When to post on Instagram

When you’re starting out on Instagram, it can be helpful to have a framework for how often to post, and when.

If you do some research, you’ll probably find most advice is to post ‘consistently’ and ‘daily’.

And I’m not going to disagree with that advice. But there is another way. I’ll tell you about it after I’ve addressed the idea of ‘consistency’ and whether you should post daily.

When I launched The Early Hour…

(I keep banging on about The Early Hour but it’s because this is when I started growing a following. As I mentioned, my @annieridout account used to be @theearlyhour and it’s where I started growing an online community of followers)

… I used to publish an article on the website daily at 5am. I’d then schedule an accompanying Instagram post that would direct people to that article. So I was sharing 1x article a day, and often 2x Instagram posts a day.

One might be introducing the person I’d interviewed – a photo of them, and a caption explaining who they are and why I’d interviewed them. I’d share the first one at 5am – scheduled in advance.

The other might be in the evening, and sometimes I’d use a quote from the article for the Instagram post image, and then add a bit more information, or a story, about the person.

What happened is that because I was interviewing all these people, lots of them would share the posts I wrote about them. I’d tag them, they’d see and share.

But also, people knew that I’d be posting at 5am daily, and often at 7pm too.

So for people who liked the content I was putting out on The Early Hour, the consistency felt cosy and familiar.

I know this, because when I decided to reduce the amount of articles I put out – and so the accompanying Instagram posts reduced too – people said they missed the daily dose.

So if you’re giving your followers something they want regularly, it can be good to post daily (or twice daily). Because the more you put out; the more people share it.

AS LONG AS IT’S GOOD.

If it’s not, they won’t.

And that’s why I’m sometimes conflicted in terms of the consistency thing.

Because I think it’s better that you share less – even just once a week – if it’s going to be one really good, considered, appropriate post that people are actually going to like.

How I post on Instagram

And so onto how I now post on Instagram. Which, I’m aware, is easier to do once you already have a following. But I’m now wondering if I ever needed to be posting twice daily.

Now, I post ‘intuitively’. So when I have a good idea, I either immediately create a post or I note it down to turn into a caption later.

It might be that I hear a news story and want to respond to it. Or I experience a challenge that I think is worth addressing online.

An idea is sparked, and I think: others need to hear about this. And so I create a post about it.

What has happened, over time, is that I’ve removed all pressure to post a certain amount of times a day/week – and sometimes I post more than twice a day.

Because when the pressure is removed, the ideas flow more freely.

When you’re thinking: I NEED TO POST TODAY, WHAT SHOULD I TALK ABOUT? I HAVE NO IDEAS…

Well, it’s not conducive to creating good content.

If, instead, you are doing the activities that make you feel happy and calm – maybe walking or gardening or pottering around the house or going for a coffee – and a little idea appears, you note it down.

Then, when you’re at your desk/on your phone and have some time, you create a post around it. Well, I think that post is likely to be better than the forced one.