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.
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.
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.
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!