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Hashtag Those #Obsessions

We all have something that we take an extra interest in, something that we love to do or talk about and something that might occasionally bore our not-so-interested friends and family. It could be a passion for cooking, an obsession with your cat or guinea pig, perhaps you are GREAT at knitting or you might draw the most amazing portraits of people… or it could be that you are into building things, you’re a fitness junkie, just started a new diet or you are convinced that you have found evidence of the existence of aliens. All those things are awesome, but it is all about finding the right audience. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are talking about something that you find absolutely fascinating, but as you talk you can tell how the people around you continue to lose interest? Are your friends and family making half-serious jokes about how you need to stop uploading photos of your daily outfits on Facebook? Photos of your dog? Your lunch? That is where Instagram becomes your friend.

Instagram is a wonderful way of reaching out to those who actually share your particular interest. Just because your family and friends completely lack interest, it doesn’t mean that you’re the only one in the world interested in your particular hobby. This is what you need to do:

Step one is to start an Instagram account. If you already have one you can either use it, or start another one dedicated to that hobby of yours. Once you have an account you move on to step two, which is uploading a picture. Here is where the hashtags come in. Use hashtags to allow others to discover your photos and account. If your passion is plats and flowers, use hashtags such as #flower, #flowers, #plants etc. etc. Anything you can think of that relates to your picture and interest. Before you know it, strangers that share your passion will start liking and commenting, and suddenly you won’t feel like that weirdo that fills up their Facebook page with too many pictures of the same thing. You will have found your audience.

This saved me personally when my friends and family were getting tired of me always uploading pictures of my dog. I loved photographing my dog, and of course I wanted to show those pictures to the world. I wanted everybody to see what an awesome dog I had (and how great my pictures were), but it got to the point where I had people nicely asking me to please stop uploading dog pictures. That was when I decided to create an Instagram account where I would only upload pictures of my dog. That way those who were interested could follow the account, and those who couldn’t care less would be spared. Win-win!

That was the beginning of an incredible Instagram journey. I was overwhelmed by the response, and by suddenly having people being EXCITED about my uploads! I started getting likes and followers, and what was even more amazing was all the other Instagram accounts dedicated to dogs that I discovered. I was no longer the odd one out, but instead a part of an amazing online community. There is so much inspiration out there and it has taught me that you are never really alone about liking something – it is just about finding those who share your passion. Instagram is a fantastic tool for that.

I now have over 400 followers that are all happy to see my daily dog photo uploads. Nobody complains. Many of my real-life friends are also following my account, but now it is their choice, and not something I force on them. It feels pretty great. I am also following hundreds of other dog accounts on Instagram, which makes my day, to be honest. It is absolutely amazing to see uploads from other people who feel and think like me. Who also upload pictures of their pups on a daily basis.

Regardless of what you love, what you love to do or what you love to talk about – there are more people out there that love the same things. Let Instagram help you find those people. Set up an account, upload your pictures and don’t forget to use hashtags. There is an audience for everything. I was amazed when finding an audience who actually LIKED the pictures I uploaded and now I find great inspiration in their comments, thoughts and opinions. I feel I have something to contribute with rather than feeling like a burden for the people around me. Give it a try, I would say, you might be surprised. Thing about what you like, hashtag it, and take that to Instagram.

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