How To Make The Best Instagram Story Highlights

August 10, 2018

instagram story highlights

“How did you make your highlight covers?” “How did you hide the covers from your story?” I get asked these questions enough, that I figured I would finally just write a post covering all the ins and outs of making Instagram highlights!

How do you make highlight covers?

The godsend app that is Canva! Download the app on your phone and select the “your story” template. For a highlight cover, I highly suggest using a blank template. And from there you create the cover, depending on what you want it to look like. Some opt for variations of the same color palette, others keep them all the same color, and some people add graphics. Once you get set up in the app, it’s all about your own aesthetic and creativity. Have fun with it!

How do you hide your highlight cover from being in your story/the highlight?

If you’ve tried to make a highlight cover before, you’ll know that you have to post it to your story and leave it up there for the full 24 hours. I hated this out of fear of being annoying and clogging up my followers’ story feeds.

You’ll also know that the highlight cover has to appear within the highlight it’s set to cover. I felt like it completely ruined the cadence of the posts, and it usually ends up being at some random point in the middle. But alas, there’s a way to avoid all of this!

The key is the “close friends” feature. I happen to have another Instagram that is more personal and set to private. I added that account to my “close friends” list. When I posted my highlight covers, instead of uploading them normally, I hit the green “close friends” icon at the bottom. And voila!

The account I added is the only one able to view that part of my story. It still follows the rules and stays on your story for 24 hours, and it can be added to any of your highlights as the cover for everyone to see. But it doesn’t show up on your story or within the highlight to anyone that’s not on your close friends list!

If you don’t have another Instagram account, I would suggest either making one for this purpose or picking an actual close friend (maybe a fellow blogger) who doesn’t mind seeing those posts.

instagram highlight stories

What categories should I choose?

What do you blog about? What do you typically post on Instagram? Those should be the first things to ask yourself. Then go from there. I’ve played around and changed mine a lot, so don’t worry about experimenting.

Two highlights I would definitely consider vital to anyone would be: “BTS” or “Life”: A place where you can put behind the scenes posts and general, fun things happening in your life. “Blog”: A place for you to keep all your new blog posts.

How many posts should be in a highlight? Is there a limit?

To my knowledge, Instagram doesn’t have a set limit. I’ve seen people with a lot of posts in their highlights… and that may work for them! I think people with bigger followings are more likely to have good engagement even if their highlight is a minute long.

My advice would be try to keep it limited to 20 posts at most. There’s something a little intimidating about seeing a million little dashes at the top of a story, and that might be a deterrent for some viewers, especially because it goes in chronological order. So if you add a new post, it’s going to be at the end.

That being said, you should have at least 5 posts in a highlight. Otherwise, is that category really necessary? I suggest keeping up with your highlights consistently and cleaning them up when they start to get a bit too long or stale. Freshen them up by taking out some older content and letting the newer stuff shine!

If you have a category that’s getting too long, and you can’t bring yourself to cut anything out, make a part 2 highlight for the same category. Breaking it up is always a good option. People have short attention spans, and just like long paragraphs and sentences… the more broken up it is… the better.

instagram story highlights


Now it’s your turn! The most important part is that you do what works for YOU. Be creative and have fun with it.

Do you prefer long or shorter highlights? Plain colored highlight covers or graphics?

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