Are you using Instagram Stories for your blog and biz yet? If no, you are missing out big time! Instagram Stories are a great way to connect with your audience. Instagram Stories are easy to use, and the Instagram Stories tips in this article will let you do some pretty cool things with your stories. Plus, Instagram stories are just fun!

Read on for some snazzy little Stories tips…

Why you should be using Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are a relatively new feature to Instagram, but they are already massively popular. CNN reports that:

“more than 400 million people use the popular feature each day, up from 250 million one year ago.”

Instagram Stories are super popular, and getting more so every day. And also–they’re fun!

Your Instagram grid should be well planned out, with a nice aesthetic, and carefully chosen and edited photos. But Instagram Stories don’t need to be like that. Your Instagram Stories can be:

You can use Instagram stories for pretty much anything. Stories are a fantastic way to allow your audience to really get to know you better. And the more they know you, the more likely they are to like and trust you, which leads to blog post reads, email list sign-ups, and product purchases.

There’s really no reason not to be using Instagram Stories.

Create a solid background on Instagram Stories

This is one of my favorite Instagram Stories tips. Sometimes you want to just have text on a plain background for your story. Maybe you’re explaining something, or promoting something. I used to do this by creating a solid color graphic in Canva, uploading that, then doing my text on top of it. But there’s an easier way right in Instagram.

Select an image (any image will do), then select the drawing tool. Select whatever color you want your background to be, then press and hold the pen tool on the image for a few seconds. Voila, the whole image is now a solid color and you can type away.

Use the eraser on Instagram Stories

Following up on that last trick, you can use the eraser to make some pretty cool effects. Select a photo that you want to use. Then use the pen tool to create a solid background like we just talked about. While you’re still in the drawing setting, select the eraser tool (the fourth tool on top). You can then erase parts of the solid image.

Like this:

Use Unfold to create cool Instagram Stories

One of the top Instagram Stories tips I get asked about is how to find cool Instagram Stories templates. Well if you want some very cool looking templates, definitely check out the Unfold app. Unfold has dozens of great templates, some with just photos, some with just text, and some with both. Your photos can be arranged in a cool collage way, or you can have a photo with a title and a caption. Download the Unfold app and play around with it, you’ll get some really cool results.

Use Storeo to split up your Instagram Stories videos

As you probably know, videos uploaded to Instagram Stories can only be 15 seconds long. This can be a problem if you’ve recorded a 90-second video. But the Storeo app is the answer.

Just upload your video to Storeo, and it will automatically split it into 15 second chunks. Then just upload the chunks chronologically, one at a time, to your story. Voila, a long video, easily uploaded.

Split up your text boxes on Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories have five different text styles for you to choose from. This may seem kind of obvious, but try using more than one of them to create some snazzy looking text in your Instagram story. You can’t use more than one style in one text box, but you can create multiple text boxes for whatever you’re saying and then just arrange them to read smoothly.

Like so:

Create custom colors for your Instagram Stories

The drawing and text tools in Instagram Stories only come in a few colors. But you can actually use any color in the rainbow. Just choose the color that’s closest to what you want, and hold down on it for a few seconds. A whole new color palette will pop up and you can pick whatever color you want. This works for text, the background behind text, or the drawing tools.

Create a drop shadow effect for your Instagram Stories

Create a drop shadow effect for the text in your story and I guarantee you’ll have people DMing you asking how you did it. There’s no actual drop shadow button in Instagram Stories, but you can create your own drop shadow effect easily.

Type your text in whatever color and font style you want. Then, type the exact same text in white. Then just put the color text on top of the white text, with a little bit of the white showing underneath (you can experiment until it looks just write. Voila, drop shadow effect.

So those are my favorite Instagram Stories tips and tricks! I hope it’s helpful!

Do you have more tips that I missed? Tell me in the comments! I’m always looking for more ways to play with Instagram Stories!

This content was originally published here.