Creating and growing an Instagram blog is easy-peasy.
But not everyone knows how to do it right.
Today, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make your Instagram microblog a smashing success.
Let me start off this post with a quick definition:
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a social media platform where users can share photos and videos.
It launched back in October 2010 and has, as of writing this post, amassed over a billion monthly active users.
Over the years, Instagram has also evolved into a content distribution platform for businesses and online marketers.
With features that help brands engage and grow their audience, it’s recognized as a top-tier social media website for businesses.
The Benefits of an Instagram Blog
Allow me to go over a few reasons why Instagram is a great place to start a blog:
1. It’s really easy
What you can make with Instagram as a brand is more accurately described as a “microblog.”
You don’t need to register a domain, install a premium theme, or churn out 1,000-word articles.
You just log into the platform, upload your post, and decide how to handle the engagement you’ll get.
Albeit situational, creating Instagram posts can also be a lot of fun.
Imagine doing things you enjoy like traveling or attending an event.
Just whip out your phone and capture a quick story or snap a photo.
2. Built-in analytics
There’s no need to integrate third-party services to monitor pertinent Instagram metrics.
With Instagram Insights, you can easily view metrics like website clicks, profile visits, and various data on your audience.
Sales and leads generated from Instagram ads are also trackable.
You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of metrics like link clicks, reach, total conversions, your cost per purchase, and more.
3. Attract a purchase-ready audience
If you want to sell products online, you’re missing out big time by not being on Instagram.
A study shows that over a third of Instagram users have purchased something directly from the platform. It’s also found that 81 percent of Instagram users leverage the website to research products and services.
Those figures make sense.
On top of Instagram’s robust advertising program, it’s also a place where high-quality product images pop.
Get a load of these images from dbrand:
4. Instagram Shopping
Instagram will not only help you attract potential customers.
It’s also equipped with features to help you close transactions.
As of 2019, Instagram allows shoppable posts that link a business account with eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. Brands can also utilize shoppable posts to funnel traffic from Instagram to their websites.
Here are Instagram shoppable posts in action:
5. Engage potential customers in real time
When was the last time you reached for your laptop to quickly respond to a comment on your WordPress post?
Let’s face it, monitoring your blog comments takes a lot of work.
Fishing out your phone from your pocket to respond to an Instagram comment is an entirely different story. It simply feels more convenient and natural.
6. Instagram fits almost every brand’s marketing ecosystem
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a fitness blog or an eCommerce store.
Thanks to the popularity of Instagram, it’s easier than ever to add it to your marketing mix.
A good example would be the countless Instagram plugins on WordPress.
With plugins like Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed, you can effortlessly incorporate your Instagram efforts into your blog content strategy.
The Downsides of Instagram Blogging
While Instagram is pretty much a must-have in everyone’s marketing strategy, it doesn’t come without a few downsides.
1. The unfollows
Whether you like it or not, people will unfollow your Instagram page.
It’s not something you can avoid entirely. In fact, you’ll probably see your first unfollows shortly after breaking through the 100-follower barrier.
The main reason why people unfollow on Instagram is the pure loss of interest. That’s something you can prevent by regularly uploading fresh content.
Others unfollow because they reached the 7,500 follow limit. In order to follow new accounts, they have to unfollow older accounts.
2. Your competitors use paid advertising
Instagram favors paid ads over real, organic posts – there’s no way to sugarcoat it.
Of course, you should regularly upload real, authentic posts as a way to keep current followers engaged. But if you want to outperform your competition, be prepared to invest in some Instagram ad campaigns.
On the flip side, Instagram rolls out unobtrusive ads that pretty much look like organic content.
Ads don’t appear as pop-ups, banners, or anything that distracts users from their content consumption experience. Rather, they appear identical to regular posts, videos, and stories.
3. You need photography and video shooting skills
It’s not rocket science.
Instagram is, at its core, a photo and video sharing tool. To get the attention of users, you need to work on your photography and video recording skills.
4. You need 10,000 followers for the “Swipe Up” feature
Instagram’s Swipe Up feature is great, but I didn’t add it to the “benefits” list for a reason.
In order to use it, your account must either be verified or has a minimum of 10,000 followers.
The Swipe Up feature allows accounts to promote a link on an Instagram story entry. It can be to a product page, registration form, download page, homepage — basically anywhere you want traffic to go.
What makes it really effective is that Swipe Up links are opened in-app. That allows users to take action without ever leaving Instagram.
Unfortunately, there are only two types of accounts that can use the Instagram Swipe Up feature:
- Business accounts with at least 10,000 followers
- Verified Instagram accounts (celebrities, public figures, and so on)
Getting the Swipe Up feature is indeed a great milestone to have if you’re looking to blog on Instagram. But it’s not a feature you can leverage to grow your brand from the ground up on the platform.
5. Instagram Insights not as detailed as services like Google Analytics
Having built-in analytics is a nice touch.
However, Instagram Insights isn’t comparable to full-on analytics services like Google Analytics.
Tracking your traffic sources, for example, is important for gauging the success of your traffic generation efforts.
You won’t get such data from Instagram’s homebrewed analytics tool.
6. Hard to maintain long-lasting organic reach
As a blogger, organic traffic is the sweet reward of tremendous amounts of work.
It’s when your blog starts to passively generate traffic from free channels like search engines, Q&A sites, and social media.
Sure, you can also build an organic presence on Instagram by posting regularly. The only problem is, Instagram posts have a much shorter life cycle than blog content.
Remember, blog content published through WordPress and similar platforms can draw traffic months or years after being published.
Instagram posts, on the other hand, typically reach their maximum engagement potential within 48 hours before stagnating.
Why is this a big deal?
Unless you’re willing to pump more money into ads, you’ll need to keep uploading posts and stories to stay relevant.
Since Instagram relies on photo and video content, this could lead to creative burnout faster than if you’re blogging.
There are, of course, a few ways to keep Instagram content alive. The best one is to repost or feature your content on another channel, like Facebook or your very own blog.
I vote for the latter.
Remember, a self-hosted blog has much better potential for organic traffic than an ad-driven platform like Instagram.
The good news is, there’s nothing stopping you from using
Three Instagram Bloggers to Follow
For your inspiration, I’ve rounded up three of the best Instagram blogs in three popular niches:
Lifestyle — The Vogue Vanity
The Vogue Vanity is an Instagram microblog that posts about hotels, beauty, fitness, and other lifestyle topics.
It’s easy to see that Daizy and Ankit, the people behind the account, love what they do.
Food — The Foody Guide
If you want to see how foodies can thrive on Instagram, check out The Foody Guide.
Ehab, who runs the microblog, fancies himself a pro eater — and has the content to support his claim.
Travel — Travel Escapes
Lucas Jacobs uses his Instagram page — Travel Escapes — to springboard his coaching and travel blogging lifestyle.
His Instagram content proves he has the photography and video shooting skills to make it big in the travel industry.
How to Build a Successful Instagram Blog Content Strategy
Ready to build your Instagram blog?
Here are nine keys to success you shouldn’t miss:
1. Understand the Instagram mission statement
To come up with the best Instagram blogging formula, you need to start with the website’s mission statement:
“Capture and share the world’s moments.”
It shouldn’t always be about your products or services.
If you want to build a recognizable brand, you need to share meaningful moments that resonate with your audience.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t post custom content that promotes something every once in a while.
Just remember that even big-name brands like Starbucks upload candid posts that brighten people’s days.
2. Use location tags
Don’t forget to use location tags in your Instagram posts.
Doing so will make your content more discoverable to people within that specific area.
Plus, adding location tags is incredibly easy. You just tap ‘Add Location’ when adding a new post and enter where you are.
3. Incorporate a story to every post
Even if you don’t have cream-of-the-crop photos, you can still win your audience’s attention by telling a story.
Instagram post captions are capped at 2,200 characters. That’s not long enough for traditional bloggers like me, but it’s definitely enough to evoke emotion.
A good strategy is to tell the story of how you or your company dealt with a particular challenge.
Check out this post from Nas Daily to know what I’m talking about:
Don’t have anything interesting to share?
Worry not — your post’s story doesn’t have to be that meaningful or elaborate.
As long as it’s relatable and authentic, you’re good.
For example, when I read the post below, I suddenly got the cravings for some pasta:
4. Focus on the WHYs instead of the HOWs
There are a few more things to keep in mind if you want to ignite a specific emotion with your Instagram posts.
First, try to focus more on “why” your audience should care about your post.
There’s no room for in-depth tutorials or articles here.
Just tell your audience why the information you’re sharing is important and encourage them to read more on your website.
While you can’t add clickable links to Instagram post captions, you can still type in the URL itself.
Observe how Matt Kepnes adds links to Instagram posts right after discussing the “why”:
If you feel the need to share some details, the most you can include is a checklist.
You can refer to what Pinch of Yum does with recipe ingredients in their Instagram posts.
5. Include quotable quotes
Social media users love quotable quotes.
With some practice, you should be able to drop two-liners that can drive home your key takeaways.
Even better, you can construct entire post captions with quotable quotes.
6. Focus on value
While high-quality photos are sometimes enough to make people use the “#goals” hashtag, you should still substantiate the rewards.
All you need to do is state what your audience can achieve by consuming your content.
There’s no need to try anything fancy, either. Think it through just once and get straight to the point.
7. Make hashtags your friends
Similar to location tags, hashtags make your posts on Instagram significantly more discoverable.
After all, Instagram’s integrated search engines either display accounts, bios, or hashtags that match keywords.
Another cool thing about Instagram’s search engine is that it lets you find relevant hashtags in your niche. Of course, you’re also free to whip up your own branded hashtag to build some brand awareness.
As for the number of hashtags in a post, using too many can make it look spammy.
You can lessen this effect by adding hashtags as a reply so they’re not a part of the actual post.
Below is an example from Peng Joon:
8. Add a CTA
Imagine you made an Instagram post that managed to captivate thousands of users.
Quick question: did you include a clear and crisp call-to-action that will convert this attention into action?
For posts meant to bring juicy Instagram traffic to your blog, don’t forget your CTA.
9. Enjoy Instagramming
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.
To build an authoritative Instagram blog, sharing moments should be something you enjoy.
Regularly posting promotional posts about your brand won’t cut it. You must also be involved in the community aspect by responding to comments, reacting to others, and so on.
Instagram is, after all, a social media network.
Nice — you’re now ready to start an Instagram microblog that can garner thousands of followers.
The question is, is it enough?
I wholeheartedly recommend starting an official WordPress blog and utilizing Instagram as one of your primary traffic generation channels.
Having a self-hosted blog will not only cement your brand authority. With the right strategies, it’ll also open up more opportunities to grow your audience base and monetize your online presence.
As always, I’m looking forward to your comments. Any questions, suggestions, and general feedback are welcome below.