A Blogger’s Guide to Instagram

OK, so if I’m not blogging or browsing Pinterest, you’ll probably find me over on Instagram. It’s just so pretty there, and inspiring, and funny, and easy to find like-minded people – need I go on?

I’d recommend being on there, whether you’re a blogger or not, as it is fun and friendly, very easy to sign up to and get going. Just download the app to your phone and start snapping away now. There are filters and editing options for your photos that you can play around with, and then start following people to enjoy their photos, too.

From a blogger’s perspective, it can be a great way of reaching a wider audience and further connecting with your readers and potential readers, so read on for my tips, along with a great selection from top bloggers who really know how to work their Instagram accounts….

a blogger's guide to Instagram

My top 5 tips are:

1. Take the time to complete your profile and bio. A photo of yourself rather than your blog logo seems to be more popular, share a little about you, your interests, and ensure you include your blog link. Do check in on it and re-write every once in a while, too, to keep it fresh and relevant.

2. Be sociable. It’s like any other social network in that way, so post regularly, like and comment on other images, follow people and chat. If you’re on Twitter, you wouldn’t just post infrequently, ignore other people and not follow anyone, would you? It’s a similar thing, but so much prettier!

3. This may be a personal one to me, but I’m not keen on loads of photos coming up from the same account in my feed one after the other in quick succession. It’s all fine if people are interested in the subject, but if not, it may switch people off. Similarly, post after post of blog promotion links will put me off. I want to see a bit of your life, not just your blog links.

4. Make a mental note of the images that do well for you, and gain you more attention. It may be the subject matter, the time you posted, the caption you ran with it, hash tags used, and once you figure out what works, do more of it! I think if you enjoy taking the pics, it comes across, so don’t over-cultivate, just have fun.

5. Use hash tags to find like-minded people, and if it’s relevant to your blog, create and use a hash tag, too. In this case, it needs to work well on Instagram to do it. For example, I run the Word of the Week linky but rarely use the #WotW hash tag on Instagram as it’s often just a word, rather than an image. Whereas I then run my #BringBackPaper campaign which works really well over there, as people share their books, snail mail, papery creations and so on and we have the photo a day challenge alongside it a few times each year. A nice way to find people with the same interests and get chatting, along with gaining new readers. Join in with hash tag projects to find and follow others and get yourself known, and look for hash tags relevant to your niche.

Top Instagram Bloggers Share:

I have also got in touch with a few fellow bloggers who adore their Instagram, and asked them to share their top tips with us. Here’s what the lovely folks had to say:

– Show yourself with all your imperfections on Instagram. I like seeing the ‘real’ people on Instagram. We have sugar-coated versions on our blogs. It is nice to get a more realistic picture from time to time. Mel at Le Coin De Mel

– I would recommend that you have a profile pic and don’t be private. This will help encourage more people to follow you back! Sian at Potty Mouthed Mummy

– If you are using Instagram to promote blog posts then be sure to include a good mix of promotion photos and personal photos. Directing people to (link in bio) will generate hits as well as carefully chosen hashtags. Kerri-Ann at Life as Our Little Family

– I’d suggest you link Instagram to your Facebook page & Twitter feed – it saves time and is more likely to get interaction than a typical Facebook/Twitter update. Donna at What the Redhead Said

– I think I would say photograph the real. Don’t use too many filters and effects to change your images. Instagram is supposed to show real life, the things that are happening to you right now, and what’s important to you. Share that, don’t change it. Kate at Family Fever

– I would recommend using hashtags and researching popular hashtags for different topics. The more variety of your hashtags the more new people you will reach. I also would recommend watching what time you post for the most likes. Jenny at Let’s Talk Mommy

– Try not to make ALL your photos staged and perfect. I like some photos to show the real side of family life. Moments you always want to remember and not necessarily just what you had for dinner! Emma at brummymummyof2

– Don’t spam your Instagram with blog related photos – with products / blog posts. People want to see pretty, interesting or funny photos. Colette at Going on an Adventure

– My top tip would be to edit pictures. IG’s filters and editing functions are so good and can really improve your photographs. I mostly lift the brightness and contrast a little, to make colours really pop. Emma at Life at the Little Wood

– Try to keep your photo consistent in editing, it creates a ‘brand’. A recognisable feel that people come to know and trust. Sarah at Taming Twins

– Don’t overdo the hashtags would be my top tip. I hate posts followed by loads and loads of irrelevant or follow4follow etc. Mary at Over 40 and a Mum to One

Ah yes, the hash tag has a huge weight over on Instagram. I tend to use a few here and there, which can be a great way for others to find you, as Jenny says. I’ve connected with some lovely people by doing this. But then as Mary points out, there are the pictures with a short description and then lines and lines of hash tags – quite off-putting! Somewhere in between, I think. And don’t over-do the blog links, or over complicate every shot you take, seems to be a running theme, too. A mix of pretty and real, and I’d say most of all, have fun with it.

I find Instagram to be the least complicated of all of the social media platforms. It feels a very friendly place to be, too, so if you’re yet to get going on there, I’d highly recommend that you do. And of course, you can start by following me!

What tips would you add?

If you liked this, you may also enjoy:
A Blogger’s Guide to Pinterest
My Top 20 Tips for Bloggers
How to Write a Brilliant About Me Page

The Reading Residence

Visit The Reading Residence’s profile on Pinterest.

The SHINE Blog Hop

Sharing is caring!

62 thoughts on “A Blogger’s Guide to Instagram”

  1. Great tips Jocelyn! Thank you so much for including me too. I’m not a big fan of reams and reams of photos in a row either. I tend to only post once or twice a day now as I’m afraid people will be sick of the sight of me!

  2. Thanks for putting together a great post Jocelyn. I haven’t yet tried Instagram as I’m not sure how it would work for me. I don’t take many photos so I’m not sure how I would use it, I definitely don’t want to spam people with blogposts! Thank you for all the tips and information, I’ll check it out and see how /whether I want to use it.

    1. I’d say get on it, start taking photos, follow people, get a feel for it. It’s a lovely place to be, so what’s to lose?! (oh, other than time spent looking at lots of photos!)

    1. Thanks 🙂 Yes, I loved getting the tips in from these guys as it gave me an interesting insight. Me, too! x

  3. I love instagram but only tend to go on morning and evening because then I’m at work and there’s nothing interesting to take a photo of during the day…I’ve exhausted everything I see on walks at lunchtime!

    There’s obviously a lot of people I miss because there’s so many people I follow but never see any photos of – they must all be on during the daytime.

    I have to admit, I don’t use it to plus posts. I should probably try it a bit more, because I don’t think I’ve ever had a referral from instagram, it’s quite separate to my blog apart from the name. I love it for what it is, but should really get some other benefits from it with the time I spend!

    1. I think you can use it for a mixture, if it works. Most of my photos are of other things, but if it fits, I’ll share a post pic on IG, too. I love it there!

  4. Great Article!
    I agree, Instagram is very friendly and pretty and creative and easy and nice and lovely…haha, the list could go on. I love it over there!
    Interesting to see some independent thoughts on using it, I am with you on not wanting to see pic after pic of the same thing from the same person. See you on Ig 🙂

    1. Yes, I liked getting the thoughts of a variety of bloggers, too, and it’s interesting to see their different styles over there, too. Ah, glad it’s not just me then! See you there 🙂

  5. Great information and tips. I am looking to use Instagram but unfortunately my phone is too old to download the App (and no new phone planned any time soon). Are you aware of any other way to get the app, other than by phone?

    I have had a look in hopes that I could download the App to my computer (I use Linux) but thus far am not able to find a way.

    1. Thank you.
      Yes, I believe you can, as I can view my IG account that way, too. If you Google IG on the PC only, a few options do come up. Good luck!

  6. Brilliant post, and thanks a lot for linking to my little blog! I always forget about the hashtags on Twitter and Instagram: great reminder. It took me forever to add my photo to my profile; I simply couldn’t do it. I think it was something to do with the settings on my phone.

  7. Oh I love Instagram, Jocelyn. It’s my happy place full of pretty things. As you no doubt see, I love posting pictures of pretty flowers and outfits – and anything brightly-coloured, really! Agree with you that ‘real’ rather than staged is better. Also I tend to follow open accounts. I love #30daysofpaper too, it’s reminded me I have a couple of days to catch up on xxx

    1. Yes, I prefer that, too. It is a pretty and happy place, I could lose too much time there! Glad you’re loving #30DaysofPaper, too :)x

    1. Thank you! Yes, I think that’s probably true. You need to interact over there, to build a following more quickly, I think.

    1. You’ll be fine, just snap a few shots and follow people so you can start seeing lots of lovely photos 🙂

  8. Great tips and Instagram is my favourite form of social media. I love that there is a mix of lots of prettiness and real-life pics too. I agree with you I don’t like when there is about 10 photos from one account in a row, especially if it is mostly pics of the same thing. xx

    1. Thank you. It’s so lovely there! Ah, glad to see that tip getting some support, and it’s not just me being a grump! x

  9. I use hashtags a lot to interact with other IGers with similar interests. I think people underestimate its power sometimes.
    Those are such useful tips. It would be great with you joined my Tip Tuesday linkup party that is open until next week. Many of my readers are interested in the social media tips that I share and yours would be great for everyone. Thanks in advance!

  10. Thank you so much for writing this. It’s the most helpful and informative article I’ve seen about Instagram for bloggers, and it motivates me to jump on the Instagram bandwagon.

  11. These are great tips! I love Instagram and I’m currently looking for ways to grow my blog with it (I’m on it so much now anyway, so I figure why not?). I love your tip after not over sharing pics. It’s one of my pet-peeves as a user. Seeing picture after picture from the same user turns me off, so I’m glad you brought some light into that. Thanks for sharing, Jocelyn!

  12. Thanks for these great Insta tips! I do use Instagram a little for sharing blog posts, but I really prefer to keep my personal account private, so I am looking at setting up a separate account for my blog. Do you have any thoughts on that?

    1. I think it totally depends on your blog and how separately you wish to keep it. For me, as my blog’s about my life, likes, family and so on, it makes sense to have it all in one place, and it saves me from having to run two accounts!

  13. Pingback: Shine Blog Hop #46 - A Touch of Grace

  14. Pingback: SHINE Blog Hop #46 - The Deliberate Mom

  15. Great tips here.. I love love instagram! Its my favorite social media.. and I just followed you on there, obviously. 😉 Glad I found your blog through the deliberate mom blog hoop feature! 🙂

  16. Samantha Grain

    Sound advises! A bit general, more useful for users only beginning their way to fame, but still good. Although there’s something missing. The most crucial part is engaging. No matter how many followers you have if they are not active towards your account – they are useless. The best way to engage in my opinion is to interact with as many convenient users as possible. Follow & like & comment, then get rid of those who did’t answer with fast-unfollow.com, then repeat until you’re famous. This is the key to a good, consolidated and engaged community, when you follow the same number as you are being followed. The feeling of implication is crucial.

  17. Pingback: The Ultimate Pinterest Party, Week 55 - Creative K Kids

  18. Weirdly I’ve only got into Instagram in a big way over the last year and I rarely post pics of myself. Ones with me and the kids are my most popular. I should do it more often 🙂

  19. Pingback: Top 10 Tips For Working With Brands

  20. Pingback: The Ultimate Pinterest Party, Week 55 | Creative K Kids

  21. Pingback: The Ultimate Pinterest Party - Old House to New Home

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *