I’ve survived the terrible two’s–the first two months of blogging, that is. These have been some of the most unpredictable days of my life! One day I’m overwhelmed with ideas and deadlines for publishing, the next I’m out of fresh ideas and bored. The day after that, I fall into a deep depression thinking I will never produce worthy content.
My first month of style blogging was a lot like your first month of blogging: just me floundering in a flurry of hopefulness and awkward photos that looked like lame attempts at copying what I thought was cool. I’ve grown a little since then.
Since my Instagram has seen the most growth (up 200 followers~ thank you all XOXO) I felt it was time to look back on my progress on that platform. Here are 6 of my best and worst photos so far, and the lessons I learned from them.
Each of these photos I’m about to share are from my first two months as a blogger. I’ve rated them best or worst based on Instagram analytics’ “engagement” category. That just means the top 3 posts im sharing got the most likes and comments, while the bottom 3 got the fewest likes and comments.
Okay, let’s start with my third most popular photo
- The advanced mirror selfie
I just posted this one this weekend, and it immediately caught up to some of my earlier posts that have been around for months.
I spent an unreasonable amount of time trying capture this—especially since it was in a cramped bathroom and there wasn’t much natural lighting. While trying to focus the lens on the reflection in the mirror, I somehow smudged that red lipstick all over my camera and still haven’t managed to get it out.
The lesson: if you aren’t sweating your ass off trying to get the right shot, you aren’t doing visual blogging right. It takes a lot of patience and creative thinking to nail a shot. I know as much as the next blogger that doing photos, videos, managing your social media and finding time to actually write a blog post is a lot of hard work, but don’t skimp on quality. If you’re really too stressed, try decreasing the number of times per day/week you post, rather than decreasing your quality of posts.
Which brings me to…
- Okay, here’s one of my worst style photos : the hand-selfie.
On the fourth of July, I had just been blogging and trying to grow my Instagram following for two weeks. A that time I was trying to post three times a day. I figured this would be a quick and easy post to throw some hashtags on and get instant engagement. But the truth is, you guys saw through me. Who really wants to see a photo of a hand, even if it is holding a cute sangria?
The lesson: Cheap photos encourage cheap reactions. If you’re in it for the long haul, invest time and effort to prove that to your followers.
- Moving on to my second best photo
I was actually surprised this photo got so much love. I kind of half-assed it because it was my period and I was miserable. I wasn’t in the mood to pretend that life was all sunshine and flowers (despite what it looks like..) so I kept it real with my comment. Anticipating that this would not be a popular photo, I felt the need for a little poetry in my comment, mentioning that it was my period but that I was trying to still enjoy my day. I even shared that I like wearing boyfriend jeans on my period because they’re loose and comfy–and asked my followers if they do the same.
With some bright shoes, a perfect prop and a positive quote, I turned it into Insta-gold.
The lesson: a good blogger should always work their words to their advantage—even on Instagram.
- And now another terrible mistake I shall endeavor never to repeat:
Another hand-selfie… and this was just three weeks ago.
So, when I first started blogging I read up on a lot of famous bloggers including Aimee Song of Song of Style. “Armswag” shots, or jewelry shots, worked for her. But it turns out no matter how well I dress up my arms, they just don’t get results.
This is why it’s better to stay true to yourself. I probably won’t try a hand shot again unless I’m wearing Cartier’s 230,000 dollar panther bracelet, in which case you better believe I’mma take selfie.
- Before moving onto my most successful photo, I want to take a look at my least successful photo because it reminds me that art is, ultimately, subjective.
I had just started experimenting with photographing my style and thought this angle was so artsy and creative. Alas, it only received a humble 31 likes. In hindsight, it doesn’t make me cringe like those hand selfies, and I would probably still post something like this today.
The lesson here: while you should always try to learn from your failures, remember to post the type of content you would want to see. Even if at first it doens’t get results, in the long run it will make you stand out as unique and original compared to thousands of others doing what’s popular.
- Now, finally, onto my most loved photo since I started blogging.
This moving day photo! Coming in at 127 likes and 5 comments, this takes the cake for best Insta photo so far. It also earned the most overall views.
You really liked this photo of me moving into my new apartment, probably because it looked so natural and, hate to say it, candid. At least compared to what I had been putting out there prior to this.
You guys, it took 6 weeks for me to produce my best content. This photo was born from fear and anxiety and stress, because the sun was setting and I had spent all day moving and I didn’t want to skip a day of posting.
What I learned from this photo was that my audience likes natural me a lot more than the ‘chasing popular trends” me. Most of all, it’s not only okay to be myself but necessary if I want to really engage my followers.
That was 6 photos and 6 lessons from a new photographer and blogger slowly growing.
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Thanks for reading XOXO