How to Develop a Cohesive Instagram Theme

Do you hate your Instagram Feed and Need Help?

Just like your blog, your social media needs to be branded as well! I will rave every chance I get about the importance of branding! So to begin the next chapter in branding let's start with everyone's fave...Instagram! Actually even if you don't have a blog, Instagram is a great way to work on branding and consistency!

Cohesive feeds attract more Instagram followers...point blank!

Consistently creating a cohesive story on your Instagram is one of the key elements to being successful. Your feed is your first impression. Make it the best and you are sure to get the followers and engagement that you want. No matter where you are in your instagram journey it's never too late to change it!

Just a Quick Note.....Upload Awesome Pics!

Who doesn't love beautiful well photographed pictures, right?! You don't need a camera to create stunning photos! All you really need is a steady hand and stop making your pictures so blurry! Take multiple shots and change the angle. Get some apps that work flawlessly and you are good to go. You can also just Click here to learn how to take iphone photos too and you can also get gorgeous stock photos like these!

Let's First Look at some Successful Profiles that I love!

Getting inspiration for your instagram isnt a bad idea. Here are a few that have inspired me! Find out what draws you to their page and how you can do the same with you own feed.

Check out @ihavethisthingwithpinks instagram feed! You already know what she's all about PINK! One of the main reasons why I follow her is because of her love for the color pink and I'm sure that is what makes people love her too. Beautiful pictures is quite a bonus too! Now trust me you don't need a feed with just a certain color but pick colors that align with your brand, style, and personality! The next Instagrammer does just that!

Check out @awhimsywonderland! Now their Instagram feed is all about color and creating a story around their name whimsy wonderland. They have themes of color sprouted everywhere but their main color scheme seems to be pink and different variations of that color with other pops of color to add. They don't necessarily have every photo with pink in it. By choosing a dominate color you create cohesion that works.

Check out @randomactsofpastel. Their theme is all about cool tones and pastels! So I'm sure she uses an app and different editing techniques that helps with the faded look of their IG. Having a central filter for all of your photos helps streamline your feed. As you can tell the saturation and contrast is turned down on these pics to give it more of a soft sweet look.

Check out @hellomissmay! Her theme is mostly cluttered types of flatlays and negative space with texture and it works perfectly! This is the exception of what I've mentioned before. Her feed doesn't really have a color theme. However, when you dive into her IG Pics you notice a theme of flatlays(and certain types of flatlays), far away shots, and lifestyle shots! Sometimes it's not always like that but the majority of her pics have that theme. She ups the contrast and saturation on her photos to make them more vibrant and clear. Even in her outfit pics she creates negative space by being in the center of the pics or off to the side. That breaks up any cluttered flat lay pictures she may have. She doesn't have a main color palette, yet it all works together flawlessly. This is just another example of how you can break the rules and do whatever the heck you want but still keep it consistent!

I highly suggest you looking through some of the feeds that you love and really look at what they are doing and what makes them so unique! It's fun too!

So let's move on to the fun part...YOUR FEED!

How to Create a Cohesive Feed in 8 Steps!

1. What's Your IG's Mood and Personality! 

First, before we can do anything else, ask yourself how do you want to make people feel when they see your feed. Do you want to make people happy, calm, gloomy, hungry! If your brand's Instagram had a personality in 2-3 words what would it be.

Think: I want people to feel _________ when they see my feed.
Think: My Instagram feed's personality is ______, ______, and ______.

2. What's your IG's Color Story!

Tell a story with color! The first impression is everything and color is what draws the eye. When you have similar colors repeated throughout your feed, it creates a common element that draws people's attention. Find colors that, once again ties into the mood and personality of your brand! Play around with color combos on canva or mood boards in pinterest and then choose about 3-5 colors that align with your ideas. Remember these colors don't have to be in every picture but at least take one color from your palette and incorporate in some way and in some form.

Color palettes are like a guideline so don't ever feel restricted to just those colors. So if your favorite color is pink, then play around with different pinks that match my brands mood and vibe. That's why it's important to know what type of mood and vibe, from the previous question, before you begin. 

3. Pick types of Images to Use!

What type of images do you love seeing and photographing. Are you a fitness blogger, then showcase images that is related to fitness. Come up with at least 3 different image styles and stick with it. Of course you can change it up but these will give you ideas for photos for your page. For example outfit posts, flatlays, and word desk shots or blog post graphics, quotes, and product shots. Check out how I used the modern entrepreneur stock photo collection with the blue branding kit from the She Bold Stock Library. I played around with quotes, flatlays, and lifestyle shots to create this grid!

4. Pick your favorite filter and find your favorite Editing Routine

This is optional but if you want a feed that has the same filter theme then use it! Fun editing apps I like to use is A Color Story, Vsco, and Afterlight. If you aren't a fan of filters, manually make up your own. Make sure that you remember those settings and keep it prevalent throughout. Say for instance you like vibrant colors, then up the saturation and remember the number you put it on. Use the same brightness, temperature, contrast, sharpness, etc. Remember each photo needs special attention that can be adjusted based on different lighting situations.

When it comes to editing make sure it's subtle editing, don't go overboard unless you know what you are doing.
  • Play around with the temperature to make it more cool toned or warm tone whatever fits your preference.
  • When using contrast, it's all about making your photos pop or keeping them soft and faded.
  • When using saturation find out what you like the most. Up the saturation if you want your colors to be vibrant and turn it down if you like more pastel colors.

5. Lighting is Key!

The right lighting throughout your feed plays a huge role. Make sure the lighting is the same in every photo so that there won't be any harsh shadows or different temperatures in the picture. However, you can go in with editing apps to fix the shadows! If you need help with taking bright images check out this post!

6. Backgrounds for Flatlay Photography!

Backgrounds are great ways to work around your theme. Find 1-3 backgrounds that match your overall theme and use them. Of course this isn't always something that will be a big deal. Simple backdrops are easier for up and coming Instagramers so go for white backdrops, color backdrops,and textured backgrounds. Check out this post for creating awesome flatlay photography!

7. Fonts are as equally important!

Yep even fonts should be consistent! Just like in a blog use 1-3 fonts that work well with your overall theme. If you have a website bring those fonts over to your instagram to create a cohesive overall brand! I use the same fonts that I use for my Logo and these are found in Canva! Here I used the social media graphics from the pink branding kit and the modern traveler collection. I love adding in quotes!

8. Balance out your Feed!

To keep your Instagram visually appealing always think balance! For example, If you like negative space then to keep your photos from getting lost between each other add bold pictures to keep the look balanced and make each post stand out. Bold photos could be graphics, lifestyle shots, selfies, etc.

Now Create a PLANN and stick to it!

To keep my instagram cohesive i stick with 1 app PLANN! I'm able to plan out my feed 30 days in advanced! It helps me stay consistent and I can even schedule them out! Here are 3 different apps that I have used they I like!
Plan out your feed even before you get started with IG. I did this with my @shebold_stock and @shebold_life. Since my theme is more feminine I try to stick with this through out my feed. I focus on light, bright, and airy images with just a touch of pink here and there and scattered around. Every image doesn't have to be a the same color but it should at least have the same feeling surrounding it and for me is light, bright, and airy. Find a mood that works best for you and your brand. Like I said if you need help head on over to my branding section!

Need Photos to help you create a cohesive IG?!

In the comments: What's something you are having trouble with when it comes to Instagram?


  1. As someone just starting to really appreciate branding in IG, thank you for this post! I really appreciated your tip on choosing the type of images to use. I didn't cross my mind before ...but it makes perfect sense!

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