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Grow Your Instagram With the 1.80$ Strategy

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I was about to quit Instagram... but then I found out about the 1.80 strategy...

How I started my 2020:

At the beginning of January, Instagram was more frustrating than ever for me. I was active on the app for about 10 minutes a day on average and posted about 2-3 posts a week.

For those of you who don’t know my story with Instagram, here’s the gist of it:

I had an account with over 3,000 followers but with the slowest growth rate so I closed it and started a new one which will be completely organic. 

Want to know more? Here’s the longer version, or just skip to the 1.80$ strategy.

When I started my blog, I converted my personal account (that was opened in 2014 and had less than 10 pics) into a business account. I had about 300 followers that were mostly inactive and grew to 2000 followers within 3 months. I posted 2 pics a day for the first month or so simply because I had many pics from past trips.

As I was reaching 2000 followers, I started participating in Instagram engagements pods through Instagram group DMs (in which you let the other members you posted a new post, and they comment on it). I was going to Nicaragua shortly after and was sure my following would even grow faster, but that’s when my growth stopped.

I was confused. I was used to having things going smoothly and didn’t know what to do.

To get back to my previous growth rate, I joined more pods (on WhatsApp, Telegram and whatnot), did an expensive giveaway (feel free, do ask me about it if you’re planning to do one), but nothing helped.

In the next year or so, I only grew by 1000 followers. I was devastated.

I learned more about Instagram and realized the algorithm is basically punishing me. In an unusual move, I decide to open a new Instagram account and do everything “kosher” this time. Organic growth only.

It was painful, but what other choice did I have? Stay with my old account till Instagram realizes I’m not taking any un-organic means anymore? I tried it, didn’t work.

So, I kind of gave up. I focused on my blog and Pinterest and loved it since I saw actual results.

That’s when I heard of Gary Vee’s 1.80$ Instagram Strategy.

What’s the 1.80$ Instagram growth strategy 

1.80$ strategy to grow your Instagram basically focuses on the community.

It was created by Gary Vee, a social media and communication guru who’s done very well for himself (with over 7 million followers on Instagram and presence in all platforms- from twitter to TikTok).

Here’s how it works:

Go to 10 hashtags in your niche

Leave a thoughtful comment on the top 9 pics (leave you 2 cents)

Do it every day.

Enjoy the results.

Check out my Instagram story highlights to see precisely how to do it.

If you follow this, you’ll be commenting on 90 pics a day (in addition to whatever you comment on daily). Yes, it might seem like a lot, but as Gary vee says, “there are no shortcuts.”

What’s behind it?

Community. The 1.80$ strategy is meant to enhance your community and connect you with people from your field. Rather than accumulating a high number of comments that are irrelevant, with this strategy, your engagement will skyrocket. And it will be authentic. 

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My results:

Here’s what happened after 8 days:





As you can see, the results were pretty good in my case:

Profile visits grew times four

Website clicks doubles

Interactions almost tripled

Impressions almost doubled

And that’s only in the first week. For now, I decided to continue for a couple more weeks until my flight to brazil. I’ll keep you posted on progress on my account.

*I only took the screenshot after completing the first day of the challenge so while it seems like discovery decreased but it didn’t really since I wasn’t active at all the week before so it jumped on the first day to 3000. In reality, all my numbers were much lower.

Some important tips from my experience

Here’s how I applied the 1.80$ Instagram strategy:

– On the first day, I just went to my saved hashtags for travel and commented on the top 9 pics.

– On the second day you will notice that some pics you already commented on will still appear, so just skip those, but still comment on 9 pics

– Spread your comment throughout the day. I commented on 3 hashtags at a time, so it wasn’t so bad.

– I didn’t comment on the same 10 hashtags every day since I have over 40 travel-related hashtags.

– I didn’t comment as much on pics that appeared on feature pages like “she is not lost” and more on personal accounts since it’s about creating a community.

– Another thing I did that really boosted my following was using my brazil/travel-related hashtags since I was traveling there soon. That increased my reach and following substantially since it introduced my profile to a whole new audience.

– The most important thing I did was announce to the world I’m doing this strategy for one week and challenging others to do it. Making it public helped to make me accountable for actually following through.

– Don’t forget to take a screenshot of your insights before starting the challenge. 

The 79/21 Rule- Social Media Strategy by Gary Vee

Here is another one of Gary Vee’s strategies I swear by- the 79/21 rule (aka the 80/20 rule)

You might hear of this rule in other fields like marketing, but here’s how it applies to social media:

According to Gary Vee you should invest most of your efforts, of 79% in one platform that’s dominant in your field, or relevant to you. Put in 21% to other social media platforms. Not one, not two, all of them.

Here’s a picture was taken from Gary Vee’s article about this strategy.

In the article, he explains what’s behind this strategy, but what you basically need to understand is that social media is constantly changing, so it’s essential to have a presence in other platforms that are not your primary outlet.

Now, wait. I know what you’re thinking.

You’re probably blogging as a hobby or in addition to your full-time job. You barely have time to maintain your Instagram account, and now you need to invest your time in other platforms? What the hell?


Remember, you’re only supposed to put in 20% of your time on other platforms. That means that if you put in 1 hour a day on Instagram, you only have to spend 12 minutes a day on all other platforms.

How to do it without getting overwhelmed?

First of all, start an account in all the platforms that are relevant to you.

Here are the platforms I’m on by order of importance: WordPress/blog, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter.

Keep in mind that on piece of content can be shared in many platforms. One instagram story or videos can be shared on TikTok, a blog post can be shared on Faceook and twitter etc. 

I post on twitter about once a month, I upload a vlog on youtube whenever I have one, I share my blog posts on my Facebook page, and I post TikTok stories whenever I can. It doesn’t matter what you do. Just do something, once in a while, on platforms other than your main one.

Still not convinced?  Which this video:

Don’t forget to pin this post

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