Saying that Instagram is a crapshoot now is an understatement. Ever since we lost the ability to have chronological order, all hell has broken loose (especially with bloggers, small businesses and creatives). While a lot of people are still posting really cool content, “Swipe Up to Buy _____!” “Turn On Notifications!” “Screenshot LiketoKnowIt!” has taken over sooooo many captions + IG Stories, and tbh, its become hella boring.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a blogger and totally understand monetization (heck, I teach a workshop on it!), and I know that it’s a scary time on IG since many of us use this platform as a business, but it’s becoming harder and harder to stay active on it. Yes, almost everyone’s growth is stagnant (unless you’re buying followers, but that’s a whooooole nother conversation), but guys, if all you’re doing is pushing product on people, people WILL start to tune you out, regardless of if they see your feed every day or not. I know that I have. Scrolling past your 50/11 posts with 5 words and an affiliate link is the equivalent of flipping past a magazine ad. It’s a nice photo, but there’s no substance. Sorry ya’ll, but I need a little more.
When I started blogging in 2010, the content that people created was completely different. Professional photoshoots were being done for sure, but the content was so, so good and felt much more authentic. There was a true storytelling element whenever someone shared a new post, and while there were a few outliers that were able to share fashion with very little copy (Blair Eadie comes to mind but her sense of style and skills at layering was so dope- and kinda attainable!- that you didn’t care), most bloggers shared a little piece of their lives that made them relatable, and made you want to buy whatever they were selling. Social Media was supplemental and used as a way to get people to come back to your website, but when IG blew up, a lot of that “authenticity” went out the door with the new crowd, and now it’s very generic.
But you want to know something funny?
I noticed that the changes in IG’s algorithm has a lot of people freaking out, except for a lot of the OG bloggers. I’m sure those bloggers felt a hit in their engagement on the platform, however, they aren’t the ones I see constantly screaming follow me/click/like/swipe/love me. They’ve evolved, but they never stopped putting out great content ON THEIR BLOGS. And you know what? I think that’s the smartest thing that any blogger could ever do. Why? Because WE DON’T OWN INSTAGRAM. Your following could easily be taken away from you with a password hack. And then what? How do you get it back? If you’ve focused solely on IG while neglecting your blog, how do you “prove” that you’re actually an “influencer”? I miss those days of community, when bloggers posted new content regularly and you could spend hours visiting your favorite blogs and commenting on their posts. And you know what? I want to get back to that. I want to spend more time discovering new bloggers, getting more style inspiration, and engaging with people HERE and with my fellow bloggers.
Blogging has been such a creative outlet for me over the last 7.5 years, and I don’t want to lose that because I’m caught up in a numbers game, or disconnected from MY community. This is my little piece of the internet, and I’m very appreciative of what I have. I’m at a place where I can share so much more than just a cute top or shoes (but I still will because duh, shopping is fun, lol). I’ll still use IG to discover new bloggers, but my focus this year is to spend way more time here and visiting other bloggers like we used to do. Because community is what it’s all about!