Instagram Content

3 Essentials for Engaging Instagram Captions

Let’s say you’ve read this blog article and you’ve figured out a strategy for what to post on Instagram. You’re fired up because you’ve got great content, you’ve got some topics to post about, and you’re a scheduling machine getting those posts ready to go. But what do you write about in your Instagram captions?

You sit down in front of your computer and go to write out the caption, and just stare blankly. You can’t seem to find any words to caption your photo, and worse yet, the things you do come up with don’t sound like you at all! 

Has this happened to you before? I’m going to assume that since you’re reading this article, this has happened at least once before. I know that sometimes I get stuck for the right words to describe my photos, so I wanted to share my top three tips for what to use in that Instagram caption! 

3 Essentials for Engaging Instagram Captions-Handmade Journey

What Do I Put in My Instagram Captions?


1. Write the Way You Talk

Write conversationally. This basically means that you need to take everything you ever learned in your high school English class, and toss it out the window. I don’t mean basic grammar and punctuation, but as far as being very formal in your delivery of an idea, scrap it! 

You’re going to want to write the way you speak. Write as though you’re talking to a friend. That person is right there in front of you, and you’re having a conversation. Do you get formal in your speech, or are you more relaxed and casual? That’s what you want to bring to your Instagram captions.

**Remember, your audience is buying from a small business because they are searching for a connection. They want to feel like they know you and know your story. So speak to them in a way that showcases your authentic self.**


2. Why So Serious? 

Instagram as a whole is very lighthearted. They are fun, carefree, and playful! (Emojis anyone?) When you’re writing your Instagram captions, try to merge what you’re saying and your brand into the overall theme and brand that Instagram is known for. 

Be lighthearted in your speech. Use emojis wherever you can for that jovial playful spirit. People are coming to Instagram to unwind and relax. Don’t get too serious on them all the time. 

Obviously, if your brand is a more subdued serious tone, then you’ll not want to go too overboard with this, but definitely throw in a couple of posts occasionally that are more geared towards the lighthearted theme of the platform. 


3. Direct Their Attention

Even though you’re not trying to sell to them in your posts, your Instagram caption should always include a call to action. Directing their attention to a blog post, or to your other social media platforms is a good idea to get them to interact with you and your brand outside of that one post. 

On the posts that you are promoting a product, you can direct the reader to the link to your shop, or you can send them to your blog after you’ve written an awesome new article. 

But one of the best ways to get those followers to engage with you is to simply ask a question to get them thinking. Ask something thought-provoking, or invite them to share a story with you that relates the topic you’ve just written about.

Whatever you do, make sure that you’re sharing a call to action in most of your Instagram captions to promote that engagement. 


*Bonus Tip* When in doubt, be brief. There’s nothing worse than a long-winded caption that makes your eyelids droop! When in doubt about your caption, the briefer the better! 


It’s really not too hard to come up with a great Instagram caption if you just break it down into a few chunks. Make sure you’re writing the way you’d speak to a friend, don’t take yourself so seriously, and remember a call to action. If you make sure to include these three elements in every post, you will be on the right path! 


What do you struggle with the most when coming up with an Instagram caption? Share with me in the comments! 

Do you want to see Instagram captions in real time? Come check out my Instagram account here:

Want even more help optimizing your listings for Etsy SEO?

How to Keep an Engaged Audience on Instagram

I hear these questions a lot these days; “How do I keep an engaged audience on Instagram?” or, “What do I post on Social Media?” or my favorite, “I keep posting pictures of my products, but I’m not getting any engagement!”

Do any of these statements sound like you?

When I first started on Instagram with my handmade business, I was in love. I made a plan to post my products 2-3 times a week and showcase different items and price ranges. How could this go wrong? I got my first few posts up and sat back to watch the thousands of followers I was sure would be interested just flock to my profile. 

It was a lesson learned after the first few posts garnered no engagement that maybe I was going about this the wrong way. Maybe posting nothing but my products wasn’t a way to get people engaged with my profile, so I changed my focus.

I stopped trying to sell to people on Instagram, and instead, I focused on connecting with them. 

How to keep an engaged audience on Instagram-Handmade Journey

Keeping an Engaged Audience on Instagram Means Stop Selling!

Let’s start with what you like to look at, and engage with on Instagram. When you open your app, are you going there with your wallet out thinking about making a purchase? Chances are you’re just going to unwind, relax and scroll through some entertaining or pretty pictures. 

That’s what your audience is doing too! They’re not thinking about buying something, they’re looking to be entertained. They are trying to connect with people, and build relationships with brands, companies and you! The real day-to-day down in the mud with your dogs and kids you!

It’s a known fact that people have to be exposed to your brand at least seven times before they’re ready to make a purchase. So why not use those times to show who you are, and why they should trust you enough to purchase your product or service? 

Any of the following ideas would make great things to talk about on your Instagram profile

1. Behind the Scenes, Everyone loves to go behind the scenes and get a real relatable view of what is going on in your world. Show them a package that you’re sending to the post office that day, or maybe you have a tiny human who needs to take a nap so you can get some work done. How to Keep an Engaged Audience on Instagram--Handmade Journey Show them the real parts of your life, and let them feel like they’ve been brought behind the proverbial curtain and granted exclusive access.

2. Your Why -Share your reason for your handmade business. Talk about your kids, your other half, or maybe you just don’t want to work for someone else anymore. Share these with your fans and create a conversation. 

3. Your Daily Routine– What is life like for a handmade seller? Maybe people don’t understand that you’re packaging orders while you’re at a soccer game with your kiddos. A ”day in the life” kind of post would be something really cool to share. 

4. Reviews from Customers-This can help build the know-like-and-trust factor that you’re always striving for. Post a couple of customer reviews and showcase how other people are in love with your products. 

5. Ask the Audience Give your audience a chance to be part of your creative process. Maybe you’re coming up with a new product and you can’t decide between two different fabrics. Post a picture with both of them and ask your audience to pick which one they like the best. 

6. Provide a Tip or Trick-Everyone loves a good life hack! Did you discover something that made your life easier? Share it with your fans! 

7. Inspiring Quotes or Funny Meme-There is no faster way to build an engaged audience on Instagram than to share a funny quote or a meme. People love a good chuckle! 

8. Talk About What You’re Reading or Watching– Did you just finish a great book? Or maybe you’re binge-watching a great new series on Netflix. Share these things for a quick way to build your engaged audience on Instagram! 

9. Mention Your Favorite Tools– Don’t reveal all the trade secrets, but if you just came across a new glue gun that doesn’t burn like the devil, the people have a right to know! 

10. Post a Reminder to Join Your Email List – Do you have a cool opt-in freebie? Maybe your fans don’t know about this. Let them know about it in a post.

11. Admit to Something That Didn’t Work or is Embarrassing-  You’re a relatable person, and people have embarrassing experiences! Showcasing how something went wrong, and how you fixed it, is a great way to build an engaged audience on Instagram. 

12. Show Your Product in Action A great way to build that know-like-trust factor is to showcase your product in use. 

13. Make a Hyperlapse Video of you Working- Maybe it’s not that interesting to you, but to others your creative process is amazing. I know I love watching hyper-lapse videos of people painting pictures, or doing lettering. They’re fascinating! 

14. Share a Blast from The Past- These are always fun to see! Whether it’s a celebrity, or just you from high school, nostalgia is a powerful tool. 

15. Hold a Hashtag Contest This one could be really fun! Post a picture of a new product, or a Pinterest fail of your own and have a contest to see who can come up with the funniest hashtag. The winner could win a shop credit, or a featured spot on your profile. 


These are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. The thing to remember with keeping an engaged audience on Instagram is to try not to be too pushy. Remind them of your business casually, and use the rest of the time to just be real. 

Connect with them, show them your real self, and watch how quickly you gain a ton of loyal fans who might turn into repeat customers. 

Drop a comment below and tell me which of these ideas above were your favorite? Or maybe you have your own great idea about something to post? Leave it in a comment below and share it with everyone! 

Want even more help optimizing your listings for Etsy SEO?