side of Instagram. On Instagram we see mostly photos of ideal homes, swoon-worthy vistas, enviable lives. The very real danger to compare our own imperfect lives with seemingly perfect lives is intense.

Even if we realize logically that Instagram does not portray real life emotional reactions don’t always follow logically. Instagram can take a toll on our self-esteem. The effects can happen without our awareness, creeping into our subconscious, slowly corroding our self-worth.

Keep clear of the comparison trap or IG can be a detrimental place.  It can undermine your confidence.  Monitor yourself and stay in your own lane. There will always be more talented people. There will always be people who are younger, prettier, more stylish, have a nicer house, more well-behaved children, or at least seemingly so.

Remember, this is everyone’s highlight reel. Try hard not to compare yourself or your journey. You need to be okay with being you. Shine your unique gifts with joy. No one else can do you.

Let Go of the Numbers

When we live by likes and follower counts we are building our self-worth on a house of cards.

But what about everyone, including brands, pushing the importance of metrics? Haven’t we been hearing that “Metrics are king.” So how can we “let go of the numbers?”

Don’t allow the numbers to define you.

Use metrics as a tool, but not as a measure of your intrinsic value. Don’t rely on the numbers to tell you who you are or if you are worthy. High numbers can’t be your motivation, or it will be an empty journey that will be easily destroyed as soon as the algorithm shifts.

Click here to subscribe

Face the Challenges, Grow Personally and Succeed on Instagram

The challenges on Instagram and not unlike real life. Use them to grow in personal identity, gratitude, and fortitude.

If you can face the challenges here you will be stronger in your everyday life as well. It is worthwhile to not give in to the struggles but stay the course and overcome them. As cliche as it sounds, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

“Even when life is difficult or challenging–especially when life is difficult and challenging –the present is always an opportunity for us to learn,  grow, and become better than we’ve ever been before.” ~ Hal Elrod

We cannot define ourselves by the love we receive from others. Our self worth has to come from within. This allows us to be authentic. It allows us to maintain our joy no matter what Instagram throws at us.

Let go of insecurities to find your true self and your own focus.

Because no one defines you but you.

“Make bold moves toward your dreams each day, refuse to stop, and nothing can stop you.” ~ Hal Elrod

Take Your Instagram Account to the Next Level

Now that we’ve taught you how to succeed on Instagram in 2020 and beat the algorithm, you’re ready to take the next steps. Now is the time to take your Instagram goals seriously. You can sign up to receive our 90-minute Personalized Instagram Audit today. We will analyze every aspect of your account, create a clear plan for you, and coach you personally for your ultimate success. We highly recommend signing up if you are serious about growing your account. 

Jodie and I have been teaching and coaching clients how to build Instagram success for years. Many past students are now successful influencers and have grown their brands beyond their wildest imaginations. We can do the same for you. You just have to be willing to take that leap of faith with us.

It’s time to invest in yourself and your goals! We can do this together.


Learn these motivational tips to find long-term success on Instagram

How to Succeed on Instagram in 2020: Beat the Algorithm
Article Name
How to Succeed on Instagram in 2020: Beat the Algorithm
Top tips to succeed on Instagram organically in 2020 . Best strategies to gain loyal followers & stay motivated & inspired for long-term success on Instagram.
Publisher Name
The Design Twins
Publisher Logo
  1. Bobbi says:

    Thank you both for all of your inspiration and kindness!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Bobbi, Thank you so much for your sweet reply. It means a lot that you took the time to let us know you were inspired. We hope you continue to enjoy what we share. Blessings, Julie & Jodie

  2. Tina Keith says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your tips for success! I am still in the honeymoon phase of IG so have not experienced too much discouragement. It is very time consuming though and I am going to take your advice to schedule my time accordingly to create a better balance with my family and full time job. ❀️

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Tina, haha, yes, the honeymoon phase! I like that. As in all things the maintenance of commitment is the real struggle. Longevity is tough. We must manage all things: expectations, monotony, creative lulls, comparison, stagnancy…all of it and remember our purpose. We believe the rewards are worth it. We wish you great things along your journey. Blessings, Julie & Jodie

  3. Heather Bug Lane says:

    This is so so helpful!! Thank you! I love taking a picture every day of the best part of your day! All of these tips are so appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to share them. 😊

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Heather, We are so happy you found this post helpful. You are a light on Instagram. We hope you will continue to find joy in your journey and be a blessing to others. With love, Julie & Jodie

  4. Wow!!! All
    I can say is wow! Seriously, thank you so much for these words!!!! Truly spoke to my heart!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Jenny, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your kind reply. It really makes it all worthwhile to know our posts help! Blessings to you along your journey, my friend. with gratitude, Julie & Jodie

  5. Terra Mennone says:

    Julie and Jodie
    The timing was so right for this post. I have enjoyed reading your perspective on the ups and downs and staying motivated. I’ve been experiencing my own lull on ig while pursuing a new change to a real estate career. I have missed my daily posting but not feeling at all inspired or motivated to share. This has brought things to a whole new light.
    Thank you for always being such a positive light in this journey of ours.


    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Terra, A new career is so exciting. Of course things will change on Instagram. But I hope you can use these ideas to encourage you to become inspired again. Instagram doesn’t need to be the same for you to still offer you a joyful path. God bless in all your endeavors. With love and hope, Julie & Jodie

  6. Pat says:

    I enjoyed reading the blog. I belong to a camera club and uses IG to post my pics to others club members. I didn’t know all of this (followers, blogging, inspiring and so on), but I love pretty things anď was blown away by the content of IG. I saw your posts and videos and just fell in love them. I didn’t understand why you were telling people not to give up and don’t compare themselves to others, now I see. Sometimes, we all have struggles, so thanks for ya’ll inspiring words.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Pat, Thank you for reading and replying. We love hearing your perspective. Instagram represents different opportunities and unique pathways for everyone. But we are united on the platform in the challenges we face. It’s important to know we are not alone in our struggles. We also believe it is worth persevering if your purpose on Instagram holds personal importance. Wishing you a successful and joy-filled journey. Blessings, Julie & Jodie

  7. Gabriela says:

    Boy I needed this. Thank you so much for being such a great inspiration! I really appreciate both of you! πŸ˜‡β­οΈπŸ™πŸ»

  8. Hi, I really enjoyed your post regarding Instagram. I’ve just started an account and feel clueless. I appreciate your advice.

    I signed up to subscribe but never received the email message. Can you please resend? Thank you.

  9. Elise says:

    Thank you so much for this article. It is hard to keep on keeping on! I am a little over a year and a half in and the newness has worn off. But I want to keep going, growing, challenging myself, and learning. These are all fantastic tips!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Elise, We’re so happy you found this post helpful. We hope you’ll stay and read more aritcles from our Instagram “library”. We suggest reading “How to Cope with Instagram Realities & Pressures”. This will help you deal with the struggles we all face along the never-ending journey πŸ™‚ Best, Julie & Jodie

  10. Barrie says:

    I always learn so much from both of you! You have great ideas and are genuine kind, wonderful, thoughtful ladies! Thank you fo all the time you put in to help all of us!❀️❀️

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Wow! What a great compliment! Thank you for the kind words about us and our blog. It really makes it all worthwhile when we hear kind and positive feedback like this. We truly hope you continue to be inspired and to enjoy all we share. Blessings, Julie & Jodie

  11. Alicia says:

    Thank you for a well written article that addressed numerous questions. I appreciate your honesty and joyful heart.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Alicia, So glad to see you on the blog studying up πŸ™‚ There’s a lot to learn here, and it’s important to take the time to let it all sink in. I hope you keep reading. Wishing you all the best, Julie & Jodie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

for our latest DIY's, decor, recipes, and more direct to your inbox!