365 Amazing Instagram Post Ideas to Explode Your Following

text reads 365 instagram post ideas to engage your followingWhat to post? Instagram ideas can be tough to come up with whether you’re brand new to the platform or have been active for a long time!

But growing a following doesn’t have to be difficult – you just have to know where to start and what to post on Instagram to engage your audience.

So, what makes a good Instagram post? And what do top performing Instagram photos have in common?

This guide to amazing Instagram post ideas features gorgeous content examples plus answers to common questions like: 

  • How do you post creatively on Instagram?
  • Should you post on Instagram every day?
  • What should you not post on Instagram?
  • What to post on Instagram stories? And how are instagram stories different from posts?

Ready? Set? Let’s get started!

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and I could earn a small commission if you make a purchase using one. This comes at no additional cost to you and all opinions are based on my experience.

How do you post creatively on Instagram?

Being creative on Instagram means posting your own content.

In order to create great content, you should invest in the right tools. 

Every small business and aspiring influencer should have the following: 

photo of nikki shot with sony a6500 and edited with adobe lightroom

Here’s an image I created for a Mr. Clean campaign.

It was shot using my Sony a6500 and the standard 16-50mm kit lens.

Editing was done with the mobile version of Adobe Lightroom – with an Adobe subscription, you get access to both the desktop and mobile versions of the app, I just find enhancing my images easier on mobile.

This image could have easily been shot with a tripod and camera remote but since my mom was there, I asked her to point and click!

Props add personality to your images – and since this cleaning product is lemon scented, a fruit was enough to add some life. 

Related: 

Should you post on Instagram every day?

Absolutely!

When I started my brand new Instagram account, I posted between once and three times a day to grow from 0 to 1,000 followers in 28 days.

However, there was some strategy involved and this included: 

  • using trending and relevant hashtags
  • posting at the right times
  • leaving comments on recent and top posts
  • commenting on Instagram friends’ photos (turn on notifications for friends who comment back!)
  • creating a memorable Instagram feed aesthetic
  • writing captions to engage followers

Alternatively, there are also a couple of time wasting activities you should avoid doing if you want to build an organic Instagram following. These include: 

  • Instagram engagement groups*
  • following and unfollowing

IG engagement groups can suck up hours of your time and are against Instagram’s Community Guidelines (see Foster meaningful and genuine interactions) – meaning, your account can be deleted for using them. 

Following and unfollowing is just plain annoying and will get you blocked by plenty of people – think about how irritated you feel when you’re on the reciprocating end. 

Related posts: 

text reads how to get 1000 organic instagram followers in 1 month

What should you not post on Instagram?

The answer to this question is a bit different for every influencer and small business but as a general guideline, it is best to stay away from the following when trying to grow your brand: 

  • low resolution images
  • images that aren’t consistent with your feed’s aesthetic
  • content that isn’t directly related to your brand
  • reposts – save these for stories and always credit the original creator!

What to post on Instagram stories? How are Instagram stories different from posts?

Instagram stories are a little more flexible since they’re not static posts – unless you display them on your profile, they’ll be archived after 24 hours where you can review them to see if they resonated with your audience. 

A lot of small shops and influencers I know tend to go with vlog style stories that can be quite entertaining. 

As a rule of thumb, remember that shorter is better – something that’s also true with IGTV.

So how long should videos on Instagram stories and TV be? 

HubSpot found that Instagram videos which receive the most comments averaged at 26 seconds long – so, consider sticking to short videos for your posts and two 15 second slides for your Instagram stories.

Since Instagram TV is in a format comparable to YouTube, aim for the 2 minute mark HubSpot notes. 

Related: Increase Instagram Story Views with 6 Simple Tricks

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365 Amazing Instagram Post Ideas to Explode Your Following

What should I post on Instagram every day? If you use this guide, you could be covered for up to one year!

So, get out that notepad or simply pin this post for reference. The massive collection of IG post ideas below includes ideas for:

  • personal use and lifestyle bloggers
  • moms
  • fashion
  • fitness
  • photographers
  • realtors
  • small business
  • authors
  • ideas for your first instagram post
shows an image taken using a two umbrella light setup and a sony a6500 camera - a plate of pasta is on the bottom left and toast on a wooden board to the top right

Personal Instagram post ideas for lifestyle bloggers

  1. introduce or reintroduce yourself
  2. share the changes you’ll be making this new year
  3. offer a tip
  4. post a throwback
  5. celebrate your anniversary
  6. celebrate your birthday
  7. show off your work space
  8. ask for advice
  9. create a video post
  10. collaborate with a brand
  11. collaborate with a friend
  12. share your latest blog post
  13. create a tutorial
  14. share a holiday post
  15. create a flat lay featuring printed photos
  16. an overview of your morning routine
  17. talk about your evening routine
  18. your latest shopping haul
  19. post an outfit
  20. share a product you love
  21. take a photo at your favourite local work spot
  22. behind the scenes image at home or at work
  23. create a social media graphic using Canva or PhotoShop
  24. take a photo in front of a colourful backdrop
  25. share how you take your coffee
  26. offer productivity tips
  27. talk about what you did on the weekend
  28. tell followers how you spend your time off
  29. top down photo of your kicks
  30. celebrate a milestone
  31. celebrate your blogging anniversary
  32. announce a new business or achievement
  33. host a giveaway
  34. create a quote graphic with Canva or PhotoShop
  35. host a challenge
  36. what you’re listening to
  37. shows you’re watching
  38. games you’re playing
  39. post a collection of photos
  40. books and/or magazines you’re reading
  41. your goals for the month
  42. larger goals for the year
  43. ask your audience what they want to see more of
  44. run a poll
  45. top down image of a beautiful meal
  46. celebrate a micro-holiday
  47. your fitness routine
  48. share a recipe
  49. ideas for how to unwind after a long day
  50. share interesting statistics related to your niche
  51. create and share a freebie
  52. introduce your family
  53. introduce your pet
  54. post a photo from your latest trip
  55. photo from a hike or in nature
  56. photo of beautiful local architecture
  57. topdown image of your planner
  58. offer organization tips
  59. share a funny quote on a letter board
  60. celebrate the start of a new month
  61. celebrate starting a new year
  62. share your best nine
  63. celebrate a national holiday from your heritage
  64. talk about your cultural background
  65. talk about a memory from your childhood
  66. talk about a defining moment in your life
  67. your latest manicure
  68. a photo with your kids
  69. a photo with your significant other
  70. post a photo of your steering wheel and what you’re listening to
  71. post a photo of a newly renovated or decorated space
  72. share a photo of a project you’re starting
  73. post progress teasers for the above
  74. create a cute twinning photo
  75. post a selfie
  76. post a top down photo
  77. create an IG-worth styled photo
  78. share your beauty routine
  79. talk about your skincare routine
  80. post a photo of seasonal decor
  81. product launch
  82. what’s in your bag
  83. share a discount
  84. visit a garden
  85. share your garden
  86. treat yourself to a bouquet
  87. share a deconstructed flat lay – food, tools, etc.
  88. use white space
  89. capture the sunrise
  90. share a challenge you’ve overcome
  91. time management tips
  92. share bad habits you’ve broken
  93. share changes you’ve made in your business
  94. share a mirror selfie
  95. try a new hairstyle
  96. try a new makeup style
  97. share a new experience you had
  98. share a beautiful interior
  99. offer a DIY idea
  100. share a money saving tip
  101. share an interesting stat
  102. talk about a current event
  103. share user generated content – always ask for permission first
  104. post an animated image
  105. share a special offer
  106. before and after – space, hair, etc.!
  107. share a real life moment
  108. create a heavily photoshopped image
  109. colourful background
  110. create a grid layout
  111. share something you recently indulged in
  112. celebrate independence day
  113. create a flat lay of your office tools
  114. share a flat lay of your beauty products
  115. create a meme
  116. share a beautiful travel photo
  117. your current point of view
  118. share an incredible view
  119. use a drone to take a photo or video
  120. share an image of a famous spot in your city
  121. post a photo of you at work
  122. share a photo to make your followers laugh
  123. create a collage
  124. talk about an event that changed your life
  125. ask your followers to do something
  126. share a product collection or set – lipsticks, etc.
  127. create a nature flat lay
  128. tell a story
  129. share why you started your business
  130. share an opinion
  131. share what motivates you
  132. post a photo from a recent event you attended
  133. share a photo from a concert you attended
  134. share an image of your Black Friday haul
  135. Black Friday specials you’re shopping for
  136. photo of your Christmas tree
  137. share an image of the bottle you’ll be popping this new years
  138. share a photo that uses a SnapChat filter – here’s a cute one by BougeMama
  139. share another platform your followers can find you on
  140. share an update
  141. answer a question you get asked often
  142. feature an employee, friend, or family member
  143. post something inspirational
  144. unveil a new product – could be a new category of your blog
  145. post a video tutorial
  146. post a photo of a photo
  147. post a photo of you taking a photo
  148. post a photo of a healthy meal or shake
  149. create a hyperlapse video
  150. share a beautiful interior
  151. post a photo of your Thanksgiving feast
  152. share your Halloween costume
  153. share what’s in your little one’s Easter basket
  154. share a photo of fun in the sun!
  155. share an accessory focused image
  156. style an outfit with a wide
  157. start an Instagram post series
  158. share a blooper or IG photo fail
  159. take a walk in the park
  160. share beautiful lights
  161. jump for joy
  162. share a point of view photo – i.e. veggies for outfits
  163. recreate a photo you’re audience loved in the past
  164. create a scene – use props, top down photography, and other creative thinking
  165. get your back into it – post a photo of you looking away from the camera
  166. show off your top knot
  167. top down of a meal at one of your favourite local restaurants
  168. point of view of what you’re doing right now
  169. a day in the life photo collection
  170. family selfie
  171. family twinning
  172. post a photo you can describe using just emojis
  173. feature a local start up
  174. photos from a local event
  175. what’s in your suitcase for an upcoming trip
  176. share a seaside photo
  177. what’s on your coffee table
  178. put your feet up – shoot a photo from your perspective
  179. have a seat on the counter – set up a tripod to take a whimsical shot
  180. share a handwritten message
  181. create a tutorial for multiple ways to do the same thing – i.e. messy bun
  182. fill up your cup – pour something
  183. top down photo of your kicks and a welcome mat
  184. share a selfie with your mom
  185. share a selfie with your dad
  186. the view from your office
  187. talk about a situation that inspired you
  188. talk about your community
  189. share your greatest fear
  190. talk about a hobby you have
  191. share a list of fun facts about yourself or your business
  192. encourage followers to pay it forward – give an example of how you did this week
  193. share teasers for something to come
  194. create an image to promote a blog post – i.e. organization ideas could be you tidying up
  195. open up about something you’ve struggled with
  196. discuss your health – i.e. disease, challenges, issues, etc.
  197. talk about your cultural background
  198. discuss life as an immigrant or child of immigrants
  199. share a vintage photo of your parents – talk about how they made you who you are
  200. put the spotlight on a friend or sibling – talk about how they’ve given you strength
  201. share what’s on your computer screen – be sure to tag brands
  202. post a photo from your last date night with your significant other
  203. talk about what your days off look like

7 Days of the week Instagram ideas

Trending hashtags are the perfect way to improve your content’s visibility – so, why not utilize seven days of the week worth of content themes?

By ranking amongst the top posts of a tag users are actually searching, you’ll get more impressions and engagement on your content – I like to think of it as SEO for Instagram! 

For example, #SalesSaturday is a hashtag shoppers can use to discover new businesses’ that are promoting a special discount for that day or the weekend – talk about an extra push to take your new potential customer from Instagram to your website.

Six of my other favourite days of the week hashtags for Instagram are: 

  • #SelfCareSunday – show your followers how you made time for you today!
  • #MusicMonday – I love sharing the music I’m listening to – my Balkan playlist is embedded in this Spotify tutorial
  • #TipTuesday – share advice relevant to your niche
  • #WellnessWednesday – the perfect day to share healthy living tips or a new workout!
  • #ThrowBackThursday – post a special memory to connect with your followers
  • #FeelGoodFriday – post an image or create an inspirational graphic for your audience

Want more IG post ideas and hashtags for days of the week? Be sure to pin all 7 days from the post below.

Related: 100+ Days of the Week Hashtags for Instagram

Instagram post ideas for moms

  1. family twinning photo
  2. offer a piece of advice for working / stay at home moms
  3. post a photo of you and your significant other and talk about how you make things work
  4. share a photo of you in your favourite mom tee
  5. showcase a room in your home
  6. a milestone one of your children has reached
  7. share a tough moment in your motherhood journey
  8. talk about one of your proudest moments as a mom
  9. share an image of you and your kids
  10. something you wish you would have known before becoming a mom
  11. who you were before and after motherhood
  12. share a fun activity to do with kids
  13. talk about how you schedule your days / week / month and showcase your planner
  14. discuss how you make healthy choices for your family – show an example
  15. share something that makes life as a mom easier
  16. talk about how you practice self-care
  17. how you incorporate fitness into your day as a mom
  18. share details about your wardrobe and/or go to looks for momming
  19. feature another mom you admire
  20. share a photo of a day out with the family
  21. talk about how current events have impacted your family
  22. what you wish for your children
  23. talk about the importance faith plays in raising your family
  24. throwback photo from one of your pregnancies
  25. your daily routine as a mom
  26. share your perspective on being a stay at home mom / working mom
  27. post about an activity that keeps your kids busy while you work
  28. meal ideas for fussy eaters / toddlers / starting solids / etc.
  29. bedroom organization ideas for kids
  30. post a photo with your significant other and talk about how you make time for one another

Related: 120 self-care ideas for moms

top down image showing nikki and her husband drinking tea in their living room

Instagram post ideas for fashion

  1. your outfit of the day (#ootd)!
  2. showcase a flat lay of trending seasonal items you’ve picked up
  3. post a top down photo of your favourite shoes in a circle
  4. photo of your closet – talk about how you keep it organized
  5. share tips for how to take great care of your clothing and accessories
  6. review a popular new accessory or beauty product
  7. talk about your wardrobe staples
  8. do you have a capsule wardrobe? Share how you built it
  9. an image featuring a piece of clothing you love and have had forever
  10. post a photo of you in a trendy outfit at home / or work
  11. tips for being stylish at work
  12. do a try on session video – be sure to speed it up!
  13. how do you store seasonal items? Offer ideas
  14. share tips for keeping your purse organized
  15. show off your kicks – whether from a top down point of view or feet up!
  16. flat lay an upcoming outfit – post yourself wearing it later that week or in your stories that day!
  17. talk about how you plan your outfits
  18. your favourite fashion websites or publications
  19. feature an outfit made up of only one brand – be sure to tag them and use their brand hashtags!
  20. create a jewelry spotlight post – i.e. feature your arm candy or your earrings

Instagram post ideas for fitness

  1. post a workout routine tutorial
  2. share an image of your favourite space to workout
  3. feature a favourite supplement
  4. flat lay of what’s in your gym bag
  5. share your fitness playlist – add a link to your Spotify playlist on your website
  6. post a list of ideas for working out when you’re super busy
  7. share one of your go to meals
  8. flat lay of your workout clothes
  9. create a workout graphic – i.e. highlight a move’s benefits
  10. post an image of you doing your favourite workout – I love my Peloton!
  11. share before and after photos of yourself or fitness clients
  12. feature a healthy snack or meal idea
  13. how you incorporate supplements in your day
  14. share your workout schedule
  15. how you spend your days off from the gym
  16. talk about the turning point in your fitness life – what made you get serious about fitness?
  17. feature another Instagram user that inspires you – link to one of your favourite tips or workouts!
  18. share ideas for working out at home
  19. post ideas for working out on the go 
  20. feature the benefits of exercise – talk about your own personal experience

Instagram post ideas for writers

  1. a flat lay featuring a book you’ve written – hard copy or ebook open on your tablet
  2. stack of hard copy books you’ve written or publications you’ve been featured in
  3. feature a snippet from an upcoming piece
  4. introduce or reintroduce yourself with your author photo
  5. post an image of your workspace 
  6. image of a workspace outside of home that inspires you
  7. a photo of your laptop and what you’re sipping on
  8. create a graphic with a quote from one of your most popular or favourite works
  9. share tips for overcoming writer’s block
  10. the use of technology in your field – feature your favourites
  11. a story from your early days as a writer / in the business
  12. how the industry has changed since you started
  13. share your favourite writing / inspirational resources
  14. feature another author that inspires you – have an image of you and them? Post it!
  15. talk about your favourite books / courses / content related to you field
  16. what you’re reading right now
  17. your creative process – how do you go from intro to conclusion? Plot development?
  18. share what made you want to become a writer
  19. have you ever taken a break from writing? Why?
  20. talk about your proudest moment as an author

Instagram post ideas for photographers

  1. an image from your latest shoot
  2. one of the best images you’ve ever shot
  3. a photo from a memorable photo shoot
  4. an image from an editorial or other publication
  5. post an image of that press piece – i.e. flat lay of a magazine open to that page
  6. experiment with a new style of photography and ask for feedback
  7. a before and after or an image you edited
  8. a photo of your equipment
  9. try shooting at a new angle
  10. photographer selfie – an image of you taking a photo with your setup in a mirror!
  11. offer your services \ invite others for a collaboration 
  12. thank your fans / business partners
  13. talk about a recent event you attended / photographed
  14. post a collection of tips for new photographers
  15. create a tutorial for how to replicate one of your most engaged photographs
  16. share tips for how to take a good portrait – or selfie!
  17. share a funny story from one of your jobs
  18. talk about the realities of being a photographer
  19. share how you got into photography and what motivates you
  20. create a photography challenge and invite fans and fellow photographers to participate – tell users to use your special hashtag!
side by side comparison of before and after editing with the adobe lightroom mobile app

Instagram post ideas for realtors

  1. a new listing
  2. post an idea for how to improve a home for selling
  3. staging tips
  4. tips for renovating to sell
  5. post a list of things you should look for in a home
  6. create a list of trends in modern developments
  7. beautiful outdoor space and suggestions for creating one
  8. post a kitchen organization tip
  9. energy saving ideas
  10. collaborate with a local home improvement shop / contractor
  11. top down photo of your business card and/or other marketing materials
  12. a photo of your office space
  13. details for an upcoming open house
  14. create a list of things you can do to improve your home’s value
  15. start a know before you buy series – condo / townhouse / house / commercial property 
  16. start a tips for selling series
  17. share a list of home maintenance you must do monthly / yearly / etc. 
  18. your favourite organization tips for small space / large families / etc. 
  19. tips for first time home owners
  20. offer suggestions for downsizing / upgrading your home

IG post ideas for small business

In 2017, 70.7% of US companies were expected to be on Instagram and it’s no wonder since Instagram can be an incredible tool for business.

Here are a few Instagram post ideas for business.

  1. feature a new product
  2. host a giveaway
  3. offer a discount
  4. advertise an affiliate program
  5. have a sale
  6. collaborate with an influencer
  7. a photo of your warehouse
  8. share of photo of your office
  9. introduce the business owners
  10. feature an employee
  11. behind the scenes at your office or shop
  12. talk about production and manufacturing
  13. how you got into business
  14. share a funny story from when you first started your company
  15. talk about your logo
  16. invite customers to follow you on another platform
  17. create a tutorial for how to use your product
  18. repost a customer’s photo or testimonial
  19. share somewhere your product has been featured
  20. thank someone for supporting you in your business

Ideas for your first Instagram post

It’s both exciting and a little nerve wracking to get started on a new social media platform. 

So, it’s important to keep in mind that… 

Your first Instagram post doesn’t have to be perfect!

Instead, you should focus on finding your online business’ style – whether you want to use Instagram for your blog or to grow as a social media influencer. 

Use your first Instagram post as a way to show viewers who you are and what you’re all about. 

Make it a beautiful photo of yourself or of a product that captures the essence of your business. 

Still in pre-production? No problem! Post a photo of you and/or your team in the workspace and talk about your line. 

Chances are, your first image won’t go viral – but providing some sort of introduction or starting point is a great way to get potential new followers acquainted with your brand. 

Here are five ideas for your first Instagram post: 

  1. introduce yourself or your team
  2. feature a superstar product
  3. an image of your store front of workspace
  4. show what goes on behind the scenes
  5. feature your tools

Holiday IG post ideas

Special occasions and holidays are a perfect way to connect with your audience – there are also plenty of fun and unique hashtags you can use to promote your content. 

Some popular special occasions and holidays in the US and Canada include: 

  1. Christmas
  2. New Year’s Day
  3. Valentine’s Day
  4. Family Day
  5. Easter
  6. Cinco de Mayo
  7. Memorial Day
  8. Canada Day
  9. July 4th
  10. Labor Day
  11. Veterans Day
  12. Thanksgiving
  13. Remembrance Day
  14. Halloween

Holiday Instagram posts should make your audience feel good – get them excited about the upcoming occasion and where possible, incorporate branding in your images.

To start planning for the spookiest day of the year, check out this post on Halloween social media ideas – you’ll find 31 days worth of spooktacular content 🙂

Check back later for other holiday Instagram post ideas for 2020.

Related posts: 

5 hand drawn black hearts as a banner

What type of Instagram content will you create next? Share your latest post in the comments below so we can check it out 🙂 

Happy Instagramming!

text reads nikki xo in pink font

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