From rainbow grilled cheeses to taco pizzas, the world of Instagram has been taken over by foodies sharing their trendy, aesthetically mouth-watering food photos with the world. If you're like me, you have hundreds of food photos consuming your phone's memory. If only there were a more versatile and public medium of storage 🤔. The answer: Instagram.

There are a number of successful food Instagram pages run by average people who just love food (like @devourpower, who started taking food photos as a hobby but now make a living off of their page and brand)! But how exactly do you successfully start your own food Instagram page?

Starting a page is not as easy as it seems. Let me tell you, there were so many days when I thought about abandoning my account. I was hardly getting any likes and I couldn't understand why. One part of a successful page is the content, but a marketing strategy is equally as important. This was my first ever post on my page: terrible lighting, horrendous editing and composition (but yummy sushi for sure), and what hit me the hardest, only twenty five likes,

For the next couple of months, my posts didn't do too much better. I wish I had more advice about how to get my page out there that I only began to discover much later. So I have composed a number of steps and tips that I wish I had known on how to start and continue to cultivate your "foodstagram."

Beginning Steps

1. Come up with a BOMB handle!

Make it you and relevant to your content. The great thing about Instagram is, you can always change it later down the line.

2. Turn your page into a business page

In your page's settings, you can turn your page into a "business page" as opposed to a personal one. This setting allows you to have access to powerful data and analytics: the demographics of your audience, the peak times and days of engagement on your page, where your audience finds your post and more.

3. Decide on a focus, style, or trademark

This may take some time to develop and, like your handle, can change as you learn and try new things on your page.

4. Create a plan and schedule for your content

When it comes to posting, consistency is key. Schedule how many days a week you want to post and which days. Once the analytics have been calculated, use it to decide when the best time to post is. Along with that, come up with a standard formatting to your photo captions, whether this be writing a review and then a rating or a pun and then the name of the dish. Keep the caption short and sweet🍭.

To In-Food-ity and Beyond✨!

Once you have set up your page, there are some things you should continuously be mindful of:

Be Findable

One of the first ways to having your content be found on Instagram is through hashtags and tags. If you took a picture of a cake, use those #cake #dessertgoals #sweet hashtags, add #food #foodporn and sprinkle in some location related tags as well like #nyc #hobokeneats. You can add up to twenty of these so make ever word count.

If you bought the cake from Carlo's Bakery, tag their page on the photo. Who knows, they may even repost your photo on their page and gain you some new followers. 

Promote Yourself!

You can try to sit back and wait for your page to get big on it's own, but the chances it will go viral without any effort to help make it happen are slim. Actively promoting yourself is so important, you can do so by

1. Tell your friends and family about the page, they will always be a consistent and reliable source of support.

2. Network with other foodies that you meet on Instagram. They will become your "Instagram fam" and are just as important and supportive. Shoot them a direct message and tell them how much you love their page or ask them for advice.

3. Go to food networking events! You can find them on yelp or even take the initiative to plan a foodie meetup or even attend a Spoon event.

Find What's Trendy

Hashtags and self-promotion are super important to growth, but one of the easiest ways to grab attention and be the most searchable is posting about what is the current craze. Take a trip to the city for some Taiyaki or to Hoboken for a slice of crazy pizza from Tony Boloney's, it can instantly help your page gain a lot of attention.

Never Sacrifice Photo Quality

I messaged one of my favorite food Instagrammers, @ehgg, and an important piece of advice he gave me was to focus on photo quality. It is important to be consistent and post regularly, but do not post for the sake of posting. Your work represents you and your vision so it should only include content you are proud to call your work. Be sure to:

1. Use natural lighting 

2. Rule of thirds!

3. Don't over-edit

And finally... NEVER Give Up!

The hardest thing with a project or hobby such as a food Instagram page is keeping the momentum. It can get discouraging looking at the success of other pages, but Rome wasn't built in a day! You may think about changing your style or your marketing techniques, but everyone is capable of starting a successful page. 

Keep all this in mind, experiment, keep eating, have fun and you'll be an Instagram foodie in some time!

Taylor Kozloski