It’s official. Starting tomorrow Instagram is changing its platform and using an algorithm that will affect what appears in your feed. Instead of the latest 150 posts showing up chronologically as they have in the past, images and media will appear in your feed based on “the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post,” according to Instagram. Yes, this sounds a lot like Facebook and yes, you should have expected this since Facebook owns Instagram, but no, this doesn’t mean you should give up on Instagram.
As I’ve been known to say — don’t get bitter, get better.
This change will not only affect what you see in your feed, it also affects how likely your followers are to see your content. This is huge if you’re trying to use Instagram to build a personal brand or to promote your blog, book or business.
For years I used Instagram just for fun, but back in October I started an account for my personal brand and business — @seejavaciawrite — and started posting occasionally. But I will be honest with you, I’m worried I’ve done too little, too late.
But instead of throwing a virtual temper tantrum and organizing a protest and petition against Instagram, I’m going to get my feed in “formation.” Here’s how you can do the same…
Many of the women writers I know say Instagram is not their jam. They think it’s only useful for fashion bloggers or for people who want to pretend their lives are more fabulous than they actually are. But Instagram can be a great place for writers to share ideas, show off their work, collaborate with other writers, and get inspiration. So go on and start that Instagram account, and here are five women writers you should follow on Instagram once you’ve joined the party.
G.G. Renee is the writer behind the blog All the Many Layers. In addition to her own writing she also creates books and courses to help other women “embrace their layers + writer from the heart.” Her Instagram account shows snippets of her writing and her many layers.
Nikki Woods is a senior producer for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, a best selling author, and a coach for writers and entrepreneurs. Her Instagram account often offers writing and publishing tips, advice on how to get attention from the media, and inspiration to get you through the day.
Tyece Wilkins is the author of the blog Twenties Unscripted and a book by the same name that was released this summer. Her Instagram account, as well as her book and blog, is all about exploring womanhood, relishing in life as a writer, and navigating relationships. Check out my interview with Tyece to learn more.
Published author Samantha King is proof that Instagram isn’t just for style bloggers. She has more than 57,000 followers and mostly posts snippets of her writing, snippets that are sure to inspire you on days you’re struggling with writer’s block.
I recently started an Instagram account — @seejavaciawriter — specifically for providing inspiration and encouragement to women writers. You can also follow my personal Instagram account @writeousbabe.
Who are you favorite writers and bloggers of Instagram?
Even though I LOVE food, I am not a food blogger and never well be. You see, when I say I love food I mean I love to eat it, I love to socialize and celebrate over it, and I even like to use it as a reward for making it through a hard day. But I HATE cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I do cook. After all, hubster and I have to eat something and neither my wallet nor my waistline could handle us eating out every night. But every moment in the kitchen I’m thinking of all the other places I’d rather be.
Nonetheless, I admire food bloggers. I admire their creativity and passion and, of course, I admire their gorgeous photography.
Today, I attended the Birmingham Bloggers Instagram Workshop Brunch. The event featured a 4-course brunch and food photography tips from Rachel Johnson, who is currently serving as a fellow at Cooking Light magazine.
While some bloggers at the workshop, which was held at The Nest, had fancy DSLR cameras hanging around their necks, Rachel assured us that with the right light and styling you can take beautiful pictures even on an iPhone 4.
1. Let your light shine. Obviously, good lighting it key, so be sure that nothing’s blocking the natural light that you could be using to illuminate your subject. If you find that the light is creating a a harsh shadow on one side of your subject, use a white book or sheet of paper to reflect the light.
2. The bird’s the word. A bird’s eye view or overhead shot is best for food, Rachel said. Get right over your food when shooting it.
3. Pile it on. If you’re shooting a bowl of granola, really pile on that granola. When photographing food in a bowl, fill up the bowl for a more interesting shot.
4. Keep it simple. Don’t photograph your food against a busy surface. Also, don’t get carried away with filters. If you do use filters adjust their intensity remembering that sometimes less is more.
5. Hash it out. To help your food photos get more exposure on Instagram, Rachel recommended using popular hashtags like #f52grams and #eeeeeeats. A good time to post photos to Instagram is early in the morning or around 7 p.m.
Many of these tips, Rachel said, apply not just to photographing food, but can be used when photographing fashion, too.
After the tips session, Rachel had us style and photograph the first course of our brunch — yogurt parfait. It was quite entertaining and I appreciated the hands-on activity. Rachel was very sweet and said my photos looked great, but I thought they were pitiful compared to the pictures produced by most food bloggers. And obviously, I had the most fun eating the food — which was delicious!
For bad food photography and more, follow me on Instagram @writeousbabe.