how to plan out your instagram grid
If you care about creating a coherent and curated Instagram feed (whether it’s for your personal or business account), you need to be planning out your posts in some way. I’ve been using an app to plan out my grid for as long as Instagram has been around- it’s ESSENTIAL. There are now a ton of different apps and websites to do this, but I find most of them to be either too complicated or have too many features that I don’t need, when I really just want the basics: a mockup IG feed where I can move around posts with ease. I used to use the Snug app, which I loved, until I found Preview.
The Preview App is my favorite tool to plan out my feed by far. It is so easy to use. You simply download the app, login to your IG account, and all your current posts will come up on the grid. You can then upload whatever images/videos you want and move them around to see what vibe you like, and which photos you want to come next. To move them around, you just hold down an image and then drag it to another spot on the grid. I use this app practically every single day (mainly because I’m a psycho and a little OCD about my feed looking perfect) or whenever I have new content that I want to test out on my feed and see if it will work or not.
So now that you have a planning app, how do you actually create content for a themed, curated IG grid? This is a topic that I could go on and on about, and will do a separate, more in-depth post about, but let’s go over the basics. In order to have a coherent feed, you need to keep a few things in mind:
Find your content themes- What’s your overall vibe? What are you posting and talking about? Are you posting about food, travel, skincare, skiing, gardening? Your business? There are so many different things one might want to post about, but if you’re trying to maintain an overall vision, I recommend picking some content pillars and sticking to them. If your IG is dedicated to your interior design business, your content will mainly be just that: house interiors, furniture, wall decor, etc. If you’re a fashion + lifestyle blogger, your content might be mostly of your outfit, flat-lays, beauty vanity shots, food, your home. You can always play around with different types of content and explore new things, but you should maintain these content pillars throughout your feed for the most part if you want it to look cohesive. This is how you will build a recognizable, themed grid that feels “on brand” for you.
Choose your colors- Find your color scheme, and figure out how to edit photos to fall within that same coloring. I think a lot of people think that one filter is the solution to a themed feed. Spoiler: it’s not. I use all different filtering and editing, yet my feed looks coherent. It would look terrible if I used one VSCO filter for every photo..it simply wouldn’t work. Instead you want to pay attention to what color schemes you like, and figure out how to make each individual photo work to that scheme. If you’re using Lightroom or VSCO specifically, it’s helpful to learn how to use the HSL featured to really customize your colors and tweak photos to look how you want. The more you practice editing, the easier it becomes, and your eyes will start to notice where things need to be changed and adjusted from photo to photo.
Learn your pattern + repeat- This is where your content pillars come in. Find your range of content themes, and focus on those. When you look at my IG feed, it’s basically a long stream of repeating content themes within photos. For example, it might be a photo of my prints, me, beauty/skincare, food, landscape. There’s a constant flow of images that fall in a pattern and repeat which makes it pleasing to the eye. You’ll notice I won’t post two ocean photos back to back or let them fall on top of each other on the grid- that’s done on purpose. You want to give each content category some room to breathe. Having a pattern is probably the most important part of creating a cohesive grid- this is why using a planning app like Preview is so helpful. You can move upcoming posts around, put in placeholders for content you still need to get, and play around with your pattern.
Click here to download PREVIEW!