A few days ago I celebrated the one year anniversary of the beginning of “Living in Full Bloom,” when I made an instagram under that name. In honor of that anniversary, I was inspired to write this post about things that I have learned in my one year of growing my blog’s instagram. If you are just starting a blog instagram, or are getting frustrated with your growth, these tips should be able to help you!
- Don’t pretend to be something you’re not! This one was so tough for me at first. I wanted to lie in my captions and make myself seem more like the other bloggers. I soon learned that pretending to me something I wasn’t was tiring. Staging pretty pictures is one thing (that I love), but straight up lying is another. I think once I was more honest, insta become more fun and less stressful!
- “Never delete. Never surrender.” This little gem is from my best friend, who watched as I deleted photos whenever they didn’t get as many likes as I had hoped. I would post something I liked, and then when it didn’t go over well, I would get self conscious and delete it. She gave that advice, and now I stick it out – even when something doesn’t perform as well as I had hoped.
- Sometimes a theme happens, sometimes it doesn’t. As much as everyone says that you need an instagram aesthetic, I think it can just add unnecessary stress. Sometimes, I have a theme. During autumn I had an almost completely accidental theme (thank you autumn leaves), but once fall was over, I let it drop! Themes are cool, but they just don’t work for me.
- Actual, genuine engagement will get you so much further than anything else. When I was first trying to gain followers, I tried stalking hashtags and liking random photos. I didn’t comment, or even really look at the photos. I also followed random people under hashtags that I used. Needless to say, none of this worked. What did work? Actually commenting, engaging, and creating a community. Once I started doing that, my followers grew (and actually stayed there), rather than gaining a follower and then losing 5 more.
- I also found it really helpful to install an unfollowers app so I could keep an eye on people who followed me just to unfollow the next day.
- Another tip to up engagement is joining comment pods! You get in a group with a few other bloggers in your niche, and every time someone posts in the group, you all go like and comment on their post! I love the pods I joined, and even started one myself! If you are interested in joining it, just DM me on instagram!
- There is no perfect way. This is the most important thing on this list. I can tell you what worked for me. The you can look and find five other posts that will tell you the exact opposite of everything I say. There is no equation to gain followers and create an amazing instagram. Just try different things until you find what works for you!
- Lighting is everything. The most practical advice on this list. I took all my first photos at night in my dorm room with horrible lighting. As time has gone on, I have learned the key to better photos – natural light. It isn’t always possible, but I always try to have some natural light in my photos. My next blog purchase is to get a ring light so I can take blog photos even when the weather isn’t cooperating.
- Growth takes time, don’t give up. There were so many times that I wanted to throw in the towel. Sure, I wish I had a few more followers than I do now, but growth is steady and I always try to stay positive!
- Have fun! If instagram is only stressful for you and you aren’t enjoying it, maybe it’s time to take a break! I see bloggers all the time who take short break from social media to recenter themselves. Don’t stress yourself out! Followers and themes come and go, but the fun should remain! Instagram is my absolute favorite social media, and I love using it!
These lessons can apply to you, whether you just started or have been blogging for a long time! I love instagram, and I think I’ve learned a few things in the past year. If you’re a blogger (or just an insta-lover), what have you learned from your instagram? Let me know in the comments!
If you want to see my instagram and maybe become insta friends, you can find me here!