Is Instagram a Useful Blogging Tool?



Instagram has to be one of my favourite social networks to use, both when I'm creating content and to enjoy what others produce. However, do I think Instagram does much for me as a blogger? I'm not so sure...


I think I've reached a point where I just see Instagram as something to supplement my blog as opposed to Twitter, which drives traffic to it. I've chatted with other bloggers and we seem agreed: Instagram probably won't get people onto your blog. 

For some of my favourite Instagram accounts, which always get me double-tapping, I do go out of my way to follow them on Bloglovin or Twitter. The lack of clickable links on Instagram paired with the fact it's a mobile-based app make it really awkward to actually visit blogs from your Instagram feed. The only way to visit a blogger's site is to go to their profile and get the link from there, which for 99% of people is just too much effort when they're casually browsing their feed and they're happy to just appreciate the image you've uploaded.



One of my favourite Instagram accounts :) 

I think as well as this, Instagram is essentially a visual medium whereas your blog is probably more text-based. People go on Instagram to see interesting, beautiful and creative images, not necessarily to find things to read. Whereas Twitter is mainly text-based so it isn't much of an effort for people to click the link and read what you have to say.

This made me think more about PR and working with brands. There are plenty of MUAs, brand reps etc. who work with brands based solely on their Instagram accounts and don't have a blog. A lot of them have thought of creative ways to get the brand's name and the product in their uploads. However as bloggers we tend to put the information in our posts and prompt people to visit our links. But if a brand wants to work with you based on your Instagram following and not may people actually visit blogs from Instagram, should we be putting more information in? Whilst I don't have a huge Instagram following (it's considerably less than Twitter and Bloglovin), I think I need to find ways of getting the product information into my uploads for people who only see my Instagram images.



All in all I enjoy Instagram but if you want to use it only to drive traffic to your blog then you're best off concentrating your efforts elsewhere. Just enjoy it in itself and have fun! In the very least it's a great way to give your readers a little insight into your life and to see the things that never make it onto the blog.


Do you think Instagram is useful for a blogger? How do you use it?

 


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54 comments

  1. A very interesting post, have never thought about it like that before. I like you love Instagram and use it everyday but very few times do I make the effort to click a link, but again like you I do make a point of following peoples blogs and other social media platforms....
    Might give it some thought about how and when I post on instagram in the future :)

    Pams Stuff and Things

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    1. Yeah - it's funny how even if something interests us on Instagram we rely on other means to actually visit the post! xx

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  2. I really enjoyed this post, I love Instagram and think that why not use it for blogging but I think I agree with the fact that it doesn't really drive people to your blog x

    Blushhx

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    1. Yeah exactly - I upload post pictures but don't really expect people to click through as a result xx

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  3. I love instagram and try to post everyday. However without any clickable links on the photos, personally I never really follow the photos up. I double click and grow an appreciation for the users photography, makeup collection or sense of humour, but I really just follow if I've already read their blog (as an add on) or if they've followed me first and i've discovered them that way. Interesting post hun :)

    Roxie
    thebeautifulbluebird.blogspot.co.uk ♥

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  4. I really love using Instagram - it's one of my favourite forms of social media and it's great for inspiration. I don't really use it for blog promotion as when i've tried it's delivered me very little (if any) traffic which is probably due to the lack of clickable links. I know I personally scroll through and double tap without really paying all that much attention to if the image is promoting a blog post or not. I do follow some bloggers on there, but usually because i've discovered their blog first. Usually my content on Instagram is along a similar theme to what I post on my blog, but it's entirely unique content.

    Antonia x | Fifi and the Diamonds

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  5. I love Instagram its definitely one of my favourite social media sites and although I always share photos relating to recent blog posts I get very little to no traffic source from it, the lack of clickable links is really annoying because it is too awkward to open up a new page to try find someone's blog which is a shame, really great post!! x
    Aisling | Aislings beauty bytes

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  6. I completely agree! I can't see much traffic going through Instagram to my blog and it's a more of a addition to my blog just to give something extra for my followers than increase my blog following. I do check people's blogs but rarely go further and follow, rather do that through Bloglovin or Twitter. x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

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    1. Yeah that's how I've come to see it too :) xx

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  7. I agree that it doesn't really sync as well with blogging as say Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook even. I'm guilty too as I rarely click onto someone's website from Instagram. I suppose it's quite good for building a "brand" around a blog but that's as far as it goes really.

    Sarah xo | PolkaDotLemon

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  8. This is such an interesting post! I've never really been much of a personal picture taker so although I like Instagram I'm pretty new to using it myself but I don't feel like my blog has suffered without it at all. I'm trying to build it up though!

    Bethan | Thought from Beth x

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    1. I think it's definitely good to have if you enjoy photography xx

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  9. I quite enjoy using Instagram to promote my blog posts and while I don't get tonnes of referrals, I do get a few people click over to my blog and have left comments telling me how they found my blog. I think it may be the future of blogging especially since people want everything much quicker and punchier. The way a picture is presented and worded also makes a difference as to how/why people will want to click over to the blog. I do agree that having clickable links (rather than going through people's profiles) will make such a massive difference to its usability!! Lovely post as always and I enjoyed it...xx

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    1. Thank you :) I don't keep a huge track of it but I've never noticed Instagram as a referral source xx

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  10. I mostly use twitter to promote my blog but I think the best way to get more readers is too go on other peoples blogs and comment :) I love using instagram but I always get super jealous of the accounts with the perfect pictures haha. x

    Beyond The Velvet | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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  11. I love using instagram but not for my blog, i find twitter/bloglovin are best and instagram is more just to find new products etc x
    Emma | Emmys Blog

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  12. When I first started out with my blog, I did find that a lot of my traffic came from IG. A lot of people who followed me started requesting that I start a blog or youtube and so when I had announced that a page had been made and that the link was in my bio, people did start clicking and visiting. After a few months however, I get nothing from IG in terms of traffic. Whether or not people separately search my blog following something I've uploaded onto IG I don't know... I still love the visual element of the site but I do wish they would introduce links so that it was easier to share content. Definitely an interesting read!

    Heather, porcelainbeautyx
    xxx

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    1. That's amazing you had a big following on Instagram before setting up your blog :) xx

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  13. I think I pretty much agree with you and the others as to Instagram's limited ability to drive traffic. It makes me wonder though how much exposure and direct traffic a brand can get if they are working with representatives that only have Instagram accounts, with no clickable links? It's food for thought, anyway. :-)

    Beauty Isles | An Island Girl's Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

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  14. I love checking Instagram mainly because I have fun seeing what people are doing, wearing, buying and recommending. I have to admit I don't pay that much attention to the "promoting myself" aspect of my page there as maybe I should. So if you figure out some tips on how to expose our blog more effectively there, please share. ;) xx

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK

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    1. I think I'd like to know myself tbh haha xx

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  15. I completely agree with this, I get maybe 1 or 2 clicks from instagram which is nothing compared to Twitter! It's definitely a nice add on. I'd love to have thousands of Instagram followers, I have no idea how people do it! I use Instagram more as to show life outside of the blog I guess :)


    India | Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

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  16. Here I am again on your blog! I use Instagram a lot, mainly to share photos as well as my blog. I don't get much traffic from Instagram though! x

    Jasmine || blogsallbeautyy.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I'm exactly the same - seems a lot of us are in the same boat xx

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  17. We use Instagram as a supplement for our blog too - like you say it's not really going to drive traffic to your website as it's not set up like that - something I really think Instagram could do with improving on for their own sake. But anyway, I personally think Instagram is best for sharing 'behind the scenes' type photos and images of the products you blog about in use. For some it's a way of bringing more of their personal life to the blog too but as there are two of us on our blog, we have a separate Instagram just for the blog and tend to share blog/beauty related images pretty exclusively.
    Interesting and thought-provoking post!
    Rebecca | <a href="http://www.thetwotwentysomethings.blogspot.co.uk>The Two Twenty Somethings</a>
    Xx

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    1. Yeah this is how I've come to view Instagram as well - although I think the reason for the lack of links is to prevent spam so I'm not sure they'll change it :/ xx

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  18. I totally agree with you when it comes to Instagram. As much as I adore it and love uploading photos to it the amount of people to actually go onto my profile and click my blog link is 0 to none and I totally understand why because I'm the exact same. I think it's just a nice little add on though when it comes to Blogging as you can share pictures that may not make it to your actual blog :) x

    Jordan | Keep Dreaming ♥

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    1. Yeah that's exactly what I do too - sometimes I just like playing around and taking pictures that aren't for posts so it's nice that they can find their audience on Instagram :) xx

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  19. Fab post sweetie, I’ve really got into Instagram at the moment and have to agree it’s a great way to give people an insight into your life :) I’ve found I’ve started to increase my readership through use of hashtags :)

    Charlee XO | CharmedCharlee

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    1. Yeah I find it gets people onto my Instagram account, just not my blog :( xx

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  20. That was such an interesting post :) I agree with you 100%. The lack of clickable links and the fact you can only access a blog/website through the user's profile is just too much effort to generate traffic. However, I love using instagram and enjoying visually pleasing content. x
    Alexandra | Glam O’Clock

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  21. I use instagram as a supplement to my blog, I post occasionally and post when I have a new blog post up but I don't get much traffic from it all. I think it's good for uploading photos you may not want to do a whole post on though, also I think a good way to get more information in is to tag the brands in the photo then people can click through to them that way. Also I get clicks from my instagram photos uploaded to twitter, so I always add a link so that is clickable when on twitter.

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine // I’d love it if you entered my Blog Birthday Lifestyle Giveaway

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    1. Yeah that's how I feel too! It's great for mini hauls and little things you've discovered. And tagging the brands is a good idea - might have to start doing that! xx

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  22. Interesting post, I definitely agree! I find instagram is so hard to drive traffic to your blog, I even find it hard to actually gain followers on instagram. Twitter is definitely the best way for me to promote my posts, RT pages are fabulous! I also really love Sarah's instagram her feed is literally just goals, stunning photos every time!! x

    Toni x
    clarkecouture.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I agree - love her account! Now I'm uploading a lot (once or twice a day) and hashtagging I'm finding it much easier to gain followers xx

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  23. I've been thinking about this a lot since the FBL chat. I find that Instagram does very little for me, but that being said I'm not using it to it's full potential. I really want to give it a revamp and put some effort into it... kind of like all my social media, really! xx

    alicered.co.uk

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    1. I think it's one to bother with if you enjoy it but it would be a lot of effort for very little reward if you don't xx

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  24. I honestly thought that Instagram doesn't really helping, until I got almost all my readers from the blog following me there, to see If I got new posts, etc. So...I kinda changed my opinion and started posting way more on Insta! xxx

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    1. Yeah I feel like it more goes the way of people from your blog following you on Instagram than people finding your blog through Instagram xx

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  25. I'm with you on this really, I rarely go to blogs via Instagram and don't see much traffic to my own from it - it's just a nice channel to use alongside :)

    Jess xo
    http://just-jesss.blogspot.co.uk

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  26. This is a really interesting post. I don't have an instagram account yet, but its definitely on my list of things to do. Its a shame that its not easier to link back to your blog.
    Leigh
    http://beautybargainsandbeyond.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I think if you get into it it's really fun :) xx

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  27. This was a great post. I ought to get into instagram more as I hardly post x

    www.pintsizedbeauty.com

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