I'll admit it: I'm an instagram addict. Lately, it seems everyone has a take on how to grow a following and there are some misconceptions when it comes to creating an instagram following:
1. It's not just about the followers
2. It's not just about the likes
Sure, those things are great. But I'd rather have less followers that are engaged and actually interested in what I write about on my blog, then more that just follow me because sometimes my pictures are nice (or I'm giving them something away for free).
P.S. The above photo was taken and edited with my iPhone. No fancy equipment!
The idea of sharing photos online has become so important. Since we are a highly visual society, we want an image to connect us to the words, or paint a picture for us in more ways than one. Around this time, last year, I was getting around 100 likes per post and not concerning myself at what kind of content I was putting out. Sure, I was editing my photos, but I wasn't doing it the right way. Now, I average about 400+ likes and, I have WAY more views on my blog, because of Instagram.
When I figured out a few tricks, it really helped to make a huge difference:
I've written a whole post about lighting for your photos before. The reason? It makes all the difference. Lighting, especially natural light, helps produce crisp, clean photos. There are lighting elements you can buy, but like the photo above, this was just natural light.
Personally, I feel like some of the editing apps that are available for your phone are better than photoshop or any program for your computer. Here are some of my favorites:
– Afterlight – for tuning the image and adding some brightness to the image
– Snapseed – For editing elements of each photo ans spot brightening
– A Beautiful Mess – For adding text to photos (or creating word only photos)
– VSCO – For filters and the monochromatic look that so many fashion bloggers love
– Instagram – I don't use Instagram filers, but sometimes I will use their adjustment tools
I think it's important to take a photo at a few different angles to find the right shot. If you look at my phone right after I upload to instagram, you'll notice I'll test out a few different ways to shoot the photo.
Bottom line, when you want to create a following around your Instagram that leads to people purchasing your product or reading your blog you do need one thing: engaging photos. I think part of that means taking pretty pictures, but this can differ for everyone.
Screw all this nonsense of it has to look one way or another. You choose your own aesthetic for your photos. The thing is, taking great photos is up to you. Creating an engaged following is something we should all strive for. I created a Free eBook to help you succeed, “5 Ways to Build an Engaged Instagram Following.” Download it below!