Some thoughts on Instagram (and how I grow my following)

Feeds bursting with avocado on toast, Insta-worthy shop fronts drenched in pretty pastel flowers and expertly styled flat lays definitely beg the question: are we all just doing it for the gram?

Instagram is my favourite social platform right now, but recently I’ve reconsidered my approach to using it. When I first started my blog, like a rabbit in headlights I went out and panic bought a marble flat lay board and some faux flowers, presuming this was the done ‘blogging’ thing. I spent ages styling up the shots, with no real motive behind them aside from the fact that I thought this was the direction I should be going in. Needless to say, the pics didn’t do great – while they did support one of my blog posts, it wasn’t really me and I think that soon transpired in the photos.

As the months have passed, I’ve developed my feed (not a marble flat lay in sight!) to include content that that’s personal to me and that I truly believe my followers will engage with and relate to.

But where do we draw the line? Can we take 100 shots of our perfectly styled (and almost cold) brunch and still be authentic? If we visit a picture perfect cafe because we’ve seen others go, and take the same staged shots – does that not make us original?

As I stood trying to battle hayfever in this field, I realised somewhat the irony in the fact that I was here creating content in a way that was replicating hundreds of bloggers before me, and most likely hundreds after. We really love a field of flowers don’t we?! But, there was a difference.

 

While undoubtedly this type of imagery is aesthetically pleasing and certainly popular in le blogging world, I was creating it for the right reasons. And I think that’s the crux of it. I wanted to take these photos, because I am genuinely excited by getting out in the country and discovering these types of pretty landscapes. Who cares if it’s been done before – it’s what I’m interested in and that’s what feeds should be about – sharing content you care about in your own personal way.

 

Essentially, in a world rife with copycats and over saturated trends, we need to find our niche and own it. If that means taking another brunch photo at a cafe, by all means getting grammin’ – just do it your way.

 

I recently was asked to contribute to the Amara Interior Blog Awards blog, and have written a piece about how I grow my Instagram following. Seeing as growing my Instagram following is one of my blog goals this year I leapt at the chance  – if you’re interested in reading take a look here!

 

What’s your favourite social media platform?

Dress: Embroidered dress, Zara, £29.99

 

7 Comments

  1. May 11, 2018 / 8:17 am

    These photos are absolutely beautiful!
    You’re right – a lot of the time I think ‘am I turning into a stereotypical ‘blogger’?’ but I’m glad you’ve said that – it’s true I’m taking these photos because I want to.
    As soon as I don’t want to or am putting up instagram photos that I don’t really like, then it’ll be time to think about why I’m creating these photos.

    Love hannah 🙂
    hannahgladwin.com

    • thisessexgirl
      May 30, 2018 / 9:51 pm

      Hey Hannah! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes I totally agree with you – that’s a good motto to stick to! Loving your Instagram recently btw girl, keep up the good work! x

  2. May 12, 2018 / 7:24 am

    Ive been abit apprehensive of my Instagram due to the fact “everybody” loves the flatlays, posh food at brunch and fields of flowers haha. I’m not very good with a camera and to set up pictures just for the 💕’s seems like a chore with everything else. I do intend on working on my photography and my Instagram, but for now I’m in no rush to go out of my way to do it. I share what I enjoy, my kids, quotes and maybe a book and a choccie bar 😂.
    Thanks for sharing! I love your pictures, they are beautiful, I’m a big fan of the flowery Instagrams 💕🌹.

    Laura xx
    http://www.directlylaura.com

    • thisessexgirl
      May 30, 2018 / 9:52 pm

      Hi Laura! Thanks for sharing. That sounds perfect to me though and what it should be about I think – stuff you care about. I like to think of mine as a little online photo journal at times and if people follow along then great – if not you can’t please everyone! I’m glad you enjoy it though, thank you for the lovely feedback! x

  3. May 16, 2018 / 9:01 am

    These photos are SO beautiful! I can totally relate to this post; I adore so many people’s Instagram feed but I find it hard to ever recreate something like that. I much prefer taking photos that I enjoy, whether it be a foodie snap (most likely) or a day out somewhere – because it’s something that I enjoy. I check Instagram daily but i don’t think it’s my favourite platform lately. I find it hard to grow a following on there but then I’m not so active on there, so i guess it’s to be expected! xx

    • thisessexgirl
      May 30, 2018 / 9:54 pm

      Hey Hannah! I know what you mean, sometimes it’s hard not to compare yourself too. I do go through waves with it and right now I am finding it really slow again, but then when I do make the effort to post daily sometimes my follower count drops! I guess it’s all part of the great mystery that is social media haha! xx

  4. June 18, 2018 / 4:52 pm

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I’m a professional photographer and so often it can feel like you’re stuck in a bit of a creative rut if you produce something which is similar to something you’ve seen before. As creatives, naturally we’re always striving to deliver something new, but what we tend to forget is that what we show is usually new to our clients, our audience. As long as you’re sharing something which feels right for you and that your audience like, I don’t think you can go far wrong.

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