I know, I know. It seems like every blogger or ‘social media person’ has been annoyed with Instagram lately. It all seemed to start when the algorithm changed. Instagram went from a chronological feed to a ‘show best posts first’ feed (I’m sure there’s a fancy word for that, but you get it.) This seems to be a trend among social media platforms. And from their standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. Personalize a feed so users see more posts that they actually like. The users will then spend more time on your platform, and (hopefully) generate more revenue.
That, combined with Instagram Stories and IGTV (does anyone even still use that?!?) really did change Instagram. But my beef with the platform is not so much the less likes I’m getting on a picture. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about that. It’s how it changes the content other people upload. The whole platform feels less genuine, and it seems that everyone is catering their content to what Instagram wants it to be now, instead of sharing what they actually want to share. I can’t blame them, but there are a few things I refuse to participate in..
Pro Tip #1: Follow people so they follow you
Follow-for-follow is huge on every platform (Twitter follow trains anyone?) but Instagram is especially bad. I already know that when I’m followed by someone who has a bigger amount of following and does not follow a lot of people themselves, they will unfollow me as soon as I follow them (and if I don’t, they will also unfollow me). I just don’t like this stuff. I follow someone if I like their content, regardless if they follow me back or not. And I would like for people to do the same with me.
Pro Tip #2: Comment on everyone’s posts
A while back it seemed like bots on Instagram became all the rage. For some reason whenever you’d use a hashtag (even one!) you’d get comments that were just ”Cute!” or a random emoji. I think most people know this by now, but these comments are completely botted. People see it as a way to get their account out there but it sucks, especially if someone posts a sad update. A while back one of my friends posted an Instagram post of their grandmother, who was recently admitted to the hospital. The first comment on the post was a heart-eyes emoji.
Pro Tip #3: Post every day around the same time
If I snap a pic I like I want to post it now. That’s just how my mind works. I guess if I have a ton of pics I like, I will keep some in my catalogue for later. But most of the time I’m too impulsive to wait with my pics. If I don’t do that, that just takes the ”insta” out of instagram for me. Continue reading
I have fallen in and out of love with running for over four years now. Here’s the thing: running isn’t enjoyable when you first start, but the more I do it – especially combined with some strength training and yoga – the more I love it.
But over those four years, I have pressured myself when it comes to fitness. I constantly had a voice in my head saying ”sure you ran 8km today, but someone else ran 16km at a much faster pace. So you need to work on that.”
And that little voice, that inner critic, is what made me quit all these times. I’m a pretty competitive type A person, and without noticing I was constantly competing. With myself more so than with others. And although that is a great source of motivation, getting myself down because I wasn’t where I wanted to be fitness wise is not healthy. Not if it actually makes me feel worse about myself.
But I’m done with that critic, it does not fit with my 2018 resolution of being kind to myself.
I have been getting back into my running routine for the past few weeks or so. And I’m trying really, really hard to just work through it and have patience, without feeling like I’m never doing enough. I want to be better, sure. I want to improve my PR’s and run races again. I still have the dream of running a full marathon someday, something I haven’t been able to get out of my head in the past few years.
So here’s to actually running on a regular basis. Trusting the process. Being okay with where I am. Being kind to myself.
Fun fact: I took this picture earlier this year in Barcelona, as part of a project where I photographed every bed I slept in. 🙂
You are probably not a morning person. I’ll tell you a secret: I am not a morning person either. Yet here I am writing this, on a Monday morning before 8am, after a morning yoga practice and a shower. I do not have class until 2:00pm today, yet I still chose to wake up at 6:30. Today I’m here to share with you why, and what I do exactly with all that time in the morning.
Why I do it..
Mornings are quiet and peaceful
I don’t like dealing with people most of the time. That sounds harsh, but I’m an introvert and I enjoy quiet time to recharge. Now, I live in a large city, and quiet moments are rare. But when you get up when most of the world is still sleeping, it brings a certain kind of peacefulness to your day. The key here (for me) is to not get my phone out first thing in the morning. I repurposed an old iPhone 5 which is my alarm now, and I let my actual phone charge. As I’m writing this at my desk, it’s 8, I’ve been awake for an hour and a half and I have not checked my phone yet. I have not checked social media, my e-mail, the news, anything. I have noticed how important it is to check in with myself and have a human moment before I let the content of my phone tell me how to feel. It has certainly happened in the past that I woke up and read something completely disheartening, and it does throw off my mood.
Getting up early makes me feel like the day has more to offer
The 24 hours we get each day are equal for everyone. But I’m one of those people that gets less productive as the day goes on, and by the time 5:00pm hits it’s incredibly hard to concentrate on work or projects, my brain just feels fried. Now, if I have to, I will do it. But it doesn’t make me happier. By getting up early I basically extend the time I’m productive, and because I’m in such a nice routine, falling asleep and getting enough rest isn’t hard either. Continue reading
What was the hayday of blogging? Many people don’t know that I’ve been blogging on different platforms for close to 10 years. I used to write stories on Livejournal and Blogspot, and later I started writing a personal blog. Throughout the years I have rebranded, repurposed and renamed everything. It always made sense to me, because I like my blog to be a reflection of my personal life, and – obviously – my life has changed a lot in the last ten years. I’m 22, currently in law school. In the past I got a degree in journalism, did a year-long course in social work and worked as a freelancer on the side.
When I have this conversation about blogging with people, they often ask me about the past and the future of blogging. Does blogging content even have a future outside of SEO? If you go follow bloggers on Twitter, you’ll notice a trend of ”omg the blogging world used to be so much better and more kind. Nowadays it’s all about follow trains and getting brand deals.” I both agree and disagree with this statement.
Making money blogging
Throughout the years, blogging has definitely become more commercial. If you started a long time ago, just like me, you probably never made a blog with the idea that you were going to make so much money. Here’s the thing, there used to be no money and blogging. Now, there is money in blogging, but almost every niche is also very oversaturated. So now you could argue that making money is even harder, because you have to be in the top 0.1% to even have your content read by a large audience, let alone make money with it.
However, this is not why I blog. I have made some money from my blog in the past (plus I still get free books semi regularly because I review them) but it is not my aim. This is why after ten years, I’m still here. I always enjoyed the community aspect of blogging. But is that community aspect holding up?
Comment threads and follow trains
I hate to go all ”everything used to be better!” on you, but I do really miss the time where other bloggers would comment on my posts because they truly enjoyed them, and not because they were trying to grow their own audience. I know those people are still around and I appreciate each and every single one of you, but they aren’t as common as they used to be. If you are among the latter, please know that there is nothing wrong with commenting to grow your audience. We all want to grow our audiences and you are not at fault for wanting to grow your own. Continue reading