Trying to break into the ever-growing world of successful bloggers is never easy, especially in the travel niche. The dream of travelling the world for a living is held by many, which means that competition is high. But, if you utilise the power of social media - especially Instagram - correctly, then you can really stand out from the crowd.
Why you need an Instagram account
As a travel blogger, you are helping people travel the world without ever leaving their couch - so visuals are very important. Outside of your blog, Instagram is the next best place to showcase the best moments and memories from your travels to the world.
The platform is growing day by day, and now that Facebook is making it even harder for business pages to grow, Instagram is fast becoming the best place to hang out if you’re looking for social media success.
Business accounts on Instagram
If you really want to grow your following on Instagram, then you’re going to need more than just a personal account - you’re going to need a business account. The features offered by this dedicated business account are essential for growing your following.
Built into the business account is the analytics feature. This allows you to track a variety of useful details about your followers and how they’re responding to your content. You are able to see when they’re most active, where they’re located, and their ages and interests. Knowing these kinds of details can help you to tailor your content to your audience, allowing your account to grow at a faster rate.
When you switch to a business account, you’re also able to include a link to your blog right there in your bio, along with contact details to your business email address. Also, when you exceed 10,000 followers, you can even include a link in your stories - leading people directly to your blog.
Making your account successful
OK, so you have an account, and you’ve switched over to a business account. Now’s the time to work on it to make it successful. If you want to attract lots of followers, and therefore traffic to your blog, there are a few steps you need to take.
Your bio is where everyone gets the chance to see who you are, what you’re about, and why they should be following you. So, that makes it super important to get right. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Username - this should be the same as your blog name, and preferably leave out any excessive punctuation or numbers when possible. This is what people will search for when trying to find your account, so it should be easy to read and remember.
- Profile picture - people like to see gorgeous travel shots, of course, but your profile picture should be of you, not a landscape. The stories behind the travel are what will make your profile stand out, so make sure we get to see your face!
- The bio - unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t give you much room for crafting something super compelling, so you need to be smart. One travel specific tip is to include where you are right now, and where you’re going next. This helps people feel connected to your travels and makes it clear right off the bat that travel is your thing.
Once your bio is set, it’s time to start posting some amazing pictures. Instagram is all about the images, so you need to make sure your feed stands out from the crowd, and that people know it belongs to you.
- Photo quality - first things first, you need to be sure that your photos are of good quality. Thankfully, even smartphones have excellent cameras nowadays, so it’s no longer essential to splash out on expensive professional cameras. Always try and upload the original file as well, rather than one that you’ve already posted to Facebook, as this can affect the quality.
- Editing - No matter how great your photography is, you’re going to want to do some editing on your images before posting. Balancing the light levels, contrast and colours will help keep your post looking great. Whether you choose to use the built-in editing tools on Instagram or use a professional tool like Lightroom or Photoshop - a little editing can go a long way.
- Theme - Keeping a running theme throughout your profile helps to create a memorable presence on the platform. The easiest way to do this is through your editing. If you follow the same steps with each picture, you’ll soon see a theme start to take shape. By creating a theme, you’ll make it easier for people to recognise an image as yours when scrolling through their feed - which helps you stay in the front of people’s minds.
- Content - As a travel blogger, your content should be inspiring and fill your followers with wanderlust with every image. Shots of beautiful landscapes, cultural activities, local sites, and unique adventures should all be present in your feed. You may also want to think of something individual to include in every image. Think about the famous “Follow me” pose - that originated from one forward-thinking account, and grew into a worldwide trend.
- Captions - The final stage in crafting the perfect travel feed is creating amazing captions. As a blogger, writing should be where you really shine, so make them count! Captions are your opportunity to tell the story behind the photo. Hook your followers and get them wanting to read more, and they might just click through to your blog as well!
The final stage in growing your travel Instagram is to engage with other users. If you want to build a community around your own content, you’ll need to reach out to other bloggers, as well as those interested in your blog to begin to build it.
Like and comment on images you like that match your niche, and form bonds with other bloggers. Doing this means you’ll be able to share each other's content and therefore share each other's followers. A great strategy for expanding your fan base.