In the past 6 months of blogging, I’ve learned so many things. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and also knew it would consume a lot of my time. I’ve been wanting to blog for so long but just didn’t know how to get started and also wasn’t at a place in time where I could commit to it. Instagram has always been a favorite platform of mine and before blogging I was posting quite often on it. I did use a couple filters here and there but as I transitioned into a “blogger” a lot of work has gone into editing my photos. There are so many steps bloggers take to post the perfect IG photo and it’s more than just standing pretty, adding a filter and a cute little caption. I wanted to give y’all some insight on all the work we put into crafting just one “perfect” IG post.
Read below to see how I went from an unedited photo to my Instagram photo.
Let’s start with the camera. Most of all bloggers have invested in a nice camera ranging from a couple hundred dollars to the thousands, or they work with a photographer to capture photos. Either way, we are looking to provide a high quality photo that’s clear, with good lighting and allows you to see our outfit details to inspire your style and/or a purchase. Lucky for me, Logan already had a nice DSLR (Nikon D3000) so he made that investment investment before I decided to blog.
While you might only see 8-10 photos on a blog post and maybe 1-2 from the same look on Instagram, there are many photos that never make it live and end up in my MacBook’s Trash :). On average, Logan will take anywhere from 30-60 photos per look so I can have plenty to choose from. I’m super awkward when it comes to posing so I’m still struggling with variety.
From Camera to Desktop
Our camera isn’t SUPER fancy with the wifi feature so the next step is for me to download the photos to my laptop. I delete the ones I absolutely hate/duplicates (probably 50% of them), and then I focus on editing. I edit all my photos just on the apple photo viewer app on my laptop (nothing fancy). A lot of bloggers use Lightroom to edit their photos but I honestly have not had time to play around and learn how to use it, so I am sticking to the basics for now. After editing, I choose my favorites (up to 10 for the blog) and from there I choose one or two to post on Instagram. I noticed my pictures that include full body shots or close ups with my face do better than just close up on the actual clothing item without humanity. I then airdrop these photos to my iPhone X.
Editing on Phone
Since my photo will be going live on an app that is mostly viewed on mobile (Instagram), I want to make sure it is mobile optimized, cropped correctly and filters are somewhat similar to the rest of my feed. I recently did a blog post on some photo editing apps that I use, but I will give you the brief run down. The two apps that I use the most are PicTapGo and VSCO. I will use one or the other or sometimes use both!
Like to know it is an app that allows you to shop people’s looks on Instagram by taking a screenshot or using the app itself and following your favorite bloggers. Bloggers also get commission on any purchased made through the app/email if you click on the links to the products we post and make a purchase. It’s pretty hard to get into the program and I wrote some tips here if you’re interested! Once my photo has been edited, I use the liketoknowit app to find all my clothing items featured in the post so I can share with y’all details and you can buy them as well! I also try to add similar items to give you guys variety or in case an item sells out. I’ve learned that the most I link to, the better.
In order to activate the like to know it shoppable feature on my post, I need to post it on Instagram through the LTK app. I select all the items and then come up with a catchy caption or share with y’all if anything linked has gone on sale or back in stock. Once all that is completed on the app, it copies all my info over and it takes me to Instagram. (Note: once it has been posted on like to know it, you cannot edit the photo on Instagram before publishing because then you won’t be able to shop it with a screenshot.)
Ready Set Post
So FINALLY, I am now ready to push the publish button on the Instgram app. On Instagram, the only edits I make are adding a location (helps with reach of my photo) and tagging any brands or pages. I always give credit to the photographer and tag them (unless it’s Logan lol), tag like to know it (in hopes they ever repost me) and tag all the brands featured in the post (whether it’s sponsored and it’s required, or just so brands can see my post and maybe feature me on their page). After that, my post is finally live.
It doesn’t end here, though- I normally add hashtags after my post has gone live and in a separate comment so it’s apart from my caption. I have it saved in my notes on my phone so it’s easy to copy and paste. There are some common blogger hashtags I always use and then I add my own depending on what the post is focused on. The trick here is to not use hashtags that are so generic and broad because then your post gets lost. When you’re typing up a hashtag on Instagram, the app let’s you know how many posts have used that hashtag so that’s super helpful. So why use hashtags? This make it easier for people to find your post (if you have a branded hashtag), or show up with other similar photos that are using the same hashtag, which then gets you more eye balls on your content. Instagram now allows you to follow a specific hashtag so bloggers have started creating their own blog/branded hashtag in hopes that people see their posts on their feeds. With Instagram’s algorithm it makes its little hard for all photos published to be seen by followers, so bloggers are trying to think strategically and get noticed in different ways.
This last step doesn’t have to do with the perfect Instagram photo itself but a very important step for all bloggers- engaging with comments and their followers. It is important that you engage with your followers and answer any questions or comments that they might post on your photo. If someone has gone out of their way to type up a comment on your photo and show you some love, you should do the same!
Hope this gives you some insight of all the steps we take when just posting one single photo on Instagram- that’s only ONE of the things bloggers have to worry about daily. Other things include partnerships, blog posts, content calendars, strategy, growth strategy and more! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want me to share more insight about the world of blogging.