When you first start blogging, you may be confused about how to promote your blog. My blog series called “Blogging for Beginners” addresses several issues when it comes to promoting your blog. This is just one post in this very helpful series I am currently working on.
When it comes to using Instagram for your blog, it’s a bit different compared to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or any other social network. However, it also comes with a ton of power, if you know what you’re doing.
There are several great ways to use Instagram for your blog and you don’t have to be a good-looking woman to do it. No matter what you look like or who you are, you can use Instagram to promote your blog, build a following, and make money from your blog.
What this Blogging For Beginners Blog Post Isn’t
Before we get into how you can use Instagram for your blog, I want to make sure you understand what I am not going to be telling you to do.
- I won’t be promoting some automated tool
- I won’t be telling you to post spam comments automatically
- I won’t be telling you to use the follow/unfollow strategy to grow your numbers
- I won’t be telling you to post low-quality content just to hit a specific number of posts per day
Automation is great, but it’s also very impersonal. Automating Instagram, outside of scheduling your posts with a tool, such as Buffer, isn’t necessary and can actually backfire.
In fact, an article from VentureBeat.com written by Rich Kahn states, “Many marketers use bots on Instagram to follow people and “like” and comment on their behalf with the intent of growing their followings and increasing engagement rates, even though Instagram frowns on the process. Those marketers are overlooking a crucial shortcoming: Bots don’t understand context.”
I believe in growing your Instagram and other social media accounts naturally. Yes, I have used unnatural strategies in the past and they did nothing good for me. Organic growth is the best way to go and the only way, if you truly want to use Instagram for your blog marketing.
Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into some of the ways beginner bloggers can use Instagram for their blog marketing.
#1 – Start with the Bio
There are several ways to create a great Bio on Instagram and you certainly don’t want to leave this area of your profile blank. This is actually THE MOST IMPORTANT real estate on Instagram because it’s the only place you can link to your blog.
Your bio has to be short and it should be very accurate. As Fabrizio Van Marciano from Magnet4Blogging.net says, “Make sure you write a short but accurate bio telling users who you are, what you’re passionate about, and what you do over on your blog. It doesn’t need to be an essay, just short and sweet.”
This is great advice for your bio. It’s also very important to get your Call-to-Action in there so people will follow your link. You can see my bio here, which is to the point and includes a call-to-action for my Free Course “How to Become a Blogger” perfect for Blogging for Beginners!
It’s also a good idea to use emojis. In fact, a post done by Johannes Kanter on GettingGrowth.com states, “I always suggest using emojis as well as they get people attention.”
If you’re not sure where to emojis on your computer, you can simply search for free emojis in Google. Personally, I like to edit my Instagram profile on my computer, not my phone. It’s just a bit easier for those of us with larger fingers, lol.
When you’re creating your bio, remember, it’s going to be the main place you drive people to find your blog. Make it grab attention and make it stand out!
#2 – High-Quality Images ONLY!
A blog post called “How I Gained 50K Instagram Followers Rapidly and Organically” on the blog Chris Loves Julia states, “One average picture can cause you to lose followers, while posting nothing, only doesn’t gain you any followers typically.”
This is excellent advice, as is the rest of the post from Chris Loves Julia. Notice, it doesn’t say one BAD picture, but just average. This means it could be an okay picture and you could still lose followers.
Instagram is an incredibly visual social media channel. You MUST share high-quality images and not just in resolution. They have to be good and on point with your message. Consistency in quality matters when it comes to your Instagram pictures.
One of the most important things I can tell beginning bloggers wanting to use Instagram for blog marketing is Quality over Quantity in EVERYTHING you do. This goes for blog content and social media content. Always create high-quality and don’t settle for less just to create something.
#3 – Treat it as a Micro-Blog
Instagram offers the perfect platform to create a micro-blog. Several influencers suggest using Instagram as a micro-blog. Some even go as far as to say you don’t need a website. Personally, I think having a website or blog you promote in your profile just makes sense.
Regardless, you can use Instagram for micro-blogging, which, according to DanaNicoleDesigns.com is “sharing your thoughts through any social media platform.” She also says, “Creating a blog on Instagram will allow you to share your thoughts with a large audience, but also give you the chance to get paid for your Instagram posts by partnering with brands and showcasing their products!”
This is why some say you don’t need a website. You can use Instagram for micro-blogging, build up a following, and partner with brands for sponsored content. However, when you’re trying to use Instagram for blog marketing, you want to do it a bit differently.
My Micro-Blogging Strategy for Instagram
I love Instagram for micro-blogging. It gives me a chance to reach a wider audience and a different audience compared to my blog, my SEO efforts, and other blog marketing efforts. Here’s how I do it.
- Step 1 – Write a Long-Form Blog Post
- Step 2 – Split the Blog Post into Sections for Instagram
- Step 3 – Create a Custom Graphic for each Section
- Step 4 – Add in my Call-to-Action to get the full post from my profile link on Instagram
- Step 5 – Schedule my micro-blogs on Instagram over a week or two
You don’t even need to write new content for Instagram. You can repurpose your current blog posts and create great posts for Instagram from content you already have!
It’s important to look at the content before you post it, however. You may need to edit some of your current content to fit Instagram a bit better. I also like to add a few emojis. They work great for bullet points and creating headings within the post.
My call-to-action asks those finding my content on Instagram to tag a friend, check out my profile link for the full post, and comment with their favorite tip, trick, or whatever makes sense.
Hashtags provide a way to build your following and spread your Instagram posts all over the social media site. You’re allowed to use up to 30 hashtags per post and I recommend maxing these out whenever possible.
I have about 8 to 10 sets of hashtags I rotate depending on the post I am creating. Some may have a few overlapping hashtags, but they hit different topics and sub-niches in my main niche.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you find the best hashtags to use, but I don’t use any of these tools. I simply use Instagram and I look for a mixture of hashtags with a large number of posts (broader audience) and those with a smaller number of posts (more targeted).
You can also create a branded hashtag to fit you and your blog. This is a great way to build brand awareness on Instagram.
A blog post found on the site SpotaHome.com and written by Sabrina Bertazzo talks about hashtags and says, “Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags per picture. You don’t need to use all of them, but it’s common knowledge that content with 11 or more hashtags receives higher engagement. Some popular and relevant hashtags I use are: #travelblogger #travel #instatravel #travelgram #tourism #passportready #wanderlust #ilovetravel and many more. Then add some more specific hashtags related to the image you are showing, for example I might use #Venice, #London, #Spain etc. Lastly, you should hope to get visibility with some of the most influential accounts related to your topic, for example I use #IAmAtraveler (Conde Nast Traveler), #passionpassport, #traveldeeper, #suitcasetravels and more.”
Now, Sabrina is referring specifically to using Instagram for a travel blog, but this is great advice even if you’re not running a travel blog. If using location specific hashtags makes sense, you should certainly add those in. However, it may not make sense for every niche to use a location-specific hashtag.
#5 – Engage With Others
The main reason I stated earlier that I won’t be promoting using automated bots is due to engagement. Bots are impersonal and they often make huge mistakes, which are so easy to spot I’ve started calling them out when I comment on those I follow on Instagram.
Blogging for Beginners Golden Nugget – Impersonal and Unnatural never works longer than temporary. Real, organic engagements last longer and creates true loyalty through the development of real relationships.
You don’t want to come off as a spammer or a fake account. Using a comment bot to comment on specific accounts will quickly get you into this category.
Engage with others on Instagram and make sure you’re adding something of value. As Melyssa Griffin says in her blog post 11 SUREFIRE WAYS TO GROW YOUR INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS, “Rather than something stale like, “cute dress,” try to leave genuine comments and questions that encourage them to post more photos.”
You have to be genuine on social media or people will catch on. Fake doesn’t get you anywhere when you’re trying to use Instagram for your blog marketing strategy.
#6 – Post Regularly to Instagram
With any type of blog marketing, consistency is the key to success. You must remain consistent on Instagram.
This doesn’t mean you have to post 10 times a day or even 10 times a week. However, you do need to post consistently.
SocialBuddy.com states, “Aim to post on Instagram between one to three times per day. Major brands post on average of 1.5 times per day, so if you aim to follow the same rule you should do well.”
Tailwind actually did a study on this and the results they found show the following:
- Those posting 7+ times per week get the most likes
- Posting more can increase engagement by 9% to 19%
- Posting 7+ times per week can increase your following growth by up to 56%
- Only 5% of Instagram accounts post at least 0nce per day
After looking at what SocialBuddy and Tailwind have to say, I suggest posting at least once per day. This is the only part of using Instagram for your blog marketing I recommend automating.
I use Buffer and I have the upgraded account allowing me to schedule 100 posts at once. This means, if you post once per day, you’ll have more than 14 weeks’ worth of content if you create 100 posts all at once!
Posting at least once per day may seem overwhelming, at first. However, if you write good long-form blog content, you should be able to create at least 10 to 15 Instagram posts just from that one blog post. Do this a few times per week and you’ll have more content than you need for Instagram.
#7 – Use Organic Growth Hacks
There are dozens of ways to build your Instagram following when using Instagram for blog marketing. As a beginner to blogging, don’t make the mistake of falling into the numbers trap.
So many beginners get stuck on how many followers they have and not how well their followers are interacting with them. I fell into this trap when I started with Instagram.
I used to use a follow/unfollow strategy where you basically follow a bunch of people every day in the hopes they will follow you back. Then, once a week or so, you use an app to go unfollow those not following you back. Sure, sounds good in theory, but it’s not.
My followers were not engaging with me because they didn’t find me organically and follow me because of my content. They were simply reacting to me following them.
Now, I let things grow organically through using hashtags, commenting on other people’s posts and interacting with my audience.
#8 – Add Your Posts to Your Story
As a beginning blogger, there are a ton of things you are trying to keep up with. When you decide you want to use Instagram for blog marketing, you may not have time to record a new story every single day.
It can be very powerful to show yourself off and create a new story daily. However, when you simply don’t have the time, yet, you can just add your most recent posts to your story. This is a great way to attract more attention to your posts and give your following something they will enjoy.
In addition, you can actually add other posts from those you follow to your story, too. This can help add even more value to your story.
Of course, if you have the time, creating a new story every single day is a great way to promote your blog on Instagram.
#9 – Use a Business Account
A personal Instagram account is fine, but you won’t get any insights, which are vital to marketing your blog on Instagram. You need to see how your posts are performing so you can adjust as you see which ones are doing the best.
In addition, when you switch over to a business Instagram account, you’ll be able to see how many visits your profile has received each week. This is one of the most important numbers for beginning bloggers on Instagram.
Focus on growing your profile visits instead of your actual following and you’ll find even a smaller following can produce great results.
If you’re not sure how to set up a business Instagram account, OutboundEngine has a great guide, which you can find here.
#10 – Create a Plan & Go For It!
The best advice I can give anybody looking to start blogging and use Instagram for their blog is to create a plan and go for it!
Too many wannabe bloggers quit before they ever really get started. Create your plan, schedule your time, and get to work. Consistency is the key and the more you work at building your blog and your Instagram, the more results you will see. Don’t let haters get in the way and don’t let interruptions to your plan cause you to quit.
You are in control of your blog and how you market it. If you choose to use Instagram for blog marketing, these 10 tips are vital for your success. This is the first of many posts in my series of Blogging for Beginners, so make sure to subscribe to my blog above and follow me on Instagram for more great tips @lifeinspiredbyben.