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When I’m not in a routine, I’m helpless to protect myself from Overwhelm, the menacing monster that lives in the bottom desk drawer of all bloggers.

That’s kinda how I feel when I’m trying to plan out my Instagram feed.

I design a month's worth of Instagram graphics in about an hour - this is my system. It's way easier than it should be.

 

I know it’s supposed to be planned, pretty, and perfect. Phhhtt.

But when I’m wrapped up in All The Things that bloggers are “supposed” to keep up with, something always falls apart – and usually, it’s me.

How about an Instagram graphics routine that will move you closer to planned & pretty? (I heartily invite you to join me in giving up on perfect.)

This routine will let you plan out AND DESIGN a month of Instagram graphics in about an hour. If you feel like shopping for a superhero cape when you’re done, I totally understand.

 

Let’s break down what kinds of Instagram graphics we need:

These are the most common types of graphics on Instagram. You may have a feed that’s just photos or just quotes. But even if you don’t use each of these types on Instagram, you may find that you use them on Facebook or elsewhere.

 

4 types of graphics most common on Instagram

  • Photos
  • Blog post announcement or other promo
  • Engagement (conversation starters)
  • Quotes

 

One Month of Instagram Graphics in One Hour | Imagine Design Repeat

Our end goal is to develop a few of each type of graphic, then use them as templates.

When you get this workflow set up, preparing for a new month is a breeze. Just take some of your old graphics, swap out the photo & text, and you’re ready with another round of graphics that match your story & style.

Of course, building up an inventory will take more than an hour to set up, but start slow. This month, make a few quote variations. Next month, make a few blog post variations. Add to your collection each month, and soon you’ll have a pretty awesome go-to stash.

 

TIP: Set up your graphics to be a 1080×1080 pixels square, and you can use them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

Want some inspiration to get you started on your Instagram graphics library? Click below for your free guide:

One Month of Instagram Graphics in One Hour | Imagine Design Repeat

 

PHOTOS

It’s not enough just to throw a photo on Instagram and call it good. At the least, every photo needs to match your style. But more than that, it needs to advance the story you tell – your brand story.

Is your story one of a busy mom finding joy in everyday chaos? Someone with a day job who is determined to make his side hustle a success? A weekend warrior who knows she can achieve the home of her dreams?

Every photo you post is a piece of the story, or lifestyle, that you’re offering.

 

Choose photos that:

1 – Reflect your style

Think about the story like we just talked about, but also think about the aesthetic. Is your style bright and fun? Minimal and modern? Muted and relaxing? If someone were to go to your blog, would they see the same style?

2 – Keep to your color palette

It’s a good idea to choose some common colors that you use throughout your blog or business – your website, social media, blog post graphics, free opt-ins, products…

Stick with 4-6 colors that work well together, and you’ll have an immediately cohesive look.

By the way – your style & colors are themes you’ll want to carry out in all your graphics. You’ll look put-together, and it saves time on decision-making.

 

Consider a stock photography subscription

One of the best decisions I’ve made is to sign up for Haute Stock. Rachel Rouhana is an awesome photographer, and her gorgeous styled photos raise my I’ve-got-this level by several notches.

When you subscribe to the library, you have access to hundreds of images that you can search through by category, color, even dimension. Want vertical images for a pin? Square for Instagram graphics? You can do that.

Plus, there are new collections several times a month, for which I may have set up an alert to remind me when those days come. Unashamed #fangirl.­­

Every month, I browse through the library and get a good variety of photos to pull from. I use some as plain photos, and I add text to some to make the other graphic types we’ll talk about today. That way, I know everything matches, and I don’t really have to think about it.

 

Some examples:

One Month of Instagram Graphics in One Hour | Imagine Design Repeat

 

Even if the exact colors from your color palette aren’t dominant in these photos, the photos still work if they match your style and don’t clash with your color palette. We’ll bring in your colors more in the next three types of graphics.

 

BLOG POST OR OTHER PROMO

If you work as hard on your blog posts as I do, you want to promo the heck out of those things. But you also don’t want a promo post to stand out from your feed. Balance, my blogging friend.

You’re probably already making a featured blog post graphic that you put on Pinterest. If not, I can help with that. Let’s use that graphic as a headstart!

Make a square version of your blog post graphic by adjusting the layout of your tall Pinterest graphic. If you’re using a color palette, it already has your brand style & colors. You can even make a few versions so you can get more mileage out of one blog post. And, BONUS – you can use these as templates, and just swap out the photo & text with each post.

 

An example of a Pinterest graphic changed into two Instagram graphics:

One Month of Instagram Graphics in One Hour | Imagine Design Repeat

 

Getting the hang of this? Spend some time now making a graphic & a few variations, and then save time EVERY MONTH AFTER by using your designs as templates.

If you don’t write your blog posts ahead of time, you may not be able to make this graphic before the month begins. That’s ok. If you’ve already designed a few templates in the past, it’s a quick switch.

 

Some more blog promo graphics:

One Month of Instagram Graphics in One Hour | Imagine Design Repeat

 

See where I get some of my favorite (free!) fonts & photos. Click below for your free guide:

One Month of Instagram Graphics in One Hour | Imagine Design Repeat

 

ENGAGEMENT (CONVERSATION STARTERS)

Do you ever get frustrated by the lack of engagement on social media? Why not give your audience an invitation to talk with you?

A simple question or prompt can be all it takes to strike up a conversation.

For example, use graphics that contain:

  • Month names
  • Short questions
  • How you’re feeling
  • Single words or leading phrases
  • I was thinking…
  • Good morning, beautiful
  • Hi you
  • Would you rather… (GREAT survey question!)
  • Today I will…

Use them all the time, and your audience will grow blind to them. But sprinkled in here and there, they can be really effective.

 

Examples of engagement prompts:

One Month of Instagram Graphics in One Hour | Imagine Design Repeat

 

Notice how each trio above still sticks to a style? That’s what you want.

Use overlays, fonts, and colors consistently, and your Instagram feed will shine.

 

QUOTES

I am all about the quotes on Instagram. I love to see them, I love to design them, I love to build up a collection that I can reuse and feel like a boss.

 

Your quote graphics can be as simple or as fancy as you’d like. Make one template and stick with it, or vary it up.

 

If you have a very minimal style, you may decide that black text on a white background is your thing. But you could mix it up a little and throw in a graphic that has white text on a dark gray background. Still minimal, but striking. Experiment with different style combinations!

Just be consistent in your:

  • Colors
  • Fonts
  • Overall style (overlays, aesthetic, etc.)

 

Some quote collections:

One Month of Instagram Graphics in One Hour | Imagine Design Repeat

 

Your readers follow your blog because of the value you provide and personality you do it with. Your Instagram feed is the same! Don’t get caught up on perfect – just be you.

I hope that by now, the Monster of Overwhelm has given way at least a little bit to the Fluffy Kitten of Inspiration. When you have a workflow down, design can be the fun part.

Remember to start slowly, and build up your collection.

You’ve got this.

 

Want some inspiration to get you started on your Instagram graphics library? Click below for your free guide:

 

If you want some help getting started, try out these beginner Photoshop tutorials.

They’re for blog graphics, but the design applies to social media, also.

Set up a new project that is 1080 by 1080 pixels, and you’re ready to get started!

3 Steps to a Blog Post Graphic Perfect for Pinterest

How to Make Blog Post Graphics: Photoshop Basics

I design a month's worth of Instagram graphics in about an hour - this is my system. It's way easier than it should be.
Instagram Graphics One Hour

Design a month of Instagram graphics in one hour

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Need a creative spark? I put together some fun, fresh color palettes for you to use as a shortcut for your next design project. Enjoy!

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How do you promote your lead magnet to the people who need it most? All you need is a few simple graphics. I’ll show you my favorites, PLUS give you a free set of arrow clipart.

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Spending too long making Pinterest graphics? They don’t have to be hard! Get ideas for simple Pinterest graphics that will save you time. Ooh, and I’m giving away free templates!

Simple Pinterest Templates

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Need a creative spark? Try these tropical color palettes to inspire your next design project. Hex codes included!

14 Tropical Color Palettes

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Need a creative spark? Try these cozy color palettes to inspire your next design project. Hex codes included!

10 Cozy Color Palettes

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