Blogging and “Instagramming” seems to be a topic you guys want to hear more about, so I’m going to do my best to keep these posts coming! In my last post on this blogging series (if you want to call it that), I talked about how I got started with my IG and blog, and what to expect when you first start (if you missed it, you can find it here). One thing I didn’t cover though was actually HOW to start. So, we’re going to dive into that today!
While there are more experienced bloggers who have written about this topic, I’m here to give you guys my personal experience and insight. My experience with blogging and IG have been a little different, because as I mentioned in my last post, I started both forums independently of each other. However, knowing what I know now and as someone who is using their blog and IG from a personal and business standpoint, I can share some helpful tips!
Let’s talk platforms for starters. There are a lot of mediums these days that can be used to grow your blog (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook). Obviously platforms like Instagram and YouTube can be separate business opportunities and ways to earn an income (if that’s your goal), but for starters, think of all these platforms as ways to drive people to your blog. Your blog will be where the majority of your content is, so that’s where you want to direct people! In my opinion, I think the two best things to first focus on are creating a blog and IG. I would say to set these up first and you can add the other platforms as you see fit. Although, as a side note, I recently found out that Pinterest is actually a great way to drive traffic to your blog. If you think about it, photos are constantly being re-pinned so even something that you posted a year ago is still being circulated. But, let’s go ahead and focus on IG and a blog because these are primary platforms.
Aside from how you are going to share your content, you have to figure out what your content is going to be! In order to decide this, think about what you’re good at, what you have a passion for, what people compliment you on. This will help you narrow down what to share. On that note, you’ve probably noticed some pages are strictly one thing, while others incorporate more of a variety. For example, some IG accounts and blogs are strictly fitness, food/recipes, home decor, fashion, etc. Then others are more lifestyle based. Doing either is fine. If focusing solely on one topic is what you feel suits you then do that! If you feel like a more lifestyle based account that incorporates a general theme works for you, then do it. For me (let’s talk about my IG for a second), my IG was strictly fitness related at first. I only shared about things like my workouts, workout apparel, foods I was eating/making, etc. This past March though, I realized that not only did I like sharing more of my overall (non-fitness related) life, but that people also liked when I shared it. Times when I posted a cute outfit, being on vacation, something with Stephen, etc. people responded positively and my page started to feel like more “me.” So, I stuck with it. I’m still trying to figure out to a certain degree what my niche is, but I feel like I’m getting there. Just know that things will always be changing and evolving to a certain degree and that’s normal. But overall, you need to nail down a certain theme so to speak; you need some direction!
Once you’ve decided on what the basis of your content will be, it’s helpful to choose an overall aesthetic so things look cohesive. Remember, you are branding yourself. You want to have a certain look and feel to your platforms. This took me a while to get on board with. Not because I didn’t want to, but like I said, I started my IG and blog just for fun, so I wasn’t as concerned with the cohesiveness and aesthetics of it. Now, when I say this, I’m not talking about a “perfect” feed. But in terms of your IG photos, you want to use the same filter, or narrow it down to a couple filters. I know some people like to have a very specific look to their feed (ie. all grey tones, pastels, etc). For me, I don’t like eliminating any colors. My overall feed is a similar tone because of the filters I use, but I’m not limiting myself to what I can and can’t take photos of (if that makes sense). In terms of your blog aesthetic, it may or may not match your IG. Meaning, for people who have a very specific IG feed, I think it’s easier for them to match their blog to that. For me though, I had to kind of think what overall feel I wanted for my blog. In order to do this, I looked at a lot of other bloggers pages, and started to identify what I liked and didn’t like. After doing this, I knew I wanted more of a clean and simple look, with minimal color; I also got ideas of what kind of layouts I liked. I then went through all the (wordpress) templates and found one with the features I had identified liking.
Once your platforms are set up, my advice would be, don’t overthink things…don’t try to make your feed “perfect”…just start! I look back at my photos and blog posts when I first started and I kind of cringe lol. But! All those photos helped get me to where I am today. Everyone has to start somewhere, and you can’t get caught up in comparing yourself to people who have been blogging for years. So, be deliberate in what you post (don’t just post to post), but also, don’t get overly stressed in the beginning if your blog or feed isn’t what you exactly envisioned. It will get there with time and practice, and will always be a work in progress to a certain extent.
My one last piece(s) of advice for getting started is consistency and engaging. You have to be consistent in creating content. Regarding IG, in my opinion, you need to post every day. If you post sporadically and don’t continually provide content, it doesn’t encourage people to seek out your page and people wont be able to engage with you as much. Again, don’t post just to post. But you need to be consistent. It helps give people a reason to keep coming to your page. As far as blogs go, I know some bloggers post every day or so, while others allow for several days in between (~1-2 posts a week). Aside from this, it is also important for you to engage with likeminded people and similar accounts. Find accounts that you enjoy and want to follow, and start liking their photos and commenting on their pictures. Being active with other accounts will help you start to be a part of that community. Also, this is probably obvious, but it’s important to comment in addition to liking others photos. People get way more likes on their photos than they do comments, so comments standout more. If I see the same person comments fairly regularly on my photos, I’m more likely to go look at their page, versus if someone likes each photo but doesn’t comment..I’ll probably never end up seeing their account! Hope that makes sense!?
Okay, I think that about covers the main points for getting started. Anything else you guys can think of? Did I leave anything out? Was this helpful? (So many questions LOL). Let me know! And anything that I didn’t cover, I’m happy to answer below in the comments, and/or address in a separate post. Speaking of, what do you guys want to hear about next on this blogging series? 🙂