Insights on Instagram by an Influencer: Abhinav Singh


What led you to start your page on Instagram and what is it about?
My Instagram page is just an extension of my blog. I share the best of my pictures on Instagram. My Instagram handle @asoulwindow is an entirely travel-based account. I promote new offbeat places, travel-friendly gadgets, and even clothes suitable for travel on my Instagram account.

How would you distinguish the term blogger from an influencer?
First things first. Most people address Instagrammers as influencers which is nothing but lack of understanding of the word influencer. A blogger is an even more of an impactful influencer as he/she writes information-packed articles.
Sadly, most of the PRs do not understand the difference between a blogger and Instagrammer. It really is simple. A travel blogger writes detailed blogs on places which has an evergreen shelf value, while an Instagrammer is a person who posts on the app called Instagram. Each post has a shelf life of just 2-3 days, unlike that of a blog. When someone searches for information on a destination, it’s a blog they read for information, not Instagram posts. Also, unlike Instagrammers, all bloggers are active on Blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Page, and YouTube apart from writing for leading print magazines and newspapers. So, good bloggers any day provide more value than an Instagrammer or a print journalist.

Is it financially sustainable to be an influencer today?
In the beginning, it may not be sustainable. For my first year, I didn’t earn anything and was surviving on my savings. This is why I advise new content creators (better word than influencer) to start their blog along with their existing jobs. When they feel they are able to sustain they may quit the job. It also depends upon an individual how much she or he wants to earn in a month. Freelancing anyways is a highly competitive and insecure field. I might earn up to a lakh in one month and less than half of that in another month. You also need to diversify your income sources in order to meet your financial goals. It is not easy but doable.

What do you think influences consumer behavior?
Most PRs are obsessed with numbers which I feel is not always beneficial. If an influencer has lakhs of followers interested in travel, but she is constantly promoting diapers, then her followers will unfollow her. What I feel works are – Content which is aesthetically created has a strong voice, is visually stunning, honest, and information-packed. The endorsed product should also be the right fit keeping in mind the individual audience.

Your opinion on Instagram contemplating removing likes option for posts.
I think it is a good idea. Everyone is obsessed with numbers these days. I miss the 90s, where our sole focus was on creating good content and not a mad race of likes. Hiding the likes will give a full stop to the one-upmanship amongst the content creators. It will take off the pressure to perform on every post. However, the competition will still be there s people will continue to outsmart each other with the number of followers as that will still be visible.

What is your idea of success or your mantra in life?
If you are happy doing what you do, that is a success. I earn less than what many of my juniors from college are earning. I could have done that too. But blogging gives me priceless freedom which I don’t want to trade with for a few more bucks. I am in a happy space. I have had such amazing experiences since I started blogging. In hindsight, being fired from my job for traveling too much was the best thing that ever happened to me. It all depends upon what you seek from life. Success is a subjective word. We all have our own parameters to measure our individual success. For me, it’s all about contentment.

Unlike other bloggers, I didn’t quit my job to travel. I was fired from my dull stock-broking job of 7 years for travelling too much after which I wanted to do something in travel. I started a travel blog, assuming that it will be my resume to find a job in the travel sector. Little did I know that it is a full-time job. People appreciated my work within a few months of starting out. Soon, I was listed as Top Travel Bloggers of India more than 20 times by reputed firms. Publications like Times Of India and Hindustan Times interviewed me. I started writing articles for Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Mint, Railbandhu etc. There has been no looking back ever since. I got more than I had asked for.

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