HOW I'VE IMPROVED MY INSTAGRAM IN 6 MONTHS

4.5.20

No, I promise I'm not lying, it actually did happen and I'll be honest, not even sure how I did it but I'm happy about it. 

My blog and social media channels have always been on a slow progress when it comes to growth and when I first started out it really bothered me - but who am I kidding I'm not the type of person who blows up and becomes an award winning blogger and after all these years, it's safe to say I've finally accepted that.

how i improved my instagram in 6 months - see the stars

I'd spent the best part of four or five years working on my following, on all my platforms - joining in on weekly twitter chats, being active and engaging as possible and actually making friends online, this was working perfectly for me. 

The growth I'd built felt genuine and something I'd worked hard for and in 2016, I'd felt like my blog was finally paying off. And I'm sure you all know the story of 2017 and how I lost interest in the content I was creating, eventually what I'd spent the time on, I just slowly gave up with. I was loosing followers and my viewed dropped like crazy - it wasn't until I quit my job in 2019 that I felt it was time to dust off the ol' habit and find the enjoyment in creating again. 

I'm still undecided if this was just good timing or actually has some connection to leaving a toxic work environment - but as soon as September hit, I got creative again. 

I promise this rambling connect to what you've clicked to read - background info is essential okay? 

how i improved my instagram in 6 months - see the stars
how i improved my instagram in 6 months - see the stars

Whilst I never completely gave up on creating content, it's only in the last six months that I've taken it seriously again, and one of my biggest achievements has been the recent growth of my instagram account. 

In all seriousness I'm not 100% sure how I achieved this and I don't really know why I'm creating this post when I'm actually unsure how this happened - when my friend Tarnya asked how I'd done it, I couldn't give her an answer. But ya girl has gained over a thousand followers since September and I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts and theories behind it.  

ENGAGEMENT GROUPS. 
I'm not sure if these are frowned upon, like follow loops are - engagements groups have been a mixed bag for me, I've been using them on and off over the years and I can never make a confident decision about them. Obviously the following from this only happens when you original join the group, so this isn't a continuous gain, however the likes and comments will eventually help your engagement rate - this is something to consider when pitching to brands and looking for more pain work, it's best to know this as companies tend to want those numbers and stats. 

SHARING MY ACCOUNT MORE. 
This one kind of goes without saying, if you're not sharing your account how are people going to find it? Whether it's sharing my link via this blog, or on my other social media accounts - my instagram is quite accessible and is quite noticeably my more active account, so naturally more people will gravitate toward it. 

At least once a week I share my instagram link via twitter, which *sometimes* works wonders for me. And if it's not through actively sharing my own account, I've noticed when people share my instagram account (through instagram stories and sharing favourite accounts) eventually when people see that others enjoy your account, they'll join in too. 

BE CREATIVE. 
Enjoy what you're creating - don't do what you think people will like. Do what you like! Honestly, this is so important to a better grid and eventually that shows, people love to see genuine people online and will love content that feels more authentic. I spent years trying to make my insta-grid look polishes and perfect and it's only been in the last 6 months when I've stopped trying to impress people and instead sharing my favourite photos that it's really started to take effect - I love to share a variety of our travel snaps, fashion posts and then occasionally mix in some flatlays and people seem to react really well to that. 

I've also started to use a variety of different websites and apps to make my images a lil more fun and eye catching. I often edit my images through VSCO or Lightroom, switching between my trusty A6 filter or using presets - and for more fun I'll add doodles, collages or frames into these posts with apps like; a design kit, storyluxe and Canva. 

PLAN.
Or just live in the moment, don't let me tell you what to do...but this just works best for me. Being able to put all my content in one place, I'm able to check out what works together, rather than focusing on a 'theme' I'm able to check colour palettes work together, I can see how my images run along-side each other and more importantly, it keeps me motivated. I use both Unum and Planoly, and often I'm able to plan ahead with two weeks worth of content - and honestly, it's a lil life saver. 

how i improved my instagram in 6 months - see the stars

CAPTIONS ARE IMPORTANT.
I have recently discovered that I tend to share more in-depth captions on my instagram posts than I did before, not only am I able to expand on my blog posts from the photography I'm uploading, this has also proved a really good way of connected with the people who follow me, I often use the captions to create conversations and even end the posts with a question - not only am I sharing my thoughts and a look into my day, I'm also leaving the conversation open and interacting with people - and I love it! 

BEING MORE ACTIVE. 
This might sound pretty obvious, but what I've found best for my own instagram account is to stay as active as possible - I've noticed some people set time aside & spend an hour a day replying to comments and commenting on other peoples posts, so moving forward I'm trying to spend an hour in the morning, engaging with people while I'm having that first cuppa of the day. Of course, like anyone I have my off days and struggle to keep up with this constantly, replying to messages and to comment on as many posts as possible, so do this at your own pace and don't force yourself into something you aren't feeling. 

KNOWING HOW YOUR FEED WORKS. 
Again this works hand in hand with all the above points but I've tried to be more conscious of when I'm sharing and how often, and generally trying to recognise how my feed works. This sometimes means I'm having to share more online, thankfully with using unum and having that two week plan, I always have some content to share online - I try to post at least once a day during the week - often leaving the week as a break (purely as I've noticed that I don't get enough reach, engagement or likes from fri-sunday). 

I've noticed how I tend to get my best post reactions when I upload in the morning, usually between 9am-12pm and then staying active on stories throughout the day. I know other people keep track of the hashtags they use and how well this helps them but that seems like a little too much work for me right now. 

how i improved my instagram in 6 months - see the stars

And I think that's everything! As already mentioned I'm not sure how well this process will work for other people, this has just been successful for me but I thought it would be fun to share anyways. 

I've really enjoyed creating the content I have over the course of this year and I'm so grateful that it's having the reaction it has - so if you've been following me throughout all this, thank you so so much! 

I'm always looking to try more things, so what do you know works for you and your account? 



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