How To Create a Theme For Instagram

When it comes to Instagram, it can feel like everyone else’s photos and feed are better than your own. You might be looking for that special sauce that it seems that so many others have. But it might feel like it’s always just outside your reach.

Today, I’m going to share with you how I personally like to tackle this issue, which is to create a theme on Instagram.

You may call it a theme or maybe a pattern but it’s basically how you can achieve a cohesive look with your Instagram feed.

So let’s look at the steps it takes to create a theme on Instagram:

Step 1: Brainstorm what you want your Instagram feed to look and feel like.

Before you dive in and get that deflated feeling, I suggest you do a little bit of prep work to make things go more smoothly when it’s time to actually take action.

First, you can look at the Instagram feeds you love and write down why you love them. Take this opportunity to really ask yourself what draws you in when you look at their feed. Is it because you see a pattern emerging that you really love? Do you love that they have a clean minimal look going on? Or maybe you love how they alternate between photos of places and things and then selfies.

Take a little bit of time to look at various feeds you adore and just jot down some notes that will help you to identify what you really like about what you see.

You can also write down some ideas about the feelings you want to evoke from your followers. This could be just a list of words that you want your readers to feel. Use a thesaurus to come up with some other words and write them down. These words can act as a guide for you.

Both of these activities will help you to get a better idea of what your desires are for your Instagram feed.

Step 2: Narrow down specific choices that you’re going to make over and over again.

Just like when you are branding your website, you’ll want to take some time to figure out what your visual brand will be on Instagram.

This means that you will need to write down color choices, choices of backgrounds (think about the patterns and textures that fit with your overall brand), as well as other things like how often you’ll alternate between different types of photo/visual content.

You’ll want to ask yourself a few questions as you’re doing this, like:

  • Will your photos all be black and white or will some have color?
  • Will you alternate between quote posts and picture posts?
  • Will you alternate various color blocks or backgrounds?
  • Do you want to post a selfie every other photo or use some other type of pattern?
  • Do you want to have a minimal feel to your photos?

There are so many different options that you can try.

Think about the visual choices you know that you want to make and write them down. Next up, you’re going to try your different ideas to see what works.

Step 3: Plug in your photos into a design or scheduling app so you can get a look at it as it might appear on Instagram.

You’ll want to take some time to actually add some photos into a design or scheduling app so you can see if your ideas are working for you.

I suggest using Canva if you’re already set up with it but you’ll need to make a template. I go into how to do this inside of my Skillshare class called Glam Your Instagram. Glam Your Instagram also has other helpful suggestions for creating your Instagram feed so it’s a great companion to this post.

If you don’t want to use Canva, you can always use a scheduling app like Planoly or Later. Either will work and they pretty much have the same capabilities.

By adding in some photos and moving them around the grid, you can start to form your Instagram theme or pattern.

As you add more photos, you’ll be able to see what kind of aesthetic you truly want for your Instagram.

Step 4: Edit your choices.

The next step is to figure out what you want more of or less of in your feed.

Just like you’d edit a blog post or piece of writing, you’ll want to look at your “feed” that you’ve created inside of your design or planning app. Use a critical eye to see what you want to stay and what you want to go.

By editing your choices, you’ll end up with just the photos that really embrace the vibe that you’re going for.

Step 5: Schedule and repeat.

The last step is to do all of the finishing touches. If you don’t write your captions as you schedule your photos, you might write out your captions inside a Google or Word doc. I typically like to batch write my captions so I’m ahead for a few months at a time. So I’ll sit down one afternoon and write the correct amount of captions that I need.

I typically figure out how many I will need by taking how many times I want to post each week and multiplying that by the number of weeks that I want to prepare for. So if I want to post three times per week and I want to prepare for the next six weeks, then I would need 18 captions.

Then I will bring the captions inside of Planoly (or Later) and get everything all scheduled out. So the only thing that I’ll have left to do is actually take the time to post on the day that each photo is scheduled. Easy peasy.

The last part of this is to make a plan to repeat this whole process every few months. You’ll want to re-evaluate your feed, keep taking photos, and then preplanning your grid. Doing this will ensure that you never fall behind and that you continue to enjoy your IG feed aesthetic.

These five steps will not only help you to create a theme on Instagram but they’ll also help you to plan out your feed so you don’t get behind.


Where are you struggling when it comes to posting and marketing your business on Instagram? Leave a comment below letting me know!


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