Most of my blog posts aren't writing-intensive and focus mainly on pictures, but I do really enjoy writing. So every once in awhile I'll write some discussion posts on various topics just to "vent" or see if any of you can relate (like today)! I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I’ve had my frustrations with Instagram as of late. It used to be my favorite social media platform, but now I’m not so sure. My whole perspective of it has changed really just in the last year...
When I first started blogging, my blog centered around all things Disney which was really fun in the beginning. There wasn't much of a shift in how I viewed Instagram going from my personal account to my "blog" account. I still viewed it as a fun way to share pictures with my friends/followers and didn't think much else of it. We had taken a trip to Disneyland just a few weeks after starting my blog, so posting content on Instagram came easily because we had taken so many pictures on our trip. My blog started out as a hobby so I wasn’t as consistent with posting and I definitely didn’t use the “extra hashtags” in the comment section. I had this mindset of not wanting to be that person who tried to get likes by using them. I quickly learned though that they were pretty important to reaching a larger audience.
After about 6 months I switched my focus to a fashion & lifestyle blog, because I felt that the Disney focus was becoming too narrow for me and it felt limiting to keep my content strictly about Disney-related topics. (Don't worry, I still am just as obsessed with Disney so that hasn't changed!) With this new blogging lens, I had a spring in my step to post on Instagram more consistently. However, it still felt like I was being held back by something, and looking back I know I was feeling uninspired in that season of life. We were living in Texas and it didn't really feel like home, and mine and Freddy's work schedules were so opposite that we didn't get to spend a lot of time together, which was really hard!
Once we moved back to Arizona last February I finally felt like "me" again, as crazy as that sounds. I was so excited to take my blog seriously and really try to make something out of it, whatever that may be. I was really focusing on Instagram and researching tons (I mean TONS) of hashtags with Freddy's help, to try and reach a broader audience in hopes of gaining new followers. I finally felt like I was headed somewhere and then just a couple months later...the algorithm hit. *dun dun dun* Suddenly I was getting hardly any likes and my follower count kept dropping lower and lower each day, even though I was still putting the same amount of effort into it. It was honestly really defeating and I wondered if I would ever be able to grow my blog based on my Instagram results. Plus, I was also kicking myself for not using the extra hashtags earlier on!
Then, one day I discovered this really great blogging community website called Blogging 4 Keeps and stumbled upon one of their posts talking about Instagram. It completely resonated with me and it felt like they were reading my mind! But then, something they said that I totally wasn't expecting gave me the biggest sigh of relief...why should I let this ONE social media app affect how I feel about my blog and the content I'm producing? Why am I letting it bring me down and allowing it to consume my thoughts and cause me stress? I technically don't own my Instagram account at all, so if it were to go away tomorrow, what would I have to rely on? Well, I learned that my BLOG is the one thing I can actually control and take ownership of! Duh, why hadn't I thought of that before!?
Reading that post made me feel so much better, and I realized that I had taken the fun out of Instagram by stressing out about how many likes I had gotten on a photo or how many followers I had. Yes, Instagram is still something I want to grow, but it's not life or death and it shouldn't be my sole focus. Instagram used to be the place where I found inspiration or discovered a new place I wanted to visit, so I'm going back to basics and trying to have fun with it again. After all, it used to be my favorite platform for sharing photos or staying connected with friends!
If you are a fellow blogger or use Instagram to help promote your business, I hope this has helped or inspired you in some way. Rather than focus on a platform that is ever-changing with new algorithms and constantly feeling like you're trying to keep up, let's instead focus on things that we can control and actually enjoy pursuing our passions! It's supposed to be fun, right!? Keep fighting the good fight friends, and know that I'm always here to cheer you on! xo