The past couple of years I’ve noticed a trend I’ve found alarming. Alarming may be drastic but it is definitely interesting. With the advent of Instagram “microblogging” has taken over and given some content creators the idea that there is no need to maintain their own websites. In their minds Instagram is enough. However, as a blogger who spends countless hours thinking, developing, and aiming to make content that is valuable; this is bad for business. Wondering why? Keep reading to see why I believe blogging is more valuable than Instagram.
As of June 2018, Instagram is servicing over 1 billion people, that my friends is a whole lot of eyes. That number is astounding, and yet the truth of the matter is, not a fraction of those people are seeing what you are posting. In actuality the people actually who opt to follow you, barely see your content. Recently loads of bloggers and influencers experienced a tremendous decline in engagement and have no idea why. Which is why we’re having to announce new posts and fresh things on our feeds through stories. We have no why of knowing how or why instagram chooses to do what they do.
I went through the same thing and it is frustrating. My pictures are high quality, my community is engaging, and I post frequently enough that I should be up in feeds. In the end though, I can’t control when or if my photos are seen. This is the downside to what is mostly an amazing social network. While people are vying for their work to be seen, going as far as even purchasing followers and likes; you truly have no control over what happens. There in lies the problem.
While Instagram gets to dictate whether or not users see your work, you get to control how your blog is marketed and viewed.
Over the past couple years I have been working diligently to get to the highly sought after 10K follower mark. While I have been growing steadily, it has been stressful. I know I’m not alone in this feeling, as several other bloggers complain and extol their anger loudly on Instagram about the hardships with trying to grow their following. I recently read Brittany Hennessey’s book, Influencer, and she notes that it is the most difficult peak to reach. While I dedicate so much time trying to make my following go up and keep my engagement high – it is truly out of my hands.
By blogging consistently and maintaining high quality material; written and photographically, I can make sure my audience gets what they come to see even if Instagram decides I’m not worth it. This is why your blog is more valuable than IG. Because if Instagram decides tomorrow to never show your photos again, your audience knows where they can find you. That my friends is thinking big picture and about the long game. I wonder what music creators did in the wake of MySpace’s demise? It was those that carved their own spaces in the ether and pushed their work on their terms that made it out okay.
Going into 2019 I want to focus on making sure that people are more aware of my blog and what I am writing about rather than solely giving my everything to making sure my Instagram is poppin. I blog because I love it. Not just to attain a certain amount of followers and make money, though that’s awesome too. Hopefully moving forward brands will begin to differentiate the actual bloggers from those who claim to be and learn how to work with us better. By adding more value to creators who are making their mark and investing in more than 9 squares we start to put an end to the fake followers epidemic and more. Forcing people to create actual content and not just take pretty pictures will make this industry better.
According to the Hootsuite, 80% of Instagram users are outside of the U.S. and 59% are under 30. Based on those stats, I’m even more concerned with my blog primarily as a large part of my readers are over thirty and live in Los Angeles, D.C., or Atlanta. Do you know who’s reading your blog? Or looking at your Insta? Do you research. This is allow you to become a quality asset to invest in. We all want to partner with brands and grow but does you even reach the brand you’re aiming to work with? Instagram is awesome for instantaneous beauty but for more in depth reviews and discussions, blogs are your best friend.
With the year winding down I suggest you get more serious about your Path to Poppin and figure out what you need to get your content seen and heard. Investing in your own website may prove more beneficial than anything else! What are your thoughts?