I noticed things improving about a month ago, and thought I was maybe having a bit of a fluke; a good week, a nice little stroke of luck. But here we are a month later, and I’m still seriously loving the platform like the old days. So I thought today I’d talk about how and why everything is going so well, and share it with you guys in the hopes it’ll make your own Instagram a happy place again!
To be clear, I don’t have some magic secret to getting thousands of followers or a sudden influx of appreciation for your grid. I don’t think there is a solution out there quite so appealing. I do however, have tried and tested methods that I’ve found working for me, and I can honestly say I’m happier on the platform than I have been in a long time. If you fancy this for yourself, then this post is for you!
Okay let’s start with your Insta grid, and making sure it’s the perfect look and style for you. You’ll need to decided what sort of content you want to share on there. Will this be a place just for beauty lovers and makeup addicts? Will it be only outfit shots? Will this be 100% outdoor nature filled shots? Will this be a place for a little of EVERYTHING?! It’s okay whatever you decide, as I personally think you can make anything work. But it’s important that you decide, in my opinion. Once you have a clear content focus in your mind, you can work on planning ahead of time, and tailoring each photo to fit nicely in your grid. Even if you’re like me, and want to share a little of everything; you’ll make it seem natural in your grid through similar editing and style.
EXAMPLE 1: Helen has such a great feed, filled with home life, blog stuff, outside locations, her family, and more. But you see how she has edited them all similarly? Everything has a slight pink hint, and looks girly. She’s managed to have a feed that isnt limited to one subject, making life easy for herself – but it all still looks ‘themed’, attracting more followers and likes.
EXAMPLE 2: Sharni has a beautiful feed, mostly focusing on books, cosy indoors, and interior goals. She has edited all her photographs in a very light, crisp style and neutral shades. It gives her a little wiggle room with what she photographs, and it still all looks beautifully put together.
So feel free to be picky, or as free as you like with your content; but try to develop a style that works for you. Meaning you won’t struggle to get images for your grid, but you’ll still be carefully selecting and editing what makes it to the final cut. (Or, I mean.. you could ignore all this and just post what you like. You do you gal!)
Now onto the helpful tech side of things. I have 3 awesome apps I love and use myself all the time, to help maintain my Instagram.
Firstly, VSCO. You’ve probably heard everyone and their nan talking about this app forever now, and it’s for good reason. VSCO is a fantastic photo editing app that gives you amazing filters and capabilities, even if you opt for the free, basic version. I love this. My go to filter recently is ‘C1’, just slightly turned down a little. Then I tweak the exposure, saturation, sharpness and temperature.
The second awesome app I love is A COLOR STORY. Someone recommended this to me last year and I’m so glad they did! It’s definitely one for people who love colour, and making colours POP. But definitely give it a try even if you’re a neutral sort of person; as they have endless filter packs to explore!
And finally, the last app I use to maintain my Instagram is PREVIEW. This thing has been a god send ever since I discovered it last year – YOU HAVE TO GET IT. It’s the perfect way to plan out your grid ahead of time, so that you can move images aroundand see what looks best. One of my favourite things is seeing how my photos all look together, and switching them about however needed. I think they also offer some sort of scheduling service (or just a reminder to post at certain times of day if you wish) but honestly I’ve never looked into this. I love this app for how organised it makes me feel!
Yes, you read that right; community. You might think that there is no real engagement anymore, or that it’s impossible to get any new followers, but you’re wrong! Recently, I created the #ShinyHappyBloggers hashtag, and encouraged people on Instagram to use it in any/all of their photos. I’ve been amazed to witness people being so encouraging, and following each other on the hashtag already! I promise to like, comment and promote as many people as possible everyday who are using the hashtag, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of a little community coming together on Instagram. I’ve already had countless messages from people saying the hashtag has helped them hit some milestones, and make new friends. So get over to Insta, explore the tag, and get using it yourself! 🙂
The new features
Instagram has definitely done a lot wrong in the past year, but there are two awesome features they definitely got very, very right. Instagram Stories and Highlights, are my favourite things EVER and you should definitely be taking advantage of them.
STORIES is now the main focus of my social media love affair. I used be known as a Twitter addict and though I’m still very active on there; it’s clear recently that I’m having way more fun on Instagram. While Twitter seems filled with negativity and tension; Instagram stories is the place I can still connect with all my favourite creators and actually enjoy myself. I love updating my stories each day; sharing my daily life, art projects, fun polls, and favourite things. You get a real, honest glimpse into my life and how things are behind the screen, and I love it. I basically ‘vlog’ on there these days, and there’s no pressure to create something difficult and long – so I’m loving it! It also makes me feel SO much more connected with my blogger friends. If you haven’t taken advantage of the stories feature yet, start now! You don’t have to get in front of the camera and chat straight away if you’re shy, you can simply share snaps of your breakfast, days out, favourite products, a selfie or recommend your favourite feeds!
HIGHLIGHTS is a very recent addition to Instagram, and I am totally here for it! I love that even if I have a long Instagram story going on after a busy day; I can ‘highlight’ one or two things I think people will want to see more than anything, and keep it handy on my main profile for them. I love that you can have multiple highlights, meaning you can categorise them and keep things looking organised too! If you visit my Instagram, you’ll see that I have created cute cover photos for my highlights too, to keep everything look as best as possible. The best way for bloggers to utilise this is to feature a highlight of every new blog post or Youtube video, for their followers to easily find!
I could be here all day frankly, talking about all the little things I’m loving about Instagram; but I hope this will do for now. I know it’s impossible to grow your following on there as easily as it used to be, but don’t give up! Have fun with the platform and share the love around for creators you appreciate. Try to remember all the reasons you once loved Instagram, and remember to use #ShinyHappyBloggers on there too! 🙂
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