Is Instagram Really Worth the Effort?

Rewind to a couple of years back and Instagram was my favourite platform to use by a mile! However with all of the algorithm changes and bloggers quite literally photoshopping themselves into pictures, I've kind of fallen out of love with it. If you, like me, don't blog as a living then you probably have a limited amount of time and energy to spend on your online activities, so today I'm going to have an informal chit chat about whether I think In stagram is worth it.

Working 9-5 means that taking my photos in bulk is essential, however it can make feeling creative a little difficult. I generally open my daily makeup drawers for the week and photograph what's in there so my posts represent the makeup I'm wearing on the days I post, however I can even feel it getting repetitive myself! Instagram used to feel more relaxed and creative, so I'm not sure why it seems to have become such a chore for me when I used to really enjoy it... At one point I was posting three times a day, which is pretty insane looking back! I do enjoy sharing snippets of where I am and what I'm doing (even if they don't fit my 'theme'), however they tend not to do as well as the usual beauty flatlays and to be perfectly honest I'm going to work, not planning my outfits around a pretty house in London I plan on standing in front of! I guess my life isn't Instagrammable 24/7 and a lot of the time I'm just out having fun with my friends so don't want to stop and try to get the perfect photo of myself.

I'm really not sure how to breathe a bit of excitement back into my Instagram photography but maybe my lack of enthusiasm is because I've never really thought of myself as a photographer. It's always been the less-enjoyable part of what I do here, that took years of practice and still feels like a lot of effort! There's nothing like that feeling when you've got the perfect shot, however I guess it's always been a means to an end because in reality I'm a writer first and foremost. When I moved into my current job I knew it would be intense and it was! For me it just felt more important to keep writing my blog posts instead of sharing images on Instagram.

It's also pretty hard to stay motivated when it's so hard for small and medium sized accounts to grow these days. I used to enjoy so much more engagement on my posts and that positive reinforcement may have been part of the reason why I was so much more motivated with my Instagram posts and enjoyed uploading so regularly. However my account has felt pretty stagnant with fewer people interacting with my posts, so I have wondered what the point is. As a user, the fact my feed is no longer chronological is annoying, however as a content creator it often ensures my posts get buried. 

Overall, of course a level of presence on Instagram is important for your blog, and it's nice to see snippets of people's personal lives. I also love Instagram Stories as it allows me to make little informal videos and take less staged photos. Obviously you can do the same with Snapchat, however I never used that as a blogger so it makes sense to have everything all in one place. This is the main area I still like to get creative in on Instagram and, if you're busy with work, your kids, school or anything else, it's a much more relaxed way to share content and show a bit of the person behind the perfect flatlays.

I guess it comes down to deciding what's important to you. If you're still getting a lot of engagement on your Instagram account and if you still love doing it, definitely keep the momentum going! If you're a bit disillusioned with the 'fake' side of Instagram then you might want to use the Stories function to post more realistic content (I also love the new Highlight function to showcase your best Stories beyond the 24 hour limit), with the occasional more set-up update on your feed. If, like me, your blog is where you get the engagement and you prefer the writing side of things, then maybe it isn't worth it and you should scale back your Instagram efforts to invest in your blog (whether that's upping the quality of the content you're putting out, engaging more with readers or managing an extra post a week).

Do you think Instagram is still worth the effort you put into it?

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1 comment

  1. First of all, as someone who works full time alongside their blog I totally got you when you were saying about your life not being Instagrammable 24/7! It's difficult to create content day-to-day when you work full time, let alone when you don't live in a pretty city or have someone to take the photo for you!

    Like all content creators I totally feel your frustrations with the algorithm. People really don't realise the amount that goes into taking a photo for it, especially when you want have a profile you're proud of. So to put that work it only for none of your followers to see it - or for no one to discover your profile is pretty frustrating!

    My following is a modest 1,300 (which has stubbornly refused to grow for a year now!) BUT I have noticed that Instagram creeps up in my Google Analytics as a top traffic driver! So even though my following is small and my photos don't get as much engagement as they used to, the people who are seeing them are clearly interested in receiving updates about me and my blog, so that's why I keep up with Instagram. I think the sad thing is it's still the social media of choice for most people. Facebook's not considered cool, Twitter is alright but the audience is largely fellow bloggers - so that leaves Instagram to reach everyone else!

    I suppose one way to look at it is to think of it as a creative outlet, to push yourself rather than just focusing on numbers. But it's definitely difficult!

    Sinéad xo Fabuleuse Du Jour


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