I’m not sure if you’ve noticed my periods of silence on Instagram, my lack of blog posts – but inspiration has been running dry for the past few months. I’ve been feeling a little lost amidst all the noise of the blogging world. It’s not just that I’ve been lacking direction in blogging – it has also, for me, been a question of engagement. And I don’t want to turn this in to another whiny post about how much I hate the Instagram algorithm, because there’s too many of those floating around to count. Rather, I’d like to address our society’s preoccupation with numbers. Why are they so important?
From a brand’s perspective, of course, engagement is important for collaborations – it gives a rough idea of how many people have seen, and really loved, the product that they are trying to sell. Reach, as well, gives an idea of how many people have seen the post. But it is too easy in this society to become preoccupied with numbers. Social media is, in many ways, a numbers game. The number of likes appears indicative of how credible a blogger is, how fast she’s growing. But with the algorithm, it’s becoming more and more difficult for posts to be seen amongst all of the Instagram noise; and more quality content may not be seen for reasons unknown.
The knowledge that my posts were being seen by a small % of my following, I’ll admit, was initially difficult. I became preoccupied with how many eyes wandered across my post, how many people bothered to double tap or press the little heart button. I began to see my value in the number of likes I procured and in nothing else. And so I began to dread posting. I became preoccupied with when was best to post to match the algorithm, how many photos I should have liked before I posted. All of the stress had made me miserable and I forgot this simple fact and the reason I began my blog in the first place: I love creating.
I am a creative person by nature. For a long time I looked for an outlet for this creativity, but I can’t paint, I was hopeless at drawing. I can’t sing, I can’t act, and I certainly can’t dance. But I’ve always known that I can write. I’ve always known that I loved fashion and I loved to create outfits as much as I loved shooting them. I love coming up with new concepts, matching a look to a place to shoot props; combining them to make the perfect photograph. It is a passion of mine that I neglected and forgot. I created beautiful photographs, and I was afraid to post them.
I’ve never been more proud of my content than I am now. And the best brands – the ones really worth working with – can see that, and can appreciate the work that goes in to creating. It’s funny that while the number of likes I get has fluctuated, the number of comments has remained mostly the same, because my core, loyal audience has gone nowhere. A few of those loyal followers are worth hundreds of those that double tap anything they see on their homepage, and brands know this.
And, to be honest with you, I’m tired of seeing Instagram stories with people complaining about how low their reach is – we get it. I’ve seen people posting to their stories saying “can we get this post to 600? [likes]”. I’ve seen people asking for shoutouts on their story because they’re so close to 10K and their following “just isn’t growing”. I had a period of time where my posts were highly engaged with a few weeks ago, and you know what? The reason for that is that’s when I was most active. I not only worked the hardest to produce the best content, but I worked the hardest on the gram, putting in hours of engaging with other people, daily. So how about instead of looking for shortcuts, we focus on bettering what we started all this for in the first place: our content.
Let me know what you think of all this in the comments!
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COAT: JACK WILLS
BOOTS: TOPSHOP, SIMILAR
BERET: NASTY GAL
Photos are by my babe Marlinde xoxo