People always ask me how I manage to travel so much, or what advice I have for someone that wants to live the life of their dreams.
As flattered as I am, it’s crazy to believe that in just a few months I’ve somehow become an expert in this, all because of one thing – carefully curating my Instagram feed.
Nowadays, by looking through Instagram, it seems like everyone else is living the life of their dreams. But the truth is, you don’t have to leave everything behind and make drastic life changes to achieve that perfect Instagram feed.
With careful planning and following these simple steps, you too can have that awesome, curated feed of your dreams.
How to Create an Amazing Feed on Instagram:
Stick With Your Niche
Before getting started, the first step is figuring out what type of photos you want to post. When I first joined Instagram, I posted pictures of everything – hanging out with my friends, food, dogs, fitness, even what shoes I was wearing that day. I only had a few followers which mostly were just my friends. Although that was just fine for the moment, when I started traveling I had this urge to learn how to grow my Instagram account. After observing and researching what other successful people were doing I realized that they all had one thing common: they all picked one subject and only posted pictures related to it. For me, that meant travel.
To grow on Instagram, it is very important to pick ONE area of expertise like fitness, food, fashion, animals, travel etc. and stick with that niche. The more you diverge from that one area, the more you will confuse your followers. People like to know that if they follow you for travel inspiration that is exactly what they can expect from you. Or if they follow you for fitness advice, they will get tips on exercises and meals. It’s ok to diverge once in a while, but most of the time try to stick with posting pictures in that one niche you pick.
Take a Lot of Photos
Whenever I do travel, I take a lot of photos. A LOT. Later on, whenever I return home and review my photos, I might like 1 out of 100 photos I have taken. It’s always good to have more options to choose from than to get home to find out that the lighting was off, the angle was unflattering or that the photo was blurry.
Having extra photos also helps me whenever I am home for an extended time because I always have potential photos to choose from and I don’t need to stress or worry about going on a trip just to take more photos. Whenever I do travel sometimes I even bring extra outfit options to get different looks in various locations. That way I can re-use a photo from the same location multiple times without making it look exactly the same.
Taking as many photos as possible when you have a chance is even more important when you have limited time, such as if you’re working full-time and only have the weekends to take photos. If you don’t do this, you’ll probably resort to taking and posting less-than-ideal photos later on.
Edit Every Photo
Most (probably all) professional photographers and bloggers edit every photo before uploading them to Instagram, and if you want to have that perfect feed, you should be doing the same. The default settings in your cameras and phones rarely process photos well enough that they’re perfect from the get-go, and often need plenty of adjustments to get the light and color right.
Like many of the other photographers, I use Adobe Lightroom to edit the majority of my photos, but there are other easier to use and free applications available. Some of my favorite phone editing apps are Polarr, VSCO, and Snapseed. For a tutorial on how to use the Snapseed app check out my editing tips HERE.
Lastly, stay away from the preset Instagram filters. Although they were cool and fun a few years ago, they have been overused and overdone since then. If you are serious about achieving that perfect Instagram look, it’s better to learn how to edit a photo by adjusting the individual settings like exposure, contrast, saturation, etc. instead of using a generic filter.
Space Out Your Photos
After I get back from a trip, I don’t post all my best photos the same day which is what I used to do before I got serious about my Instagram account. Before, I would go on a trip, take some pictures and post all the best photos the same night. Then I would go back to my job and not have anything else to post for a week or two until my next hike or a trip. When I started to learn more about Instagram, I realized that professional photographers never post all of their photos from their trips all at once. Instead, they space them out over weeks or months, always having interesting photos to fill their feeds without actually being there.
This might feel awkward at first. I remember when I first started practicing this, I would be at work posting photos from a trip I had taken a month before and I would get a lot of questions from co-workers or friends, wondering if I was still there. Now that I am taking time off to travel, this process is a lot easier because most people don’t know where I am at the moment. Sometimes I am home for a few weeks between trips, yet I am still posting photos as if I am traveling and nobody knows otherwise. Just remember that it doesn’t have to be Throwback Thursday to post a photo from an old trip.
Schedule Your Photos In Advance
Consistent posting is incredibly important when trying to create the perfect Instagram feed. Posting too many photos in a row might be seen as spammy behavior, but on the other hand not posting enough will make your followers forget about you. Consistent posting will keep your followers engaged which will drive up your views and likes.
To stay conisistent, I use an app called Hootsuite to schedule all my posts ahead of time for my accounts @vagablonde_laura and @funlifecrisis. Not only does scheduling help me plan my feed in advance, but it also stops me from posting a bad picture on a whim. Hootsuite has been invaluable because it allows me to sit down once, schedule everything for the next week or two, and not have to worry about having a consistent feed even when I travel and don’t have a laptop.
Only Post Your Best Content
When it comes to creating a good feed, it’s very important to post only the best photos. It’s better to post great content less often than to post a mix of good and bad content just to post more frequently.
To help me with this, I created a folder on my computer where I put all my past and future photos so I can see what the feed will look like. This helps me to determine if the photos are complimentary, if the feed flows well and if I have already posted a similar photo recently. Laying out the photos next to each other also helps me catch any potential bad ones or any odd-balls.
Everyone has the potential to create their dream feed on Instagram. If I, a corporate finance geek that could barely operate a camera a few months ago can live my travel dream life on Instagram, anyone can do it. It just takes time, patience, effort and love for what you are doing. Just remember to have fun and enjoy it!