Instagram; A Love Hate Relationship

Instagram; A Love Hate Relationship

I have been on Insta the life of my blog, so some 16 months now. It has been a slow grower, but then in the early days I could go weeks, if not longer, without posting, I didn’t know what a hashtag was and I had certainly never heard of a ‘pod’. Deep down I have grown to love it, I think it helps that I get it now, I understand how it works and what I like to use it for.

My biggest love of Insta is the amazing photos. Not all obvs, but some are just amaze-balls. Some people do take a fabulous photo and I can’t help but smile at them. I am sure you have all heard of the #WorldOfLittles, which is the brain child of Pat from White Camelias. This hashtag is full of beautiful photos and Pat herself is no stranger to publishing a gorgeous capture. I confess I do use this hashtag but I am totally letting the team down, apologies Pat.

I LOVE this photo from Pat’s feed.

It’s not just the pretty mummy blogger photos either, I love the stylish interiors, a well placed flat lay, the perfectly filtered smoothie or pair of shoes. I am a sucker for all these.

It doesn’t end here either I am a nosy bugger and some of the people I follow share snaps of their homes, intentionally I am not being stalkery. Be it for a product promo, blog post or just nice or novel furniture. I love interiors and love having a look at someone else’s home and getting inspiration from them. I love to see where people are going on their holidays, especially if it is a child friendly place where the sun shines that I might be able to frequent. I love seeing what people are wearing and what they’re doing. Mum’s night out? Excellent, have a drink for me. Trip to the park for 17th time that week, you have my sympathy, but it won’t stop me having a gander.

Ooooh this park is a bit much.

A post shared by Sarah Pool (@tammymumuk) on

One of my favs.

It has unearthed a new form of enjoyment, dare I say passion and that is photography.  It is also easy reading. It takes seconds to flick through photo after photo and see what people are up to, and it’s social. You can get a nice little dialogue going over a photo but then the clue is in the title eh, social media.

One of the most inspirational and until recently unbeknownst to me aspects of IG is its potential. Potential for moulin and opportunities. For the savvy amongst you, and no I am not including myself in that, it can be a real earner. It is basically advertising space and if you get it right (not annoying, that is the key) it can be a game changer for you and/or your brand. Frankly this amazes me.

Despite this I am not completely full of gooey eyed love. There are a couple of niggles that really get me. I should probably start with a disclaimer here – this isn’t a personal attack on anyone or any feed in particular. Neither do I blame or dislike people who do the following things, it’s just, for me, it bugs.

My first issue is the concept of needing a niche. I am not saying you don’t need a niche, you probably do, my problem is I don’t really have one. Or at least I can’t decide what it is. At first my feed was a free for all. I started to develop it into just those pretty photos that I love so much from other people’s feeds. The clean shots, the glamorous ones, the perfect scenery. The problem with this though often meant I was going a long time between posts, see my next point. I then flip between the ‘beautiful’ approach and the ‘sharing my day’ approach where I post a more generic picture with very little extraordinary quality about it. Sometimes because I have a story to share and sometimes because I just want to share the picture, glam or not. So what is my niche? Glam? Pretty? Parenting? Lifestyle? Travel? Aesthetically pleasing? Ranty? – well yes to all and then some.

I must say I do love most of these photos from 2016 #bestnine2016

A post shared by Sarah Pool (@tammymumuk) on

My top 9 from 2016 – you tell me, is there a niche here? Hmm, granted my kids feature a lot but I don’t think that is representative of my feed.

Trying to make my #bigmac look classy. #hungover #cure #feelingguilty #food #mcdonalds #sogoodbutsobad

A post shared by Sarah Pool (@tammymumuk) on

My not so glam photo – a big mac, because I was hungover. 

My other issue, and this is probably the sensitive one, and where the disclaimer kicks in. It is the ‘boring feeds’. I use that term with love because boring is of course subjective. I don’t believe it is the persons fault as it is often the ethos behind growing your following. I am not adverse to growing a following, at all, but it is the requirement to post at certain times a day every day. What’s the old saying? If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it all, well I can’t help but think, if you don’t have anything good to post… Posting the same old snaps for posting sake, well, yawn. Perhaps this is why my daily posting is a bit sporadic. Some days I can post 2 -3 times a day, others once or nothing. If I haven’t posted it is probably because we have had a crappy day and I have nothing worthy of cluttering your feed with. That being said perhaps this makes me my own worst enemy. Perhaps if I stored the good photos and posted them on those quite days, or if I posted whatever is going on that day irrespective of my so say ‘niche’, my aesthetic standards, or quest for variety or something interesting, perhaps my following will explode and I’ll become on of those inspirational types who have put food on the table from their Instagram. After all there is a reason for posting at certain times a day with certain hashtags…

Nanny mummy won't let me have a biscuit. Can you send grandad round please?

A post shared by Sarah Pool (@tammymumuk) on

My first ever IG post.

Ultimately it’s a tricky one and there is no right or wrong and perhaps I just shouldn’t over think it. I’ll keep at my endless search for my niche, keep trying to post the pretty pictures or the ones that may be worthy of a chuckle or a funny story. I’ll keep supporting my fellow bloggers in their quest for insta fame or just growth and I’ll keep sharing the insta love and enjoying the gorgeous photos.

What about you? What do you think? Do you love instagram? Do you have a photo preference? A Niche? Is IG your wage packet? I’d love to hear from you.

Diary of an imperfect mum
Mummuddlingthrough
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43 Comments

  1. January 31, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    Well I”m a newbie but i like it so far. I like that it makes me take more photos and also be a tiny bit creative with them (since i don’t show my son’s face in full). I certainly don’t have a niche thus far and pretty much all my fellow followers etc are bloggers so I’m probably doing it all wrong but it’s fun at the moment! Oh and this has just reminded me that i need to write a profile bit…i didn’t realise you could and now i see everyone describing themselves. Everyone except me. I’m just a big blank with my blog address. On it. Well maybe tomorrow. Now the main point of this comment – have you seen laura – life with baby kicks – post by Toby & Roo Harriet about IG? ‘Twas interesting although it scared me a tad!

  2. January 31, 2017 / 10:39 pm

    I used Instagram for my blog for maybe 2-3 days and then decided, I didn’t care to be that much out there. No offense to anybody with a more open feed. I just realized it wasn’t for me. I still think a lot before posting pics that clearly reveal my kids’ faces. Because it is a private feed, at least I know who may be looking at it so if I do let a cute pic of the kids get into the feed, I forgive myself. Still, I am still very wary of social media and getting my kids’ faces everywhere. I don’t think I’d ever use it to market the blog or promote stuff anymore. If I have to, I’ll create a separate account for official use. #familyfun

  3. February 1, 2017 / 6:51 am

    I still need to get to grips with Instagram. Lots of people cite it as their favourite social network, but I’m just not feeling it yet. Maybe I just need to spend a bit more time checking out other people’s feeds and finding my ‘niche’, which is probably blurry photos with somewhat amusing captions. #FamilyFun

  4. February 1, 2017 / 7:27 am

    I think its a lovely way to quickly look back at memories x #familyfun

  5. February 1, 2017 / 8:10 am

    I like Instagram but I share your gripes. My posts can be sporadic too and I’m trying to only post something if I like it myself. Not sure if others will but never mind! #familyfun

  6. February 1, 2017 / 8:11 am

    I like insta, but have the same needing a niche issues. I don’t want a niche. The same as you, when i try to be beautiful, and only share certain things, i don’t post for a week. So i share my day. But then, i figure my blog is a little bit just me sharing my life, so that is my niche!

    I try to use the same filters, to make it all neat. But on some images, that just doesn’t work. So i go off piste. Then the new piste looks better and i don’t want to go back to the nursery slopes. But, 100’s of pictures are in that old filter! Isn’t this meant to be fun?!

    #familyfun

  7. February 1, 2017 / 9:17 am

    Loved this post to heights Sarah. I use IG but without a niche. I post whatever I like to record in my Life. Though I love those so perfect peachy pics of Kids but I do not aim for it. I like it how a picture tells a story on IG. Happy to linkup

  8. February 1, 2017 / 9:32 am

    Oh I’m a huuuuge insgatgram lover and certainly get my most engagement from there – it’s certainly developed my love if photography and my love of fashion and interiors – these are my favourite feeds if I’m really honest as they are so inspirational – when life is dull and grey I love to look at fresh crisp white inspirational feeds – I find them so uplifting! Love your latest IG wall shots – looking good! Oh and I don’t have a niche!! #FamilyFun

    • tammymum
      February 1, 2017 / 9:47 am

      Ah yes me too. I love a nice interior or clean fresh photo. I agree they are inspirational and are a total pick me up. They’re definitely ones I follow most. Thank you for your comment 😊 I love me a wall shot too although My OH was a bit confused over the point of it. #doesntgetit xx

  9. February 1, 2017 / 10:37 am

    I LOVE Instagram! It is my go to happy place. I use it like a visual diary and I like to try and create a pretty space because for me I feel that this is something I can control. I don’t have a niche yet all of my photos tend to be Jersey landscapes with or without the family. I think that perhaps the reason for that is that it is my attempt to fall in love with Jersey and finally call it home. I don’t use it for advertising really. I might share a product if I really believe in it but I haven’t been paid for any posts. I think I am quite protective of my feed! :-) #FamilyFun

  10. February 1, 2017 / 11:39 am

    I do like Instagram although I don’t think I have a niche and I’m not very ‘good’ at it πŸ˜‚ My pictures are never very good photography wise but sometimes I capture sweet moments. Mostly it’s just our everyday life. I like looking at a mix of feeds – the ones similar to mine and those ‘perfect’ feeds that look nothing like my home! I get a bit bored of pictures of coffee though… is that sacrilege?! #FamilyFun

  11. February 1, 2017 / 11:45 am

    Well, I created an account ages ago and never use it. It just seems another time suck and I have enough trouble keeping up with the social accounts I already post (sporadically) to.
    God, that sounds bad. Maybe I should give it another go.
    #familyfun

  12. February 1, 2017 / 11:53 am

    I find Instagram difficult generally. If I’m honest, I don’t think I have any “taste” in photos. They all look pretty good to me, as long as they’re about something real. I don’t like really contrived feeds that are trying to stick to the same aesthetic in every photo. I prefer when people just share their honest lives. So I try to do that in my feed too. I only post when I have a photo I like, but they’re not all beautiful. I know nothing about what is objectively good in photography and I’m not sure I care! I’m not even sure if I’d bother with IG if it wasn’t good for my stats! And that’s my totally honest (too honest?!) feeling about IG.

  13. February 1, 2017 / 12:21 pm

    I have only just started on instagram and am not sure I really get the hang of it yet! I post when I have something I think is lovely to post or illustrates something I want to say. What I do love is the interaction. I have in my very short time picked up some great new instagram buddies and followers for my blog. It is definitely more me than twitter. Overall I am pretty shit at social media but practice makes perfect right?! Great post. #familyfun

  14. February 1, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    I don’t think I really have a niche`other than most of my blog and IG posts are family related. I am working on my photography skill to try and up my game a bit lol. I am trying to post at least one picture a day unless I cannot find something worthy of posting. My niggle about IG is the people that post what seems like 100 photos in one day.
    #FamilyFun

  15. February 1, 2017 / 2:01 pm

    I’m the same! I love Instagram but just can’t my niche right so have a love/hate relationship with it! Love your feed though! I need tips! #FamilyFunLinky

  16. February 1, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    I don’t have a niche either but I don’t think you really need one unless you’re trying to monetise your feed. I just try and post things I like & enjoy! #familyfun

  17. February 1, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    Oh I love IG, I love having a window into people’s lives and particularly the honest ones. I’m not so into the perfect lifestyle ones. I do plan my IG it isn’t spontaneous but I hope it isn’t boring! #FamilyFun

    • February 2, 2017 / 5:00 pm

      Popping back to say thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime πŸŽ‰

  18. February 1, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    Thank you for this post. As a relative newbie in the blogosphere, it’s good to read a seasoned blogger’s thoughts on IG. I have been on Instagram for less than a month, and I really like/enjoy it. I have been an amateur photographer for a long time now, so it seems like the perfect platform to share a few of my shots. I find it a lot less demanding than Twitter. And even though I certainly don’t have the knack of it yet, I have seen the power of the hashtag in action!
    #FamilyFun

  19. February 1, 2017 / 7:40 pm

    Nope I’m not feeling it! I do t like bombarding people with pictures of my child it makes me uneasy!

  20. February 1, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    I do love a pretty Instagram feed. As for my own posts, I try to use my best pictures and tell a story, generally about days out and travel as that’s my blog niche. But I find growing a following is a lot of hard work and some days I just can’t be faffed :) I haven’t been directly paid for posting something on Instagram but I do think it’s made brands notice me for other projects. So, it is worth plugging away at and one good days when everything has gone to plan, I love it. #familyfun

  21. February 1, 2017 / 10:21 pm

    I think my biggest mistake when first using instagram is over-using the filters.
    As I’ve gotten better at taking naturally better looking photos I find they look better as they are and need less and less changes to fit in with the other nice photos on that place.

  22. February 1, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    I love instagram but i recently fell out with it as I got frustrated with my shitty photography skills haha. I feel like I cant match up to other bloggers and would rather concentrate on my writing than my photos. I read somewhere that someone was going to just filter everything to black and white which im intruiged to see if it works! #familyfun

  23. February 2, 2017 / 7:18 am

    I’m exactly the same. I’m in complete awe of a lot of the pictures on there. I haven’t posted for a few days because I have nothing to post, then other days I will have so many that I want to share but don’t want to clutter the feed so have to narrow it down. I also don’t have a theme or a niche and to be honest I don’t think I ever will, I’ll just continue to share the pics that make me happy 😊
    #FamilyFun

  24. February 2, 2017 / 7:52 am

    I have an IG account, and I check my feed regularly, but I don’t love it. At all. Unlike you, I’m not into the perfect shots that makes everyone’s lives look so idyllic. I’d rather see the real stuff!
    #coolmumclub

  25. February 2, 2017 / 8:03 am

    I’m sporadic with Instagram, certainly don’t have a niche and mix business with pleasure on there. So I am most definitely NOT your inspiration! I enjoy scrolling through and anyone who irritates me, I let go. It is a wonderful medium of social media – I’m just not using it in the right way! Good luck with your Insta journey. Alison x #FamilyFun

  26. February 2, 2017 / 9:17 am

    I hear you hun! I don’t have a niche either but I do love Instagram. I mix it up a lot on there – lots of family pics, fashion and beauty and the occasional flatlay. Just enjoy it and don’t stress about niches and stuff. As you say, it’s fun to have a nose! xx #coolmumclub

  27. February 2, 2017 / 10:43 am

    I was drawn to your post via #coolmumclub as I have a post called almost EXACTLY this sitting in my drafts!! I’ve been too scared to hit publish since starting an Instagram community, it seems a little but hypocritical, ha!! But I agree with you on a these points and do exactly the same: post sporadically, or all at once, and lurch between flat lays and snippets of my day. But I don’t think either of us are doing too badly, so shall we just keep doing our thing?! :)

  28. February 2, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    I have been on insta since April 2016 and I hated it to start with but now love it. It’s great to see so much talent from all over the world. It is taking over my life a bit though and I wish I could chill out more. I’m very impatient and building up followers and getting the love is tricky and time consuming as you well know. Your post has made me feel better as I feel like everyone else seems to know things straight away and it’s taking me some time. Thanks for sharing, and being so honest your little words of wisdom will help!
    #coolmumclub

  29. February 2, 2017 / 3:37 pm

    I love Instagram, it’s by far my favourite social media. I’ve had my personal IG for years now, and started my From Day Dot Instagram a year ago when I started blogging. I like keeping them separate so I can get more of a ‘look’ for my blog IG and my personal one isn’t so specific, but for both I don’t get too hung up on how often I post a day, as you say, if I have nothing interesting to post I’d prefer not to post at all! #ablogginggoodtime

  30. February 2, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    Instagram is one of my two fave and only social media platforms. It’s a slow grower mind, and I often wonder if I should be sticking to a colour palette, or creating intermittent motivational / comedy quotes in the mix? I guess, like with all things blogging, my conclusion is to be myself and go with what comes naturally – not to be someone I’m not. My blog is all about the reality of muddling through motherhood so it wouldn’t really fit to have a totally sleek instafeed now would it?!
    Thanks so much for sharing with #coolmumclub – and don’t forget there is a #coolmumclub instagram hashtag so we can give your gorgeous shots some #coolmumclub love too…

  31. February 2, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    I’m still on the fence with Instagram. I like it, I just don’t really get how to use it properly yet. I’m a crappy photographer and I definitely don’t have a niche so I often wonder if there’s any point. My instagram feed just seems to be whatever I fancy posting at the time. I need to post way more really but there are so many social media platforms to get to grips with which is difficult for somebody who is easily baffled by technology. Haha. #familyfun

  32. February 3, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    I think with anything you should have fun, join in with the community and enjoy the ride.#FamilyFun

  33. February 3, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    I’m using Instagram for my blog as well and on the beginning I didn’t know what I’m doing:D now it’s a little bit better and I understand what # is:D
    #FamilyFunLinky

  34. February 3, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    I enjoy using instagram but still don’t have the hang of hashtags… One of my goals for 2017 is to become a better instagrammer πŸ˜€ I do love looking at amazing food related pictures on it too :)

  35. February 4, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    I love Instagram and it doesn’t bother me that I don’t have a niche. I’m never going to have a stylish feed but that is fine with me – it’s my feed and if people don’t like what I post, they don’t have to follow! I love all the stylish shots that people put on IG but I have to admit I prefer the day to day shots of people’s lives. #familyfun

  36. February 5, 2017 / 6:48 pm

    I’ve been on IG for over four years now but I’ve only just recently started taking it more seriously in respect of my blog. I’ve got to be honest, whilst I love producing the nicer photos and the look of a nice feed, I find it hard work. The whole follow/unfollow thing pees me right off and it can be so time consuming. I hate the new algorithm they’ve introduced and I feel my favourite feeds get lost amongst the people I followed because they followed me! Maybe I’m doing it all wrong, I don’t know. But my follower count is going up slowly, so I must be doing something right. I will plod on regardless! #familyfunlinky

  37. February 6, 2017 / 7:37 am

    Just popping back again. I love Instagram but I have been thinking about pods and whether they take away what’s lovely about Instagram, or whether they are actually a good thing. Hmmm, can’t decide #MarvMondays

  38. February 6, 2017 / 9:05 am

    I love instagram and like you, I enjoy browsing through all the pretty photos! It’s like a hobby now and it’s inspirational. It makes me want to take better photos and gives me ideas on interiors/ restaurants or cafes I would like to visit/ fashion etc. I’m a new blogger and instagramer so have no idea if I have a niche….probably not ha! I’m also yet to get my head around pods but I’m an instagram believer and think its a fabulous tool for connecting with other bloggers and followers! #MarvMondays

  39. February 6, 2017 / 9:33 am

    I’d say don’t overthink IG and use it for you, to capture what you want to capture, you’ll soon lsee looking back there is a trend and this will be your niche. I’ve done just this and pretty images of the farm and and local area has become my niche. #MarvMondays

  40. February 6, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    Um, I hate to admit this, but at age 42, I spend more time than I should INQUIRING (for the hundredth time) what the heck I should be DOING on Instagram. Or Twitter. Or Tumblr (ESPECIALLY Tumblr). I blame it on there being no internet (at least none that I was aware of!) when I was in college. I *may* be hopeless…… #FamilyFun

  41. February 7, 2017 / 7:29 am

    As you know I bloody hate instagran for all that you’ve said and more – the constant follow/unfollow. My numbers go up and down like a yo yo all week. I don’t have a niche but I am developing a style which is side on/backs of heads only which you can now tell when you look at my feed. I agree it’s not authentic to just post at certain times but if you want to work with brands and get more followers this seems to be where it’s at. I’m struggling between trying to grow and not going a shit! I know tots ranking is based heavily on it so i am mostly trying until I read something like this and want to boycott it again – argh!! #FamilyFun