Okay, so much for my Blarch Festa. Sorry about not being able to complete everything in the month of March, you guys. I posted about my troubles on my Instagram, (I’ll get some cheese with my whine) but I’ll also be brief here. Unfortunately, I work with a teacher who is using me to further their career. Their name falls on the paperwork for classes I’m teaching so they’re making up obscure courses and having me make lessons based on vague explanations. Yeah… They also decided to give me extra after school classes. That’s a lot of pressure and stress plus sick students finally wore me down. I’m laying in bed with a nasty cold as I write this, but winners never quit and I’m a winner, yo.
My loathing for said teacher is motivating me to work even harder so I can be my own boss lady and catch my dreams one day. Who needs sleep and a social life when you’re working full time, building an empire and training a new puppy? Anyway, speaking of being boss, we’re all boss ladies and gents, aren’t we? I bet you’re just grinning about your fly old self and thinking, “Hell yeah, I’m a boss.” Well, it’s time to raise the stakes so we can have an Instagram account that attracts followers and sales.
March 3: Why Travel Blogs Suck
March 17: How to Take Bad Ass Travel Photography
1. Establish who you are
Users want to know your niche, what you stand for and what you’re posting about. Make sure you have an email, blog link, bio, and great profile photo. Note this should be the same for all your other social media platforms. Uniform is key and professional.
2. Post your best images
Does this photo make you say wow or do something for you? Will other people marvel at your amazing photography skills? If the answer is no to the above, then don’t even bother. I know I keep harping on this, but every photo should be edited. I’ve mentioned this before but I use Lightroom and Photoshop to make my images awesome. Don’t feel like you have to post new content all the time. I’ve reposted my old content with different editing or similar photos from the original and they do just fine (or better).
You should also think about if the photo you’re about to post is about your brand. If you’re in the travel niche, you probably shouldn’t be posting photos of your friends and family enjoying food or going to the movies.
3. Write engaging captions
So your niche is established, your feed is clean and cohesive, now what? Part of being an online presence is the fact people look for others to engage and connect to. Are you writing things relevant to your followers? Do you truly care about how they feel? You don’t have to post every intimate detail of your personal life, but the posts that get a bit more personal do the best. Show you personality and you’ll be attracting people in no time! 🙂
4. Use hashtags
Keep a note of your 30 hashtags. Every user is allowed this number and you would be silly not to use every single one. If you think all those hashtags look trashy, then use emojis or periods for 3-5 lines and post underneath. When you research hashtags, look for tags that have between 10,000-15,000 posts so your photos will show up in the top six featured sections. This is a sure way to get your brand noticed. You can also wait and then post more hashtags in the comments. Be careful because there’s a problem with shadowbanning. Have your main go to hashtags and change them up every 2-3 photos.
5. Tag people
- Travel Dudes (Men Only) #traveldudes • Traveller Shouts #travellershouts
- Femme Travel (Women Only) #femmetravel • World Nomads #worldnomads
- Dame Traveler (Women Only) #dametraveler • Treaded Travels #treadedtravels
- She Is Not lost (Women Only) #sheisnotlost • Bucketlisters #bucketlisters
- The Global Jumpers #globejumpers #keepjumping • Serial Traveler #serialtraveler
6. Use Geotags
Whenever people want to look up a specific location and see photos or get inspiration, these geotags are the bomb! If people want to see so and so hotel, they’ll look it up and see which photos lands on the top. It’s seriously brilliant.
7. Follow/unfollow Game
Some people will absolutely HATE me for saying this, but with 400 million users on Instagram, you have to get aggressive and get your Instagram out there. By following accounts related to the travel niche (or you can follow whatever niche you’re in) and following their followers you’re putting your account out to be noticed. If you do not like the photos or the users do not follow you back, then unfollow at your discretion. You should aim to follow at least 200 accounts every day.
This will be a huge part of your brand. By building a relationship with the people who comment on your photos, liking and commenting back, you’re showing them you’re genuine. People love making a connection with fellow humans on social media, so let this be your guide.
9. Comment pods
Also another controversial topic, but I really do think comment pods work. When my fellow “poders” comment right after I post, I get more engagement. With like-minded travel bloggers or people whose accounts you find engaging, try setting up some comment pods. Whenever someone posts a photo, direct message it to your group and comment on it. This works with the Instagram algorithm and shows your photo to more audiences. Some bigger Instagrammers are so against this (but let’s be real, they were small fries once too), but when you’re lacking followers, this does wonders for driving up likes and follows.
10. Schedule a time to post
Your blog is your brand and essentially your business. You’re not going to get anywhere unless you’re organized and have it blocked in your schedule. You need to have a daily routine of when to post, comment, and go on a liking spree. It’s tedious to go through and like photos under the hashtags, but totally worth it.
11. Plan your feed
My friend Linda from Linda Goes East highly recommended the app Unum to plan my Instagram feed. The app isn’t third party and doesn’t post your photos for you, but it will arrange them so they look pretty. It also suggests the best hashtags. They also suggest the best times to post so you get optimal results. It’s a great way to grow your feed organically.
11. Get River
You can also disagree with me on this, but I am a HUGE fan of this service. If you’re lazy like I am (and my full laundry basket proves this) or you work full time and don’t have enough time, then you’ll also love it. What’s so attractive about River is that they will follow/unfollow on your behalf and also like photos. You can choose the commenting feature as well. You’re getting 100% real, organic likes and they’re not from bots. Believe me, I checked the profiles of the likers.
River attracts your targeted audience through your hashtags on the dashboard. They don’t abuse the Instagram service, follow the rules and your followers will love you for it. P.s. It’s possible to still engage and use River. If you’re engaging and using River, it works more in your favor!
12. Embrace Seasonal Content
I never get tired of autumn leaves or spring cherry blossoms. There’s nothing that will brighten your followers’ day like posting something we can all connect and relate to. If you’re a blogger, this is the perfect opportunity to also link a relevant post in your bio!
If you start implementing most of these steps, I’m sure you’ll start seeing results in no time. My guilty pleasure is the follow/unfollow game, but sometimes you gotta play dirty to win big. No offense to any of the accounts you unfollow. We simply can’t like everything, amirite? Also, don’t get your panties in a knot when they block you. Nothing personal, it’s just business. Don’t think this is all a dirty game. I always return likes and comments for most people who comment on my Instagram. I do care about those who truly engage with me.
Now the cat is out of the bag and you know all my Instagram secrets. I hope this was able to help you. Stay tuned for the last massive post that’s coming up in a couple weeks about media kits and sponsorships! Don’t forget to subscribe to the tribe to stay up to date and get freebies!