Bloggers and aspiring authors would rather write than spend time on social networking sites. But most know social media is necessary to succeed . Therefore, it’s important to consider using a variety of sites. Today, freelance writer and ghostwriter Sanjay Bojan (@sanjaybojan) discuss how and why to use Instagram as a blog promotion tool. Pay attention because an Instagram following will also help you sell books.
How far would you go to get your blog noticed among the ocean of blogs on the Internet? Would you try guerilla marketing or a unique stunt to attract an online audience? Or would you try an additional social media platform, like Instagram?
Here’s the truth: Today you can do a mighty job of promoting your blog posts by merely sharing them on some of the most professional, trendy, and cool social media platforms. One such effective, yet fun-filled platform is, indeed, Instagram.
You might have shared your content on Facebook and Twitter for many years now, and you may have done it reasonably successfully, too. That’s great. It’s time to try somehing new…
Publishers Consider Instagram When Conducting Platform Analysis
You may think Instagram is silly or a waste of time. After all, it’s primarily a place to share pictures. However, publishers now look seriously at an aspiring author’s Instagram following.
That means your Instagram following makes a difference in their analysis of your author platform. Instagram has become another platform element—one often ignored by writers. After all, writers focus on writing, not on producing photos, on a consistent basis.
That’s a mistake you don’t want to make if increasing your blog readership is part of your platform building strategy.
Instagram is a fabulous place to get your blog noticed, especially if you want to expand your reach and increase your success level—and get a publishing deal. As a platform element, it’s also useful if you’re going to self-publish.
Why Bloggers and Writers Should Use Instagram
That said, sharing posts on Instagram is not as easy as sharing them on Facebook or Twitter. For instance, you can only share the link to your blog in the image caption spot. And the link is not clickable.
Then why should you strive to put your blog content on Instagram?
The answer is simple: Instagram is booming, and today it is one of the busiest and most engaged social networks. Plus, it is incredibly effective if you want to build connections, develop conversations, and build a significant following.
Today, the success of your blog significantly depends on how well you build a platform and connect with experts in your niche. Considering this, promoting your blog on Instagram is definitely worth your time.
How to Promote Your Blog on Instagram
Here’s an essential guide to kickoff and start promoting your posts on Instagram
1. Be careful when choosing an Instagram profile name.
“Why would I care about choosing a profile name on Instagram?” you may ask. Your name is how you will be recognized and remembered by followers.
When choosing a name, consider if you want to use the name of your blog or your name for the Instagram profile. How do you know which is best? That depends on many factors like:
- Whether you are the sole owner of your blog or you run it jointly with a partner or partners.
- If you have chosen a lifetime career as a blogger or you would want to switch to another career in the future.
- If you plan to market yourself or your blog or the service you are providing.
- If you plan only to publish one book from your blog content—or many books that might or might not be related to your site.
Depending on these factors, you may decide you want your name or the blog’s name for your Instagram account. In some cases, you might want two Instagram accounts to satisfy different conditions or ways in which you’d like to be known.
Note that there are two parts of naming your Instagram account – the Instagram account name and the Instagram handle name. You may consider your name for the account and the name of your blog for the handle. Or vice versa.
2. Setting up your Instagram profile.
First things first: Decide if you want to keep your account private or public. Obviously, if the purpose of your Instagram account is to promote your blog and build author platform, your account must be public.
As you set up the profile, you will be asked to add the following three pieces of information to your account.
Display picture: Does your blog have a logo? If yes, use the logo for the display picture or avatar. If not, it is never a bad idea to use a photo of yourself. A headshot allows your visitors to know who you are. And a head shot can be appropriate if you plan to author books—including blogged books.
Instagram images are circular. So set up an image accordingly.
A short Bio
The short bio is extremely important. Make it informative, and try to give it character and personality. You only get four lines, but they should speak volumes about you, your blog, and your books.
Link in the bio
The short bio is the only place where you can introduce a clickable link. So don’t miss this opportunity to promote your blog.
Popular bloggers, like Jeff Bullas, often use this feature to promote their paid offers and freebies—not just their blogs. Essentially they convert their followers into subscribers by asking them to “opt-in” to their mailing list with their free offers. Smart, right?
3. How to get started.
Instagram provides the necessary tools to convert mediocre images into awesome pictures. However, your pictures need to speak for your brand. For instance, if you are a fashion blogger, it would make sense to post fashion pictures.
You also can use images to promote some of your old and epic blog posts.
Keep in mind that the engagement and visibility of an Instagram update fade with time. More than half the comments appear within hours of publishing a post on the site. Therefore, do not shy away from posting often.
Try and post a picture or two many times per day.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to be busy with your Instagram account all day—when you want to be writing. You can schedule Instagram posts using tools that post for you at a desired time.
Plus, your SMART phone is always with you, and it’s the necessary tool you need to snap and post photos to Instagram. Just snap relevant pictures and share. In fact, when you post to Instagram you can share to Facebook and Twitter at the same tie.
If you wish to respond to comments, you will have to do it yourself, though.
4. Hashtags can make you popular.
Hashtags can make your blogs more visible. Be specific with the hashtags you choose but ensure they are popular. Hashtags related to your blog are more likely to bring more traffic to the site.
It would be wise to spend some time learning how to use hashtags and trying some generic and popular ones.
Brand Yourself and Your Site with Instagram
Lastly, never underestimate the power of Instagram for branding yourself and your site. As you share images, you help followers know what your blog and books—and you—stand for.
Instagram is the best platform for beginners to connect with strangers and start promoting a brand. The social network is still relatively new and refreshing compared to the crowded and aging Facebook market. It is also a lot of fun sharing images on Instagram.
Keep in mind that Instagram also provides a super book-promotion tool. You want to build a following here so you can share images about your book and increase sales when the time comes to launch.
Start using Instagram today, and let your images do the blog and book promotion for you.
Tell me in a comment about your experiences using Instagram.
About the Author
Sanjay Bojan is a blogger and researcher who contributes on various high profile sites including Forbes, Huffington Post, and TechCrunch. For writing wok and brand promotion, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.