Instagram Online: 89+ Instagram Secrets You Need to Know [UPDATED 2022]

By: | March 30, 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |
Instagram online

INSTAGRAM SECRETS UPDATES: Did you know free tools are available to help you use Instagram online?

January 2022 Update: Instagram poll will have four choices. In the past, Instagrammers had two options in the poll sticker. The rollout has started offering four.

Instagram is not just an app anymore. For instance, Combin and Inssist (Instagram Assistant) now allow you to post from your desktop. Here is a Combin tutorial.

Inssist is my go-to tool for desktop publishing on Instagram. You can post stories, posts, and preschedule. Inssist even gives you recommended hashtags for your content. Here is an Inssist tutorial.

Also, Instagram announced in the summer of 2021, it was not just a photo-sharing site anymore. Instagram, wanting to be more like TikTok, announced it wants to be a video-sharing site.

Since the publication of this post, people have found other ways to take shortcuts. For instance, you’ll see how people use Instagram to cheat the algorithms.

For example, you can follow people without following back.

More Instagram Secrets: In November of 2020, Instagram became a search engine. It’s true: You can search on Instagram for the information you need without using a hashtag.

Read on to learn more Instagram secrets and cheats.

Instagram online or with the app: 89 Instagram Tips and Tricks

Instagram online.

Why do you need to be there?

Instagram has everything you could want in a social media site:

High engagement

Ease of generating genuine followers

Feeling of community

Exposure to one billion people

A creative outlet

Opportunities for website traffic

Opportunities for sales.

If you’re going to put your energies into generating traffic and sales, why not put your energies where your audience is and your customers are?

Are they on Instagram?

One billion people use Instagram online or the app. Everyone is there.

It gets better: Facebook owns Instagram. When you use Instagram, your reach becomes extended across two social media platforms. When I make offers or advertise on Instagram, people looking at my Facebook page will see it.

I went to Instagram looking for traffic and income.

I found a playground.

On Instagram, you can show your followers your playful side.

Let them see your back story without ruining the consistency of the content in your niche on your blog.

You, too, can find belonging, creativity, a place to play and promote your blog, and the highest engagement of any social media site on the Internet.


Just follow these Instagram tips and tricks.

By the time you’re done reading this complete Instagram guide, you’ll know

How to make an Instagram account

How to sell on Instagram

How to make posts with engaging Instagram content

How to write Instagram captions that hook your followers

How to make Instagram Stories and Highlights and why you should

How to use IGTV

How to use free Instagram tools for different purposes

Instagram tips and tricks to get targeted followers

Instagram secrets to boost engagement 

How to find Instagram groups and DM (Direct Message) groups

The value of Whitelists

How to avoid Instagram penalties

How to use Instagram to make money and minimize the competition

Instagram strategies from experts

The differences between using Instagram online and the app

Let’s dive into the Instagram tips and tricks that will help you be successful on Instagram, the most popular social media site on the web.

These Instagram tips are effective whether you are visiting Instagram online or using the Instagram app.

According to the DrumUp blog, “Brand engagement on Instagram is 10X that on Facebook, 54X that on Pinterest and 84X that on Twitter.”

Many people are skeptical about whether you can generate enough interest on Instagram to see website traffic and make sales.

Consider these comments from blogger Antony Angel:

“I’m trying to grow my Instagram following but the platform is designed in such that, only if you shell out enough money on sponsored posts, research, analytics, and influencer marketing, can you get some actionable results and a wider reach.”
This post should put such reservations to rest. By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll see how you can generate a following on Instagram online or with the app and monetize your Instagram account.


How to Use Instagram

These Strategies Work Whether You Use the App or Instagram Online

How to Make an Instagram Account 

Creating a business profile is free and easy.

Tip 1: Use your smartphone. The site was originally designed to be used with the Instagram app and not Instagram online.

Tip 2: When you sign up, ask for an Instagram business account. Scroll down to Create Business Profile. Make sure you have a public account and not a private one or you won’t be able to select this option.

Business accounts come with insightful analytics. Also, in late 2018, Instagram changed its algorithm. Supposedly, this change favored business accounts. Business accounts are free. Having an Instagram business account is to your benefit. There is no downside.

Tip 3: Type in your email address. When people click my profile picture, they will see the word “Email” which is a live link. Clicking will enable people to email me. This is great if people want to hire me for blog coaching or a sponsored post.

Tip 4: Import your Facebook followers. Many of your Facebook friends already use Instagram. By exporting them, you can find friends on Instagram, connect immediately, and start with a higher follower count.

Tip 5: Consider Instagram’s suggestions for who to follow. 

How to use Instagram online or with the app

You will see these suggestions on both your computer using Instagram online and the Instagram app.

Tip 6: Do not follow people without a profile picture. Look at the first suggestion. Why not? People without a profile picture aren’t that active.

Tip 7: Be selective in who you follow. Instagram only allows you to follow 7,500 people.

Instagram Profile

Your bio is pivotal to getting the attention of other Instagrammers. The first thing they’ll check out is your bio and in a moment decide if they want to follow you.

Tip 8: Write the best bio you can. Your profile is like your online business card. The characters are limited so make good use of them. I am constantly tweaking my bio.

How to use Instagram online or with the app

Tip 9: Use emojis. They are eye-catching. Whether potential followers use Instagram online or the app, they will notice your emojis. When you go to your profile in the Instagram app, click edit. This will bring up the emoji icon to the left of the space bar.

Tip 10: Include your email in your bio so people can reach you. If you have a business account, Instagram’s analytics will tell you how many people click your email link each week.

Tip 11: Choose a profile picture that reflects what you do. 

When you see me typing on my iPad, there is no question that my niche, the content my Instagram posts will center around, is content creation on the web. Between the computer emoji and watching me type on my iPad, the type of Instagram content you’ll see on my Instagram account is pretty clear.

I actually can’t take credit. I first got the idea from famed blogger Yaro Starak.

Tip 12: Put your main hashtag in your Instagram profile. Notice mine says “blogging.”

Tip 13: In your Instagram profile, offer people something for free. Look at the last line in my profile: “Grab your free resources below” and the arrow points to my free resources in my Linktree link.

Tip 14: Make a Linktree account. You’re only allowed ONE link in your Instagram profile. Which will you pick? Why not pick them all?

How to use Instagram online or with the app

By making a Linktree account, you’re able to link your post links together and list them at Linktree. When people click your Linktree link, they’ll be taken to as many links as you have there. I don’t know the maximum number, but I haven’t encountered it yet, and I’ve been there a while.

How to Make Instagram Photos with Engaging Content

How to use Instagram online or with the app

Image Credit

Tip 15: Choose a pattern you want your Instagram content to follow. Many people choose checkerboard. Will you?

Tip 16: Faces do well on Instagram. (Source: Helene in Between)

Tip: 17. I read the color blue does well on Instagram.

Tip: 18. Make Instagram content with a complimentary color scheme. Choose a color palette and stick to it.

Tip: 19. Use the Preview app to make sure your Instagram content compliments each other. Preview is free. Since Preview is a smartphone app, you can’t use Preview with Instagram online.

How to use Instagram online or with the app

Image Credit

Tip 20: The Marketing Vision blog recommends shooting your Instagram photos from above the subject of the photo.

Tip 21: Try to make your feed look different from others in your niche. As people scroll, your Instagram content will catch their eye if it looks different.

Tip 22: Post videos. Anthony Groeper explains you have a better chance of being chosen for the Explore Section, the section that’s shown to the majority of Instagram users. Anthony explains the reason: If you watch a video, you’ll stay on Instagram’s site longer.

Tip 23: Post Instagram content a maximum of 4 times a day. I’ve read fewer numbers but never more than 4.

Tip 24: Post consistently. You don’t want to confuse your readers.

Tip 25: Be consistent when using filters. Your Instagram feed should look like an art gallery, not a jumble of filters. Would you like to see my Instagram feed?

How to use Instagram online or with the app

If you look at my feed, you see a great deal of consistency:

I use blue and colors that complement blue.

My niche, blogging, doesn’t lend itself to visuals. No problem!

As someone who tries to inspire people in their online journey, I have inspirational quotes with pictures that match.

Do you recall I recommended using faces? Look at all the faces in my Instagram photos!

Tip 26: Find a “buddy” in your niche. Share your content with each other. When you tag your “buddy,” their followers will see your content and vice versa. You both end up expanding your reach. Your “buddy” should have roughly the same number of followers as you do.

Tip 27: Choose pictures that evoke emotion. Emotions make people take action, actions like visiting your blog, following your blog, and buying from you.

How to Write Instagram Captions

How long should your Instagram caption be? 

I’ve heard mixed. Some people put their entire blog post into their caption!

Other people advise keeping your caption short.

Tip 28: Vary the length. Then see which Instagram content gets the best engagement from your followers.

Tip 29: Start your caption with a question. Questions are engaging. They make great hooks. Try to ask a question which will elicit at least a four-word answer. Why? The more comments the first hour, the greater the chance you’ll be chosen for the Explorer Section and receive mass exposure. However, if your comments are less than four words long, Instagram doesn’t consider them.

Tip 30: Tell a relatable story in your caption. Stories also make great hooks.

Tip 31: Use inspirational quotes in your captions and Instagram posts. The Instagram crowd loves inspirational quotes. You can find the quotes anywhere: Pinterest, Tumblr, or Google are good places to start.

Tip 32: Use 30 hashtags. Someone compared hashtags to lottery tickets. You’re given 30. Use them!

Tip 33: Make sure your hashtags are relevant to your Instagram content. How? I recommend All-Hashtags. You type in your focus word, and it generates 30 hashtags. You have your choice of Top or Random hashtags.

Tip 34: Vary the popularity of your hashtags. Some people advise against using only popular hashtags. If you do, your Instagram content could get lost in the crowd.

Tip 35: Use the Geotag option. When you tag your location, I’ve heard you have a greater chance of getting into the Explore Section. The Explore Section is shown to so many Instagrammers, you’ll experience tremendous growth if you’re selected for the section.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Janice Wald ? Blogging (@janicewald) on

Tip 36: Use Best 9 and duplicate the kind of Instagram content that resonates with your followers.

These are my best 9, the Instagram content my followers engaged with the most in 2018.

Tip 37: Use your own name as a hashtag. Your name becomes more recognizable so this strategy boosts your brand awareness.

Tip 38: Put your signature hashtag last in your caption. Then, it functions as your signature. In other words, the last hashtag in my caption is #MostlyBlogging.

Tip 39: Include a Call to Action in your caption. What do you want them to do? Click the live link in your bio? Click the like button? Leave a comment? Share your Instagram content? Buy your product or service?

Tip 40: Ask people to tag 3 friends. This way, your post will get shared and you’ll expand your exposure.

Tip 41: Post your Instagram content according to the following schedule: When people are going to bed, just getting to work, or checking out to return home for the day, they’re most likely to be checking their Instagram feed according to research conducted by CoSchedule.

Instagram Stories and Instagram Highlights

Tip 42: Use Instagram Stories

What is an Instagram Story?

The site has a feature called “Stories.” Stories only sit at the top of Instagram for 24 hours. Everyone who follows you will only see your content for 24 hours. These stories are prominently displayed at the top of all your followers’ Instagram feed and will stay there until the 24 hours elapse.

Although your “story” goes away in 24 hours, you will be able to see in real-time how many people have seen your image or video.

Instagram Stories allow your creativity and playful side to come out. This is one of the advantages of Instagram. The creative Story options allows your followers to see you as a real person. They get to engage with you on a new level. 

Instagram now has a Music Sticker. Choose a song that relates to your Instagram Story. The lyrics appear on the Story. When viewers see your Story, the music will play. They can sing along: the height of engaging. 

Instagram also has a Quiz Sticker now. I played a game with my Instagram followers in my Story. I asked a riddle. The answer helped me promote my blog post. [Note: Other apps actually pay you to play games. If you are interested, read this article.]

Look at these engaging Instagram secrets I used in this next example:

Step 1: I clicked on the answer to my question sticker which appeared in my notifications. You’ll also find this in your Story responses.

Step 2: I copied the photo from my photo library and pasted it to my Story.

Step 3: I clicked on the marker icon which opened the color palette. Using the color picker, I chose the color of the turkey. By holding down the color, the background turned that color. 

Step 4: I used the eraser to erase the background. This accentuated the appearance of the turkey. I love how just a part of the photo can appear! 

Step 5: I added the other elements to my Story. Notice, I added “link in bio” to give people a Call to Action to follow my account. Note as well the font change. The effect: it looks like I’m writing him back. 

Look at this next example using Instagram secrets in my Instagram Story:

Using a two-image template from the Over app, I put two Stories into a poll. 

Asking my Instagram followers what they prefer is a way to engage your Instagram followers. 

Here is my Instagram secret:

Both the top and bottom Stories contain a diamond. I covered up the diamond with a solid background. Using the eraser, I was able to show different effects. 

The bottom used a thin eraser while the top used a thicker eraser. 

Update April 2020: 

Here are my Instagram secrets I used in this Instagram Story:

Mastering this look is easy!

Go to your photo library. Copy the photo you want to place on your background.

Click the drawing tool. Using the color picker, make your background black by selecting the black color from the palette that appears. 

Can you tell the black background makes these colors pop?

By copying photos from your library, you can move them around in your story or overlap them like I did. 

By going back to the drawing tool and clicking on a color in your photo, you can add a new color to the color palette to use in your Instagram Story. 

Did you notice the headline? 

I used another one of my Instagram secrets:

Merely by having the headline twice, once in white and once in yellow and placing the white headline over the yellow, I made the headline appear outlined.

Did you notice the text is vertical instead of horizontal?

This is one of those easier-than-it-looks Instagram secrets.

Just take your fingers, pinch the letters, and turn them vertically. 

The bottom left has vertical letters, but the “link in bio” sticker is part of Instagram’s template and was not manually altered like the other vertical letters. 

How to get the colored sections:

You can use this as a screensaver or as a way to make your background look different. “Different” is the name of the game when it comes to capturing people’s attention on Instagram.

Step 1: In Instagram Stories, bring in a photo. Type a period in Classic font. Space 15 times. Then type another period in Classic font. 

Step 2: In the top left corner, choose a color. The area between the two periods will highlight in that color. Use your fingers to adjust the shape to the width or height you want.

Note: These Instagram secrets were done using the app, not Instagram online. 

Instagram Story Covers

No section on Instagram Stories would be complete without a mention of Instagram Story Covers. You use them when you save Stories to your Highlights so they don’t disappear after 24 hours.

These are my Instagram Story Covers. I found them using the PicsArt app. They were free and easy to download.

I found two, the pink and the blue, and downloaded them to my phone. Now, as you see, I alternate, generating a pattern but still achieving a look of coalescence. 

Steps: In the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, click Highlight. This enables you to save your Story permanently. Click Edit Cover to place your cover. Placing a Story Cover is easy, free, and quick.

UPDATE: I discovered Collage Letters!

Achieving this look is simple. Just search “Collage Letters” where you search for Instagram Story Stickers.

Tip 43: Put videos into your Instagram Story.

How to save a video to your “story.”

By saving a video to your story, it will sit on top of your followers’ feed for 24 hours.

  1. Open your Instagram app on your mobile device.
  2. Swipe right. This will activate the camera.
  3. Hold the big white button in for a video. Let go of the button when you’re done with the video.
  4. Tap the video when you’re done.
  5. Click the Aa for the font. You can type and change the colors.
  6. Swipe either right or left for filters.
  7. Swipe up for emojis. You can change the size.
  8. Tilt anything you’ve added by pinching the element.
  9. If you wish to save your video, click “Save” at the bottom of the screen.
  10. Choose who you wish to share with. If you want your video at the top of your Instagram feed, click “Your Story.” Everyone will be able to see. If you want to share with individuals, click “Next” and choose those individuals from your contacts.

Note: At the time of this writing, I can not get this feature to work with Instagram online, only using the app on the smartphone.

Tip 44: Put still images in your Instagram Story. Many free tools come with free stock images as an option to using your own photos.

Tip 45: Include GIFs and Emojis. They’re engaging. For example, you can include Emojis in your Instagram Direct Messages. On the line where you type your messsage, you see a Face icon. Click to see your GIFs and Emojis. 

When you add an Instagram Story, click the Face icon, you’ll be able to Search for GIFs and Emojis. 

Tip 46: Use hashtags. You’re allowed one hashtag in an Instagram Story.

Tip 47: Include the CTA, “Swipe Up”, if you have more than 10,000 followers. That link is gold. It can take people who see your Instagram Story anywhere you want– your optin form, your product’s Amazon sale page, or a relevant article you’re trying to boost traffic to, for example.

[Read: These are the 9 Pages You Need to Start Earning Money Online]

Tip 48: Use the Storeo app. Since Instagram videos can only be 15 seconds long, the Storeo app will break your video into pieces for you. Just upload them to your Instagram Stories one at a time. Note: This feature is not available with Instagram online at the time of this writing.

Tip 49: Use Instagram Story templates. Canva, Typorama, PixTeller, Spark Post app, and PosterMyWall are examples of tools you can use to make Instagram Story.

[Read PixTeller: How to Make Dazzling Inspirational Images]

[Read PosterMyWall: How to Make a Strong Visual Presence]

In an October 2019 Update, Instagram implemented dynamic and easy-to-use new templates.


Instagram Online How to Get More Instagram Followers Cheat Sheet

Tip 50: Put your Instagram Story into a highlight. Your Instagram content will stay in your highlights and not disappear like your other Instagram Stories after 24 hours.

Tip 51: Have polls. You’ll get feedback on your blog post ideas.

Tip 52: Ask questions. You’ll engage your followers.

Tip 53: Use IGTV. To use IGTV, you need an app. When you make your live videos (as well as recorded videos), make sure you hold your phone vertically. You need portrait orientation. You’re allowed to link to your IGTV in your Instagram Story whether or not you have 10,000 followers. You can save your IGTV in your Highlights and link to your IGTV in your Stories.

Tip 54: Use Collages.

For those of you without an advertising budget, I recommend a free online photo collage maker.

How to use Instagram online or with the app

Using collages in your Instagram Stories (and in your feed) accomplishes several purposes.

I made this collage using the Unfold app.

This is free advertising for me. Making a Story is free, so it costs me nothing to market my books.

Next, your Instagram feed and Story look different from others when you use collages, further drawing attention to your brand.

Tip 55: Use the Slider Option in your Stories. 


How to use Instagram online or with the app

Do you see how I used a poll? There were only two choices– Yes or No.

What if I asked a question that required degrees of response, for example, Agree, Strongly Agree, Disagree, etc?

The poll option only allows two choices. However, the Slider option allows the follower to slide the slider to show where on the spectrum they agree or disagree.

Go to the GIF feature and select Slider. If you don’t see it, type Slider into search.

When it comes up, type your question.

The Slider is extremely engaging. When your follower slides it to the right, the face on the Slider gets bigger. When they vote, a heart flies into the air.

How to make Instagram Stories but not using Instagram online

Also, like with the poll, you get feedback from your community that will help you make decisions regarding future website content. For example, I asked how comfortable people are making videos. If everyone answers, “Extremely comfortable” on the Slider, there’s little point in composing articles that will tell my readers how to become more comfortable.

I linked to my blog post article telling people how to make videos. I never waste the opportunity to link! Always get in your call to action! Do you see my Call to Action in red on the right?

If you want to become an Instagram influencer, you should step up your game with these cool Instagram Story secrets.

Note: At the time of this writing, Instagram Story features are only available with the app and not with Instagram online.

Instagram Tools

Tip 56: Use tools for making Instagram quote posts. These perform well on Instagram.

Tip 57: When you make them, use relevant quote hashtags so everyone looking for quotes can find your Instagram content.

Tip 58: Use tools which show you your Instagram analytics. For example, is a free tool which will show you your most liked and commented on posts. Knowing this information will enable you to replicate this content to achieve the same kind of interest from your audience in the future. Note: Although I have not personally used Social Bakers, the tool is widely recommended.


Use the Squaready app. I find this tool enormously helpful. 

The Squaready app makes your screenshots square. Happily, when I find a testimonial left on my blog or Twitter, I take a screenshot to post on Instagram. Testimonials are a form of user-generated content and are currently trendy in marketing.

Save the screenshot to your phone. Then, import the screenshot to your Squaready app. 

Squaready gives you options for how you want your screenshot to look. Choose one. You can then save to your phone for scheduling to Instagram later or post to Instagram. 

Note: Squaready enables you to post square images to your Instagram feed. The tool is not vertical for use in Stories.

It gets better: Squaready is a free app.

Instagram Secrets to Get Followers

Insta Cheats

Bonus Insta Cheat for 2022:

Additional resource: How to See Someone’s Likes on Instagram (In Secret!)

Bonus Insta Cheats for 2021: 

Here are more Instagram secrets for you:

A bonus cheat sheet with more than 19 Insta cheats to get more followers on Instagram: Click here to access your Get More Followers Cheat Sheet.

A branded hashtag strategy to generate more Instagram followers: Here is your Get Followers Hack.

Tip 59: Go to LinkedIn and type Instagram into the search bar. Follow people who work for Instagram on LinkedIn. When choosing Instagram content for the Explore section, the powers-that-be may remember you from LinkedIn.

Who to Follow on Instagram

How to Get Targeted Followers on Instagram

Tip 60: Go to the Explore Section. Like and comment. Instagram shows you the kind of posts you have a history of liking.

Tip 61: Type your #niche into the Search bar to find people who create the kind of Instagram content you create. They’ll be interested in your content and likely follow you. You can search by Top Posts or Most Recent.

Tip 62: Follow 30 people an hour depending on your availability. If they’re in your niche, they’ll likely follow you back.

How to Boost Instagram Engagement

Tip 63: Comment on other people’s Instagram content.

Then, they’ll be the more likely comment on your posts.

Tip 64: Like other people’s Instagram content. 

Then, they’ll be more likely to like your posts.

Also, if you don’t comment and like, people will consider you a “ghost follower.” There are tools Instagrammers use to detect and unfollow ghost followers.

Instagram tips and tricks

Tip 65: Use the Instagram Calculator to ensure you are engaging enough. If not, step up your game! That way your followers will reciprocate and engage more with you.

Tip 66: Return people’s comments. This way, people will be compelled to return your comments.

Tip 67: Return people’s comments within the first hour of posting. I heard if people get a great many likes and comments within the first hour of publication, they have a greater chance of being in the Explorer Section.

Tip 68: Include CTA’s (Call to Actions) in your captions. Ask people to like, comment, and share your Instagram content.

Tip 69: Host giveaways. People love giveaways and they are a great way to boost engagement. For example, will you randomly draw from people who commented or shared? When they share, make sure they use the hashtag associated with your giveaway. Then, all you need to do is type that hashtag into the search bar to find the shares.

Tip 70: Share other people’s posts with your Instagram followers. You can easily do this with the free Regrammer app.

[Read: How to Raise Your Instagram Engagement Now, 5 Proven Ways]

Join Engagement Groups and DM Groups

Tip 71: Join Instagram Engagement Groups.

What is an Engagement Group?

Instagram Engagement groups can be found anywhere: Facebook, Instagram, the Telegram app, Snapchat…

The goal of the group is to boost your comments, likes, and follows.

Tip 72: Join an Instagram DM Group

What is a DM Group?

DM Groups are like Engagement Groups. The purpose is the same. The difference: DM groups are only on Instagram.

I’ve also heard Engagement Groups called “DM Groups” since people in the groups communicate through the Direct Message feature.

According to Anthony Groeper, joining a DM group will make your account go viral.

He belongs to 500 groups! He recommends belonging to at least 100 if you want a chance to land in the Explore Section, the section with the most exposure on Instagram.

His strategy: If you send your post 240 times a day to different groups, your account will go viral.

Note: You must be invited to join these groups.

Membership in engagement groups are so sought after, I’ve heard of people pay hundreds of dollars to get in!

I’ve personally never paid to join an Engagement group. Luckily, people in my groups were forming new groups and invited me to join.

If you go to Instagram, and type #DMGroups into the search bar, you’ll see people looking for DM Group members.

You can also try forming your own group. Group admins often ask a lot of their members so you get leverage if you have your own group. For example, many groups require members to follow their accounts.

If you click this link, you’ll be taken to a place where you can sign up for free Instagram Engagement groups on Facebook.

Unfollowing people

Although you can only follow 30 people per hour, Instagram allows you to unfollow 160 people per hour.

Why would you want to unfollow people on Instagram?

You won’t be allowed to continue to follow people in your niche if you reach 7500 followers.

You need to follow people whose content might interest you and whose content makers might follow you back.

You need to unfollow people you’ve changed your mind about, people who don’t return your follow, or inactive followers.

Tip 73: Be patient. Instagram followers accumulate by snowballing. When people see your Instagram follower count is higher than others, the Bandwagon Effect comes into play. People assume if others are following your account, it must be good, and they should follow you as well.

Have White Lists

Tip 74: Have a White List 

What is an Instagram White List? 

Let me explain.

Suppose you want to follow someone who doesn’t follow you back?

This happened to me. I joined an Instagram Engagement group. The requirement was I had to follow the admin of the group. He didn’t follow me back. My Unfollow tool will unfollow him unless I put him on a White List. People on a White List won’t be unfollowed.

How to Avoid Getting Penalized:

Tip 75: Follow the Instagram rules. Follow a maximum of 30 people per hour and unfollow a maximum of 160 people per hour.

Tip 76: Don’t duplicate hashtags. Have various hashtag groups ready to copy-paste. I have a group for my SEO captions, a group for my blogging tips captions, a group for my social media captions, and so forth. Preparing them in groups of 30 ahead of time will save you a great deal of time when you’re rushing to post on Instagram.

Tip 77: Don’t buy followers. Is Instagram cracking down on buying followers?

Updates: More Instagram Secrets

May 2021: Instagram Live

Instagram Live has always been available on Instagram. However, Instagram just changed Live. 

Previously, only two people could go Live at the same time. Now, up to 4 people can be on an Instagram Live at the same time. 

February 2021:

Instagram Expert Daniel Hill of the Instagram Stories podcast shared that your reach on Instagram has dropped. This is due to hashtags and location tags no longer extending the reach of your posts. Is this your experience? 

December 2020:

More Instagram secrets

Instagram is jumping headfirst into the world of ecommerce and is expected to do so even more in 2021.

For instance, Instagram started Reels, a way to show videos on Instagram. Reels is considered comparable to Tik Tok.

Instagram now offers a way to shop using Reels. According to Adweek, this feature is now available globally. 

August 2019: 

Instagram is cracking down on use of 3rd-party apps and people are getting threatening warnings from Instagram after they use them. These 3rd-party apps include unfollower tools. 

How to Make Money with Instagram

Are you aware you can use the power of Instagram to market your products and services? Instagram marketing is easy, free, and quick. Instagram marketing is also a common form of advertising.

Don’t believe me? I typed #offers in the Instagram search bar and 451,390 offers came up. Don’t worry, by the end of this post, we will have you beating the competition for consumer attention.

Once you’re able to generate targeted followers, you can actually monetize your Instagram followers.

This link tells you how to monetize Instagram and how many followers you need to monetize on Instagram:

8 Things You Need to Know for Monetizing Instagram

Tip 78: Put your website link and your contact link in your profile. This way, potential customers can contact you.

Tip 79: Advertise your products and services in your Instagram Stories. People will rush to click knowing the offer is time-sensitive since stories vanish 24 hours after posting.

See Tip 54. With one Instagram story, I advertised two of my books using a template from the Unfold app.

Did anyone answer my Call to Action and click within the 24-hour window the Story was visible?


Instagram tips and tricks

You may feel 5 clicks in 24 hours isn’t a large number. However, remember I was selling two books with each click. I could have potentially sold 10 books that day without spending a penny on advertising.

Did this method work? Did I make any money selling ebooks during that 24-hour period?

Yes! Look:

How to use Instagram

Note: I made money quickly and easily without needing an advertising budget or blog traffic, and now you can too.

Tip 80: Minimize your competition for sales. Type what you are advertising offers about into the Instagram search bar. To figure out the number of photos posted on a specific hashtag, simply type the word you’d like to use as a hashtag into the search bar on Instagram. Then check the number under the hashtag. This number tells you how many photos using this hashtag are currently on Instagram. The fewer the number, the less competition you have.

Tip 81: Make ads displaying your products or ads of consumers using your products happily. One of the perks of having a business account is you’ll be able to create an ad. However, you have to pay to promote your content.

Tip 82: Engage your followers by having them post pictures of your products or videos of them using your products.

Tip 83: Make sure the photos you post are so visually appealing, they grab users’ attention.

Tip 84: Share special promotions or coupons.

Tip 85: Get your followers involved in a contest and turn those leads into email signups you can eventually market to.

Tip 86: Use Instagram’s shoppable posts. This will cost you, but it’s a way to sell on Instagram.

Tip 87: Be patient. People give their money to people they trust. Generating trust takes time.

Tip 88: Sign up for AmbassadHer. It costs $2.99 a month, but you should make it back when brands hire you. For example, I’ve already been approached from the AmbassadHer company about working with Tide. They offered to give me a reward worth $30 if I bought Tide pods and showed a photo on Instagram and put a link to the company in my bio for 2 weeks. I turned it down, but that’s the kind of offer I received.

It gets better: You see the offers for free. You don’t spend any money unless you apply for the gig.

Tip 89: Sign up for Valued Voice. Problogger Deborah received the most work from this company in the past, she reports.

[Read: 10 Creative Ways to Earn Money on Instagram.]

Experts Share Their Best Instagram Secrets 

I asked two experts, “What are your best Instagram tips and tricks?”

1. Nirav Dave Capsicum Mediaworks 

To make an impact on Instagram you need to, first, know who your target audience is. By researching and finding out your target audience, you’ll be able to come up with a strategy that aligns with your brand and caters to the need of your target audience.

Three effective tips to use:

Share Beautiful and Optimized Images: Instagram is all about stunning visuals. As such, you need to ensure that the images you post are not only high-quality but they are also optimized to improve engagement. Be creative with your images but ensure that they have a consistent look, in terms of grid layout and theme.

Compose a Compelling Caption: A stunning image accompanied by a well-written caption can go a long way in engaging your audience and will get you more like and comments. Just make sure to keep it brief and relevant.

Make Use of Trending Hashtags: To find the trendiest hashtags for your Instagram post, use the Ritetag chrome extension. This tool provides you with relevant hashtag suggestions for text as well as images.

2. Chiranjeevi Maddala Digital Ready

Below are some of the tips that the audience can use for Instagram:

1) Stay updated on all the latest features that Instagram introduces. Make use of those trends to increase audience engagement as well as followers. Following the latest trends shows your audience that you are an up-to-date brand, aware of all the new-age trends.

2) Make your posts creative. Photoshop doesn’t work every time. Infuse creativity in your posts, Include real people, engage concepts, Q&A videos and anything else that you think can positively attract the audience.

3) Avoid a shadowban. One of the things that can greatly affect your Instagram account is a shadowban. Shadowban refers to the condition where your hashtags get undiscoverable. This leads to a lower engagement on your Instagram posts. While this is a temporary situation, you can avoid getting your posts shadowbanned in a number of ways, such as
– Slowing down your posts for a couple of days
– Use mixed up hashtags. Don’t use the same hashtags for a long period of time.
– Don’t use bots for automated liking or commenting

Wrapping Up: A Guide to Using Instagram Online and  Instagram App

In closing, Instagram offers marketers a great deal of potential. Considering the site is gaining in popularity, that potential is on the rise.

When surveyed, 60% of consumers reported finding new products on Instagram. One-third of the Stories viewed are from businesses. According to statistics, over 1 million companies advertise on this popular site. Now that you know these tips, so can you.

Have you tried to boost your Instagram game?

I have.

While trying to learn the ropes, I encountered conflicting information.

When I attempted to research how to use Instagram online or with the app, there seemed to be a lack of definitive answers. Hopefully, this guide brought clarity.

To be a successful marketer, you need to go where your audience goes. Since one billion people are going to Instagram, you should go there too. What are you waiting for?

Readers, please share so other content marketers read this guide and learn the benefits of using Instagram, how to use Instagram, and how to make money on Instagram.

This post also addressed some of the differences in using Instagram online and using the Instagram app.

I look forward to your views in the comments section. What are your best Instagram tips and tricks? Do you have any suggestions for using Instagram online or the Instagram app?

For your convenience, if you prefer an Instagram secrets book: This post is available as both a paperback and downloadable ebook on

For more hidden Instagram secrets, follow my Instagram account, @janicewald.

Instagram Online: Frequently Asked Questions

How can I use Instagram Online?

You need a desktop computer. Instagram’s features are limited online. For example, at the time of this writing, you can’t post an Instagram Story online. I also can’t read my caption using Instagram online although I can read the full caption using the Instagram app.

How do you chat on Instagram website?

You can comment by clicking “Add a comment.” In addition, you can Direct Message (DM) people and chat with them privately or in groups using the Direct Message feature.

What is the secret use of Instagram?

The secret use of all social media sites is the same: Social media sites are businesses. Therefore, the secret use of Instagram is to make money. That is why, the people who pay to boost visibility have the most success on Instagram and other social media sites.

Updates: Bonus Instagram Secrets

December 2020

These Instagram secrets are majorly innovative if you like Artificial Intelligence.

Not all Instagrammers are real people. For instance, Lil Miquela has an account and she’s a robot. If you don’t believe me, check out the Lil Miquela Instagram profile. At the time of this writing, Lil Miquela has 2.9 million followers.

October 2020 Update 1

Previously, when you made an Instagram Story, you’d have to copy the photo from your photo library and then paste it as an Instagram Story sticker.

Now, when you make your Story, there is an option to stay in the Instagram app and insert your image straight from your photo library.

This is a helpful time-saving step.

October 2020 Update 2

Instagram has many “Vote” Stickers you can include in your Stories to encourage people to vote in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.

October 2020 Update 3

If you enjoy using animation, you can now use animated selfie stickers to express yourself. Sometimes, an emoji just won’t do, and you may want to change to an animated selfie sticker for variety.

October 2020 Update 4

Do you want to know another one of the Instagram secrets?

“Likes” is becoming a less-important metric. Instagram has already banned “likes” in many countries including Canada. More information about why Instagram bans “likes” on posts can be found here.

July 2020

Do you want to know more hidden Instagram secrets? According to the Instagram Stories podcast, Instagram is started beta testing changing the look of the Story highlights on the home page.


Instagram hidden secrets Instagram online

According to Daniel Hill’s podcast, Instagram may soon have two rows of Story highlights on the homepage. Daniel reports he is already seeing two rows!

March 2020

I discovered the Squaready app.


Instagram secrets book

This image was taken from Twitter.

The top screenshot is too big for Instagram.

The bottom fits perfectly!

You can take screenshots with your phone and make them the right-size for Instagram.

June 2020

Here is another example:

Instagram Secrets Instagram Online

This screenshot was taken from Twitter. Therefore, it originally was too wide to post on Instagram.

I wanted to post this tutorial on Instagram, but the words would be cut off. Therefore, I used the Squaready app.

Squaready is free and quick to use.

How to use Squaready:

Open the app and tap on Eddie’s picture.

Choose the photo from your photo library.

Tap on the desired format. I tap on square which is perfect for Instagram. Click the green check mark at the top of the screen when done.

Bam! Your photo is in a perfect square. Send to your photo library or wherever you want to use your newly-square image.

November 2019

Advantages and Disadvantages of Instagram

Look at the top of the Instagram Story. Do you see the white lines?

That indicates how many Instagram Stories a person has.

Instagram Secret Trick: You get forewarned if a person has more than one Story for you to view.

In this case, the Instagrammer has three Stories.

If you don’t have time to view more than one, you might want to X out!

Related Reading

How to Easily Get More Free Instagram Followers, 15 Ways

Talking about making money with Instagram, check out this article I published on Kingged titled â€śBest Cash Back Apps“. It’s great for those want some money back on almost anything they buy online. 

  1. Ryan K Biddulph

    Wow what an inspired post. Amazing how just a bit of hash tagging and being in the IG stream did wonders for growing my following. People need to know; you are in the stream, and you are hitting the right tags to target your following.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Ryan,
      Regarding your comment about “being in the stream,” I make a concerted effort to post on Instagram daily and I post an Instagram story several times a week. I feel like I’m in the stream with those efforts.
      Thanks for writing.

  2. Terri Webster Schrandt

    Fabulous suggestions, Janice! I’m glad to see many folks utilizing IG for promoting their blogs. I prefer to use IG for sharing my photos and for viewing other photography. There is no other good platform for doing so. I like that IG connects to Facebook, so my photos get a good reach to my friends and family who love my photography. I had the business account but it sent everything to my FB page and few friends and family follow my blog page. I guess IG has a niche for everyone!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Terri,
      Great to see you. I love your vignette gravatar. Is that the filter? Vignette?
      I agree. Instagram definitely has a niche for everyone. You should keep abreast in the development of Instagram shoppable posts in case you ever want to sell your gorgeous photography.
      Do you think you might want to do that?
      Thanks for writing.

  3. Lisa Sicard

    Hi Janice, what is ghost shadowing on Instagram? When you mentioned a ghost follower it made me think ot that. Also why do so many follow and unfollow on there so fast? Thanks for all these wonderful tips. I’ve really started to generate some traffic from Instagram. I believe stories had a lot of do with it. I’m learning more every day on this network and really like it! Thanks again Janice.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lisa,
      A shadowban is a penalty people get if they are repetitious due to copy-pasting hashtags or Direct Messages too often.
      Let me explain what a ghost follower is.
      A ghost follower is someone who follows you but who doesn’t engage with your content by liking or commenting. It’s like they are a “ghost”– since they don’t interact with your content, they might as well not really be there.
      There is a reason this is a problem for you:
      If brands ever want to employ you to promote their products, they will want to see at least a 7% rate of liking/commenting on your posts. Your ghost followers, who don’t ever like or comment, will make it harder for you to reach the 7%. For that reason, there are tools that enable Instagram users to take their “ghost” followers off their followers lists. The tool I use defines a ghost as someone who hasn’t liked or commented on the last 10 Instagram posts.
      I hope that clarifies some of the terms I used in my post about Instagram online and the Instagram app.

    • Mike Jones

      Hi, Janice, The topic which you are chosen is really awesome. You have a fresh idea in this thank you for the Informative article.

      • Janice Wald

        My pleasure, Mike! Glad you enjoyed! Thanks for writing to tell me.

        • Lanae Bond

          This is the most detailed post on Instagram I have seen! I am glad you to the time to go through step by step to using Instagram. Thank for providing this information!

          • Janice Wald

            Hi Lanae,
            Providing the tips was my pleasure! Thanks for writing to tell me you appreciated the thoroughness of my Instagram guide.

  4. Vishwajeet Kumar

    Hello Janice,

    I haven’t used Instagram so much. But recently using it from past few weeks. I am just exploring its features and other functionality and this post helps me to explore more. Your article really helps to find out more hidden features of Instagram.


    • Janice Wald

      Hi Vishwajeet,
      Thanks for writing. I was hoping I could help people get exposure to some features of Instagram they didn’t know about before reading my Instagram Online post. Thanks for telling me I did! Have fun at Instagram!

  5. chickenruby

    some great tips there, but I instagram for fun and for family and friends, too much hassle for me to try and make a living out of it and my photos aren’t that inspiring really #globalblogging

    • Janice Wald

      Hi ChickenRuby,
      Regarding having inspiring photos: There are many tools you can use that already have professional photos. The tools are free to use. Here is a list
      Regarding making a living by monetizing Instagram– no pressure. You can enjoy Instagram’s features without monetization. I was trying to be thorough in my article in case people do want to monetize.
      Thanks for writing!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Heather!
      Bookmarking is a great idea! Thanks for writing to tell me you enjoyed!

  6. Sandy

    Hi Janice,

    You provide great tips and techniques to improving your Instagram strategy. Posting on Instagram stories is a great tool to build an audience and engage with your followers. The possibilities are endless and not too many people use it to their potential. I have noted down some great tips I will be adding to my strategy.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Sandy,
      I hope you’ll consider bookmarking for later reference. Your comments are inspiring. I posted two Instagram Stories today! Thanks for writing with these compliments.

  7. Freedownloadgraphics

    It seems you are good at seo because i found it on 1st page. Creating blog is easy but ranking it on search engine is difficult task. write something on it. so that it can help new bloggers like me.
    Or give me link if you have allready written some tips.

  8. Dan Goldman

    Wow:))) I’ve never seen such a long useful list))) Most articles provide only a few tips but you compiled the longest list I’ve ever seen! Thank you:)

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Dan,
      I tried to compose a thorough Instagram guide. Thanks for writing to let me know you feel I did. Writing the post was my pleasure. I’m glad you feel my Instagram tips are valuable.

  9. Moss Clement

    Hi Janice,

    This article is breathtaking, and I can’t say how much it resonates. I’m loving the “link tree” feature and would like to create my account. However, although there are several ways to make money on Instagram, I want to add that, creating a link on Instagram that would direct users to your landing page is a fascinating way to convert users and sell to them. Therefore, if you have an offer, instead of leading them to your home page or other pages of your site, send them to your offers or landing pages.

    I’m sharing this post across social. In addition, I’m rounding up a post about Instagram automation. I will send it to you in HTML format for evaluation and publishing.

    For the records, I flipped it on Flipboard already!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Moss,
      Thanks for your exciting comments!
      1. I’d love to publish your Instagram automation roundup. Thanks for giving it to my readers.
      2. Thanks for sharing my post on Flipboard!
      3. Thanks as well for contributing to the discussion by sharing your ideas for Linktree. I use them! I have links to my Hire Me page where I market my coaching servicees.

  10. cmoneyspinner

    I am the proud owner of 2 Instagram accounts and they are both being neglected. It took me forever to finally create them. Now I need to figure out the best way to manage them. Thanks for sharing these tips. I needed some guidance. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Treathyl,
      Nice to see you. Thanks for commenting on my Instagram online post.
      Question: Would only having one Instagram account be easier? Less cumbersome, perhaps?
      I looked you up on Instagram and saw this account.
      Thanks for the compliments. I hoped my post would be a guide. Thanks for letting me know I succeeded.
      Your photos are amazing.

  11. Hannah

    Wow, what an amazing post! I have been struggling to grow my Instagram and about to give up on it. But when I found this post with so many useful tips, I’m thinking to give it another go and follow your guide. Thank you so much.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Hannah,
      What glorious comments! Thank you for writing to let me know my Instagram guide inspired you. That was my goal.

  12. Philip V Ariel

    Hi Janice,
    What an EPIC Post!
    Yes, a wonderful a to z guide for Instagram users!
    Though I am using it intermittently, now after going thru this post I have decided to be more active to get a good stand out there on the internet! 🙂
    I appreciate the pain you have taken to put this together in a usable way.
    As mentioned, it is indeed some wonderful Instagram Secrets you shared thru this post, yes, one must know these secrets.
    Thank you so much, Janice. I found this post on the pages of Bizsugar and up-voted and commented.
    Keep sharing.
    Best Regards
    ~ Phil

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Philip,
      Thank you so much for your support on BizSugar. I appreciate the upvote and the comments and your compliments here.
      An A to Z guide! Thank you for complimenting the thoroughness of my article. I’m glad I could inspire you to spend more time on your Instagram efforts. I think you’ll find it is time well spent.

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  22. James

    Very in-depth post Janice. I’ve noticed that when it comes to Tip 27: Choose pictures that evoke emotion, pictures with people’s faces (looking at you) usually tend to get more engagement. At least that’s worked very well for me 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi James,
      Thanks for the compliments. Where did you find the post, may I ask? I always wonder.
      Regarding your tip, I appreciate you contributing to the discussion.
      I agree with you. I always have faces, but the faces staring straight ahead get more engagement than the faces looking down or to the side. Interesting! Sounds like a good idea for a study.

  23. Belmadeng

    Awesome post..Interestingly it has covered all that I need on instagram. Thanks a million

  24. Topxlisting

    Thanks for the great post. Actually i want to grow my Instagram profile and your tips are just amazing. Keep sharing.

  25. Faith T

    Love these tips, pretty sure they will take my instagram’s engagement to the next level. Just wondered about the frequency of posting. How often should I post content daily? Do you recommend daily or weekly?

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Faith,
      Thanks for coming by and commenting. I appreciate the compliments. I followed them and they boosted my Instagram success for sure!
      Regarding the frequency of posting: I post once a day and it isn’t enough. When I post less, I lose followers. I’d recommend posting 3 times a day. Use the When to Post app. It will tell you the 3 optimal times. They vary per day. I have another Instagram post coming out next weekend. Stay tuned!

  26. Priya Sharma

    All these 88 tips for using Instagram are just wonderful. I am really impressed with your article because it contains a complete guide to use Instagram in a better way. I will surely try out these tips for using Instagram like a pro.

  27. Alfredo Brock

    This article help me a lot. Few day’s ago i start to use Instagram for increase more efficiency to my blogging career. I was finding something like this post. Really a great article thanks.

  28. Erlend

    WOW. that was a lot of new information for me.
    I have to redo most of my accounts on Instagram now, I have been doing it wrong all the time.
    Maybe just cancel the old ones and create some new ones from scratch.
    This was powerful reading, and wow, WOW.
    Thanks for this very informative post and very detailed information.

  29. Dricki

    Instagram’s features are amazing . you can post your story,upload new photos live videos on our profile and useful information for any topic.

  30. Digital Junkies

    Thanks for the information .Your article really helps to find out more hidden features of Instagram.I make a concerted effort to post on Instagram daily.

  31. rate engagement

    There are many ways people use to enhance their Instagram engagement to increase the Instagram engagement rate.

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