Allow me to introduce you to a new blog section, “Blogging Tipps“, which consists in sharing with you my experience regarding successful blogging, how tos, dos and don’ts, and tricks and tips on how to expose your blog to a bigger audience and earn a bigger readership and following on social media.
This is not my first time giving advice to people. I started back at the beginning of 2013 giving tips and telling my tricks to blogger friends. One of them even suggested that I write a book and while at the time it seem ludicrious for me to do such a thing , for I didn’t have the following I do have now, I’ve decided to share a modest amount of knowledge I’ve gathered through the years through my blog.
Now, don’t we all want to put our blogs out there and grow considerably in a relatively short time? Granted, I am not the most successful blogger out there (hey, not even ‘one of the most successful bloggers’ out there) and I don’t want to sound like one of those people who don’t even have a blog, yet intend to lecture bloggers through books and sites on how to be successful at it, despite them having null empirical knowledge about the topic itself. However, I do have my fair share of knowledge in the things which I am good at and well, where I have a considerable amount of success at.
I just hit 70k on Instagram yesterday and to be honest, never, not even in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine to have such a huge following.
To celebrate this fact, I want to tell you guys about the tricks up my sleeve, things I did since the very beginning in order to help you out through your own journey. Instagram is, after all, the most important outlet to promote one’s business or blog and it is where brands and companies spot you and contact you. Also, with RewardStyle now providing a way to monetize your content on Instagram through LiketoKnow.It, there is a whole business model behind the social media platform.
Probably the most important thing to do is to interact with as many people as you can throughout your day. How are people supposed to know you exist, let alone your blog, if you don’t find a way to show it to them? That’s right, you have to go for it and put your blog and Instagram account out there, not wait until luck falls upon you or heaven sends you a miracle. For this, you have to invest a lot of time, at the start probably even most of your time, but trust me, it won’t last forever and once you’ve succeeded in gathering over 5k, people will start coming by themselves to your account, so it’s totally worth it to invest work on it.
By interaction I mean :
Navigate Instagram and look around in other accounts and like a couple of pictures you really like from their gallery. This is a way to call people to check out your Instagram account, and if they like it, they’ll follow. For this, I also recommend to have a striking Instagram Avatar, i.e. an amazing self-portrait or streetstyle picture of yourself, so that people will be more interested in checking you out.
Don’t be annoying. That doesn’t mean you have to spam their feed by liking every single one of their pics. A couple is more than enough to catch someone’s attention, otherwise you will simply annoy the person or eventually even lead to a blocking.
Commenting on other’s people’s pictures, being them blogger pals, the most popular bloggers’, or simply their followers’. If you engage in other’s people’s work and write thoughtful comments, you will spark the interest of the people who read you and even of the one whose picture you are commenting on.
Don’t Spam: Write nice, honest, and sincere comments if you do comment on a picture. There’s nothing worse than the people who copy paste the same comment on each single picture they stumble upon. Just think about it, would you follow a person who comes and says “great shot” to a picture that is not even a shot? Or one of my favorites is ‘I like it’, sounds like a song. Not really, it sounds like you have nothing better to say, so that ain’t gonna sparke anyone’s interest in having a look at your account. Plus, Instagram doesn’t allow you to copy paste comments, it’s against its usage policies, so they will eventually delete them.
Don’t do shameless Self Promotion. That one also counts as spam. There is nothing more desperate than to encounter people who write ‘nice’ just to afterwards write an essay on why you should check out their account. They often start with ‘I am a new fashion blogger’. Do you even know how many ‘new fashion bloggers’ open a blog every single day? Not claiming to know it, but I can assure you there are over a truckload of them. The world does not need ‘new fashion bloggers’ neither is anyone interested in getting to know them. The best way to get yourself out there is to write sincere comments about the pictures you are commenting on and to post quality content that is worth checking out and which makes you unique. So instead of asking other people to check your account, work on your own content and give them a reason to want to visit you, or at least find more subtle ways to call people’s attention.
c. Creating connections and forming part of a community.
Engagement with other blogger colleagues and a community is crucial to earn prestige and popularity, or even more followers. Not only is it nice and a way to make good friends in the long run, but it also gives you the advantage of networking, getting to know people with similar interests, and a sense of belonging. Building relationships through interaction, being it through commenting, supporting colleagues, or simply through sharing other people’s pictures (giving them credit of course. Read: Always give credit. Always.) can have a positive impact on your image. You are not only giving and empowering others, but also yourself. In the long run, people will appreciate you and your work and they might even start sharing your pictures.
Don’t Follow to Unfollow: That’s simply not nice. Consider how you would feel if a big blogger came to follow you just so that you follow back and for you to find out a few days later that this same blogger unfollowed you. Nobody likes that and it’s a nasty trick to play on someone. People are not dumb and if you want to be successful you must treat them nicely and with respect, as the human beings they are. Intelligent people do not understimate the intelligence of others. Besides, if you do this, eventually, people in big numbers will notice you do this and it won’t be looking good for you. Take care of your reputation.
Don’t SfS, FfF or anything that involves ‘f’. To ask others for a Shout Out for Shout Out just screams “desperate” all over it. If you ask other people for a ‘follow for follow’, they will not follow you because they love your style, but because they know you’ll follow back, so that’s not the way to build a real and loyal follower base. If you want to create your own brand, you have to take care of your prestige and when you ask others to do any of these things, it simply makes you look bad and well, desperate. Granted, success and a huge following don’t happen from one day to the next. It can literally take years for you to see results in a huge scale and there are no shortcuts in this. The slow and tortuous way may be the longest and hardest, but it is the surest, trust me. There is no mountain patience, perseverance, and hard work cannot move, you just have to let time do its thing.
d. Be Nice.
And by ‘nice’ I mean be honestly and unconditionally nice. When you aren’t heartfeltly nice, people can sense it, trust me.
is the key to being a nice person. You don’t need any morality or ethics courses if you possess the ability to put yourself on other’s people’s shoes. And if you do, you’ll treat others as you would like to be treated, which leads me to:
Don’t Troll. People have actual feelings, so if you don’t like something, you can nicely make a suggestion or constructive criticism, but never be mean. That’s, after all, how you would like to be treated, amirite?
Being nice is very important, because it is the key to success. I confess I am a huge believer in Karma, not because of any religious or supernatural principle, but because it is logical that positive actions repercute in positive ways in your surroundings, as negative actions will have a negative impact and that’s how chaos works. So to say, you get what you give and what goes around, comes around, so if you are a nice person, it will pay off at the end, it will open doors. Remember also that it’s a small world and you never know where you might meet again a person you interacted with online.
Always give credit.
Don’t Infringe Copyright. Never claim pictures are your own, unless they are . And give due credit to whom it belongs, otherwise it looks bad. And I mean really bad. People will appreciate it and you also will. Taking credit for other people’s work is not nice.
2. Quality Content
a. Image Quality
In terms of Instagram, image is literally everything, so investing in a good camera is a must. If you use your smart phone to make your pictures, make sure to always get the most out of natural light, since the quality of your pictures basically depends on it.
b. Backdrop for Flatlays, Selfies, From Where I Stand/Sit, and the Like.
A backdrop can make or break a picture, so it is important to have a clean and distraction/clutter free space to photograph what you want to show. Personally, I mostly opt for a white board to orderly place the stuff I want to show in flatlay form and I also prefer a white wall to show what I am wearing, since the outfit sticks out much better that way.
Don’t show what isn’t necessary. If you are making a mirror selfie, yet you have a mess in your room, avoid showing that. Take care of your image.
c. Share your Inspiration
Quality content doesn’t always mean you must share your own pictures, but you can share others’ being it from Pinterest, Tumblr, or other blogger colleagues. If it is what inspires you and if you feel related to it, show it to your followers.
3. Design Your Gallery
To design your gallery means that you make all your images be a cohesive whole or one, glued together through the selection of a single style, a format, and if you wish, even selected colors.
a. Stick to 3 – max. 4 colors.
This can often be a rule in design. I strongly recommend using mostly neutral colors or stick to a palette of similar colors. If you are a fan of vivid and strong colors, simply ignore this one. However, a clean, structured account with a harmonic use of colors will always look more attractive.
b. Stick to a style, including imagery style.
Are you a minimalist, a boho gal, or do you like colors? Whatever your personality and personal style is, show it through your images! Stick to this style and let it be a recurring theme in your gallery, so in this way people know what to expect from you. It is also visually and aesthetically pleasing to see one single concept used in an account. In my own experience, I’ve observed that a lot of people are attracted to clean accounts with a minimalistic style and restricted or selected usage of colors. I stick mostly to black, white, grey, and shades of brown/beige, so basically to neutrals.
c. Stick to a Standard Format, i.e. Image Shape and Size.
Whether it be the standard Instagram square, which you crop or a smaller square or rectangle, whichever format you choose, stick to it and use it always so that your gallery looks ordered and uniform. It gives a structure to the whole content and surely makes it look 100 times better than a chaotic gallery with different image shapes, sizes, and forms.
4. Make Habits and Routines
Make your goal of reaching a big Instagram following a habit, not a resolution. You’ve read this in some places by now, because it’s true, so make an effort every day to achieve goals, even if small ones. No matter how small the achievement, it will bring you closer to what you want.
a. Set Daily (yet realistic) Goals
If your goal is to make 50 followers a day, because it is what you notice you get by trying out your best, then so be it. If it is less, then don’t overwhelm yourself. Like said, no matter how small the achievement, it is always a step forward. Of course, always making extra efforts to get more each day, will not hurt.
b. Post 3-5 times a day.
Perhaps this is not such a great advice if you just started your instagram account, as you can overwhelm your followers with too much content coming from you. I’d say, post 1-2 times at the beginning to avoid people from unfollowing you if you are posting way too much content for their taste. Make posting different kinds of pictures a routine every single day, just like having breakfast or taking a shower.
c. Set a daily and weekly schedule to post your pictures.
To help you out determine the best times to post a picture throughout the day, check your stats in Iconosquare to see when they will get the most likes and comments based on what you already posted.
I highly recommend to be a morning bird and post one picture first thing in the early morning, always, every single day, including Sundays, without ever failing in doing so. The better you set your fixed daily times to post a picture and the more regular, constant, and punctual you are at it, the more people get used to it and know when to expect content from you. For instance, my first post every single morning is always an interior inspiration post and they are usually the posts that get the most likes throughout the day. People don’t love only fashion, but they love practical ideas they can implement at home, amongst many other topics. Expand your horizons and don’t limit yourself to one single kind of content. Inject your personality in every single post.
5. Don’t Limit Yourself, Expand your Horizons, and Inject your Personality in every single post.
a. Don’t limit your content.
You are not obliged to only post only about fashion, which is why you should share every single facet of what you love. In fact, most people are not interested in fashion, but in many other topics such as interior decoration, DIYs, food, travel, and anything you can think of.
Because I love art (painting, photography, film, literature, and music), I studied architecture, and this has been a part of me my whole life since I was a small child, this is what I share with my followers. What is that topic that forms part of your personality and makes you be you? Share it.
b. Just be Your Own Self.
Add a good dose of your personality to your content. Are you a funny gal? Use your sense of humor in your comments. Are you a thoughtful person and philosophize about life? Share Nietzsche or Sartré quotes. You get the idea, just share a part of yourself with your followers.
a. Positivity, Energy, and Passion.
Last but least, have a positive attitude and show it to your followers through your words and posts. People can sense if you feel sad or if you are not enthusiastic or passionate about what you post, so cheer up and kick some butt!
Don’t badmouth or gossip about other bloggers. Remember that what Susie says of Sally says more of Susie than of Sally.
b. Patience, Determination, and Perseverance
A lot of people tend to give up in the way. But like I mentioned before, there is no mountain patience, determination, and perseverance cannot move, so work hard and give it all some time, even if you have more downs than ups in the way, Just don’t give up.. The fruits of your work will not come out from one day to the other. Remember Nelson Mandela’s advice, ‘it only seems impossible until it’s done’ and remember that successful people are not particularly talented, they just work harder, never give up, and have success on purpose.
c. Give your best everyday, never conform, and make every post count.
Post only the best and most inspiring pictures you can post, which basically means: Post as if there is no tomorrow and as if every single post were your last and you want to leave the best impression on your followers. In this way, you force yourself to post the best content you have every single day and you make every single picture count. At the end, your gallery will look flawless.
d. Work hard, stay humble and keep your feet on the ground.
That’s right. Having thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers accomplished through hard work is no excuse to get big headed Not that inspiring other people, if you love what you do is not important, but hey, it’s not exactly rocket science, is it? Never look down upon the people who follow you, because we are all human beings with flaws and it is they the ones who make your blog and work mean something after all. Always remember that and be helpful to them as much as you can, remember you have been and are a follower yourself.
Hope my advice, tricks, and tips will help at least one of you.
How about you? Do you have any tricks and tips of your own or any questions? Feel free to let me know in the comments. x