10 Things I’ve learnt About Insta In the Last 48 Hours

I’ve just signed up for Instagram (or Insta for the cool kids).

I am clearly no expert – I don’t know my Gingham Filter from my Ludwig, and my hashtags are either made up or copied from someone else’s post! BUT, they say first impressions are the most important, so here are 10 things I’ve learnt about Insta since we became aquainted two days ago.

[note: the observant amongst you will realise I actually joined Instagram about 4 weeks ago, but this post was written after 2 days and I’ve just not had chance to publish until now!]

A post shared by Lucy At Home (@lucyathomeblog) on

10 things I’ve learnt about Insta in the last 24 hours

1. The whole world is on Instagram

Okay this is possibly not true… but it feels like it!

It seems like my entire contacts list has an Instagram account. I must’ve missed the sign-up memo. Ah well – better late than never, eh?!

2. You find out a lot more about people on Insta

Instagram is great for nosy people (like me!). You get snaps of people’s lives in real-time and you see them in their home environment so you get much more of a flavour of who they are.

A post shared by Lucy At Home (@lucyathomeblog) on

3. The pull to lose your anonymity is strong

I don’t show mine or my kids’ faces on my blog. It’s my personal preference so that I can talk about personal issues and thoughts without having the embarrassment of having to discuss it with a randomer at the school gate.

BUT when you’ve taken the most adorable photo of your little sproglet showing off the gap in her teeth or trying on your granny’s hat, the temptation to click ‘share’ is so strong, it’s almost painful!

4. Just because they follow your Twitter account doesn’t mean they’ll follow your Insta one

I guess I just assumed that my Twitter contacts would convert into Instagram contacts; that they would follow me back once I had searched them out.

Not so! Ouch!

5. Instagram filters are some sort of wizardry

I’m not much of a photographer. I am meticulous about detail, but I have ZERO creativity! However, a quick zap from an Instagram filter and my photos are transformed into something semi-passable! Amazing!

6. People think you’re stupid

I’ve already been followed by a handful of people with 10k+ followers but who only follow several hundred people. Do I have “stupid” written across my forehead? (actually I might have because, as an anonymous blogger, you have no idea what I look like – see point number 3 – so let me assure that I do not have “stupid” tattooed anywhere on my body.)

I might be an Insta-novice, but even I can see that the minute I reciprocate the follow, you will vanish, never to be heard from again. Thanks, but no thanks!

7. My photographs are not up to scratch

As magical as they are, Instagram filters can only go so far. My photographs lack the composition and effort and vision to really make them successful on a platform like this. It might be because all my contacts are bloggers (aka semi-professional photographers), but each photo that appears on my feed is like a work of art.

I am hoping that perseverance will hone my photograph-taking skills. But in the meantime, I’m sorry and… bare with!

A post shared by Lucy At Home (@lucyathomeblog) on

8. Hashtags are big business

Coming from a Twitter background where 1 or 2 hashtags is the norm, the number of Instagram hashtags makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know why. I think I feel like I’m spamming people somehow. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though.

9. Interaction is high

Whereas a tweet is doing well if it gets 3 or 4 likes, many of my friends get over 100 likes on their Instagram photos! I reckon that’s because Instagram is so visual so you can take the post in instantly. It’s also really therapeutic (and addictive) just scrolling the photographs and tapping the heart on the ones you like. No typing necessary.

10. Beauty can be found anywhere

I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, but joining Insta has pushed me to look for photo opportunities in my everyday life, rather than just the special occasions. I took my daughter around the park today and, when I took the time to look, there was beauty everywhere!

A post shared by Lucy At Home (@lucyathomeblog) on

And 2 Things I’m still totally baffled by (any advice gratefully received)

a) How do you get blog traffic from here?

I can’t work out how to use Instagram to boost my blog traffic. You can’t post a hyperlink on Insta which surprised me, because that means you can’t direct people straight from a photo to your blog. It seems like writing “link in bio” is the thing to do, but so far… zilch!

b) What is the purpose of Insta Stories?

I haven’t dared to click the Insta Story button yet (partly because I’m scared that it will immediately start broadcasting to the world without me noticing!) I’ve watched other peoples’ stories and they’re really interesting. But I have nowhere near enough content to keep my Instagram account moving forward AND make extra content that will disappear in a few hours!

Also, I know I’ve been tagged in a couple of stories but I don’t know how to respond (sorry Wendy & Emily). Can you comment on them or do you just smile to yourself and move on??

c) How do you re-post someone’s photo?

On Twitter, I’m all about sharing other people’s work but it seems like this isn’t a thing on Instagram. However, I do know that a couple of my photos have been re-posted as part of a hashtag round up so it must be possible. I still need to work this out.


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Add yours
  1. 2
    Pamela lorimer

    Instagram is still crazy to me! I love it and all its wizardry! The hashtags scared me too fr a while tou are exactly right about feeling like you are spamming it takes a bit of getting used to after twitter! #instagramnovice #hashtags #triumphanttales

  2. 4

    Oh this follow for follow malarkey with insta really does my head in. It is definitely the worst part. I will genuinely only follow a feed if I like it or its owner. I’ll never follow in the hope they follow me then unfollow a few days later. Craziness. #triumphanttales

  3. 6
    Vicky | The Flourishing Pantry

    Found you through #DreamTeam linky!

    Loved this post as someone slightly addicted to Instagram, I’ve been on it for 18 months. Completely agree with you about your observations. Instagram is really ‘social’ social media with lots of interaction and people wanting to build friendships and get to know you through photos and descriptions. I know it’s been slammed recently as bad for young people’s mental health, but I find if you follow the right people it can be a very supportive and inspiring environment.

    My answers to your Qs would be:

    a) it’s very difficult! Insta is not really ideal for building traffic to your blog, Pinterest and Twitter are bigger referees for me. It’s more about brand and relationship building. If you do want to steer people towards your blog then put a link to it (or better still the URL of your latest post) in the website option in your profile and then in your photo descriptions mention your blog and tell readers to “click on the link in my bio for more!” etc.

    b) Use Insta stories for photos that aren’t quite perfect (as you’ve spotted, high standards on Insta for what goes into your feed!!) or just for capturing real life. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it will delete in 24hrs anyway. I was just like you when it started, scared to use it. But now I use it just to capture my day or behind the scenes on my photos so people get a better sense of the real you.

    If you comment on a story then it just goes as a DM to that person, it’s not seen by the world.

    c) As they say “there’s an app for that!” I think it’s called something like Regrammer. I don’t do it personally – I try to only post original content. But it is popular and a good way to showcase people you like as long as you give full credit of course. You could always just do a screen shot and trim the photo and post it I guess….

    Hope that helps! x

  4. 8
    Meals and Makes

    I think you know more about Instagram than me. I like your photos. Have given you a follow and promise not to unfollow the next second (why DO people do that, its really annoying!!).

  5. 11

    I’m the opposite of you in that I started with Instagram and have only just found Twitter. I love Instagram as I love taking photos and looking at beautiful images BUT I agree about the following malarky! It took me a while to work out that people would follow me just for a follow and then they would unfollow me! I’m just too “nice” I reckon! Now I do a clear out every now and then (same on Twitter) in that if you dont follow me back….bye! It’s all not real anyway! I do get people reading my blog posts from Instagram though…I just put the feature photo with NEW BLOG POST or something. Having posting! #Dreamteam

  6. 13

    from what i’ve gathered to share a post you have to screen shop, @their name in it and #regram but it means the original person doesn’t get the credit. all my photos are natural, the only thing i do with mine is a simple cut of the background out, #triumphanttales

  7. 16
    jeremy - thirstydaddy

    I haven’t figured out how to get blog traffic from IG either. Most of the stuff I post there are pics that I’ve used in a blog post, so maybe if its seen on IG it will remind people to pop over to the blog if they haven’t been in a while? I signed up because brands like the cross promotion when I do something sponsored. Its an enjoyable time waster, but I try not to fuss too much over it. #triumphanttales

  8. 17

    I haven’t been on Instagram that long either, and I totally agree with all your points! I haven’t noticed any blog traffic from it at all if I’m honest!

  9. 20

    I LOVE Instagram, if you’re on the lookout for good hashtags try using the app- tag o matic. you can create lists there and C+P them into Insta posts. Stories is a bit of a weird one, I’m a fan of the boomerang feature on it- just cos it makes me laugh haha! but no, it won’t auto broadcast. I don’t use it very often either if I’m honest!
    Followers are hard to come by on Insta. #coolmumclub

  10. 22
    The Squirmy Popple

    I still don’t really get Instagram – or how to use it for blog purposes! I also don’t show my daughter’s face, which makes it tricky to share engaging photos sometimes. It’s my least favourite of the social networks – and I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn for work, so that’s really saying something. #ablogginggoodtime

  11. 23

    It js funny old place! I love taking photos and looking at photos so love Instagram so love it for this. No idea how it helps with your blog and Instagram stories are usually just me messing about! Silly really!
    Feel the same about the hashtags bit read a great post by The Parenting JUngle on this and how you can build up your views by the use of hashtags. Enjoy for now though! #ablogginggoodtime

  12. 25

    It sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of Instagram! You’ll probably find your feed evolves in time as you get more of an eye for what makes a good insta-shot…
    You can use an app called repost to share shots but I gave up doing that as it makes your feed look a little disjointed…
    Finally, if you are serious about remaining face-less then stick with it! I’m with you and whilst it can make engagement more tricky, i like to see it as a challenge and a USP 😉
    Good luck!
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub – see you on Inst 😉

  13. 27
    mummy here and there

    I like twitter when I am watching a programme or something, don’t know just weird sort of connection reading other peoples views, but I really love it. Instagram is by far my favourite social media platform, just love photos and peoples interpretations. What I don’t like is this whole theme business, I don’t not a fan of photo shoots for kids kinda similar., fake. I love spontaneous and in that moment not thinking too much X #ablogginggoodtime

    • 28
      Lucy At Home

      Yes I’m trying to keep my photos natural rather than staged, but I love trying to capture a beautiful shot too. I’m surprised by this but, I think Instagram is now my favourite platform too!

  14. 29
    An Imperfect Mum

    Nice to see you on IG. Come and join #MummyShot its the community I host with macenzie Glanville for faceless shots. I especially love point 10 and agree completely! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

  15. 31
    Mum in Brum

    This is all so true! Instagram has definitely helped improve my photography generally and, as you say, see the beauty in everything. However I’m still clueless about how it drives traffic (I don’t think it does, it’s more an extension of your brand…) and I daren’t even attempt stories – as you say, I barely have time to post the photos! #coolmumclub

  16. 33

    I use an app called Repost for reposting others pics on IG. It’s not something I do very often but comes in handy if you’re ever working with someone, or just want to share some love! IG is great but I find it kind of stands along the side of my blog, kind of next to it rather than feeding into it if that makes sense? I occasionally share stuff from my blog (like a giveaway I shared earlier today) but really I save IG for more personal, kinda ‘behind the scenes’ moments? Like a really uin depth About Us page?! Seems to me you’re doing juts great only a few weeks in!! #coolmumclub

  17. 35

    I’m pretty confident none of my posts drive traffic to my blog from Instagram but then I’m a very lazy blogger so maybe they would if I referred to a post more. You can change the link in your bio to your current post each time you update but…I never do! #ablogginggoodtime

  18. 37
    Mrs Lighty

    Haha, I’ve been on Instagram pretty much from the start, and I still have allllll of these thoughts regularly!! I try not to post too many photos of Baby Lighty’s face but often feel the pull giving into this. My photos are definitely not up to scratch, and yes very little coversion to the blog!! But…us bloggers have got to do what we’ve got to do, right?! Thanks so much for linking up with #DreamTeam!

  19. 38
    Alana - Burnished Chaos

    I’m really loving Instagram at the moment but my pictures are far from perfect and to be honest some of my favourite feeds are the more natural ones. I don’t repost as such but I do run and Instagram hashtag( #funseekingkids) and for the round up posts I use an app called InstaSaver to save my favourite four to my phone then I use another app called BeFunky to put them into a collage. I then post it on Instagram and tag each individual photo with the username of whoever originally posted it. I’ve never used stories either, but I may pluck up the courage one day x

  20. 41
    Becky - MommyandRory

    Instagram is my favourite social network but only because I love getting to have a nosey into people’s lives! I get very little traffic from insta to my blog which is sad because I have the most followers on insta #TriumphantTales

  21. 43
    Mrs Mummy Harris

    I’ve fallen out of love with IG lately with the new algorithm change, but I’m all for their filters and editing perks. I actually edit all my photos on there and then crop them to use elsewhere! I also hate the follow/unfollow game – sucks majorly!
    Thanks for sharing your finds with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow.

  22. 45
    Tracey Abrahams

    I am very hit and miss with my insta use. I totally get what you mean about people with thousands of followers following you when they only follow a fee hundred. #coolmumsclub

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