Welcome to my new blog series. It’s a blog series that has been in the works for a while and I’m so excited to share it with all of you. I decided to launch it because I often get asked questions about my social media channels and my blog; my tips, tricks and advice. Whilst I have learnt a helluva lot since I started I certainly don’t know everything. So, I thought I’d combine my advice with someone else who is absolutely smashing it. Each post will cover a different topic in a Q&A format, including invaluable advice from another blogger.
So, to kick off with the first post I thought I’d tackle one of my most frequently asked questions; how do I grow my Instagram account? From growing my account and speaking to my fellow bloggers, there’s certainly no magic formula, but there are definitely some key tips which will help.
I got in touch with blogger and friend Jasmine Jonas of jasminececiliajonas.com who has recently exceeded 10,000 Instagram followers on her account @jcjlifestyle. In the first six months of this year, Jasmine’s following has grown by a staggering 175% so she’s definitely doing something right! Find out more below…
Becca: Congratulations, Jasmine you’ve recently surpassed 10,000 Instagram followers. In my eyes, this is a bloggers first big milestone on Instagram. What I would love to know is how you did it. Firstly, tell me a bit about why did you start blogging and using Instagram?
Jasmine: I started blogging as a form of escapism. At the time, I was stuck in a job that left me feeling completely uninspired and as a naturally creative person, I felt like I needed to unleash some of it somehow. I’ve always had a real passion for style and have personally read fashion and lifestyle blogs for years, and so I thought I’d put my degree in Creative Writing to good use and start my own blog and in turn, Instagram account.
Becca: I’ve read about the link between posting consistently and follower growth. Do you think this is true and do you ever feel under pressure to post?
Jasmine: Most definitely. I always notice a higher level of engagement when I’m posting regularly, and with that definitely comes a bit of pressure. However, over time I’ve learned that it’s definitely best to post quality of quantity so I never post just for the sake of it. My followers are used to a certain standard of content so I always want to make sure I’m giving them that.
Becca: What’s your opinion on hashtags, have these helped you to grow your audience?
Jasmine: If I’m honest, I’m really not sure. I tend to find my engagement is mostly from the people that already follow me. As a user, I personally don’t have the time to be scrolling through hashtags so I’m not sure if any other people do either.
Becca: I’m all about Instagram analytics, do you use the stats feature to optimise your content?
Jasmine: Yes and no. I definitely pay attention to analytics and notice when something does better, however, I try not to get too caught up in posting what does popular and instead, I try to focus on the type of content I love to produce. I find that much more rewarding, especially when said content then receives good engagement.
Becca: How have you handled the many changes in the Instagram algorithm, do you feel that it’s impacted your growth?
Jasmine: It’s definitely been a struggle and my growth definitely plateaued for a few months last year. It’s easy to get frustrated with the many changes, but sadly it’s out of our control so as content creators, we just need to continue to do what we do best – produce content – and hope that it pays off in the end.
Becca: Sadly, some people in our industry cheat the system, what’s your opinion on bots and buying followers?
Jasmine: Personally, I say each to their own. I can definitely see the perks of doing it, especially when brands still generally focus on follower count, but I made a vow to myself at the beginning that I would never use other methods to gain engagement/followers and I’ve stuck to my word. Thanks to that, every milestone seems even more celebratory because I know it’s my hard work and persistence that’s reaping the rewards. Like I mentioned earlier, my follower count definitely plateaued for a few months and it was very tempting to get a quick boost, but I’m so glad I didn’t!
Becca: How has growing your Instagram following enabled you to monetise your blog and social channels?
Jasmine: Somewhat unexpectedly, Instagram is now my main source of income, thanks to sponsored content. I’ve definitely noticed a strong connection between follower count and receiving collaboration opportunities, especially since hitting 10k!
Becca: What are your three top tips for growing your following organically?
– Engage/network with other bloggers in the community.
– Be yourself, people are essentially buying into you as a person so make sure you’re showing off your personality.
– Consistency is key.
Becca: Name one thing you’d wish you’d known before you started out.
Jasmine: How much there is to juggle. It looks so much easier than it is, but now that I’m self-employed, I very rarely get a day off and there’s always something to do. You also take on tasks/job roles that you never assumed would be such an integral part such as HR issues and accounting.
Becca: And finally, what’s your goal for this year?
Jasmine: I’ve set out a few new content series’ for this year and I’m keen to see how they go and if they can develop any monetary gain. Other than that, I’d love to hit 20k on Instagram but I think that’s quite ambitious – I guess time will tell!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this new series, so please feel free to DM me. Make sure you keep an eye out for the next post soon.