10 Tips to KILL IT on Instagram

I’m not typically a blogger who likes to write about blogging, but the few times I have written about blogging I’ve seen an awesome response from my readers. A few weeks ago, I posted about some Facebook groups that have really helped me grow my blog. This week I wanna talk to ya’ll about Instagram!

Instagram is hands down my favorite social media platform. I remember when I first downloaded the app on my phone. I was in college so of course the news of this new photo sharing app was spreading like crazy. I have to admit, I was hooked right away. I have always been into photography and I loved the simplicity of Instagram.

10 tips to kill the Instagram game I’ve spent the last few months focusing a bit more on my Instagram and I’ve seen some great results. I’ve even paid for a few courses and listened to numerous webinars on rocking the Instagram game. After several months of doing my homework on this little app, I finally feel like I know enough to share some knowledge with ya’ll. So today I want to let you in on the best tips I’ve found for killing the Instagram game.

10 Tips to Kill it on Instagram

Shine up your big 3

The first three things people see when they come to your page is your profile picture, your first 9 photos, and your bio. First impressions are huge. Make sure these three aspects of your page are banging! Make sure your profile picture is a clear photo of yourself. My personal opinion is that logo profile pics are slightly lame. Your followers want to see you! Take the time to make your bio interesting. Tell me who you are, what you do, and give us an idea of what we can expect to see on your page.

Interact with Others

Trying to grow a following and an audience anywhere is going to be an uphill battle if you’re not willing to take the time to interact and connect with others. I cannot stress this enough. If someone posts a pic and you love their shoes, comment and tell them so! If someone comments on your pic or asks you a question take the time to respond. People are much more likely to be interested in what you’re posting and doing if you make a personal connection with them. Genuine interaction is a huge key to thriving on any social media platform.

Post good (quality) pics

Instagram is a visual platform, and lets be honest we all sit there and scroll mindlessly through our feed. Your goal needs to be to post pictures that are going to make people stop scrolling and take a look at what you’re posting. People aren’t going to stop scrolling if your pictures are dark and blurry. This is not me telling you you need to go out and buy a $890859985 camera. That is not what I am saying at all. Phone cameras these days are insane and completely capable of taking good pictures. If you don’t believe me, read this post.

Don’t cop out when it comes to captions

Now that you’ve stopped people dead in their mindlessly scrolling tracks to look at your good quality photo give them a good caption to read! Make it funny, or charming, or vulnerable. Write something and make it worth reading. Some people like to ask a question in their captions to get the engagement ball rolling with their followers. I do this from time to time, but definitely not on every picture.

My personal opinion is to not make your caption overly long. Some people say long captions are more engaging. I 100% disagree with this. I know some bloggers who only post long 3-paragraph captions and even if I love their photos I never read their long winded captions. An occasional long and meaningful caption isn’t bad, but if every picture caption is multiple paragraphs, you can bet there are a lot of people who are not reading everything you’re writing.

This caption is simple, cute, and adds to the story the picture tells.
IMG_3020

Don’t over edit

Everyone was guilty of this at one point or another I’m sure, but overly edited pictures with 27 filters on them are so not in any more. In fact, I no longer use any of the preset filters on Instagram. I either edit my photos in an app called VSCO, or I edit them using the tools available in Instagram. A little lightening here, a little bump in the shadows there, and boom, I’m good to go. The goal of editing should be to subtly enhance your picture, not completely change it by making a blue sky look neon orange.

Nail down your aesthetic

This is a fancy way of saying edit all of your photos similarly. Are you really into bright colors? Or are muted earth tones more your style? Are landscape shots your thing? Or do you prefer close up shots of little details? Whatever your style is, pick a uniform way to edit your photos each time.

Two of my favorite travel instgramers are Jessica from Bon Traveler and Taylor from Travel Colorfully. Both have beautiful but very different feeds. See for yourself.

earthy and muted 

Bon Traveler

bright and colorful

Taylor Fuller

Plan

A little planning goes along way when it comes to Instagram. You should be putting thought into how each photo looks individually but also how all of your pictures look together in a grid format. Like I said in point #1: your top 9 pictures are going to be one of the first things people see. You want to make sure your feed looks cohesive at first glance.

The picture below is a perfect representation of how I personally like to organize my feed. I like to keep a good mixture of photos of myself and photos of landscapes and details. I don’t often post two back to back pictures of myself, and if I do, I make sure they’re completely different pictures (like the picture of me walking on the beach and the close up of me holding the leaf in front of my face). Make sense? This is 100% completely my preference.

Carrie Gillaspie Instagram

Christina of Happy to Wander is someone who does a great job of this. She has some building shots, some close-up detail shots, some landscape shots, and a few shots of herself, all beautifully and evenly distributed throughout her feed.

IMG_3019

Be consistent 

Consistency is a relative term. If you can consistently post once per day, super. If 4 times a week is more realistic for you, then also, super. This is really something you need to feel out for yourself based on how often you can take quality photos and how often you can take the time to post and engage with others after posting your photo. I personally post once every other day. For right now this is my consistent spot. I’ve tried posting more and I’ve tried posting less, but through trial and error I’ve found this is my happy spot. Basically just don’t post 2 times per day for 2 weeks and then disappear for 1 month. Not good. Not consistent.

Learn from Others

I can’t stress this enough! The easiest (and cheapest) way to up your Instagram game is to learn from others you admire. Pick out 4-5 people on Instagram who you really look up to. Take the time to really nail down what it is you like about their feed. Is it the bright color of their photos? Is is the unique angles they always seem to find? Find what is drawing you to their feed and learn from it.

Be Authentic! 

Above all else, don’t be a carbon copy. Be YOU! Your voice, your pictures, and your style is unique and that’s what people are going to love most about you if you let it shine through.

There you have it! The best 10 best tips I have for killing the Instagram game. Find me on Instagram here!

10 of the best tips to kill it on Instagram!

What are your best tips for killing the Instagram game?

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  • I love Instagram so much, and all of these are such great tips! I’m terrible at actually posting pictures of myself, so that’s something that I can definitely work on, along with trying to keep a certain aesthetic in my first 9 pictures!

    • I always have to resist the urge to post a bunch of pictures of my dog. LOL!

    • i love your account, so keep up the good work 🙂 I always say when in doubt, just post a picture of your dog. that’s actually my #1 Instagram rule. lol

  • Krista Liguori

    All great tips, thanks for sharing!!

    http://www.gringitakrista.com

  • I hate when there are no captions or only super long captions.

    However, I also hate when all the photos look the same. I’m not into the aesthetic thing – if I see a vivid sign, I want that reflected, even if the colors of the previous two photos I took are muted.

    • very true! I hate when people overly edit pictures and just make things look 100% completely different than what it looks like in really life.

    • very true. I definitely don’t like it when a picture is so edited it looks, kind of, almost fake. i feel like that’s really “in” right now and I don’t get it.

  • I love your blogging posts! And I’m terrible about Instagram…I think because I read almost entirely on a Kindle, so don’t have a ton of beautiful book covers to share. In my mind, there’s only so many pictures of my Kindle people are interested in seeing.
    But, I realize a lot of my readers hang out on Instagram a lot, so I really should up my game.

    • i follow a book instagram account and it is seriously stunning. it’s called @bookbaristas. all her pics are of coffee and/or books. major heart eyes emoji for me!

    • aww thank you Sarah! Very true about the kindle, makes it harder to take pretty pictures. There is a beautiful book Instagram account i follow called @bookbaristas. her pictures are so beautiful.

  • Great advice, Carrie! I agree with your insights on having a specific theme for your profile. It can be hard to develop one of those, but that is something we are striving towards.

    • very true! it does take some time to develop your own Instagram personality. so much of it is about trial and error, and what looks good to YOU. after all, you want your profile to reflect your style. 🙂