I made 32 Reels in six weeks

Here is what worked, What Didn't, And How I plan to use them now that the challenge is over

From August to September, 2020, I was given a prompt to create an Instagram Reels Video every weekday, with examples of what the challenge moderators were looking for. Throughout the challenge I got more creative with how I was filming, the effects I was using, and learned a lot about what type of content performs well on Reels in general as well as what content my own audience wants to see.

The biggest takeaways I learned from my 30 Day Instagram Reels Challenge were as follows:

Get to the Point:

Although Reels can only be up to 30 seconds long, the average attention span of social media users is about 8 seconds, so if you’re taking too long to get to the point of the video, you’re going to lose them. To keep people engaged longer, I learned that I needed to have some kind of attention-grabbing movement or sound every 2-3 seconds. Here is an example from one of my highest performing Reels.


Listen, I’m a long-winded lady but I had to cut that shit out REAL fast for Reels. When I tried to cram too much information into a Reel, my audience got overwhelmed and clicked away. In short, with Reels, brevity is your friend.


You reach more people if you share your video to your feed: One of my clients forgot to share their first Reel (a really good one!) to their feed as well to Reels, and it didn’t get nearly as many views. I’ve also experimented on my account and noticed the same thing. Essentially, if you want your video to be viewed widely, then you should share it to your feed.


I mean, this is true for any post, but especially true for Reels. The more saves and shares your post gets, the more engagement and views it will get. What I mean by saveable and shareable content for reels are these: entertaining/humorous videos, relatable videos, and videos that give tutorials. Even tutorials that are a little facetious (i.e. entertaining) are good bets. For example, the video below is one I helped a client make. It is not only his most successful Reel to date, it is also his most successful POST to date:


Reels need a strategy to perform well. Again, this is the same for any post you’re making, but if you’re posting just for the sake of posting, that Reel is probably going to flop. 

I found that the Reels I took more time to conceptualize and create performed far better than the videos I posted because I felt I had to. Know the purpose of your Reel before you create it: is its purpose to Inspire, Educate, Entertain, or Sell?

Additionally, and as I always say with Instagram, it’s quality over quantity, so moving forward I am only going to be creating 1-2 Reels per week instead of 5-6. I want to spend my time creating fun and engaging Reels that incorporate themselves nicely into the rest of my strategy, rather than dominating it.

If you need help creating an Instagram strategy that includes Reels, sign up for a 1:1 Instagram Strategy Coaching Session with me.

Watch the Instagram Live Replay of the Reels Recap Below!

If you would like to participate in the 30 day Reels Challenge

(including training on how to create Reels) plus get 30 additional prompts then purchase the 30 Day Reels Challenge E-Book from one of the challenge's creators, Bree of Bree Designs

The other creator, Natasha of Sol Studio, created Reels mini course (also linked below) if you'd like more instruction in addition to the prompts!

Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. I may make a small commission from purchases made through some of those links, at no extra cost to you. I promise to only ever link products I know and believe in! Do know that any purchase you make via one of these affiliate links is greatly appreciated, as it will allow me to continue to provide free content to you!

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Heather Daenitz is the founder and photographer of Craft & Cluster, a wine photography and social media marketing company based in Santa Barbara County, California.

When she isn't talking about Instagram Reels Heather can be found hanging out with her husband, two dogs, and three chickens in their backyard garden.