On a reflective Sunday night, I thought about how blogging can sometimes be damaging to my anxiety. There’s a huge “To Do List” and sometimes I buckle under the pressure to keep up with everything. One of my “Problem Area’s” is my Instagram account, those little squares of delight require a lot of tender love, attention, and care.  Which made me consider, the following question “How can I simplify my Instagram use?” and at the same time, help others too…

Before I start, I think valuable that I mention the fact that Instagram can be terrible for our self-esteem because we’ve been conditioned to almost value our worth on solely on numbers. Almost forgetting that many people have a wonderful, fulfilling life, away from this social network. Previously Brands have looked to Instagram as a way to reach new customers, whilst there’s no denying it works, due to the fact Instagram is so fast-moving, pictures are quickly outdated. Alongside this, with the rise of the “Untrust Worthy Influencer” I can only imagine that in time, the written word (aka blogging) will be more powerful than ever again. 

Regardless of this, Instagram is still powerful – It’s a distraction, something to read on the Tube, a way to connect with friends and a place to curate memories and moments. In this post, my objective is to share the programs I use to simplify my Instagram experience, alongside hashtags and free stock photos. 

Professional Looking Stories

For what feels like forever, I was watching the “Stories” from other bloggers and wondering how on earth they had such elegant fonts and frames. For a while, the program’s to create these stories were only for iPhone users, then the wonderful folk at Canva released these Instagram options on their free application. 

Free Stock Photos

Whilst I firmly recommend that Instagram is used to showcase your own photos, but every so often I’ll use a stock photo, rather than cause myself stress trying to create the visual I need to represent my words. Please note, that you’re at risk of being fined if you use another person’s photo without permission, please ONLY use free (or paid for) stock photos.

Websites I recommend are:

UnsplashPexelsIvory Mix

Hashtags 

It’s a known fact that the right Hashtags are the ideal way for more people to see your content, but choose wisely and don’t overload or overuse the same hashtags. Variety is not only the spice of life, but it’s also the best way to ensure that your post reaches a board audience. To help you along the way, I’m sharing some of my favorite hashtags for key topics that I share on a regular basis.

Food Hashtags…

#truecooks #yougottaeatthis #eatfamous #foodstagram #eats #igfood #goodeats #foodie #yum #foodphotography
#buzzfeedfood #feedfeed #foodbloggers #yummie #tastespotting #foodgawker #instayum #instafood #foodlove #foodies #onmytable #onmyplate #foodielife #hautecusines #beautifulcuisines

Lifestyle Hashtags…

#thegirlgang  #moodygrams #thisweekoninstagram #ontheblog #bloggerlife #livecolorfully #mylife #itsthelittlethings #thatsdarling #liveauthentic #liveunscripted  #wordporn #lifestyle #darlingmovement #livethelittlethings #holdthemoments #feelfreefeed #nothingisordinary #livecolourfully  #thehappynow #petitejoys #photosinbetween #pursuepretty #flashesofdelight 

Fitness Hashtags…

#ukfitfam #getstrong #trainhard#thisgirlcan#fitspiration #justdoit #girlswholift #training#happyhealthy #healthylifestyle, #noexcuses#fitnessgoals#motivation #myfitgoals #workoutmotivation #movement #workoutroutine #workoutdaily #workoutsesh#workouttime #workoutoftheday#fitmotivation #keepfit #fitnesslifestyle

Automatic Uploading/Advance Scheduling

Busy week ahead? I get it, when I’ve got a lot going on, my Instagram routine will completely go out of the window. That’s where scheduling in advance is a complete lifesaver for those weeks when you simply can’t fit everything in, plus it leaves me feeling like a superhero when I remember to schedule in advance. 

Now, there’s plenty of options but my personal favorite is Hootsuite and it’s free (Hurrah!) I also rate Tailwind (around £14.99pcm), as the hashtag suggestions are super helpful. I understand that Buffer (free and paid options) has this option too, but my experience is limited, although I understand the service is excellent. 

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Katie

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