How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Site and Extend Your Reach
This week, we highlighted 10 writers, artists, and photographers using Instagram to promote their content, expand their brands, and tap into a massive social, photo-loving community. If you haven’t taken advantage of the possibilities, here are tips for getting started.
Display your site link in your profile
The simplest thing you can do to build awareness of your WordPress.com content on Instagram is display the link to your site in the Website field of your Instagram profile.
Showcase photography from your latest post
When you publish a new post, promote it to your Instagram followers. Share the post’s featured image or pull your favorite photo from the bunch. If it’s a travel, food, or photography post — or any post with lots of images — select four snapshots and display them in a collage using Instagram’s layout tool.
Update the link in your Instagram profile with the URL of this specific post. In your caption, offer a sneak peek and direct people to the link in your profile.
Highlight a quote
When you’d like to highlight your writing instead of your photography, pull a short passage from your post and create a quote image using a free design tool like Canva — which we recently used to make a website logo — or Word Swag, an app for iOS and Android.
You can design an image with text, photos, and design elements (shapes, graphics, etc.), or make a simple image focusing on text, like this quote image we created in Canva inspired by our interview with Winnipeg Love Hate photographer Bryan Scott.
Don’t be afraid to get real
Tightly curated or totally casual: what’s your approach to your Instagram feed? Are you a brand ambassador for hotels and resorts around the world, sharing luxury-travel photography? Or are you a free-spirited outdoor adventurer, sharing lots of candid shots that show your personality?
Consider behind-the-scenes and in-progress photos of your work — the steps of your latest knitting project, an unfinished page in your sketchbook, the nearly empty plate of the chocolate cake you baked. If your feed isn’t focused on your personal, day-to-day life, even the occasional selfie offers a new angle and allows people to get to know you — the person behind the blog, behind the brand, behind the feed.
The most varied and three-dimensional Instagram accounts are often the most relatable and refreshing, like the page of artist Candace Rose Rardon (@candacerardon), who shares a mix of in-progress and finished sketches, first looks into her latest gigs, travel photos, and personal snapshots.
Build an Instagram landing page
Create a new page on your site specifically to welcome followers from your Instagram profile. Title it “Instagram” so the page link is mysiteaddress.com/instagram. Decide what elements to include on the page: a quick introduction, a link to your “Best Of” page or top posts, and anything else you’d like these visitors to see. Ideally, you’ll keep this landing page current and make it as easy as possible for people to explore your best content or latest posts.
Use an Instagram traffic-driving service
There are alternatives to a custom landing page, including tools like Link in Profile and Linktree that drive traffic from Instagram and point your followers to wherever you want them to go — your blog, your online portfolio, a specific category page, your newsletter sign-up page, your Etsy shop, an interview you did on a fellow writer’s site, and more.
Both services provide you with a custom landing page on which you can promote multiple links. See how Lorena Salinas of Cravings Journal uses Link in Profile and Candace Rardon of Moment Sketchers uses Linktree.
Promoting your Instagram page on WordPress.com
On the flip side, there are things you can do on your WordPress.com site to build awareness of your Instagram presence. If you display widgets in a sidebar or footer, use the Instagram Widget to show off your most recent photos in your feed. Here’s the widget in action on Ra Avis’ blog, Rarasaur:
Another simple way to direct your site readers to your Instagram page is to embed Instagram photos directly into a post. These embeds also show your caption, likes, and hashtags, and the links make it easy for people to view more of your Instagram feed.
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