Month ONE Review of my Instagram Challenge

I guess this makes it official.

I’ve been reluctant to commit, mostly because I wasn’t sure I could do it every day for a year, but I guess this article makes it official.

I’m posting one Before and After photo to my Instagram @jasonulsrudportrait every day for a year.

I know, I know…

It’s a HUGE commitment to take on, especially since I’m posting videos on YouTube, creating photography tutorials the Creative Portrait on Patreon, and all the personal stuff life requires like wife, kids, and exercise to maintain my girlish figure.

But, I have a really good reason for doing this.

WHY my Instagram Challenge?

I’ve been posting to Instagram for the past 3ish years and have always wanted to grow a following organically, which simply means I wanted people to follow me for my work and not because I paid some bot to generate more followers.

So, I’ve posted here and there when I had something I thought would be cool to post.

In fact, my very first post to Instagram was December 14th of 2014.

first instagram photo posted by jason ulsrud the photillustrator

The problem has been, since that December I’ve only grown my Instagram to 722 followers in 4 years.

That means only 722 people have been interested enough in the content I’ve been posting to hit that follow button.

So, shamed and depressed, I decided to try something different.

How I’m Doing Instagram Different

Since Einstein has defined “Insanity” as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result, and I don’t consider myself insane, I thought it time to do Instagram different.

So, for the next 365 days, minus the past month since this is my first month update, I’m going to post one before and after image to Instagram every single day.

I call this a “challenge” because obviously it’s going to be challenging to produce 365 different art-worked images to post and because I want to see if all those Instagram gurus are right when they say, “The key to growing your Instagram account is to post often and with a consistent timeline look.”

And, to hold me accountable, I’m going to post a monthly review of my Instagram challenge and share my follower count, the images I’ve posted, my most popular image for the month, and what I’ve learned throughout the month.

Hopefully, by the end of my 365 day challenge I have more Instagram followers and you have a much better idea of how to grow your audience on Instagram.

Now, my month ONE review…

Month One Instagram Review

I started my Instagram challenge on February 5th, which means this first month review covers between February 5th to March 5th.

Instagram Followers

February 5th = 722 followers
March 5th = 764 followers
Total = 42 new followers

Most Liked Instagram Post

most liked instagram post for february by jason ulsrud of photillustrator

Most Commented on Instagram Post

most commented on instagram post for february by jason ulsrud of photillustrator

Lessons Learned in Month ONE

Through most of the month I told my wife, kids, and you that I wasn’t committing to posting one image every day because I didn’t want to to commit to something I didn’t think I could complete.

I made it through month one without missing a day, and while it wasn’t easy, I did it.

So, over the past month I have developed a specific style I’m enjoying working with and as I do more and more, I’m getting faster at my editing process.

Of course, some of my images require more work like my most liked image of the girl golfing, but for the most part, my editing process is getting faster.

One check in the positive column.

Also, my followers have gone up by 42, which isn’t bad but not as much as I had hoped for or expected.

I’m pretty much writing that off to the fact that I’ve just started posting every day, along with the fact that I heard somewhere that Instagram rewarded creators more who had over a 1,000 followers.

That goes to show that whether you’re on YouTube or Instagram, it’s hard to crack that first 1,000 follower nut.

One Last Thing

One last thing before I wrap up this monthly review of my Instagram challenge and that’s about opportunities.

I’ve always believed the first step to success is to just put yourself out there.

I just got a shirt from one of my favorite YouTube creators, Levi Allen, that says on the front, “Excellence is not an act, but a habit” and on the back, “We are what we repeatedly do”.

For the past 4 years I’ve sporadically posted on my Instagram and hoping people and opportunities would follow, but that’s not how this works.

So, as I create my Instagram habit and I repeatedly post daily, I’m hoping to see more and more people and opportunities come my way so I can continue Making Awesome Pictures.

What positive habits can you start and what do you repeatedly do to grow your yourself and your brand?

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