I have an iPhone 8 plus. I know, I know…there are like 3 or 4 new iPhones that have come out in the last years, but I’m a creature of habit. There is a theory out there that when you have an older phone, glitches happen when you update because Apple is trying to *gasp* force you to upgrade your phone. I wrote that off as a tech conspiracy theory because my phone had always been fine. Well, I recently updated to the newest IOS, and my phone has gone berserk. The biggest problem: I CANNOT LOG ONTO INSTAGRAM! Seriously, I have to use the web browser now. Every time I try to use the app, it’s just a blank white screen, and then it crashes out. *I have restarted my phone, deleted and re-installed the app, and done every fix that Google recommends. Whether this can be attributed to a glitch after the update, I don’t know. I just know that Instagram, the cornerstone of my blog promotion and income, is not easily accessible to me at the moment.
So…this got to me to thinking: Instagram isn’t guaranteed to always be around, or the platform may lose relevancy in the coming years. Don’t even get me started on the constant complaining I hear from bloggers who are losing engagement due to the crappy algorithm, and their followers not being able to see their posts. It’s important to have a way to continue to grow your blog and maintain your audience without depending solely on Instagram and Facebook for promotion! Here are five things you can do to grow your brand and your blog when Instagram won’t let you be great!
Tighten Up Your Blog!
It always comes back to your blog. The incomparable Annie Spano, founder of Style Collective, told me a while back to focus more on my blog than Instagram, because the blog is what I personally own. She may not even remember telling me that, but it really made an imprint. The content that you post on Instagram and Facebook is not owned by you, and can be reproduced, copied, or removed without your consent. Every piece of content that you post to your blog (provided you are self-hosted), is owned by you and can be copyrighted and protected. Instagram and Facebook can shut down tomorrow, and if you have neglected your blog, it will seem as though you are starting from scratch. Yes, Instagram can be a source of good income with outfit screenshots, but don’t forget to post to your blog regularly. Those same Instagram #ootd shots can be posted on your blog as well!
If you have been neglecting your blog, it’s time to go in and clean it up! Make sure your affiliate links are updated with in stock product, and that you are posting on a regular schedule that your followers can get in tune to.
Diversify Your Apps
Instagram and Facebook are not the be-all-end-all. In fact, Pinterest drives more traffic to my blog than both platforms combined! Scheduling pins and repins will help keep your blog’s content visible to the huge community of users, and link them back to your blog. I use Tailwind to schedule my pins and repins, and my monthly viewer rate has increased by 276% and I get 1000+ page views solely from Pinterest a week! Other apps that can grow your blog include Snapchat, LinkedIn, 21 Buttons, Mix, Lookbook, and Medium! You can post your OOTD photos on 21 Buttons and Lookbook, and share your best posts on Mix and Medium.
Branch Out Into Video
Your girl has been learning to edit video y’all! I don’t know if you have paid attention to my stories lately (which in the past never featured me), but I have been practicing creating video content and getting comfortable speaking in front of the camera. I am converting a spare bedroom into my filming studio, and it is one of my goals to launch my official YouTube channel this summer! Most of the YouTuber’s that I follow have built completely loyal audiences that follow them across all of their social channels, including their blogs! If you don’t want to get into YouTube (which also has it’s own wonky analytics), create beautiful videos and post them to your blog. Encourage viewers to share your blog videos and you’ll be reaping the traffic rewards in no time!
Build Your Email List
The goal is to convert as many email subscribers as you can. At a minimum, you should have an email signup form on your sidebar, but you can also go an extra step and have a subscription pop up box as well. Offer a freebie (such as a wardrobe cheat sheet, a list of smoothies recipes, etc.) that will entice people to sign up for your newsletter. Some of my favorite email list builders include MailChimp, MailerLite, and ConvertKit. Each of these platforms will allow you to easily create beautiful, interactive emails, and keep track of your subscribers. You’ll have access to your analytics, and be able to see how well your content is converting/getting subscribers to click back over to your blog.
Old School Promo
The old ways of marketing (business cards, flyers, in person networking) were successful because they worked! Yes, this is a digital age, but sometimes you have to get back to basics. I am not afraid to hand out my business cards to everyone I run into, and a lot of bloggers feel the same way. At last year’s Style Collective conference (this is my 2nd time mentioning Style Collective…if you haven’t joined, you need to get on it!), I traded business cards with many of the bloggers present, and you know what? Because I had their cards, I pulled up every blog on my laptop and joined their email list. Networking is also key! Talk up your blog to everyone you meet. You may get on their nerves, but at some point, they’ll remember you have a blog, and go check it out!
Other old school marketing methods like store openings and PR lists are also invaluable. You can convert new followers by doing simple “shop with me” or “meet and greet” events at local boutiques. You can team up with other bloggers to do this, and reap the benefits of being exposed to their followers as well. If you have local PR agencies in your area, email them and let them know about your blog and that you are available for opportunities in the area. PR agents often need to build buzz and attendance around events, and they will reach out to you to ensure that you have an invitation in hopes that you will share with your followers.
Instagram is 100% helpful to bloggers: You can increase your exposure and drive sales through platforms like rewardStyle. However, it’s important to always remember the tried and true methods that bloggers used in the past to grow their brand, without the use of social media. What are some of your go-to blog growth methods, when Instagram won’t let you be great? Share them in the comments!
See you next time!