In honor of turning 25 last week (a little late on this blog post – last week was crazy) I wanted to share 15 tips or things I’ve learned about blogging and Instagram. I get a questions about everything from how I edit my photos on Instagram to how I take my photos and what apps I recommend. My goal is to hopefully answer these questions for you guys and help share my tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the last 2 years of blogging. I am obviously no expert on these topics – these are just things I’ve learned that are helpful to me and hopefully helpful to you guys if you have a blog or you’re looking to up your Instagram game. Enjoy!
10 Tips for Instagram
- Figure out your niche – Decide whatever it is your passionate about and base your Instagram around that making sure your niche is very prominent on your page. For example my niche would be fashion and style. I portray this by sharing my outfits, latest purchases, upcoming trends I am loving ect. When you go to my Instagram it is very clear that I like to share style and fashion. Find your niche (whatever your passionate about) and base your Instagram around that. You will then attract like minded followers who enjoy your posts about that niche I.E creating a following for yourself.
- Decide if you want a cohesive feed or not – In my opinion a cohesive feed (one where the posts really match and go together) makes for a prettier page. This is 100% my opinion but ever since I started to make my feed more cohesive it has really helped my following grow. I aim to make my feed very bright and pink and this is just something I am now known for. I did put together a blog post a few months back on how to get a cohesive or consistent looking feed where I mention backgrounds, colors, ect and you can check that out HERE for more tips on doing this.
- Take phone photos too – Phone photos are something I have recently started to implement more as I feel like my iPhone captures more real photos of me than a professional shoot does. I like to really show you guys or my followers what I am wearing/doing the day I post a shot on my Instagram. For me this seems more real and followers can connect more with these kinds of photos vs a retouched professional shot. I have also found that iPhone photos tend to bring in a higher engagement on Instagram than professional and I think that really is because they seem more real.
- Use editing apps – The programs I use to edit my photos are all located on my iPhone. Most of my photos are solely edited on the following apps except for photos that are taken professionally. In that case my photographers either use Light room or Photoshop. The apps I use for editing are;
- Darkroom – I usually start every photo in this app to remove unwanted colors. I usually pull out yellow tones if a photo is too warm or I pull out blue tones if the photo is too blue.
- Snapseed – This is my holy grail app where I do most of my editing. After I use Darkroom I load the photo in Snapseed and do my basic edits. I brighten, contrast, adjust the saturation, highlights, shadows and warmth. I sometimes use the Selective tool to select areas to brighten such as the background ect. Lastly I sharpen the photo before exporting.
- Facetune – I use this one lightly as I don’t like my photos to look too “touched up” but after Snapseed I load the photo into Facetune to smooth skin in certain areas. I also use this app a lot in the whiten mode to whiten the whites in my photos such as the background or my rug.
- VSCO – VSCO is the last app I use on my photos and is used soley for adding filters. Using the same filter or filters over and over again on all of your photos also helps make your feed look more cohesive and consistent. The filters I use on all of my photos are A6 and HB1. I typically use A6 first at roughly a 3.0 and then re-upload the photo to overlay HB1 on top at about a 1.0. This is just the combo I love for my style and feed.
- Find a group of like minded girls or guys to bond with – I think this is a super important when it comes to Instagram. It can get kind of competitive on this platform but for me I like to follow and interact with groups of girls who empower each other and build each other up. I am in a few follow/like message pods with other girls where we all share when we post something new so we can show some love for each other. These pods can sometimes be frowned upon but for me I love interacting with fellow bloggers/influencers who share the same passions and goals as I do. This is also great for asking questions and getting advice.
- Get real on Instagram stories – I love sharing my real, day to day life on Instagram stories as much as possible. I share what I’m doing that day, what my animals are up to, collabs I’m working on, new things I get in the mail, what I’m cooking, my home decor, ect. This helps you connect more with your followers and they get a sense for what you’re truly like behind your feed.
- Be consistent – This is a big one for me and is something I highly recommend if you want to grow your following. You have to post consistently! I try to post once a day (sometimes twice if I can) but once a day seems to be the best for me. I usually also try to post at night as that is when my engagement is highest (you can check yours by getting the Instagram business account). Consistently is so important!
- Do some giveaways – I personally love teaming up with fellow bloggers and influencers to do giveaways as a way to give back to my followers as well as share my following and vise versa. I think giveaways are a total win win for everyone involved! You can get a group of girls together and craft a giveaway on your own or there are tons of giveaway accounts (I love @belleloops) who organize and craft the giveaway for you. Either way, giveaways are great for growing a following and enhancing your engagement!
- Download an image planner app – I highly recommend the app UNUM! I use this app to plan my Instagram feed and what images to post in which order to make my feed the most cohesive and organized. You simply upload your images to a grid and you can easily move them around and plan the upcoming posts with your current feed. I would be lost without this app!
- Don’t stress about the numbers – My last Instagram tip is a big one and it is don’t stress so much about numbers, followers and likes. This is something I have to reteach myself every now and then. At the end of the day what matters most (to me at least) is what is going on in your real everyday life with your friends, family, loved ones, pets, ect. Use Instagram as a tool but don’t let it stress you out too much!
5 Tips for Blogging
- Use WordPress – I have been using WordPress websites for over 7 years now doing all different things from building blogs to working on SEO and I know that WordPress is a really easy website and backend to work on if you’re wanting to start a blog. Having a WordPress website is free, super functional and there are a ton of help guides out there for learning how to use WordPress if you need that.
- Find a theme that fits your style – For me blogs are very visual. Of course what you have to say in your blog posts matters too but you want your blog to really reflect you visually as well. Find a theme (there are tons of websites out there for both free and paid themes) that reflects who you are and what your blog is about. Of course my theme has pink in it and its very girly!
- Post consistently – Figure out what posting schedule works best for you and try to stick with it. This goes along with what I was saying about being consistent on Instagram. For my blog I try to post once a week. Sometimes twice if I can but once a week works good for me right now.
- Share your blog photos to Pinterest – Most WordPress themes like mine will come with a hover button over your photos that will allow you to post your photos direct to Pinterest. I highly recommend doing this as Pinterest is a big audience driver and sharing the photos direct from your blog will link the photo to your site which is great for SEO and traffic.
- Share tips and things YOU would want to read – Before I post most blog posts I always ask myself, would I be interested in reading this? I would assume most of my readers are similar to me in their style and interests. I also ask myself “is this post is helpful?” In most posts I strive to provide some sort of helpful tip, sale announcement, advice, ect to give back to those who come to my blog in the first place. Building a trust is important and is great thing to do by providing them with insights and helpful posts.
I hope these tips helped answered some of your frequent questions and I hope you are able to take something away from this post and apply it to your blog or Instagram. As always if you have any direct questions to ask about Instagram or blogging feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I love helping out anyway that I can!