CONFESSION OF A NOT-SO-PRETTY INSTAGRAM: WHY I DONT HAVE 50K FOLLOWERS

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I got inspired to write this post after reading the great article of Samantha, the founder of “There she goes again” about the reality of Instagram and her take-on how she got thousand of followers on her Instagram profile during a short period of time. 

We are both members of the same Facebook community for female travellers and one big struggle many of the members have is how to grow your goddamn Instagram profile. Samantha had some very interesting observations like 

  • Is the pictures taken in a popular location like e.g. Paris?
  • Are you a white, thin and an attractive female?
  • Do you have a cute style?

Then its – sorry to say – a bit easier to grow your Instagram. People like that shit! My own observation is that people as well like bright photos like a white sanded beach and turquoise blue water. Oh well.. and some bare skin on the pictures.. (and I am not talking about showing only your beautiful bare feet). Anyways, I will get back to these observations later on. 

My husband has an IG profile sharing photos with his passion for wildlife and nature and he doesn’t get this show-some-skin thing: 

“This girl has 50k followers and her pictures are ugly as fuck! She just show her damn boobies on a selfie, gets 4.000 likes and I have been hunting this bird for months to get the perfect shot and I get 50 likes! What is wrong with this world??!!”. 

Anyways, this is my take-on why I still dont have 50K followers 😀 (please read the post with a bit of humor). 

Disclaimer: A few people felt offended by my post so I felt the need to point out that I am very self deprecating in this article! Furthermore I am not calling out big IG travel accounts. I know why big travel IG accounts have many followers – because they have stunning pictures and often do a hell lot of work to maintain their profile, editing the photos etc. to inspire people like me to travel. 

 

ENGAGEMENT, IG PODS AND FOLLOW/UNFOLLOW

I know you dont just get 50K followers. So I have been following some different advices on how to grow your I account and get more engagement. Luckily a lot of people are willing to share their experiences to help one another. 

I think I have tried out most advices now:

  • Being very interactive with people like writing meaningful comments and spreading some love in the shape of LIKES.
  • I am a member of Instagram pods
  • I have tried this horrible game of follow/unfollow 
  • Being consistent with uploading photos daily
  • Testing different travel-related hashtags 

It has been some months now and I feel sometimes that for every 3 follower I get I lose 2. In two days I lost 25 followers even though I get the notification about approx. 5 new followers per day. 

 

The cruelty of the follow-unfollow game

In the FB community for female travellers we help each other to grow each others IG by sharing our IG and following each other. Well, most people do that. I also experience that the people who were supposed to help you because you are helping them – they unfollow you after some time (I have the app “Followers” to track who is unfollowing me – you cannot escape the eye of Sauron!!). 

Furthermore you will experience that some big profiles play the same follow/unfollow game. In the beginning I was like “why does this beautiful profile with 70K followers wanna follow my small ugly-as-fuck account?”. Well, they didn’t. They just wanted you to notice their account and make you follow them and then unfollow you afterwards. Yes, it´s like being the ugly girl in school and finally the pretty boy notices you. He makes you write his homework and then he dumps you. This game is cruel *touching my broken heart*!

 

 

I DONT HAVE THE RIGHT IG PROFILE FOR POPULARITY

 

Ok, that was about what I did to grow my IG. But I think my problem is how my Instagram looks picture-vice. And yes… we have some stuff for improvement. But let me point of why my IG feed is not growth-worthy:

Lets starts with There she goes again´s observations.

Location:

I live in Patagonia, Chile right now and therefore most of my pictures are from there and is going to be until June 2017. Its indeed a stunning place, but not that known as e.g. Paris or New York. I didn’t even know it was an area, I just though it was a clothing brand, haha! Patagonia, Chile is still not a popular location when it comes to hashtags. #Paris has more than 57 million publications. #Patagonia has 1.5 million and #Patagoniachilena has around 68 thousand.

 

White, thin and attractive female;

 

I am sure my mom will say YES to all these characteristics! Well, I am white and I am female. I am 163cm / 5 ft small tall and a size medium. Being attractive is subjective – I know I am not an ugly person,but I am also aware about that I am not a beauty queen. I am average and I think I have a pretty face but nothing special. 

I am not very photogenic and I feel awkward smiling to the camera.  I started 1 year ago asking people to take pictures of me facing away from the camera. At that time I didn’t know it was a IG-thing. So its actually not to make the photo IG friendly – I just dont like my face on pictures. I dont look cute. I just look uncomfortable.

Of course you dont need to fulfil these 4 characteristic to have a popular account! The hope is yet not to be lost! We are just talking about some tendencies. Relax. No need to panic and go all “white Chicks”;-)

No no no… Its just a tendency! Keep being who you are, no need to change 🙂

 

Cute style:

Guys… I am living in an outdoor mekka where GORE-TEX shoes, GORE-TEX jackets and trekking pants are highest fashion! If you want to make a fashion twist you can add a colourful Buff scarf around your head. The Gucci bag is replaced by an Osprey backpacker. I have seen pretty outdoor pictures of women with all kind of fancy clothes, but seriously – nobody who hikes for days in the mountains with tent, sleeping bag, mattress, stove, gas, food, trekking clothes in a 65 liter backpacker carries around “IG photo worthy clothes for each day”. No. We are trying to carry as less as possible to not DIE in the mountains from exhaustion! 

Confession of a not so pretty Instagram: why I dont have 50K followers
No editing, just me with a glas of wine, my sexy outdoor fashion and an awkward smile (well, actually quite happy smile because I got wine.. )

 

MY PHOTOS ARE NOT PRETTY ENOUGH

 

The Patagonian weather is windy, cloudy, rainy, cold and sometimes sunny. It changes a lot. The nature is extreme and wild and you dont find beautiful white beaches with turquoise blue water. Most of my pictures I take with my cellphone are somehow dark because of the weather and the environment. My husband has a good camera and takes great pictures, but it doesn’t change how the circumstances are here in Patagonia. I am not saying you cannot take pretty pictures here. You can take brilliant pictures! But my iPhone is not the best tool with a dark sky and I often need to borrow pictures from my husband or make him take them. But 90% of my pictures are somehow cloudy!

Confession of a not-so-pretty Instagram: why I dont have 50K followers
Damn u clouds! I can’t even see half of this amazing glacier because of you!

 

I HAD LACK OF CONSISTENT STYLE AND A NICHE

 

It took me some while to get it but I haven’t had any consistent style on my IG. When I got a new editing app I went all crazy about trying different styles and filters to make my cloudy pictures look more bright and colorful. You can see my app filter experiments when looking further down my IG profile. I am like an indecisive child when it comes to style! I dont like to say A because what if I one day like B… or C? Today I try only to add a bit of saturation but avoiding filters (even though I really want to put all my pictures on the filter-rollercoaster simply because I think its funny).

Confessions of a less pretty Instagram: why I still dont have 50K followers
This photo is a perfect example on when I had a short term relationship with “The color app”. I thought it looked awesome! Almost like art…

 

Furthermore it took me some time to figure out my niche. Its like with the filter – I wanted to put up all kind of photos! Sometimes I even have the urge to put up ugly photos! I decided to put up the ugly and random photos on my private Danish IG account to separate things and satisfy my need for showing ugly photos. 

I focus on posting only outdoor adventures and experiences and that is my niche of dreamsbynana. That is my passion. I love to explore the outdoor world with my husband and we both have a passion for wild animals, beautiful lookouts, hiking in the mountains and living a simple life with love for the simple things. That is what I want my Instagram to reflect. 

 

I STOPPED OVER-THINKING MY IG GROWTH

 

Bottom line is that I still dont have the criteria for having a 50K IG profile. The photos are what they are so far. I still need to work with making prettier pictures.But I won’t cry about my less-pretty pictures. When I am exploring I want to be present and not think about things like “oh Jesus, I need to take a picture here for my IG profile to satisfy my 1.7K IG followers” (few days ago I wrote 1.9K, thats how fast people are escaping from me, haha). I take a picture now and then as a memory of the place, but I dont use too much time thinking about the angle, the light and my pose. As long as nobody pays me I need to keep my IG as a fun hobby and not a (unpaid) job. 

Instead I am trying to make good content and tell a story to make up for my less pretty pictures. Since my focus is outdoor experiences and I currently live in Patagonia I like to tell about life here; what you can do, travel tips and inspire people to come and experience it. I also want to “educate” people and create awareness about the nature and environmental issues we have. Sadly you see the effects of global warming here (yes, its real). 

So now you are pretty curios to see how my profile looks like right? I know its not that bad as I make it sound like. But I recognise what the 50K travel profiles have something that my IG doesn’t have. And recognition is the first step right? 😉 Wish me luck – one day I am going to make an awesome post about “How I got 50K IG followers”. 

 

 

Confession of a not so pretty Instagram: why I dont have 50K followers

 

Did you like the article? Do you have some friends who need to face some realities regarding their Instagram and lack of followers? Please share 🙂

Confession of a not so pretty Instagram: why I dont have 50K followers

63 comments

  1. Nana, first of all I loved reading your article !! And I have to admit that I am guilty of a lot of the things you mentioned in there and this gave me a couple of good laughs. I was recently in your neck of the woods Torres del Paine in Chile. I attempted to take off my wind breaker and put on some sort of IG friendly poncho and a hat to try and take the perfect “gazing into the distance” shot. The wind was throwing my hair around like the girl crawling out of the well in the movie The Ring, the hat went flying and almost hit a poor horse who was eating nearby …. it was quite the challenge !!! I do disagree with you on one point though… Patagonia IS pretty enough for Instagram! It’s so beautiful it’s unreal. But it’s not for the lifestyle traveler, so you have to work super hard to find the right audience. Your Instagram is beautiful by the way and your posts were so helpful planning my trip to Patagonia !

    1. Hahaha I laughed about your description 😀 The wind here is really something! You will find a lot of lost hats here. I brought a very IG friendly hat from Denmark with me to here, but I dont dare to have it on! And you are totally right, Patagonia is incredible beautiful! More beautiful when you have a day without low clouds so you are able to see the towers. I am working on making good pictures that dont look dark and cloudy but I probably dont have the right tool so until then – its cloudy pictures 😛 Thanks for commenting!

  2. Thank you so much for writing this! I have been struggling to grow my Instagram following because I don’t really like showing skin on a public profile, I’m not Caucasian, and I’m all about practical fashion rather than cute clothes. I think many female bloggers out there echo your sentiments. Keep posting good content and don’t give in to the trends. I’ll be rooting for you.

  3. There’s so much truth in this post! I also always wonder about the clothing. I’ve seen girls in evening dresses sitting on a piece of ice, and then others with short skirts and fancy sandals in the locations that it takes a serious hike to get to… My take is not to look at what others do, but rather try to find what works for you. Maybe one day I’ll decide to add brown/yellow filter on all my pictures that most 50k+ accounts seem to use, but for now I prefer skies to be blue and grass to be green… And I have no plans to start changing clothes on the mountain for that perfect shot…

    1. I am wondering the same – could be interesting with a “behind the picture” story from one of these photos. Because they do look pretty stunning! Thanks for your comment, appreciated 🙂 Best regards, Nana

  4. I’m so glad you wrote this. I have wondered all the same things…especially the skin baring photos in glamorous clothing. I travel with the kids and we always pride ourselves on packing light so we don’t have to schlep tons of stuff. AND we wear practical clothing, which includes sun protective gear. SO…..I’m the one covered up in long pants, long sleeves and a hat. I think I might be able to pull off the thin, white attractive part with enough makeup and great lighting…. but….who really wears high heels and flimsy dresses while traveling? And if you don’t….do you change? Spend a lot of time on changing and lighting and model photo type stuff when you could be site seeing?? NO way for us!! LOL! I’d rather be exploring the culture than wasting time on all that other stuff. I have experimented and find that flowers do very, very well – go figure. So…I’m trying to keep the IG real…while still keeping it pretty ….and very, very rarely include a photo of me or the kids. Since we aren’t glamorous…they don’t do well anyway.

    Thanks for the breath of fresh air!

    1. Thanks for your comment Natalie!
      I think it´s a mix: it might be arranged – that they went out on the location to make the photos with all the equipment and clothes OR it can be the case that someone just look damn good whenever or wherever they are! Some people just look good in everything. Or make everything look good 🙂 Well, we can’t all be glamours! And respect to those who make it a living way!

  5. Hey, I live in Paris and and trust me, it doesn’t make a difference. I’m white (and very, very pale) and female. Thin, nah. Size medium. I have less than 10k followers because I don’t show much skin, I’m average looking and my photos are not perfect because I’m no photoshop expert… Good post, interesting topic!

    1. Hi Kristine,
      thanks for your comment! And of course you dont need to fulfil these categories to be a popular account! There are many ways getting X amount of followers. Thank God for that 🙂

  6. I am at 20% of your followers lol, and yeah i get a few new followers a day but the numbers just keep bouncing back or decreasing, the horror! It’s tiring (and I’m kinda giving up caring lol). Great post!

  7. Instagram is my most favourite app but also the most frustrating! Sometimes I end up over thinking, or throwing up a picture of me and my friends because fuck it! If people don’t like it so be it. I’ve seen IG photo’s of people wearing fancy clothes hiking machu picchu.. that’s just not worth it! And FYI, I like your account 😅

    1. The struggle is real! Its a difficult game. I feel like you. Sometimes I just feel like giving up and dont care about it. Other times Im like ” this is fun! Lets try again!”. You gotta give some respect to the people who really manage this IG thing! Its not an easy thing

  8. I have 50 K followers, some of what you say is true some of what you say is not. I’m not a blonde, I’m not tiny and cute, in fact you’ll barely see me and my Instagram account. But I have been active on my account since October 2014, at first posting four photos a day spread out through the day to now where I only post one a day. I also travel all over the world and went to 46 countries this year, so I had a lot of material that was varied. I also only post some of my best photos. Good luck with your account, I will check you out. I’m hoping to be in Chile this summer as my husband is a Chileno and we want to come home!

    1. We can definitely understand your pain and struggle!

      This IG game is exhausting and can leave anyone puzzled and frustrated.

      You are in one of the world’s most stunning places and people should give it more attention and appreciate real beauty instead of flashy skin, sponsored fashion shoots and the same stuff all the time (selfies).

      Ah, btw one thing that drives me nuts is the follow/unfollow part, i can see someon in the comments who has done it at least 10 x and i just won’t follow her back. Why brag about having 50K followers when you follow back only 100? Seriously.

      I also get emails from companies offering 5K followers for like $100, no wonder why some people get lots of fake followers and grow numbers/likes fast!

      Stay true, keep up your good work y sigue adelante!

      Heading over to IG and follow you 🙂

      1. Thanks for your comment! And I totally agree – it is an amazing place! I just need to figure out how to make good pictures that are not that dark because of the clouds. And yes! I hate the follow/unfollow game! As mentioned I tried myself and I lost all joy for IG. You can almost be sure if there are no likes before the follow that the person probably haven’t seen your profile at all. Hugs, Nana

    2. Hi Cacinda, of course its not the recipe to get 50K, its just some tendencies and observations added with a lot of self irony:) There are many ways to get 50K and I know its a lot of hard work. If you are going to Chile u should def. go to Patagonia! Its beautiful here.

  9. This is so true. I grow but I’ll never make it to the big numbers because I don’t travel in tropical areas and I refuse to show my boobs for aome insta-likes. I think my bolivia and peru pics are great but the hashtags don’t work and people just don’t dig the location. Too bad. I think the followers that you do have and get are more genuine and interested in the same things as you are. That is more valuable than a 1k likes from a bunch of wannabe’s.

  10. This article speaks to me! I haven’t put a serious effort into attracting followers but a lot of what you say is why. I don’t actually put myself in my photos much, not because I’m self conscious or anything but I made the decision to show off the beauty of things I see travelling and felt that having my face all over is irrelevant…but apparently that’s what you need to do?

    Anyway loved your article, your account is more the kind of thing I like to follow so that’s another one you shouldn’t expect to lose! 🙂

    1. I actually like to put myself on landscape photos to create a contrast. Not all of them, but if its very green, grey or in general one color-ish I create some kind of contrast in the photo. Thanks for your comment! hugs, Nana

  11. I loved your article! And I prefer your Patagonian pictures over pictures of white sandy beaches, blue sea and palmtrees. In fact they look all the same! Keep up the good work!

  12. Ah the Instagram struggle is real… I’ve almost given up on trying to grow mine. The amount of time it takes to engage authentically to the level required to gain followers is just something I can’t give – I don’t want to get an automated system but I also don’t want to spend all of my free time on social media! I’ve read so many of those “how to get to 50k” posts this is such a refreshing change – thank you!

  13. Kudos to you for this! I feel ya girl, the follow/unfollow game makes me SO angry. I just followed you on Instagram and I think your photos are stunning, yet real. Keep doin’ you girl – I’ll be following you from here on out! 🙂

  14. I had so much fun reading this! And also, I can’t agree with you on some things. Who are these people who are unfollowing you? I think you are super attractive and I love the pictures you’ve taken 🙂 You’re getting one new IG follower for sure!

  15. I had so much fun reading this! Also, sorry to disagree, but I think you’re wrong about not being attractive – I think you’re beautiful 🙂 And I love the pictures you’ve taken! Who are these people who are unfollowing you? You’re definitely getting one new IG follower today 🙂

  16. Love this post! I hate the follow/unfollow game as really, what’s the point? You have a bigger number, but it’s all fake.
    I love your Insta as I love the beauty of Chile and I get to see Patagonia through your lens! So excited to be heading there next week!! Eeek.

  17. I hear you! Sometimes I feel like without long blond wavy hair, I don’t stand a chance… And then I again, I feel that many of these shots look like they require a lot of planning – picking outfits and setting up the camera – which is totally OK if you’re into fashion a lot, or a professional photographer, but I’m not too keen in spending that much time on taking photos of myself! The follow/unfollow game is really annoying – I can spot a player within a second when they start following me. It makes me angry sometimes, but I also know that I have followers who truly engage with me, and I with them – that’s worth more. And a good brand manager will know that when you approach them!

  18. Great article! And I love your Instagram as well. I really have a love/hate relationship with IG. All those fake comments, the whole follow/unfollow thing. It’s just so annoying. Come on people, do something with your life. I prefer to have a small account then to enroll in that stupid game.

  19. Some great thoughts, Nana! I’m completely new to the whole IG thing and I already know I will not make it big. And it’s OK. I find the typical IG photos silly and I will not suddenly look like a white princess with a fancy hat and flowery dress… I ‘m a hiker, a backpacker who loves beautiful landscapes. If people enjoy them – great, if not, whatever. I have no time for checking who friended/unfriended me and I actually choose IG profiles by what they show and if I like to see it.

  20. Uff I totally agree – I feel like instagram is something I have to do to accompany my blog but I don’t put that much effort into it as it feels pointless! I’m hoping to get to 10k by the end of 2017, so we’ll see how I go! I was travelling in South America last year too, and it feels like anything without Machu Picchu or a beach in it just doesn’t get noticed!!

  21. I’m a huge outdoors enthusiast (a little jealous of your Patagonia adventures) and my Instagram RARELY shows me looking fit for a public place or “cute”. But honestly I live in those clothes (seriously, I’m still in a fleece and snowpants right now) and I laugh at photos of people done up all cute in nature shots because 1) you are either on a walking path or next to a road and therefore deceiving your audience, 2) you actually WORE THAT into the wilderness – how uncomfortable are you – not to mention stupid, ie what happens if the weather gets bad or you get lost? or 3) you lugged that stuff up there just to change and take a photograph which is pretty silly. Sorry for the hate, but it TOTALLY bothers me. A lot of women work damn hard at outdoors activities. Instead of encouraging female badassing about in the wild – it cheapens it. For anyone who’s spent anytime outdoors – what you look like is typically the least of your concerns. It also encourage people to be reckless. Rant over now. But I love the honesty of this article. And your Insta 🙂

  22. Great article! I laughed so much – not AT you, Nana, but WITH you because I understand what it is like to want to show your surroundings (in my case Australia) without having to think about whether the shot is going to look good on Social Media!!! I haven’t yet done Instagram – and after your article I might not bother!! – but the same thing happens on FB. Sadly, we live in a world where people think that ‘liking’ something on FB or IG is the same as being there, or doing something, or being a part of what is going on. And for those people, a ‘pretty’ picture that is more eye-catching is more important than a social documentary or capturing the natural world as it is.

  23. I LOVED reading your article and it was so refreshing to hear someone speak about the realities and struggles of Instagram growth! I have felt the same frustration as you have, trying to grow my Instagram account and found myself nodding my head in agreement to every reason that you mentioned about the qualities of 50K Instagram accounts that some people just don’t have. I can totally relate to you and know for a fact that my account doesn’t meet the popular criteria either, but I am going to continue posting photos that make me happy and that showcase the beauty and realities of my life and the places I visit. Thanks for sharing your perspective on this!

  24. I really enjoyed reading through your post. It was funny, but also full of truth. I think the blogging community has been great regarding diversity, but a most visual medium (such as Instagram) still needs a little bit of work. Can’t wait to see all the beautiful places in your Instagram in person.

  25. I’m of the age where young and sexy no longer go together. Who cares? I’ve been an expat for 16 years. That says a lot more about me than a bunch of photos. I think the entire follow/unfollow mindest is simply stupid. Why people are obsessed with doing this is beyond me. I generally post photos as I take them unless I don’t have an Internet connection. I may or may not do a tiny bit of post-processing (less than 30 seconds). That’s why it’s called Instagram. I see my IG account as a daily archive of my life. If people follow me and like my photos that’s a bonus.

  26. LOVE THIS! My Instagram is no where near perfect. I’ve come across people who do anything for the perfect social media post and that’s just not for me. Yes, I have 22,000 Instagram followers, but I enjoy it more on a personal level instead of me trying to do crazy things in order to increase that.

  27. Oh I hear you.. The follow/ unfollow game drives me mad, I am at the stage now where I don’t even bother to follow back the 50k + or any followers who comment “Nice/ beautiful shot” on IG post that clearly is not even a photo..

  28. Hahaha! I’m a bit like you. First, I’ve been living out of the same wardrobe for more than 2 years. Believe me, I don’t have that cute style at all. My hair makes me look like an hippie, I love my jeans even though they are too louse for me now and… yeah, I’m not that cute I guess. Hahaha! I remember I had a conversation with another blogger about the female travellers on Instagram. Most of them are carrying more clothes to go on a hike or even cute little dress to travel around Europe to get a shot with the most famous landmarks. Personally, I’m not girly (or patient) enough to deal with that. Anyway, I have more than 50K followers… which is a shame as the engagement isn’t that great past a certain number. All I had to do was to travel to NZ and I got tons of followers since then… and this was a year and a half ago. I’m not there anymore, and my engagement is crap. I tried everything too, like comment pods… and with every new algorythms, I realized I’d need to be on IG at least 20h a day to have better engagement. So, I decided to give up… and do other things. I followed you. You’re the kind of girl I follow on IG. 🙂

  29. Love this, and thanks so much for the shout out 🙂 I love your husband’s remarks haha.

    Ultimately IG is just that–a platform! It can be tons of fun or it can be a total slog. I love it because I’ve always been interested in photography.

    And I’d totally argue that you’re beautiful 😉 But I get what you mean. My face goes so derpy in photos no matter how much I think about keeping my eyes open or not giving myself unnatural triple chins.

    I’m actually headed to Chile in April with a friend, so we should all totally meet up!

  30. I had a good laugh at this article! As you say, sometimes it´s desperate to see the five up five down numbers. I am really suspicious because this week I grew maybe by 20 followers which I didn´t follow back (they were too commercial or boring or whatever) and I am expecting a major downfall, haha. And hey, by the way, you can always delete the older posts you don´t like…(deleted like half of my feed yesterday and feel better now) – also I get the same urge to post “ugly” photos because sometimes they are just weirdly interesting. I don´t have a personal account (ain´t nobody got time for that) though…

  31. Building an insta following is hard and I’ve actually sort of let my account fall to the wayside because I was so discouraged. I also don’t really keep to a consistent style other than bright and colorful but I want to get back into it and try to really grow it out! The main thing is to enjoy it! If you aren’t having fun playing the game then just do it how you want and do it for yourself 🙂

  32. Thanks for that. As an older travel writer, Tweeter, IGer, I’m constantly struggling to up my numbers. Problem is, my demographic just doesn’t do Twitter and not a lot of IG. And it’s difficult to compete with younger, non-grandmother types. It’s a steep uphill battle but nice to know it’s not just me.

  33. Thank you for writing this post. It hits points that I’ve been wondering about. I’ve been experiencing the follow/unfollow thing and it bugs the heck out of me. Why would legit people want to do this? I initially got into this as a traveler and those are the IG accounts I like to follow. However, so many of them—solos, duos, families—play that game. I’ve started going through my follows and followers to see that they match up then unfollow the ones who unfollowed first. It’s time consuming and maybe even petty but because it bugs me, I do it. Nowadays, I don’t follow back the ones whose follow/followers numbers don’t at least match up somewhat. Oh well. I’m not what most consider pretty, don’t have that stick thin frame, but I do post decent images consistently most of the time. I’ll make do with that. Keep at it! Sarah : )

  34. I was thinking a lot about the Instagram game before. Now I don’t care much. I have a small account and I post it regularly. I decided to not get stressed about it and grow my account organically by quality and persistence. It is slowly growing and I prefer it this way rather that get hooked by a virtual reality.
    I lived in Chile for two years, just got back to Europe two weeks ago. It was the other extreme end of the country- Atacama ;-). Puerto Natales is so beautiful!

  35. LOL! This is hilarious, witty and oh so true! Instagram is a cruel game that a lot of us bloggers are still trying to figure out. I agree, as long as we work on creating kick-ass content and developing our authentic voice, what more can we do? Thanks for sharing! ~Annette

  36. YES! YES! YES! I’ve spent the last few months trying to follow the “rules” of instagram success. I’ve gotten more likes by following the likes but I feel fake doing it. I’ve decided to stop following the rules (at least to some extent) and do things my own way. If people want to look at a bikini babe on the beach, there are a million accounts out there to satisfy them. My account will be the world from my perspective. Hopefully, it’s a little less generic and therefore more interesting to those who are actually interested in travelling and learning from it.

  37. What a funny and witty article! From someone who also doesn’t have 50K followers but has been using Insta for a while, I think that the follow-no follow is definitely something that gets used a lot. But also hashtags are so important! You can have the best photo (or not) in the world and if you don’t use hashtags, less people will find and see it. My niche is outdoors, landscapes, etc – so I rarely feature in my photos and never show skin but I totally respect people who do. We all have different styles and different ways to represent ourselves. That’s the beauty of it. I think your feed looks amazing and it will keep growing!

    1. Well, a lot of people have success with the follow/unfollow thing – I didn’t haha 😀 I got tired after one week and suddenly my own feed was one weird mix! Sure people can show skin if they want to. I think many also get inspired by this – thats why most people like to follow beautiful people and beautiful pictures in general. Honestly I also follow people porn star /nude pic models – well, not so much because they show skin, but because I like to follow people with a totally different lifestyle, other type of feed, other type of audience. Its interesting and I love diversity. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  38. Thank you for sharing your frustrations with humor! I feel less alone with my thoughts on the IG game because of your post and all the genuine comments following it… I am celebrating my 50th year, so… Not really the bikini babe younger group! But that’s ok, because I believe us more “experienced” ladies have also a voice to be heard, and artistry to show off too 😉
    By the way, you are a good looking and interesting young lady, don’t ever believe the contrary! I like your IG feed too. Although I am French/ American, I believe that Paris is not the only place worth photography, this world has so much beauty to show! I have visited 39 countries, and will not stop there 😍 (but … Note to myself: I need to put up my images from Paris! Hahaha)
    Keep your smiles and your sense of humor ladies – and don’t give up!
    Aimée Fawn

    1. Of course experiences ladies have a lot to offer! And yes – put up them Paris photos! I think Paris has such a good appealing because of its amazing architecture and there is something very romantic about it. Everybody knows where Paris is – even though they haven’t been there. You cannot run from that! To be honest – I didn’t know shit about Patagonia! Never heard about it haha 😛 Thanks for your sweet comment, hugs Nana

  39. And this is why I leave Instagram to my other half, Pork Belly – he doesn’t give a damn about the followers, just posts random pictures that HE wants to! I’m so with you on the follow/unfollow game – I just won’t play. And I loved your husband’s comment – but did wonder if he’d have more success if he actually photographed a booby (the bird I mean!)

  40. Hi Nana! I just loved your post, I felt related to it, as I also struggle to know what is my niche and etc. Instagram is a very complicated platform to grown, in my opinion.. but sometimes makes me sad and wonder if people are really enjoying the moment and these experiences they share on instagram or is just for ”a pretty picture for my 50k followers”?
    I also love outdoor life and your instagram seems pretty cool to me, you got a new follower! haha
    I didn’t know your blog before, but sure now you got a new reader as well, will enjoy to follow your adventures in Chile.. I’m from South America, and I am always happy to see people exploring it! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comment! It is very hard! At least to grow organic. But well, the “competition” is also hard – its difficult to find a niche and even harder to have damn good pictures unless u are photographer which I am not 🙂

  41. Oh my gosh I literally laughed throughout reading your post – you are so funny! I know what you mean about these big accounts with their perfect pictures it’s so frustrating and some days I just don’t even want to see them because it makes me feel like crap. I opened my Instagram account for my blog in May 2016 fast forward to January I’m only at 2.5k I hate follow/unfollow and I have the Followers app too so when I see someone do that to me (like 24 hours later or less) I unfollow them cause they’re a jerk who doesn’t deserve to be in my newsfeed lol Good luck 🙂

  42. ha ha such an awesome article, really made me smile and also feel much better and make me realise I need to stop overthinking my IG, I probably check it every hour to see if anyone has unfollowed me ha ha….. I’m so sad!!!! Happy instagramming 🙂

  43. Hey Nana, I feel that this shouldn’t really bother you.
    Got millions of people out here, Instagram is all about amazing, beautiful pictures so just keep on posting need not worry about the followers.
    But now Im your follower. 🙂

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