How To Give Great Instagram When You Are Short On Time

How to be great at Instagram when you are short on time, by Helen Perry Not About The Kids

You know, I’m not keen on the phrase winging it (bit girly), but have to admit it’s the one best suited to my school summer holiday strategy this year. It has come piling down on top of me and forced me to re-think my attitude to creating posts for Instagram and my blog over the next 6 weeks. Actually, the issue is bigger than that. I needed a new plan anyway, but the extra summer squeeze on working hours has brought the matter to a head. I have to admit that I am stretched, and some of my content is suffering as a result.

When I started Instagramming, I was mostly just Instagramming. Now I am blogging, trying to keep up with Pinterest and Twitter, studying, would like to study more (filmmaking), working on an exciting side venture….you get the picture. Instagram and this website feed into all of that, but I need to wise-up how I’m working so that I can build a business at the same time. I need an approach that allows me to keep my sanity and keep improving my images.

Every day Instagrammer?

I believe that if you are trying to grow a social media following, whether it’s on Instagram or another platform, you need to post to your account as close to every day as you can. Two reasons. One, to establish yourself with your followers and let them get to know you. Two, it’s excellent practice while you are trying to develop your writing or photography style. So since I started Not About The Kids, I have tried (sometimes too hard) to post to my Instagram feed every single day.

It’s time to let myself off the hook. Creating a good quality, original photograph 7 days a week 365 days a year is a big ask. What would I tell a friend who was stressed out about their Instagram photos? Take the odd day off, it’s just an app, you don’t have to post to the grid every day and it’s better to wait until you have a good photo anyway.

How to be great at Instagram when you are short on time, by Helen Perry Not About The Kids

So I am going to make a big effort to take my own advice, and have a bit of faith that I can still maintain a good relationship with my followers. There is always Instagram Stories, which is so fun and easy to post to. Also, engagement. Spending time engaging with other accounts has always been a big part of my approach to Instagram, so if I can’t post a photo one day, why not spend an extra few minutes appreciating other people’s?

Click to read my most popular post about Instagram growth, From Zero-1000 Followers

Instagram smart

Ways to be great at Instagram when you are short on time, by Helen Perry Not About The Kids

I’m going to try and simplify my approach to my pictures, or what I take photos of to be more precise. I plan to do this by sticking broadly to certain themes or series. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with each post, in fact, Instagram audiences like repetition.

Click here to read a bit more about the importance of themes in a blog post by Socialinsider.

I’ve identified certain reoccurring themes that I like and am going to have fun reimagining, such as red & white striped wall, Breton top, deskie, selfie, headless selfie, tea & coffee.  You don’t need to stick to a series like glue, but it helps to have a failsafe list like this when you are low on ideas.


I have been suffering from imposter syndrome. It is around the fact that I use my iPhone to create 99% of my photographs. No proper photographer would do that, would they?

It’s not that I don’t have a decent camera (proud owner of a beautiful Canon DSLR). It’s just that when it comes to styling my Instagram and blog photos and getting the look I want quickly, I simply have far more luck with my phone camera. When I publish my posh camera shots to Instagram they jar and perform badly with my followers.

So I am going to stop torturing myself about this and embrace it. I am an iPhone photographer.

I’ve written some tips on how to improve camera phone photos, click here to read them.

Hidden gems

A potential time saver (that I often forget about when I am up against it) is repurposing old photos.

I often take dozens and dozens of pictures for each one that I post. Many never see the light of day, but if I take the time to scroll through my phone I often find something that’s worth an using. A fresh pair of eyes is always a good thing.

I posted this photo weeks after I had taken and disregarded it. It performed well and suited the hot weather we were having on that particular day. It’s always worth another look through your photo library.

How do you manage your social media output when you are short on time?

Please share your secrets, I love to chat.

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Four ways to be great on Instagram in the summer by Helen Perry, Not About The Kids

What's your View?

10 comments on “How To Give Great Instagram When You Are Short On Time

  1. Lisa deakin on

    Helen, you know my view on your pics, I love them!! They are so clever, colourful and full of life!!
    You have come so far and I’m so proud of you!!
    Carry on the good work!!

  2. Mostlyfoodandtravel on

    Great post Helen. I have found that posted 7 days doesn’t get me that much more different than posting 5 days but engaging the same amount. Oh and I don’t own an SLR though blogging is just my hobby. iPhone photography is the best. I went for an Apple course in store (they are free and I highly recommend them)and even the guy who is a photographer said he used his phone x

  3. Anna on

    Helen , I’m a professional photographer and use my iPhone slot for Instagram and edit using my phone . It’s so quick and easy !
    This is such a great post . I’m moving house tomorrow and the last 2 days have been hectic and I haven’t posted . I got so stressed today about that as well . I feel better after reading your post though XX

  4. @not_about_the_kids2017 on

    Ah, Lisa, that means the world to me, thanks doll. I really appreciate you taking the time to have a read. Love to all of the Deakins, Hx

  5. @not_about_the_kids2017 on

    That’s interesting Neha, I’d love to go on one of their courses, I’m going to Google it today. The quality of the images I take on my iPhone is amazing really, and they are good enough to use on a website as well (and when I view the posts on quite a large PC screen, no quality is lost). Why fight it? Thanks for stopping by, Hx

  6. @not_about_the_kids2017 on

    That’s good to hear. Instagram photography is a ‘thing’ in itself and the platform was conceived with camera phones in mind…so why continue to beat myself up about it? HUGE best wishes for the move Anna, let yourself off the hook with social media until you have the headspace. Lots of love, Hx

  7. Penny on

    HI Helen, excellent timing – I’m feeling the squeeze too. I feel engagement etc has dropped as I can’t post daily. There’s not a lot that can be done really, it’s the summer holidays and routine has pretty much gone out the window. Like you, I’ve decided to cut myself a bit of slack and use stories more when possible.

    As for iPhone photography, it’s so much quicker. I think more people do it than let on, plus the camera on an iPhone is impressive!xx

  8. Juliana Sylvester on

    Great post Helen and wise words indeed. I really struggle with consistency in posting but I think your idea of reusing pics may help. Another tip from Instagrammers is using different angles or viewpoints of the same pic. I love the idea of a broad theme too, which would certainly make for a more coherent story throughout I suppose!

  9. @not_about_the_kids2017 on

    It’s super tough when you want to spend valuable time with the children, yet don’t want to give up on posting altogether. I’ve noticed that many many people are being less consistent on social media in the summer weeks. Definitely not the end of the world! Hx

  10. @not_about_the_kids2017 on

    I have accepted, welcomed even, a little drop in engagement. I think it just means that everyone is out there enjoying their summer’s in real life! Just as we should be. Autumn will come round soon enough and winter is long. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. Hx

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