- If I’m going to post daily on Instagram, I’m gonna need pics—lots of pics
- Posting daily on Instagram is going to take some planning—I need a system
- The next step to posting daily on Instagram required a scheduling platform
- Week 1—Choose, edit, and move pictures to a working folder
- Week 2—It’s time to write, first in English and then in Korean (a little bit)
- Week 3—Scheduling posts in Later with a bit of tweaking here and there
- Week 4—Time to write my weekly review posts
- To ensure I can continue to post daily on Instagram, I have a few other tricks up my sleeve
- Why do I post daily on Instagram? Lots of reasons!
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a commission should you decide to make a purchase via one of my links (at no cost to you).
I made my first post on Instagram on May 31, 2021. Since then, I’ve posted at least once a day, every single day. That’s 890 days in a row without missing a single day. I’ve done this while working full-time (and often more than that), traveling, and having a life. Here’s how I post daily on Instagram—and Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
If I’m going to post daily on Instagram, I’m gonna need pics—lots of pics
First, I needed content. Though I’ve seen lots of examples of awkward English in Korea, I didn’t have many pictures. I didn’t know I’d be doing this someday, so I never thought to take pics of the mistakes I’d seen. While building my own collection, I reached out to two large Facebook groups in Korea. The response was overwhelming. I got literally hundreds of replies to my posts. I contacted each person to confirm the picture was theirs and that I had permission to use it. Then I asked whether they wanted to be credited or remain anonymous. If you don’t see “Thanks to ..” at the end of a post, it’s one of my pics.
BTW, I didn’t know how many of the pics in my collection were mine until I wrote this post. I did some math, and of the 1,200+ pics currently in my collection (which grows each week), 38% of them are mine.
Working from home, I don’t go out much. I’ve documented pretty much every example of awkward English along my usual routes. But whenever I go somewhere new, I almost always find something for my collection. I recently spotted a typo in a sign on an American army base. But it was in a restricted area, and I didn’t want to risk trying to snap a surreptitious pic—I’m dedicated but not stupid.
Posting daily on Instagram is going to take some planning—I need a system
With so many pics, I knew I needed a system to document them. I began by saving each picture with the person’s name, followed by the awkward English in the pic. Then I recorded that info in a spreadsheet, along with the image (Insert → Image → Insert Image in Cell—why is there not a keyboard shortcut for this yet, Google!?!).
- The person’s name
- Where it came from (Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) in case I need more information
- Whether they want to be credited or not, and if so, how (first name, full name, Instagram tag)
As time passed, I refined things a bit. In the beginning, I added tags to each photo but realized I never used them. I did add a Post Date column and then a URL column. I wish I’d done that from the beginning. When I decided to start that…let’s just say that’s a weekend of copying and pasting I’ll never get back.
I also started collecting city slogans and then, later on, district slogans. I remembered a post of awkward English city slogans in Korea I’d seen. It dawned on me that I could post about those once a week. I got a list of the most populous Korean cities from Wikipedia and then went to each city page. Then I had to find the section of the site where the slogan was kept (not all sites are organized the same way). I also wanted to document the links for both the Korean and English pages (where possible). That was a time-consuming process. I’ve noted several changes in slogans since I began this project. Some of them are documented in this blog post.
The next step to posting daily on Instagram required a scheduling platform
I started scheduling my posts from the beginning with a platform called Later*. I tested out the free plan for a few months. When I was confident the platform would meet my needs, I upgraded. I moved to the Starter Plan to get more monthly posts. I’d love to have access to the analytics on the Growth Plan, but it’s not worth the extra $250 a year. I’ll never use most of the other features available on that plan.
When I started, I was only posting on Instagram. By the end of July, I realized that with a few minor tweaks, I could hit more platforms with minimal effort. I also started posting on Facebook and LinkedIn, and eventually on Twitter as well.
I don’t remember how far in advance I scheduled my posts when starting out. But I know it soon evolved into staying at least one month ahead at all times. Last week I finished scheduling posts that will take me through to the first week of September. I’ve already started working on the next batch of posts, but more on that in a bit.
Scheduling posts to go up automatically ensures I never forget to post. I also don’t have to worry about days when I’m feeling under the weather, traveling, or just plain busy. Staying more than a month ahead ensures I don’t have to panic or scramble to get caught up if I get behind. Sometimes I get a week ahead of my schedule, and other times I get a little behind. But it’s never enough to cause concern.
If you’ve read any of my blogs, you’ll know I’m extremely organized. I love figuring out systems. As such, it should come as no surprise that I have a system for writing and scheduling my daily posts on Instagram.
Week 1—Choose, edit, and move pictures to a working folder
During this week, I choose which photos to use in the following month. I review the new images I’ve collected over the past month and decide which posts I want to reuse. You won’t be shocked to learn that there’s a pattern to my weekly posts. Sundays are City/District slogans, Tues/Thurs are my pics, and the other days are for submitted pics.
I keep all these images in one folder, saved with the person’s name and subject of the image, which makes pics easy to find. I use another spreadsheet with two columns (dates/subjects) when choosing these pics.
Once chosen, I copy those pics into a new working folder (to preserve the originals). I rename them with the date of the post at the front (i.e. 7-30) so they’re easy to sort and find. I make copies because I have to edit the pics. It’s necessary to crop images to fit Instagram photo dimensions (which I use for all my other platforms). Sometimes I have to crop images to draw attention to the awkward text.
If you’re one of the wonderful people who send me pics, first of all, thank you! None of this would be possible without your help. When people send me pictures, I prefer getting full-sized photos. Working with the original image is much easier than using a zoomed-in or cropped pic.
When all the pics have been edited, I upload them to Later*. This is a cinch because they’re all in the same folder and organized by date. Then the pics in the working folder get moved into another subfolder named with the current year.
Week 2—It’s time to write, first in English and then in Korean (a little bit)
I write all my posts during week two. In another spreadsheet, I copy and paste the date and subject from the previous spreadsheet. The third column is where I draft the post. The fourth column keeps track of the words in the post. I try to keep them short, but it’s not a hard and fast rule I follow. In the fifth column, I get one of my unpaid employees (usually my son) to translate the first lines. The final column is a Y/N column where I track which posts require the picture to be attributed to someone. I highlight the subject cell in the 2n column for those posts in green so I don’t forget when I schedule the posts.
I started including Korean first lines to boost Instagram engagement with Korean followers. Though my posts are in English, my hope is that the Korean at the beginning will make Koreans more likely to click on my posts. I wish I could translate all my posts and blogs, but that simply isn’t possible at the moment.
Week 3—Scheduling posts in Later with a bit of tweaking here and there
This is when I actually schedule the posts in Later*. I find the pic I’ve already uploaded to Later and drag it to the date and time I want the post to appear. I start by adding the Korean first line and the copy I drafted. Then I add emojis to the first line to make it more engaging and fun.
I also use Grammarly to proofread my posts. Having a week between writing and proofreading also helps. I use Later’s* “saved caption” function to add an attribute line (attributed to someone or “anonymous”). I also have saved captions for my “like and follow” message. Finally, I’ve saved standard hashtags I use for different types of posts. But I also add relevant hashtags when appropriate.
In Later, I then have to modify each post for the relevant platform. I only use Korean in my Instagram posts. So I remove the Korean intro from the Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter posts. I use different signoffs for Instagram and the other platforms, so I delete the one that isn’t needed. Later allows me to auto-post the first comment on Instagram, so I move the hashtags there. It helps to keep things a bit cleaner.
I don’t use hashtags for Facebook or Twitter, so I delete those. Of course, with Twitter, I need to shorten the post to meet Twitter’s character limit. This is often the most challenging post to draft, but it’s a good exercise in writing short, concise copy. Then I click schedule and repeat the process 29 or 30 times, depending on the month.
Week 4—Time to write my weekly review posts
I only post these on Facebook and LinkedIn. I use a regular Google Doc for this. Step one is to add the errors I posted about each day, along with my suggested fix. Then I have to decide which of the seven images I want to use. This is usually the one I expect will get the most attention.
Then I draft a silly 1 or 2-line summary at the end, using all the mistakes to highlight how awkward they are. These can be challenging but fun to write. I have no idea if anyone reads them, but I amuse myself, so I continue to do them. After I’ve drafted all my weekly reviews, I’ll schedule them for Fridays in Later*. Of course, I use Grammarly to proofread those posts too.
And then it’s back to square one, choosing which pics to use for the following month.
In a nutshell, that’s how I’ve managed to post daily on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for over two years.
To ensure I can continue to post daily on Instagram, I have a few other tricks up my sleeve
Every Friday evening, I add any pics I’ve received (or taken myself) during the week to my collection. This involves the same process of saving the image with the person’s name and the errant copy. They then get added to my spreadsheet, including an embedded image.
I always add new entries to the bottom of the spreadsheet. That makes it easier to review recent submissions when choosing pics for the following month. As I choose which picture to use for each day, I add the date to that row in my spreadsheet. When I’m done selecting pictures, I sort my entire spreadsheet by the Date column and then by the Name and Subject columns. That ensures all the pictures I’ve posted about are at the top. The unused ones are sorted by name and subject after that.
Every Sunday, I add the Instagram links from the previous week’s posts to the sheet. This makes it easy to find a particular post when I need to. Sometimes I want to reply to a post I come across with an image I’ve posted about. Initially, I had to search through my Instagram feed to find the post I was looking for. As alluded to earlier, it was a long weekend starting the project. But now that I do it weekly, it only takes a few minutes.
If I hadn’t used this system in combination with Later, I never would’ve managed to do this. There would’ve been days I was too busy or tired to get a post up. For a while, I was working 40 hours/week for one client, 10-15 for another, writing weekly blogs and trying to have a life. I’ve since cut back to just my 40 hours/week job and one blog per month, but it’s still a fair bit of effort to stay on top of things. I try to pick away at these weekly tasks for an hour or so every evening. What doesn’t get done during the week gets finished on the weekend.
Why do I post daily on Instagram? Lots of reasons!
I started off doing this in an attempt to build my business. As I’ve alluded to in previous blog posts, things didn’t work out like I expected. I’m loving my current role as the full-time marketing team lead for an Australian childcare management software company. But I may return to my original idea of focusing on Korea in the future. When that happens, I want to be better prepared than when I set out on this journey. My daily posts on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter will serve several purposes.
- I’ll have built an audience. My growth is slow, but I still get occasional new followers. I’m okay with this. I haven’t put much effort into promoting my business in Korea (I’ve been too busy with my full-time job). I haven’t spent a single cent on advertising, but I’ve still gotten several jobs through my website and LinkedIn. Besides, I’m reluctant to advertise at the moment. I don’t have the capacity for a lot of extra work and would hate to turn people away.
- I’ll demonstrate my professionalism. Potential clients can look through my extensive posts to see I haven’t missed a day. They’ll see my copy is consistently well-written and error-free (for the most part…the occasional one still slips through here and there…I’m only human). It’ll show that I can commit to something and follow through. It’ll also highlight my organizational skills, which can be applied to other projects.
- Potential clients will get to know me a little. They’ll see my posts aren’t about ridiculing people for making English errors (though I do wish more people would contact someone like me to get rid of them). They’ll see that I’m sympathetic to why the mistakes occurred and that I offer solutions to these mistakes.
- But the most important reason? I enjoy it! I love getting pics from friends and followers. If you haven’t read it, you can read this blog post about where my fascination with funny signs started. I love that people are on the lookout for these kinds of mistakes and that they want to share them with me. I even had a friend’s son be the first person to use the form on my site to share a pic with me. This young man spotted the error, knew that I collected such images, found my site, and submitted the picture all by himself. How great is that? Unfortunately, that pic came in after I’d scheduled my most recent batch of posts. But keep an eye out for a post in September about a typo in a sign about towing cars!
So what do you think? Can you adapt my system to suit your needs to post daily on Instagram? Or do you prefer to ‘wing it’ and trust yourself to post daily? Have you used Later to schedule your posts, or do you have another platform you prefer? Let me know in the comments.