This article was originally published on Swiss Army Knife Marketer by Christopher Janb.

It’s not easy being a newbie blogger. As someone who just started blogging, one of the things you’re struggling with is getting a ton of traffic. You hear of established bloggers with a huge following, and you can’t help but feel envious.

As you become overwhelmed with doubt, you ask yourself, “Is there a way I can get past the competition?”

Stay with me because, in this article, I will be revealing a winning strategy that will help you gain not only a flood of traffic but also loyal audiences, a boost in engagement, and paying customers.

Instagram: An Overlooked Source of Traffic for Blogs
It’s no secret that social media is a great way to attract prospects to your blog. However, when it comes to specific platforms, we often consider Facebook as the most popular source of social media traffic.

We can’t blame the stats. As of June 2017, Facebook has over 2 billion users. Where does this leave other social networks?

There’s a fact you need to know and mustn’t ignore: Instagram is massively growing its number of users. According to Tech Crunch, Instagram has drastically reached 700 million users in April 2017, up from 500 million users in June 2016.

What this means for you as someone who just started a blog is a tremendous opportunity for growth.

But the fact that Instagram as a great traffic source is rarely discussed makes it hard for many bloggers to maximize its full potential.

Can you guess why? The platform leaves you only one place to include a clickable link: Your bio section.

In the next section, I will share with you simple but powerful ways to use Instagram to your advantage. Keep reading.

9 Tips to Drive a Flood of Blog Traffic with Instagram

1. Get more followers
It’s impossible to drive people to your blog without having a huge Instagram audience in the first place.

Since you’re probably running a business blog, make it easy for everyone to follow you by making your profile public. That way, you’ll be able to attract audiences who might be interested in your content immediately.

Another way to grow your followers is to promote your Instagram account to your existing followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Invite them to follow your Instagram page and include a link to your profiles or posts.

The beauty of Instagram is that it automatically suggests your profile to your Facebook friends so getting followers from Facebook should be easy.

2. Create a great bio
There are profiles on Instagram that just seem to capture everyone’s attention and get instant followers. No, you don’t need to post explicit images to captivate people! Without scrolling through your feed, you can get more audiences by creating a killer bio.

One way to stand out is to add a real photo of yourself. It makes you more human and relatable. Make sure that your photo is properly sized, has a high resolution, and reflects your niche. If you have a brand logo, use that to boost brand recall.

3. Add a link in your bio
By now, you already know that you are only allowed to include one clickable link in your bio. That’s if you don’t leverage Instagram advertising. Since people can access your blog from a single place, it’s important that you make the most out of promoting your link.

Don’t stick to one link. If you’re not linking to your blog homepage, you can link to each newly published blog post or to a sales page on your blog where you promote your latest ebook or course.

Entice people to click through your link by writing a compelling call-to-action. Add an emoji finger that points to your link to draw attention.

For example, if you want your followers to read your blog post on fitness, you can write in your bio: “Are you struggling to fit exercise into your day? Read my tips in my latest blog post.”

4. Post short video clips related to your brand
Instagram’s 100% visual nature makes it naturally appealing to humans. This explains why the platform has drastically grown its user base in less than two years.

Since videos garner more interaction than static images, use them to inspire people and spark action by telling stories and spreading your marketing messages. You have 60 seconds to engage your audiences.

You have tons of creative options to use Instagram videos depending on your niche. Share a fun fact or tip/s of the day. Showcase your portfolio if you’re into art. Do a quick tutorial. Invite people to join your contest.

5. Apply branding techniques on your images
Take the opportunity to post beautiful photos related to your brand consistently. It’s important to plan the context of the photos that you’re going to share. Make sure that the kind of photos you post meet your blogging and brand goals.

Whether it’s developing a personal connection with your audience through sharing behind-the-scene photos or promoting your products, remember to use branding techniques.

Stick to a color palette. Use the same fonts if you post quote images. Be consistent with the mood of your design. Brand all your images with your blog logo.

These visual branding tips will unify your content, increase your brand value, and attract qualified prospects to your blog.

6. Add a call-to-action to your posts
Whether you post a short video or image quote, attract blog traffic by reminding people to visit the link in your profile. This is a great call-to-action.

But before inviting people through your CTA, make sure that your visual content is relevant and that you have thoroughly explained the benefits of clicking on your link.
To make your video more useful, add a description in the description field. Ask your followers to click through your link in your bio that’s related to your video.

The screenshot above shows how Melyssa Griffin invites her audiences to enroll in her friend/mentor’s (Todd Herman) program.

To boost the impact of her promotion, she features a quote by Todd Herman and states in her copy everything people need to know about the program and its benefits. She ends her copy by adding a sense of urgency and stating that the way to sign up is to visit the link in her profile.

7. Use hashtags
Hashtags are popular on social media. If you’re wondering what a hashtag’s main purpose is, it’s to boost the reach of your post so that more people who aren’t your connections discover you. People click through hashtags to find content that matches their interests.

When used strategically, you’ll be able to drive massive engagement and tons of targeted traffic to your blog. Remember that every post you create, whether photo, video, or GIF, should be accompanied by a message and several hashtags.

For example, in one of my Instagram posts, I used hashtags that are related to my quote photo. This helped me get in front of people who are likely to be interested in my brand and become my blog audience. Irrelevant hashtags will only confuse your followers.

Keep your hashtags short, so they can be remembered easily. Limit it to 1 to 3 words per hashtag. Lastly, it would be great to create a brand hashtag that is unique to your company. My brand hashtag is #kevinocasio which happens to be the domain of my blog, KevinOcasio.com.

8. Respond to comments
People on Instagram want to be heard, and that includes your potential audiences. Whether your readers are showing appreciation for your posts or asking for help by commenting, you should win their affection by responding to their comments.

The problem is that most businesses aren’t responding to their Instagram comments. Instagram is a social network so treat it as such. Thoughtful and sincere responses enhance your engagement and improve your image.

Don’t make the mistake of neglecting those who care enough to interact with you on Instagram. By making sure that you respond, you are more likely to meet your goal of generating blog traffic.

Think you don’t have enough time to answer to comments? Hire someone to manage your social media. If not, commit to a regular schedule. Dedicating 30 minutes a day won’t hurt. After all, your efforts will be worthwhile.

9. Invest in ads
Advertising on Instagram is a surefire way to get people to visit your blog without having to revisit your page profile. The platform allows you to include a call-to-action (“Learn More”) which when clicked, leads visitors to your desired URL.

And since Instagram ads are purely visual like their regular posts, they aren’t intrusive. When running an ad, you can choose from four formats: Photo, video, carousel (multiple photos), and stories.

Since Facebook has acquired Instagram, you’ll be able to run the same ad on both platforms. This means more blog traffic for you. Another benefit of Instagram is that it uses the same targeting system like Facebook.

You can target potential blog visitors based on their geographical location, behaviors, personal interests, and recent interaction with you.

Final Word
Again, Instagram is fast growing. If you’re still not going to use Instagram now to promote your brand, you’re going to miss out on a lot of targeted blog traffic. Take action today and reap the benefits of more traffic sooner.

This article was originally published on Swiss Army Knife Marketer by Christopher Janb.

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