Quick tip: How I plan my Instagram these days (spoiler alert: it's super low key!)

Hello friends and welcome to one of my first shorter Monday posts! I set a challenge to myself that I would try and publish two blog posts per week in July - and in order for that to be doable I put a constraint on one of them which is that it needs to be 500 words or less. Challenge accepted! 

Update: Since I wrote this post, I've put together a free version of my Instagram planner for you to download! It's all prettified and comes in super handy if you like the tips in this post and you can download it here:

Today's topic is all about Instagram - I've been mildly obsessed with figuring out ways to make Instagram fun and productive again lately, and during this time I've started to plan out my Instagram posts and now recommend this to all of my coaching clients. Why? Because it's taken away all of the impromptu decision making (which I find quite daunting sometimes!) of posting. This in turn makes posting regularly and very frequently so much easier! 

Here's what I do: At the beginning of every month, I take a blank piece of paper, a pen and make a super simple table. I draw four columns: a slim one for the days of the month and three big ones, one for each post I'll be writing per day. Then, I fill in the days - 1 to 30 or 31, and the corresponding weekdays indicated by their beginning letters (e.g. 3M for July 3 which was a Monday). 

Next, I turn the paper and write down which things need to be promoted in which week. In the past week (the first week of July), for example, I wanted to promote my new Patreon, the project bag shop and my coaching as you can see below.

Now I know which promotional activity I'll need to include in my Instagram without it being too spammy and "sales-y".

Then it's back to the first table: I fill in the weekday-specific hashtags I'll be posting about - #makersmonday, #midweekhappiness and #creativebosstip. 

After that, I take a look at my calendar to see if and when a blog post, a podcast or a newsletter will be going out in the world in that week and add in a post for that on the day it goes live

Last, but not least, I fill in the blanks with a mixture of posts that help me promote the topics I want to promote in that week and the other topics I want to post about.

I tend to recommend to pick up to 5 topics that your Instagram feed covers - mine are my project bag label, my coaching work, my Making Stories work, knitting / making and "behind the scenes" (which - to be completely honest - I interpret very loosely...). Having these five topics top of mind helps craft a little plan for Instagram that still feels cohesive and doesn't completely lose its focus. 

Tell me - are you planning out your Instagram? If so, how do you do it?