Blogging has evolved over the years and the platforms which people turn to, to receive information, has changed as well.
One major change is the shift from actual blogs hosted on websites to people microblogging.
A microblog is a way to share information through short, small posts – think Instagram or Twitter!
Starting a blog on Instagram would fall under the microblogging-sphere and the good news? You don’t need to deal with web hosting, web design or writing lengthy content in order to begin blogging on Instagram!
But what exactly is a microblog?
A microblog is sharing your thoughts through any social media platform. It’s pretty straightforward.
Chances are, you’ve already been microblogging all along without knowing it!
Creating a blog on Instagram will allow you to share your thoughts with a large audience, but also give you the chance to get paid for your Instagram posts by partnering with brands and showcasing their products!
Before we get started, here are some other Instagram posts I’ve written to help you out! (Clicking on these will open them in a new browser tab so you don’t need to worry about losing your spot here)!
- Instagram Props Every Instagrammer Needs: These props are staples to many successful Instagrammers and bloggers. Plus, they are incredibly affordable and versatile meaning you’ll be able to use them again and again.
- How to Use Instagram TV for Your Brand: If your brand centralizes around Instagram, you’ll want to learn how to use different features properly and effectively.
- How to Get Paid to Post on Instagram: Already mentioned above but in case you missed it…how does one start making money simply by posting on Instagram? Follow these 5 easy steps to make some profit off your Instagram account.
Benefits of Starting a Blogging on Instagram
Blogging through Instagram definitely has perks. You don’t need to worry about managing a website or creating 1,000+ word articles! Artestilebeauty uses Instagram as their blog to feed to their shop.
They prefer to use Instagram (as opposed to hosting a blog on their website) because it allows them to increase sales by directing their audience to their website through posts and Instagram stories.
On top of increasing sales, Artestilebeauty likes being able to communicate directly through direct messages and comments with their customers, which gives them the opportunity to strengthen their customer/brand relationship!
Victoria Zermeno also uses her Instagram in place of a blog. For Victoria, she likes the fact that Instagram connects her to brands that she can collaborate with and allows her to share her affiliate products.
Not only does Victoria use Instagram for promotional purposes, she also has been able to connect with other like-minded women!
So now, let’s talk about the ways you can start a blog on Instagram.
Downfalls of Starting a Blog on Instagram
This article wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t discuss the drawbacks of creating your blog on Instagram.
First, your analytics limited to what Instagram decides to provide you with, which isn’t as detailed as Google Analytics or other analytic platforms.
One benefit to having a stand-alone blog/website is that you can use your analytics to really dive deep into what your audience likes, doesn’t like and begin to A/B test various items to grow your traffic.
While that’s not impossible with Instagram Insights, it’s certainly a lot more limited.
Next, you don’t own your content on Instagram (technically).
If Instagram were to shut down tomorrow, everything you worked for would be gone. Your account could be hacked also, and you could lose everything.
The same thing could happen with your website, however, if it were to be hacked.
The only difference is that with your website you are able to back things up and restore it if you need to.
You aren’t able to back up your Instagram. If it were to get hacked and deleted, it’s gone for good.
Enabling two-factor verification is one way to prevent your account from being hacked, but I do recommend diversifying as much as possible.
So now let’s dive right into how you can start blogging on Instagram!
Step 1: Sign up for an Instagram Business Account
How to set up your business account
Your first step to starting a blog on Instagram is to sign up for Instagram and turn your personal Instagram account into a business account.
Having a business account has many benefits, which we will talk about after I show you how to turn your Instagram account from a personal to business.
First, head to Instagram.com or open the Instagram app and follow the signup process.
Once you have your Instagram account, it’s time to switch over to a business profile.
To do so, you will want to make sure you also set up a Facebook page if you do not already have one.
You will need a business page in order to connect to your business account on Instagram.
To start, head over to your profile and click on the gear icon to access your settings.
Once you get into your settings, scroll down until you find the section that says “Switch to Business Profile”.
This will bring up the steps you need to take in order to link your Facebook business page with your Instagram account (and why you need to have a business page in order to make the switch).
Next, you will be brought to a page where all you need to do is click “continue”.
This page basically explains the benefits of a business profile, so if you would like, feel free to swipe through the photos to see what types of things you can do!
If you have already created and linked to your Facebook page, you will be able to select it below, like I can.
However, if not, Instagram will ask you to connect to your Facebook account, which you will need to grant Instagram access for.
You can also create a page (as shown below) if you do not see the page you would like to connect.
Once you’ve linked your business profile, you just need to click “done” in the upper right-hand corner. Your personal Instagram account is now a business account!
Benefits of a Business Account When Blogging on Instagram
Now that you’ve set your business profile up, let’s talk about how you will benefit from a business profile if you plan to start a blog on Instagram.
Instagram offers business profiles the ability to check out their insights and analytics.
This makes it really easy for users to see the demographics of their followers, the optimal time to post for higher engagement, the reach of each individual post and much more.
These insights are crucial if you want to see what’s working and what’s not.
If you blog through an actual website, you will have access to lots of juicy analytics to help you form your strategies.
If you are blogging on Instagram, you won’t have the same analytics that a website offers, but you can still get some great information from Instagram Insights.
So get that business profile set up so that when you begin blogging on Instagram you’ll be able to benefit from Instagram Insights!
With a business profile, you will be able to promote posts, similar to boosting posts on Facebook. This allows users to promote their profiles in order to grow them.
You don’t need ads, but it’s a nice option to have!
Links Within Stories
If you have over 10,000 followers, you will be able to benefit from adding links to your Instagram stories! You can take users to a link by having them “swipe up” on your story.
If you don’t have a blog, you may not see the purpose of this, however, there’s still plenty of opportunities for you to earn an income on Instagram without a blog.
The swipe up feature can be great if you plan to use affiliate marketing as part of your monetization strategy, or you can use a program such as Later’s “Linkin.bio” to make your entire feed shoppable!
Having a contact button that directly opens an email and allows your audience to reach out to you can be beneficial if you are hoping to work with brands.
Sure, people can direct message you on a personal account, but having a direct link to your email is also beneficial (and a bit more professional).
Most blogs have a contact form, so if you’re blogging on Instagram, you should also have your e-mail linked up to it so brands can easily drop into your inbox.
Step 2: Find Your Niche
This could easily be step 1 or step 2, depending on how you view it, but it’s important to try and find yourself some type of niche.
Niches can be narrow (and very specific) or they can be broad.
If you are stuck trying to come up with a niche for your Instagram blog, ask yourself the following questions:
- What does my audience want to see from me?
- What can I help my audience with?
- What types of companies do I want to partner with?
- What will I be able to post consistently about?
If you are a fitness guru, it makes sense to focus your niche within the health and fitness industry by posting photos related to fitness.
Instagrammer Shanna Leigh has been micro-blogging on Instagram for a couple of years now and has no website.
She consistently works with top brands each month. Her focus is lifestyle and fashion.
So while you don’t need to choose a narrow niche necessarily (lifestyle is a very broad all-encompassing niche), it definitely helps to have some sort of focus.
Below is a list of various Instagram blogging niches to help you get some ideas:
- interior design
- specific cities (i.e. if you live in L.A., you could focus solely on eateries in L.A.)
- Best of _____ (this could be best of a certain city, best photos of cats, best nature photos)
- Photo manipulation (aka photoshopped photos)
Step 3: Revamp your Instagram Bio and Profile Photo
Your Instagram bio and profile photo are super important.
When someone lands on your Instagram page, they will look at a few key things before they decide whether or not they want to follow you.
First, they look at your profile photo and bio. This is because to look at your photos, they will need to scroll down a bit. Look at the photo below to see what I mean:
See how the user is only able to see my featured stories, my profile photo and my bio? It doesn’t matter if I have a grid full of the best photos in the world!
If the user isn’t drawn in my what they first see above-the-fold (before they need to scroll), they aren’t going to stick around.
The same principle is used in web design! Web designers make sure the content above the fold is enticing enough to get the user to scroll more or take action.
Take a look at your profile from your phone and see how it looks. What types of things can you see first?
If someone landed on your Instagram blog, would they care to stick around just by looking at your bio and profile image?
Your Instagram bio should tell the visitor some important key things about you.
I like bios that have personality, which is why I always include a fun fact about myself.
Although I’m a copywriter and designer, my bio just touches on that. When people stop at my profile, I want them to know that while yes, I am a copywriter and designer, my Instagram contains photos that tell a story about my life as a digital nomad (which includes lots of travel).
Step 4: Start Blogging on Instagram
Here is the fun part! Now you need to start planning your content and actually blogging on Instagram!
Since your Instagram will be your blog, you aren’t going to be able to direct people to a 500+ word article. Your Instagram account is going to serve as the main focal point!
What does this mean?
Well, you will really need to make sure your Instagram feed is full of high-quality photos and lots of engagement (especially if you want to work with brands).
And by full, I don’t just mean you post once or twice a week.
If your Instagram is going to serve as your main platform, you will need to be posting at least every day (including stories and posts).
I also recommend getting some essential photography equipment for your Instagram to capture those beautiful photos, but if you have a small budget, you can also take pretty pictures for Instagram with your iPhone.
Step 5: Create Captivating Captions
Your captions will serve as the copy for your photos. They are going to help you tell your story to your audience and since you are blogging on Instagram, the captions are an important (and often overlooked) component!
How many times have you sat down to post your photo and you have to write a caption and suddenly freeze up?
“Maybe I’ll just add a sunset emoji and heart emoji and be done with it?!” You think to yourself.
Let’s talk about why captions are important if you want your Instagram to be your blog, and why a couple of emojis aren’t going to do the trick.
Captions invite your audience to see past the pretty photo you’ve just posted.
Photos are worth 1,000 words, but a photo with a well-thought-out caption is worth 10,000 words.
Your captions help your audience to understand why they should care. Why should they care if you’ve posted a photo of your latte?
There are millions of latte photos on Instagram, and the way you are going to differentiate your latte photo (or photo of your dog, or your outfit) is by creating a compelling caption with some kind of call-to-action (CTA).
A CTA is something that asks the user to take some form of action, whether that be to double tap the heart button (and like your post), click the link in your bio or watch your story!
Having a strong caption will help you to drive your audience to take action on your CTA.
When creating your caption, ask yourself a few key questions:
- What is my CTA? What is the ultimate goal of this photo?
- How can I write a story that will lead the user to the CTA?
- How can I make this caption relatable to my audience and make them care?
Let’s look at the below photo. I could’ve captioned it something like “gettin’ some work done today!” or used some peace sign emojis.
But instead, I decided to talk about the new Facebook group I had created for bloggers and entrepreneurs.
I told a bit of a backstory of why I had started the group and the CTA was getting people to join.
Also – there’s a grammar mistake (face-palm, I’m human).
Step 6: Build a Community Around Your Instagram Blog
Your next step is to build a community and increase your engagement with your new blog on Instagram! Start by engaging with other accounts who you follow and accounts that you think would like your content.
How do you find people who you think would like your content?
This one is easy, actually! Make a list of 5 or so big influencers in your niche. Go over to who follows them, and start interacting with them!
Chances are if someone is following an influencer in your niche it is because they are interested in that particular topic, which increases the chances that they will be interested in what you are posting as well!
You can interact by leaving meaningful comments on their photos and liking their stuff.
When you leave comments on someone’s content, they will be more likely to reciprocate it in the future for you!
You also want to find hashtags relevant to your account! General hashtags such as “#love” or “#follow” are pretty useless.
They don’t target any specific demographic and won’t drive targeted traffic to your account.
You could perform hashtag research to try and find which hashtags are good for your niche and aren’t competitive. The best way to find hashtags is to use Tailwind’s hashtag finder. Watch the below video to see how easy it is to find hashtags using it.
Step 7: Use Instagram Stories, Featured Stories and Instagram Live
Don’t just post photos on Instagram and be done. Instagram has other features that as a blogger, you should be using to grow your account!
Stories are a really good way to get in front of your followers who might not see your content in their feeds.
You can use branded Instagram stories to promote your latest post and expand on your photos.
Instagram Live is another really great tool you can use to connect with your audience and keep them engaged!
Lastly, don’t forget to organize your most popular stories by adding them to your featured stories in your profile!
Is Starting a Blog on Instagram a Good Idea?
Starting a blog on Instagram is a great idea if you are just wanting to test the waters out and see whether or not you want to create content for a living.
But do I recommend starting a blog on Instagram and ONLY on Instagram?
Personally, I think it’s much better to start a blog (on a website) as well have an Instagram account. You have much more control over your content and can grow an email list, sell your own products and grow your biz even more.
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