We put so much pressure on ourselves to create the “perfect” Instagram feed that not only we love, but our followers love. You can decide, just like me, to stop stressing about Instagram. Instead of spending hours worrying about it, I spent my time working towards my goals. Instead of wasting energy comparing my grid to other people’s, I put it into fully supporting other bloggers. And instead of spending time creating content to get that perfect theme, just create good content. So, in this post I’m going to share with you how I created an Instagram feed that I absolutely love.
Shameless plug… my username is @amylivingwithme on Instagram!
How YOU can Create an Instagram you LOVE in 2019
1. Post pictures that you LOVE
This should be a no-brainer because if you’re not posting pictures you love, then why are you posting at all? I put my hands up though, I am definitely guilty of this. So often, I would post pictures that I thought other people would like, or that would fit in with me ‘theme’ (which never actually looked like a theme because it was so rubbish!) but I wasn’t that bothered about. I was inspired by Leah from Devoted to Pink who scrapped her perfect theme and started posting what she wanted, when she wanted. I stopped doing flatlays for months because they never did as well as other pictures. So, before Christmas I decided to stop worrying about what my feed could look like, and instead, focused on what it does look like. I focused on how much I liked the photo and how it would look next to the previous one, and that was about it. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan my pictures in advance (I use an app called ColorStory which is an editing app but you can also plan your feed) but I don’t stress if it isn’t one cohesive theme.
2. Focus on your captions
I’ve also started to focus on my captions. Honestly, I engage more with bloggers who write inspiring, motivating or informative captions rather than those who just put a pretty picture with an emoji. I’ve definitely been inspired by Ali Helmsley and Ellie Blakeney to do this – their captions are always so inspiring and I love them! Since I’ve been putting time and effort into writing good captions, I’ve definitely seen an increase in engagement. Remember, writing is probably why you started blogging in the first place, so use that passion on Instagram!
3. Engage with your followers and other bloggers
I know I love Instagram more when I’m engaging regularly with other bloggers. Don’t be scared to send our favourite blogger a message to say how much you love them, or just simply commenting on their pictures can honestly make their day! I love replying to people’s stories to share my own experience with whatever, or send them a little message to say they’re doing well. Not only can it really motivate them, but it starts a conversation. Now, I talk regularly to a few different bloggers in my DMs and it means we celebrate with each other and lift each other up when we’re feeling low. I’ve met some of my best blogging friends through Instagram!
4. Don’t pressure yourself to post regularly
I used to always post a picture just because I felt I should, because I hadn’t posting in a while and felt pressured to post more often. Now, if I go a few days, sometimes even weeks without posting, it’s no big deal! I have a chronic illness, so having a constant supply of Instagram pictures is completely unrealistic. So now and again, I do need to wait until I’ve taken some photos before I can start posting again. Now that I’ve stopped pressuring myself to post everyday, I find myself enjoying Instagram a lot more because I can go on when I want to, not when I feel I have to.
5. Stop worrying about your followers
It’s no secret that the follow/unfollow game on Instagram is the worst. But instead of getting upset when you gain 30 followers then lose 25 the next day, be proud that you have gained 5 loyal followers. Celebrate the wins, like when you hit a certain number (I definitely celebrated when I hit 1000) but don’t beat yourself up if it’s taking you longer than someone else. Post because you want to, not because you want more followers.
6. Remember that you can’t control Instagram
Em Sheldon recently tweeted about how we shouldn’t put all our eggs into one basket with Instagram. At the end of the day, we can’t control Instagram, but we can control our blogs. My main tip for you is to focus on your blog, and use Instagram to support that. Not the other way round. Use Instagram to spark conversations, to raise awareness and to generate traffic for your blog, but please don’t rely on it.
My Before and After
I absolutely love my feed now. No, it’s not perfect, it never will be, but it’s me. It’s bright, real, honest and unapologetically me. I like to think I have found that balance of real life chronic illness talk, beauty, lifestyle and weight loss/body positivity chats. Not only have I reduced stress, worry and paranoia about Instagram, but I’ve fallen in love with it all over again. It has become one of my favourite social media platforms, and I genuinely enjoy putting time and energy into creating content I love for it.
When I go onto Instagram now, I don’t scroll aimlessly for hours. Now, I actively go through my favourite hashtags and support fellow bloggers. I look for new bloggers to follow and support. I plan my own feed, usually 1-2 weeks in advance so I always know I have something to post. Yes, I’ve gone from posting twice a month to almost everyday! But I feel like I actually have more time than I did before. It’s amazing how when you truly enjoy doing something, you don’t mind putting time and energy into it.
Do you love Instagram like me? Pop your link in the comments and I’ll check them out!
Until next time,