How To Turn Instagram Followers Into Blog Readers

I have been a digital story and content strategist for a very long time and for as long as I can remember, I have been getting questions that sound like the following:

“I have a really great Instagram following. But IG kinda makes me feel like crap. I’m always pitted against other profiles with bigger followings. And I feel bad when I don’t get likes and it makes me obsess over being perfect all the time.”…

“How do I take this creativity of mine and turn it into something that makes me feel EMOTIONALLY satisfied?”

So here I find myself, your humble coach and mentor, talking about how to strategically extricate yourself from relying on Instagram as your only source of influence, revenue and connection and how to move that power over to something that you own. (I wrote about my own personal desires to remove myself from daily use of Instagram here).

Enter – your NEW Love Affair with LONG FORM CONTENT.

For sake of this post, we are going to call Long Form Content a Blog. However, this can also come in the form of a podcast or video. The point is that it’s not content that is designed just for Instagram. It starts as something longer and larger.

Yes. This can sound super scary because there are a few more steps and considerations behind launching a blog than there is behind starting an IG profile. You have to figure out what platform you want to blog on (I typically recommend either WordPress or ShowIt, which uses WordPress), you have to pick a domain name and find a good host. But all of those things are ONE TIME things that you can absolutely figure out or hire out to get done.

And truth be told, quite a few of the Instagrammers I talk to have at least attempted a blog and later abandoned it. So sometimes you’re not so much launching as you are RE-launching.

So why do you want your IG audience to check out your website or blog?

Let’s back up just a tad and talk money for a second. One of the only reasons for growing a massive following on IG (besides pure vanity) is to leverage that following to turn it into CASH. In basic terms, there are two ways to turn an IG following into money.

  • Through selling sponsored posts on Instagram and Instagram Stories: this requires negotiating with brands for real estate on your feed and you do need a significant following to earn anything remotely resembling a part-time income. Furthermore, the competition is so steep, you’re very unlikely to have repeat clients.
  • Through selling affiliate commission via sites like LiketoKnowit and ShoptoKnowIt. This is where an influencer posts a swipe up link or profile link to ANOTHER website (often a shop) and if you buy something from that shop within a certain amount of time after clicking their link – they make money. It’s usually a commission of anywhere from 2%-7.5%…which means if you buy a $100 pair of shoes, they make a measly $2. VERY HARD to make money that way.

But if you push them off IG and onto a platform that YOU OWN and control, you open up a whole host of other options for their experience with your brand and potential revenue sources. You remove the inherent limitations of running an Instagram-only blog business.

So HOW do you push IG followers to your blog?

You talk about it. You post the link. You post the link again. Oh and you make it worth it.

A lot of IGers are used to micro-blogging on that platform; writing long, drawn out captions. Those are FABULOUS and I think everyone should do them now and again, but if you are working towards a blog-based sustainable business, you have to balance those out with strong posts that call your audience to action.

Consider posting once or twice a week an IG ‘teaser’ or a ‘partial’ post telling your audience to click through to your blog. Then tell them to come back and DM you their thoughts! Make sure the blog post they land on is JUICY AF and… here’s the key – ANSWERS a question they have. Even if they haven’t outright asked it, you know your IG audience pretty well. Use the blog post to help them improve their lives by giving them information, connection and an experience they didn’t even know they needed.

Your IG posts should make them feel connected to you. Your blog posts should make them feel supported by you.

Once they are on your blog, you can still use affiliate promotions and links to drive sales commissions, AND you can sell sponsorships. But you can also monetize your passive traffic, gather email opt-ins, sell services and digital products, collect in-depth and insightful analytics about who your readers are and what they do online…. the list goes on and on.

So while I adore Instagram as a place to connect, it’s time to think of it as simply a LEAD GENERATOR or a PRIMER for your blog readers. Your OWNED content (as in your blog, your videos, podcast or newsletter) is where they get the deep, intense support and experience that ONLY YOU can give them. Once they are there, there is no competition with other profiles or accounts. Numbers don’t matter as much. It’s where your readers get to really see and feel you in your natural habitat.

There’s no handbook saying you can’t still go all out with growing IG while having a blog, but growing your blog as a foundation is going to give you a more sustainable, controllable model for the future.

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  • launch blogs, podcasts, live streams
  • work with brands to sponsor content

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