This title is about as clickbait-ey as it gets.
But unlike MOST clickbait, it's 100% true. You can read this post in the time it takes you to pee, and I promise your Instagram feed will get better. I'm not a full-time photographer (and not trying to be), but I know some tricks. Here are my 3 tips (and extra credit):
1) Stop taking pictures during mid-day.
I realize that every so often something is SO amazing and fleeting that it absolutely MUST be captured (and I'm a huge proponent of the Gary Vaynerchuk-ism "document, don't curate"), but whenever possible use lighting to your advantage.
Tip: Google when "golden hour" is for you - basically a 1-hour-ish window around surise/sunset that you get the best light. Plan your content/locations and shoot then! Lighting is the #1 thing that differentiates a good pic from an amazing one - there's just no way to replicate it.
2) Spend the time to edit your pictures THOUGHTFULLY.
No more auto-HDR, and don't make your photos B&W when you don't look "tan enough." Use Photoshop when you can - it's great for putting bokeh (fuzzy background) into a picture you took on your iPhone, or adjusting a photo to true color (hint: google "find light and dark colors Photoshop").
Tip: If you can't use Photoshop, edit your picture until it looks "true" to what you see, then maybe add a filter, but only at ~20%. NEVER, EVER apply an Instagram filter at 100%. Look at my feed from ~2 years ago to see why. #amateurhour
3) If you're shooting with a "real" camera (AKA not a phone), resize your image before uploading to Instagram.
Instagram displays images with horizontal axis 1080 px - and has a s**tty algorithm to downsample images. This means your fancy Canon that shoots 20mp images (5475x3650px) will get sized down to 1080x720 - and it doesn't know which pixels to choose! This could leave you with a blurry image even though it looks great on your camera's viewfinder and on your computer.
Tip: You're already using the computer to download the contents of the SD card - open the photo in something like Mac Preview (or better yet, Photoshop) and re-size it to 1080px wide.
Extra Credit: Use a "real camera".
It's not as convenient as a cell phone, but the "manual point and shoot" I use allows for some pretty sick settings (fuzzy background, long exposures, great sunset colors), but fits in your pocket (or purse) - the best of both worlds. The GorillaPod lets you take photos of yourself, and I take mine everywhere!
Check out my YouTube vlog at bit.ly/chrisolfers and subscribe to keep up with what we're doing. It's the least-annoying subscription you'll ever make since I only upload videos once every 1-2 weeks! Here's a video I made for Arielle and my 3-year anniversary of being married: