I conducted a bit of an experiment in the month of May with Instagram. Quite a while back, I had a personal Instagram account and I loved it. I gravitate towards the more visual platforms and sharing great photos is right up my alley. However, I was not entirely sure how the Instagram platform would translate into blog traffic.
When I had my personal Instagram account, I was hacked! My beautiful pictures of my sweet, little baby were replaced by something far less than wholesome. It happened several times in a row and I just had to step away. Now, you are able to set up a higher level of security with a public profile. After choosing a strong password, you can have it set to where you need to have an additional special code texted to you just to log in. Yes, please!
This month I learned a bit more about Instagram and about blog traffic. Let’s just say my advice today is a little bit of what to do and a little bit about what not to do. I love to write, but I am still learning quite a bit about this whole blogging gig!
How to Gain 1,000 Instagram Followers in 30 Days
Although I am both a newbie blogger and new to using Instagram for blogging, I do know that numbers are not everything. You want quality over quantity. Instead of playing the numbers game, you want your followers to be engaged. So, while my tips are about growing the number of your followers, I will also give you some tips I have picked up on how to keep those followers coming back for more!
*The following contains affiliate links to Tailwind. There is no cost to you to use my link, but I may receive referral credit if you sign up for a paid account.
Tip #1: Create a Public Profile
If you have a public profile, it will be a lot easier for your followers to find you! See above for ensuring that your profile is still plenty secure. Then, upload a great profile picture. Let your followers see your face and get a sense of what you are all about. Many bloggers recommend keeping your profile picture the same across your social media accounts. I did this…mostly because I just really like that picture!
Experienced bloggers also recommend providing a great description for your “about” section. This description should define what you and your blog are all about. You should also include a link to your blog. I have seen some truly snazzy about sections with puns, hashtags, and even emojis. My section is a work in progress! But, I at least have the basics: who I am, what I am about, and how to find my blog.
Tip #2: Post Every Day
You have to be consistent in order to grow your following and keep your followers engaged. Now, I am a busy mom…or should a say mom/teacher/wife/blogger. It is hard enough for me to remember to shower, let alone post on Instagram. This is where Tailwind comes in.
You can schedule all of your posts on Tailwind and then Tailwind will tell you the best times to post. This is also extremely helpful because Tailwind tells me when my followers will be most likely to see my posts and engage in my content. It really is a no brainer.
Tip #3: Post Fantastic Photos
This is probably self-explanatory, but Instagram is a visual platform and people are going to gravitate towards images that captivate them. When I had my personal profile, I would post my daily adorable baby picture and occasionally I would play around with the filters. This is still mostly okay because who does not love adorable baby pics? However, you want to think about taking your photos to the next level.
Take some care when you are snapping away about the lighting and the background. Then, edit away. You can use your Smart Phone to act like a real photo editor…at least kind of. I enjoy these apps for photo editing right on your phone:
Another thing that is all the rage on Instagram is flat lays. Check out this post on creating a flat lay specifically for Instagram. Or you can modify stock photos to suit your needs on Canva. However, you do it, try to make your photos stand out! Make them beautiful!
Tip #4: Follow and Engage
Yes, you should follow others in order to be followed, but there are a few important things to consider. One, follow those that you really want to follow. Don’t just follow someone for the sake of following. Think or your blogging “niche” and also your interests. For example, I love following other moms and teachers because we are naturally going to have a lot in common. However, although I do not run a food blog, I love food! So, I love lusting over food pics from home cooks and food bloggers alike.
On the other hand, if you participate in a “follow all” thread in one of your Facebook groups, do not follow then unfollow. If you are a member of a particular Facebook group, it is assumed that you have something in common. Support your tribe members and do not unfollow them unless you have some kind of serious objection to their content.
Once you follow be sure to “like” and comment on their photos. Some bloggers recommend liking about 100 photos per day on Instagram to stay engaged. I participate in several Instagram “like and comment” threads per day, as it is like my Instagram homework to make sure I am on there supporting my fellow bloggers. Plus, there is the bonus of learning from experienced Instagrammers and admiring their content. I also go through my feed a few times a day and like and comment the photos that “speak” to me. The idea here is to stay active!
Tip #5: Hashtag Your Little Heart Out
Instagram is all about the hashtags. You can add up to 30 per post, but you want to vary them. Tailwind now has an Instagram hashtag finder. You can save lists of hashtags in your Tailwind account. Tailwind will also provide you with a list of suggested hashtags based on your post. This is such a life saver!
I am still learning this whole hashtag thing. On one hand, it makes sense to use popular hashtags. However, then you risk getting lost in a sea of images with that same hashtag. On the other hand, if you use a hashtag that is very rare, who will search for it? Variety is the spice of hashtags…or something like that. Take advantage of the thirty hashtags and mix it up.
Bonus Tip: Try a 30 Day Challenge!
I think what really helped me grow followers so quickly is participating in a 30 Day Instagram challenge. Tailwind partnered with Adobe Spark for a 30 Day Challenge. Every day, I received an email with the theme of the day and suggested hashtags. I loved it. It kept me focused and challenged me to try all different kinds of posts. I felt like it was a crash course in Instagram and photography.
Since I loved this challenge so much and want to continue to challenge myself to think creatively while growing my following, I have created my own 30 Day Instagram Challenge for the month of June! Join me in growing your Instagram this month. Tag me or #amamatale, so I can follow you and check out your posts! Let’s rock Instagram this month together!
May Blog Traffic Report
Instagram was a definite win for the month, but not everything on the blog was fabulous this month. March was the best month ever on the blog because I realized the importance of sticking with my “niche”. I was getting great page views and according to my bounce rate, readers were sticking around to read and enjoy my content! Yes, I am still small potatoes, but I was super excited!
Page views dipped a bit in April because I was experimenting with the best ways to promote my blog on social media. I still have not been blogging for a year, so I try to give myself credit for being on a learning curve. One can become obsessed with looking at analytics!
That being said, my page views were dipping further and further and I had to look at my analytics to figure out what was happening. I noticed that my traffic from Pinterest was less than average. Pinterest likes to switch up their algorithms from time to time and I attributed it to that.
Then, I had a fabulous member of one of my mommy blogging tribes let me know that the link to one of my pins was broken when she tried to view my content. I fixed it and moved on. A few weeks later, I had three more blogging friends tell me that they were trying to click on one of my pins and the link was broken!
Thank you again to all of my tribe members for looking out for me and my blog! If you are looking to join a community like this, check out Find Your Tribe Online! Sure, you gain access to a fabulous course and hundreds of Facebook and Pinterest groups. But it is more than that. You develop relationships with people who will take time out of their busy days to let you know your pin has a broken link!
*I am an affiliate for this course because I love it SO much and it has totally changed my blogging life!
Boardbooster to the Rescue
*The following contains an affiliate link to Boardbooster. There is no cost to you to use my link, but I may receive referral credit.
I decided to turn to Boardbooster because they have an awesome “Pin Doctor” feature. Using this feature, Boardbooster will check all of your pins on your specified boards to look for broken links. They charge one penny per pin. It only cost me a couple of dollars to check my blog’s Pinterest board for broken links.The results were in after a couple of hours, I had 67 pins with broken links!
I am a teacher and rapidly approaching summer break, so my goal is to go back and repin my blog posts with functioning links. It breaks my heart to know that so many of my pins are out there in cyberspace with broken links! Thankfully, I do include my blog URL on every pin, but still!
Here is my advice, use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog (it is amazing!) But, make sure your links are working! Use a program like Boardbooster’s Pin Doctor to regularly check your pins to ensure that they are working properly. If you notice a dip in your stats, like I did, investigate the root cause so you can fix it!
May Blog Traffic Goals Recap
Blog Page Views: 6,500 Nay! 5,445
Twitter Followers: 7,500 Yay! 7,523
Pinterest Followers: 3,500 Yay! 3,668
Facebook Page Likes: 850 Yay! 854
Instagram Followers: 500 Yay! 1,034
Write 10 Blog Posts Yay!
Brainstorm Ideas for New Freebie for Subscribers Yay! I have some ideas in the works and I did a fun Amazon Gift Card Giveaway for subscribers only! More like that to come (so subscribe!)
June Blog Traffic Goals
Blog Page Views: 5,750
Twitter Followers: 7,750
Pinterest Followers: 3,750
Facebook Page Likes: 875
Instagram Followers: 1,500
Write 10 Blog Posts