Born and raised in Poland, Kiara Zubrecka is a 22-year-old lifestyle blogger currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. She’s in her third year of studying Finance & Marketing, which in some ways has helped her plan and accomplish her Insta-sucess. She used to do photography profesionally, loves traveling and dreams of continuing her education somewhere more exotic like Barcelona, or why not the culturally rich Berlin.
Kiara is still unclear as to whether Instagram will become part of her professional life, or remain simply a hobby, but she knows that ultimately leading a happy life is about finding a balance: ”Life in Instagram can be really fake, but I’m trying to keep the balance by mixing things I’ve done ages ago and today, while not editing photos too much – I’m still trying to find my place as I don’t want to spend my whole life doing this.” Where does she see herself in 5 years? Getting paid to travel the world!
Here’s what else she shared about her Instagram experience.
What’s it like being an Instagrammer – what does your day look like?
I would say it’s pretty normal – just like any other person. The difference is I ”look” for occasions to take a good picture. If I am going out for lunch or coffee, I make sure that the place looks ”interesting”.
Sometimes I check places on Instagram beforehand. There are so many places that I didn’t know existed before finding them through people’s pictures. If you use it wisely, Instagram can be great, but you can also lose yourself, so one needs to be careful.
How do you embrace the Instagrammer lifestyle – do you have any social strategy?
I usually plan my pictures in advance. I like it when my Instagram feed looks good and in one style. Usually, I would edit pictures in Photoshop, that is, if I feel like spending more time on them. Sometimes I just apply Instagram filters, or use the PicsArt on my phone – it’s a great app!
My overall strategy varies. During summer holidays, I always posted something in the morning – I noticed pictures posted in the morning got better views and likes. Of course, I was away from university, so I had more time to spend on Instagram. These days, I update my account every 2-3 days. If I had time, I would do it more often!
Have you discovered something particular that attracts more followers? And what’s your stand on users who buy their followers?
It’s definitely a face or a person picture that attracts more views and likes. All of the photos of food, architecture and spectacular views – don’t even get me started on selfies! – aren’t actually that popular.
When it comes to followers, I am offered this every few days – to buy followers. It’s very common nowadays, but I am totally against it. Once, I said ‘no’ to someone, yet they still added 1000 followers to my account and 5000 likes under a picture. No idea how they did it, but these accounts should be removed from social media.
I know there’s some pressure to be constantly perfect and present online, but can you share a positive experience?
Constant presence online can be tiring. There was a time, for example, when I wasn’t going out with friends simply because the place they had picked wasn’t good to take pictures of. I was missing on the opportunity to create amazing new memories with friends for the sake of keeping my feed ”amazing”. I do take breaks but I think I’m genuinely addicted.
Every now and then I am testing products that brands send me, which is definitely a positive experience and a great opportunity to also earn some extra money. It’s not a lot, but it helps me with what I love doing – traveling!
Is there any particular quality that has helped you become a successful Instagrammer?
Even if I’m talking about finding the right balance between private and public life, being a successful Instagrammer is about taking that extra hour to pick a picture, to edit it, to choose when to post it, to research places, to look for trends – it’s a lot of work. If I have to choose one quality, it would be patience. You don’t always get followers just by posting a couple of pictures, so you need to be patient while you continue planning and posting.
What’s your favourite destination Instagram-wise?
From all the places I have visited, I would say Greece. You simply cannot NOT take a good picture there.
But to be honest, the key lies in presenting places in an interesting way and making a story out of them. I can take great photos even back home in Leśna, a small town with population of less than 5000 people, which as you can imagine isn’t the most glamourous destination.
I would love to visit Hawaii though. I follow about 10 people based in Hawaii and I love everything that they post – such an inspiringly beautiful place!
Speaking of inspiration, who do you take inspiration from?
Everything and everyone, even pictures of my mom from her teen years! My inspiration derives from all things beautiful, whether it’s lifestyle, travel or fashion.
I myself travel as much as possible and try to post mostly pictures from my holidays. But there are already so many great people online and so many more new blogs every day, it’s sometimes difficult to keep up. Now that I think about it, this might not be among the things that I would be proud of telling my kids!
Last but not least, do you have any tips or advice for future bloggers?
Be honest. People love to see your real life, because then they can get inspired. If you see the profile of an 18-year-old traveling and buying new things every single day, it’s depressing. Be true and honest, because people love to see how other people live, the realistic version together with the edited pictures!
Try to find the balance between your private and social life. Above all, focus on the real life and the present moment.