The Butt-stagram: Because you haven’t been there until you’ve obscured the view with your rear

(A guide to social media '#travel' success)

Those of you who know me, know that I’ve been working on a travel memoir for quite some time now. Lately, I’ve been looking into what it takes to get a literary agent, and from what I can tell, unless you’re already famous, your chances of getting published are slim to none. Agents and publishers are more interested in the size of your platform than whether or not you can string a sentence together. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of people (87) have read one of your recent blog posts (this one), an illiterate person with 2 million Instagram followers is more likely to get a book deal. 

Well, I too can be like that illiterate person, can’t I? 

So, I have been looking into what successful 'travel' Instagram accounts have in common, and I’ve noticed a couple of trends. As the title implies, from what I can tell, the best way to grow your following if you have a travel account is by filling your “grid” with pictures of beautiful places obscured by overly-photoshopped ladies’ butts. If you’re not doing that, you’re doing it wrong!  

Travel instagram lady's ass
A classic Butt-stagram

That’s the main one. Other ways to get followers (and help people like me lose their faith in mankind) are listed below: 
(All these tips can be, and are, applicable to non-travel accounts too.)


Firstly, you have to have a theme. And no, 'travel' is not enough of a theme

Some themes include:

'Travel fashion' accounts. 
- This is where people (aspirant models) stand in front of different buildings in the same city in different outfits. Travelling 15 minutes away from your house is still 'travelling', right?


Stock photo travel fashion

'Travel couple' accounts
- Who doesn’t want to see barely or only partially clothed couples in compromising positions in exotic locations? (They always leave me wondering, who took the picture? And if they use tripods, how many of their cameras have been stolen?)


Fake travel instagram accounts

'Travel' selfie accounts
- Selfies so close you can’t tell if they’re standing in front of the Arc de Triomphe or their bedroom wall.


Selfie in Miami - bad instagram accounts
Welcome to Miami!

'Curated' Travel accounts
- Accounts that contain no recognisable people if there are any people in them at all. They just contain overly photo-shopped images, images of places so surreal that you’re not even sure if they’re on this planet. Often, they contain the same exact (public domain?) images that you have seen on other 'curated' travel accounts. (And often, they forget to mention they are 'curated' in the first place.)


Fake instagram accounts

And, let’s not forget the 'travel quote' accounts.
- Accounts where people have taken the same pics from the 'curated' travel accounts and slapped inspirational travel quotes on them. Quotes like: "Travel, it leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller." (If you’re not already using that one in your profile description, and trust me, a LOT of people are!)


JRR Tolkien Quote

If none of the above suggestions works for you, you can turn to your posing to increase your internet reach. 

Other ways to gain Insta-fame (and make me lose more faith in mankind but also not as much as the butts) include:

Playing with your hair. 
- Nothing contrived about that. So natural, so candid, so humble.

Bad Instagram posing

Holding on to your hat. 
- Never gets old! How else will it stay on?


Bad instagram hat pose

People attempting yoga
- Coincidentally, this is particularly popular on ‘vegan travel’ accounts and ‘eco-friendly travel’ accounts. (I should have mentioned those in the theme section.)


Ladies butt bad instagram yoga pose
(There’s even a butt in this one = Double points!)

The lead your boyfriend around the world pose.
- Does anyone even remember who started that? 


Bad Instagram cliches

And, let’s not forget, the 'being-so-in-awe-of-what’s-in-front-of-you-that-you-have-to-raise-your-arms' pose. 
- There are two standard heights to choose from, low:


Bad instagram cliches

Or high:


Bad Photo Cliches

Or, if all else fails, you could just stick your butt in there. While you’re trying hard to look like you’re enjoying the view, a million perverts can enjoy their view of your natural (or not so natural) wonders. Everybody wins!


Lady from behind photo cliche

If one butt obscuring your view of “the perfect beach” isn’t effective enough, try multiple butts:


Bad photo cliche - overly photoshopped
"Oh hello, new followers!"

Of course, we won't mention:
Just shoving a travel mascot in every shot for days when you don’t feel particularly photogenic.


Arc de Triomphe travel toy
(#guilty - I’m like the Sia of travel bloggers.)

Jumping
- I don’t mind this one so much because it takes effort and it’s openly contrived in a way that doesn’t try to look like a “candid” shot.


Bad travel pic cliches

Or standing expressionless in front of a multitude of murals. 


Bad pic cliches
(#alsoguilty)

I would just like to point out that, with the exception of the photos taken by me and the ones edited to include me, all of these images are public domain/copyright free and freely available online. So, you don’t even need to travel to be an illiterate person with a book deal!


If I forgot any cliches, please let me know? And, if you would like some love for your Instagram account (it doesn't even need to be a travel account), post your handle in the comment section below and mention which of these cliches you’re most guilty of. 


Other posts you might enjoy:

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Comments

  1. Ok so I'm guilty of standing in awe (not showing my butt though so no new followers there), but mega guilty with the quotes! I do smile on my pics :) @lepetitetraveler

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bwahahaha. Your writing always make me laugh.

    You missed one possible cliché: The travel food cliche that an ex of mine uses very successfully on his vegan insta which showcases his meals from around the world (or his kitchen when his company isn't paying him to travel).

    (I'd mention it here but his ego doesn't need any more stroking)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no! How could I have forgotten the 'Travel food' cliche? Thanks for that, Becky.

      Delete
  3. So true. And I’d like to add that what almost all “successful” travel-blogger / influencer accounts have in common is that they make everything about themselves not the content itself.

    So if you don’t make everything evolve around you, no one seems interested. People seem to like heroes. I don’t post pics of myself, cause i don’t want to lose focus. I spend hours every week creating original content (both written and visual) so people can actually learn something new and meaningful and have productive discussions. But that doesn’t help at all in gaining new followers. The only good thing is that the few followers i have are very engaged, deep-thinking open-minded people who actually read and like to learn and teach.

    @iranian_nomad

    ReplyDelete
  4. I completely feel your frustration!
    (And I just followed you.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really enjoyed reading this haha and find it so true. I am guilty of some of the posing for sure. I solo travel and am diving in to travel blogging and being fully remote. I also blog and encourage holistic nutrition and empowerment. I really try to be as authentic as possible in my posts and content I share. I think we are all guilty of this in some way or anther and thats ok. As long as you are true to yourself, sharing your journey and teaching and inspiring others. I like to ask questions and get a conversation going. I may not be doing it all right but, I do try my best come across as my true self. Thanks for sharing this! It definitely gets you thinking :)

    Courtney

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your comment. All the best with your blog.

      Delete
  6. Great ideas to get more followers! Thank you so m….wait… those were not suggestions, were they? :D Hilarious article, I loved it!!! I laughed a lot 😂
    I’m guilty of taking around my green alien Gianni all the time, and making close-up selfies… because I’ve just not good at taking good ones!” 😁
    I'll try the hat and the hair next! 😉

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your comments. You're right, those weren't really suggestions. I think it's time I provided you with some. My next blog may just offer you some more practical (and lighthearted) advice.

      Delete

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Sharon Waugh

Sharon is a writer, cruise ship entertainment host and freelance unicorn wrangler, living it up on the high seas. She also likes to photograph a plastic lawn flamingo in exotic locations because it seemed like a good idea 10 years ago and 53 countries later, it’s probably too late to turn back now.

 Sharon greatly dislikes reading “travel blogs” by people who are just rephrasing press releases or composing lists like “15 ways to travel the world for cheap”, specifically formulated for SEO, with absolutely no evidence that the writer has ever left their bedroom. (This is not one of those blogs.) Sharon also dislikes bigotry and referring to herself in first person, apparently.

To find out more about Sharon and Rodrigo’s travel aspirations read this.

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