I know, right? I bet the title caught your eye. And I bet you’re saying a few things inside your head too …
“Whaaaaat, she hasn’t gotten herself an Instagram theme? Is she crazy?”
Mmmhmm, I knew it. It’s cool. I know I’m going seriously against the grain with this blog post, but I’m prepared to take the flack.
I’ve read so many blogging guides, how-to’s, and get-rich-from-blogging-quick PDF’s to know that having a beautiful and cohesive theme is the number one recommended tip for a successful Instagram marketing strategy. That’s what every single one of them says, right?
YOU NEED AN INSTAGRAM THEME.
So, why aren’t I saying it?
Because I’m not sold on the idea.
Wait, wait, wait; before you bite my head off, just hear me out. I have a few reasons why having an Instagram theme isn’t always the best idea, and I promise they’re really good reasons too.
Are you sitting comfortably? Yes? Then I shall begin.
1) I think I’m already following you …
The other day, I went on a massive Instagram spree — liking and commenting on a bunch of images because I really should start listening to my own advice — and I came across a couple of beautiful flatlay images. I took a closer look and offered up my likes. They really were stunning images and I felt they deserved some of my love.
I *almost* didn’t go on that Instagrammer’s profile page and follow the entire account, however. That would have been a great shame, because not only was this particular blogger a great photographer, she had some great photography tips filed away on her blog that I definitely found useful. (I’m now a blog subscriber.)
Why did I *almost* not follow that account?
Because I genuinely thought I was already following that person. The flatlays were so similar to an account that I was already following, they almost lost me as a follower because I thought they already had me as one.
(I’m sure they wouldn’t have been that sad about it. I’m not that important, but imagine if other people — potential new followers — were to do the same.)
Everyone’s Instagram images are starting to look a little … samey. I even rushed out to buy some marble contact paper because I didn’t feel like I could call myself a blogger without it. I know that sounds really, truly awful, and I definitely don’t mean it that way; the photos I see are BEAUTIFUL photos. But that common pale pink, rose gold, white and marble theme has been done to death. Beyond death. If I’ve seen one geometric copper or rose gold wire blog prop, I’ve seen them all. And if I peek through the leaves of another houseplant or succulent … Well, I probably won’t do much. I might unfollow that account though.
I didn’t even know what a succulent was until everyone became a blogger.
Sorry, I’ve got plant rage. I’ll move on.
2) Keeping to an Instagram theme is damn hard.
There, I said it.
It IS hard.
I’ve gone through so many Instagram theme phases, it’s beyond a joke. I end up getting bored with the way it looks, or I never manage to get my images to look quite as they should, going off-theme by accident. It takes a really strong-minded person to keep a theme like that going. I’m not that cohesive in life, so trying to be that cohesive on my Insta feed proves difficult. Virtually impossible.
I have got a bit of theme going right now, but I’m still not sure I like it. I’m having a rainbow obsession moment, so I intend to make my Instagram feed look like a rainbow. I figured it might be easy; I’m a pretty colourful person. Turns out, it’s much harder than anticipated and I’m already getting to the end of my patience.
Maybe you can take a peek and let me know what you think of my rainbow-themed Instagram page? Be nice though, yeah?
3) You’ll spend more time editing photos than actually blogging.
I’m not even kidding. I’d rather not talk about the hours I spent editing photos, hundreds of them at a time, only to come out with just three or four theme-worthy ones at the end of it. If that.
The stricter and more specific your theme, the harder it will be to keep up with.
Here’s my advice: If you choose to have an Instagram theme, regardless of what it is, make sure you can keep it going. Make it simple. Easy. Not too fussy or specific. Otherwise … ⤵️
4) You might end up with nothing to share at times.
(And that will hurt your follower numbers.)
When you can’t get the perfect image to match your theme, you’ll end up with nothing left to post. Well, that’s unless you have a file of spare, last-minute Insta-ready photos for emergencies. I don’t have one of those. I should have one of those — and so should you. (I’ll get right on that, I promise.)
Do you know how many days I DIDN’T post on Instagram, just because I didn’t have an image that would fit in with the theme? Too many. It’s embarrassing. I have a really low follower count right now — 300-and-some, growing my numbers along with you lovely lot, without resorting to paid advertisements (yet) or buying followers. (Don’t buy followers.)
When I DIDN’T post to Instagram for 3 days because I couldn’t find a theme-worthy image, I lost 15 followers.
When I DID post to Instagram — with or without a theme — I generally gained around 10 followers for every one or two posts shared. I lose a few of them over the next couple of days admittedly (damn the follow/unfollow cult), but NOT posting to Instagram has a noticeable effect on my numbers right now. Not posting anything just because I don’t have a theme-fitting image to share, just seems so pointless.
5) It can make the rest of your hard work pointless.
When you don’t share anything and then lose followers, all of the work that you did BEFORE that point will have been almost for nothing. Not entirely, but almost. As I entered into the 300-followers territory, almost at 350, I stopped posting for a few days. I didn’t have anything theme-worthy to share. Every image I snapped was pants. I couldn’t find anything that worked with my theme. I lost my mojo entirely.
Before that point, I worked DAMN HARD on my Insta feed, making sure that I had beautiful images to share, liking and commenting on a bunch of posts, following hashtags, etc. I gained 45 new followers in a couple of days and gave myself a little pat on the back.
(Come on — it IS super hard to gain followers when you’re only a little account starting at the bottom.)
The couple of days that I didn’t post anything resulted in a loss of over 30 followers. Some of those will be the follow/unfollow gang, but a few of them probably abandoned me because I was boring and never posted anything. I certainly didn’t seem to have interesting to say or share … Nothing happened on my Insta feed. No updates, no pretty pictures, nothin’.
When you put in that much hard work, losing the positive results of that hard work because you then can’t keep up with your own theme is going to suck. A lot.
6) I don’t think typical Insta-themes are THAT inventive …
Why would you want your Instagram page to look like every other one when you could make it so much more than that? You have control over what you put on that page … Go control it. Don’t let fashion, hot trends, or other bloggers control it for you. Who cares if rose gold wire props are in fashion right now? Opt for something industrial looking instead.
The trick to getting noticed on Instagram (and other social media platforms) is to make yourself STAND OUT from the crowd, not blend in with them. How will you stand out when you’re using the same photo angles, props, and Lightroom presets, as everybody else?
Inject some colour into your life and make your images bright and eye-catching. You don’t need a marble backdrop and some rose gold accessories to make your feed look beautiful; you just need to learn how to lighten and brighten your images.
I use a number of editing apps, depending on what mood I’m in, but I can highly recommend Moldiv, Canva, PicMonkey, and Adobe Lightroom. The latter was a recent [free] app download onto my phone and I’m basically in love with it. My images are NOWHERE near perfect, but I have fun with them. I try new things. Some work, some really don’t, but that’s half the fun of it, isn’t it? Playing around and see what happens? Why don’t you give it a try? Leave the marble and copper props alone and inject some colour and life into your images instead.
I’ve done A LOT of talking today, but that’s kinda where I’m at with the whole Instagram theme business. It’s not my bag. I change my mind far too frequently to have a set theme. Plus, where’s the fun in having a theme or rules?
Aren’t rules meant to be broken anyway?
What’s your opinion? Do you have a theme for your Instagram feed? How tough has it been for you to keep up with it? Do you think it’s made a difference to followers or engagement? I’d love to know. Tell me why you think I’m wrong!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog today. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to keep up with all my tips, tricks, and opinions that nobody really wants to hear … 😉
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