Hello Boosted Fam 💪 today I’m back with another highly requested Instagram post! 🙌
We’ve finally reached 26k on Instagram and I’ve got quite a few DMs about how to start a Studygram/Bujogram account!
To give you some numbers (I’m an engineer after all 😉), I started my account towards the end of August 2016 (not knowing exactly what I was doing tbh!), I reached 10k on July 2017, 20k on October 2017 and the account has been growing steadily averaging 100+ new followers daily and a minimum of 1k+ likes per post!
Quick note before we start: these tips can be applied to any kind of account, but I’m going to focus on the Studygram/Bujogram types of accounts in this post.
1. Create an account
It may seem obvious, but I did get some DMs from accounts that would like to start a studygram… but haven’t created a separate account for it yet!
Instagram allows you to have up to 5 different accounts and makes it very easy to switch from one account to the other, so go get started 😉
If you already have a personal account, I highly recommend creating a separate account where you’ll post feed specific pictures only.
2. Choose a clear username
Your handle is your identity online… so take time to think about it!
Choose an username that’s clear, easy to spell, easily recognizable and related to what your account is about.
When I first started my Instagram journey, my username was “bujoboosted”.
“BuJo” for bullet journaling and “boosted” for the productivity focus.
I decided to change it to “theboostedjournal” because:
- It’s clearer
- It has journal in it, which makes it clear what the account is about!
- Bujo, as a contracted form of the copyrighted word bullet journal could’ve caused some issues on the long run
Also I’d avoid having an username that sounds way too much like other well known accounts! Try to stand out with an original username!
(I know it can be hard, but who says it would be easy, right?)
3. Think about what content you want to post
If you plan on having a successful account, it’s fundamental to know what you’re going to post!
Having a clear image of what you want your feed to be about will help you create content consistently and target a specific niche that enjoys your content!
If we focus on the Studygram/Bujogram type of accounts, there is a variety of content you can consider posting. Here is a non-exhaustive list:
- bullet journal spreads
- study notes
- stationery supplies
- desk set-up
- calligraphy tutorials
- what’s in my backpack/pencilcase
- study session timelapses
Be creative and try posting different kind of content!
This will make your account be more dynamic and interesting!
4. Have an interesting bio
Your bio is what people read when they first hit your account so make sure you make good use of it!
Your bio should say exactly what your account is about with meaningful key words: for example, my bio immediately has the words bullet journal and studygram on it.
You can also include some of the main hashtags so that people can expect what your pics are about.
Keep it short and sweet and make sure all the words are well spaced out.
Generally speaking, it’s better to have isolated words instead of long sentences and to display them vertically so that they can be better visualized.
Remember: keep it clear!
5. Choose an easily recognizable profile pic
Your profile pic is literally your face on Instagram… so make sure to have a nice one! 😜
Just like your username, the profile pic should be easily recognizable and somehow related to what your account is about.
If you want to have a pic of your face, I’d suggest that you include your journal so that we know that you’ll be posting pics of it: remember, if you plan on posting bullet journal pics, then your journal is the main protagonist, not you.
If you plan on having your username in your handle, make sure it’s easy to read and it can be nice to make it look similar to the way your feed looks.
Generally speaking, make it personal and feel free to change it if you feel like it doesn’t represent your account anymore!
6. Have a consistent feed
Once you’ve decided what you want to post, it’s time to actually start taking pics/videos!
Having a feed in the Instagram world means that you post similar looking pictures in order to have a globally aesthetically pleasing feed!
While it’s important to focus on every single picture you post, it is way more important to focus on how all your pictures look together.
The moment you start thinking of your account as a global, consistent set of pictures instead of a collection of unrelated pictures, you’ll see things from a different perspective!
If you want to have a consistent feed, here are my top tips:
- take your pics always at the same place (find your Instagram spot)
- try having always similar lighting (which translates into taking your pics roughly at the same time every day)
- have always the same background
- always edit your pics the exact same way all the time
I know it does sound a bit strict, but having this consistent approach towards your pictures will make sure you can post good quality content daily.
Here’s how I edit my Instagram pics in 3 steps
Let’s clarify: this DOES NOT mean that you always need to post the same kind of posts, but that you always make sure that what you post is coherent in regard to the global look of your feed.
7. Post at least once a day
If you want to take Instagram seriously, you must post at least once a day.
Consistency is the key here. No excuses.
It’s called feed because it’s meant to be fed with content… and you don’t want your account to starve to death!
If you want strangers to start following your content, you need to make sure they won’t regret it and that you’ll offer them good/interesting daily content.
Just think about the accounts you love the most, you enjoy their content cause they post often and you have probably developed a habit of checking that specific account out! That’s what you want to achieve with your account too!
8. Find out what your ideal posting time is
Consistency is also about knowing when to post.
There is no exact rule here.
My best advice is to experiment with posting time for a full week, posting always at different times every day: this will give you an idea of what your ideal posting time is!
Once you’ve found it out, always stick to it!
Right now, my posting time is 5pm (Paris time).
Sidenote: this can change over time, so if you see a drop in terms of interaction, you may reconsider your posting time and adjust it.
9. Take pictures in advance
Since you’ve decided to:
- post daily
- always at the same time
don’t stress out cause you don’t have a pic for your posting time and actually be ready!
I used to feel guilty too and rush into the process of taking pics cause I didn’t want to skip a daily post. This often led to ok pictures that I wasn’t really happy about but that I posted anyway!
Instead of waiting for your posting time to come, take pictures in advance, edit them, caption them and save them as drafts.
To save a pic as a draft, you simply go into the upload section of the app and step out of the uploading process: the app will ask you if you want to save the pic as a draft!
Also shooting pics at the same time is the best way to have good consistent lighting for your feed!
10. Write interesting and engaging captions
Your captions are there to complement your picture.
Make sure to make them interesting by explaining what the pic is about or what you’re currently working on/studying for.
Also make sure you interact with your audience by asking to comment on your pic.
Write something you’d enjoy reading.
I usually structure my captions as follows:
- title with double emojis on the sides
- question of the day
- short description of the pic + what I’m up to
- shoutout to a new video/blog post (if applicable)
- gratitude for all the people who follow and support
- slogan (“Stay Boosted”)
Remember, people DO read what you write, so take time to make the captions meaningful!
11. Use tags
Tags are extremely important if you want to get visibility.
Be sure to use the tags that are related to the community you’re posting pics within.
If you’re just starting and don’t know which tags to use, you can check some successful accounts’ captions and you’ll easily find them!
My advice, if you’re just starting, is to use hashtags that have up to 1 million pics maximum: you have way bigger chances to get visibility by using less common hashtags, than overly popular hashtags where your pics will just be lost within seconds!
As for the location of the tags, I recommend having them in your caption and NOT on a separate comment (it’s been reported that it can cause shadowban, which is a whole different subject!).
12. Use your stories
Ever since Instagram has implemented stories, this feature has literally exploded and users are watching stories as much as they look at actual pics.
The stories are a great way to share random content all while keeping your feed consistent and aesthetically pleasing!
You can allow your followers to know who the person behind the account is and will get a more real connection with you and your content!
Use your stories to redirect viewers to your feed by tagging yourself within the story.
Announce whenever you posted a new pic and ask the viewers to like and interact with the beautiful content you created for them!
Generally speaking, always make sure there’s something up on your story.
This way new potential followers will know that you’re active on your account and will motivate them to tap the follow button!
13. Be active within the community
If you want to grow your account and have lots of people liking and commenting, you should be active within the community first!
Like, comment, send DMs (direct messages), have fun!
Instagram is not only about nice pictures, but to me it’s more about the amazingly talented and inspiring real human beings behind the accounts!
This way you’ll get to know the members of the community better, which can lead to very nice “Instagram friendships”.
14. Have a test feed account
Having a nicely organised, good looking hell of a feed is not an easy process!
You may have some great pics, but you don’t know how they all look together until you’ve posted the pics. That’s why a test feed is a great way to plan your feed in advance!
To create a test feed, you simply create a different private account that you use to upload your pics before officially uploading them on your main feed.
This way you’ll be able to see what they all look together and if you need to add some extra editing to your pics!
For those of you interested, my test feed is @testboosted.
If you don’t want to create an extra account you can use VSCO: it’s a free editing app that allows you to upload pics and that works just fine as a test feed!
15. Don’t compare yourself
Instagram is a highly competitive platform and sometimes it can be hard not to focus on how successful other accounts are compared to yours.
Remember: someone else’s success is not your failure.
Focus on improving your content daily, don’t get discouraged and keep going!
Even if some accounts are able to grow extremely fast in a short amount of time remember that it’s not the norm: growing an audience that always come back to your account takes time, hard work and patience.
Also, I always tell to myself that on social media every day is day one: at first it is hard to get visibility and recognition, but if you put what it takes you will get them!
16. Always stay positive
We are all humans and we tend to be negative when life gets rough.
Being extremely positive all the time isn’t credible, is it?
I too have some bad days where I can’t get anything done or I am sick or I’m just not ok for whatever reasons, however I always tend to focus on positive aspects of my life.
Why? Because in all honesty it is unnecessary to spread negativity via the content I share on social media. I don’t want anyone to get negative vibes because of what I post and… focusing on the negative sides of our life doesn’t get us anywhere!
As for the drama queens reading: noone needs unnecessary drama. Thank you. 😉
“But… what if I DID have a very very bad day and can’t think of anything positive, Riccardo?”
Well, I’d personally either keep the caption neutral by explaining what the pic is about without going into personal details, or go for something like “I’ve had better days, hope you enjoyed yours 😊“.
17. Have fun
This can be obvious, but at times we can forget why we decided to open our account in the first place!
Instagram is a place where we can express ourselves, spread content with the world, be part of a community.
If you’re not having fun posting pics, enjoying the whole process and feeling very stressful about it… then you must think about why that is happening!
Is it that your life is very stressful? Are you unsatisfied with the content you’re posting?
Do you feel that you have to post even though you’re not inspired at all?
Remember: taking a short break from times to times is something we all need.
Take time to understand why you’re enjoying Instagram and remember: focus on your personal physical/mental health first!
I hope you found the article useful!
I took my time to actually dig into the subject and think about everything that could be useful for a new account.
Be sure to share your own tips down here 🙂
Hope you guys have a great day… and thank you for reading if you got up to this point!
Stay Boosted 💪