Here’s Why I Ditched My Trendy Instagram Grid Layout

When I first joined Instagram, it was all for fun. The app was new, and people were more interested in sharing photos of friends than what they were eating. My very first post was from spring break of my freshman year. I was on a trip with my roommate and another friend. I remember, for the first time, strategically thinking about my iPhone angles and getting the right whitespace into my image. It was all for fun.

Fast forward to a few months later and food ‘gramming was all the rage. People were at the coffee shop taking pictures of their morning bagel and coffee. GUILTY. But it wasn’t really disrupting daily lives. It was still a way to show everyone all the mundane-turned-exciting tasks you were doing in a day.

Then came the dreaded era when everyone had an Instagram. Suddenly social media shifted, as more businesses and brands started to get online. Instagram went from a place to express yourself to a climb to get your post seen the most. The way people use Instagram shifted as soon as the algorithm did.

In case you’re not up to date in lingo, allow me to explain. When Instagram first came onto the market, it was a first-come-first-serve basis. All posts were in chronological order. Now, things are a lot different. The more likes, comments, and saves a post has, the higher it is on your timeline.

That’s when the entire social media game changed — especially for bloggers. Not only do you have to make amazing blog content, but you have to work harder to get that content noticed.

Instagram grid layout

I decided to spend my first pretty penny investing in my blog with The Instagram Lab. The five week long course is taught by Jenna Kutcher, and is absolutely worth the money. I want to make that clear right now. I genuinely enjoy learning and got a lot out of this class.

After I took the course, I switched up how I ran my Instagram. (I won’t spoil any of the in-class deets, just in case you want to take it yourself.) I settled on a color scheme, editing ritual, and theme, and was ready to go. I also decided to focus on a one-to-one ratio of products to fashion. Hence, the photo that you see above.

It was great! People were verbally responding to how great my social media was looking and there was more interaction than ever. It was everything that I could have possibly wanted.

Until it wasn’t.

My Instagram was so on-brand that it wasn’t actually my brand at all. It wasn’t me anymore. I would take incredible picture of my everyday life and they wouldn’t fit into my aesthetic. That, my friends, is how you know you don’t have the right Instagram grid layout.

Instagram grid layout

It got to the point where I had to plan every second of my life or I wouldn’t have the “right” thing to post on my Instagram. I was wasting more of my life planning for Instagram photos than actually living. I knew I didn’t want my social media page to be just about my planned life.

So I ditched the flashy Instagram grid layout.

The decision came right after I had my one-week blogging break. I realized that I wasn’t unhappy because I disliked blogging or was feeling uninspired. It was because everything in my life had gotten way too planned. I wasn’t living anymore, I was planning outfit photoshoots and taking product flatlays. It wasn’t me.

The world did not end when I switched my Instagram grid layout. I didn’t lose followers or views on my blog. In fact, no one noticed at all. At least no one said anything to me about it.

Instagram grid layout

I decided instead to take what I had learned in The Instagram Lab and implement it in a new way. I looked at some of the photos I had recently taken and realized my aesthetic was there all along.

The photo above is my current Instagram grid layout. It’s a collection of photos from my real life. And guess what? I have even more interaction and am happier posting every day. I’m not saying that a little bit of hard work doesn’t go into it, but it is a whole lot more fun.

Have you guys struggled with the Instagram grid layout before? I know I can’t possibly be the only one that is as interested in making the grid as cohesive and pretty as possible. I think we can all agree, especially as bloggers, that it can definitely be overwhelming.

I’d love to hear how you set your Instagram up in the comment section. Actually, drop a link so I can see for myself!



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  • lifeofangela

    Instagram is so confusing now. The feed doesn’t make sense to me, I wish it would just show things in chronological order. I feel like I miss lots of pictures from people I like to follow! As for my own feed, I just go with a rule of three. I like to try post three similar images, and stick with that. Course, for a few days, it looks a bit wonky
    Sometimes I just upload random ones. It is a bit of a struggle though as it seems like if you want to be big on Insta, there are certain rules you have to follow. I do find it more fun to just post what I like 😀

    September 20, 2017 at 8:19 am Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      I completely agree. It’s so annoying to know hat I’m missing out on quality posts from my friends all because Instagram wants and extra dollar. I like your feed a lot! xx.

      September 20, 2017 at 11:44 am Reply
  • hoiyinli

    I hate the new Instagram algorithm. It just makes it hard for me to interact with more than the handful of brands and bloggers that do make it onto my feed, i.e. none of my friends, blogger friends or ‘ordinary people’ so to speak.

    I got onto Instagram quite late I feel. I had my account since 2014, but those early days, I wasn’t that active. Now looking back, I can definitely see a change from then till now. Then, I posted something related to my actual life – it was SO casual, like how you would post on your Facebook. Now, it’s still related to my actual life but it needs to be a bit pretty in my eyes…so much put into that one image. Saying that though, I feel like I’ve found my Instagram aesthetic and style, so I’m not stressed by it because I allow myself to have fun and post things randomly even if it’s a bit out-of-theme. If you set too many rules, it just takes the fun out of it all.

    September 20, 2017 at 11:00 am Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      I feel the exact same way. My timeline is more filled with random bloggers than it is my actual friends. It’s like a constant struggle not to feel “lost” on Instagram. Comparing it to Facebook is so interesting! They are completely two different worlds now. And I completely agree! Too many rules makes it no fun at all! Thanks so much for stopping by xx.

      September 20, 2017 at 11:43 am Reply
  • Gluecksgeist

    This sounds really interesting. I don’t think I have a really good Instagram account but honestly I am obsessed with yours! Atm I just enjoy uploading pics xx

    September 20, 2017 at 11:21 am Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      Oh stop! I love yours! Those black and white pants are EVERYTHING xx.

      September 20, 2017 at 11:41 am Reply
  • Brittney Ross

    Instagram is confusing and borderline infuriating at times. I’m one of those baby bloggers that doesn’t have an Instagram theme or cool layout and I’m just not sure I want to commit to making one. I started my Instagram account for the sheer purpose of sharing my life with my friends and keeping up with all of their big life moments. Fast forward a few years to the present and here I am creating a blog and trying to figure out how my normal life and my blog life can become one on this (sometimes) dreaded social media platform. It’s hard, and if I’m being honest I’m not sure I’m cut out for it. I’ve already noticed a difference in the amount I post because the pictures I take don’t fit the mold of what bloggers would put up/want to see. And I feel like I’m missing out on moments because I’m too busy worrying about the angles and the white space and the whole aesthetic of everything. I don’t know, it just makes me miss the days where I could take stupid pictures and put them up for the fun of it! Between the algorithms, the themes, the follow to unfollow games, it just isn’t as fun as it used to be! Thanks for sharing, Kali! Your Instagram is amazing, no surprise here! xo

    September 20, 2017 at 12:44 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      I am so sorry to hear that you’re struggling, Brittney! I know the feeling all too well. Like I said in my post, The Instagram Lab really helped me to figure out what works and what doesn’t on social media. If you’re looking to invest in figuring it out I would definitely recommend it. I struggled with what to post as well, so I know what you’re going through. I think the best thing that you can do is be yourself. When your social media, blog, and real life can come together, that’s when the magic happens! xx.

      September 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm Reply
      • Brittney Ross

        Very true! I don’t want to force something that isn’t really me. My friends would very quickly call me out – lol and it just wouldn’t be fun! Thanks for all of your support girl! xo

        September 20, 2017 at 12:58 pm Reply
  • Don't Give a Jam

    love that you ditched some of the rules! I actually like the new layout a lot better sometimes too much planning can end up making an insta account look boring.

    September 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      Thank you so much! I feel the exact same way. Sometime just being you is the best brand aesthetic of all! xx.

      September 20, 2017 at 3:52 pm Reply
  • Natalie

    I related to this post on so many levels! I love the creative aspects of blogging and want my Instagram account to reflect that. However, sticking to a theme and planning out photos can be so difficult! I sometimes wish Instagram was more about just sharing generally good photos. Glad I’m not the only one that wants to take a more relaxed approach to Instagram! xx

    September 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      It’s gotten to be SO much work! I think the relaxed approach is way more relatable, you know? I don’t want to be the girl with the millions of planned out, trendy pictures. I want to be able to relate to my readers! xx.

      September 20, 2017 at 3:53 pm Reply
  • Theresa Marie Daily

    I agree with you girl! Instagram is so annoying sometimes and the pressure to be noticed is always high. I’ve always loved your Instagram because of how real life it is and it’s not always about the blogging aspect. This is an awesome post Kali! Really opened my eyes on what to do for my account! (:

    September 20, 2017 at 3:51 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      I’m so glad that you liked it! And thanks so much for the lovely words. While I have you here, teach me your awesome ootd ways! Your IG posts are incredible xx.

      September 21, 2017 at 11:45 am Reply
      • Theresa Marie Daily

        Awhh thanks girl! I’m glad they actually come out good, cause I usually hate the pictures haha. It’s all about finding an area that compliments the look (for me that’s usually my fence) & I usually take them in the shade!

        September 21, 2017 at 12:05 pm Reply
  • sayeedahsparkles

    Your insta looks good either way! I’ve wanted a cute insta feed but I think you’re right about the whole having to live for an aesthetic, which I think takes the fun out of it!

    September 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      I found that when I was just me, my aesthetic naturally came to me! It might not be the cutest, but it’s wholeheartedly who I am, you know? Thanks for stopping by! xx.

      September 21, 2017 at 11:46 am Reply
  • ughmango

    I have been in instagram for so many years now, since 2012 I think. I have gone through so many phases with my feed. Instagramming was my thing so much before I started blogging and my feed is my life, I just need it to match. But I don’t find it hard to make it match it just matches with pinch of daylight and similar color tones. And I let my feed live on just like I do, I think that’s the key. This was so interesting to read, I love your ig the way it is now kali!! ♥️ xx

    September 20, 2017 at 5:10 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      I love your feed! I think that’s an amazing mindset to have when looking at social media. Thanks for stopping by! xx.

      September 21, 2017 at 11:47 am Reply
  • kittyp0p

    I have way too many photos for Instagram! Ever since I started dating my boyfriend of almost 2 years, my phone’s camera roll has blown up (: we love taking photos together and all the things we do are well worth capturing quite a few memories to look back on with a smile. That’s one of the biggest reasons I started my blog. Instagram was getting less and less personal and more of a blindly scrolling and liking routine. I turned to a new community (you guys), and it’s proved so much more genuine and welcoming than I could’ve anticipated! If I have a huge chunk of photos, I’ll post them all in an album on Facebook for my family to see how I’m doing and what I’m up to lately- but I’ll pick a few for Instagram cause it’s been put on the back burner. I mainly focus them here, where I’m excited to hear what you all think (: btw Kali, I think you made the right decision. It’s not worth the stress to set something up for other people when it’s really YOUR life, and I think it’s beautiful xoxo

    September 21, 2017 at 1:43 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      Aw that’s cute! I found the blogging world very welcoming too, which was really nice. It’s so funny how we all divide our photos into Instagram/blog/Facebook categories xx.

      September 22, 2017 at 11:51 am Reply
  • True Bliss

    This was a great read! I think your Instagram account should represent you as a brand. Too many people are focused more on the popularity side of Instagram, which isn’t what it’s about at all! Your Instagram is gorgeous by the way! xo

    September 21, 2017 at 11:49 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      Thanks so much! I completely agree. I’ve heard so many bloggers talk about the photos that they “can’t” post. It’s such a shame xx.

      September 22, 2017 at 11:53 am Reply
  • K.M. Sutton

    I love this so so SO much! I remember when I first started using IG I didn’t even use hashtags! (now I go crazy lol) I actually have heard people critiquing IG layouts and I have to shake my head. While yes it is nice to have a cohesive look. Life isn’t always cohesive, and I am a firm believer we should try to be as authentic as we can be. The only format I do is alternate between object and person. But that is just so I don’t over saturate people and their eyes with one thing. Thank you for another well written and authentic piece beauty! <3

    October 7, 2017 at 2:55 pm Reply
    • KaliBorovic

      You’re so welcome! I’m glad that you enjoyed it. It’s so neat to see how social media is turning into marketing and not just being real. It’s sad really xx.

      October 9, 2017 at 12:41 pm Reply
      • K.M. Sutton

        It really is. Thanks again for a great spot! <3

        October 9, 2017 at 7:42 pm Reply

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