15 Jul 2014

Instagram your way to a better account

Now I am no instagram guru, and I am definitely no super account but what if I told you in 3 weeks I have got my following up 50% from 400+ to 600+ with my own little instagram mission? 


I bet you are listening now right? Now some of you may be thinking, oh how fake, a "plan" to get followers, thats not very genuine. But to me there is nothing more rewarding then when someone finds my instagram or even my blog, and thinks I like this, I'm going to follow because I want to see more from this person. Why wouldnt you want someone to appreciate a photo you just spent 20 minutes getting the angle right. In the gazillions of people on instagram, it's near enough impossible for you to stand out on instagram and unless you have tens of thousands of followers, you're going to have to try really hard to push your account out there. As a blogger you make yourself a brand, and this is just an 
extension of the image you are creating for yourself on your blog! 

Now a few weeks ago I went to a blogging event and everyone had tonnes of followers on their super pretty instagram accounts, and I thought " Oh fudge I'm really bad at this" So I started to look into amazing instagram accounts and thinking how can I make my instagram worthy of people wanting to come back. So after a little investigating I went into my instagram mission mode. Heres what i found, and what I did.

1. First of set yourself a quality standard and go back through your instagram and delete photos you dont think meet this standard. I like to look at my photos and think is this photo pinterest worthy, nope? delete. Your instagram is a reflection of your blog, any brand could be looking through, right back to two years ago before your blogging days. Remember those photos of you on a drunk night out laid in the road with make up all over your face? Yeah you get the picture. You are trying to create an image here, your own "look" to your account.

2. Now you have a quality set, you need to stick with it, and editing tools are a great help. A few months ago instagram updated their app to be able to edit photos


I found bigger and prettier instagrams tend to try to keep with one look, so I've being using "valencia" filter to keep my photos consistent, I then brighten, increase the highlights, sharpen and up the contrast to make my photos more "dreamy"  

3. Think before you click, you have a brand new purchase and you can't wait to share it on instagram when you get home from work, and you rush and take a photo at night and it looks naff! Stop, and wait till the next day, with natural light near a window. 


I took the photo on the left at night, and the one on the right in the day in front of the window. As you can see it is worth waiting, sometimes no matter how much you edit a photo the quality won't improve. 
Another thing to think about is what is in the background of your photo. I don't know if you all know, but as a designer I actually design food photography shots for a leading supermarket and sometimes art direct them, so I always see all the little annoying things in people's photos! A pile of clothing on the floor will be so noticeable and isn't exactly "pinterest worthy" Getting the washing machine in your ootd snap doesn't scream Chic.  Same if you use a piece of material, little things like creases or a hair on the material stand out in a photo. 


In the photos above I have used wallpaper samples I picked up from my local DIY store to create interesting backgrounds for my photos. Beats my sideboards and carpet!

4. Post your blog photos, its a great way to reach out to people outside of the blogger world on twitter and bloglovin, plus it shows the more "professional" part of your blogging. But also post little snips of your day, your style, a little detailed shot of the print on your dress, the things you wouldn't put on your blog.  It is also a great way to give little snap shots of what could be coming up on your blog! 


Treat you instagram as a blog, look for things that you can instagram, take a little longer getting your shot, and don't force a shot, if it aint looking good don't post it, it will only ruin the overall look of your instagram account! 

5. The selfie. Now a whole account full of selfies, errr maybe a bit too much. I never posted selfies on my account, and I realised in my little investigating, a few here and there actually give your account personalty, not as formal, its a good way to show people your make up  if you are into beauty but also it just shares a little bit more of you. I was a bit hesitant at posting one, I felt a little how can I say "like I loved myself" even though I post all these posed blog photos! But once I did, I got more love from that then many other photos on my instagram and do you know what, it gave me a lil confidence boost! Just remember to mix them up a little and you don't always look the same, different angles, expressions will make it a bit more exciting! 



6. Post daily, I've been posting every day and its really made a difference. Also post at the correct time! Posting on a saturday night isn't going to get the best response, people are busy on saturday nights, they aren't checking instagram, so save that amazing photo you have till sunday! However now if you want to bid on ebay, saturday nights are the best... but thats another story! I have found posting at night any other day of the week is best, when people are all home from work, finished their tea and having a good relaxing browse online! 

7. Posting daily can be hard work, taking a few photos EVERY day isn't always possible. I've started to repost things I have found on pinterest, it shows what inspires me, my tastes and what I'm lusting over which is just as important as to what makes you who you are. I've found people have "liked" my inspo photos, then followed me and then liked the next ones I've posted a few days later. People will see it as another source of inspiration and get more of an understanding of what gets you ticking! 


8. Post the odd photo of your actual life, I don't mean blog life, I mean, with your non blogger friends, your family, your boyfriend. People will appreciate seeing a more natural you. A photo of you acting silly, not exactly looking perfect will make people feel like they can have the beautiful pretty instagram from you but also a real person

9. Share the love! every night I lay in bed and search #fbloggers  #lblogger or #ootd and I find some INCREDIBLE accounts! I follow, comment and like
 their photos,and sometimes the person will have a look back at mine and do the same! Now you've 
started a chain, you've like someones photo and followed them, and now they've done the same to you. 
Now all theirfollowers will see in their news feed under following, that this user liked your photo, 
and then they may have a peek at your account! Now don't go liking in the hope you'll get some back, 
go liking following for the pure joy of sharing some love, remember what goes around comes around! 
Also make sure to thank people who leave lovely comments, its only polite! 

10. Make sure your profile photo is one of your best photos, make sure its a good quality one to make
you look a bit more pro, and also one heavily dominated by a certain colour like yellow for example will
stand out when you are commenting other peoples photos. 

11. Recycle old shots, when I was going through my instagram to delete photos I found some photos I felt
had got a little lost on my account in the early days of my blogging, so I deleted them and reposted them 
now, when I have more people able to see them. I also have been throwing in some old holiday snaps from
last year I never posted, the colours are great on them, and again it just mixes it up, and acts like a back up 
for when you have no photos to post.


The photos I posted above meant I was reaching out to other people outside the blogging 
community, I haven't been on my holidays this year yet, but these photo meant I was able to reach out
to people looking for travel shots, or city photography. Keeps my feed a bit more interesting!

12. #HASHTAG Yep hashtag baby, like I said at the start unless you have thousands of followers
its not going to be easy to get people to see your photos without having to do anything, thats why for us
striving for the perfect instagram account, hashtagging is key! Hashtag away and don't be ashamed, for 
example on my latest inspo post I used these- #hair #inspo #tumblr #blonde #bbloggers #bow #fbloggers #fashion #model #sfs #follow #pretty You might think, yeah but lots of hashtags looks 
desperate, trust me it doesnt, as long as it relates to your photo and your not just hashtagging #onedirection on a photo of your dog to get it seen, then you won't. Since I started hashtagging properly the traffic to my instagram has really increased! Get the right hashtags to get noticed! Your working bloody hard to make your account pretty why shouldnt you shout about it!

Now everything I have said here is what I have been doing, and it really has made a difference. It's just like improving your blog, and instagram is a reflection of your blog. It's not a sneaky game plan to get
followers, it's making sure hard work gets a little bit of love and notice from others, plus in the 
process you find amazing users who inspire you to make yours even better!

Let me know what you thought of the post!
Oh and my instagram can be found in my side bar ;) 


Much Love 
Natasha x
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16 comments

  1. Great tips!! My insta definitely needs some TLC... yours is looking fabulous! Oooh and p.s the link to your account doesn't work :) x

    La Dulcie Vita
    or follow via bloglovin'

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  2. Love this post as I am obsessed with Instagram! I think hashtags help too. I've got in to the habit of using 5 or 6 hashtags per photo, it makes it easier for people to find your photos (and I sure use hashtags to find photos on there too, especially animal/pet ones!). I don't use the filters on Instagram anymore, and haven't done so for ages now - only because I like to use different apps like Afterlight and Picfx. I've just done a post on how to edit photos for instagram so I hope you find that helpful to you too! xxx

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  3. Very helpful tips!! Thanks for the post. I just recently started my instagram account and it needs some work. :) I will keep your tips in mind as I add more photos. Great idea about getting wallpaper samples to use as a background. xo, Anna
    www.crazygorgeous.wordpress.com
    Twitter: @crzygorgeous365

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  4. Just recently started an Instagram account and of course I want it to look the best. All of these tips are amazing and I will def be using them when it comes to posting pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Beautiful photos! Have started following along with you on Instagram, thanks for the helpful tips! xx

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  6. I love this! Such helpful tips Natasha x

    holljc.blogspot.co.uk

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  7. I've got quite a few followers but could always do with more! Love your tips on making Instagram pretty and relatable. Brilliant post thank you!

    Shanika | Shanika-says.blogspot.com | Rants, Reviews and Revelations

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  8. such brill, practical, realistic advice - hunted you down on Instagram to see it in action. Thanks! xxx

    www.the-austinite.com

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  9. Such a timely post. My Instagram needs an overhaul for sure. Will be taking this on board for certain! Thank you x

    Illustrated-teacup.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. Such great tips Natasha really enjoyed reading this! I felt the same way since the event and couldn't believe how many instagram followers some of them had haha mine have gone up a lot recently too so keep up the good work :) xx
    www.sleek-chic.co.uk

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  11. Such good tips, I've been trying to improve my account over the past couple of months, but there's definitely a few things you've pointed out that I've not even thought about ( like deleting THOSE pictures from the early intagramming days). Thanks for the pointers, I'll be checking out your insta too :)

    Kathleen @ Made In The 1990's.

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  12. This is such a useful post! Bookmarking it for when I get my new phone :)
    Megan x
    MeganRoisinn

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  13. I love this post! Some fantastic ideas and I'm on my way to follow your instagram right now.
    Tash | Ballet, Dance & Fitness

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  14. This is seriously some amazing advice!!! My favorite take-away from this?? "Treat your instagram as a blog." My blog is my baby: I do my best to make sure it's well-groomed, put together, and relevant. Instagram, on the other hand, I just take pictures and share. I am definitely going to be thinking more about what I put on Instagram, how I present it, how I don it with hashtags, etc. Thank you so much for this inspiring post!!!
    ~ Samantha
    samsamcherie.blogspot.com

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  15. Love this! Thanks for posting some really great tips! I love getting a glimpse into bloggers lives especially through instagram, so it helps to keep it updated and interesting.

    Anna
    madeupstyle.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. This is a great post, I have been doing a lot of things you suggested and I have seen my followers grow. I am put into practice the other tips, you are so right your Instagram is your brand.
    Zeynab xx

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