All about: blogging, being a “social influencer” and that new Instagram Algorithm

 

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I debated on whether or not to write about my thoughts on the subject of the Instagram algorithm and my issues with it- but you know what? This is my space to do with it what I want, and the thoughts I’ve had recently on social media and what that means for me, a “blogger” (as well as ALL bloggers out there-especially us little guys, trying to make it in a sea of established, full-time, veteran bloggers) have been eating at me for awhile now, and I always find the best way to organize my thoughts to make sense of them is to write them down.

Now, if you are reading this and aren’t a blogger or “social Instagrammer” you probably don’t know much about the new Instagram algorithm, or how it affects me or you, and everyone else on the platform. In my brief stint of blogging back in 2014 – Instagram was SO much more straightforward than it is now. The feed was chronological. You would technically see ALL the posts of people you followed in the order that they posted them. Hashtags were organized chronologically as well. I don’t think I realized at the time how EASY it was to put out content and be seen and get connected to people that had like interests. I was interested in fashion and travel and photography (this was pre-husband, and pre-baby so I blogged much less about family…my how things have changed!) and so I was easily connected to others that also liked fashion and travel and photography. I felt the connections were organic and comments were not forced or coming from a strategized motive. 

Fast forward 4 years to 2018, and the game is totally different. The new Instagram algorithm is most certainly a mystery, and although we have an overall idea of how it works (engagement – or how much people like and comment on your photos/stories/etc is KEY) its still really difficult to know exactly what gets your photos to the top of peoples feeds (or even included in the feed at all!) And so everything move made on Instagram has become so much more strategic.

And after all this is said, maybe I just need to vent a little bit.. which I am entitled to do since like I mentioned above, this is MY space, and what place better to speak my mind? … Plus if you are reading this and call yourself an influencer, or blogger, or social media creative you are most likely right there with me, so I know my opinions are not alone.

Honestly I feel frustrated. Confused. Stumped. Neglected. 

First and foremost, my blog is my creative outlet. Yeah I talk about fluffy things like fashion & hair products… and cutesy stuff like how my son is starting to say “DADA” but at the heart of this blog is my love for photography, and telling stories, and just the big overall portfolio of building a website from scratch and assembling my own “brand” (if you will). I want to be connected with people that share the same interests, who actually ENJOY what I create and comment because they actually LIKE it and not because they feel they have to, to get ahead of an algorithm. I hate that things like these “bots” to write fake comments have to exist – or that there are whole companies created so you can pay them to like and comment on others photos just to stay ahead of the game. I have never paid for likes, followers, or even done a loop giveaway to gain followers on my Instagram. My followers have come from the hard work I put into my blog and photos I take for Instagram account. (Or at least I hope they are there because they actually like what I create, although I know thats probably not the case). I want people to follow along – and ultimately be “successful” in this space (whatever that means) because I have GOOD content. Because I take the time to only put out things that I am proud of – and that come from a REAL place. And honestly, Instagram, I feel punished if I don’t spend hours on the day commenting, commenting, commenting just in the hopes that those people will come back to my account and comment. Its exhausting.

As for me, my little blog, and my very humble Instagram follower count that at this point refuses to grow, I promise to just keep on trucking along. Creating, learning, growing as a photographer, and putting out the best damn content I can. I am my own worst critic and constantly brainstorming and trying new things to better myself, and I will always be evolving, always improving. I’ll comment on things I ACTUALLY like, and will never pay for followers. I am still in the belief that “if you build it, they will come”. And I hope to come back later down the road and triumphantly say that its true and that no complicated Instagram algorithm can stop me. And as for you, if you are a dedicated reader or  follower – comment and like if you actually DO like something. Do the same for others that you like and want to support. It really makes a difference. 

Ok, my friends, rant over! 

As always, thank you so much for reading<3

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. February 21, 2018 / 3:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Meg. I felt the same way you did until I realized that social media is no longer free. It used to be a great (free!) resource for sharing your content, but just like we want to make money, so do the sites and apps we are using (for free!) The name of the game is to either pay for ads, or pay to join loop giveaways, etc. When I recently re-evaluated my strategies, I determined that instead of paying for Instagram ads, I’d prefer to pay to join a loop giveaway – for the sole benefit of being able to link in my Instagram stories (based on reader feedback) because I needed numbers – not for a brand’s sake, but for Instagram’s sake (10k.) I don’t feel ashamed of it, guilty, or concerned that brands won’t work with me. I still have the authentic engagement I had before "stooping to that level", but now I’ve seen an increase in affiliate profits because of it (business goal, achieved.) I also cannot control the bots or whoever it is leaving comments that don’t even make sense for the content (happening long before I joined a loop giveaway). I’ve found that the only people that have been alienated by this are people that are not in my target audience. Keep doing what you do, make the best business decisions for you, and hope for world peace, amen.

  2. Valerie Schuessler
    February 22, 2018 / 4:51 pm

    I’m not a blogger or a "social influencer" but I am so intrigued by this whole thing so I love the insights into that world! I started following you last spring when I caught a photo of yours on Instagram and realized we were almost exactly on schedule with one another’s pregnancies. I have you to thank for getting me through my last couple of months of pregnancy in the cutest (non-maternity) H&M dresses 🙂 My daughter is 6 days younger than Jett so it’s been fun to watch him on Instagram! As a bonus, we are in KC as well. Keep up the hard work that you do with this blog, I know it’s not easy!

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