Blogging Tips

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

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