“Instagram is just one piece of the pie. Make sure that’s not the only slice you’re grabbing.” – Naty
Today’s topic is one that I have wanted to touch on for awhile now. Do me a favor. Take a step back and think about how much has changed on social media over these last few years. Facebook switched their algorithm so that in order for your posts to reach more people, you have to pay for ads. Instagram followed in these footsteps and changed up their feed to no longer show chronologically, resulting in super low engagement for most. There is also this new shadowban that they’ve created, which basically bans your photo from showing up in all those hashtags you added as a comment, making it even harder to gain more exposure and growth. Snapchat’s popularity has started to fade due to the introduction of Instagram Stories and IG Live. Vine no longer exists and platforms like MySpace are now just a distant memory. Guess what hasn’t changed? Guess what is still here? Your blog.
Social media is something that we have absolutely no control over. We don’t handle the algorithms. We don’t “own” those followers. We get no say when an app’s time is over. New platforms are constantly being introduced and most of us are ready and willing to jump on board and give “the next big thing” a shot. I include myself in this. I guess you could call it social media FOMO? Now I am not saying to forget about these platforms by any means. It is important to build an active and consistent online presence that goes beyond the blog. Any social media platform should be an extension of your site and another way for you to reach more people and connect. It’s also another amazing way to let people see more of your daily life. This is exactly why I love IG stories. BUT, it should not be the main thing that you focus on. Your blog is the only platform and space where you have 100% control. Whenever the time comes that some or all of these apps no longer exist, your blog will still be here going strong as long as you continue to work hard at it.
Instagram has basically taken over the social media world. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love it because it’s such a fun and exciting way to share constant moments with all of you. I’ve been on the app since 2011 before it blew up and I honestly can’t imagine not having it. I truly enjoy our conversations and connecting in a different way. I hate it because I struggle with engagement and growth. The algorithm change really did hit me hard and it pretty much seems impossible at times for me to reach a new audience. While it still is an amazing app for many reasons, the problem is that there are a lot of bloggers who solely focus on growing here that they neglect their blogs and even other social media platforms in the process. Trust me, I know how overwhelming it is to keep up with everything, but I think that if you are trying to build something strong as a blogger and you want to grow your brand/business, you can’t only work hard at Instagram and nothing else. There needs to be an overall balance on each platform with your blog being the front runner. If Instagram disappears within the next few years and you’ve left your blog in the dust, then what do you have?
I’ll be the first one to admit that I used to get CRAZY about keeping up with my Instagram feed so much to the point where I noticed I was focusing less on my blog. I was so anal to the point where I felt like I was restricting myself from sharing certain things just to keep up an aesthetically pleasing feed. There was a point where I had to be in every other photo, which meant posting fillers that literally no one cared about. So I started to pay attention to this. My followers on Instagram really don’t engage with my flat lays or food pics or anything along those lines. That doesn’t mean I will never post them again, but I’ve stopped posting them so much. I started posting more of me again too and while I still try to keep a certain flow to my feed, I am no longer so crazy about it. I’m just living. One of the things that I promised myself when I rebranded was to put my blog back as a priority and to get more creative with my content on here. I took an e-course that was basically a wake-up call for me and it opened my eyes in realizing why my blog has to always be my number one. I had to start focusing more on my readers here, which meant more conversation and engagement, paying more attention to their interests and making tweaks and upgrades to the site. This is why building a relationship with your readers is crucial.
Now here’s the thing. Don’t post on your blog just to post. This goes back to quality over quantity. You can read that post here. However, make sure that you are keeping a constant presence on the site that you created. If you are only posting 1-2 times a month, then you are not giving people much of a reason to constantly come back to your site. My personal opinion is that you should be posting every week. The number of times will depend on you as I think things work differently for everyone. I sometimes only post 3 times (like recently), but I do my best to always post at least 4 and that’s only if I have content I truly want to share. I usually post the least when I am traveling, so at times like this I make sure to keep an active presence on social media. Work on keeping your content fresh. Maybe it’s time to expand on other topics. Maybe it’s time for a redesign. Posting the same thing repeatedly definitely gets stale and can cause you to feel uninspired. Just like you put thought and creativity into what you’re posting on your Instagram feed, make sure to do that for the blog too. I tell you this from personal experience. When your thousands of IG
followers click on that link in your profile, you want them to find something of value. One of the goals with social media is to have it drive the people that follow you on those platforms TO your blog. So give them something that will make them want to come back for more! Loyal readers and supporters will frequently visit your site and it can be
discouraging when they see the same post from three weeks ago as the most recent.
Now let’s look at it from a business standpoint for a minute. When a brand reaches out to work with you, they will typically ask you to post on your blog along with your social media platforms. They are still going to ask about your monthly views because even though there are other important components, numbers still matter to a degree. Most brands want to see consistency and up-to-date content on your blog. You can be restricting yourself from opportunities if you are only posting to IG each week. Now let’s say that regardless of your sporadic blog posts they still want to partner with you. Your first post in a month is sponsored. Then you go silent again. Some time passes and you get another opportunity, so your next post is sponsored too. See where I’m going with this? I’ve seen this happen many times and it’s honestly hard to build on a relationship with your readers in this way. While taking on partnerships with brands is such a huge component to running a blog as a full-time business, you also want to ensure that you are creating the proper balance with content that is not sponsored too. This is why I want to do a write-up completely dedicated to this topic as I think it’s important to discuss.
I hope your take away from this is to remember why you created your blog in the first place. The key words are YOU CREATED it. It’s yours. You own it. You have the control on who sees what. There is no algorithm preventing your readers from seeing your posts. You get to decide when the time is up. Build on that. Don’t neglect it. Don’t get lost in gaining more popularity on Instagram or other social media platforms. To reiterate, growing a following on them is still important, but don’t let that be your only focus. Work to create a better overall balance so that you can keep up a consistent presence on all, but always make your blog your number one. I’m only sharing from personal experience as this is one of the lessons that I have learned. I really hope that you found this to be helpful or insightful in some way. Thanks so much for taking the time to read it! Let me know if there are any specific topics that you would like me to cover in this series. Happy weekend and happy blogging! 💛