blog tips

Why Instagram offers no value to your blog

Instagram. We love it just as much as we love to hate it.

Cries over the algorithm, the desperation to get engagement – it’s a major bugbear for most bloggers. But is all this effort worth it?

Back in spring/summer, I conducted a little Instagram Experiment. The results were okay, I managed to improve my comments, engagement and followers a fair bit. The only problem is that it was taking lots of my time up!

Not only was it taking lots of my time up, but it wasn’t helping me grow my blog whatsoever.

Think about it, you spend time commenting, trying to get followers. You spend time taking and editing pretty pictures. You think about the caption, the hashtags you can use to get the most reach. You post away dreaming of that Instagram fame. Mostly, you are less underwhelmed by how that image bombs.

Let’s look at the truth.

Hashtags = trashtags.

Hashtags are trash. They do not attract engaged followers. They attract bots. They attract spam comments that say ‘nice dress’ on a photo of a bowl of pasta, or mindless likes from someone scrolling through the tag liking everything just to get your attention.

instagram is a waste of time, instagram followers

You’ll notice this on some hashtags more than others. The fitness and travel industry are terrible for it.

I can post, get 5 followers, a bunch of random likes, a couple crap comments that look like an absolute dog on my feed. Then the next day those followers have upped and left me in their dust while they go and do the same to the next poor sod that has picked the wrong (or right) hashtag!

No value.

No traffic.

You are allowed one URL in your Instagram profile. That’s it. There is no ability to link to your latest post in an Instagram post or a story (unless you have the swipe up feature that is reserved only for those with 10k followers or more and shock – you can’t get to 10k unless you pay to promote yourself or cheat).

I put a tracking URL in my Instagram bio so I can see how many people are visiting my blog from the link.

Since the 1st January 2018 and the 4th November 2018 guess how many page views I’ve had from it?

65 users. 88 sessions. In 10 months. That’s not even 10 a month!

No value.

Everyone cheats.

Well, a lot of people cheat.

There is a blogger that lives near me. She has lovely photos. She has high engagement and likes. I noticed that the same people are posting on her pictures. I asked one of the people who commented on every post why she does. I wanted to know what caused her to comment on everything – what keeps her coming back for more.

I sat back and got ready for some juicy information that could help me with my own Instagram marketing strategy.

What did I get back?

Oh, I’m in a comment pod with her. She’s in loads.

Another example of why Instagram is trash.

You look up to people with high engagement and comments. You look at their feed and see what makes it different to yours. See what golden nuggets you can take away from their success.

Then you find out they’re cheating the system.

Their engagement is fake. The value they are promising brands is fake. The inspiration they are giving to their followers is fake. The problem is, so many bloggers use engagement pods these days it can feel like if you don’t, you are losing out. Although brands are becoming wise to this tactic – it’s just not worth it.

Once you’re cheating on Instagram, it’s hard to stop. You’re trapped because as soon as you stop using bots, comment threads, pods and the likes your engagement skydives and you are just left looking like a bit of a twat.

Instagram wants you to pay.

It’s exactly what happened on Facebook. Remember when a Facebook page could drive traffic to your blog? Then they faffed with the algorithm and stopped showing posts unless you promoted them.

This is exactly what Facebook has done to Instagram. Since it bought the platform, it’s ruining it just like it did with Facebook.

But because there are already so many people using it, so many people that have spent their time growing a following, they stay.

We can hope that one day Instagram gives us what we want. A nice chronological feed that shows you the photos of everyone you follow.

But no, what we get is a few posts from 3 days ago and lots of crap advertising videos that auto-play at the most inconvenient time. It’s just rude.

Other platforms add more value.

In terms of sending traffic to your blog, you want to try platforms like Twitter and Pinterest. With a bit of effort and consistency, you will start to see some traffic being driven to your blog.

What I use Instagram for.

I still post daily, comment on what I like and like everything in my feed that I love. I also use stories. But it’s purely for fun and not as a marketing tool.

I put most of my effort into Pinterest and Twitter where I can see real traffic come to my blog.

1. noun: a female blogger that writes about her own experiences, observations and opinions. 2. verb: to act like a complete idiot or to do something stupid. e.g: She did a Corinne.

13 Comments

  • Catherine

    Corinne, this is such a wise post. The time you have taken to do the research into blogging through Insta is amazing. I’ve been feeling for some time that Insta should be just a creative outlet for my heart rather than promote my writing. Thank you for confirming my suspicions!! Now I can stop being so frustrated with the lack of traffic to my blog through this medium.
    Bless you and thanks again.
    Love Catherine xxx

  • Shayla

    I figured out the algorithm over summer and I don’t have issues with Instagram but I do think they are leading people to pay. I spend maybe 30 minutes a day gain about 100 followers a week no loss. It’s work and instagram has some good jobs. I don’t have a crazy amount of followers or anything but I do a lot of collaborations and guest post from Instagram. Now Pinterest.. that’s the devil i can’t understand. Great post. Good luck with Instagram in the future

  • Sarah

    Comment pods killed Instagram for me. Sure it was nice seeing a few extra likes and comments but none of it was organic, they weren’t doing it because they wanted to, it was because they had to in order for me to reciprocate. I’ve never felt so fake and pathetic about my content in my life! Now I just post what I like, there’s no theme, barely and consistency, but I have fun with, engage with people I actually know and like, and bollocks to the rest of it. Like you said, it barely brings anything back to the blog so I might aswell have fun with it instead of stressing about it!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  • Petra / Be Healthy Now

    This is a great post Corinne. I’ve been trying to grow my Instagram following but it’s not easy, it grows sooo slowly organically. But I don’t post every single day, maybe that’s why. I know Instagram doesn’t bring much traffic but when working with brands, they want you to have some decent following and some engagement so that their products get promoted. I don’t like to spend too much time on Instagram but sometimes I feel I have to, because of the brands.

  • Tracy Jackson

    A great post – & a brave one, too. I’m not giving up on Instagram completely but am doing what I want, when I want & am not expecting anything from it.
    One good thing is that I did connect with singe local businesses etc on there so it’s good for that. But as for trying to grow numbers? I’m done.
    I doo sometimes get a few hits a day from Instagram, & from Facebook, despite the stagnant follower numbers. So it’s a little something.
    We all feel the #instafrustration!

    Tracy x

    https://bloggerbythesea.com

  • Mykk

    Thank you so much for this! I keep seeing and reading so much about Instagram can help your blog and I just haven’t see any results. I honestly don’t even like using Instagram so this is a perfect opportunity to just go ahead and delete the darn app already!

    🙂

  • Brian and Chelsea

    It’s funny that you mention this. I think Instagram is alright in terms of showing off your life, behind the scenes, or pretty pictures that you happen to take. That said we’ve had very an interesting experience with Instagram versus our time with Pinterest and other social media platforms. You’re definitely right about hashtags bringing bots and random comments, but I’m glad that there are still some honest people that still give us a follow on it heh.

    Thanks for the article. I’m finding these tips, thoughts and facts quite useful. Every bit of information counts!

  • Samantha

    This is a very relatable subject right now. I recently fell right of love with Instagram. My likes dropped off completely to the point where when I’m posting an Ad image it’s actually embarrassing! I decided to try a little experiment a couple of weeks ago where I went through the accounts I follow and unfollowed a load of ghost/ or those that repeatedly don’t return engagement/support. After that I went through my feed liking and/or commenting literally on every post and now I keep it right up to date and get the “you’re all caught up” message. I find this much less time consuming as now I need only spend a few minutes each hour engaging until I’m caught up again. Since I’ve been doing this I’ve gained over a 120 new followers, where’s befire it didn’t budge in months. I’ve followed some more of the brands I love and feel Instagram has a purpose for me again.

    I use Link tree in my bio so that I can add numerous links to the main link. This is great for promoting old posts with a direct link. Instagram doesn’t help my blog as such, but it does get you noticed by brands wanting to collab so I guess it has its uses! I realise it’s all fake and annoying but I take it with a pinch of salt mostly! I’m pretty cynical. I show up, engage and go again. I find some return engagement really well, making a point of visiting my profile and engaging with my latest. I do the same so the mutual support does work quite well.

    Great, informative post as always! Oh, and you’re right about hashtags, they don’t work. X

    Samantha | https://thebeautyspyglass.com

  • Pulkit Gera

    I agree. I see no value for bloggers looking to drive traffic from IG.
    Why put in all the effort into creating killer content only to find that links in posts aren’t clickable?

    I’ll only invest in IG marketing when they introduce clickable links for posts.

  • Bry Jaimea

    Love this post – so true! I’ve really given up on Instagram after realising that yeah, it’s not driving traffic my way. It’s not bringing me views or followers or brands and PR ops (neither is facebook, lbr). To be honest, it’s just a place for me to throw up pictures to make my blog’s footer look pretty 🙂
    So yeah, really great take on this babe!

  • Sophie Whitehead

    This post is calming my soul. I seriously considered deleting my blog insta a few months ago. One successful post had sucked me in to trying to get those numbers up and I was just fighting a losing battle and increasingly frustrated that I couldn’t regain that success. When actually my blog was getting way more traffic from SEO and Pinterest! I decided like you to just keep IG for fun, and for letting my friends know when I’ve posted something new on my blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.