How to Be Successful on Instagram: Do the Work


Every day, I get asked questions about Instagram. It’s been happening for a long time now, despite the fact that only this week did I pass the 100K follower mark.

In the social influencing world that I operate in, there are varying standards for what is considered to be successful, but I have been paid for my work on Instagram for almost two years now. For my own purposes: only this week should I even be able to start to possibly maybe consider myself as getting to a point where I could be perhaps deemed “successful.”

So…….why have people been asking me for my tips on how to do Instagram better for, literally, years? I believe it is mainly because of one simple rule I’ve lived by since I had a lightbulb moment about a year after I joined the social network.

The rule is: Do The Work

It’s that simple.

It’s not the only principle that will help you enjoy, and see a return from, Instagram. So that’s why this is just my first post in what will be a series full of the lessons I’ve learned by screwing up a lot and learning the hard way what not to do, and thereby, what to do.

Let’s start by my expanding on what I mean when I say, Do The Work. View full post »

Amber - Good collection, represents strong mind for photography

Kirsten Alana - Wow. I’m glad you see it that way, thank you Pauline. It’s true, I do post photos when I am not traveling though I try to keep my feed mostly travel-centric. I think the key for me is that I am always driven by stories. So I look for everyday moments and things that have a story to tell. I try to make it personal but also relatable. There’s no formula for that part, it’s just an instinct thing more than anything else!

Pauline - This is awesome! I was going to email you personally to ask this question – How do you see beauty in the everyday things? I follow you on Instagram and I notice you still post unique photos in the days that you are not traveling the world (i.e. in the days you are home). Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks, Kirsten!

Kirsten Alana - Thanks! And great question, Michael! I think success can be defined in a variety of ways but for me it’s two-fold: 1) I’m able to earn an income because of my Instagram account and, 2) I have an engaged following of people who regularly ask for, and rely on, my opinion.

Michael - Congratulations on all your hard work, and talent, leading to success. How does success manifest itself with Instagram?

Kirsten Alana - Thanks for these suggestions, Julie! They’re great and I’m so glad you’re looking forward to learning more.

Julie - This is a great idea for a series, and I’m sure you’ll be covering lots of topics that I’ve been too chicken to ask you about! In addition to the three ideas you mentioned as starting points (all of which I would be keen on learning more about), I’d also be interested in:
1. How to engage on IG on a daily basis (maybe in addition to responding to the many comments you receive?). How to be part of the community effectively.
2. These days, many brands have these # campaigns where you tag their # and if they like it, they’ll feature you and link you you. Is this a good way to build awareness/likes? And if yes, any you recommend? There are so many that I see!
3. Any themes of pics you see that do particularly well? I have had trouble spotting which of my pics do consistently well or poorly – seems like flowers, yes. Coffee, yes (for whatever reason). Big monuments/sights – depends. Quotes – yes. Any other ideas?


Around the World with Four Seasons

I’m typing this from London, where I’m taking the time to catch my breath after having traveled around the world for the last 23 days with Four Seasons. It’s the longest time I have ever been away from home for one assignment and it’s the largest assignment I’ve ever had responsibility-wise. I’ll be taking the time to blog more specifically about the trip later on this year but I wanted to start to share some of my highlights to get you excited about seeing more and to alert you to the fact that there are stories already going live on Four Seasons Magazine that I am sure you won’t want to miss. Read on for those links and for a photo preview of what these last 20 + days have been like…

Flying over Sydney Harbor in a Seaplane with Four Seasons

Flying over Sydney Harbor in a Seaplane with Four Seasons

View full post »

Kirsten Alana - Thank you so much my love! It was a good job to have, but it was hard to be away from you for a whole month in order to do the job.

Kirsten Alana - Well I’d love that of course, Rebecca ;) But I understand myself that it’s hard to keep up with everyone. I’m glad you want to know more though!

rebecca - It appears I so need to connect with you on social media because I have been missing out! What an awesome adventure! I bet you are exhausted. Can’t wait to read all about this trip. Very lucky!

Jayne - What an incredible journey you’ve been on. It’s been so much fun following along on social media and getting to meet up with you in Sydney. I look forward to reading your articles on the Four Seasons site J

Danté - Great photos and experience babe!

Pauline - I’ve been following your journey on Instagram and this is the only thing I can say – WHAT A JOURNEY! The photos are amazing and I truly loved seeing the updates :) I will go and check out the Four Season magazine now…

Holly - Clicked through to the Four Seasons site– I’m loving all your gorgeous photos! Looks like an amazing (and exhausting!) experience. I’d have a hard time pulling myself away to get photos edited and stories up so quickly :)

International Women’s Day & an Interview with Katarina Alaupovic of RUBY Magazine

For International Women’s Day I was very fortunate to be in Michigan, where my best friend and my extended family reside, celebrating our Grandmother’s 90th birthday. So when my friend Katarina asked me if I would help her launch a Kickstarter campaign for her new Women’s magazine, RUBY — I was so pleased to say yes. My Grandmother isn’t the only great woman I know but she’s certainly on the forefront of my mind right now and so this is partly in dedication to her that I support Katarina and I thought instead of telling you only about the magazine in my words, that I’d let Katarina tell you, in hers:

View full post »

Katarina Kovacevic - Thank you for pledging Bethany!

Bethany ~ twoOregonians - Kirsten, I’m so happy you introduced me to Katarina’s project. I just finally pledged today with only 11 hours to go, and I’m excited to see that she’s within ~$250 of her goal!

Rachelle - I would read this magazine! RUBY sounds like a great project and I look forward to seeing it progress!

Katarina Kovacevic - Thank you, Kirsten, for allowing me to be interviewed for your blog! You’re the best.

And thanks to all of you ladies for your excitement and support of RUBY. Definitely check out the Kickstarter and feel free to spread the word to your friends and family who might appreciate its message:

Jennifer, have you ever read MWF Seeking BFF? I read it soon after moving to NYC and loved it. Check it out!

Jennifer - RUBY sounds like a really exciting project. This interview especially drew me in when you were both talking about trying to maintain female friendships. That is something I’ve really struggled with the last few years. As a military spouse stationed overseas with my husband, I’ve found myself desperate for female friends and trying to force friendships with catty women I would never put up with such drama and dishonesty from in any other situation. Why must we tear each other down instead of lift each other up?

Gafo francisco - i suport that

Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet - How exciting to be part of kickstarting this new magazine. There are some good reminders here, thanks for sharing. Here’s to all the great women in our lives!

@Travelpanties - So happy you are doing this, Kat! you are so wonderful and inspiring! And I too just finished Poehler’s book and keep repeating her mantra, “Good for you, not for me” too! So awesome!

Liz @ The Lemon Bowl - Love the quotes – such wise words!!