Instagram is a social network and free app that lets users capture and share photos and videos, and an expert shares How to Master Instagram as a Travel Blogger.
- 1 WHY INSTAGRAM MATTERS
- 2 HOW TO MASTER INSTAGRAM AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER
WHY INSTAGRAM MATTERS
Within the travel blogging community, there have always been mixed feelings about Instagram and how much of your precious time should be spent on a platform that can often be more confusing than trying to figure out what to have for dinner. However, Instagram is becoming a more important tool and in some cases, the main platform for many travel bloggers.
As one of those travel bloggers who has become rather fond of Instagram as the @wanderingdonut I am here to help lift your Instagram game.
With a constantly growing and loyal following of over 27,000. I know a thing or two about conquering Instagram, well, at least trying to (and that’s all that matters)
To some, the number may seem big and to others, small, but this takes me to my first tip.
HOW TO MASTER INSTAGRAM AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS
Numbers can play a very important role in your success on any social media platform, but if you begin to focus and rely too heavily on those numbers, you end up doing more damage than good.
The best way to avoid getting lost in those numbers is to remind yourself that all of your followers, likes, comments and every one of your messages comes from a real person and even more importantly, you need to be treating them like real people too.
A huge factor to my success, with comments, have come from treating my followers and fellow Instagrammers as friends and family. The craziest thing about this is that the more people I connect with online, the more friends/family I am lucky enough to connect with the real world.
Instagram provides an incredible amount of opportunities for its influencers and creatives, but as cheesy as it is, the gift of friendship is my favourite. However, as you surround yourself with more people on Instagram, as difficult as it may be, I need you to remember.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER ACCOUNTS
It’s important to have accounts that inspire you, however, be wary of crossing the line from inspiration to envy. Although it can be hard, I’ve learnt to focus on my own growth rather than others. Sure, I still feel lost sometimes on such a large platform surrounded by major influencers but one thing I heard when I first started out that has stuck with me ever since is: Imagine all your followers in one room.
You see, even at a couple of hundred that is pretty amazing. You are amazing.
In saying that, your content should be amazing too which has become more than taking beautiful photos (I’ll get to that soon) and a heavy focus on the magic you make with it.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EDITING ON INSTAGRAM
MAKE EDITING YOUR BEST FRIEND
Every person finds their own editing style on a wide range of apps/programs. I personally fell in love with Lightroom and admittedly became a little too addicted..whoops. In saying that I am very thankful that I did because my Insta skyrocketed once I did and you can do the same.
I won’t go into too much detail with the ins and outs of Lightroom, but I do want to say that finding your own editing style can make or break your content which is the same for any blog.
Whether you’re like me and love aggressively vibrant colours or maybe, connect with a dreamy pastel tone, then this is where the editing process makes the magic happens.
A few of the most popular and recommended editing apps/programs include:
Editor note – we strongly suggest that you purchase Lightroom, at the very least from Adobe.
However, Creative Cloud gives you so much more
Creative Cloud Apps include:
• Adobe Acrobat® XI Pro, Adobe After Effects® CC, Adobe Audition® CC, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition, Adobe Dreamweaver® CC, Adobe Edge Animate, Adobe Edge Code preview, Adobe Edge Inspect, Adobe Edge Reflow preview, Adobe Edge Web Fonts, Adobe Extension Manager, ExtendScript Toolkit, Adobe Fireworks® CS6, Adobe Flash® Builder® 4.7 Premium Edition, Adobe Flash Professional CC, Adobe Illustrator® CC, Adobe InDesign® CC, Adobe Muse CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5, Adobe Prelude® CC, Adobe Premiere® Pro CC, Adobe Scout, Adobe SpeedGrade® CC
It is also very useful for your WordPress photographs, and more.
Now you’ve got this wonderfully edited photo, but without a wonderful caption to match, you’ll end up getting a little lost in the mysterious algorithm feed.
Similarly, to editing styles, everyone has their own style of captions. As a blogger, you have probably found your writing style which makes captions a little easier but in saying that you need to remember that this is not a blog post.
You see, for me, I like to set it up into three paragraphs each divided by a row of symbols to ensure it doesn’t become one big blob that no one has the time or patience to read:
1. A quick clever, often hilarious (in my opinion) sentence or quote to match the image. This grabs people’s attention straight away and just like a blurb on a good book, draws them in to read more.
2. A brief story, usually taking my audience behind the scenes of the photo. It is also the perfect opportunity for you to link it up with one of your blog posts. This allows you to bring your personality to the fore, and most importantly gives people a reason to connect with you as a person.
3. Ask a question on your Instagram photo or video.
This has been a major help in growing my engagement on Instagram because it gives people a reason and something more to comment about than “nice photo” or even worse the dreaded single emoji spam. Utilise this as a tool to find out what your audience like or maybe don’t like to assist you in producing the best content you can.
Do not feel the need to fill this out as though it is a form every time you write a caption, not even I follow this religiously! Instead, adapt and trial what works best for you which is pretty much what Instagram is all about especially when it comes to…
HOW TO USE POPULAR HASHTAGS ON INSTAGRAM #HASHTAGS
There has been a lot of controversy and questions about hashtags, but they do deserve a lot more than people give them credit for. For me, hashtags started out as a way to try to get features on feature accounts which for some lucky people is the single biggest factor in their accounts growth. However, I am not one of those people as my personal style was a little different to the typical feature accounts and may not work for you either. However, the more time I spend researching new hashtags and how they work, the more I realised they are just as good as helpful on there own without gaining a feature.
You may already know this, but once you use a hashtag on an image, your photo shows up on that particular hashtags feed. If you choose them correctly based on your engagement compared to the hashtags engagement, you may just make it into the top 9 on that feed allowing your image to be visible for approximately 24 hours rather than slowly getting lost further down the feed.
There are still people that believe they are a waste of time, but I have proof that it has been one of the biggest factors in the growth of my Insta family. I get daily comments on my photos saying, “I am so happy I found you from #thishashtag” or “Just saw your photo on #thathashtag and it is amazing”.
The thing is a lot of hashtags are a community within themselves allowing you to strategically target a wider range of people that you already know share a common interest. Did you also know that hashtags also work with instastories?
FIGURE OUT HOW TO USE INSTASTORIES
This is becoming one of the fastest growing parts of the entire platform. In fact, influencers and bloggers are not only getting paid for post content but also story content! Crazy right!? It is because stories are getting just as much, if not even more engagement than regular posts.
You may not want to be one of those people that shares every intimate detail of their life across stories or go live once a day, but it is a very important tool that you should make the most of.
It is one that took me a while to figure out but after slowly finding my style and voice it has allowed me to connect better than ever with my following and once again, grow my following!
I started off using stories just to let people know I have a new post and once they introduced the feature to add swipe up links to websites (available for business profile user with over 10k), it became an even better way to share blog content too rather than the classic ‘link in bio.’ However, after speaking to fellow influencers and even a few brands, I learned that stories can and should be used for so much more.
The reason for both is because it once again allows you to be seen as a real person (not a robot!) with a real life and personality which is what people want to follow and what brands want to hire.
I had been on Instagram for over a year and realised my followers had never heard me speak and a huge part of being an influencer is having a voice!
The possibilities are really endless it is just up to you to decide what you want to do with it.
I could ramble on for days, but I don’t want to bombard you with too much information and end up scaring you off.
So, whether you become a little Insta-obsessed like me or would prefer to stick to primarily to blogging, mastering Instagram remains one of the best things to do for yourself, your brand and your business.
If you ever get start feeling a little lost, scared and/or confused on the very overwhelming but even more so rewarding platform that is Instagram, you know where to find me!
Make sure to find out more about Wandering Donut on her brand page.
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