How much time do I invest in my Instagram account?

by Alina
My under eyes areas may be dark but I’m optimistic for a bright future😆

(I am begging that it pays off and that you actually can see it😅)
In this Guide you’ll learn more about my daily routine and how much time it takes to do what I’m doing. I’ll tell how it comes that I’m writing a book every year. 

2‑3 hours a day for the first 2 years

I started sharing my passion for cycling here in October 2017. Since then, I’ve been engaging with Instagram on a daily basis. Approximately 2‑3 hours a day from Monday to Sunday for the first two years. Besides cycling and a regular job, much more wasn’t possible. 

More than 28 hours a week now

Everything changed within last year after quitting my job in the cycling industry to pursue my passion. 
Meanwhile, since I’ve become a full‑time content creator, I’ve doubled the time commitment again. This means that in the last year I’ve been working at least 4 hours a day, also from Monday to Sunday. If you ask Mikula, he shakes his head with a huge smile and says “significantly more”. It’s difficult to measure it so precisely. I very much love what I do, so the passion and the job quickly merge. Work doesn’t always feel like work ‑ and that’s exactly how it should be!

So here is a list on how I spend my day:

Photos. The most time‑consuming part.

Technically, I’m a photographer. Not all of my pictures are taken while cycling. Some require a lot more planning and equipment than what’s comfortable to carry on a bike. Of course it is possible to bring 20 kg of equipment on the bike. However, that leaves hardly any enjoyment on a climb.
So I have opted for the golden mean: On some rides I take my camera with me in a small bag or tied to a camera strap on my back. Of course, this only works if I have someone with me who has an eye for beauty and, more importantly, who also has the time and energy for it. It’s difficult to do it alone, unless I also strap on a tripod. But then we’d be back to 20 kg of luggage. ugh.

I can’t afford to miss out on cycling. More often than not, I just don’t feel like lugging the camera around. Riding a bike to get away from it all and enjoy the time is super important to me. With that being said, I need to organize content creation days.

Planning shootings.

I am always on the hunt for beautiful scenic routes that make up for stunning shots. And that can be reached by bike and are actually rideable. Especially in winter, that’s not all that easy. Bare trees and mud are not particularly photogenic. Occasionally, when I’m cycling, I mark nice roads that I’ve passed by randomly and take notes on what time of day it was. The light is very crucial and changes throughout the day. Fog, for example, which makes the pictures so beautifully mystical, is often only found in the morning.
As soon as my schedule allows it, I try to return to the places with the appropriate photo equipment. Since Mikula and I don’t have a car, this requires a lot of coordination and, more often than not, the help of our friends or their support as drivers. After all, I dare to doubt that anyone can concentrate equally much on beautiful pictures and video material and safe driving or cycling. If the light is beautiful on the day, I usually bring other kits to spice up with colors.

After the shooting comes the editing

It takes quite a bit of time here. It’s not done with applying one of my presets. That simplifies the first step. But in order to make a picture special, I add another 20 minutes on average. If I’m really quick. But that wasn’t always the case and required a lot of practice and patience. 

By the way I’ve been thinking about letting you guys take part of my editing process more.

Winter is too cold to look sexy.

Hand on heart: headband, scarf, overshoes and 3 layers of clothing are not exactly what I call sexy. I throw at least some of it back in the car to take pictures. Dear shoe condoms, I’m grateful to have you, but apart from your inner values, you’re not very compelling.

If there’s a picture where I’m not dressed appropriate to the current weather, there’s a fairly good chance that the picture was taken in a different season or on another day. So don’t worry, when it’s cold I wear all the right clothes. After all, I love myself far too much to freeze to death voluntarily😝
In times of a pandemic, this is absolutely not recommended.

Riding vs. content creation.

I’m not on Instagram to post pictures of my actual rides and I am not making it a secret. First, it wouldn’t be that aesthetic to look at and second this is, with all respect, not possible.
Whoever wants to know when, where and how fast I ride with a camera on my back is welcome to follow me on STRAVA.

My focus on Instagram is on aesthetics. The picture I post is not always from the same day. Since I am aiming to upload about 6 times a week, that wouldn’t even be possible from an organizational point of view. Cycling 6 times a week would be a dream tho. Only possible with a hell lot of food, which doesn’t pay for itself. Since I’m not a pro, I cannot make a living from cycling. I am making a living from creating and posting my content so this unfortunately needs to be my priority. Even tho unfortunately isn’t quite the right word, I love putting up my content! Look pro, ride slow but with a lot of fun😉. The passion is deeply in my heart and that will never change. 

Is same day content possible?

My content is not always same day content. From an organizational point of view that’s not even possible. Even tho I’ve been carrying a camera in my luggage on my 420 km bike packing trip to Amsterdam and back. So that time I actually managed to post the most authentic way possible. Even tho it was for the sake of not being able to eat for another hour cause content, first. (Sorry Susi to keep us from our well deserved food another hour!)
If that’s not a commitment…!

Writing a book every year? How come?

Actually, I always wanted to be an author. That’ s kind of what I am now. At least the 2021 version of it.Just for fun, I had Pages count the words I’ve written for Instagram since the beginning of 2020. Right now I’m at 70,000 words. That’s the average number of words required for a book. Even just typing that would be a long time. But for me, the process looks like this: Brainstorming ‑ research ‑ drafting in German ‑ translation to English.
How much time that takes ‑ phew ‑ you better ask Mikula how much time I spend writing on my laptop. So, to sum up, I write a book in a foreign language every year. I think that’s what I’ll tell my grandma when she asks what I do for a living.

Receiving > 1000 messages weekly

Unfortunately, I recently lost the statistics that show how many messages I get each week. Before that, however, the average number of new message requests via Story replies was about 900. Then there are the regular message requests plus the chats that are ongoing on which I don’t have statistics. 
With the best will in the world, I can’t say how much time that takes up. I tend to get bogged down on instagram on a regular basis. While I am happy about all the heart‑warming messages, the time goes by really fast. If you’ve ever sent me a message that I haven’t replied to, please forgive me. I do it all myself and unfortunately I don’t have enough hours in a day. Nevertheless, I am incredibly grateful for every kind word that reaches me. So don’t give up, I check my messages daily and maybe the timing will be right and I’ll text you back.
I still manage to answer almost all comments. And even if I only like them, you can be sure that I have read them myself.

Pre‑planning my feed 

Again, on the topic of cutting‑edge content. I am a perfectionist and love it when my feed looks perfectly matched. To achieve this, I have to arrange the pictures and move them back and forth until they fit together. This often requires some re‑editing if the colours just don’t look nice together. By the way, I use the app Preview and Unum for this.

How much time did this guide take me? 

Writing this and translating took me about 5 hours. Getting that stuff into Wordpress took ma another hour. I think I’ve been fast this time 😝

I hope you enjoyed the read ❤️

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