Some four(?) years ago, before I ever started blogging, I was completely enveloped in the world of Instagram. I had been using my personal account as a virtual journal; using photos to capture the everyday moments of our lives and captions to give a vivid account of them.
I really believe all bloggers should use Instagram to their advantage. Why? Let’s look at a few stats. Instagram has over 500 million daily active users. According to Omnicore, 200 million users actively visit the profile of a business each day and some influencers charge up to $100,000 per sponsored photo. Are you following me yet?
I’m not sure how it happened, but through sharing the reality of what I considered a pretty mundane life, I grew a following of young women and moms who I loved chatting with every day. Eventually, I met another influencer who broke the mold by testing theories that targeted specific Instagram algorithms. With her help, I learned the ins and outs of growing a following and honing in the good IG juice.
I grew my Instagram to over 13k followers in about 8 months with a steady 20% engagement rate! You can learn the same methods that I did in this Instagram Course!
Fast forward to blogging, growing, learning, branding and my push to becoming a pro blogger. By research and utilizing a good strategy, Instagram had become my highest source of traffic. Because my blog was still in the beginning stages, my Instagram following was key to monetizing.
I had no blog income, but I was still making a few hundred dollars from Instagram sponsored posts each month. Your story might be different, but the end game is still the same. We want to reach people, grow, and make some income. If you’re still wondering why bloggers should use Instagram, keep reading.
Even though I barely had any pageviews, I was able to get my foot in the door with many companies purely based off of my Instagram stats. So in the beginning stages of my blog, I pushed my Instagram as my main source and kind of threw my blog in as a bonus. Since then, I’ve rebranded, recently started a new Instagram, and shifted focus more on my blog.
Even being a pro blogger now and having my pageviews come in on par with some of the big guys, I get turned down for sponsored opps because of lower social media stats. Brands know the power of social media and want a sort of insurance policy on your reach, social media is that policy.
I’m taking my own advice here and combing back through the updated Instagram Course in efforts to grow a brand new account.
How did my engagement rate get to that point and how did I turn followers into pageviews? That’s what every blogger is wondering right now. This is the key, so listen up. I didn’t use Instagram as a pawn. I used my Instagram to meet people in a place they weren’t expecting with the life behind the blog. There, I can connect with them in a more informal manner.
On Instagram, I’m not trying to sell them something or get their information, I’m simply taking the time to let them get to know me on a personal level and in turn learning about them. Yes, I’m eventually inviting them to my blog. But first, I’m building trust. I’m engaging with them in a way that they realize the person behind the screen. Once I direct them to my blog, I’ve already built a relationship.
This is a HUGE reason that monetizing bloggers should use Instagram. Companies and businesses have noticed the shift and influence of social media and are using it to their advantage as well. By having an active, growing, and engaged audience on Instagram, your posts are seen by more eyes- including brands. These eyeballs then reflect toward your blog.
When I share a photo, I may never mention a product in my caption, but I tag brands in the photo. This shows companies that we are actively using their product. Even if this never creates a collaboration with the brand, there is a chance that the brand will use your photo as promotion, which sends even more eyeballs toward your IG and eventually your blog.
No matter what stage of building your blog you are in, or your niche, use Instagram to your advantage. I wholly recommend finding a great course and implementing strategies that are effective in building your influence on the platform.
While Instagram is great, I definitely don’t recommend putting all your eggs in the IG handbasket. Unlike your website, you don’t own this platform and if Instagram were to ever pull the plug, your influence would go with it. Social media can be really fickle, so bloggers should use Instagram as a segue to a bigger cause, and not an entity to be financially banking on.
One more thing- if you want to reach the homeschool community on Instagram, be sure to use and follow these 15 hashtags!