Instagram is such a funny thing. Stop me if I’m crazy, but as a blogger sometimes you feel like you’re killing it and other times you’re close to calling it quits all because of a damn Instagram post. It can be really frustrating at times, but it also has the amazing ability to connect you with others (thanks to the creepy Explore page that forces you to see people it thinks you should be following). One of the most rewarding parts of being a blogger is connecting with my readers through Instagram. It has become such a personal platform for me, and I truly appreciate all the comments and messages I receive daily.
Before I dive into my tips, I wanted to acknowledge my readers / followers on Instagram. As I mentioned above, your engagement and interaction with me is so appreciated and CRUCIAL to my business. Without you, I have no business. So thank you for that!
You guys inspire me to keep creating content, share my life, and honestly, I feel supported. We have formed a community that I heavily rely on for feedback, suggestions, and moral support for anything I’m going through. In fact, I probably rely on you guys more than you rely on me. I enjoy being silly on Instagram and I feel you like you guys just get me. I know I’m not for everyone–I love to drink rosé, eat donuts, cuss, redecorate my house, exploit my husband, dote on my dogs, take shameless selfies, and document any moment I look tan. I’m very fortunate to have found a percentage of the world that can get behind all of that.
Here are my 5 best tips I can give you about Instagram.
-Be authentic. When blogging first emerged (particularly on Instagram), it was all about that perfect shot. Super bright, lots of flowers / macarons / coffee perfectly staged adjacent to whichever designer bag was currently trending. It was / is beautiful, but honestly, it’s not me. I don’t have more than 5 designer bags so that would get old quick. Also, I don’t really like coffee, I only eat the rose-flavored macaron, and there’s no way in hell I’m bringing a flower arrangement into every restaurant with me. I have absolutely zero judgement on anyone that does, but it’s just not for me.
I’ve found that once I stopped trying to fit into this mold I did not identify with, I started getting better at Instagram. Rosé, donuts, my house, the beach, a selfie are all things that I do naturally, easily. Therefore the content got stronger, and ultimately more authentic. I stopped trying to copy people and instead just make my own content. Sure, there’s tons of rosé and donut pics circulating on IG, but mine are “real” in the sense that I’m actually doing those thing. I didn’t run to the store to go buy my props to take the pic.
Challenge yourself to take pictures of things you’re actually doing, rather than forcing it. It will come off a lot more genuine and less contrived. People can tell the difference.
-The grid vs the post. There’s a huge struggle we often deal with and that’s posting photos that don’t look good with the grid. I’ve been there, and let me tell you, it sucks. But…..you need to get over it. At the end of the day, most people are seeing your posts in their feed, so your hard work on the feed is a wasted effort. If a photo is great, post it. If you have to have a cohesive feed, save it for when it makes sense aesthetically.
-Find natural light. In terms of taking pictures, the best shots are usually taken in natural light. The colors are truer and the quality richer. I used to be obsessed with only taking my pictures (of myself) in the shade because it was easier, but I’ve come to realize that gets old, too. Some direct sun is a nice change.
-Know your audience. Obviously this only applies to anyone trying to grow their IG from a blogging perspective, but it’s important to know your audience. Why are they following you? Is it because you’re funny? Are your outfits on point? Really try to hone in on what makes you different, and the best way to do that is to turn to your audience. They will be very willing to divulge this info. I don’t think brutal honestly exists more than it does online. Once you figure it out, make sure to deliver.
Of course, everything should be done in moderation, or at least mixed up. Try to keep your content fresh, not stale and repetitive. This will not only keep your audience intrigued for more, but also help your feed aesthetically (for those who can’t let that go lol).
-NO basic bios. If you can’t think of that one-liner that embodies who you are as a person while still being witty, cute, and creative, then don’t have one. Plain & simple. Bios kinda bug me, to be honest. I feel like they are super forced sometimes and I really appreciate true authenticity.
This last tip is sort of related to the bio area. I think profile photos should not be changed. Once your audience knows your profile photo and then you change it, you risk them not even realizing it’s you. Sounds kinda dumb, but I’m telling you, there’s validity to this theory. I came to realize this myself in accounts I follow. It’s part of your branding, so view changing your profile pic as a branding change–is this new photo on brand? Will it improve the look of my brand? How will people respond to the change?
I hope these tips are helpful. I’m not an expert on the matter, but I do have lots of experience (managing my own account as well as other brand’s accounts). If you have any questions regarding these tips feel free to leave them down below.