Posting consistently is one of the most recommended tasks you can do to grow organically on Instagram. What happens when you stop posting all together?
My last articles about posting everyday for a month and spending $50 on instagram inspired me to talk about what happens when you stop posting anything. Before I dive into this I want to address that those previous two experiments were purposely planned and documented. I never planned to stop posting to Instagram, but after being pummeled by a massive hurricane and a tragedy in my family, Instagram became far less of a priority.
For anyone trying to put themselves out there and grow their brand there are a lot of tips and tricks you can do to give yourself the best chances of growing a following. Curating your feed or following a consistent style are prime examples. No matter what trend or tip you choose to follow, posting consistently is the most important “rule” when trying to grow your brand. Thus there’s a lot of pressure to continually make content and post on a regular basis. Fleeting thoughts such as “I haven’t posted in 4 days, I absolutely need to post today,” or “I’ll never grow if I don’t keep up the pace.” These can weigh on you especially when traveling and taking photos is still considered a hobby that doesn’t pay any of your bills. So here is what happened after not posting for 90 days.
The world did not end. All of my followers didn’t abandon me. My photos didn’t cease to exist. This is the follower growth I had throughout September (the last recorded data I have):
My last post was on October 2nd and I have no data after that point. I had roughly 6,487 followers before I took a hiatus. My current follower count as of writing this article is 6,405. Thus after not posting for over 90 days I lost a total of 82 followers, a 1.2% loss. Keep in mind that even though I was not posting at all, I was still gaining followers. Take last week as an example:
I actually messaged a few of these people to find out why they followed me or how they found me. Some of them followed me because they stumbled upon articles I wrote on Fstoppers, others found me through a random assortment of websites that my photos are hosted on. Many people are spam/fake accounts or only following me in hopes that I follow them back. You’ll find yourself gaining and losing followers constantly when you are trying to grow - the trick is gaining more than you lose to find growth.
I realize that these results are quite obvious. I didn’t post, thus I lost followers. Why waste time writing about it? For me it’s a reminder that sometimes life happens, sometimes we get in a rut, or sometimes we just stop seeing purpose in what we may be doing. Yet we pressure ourselves to do whatever we can to grow. That anxiety can become overwhelming, it can take away the joy you once had with photography or sharing your work. It can start to feel like a job with no results. You find yourself wanting to take a step back but not letting yourself take a break because you don’t want to lose all the hard work you’ve put in.
If you have ever felt these things, this is for you. You won’t lose all your followers, the world won’t end, and everything will still be there whenever you’re ready to come back. Most importantly, your photos are timeless. Twenty years from now you’ll be able to look at a photo you took and reminiscence about that moment; you won’t remember your follower count or how many likes it got.