It's not every day you find a perfectly curated Instagram feed. But when you do, it's often hard to look away. A truly good one can have you scrollin' through for hours — and may even turn you into a follower.
You know the type of accounts I'm talking about. They are cohesive, stylish, and full of professional-looking images. (I mean really, how are the pics so perfect?) All of these things make certain feeds stand out from the rest, which is probably the most important factor in the sea of images that is Instagram.
With so many accounts out there, it's easy to be overlooked. "Personally, I find that when I check out someone’s page I decide within one second whether I want to follow it or not," says Amanda S. Gluck, event stylist and curator of Fashionable Hostess, in an email to Bustle.
So what makes for an eye-catching, followable feed? "If it has pretty content, has a nice flow, and has clear photos, I am intrigued and start to browse," Gluck says. On the flip side, she tells me a messy (read: chaotic) feed, or one with poor photo quality, is easy to ignore. This is bad news if you're posting for your small business, trying to bring attention to your blog, or simply want more of a social media presence. Is that you? Then read on for some tips to make your Instagram feed look great, so it can really stand out from the pack.
1. Choose Your Vibe
Are all your photos soft and pastel? Or dark and moody? Whatever your go-to style may be, consider it the official vibe of your feed. "Mine is clearly white and bright and clean," Gluck says. Keep yours similarly cohesive, and you'll be off to a good start.
2. Stick To Your Brand
Once you choose your vibe, try to stay on brand with every post. "If you can figure out the vibe that resonates well with your followers and is true to you, stick to it [and] people will start to relate to your brand," she says. This is a great way to get — and keep — followers.
3. Think Twice Before You Post
That blurry photo from your car window may be hilarious, but is it Instagram-worthy? If you really want to create a quality feed, the answer is probably not. "Don’t post just to post," Gluck says. Unless that's your brand — funny, irreverent, etc. — it's better to be a bit choosier with what you upload.
4. Focus On That Lighting
If you want all your photos to look great, then lighting is key. Quality lighting — and editing — can be the difference between a feed that looks professional, and one that, well, doesn't.
5. Make It Personal Or Business (Not Both)
If you're creating an account for your business, resist posting random photos of your dog (however adorable he may be). "Don't mix personal and business," Gluck says. Unless you happen to be a lifestyle blogger and want to share a little bit of everything, she tells me it's best to keep your two lives separate.
6. Alternate Close-Ups And Distance Shots
Resist the urge to post a million close-up shots all in a row. Not only will this get monotonous for your followers, but too many pics at the same distance can make your feed look cluttered, Gluck tells me. Mix things up — a few distance shots, a few close-ups, etc. — and you should be good.
7. Go For Contrasts
To really make your images pop, Gluck suggests alternating light and dark background colors. "If you take a dark photo, contrast with a lighter photo for the next shot, and so on." It's a simple trick that really can make all the difference.
8. Do A Little Editing
To get the best images possible, a little editing may be necessary. "I am obsessed with a free app called SnapSeed," Gluck says. "I like to make my photos really bright, and you can turn the brightness up big time with this app." The app also allows you to sharpen images for better focus, among other things. Pretty cool, right?
9. Post During Busy Hours
Instagram has made it possible to actually see when your followers are most active, Gluck tells me. So take a look at that, then get to posting. "My followers are most active between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., so I try to get at least a few photos up in that time frame," she says. "But in general, as a rule of thumb, I try to post when I think most people take a break from their day/work, — lunch time, 5:00 slump, and then late night in bed."
Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? If you can keep these tips in mind, you'll have yourself one heck of a gorgeous feed. I promise.
Images: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images, FashionableHostess (9)