I started blogging during the summer of 2017. It started as a fun hobby to try out. I was pretty good with computers, I loved taking pictures, and typing out my thoughts seemed just as easy to me as talking aloud. It then turned into something more. Companies began contacting me asking if I would represent their products on my blog. I have accepted offers from companies that I loved and admired, but also have declined companies that I didn’t feel I could represent.
As I started blogging more, I also started using my Instagram account as a related platform that sometimes led to the blog. I more than doubled my Instagram following in just a few months of utilizing it differently. I became more passionate about the photographs that I was taking, posting different content than I had before.
One day I posted a picture on Instagram that I was very proud of. The lighting was beautiful, the caption was sarcastically hilarious, and the content was spot on. Later that night when I hopped back on Instagram I was surprised at how many random people had liked the photo, but how many of my friends and family members had not. I then went back to other photos and looked to see who exactly was liking my content. Since most of my following is friends and family I would have assumed that they would be the ones liking my content more than strangers or new followers, but almost all of my pictures were in fact the opposite.
At first I was a little put off. I thought why are these people who love me and know me not supporting my content? Why are they scrolling past my pictures without giving me the double tap? Then I realized two reasons why.
They didn’t sign up for this.
They didn’t sign up for this content. They didn’t subscribe to my new form of Instagram. They didn’t sign up for the #sponsored posts from companies contacting me. They didn’t start following me to find out the amazing deal I got on this new sweater. My friends and family had started following my account when I was a non-blogger, just casually posting about my life here and there.
They use Instagram differently.
Most people use Instagram as a form of posting photos and videos for friends and family to see. Myself as well as other bloggers use it differently. We utilize it as a platform to drive to another social media platform. We use it for networking and to connect. We use the Instagram account as a whole, and not just a single photograph posted randomly. Bloggers use Instagram differently, and in a way that others may not be able to relate to, and that’s okay.
If you are a blogger, affiliate, or influencer it’s important to remember that you can have a following without your friends and family. It does not mean that they don’t support you, it just means that they don’t fully understand what it is that you do.
After months of blogging I have found a small following. People that were once strangers continue to like each post and picture that I post today. They support me, send me words of encouragement, and love what I am passionate about most. Find those people, and don’t be upset with your friends and family for just having a different outlook.