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.

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7 Comments

  1. November 6, 2018 / 10:18 am

    I gave up last year with trying to get blog views from it. It’s now just a place to share what I’m up to and post pictures I like! 🙂 Tania Michele xx

  2. November 6, 2018 / 10:53 am

    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

  3. November 6, 2018 / 11:33 am

    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

  4. November 7, 2018 / 7:32 am

    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

  5. November 7, 2018 / 5:15 pm

    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.

  6. November 8, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    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

  7. November 14, 2018 / 4:55 pm

    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!

    🙂

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