Instagram for bloggers 101
March 29, 2021

Having a blog is almost like having a new baby. You've spent weeks, if not months, bringing your ideas to life.

You've published your first blog post.

Hooray!

Finally, you have your spot on the world wide web.

You constantly check for comments, likes, shares, anything that tells you people are reading your post, but it’s crickets out there. 😕

Like every new parent finds out, having the baby is just the beginning.  There are tons of things to do to keep the baby healthy and growing.

You now realize that publishing a post is only the first step in sharing your message.

Using paid promotion is not an option, for now, so you need to find FREE ways to grow your blog audience.

Social media platforms like Instagram offer bloggers powerful ways to grow an audience, engage with them, and earn some of that passive income!

So let’s get into it.

Why Use Instagram as a Blogger

Instagram, with over one billion users, is the most popular visual-content-based social media platform. Bloggers can use it for so much more than following celebrities and liking pictures shared by family and friends.

On Instagram, you have access to a global audience and can easily reach people with similar interests. Location is no barrier.

Grow your community

Blogging can sometimes feel like you’re talking to an imaginary audience (or an empty room!). Instagram puts faces to your followers. You can build real connections with people online which can sometimes even blossom into partnerships and collaborations

instagram likes and followers

Earning an income with your blog

One of the big questions about blogging is monetization. Showing a human side to your blog and writing in conversational tones helps build trust, so your audience gets comfortable with investing in either your own products and services, or product and services that you recommend.

Okay, so you're convinced that Instagram is a great place to be as a blogger; but how do you get started?

Your Instagram Bio as a Quick Hello

Your Instagram bio should answer the question, “who are you, and why should I care?”

Some people make the mistake of thinking that the bio section is where they list their titles and achievements.

Big mistake.

Your bio will be clicked on by people who are curious as to who you are. Let your bio establish that first connection.

instagram bio

A winning bio will have:

-      Name: This is the part that tells visitors the official name of the business. You can use industry-related words here so that your bio can be shown to people searching for accounts in that niche/industry.

-      Username: This is what shows up when you want to leave a comment on other pages. It is what is your identity on Instagram. It is attached to the @. 

-      Link: You have a provision in the bio section for one link. You can choose to place your website link here or update it as often as a new post is published on your blog.

-      Bio: You have 150 characters in the bio section to describe your blog and why people should follow you on Instagram. 

Your Content Should Be Consistent (not Predictable!)

Statistics show that the average attention span of an internet user is 8 seconds. This is probably much less today.

What this means is that your content should be attention-worthy.

There are so many posts, images, and videos calling for the attention of your ideal audience, and you want them to choose YOU.

First, you need to speak to a specific segment of the audience. Talking to everyone online is actually talking to no one.

So you have to think about your ideal audience—their age, gender, location, interests, etc.

The more specific you are, the better you are able to create the kind of content that will resonate with them and get them to engage with your posts.

Also, eliminate boring content by creating a healthy mix of different content types. On Instagram, you can post;

  • Images 
  • GIFs
  • Memes
  • Carousels
  • Videos
  • And more...

This helps you to show up with fresh content every time.

And in case you're getting exhausted thinking about doing this every day, apps like Facebook creator, Planoly, Tailwind, and Hootsuite help you to schedule content for Instagram so that when it's time, the content is published automatically.

schedule instagram posts

Your Surest Route to Growing an Audience on Instagram is...

Hashtags

Unless you’re getting mentions from popular influencers, hashtags are the next best thing to use on Instagram.

A hashtag is a combination of words, letters, and numbers preceded by the # symbol.

They are used to group content to make it more discoverable. They’re like buckets or clusters of related content ideas. Examples include;

#socialmediamarketing

#momofboys

Hashtags are clickable, and people can also follow hashtags.  When you create posts using the right hashtags, you get seen by people who either follow the hashtags or search for them intentionally.

Hashtags can be used on your posts, in stories, and on your videos for maximum reach

Finding the best hashtags

Use a hashtag generator to come up with popular hashtags.  

For example, if your Instagram posts are about watercolor painting, entering the keyword, 'watercolor' into the Ingramer Hashtag Generator brings up a list of related hashtags.

hashtag generator

Make it fun with games and challenges.

Challenges are simple tasks given by an Instagram user whereby the audience is asked to fill in the blank, answer a question, play a game, and so on. There is usually a dedicated hashtag for each challenge, and this is shared with every post.

Challenges (and games) take on a life of their own once people start joining it. This is because challenges provide fun for users and their communities while also creating digital footprints via multiple tags and shares.

The more fun people can have while doing it, the more popularity it will gain.

As people use the hashtag, it increases the number of eyes on your content and brings you in front of new audiences every day.

Giveaways

Giveaways are organized in almost the same way, but this time there is a stipulated time frame, a task, and a winner, which will be selected and announced at the end of the stated period.

Giveaways encourage people to invite others to your page, and this grows your audience organically. 😎

Your "Reel" Stories will Capture Hearts (and Pockets!)

Instagram Stories are short-term content you create to establish rapport with your audience. They are short-term because they disappear after 24 hours.

Even if you want the blog Instagram page to have a semi-formal outlook, you can use stories to show your followers some more personalized content.

Stories can drive massive engagement because many of the stories prompt followers to leave quick replies. Therefore you can create polls, play music games, create an "Ask me Anything" post, share pictures, share behind-the-scenes, etc.

You can provide free information in your stories and point people to your blog to read the latest post or access free resources.

Many bloggers have created digital products from the replies they have received via stories. That's a win-win for everyone.

Reels are stories in video format. Typically less than one minute long, you can edit them with text, stickers, and music.

instagram reel story

Remember, the goal is to attract and keep your viewers' attention for as long as possible.

In Closing

You can build your blog audience into the 1000's (or much more!), for free, by showing up consistently with great content and a genuine interest in your followers.

Your blog should not be a best-kept secret. 😉 Show it to the world using Instagram.

Frequently Asked Questions About Instagram

Can I buy Instagram followers?

Unfortunately, yes. But this is frowned upon by Instagram and could lead to your account being banned or suspended. 


What is the difference between a personal Instagram account and a business Instagram account?

Besides having better analytics (statistics) with the Instagram business account, you can also run Instagram ads.

With a business account, you have a 'contact' button, making it easier for your followers to get in touch with you.

Personal accounts are always set as private (this means that only your followers can see your content).


How can I earn money using Instagram?

You can earn money by getting paid to promote other people's content, products/services. You can run paid membership programs. You can sell courses, write and promote a book, or become an affiliate for other people's products.


What does it mean to boost a post?

When you boost a post on Instagram, it means that you pay Instagram to show that post to your followers or a targeted audience. You can set it for a given period of time, and it will show up as a sponsored post on your audience's feed.


What does it mean to get verified?

The blue tick by Instagram is a visual approval stamp. It is usually given to notable people and brands on Instagram. The primary purpose is to differentiate the verified accounts from imposter accounts and copycats.


How do I add clickable links to my Instagram posts?

Unfortunately, you cannot add links directly to your Instagram posts. 

You can redirect people to an external link by;

  1. Using the" swipe up" feature if you have a verified account or more than 10,000 followers.
  2. Tagging products in your posts if your account is connected to a shopping catalog.
  3. Adding the links in your bio and reminding people to check your bio for the links.

What are Instagram stats?

Instagram stats are a set of metrics that show your performance on Instagram. With Instagram business accounts, you can track details about your followers' demographics and location, what day and time of the week they are most active, how many times your profile was visited, etc.


How do I save my story for more than 24 hours?

To save your story, you can either share it as a post on your timeline or save it as a highlight. A highlight is a story you pin to the top of your Instagram profile. It acts like a picture reel or booklet that gives important information about you and your business.


What is a shadowban on Instagram?

A shadowban happens when Instagram limits the visibility reach of your posts. It usually occurs due to a post having violated one or more of Instagram's guidelines. For example, using banned hashtags, explicit content, getting reported, using unapproved third-party apps, etc. 

A shadowban can be resolved by fixing the content or by reaching out to Instagram Support.

Ruth Zubairu

Ruth Zubairu is an Online Visibility Consultant and she helps brands get seen, known, and paid using online systems and tools. With a first degree in Human Anatomy, she has been able to change careers leveraging the internet and her love for words. She helps busy, entrepreneurs create practical online visibility strategies and systems. As much as she loves making magic with digital tools, she cherishes her role as a wife and mother to her three boys.


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