The ultimate Instagram Guide

January 8, 2020Rabea

Instagram can be a mess, take it from someone that has been on there for over 6 years. There are a lot of things you might not be able to control about the algorithm but there ARE a lot of things you can do right on Instagram. That’s why I made the ultimate Instagram Guide for you to follow.

This post contains affiliate links.

The ultimate Instagram Guide main

What do you want to show on your profile?

This is a great exercise, no matter if you’re just starting or want to reset your goals for your account a little bit.
– Which topics do you want to post about?
– What niche is your profile gonna be a part of?
– What type of pictures you you wanna post?
– Is there a strategy you have to posting (tiles, rows, etc.)?
– What colors would you like to be prominent?
Knowing these things can help immensely with planning ahead with your feed and preparing content to post.

How to get great pictures

The best case scenario is that you already have a great digital camera or a DSLR with a tripod. Don’t worry if that isn’t the case, your phone is perfectly fine for taking Instagram pictures, but be aware that the camera facing you always has worse quality than the one facing away. So you might want to grab a friend to take pictures with if you wanna post lots of pictures of yourself. Plan your feed ahead and what should be in the pictures. Having an inspiration board on Pinterest might help with that.

All the planning ahead will help you with batching the content. Take all the pictures of you on one day with someone else and all the pictures you’re not in on another day. Then edit on a third day and you might end up with enough content for 3 months. I personally lay out my future feed in the app “Preview.”

My tips for the most common pictures

Flatlay tips

– Have different backgrounds
ex: white table top, colored paper with your branding colors, contact paper with patterns, blankets
– Have decor fitting to your niche
Fashion – Sunglasses, a Vogue and a bracelet
Beauty – Lipstick, Nail Polish and brushes
Crafts –  Paint, brushes, glitter
Studygram – text markers, sticky notes

– Always try to rearrange the props multiple times to have more options when your want to edit later.
– Have your hand or legs in Flatlays to make them look more lively.

Headshot tips

– Have something white to reflect light from under your face or the side depending on where you are sitting for the picture and where the light is coming from that you want to balance onto the other side of your face.
– Try out different smiles and loosen up your face in between so you don´t look like you hate everything internally.
– Look into the camera, not the viewfinder!
– Don’t put on too much make up unless it is true to you. I personally always have colorful lipstick on in my headshots because I feel 10/10 while wearing them.

other self portrait tips

– Make a secret board on Pinterest and accumulate your favorite pictures and analyze the poses.
– You will learn with time and have random ideas. I also don’t make the nicest pictures when it needs to look realistic but photogenic. Being comfortable makes a big difference.
– Props can help a lot with hand placement!

How to edit the pictures

Depending on what kind of pictures you want to post there are different apps and programs you can use to edit your pictures. On my phone I personally use VSCO and Snapseed the most, sometimes Facetune. If your pictures are a little bit more experimental I’d suggest PicsArt or Procreate for iPad.
If your content has a lot of quotes or graphics in it I’d suggest Canva. It’s not that good at filters but it’s amazing when it comes to illustrations, fonts and creating templates. AND it has Instastory templates you can use.

I personally also use Lightroom. It’s an Adobe program for your computer (there also is an app but that’s not really my fav) that lets you go super in depth with editing pictures. I made some filters on there that fit into my Instagram feed. You can either use it through Adobe Creative Cloud, or you pay a decent amount of money once and then have it forever (which is what I did. It’s not as expensive as paying for it monthly)

The ultimate Instagram Guide pt2

What to check for in your analytics

If you wanna do this like a professional Instagrammer and blogger, you obviously need to check your analytics to cater to your audience a little better. First of all you should find out who is seeing your content until now. Young girls? Middle aged women? Men in their 20s? Find out how to work with that or if you just wanna ignore that and start fresh.

Then find out which days are the best for posting and what time is your time to post. This might change with time and may be dependent on where your followers are from. Mornings and evenings in a workday are a good time to post in my experience.

After that you can check which pictures you posted in a certain time frame got the most impressions, likes and comments. I tend to go after impressions and comments since likes don’t say THAT much, but if you’re still a small account it can absolutely make a difference too. This is the analytics that I check the most together with the best time to post.

Instastory tips

Instagram Stories are an important feature if you want to connect to your audience and wanna seem more human. If you tend to post a lot of perfect pictures you definitely want to show the more real sides of you too. Talk about your day, give tips, have story times, use the little features Instagram gives you.

If you want to have nice looking stories I’d suggest the apps Unfold, Nichi & Canva. Unfold sadly switched over to a monthly fee for new templates (which I think is a little over the top), Nichi also has a monthly fee, but only for features you might want to add, which is nice. Canva is mostly free, but also has a monthly option if you want to have access to everything on there (which I don’t suggest unless you’re also using their desktop version and all of their stuff for more than just Insta). Canva is the only app that lets you export videos too. Unfold can only do that on iOs.

Be social on socials

You can be as active and perfect as you want on Instagram, the followers only come through hashtags that work with your content and you actually being social on social media. Comment under every post you see with something that actually makes sense. Share cool posts you find on you story. Ask your followers questions in your captions and in your stories. DM people compliments or answer to their stories if you have something to add to it. Livestream to connect to your existing followers. If you can, you should do little giveaways every now and then. All these things will help you grow and make new friends on the platform.

Wanna expand your business?

In my opinion you should put your eggs in multiple baskets and a good way to do that as a social media addicts is through your own blog. You can send your followers to get advice on your blog or create freebies for them. There currently is a flash sale going on at with a bundle of digital products all about blogging. Dozens of products for a fragment of the usual price. I think you should check that out HERE if you wanna go all professional. Don’t need all those resources at once? I linked the must haves down below.

You’re just starting out? Here are my recommendations.

You’re just starting out with blogging or simply search for new ways to further your business? I have a few recommendations for you:
Bluehost – my hosting service for the last 3 years, I’m super happy with it!
Grammarly – this tool makes sure my grammar is right in all my social media posts.
Tailwind – Tired of manually pinning every day? This tool helps you get your pins in front of a bigger audience and I’ve been using it for a year now.
ConvertKit – Want to start an email list to generate more sales or just to keep your readers updated? This is a great service to use.
Blogging Bossbabe – a course I made for all the people wanting to start a blog and make it successful. Everything you need to know in one place and affordable if you want to save some $$$.
Blogger Starter Pack – a completely free email course that helps you with the basic beginnings of starting a professional blog. Sign up for it down below and get started now:

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The ultimate Instagram Guide

The ultimate Instagram Guide by Rabea

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