Hello fellow-blogger! You want to learn how to create a recognisable and unique Instagram profile using themes, filters and other tricks? You’ve come to the right place! Stick around and you’ll learn A LOT!
Before we start there are 2 Instagram rules you should know:
If you want to get lots of likes on your Instagram – learn to take great pictures.
If you want to grow your following and your social influence – learn to create a coherent and recognisable Instagram Profile.
For years and years I’ve been posting random photographs on Instagram without having any idea about branding or content strategy. No wonder my social following wasn’t growing – potential new followers could never tell whether my next photo would be hit or miss…
Of course it’s absolutely fine to post random pictures on your personal Instagram profile, but if you are a blogger you essentially own a brand. That’s why in order to be successful you need:
A. Be very consistent in your branding
B. Be memorable and unique
It took me a while to learn all the tricks and apply them to my own Instagram @fashion_artista but I can already see how much of a difference it makes for my engagement and growth. Honestly, I can’t even tell how excited I am to share my findings with you, so let’s get started!
It is understandable that your content will vary, depending on what type of blog you have. If you are a fashion/beauty/lifestyle blogger here are some popular content ideas for great images that have been proven to be very successful:
Most popular shot for fashion bloggers. It could be a professionally done photograph or a simple mirror selfie. Be selective with your background and make sure to have enough light to take a good picture. Krystin’s Instagram Profile is a great example for beautiful fashion and product shots, no matter whether they were taken with a professional or a phone camera.
Sometimes it’s good to mix it up with a simple product shot. You could be wearing it or it could be there on it’s own. I really like Krystin’s product shot of the LOVE bracelet – you can tell that she has put a lot of thought into it.
Flat Lay is one of the best ways to add extra sparkle to your Instagram profile – also great when you want to feature several products simultaneously. Stephanie from Small Talk Social has an amazing tutorial on Flat Lay which I would recommend to check out: Flat Lay Tutorial
Flowers always look beautiful on pictures. No wonder they’re super popular – it’s a great space filler for your Instagram. So if you don’t have a blog post you currently want to promote, just put up some flowers and they’ll lighten up your profile.
Landscape / City / Restaurants
Another great way of mixing up your Instagram is posting pictures of beautiful places. It could be a building you like, a restaurant with a cool interior design or just a beautiful landscape you’d like to share.
Feet Top View: Standing
This type of image is so popular – the person who came up with it must be very proud with the invention! Best used when you want to show off your shoes (works better with flats), watches, bracelets or just want to show your outfit from another perspective.
Feet Top View: Sitting
Also a very popular shot! Especially if you want to show off your beautiful high heels from all angles. Very often bloggers do these shots sitting on a bed or on the floor. I absolutely love all of the Erica’s fashion shots – make sure to follow her Instagram profile for inspiration.
Great way of showing off new make up if you’re a beauty blogger. Putting up pictures of your face will also make your Instagram profile more personal. I chose Jenny’s profile to showcase these shots as I think she has a very strong sense of aesthetics and a very unique minimalist style.
Coffee / Food
Food and coffee (like flowers) pretty much always look great on images. Take advantage of it – if you like cooking or if you often go to great restaurants, make sure to take a great snap and schedule it into your profile.
Quotes are a great way to connect with your followers if you share the same opinion on a particular topic. You can find great pictures with quotes on google or you could create your layout for a quote like Endource did. Having quotes with the same layout will add consistency to your blog and will make it look aesthetically more appealing.
In my previous post about Instagram “5 Insane Hacks From My Favourite Instagram Bloggers” I’ve already mentioned that videos are super important in your content strategy. Jenny here is using video to promote posts on her blog. You can also do “how to” tutorials or send your followers a personal message. I’m definitely planning to do a very comprehensive post on best practices for video content on Instagram – so make sure to subscribe if you don’t want to miss out!
What to post if you’re a Fitness Blogger?
If you are a fitness blogger your images should be to motivational and informative. Great images for motivation are “before and after” shots, motivational quotes, images of people with great bodies (mirror selfies in the gym are super popular for that).
Informative images could be video tutorials, “how to” pictures in the gym and healthy food recipes. Of course you can also mix it up with a few Flat Lay pictures and dreamy images of amazing landscapes or yoga retreats (if that’s what you’re into).
Great examples for inspiration: @optimavita @tammyt_fitness
What to post if you’re a Business Blogger?
If you’re a business blogger you can focus more on flat lay, detail shots, quotes and occasionally throw in some images with your face on it – after all you want your followers to know who they’re dealing with. Great examples: @stephjgilbert @theblogmarket
CONTENT: BONUS TIPS AND OBSERVATIONS
If you observe successful bloggers you can see that they find the content images that work best for them and then use them over and over again in rotation. For example you decide that you want to do: “Fashion Shot, Flowers, Food and Flat Lay” – try to stick to this formula. If you bring in 1 lonely Quote image, it will look out of place until you bring in 2 or 3 more of the same Quote style images into your profile.
Linked Through Colours
Another observation I’d like to share is: try to have a consistent dominant colour that you’d like to pop up in your shots throughout your profile. That trick helps you to tie together your pictures as a whole. For example if you scroll through Krystin’s profile from @krystin_lee you will notice that pink is the dominant colour in majority of her shots.
Probably the easiest consistent dominant colours to maintain would be black (@closetvomitfashion) or white (@jennymustard). But the more exciting colour you chose, the more unique your Instagram is going to be.
While you’re experimenting with content and colours you could create a private “test” account on Instagram where you can try out new different ideas before posting them on your actual Instagram profile.
Another great trick for your visual content strategy is to create a mood board with the kind of images you’d like your Instagram to have. For example you can start a private Pinterest board and pin all the images in there which would be suitable for your theme. This exercise might be a bit time intensive, but it will give you a very clear idea to what sort of images you should be taking.
Another great way of keeping a consistent branding on your blog is to decide on your photography style. More often than not you would already have a natural preference to the kind of pictures you like to take – you might just want to make a conscious decision to stick to a particular style to keep your Instgram profile more coherent.
Here are some examples of styles you could go for. There is no right or wrong when you pick your own style – just try to stick with it for a while once you’ve picked one.
Minimalist vs. Eclectic
Choose simple lines and plain backgrounds VS. colourful and content-rich images. The journalist-blogger Ashley from ClosetVomit.com has a very minimalist and clean photography style which I admire a lot. It looks very editorial and expensive.
Willabelle on the other hand loves details and colours which makes her pictures a very dream-like look.
Commercial vs. Edgy
You can choose your images to be smiley and commercial VS. editorial and edgy. Juliette on the left has a very bright and happy feel on her Instagram. She’s smiling on tons of her images, making it impossible to resist her charms.
Amy’s style on the other hand is very strong and simple – makes me think of an artsy fashion magazine like LOVE or DAZED.
Light Pastel Tones vs. Dark Saturated Colours
Lauren is the queen of pastel colours. When I look at her Instagram profile everything in life seams so sweet and bright. On the other hand, Erica’s use of rich colours on her Instagram makes it look super glamorous.
As you can see both styles work really well – but mostly they look great because they’re consistent. Before you make a decision whether you want to go dark or light, look around you. What’s feasible within your house or the area you live in? Sometimes, it even makes a difference what hair colour you’ve got!
FILTER / THEME
Woohoo! Now it’s going to get really exciting! Choosing your filter is absolutely essential when creating your branding on Instagram. In many ways, it’s like finding a partner: ideally, once you’ve found the perfect one, you would want to stay with him for as long as possible.
Let’s have a look which tools you can use when finding a filter.
How to Find the Perfect Filter
You can use a multitude of photography apps like VSCO or Photoshop or you can stick with Instagram image editing tools. What I’ve found from personal experience is that it’s easier to maintain the same theme when you use VSCO cam. Plus, there are tons of helpful resources for VSCO cam filters which will help you to get started. One of them is this Instagram account: @filterdiary
I have also put together a Pinterest board full of filter inspiration just for you, so feel free to check it out and make sure to follow me as I’ll be adding more useful Instagram resources there on a regular basis: https: PINTEREST FILTER BOARD
I’ve prepared a workbook to help you successfully implement the tips listed in this article. Enjoy!
Once you’ve implemented the strategy, feel free to share your Instagram account in the comment section so I can check it out and follow your progress!