Your Instagram feed is the first thing people look at when visiting your profile, and as in life, you want to make a good impression. As Instagram matures, simply having beautifully edited photos isn’t enough: now you have to have a beautiful feed too! And it’s not as easy as it looks. To help you make your feed the best it can be, follow these 5 steps to curate Instagram and take your feed from drab to fab:
1. Choose an Instagram Aesthetic
You may have heard that your Instagram feed needs to have a certain theme to it: food, fashion, travel, etc. That doesn’t sound very fun though, does it? You shouldn’t have to limit yourself to only showcasing one part of your life in order to be successful on Instagram. Instead of choosing a theme for your Instagram, settle on a common aesthetic that weaves through all of your photos. Choosing an aesthetic gives you more freedom with your feed, because as long as your photo fits the “vibe” of your Instagram, you can post about pretty much anything!
You could choose a bright, golden, moody, dark, or colorful aesthetic for your Instagram feed. To choose your own, scroll through your existing feed and see what aesthetic your favourite photos have in common. Photographer Caroline Lee of @teamwoodnote curates bold and colorful photos for her Instagram feed, which works for every aspect of her photography; from editorial shoots to wedding photography, and even her selfies and food photos.
2. Edit Your Photos Similarly
To help you curate Instagram and have your feed flow naturally, you should have a consistent approach to editing your photos. This doesn’t mean you have to choose one filter and one filter only, but limiting yourself to a few will help you stick to your chosen aesthetic. Apps like A Color Story are great for bright feeds, whereas VSCO Cam is great for moodier or golden feeds. Woodworker and Instagrammer Aleksandra Zee (@aleksandrazee) has a golden Instagram aesthetic, and edits her photos to give them a warm tone. She posts a variety of subjects, like her dog, beach trips, selfies, and her woodworking projects that are for sale. Because she uses a similar editing process, not only do the individual photos look great, but her feed as a whole tells a larger story.
If you don’t want to be as selective when it comes to editing, but you still want your feed to have it’s own “look,” take some tips from the Instagram queen herself, @KimKardashian. Kim doesn’t stick to a specific aesthetic for her feed and posts, and with over 60 million followers, who’s to stop her? But to make her Instagram feed look as gorgeous as her selfies, she uses a little bit of Instagram’s “Aden” filter on top of every photo to add a warm and purplish hue.
Even if you just add a touch of the same filter each time you post, it can make your brand and Instagram feed seem more cohesive. Compare this to when Kim wasn’t adding the filter every time, and you can see a dramatic difference in how well the feed flows.
3. Focus on Your Feed
Take a step back from posting one photo, and look at your Instagram feed as a whole: how do all of your photos fit together? The prettiest feeds have a good variety of subjects that are evenly spaced out. Artist Melody Hansen (@themelodyh) has a highly curated Instagram feed, and she evenly distributes a mix of selfies, nature, and her artwork. You’ll notice that she doesn’t post two selfies or two drawings in a row, and she posts complementary tones, which really brings the feed together.
One of the hardest parts of making your Instagram feed look amazing is figuring out how to make all your individual photos look good beside each other. Some Instagrammers will post a photo, and if they don’t like how it fits with their feed, will either quickly delete it, or wait until the next day to delete it in order to keep their feed consistent. The best way to curate an Instagram feed is to preview it in grid format beforehand. This way, you can move your photos around to create the best vibe, or swap out different photos of the same subject to see what works best.
Latergramme’s Instagram Grid Preview on web can help you curate Instagram and achieve the perfect balance for your feed, just drag and drop them to different spots on your calendar to try out different looks for your feed.
Tip: space out photo subjects by either one or three photos, not two, to avoid having two selfies or two food shots on top of each other in a column.
4. Resist the Urge to Post Photos that Don’t Fit
In addition to editing photos to your chosen aesthetic, you also have to be selective when it comes to choosing which photos you are going to post. For example, a busy photo is going to seem out of place for a minimalist feed, no matter how you edit it. If all your photos are bright and full of sunshine, a dark evening photo just won’t work.
That being said, sometimes a really amazing moment happens and you want to share it with the world (aka Instagram). You might have a photo that you really want to post, but no matter how many times you edit it, it just doesn’t fit with your feed. In this case, you have two options: post it anyway, or muster all your self-control to not post it. If it’s your personal Instagram feed, a few concessions now and then are okay – it’s just Instagram! But if you’re using Instagram for your brand, one photo that doesn’t fit with your aesthetic is all it takes to lose followers forever. Don’t risk diluting your hard-earned Instagram brand for one photo, and instead choose to share that photo on Facebook or Twitter instead.
One last tip; if you have a photo you love that just doesn’t fit, try making it black and white to have it flow with your feed better.
5. Take Time to Plan Your Instagram Content
If you really want to level up your Instagram feed, the best thing you can do is set aside time to spend on it. Long gone are the days when Instagram was actually “instant,” and these days it’s more efficient to work on your Instagram in chunks of time. Lots of popular Instagrammers will dedicate one or two days a week to shoot and edit content for their Instagram feeds, and then publish those photos throughout the week.
Fashion Instagrammer Claire Teixeira from @theworkinggirl will take one outfit and photograph it two or three different ways; as a flat lay, as a whole outfit, and then a detailed shot, for example. She then posts them over a span of several days, adding in an extra photo here or there.
Scheduling your posts makes managing your Instagram throughout the week a breeze. By taking the time to plan out and curate Instagram content, you can post more consistently and schedule your posts for optimal times, which will increase your exposure and help grow your followers. With Latergramme’s new media library, you can bulk upload all your photos at once and then easily schedule them for the rest of the week.
We’d love to see how this post helps you curate a fabulous Instagram! Tweet us at the “before” and “after” shots of your Instagram feed. Find this useful? Share it with your friends, or give us your own tips in the comments below.