Instagram is a wily beast, isn’t she? One minute you’re all pleased with yourself because you’ve posted some killer outfit and avo toast shots and gained 20 followers in a day (I’m a newbie blogger, so scale up where appropriate) and the next you’ve somehow lost 30. I don’t like to moan – lol, I definitely do – but for someone whose following is still in the hundreds, it’s a pretty demotivating affair.
There are lots of things I absolutely hate about Instagram, but there is one in particular that causes me no grief, and that is the theme. The reason for this is because I don’t have one, and that’s just the way I like it.
Putting my marketing hat on (that’s what I do for my day job, have we discussed this before?) a theme should really appeal to me, and in many ways I do think it would help with growth. A theme gives your account consistency and focus and allows you to develop a look, feel, and subject matter for your blog’s brand. It means that when someone looks at your page the flow of images is visually appealing (hashtag gridgoals) and gives a very obvious reflection of what your blog or account is about and what sort of images they can expect if they follow you, which they are probably then more likely to do.
I also feel it can mean that when a genuine user follows you, they are more likely to stick around, because you’ll continue to post the same type of images that drew them there in the first place. Makes sense, right? And it’s completely fair enough. Follow things that you’re interested in, there’s no point doing otherwise – and if an account no longer makes you tick, get rid.
So even though I agree with all of that, why don’t I theme my instagram?
I’ll tell you; firstly, I haven’t got time. I can’t even imagine how much effort it would take to stick to a perfectly curated theme (massive respect if you manage to do this, it literally blows my mind) and as writing time is hard to come by anyway, I’m not going to sacrifice that for Insta. I’m a lazy cow is what I’m trying to say, and I often get low on content to post at all, let alone content which is all the same colour scheme or works perfectly together.
Secondly, I want to enjoy it. This is not my job, it’s a way of sharing things that I love, and those things don’t necessarily ‘fit’. I would say my taste in many things is varied; I like a distressed jean as much as I like a frou frou prom dress, I like green juices as much as I like burgers, and I like travel involving exotic beach locations and Nordic landscapes alike. I appreciate that classic clean white or neutral aesthetic as much as the next person, but I also love photos bursting with colour like rows of vibrant houses and huge fields of Norfolk flowers – I’m even partial to the odd moody shot here and there.
I would be really frustrated if I felt I wasn’t able to post images that I really love because they didn’t work with my theme, or ended up having to publish images which I didn’t even like that much just because they worked in the grid. I’m not saying this is what themed accounts end up doing, rather that it’s what I would end up doing.
Thirdly, having a theme is no guarantee of good content. ‘Good’ in this sense has very little meaning anyway, which is exactly what I’m trying to say; this is all subjective. In my opinion as a user; an account having a theme doesn’t mean they’re always going to post something interesting for me to enjoy on my feed. No shade here people, just an observation from my mind according to my taste. I see and follow so many themed Instagram accounts which post varied, beautiful content and still have STUNNING themes. I’ve also seen a couple which, presumably in the quest for consistency (not really the coolest of quests I must say, I prefer the quest to save Middle Earth), essentially just post the same photo everyday.
And lastly, I think that when you just focus on posting photos that you love even if those things are hugely varied, a style or a mix of certain styles emerges anyway. It’s not necessarily a ‘theme’ as such, but it reflects you or your blog and happens completely naturally.
And on that note, here are some outfit photos. I’ve never shot against a green wall before, but I’m sure these will go fantastically in my mishmash of a grid, so why the hell not!
Do you have an instagram theme? If you do – kudos, you clever, dedicated thing – and if not – still kudos, I’m sure you’re doing great. Do you follow accounts for their theme or is it something else which makes you want to follow?
Photos: Rob Poor