I have to be honest – I look through numerous bloggers’ Instagram accounts daily and… I’m bored! They are all the same! I can divide them mostly into 2 categories: There are those perfect girls posing for perfect pictures and girls attempting to do that. Period. And the pictures are very much all the same. Beautiful girl walking like a movie stars down the street or drinking a fancy drink. As if the only purpose of IG was to make other people jealous of your perfect life (which, let’s be honest, is never perfect no matter how much you want it).
I won’t deny, I also have such images in my feed. In the end – I’m a photographer working with fashion bloggers and I should deliver what they expect. However, I try to capture the uniqueness of every girl and show her other hobbies, like, for example, in the case of Eleonora being a sportgirl.
Those perfect pictures don’t seem right. Nothing strange that many people point on bloggers as being ‘plastic’. But can we blame the bloggers? They are creating content that the followers love and share. However, as the number of bloggers has grown rapidly, it’s more and more difficult to get noticed.
So how to be original in the sea of bloggers? Here are a few ideas.
Find your niche
Don’t just create another fashion or beauty blog. There are thousands of them! The simpliest and most important way to be different and original is finding an interesting topic for your blog. Getting more specific in your niche can seem to be limiting your audience, but it’s quite the opposite. For example: if you start a beauty blog, you’ll disappear in the sea of such blogs. But if you start a blog about non-toxic cosmetics, your blog will work like a magnet for people interested in this subject, which not many bloggers talk about. In the end, you’ll get more followers, who are really engaged in this topic than if you’d just keep writing general beauty posts.
You’re stuck and don’t know which topic to choose? For example, Marina De Giovanni from NotAModel shows girls how they can look great with just a few easy steps. It’s still a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog, but it’s specific and the topic make many girls follow her.
Still need ideas? Let’s say you’d like to write about health and fitness. Seems specific enough? And how about narrowing it even further to: bodybuilding, crossfit, supplementing, ketogenic diet, etc, etc, etc? Being more specific gives you a chance to get noticed not only by potential followers, but also brands. For example, if a brand producing cosmetics with argan oil should choose to collaborate with a beauty blogger, how do you think, who would they choose: a blogger writing in general about beauty or a blogger specializing in cosmetics with natural oils?
Don’t try to be perfect – nobody is! And trying to look perfect make you seem fake and unreachable. Yes, maybe it can make you feel better that other comment with ‘oh’ and ‘ah’, but how long can you look at somebody perfect? I just get depressed and stop following such person. What irritates me the most, are not even the pictures. I’m a highly visual person, so I love good images. But when I’m trying to find out something about the girl on the picture… I mostly find captions like: ‘Follow your dreams’, ‘Happy Sunday’, ‘Be yourself’, etc, which, I’m sorry, don’t tell me absolutely nothing about the person who wrote them. This means the person remains anonymous to me, far and perfect as I’ll never be, but kind of being like a doll – nice to look at, but I soon forget about her.
As Jasmine Star says ‘Being professional stopped being cool in 1992’. As a blogger you are in fact selling yourself, so show yourself! Write personalized captions, let your audience connect and identify with you. Other girls want to believe they can be like you! So instead of saying ‘you’ll never be like me’, say ‘you can do it!’
You don’t believe that writing more personalized captions works? Check out my stats from participating in Jasmine Star’s IG Challenge. You can easily guess, when I started the challenge.
It’s the continuation of what I wrote above, but now I’ll talk more about pictures. Don’t post only staged pictures. Show some emotions! I’ll share a secret with you – something I’ve learnt while working with many bloggers and models. I’ve discovered that except the editorial pictures, where I need the studied pose (mostly), I usually take pictures between the poses. That’s right! I click the shutter just so that the girl moves to change position and that’s when I take the actual photo! Then the girls are more natural and look better. And you know what? They themselves prefer those images. When we look through the shots, they don’t like the poses ones. Even better – they don’t even realize which were posed and which were not. They just see which are better.
I know that girls want to look like the most popular bloggers and that’s where all those images come from. But try to relax and be yourself! (as boring as this sentence may sound, it’s the best advice I can give you). Smile, relax, don’t look straight into the camera, take pictures while you’re actually doing something (like walking, eating etc) and not just posing. You images will look much more real.
Write about something useful for people
If you want people to pay attention to you, give them something, before you take. Your blog shouldn’t be only about what you ate for breakfast. Be a source of information (like the latest trends or best creams for a dry skin) or be an inspiration. If you give them something useful, people will follow you and your audience will grow.
Create your unique visual style
You can get noticed also by the original style of your feed. Don’t try to be weird, to get the attention. But being consistent and creating and unusual look of your feed can become a part of your brand. How to do it? You can frame your images like @yasalamfashionblog, use always the same filter like @tezzamb or take pictures in a dominant color like @shiringosh (by the way, when I asked her if she made her feed on purpose to look pink or if it came out by accident, she told me it was the latter one, which means you can discover your style with time).
To be honest I’m also dealing with the mentioned problems myself. As I’m a photographer, my IG feed is a kind of my portfolio, so I can’t really post food, last Friday night etc. But I’d like to add some authenticity to my feed too. Lately I started adding some of my pictures and doing lives from my photoshoots, so that you can see how it really looks from the inside. If you have other suggestions for me or you’d like to share your thoughts about this post, leave a comment. I love hearing from you!