A few days ago, I decided to start a new Instagram account. If anyone reading this follows my old one, they might be thinking ‘why?!’ I had over 1k followers on there and a feed I quite liked. I’ve worked hard to get it to that point so why on earth would anyone in that position start from 0 again: especially when it is notoriously difficult to grow an audience on Instagram now. If you’re only here for the short answer then all you need to know is that I wanted a fresh start.
Not satisfied by that answer? Then stick around for the long story…
Why I started using Instagram
My other account started out as a place to share food photos back in 2015 when I first turned vegan. I needed inspiration as a newcomer to a plant-based diet and found a real sense of community over on Instagram. People were extremely supportive, I had a lot of fun making food into art and it encouraged me to experiment more with my eating choices.
How food content evolved into travel content
My account grew over the next year, as I consistently posted and engaged with similar accounts. As time went on, I realised I wasn’t arranging food in pretty ways out of passion anymore, and who would’ve thought that having a whole feed full of pancakes, nicecream and avocado toast can become a little boring and repetitive?
In reality, I no longer needed so much food inspiration in my plant-based diet journey; sure, seeing the odd nicely-presented food photo every few scrolls peaks my interest (and tastebuds), but I reached my smoothies-in-mason-jars threshold. I needed a break; I needed variation.
As I started moving away from wanting to devour foodie photos all of the time, I coincidently embarked on my first long solo travel adventure. Living out of a backpack and surviving on pasta cooked in scummy pans in hostels, I realised I wasn’t going to be able to keep a food account up. First of all, I was eating hardly anything healthy, let alone pretty enough to post on the internet. And secondly, I knew for the foreseeable future I wasn’t going to be creating beautiful, colourful dinner spreads.
This revelation, alongside my loss of love for constantly photographing my food, lead to a username and theme change to travel-related things. This reignited my Instagram passion, but the identity change and difficulty I had trying to post regularly meant that my engagement went down. A lot. I felt a little aimless in what I was trying to actually do with my account and my posts got more and more sporadic; my feed got messier and I started to lose interest in the whole thing.
Falling out of love
I didn’t really know what I was trying to achieve with my account anymore and the whole thing became more of a stress and a pressure than an expression of my creativity. I realised I was following a lot of accounts that I didn’t want to engage with anymore and didn’t want to engage with me and so I stopped posting. What was the point if I wasn’t enjoying it and the people following me weren’t enjoying it either? The next six months became a question of whether this is a social media platform I can get on with or if maybe it just isn’t for me at all.
A fresh start?
I know this all sounds a bit dramatic, I mean let’s keep the whole thing in perspective here. It is just an Instagram account. Yet, over the last few weeks, I haven’t been able to settle this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that makes my fingers itch with the desire to have somewhere to share my photos and connect with other bloggers. I love colour and travel and nature and food and everything that makes Instagram so popular; cut back to the basics, I love the creativity of photography! Why would I completely shut down that part of my life just because I fell out with my old account?
This is how I came to the decision to create my new account @alysjournals. A place where I can start afresh, follow a ton of bloggers and interact with their content without it being drowned out by all of the other content I follow on my old account, and really express myself through photos that represent me and my feelings now.
What content will I be sharing?
I did a poll on Twitter, asking you lot what photos you like to see on Instagram. Apparently, it’s fairly split, which is nice to see. Also, I’m definitely not a fashion icon, seeing as I can’t remember the last time I bought an item of clothing and most of my things come from second-hand places or the ‘basics’ section of a shop, so it’s good to see that people who follow me don’t have high expectations for fashion photos.
I want to post a mixture of things: I want to share photos from my travels, candid shots of everyday life, my favourite stationery and jumpers (two of the best things in life), short pieces of poetry, and yes, the odd food picture.
Want to connect?
I’d love to follow everyone who reads this, so please let me know your Instagram links and I’ll check your page out. If you like the sound of what I’ll be posting and my feed so far, I’d really appreciate a follow!
Want to collab with me or be featured on my blog? Check out the topics I want to write about with you and send over an email to email@example.com.
Come say hi:
All enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org