Recently, I decided to make my Instagram profile public rather than private. Why? Previously, I used my Instagram account to feature a blend of personal and blog-related photos. This meant that it featured photos that I might be reluctant to share with strangers online, such as photos of my family or friends.
But as my blog traffic began to increase, I realized that Instagram was actually an extension of my blog – a pictorial representation of the beauty I see around me, whether it’s a perfect fleur-de-lis atop my flat white or the leaves beginning to change color in the fall. As an expat lifestyle blogger in London, my photos reflect exactly that: my life. I also realized that my audience wasn’t just on Twitter or Bloglovin’ or Facebook … some readers had stumbled upon my blog via Instagram, just as I had discovered some of my favorite bloggers through that channel as well. So, I began posting less personal photos of myself, my friends, and family, and concentrated on the topics that my blog covers: food, travel, and the occasional pretty scene I stroll past!
Here are my top tips for promoting your blog on Instagram:
1. Take good quality photos.
It goes without saying (and is often easier said than done!) but good photos go a long way – and you don’t even need a fancy camera! Advancements in technology mean that photos taken by camera phones can often result in high-quality photos which look as good as (or even better than) those shot on a digital camera. But what I mean by “good quality photos” is ensuring that you have good lighting, that your photos aren’t blurry, and that – where possible – you edit your photos to improve lighting, saturation, etc. Some of this can be achieved as easily as putting a white sheet of paper behind your flat-lay object, if you’re taking a product shot. Be creative!
2. Seek out other bloggers on Instagram and make a genuine connection.
All it takes is some sincere interaction with a blogger you’ve got something in common with – whether it’s mutual love for a travel destination or a vegan recipe you’d love to try – and an Instagram connection can go a long way in driving more traffic to your blog. Again, the key is to be sincere: no one likes outright flattery for the sake of earning followers (and it’s very obvious when this is the case!), so don’t comment or like a photo unless you really, genuinely like it.
3. It’s all about the caption.
Your caption is an extension of your blog. Don’t be afraid to ask a question, to provoke thought/discussion – Instagram is a great place for it! If your Instagram post is directly related to a blog post, you might consider saying something like, “What are your thoughts? Head over to the full post to let me know! Link in profile.” And ensure that your blog’s link is available in your profile. Also: use hashtags wisely, as they’ll help people discover your photo. It’s a great way to attract people to your post and link back to your blog.
4. Use text overlays.
A great way to promote a blog post on Instagram is to use text overlays, which are available on several phone apps and photo editing suites. If you’re posting a photograph collage round-up of your recent trip to Santorini, for example, consider increasing the fade on the collage and adding a text overlay with your blog post title.
5. Skip the filters.
‘What?!’ you might exclaim. But yes, trust me – this might be the best tip I’ve learned in the past year. Use the pre-loaded filters on Instagram judiciously. Sometimes they’re more of a disservice than an enhancement, distracting from the natural colors and light of your original post. Instead, using the tool function to specifically and incrementally bump up your contrast and saturation, playing with the temperature and exposure. These little adjustments will really enhance the quality of your photo, rather than detract, and encourage readers to head over to your blog to see more.
Instagram is a wonderful, visual way to connect your followers to your blog. Why not use it to your advantage?
Guest blog post by:
London-based Jaime is the author of Angloyankophile, an American expat lifestyle blog with a focus on food and travel, which was recently Highly Commended at the UK Blog Awards 2015. She can be found on Instagram and Twitter at @angloyankophile. angloyankophile.blogspot.co.uk/
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