Why I’m Not Stressed About the Instagram Algorithm

Why I’m Not Stressed About the Instagram Algorithm

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Guys: I love being a blogger. I launched this website many years ago, and was stoked to have my own website and little space on the Internet. Long story short, I’m a low key nerd who’s had different kinds websites for the last decade, but that’s another story for another day.
As part of the blogger job responsibilities, you also have to be pretty savvy on social media. Over the years I’ve been blogging I’ve seen Facebook and Twitter both grow and decline in popularity, and now the rage is all about Instagram.
I don’t mind Instagram, and I have to admit I was a little late to the IG party. However, IG has become its own little monster, and for some reason I have far more brands looking to advertise exclusively on Instagram rather than my website. This would be more exciting, if it weren’t for the fact that this platform is not something that I own, and the algorithm is pretty insane.
So: how can a modern day blogger still get decent engagement while dealing with a crappy algorithm?
Be More Strategic + Post Less
Friends: now is the time to work smarter, not harder. When I first started getting super serious on Instagram, I would post 2-3 times a day and not even really think about it. Nowadays, I post once, *maybe* twice a day — but I usually give myself at least one day "off" where I don’t post anything. From my personal experience, my engagement is a lot better when I post less. By no means am I an expert on the algorithm, but it almost seems that my audience looks forward to my content a little more if I’m only posting 1-2 times a day and are more prone to engage with it.
Posting less also gives me a little more time to plan out my feed. I like using Planoly before I post to see what my "grid" looks like, and see if its on brand. I love vibrant colors and varied shots, so it’s essential that I plan out my feed in advance to stay on brand.
Focus on your Website
Y’all: I cannot stress this enough. As a blogger, I started a website. My website is the only thing that I own. I honestly get kind of sad when people focus so much on Instagram and only update their actual websites once or twice a month. As someone who’s been blogging for 6 years, this actually kind of terrifies me. I’ve seen so many social media platforms come and go over the years (um hello, who remembers when Facebook pages were relevant?), but my website has been the only constant.
Take care of your website: post on a regular basis. Use Pinterest to drive traffic. Take 15 minutes out of your day to comment on other blogs. Make a few tweaks to improve your site’s design and functionality. At the end of the day, we’re not Instagram bloggers, we’re actual bloggers.
SEO + Press Mentions
I’ll admit it: my Instagram following is not large at all. And that’s perfectly ok. Not every single brand finds bloggers to partner with on Instagram. It’s pretty important to focus on your SEO and press mentions. SEO and Pinterest send over about 65% of my website traffic each day, and you don’t have to really spend that much time improving both of them!
Press mentions help pretty tremendously as well: if you Google "D.C. Blogger," I’m mentioned in the very first article that pops up which is pretty major. Prior to being listed in that article, I optimized my site so that I would pop up in the search results for D.C. blogger. Seriously: work a little less on Instagram, and perhaps pitch yourself to the press and make sure your SEO is on point!
At the End of the Day…
Listen: Instagram is an incredibly valuable tool. I’m not saying you should abandon the platform completely, but I hope you realize that it is not a platform you can necessarily control. Make sure you’re still taking care of your website because at the end of the day, that’s the one thing that you own.

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