Is it possible to ‘blog’ on Instagram? Can you make money through instagram blogging?
If you have been curious about starting an online blog but don’t want to write long blog posts, then Instagram blogging might be perfect for you!
A few years ago the idea of blogging without an actual blog would have been absurd. But nowadays thousands of Instagram bloggers have redefined the concept and created a unique, and effective way to create a highly engaged online community!
In this article, I’ll give you all the steps and tricks to become a succesfull instagram blogger? Let’s get started!
What is Blogging on Instagram?
Before understand how blogging on Instagram works let’s take a quick step back and explore what a blog is…
Also known as a weblog, a blog is an online journal or informational website displaying information in the reverse chronological consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries.
In this sense, ‘blogging‘ on Instagram is not too different. Instagram ‘bloggers’ also share informal entries (posts) that are displayed in reverse chronological order.
The difference is that the content is not hosted on a personal website, but on Instagram’s platform and images are the protagonists.
To be more precise, Insta-blogging falls within the lines of what is known as ‘micro-blogging’.
As the name suggests, micro-blogging is the practice of creating short-form blog posts in platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
In today’s world where the average attention span is 8 seconds, this is a convenient way to deliver direct, condensed, ready-for-consumption content.
Pairing a brief, information-rich story with engaging visual increases your chances of achieving the desired scroll-stopper.
While a lot of people consider the Insta-blogging is ‘not a thing’ for technical differences, in practice, it is very insta-bloggers (or ‘micro-bloggers for the purists) can be very similar in terms of authority, community and monetization.
What are the benefits of blogging on Instagram?
Before going over the tips and tricks of Instagram Bloggers, let’s go over some of the advantages
1. Free and easier set-up
While a regular blog with your own domain won’t cost you more than $3 a month with Bluehost, it can still represent an obstacle for some people. On the other hand, an Instagram business account is completely free (at the moment).
Setting up a blog with WordPress will also require some very basic setting-up to but again, it can be intimidating for non-techy people. On the contrary, Instagram is a mainstream platform everyone is familiarized with.
2. Faster content creation
Perhaps the most obvious difference between Instagram content and regular blog posts is the lenght and depth.
While there are some exceptions of people posting really long captions, most content creators post pictures with a caption of 200-300 words on average.
This is an advantage and can attract a big crowd who don’t consider themselves writers but are happy with sharing their thought this way.
While you can come up with an Instagram post and caption in minutes, some blog posts sometimes require more research and hours— if not days— of writing.
3. Massive audience
With over 1 billion monthly active users and an average time spent of 53 minutes, Instagram has a huge audience hungry for valuable content.
On a traditional blog like this one, there are several strategies you need to implement to drive traffic TO the blog.
With Insta-blogging on the contrary, people are already spending an important part of their lives on the platform. If you can understand what your audience is looking for and deliver it, you can turn a part of that audience into your loyal followers.
What are the drawbacks of blogging on Instagram?
In the same way as Instagram offers a unique set of benefits, it also has some drawback worth considering.
1. You do not own your audience
When building a business, your audience is your most valuable asset since they are the ones who will allow you to monetize it.
The same goes for Instagram, when you first start you have zero followers and your goals if to grow your brand and audience by increase that number continuously.
But even when you think of your followers as your audience, the truth is they are Instagram’s audience. They own the platform and can change the rules at any moment.
Not to say it is likely to happen but there are unusual cases where users have had their accounts closed without notice and have gone back to square one overnight.
One of the ways of dealing with this disadvantage is to start building your emails since the beginning. I will explain why is so important and how to do it further on the article.
2. Content ‘dies’ fast
Due to the ‘instant’ nature of social media, content has a very short life-span, especially when compared to other types of content.
While a blog post or youtube videos take a lot longer to rank and get views, once it does it can continue to bring in visitors (and money) for years.
On the contrary, a study from Simply Measured found that, on average, Instagram posts by top brands receive 50% of their comments within the first six hours and 75% within 48 hours. After that, you can kiss your post engagement goodbye.
This means you need to be uploading content constantly, once a die minimum. Instagram’s algorithm favors accounts with high publishing frequency so if you slow down your posting your posts will stop showing on people’s feeds.
3. Niche-specific challenges
Depending on your niche and branding your content will be easier or harder to create.
If you are in the travel niche, you’ll need to be creating and curating pictures in new places and circunstances while if you are in the fitness niche it might be easier to post your daily workouts or meals.
In the same way, consider that Instagram doesn’t work for every niche, while it has a very wide demographic it works better for content with visually appealing content such as beauty, fashion, traveling. etc.
Not to say your shouldn’t choose Instagram blogging for other niches but make sure to have a strategy for your content before diving in.
Blogging on Instagram 6 Steps
Are you ready to start your Instagram blogging journey? Let’s get started!
1. Choose your niche
If you have already done this, feel free to skip to the next step. If you haven’t, stick with me.
As mentioned above, some niches are more appealing to the target demographic and are also easier to monetize.
The travel industry is one of the world’s largest, and it’s predicted to reach almost $818B by 2020.
Even more importantly, According to a recent survey from Adweek, 60% of travelers (and 97% of Millennial travelers) share their travel photos on social media and 87% use it for travel inspiration.
This means travellers are constantly consuming travel content that inspires them and helps them plan their next trip.
While it is very competitive, it is a niche where your personality can shine through and you can differentiate yourself by finding a unique angle or way in or twist to your posts.
Besides the beautiful scenic photos, people love seeing the not so glamourous ‘behind the scenes’ and challenges that come with full or part-time travel.
Travel Insta-bloggers monetize their audience by selling their own products like travel guides or partnering with hotels, airlines or tour agencies.
Social media has really marked a before and after in the beauty industry.
While before social media, teens and young adults would learn about beauty from magazines and family, nowadays most teenagers have better makeup skills than the older generation thanks to the millions of tutorials available.
If you are into makeup, hairstyles or skincare, this is a huge niche to get into.
As with any profitable niche, there is a lot of competition but counts like nikkietutorials are an example of how creativity can be a huge differential in this niche.
Besides the regular trendy makeup tutorials, she has earned her following by doing more artistic and unusual challenges like using weird materials or tools to do her makeup.
Bloggers in this niche tend to make their revenue by partnering with beauty brands or the most popular ones have even launched their own line of cosmetics.
Is worth mentioning that some of them also have Youtube channel which allows them to monetize their traffic via ads.
Similar to the way it works with the beauty niche, people use Instagram to discover new products, follow fashion trends, and boost fashion inspiration.
As someone with an interest in fashion, I have seen the most popular fashion bloggers grow from literally a dozen of followers to the celebrity-status they hold today.
Most fashion bloggers make their income by partnering with brands and designers while the most popular tend to launch their own clothing or accessories line.
1.4 Health and Fitness
The fitness industry is booming: its total revenue achieved $94B in 2018.
People are concerned about their health and are always looking for ways to look (and feel) better.
When it comes to fitness, users use Instagram to get ideas. for their workouts, meals and motivation to keep them going.
If you can proide value and offer them what they are looking for, they’ll become loyal followers.
Fitness bloggers Whitney Simmons with more than 3M followers has now launched her own training app and when she made a collaboration for the sports brand Gymshark, the pieces sold out in hours.
If you rather keep your niche broad to all your interest and don’t wanna pigeonhole yourself, then you can always go for lifestyle blogging. After all, people are interested in others’ lives, and that what social media is all about.
Eventually, you’ll end up defining yourself by the most relevant aspect you decide to share but it gives you more room to explore at the beginning.
As a lifestyle or personal blogger, people will follow you because they really resonate with you and find your posts add value to their life in some way.
This type of page gives you the opportunity to partner and promote all sort of products as long as they fit somehow with your life and the values you talk about.
According to Business Instagram, 68% of Millennial moms use Instagram daily, the average mom checks Instagram six times every day, and 78% of moms take action after seeing inspiring content on Instagram.
Moreover, dads are also active on the platform: almost half of the dads on the platform follow businesses and 69% take action from the content they see.
Social media is a chance for parents to stay connected and gain a sense of belonging and community while dealing with their often busy lives.
Simply sharing your own joy, victories, and challenges can provide value to your followers. They will then be happy and willing to listen to your advice and check out any product you choose to promote.
1.7 Business / Motivational
You can make more money by teaching people how to trade stocks than by trading stocks yourself.
I am paraphrasing but that illustrates why one of the most profitable niches out there is the money-making/ business / entrepreneurs / motivational niche.
Thanks to the Internet, the barriers to start a business are a lot lower and chance of promise of being your own boss and achieving financial independent has gotten a lot more real for the average person.
In this context, people are looking for business tips, tricks, hacks, and how-tos; they also follow successful entrepreneurs and businessmen to draw inspiration from them.
If you are someone who has experience in this and can share valuable tips and tricks on how to make money, people will be happy to consume your content and whatever paid offers you can create.
People in this niche often monetize their audience by selling their own courses, books or events (online or offline).
Other profitable niches worth exploring are photography, food, and animals/ pets.
While these are the biggest and traditionally profitable niches, you can make money in any other category if you can bring value to your followers and offer them products and services that make their life better.
2. Instagram Business Account for Blogging
In case you didn’t know, Instagram offers two types of accounts.
- Personal accounts which are for individuals
- And business accounts which are for companies/entrepreneurs and offer a better marketing experience when delivering your message, building your following and engagement.
2.1 Switching to an Instagram Account for Blogging
I will go ahead and assume you already now how to create an Instagram regular (personal account) so from there, switching to a business account is quite simple.
Note: before doing this step you should have a Face Page created under your Facebook profile.
Whne you are ready go to your Instagram person account go to your profile page and click on the Settings icon (a gear symbol).
Scroll down and look for the ‘Switch to Business Profile link. (Make sure that you haven’t set your account as a Private Account.)
It will then ask you for your Facebook log in and a Facebook Page to connect to. You will need to be an administrator of the Facebook page.
Instagram will then ask you for your business contact details. Remember to write these as you would want your customers to see them. This includes your business email address, phone number, and address. You do not need to add all of them. I’d stick to an email to begin with.
Once you have done the above steps, you will officially have an Instagram Business Profile.
2.2 Benefits of a Business Account for Blogging
Here are some of the main benefits of switching to a business account for your Insta-blogging:
- Access to Instagram Insights
When you use a business account, you get access to Instagram’s analytics platform called ‘Instaqgram Insights” which give your essential infromation about your account and posts performance.
By observing the data provided, you can quickly understand whihc type of content works and which one doesnt for your audicne.
It gives you demographic information about your followers (their gender, ages, locations, and when they are most active) to help understand who you are talking to and when is the best time to post.
It shows you your accounts’ performance over the last week – followers, posts, impressions, engagement reach, profile views, clicks, etc.
- Contact Button
Another useful feature of Business Accounts is being able to add a Contact button to your profile. This way, you can redirect them to sending you an email, calling you or finding you on a map with one click.
- Show Your Industry on Your Profile
When you switched to a business profile, you were asked to connect your Instagram account to a Facebook Page.
Assuming you had alredy created your Facebook page, it must have asked to select the industry in which your business operates.
When you then connect your Instagram Business Profile to your Facebook page, that information is shared with your Instagram profile.
You can later choose to modify it directly on Instagram.
- Clickable and Swipe Up Links
One of the obstacles on Instagram posts from a marketing perspective is that they don’t allow for clickable links.
However when you switch to a business account you can have one clickable link in your bio. Most brands and bloggers change this link to whatever they are promoting and say in their caption to check the ‘link in bio’.
You can also use Instagram Stories to add a swipe up option and redirect users to a website.
However. You need to have a business profile with 10,000 followers before Instagram gives you access to this feature.
- Advertising Platform
Finally, if you wish to promote your business through paid ads, you’ll have the option to do it with your business account.
For this feature, Facebook and Instagram are connected. You will need to build your ads on Facebook Ads Manager and choose if you want your ad to be shown on Instagram or on Facebook as well.
- Helps with partnerships
Besides the benefits of a business account help with your growth and engagement, it also helps you collect and provide accurate information for brands who inquire about working with you.
Being able to share your statatistics as well as your followers demographic can help a company determine if you are a good fit to work together.
3. Optimize your Instagram profile for profits
After you have set up your Instagram account for business, you want to make sure to optimize your profile to start growing your business..
The goal is to ensure that every (or most) user that land on your page decides to follow you.
When someone comes to your profile they will look at a few key things before they decide whether or not they want to follow you.
What they will first see is your profile photo and bio, if they wish to see more they will need to scroll down a bit. but basically You have only your picture and to cause a good impression.
Here are some tips to consider:
- Be precise and direct with your bio. Make sure that people understand in the first line what is your page about but don’t forget to show a bit of your personality.
- Mention what you can do for THEM. While it is ok to mention your achievements or carreer title (if relevant). I’d focus on your audience and why they should follow you. The example above does an ok job with the “Helped 1000s make their first dollar online’ but I’d put that just below the first line.
- Make use of your bio link. This is what you’ll use to redirect users to future offers or products you want to promote but it is also your ticket to start building your email list from the beginning.
- The best way to do this is like the example above. She has created a free guide that users can get by clicking on the link in her bio. When they do, they are redirected to a simple landing page where they collect your info and send you the pdf.
- You can do this easily with an email software like GetResponse and you can start promoting offers to your list without depending on IG’s algorithm. On average every email subscription makes marketers $1-$3/month so don’t procrastinate on this step!
- Take a final look at your profile from your phone and put yourself in the user’s perspective. If it was you landing on your Instagram blog, would you want to commit to having this person in your timeline just by looking at your bio and profile image?
- If there comes a time when you have more than one thing to promote in your link in bio you can use linktree to display all your links in an easy way.
4. Start insta-blogging!
Here is the fun part! Time to start sharing your thoughts, experiences, and build your community.
As an insta-blogger you must already have some ideas on what type of posts you want to create but here are some general tips to make sure your content is loved by Instagram.
4.1 Define your audience
Defining your audience or ‘avatar’ as marketers like to call is the first step to know what to post. An avatar is basically a description of your ideal reader or target audience. Your content should be geared toward them and their specific interests and needs.
This will help you come up with posts ideas on the content they enjoy and that can help with their problems. Every post you publish needs to be for your ideal reader or it will be a waste of time.
You can also follow the biggest accounts in your niche and model (NOT copy) and adapting their strategy to your own business.
Of course, part of your posts (about 1 out of every 5) should be about the products or services you are promoting. Do not be afraid of losing your audience by selling.
If you do a good job of building a relationship with them and providing them value, they should also be ok (and interested) with seeing your offers.
4.2 Write Engaging Captions
Your captions will be the copy for your photos. While Instagram is a visual platform, your caption can really make a difference between and overlooked post and a viral one.
An image might be worth 1,000 words but if you don’t choose those words every user will interpret a different thing.
Your captions will be ones telling the story behind the picture. They will help your audience to understand why they should care about the 20th sunset post they have seen that day.
It should also invite your reader to take an action and to not simply continue scrolling.
Whether it is to like and share your post, to answer a question, or to click the link in your bio, a captivating caption has the power to move your audience to take the action you want them to.
Finally, do not forget to lead with the most important or engaging information. While Instagram allows for 2,200 characters per caption, the first sentence will make the audience decide if they want to read the rest.
4.3 Encourage interaction
There is away higher chance of users engaging with your posts if you ask them to. Make sure to Ask questions in your captions as aoften as possible and of course reply to the comments.
Insta’s algorithm loves posts with lots of comments and engagement so, in consequence, they are pushed to the top of the timelines and into the discover tab.
4.4 Share useful tips and tricks
While people like to see and read about your personal life (if that is your page’s focus) tips, tutorials and tricks are also a great way to provide value to your readers.
That type of content is also more commonly shared since users are excited to be the ones ‘telling’ their friends something they ‘discovered’ that can help them as well.
You can use a relevant image for the post or also make a few words in a picture that set up the tone for the copy.
4.5 Offer a look behind the scenes
People LOVE getting behind-the-scenes access! Your content doesn’t always need to be polished and perfect. Make your content not so polished and perfect once ina while and show them your spilled coffe, your unfolded laundry, or hyperactive puppy. They’ll love it!
Users are getting a bit tired of the heavily edited ‘perfect’ lives of bloggers so being honest about imperfections creates instant trust.
4.6 Post High-Quality Content
Besides the quality of your posts and captions, you want to make sure your images are also high resolution.
Instagram is a competitive platform and users are used to top-notch content. Posting a picture with bad resolution or bad lighting can really impact your users’ experience.
If you can not invest in photography equipment now, try to use a phone with a good camera, and once you are in a better position, invest in a camera that helps you take better photos.
5. Grow your Instagram Blog
Now that your blog is up an running you’ll need to apply some tips and trick to get some momentum and start growing your followers.
5.1 Create a posting schedule
You will need to post a lot and post consistently, to grow your page. Instagram loves content and it will reward your efforts by increasing your reach and exposure to new readers.
You can use a tool like Tailwind to schedule out your posts and make sure they publish at perfectly optimized times, even if you’re not around to do it.
5.2 Use the power of hashtags
Hashtags might be cringy and annoying but they’re also a great way to get your posts shown to people who aren’t following you yet!
On Instagrams, wsers have the chance to not only search but also follow specific hashtags so when they do, your posts will appear in the results exposing your brand to a really targeted audience.
To find out what hashtags to use, you can check what other accounts in your niche are doing or start typing related words in the search bar.
You also want to stay away from general hashtags such as “#love” or “#follow” since they don’t target any specific demographic and won’t drive relevant traffic to your page.
Besides doing it manually, the best way to find hashtags is to use a hashtag finder, which will do all the work for you, all show you which hashtags that will generate the most engagement!
There is a few hashtag finders out there, I personally recommend Tailwind’s since I have found it to offer great results and is the same tool I use to schedule my posts.
5.3 Use Stories and Lives features in your favor
Stories are the first thing users see when then open their IG app so you want to make sure to be there.
If you make a post always, always share it to your stories and invite people to read it. But also, stories are a chance for you to share more ‘relaxed’ not-so-polished content and give your that ‘behind-the-scenes’ into your daily life.
Instagram Live is another really great tool you can use to connect with your audience and keep them engaged. Instagram is also testing the idea of placing ads on lives and compensating creators Youtube-style.
Fianlly, don’t forget to organize your most popular stories by adding them to your highlights in your profile!
5.4 Run a contest to grow your Insta-blog
While you don’t’ want to turn into the ‘give-away’ page, an occasional, relevant and valuable giveaway can certainly drive a lot of engagement to your page.
Depending on your niche, you might don’t even need to offer a physical prize but it can be a coaching session, exclusive access to your paid content, a one-on-one session, etc.
You can create a few requirements for people to participate that involve sharing your content and posting their own. The goals is to drive engagement and new users to your page.
Among the rules, make sure to include a specific hashtag for the contest that they need to use so you can then go to all the posts and select the winner from among the contestants.
You can also collaborate with other bloggers in your niche to make both the audiences and the prizes bigger.
6. Monetize your Instagram Blog
Now to my favorite part and probably yours as well, making money while Insta-blogging.
Once you have your content and growing strategies in place, there are a few methods you can use to start making money:
6.1 Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is probably the easiest and quickest monetization method you can implement in your page.
If you are not familiar with Affiliate Marketing, it is pretty simple. It basically means you recommend a product and receive a commission for every sale that is made.
You have definitely seen this on Instagram when a blogger or influencer promotes a products and tells you to use a certain code or link to buy it.
When you join an affiliate program, the company will give you either a link or a code that they will use to track which sales came from your followers to credit you the commission.
The good thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to wait to have a huge following or for companies to contact you. You can apply to affiliate programs whenever you want and most will accept you even with a small page.
To find affiliate products to promote you can check out what other bloggers in your niches are promoting or also do a quick search on google for ‘niche + affiliate programs’.
6.2 Selling your own products
Creating and selling your won products is something that many bloggers postpone because they think you need to have a huge page to do it.
But the truth is, if you know your audience and can offer them a product that will help them, you don’t need to wait to create it.
Some of the most common products insta-bloggers sell are:
- Digital products like courses or tools (e.g. lots of travel or lifestyle bloggers sell their photo editing presets).
- Access to a membership or exclusive content (e.g. lots of fitness bloggers have private training groups and some even develop their own workout apps)
- Webinar or workshops, which are super common in the coaching / self-development niche.
- Merchandise with your own branding or related messages. You can do this easily through Print-on-demand sites like Teespring.
Partnerships or Sponsorship are most likely to happen once you have grown your oage to a significant following.
In this method, brands are usually the ones contacting you to offer you a deal for promoting their products or services.
At this point, it’ll be good that you have a few packages that you can offer them including a certain number of posts, stories, lives, emails, etc.
This way you make sure to upsell them into a bigger partnership and they can see that you know what you are doing.
Patreon is another way in which bloggers, specially in the creative niche, can get paid.
It is the modern version of renaissance patrons who used to sponsor artists so they could continue creating and devoting their time to their skills.
While it started as a platform for artists, it has now expanded to more niches but still, the idea is to give you Patrons exclusive content and to recognize their support by mentioning them in some of your content.
Want an in-depth course to succeed on Insta-blogging?
If you want someone to hold your hand while you grow your account into a profitable business, I can’t recommend Natalie Ellis’ a.k.a. Boss Babe Instagram Growth Accelerator.
Natalie grew her Instagram account to over 2 million followers and during this 12-week program, she teaches the same strategies she used so you can do the same.
Blogging on Instagram Takeaway
With its pros and cons, starting a blog on Instagram is a great way to get into content creation and find out if it is something you like to di.
Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media, so it is definitely a good time to get on it.
However, you will never own your audience or even your content so make sure to grow your email list from the beginning.
This way, you have much more control over your content, can sell your own products and grow your biz even more.