Why Paying for Instagram Followers Doesn’t Work

I am here to tell you why paying for Instagram followers doesn’t work. Spoiler alert, it will actually hurt your account more than help.

There are two ways to grow your Instagram

  1. Organic growth
  2. Purchase your followers

Buying Instagram Followers

If you decide to buy followers for Instagram, it’s actually pretty simple. Try Googling, “buy Instagram followers”, you will find a tons of sites. Most of these websites look like this:

  • Claims that you are buying 100% real accounts 
  • The price could range from $2.95 for 100 followers, up to $250 for 50,000 followers
  • The process is usually through PayPal after you share your Instagram handle
  • Within minutes, your followers will start coming through to your account

What happens after you have bought Instagram followers?

Nothing. If you want comments and likes for your account through the company, you will have to pay extra for that service.

Your account will have as many followers as you want, but these followers that you paid for will not like or comment on your photos. It’s also really obvious to your organic followers if they notice you went from 5k to 25k in one day.


Now, after a bit of time, your paid followers will start to drop off. Since these are technically spam accounts, Instagram will do a clean up and delete them.

Some websites will tell you that if your follower count drops, they will fix it. But usually, their policy is 30 days. After that, you are left to buy more followers if you want to keep your number up.

Why buying followers hurts your Instagram account

  1. It turns off your actual followers

    If your followers see a sudden spike in followers, it’s obvious that you are buying followers. This could cause your real followers to unfollow

  2. It will hurt your engagement rate

    If you have 50,000 followers but only 100 likes per photo, your engagement rate will much lower

  3. Loss of integrity

    No one will want to work with you if your work methods are not honest

  4. Your account could be closed

    Instagram is cracking down on fraudulent behavior and they could suspend or close your account

How to grow your Instagram account with an organic method

There are many methods to grow your Instagram followers in an honest fashion. It’s a long process, but here’s how you can do it.

  1. Every time you post a photo on Instagram, make sure that you are following these steps.

    1. Use relevant hashtags (The Best Instagram Hashtags to Increase Likes)
    2. Geo-Locate, make sure that you are tagging where the photo was taken
    3. Tag brands, users, and location from the photo
  2. Interacting with like-minded Instagrammers

    1. Commenting on photos from the relevant hashtags that you used in your photo
    2. Liking photos from the relevant hashtags that you used in your photo
    3. If someone likes or comments on your picture, head to their account and reciprocate the love
  3. Join Instagram Pods

    1. If you have an Instagram pod with friends, make sure to share your photo with them in the group
  4. Join Facebook groups featuring Instagram threads

    1. Find Facebook groups that host Instagram threads.
    2. Share your photo on the daily thread that involves like for likes or comment for comment
    3. This process can be time-consuming, but make sure you are reciprocating in the thread
  5. Join an Instagram Giveaway

    1. This method will cost money to join the giveaway, but this is a great way to increase your follower count.
    2. Here are some accounts you can contact that host reputable giveaways
      1. www.instagram.com/belleloops
      2. www.instagram.com/instaloops1

I can understand why people buy Instagram followers. Who wouldn’t love 50,000 people following your account, liking & commenting on photos each time you post? But unfortunately, that’s not going to happen if you buy followers.



Leave a Comment


  1. What an interesting read, I have never payed for instagram followers and on this moment I am very annoyed with some people’s habit to follow an account just to unfollow you some days after (if you re-follow or not). So, I just don’t focus to much on the followers number and put my energy on interacting 🙂 like you suggest. gr. Kat

    Posted 9.11.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      That is such great advice!!

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply
  2. Lea K. wrote:

    Great advice! Thank you. I am new to this so this blog really helps! I didn’t even know this was a thing, so it was very informative!

    Posted 9.11.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      Oh yeah, just google it. It’s amazing how many companies are selling Instagram bots.

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply
  3. Ayana Pitterson wrote:

    I have absolutely wondered why people get out of buying followers. Don’t they know the gig is up. Great tips, and a great reminder that rewards comes with hard work only – no short cuts.

    Thrifting Diva

    Posted 9.11.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      I have seen followers go from hundreds to thousands of followers in a day. It was really obvious that they bought followers 🙁

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply
  4. Ana wrote:

    My inbox is filling up with these “buy real Instagram followers” emails. I’ve never really got the point of it and I don’t understand why would somebody pay for followers? Clearly it hurts your account. I believe the honest way is the right way, no matter how hard or how long it takes 🙂
    Loved this read, thanks for your great tips!

    Posted 9.11.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen overnight if you have goals for a high amount of followers. But as you grow, you are able to understand your tribe more and cater to them!

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply
  5. Sharon Glascoe wrote:

    I can’t believe people do this. I am all about have engagement so I don’t even do the follow-unfollow trick. Not okay with me.

    Posted 9.11.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      UGH, I hate that method SO MUCH!!

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply
  6. This is great advice. I am super burnt out and frustrated with instagram. Its so so much work and I have tried all these strategies you suggest..and its just not growing very fast….:/ Thanks for the tips

    Posted 9.11.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      It’s going to be slow and steady, but with that method you are growing a true community of followers!

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply
  7. Jenny wrote:

    This is so true! Buying followers will get you nowhere. I totally agree.

    Posted 9.11.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      It will just waste your money!

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply
  8. Cristina wrote:

    Growing your influence on social media is difficult nowadays. Without paying for it is difficult to impossible for some people to grow their following. I never tried to buy Instagram followers. I’ll be honest and I’ll say that I would buy some just for the sake of it and experiment what happens. Just curious.

    Cristina | *janded

    Posted 9.11.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      You could definitely try it, but unfortunately the followers don’t stick. You will eventually lose the followers in a matter of months.

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply
  9. Nicole Parise wrote:

    Best to focus on great content! But I will be the first to admit that growing your account is very frustrating at this point, and every ounce of creativity counts.

    Nicole | nicoleparise.com

    Posted 9.12.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      Goodness, it’s slow and steady. Which can be difficult, but it’s the way it goes…

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply
  10. K Shaw wrote:

    Ugh, i agree 100%. I once was “gifted” likes by a company and it destroyed my engagement. I woke up to over 1000 likes on an okay photo when my average was maybe just clearing 100 at the time — and it was super sketchy accounts… took me forever to block them, well, as many as I could. It really just ruins things for everyone.

    Posted 9.12.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      What?!! I would have totally turned that down. I can’t believe a company would offer that gift?!

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply
  11. Natalie Goodwin wrote:

    Girl, I love this. Work hard and be nice – my motto! What turns me off more than buying followers is the follow/unfollow game. I seriously get beyond frustrated, especially when people with not even that many followers in the first place do it! Anyway, Instagram is really sucking now, so maybe we should just come up with a new social network that hits it big, right!?! lol! Happy Wednesday!

    xoxo, Natalie

    Posted 9.13.17 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      OH MY GOODNESS, I hate that so much. I actually get so mad about it because it looks so bad.

      Posted 9.19.17 Reply