Overcoming the Instagram Pressure

It’s Wednesday and that little voice in my head tells me I need to get that blog post out. In fact, it’s told me I should’ve had it completed this weekend and pre-scheduled to publish tonight. “Terra”, it says, “You knew you were traveling twice this week. You should have planned better and earlier”. According to my content calendar, tonight’s post was supposed to be a “10 Minute Holiday Makeup” tutorial. The plan was to film that tutorial over the weekend, but in never happened because I was sick.

Overcoming Instagram Pressure as a BloggerTwist Back Sweater // (Similar for under $20 here) // Boots (similar for less here) // Jeans // Bag

They say “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, but in the world of fashion and beauty blogging it’s “the busiest time of the year”– or for a one year vet like myself, “the most overwhelming time of the year.” There are Cyber Monday sales to share, gift guides to create, sparkly holiday outfits to style– and a whole lot of pressure to step things up because everyone else is. But the reality is I’m overwhelmed. I’m tired. No, I’m exhausted. My passion for this blog stems from it being a creative outlet to share style and beauty advice in a way that positively impacts you. Lately though it feels like the fun has been sucked out and there’s one big reason at the heart of that.

Overcoming Instagram Pressure as a BloggerTwist Back Sweater // (Similar for under $20 here) // Similar necklaces: this layered with this // Boots (similar for less here) // Jeans // Bag

Enter Instagram. To non-bloggers, Instagram is a social media platform for sharing photos with friends and family, but for us late-night writers it’s a totally different beast. Instagram is a very powerful platform to create awareness and drive traffic to a blog and it’s where the majority of brands that reach out for collaborations first discover my content.

But behind the scenes, Instagram can be a dark, dark place. As a new blogger, networking with other bloggers has been important to learn and grow, and I’ve been fortunate to develop close friendships with amazing girls thanks to the ‘gram. But every time I look at another blogger’s Instagram account, the three numbers at the top cause my brain to instinctively compare success. These numbers immediately tell me how long another blogger has been at it and her success in terms of followers relative to mine. I don’t want to compare, and it has never affected a relationship with another blogger for me, but there it is smacking me in the face. And as I scroll down, there is a beautiful gal with amazing hair, living a seemingly perfect life. Nothing like mine, I think…then I realize my feed probably strikes her the exact same way. Compare, compare, compare. And that little voice inside my head tells me, “no Terra, don’t, you can’t.” And for once, that little voice is right. I’m a mom to a four year old, I have a demanding full time career. Maybe they do too, but then again perhaps they don’t. And besides, what does it matter? What matters is my dialogue with my readership (“following”, in the Insta lingo). It’s about helping make your beauty routine and wardrobe easier and more functional. And that’s where I’m struggling. Lately I’ve been worrying instead about the numbers and worrying about getting that “perfect” shot, because when I post something not up to snuff I lose followers.

It’s brutal. Or maybe, I’ve just let it be brutal.

Overcoming Instagram Pressure as a BloggerChenille cardigan // Boots (similar for less here) // Jeans // Necklace (similar) // Belt (similar for less here) // Bag

The other day I was thinking back a year. I had a following of less than 500 and I was having so much fun. Fun creating outfits, fun coming up with posts, fun taking photos- which of late has become a stress fest for the reason above.

I’m realizing I need to completely reset and not look at the numbers. I need to continue to operate like no one is watching, even if there are thousands of eyes on every photo I share. And if I share one that makes people stop following me, so what? They probably weren’t Fifteen Minutes to Flawless’ biggest fans to begin with. Do I want to grow? Absolutely. But I need to remind myself it’s not about the growth, it’s about fulfilling on my mission.  If I can develop content I am proud of, that genuinely helps you, then I’m happy. It’s time to let go of the negative voice and let go of comparison. And finally, it’s time to let go of fear, the fear that I’m not pretty enough or that my photos aren’t alluring enough. I’ve always known I have something of value to offer, and it’s time to refocus on that.

Overcoming Instagram Pressure as a BloggerEarrings // Cardigan // Top // Sunglasses

If you happen to be another blogger reading this, I’d love to know what helped you avoid comparison and turn off the Insta- “noise”.

And I promise I’ll still be sharing that 10 Minute Holiday Makeup Tutorial. 🙂 Thank you so much for letting me take tonight to share this struggle with you. It’s amazing how much better I feel just after just “writing it out.”

Love always,

Terra

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18 Comments

  1. November 29, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    Girl!!!! I love your rawness with this post! I am totally with you!! At times, it’s hard and rough when you put forth effort and it doesn’t go over as planned! It hard to not look at numbers! I love your feed and please know I appreciate your pictures and all the love and planning you out into it!!

    • Terra
      December 3, 2017 / 11:37 am

      Thank you Brittan!! I appreciate it so much girl. It can be hard at times not to look at others, but I think the key is remembering why we started in the first place (for me it was a desire to create and share my unique perspective on style and beauty in a way that helped others look and feel their best in less time). It had nothing to do with what anyone else was doing and it still shouldn’t, even if I’m more aware of what other bloggers are doing these days. Just know that you are doing amazing girl and doing an amazing job with your content. Keep up the great work! <3

  2. Renee Watts
    November 29, 2017 / 10:26 pm

    You are a rockstar, don’t ever doubt that for a minute! Thank you for sharing with us, and please believe we want to share this happy journey with you, you have a ton of wonderful insights to share with us all, never forget that. 🙂

    • Terra
      December 3, 2017 / 11:29 am

      Thank you SO much Renee! When I read your comment the other day it helped so much. I hope you are doing well! <3

  3. November 29, 2017 / 11:13 pm

    I love your honesty in this post! I have been feeling the exact same way. I started to work on a big Black Friday post on Thanksgiving and then I realized I only have limited time with my family.

    • Terra
      December 3, 2017 / 11:28 am

      Thank you Courtney! And thank you for reading. Family is most important. Also, I think our audiences see and pick up where our priorities are, and making these types of choices will reflect positively with them. <3

  4. November 30, 2017 / 12:52 am

    Love this post ❤️ Thank you for your honesty. I can relate and I’m only 5 months in as a blogger. 😘

    • Terra
      December 3, 2017 / 11:25 am

      Thank you so much for reading, Heidi! It’s definitely a challenge. If there was one thing I could tell myself just starting, it would be to turn off the comparison noise. I feel like now it’s a subconscous habit of looking and comparing that I have to now consciously work to turn off. Best of luck girlie! <3

  5. November 30, 2017 / 1:21 am

    Aw girl I feel you! I have been feeling the same way with blogging! It’s okay to step back a little to take a little break to unwind so you can be more creative. I understand about comparing yourself to others, I had to stop doing that because it wasn’t worth it and I realize I am my own person with my own taste of style. You are awesome girl, keep going and you will get there! ❤️ Xo

    • Terra
      December 3, 2017 / 11:24 am

      Thanks girl! So much props for stopping with the comparison and focusing on what makes you unique. Your style is gorgeous and I really love how it’s also totally specific and authentic to you. <3

  6. November 30, 2017 / 1:32 am

    I love blogging. I stopped though (mainly due to increased time commitments with J going into elementary school and adding a second child). I say I’m going to get back into it, but it’s so hard to try once you stop. My advice would be to keep at it! It’s so much harder to get back in once you lose your groove.

    • Terra
      December 3, 2017 / 11:21 am

      Hi Jess, thanks so much for reading and for your thoughts. I can see how it would be much harder to get back into it after. Hope you and the fam are having a wonderful holiday season so far! <3

  7. November 30, 2017 / 9:14 am

    LOVE this post! It’s so true that it’s super easy to get caught up in all the Insta madness. I’ve found even after just a few months of blogging that I get hyper-critical and comparative. I spent hours the other night trying to figure out Black Friday posts, when I realised I didn’t even WANT to write about Black Friday. I felt I needed to because every other blogger was doing it. It was liberating to just say “screw it” and not post anything.

    On the other hand, I’ve noticed a huge surge in people doing the “follow – unfollow” thing on Instagram. It sucks because a lot of times when you lose followers it isn’t even because they aren’t interested, it’s because they only followed you to get you to follow them back. And then they unfollow you a day later. I think when you stay true to who you are (even though sometimes that’s harder), it shows to your followers and can actually benefit you in the long run.

    • Terra
      December 3, 2017 / 11:18 am

      Hey Kelsey, thank you so much for reading and I’m so glad you enjoyed. I know exactly what you mean about Instagram’s ability to make you hyper-critical. I have so much respect that you decided the Black Friday post wasn’t for you and didn’t do it. I think with blogging it’s so important to be authentic, and if something doesn’t feel authentic or if it’s something you don’t want to write about it’s best to say screw it, even if everyone else is posting on the topic. The beauty with blogging is we each get to share our unique content and point of view. And yes, the follow-unfollow thing is very frustrating. I have seen it damage relationships with bloggers when one does it to the other and I still don’t understand why others do it. It’s a short-term gain that has the potential to do much more hurt than good because I’ve noticed bloggers track and remember who does it to them (sites like Social Blade track it too). The key to growth isn’t “tricking” people into following you but rather to create and share content that resonates with your target audience. That’s the only way to grow long-term. Thanks so much for reading! It’s been so wonderful to connect through this blogging journey. <3

  8. Elizabeth Terry-Roisin
    November 30, 2017 / 3:13 pm

    Hi Terra,
    Thank you for sharing this! What you’re saying here applies to lots of different areas of life–blogging, careers, family, facebook, instagram, all sorts of stuff. It’s great to remind ourselves to let go and not compare ourselves to others, to try to do our best, but also be willing to forgive ourselves and take whatever time we need for self-care and rest. Love ya!!

    • Terra
      December 3, 2017 / 11:08 am

      Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much for your comment and feedback. Its way too easy to compare our lives to others, blog or no blog, in our social media world (and even social media aside to compare). Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to share here. Love ya!!

  9. November 30, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    Terra, THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your truth! Gosh, I’m exhausted too and I’m just celebrating my one year Bloggaversary. Instagram has been really hard for me to keep up with it, and the blog and working full time and attending 8 weddings (in 2) this year, and travel and family and YES!! (Gosh you have a 4 year old, work full time and get all these blogs out?? You’re my hero!)!! It’s my goal for 2018 to be more consistent with my blogging and to keep letting go of the Instagram comparison, it’s a DAILY practice. It’s awesome to have the support of people like you and other bloggers! Keep it up girl, you’re doing an amazing job!!
    xoxo
    Kellie
    TheBicoastalBeauty.com

    • Terra
      December 3, 2017 / 11:05 am

      Hi Kellie, thank you so much for the feedback girl! You are doing an amazing job and I enjoy your posts (I love how “real” you are). You’re right, letting go of the comparison is a daily practice. I’ve been trying to train myself the last few days to ignore my three Instagram numbers as well as others and I’m hoping it’s one of those things that with 60 days of practice a new habit starts to form. Thank you again so much! Even though Instagram can be tough, I am so glad we’ve connected through it. <3

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