Instagram is an image-sharing platform you can transform into a powerful blog by adding detailed captions to your photos and videos. As of June 2018, Instagram reached one billion monthly users, making it an effective platform for marketers and entrepreneurs. Bloggers can make money on Instagram by becoming influencers, through affiliate marketing, and selling products.
Here are 15 tips for creating a successful Instagram blog:
Find Your Niche
Focusing on a niche helps you attract a specific audience to which you can consistently appeal. It involves finding a specific topic under which all of your content falls, such as travel, fashion, parenting, and food. Once you do, you can start designing a concept for your Instagram blog that immediately falls within your niche.
1. Identify Your Interests & Passion
If you are starting an Instagram blog to market your business, then you already have a niche identified for you. However, if you’re a beginner blogger, you might just find searching for the perfect niche is a fun process once you begin looking into your interests. You need to pick one you are passionate about and love to talk about, or you might find yourself at a loss for content after a while.
Your interests and passion don’t always mean you’re an expert on a topic. It just tells you that you’ll always have content ideas ready for your Instagram blog. It can be a hobby, a good cause, or work that excites you and makes you eager to share it with everyone. Start by reviewing your other social media accounts to see what you’ve shared and pages you’ve liked.
2. Focus on Your Expertise
If your passion includes your work, then it might just be the niche you’re looking for to start your Instagram blog. This works especially well for (but is not limited to) artistic and creative professionals because Instagram is the perfect platform to show off their unique work. And while some might argue that competition among these types of blogs is challenging, the key to standing out will be your expertise.
You have to choose a niche that you know very well so you can provide a disproportionate amount of value compared to your competitors. It’s important that you know the content well enough to provide value that your audience won’t find anywhere else.
3. Make Sure It’s Profitable
When choosing a niche, it’s not enough that you know what you want to write about. With an Instagram blog, you also have to determine if there’s enough demand for content in your niche. The level of demand will tell you the potential profitability of your chosen niche and if there’s room for your blog to grow and become successful.
To determine how big the demand is for your niche, begin with simple market research strategies:
- Use Google Trends to check for and compare keywords’ popularity.
- Check for the number hashtags related to your niche.
- Find Instagram influencers in your niche and monitor how well their pages are performing.
While some might think that it’s better to find an “untapped niche” to thrive in, remember that competition is a sign of a healthy market. Knowing that there are already influencers in your space operating at the level where you aspire to be will assure you that there is space for growth as long as you can share something creative and unique.
Start Your Instagram Blog
Anyone can create an Instagram blog, but in order to be successful, you need to have the right elements in place from the start. Once you find your niche, it’s important to understand how Instagram works and know how to maximize the use of its features. You’ll also need to know how to choose the right content for your blog.
4. Create a Profile
Your Instagram journey starts when you set up your account. Pick a username that’s professional and catchy. For those who already have an established blog in other platforms, it’s important to use the same name for consistency. It’s also important that you register using a valid phone number to help you recover your account in case it gets compromised.
As a brand, your profile picture must be recognizable. Again, if you have other social media accounts, consider using the same profile photo or match your logo or trademark (if any) so that your followers can quickly find your account. Your “About Me” section should give your visitors a quick background of your interests and, of course, your contact details.
5. Link Your Ecommerce Store to Your Blog
Some of the most popular niches on Instagram are fashion, food, and art. Because of this, businesses that sell these products can benefit from Instagram by using the platform to showcase their products and boost sales.
If you plan on monetizing your Instagram blog, consider using an ecommerce platform like BigCommerce. It lets you add product tags and stickers to your posts as well as stories by sending your entire catalog to Instagram with a few clicks. Shoppers can then tap a link from the product details tag to lead customers directly to your site where they can purchase your product. To try it out, you can sign up for a 15-day free trial.
6. Pick a Theme for Your Instagram Content
An Instagram theme is a set of consistent features you use to create your brand; it focuses on visual consistency that helps make Instagram posts eye-catchy to its audience. A theme can include a blogger’s most common choice of colors, camera angle, alignment, use of pattern, white space, and more. It makes a blog post more cohesive and easier to understand.
Here are some tips to help you choose your Instagram theme:
- Decide on what to post before thinking of how to edit.
- Choose a color palette that reflects your brand.
- Shoot pictures using the same lighting to make them visually appealing.
- Use a similar editing style with which your audience is familiar.
- Add variety to the subject of your posts to keep your audience interested.
The right Instagram theme develops over time, but you can get a head start with careful planning. Look for inspiration from top influencers and brands on Instagram to help you create a style of your own.
7. Create a Content Calendar
Beginner bloggers can easily get carried away and post several times a day because they are overflowing with ideas to share. However, it’s important to remember that once you do this, your followers are going to expect you to post consistently. So if you start running out of content and struggle to create more at the same rate after a while, your followers will most likely hit that “unfollow” button and probably never come back.
To avoid running out of ideas, create a content calendar for your Instagram blog. This will:
- Help you create up to six months of planning.
- Easily sync your content with your other marketing functions and campaigns.
- Help you account for holidays and other events.
- Include space for regularly posts formats.
Careful planning is important even for social media platforms that are more focused on imagery. So consider creating a content calendar for your Instagram blog to help you keep up with your audience’s expectations.
8. Learn How to Use Instagram Tools
Having your own Instagram blog can be fun, but there’s no reason for you to keep up with tasks manually if there are tools that can help. This helps you save time and allows you to have more opportunity to improve your blog. Successful Instagram bloggers regularly use Instagram automation tools to make blogging easier and more manageable.
Some helpful Instagram tools to consider are:
- Magisto: It creates quality videos by uploading your content, and Magisto’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform will do the rest.
- Sendible: You can schedule posts across various social media platforms and utilize its all-in-one dashboard to see your results.
- Boomerang: Boomerang makes it easy to create mini-videos by compiling a burst of 10 snapshots into a short video.
- Tagboard: It filters posts on Instagram to identify relevant and popular postings.
These tools (and others) will help develop your Instagram blog into the very best it can be. All you need to do is a quick search and you should be able to find free-to-use applications that you can try until you find the one that best matches your style.
Grow Your Instagram Followers
Businesses have a great opportunity to increase their reach through Instagram. In fact, 50% of Instagram users follow at least one business, so it’s important that you come up with ways to stand out to your target audience. By growing your Instagram follower base, you can steadily improve your business brand.
9. Identify Key People You Can Work With
When looking for influencers to work with, it’s essential to choose wisely. You want a partner who you can provide value to and who can also help you grow your brand. You should make sure that both of your audiences are benefiting from the collaboration. You can also choose to collaborate with an influencer who’s in your niche or with someone who’s in a related niche. Working with someone who’s in a different niche can give you access to an audience that wouldn’t usually be exposed to your content.
10. Start a Collaborative Engagement
One of the fastest ways to grow your Instagram following and develop a higher status on the platform is to collaborate with other influencers. By doing so, you can instantly get in front of an entirely new audience. The best part about this arrangement is that the audience is already warmed up to you because they already trust you as a collaboration partner.
Some popular collaboration formats include:
- Page takeovers
- Shoutouts and engaging conversations
To set up a collaboration with another influencer, you’ll need to find their contact information and reach out to them. The good thing about Instagram is that you can direct message (DM) anyone, so try doing that first to get in contact with other influencers. Expect that even with an enormous outreach effort, you may only get a few conversations and deals. Patience is key.
11. Build Your Engagement & Stay Active
If someone takes the time to comment on your post or tag you, you should always engage with them. Also, make sure that you reach back out to them in a friendly and professional manner.
This shows the person you’re talking to—and everyone else—that you care about your audience, which encourages more engagement in the future.
Following, engaging, and tagging other influential accounts on your most popular pictures can also help you get discovered. Users might notice and feature you on their own account or Instagram stories. If you are loving your meal in a restaurant or a hotel in which you are staying, tag the business on your picture. Businesses thrive on great reviews, so there’s a great chance that your content will show up on their website.
Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags. Remember that Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags per picture. You don’t need to use all of them, but it’s common knowledge that content with 11 or more hashtags receives higher engagement.
12. Post at Regular Intervals
Consistency is key in Instagram, and the more regularly you post, the easier it will be for you to build an engaged audience that will be aware of your posting rhythm and habits. By posting at roughly the same time every day, you also increase your chances to connect with the same people and possibly create a community around your account. Remember to always reply to the comments people leave on your pictures; it’s polite, but it also shows you care about the time people spent leaving you comments.
Make Money From Your Instagram Blog
How you make money as an Instagram blogger depends on how effective your niche is and the quality of followers you have. Your level of commitment and the number of revenue channels that you explore will also determine how much you can earn. Depending on the number of monthly impressions received (or the number of times an ad was displayed), Instagram bloggers can earn anywhere from $175 to $5,000 per post.
13. Become an Affiliate & Earn From Commissions
An affiliate is more invested in making sales for the partner brand in exchange for a commission. However, since Instagram doesn’t yet allow links anywhere outside of your bio, you can only focus on one product at a time. Promo codes work better on Instagram since you can actually incorporate them into your posts. Consider using URL shorteners like bit.ly when adding your affiliate link on your Instagram bio.
Start by reaching out to one of the many online merchants that offer affiliate programs, or you can also explore popular marketplaces like ClickBank and Amazon’s Affiliate Program. If you’re serious about becoming an affiliate, consider expanding your online presence to include a website and other marketing channels.
14. Sell Your Own Products Online
Instagram is a great platform for selling your own physical goods, services, or digital items. You should also consider selling licenses to your Instagram photos. Instagram is a photo-sharing app, and your photos are assets that can be licensed, printed, and sold in a variety of ways.
If you plan to sell products online and market them using Instagram, consider using an ecommerce platform like BigCommerce. It lets you add product tags and stickers to your posts and stories by sending your entire catalog to Instagram with a few clicks from the BigCommerce Channel Manager. Shoppers can then tap a link from the product details tag to lead customers directly to your site where they can purchase your product.
15. Become an Instagram Influencer
An influencer is a person with a well-developed online reputation who can influence an audience to try or buy a new product. They are considered trendsetters and trusted experts whose opinions on their niche are respected. Brands recognize the power of influencers in boosting their sales, which is why they reach out to influencers relevant to their industry for sponsored posts.
If your goal is to become an Instagram influencer, remember that you are not just offering content but access to your audience as well. You will need to find a balance between keeping your integrity and the respect of your followers, and deciding which brands to work with.
Look for partner brands that are on a similar level in terms of personality and values. You can reach out to brands directly to try to negotiate a deal; you can also list yourself on one of the many influencer marketplaces, like Grapevine and Crowd Tap, to increase your chances of being discovered.
Maintaining an Instagram blog can be tedious but rewarding when done right. To be successful, you will need to consistently share amazing photos and videos while also standing out from the crowd and creating a loyal and interested audience. Use our Instagram tips to help you launch a successful Instagram blog in no time.
Did we miss out on your favorite Instagram tips? Share them with us in the comments.