Instagram is a social network primarily used for sharing photos and videos. But do you know how to blog on Instagram?
Many businesses use Instagram for marketing because it has a large user base and is particularly good for reaching millennials. Brands can use standard Instagram posts (photos or videos with a caption) or Instagram stories (slideshows of images or videos captured over a 24 hour period) to attract and engage with their audience.
Hashtags are widely used on Instagram, allowing you to tag your content so others can find it, as well as helping you find relevant content to engage with yourself. In fact, you can easily check out your competitors on Instagram and engage with their followers.
Notably, Instagram is also the land of influencers (users with large numbers of followers), who promote other brands. With its emphasis on visual content Instagram is a no-brainer for people working in photogenic sectors such as fashion, beauty, and travel, but its use is by no means restricted to those areas. The short, snappy posts mean it’s quick to use. There are also scheduling tools like Later that allow you to plan content in advance.
Certainly, when people think about Instagram they think about images. But let’s shift our focus away from the visuals and consider how you can make the most of the word count available in your Instagram captions to create a blog.
Read on to discover how to blog on Instagram.
Can Instagram Be Used as a Blog?
Usually, brands, businesses, and individuals use Instagram to promote their blog by using Linktree to house a link to their blog from their Instagram profile. However, here we’re talking about actual blogging on Instagram. Not linking away to your website.
A typical use of Instagram would be as a travelogue (photos and descriptions of someone’s travels) but it can be used for microblogging too. In other words, you can use the character count under each image to turn your caption into a blog post. After all, Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters. And you can add another 30 hashtags within the first comment in your post. That’s a whole load of space available for a finely crafted microblog post.
If you’ve been thinking about blogging but are struggling to get started then choosing Instagram as your platform removes a lot of the barriers to entry. There’s no need for web hosting, web design, or writing lengthy content in order to begin blogging on Instagram.
How to Set up Instagram for Blogging
In order to benefit from all the features on offer, it’s best to set up a business account. The first step is to set up a regular personal account. So go ahead and do that, if you haven’t already. You’ll also need a Facebook business page.
Once you’ve got those, open Instagram on your phone, head to your profile, and tap on the gear icon to access ‘Settings’. Next, scroll down the menu and tap on the ‘Account’ tab. This will take you through to the Account screen, at the bottom of which you’ll find an option that says ‘Switch to Professional account’. Now, simply walk through the steps to link your Instagram account to your Facebook Business Page. And there you have it. You’ve turned your Instagram personal account into a business account.
While you’re in your profile, it’s a good time to make sure that your bio and profile photo are looking their best for your new blogging exploits. When people land on your profile you want them to stick around. Your bio should make it clear what you’re about and also have personality so people will want to hear more. Here are some creative bio examples for inspiration.
Tips for Creating a Great Instagram Blog
1. Know your niche
Choose a focus for your Instagram blog. Not every post has to stick strictly to this one topic, but you need an overall niche so that people get to know you and what to expect from your posts.
2. Tell a story
People love a good story! Even the short-form blogging we’re talking about here should tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end that takes your readers on a journey.
3. Use relevant hashtags
Don’t forget to use hashtags that are relevant to your post. They’ll help people find your post in searches and expose you to a wider audience. And don’t worry about using up your precious characters – you can add your hashtags to the first comment on the post (see above).
4. Use Geotags
Whenever you can, use Instagram’s geotagging feature to let people know where in the world you are and increase engagement.
5. Follow, tag and engage with others on IG
Your focus might be on creating your Instagram blog posts but don’t forget that Instagram is a social media platform. If you want more people to read your posts then you need to socialise. Follow, tag, and engage with others and your audience will naturally grow.
6. Use Instagram Slideshows to introduce your blog posts
As well as straight images or videos you can also create slideshows on Instagram made up of a series of pictures. You can use these to illustrate your blog posts and draw people in.
7. Stories and Highlights
Instagram Stories get lots of engagement and you can use them to draw together a number of ideas and images on a single theme. By default, Stories disappear after 24 hours. But you can create Highlights. These are Stories that feature on your profile permanently, which is a great way to showcase the topics your blog covers.
8. Regular and consistent posting
Like so many online marketing techniques, success comes from taking consistent action. If you want to build a loyal audience you will need to post regularly. But there are lots of free Instagram tools that can help you achieve this.
Things to Consider Before Blogging on Instagram
So now you know how to blog on Instagram the question remains, should you?
As we mentioned earlier, blogging on Instagram avoids some of the barriers to entry with traditional blogging. Let’s take a quick look at the downsides:
- On a traditional blog, you can use Google Analytics to access extensive data about who is reading your blog. On Instagram, there are only very limited data and analytics available.
- This means that there is little scope for testing and tracking how your content is being received.
- You can’t go back and update your content in the future like you can with a regular blog.
- When you publish your content on Instagram you forfeit control of it, e.g. if Instagram changes or goes down, so does your content.
- In a similar vein, there’s no way to backup your content beyond keeping copies of whatever you write.
With those words of caution out of the way, Instagram is a lively, vibrant platform and building a blog on Instagram is certainly worth considering. If you’d like to talk to us about how it might fit into your wider social media strategy, arrange a free consultation with one of our team today.