BITW 136: Saying Goodbye to Instagram

BITW 136: Saying Goodbye to Instagram

Instagram for travel bloggersTravel writers- what would you do if you woke up tomorrow & your Instagram account was gone? As a travel blogger, you have just lost that source of traffic, influence, & followers. Would you say goodbye to Instagram or re-start with a new travel-focused account?

About a month and a half ago I woke up to learn both of my Instagram accounts had disappeared.  I have finally come out of my Instagram mourning period to tell the whole tale. 

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The Finer Details of Episode 136:

  • How to contact Instagram if you have a problem with your account
  • How I dealt with losing my Instagram accounts.
  • The best place to spend your efforts as a travel blogger.
  • Why email is king and trumps any social media platform.
  • Top takeaways you must implement now (click here to skip to the takeaways)
  • Why I’ve discounted my Instagram course by 60%
  • How to sign up and work directly with me to grow your Instagram account.

Full Episode >> Listen to Episode 136 Now!

Sign Up >> 60% Off the Instagram Cours

Instagram Tips for Travel Bloggers | Episode Resources

Instagram Hashtags 101
Best Instagram Hashtags for Travel Writers
18 Instagram Checklist
11 Step Guide to Getting Started on Instagram
52PerfectDays on Instagram
Instagram Course
Instagram Stories Poised to Dominate Snapchat?

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The Aspiring Travel Writer, the Facebook group

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  • Loved the Instagram Tips for Travel Bloggers on the Break Into Travel Writing #podcast w/ @writetotravel  [Click to Tweet]

Hope you enjoyed this episode focused on Instagram Tips for Travel Bloggers and inspired to learn more about building your travel brand on Instagram after listening to this episode. Interested in hearing the full podcast? Click here to listen now!

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Full Transcript:

Saying Goodbye to Instagram?

About a month and a half ago I Woke up to learn both of my Instagram accounts had disappeared. It was during the same time a ton of Facebook accounts had been deleted, so at first, I didn’t panic because I thought Facebook would restore the pages on FB & Instagram.

But, it didn’t go that way. Was I hacked, did I break an Instagram rule? The bottom line was the accounts seemed to be completely gone. This Might not seem like a big deal but I’ve been growing those suckers for the past two years. As a travel blogger, it is sort of a big deal.

You might be wondering why I waited a month and a half to record this podcast. There are two reasons.

I didn’t get the final word from Facebook until yesterday that my accounts had been officially deleted and there was nothing they could do to restore them.
I was in mourning or depressed or in denial or all of the above. I know it sounds melodramatic, but I just couldn’t wrap my brain around having to restart this process.

So, here I am coming out of my Instagram mourning period to tell the whole tale. It began on a cloudy September morning. There were ominous black clouds looming in the morning sky and there was an unusually bitter cold for this time of year. I could hear the distant roar of thunder.

Ok — just kidding. It was a normal gorgeous San Diego day and I tried to log in to my Instagram account, and I keep getting asked for phone number verification, but when I requested it, the security code wasn’t sent to my phone. So, I logged out of both accounts and restarted my phone, thinking it was a glitch and then I couldn’t access either account.

When I would try to use ‘trouble logging in’ and ask for my login to be sent, I get a message “we’re sorry, something went wrong. Please try again”.

I put in a ticket with Facebook — and I should mention this in case anyone doesn’t realize that Facebook owns Instagram, so all the tech support, etc is done through Facebook, which is why I keep mentioning them.

FREE Instagram Tips

Thanks for contacting Instagram. In order to help you get back into your account, we’ll need the following information:

1. A brief description of the issue you’re experiencing, including the date you last had access to your account and how you lost access.
2. The email address or mobile phone number you used to sign up for your account. If you signed up using your phone number, please also include your device type (example: iPhone, Android, iPad, Other).
3. Any previous usernames you’ve had.

So, I thought I had hope! I answered all the questions and crossed my fingers that I’d have my account back.

Then I posted my issue on my personal Facebook page to see if anyone had advice and for a little sympathy!

What is scary is when I posted on Facebook about my accounts disappearing, I was amazed by how many people also know people going through the same thing or a version of it.

I had a few friends let me know a few weird things,

One of my academy members, Lori Sweet from the blog VoyageWriters told me she got a message that I had blocked her on IG. I had several other people tell me they were alerted I unfollowed them.

Julie Kullman Cohn from A Cork, Fork & Passport said when she searched by my name in Instagram, my name and photo came up three times with the names erynlye25, cthonsea34, and enchtindur37 — which all use my photo as the avatar.

Lindsay Nieminen told me she thought someone had hacked my account and probably changed the username & That’s why they “look” gone. She told me to Talk to Leslie Carter from Bucketlist Publications because She was going thru the same thing.

Deb from the Planet D texted me and shared a link she had where I could chat in real time with someone from Facebook. I was so excited. She said if I could prove I owned the accounts, she could put in a ticket to help get them restored. She said she would send me an email with instructions and then she’d work on the accounts.

Her email said:

Hi Alexa,

This is Brianna with Facebook Ad Support.
I recently responded to your inquiry regarding losing access to your Instagram Accounts and them being deleted.
Please send me one of the following so I can further investigate:
1. Valid documents include: business license, certificate of formation, tax filing, articles of incorporation, assumed name, doing business as (dba), utility bills (only if in the name of the business, not of the individual)
2. Publicly available documents are not valid. Invalid documents include: check, invoices, W9 forms, business cards

If you have any further questions feel free to email me.

I was so excited!! 2.5 weeks later I heard back from her by email which said:

This is Brianna with Facebook Ad Support.
Unfortunately, your Accounts are not able to be recovered after they have been deleted.
You can also use this link for reference:  ( )
If you have any additional questions feel free to reach out to me.

So, of course, I responded with my additional questions and my email said:

I’m totally confused as to why my account was deleted. I never got a notice and was only posting travel photos.

Was my account hacked and deleted? Was it deleted by Facebook? Can you explain why it was deleted?

I haven’t heard back. At this point, I’ve reconciled that it will remain a mystery. It’s a mystery that sucks, but nevertheless, it’s a mystery and I don’t know why or how my accounts were deleted.

This entire experience has made me realize a few things! And what I’m going to share are things I know, and that I’ve heard over and over, but never truly hit home until now.

The importance of your blog and your email list. So many entrepreneurs out there are always saying the #1 thing you have to work on and focus on is your email list. Why? Because you have control over your email list. You own it. So, it’s why so many entrepreneurs put a big percentage of their time into growing their email list and communicating with their followers in this way as well as through social media.

  • Your email list is yours. As long as you back up that list of names and emails from your email service — this is something that you have control over. You always have a way to connect with your followers with this list.
  • Websites can get hacked, but again as long as you back it up on a regular basis — the content is yours. Your website needs to be the #1 focus for content — not your social media.
  • Social media platforms can fizzle out, can become less important than they once were or even die. Stumbleupon is gone. If that was your main source of traffic – you lost it.
  • If any social network goes down — you’ve lost that source of traffic, influence, and followers.
  • If you get hacked or removed from any social network you’ve lost that source of traffic, influence, and followers.

I just read about a really cool session that took place at Tbex with Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere, Caz Makepeace from Y Travel Blog and Dave Bouskel from the Planet D and moderated by the amazing travel writer, Tim Leffel. The topic was “What would you do differently if you were to start your blogging career today from scratch?”

This got me thinking about my Instagram accounts. I’ve been mourning their loss. This might sound odd, but my Instagram for 52 Perfect Days was my baby. I absolutely loved what I had created. I was very precious about what pictures I posted and about working on my engagement. I was just shy of 60,000 followers. I was proud of the photos in my feed. It was an accomplishment.

My IG account disappeared about September 25th. I’ve been contemplating what to do ever since. Do I start over? Do I have it in me to re-grow that account? Would I start over with 2 accounts? 1 for 52 & 1 for this podcast?

Do I put my efforts into Youtube instead? This is an area I’ve wanted to focus more on.

Do I put the time it would take to re-grow Instagram into my email list?

But, then it hit me. As a travel blogger there is a Bottom line — whether I like it or not, PR cares about Instagram. Brands care about Instagram. Influencer networks care about Instagram.

Instagram isn’t driving a lot of traffic to my site, but it was getting me paid gigs and trips. So, what is a blogger to do?

I decided, I’d suck it up, put a smile on my face and start again.

As painful as it is, I’ve decided to start over. I’m starting with 52 Perfect Days — I’ve tried to claim my account, but when I do, it says it isn’t available. So, for now, I’m re-starting with 52PerfectDaysTravel.

As of today, I have a total of 2 photos up on my new account. I’m following 43 people and have 61 followers.

I’ve officially decided to start over. But, it’s never fun doing things alone.

I’ve been teaching my Instagram course for over 2 years. So, this seems like the absolute best time to give the entire course a update and revamp…… and use it myself as the official tester.

But, I’d like to invite all of you to take the course with me. Literally, side by side and let’s work together to reach our goals! My goal is 10,000 followers so I can get back the swipe up feature, which allows you add links back to your website for your followers to click.
Yep. you can only get the swipe up feature if you have a business account with more than 10,000 followers.

How will I get to my first goal of 10,000 followers? I’ll get there by adding one new photo and one new follower at a time just like I did the first time.

So, who wants to join me in the under 10,000 club or maybe we can call it the swipe up club?! If you haven’t hit 10,000 followers on Instagram — jump in and take the course with me. Let’s reach our Instagram goals together!

I’m taking 60% off my course. That is only $47.60 to take this 15-day course! We have a private Facebook group that you’ll be added to as soon as you sign up and we’ll have an official start date for the updated course Monday, November 26th.

The course is about Building Your Brand with Instagram and it’s a step-by-step guide to create a strong Instagram presence and marketing strategy. This course explains all of the ins and outs, so you are never left wondering where to go next when creating and implementing your Instagram marketing strategy.
Even if you haven’t started your Instagram account, or only have one follower (which is basically where I am)– this is the time to for you to jump in.

This course offers the principles that built my account the first time!

What’s Included in the Course?

In this course, there are 15 lessons, several worksheets, bonuses, an extremely helpful and exclusive Facebook group, and more. I go through everything that you need to know about Instagram, such as:

  • Why Instagram is great for building brand awareness
  • How to create a powerful bio
  • How to use hashtags
  • Why hashtags are so important on Instagram
  • How to build your followers easily
  • The exact steps I’ve taken to build my Instagram accounts to over 59k followers
  • How to build trust and not lose followers
  • How to drive traffic to your website from Instagram
  • Different strategies to use to promote your blog or website
  • And of course, how to make money as a micro influencer on Instagram — which is for accounts with less than 20k followers
  • And much, much more!

This course is anything and everything about Instagram for travel bloggers. 

You can start this course at any time — but I’ll be officially starting on Monday, November 26th and the sale runs through November 25th.

As soon as you sign up, you will be added to the private Facebook group. I’ll be in the Facebook group for the Instagram Challenge daily — and I’ll be ready to answer any questions.

You will then receive login information for the course.

The course is delivered daily for 15 days. You and I will tackle this course together and build our accounts quickly and with IG users who are there to engage!

If you are wondering what happens after the 15 days — you will have access to updates on a regular basis through the facebook group, lifetime access to the full course and Facebook group. I will post weekly discussions and tips in the group. It will be an ongoing place to learn and grow your IG account.

Who’s in? Simply head to the show notes page for episode 136 for a link to the course, or visit https://breakintotravelwriting.com/instagram-challenge-for-travel-bloggers-and-travel-writers/

Takeaways

#1 Backup your website on a regular basis.
#2 Back up your email list to your own database or excel file.
#3 if you haven’t already, start an email list. There will be more coming soon about email list building.
#4 If you have less than 5,000 followers on Instagram, sign up for my Instagram course and go through the challenge with me. Yep — let’s build our accounts together!

On the Instagram course page you will see, I say that $119. is the lowest price you’ll ever see it listed for.
Well, rules are meant to be bent if not broken at least once in a while. So, take advantage of this huge discount and join me to hit 10,000 followers or more on Instagram!

I hope you join me and learn how to master Instagram. Thank you all for listening and until next time.

By | 2018-11-13T14:53:57+00:00 November 10th, 2018|Shows|0 Comments

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