Two years ago I attended the Haven Conference. If you have no idea what the Haven Conference is, it’s a design and DIY blogging conference for home decor bloggers and influencers. It is usually held in July and most years it has been in Atlanta, Ga. I attended my first Haven Conference four months after I started my @my100yearoldhome Instagram and blog. I walked in the door on the first day and knew no one. Not a single person.
Welcome to one of my blogging series, The Biz of Blogging.
Lately, I have noticed a trend on the Instagram message boards. Many people are commenting about losing followers and how they aren’t growing their Instagram as fast as they expected. At first, I thought it couldn’t be true. But I did a little research and I was really surprised by what I found.
In previous posts in my Biz of Blogging series, I have discussed many different ways you can grow your Instagram account. I have mentioned posting more frequently, knowing your audience, participating in share groups, engaging your audience and participating in giveaways. Today I am going to share my thoughts on the pros and cons of participating in giveaways to build your Instagram following.
I know what you are thinking. Huh? What are the nuts and bolts of my blog? To me, the nuts and bolts are your internet service provider, your website platform, and your domain. They are the building blocks of what makes your blog work. But these are three things, that when you are blogging, are hard to understand. Today I am going to try to help you understand what these terms mean.
Hang in there with me, ok?
This is part five in a series in which I am sharing my story as an Instagrammer/blogger. Last week I wrote a post about how you can manage your time and be more productive as an Instagrammer and blogger. You can read that post here. Today I am going to share with you my thoughts about blogging and if you decide you want to blog, I have some suggestions on how you can get started.
My100yearoldhome.com is actually my third blog. I started my first one as an artist ten years ago. Then I started one seven years ago for a podcast (which I still produce). My 100 Year Old Home blog is just over a year old and I can happily say I have loved each and every one of them! A lot has changed from when I first started blogging. Ten years ago everyone was using Blogspot (or Blogger) which was very popular. Although the format and designs were very limited, it was really easy to use. Now many bloggers, at least in this community, use WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and other platforms to create their blogs.
So why should you have a blog?
The first reason to have a blog is it gives you a place to tell your story. A blog gives you a platform to attract an audience because you can share a lot of information on your blog. It’s hard to go into depth about what you are passionate about on social media. (And social media is not the best platform to do that anyway.) If you want to share a DIY or share your thoughts (like I am doing here) then a blog is the perfect place to share. Writing about information that you know well also establishes you as an authority. It helps you become a person that others can reach out to. Blogs are also a great way to develop and grow your brand, meet new people and make money. There are a lot of collaboration opportunities with brands that can happen because of your blog.
I should caution you that blogs take a lot of time. If you are already stressed and struggling to find time to post on social media then a blog might not make sense for you. I don’t think it’s worth starting a blog if you aren’t going to be able to focus on it and do it right. I am not saying you have to blog every day, because you don’t. You can even start out blogging once a week. But even starting a blog and learning how to post can be a big commitment.
Before you start a blog, you need to determine why you want a blog. What is the message you want to share? For me, my blog and Instagram were started based on my desire to create, inspire and enjoy. My blog and Instagram are totally integrated. I plan out my blog posts first and then talk about my posts on my IG feed and stories. If you read my blog post about creating an Editorial Calendar, then you know I plan out my blog posts in advance. An Editorial Calendar is a great thing to use even for your Instagram.
How Can You Get More Followers for Your Blog?
I use to be really focused on getting people to sign up to follow my blog. I did a lot of things to increase my subscribers, such as adding a form on my blog where one can “follow my blog”. I also email my followers(via MailChimp) a link to my blog every time I write a new blog post. Just recently, I added a pop-up box to my blog that encourages visitors to follow me.
Then one day I realized that I wasn’t even following some of my favorite bloggers. I was visiting their blogs almost daily, but I wasn’t actually following them. This made me realize that perhaps I didn’t need to worry as much about getting people to sign up to follow my blog, but instead encourage them to swipe up to read my posts. I use Instagram stories every day to encourage my followers to swipe up and read my blog post. You should too.
This is part four in a series in which I am sharing my story as an Instagrammer/blogger. Last week I wrote a post about using an Editorial Calendar. You can read that post here. Today I am going to share with you my thoughts on how you can manage your time and be more productive as an Instagrammer and blogger. The key is figuring out “how much is too much”?