Instagram Tips: Hashtags Basics

Hello again! I hope you found my last post useful!!

Today I want to share the basics of finding hashtags for those who are new to Instagram or those who are wanting to start growing their Instagram account. There are a lot of articles out there on the Internet in regards to top or best hashtags to use, but, there were only a few that I found to be really useful for those just starting out.

I found a lot of interesting findings when doing my hashtag research, the algorithm, but I will not go into that now. It’ll just be too much.

So let’s get started!

  1. Do not use general hashtags like #tuesday (9.2 million photos in there) #breakfast (53.2 million) #travel (147.2 million) or even #tbt (352 million). Right now, go into one of those hashtags and look under “most recent” and scroll through. How many posts come in every minute? A lot!
  2. This is where reflection comes in… Look at your feed if you have one or think about the one you will be starting. What do you want to share with the world? How do you want your feed to look and who do you want to engage with? Moms, fellow travelers, photo enthusiasts, lovers of architecture etc. What will your niche be? Ok, you may be thinking, “I don’t want to be too niche, it’ll be too restricting.” Have you heard the term niche marketing? Basically you want to be the big fish in the small pond and not the small fish in the big pond.
  3. Once you have a better idea of which direction you want to go, do a bit of digging around. There are a variety of ways to do this.
    1. If you love a particular magazine, see if it has an Instagram account and a hashtag. Or just look at any magazine’s IG account, magazines that would be read by people who may like what you have to offer, and see if they have a hashtag that they use.
    2. Find other Instagrammers,  ideally an Instagrammer that doesn’t have a huge following as yet, in your niche with good engagement. In Instagram, 5% engagement is average, anything more is really good. Look at their hashtags, click on them and if you find some good ones, write them down on a piece of paper, phone Notepad/Evernote or whatever.
    3. If you are involved in a group, let’s say Clickin Mom and they have tags they use, write them down. If you love using a particular photo editing app, VSCO for example, look up vsco’s tags.
    4. Visit Instagram’s blog. They post weekly hashtag challenges. Give them a go. A lot of IGers participate and you have a chance to be featured.
  4. Look up related tags on Instagram. What you want to pay attention to when looking and selecting these hashtags are how big it is. This one example has about 167,250 posts and if you scroll through the most recent posts, you can get a rough estimate on how many new photos come in every hour.

       This one I think had about 14 photos. It’s not bad. Your photo can be easily accessible by many for the next hour or three.

  5. Use a variety of tags for your photo. If you are posting a handmade doll that you sell on Etsy. Use a handful of doll related tags, use a handful of mom/kids tags (assuming these are toys), use a handful of lifestyle blog, use a handful of location tags (#eastanglia, #parismaville, #thebigapple but not #chichago, #london, #tokyo, they’re too big and generic) and if there is a flower or the doll is on a bike or the doll is against a pretty wall, use very niche tags like #fouriadorefriday, #bicichic, or #ihavethisthingwithwalls.
  6. Combine big-ish to small-ish tags. I nice rule of thumb is to use hashtags with 5k-100k photos in there and if the hashtag photo amount is small, make sure it’s active. That there are photos being posted using that tag at least every hour. You don’t want to be buried. But you don’t also want to be the only post in two days, or weeks.

That’s that. At least for now. I think those tips above will get you going! Please let me know in the comment below if you tried the tips above and finding them helpful. Also, if you need any help finding a few, please comment below also. I’ll help the first five people who ask ?

Until next time!!





By Savitri

A wife, mom, traveler, photographer, geek and lifelong learner.


  1. Lovely blog Savitri! Thankful for your great advice and will look at my niche and hashtags and see what I’m missing. I’d like to grow but not pursue it too much if that makes any sense? I’m keen to enjoy the process and not get lost setting goals and pushing too hard. Such encouraging, thought provoking and engaging posts! Glad you started again and will look forward to more xx

    1. I was, still am, the same way! I am still amazed how my account is growing but it wasn’t intentional. To be honest, the wisterias did it ??? You have fab photos already. Do you use apps like preview/unum? If not, give it a go.

  2. Thanks! For everything.
    I am now a official fan of yours. 😉
    You are so great with everything you do. All the lovely photos, interesting & educational texts and now these great blog posts.

    I will start to look at the related tags on Insta.
    I often use a lot of hashtags in my IG posts, but I´m not sure they are the “right” ones.

    Best regards

    1. ??? thank you!!! ? Yes, it can be a bit time consuming and trial and error too but don’t think too much about it. Just pick a few tags that fits your photos and see how they go.

  3. Hello Savitri, thanks for another useful blog post! I tried a couple of your tips regarding useful hashtags and immediately noticed an increased response (on a small scale, of course). I find your advice on using more specific hashtags particularly helpful. Next I will try to combine smaller hashtags with bigger. There’s one thing I wonder about. Should one put the hashtags first followed by personal comments (if any) or the other way around? Maybe it doesn’t matter although I personally get a little tired seeing too many hashtags first thing in the post. Anyway, your knowledge and advice is much appreciated? Ylva

    1. Hello Ylva! Thanks for reading and trying out the tips! In regards to your question, I usually comment first and the put the hashtags in the bottom of the caption. It’s tidier this way. Plus, you want people to read the first paragraph of your caption.

  4. Great info I have much to learn ! I am seeing more engagement with your advice….I’m still figuring out my niche for photography any suggestions on new hastags to share to potential clients looking for a lifestyle session etc…? Thanks for sharing !

    1. You need to find some love cal hashtags to use. Maybe the city name or area. I use #cambridge it #eastanglia etc If your photos are at a beach, use the geo location of that beach. Hope that helps.

  5. I am so pleased to have stumbled on your blog and most useful of tips! I joined instagram in the summer and am still a relative newbie, so any handy and practical tips are very much appreciated. And you so kind enough to share so many! Thank you!

  6. Hi Savitri, this is Melanie from @journeyandcamera on Instagram! 🙂 I’ve really been enjoying all your posts so far, so I’m super glad that you have decided to start blogging to share all your Instagram wisdom with us! In the picture above of #darlingdaily, one of the most recent pictures is actually one of mine (the one of the church) – isn’t it crazy how small the world is?! 😉

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