Honest thoughts on Instagram for Bloggers

These are my honest thoughts on Instagram and the use of Instagram to grow a following. This is a bit of a ranty post based on a number of articles and blogs I have read during my first week as a ‘blogger’. I am in no way singling out any one particular blogger, and for this reason any images I have used are freely available stock images and from Pinterest, and are credited in the tags. Buckle up ladies and gents, here we go!


Honest thoughts on Instagram


I use Instagram a lot on my personal account, pretending I’m an amateur photographer when in reality, my pictures are pretty crap, and mostly of my cat. When I started my blog, I was instantly drawn to countless articles on how to get that perfect Instagram flatlay, how to grow your Instagram following, or how to master your Instagram aesthetic.

My issue is, where has the individuality gone?


I tried a flatlay (image below). Purchased some pastel tea towels from Aldi thinking they would make a nice background.  My first attempt wasn’t awful, it’s not great but it’s not terrible.


Honest thoughts on Instagram

The colours match, I happened to have some pastel tombow dual brush pens. Probably should have ironed the tea towel first to get rid of the creases, and maybe gone a little easier on the filters. It took about half an hour to get a shot I was happy with – time I could have spent creating content.

And I posted it on Instagram and my blog post.

I wish I hadn’t. I won’t take it down as it is a reminder to me of what I am about to talk about.

Typical Instagram Photos – Just doing some browsing on the laptop


Honest thoughts on Instagram

This picture is lovely, don’t get me wrong. The creator has obviously thought about the style and aesthetic they want, and the image reflects that. They probably have more time and more patience than me to get that perfect shot.

If I was to create this photo the key differences would be;

  • Unless it’s a Sunday, I probably haven’t shaved my legs
  • I’d have to find 2 socks that matched – and the white bits were still white rather than grey from when I have mixed them up in the wrong wash
  • My nails would have to be perfectly manicured – which they are sometimes don’t get me wrong, but had I done any housework or washed any pots before hand no doubt they would be chipped and ugly AF!
  • My bedding hardly ever matches!
  • How clean is that laptop? I take good care of mine, but you will still find crumbs in the keyboard and a bit of dust on the screen

What’s in my bag?

Honest thoughts on Instagram

The casual “I just tipped stuff out of my bag” shot. This instagram feed is probably full of similar styled images, using pastels and rose gold colour themes throughout. Honestly, whose stuff looks that good just tipped out of the bag? My perfume is missing its lid, my sunglasses are proper mucky, and any books are probably dented in the corners or stained through food/drink that has been shoved in there.


Honest thoughts on Instagram

This person probably has no pets. If I were to lay my clothes down like this, I would not be able to wear them without a good 10 minute lint rolling session. Also, most of my clothes are dark colours so wouldn’t fit in with the colour theme here. And the roses? They look pretty, sure, but I would have to make a special trip to the supermarket to find roses that would match what Instagram picture I would be taking that day.

As lovely as these pictures are (and they really are!) I could just never meet this standard. And honestly, I’m not sure I want to.

It’s just not for me

I hope this blog is a real reflection of my life. Including all the ugly and not as aesthetically pleasing aspects that are often left out of Instagram. I am honest, and to the point, and would hate to think that someone out there thinks bloggers have this perfect life, pastel coloured life, when in fact, they don’t.

But by this point, there are so many accounts using whites, greys and pastel’s that they start to look the same, and it becomes hard to differentiate between one blogger and the next.

Maybe I’m just jealous, don’t have the time or patience, haven’t got a fancy camera or lightbox, or just lack the creative ability to create these photos. And I am not belittling anyone who does – whatever works for you and whatever you enjoy creating – go for it. Maybe it’s just a sign of getting old – I’m not as down with social media as I perhaps once was in my early 20’s. Or maybe I’m just grumpy. Or a combination of all of the above.

For me though, I might make an effort sometimes, other times I just can’t be arsed. If anyone other than my mum reads my blogs, I want them to because I am real, honest, and just me. If that means I do not build a huge following, then that’s absolutely fine.

Ok, I have ranted enough now. For all those bloggers out there with perfect Instagram feeds, I salute you. For all those like me, who just want to keep it real I salute you too.

Bye for now.


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  • Totally agree with you! Who has the time for those perfect instagram photos? They are seriously hard work, you need equipment, light, props, colour-matching backgrounds, marble surfaces… Seriously how come everyone has white marble surfaces in their home?
    Don’t get me wrong I still try to post the best pictures I can get, I just don’t think I will be ever able to reach that standard. And even if I do, I will be the same like everybody else so what’s the point?

    • diaryof30something

      At least it’s not just me. We will all do the best we can, but I also want to stay true to who I am. I am not perfect and my blog and instagram feed should be a reflection of that. x

  • Very interesting post! I’m actually planning on writing my own relatively soon as I’ve been thinking of Instagram for a while now and I too have a few pet peeves I want to get off my chest. It’s interesting finding another blogger with a controversial or an ‘on-the-fence’ perspective.

    Personally I have some kind of theme going on, but this applies to the colouring only and not my content. I have always used the same filter and it’s an easy two second job after taking my photo. If I want to photograph something – I do, it doesn’t matter if it looks asthetically pleasing or not (the filter usually makes it look a lot better anyways). And personally, I am all about those moody/contrasting filters.

    What I don’t like, is when people have a strict theme and they NEVER deviate from it so everything is ‘picture perfect’. E.g everything has to look perfectly placed to the point whereby it doesn’t look real. If I’m following an account, it’s because I want to see what is going on behind the scenes because I’m nosey – if I wanted to see perfect shots, I’d be on Pinterest (which I love btw ha!). I just hate it when the element of realism is completely removed from an individuals personal account.

    What makes me sad is that it’s usually the ‘oh so perfect’ feeds that get the larger following.

    • diaryof30something

      Thanks for your comment. I love pinterest for the same reason! My thing is how many pictures of makeup are there with some cutesy lights and a marble/pastel/white background. It gets to a point where the photos become generic and have nothing of the bloggers personality behind it. We are all different and I feel this should be reflected more. Kay x

  • I love this post!! I don’t have an aesthetic instagram account, and I find it hard to portray my life as photogenic when I don’t travel as much as other bloggers or come across pink walls when walking around town. I give them props for the amazing feeds they have, and I’ve tried to take pictures like the ones you’ve shown but its hard.

    • diaryof30something

      Thanks for the support 😊 It is frigging hard! And life is not pastel coloured. Keep being you and good things will follow x

  • I love this post so much! I find the Sunday morning (because they’re ALWAYS posted on a Sunday morning) breakfast/books/laptop with legs on the bed so generic. They could be anyones legs and anyone’s breakfast/books/laptop. They remind me of stock images. I’ve taken this kind of photo once. I actually quite liked how it came out. It was still ‘me’ because the sheets were a little creased and my legs were wonky!

    My aim with my Instagram is to get a balance between relatable and polished. I don’t want an account that looks like all the others. I want people to see my photos and know that they’re mine. I think having a green tint (for my green tinted lenses) helps this, but I still feel like my Instagram is a work in progress and I feel like I’m being pulled between wanting to be me and wanting to seem ‘perfect’. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

    • diaryof30something

      That push and pull between wanting to be perfect but maintaining your individualism is difficult. I am still figuring it out and will work on that over the next 12 months or so. Kay x