The Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Bloggers

How could Instagram be useful to your blog?

Do you know how to use Instagram?

Instagram has very quickly become the app that we all love as an alternative to the tired format of the somewhat beleaguered Facebook. The fact that Facebook bought it out, and will soon no doubt seek to change it from the image sharing joy that it currently offers, to an advert-heavy, money making platform, will be strongly resisted; and they know this. The marketers at Facebook HQ are being tested to the max as they attempt to make their investment pay.

The Basics of Instagram

Instagram

Instagram

1) Instagram allows us to capture moments in our day to day lives and upload them using a selection of filters to make beautiful and not so beautiful records of our experiences. It is also widely responsible for the sudden explosion in popularity of the selfie; mainly as the filters lend themselves kindly to the faces of those who post them.

2) The most overlooked benefit of Instagram is that you are compiling your very own photo album as you move through every stage of your life. In ten years’ time you will be able to look back and reminisce on how your life has taken so many twists and turns (all of them documented and shared), and you can then reflect on the place it has brought you to now. How very romantic and whimsical.

3) For the blogging community, it provides a potential gateway to find new followers and like-minded people to target with opinion pieces. As it is a photography based app, applicability may not seem immediately clear. However, where there are people there is an audience.

A Bloggers Guide to Instagram

Bloggers Guide to Instagram

Bloggers Guide to Instagram

4) Instagram can help you get your brand known and encourage people to visit your website. For all of the serial bloggers out there who avoid Instagram because they can’t write on it, it’s now time to get the camera out guys . . .  And make sure that your pictures are good!

Share your Blog Space

5) You may not use Instagram as often as many others, but it undoubtedly offers you a new outlet to spread the word about your blog and to help build your own personal brand.

6) Your blog represents just one side of you and sharing the visual side of your life is only ever going to be beneficial. Share the URL to your website in your bio so that surfers can click on it and view the mobile version of your blog.

7) Depending on what you blog about, you may want to upload pictures that directly relate to your blog. You can then write in the comments that for more information they should follow the link to your website. It’s pretty obvious to most of us, but still worth mentioning just in case there are a few techno-stragglers.

Tell a story

8) Is there anyone in the whole world who does not enjoy a good story? Unlikely, so as words are unavailable, with the app photography based, remember that a good picture says a thousand words. If you’re experiencing something visually that you would usually blog about, take a picture, choose the filter, and upload with a carefully worded description to create interest.

9) If you are party to a sequence of events, upload photos over a period of time to give the next chapter in the tale and keep people coming back for more.

10) Photos are timeless and can add emotion, meaning and depth to a given situation. Plus we all prefer looking at pictures to reading anyway, right? If you can capture some inspiring pictures, you will perhaps spark new ideas for blogs that you can use as you move forward.

Be an open book

Photos are timeless

Photos are timeless

11) We are now in 2014; so why are you so guarded when posting pictures? There is a line when it comes to professional vs personal on most social media sites, with the exception being Instagram.

The app offers a uniquely comforting feel to those of us who are somewhat uncomfortable with over exposing ourselves in public. Suddenly it’s fine and accepted if you post a picture of yourself having fun, or stuffing your face with cake on down-time. It’s no longer viewed as unprofessional.

The point is that people like to do business with people they trust. If you put yourself out there, people realize you’re an actual real life human being and not just a person with a keyboard as an extension of your body. Your followers get a peek at some of the candid moments of your day, and these images can complement the writing and photography you publish on your blog.

Now we don’t for a second suggest sharing everything. There’s a difference between ‘share’ and ‘scare’, and it’s a difference you should be mindful of.

Hashtags

Instagram Hashtags

Instagram Hashtags

12) Yes they are prevalent on Instagram too don’t worry. Just in case you start to feel nauseous with the pressure of being creative visually, think of the multitude of relevant hashtags that you can attach to your picture, and relax.

We all know what they do; we all know how they work. Use them and use them well. Adding them to your picture is a simple way to encourage new followers to find and follow you. This will inevitably lead them to discover your blog via the aforementioned link in your bio, or promotion via the comments you leave.

The hashtag community on Instagram is massive, and there is a hashtag for more or less every subject conceivable. You should use hashtags wisely, though.

If you have 10 or 15 hashtags per picture this comes across as basically the next worst thing to spam. Hashtagging for likes is quietly frowned upon and does your credibility no good at all. Stick to the plan, be clever and do not over-do it.

As time goes by you will find that people who are interested in thoughtful posts and meaningful conversations are drawn to your account and then your blog.

If you hold competitions within your blog, or you host events then Hashtagging those exclusively on your Instagram account can also help to create an extra buzz around your blog and the said event or contest. Also include the hashtag in your bio for any upcoming event so that people are exposed to it and understand what it is.

Include Instagram as part of your daily routine

Include Instagram as part of your daily routine

Include Instagram as part of your daily routine

13) Instagram can fill the gaps that have been there for far too long in your content strategy and bloggosphere. There are always times during the week when you are incredibly busy and frankly do not have the time for a coffee; let alone a coffee, a laptop and some inspirational writing. Well, posting a picture on Instagram takes seconds and keeps your social media presence abundantly visual, whilst not eating into your schedule.

14) You’re not the only one who struggles to maintain their online presence. This extra dimension to it keeps you in the loop. By adding a widget to your sidebar, or automatically having every Instagram shot embedded in your blog feed, you are keeping your website fresh and up to date. Instagram really will become a necessary addition to your daily blog routine once you get to grips with it.

Include your logo on uploads

15) If you have a logo on your blog which is synonymous with your online presence, download apps such as iWatermark to apply the graphic to the corner of your picture. This helps to keep your brand in the forefront of everything you do online. Remember, this is an extra dimension to your blog and as such must be used to drive people towards it.

How many users?

Instagram now boasts over 100 million daily users

Instagram now boasts over 100 million daily users

16) Instagram now boasts over 100 million daily users, and this makes it the second most popular social networking site on the planet. Recently there was cause for concern as many people began switching to Vine to make 15 second video clips that could be edited and posted with filters. Instagram got on to this fairly early and stole the idea, sent out the update, and buried Vine 6 feet under within the space of a week or two. It’s a dog eat dog world I’m afraid.

Now we have the benefit on Instagram of being able to watch people attempt to be interesting, creative or funny (usually just drunk) within just 15 seconds.

Instagram seems like the unstoppable force to which other social media platforms must bow. But as can be testified by MySpace and Facebook, popularity can’t go on forever unless a series of fantastic decisions and changes are implemented by those who sit in Instagram’s ivory towers

We live in a fast moving digital age that means users are constantly searching for the next new thing. Instagram has been around for 4 years or so now, and for as long as it is the talk of the town you should be making it a part of your blogging routines.

Discussion 20 Comments

  1. I haven’t try it, mainly because I doubt that there can be any results for my niche. Planning to open new travel related web project, which might benefit a lot from Instagram.

    • Uttoran Sen says:
      Author

      Hey Kaloyan,
      welcome to Guest Crew and thanks for your comments,

      Travel niche works perfectly well on all social media sites. I had worked on a travel site previously – had hit front pages of digg, reddit, got several thousand fans on facebook… travel is a good niche for social media,

      thanks,
      Uttoran Sen,

  2. I used to try and Instagram throughout my day, but with everything being quite hectic lately, I don’t use it as much as should do. So after reading this, I’ll be back to using it with anything that I can find interesting, special at the upcoming events I’m covering ;)

    • Uttoran Sen says:
      Author

      Hey Karen,
      welcome to Guest Crew and thanks for your comments,

      Agreed, with so much going on, both on and off line – it is very hard to stay active on the social media,

      thanks,
      Uttoran Sen,

  3. Holly Martin says:

    On top of blogging, Pinterest, Facebook, G+–now you want me to take selfies and post them online? You gotta be kiddin’ me!

    Seriously, most writers prefer to write, BECAUSE they do not want to take center stage, so Instagram may not ever become popular in writing lands. IMHO

    I suppose I would recommend it to a business client to show photos and videos of things going on in and around the factory or office. Just don’t put me in the spotlight, please!

    • Uttoran Sen says:
      Author

      Yeah, agreed – as a writer or a blogger – I have always avoided showing my face, have hid behind logos, avatars – I still do it some times. I guess selfies are not for everyone.

      However, it does helps to gain more trust among readers, they get to know their blogger better.

      I am still pretty much a behind the screen blogger, avoiding spotlight just like you,

      PS. Would suggest you to get a Gravatar,
      thanks,
      Uttoran Sen,

  4. A Morris says:

    I must admit I’m not going to give Instagram a go, a good article though. The problem with Instagram is the rampant narcissism it promotes, with self-adoring Selfies and other ego exercises. Many accounts are just an exercise in ego. It’s best to keep some humility and not associate yourself with such things.

  5. Tauseef Alam says:

    Hi

    Do you have an experience for education Niche on instagram. I write for a education blog and have some doubt if instagram can bring some traffic for us. what do you say?

    • Uttoran Sen says:
      Author

      Hey Tauseef,

      welcome to Guest Crew and thanks for your comments,

      I haven’t tried Instagram with an education niche yet – but I guess it should work – on social media, anything that is presented well, works!
      thanks,
      Uttoran Sen,

  6. Very nice tips for bloggers to use Instagram and include in their daily routine.
    I have tried many times to post on Instagram on a regular basis, but the way to drive traffic to my blog is very tough. First you need to have a good following, the followers should actually follow your passion and then eventually they should be clicking the link to visit your page.
    I am not sure how much traffic that drives to your blog. But I would guess, it is a good network for photographers and unless you are photography blogger, you are probably out of place on Instagram.

    But these are just my views, I will be very interested to know about few bloggers who got success on Instagram.

    Thanks,

    • Uttoran Sen says:
      Author

      Hey Anurag,
      welcome to guest crew and thanks for your comments,

      Glad to know that you had given Instagram a try and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

      I guess it is true for all social networks – your followers has to be on topic, else they won’t be interested in the things that you share,

      regards,
      Uttoran Sen,

  7. DesireeM. says:

    I still struggle with using Instagram to help my social media presence. Thanks for this article. This was the boost + motivation I needed!

  8. Corrisa says:

    It only takes a couple of minutes to take a picture and Instagram it – so I don’t know why I’ve been putting off joining these picture social media platforms like Pinterest and Insta.

    This article makes me want to make a commitment to at least give it a try at least once a week. This I know I can do.

    Thanks for the insightful article.

    • Uttoran Sen says:
      Author

      Hey Corrisa,
      welcome to Guest Crew and thanks for your comments,

      Glad you liked the article. I think it is better to keep using Pinterest and other social sites and along with that – do a bit on Instagram as well. Always good to be active on as many social sites as possible.

      thanks,
      Uttoran Sen,

  9. I have two blogs and Instagram would definitely be a great fit for one of them. It’s just one of those things I have never really got around to, but I know I should!

    Will bookmark this for later :-)

  10. munna says:

    I have not opened any id on instagram because it is not suitable for my niche . I am researching on a fashion keyword and I will then be able to fully utilize this tool.

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