If you ever thought of blogging or growing your Instagram, this post is for you! I’ll give tips and tricks for both platforms that will help you if you’re just starting out or if you’ve been blogging/influencing for a while but may have fallen stagnant. Ok, let’s start with Instagram!
INSTAGRAM TIPS AND TRICKS
Finding your niche. Do you need a niche?
This can be a tough one because if you’re like me you love lots of things. My Instagram is full of encouragement, weird/funny posts and fashion- totally random. But my Instagram goal is to help people become vulnerable and embrace their amazing, weird selves. So for me, encouragement, weirdo/funny posts and fashion all go into my Instagram goal. What’s your Instagram goal? What do you want to accomplish by being an “influencer”? This will help you find your niche in a more deeper way, a way that will really benefit your followers. It’s also a good excuse to post about more than one thing 😉
How to gain followers
Everyone wants to know the magic behind gaining Instagram followers and my number one piece of advice is BE PATIENT. Growing your following can be extremely frustrating so don’t get discouraged because we all go through it! Just when you start gaining, you may go stagnant for a few months, don’t worry, just keep pushing. Ok here are some ways you can grow your following a little faster.
BE YOU! This is the best advice I can give anyone! People want to see you! They want to see the real you, in the real world with your real and adorable personality. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, people will love that about you. Don’t try to be like any other blogger/influencer, I mean there’s already one of them so now we need one of you!
Post unique, fun photos. Be creative, be you (of course), step out of your comfort zone and share your heart. Every photo you post should be an extension of YOU! Don’t post what everyone else is posting, post what you love and what you’re proud of.
Write captions that make your followers want to engage. Whether it’s something funny, relatable or encouraging, make sure you’re sharing captions that push your followers to engage and comment.
Engage, engage, engage! This is the best and fastest way to gain an engaged following! Always reply back to comments, always reply to DM’s and ‘like’ and comment on other pages you love! Spend one hour a day commenting on pages/images you love! This is a great way to meet some awesome people through Instagram and it’s a great way for others to find you. With the new algorithm it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle, so keep putting yourself out there!
Utilize your InstaStory! This one is huge because you can get on camera and really show people YOU! I mean that’s what the people want, so you better give the people what they want 😉 Use your InstaStory every day! Talk to your followers, tell them what you’re up to, what products you’re loving, what books you’re reading, etc. Using your InstaStory also helps your Instagram page engagement, so there’s definitely a few benefits.
Use IGTV, Live + all the new tools Instagram comes out with. I don’t know if this is fact but some people say you’re rewarded for using everything Instagram throws at you, so hey, use it!
Hashtags-do they help or do they hurt?
I think this all depends on who you ask. If you were to ask me, I’d say hashtags have hurt me in the past but if you ask somebody else, it may be the #1 way new followers find their page. My advice would be to do lots of trial and error when it comes to hashtags. You can use up to 30, so share 30 relevant hashtags in a comment (not caption) on each post. Make sure you’re using hashtags that actually pertain to your post. I’d always stay away from super generic ones like #girl, #instafollow, #like etc. Another tip is using a few hashtags that have a million or so posts, you’ll may get lost in the crowd but hey, you may not so you might as well try! Use the remainder of your hashtags using ones with less posts, that way you have a better chance of making it to the top of that feed and getting way more engagement.
Working with brands.
You’re never too ‘small’ to start reaching out to brands! If you have good engagement, brands will love to work with you. Now the key to working with brands is 1. Make yourself a media kit, this is like a creative resume you can send over that will let the brand know who you are, what you’re all about, what brands you’ve worked with, your stats etc. I made mine using Canva. 2. Don’t be scared of a brand telling you no. This is just all part of the game. I’ve been told “no” or “not at this time” thousands of times and thats ok! It doesn’t mean the brand doesn’t like you, it just means they may have enough influencers working with them at the moment, or maybe they don’t have the budget. 3. Keep pushing and keep reaching out! 4. Know your worth! If you have a smaller following, receiving free product is amazing and such a great start! Once you continue to grow, don’t be scared to know your worth and value. If you want this to be a job, you have to get paid!
**TIP** If you’re not sure who to reach out to or where to start, get on Instagram and start searching brands and boutiques. Reach out to ones that have a similar amount of followers as you (if you’re just starting out) and a similar vibe/feel and say hi! Most will have their email on their page but if they don’t search their website or send them a DM.
How to make money using Instagram.
Sponsored Posts- This is when a company will pay you to review their product or share their product on your social channels.
Content Creation– This is when a company or brand will pay you to take photos of their products so they can use them on their social channels.
Photography- Some companies/brands may pay you to be their photographer! This is obviously a great one for all of you who are creative behind the lens!
Affiliate Links- This is a biggie for a lot of bloggers. I’m sure you’ve seen liketoknow.it all over your Instagram page. Liketoknow.it (Reward Style) pays bloggers “per action”. So for example- if a blogger refers you to buying a $50 sweater and you purchase that sweater through their link, the blogger will receive a commission based off your purchase. So if you’re a fashion girl and people are always asking where you get your clothes, this would be an amazing tool for you to use!
**One more piece of advice** Please don’t get discouraged!! Growing your following takes time, making money takes time (I didn’t start making consistent money until recently), and trying to master Instagram is something that not many people are able to do. Just keep sharing your heart, what you love and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
Planning out Instagram posts.
Being organized is huge if you want to be successful on Instagram! Dan and I try to pick one day a week to take all my pictures for the week. I then use the PLANN app to see what order I want to share my new pictures. The PLANN app will help you plan out your feed so it looks cohesive.
OK, LET’S TALK ABOUT BLOGGING
I started blogging because it was super cathartic for me. It helped clear my mind so much! I didn’t really plan on writing an encouragement blog, I honestly thought I’d just share outfits and not really type too much, but that sure didn’t happen haha. I shared my first ‘from the heart’ blog post a couple years ago and almost crapped my pants because I was so scared. Would people read it? Would they like it? Did I share too much? Am I being too vulnerable? It’s scary! But once you share that first vulnerable post, it gets so much easier! If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog but you’re scared, girl, don’t be and just do it! This is your sign!
I know how scary it is to put yourself out there. I mean, you feel like you’re setting yourself up for criticism putting out a post onto the world wide web, but you know what? Someone needs to read what you have to say! Let that be your motivator!
I use WordPress for my blog and use an already made template. You can start by using the free version of WordPress but if you’re hoping to blog consistently, I’d encourage you to pay for the premium plan. I think it’s definitely worth the extra perks!
I try and share on my blog 2-3 times a week (usually ends up being 2) because that’s what I can commit to. Some share a new post M-F and that’s so great, I just can’t commit to that. If you’re just starting out, try and publish 2 posts per week and see how you do.
I don’t make money off my blog at the moment. I once in a blue moon do if a brand wants to pay extra for me to share on here, but besides that I just like talking to you guys!
Well that’s pretty much everything I know! I hope this encourages you to start or gives you one or two tips you can start implementing today! Love you guys!