20180121

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?


Don't forget to follow me on:

Read more posts from this series here!
SHARE:

53 comments

  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

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved Instagram when I first started blogging but it's become kind of a "Ugh I have to post a photo on Instagram or I'll lose even more followers"-situation for me now... Really frustrating!

    Melanie // Lilies Beauty

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love Instagram but not for my blog. I have a private Instagram where I enjoy sharing photos with friends that aren't blog related. I know that if I started to use Instagram with my blog I would probably end up hating it as I can totally see where you're coming from in this post. I mainly follow bloggers on Bloglovin and Twitter anyway!

    -Sophie xx
    www.cherriesandperfume.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I definitely put way too much effort into my IG to get minimal back, but I just cannot seem to stop wanting to do it. I have gotten really into the aesthetic on my IG, the yellow mostly, and I think if you are posting content you love then it can still be fun! I see it more as fun now rather than a growing platform though. I try not to get swept up in the typical vibe, like London doors - because I simply don't live near anything like that. I needs to represent you, not the IG community as a whole. I think the minute you accept it and go with how you want it all to be, it makes it MUCH easier :) Good luck lovely!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was very late to the party with Instagram so I don't share the same frustrations as others - I only joined it a month before the changes began so I know no different really! I wish Instagram was more 'instant' and I'm not a fan of themes! So many people are frustrated with it but it doesn't really bother me too much! That said, I prefer to focus on my blog anyway! xx

    Beautylymin

    ReplyDelete
  6. Actually, I've only recently been getting some response on my instagram. Your instagram boomed overnight when Nars reposted your picture, didn't it? I've never promoted my blog's instagram on my personal accounts like facebook etc, so the people following me are 99% people I don't know IRL.
    I've been stuck at around 340 followers for about a year, I'd say. The last few weeks, I feel like more people are coming to my instagram, slowly but surely, and I'm only a few away of 400 followers. It's a start, right? I kind of want to put more effort into instagram this year. I feel like I can, because 3/5 days I work from home so I can actually take pictures in the daylight, but I've also found a good VSCO filter that makes pictures taken in the evening with artificial, yellow light, look not-too-bad. I'm loving experimenting with my instagram feed now, and we'll see what the future brings. I love it a lot more thatn twitter, recently, always have I guess. But I can see that more people comment on my blogposts after highlighting it on instagram, then they do from twitter, so my motivation behind it is probbly different than yours ;-)

    Anyways, it was interesting to hear your side of it and I can see where you come from. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it, or people with start noticing it sooner or later and it has all been for nothing!

    Love, Charline | Charline Has a Blog

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have a personal, and a public Instagram. I love my personal one, because it is strictly people I know. My public one is more for YouTube and blogging, and is extremely small, I’m talking 140, but I don’t know a single person who follows me, so I think that is an accomplishment in itself. I haven’t gained any new followers in a long time though, but I did give up for a bit! It’s fun, but whether it’s worth the effort I’m not so sure! Haha!

    http://zoe-ware.blogspot.ca/?m=1

    ReplyDelete
  8. I used to take loads of photos for instagram separately as well as my blog post photos, but I've become so unmotivated with it now! I've definitely started using instagram stories loads more as I feel like I don't have to be confined to my theme on there although I totally agree with you, instagram is still such an essential part of blogging so I need to keep it up more! xx

    www.iridescentplaces.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Because I love taking photos I do find Instagram the right platform as well as my blog. That said, the algorithm changes and growing your account is extremely frustrating. I think the best thing is to go with what feels right and you enjoy. x

    franklyflawless.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's getting really disheartening when you put effort into your instagram and not get the engagement or getting so close to your next goal only to wake up and find 20 people have unfollowed. I do need to start using Instagram Stories more though and start to interact that way.

    www.theblushedit.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a love/hate relationship with IG, for sure! It's a great way to market your business and/or blog, in case a potential customer is trying to see what you offer. However, I can't really say that I receive alot of traffic from it or sales. Especially with all of the algorithm updates. Although, I have had customers tell me that they bought something because they saw it on IG. I just post and try not to take it too seriously.


    https://www.bluelabelsboutique.com
    https://www.fashionnotfear.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I know EXACTLY how you feel! I sometimes worry that my feed is getting al repetitive but I always feel like I cannot justify buying products JUST to post on the gram! Love your feed babe

    www.petiteelliee.com

    Ellie xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Is Instagram worth it? Lately it doesn’t feel like it. There are days when my post’s at 60+ likes after 8 hours where 6 months ago it was 150+. My average likes went from 220+ to 150 if I’m lucky. It takes a lot of work and still is my main platform. For better or for worse, I love it and I just wish it loved me back ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've noticed i get back what I put in, if i spend a while going through the hashtags and liking and comment on stuff, i get better engagement but this isn't possible for everyone! Instagram is still my favourite platform though xx

    www.lpagebeauty.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've fallen in and out of Instagram so much over the last couple of years but I can't seem to quit it. It is such a good resource and knowing people like yourself are on there to chat with or share content with makes it worth it to me. The numbers make the whole thing depressing and I just find myself stripping back to not caring and so I enjoy it for a while then the numbers creep up to haunt me and it becomes annoying again. I don't think anyone's real life is always instagrammable and real life comes first. Instagram really isn't worth it. And excuse me Jasmine, you take great pics ;) xxx
    UmmBabyBeauty

    ReplyDelete
  16. 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

    ReplyDelete
  17. I HATE instagram so so much. I feel like I've never truly really put in an effort and have therefore decided I'm going to give it a chance. I'm going to try super super hard with it now and see what happens but if nothing happens after a few weeks I think I'll probably fall out with insta forever.

    Beckie // The Pale Tails

    ReplyDelete
  18. Honestly, I find Instagram harder and harder to enjoy. I love how relatable this post is!

    It's easy to say "Oh, don't worry about the numbers" but let's be real - why WOULDN'T you be on IG if it wasn't for the numbers? As much as I grizzle about it I don't know if I'll be able to quit it, though. It's definitely disheartening at times and I wonder if I should delete my account and start over.

    A xx
    alexisadrienne.net

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really get you Jasmine, it has become more difficult for people with smaller accounts to get engagement. Its like the big fish are getting bigger and the smaller ones drowning. But my take is not to give up, just continue being yourself and at your own pace.

    http://www.glitsxgrace.com/2018/01/21/managing-afro-hair-wash-day-routine-for-lazies/

    ReplyDelete
  20. Really interesting post, Jasmine! I agree that when it feels like an arduous task, it's time to take a step back x

    ReplyDelete
  21. Definitely agree that IG is becoming more frustrating these days...and I'm there with you on working full time alongside blogging! It is so so difficult.

    I used to post to IG three times a day too and that seemed to up my engagement, but since the algorithm changes it doesn't seem to matter, so I stick to an average of about one post per day. Sometimes I think people who are genuinely interested in your content will like having to wait a bit to see your next post! It saves from becoming repetitive and getting unfollowed (I certainly unfollow people who spam up my feed a lot, but I only follow 90 people so I'm much more sensitive!).

    I totally agree with what you said about posting more natural, unfiltered content. I really like to use my IG stories for this and hopefully it shows that I'm still relatable. I save my feed for the more polished images. I think followers will appreciate this much more than just seeing the glittery, shiny side all the time...after a while that kind of comes off as fake. I'd much rather have a genuine connection with my followers.

    The thing is about any social network that does these kinds of algorithm changes is that eventually people will stop enjoying using it and migrate to some other new, cooler, more friendly social platform instead. It happened to MySpace, it happened to Facebook and it will happen to Instagram too! It's the same with the fake bloggers/instagrammers who only show that filtered view of the world...eventually that will become demotivating for most people and they'll switch off.

    It's a pendulum effect and it's inevitable with almost everything. So if someone has a smaller account, I fully believe they should just keep doing what they're doing, create great content and stay true to themselves and their niche...because that kind of passion always pays off in the end. And if a new social media tool arrives on the scene, give it a try! If it takes off, you can say proudly you were one of the first.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was also fairly new to Instagram that begun just before the changes, however, I still hate these changes and knowing my photos could've reached more people and could've gained a lot more followers than it does now. It's getting harder and harder! I'm just like you in that the photography side is my least favourite thing about blogging.

    sheergloss

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am WITH YOU!! Oh my goodness I find Instagram SO frustrating these days! I have a teeny account and I just cannot grow it no matter what I do. Follow/unfollow and a whole lot of photoshopping is getting a bit old now!

    Beekeyper - Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation Foundation Review

    ReplyDelete
  24. IG is sooo weird.
    I started using IG last year completly different by sharing only my lipart and I gained 16k Follower last year. Since 2 month now, I am stuck with 17,2k. My follower are still quite interactive, thats the positive thing about it. :)
    tobeyoutiful

    ReplyDelete
  25. You make some really good points in this post. The whole algorithm thing has totally ruined Instagram for me, I don't know how on earth they thought it would be a smart idea - and they bloody well know everybody's complaining about it too. However as someone who really enjoys photography, I still use Instagram a lot. Not at all for my blog actually, but just to put some nice pictures - sometimes outfit, but most often travel pictures. Being realistic, we can't always have pretty photos of us to post in front of nice locations and it's totally okay - I like when bloggers share about the non-blogging part of their lives, it makes them a lot more relatable :)

    Julia x
    www.juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have a real love/hate relationship with Instagram, because I seem to lose more followers than I gain and it's frustrating! particularly when you feel your content is up to scratch and nobody pays any notice to it x

    www.sheintheknow.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  27. Such an interesting topic! I also take bulk photos and I agree it sucks a lot of the fun out of it. And photography is actually my favorite part of blogging! The constant urge to beat the algorithm also sucks. But as much as I bitch and moan at the end of the day Instagram is worth it for me. I usually get the most engagement there as well. So even though it has it's problems I've yet to find a platform I enjoy as much.

    Mili | sharmtoaster

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've been trying so hard to up my Instagram game because I've been told time and time again that it was the best way to bring traffic to my blog. A while ago, I totally believed that statement, but now, I just don't. I have a small account, and you're complexity right when you say it's hard for small accounts to grow. The algorithm buries us, and makes it hard to get any real interaction. I'm very much struggling with the same internal battle of whether or not I should be dedicating my time and energy to a platform that honestly doesn't work. xx

    Dany | Danielle Reine

    ReplyDelete
  29. I work full time too & I find it so hard to constantly keep every social media updated, especially Instagram! Plus when I get the time I’m drafting or making sure my blog posts are as good as they can be, so instagram falls to the end of the list! I think Instagram is worth it if you enjoy doing it and have the time to put the effort in, if not then it’s no big deal.

    Great post! X

    Sinead | www.subjectbeauty.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I've been stuck at 2k followers since last year with zero sings of growing and I see other accounts that are growing by 50-100 a day which baffles me. I pretty much have given up on IG too, I just post when and what I want these days.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

    ReplyDelete
  31. I actually find that bloggers who work 9-5 are a lot more relatable for me. I have recently started to un-follow some of the larger instagrammers/youtubers just becasue they live in a totally different world. I really appreciate the effort that you and other bloggers that have FT jobs put into their content. Its more meaningful to me becasue I know how much more effort it took.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I've been putting a lot more effort into Instagram recently - I have a really small account compared to most but I do love it!

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Foodie Blog

    ReplyDelete
  33. Exactly - it take soooo long to set up and take a shot, of course it's gutting when it feels like not many people saw / enjoyed it. I'm definitely trying to do something different on my account going forward, whatever form that takes! x

    ReplyDelete
  34. I know right? People always seem to mention that there aren't many pictures of me on my blog / Instagram and a lot of it is that if I took a photo of me in makeup every time I wanted to post, I'd only be active about once a week!

    Totally agree - it takes a lot of energy to take the photos, which is what got me questioning how much value it was really adding. It's frustrating that platforms like Instagram 'inform' you how you want to use it instead of listening to users x

    ReplyDelete
  35. Instagram is where you started, right? I do feel like I've come across some great people and accounts regardless all the numbers stuff - I guess when we're all putting time, energy and creativity into something, we want people to like it! And haha thank you x

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hmm I guess maybe I'm not interacting with accounts that would see my comments / check out my account, though I can't be too mad at myself for that, as I have limited time to explore the stuff outside of my feed. Might be something to set aside a bit of time for at the weekend though! x

    ReplyDelete
  37. Aw thank you! I get a bit turned off by some of those accounts too x

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm the same - getting the blog posts scheduled is a big job and one that will always be my #1 priority x

    ReplyDelete
  39. I don't think I get much direct traffic from Instagram, but I guess it's hard to know how many people are visiting your blog at a later time because they saw you on there. It's always good to weigh up the cost and benefit of where you're spending your time - hope you find some answers for yourself! x

    ReplyDelete
  40. I think I need to learn some tips from you - your photos are so varied you'd never knew they were taken in bulk! x

    ReplyDelete
  41. I actually started the blog first but you guys don't know about it. It was Spring 2014 and it was mainly beauty but I wasn't on social media at the time haha! Those posts are hidden far far away now ;)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Haha to be fair most of my early posts have since been converted to drafts... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  43. I totally get what you're saying. :)
    I used to take a lot of time to create the most creative or great pictures I could, but then I realised it started to become a chore. That's why I decided to take pictures whenever I wanted and to let go of posting absolutely every day. And that's funny because I'm much more motivated to take pictures now when thinking that way!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Yeah I love seeing people's life snippets too! I hate when social media channels force changes down unwilling users' throats :/ x

    ReplyDelete
  45. I totally agree with all of this! You can't force changes users don't want when there are other platforms they can migrate to. I really enjoy watching Instagram stories of bloggers too because it's cool to see the person behind the blog :) x

    ReplyDelete
  46. I feel you on that - it's never good to feel like things are going backwards. I suppose at least we're all in the same boat! x

    ReplyDelete
  47. I think when it comes to products it's true that you aren't necessarily going to click directly through to buy but it can put the idea in your head to buy something later x

    ReplyDelete
  48. Last weekend I decided to try to switch up my photos and I did enjoy experimenting a lot more - hopefully it'll breath life into things for a while x

    ReplyDelete
  49. It actually didn't particularly (maybe 150 extra followers, which is still amazing in the time-frame to be honest) - I don't think I've had a 'moment' on my Instagram account, though that repost and a couple from Real Techniques helped boost things a little :)
    Yeah for sure - it's worth experimenting and playing around to see how your posts go down. I'm definitely trying to experiment more now and have a bit of fun with it instead of feeling I have to have the same 'theme' all the time! x

    ReplyDelete
  50. Yeah you're right - I'm trying to switch things up a bit now and did actually enjoy my last photo session so we'll see how it goes! x

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am officially in love with this post. These days Instagram has become a micro blogging site with complete reviews. I always used to use Instagram as a tool just to announce a new blog post and other than that 'instant' insta posts. Those kinds didn't get many likes or comments. I am not a good writer so I depend heavily on photographs, but adding unique hashtags and then the algorithms, time of posting for better engagements etc... it is just too much work and draining... like working on two blogs !!

    http://www.dazzlensparkle.com/

    ReplyDelete
  52. It's so difficult. I try not to get bogged down about it but it's changed so much that it does seem pretty impossible.

    www.upyourvlog.com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I find Instagram a real chore at times. Trying to think of quality content to post can be hard alongside my other work. But on a more positive note, I do get a lot of work throught Insta and am also inspired myself in many ways.
    Here is a link to my website and beauty blog.
    https://www.lauralawbeauty.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment - I read and appreciate every single one :)

There's no need to spam - I will check out your blog if you leave a click-able link under a genuine comment!

If you have a question please check back for my reply or tweet me @jasminetalksblg

xx

Blogger Template Created by pipdig