3 Ways to Maximize Instagram for Bloggers

October 21, 2013

Are you a frequent user of Instagram?

How can you fully maximize using it to help you grow your blog?

If you are like me, you are overjoyed when you find another fun social media platform. If you're not like me, you might be rolling your eyes, LOL!

I'll admit, at first I didn't understand Instagram. For those of you unfamiliar with the platform, let me get you up to speed.

What is Instagram?

PhonePicInstagram is a photo sharing platform that gives you some fun filters to make your images just a little cooler. It is a live stream and meant to be consumed in real time, much like twitter. They have also recently added short 15-sec videos to their platform.

I hear from a lot of people that they don't have time to give to another platform. I understand this sentiment. I am a crazy busy guy. I also understand that as a busy blogger I give attention to the areas that will grow my blog. I feel that Instagram is the perfect place to do this, and you don't have to be pushy or annoying.

In this post I  am going to share three ways to maximize your use of this fantastic platform. One of its greatest features is that it runs as an app on your phone so you can update it on the fly!

Let's get right into it.

#1: A captivating image

surfandturfpaleoThis is by far one of the best things you can do. This may seem like such a simple thing, yet there are a lot of bad images out there. You will get greater exposure if you have a nice image. It can be text, a photo, or a video. With a video you get to choose your cover frame, so make sure you pick one of the best ones.

Much like Pinterest, it's all about the images. Some of the most successful images are food, behind the scenes shots, cool places, fitness, fashion, and sports.

The brands that have had the most success with this platform are the brands that have been the most “transparent” with their images.

People want to participate in the “humanness” of a brand. We want to see that this isn't some faceless corporation selling us stuff, but that it is some fun people sharing their work with us.

drgpodcastAs a blogger you have the benefit of knowing, or at least beginning to

understand your audience. This can be translated into more likely success on Instagram. You don't have to begin from square one, you can start where you are now!

A great example of someone who posts inspirational/motivational content is @TonyJRobinson. He shares inspiring content, his blog posts, his podcast images etc.

#2: #Hashtags

The next in importance is the ever present #hashtag. Instagram allows its users to categorize their images via hashtags, as well as searching for images via this same method. The better your hashtags, the better your exposure.

Recently, I have been working on an outdoor and fitness multi-author blog and I have begun testing the importance of hashtags. I am currently eating a slightly modified #paleo diet, and have been sharing my #recipes with other #primal eaters. This has garnered me some likes from people who didn't follow me, but have either since followed me or keep checking in on my page.


You can be discovered by so many people if you choose your hashtags carefully. You can add a lot of hashtags to your image. The other great thing is that when people find you via a certain topic, they will most likely check out your other images and like the ones that fit into what they are looking for.

#3: Conversation


Just like other social media platforms, one of the best ways to get noticed is to be on others' feeds. You can leave comments, like their images, etc. This is fun because there are a lot of people who will come back and like some of your images because you like them.

I have been contacted by a couple people on Instagram about my recipes, and my progress. Sharing what others hold valuable will help you stand out from those who just want to self promote.

Like I always say, remember the social part of social media! Leave comments and feedback for others and respond when people leave a comment on your image.

How does this help me as a blogger?


Instagram is a fantastic way to share your brand and your message. There are various ways you can get people to check out your “home base.” Some people choose to add their blog/website name and address to all their images.

This is something I have been considering, but haven’t implemented yet. I have seen it on various other instagrammers' accounts, and I have gone and checked out their sites.

Another way is to put your link up when you are writing your image description. Instagram doesn’t make your link clickable, but people can easily copy and paste it. This is another method that I have seen people achieving high levels of success with.

I really enjoy the interactions on Instagram. The most important part of choosing which social networks to use is how well it works for you. I like Instagram because it requires so little work. You snap an image, post it, and tag it. Then you just watch the people interact with your brand. It can all be done on your phone in just a few minutes a week! Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

These are just a couple quick tips to help you crush it on Instagram! Get out there and carve out a place for your brand.

What are some ways you are using Instagram? Who is your favorite Instagrammer? Leave me a comment below!

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  • Art Mom says:

    Thanks Allen. Great post. I need to improve my Instagram habits!

    • Allan Dubon says:

      @art_mom:disqus You have a really cool site. I think you could definitely gain great exposure using a visual medium like Instagram. Placing your hashtags strategically will definitely help you get in front of #moms #artists #projectsforkids #art ……… you get the picture. I think you will definitely enjoy it. Keep us posted!

    • Art Mom says:

      Thanks for the reply Allan! I definitely need to improve my #hashtag savvy. I really like the posts you’ve done on Become a Blogger. Keep up the great work!

  • Bernard Kelvin Clive says:

    Allan. You nailed it! Thanks for this tips. Quality always sells with good strategy. In summary, conversation, hashtags, quality.

    • Allan Dubon says:

      @bernardkelvinclive:disqus thank you!
      You are definitely correct in saying you need quality. Once you have a quality product/image/service etc., you can start up that conversation and take it to different heights.

  • Mike Kawula says:

    Love Instagram. I love watching the pro’s to see how they use it like Gary Vaynerchuk or Chris Brogan. The spam inside hashtags can be annoying, though if you really go out and use them like you would Twitter Search it works. Recently got customer from searching and starting conversations in the hashtag area. Hopefully they can work on cleaning the spam, but again spam to me may not be spam to someone else I suppose. 🙂

    • Allan Dubon says:

      @MichaelKawula:disqus I do agree that sometimes spam can be annoying, but I realize someone might think what I am doing is not ideal for them under that hashtag. That is so awesome that you gained a client through social media. Those are some of my favorite stories.

      Any tips for those other readers who wonder how to capture this mystical unicorn called “client” on social media?

    • Mike Kawula says:

      Twitter my personal best source for “leads” (though like Mr. Samuels love to engage more on Facebook). For Instagram like you said searching your Hashtags and interacting. People who love this medium use it for everything, even taking pictures of a question they have. Recently I’ve been trying the “Foundation” approach to idea extraction and saying i’m a …. who works with…. and i’m doing a post on the effectiveness of using # vs. other methods, can you share how this is working? A I’m learning & B I get questions. Pretty cool and all part of the learning process, right?

    • Allan Dubon says:

      Mike I think you nailed it brother! I definitely prefer FB over twitter for most interaction, but I love how fast paced twitter is. Definitely # over other methods of search I think are about the familiarity with the process and how refined you want the search. I think #’s give you succinct topics to search, whereas other search functions may help you find phrases etc.

  • I just signed up for instagram yesterday because I realize I need to work harder at building my platform. Thank you for this post, because I wasn’t too sure how in the world taking pictures was going to help with that.

    • Allan Dubon says:

      Congrats on taking a step towards improving your social media presence @bradymcdaniel:disqus. Let me know if I can help you once you get going and try it out a bit. What is your name on Instagram? We can connect, i’m @AllanDubon

      I checked out your site and I really like what you are writing. I think that sharing some interesting picks combined with your writing will definitely get you some more readers! I will definitely be back to check out some more posts!

    • my name on Instagram is @Journeytolead.

  • Photography says:

    NIce Work really

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