For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying really really hard to curate a cohesive Instagram feed. –Wait, what’s that you say? You haven’t noticed? Yah, I feared as much… In an attempt to boost my Instagram engagement, I figured I should finally give in to the hype over having a color-coded Instagram profile, where all the photos match and share the same color scheme. In theory, it sounds rather difficult. In practice, it’s extremely difficult.
Here’s an image of my Instagram profile back in December/January. Notice the 50 shades of brown. I’ve always disliked the brown, uncolorful appearance of my feed, but clearly it hasn’t bothered me enough to do anything about it. I live in a desert where most backdrops for my photos are neutral colors/earthy/sagebrush, therefore that’s how my feed appears. Unfortunately, not all of us have access to adorable murals and ultra-colorful backgrounds like the “real bloggers” do. I figured, if I could make my feed more colorful and cohesive like the major fashion bloggers, I’d be able to boost my Instagram engagement.
Here’s the first iteration of me trying to be cohesive with my photos. If you squint, the feed kind of has a blue/purple/pink tone. So basically I picked half the rainbow as my color scheme and hoped for the best. I was actually rather proud that each image had at least a little pink or purple (the maroon v-neck blouse, my friend’s ski pants, the flower petals on the ground, the bricks in the background, etc.), but I realized I still had a long way to go before reaching the professional blogger status.
This was also the point in my Instagram feed endeavor where I started editing my photos. I downloaded the free Lightroom app, created a few presets with pink undertones, and started applying the presets to all my photos. To my surprise, this simple trick did make a subtle difference in tying all my posts together.
Here was my next attempt at a theme. This time I decided on flowers as the cohesive element, rather than just a specific color(s). As you can see at the bottom of this image, I really only lasted 5 posts before posting a photo without flowers in it. As it turns out, having flowers in every photo is a little difficult when nothing is blooming yet. Shocker.
The theme quickly morphed from just flowers into a floral AND pink scheme. I knew I couldn’t quite fit flowers into every photo, but in the ones where I couldn’t, I could wear something pink to keep the look cohesive. The green photo where I’m covered in powder is, of course, an exception, but my Lightroom preset gave it a pinkish hue that was just the right amount to tie it into the rest of the posts. This was also the point in time where I created a fake Instagram account to preview what my photos would look like in my feed before actually posting them. Yes, I became that obsessive. How embarrassing.
Here’s what my feed looks like currently. As you can see, the pink and flower theme is dying a slow, painful death. The bottom left photo, the photo with me holding the laptop, and the photo of me with my three girlfriends are adding a warmer, orangish tone to the otherwise cool-colored feed. The middle photo is a complete outlier because of the grey color. The newest photo with the car, while one of my favorite shots, doesn’t match the feed at all.
In the end, this is what I learned from my Instagram experiment:
- I became a slave to my Instagram feed. I was constantly wondering if photos would match, and I would exclusively wear pink to events where I knew I wanted photos taken. In fact, I started planning all my outfits to include pinks and purples, even though I hardly own any items in that color scheme. Even my blog posts were planned a specific way so I could get that one good snap for the ‘gram. This meant I was wearing less and less of the rest of my clothes and putting my cost per wear spreadsheet to shame. The shame!
- Having a cohesive profile takes sacrifice. If you truly want the best of the best feed, you have to be willing not to post photos that you love. Not every cute photo is going to match and you have to learn to accept that if you want the Instagram fame of a curated profile. I clearly was not willing to do this, which is why my feed is slowly crumbling back to a jumble of random, non-correlated photos. Below is an image of what my feed would look like if I removed all the photos that didn’t match. See how much more cohesive it looks??
- The major fashion bloggers and influencers on Instagram who have amazing feeds must put an insane amount of time and effort into their Instagram accounts. I’m willing to bet some of them even fill their wardrobes with certain color schemes just to curate their feed.
- The biggest thing I learned is that my attempt at a pretty profile didn’t even boost my Instagram engagement by a significant amount. In the end, how many people actually look at your profile (rather than individual posts in their feed) and even notice if it’s cohesive? Not a ton, probably. I think a lot of Instagram users are impressed when they see that a profile is very cute and matchy-matchy, but if it’s not that, I don’t think many people give it a second thought (unless your profile is creepy, of course). After all, you hardly ever stop to look at someone’s profile in the first place. At least I don’t… So even though I feel proud of myself when I look at my somewhat pink cohesive feed now, I know it was much more of a hassle than it was worth. I don’t miss the ugly brown backgrounds, but I do miss posting whichever photos I want, in whatever order, in clothes that are colors other than pink and purple.
So I guess that’s that—I’m going to stop trying to upkeep a cohesive Instagram feed because that is an unattainable goal for me. All the effort it takes is just not worth it, in my opinion! Instagram should be fun and when you’re constantly stressing over how much your photos match one another, it’s not so fun anymore. I admit, it’s going to be very hard to give it up now that I’ve seen how much prettier a colorful feed can be. But alas, as I’ve outlined throughout this post, it’s embarrassing how much time I’ve spent on a silly social media platform! Farewell, pretty pink Instagram feed. May you rest in peace.
Do you put a lot of effort into your Instagram feed? Do you try to make it cohesive? I’m dying to know! Maybe it’s just me who has such a hard time with this. Is it possible that I just don’t get it, and it’s way easier for most people to make their feed look good? I don’t know, I need your help guys. Let me know in the comments below!
As always, thanks for stopping by today.
Miles of smiles,
7 comments on “The Unattainable Goals of a Cohesive Instagram Feed”
“In theory, it sounds rather difficult. In practice, it’s extremely difficult.” I was so cracking up to read this! I never even thought about this, but then, I don’t have a cohesive blog or Instagram feed. My feed looks something like this: food, garden, ootd, yoga, flowers, food, ootd, garden, yoga, random bird, pottery, people, ootd, etc. Forget about a color scheme! LOL. I can’t even bring myself to choose the same filter. (And mostly I don’t use a filter.) Awhile back, I was contemplating whether or not to put all my blog topics on one blog, or create several dedicated blogs. I stuck with one. I’m too lazy to contemplate juggling multiple blogs! Also, I decided that if I do become blog or IG-famous, it will be as a Martha Stewart “lifestyle” type of person where people just want to know every random thing about my life and how I live it. (Can you see me rolling my eyes right now?)
Hahaha you’re too funny Leila! I love your description of your Instagram feed, that definitely cracked me up. I’m glad I’m not the only one that struggles with this, at least. There was a time where I also considered breaking my blog up but pshh, everybody seems to be all about “keeping it real” lately and what’s more real than a jumbled up blog with lots of topics? Have a great Tuesday!
I think that I am way more attracted to feeds that are real like yours then feeds where every picture is perfect with a perfect background. That is not real life. But I might check out that app and look at some of the filters.
Aw I’m glad to hear that! Thanks Mireille. It’s definitely way easier to just stick to real life 🙂
Hi!! I absolutely loved this blog. I’m starting a blog and stuck on what to fo with my Instagram feed. I had this idea that my feed needs to look more cohesive in order to attract more viewers and traffic. But the more I researched on how to do it, the more it seemed fake to me. Like you said, it requires sacrifice. There may be pictures I truly like but because it’s not within the color scheme, I can’t post it. Then I stumbled upon your article and it gave me so much peace!! So thank you!
Hi Talitha, thank you so much for your comment!! I’m glad my blog post resonated with you. Instagram is so difficult… I don’t really try on there anymore because it sucks out a lot of the fun I get from blogging! Now I just kind of post whatever. I may not get many likes or followers, which sometimes stings, but I just don’t find the effort it requires worth it. Good luck on your new blog!!
Yay!! I’m so glad to hear this post was helpful! Thank you for sharing and best of luck with your new blog and Instagram <3