How To Create An Instagram Story In 5 Simple Steps

With over a billion active monthly users, Instagram is here to stay. If you’re looking to grow your business and brand, hang on to your hat, because I’m going to introduce you to Instagram stories. These stories are comprised of both photos and videos. They only last 24 hours, but boy are they powerful while they’re live. Instagram stories are similar to Snapchat’s “My Story” feature so if you’re a fan of Snapchat, you’ll hit the ground running with Instagram stories. Let’s learn how to create an Instagram story.

How To Create An Instagram Story - Person On Cell Phone

Video is most definitely the wave of the future and with good reason. Videos are fun to watch, easy to listen to, and are highly engaging. Not only that, they’re an amazing marketing tool for business owners. Sharing snippets of what’s going on in your world will let your followers know what you’re up to.

[Read More: Is Video Marketing The New Blogging?]

You’ll need to opt in to view live stories as they won’t magically appear in your feed like images do.  This feature takes Instagram to a whole new level, making it not just a platform for visually-appealing images. Creating stories, in real time on Instagram, is simple and you may get hooked!

How To Create An Instagram Story Using / Live Videos

Live videos let you connect and stay in touch with your followers.  Follow these steps to create your first story if you’re haven’t already done so.

1. Tap on either the camera icon in the top left hand corner or tap the “+” button in the circle at the top, left-hand side of your screen. To me, this is the simplest method. You can see the little blue + icon below:

instagram stories icon2. See the little circle button at the bottom? This will allow you to snap a photo or record a video. If you want to record video, keep pressing the button. Remember that Instagram story videos must be shot in vertical mode. The aspect ratio is 9:16 or 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels high.

boomerang option instagramYou can add videos and photos from your gallery by tapping the + icon at the bottom of the screen. It’s the middle icon.

There’s a bunch of options under the white button. You can enter text, reverse your video, or post a boomerang story, which posts bursts of photos into a coherent video loop. You’ll also have the option to post a live video.

There are other options as well that you can have fun playing around with.

go live in instagramA sticker, with the date, will be automatically added to your photo gallery. You can opt to remove it by dragging it to the trashcan icon at the bottom of the screen.

Stickers are a great way to add additional context to your stories, including weather or location-related stickers. You can also add the time in which you posted your story.

To add stickers, tap the smiley face in the bottom right of your screen. Stickers are customizable, simply tap on the sticker to change the color, resize or move it.

Instagram has a pretty slick “Poll” feature in the stickers menu. This type of sticker lets you ask your followers questions, and you can track their responses. If your followers want to see the results of the poll, they can choose to watch your story again.

poll feature in instagram3. Spice up your media with drawings and text, and make use of the various filters. Swipe right and left to access the filters.

You can draw, doodle, or type on your photo or video. There are three different pen styles to choose from, and if you don’t like how it looks, erase it with the eraser brush.

text option in instagram4. Click “Done” when you are happy with how your photos and videos look.

Don’t forget to add hashtags to your stories, making it more likely your videos will be found by those searching for the specific hashtags you’ve chosen. Tap on the hashtag sticker to add your hashtags.

It’s important to have your account set to public if you want your location and hashtags to show up in the “Explore” tab.

You can allow message replies from everyone, people you follow, or no one.You’ll also have the option to share your story to Facebook. Just toggle the button to on.


story controls in instagram5. Now tap the “Next” button to share.

Once you’ve posted your story, you can check your analytics under “View Insights.” or simply swipe up. Keep in mind, there’s not an option to like or comment on stories.

You will, however, be able to see how many times it’s been viewed and who viewed it. You’ll need a business account to view additional analytics, such as reach and impressions.

Your recently shared story will appear at the top of all your followers’ feed for a full 24 hours. You’ll also see it on your profile page by tapping your picture.

If you want to showcase a specific part of your story, you can post that portion to your profile, and it will show up in your feed. Tap the “Upload” button to do this.

View Instagram Stories

Stories will always appear at the top of your feed where you can enjoy these short videos from all your favorite accounts. When someone you’re following posts a story, their profile photo will have a colored ring around it.

Don’t worry, you won’t be penalized for sharing too many stories. Share to your heart’s content. My favorite feature, that was recently added, is the ability to add links to your business account stories. Share your blog posts, advertise your marketing campaigns, or promote your eCommerce store.

If you want to mute accounts that are annoying to you, hold down the avatar and click “Mute.” This will not only prevent the story from autoplaying, but will move it to the end of the line

instagram stories

To view a particular story, tap on the person’s profile image, and you’ll be able to watch their story full screen. You can also view all content that’s been posted in the last 24 hours. Set your account to private if you only want your followers to access your stories.

If, by chance, you don’t want certain followers to see your stories, you can opt to hide them. Remember how I told you the aspect ratio was 9:16? This is relevant information when creating custom graphics or videos to use on Instagram. I like using Canva to make my graphics.

Sign up for a Canva account here

I use Instagram stories in my affiliate marketing business. If you’d like to learn more social media hacks, along with content creation, keyword research, website design, and affiliate marketing, READ MY REVIEW or click the banner below to learn more. Or create a FREE Starter account and start investing in your future today.

How To Create An Instagram Story - Person On Cell Phone

Key Points

Instagram has rolled out some really fantastic features. Creating stories, as a key feature in your marketing strategy, has the potential to exponentially grow your business. Jump on the bandwagon if you haven’t already. There’s a bit of a learning curve, like anything you haven’t done before, but after you’ve posted a couple of stories, you’ll be a pro. Share both promotional and playful stories, with a balanced mix of both personal and business-related content. They’re a great way to connect and engage with your followers.

Have you been posting Instagram stories? Let me know in the comments:)


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8 thoughts on “How To Create An Instagram Story In 5 Simple Steps”

  1. Wow, this is really helpful. I recently heard about Instagram stories, but still had no idea what they were actually all about. This tutorial broke it down so I don’t have to figure it out myself from scratch. 

    I’m looking forward to trying this to increase my brand awareness. I’m glad there is no penalty for posting too much too. I will definitely make this one of my New Years goals.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Eric. Follow the tutorial to share your first story, and then it will all start to make sense.

      You can post a lot of stories, and they’re awesome for building your brand!

  2. Now that was an informative how-to guide I can follow. I have seen other posts on Instagram stories, and I must admit, I got lost half way through. 

    LOL I could literally read and follow along with my Instagram app open on my phone. Job well done and I have bookmarked this article for further review.

    • Thanks so much. I’m glad my tutorial was helpful to you Cathy. There’s a little bit of a learning curve with Instagram stories, but once you get the hang of it, they’re really fun. Give them a try!

  3. Thank you for sharing this great information about Instagram.

    I’m so happy I came across your post. I have been wanting to work on my Instagram account and after I read your post, I got a lot of value out of it, and I will put to these hacks to work. 

    What I like the most is how to add stickers on my videos.

    Thank you again!

  4. Hi, 

    This is a very cool article. I learned a lot.

    I have read a lot about the use of social media like Instagram to grow online business. You yourself also mentioned that your use of social media has helped you to grow yours.  

    I have a quick question:

    How creating an story can help our online business?  Also, what account do I use? Can I use my personal account?


    John Greg

    • Hi John,

      Social media marketing is a great way to grow your business because of the amount of people you can reach. It’s also free advertising. The more people that see your posts and stories, the more exposure your business gets. 

      It’s best to set up a business account in Instagram, although, you could use your personal account. 

      Thanks for your comment!


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