You have your blog up, your posts outlined and written, and visual branding all intact… but now what? Are you wondering how to grow your blog audience and get people’s eyes on those genius posts you’ve put together and blog you spent hours and hours perfecting? Well, look no further – I’m going to share my tips and tricks that have worked to expand my own audience and grow my blog.
One of the best and most effective ways to attract a like-minded audience to your blog is to utilize social media to its fullest potential. In this new world of business, social media is absolutely the best channel to use to grow your blog and business. The best part about using social media is that it doesn’t cost you a monetary investment but some time, patience, and a bit of creativity.
In this 1st post of this 3 part series about how to grow your blog audience, I will be covering how to utilize Instagram to get more eyes on your posts, build your blog traffic, and attract that highly-sought after ideal audience that we are all on a journey to find later in the series, I will be sharing my insights on Pinterest and guest blogging to grow your audience as well, so stay tuned!
How to Grow Your Blog Audience: Using Instagram
If you want to learn how to grow your blog audience, first, let’s start thinking about building your overall Instagram presence that welcomes and invites your new followers. Instagram is one of my favorite tools to connect with my audience and can be your blog’s new BFF. The entire concept of sharing quick snapshots allows you to connect with your audience daily while keeping you constantly relevant in their minds and Instagram feeds.
You do need quality content to bring those followers in first and foremost. That doesn’t always mean perfectly styled photos or insanely wise and witty captions. Focus on giving your followers a reason to follow you. Think about the reasons you follow some of your favorite accounts. It’s because they offer you some type of value. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and create content around ways they need value. Create content that gives them what they want and need.
Providing Value for your Audience
Here are the 3 most common ways you can provide value through your Instagram content to help grow your blog audience. These are general ways that you can apply to almost any genre.
- Education: This is where you are teaching your audience something about your zone of genius. It can be your unique take on business, social media, DIY, style, life, travel, etc.
- Inspiration: This can be visual inspiration or you can provide inspiration via your caption in written form. Creative and visual accounts offer this through their unique visual take on the way they see the world around them.
- Entertainment:This is can in form of stories, comedy, or music. This is any way you provide entertainment to your audience through your content. Some of the best accounts are simply ones that make me laugh. I personally look forward to those everyday.
Keep these 3 ways in mind when you create your content so you can stay focused and intentional on growing your blog audience. You don’t have to only focus on one way to provide value to your audience. You may have content that overlaps into either 2 or all of these ways I’ve listed above.
Lead with the value that you can provide your audience and you’ll be on track to attracting your own Insta tribe before you know it. Be patient as things will probably not happen overnight. Each intentional post will bring you closer and closer to having a quality audience who cares about what you have to say.
Staying Consistent to Build Your Audience
My strongest piece of advice when building an audience on Instagram in order to grow your blog is to stay consistent. Post regularly. It’s not about quality over quantity – it is about cultivating both of these into your content. Don’t be afraid to mess up or to be too imperfect, Instagram moves so fast so you’re allowed to experiment. Experiment and do it constantly because you won’t know if something works or doesn’t if you don’t try it.
Many people get stuck on how exactly they are supposed to create a visually consistent feed. It’s not as hard as you think it is. You can create consistency visually by coming up with your own unique editing style that will keep your feed consistent. You can use the same editing routine for each of your photos so you don’t have to worry too much about something not fitting in your feed.
Take photos of whatever of you like and if you stick with the same editing routine, filters, etc you will be on the right track to everything looking consistent. Don’t let this deter you from posting on a consistent basis.
Another way to build consistency through your Instagram feed is through your voice. Decide and brainstorm how you want your followers to feel from your photos and reading your captions. Do you want to inspire them, brighten their day, provoke real, deep, authentic conversation? Try to think about this and use this as your backbone to every post.
Also posting at consistent times or a number of times you post per week, day, etc will help cultivate and grow your blog audience even more. Your followers may be looking forward to your posts daily or weekly so be sure to give them that brilliant content to get excited about.
Choosing a strategic time to share and promote your blog post
Once you’re on your way to gaining some momentum then you can really focus on utilizing social media to promote your blog posts and grow your blog audience. You can get your followers to click the link in your bio by following a couple useful tips I’ll share with you. You can always add your own spin on things and see how your audience responds.
First, always remember to share your post on Instagram after you hit publish on your blog. This seems obvious, but sometimes we can get so caught up in the actual post that we forget to even share it on social media.
Choosing a time is a strategic operation. Every audience is different so I can’t exactly share what times will work best for you. You can experiment with different times and see which ones are the most effective for you and your audience.
Also, Instagram stats are amazing for giving you valuable information that will help you know what times you can get the best engagement. Turn your Instagram account into a business account so you have access to all of this data. You can see your top posts, the times and days where your followers are most active.
You have to note that there may be unpredictable circumstances with posting at the exact perfect time, so don’t get too caught up in this. Keep a general idea by using your stats and you’ll be good to go on optimizing your posts to their fullest potential.
How to get your followers to click back to your blog
Now that you are truly on your way to strategically growing your blog audience, I’m going to share how you can intentionally share your posts. The most important part of crafting these purposeful posts is to intrigue your followers enough to click on your link in your bio to read your full blog post. This is half clear planning and half creativity.
First, you want to give your followers a major reason to click the link in your bio. Keep in mind that this takes effort to stand out enough to make your reader completely get out of the Instagram app and head over to your blog. This isn’t always an easy task so you really have to make it worth their time and effort. You want to provide so much intrigue that their effort is well worth it after they head to your blog.
The most important thing to do is to not share all of the information on Instagram. This means don’t share all the photos in your blog post in your Instagram post. Also, don’t give a complete summary of your blog post either. This spoils the surprise of actually reading your blog post in its natural form.
Think of sharing these Instagram posts as a sneak peek into the juiciness that your blog holds. You can see this with a lot of bloggers that have massive audiences because they know the power of just giving a bite-size piece in order to get their audience on the blog.
Try to recall a time where you went through all the effort to click someone’s link in their bio then think back to what made you do that. I always observe myself when I have those moments where I think to myself “I HAVE to read this now!”. If you think about this in reverse terms you can really understand how to craft these posts to get your followers to do the same. This need to read more is what will really help grow your blog audience.
Facilitate conversation through your Instagram captions
Instagram is also a great place for conversation. Most times people don’t really want to comment on blogs anymore. This isn’t always the case, but I find that people like to engage more in the Instagram comments than on actual blogs.
Because of this, you can truly make Instagram a tool for conversation about your blog post. Be sure to open up and facilitate a conversation about your post topic. This can be in the form of a question that you put at the end of your post or you can literally say “I’d love to hear your thoughts” in the Instagram post caption itself.
By creating conversation and engagement on your Instagram post, you increase your odds of getting more eyes on your IG post. The new Instagram algorithm shows your followers content that you’ve engaged with frequently or that is overall getting great engagement in general. Comments are an important part of this algorithm puzzle.
Not only does this help your posts get seen, it also helps provide authentic connection with your followers. It’s a win-win for everyone. Your audience will feel valued when you engage with them. They will feel part of the conversation if you show up for them in the comments on your Instagram posts. Unless, you are Beyonce, then I highly, highly encourage you to strive to respond to every comment and question that you can.
Using Instagram’s new features to grow your blog
Instagram is always changing which is exciting and can completely be used to your advantage. The new stories feature that was launched this past year invites your audience inside your unfiltered world. We now have an opportunity to provide our audience with a more raw, authentic connection as well as having the curated and more filtered content in our feeds.
The best part about the new story feature is that is disappears in 24 hours so there’s not a lot of pressure to be perfect or put-together. We can get messy, authentic, and extra creative. You can provide your audience with mini-lessons, snapshots into your daily life, or anything else you can dream up.
Image Via TechCrunch
Don’t let the ever-changing Instagram features scare you. Always keep in mind how you can use a new feature to your advantage. I know this will constantly keep you on your toes but that is the thrilling thing about creativity and social media.
Using a call-to-action in your profile
Putting your link in your bio is the most important part of this whole formula to grow your blog. Instead of simply slapping it in your profile, you use a helpful technique that can entice your audience to click. You can do that by adding a call to action in your profile above your link. This will help capture people who stumble upon your profile as well as your existing audience.
I do not recommend using link shorteners here without an explanation to where the link goes. For example, if you have your regular bio (with no call-to-action) and you add your link as bit.ly/yourlink then it’s a mystery where the link goes. Is it spam? Is it something we even want to click on? Make sure you are clear where the link goes in your profile and not just your Instagram caption.
As of right now, Instagram only allows 1 active link in your bio which is actually a great thing. It allows you and your audience to focus on one thing instead of clicking links everywhere. Make sure you stay focused to guide your followers strategically back to your site with intention.
Be sure to make it worth their time. Using something as dramatic click-bait and then not having something of value to add at the end of link will not build trust with your audience. Constantly keep in mind that clicking out of Instagram is a big task so make it truly worth it.
Instagram has been of the biggest game-changers for my business and blog. I know with patience, consistency, and value-packed content you can utilize this amazing social media platform to grow your blog and get you to next level.