Are you working full time and trying to figure out how to keep up with Instagram?
These past two years I’ve been balancing working full time and my master’s program while building my blog and Instagram. When I started my master’s program in fall of 2017, I was driving 2,300 monthly page views. I was also at 12,000-13,000 followers on Instagram. Almost two years later, I’m driving 35,500 monthly page views and I’ve grown my audience on Instagram to 26,900+ followers.
Balancing a blog, a full time job, and a master’s degree hasn’t been easy, but I’ve learned that it can be done. So today I wanted to share a few tips on how I’ve learned how to keep up Instagram and blogging with a busy schedule. I also wanted to give a quick shout out and thank you to Adri from @desertsongbird for submitting this question on Instagram stories!
If you’re in a similar situation, where you’re balancing school or a day job with a blog, these tips are for you! I hope these tips help you find balance in your busy life.
6 Tips to Help You Keep Up with Instagram and Your Blog:
1. Schedule time to create content on your schedule
One of the biggest things that’s helped me stay on top of Instagram and blogging is scheduling when I create content on my schedule. I typically schedule out 2-4 photo shoots every month and a few hours a week at a coffee shop to outline or write blog posts. I also put blog events, brand deadlines, and blog post ideas in my calendar so I know what content I need to create that week or that month.
Because I have photo shoots scheduled and brand deadlines I have to meet, I have to make the time to create content. Even if that’s only one or two hours after work or 6-8 hours on Saturdays, I have the time scheduled into my calendar.
Here are all the Instagram/blog related things I schedule in my calendar:
- Photo shoots
- Coffee meet ups
- Local brand events/store openings
- Brand deadlines
- Journal/brainstorming time at a coffee shop
2. (For fashion & lifestyle bloggers) Take 2-3 outfits per photo shoot
If you’re trying to keep up with Instagram, your blog, and work, I’d recommend batching the number of outfits you take per photo shoot. I always take at least 3 outfits per photo shoot.
And when I’m taking a weekend trip to create an Instagram city guide like: San Francisco’s Most Instagrammable Places, I’m shooting 5-8 outfits per day. The truth is I work a normal Monday-Friday so I don’t have time to meet my photographer at 11am on Wednesday for a photo shoot. So I have to make the most out of my one hour photo shoot or weekend trip to shoot all the content I need for one to two weeks.
3. Plan your Instagram feed 3-7 days ahead of time
One of my best friends asked me,
“how are you still publishing new photos on a daily basis when you have class and work?!”
I’m able to publish new content daily because my feed is planned out 3-7 days ahead of time. Because I batch my outfits, I usually have a library of photos to pull from.
Depending on sponsored content and the main colors in the last 9 photos, I’ll move the next 3-7 photos around to create a consistent aesthetic. I personally use Planoly but have heard that Unum is also a great tool for planning your Instagram feed.
If you need some advice on figuring out your aesthetics, you can check out: 7 Tips to Help You Determine Your Instagram Aesthetic.
4. Set up an Instagram publishing process
One thing I’ve learned as a project manager is that setting up simple processes makes things easier in life. When I started my blog and Instagram, I was taking photos, spending too much time trying to find the right one, then commenting, then going back to finding the right photo. I realized that I was spending too much time trying to post one photo on Instagram.
So I’ve personally set up an Instagram photo process:
Instagram: Take photo, select photo, write caption, find relevant hashtags, publish photo, and engage.
Since I plan my Instagram feed ahead of time, I can move around at least the next 3 photos I want to share. This makes selecting a photo less time intensive and allows me to move on to the next step of my process: writing the caption. I then move on to finding relevant hashtags, publishing the photo, and I can spend the rest of the time engaging.
Here are a few other tips to help you with your Instagram publishing process:
What does your Instagram publishing process look like?
5. Engaging intentionally vs. scrolling passively
Because I’ve set up my Instagram photo process above, I know I don’t have time to scroll passively – this isn’t a part of my process. After I publish a photo, I do my best to engage the next 15min-one hour. I’m flexible with the time I spend engaging because sometimes I’m publishing a photo right before I leave for class.
Spending that 15 min to comment back to your followers and check out what they’ve been sharing on their pages is more valua added than scrolling passively and randomly liking photos. You want your content to be seen and your audience also wants their content to be seen. Make sure you’re also making the time to engage with your audience!
Are you engaging intentionally or scrolling passively?
6. Keep your hashtags in your notes folders
Hashtags is an integral part of growing your Instagram following and being discovered by new accounts. I highly recommend doing hashtag research before you publish the photo. I typically keep my travel, fashion, and foodie related hash tags in the notes section of my phone. When it comes time to publish a photo, I go into my notes and select the appropriate group of hashtags to support the photo.
There you have it friends! I hope you enjoyed this blog post on how to keep up with Instagram and blogging!
What are your tips for keeping up with Instagram and your blog?
Thank you for reading! Thank you also to Who What Wear Target Collection for gifting for this red off the shoulder dress!
Photos: Karya Schanilec