**Hooray! Four months after this post was first published, I was featured again for #WHPdailylife. This resulted in a 2.5K increase in followers**
Last week, the wonderful and hugely exciting happened – my photo of a book tree was featured on Instagram after I entered the #whp🌲 challenge. Since then, nearly 600K people have seen my hallway which is mind-boggling! My personal account has also received a boost. I’ve gained over 2000 followers since the photo was posted and have had lovely comments from all over the world. I am so grateful for each and every one especially after taking such a creative leap this year.
But the real reason I’ve written this post is to shed some light on the challenge itself so that others can join in and have a chance of being featured too.
The Weekend Hashtag Project (#WHP) is announced by Instagram on Fridays. This usually happens around 11pm GMT (so 3pm PST) but it can vary so first of all, you need to follow their main account. Each week, they set a new prompt with an accompanying photo or video as an example of what they’re looking for. The rules do change for time to time so keep checking, but here are some sample guidelines:
PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPoddlysatisfying hashtag only to photos and videos shared over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video shared over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week.
You then have the weekend to post material which matches the theme. After this time, Instagram then selects up to 6 entries to be featured. If you’re new to the WHP, I recommend looking back over past features to get a feel for the successful content. Creative shots often get picked, but so do other styles – and captions count too. Account size doesn’t make a difference – I had just over 2500 followers when I was chosen so tiny by Instagram standards.
I’ve entered every weekend since this first time – mainly for the creative challenge and was very surprised to be featured again in September 2018. This was for a spontaneous photo that I took one morning in our kitchen.
This feature led to a slightly greater shift in the force for us and we not only gained followers, but we were also approached by a number of brands. I’ve touched on some of that experience in my post about bookstagram influencing.
I think my biggest piece of advice for the WHP is to have fun with it. Use it to view the world in a fresh way. Anything goes so be playful and free – find your voice. I was first featured on my 9th attempt so it’s worth persisting. I’d also mention that although it’s worth putting your best work out there (always!), try not to have any expectations. When I was selected, I thought I had no chance. Conversely, when I’ve submitted pictures that have received loads of likes, I haven’t been picked. You simply can’t predict. All you can do is give them your best shot and keep on showing up. Good luck!