How many days do you take blog photos and end up with an SD card of fantastic photos that you’ll DEFINITELY use over the next few days or weeks … ?
It doesn’t happen often, right?
If you’re anything like me, you’ll take the snaps, edit them, and then leave them on a memory card or storage folder for when you have the time or a reason to use them … Only, it ends up being never. You NEVER end up using them because you forgot all about them. No? Just me? I do it ALL the time.
Either that or the photos will be entirely unusable, which seems to be the case more often than not with this crappy winter weather we’re having. I can’t wait for the sun to come back, and all that beautiful lighting too.
But, going back to the days when you DO take great images, how many times have you taken and edited a whole bunch of amazing photos and then NOT used them? On more than one occasion, I’ve gone through old folders on my Mac and found a load of really cool or cute photos that I should have shared, but didn’t. And, trust me, getting half-decent photographs really is the biggest battle I have.
I shouldn’t waste the good ones.
I repeat: Shouldn’t waste the good ones!!
So, I decided to go with a different strategy …
I started using an app called Later as a library, of sorts, for ready-to-go Instagrammable images. The hope is that they will help me to post more and, therefore, attract more interest on Instagram.
To start with, I edit the photos on my Mac. Well, actually, to start with, I take the photos, moan about the crappy lighting, take more photos, and then pop the SD card in my Mac to start editing.
I then upload the images that I DO like to Later, getting to work with smart hashtags and witty captions.
From that point, I can save them and keep them there, ready to use whenever I find myself with a few moments on my hands.
Alternatively, I can schedule the post. The Later app will send a notification at the time I set, reminding me to post the update on my Instagram account. The app even copies the caption for me, so all I need to do is paste what was copied into the Instagram caption box. It’ll share the image to your Instagram app too. On the free version of Later, you can schedule 31 images. That gives you at least one post per day, and you can still have other posts stored there for later on, not scheduled. There’s no limit to how many images you can have saved with captions and hashtags ready to go. I’ve got hundreds on mine.
If, like me, you have multiple Insta-accounts on your phone, just make sure you’re signed in to the right account before you start sharing from Later (or other social media scheduling tools). There have been a few occasions where I almost shared a post to the wrong account. Ooops.
It Doesn’t Take Long!
I like to set aside one day, or just a morning/afternoon, every three or four weeks to just making sure my Later account is fully stocked with images that are ready to share when I have nothing else to say or show. I’ll upload all the images that are good to go, and I’ll attach captions to them too, although I find myself editing them a little to suit the day or mood. Alongside the caption, I also add hashtags, making life much easier for myself when it comes to actually posting them. I don’t need to do any research, think of something witty to say, find hashtags, zilch. I’ve already done the hard work. When I have five minutes out and about shopping one day, waiting for someone to finish paying at the till, I can simply open up Later, select a photo, share it, and I’m done.
I will have managed to keep my Instagram account up to date in mere seconds.
(If you haven’t scheduled the post, copy the caption from Later, save the image to your media library, and then upload to Instagram, pasting the caption. Then you don’t need to go over your 31 scheduled post allowance. You can set yourself a reminder to share the image on your phone’s calendar.)
I know what you’re thinking:
How will using Later as a source of ready-to-go photos grow my Instagram account?
I recommend that you post daily in order to keep your numbers growing on Instagram. I think you should post two or three times on a few of those days, but keep the 2+ post days to a minimum. There will always be times, however, that you can’t find something witty to say. You won’t be able to find a beautiful image to share with the world. You can’t think of a quote to fall back on or some beautiful scenic picture that you took a few weeks ago.
There will always be a time that you can’t find something witty to say. There’ll be times when you don’t have a fabulous image to share with the world. You won’t have a quote to fall back on or some beautiful scenic picture that you took a few weeks ago.
Rather than sharing nothing, share something beautiful instead. Something that you created a while ago and stored away in Later just as I suggested. Re-hash an old blog post with a photo you took at the time and never used. Technically, it’s a brand new and unique photo. No one’s ever seen it before. You’ve never used it before. It’s a much better idea to use the image than get rid of it, especially if it’s a good’un!
Three or four hours of my time on ONE DAY essentially manages my Instagram account for the rest of the month. The Later app even reminds me to share the post at the appropriate times, if I have scheduled it. It can’t post for you, of course, because the Instagram system doesn’t allow for that. I did find one website called OnlyPult that promises to get around this and post on your behalf, but it gets you Insta-banned … SHARP!
(Lived it, learned it.)
Oh, for the record, using OnlyPult can also lead to your Instagram account being shut down permanently too. Not to scare you or anything. That would be a total waste of thousands of followers if you’ve managed to build your account up that far. These automated services that DO post on your behalf go against Instagram’s stated terms and conditions. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
You don’t need to use Later as your Instagram-image storage facility. Some bloggers upload everything to Google docs and set reminders for themselves. Buffer offers a scheduling service also, but I haven’t [yet] found a way to use it as a storage centre. There are quite a few different social media scheduling tools you could use. For me, Later kinda covers everything I need it to. I can schedule the important posts — the ones that MUST be shared on a certain or specific time/day. The rest of them, well, I can just call on them when I need them. When I have nothing else to say or share.
If you have a storage facility of ready-to-go images, you’ll always have something to fall back on.
I hope you found this post helpful. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to be kept in the loop for future posts. I’ll be sharing a few little gems over the next couple of weeks, including a little Instagram trick called ‘comment pods’. It’s proven to be quite the controversial topic.
Thanks so much for reading today. I hope it’s a great day for you!
(Don’t forget to post to your Instagram page today!)