The Low Maintenance Guide to Instagram for Artists & Bloggers
I have a love hate relationship with Instagram … If you answered ‘the most common phrase uttered by Artists and Bloggers in 2018‘ then … WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER! Between the ever changing algorithm, the pure effort required to post, and the million other things you could be doing with your time … well it’s enough to make even the most avid Instagram user throw in the towel. Despite this, can Artists and Bloggers still rock Instagram with minimal effort?
Is it time to work smarter, not harder?
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I have stayed relatively quiet on Instagram dilemma thus far. This is because I’m half in, half out. In short, I’m somewhat half arsed in my approach to the big I.G. If I was using it purely for my blog I don’t think I’d have the patience to grow Instagram. The main reason I keep attending the Instagram party, is because of my Art.
So big props to those of you that use Instagram consistently to grow your blog traffic and online presence. We are not worthy! Don’t let my personal preference put you off. I’ve heard some great feedback from other bloggers regarding traffic referrals from Instagram.
Despite my self confessed Instagram apathy I managed to learn a thing or two about the platform throughout 2018. Hopefully this Instagram knowledge download will be of use to both Bloggers and Artists alike.
Instagram Tips for Artists and Bloggers
As a general rule, I don’t pay much attention to my Instagram stats. I’m more focused on Pinterest as this is where most of my blog traffic comes from. So the results above were a pleasant surprise.
Now let’s do some calculations. *Nerd Alert*
On average I posted to Instagram twice per week, and received on average, ninety nine likes per post. Now, considering I put minimal effort into my Instagram, I’m content with these figures.
My Instagram strategy (as the post headline suggests) is low maintenance. I try to make sure that I follow a few basic principles. Before we get into the Instagram tips, allow me to make a disclaimer. I’m quite sure the subject matter (Art) I post gives me an advantage. Instagram is such a visual platform, that artists and makers can really thrive by using this digital space. I’m so glad I don’t have to spend time on flat lays because I HATE doing them. However, I do so admire a beautifully themed Instagram with eye catching flat lays!
I love a good Instagram story! They are a great way of giving quick updates that aren’t required to be evergreen content. If you are super stoked with your Instagram story you can choose to add it to your profile as a ‘highlight.‘
My favourite part about Instagram stories is that you can include general hashtags and location related tags. This means that you can reach a wider audience than just your immediate followers, or choose to target a specific location based audience.
For example, if I was promoting an event for a client, I would upload an event poster to their Instagram story and tag the relevant location. If it’s a small scale local event then it isn’t relevant to someone on the opposite side of the country.
How to Add Hashtags to your Instagram Stories ⬇️
You get a quota of thirty hashtags per Instagram post. USE THEM ALL. The more hashtags you use the wider your post reach is. Phew now that’s out of the way let’s crack on with some hashtag research advice.
When you’re looking for hashtags you don’t always want to jump on the first one that gets recommended by Instagram. These are usually the most popular and therefor the most competitive. To put it simply, I don’t care how awesome your content is, you ain’t gonna stand out in a crowd that big! This isn’t to say you shouldn’t utilize these hashtag recommendations to your advantage. Allow me to demonstrate.
I’m looking for some decent hashtags for my artwork. I’m an abstract artist so let’s start with ‘#abstract’ and see what suggestions Instagram has for us. The first suggestions are densely populated. Check out the numbers for #abstractart yikes …
But if I scroll down a little further, there are some better odds. Now we’re talking! I’m liking the look of ‘#abstractionism‘ and ‘#abstract_post.‘ Out of this small sample size I would hedge my bets with those two.
The method I’ve laid out above isn’t an exact science, but it’s the best you have without relying on online tools.
Let’s layout some Instagram hashtag suggestions below. New Year new hashtags and all that!
5 Suggested Hashtags for Bloggers
- #bloggingtips – 266.4K
- #blogs – 1.4M
- #writingcommunity – 3.1M
- #yougotthis – 1.8M
- #passionproject – 97.6K
5 Suggested Hashtags for Artists
- #artforpeace – 13K
- #womenwhodraw – 105.9K
- #artistsharing – 81.6K
- #dailyarts – 427.8K
- #artistshouts – 172.8K
The above Instagram hashtag research for Bloggers and Artists was conducted using *Tailwind’s Instagram Hashtag Finder! This was the first time I have used this aspect of Tailwind as I only use it for Pinterest. It’s pretty dang cool! Tailwind starts by suggesting hashtags that you have recently used and uses a colour coded system to rate them. It also provides you with the numbers and some fresh suggestions based on your go to hashtags.
Once you have chosen your thirty hashtags, save them in a note on your phone so that you can simply copy and paste next time. If you are using tailwind you can save a hashtag list to use next time.
I use the following post layout:
- Image with caption
- Copy and pasted hashtags as the first comment
Experiment with your Instagram Schedule
Throughout 2018 I have experimented with changing up my posting times. I have found the best engagements occur when I post first thing in the morning or last thing at night. These tend to be the times most people spend browsing their social media apps. However, I would encourage you to experiment with your own posting schedule to see which time slots garner you the most engagement.
I have previously used Buffer to schedule Instagram posts in advance. Although it is a free alternative to Tailwind I find it glitches constantly when used for Instagram and LinkedIn. More often than not I end up posting live for myself and the businesses I work for. Erg! It’s not a very streamlined process.
Something I will be experimenting with in 2019 is using *Tailwind to schedule my Instagram posts. They even provide you with a suggested posting schedule that is catered to your Instagram. It will be interesting to see if that makes a difference. I will keep you updated on how this goes in case I discover anything that could benefit you!
Instagram and your Blog
Another thing I would suggest is to include Instagram sized images within your blog posts. As I have mentioned previously, I’m always short on time. *Cry* So, I try to streamline processes and re purpose content as much as possible. Providing it doesn’t reduce the over all quality of my content of course!
In my previous post 5 Epic Quotes to Inspire your Creative Spirit I included graphic examples of each quote. These visuals were created in Canva using an Instagram sized template. This means I have five Instagram ready images to upload to promote my blog if needed. The same principle would apply to your blog flat lays.
Wooo for streamlining!
Instagram Sized Image ⬇️
As always I really hope you found this post useful. If you did or you didn’t let me know in the comments below! Do you have any thoughts about Instagram?
P.s. If find my content useful and enjoy what I share, why not buy me a coffee? 🙂
P.p.s. Check out my latest Bullet Journal Design on RedBubble by clicking the image below ⬇️