Well Hey There! What a change of topic from fashion to traveling and now blogging 101? I like to talk about an array of topics, what can I say!
…but seriously, I get a lot of DM’s particularly on IG on how to start a blog, how to gain engagement (thanks Insta for your ever changing algorithm), and most frequently asked question, “HOW TO GET FOLLOWERS???”….So I thought to myself maybe I should start talking about the business side of blogging too because let’s be honest, it’s a VERY real part of this whole digital era we’re in!
First Things First- unless you’re the ACTUAL owner of Instagram, you don’t own your Instagram page, or any other social media page for that matter! So the better question to ask yourself is, “How do I get more people onto my blog or website (or whatever media you actually OWN)?”. Of course the most common answer to that is through various social media outlets, so again I understand the need for followers, etc. (chicken and the egg theory) but I want to make sure that you’re aiming to gain them for the right reasons which hopefully is to get more people onto YOUR platform that YOU own!
Being a blogger, I’ve been asking this question myself and have read countless other blogger’s reviews, experiences, and opinions on the best way to gain engagement, all around. I’ve tried multiple means and methods (details below) but realized that ultimately everything works differently for everyone…and I won’t really know unless I put myself out there and try it for myself! So here is to trying!
Stealing Followers…I Mean Gaining Followers
….it all started with “Stealing Followers….”
Honestly this sounds A LOT worse than what it really is. What is really means is finding other people out there who are in your niche whether that be blogging, photography, online boutique, travel, motivational speaker, lifestyle, makeup, etc. For example, my blog primarily focuses on travel and fashion blogging so “stealing followers” would entail finding like-minded bloggers and seeing who follows them, likes their photos, and/or comments on their photos. I would then click on those profile names and engage with them as well by liking their photos and commenting on their pages. It’s important to remember that algorithms are constantly changing (especially on IG) to give users the type of content they “would like” based on previous engagements….but how is Person A to find you when you’re in a completely different time zone and their feed is being filtered through so many possible profile options to “explore”….
Gaining Likes and Comments
….first comes blog pod, then comes baby (in the form of Telegram- no really, the app)
Not sure when you transition from “Stealing Followers” to “Blog Pods” but it seems to naturally happen as other bloggers notice you liking and commenting on other people’s profile you get a magical message to join a Blog Pod!
Now there are several pros and cons to blogger pods so just prepare yourself for a LONG breakdown….
What is a blogger pod you might be wondering? The most simple way to describe this would be to imagine a blogger pod to be the same as a group message for people in the same industry, niche, social media, etc. For example, there are blogger pods that are as broad and open to “bloggers” and all the way narrowed down to “Fashion Bloggers in the Bay Area” or “Fashion Bloggers in the Bay Area- YouTube Bloggers Only”. They also can vary in size from just several users to thousands of users. I think the smallest blogger pod chat I’m in has about 10 users, while the largest blogger pod I’m in has more or less 2,500 users.
Each blogger pod has it’s own “rules”. Most common rules are that you have to follow the admin(s) of the blogger pod. There’s usually several users who “moderate” the blogger pod to make sure that everyone is being fair in their engagement and are following the stated “rules”. You give engagement by liking and/or commenting on other blogger’s post by going back, typically a max of 24 hours in the group chat. The users will include a direct link to their YouTube, IG, Pinterest, blog, etc page. Once you’ve “caught up” on the last 24 hours of posts, you drop your link and BOOM your turn to gain engagement! Your results will vary on the number of active users in your blogger pod (something to keep in mind).
The below are from my personal Instagram page (@thetrendyblock) to show you guys how much FREE engagement you can really gain from being a part of a blogger pod.
My first photo (on the left) was taken at Coachella, and as you can see I got a little over 250 likes. Now, I think this is actually a great photo especially when compared to the photo on the left which was taken at a local park in San Jose. However, I dropped the link to my photo on the right and received over 1,300 likes and 200+ comments. Numbers don’t lie y’all!
***Pro Tip: plan your post with caption, tags, location, everything ready to go. Jump into your blogger pods and catch up as much as you can FIRST then post your photo then drop your link. Instagram looks at how much engagement you get in the first 45 mins (currently, this is bound to change at any moment if it hasn’t already) so if you can drop your link to the blogger pod after you’ve caught up then you’ll have a higher chance of getting the “blogger pod” likes in the 45 min. window!
I’m a part of several blogger pods that are open to different types of bloggers and will always share a link to join if that’s something you’re interested in. The best way is to DM me on IG but feel free to e-mail me too. <3
Engaging with Your Followers….
Getting followers in one thing but keeping your followers whether it’s on IG, WordPress, Pinterst, or whatever is a whole other animal. In essence, you have to convince people not only to look at the house but buy it too. You have to convince your followers, however you may have gotten them, that you WILL give them the content that they so desperately have been craving! Sounds easy right? Easy or hard, I think the most important thing is that you are consistent in your engagement to your followers. Choose a day or two each week where you go through your following list or last 3 or so photos and engage back with those that engaged on your posts.
**If you’re in a blogger pod, you may want to go through your follow list instead since some of the likes and comments on your page would come from there in which you have already engaged***
Upcoming Topics on Blogging Analytics
Connecting with your Regional Blogger Communities and Regional Bloggers
Influencer Marketing Platforms- What They Are and Where to Find Them