Using Instagram to Grow Your Blog or Personal Brand
Some of you may not use Instagram as actively as others, but even if you’re not an addict of the app, it might offer a new outlet to build your blog and personal brand. After all, your blog is just one aspect of you — if you’re on Instagram, perhaps you can find ways to bridge these two networks and grow your online presence.
Lead new visitors to your blog
The simplest thing you can do? Include your WordPress.com blog URL in your Instagram bio, so app users can poke around on (the mobile version of) your site.
But let’s say you’re a food blogger, and you post pictures of the delicious meals you’ve whipped up, courtesy of the recipes on your blog. Why not mention in a comment that users can prepare these plates themselves by visiting your blog? (It’s worth noting that currently, URLs in Instagram comments aren’t clickable — folks, then, must copy and paste any links you leave in your comments into their mobile browser.)
Use hashtags wisely
Adding hashtags in a comment is a simple way for new followers to find your Instagram photos (and, ultimately, your other online homes like your WordPress.com blog). There’s a super-active hashtag community on Instagram — you can find just about anything in the “Explore” tool and connect with others with the same interests, from #streetart to #travel to #cooking.
One tip: use hashtags wisely! Don’t tag a photo with every possible term imaginable, like this: #art #street #wall #paint #city #urban and on and on. It’s spammy, and I encourage you to use only focused and relevant hashtags. In the long run, you’ll attract people interested in more meaningful, thoughtful conversations, both on Instagram and WordPress.com.
For those of you who run your own blogging challenges or other events, consider spreading the word on Instagram with hashtags unique to your challenge or event. Do you host a nature photography contest each weekend for your readers? Establish a #weekendnaturesnapshot tag, which your participants can use to tag their entries on Instagram as well. Be sure to include your hashtag in your Instagram bio so new followers know where it originated. You might create some extra buzz and attract new submissions this way!
Spread the logo love
For readers interested in building their personal brand, consider using Instagram’s visual nature to your advantage. Got a logo for your blog? Use iWatermark or a similar app to apply a text or graphic watermark to your images. This BlogHer article nicely summarizes steps to add watermarks to your photos.
I gather some of you will shout: “But Instagram is instant and easy, and meant to capture our fleeting moments — no way am I spending time on all of this!” You certainly don’t have to add your logo to your pictures, but for those of you who want to experiment with building a visually cohesive online presence, it’s a good start. You’ll make your logo — and you — more memorable.
Create a new side of you
I don’t know about you, but I often struggle with maintaining my online presence: ensuring I’ve posted on my blog recently, for example. Adding an extra dimension to your digital presence — like activating an Instagram Widget in your sidebar or embedding an Instagram shot from your feed — offers a different window, and a new angle of you, to your readers. You can see the Instagram Widget in action on the website of Windflower Boutique Hotel. We especially like how their images include a layer of text. Decorative and informative!
Instagram can feel quite intimate. 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 here on WordPress.com.
Do you use Instagram in other ways? Or, know any bloggers who have cool and clever methods of using Instagram to promote their blogs? Let us know in the comments!