It’s no secret that right now Instagram has bloomed from more than just a chance to share your life with your friends, and instead contains a plethora of exciting eye-catching photos. For the most part, Instagram has become the sneak peek look into some people’s lives, as well as the highlights from their best trips, daily outfits, meals and more. If you’re committing yourself to Instagram as either a blogger or an influencer, you may find yourself looking for more things to spice up your feed, but maybe not at such a high cost. This is why I compiled a list of ideas for how to rock Instagram on a budget.
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Related Post: 5 Secrets to Shopping High End Beauty on a Budget
Things to Keep in Mind
I currently use Instagram as a place to keep it fun, with the potential to incorporate working with brands I love. But the key point of that is to keep it fun. On my Instagram, I never do things I don’t find fun, nor do I post things simply because I’m trying to attract a particular audience. The important thing is to stay true to yourself, and remember that Instagram is a highlight reel. Meaning, no one’s life is always as put together as their Instagram.
This post is intended to help you spice up your Instagram and create a feed that’s aesthetically pleasing, all while maintaining a budget. Take a look at some key points I want you to remember, just to keep it fun!
1. Instagram is a highlight reel, meaning everyone’s posting their best moments
2. Don’t stress over numbers. Be genuine, engage with others, put yourself out there and the people will come.
3. Don’t change your lifestyle simply for Instagram. Do the things you want to do and take opportunities to capture those moments of bliss along the way.
Okay, now that you’re not planning on changing one ounce of who you are, we can get to the good stuff. As you already know, Instagram is a social media platform that centres around the sharing of photos. Instagram has blown up in the last few years in the sense that it has gone from simply sharing photos with friends, to raising the bar way freaking high.
The caliber of photos you now see on Instagram can be intimidating, especially when you try and sit there and edit your photos without coming anywhere close to what you’ve seen. In this post, I’ll share some of the best secrets to taking your photos up a notch, and how you can incorporate new ideas into your feed! Let’s finally get into out how to rock Instagram on a budget!
How to Rock Instagram on a Budget
High Quality Photos
The good news is, with smartphones continuously evolving before our eyes, they take pretty great pictures. This means, you don’t have to shell out money for a nice camera if you aren’t able to do so (and if you can, by all means!).
The number one trick to making your Instagram look amazing is starting with great photos. And this goes beyond getting a high quality shot. This means avoiding blurry pictures, making sure the background is clear, and focusing on the little things.
So many times I see people posting photos where they haven’t bothered to move clutter out of the way, or taken the time to remove all of the dog hair off their leggings (and I’m not talking one dog hair either, I mean full fuzz all over BLACK leggings) or simply chosen a photo that wasn’t blurry. These things hinder your photo quality, and can distract your audience from what you’re trying to convey!
Again, Instagram is a highlight reel. You don’t want small details to get in the way of the bigger picture: a gorgeous feed! So start from the very beginning, take your time and make sure you’re grabbing a great shot!
Ahh yes, one of the best kept secrets! As great as Instagram is, I truly never use the editing options they give us. I find there are so many other apps that do a way better job!
Whether you plan on using presets (edits that are created by others that you can simply copy and paste to your photos) or editing recipes (found on Pinterest), you can create beautiful edits with a bunch of free apps! My personal favs are:
1 Lightroom CC: allows you to edit photos on your own AS WELL as upload presets to your editing queue so you can simply copy and paste presets onto your photos (great if you’re trying to create a cohesive theme on your Insta (see mine below, throughout winter I aimed for a white and bright theme!) You can find free or paid presets, it all depends on your price range! I don’t recommend paying an insane amount for presets, especially when a lot of bloggers share them for free/low cost!
2. VSCO: another photo editing app, allows you to edit and create recipes (recipes are essentially the same thing as presets, it saves the exact way you edited a photo and lets you use that edit over and over again. I use the free version and it lets you save one at a time!). VSCO is both free and paid, I use the free version and have no issues. You can search up how to create recipes on Pinterest and it will give you other edits people have created and are sharing!
3. Snapseed: yet another free photo editing app! I use Snapseed less than the others, but other bloggers I know and trust swear by it! It’s free as well and worth checking out!
Flat Lays and Props
Flat lays are an excellent way to make your Instagram look just a little boujier than the average feed! You don’t need to shell out a ton of money to create your own flat lays either!
You may see a lot of flay lays done on fur rugs (bonus is you can find them at stores like Winners for cheap!). This is a nice touch, but you don’t have to use a fur rug. Find a surface that is simple, appealing to the eye and can be versatile when editing.
Flat lays seem like a lot of work, but simply arranging props or makeup you already own can be an excellent way to elevate your Instagram. Peep below the flat lay I put together in minutes using makeup I found on the cheap at Winners, and a fur blanket I already owned!
Again too, don’t be shy to use props you already own for Instagram. When creating my flat lays I use a bunch of items I already own and strategically place them! If you’re looking for cheap props, Winners and other department stores can be a great place to score cheap props for flat lays on a budget! If you want to see how I consistently score cheap beauty on a budget, click here.
Cost: Varies depending on what you already own.
Naturally you may want to wear something cute while posting on Instagram (hey, sweats are cute too!) but you don’t have to shell out tons of money to look stylish on Instagram. Unless you’re working at becoming a fashion mogul on Instagram and are affiliated with high end brands, you can often find the same clothes for way cheaper.
My go to stores for adorable clothing on the cheap are:
Peep below at some of the cute dresses I found on the cheap, but manage to look stunning on my Instagram!
The dress from F21 is from last year but I linked a similar one here!
The dress again here is from last year, but I linked a similar one here as well!
The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t have to go all out spending to get adorable styles to show off on your Instagram! I swear by finding cute clothes on a budget, and strive to show others you can do the same (I promise people will still be dying to know where you got your clothes!)
Cost: Varies, I aim for $40 or less on most items of clothing!
Food & Outings
When you start going out constantly to eat (and whether you document it on Instagram or not), it starts to add up. Trying new food or going out for an adventure can be a great addition to your Instagram feed (especially if you’re a lifestyle blogger and you’re documenting fun, local things!)
My best trick is to check out Groupon before heading out and trying something new (to see if I can get a discount!). Groupon is blooming with deals for local food, spa services, activities such as brewery tours, concerts etc. These activities can be a great opportunity to get out and try something new, as well as simultaneously get a chance to document it on Insta! (And can you really say no to a concert when tickets only cost $30?)
Don’t stress yourself out about Instagram. The more you have fun with it, the less strain you’ll place on yourself to have a perfect feed. Go with the flow, share your life as it naturally happens, engage and make friends! Remember, you don’t have to shell out tons of money to create the perfect feed. It’s as simple as having high quality photos, consistency with editing, and capturing moments of pure bliss!
Want to be friends? You can follow me here!