In this pair of pictures you can see the huge difference of the subject being sharp and the subject not being sharp. It's much more pleasing to look at the sharp picture on the left than the unsharp one on the right. In this case, I'd say that the unsharp one looks pretty cool though. It has the kind of "extra" vibe, that I like!
How to maintain a feed?
When it comes to maintaining a feed, the first thing you should do, is to decide how you want to edit your pictures. There are so many ways to edit pictures, but the main one, that makes the pictures look good together is a filter. Using a same filter on every picture makes your feed look a lot more put together! You can always change the way you edit your pictures, but I'd suggest, that you don't do so too often or otherwise your feed is going to turn into a mess. There is really nothing else I can say about editing. Everyone edits their pictures in their own way, and how they think their pictures look the best.
I try to edit my pictures using the same filter, but everything else like contrast, brightness and sharpness I can change depending on the picture as individual. My main app to edit is VSCO. It has many filters when you download it, but it also offers you more filters to buy. I've bought some filter packs and been loving them since. It's also nicer to use the filters that don't come with the app, because then you can have your own feel to your feed and make it look a little different from others' feeds.
When you have come up with an editing style, I'd suggest you to download an app, that allows you to plan out your feed (what pictures to post and in which order). I use two apps, since I do have two instagram accounts (the second one is for me and my friends). Those apps are called Preview and Planoly and they're both available for Android and iOS.
I personally prefer Preview over Planoly, because it doesn't have any limits. Planoly has a montlhy uploading limit, so basically you can only upload a certain amount of pictures to the app a month, and then you can't plan your feed until the next month (unless you pay to get a higher uploading limit). I use Planoly to plan out my second Instagram's feed.
Preview, on the other hand, doesn't have any limits at all and it doesn't cost you any extra money. It's also a lot easier and quicker to post a picture to Instagram on Preview, than it is on Planoly. Both apps allow you to do so, but in my opinion Preview makes it more pleasent.
It might be difficult to decide what kind of feed is the one for you to start maintaining, because there is many different kinds of feeds with different themes: fashion (ootds, accessories), makeup, selfies only (which doesn't really look like a theme, just messy), food, shoes, nails... The list goes on and on! You should also think about what kind of feed are you capable of maintaining. If you're not into makeup, you obviously shouldn't start a makeup-themed feed.
The most general theme for a feed is lifestyle. My feed is also themed as lifestyle. That means you can basically post whatever pictures you want without "ruining" your feed. Anyhow... In my opinion regardless the lifestyle theme, you still need to make sure you have many different kinds of pictures (not just pictures of yourself, but then again not just pictures of other people and scenerys). Take lots of pictures when you're having fun, going to school/work, making food, traveling etc. bc that is your life, and that's what a lifestyle feed is all about.
How to gain more followers?
Now, if you read the beginning of this post, you also read the part where I said I'd give you some tips to gain more followers, so here you go:
- be an active follower to your mutuals (like, comment etc.), that way they'll be active towards your posts too
- be active with your own posts as well (post more often than once a week or worse yet, once a month)
- have great captions (unique quotes, a story about your day, something funny, something deep, a rant etc.)
- take time to take and edit your pictures (the effort will show in each of the pictures)
- keep up with your feed (make it look like you care about aesthetics, even if you don't)
- have a great, unique bio (something unique about you, is always a good thing)
I hope this post helped you out even a bit! I tried to make it as specific as I possibly could, using example pictures and naming a few helpful apps. I love taking, editing and posting pictures so it's not a surprise I also love Instagram.