Instagram for the Creative

Saturday, January 23, 2016



I was probably the last of all my friends to get on Instagram, but two years and as many accounts later - here I am.

I'm not what one would call "instafamous". I don't have a large amount of followers, I don't get thousands of likes on all my posts and I doubt anyone at Instagram is aware of my existence. But one thing I do know is that my first post on this blog wouldn't have received half the attention it did if I hadn't used my Instagram to drive traffic here. It's a great platform for me to connect with likeminded individuals and share my work with those who appreciate it.

That being said, it often takes time (and a whole lot of effort) to be taken seriously as a creative instagrammer. Here are a few things I know now that I wish someone had told me back when I was first starting out.

01 | Post quality content.

Set a quality threshold and, whatever you do, do not compromise.

02 | Edit tastefully.

While Instagram has its own tools and filters, my go to editing app is VSCO. I find their filters in particular a lot more appealing than those on Instagram.

03 | Post often, but not too often.

Try not to go weeks without posting. The longer you stay away, the easier it is for followers to lose interest. That being said, nothing annoys a person more than having to scroll past post after post by the same user, so try not to post too many photographs all at once.

04 | Curate, curate, curate.

A person's first impression of your Instagram is usually of your feed as a whole, so make it easy on the eyes. Develop your own aesthetic and stick to it. Keep your feed cohesive, but no so that it becomes repetitive.

05 | Hashtag wisely.

Hashtags are a great way of connecting with those you wish to attract to your feed, so make sure you use them to your advantage. Too many of them can get messy, however, and anything more than two to three hashtags is better off in a separate comment below the caption. When doing this, be mindful of the fact that the most recent posts are the ones that show up first - the sooner you post your hashtags, the better. I keep mine copied on my clipboard to make the process a lot quicker.

06 | Engage with your audience.

Make sure you give as much as you get - leave comments, like posts, respond to those who comment on yours. If possible, try and connect on other platforms and build friendships. Whatever you do, never ask for likes in return for likes or anything of the sort. It hardly ever works and is more likely to put people off.

07 | Be authentic.

There are too many Instagrams out there that look like carbon copies of each other, so be true to yourself, your interests and your tastes. Let your personality shine through. This is what will draw followers to you and it's what will keep them.

Check out @thesnapnarrative on Instagram.


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68 comments

  1. This post was of great help... Thanks a lot minaali...

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    1. You're most welcome, Chathuri. I'm glad it was helpful. xxx

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  2. Minaali, I love your instgram! And hashtags are so so so important to be added wisely, I prefer the community based hastags more than just something like #white.

    xo,
    Not Your Type Blog

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    1. I completely agree! Community based hashtags are the ones that get you proper followers, as opposed to ones who follow for the sake of following and getting followed back. <3

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    2. I am so glad I am not the only who thinks this! I would hardly claim to be an IG expert, but I love community based tags. I have been told the generic ones are better to use... but I never get any real social connection with anyone that way. Just a whole lotta bots f4f. Above all else, Instagram should be fun, so I'll stick with the community based tags thank you very much.

      Also, just wanted to say you have quite a nice feed.

      aroseisinbloom.blogspot.com

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    3. This, this, this! And truth be told, I'm much more likely to take people I find in the "lifestyleblog" hashtag seriously than those I find in "vsconow" or something like that. Thank you. <3

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  3. I definitely need to be more mindful with my content! Thank you for sharing these great tips, Minaali!
    Your instagram feed is beautiful!

    Take care,
    C | http://atlantic-c.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Thank you so much, Charlotte! I hope you found them useful. xxx

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  4. Love the photography I see all the time on Instagram! It's not that easy getting the hang of it and it can be tricky to find a good filter. Great and very helpful post!

    Love,
    Hannie Arden from Missing Wanderer.

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    1. Agreed. Though I do have some filters I'm partial to, it really depends on the photograph!
      Thank you, I'm glad you found it helpful. ^^

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  5. Awesome tips!

    xo
    http://thepinkporcelaindoll.blogspot.it

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  6. Those are some really great tips dear! For me, the struggle is to express myself through Instagram. There are a variety of filters out there and feed could look messy and not cohesive at times. Definitely holding back and learning to express pictures in a 'similar' way possible :)

    Real Life Nerd // www.vivienekok.com

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    1. Subject-wise, my Instagram is not at all cohesive. But I think I make up for it with similar angles and edits. Once you find your aesthetic, it gets a lot simpler so keep at it. <3

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  7. I've never gotten into instagram. It's so hard to pick up my phone and actually snap a picture of everything life. I do want to get into it though and these tips will be really helpful!

    Love, Eline | www.elinesreturnticket.blogspot.com

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    1. I love taking photographs, so Instagram always seemed like the perfect fit.
      I hope you get into it, I'm sure you'll be great. ^^

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  8. Your Instagram aesthetics are so on point! I remember the first time you dropped by my account and I went to check yours, I fell in love with the simple and natural way of your photography style. With that being said, I would never have found your blog without it. YOU GO GIRL!

    Noor | Noor's Place

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    1. Thank you, Noor. I'm gad I did stop by your account, because you and your sister have been the most encouraging individuals ever since! ^^

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  9. Great tips! Hashtags are very important posting quality content too. With hard work you'll get there! ;) Enjoy your Sunday, Isabella xx

    http://isafashionebella.blogspot.com

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    1. So very true. Thank you, Isabella.
      (You have a very lovely name!)

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  10. Your blog is great! :-)

    moremindfulyou.blogspot.com

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  11. VSCO cam is my lifesaver! I love it so much! Great post!

    Shannon Sage

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    1. Agreed! It's the best editing app out there, in my opinion.
      Thank you. :) xxx

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  12. Great tips!! Instagram is such a great tool for bloggers to use.

    www.maggiealamode.com

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  13. So excited you put up another post! I love this. It's great, actionable advice!

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    1. I'm excited you're excited! Thank you, I was hoping it wouldn't be completely useless. <3

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  14. Replies
    1. Thank you, I love your name. It's so pretty. <3

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  15. Great tips girl!

    http://www.racheldinh.com

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  16. I always find Instagram a hard one but definitely improving this year! I finally got onto VSCO as well, it's such a good editing app!

    Jasmin Charlotte

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    1. Instagram can be tough until you define your own aesthetic, but once you do that - it becomes so much easier and more enjoyable. VSCO is a lifesaver!

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  17. Beautiful feeds of yours. I love your photography style, looks naturally warm and melancholy. And I think you are effortlessly famous girl haha. I also love VSCO the most! Greeting from Indonesia...

    Love, Dayu | Fairytale Odyssey

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    1. Haha, there was a lot of effort that went into effortless! Thanks so much. It's a little different than the aesthetic of most lifestyle blogs, but it's what I like. <3

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  18. Ahhh, Instagram. Such a great platform with so many unspoken rules. Personally, a good aesthetic with strong personality always keeps me scrolling through a feed. Love these tips! <3

    xx Bash | H E Y   B A S H | bloglovin'

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    1. Those are exactly what draw me in too! Thanks so much. <3

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  19. i love instagram because i love photography so much! i am a very visual person. and i agree with your points(: vsco is my fave editing app(:

    xx from Brighton
    Cate ღ kate/idoscope | youtube

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    1. VSCO is the best thing! My Instagram definitely looks a whole lot better since I got into it. Yours is lovely.
      <3

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  20. LOVE these tips lady! I liked your content so much I'm hitting the follow button. Each of those points are tried and true, most importantly is to be authentic!

    xo, Alice || a l i c e / T Y P E N U

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    1. Thanks so much! I just scrolled through your Instagram and likewise. <3

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  21. Great tips! :)
    http://priscillaeliodoro.blogspot.com

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  22. I don't use my instagram but hopefully soon I will and apply these tips. I feel like they're really effective.
    Love, Fads

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    1. You really should, I love the photography on your blog. <3

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  23. These are amazing tips! I also use VSCO to edit my Instagram photos, I find it better. And using hashtags wisely is the way to go for sure :)

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

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  24. These are some truly amazing tips! The one about hashtags is especially important because Instagram shows the most recent photos first. I keep hashtags saved in my notes. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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    1. Thank you, I hope at least some of them were useful. ^^

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  25. These are really great tips! Will definitely keep these in mind.

    Anna | Anna Czarina Blog

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  26. i love instagram but my feed always frustrates me haha. your photos are really nice!

    danielle | avec danielle

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    1. Mine does too! I have a love/hate relationship with it. ^^

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  27. Looked at your Instagram and it looks great! I think the most important thing is to show a personality in your photos, and personally I think the most fun part of Instagram is to match the photos to look good together, I actually put a ridiculous amount of time on it but it's like a hobby and so much fun! I'm @fillippahannas if you'd like to check it out! xx

    Filippa ⎮ Always a Dot

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    1. Thank you! And yes, I feel you. I have a love/hate relationship with my Instagram feed, but gone are the days where I would delete photograph after photograph just because I'm not feeling them on any given day. Now it's mostly just fun. <3
      Will check yours out!

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  28. Agree with all of your tips!! VSCO is my go-to editing app too. :)
    ♥NY
    Yours Truly, NY



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  29. Great tips! I love your instagram aesthetic, I just followed you! It's quite opposite of mine, but I love the breath of fresh air :D

    Characters & Carry-ons

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    1. Thanks so much! And yeah, I see the dissimilarities but I love yours so much, it's beautiful. Following now. ^^

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  30. Thank you for the tips! I'm trying to grow my blog and will definitely use your advice.

    Kathlyn | https://kathlynskorner.wordpress.com/

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  31. What brilliant advice! And a blogsite that has me salivating, it’s so slick and gorgeous! I’ve only just started and now it feels as though I’ve a mountain to climb but thanks so much!

    buy automatic instagram likes

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