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.