[one_half padding=”0 15px 0 0″]I’m sitting at 21.7K followers on Instagram right now (3:29pm EST on November 27th). By the time this post goes live on Saturday, I’m almost positive I’ll be at 21.9K. I’ve gained a steady 100-150+ followers every day for the last 3 weeks even though I barely get 1K likes a photo. I can’t lie not hitting that 1K mark really get’s under my skin sometimes, but it’s just the nature of the beast that is Instagram. I remember when I first got my first 1K likes on a photo. Despite the fact that I’d been on Instagram since May 11, 2012 (my first photo was of a Filet-o-Fish Sandwich at JFK — I was on my way to Barcelona Spain to celebrate my 28th Birthday), I didn’t get my first 1K likes until 2017. After that it became easier and right when I was hitting it on a regular basis the algorithm changed. What a huge blow to my ego. So I changed gears and started making outfit videos realizing Instagram was pushing those to the tops of timelines. My best video got 20K views in 24 hours.[/one_half][one_half_last padding=”0 0 0 15px”]Speaking of which, videos on Instagram are on the way out. People just don’t have the patience for anything longer that 6 seconds, especially when they can just hop over to Instastories. People tell me all the time that I should have more followers. Maybe that’s true but I’m happy with the followers I have. I think the people who follow me do so because they actually like me and are invested in what I have to say. They find value in what I have to offer and they are engaged. Instagram can be brutal and of you let it, it can consume your life. I just checked and I spend an average of 4 hours on Instagram a day, which is WILD. As much as I dislike depending on this app it’s what brings in the majority of my income. Here’s how I made Instagram work for me. Read on for everything you need to know about Instagram and how I made 3K in 1 week on the biggest app in the world.[/one_half_last]
Likes Matter but Engagement Matter More
A like takes as little as a second. Did that person even read your caption? Did that person bother to leave a comment? Did they click on a link in your profile to go to your blog or website? My goal is to get people off Instagram and onto my blog (which I 100% own). Brands are looking more at engagement now. It’s nice to have a lot of likes and a lot of followers but if you aren’t influencing them to do anything other than like your photo, can you really call yourself an influencer? Me thinks not. Gone are the days when one can buy followers and likes and engagement. Instagram has started to crack down on accounts with fake followers and engagement. Make sure you have something you own because you don’t own anything on the gram’.
Instagram is a Business and like most Businesses the Goal is to Make Money
Instagram is getting hip to all this blogger shit and they don’t like it. They want you to pay them to promote your posts so more people see it. The same goes for the businesses that have Instagram accounts. They don’t want those businesses paying an influencer to post a photo and tag them, they want that business to pay them to promote the posts they have on their accounts. Why do you think liketoknow.it promptly got shut down at the height of their money making? Liketoknow.it is an app that when someone used to like your photo, they’d get an email of what you were wearing and links to buy. Many Influencers used this to make money posting photos on Instagram until the feature got shut down by Instagram. LiketoKnow.it is still in business but you can’t monetize a photo the way you used to. By the way, you can still get details to what I’m wearing on Instagram here. Instagram no doubt realized the money making potential and wanted parts. Instagram is moving away from Influencers and refocusing on everyday people living unfiltered real moments. I’ve actually decreased the number of hashtags I used especially some frequently used by bloggers just in case.
Your Posts are Sampled so Make them Engaging and Make Sure to Engage
A lot of people don’t know that when you first publish a post, it’s only shown to a small sample of your followers. The way that sample followers react to your post determines whether your other followers will see it. I don’t have the heart to tell anyone to turn on post notifications for me. That’s just not my style. The key is to get the most engagement early on and that means likes, comments, shares (which you can now monitor) and saves. After posting a photo I usually stay on Instagram for at least 30 minutes, responding to comments and liking replies. If someone took the time to comment, I always try and comment back. I think that’s the issue with engagement with people with huge followings. They hardly ever respond. Boo. Connecting is key.
My Predictions for Instagram
Instastories are going to take over. People feel more connected watching stories than looking at a photo and reading a caption. It’s also quicker and Lord knows peoples attention spans are hella short these days. Brands are now asking for Instastories Collaborations because of the easy access to a Swipe Up Link directly to their website. I’d say in the next few months, Influencers will be charging significantly more money for Instastories than for Instagram Photo Posts. Hell, waaaay more people watch my stories than they like my photos on Instagram. I think that’s true for everyone! Of course Instagram knows this and will try and cut back on the population of users with access to the Swipe Up Feature (cause really they want you to stay on the app as long as possible, not leave). I think the number of followers required to get the Swipe Up Feature will increase to keep the market less saturated. I’d say in a year or so it will probably be 30K- 50K follower requirement to get the Swipe Up Feature. Hopefully those who already have it will be grandfathered in because that’s how I make my money!
This is actual footage of me finding $7 in my Croc Fanny Pack! I don’t care if I’m a millionaire one day, I will never not be happy when finding forgotten moneys!
Photography by Rose Lazard || Editing by Monroe Steele
GET THE LOOK
How I make Money from Instagram and What’s Working For Me
I continue to grow, even though I’m not getting 1K likes on a regular because I stay active. I post at least 2 times a day and I’ve mastered the art of getting people off my profile and onto my blog. 70% of my website traffic comes from Instagram. Mostly from people clicking the link in my bio or swiping up on an Instastory to my Blog. Blogs are dying, especially blogs that only focus on fashion. I look at myself first and foremost as blogger or a writer before an influencer or content creator. I made 3K from Instagram in 5 Days by including swipe up links to my favorite products, Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales recommendations as well as directly my Pitch Templates. I use affiliate links and earned a commission off of those sales. I also did a 1 brand collaboration for an Instagram Post and a few of Instastories.
I am really grateful to have readers who know I’m not just trying to sell them things. I only post stuff I actually use and like and oftentimes buy with my own money. I’m happy that I can make a living off of doing something I love, but that comes second to me writing and being able to live out my dreams and passion. I get so many questions about Instagram and Instastories:
What apps I’m using to create my videos and my Instastories
Where I find the music I use for videos
How I create my New Post Notifications on Instastories
How to size photos to fit on Instagram and size videos for Instastories
Tips on how to increase engagement and grow your following organically
How to Make Money Using Instagram
I created the Instastories Pro ebook with 10 of my Favorite Apps for Instagram along with Instructions and tips to monetize and grow your Instagram organically. I really think we all should have the opportunity to take advantage of Instagram, while we still can. For this weekend only, The Instastories Pro eBook is 50% Off or $19.99 with Code: INSTA50. The sale will end promptly on Dec 3rd. I advise you to cop yours quickly so you’re armed with the tools to secure the bag via Instagram in 2019.