Growing a personal travel blog brand - Method Constructive Criticism

Hello all!

Checking in again as I am currently redirecting my path to be more focused on my passion, which is domestic (micro) travelling. I wanted some honest constructive criticism on my method. I have a strong feeling that doing this will work however, I am also looking for feedback on the method I plan on using. This will go along with my agency and plan on leveraging this personal brand to grow my agency and consulting services.

So that all being said let’s get straight to it.

January to February:

I will have 90 posts up on Instagram, 3 going up a day, each post will have a well written caption, blogging and discussing my current life path of becoming a domestic (micro) travel influencer.

All of the posts will be original content, I have been spending the past 60 days getting content ready with some very creative photographer friends of mine. Each post again is going to be discussing my journey.

So what is the journey?

The journey is that of normal guy living outside of Philadelphia learning the ropes of becoming a travel influencer. My goal is to have each new follower feel like they are apart of this journey. I will do this by sending out 50 currated video DM’s a day to new followers for the first 30 days. I will be capable of this as I will already have the content streamlined.

My goal is to make each follower feel like they are connected and apart of this. I am also looking for tips on how I can really keep my audience engaged, ideas that come to mind are story post questions. But I am hoping you can supply some ideas on how I can go about this

Methods of Reach I’m Familiar With:

F/ UF + L - My account is already warmed up

Hashtags - I will be using a subset of 5 Large/ 5 Medium sized/ 5 Specific related hashtags with each post

Methods of Reach That I’d like feedback on:

Pods/ Engagement Groups: I am not familiar nor would I know where to begin in terms of finding high quality groups like this, if you could assist i’d greatly appreciate it!

PowerLikes : Now these I am familiar with and know the power of, I just can’t seem to find a good provider

Shout/outs or Network : Now these I am also unfamiliar with, I haven’t ever had the need to use these services, but now that I am growing a personal brand I’d like to explore it, I am currently rereading the ebook so it might go over this more so sorry if it’s more obvious.

Overall I want to approach this with Method in mind, if I can successfully pull it off I’ll write up a well documented method I used to achieve it to give back to the community, I want to be able to successfully work out brand deals and free travel opportunities in exchange for content and advertisement. I am currently researching how to get my personal travel content to go viral, if anyone has tips on this it would be greatly appreciated!


Everything looks good. You may already read it several times here (e.g. from advanced people as @Alexnvo ) : the best growth (in terms of pace & getting real & loyal followers) is:

  • with damn good content AND
  • with shoutouts.

It seems that you know that and you have spent some time to create good content.

All other points in your approach seem to be also very good.

Regarding an engagement group: feel free to send me a PM if you want to have access to travel-niche EG (high-quality; many accounts have 100k+ followers, one of the founders have 1 mio. followers). Of course, admission is for free :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you so much for reaching out and taking the time to reply so meaningfully! I am hoping to maximize what I can, any tips on shoutouts? I need to brush up a better method for that!

Well, shoutouts can be a very effective way for growing. As you may already have heard, you can either buy shoutouts (the bigger the account and the better its ER, the more you have to spend, usually) or you try to make a “shoutout-for-shoutout”-deal with several accounts in your niche (bigger accounts wont do that, but accounts of the same size may be interested).

Other tips? If you are interested in buying a shoutout,

  • look for experience of other buyers
  • try to buy only from people who have an acc. with similar content (e.g. if you have a fashion account and someone with a car-account gives you a shoutout, you will likely get some new followers, but not as many as if another fashion-account “shoutouts” your account)
  • check the “shoutouter” before buying a shoutout: engagement rate and growth. and / or or may help you with that.

Good luck for your journey :slight_smile: :four_leaf_clover:


Thank you again for your sincere reply! I personally use because I use it for my clients accounts as it tracks them for free. I’ll DM you in regards to what you mentioned previously.


Great idea. I’ve toyed with this as well but keep hitting DM limits. Have you tested it out yet?

My account is already warmed up, I haven’t hit DM limits yet, however I haven’t tested 50 curated videos. So I will definitely reach back out. my goal is just to have super engaged followers.

Plan seems good and there is a lot of advice already on it so i wont cover that.

Just want to add: if you are growing a real blog you did checked some keywords you want to rank your blog for?

Cause that will boost you in some free and extra traffic to the blog + brand awareness since you put a lot of effort in it you could combine that too in your plan?

Just not true… Not that effective these days. Besides that most pages that sell shoutouts are full of shit. All fakes or followers that won’t see their content.

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3 post a day are too much, 1 is enough, i don’t know how many followers do you have but if u want to being bigger maybe they are not a big number. This why if u pull 3 post a day maybe the followers that interact with one post will not interact on the second or on third post, so i suggest u to post one post a day and try to get the higher engagment possible on that single post.

dunno if the DM’s are appriciate from new followers, i don’t like auto DM’s ( only my opinion)

I suggest u to use only like strategy, give priority to cast likes to new followers and then try to find new ones. if u are a traveler there is no reason (from people prospective) to spam follow button hoping people do the same then unfollw them, be transparent and don’t try to trick other people, if u are in their target they will follow you.

Pods and EG maybe some one are still good but there is a lot of shit in that groups, be carefull
Powerlikes same as pods and EG but they cost a lot

Shoutout AND network, in my experience i think this 2 way approccing instagram are the best for growing up in the best way possible, i’ve write “AND” because if u find ( or create) a network of people doing the same things or something related ( or maybe something different) u can do s4s as well as comments or LE.

in the end i suggest you to not use only one social for this journey, try to implement youtube in your journey or the IGTV (or both, there are a lot of tut’s on make content for YT and convert to IGTV) for give the best expirence to your followers, as well use the stories as best u can for creating hype for a new post, ask opinion and make people feel part of your journey.

That’s my 2 cent, hope my english is good enough


Dont know what is not true about my post, maybe I just have used bold words

So is this information contradictory to yours?

Because you obviously have no idea about shoutouts on IG. Even though shoutsouts can work, getting significant growth from it is pretty much unattainable for the average guy. Let me explain why…

  1. One shoutout from lets say a 200-300k page will bring you shit. If you are lucky you will get like 100 followers. And you paid like 20-100$. Its just not worth it and totally unsustainable money wise (if you are not a big brand with a lot of money or rich anyways) and way too much work to organise as you would need many shoutouts every day from a lot of pages to grow significantly. By significantly I mean at least 500 followers a day as everything as is childs play in times most niches on IG are so saturated and accounts will only stand out with at least 200-300k high quality followers. I get regularly free shoutouts/reposts from alright big pages (200k-2 mill) so I can tell you exactly that Single shoutouts do not help a lot.

  2. Most pages that do paid shoutouts are full of shit. The good repost pages normally curate their content themselves and do reposts for free if you have the respective content. Researching the quality of potential shoutout pages makes it even more time consuming (see no. 1). Also I noticed on some clients accounts who bought shoutouts that the sellers purchased them fake follower to make the shoutout look successful. So many think shoutouts good until they have tried it themselves. Surprisingly you never find detailed stories including shoutout providers and proof of growth on social media forums.

  3. Shoutouts only make sense if you have access to a biiig network, meaning various pages that have huge reach (like 1 mill+ or something). Then these pages have to give you shoutouts on a consistent basis, like every day. To get access to a network like this is pretty much impossible if you don’t know people. I am pretty sure @Alexnvo can second this… A guy who has such a network. I am having my own network in a certain niche with 1.2 mill followers in total and with this its possible to funnel good growth to a page (1k+/day).

  4. So how to grow significantly on IG without having access to a huge network? Well, there is only one thing and thats why 99,9% will never be successful: Incredible good content that works on IG
    Don’t believe me? Let me give you an example of one of a few accounts that actually grow organically with big numbers:
    If you look at their account closely you will see they grow, because they hit explore regularly and getting a ton of free reposts. Go through all their tagged photos of the last month and check the size of accounts that tag them. Pretty much no way you can pay your way that many times in the feed of so many different pages.

One more thing @SkinnyGirl: You are spamming this forum since weeks copying stuff that other people said. This doesn’t help as it doesn’t add value, because it might be stuff thats already outdated, wrong stated or whatever and you strengthen these.
Let me tell you something I experienced in Asia many times (story time): If you ask a local for the directions to a certain place, they usually have no idea what place you mean, BUT they will always tell you some directions (that are completely wrong of course), because they don’t want to loose countenance. Then you will follow these directions just to find out that they had no idea what they were talking about. So might have been better that they just said I have no idea where this place is hmm?
It’s nothing personal bro, but I see many of such replies from you even though you often write I am not an expert blabla bla or open threads that show that you have really don’t really have IG experience. I know mean have good intentions, but its just not helpful IMO… Helpful would be things you have extensively tested yourself.


Where ya get this from ? Account suicide actually to stick to one only. If the feed is good and many likes --talking about all accounts on Insta and normal it’s stupid to post just once a day. If bleeding followers because of a shadowbann it’s best to post once a day a album and go private for a few days as to stop the bleeding . number of post per day depends on what strategy you are implementing – followers vs. ER.


My tips would be network a lot of you want to travel for free. I’ve been fortunate to have been given free trips in return for instagramming them, and most have been through people I’ve met in the industry. I’ve talked with marketing departments for some of the hotels I’ve worked with, and they said they have found the increase of people asking for free stays to Instagram is super annoying for them. So keep that in mind!

Also I’ve found 1 post seems to work the best. Utilise stories too as people love that first person point of view.

looks interesting topic, as i am start doing this also

but apart from the DM groups and Pod
i dono if it will help, ppl start selling entries and ppl are invited even from different niche so i don`t know if it will help more or no !!

I would love to see your currated video used for DM. How can I get a look at the video?

From my experience! You are right too btw you said too: number of post it’s about the strategy, and for me a good strategy for such type of account is the ER strategy so i prefer a post a day.

Maybe i should said in a better way like “in my experience i think that a good way is ER strategy and for this type of account i think that 3 post a day are too much”

That’s it, i was talking about this specific account not in general

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Totally agree with the shout-out thing and also about asking direction in Asia :joy:

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Yeah go for a post a day. Its better for engagment in the long run