Yesterday came and went like any other day. Quietly, my little online space turned 13. My blog is a teenager, y’all!
And not only that, she was born before Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram were even in diapers. I don’t mean to brag, y’all, but she’s been my trusty sidekick… helping me get all my weirdness out so I could stay sane and continue raising kids, homeschooling, and doing all the other things life requires. A girl has to have a place to vent, breathe, share… which means YOU have been there for me, as a free therapist, all these years. Bless you.
I’ve been all around the web block during these years online. There’s no place online I like better than my blog and Instagram. Twitter and Facebook are necessary evils, too. However, I find myself gravitating towards blogs and instagram because I’m an artist and writer… so, naturally, I love to read and view amazing images.
One thing I really loved back in the day, was when I ran the Homeschool Blog Awards for 7 years online and got to see all the nominee websites that people nominated prior to voting. We had to vet them to make sure they were homeschoolers and family friendly. We did the PR to bring amazing prizes to all the winners. That was fun, because I was seeing so many “virtual faces” online and talking shop with like minds.
Being a full-time group-blog and blog awards “boss” was not something sustainable for me, though. I found that I was just too random to talk about ONE SUBJECT all of the time. I’m more of a scatterbrain… and more of a visual person… so I retreated into my own blog world and focused on my photography career instead.
Now that I’ve gotten my photography business going, I’m finding my other passion is helping people get their social media game on with Instagram – which is a photographer’s playground, and a blogger’s best friend, too. A new chapter in my online life has begun. [They call that “keeping up with the times”, I hope.] Maybe we can call my “social media guru” project an infant, whereas my blog is the teen big sis. Either way, I love them both.
As long as the internet is up, I’m up for it, y’all. Can’t imagine not sharing beauty and goodness with as many people as possible for as long as I have breath (and wifi – wifi is important).
As for Instagram, if you aren’t on it yet, it’s just a place to store your favorite images and share them with others if you want to. The applications of that for businesses is easy advertising and a great way to connect with “fans”. It’s like Facebook with about 3/4 less drama and takes 1/2 of the time. The platform is less annoying (but that could change since Facebook owns it now – as I have noticed lately with the same posts I’ve already seen popping up in my feed). You follow only who you want to see in your feed, can block or unfollow those who you don’t want to see, and you can have a private or public account.
According to 2018 statistics, 59% of adults are on Instagram!
I loved reading all the 2018 stats (you can click over and read them yourself with the link in the previous sentence). The gist of all the stats is this : people love their social media and it brings in the business! I was shocked that over 80% of Instagram users are not even from the United States! That says a lot since there are 77.6+ MILLION US users. The whole world is being shrunk by social media… and we are more connected than ever.
Just for fun, here are some easy tips for getting your instagram account to look amazing and make people want to follow along:
1. Let us see your face (no hiding – we want to get to know AND see you).
2. Make sure your top 9 posts always show who you are… for example, if you love dogs, books, homeschooling your kids, knitting, gardening, and tacos… let us see all of those things in a creative and pleasing way and put them on a general repeat to appear in your feed every now and then so that newcomers to your account will get a quick glimpse of who you are by scrolling through your past 9 images that come up when they click your profile.
3. Try and think of your grid in Instagram as a quilt… make sure the photos that are next to each other are contrasting, don’t post too similar of photos in a row, and consider putting “minimalist” photos/macro photos or quotes in between busy photos to help the eye flow better.
4. Make sure to like and comment other posts and get to know people… it takes less time than Facebook to double tap or leave a quick comment on three or four images a day in your feed. Engagement is what grows your following.
5. Join a monthly IG challenge or follow people based on inspiring photos and watch how they tag, post, compose their images, and write their captions – the more you learn from the pros, the more you will grow as a photographer, stylist, artist, creator, and social media maven!
6. Inspire someone! Life is hard. People need more joy and happiness and inspiration in their lives. I find that I gravitate towards feeds that are bright, quirky, full of smiles and inspiring quotes. Share your passions and beliefs in fun ways. You can use quote apps, or even create them on a felt letter board or with scrabble tiles – even write them down on a note card – and share them with your followers. Coincidentally, quotes are one of the most liked type of posts on IG. If you are looking for a way to share them online, consider purchasing a quote board (I got mine for review and absolutely love mine – and shared about it on my Instagram feed).
7. Think about your captions… they don’t have to match the photo, but they do have to be real and relevant. Imagine you are talking to your reader/client/friend and be yourself. Use hashtags (key words) for what your photo and caption is about to be discoverable. Hashtags just put your photo in a group of pictures that use the same keyword. For instance…. this photo would be #weird #awesome #greywalls #feltboard #quoteoftheday… you get the picture:
Most of all….
8. HAVE FUN!
How about you? What’s your online space look like? What’s your Instagram handle?
Share a link with me so I can check you out! Or if you need help revamping your Instagram account or social media advice in general, give me a shout! I’m here to help. After 13 years online, I’m qualified – even though I’m still a little scatterbrained and weird. After all, weird is a side effect of awesome!
Disclaimer: This post has an Amazon link for my felt letter board. I was given the board to try out – and the opinion is my own. This post was not sponsored. The Felt Letter Board is black and white double sided 10×10 with 600 changeable letters and a solid oak frame. Who would not love that? I’ve seen a lot of these on Instagram. They are a big deal on the internet. Ha!