Why I’m Not Stressed About the Instagram Algorithm

Blogger Alicia Tenise styles the Saylor Red Cassie Maxi Dress from Rent the Runway

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Guys: I love being a blogger. I launched this website many years ago, and was stoked to have my own website and little space on the Internet. Long story short, I’m a low key nerd who’s had different kinds websites for the last decade, but that’s another story for another day.

As part of the blogger job responsibilities, you also have to be pretty savvy on social media. Over the years I’ve been blogging I’ve seen Facebook and Twitter both grow and decline in popularity, and now the rage is all about Instagram.

I don’t mind Instagram, and I have to admit I was a little late to the IG party. However, IG has become its own little monster, and for some reason I have far more brands looking to advertise exclusively on Instagram rather than my website. This would be more exciting, if it weren’t for the fact that this platform is not something that I own, and the algorithm is pretty insane.

So: how can a modern day blogger still get decent engagement while dealing with a crappy algorithm?

Be More Strategic + Post Less

Friends: now is the time to work smarter, not harder. When I first started getting super serious on Instagram, I would post 2-3 times a day and not even really think about it. Nowadays, I post once, *maybe* twice a day — but I usually give myself at least one day “off” where I don’t post anything. From my personal experience, my engagement is a lot better when I post less. By no means am I an expert on the algorithm, but it almost seems that my audience looks forward to my content a little more if I’m only posting 1-2 times a day and are more prone to engage with it.

Posting less also gives me a little more time to plan out my feed. I like using Planoly before I post to see what my “grid” looks like, and see if its on brand. I love vibrant colors and varied shots, so it’s essential that I plan out my feed in advance to stay on brand.

Focus on your Website

Y’all: I cannot stress this enough. As a blogger, I started a website. My website is the only thing that I own. I honestly get kind of sad when people focus so much on Instagram and only update their actual websites once or twice a month. As someone who’s been blogging for 6 years, this actually kind of terrifies me. I’ve seen so many social media platforms come and go over the years (um hello, who remembers when Facebook pages were relevant?), but my website has been the only constant. 

Take care of your website: post on a regular basis. Use Pinterest to drive traffic. Take 15 minutes out of your day to comment on other blogs. Make a few tweaks to improve your site’s design and functionality. At the end of the day, we’re not Instagram bloggers, we’re actual bloggers.

SEO + Press Mentions

I’ll admit it: my Instagram following is not large at all. And that’s perfectly ok. Not every single brand finds bloggers to partner with on Instagram. It’s pretty important to focus on your SEO and press mentions. SEO and Pinterest send over about 65% of my website traffic each day, and you don’t have to really spend that much time improving both of them! 

Press mentions help pretty tremendously as well: if you Google “D.C. Blogger,” I’m mentioned in the very first article that pops up which is pretty major. Prior to being listed in that article, I optimized my site so that I would pop up in the search results for D.C. blogger. Seriously: work a little less on Instagram, and perhaps pitch yourself to the press and make sure your SEO is on point!

At the End of the Day…

Listen: Instagram is an incredibly valuable tool. I’m not saying you should abandon the platform completely, but I hope you realize that it is not a platform you can necessarily control. Make sure you’re still taking care of your website because at the end of the day, that’s the one thing that you own.

Photos by Tom McGovern

11 Comments

  1. Dana Mannarino wrote:

    I couldn’t agree with you more on this post, Alicia! I’m pretty much sick of Instagram and I’ve definitely cut back on content there. I feel less guilty when I don’t post for a day and then post a really great photo the next day. People are so caught up in the numbers game, that they don’t realize Instagram could disappear tomorrow…then what? Your tips are super helpful and definitely something I need to consistently think about!

    Pink Champagne Problems

    Posted 8.10.17
  2. I love your blogging posts Alicia – This one especially. I’m so guilty of getting stressed out about the algorithm and feeling like if I’m not ‘Insta Famous’ then nothing else matters, but you’re completely right, social platforms come and go and your site is what matters.

    xx Caroline
    http://www.whenwear.com

    Posted 8.10.17
  3. Miss ALK wrote:

    What a great post Alicia and I’m so with you!! I had a photo kind of bomb last night… yeah I was a little bummed, but was it the end of the world? (NO!) It drives me NUTS when I see girls tweeting and posting nonstop about #OMGALGORITHM like it’s the end of the world. Being real- Instagram probs really are such first world problems haha!! I’m happy my feed is growing slowly but with REAL followers and that those who do follow me are the kindest and nicest people who do engage! Great post!!!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    Posted 8.10.17
  4. Agreed! Posting less helps so much! That and being active on insta-stories. For me… taking a couple days off here and there helps me to get a little boost in impressions when I come back… but all in all, yes… the actual blog needs to take focus FOR SURE! Keep killin it girl!

    xx,

    Lacey
    The Glitter Gospel

    Posted 8.10.17
  5. Kenzie Finks wrote:

    This is such a helpful post! I know this is a hot topic right now and I love hearing people’s ideas on how to manage it!

    xo,

    Kenzie | http://www.hertime.net

    Posted 8.10.17
  6. Narhee wrote:

    This was a great read, guilty of trying to keep up the numbers— it had me in and out of blogging for a while (plus being a student). This was encouraging!

    Narhee | Made in Mauve

    Posted 8.11.17
  7. I enjoyed the read and exactly agree with Instagram. I let it run its course and engage when there is conversations, only posting once a day. My focus is always on my website because like you say it’s your own experience and presence that stays constant. Social media landscape changes but you still have your own.

    Good to hear other minds that think the same. Thanks Alicia!

    One Tech Traveller | http://onetechtraveller.com

    Posted 8.14.17
  8. Caroline {TheBarbeeHousewife} wrote:

    I love this post. I completely agree with your points. If instagram disappeared today, I would still have my blog and plenty of people reading it! Great read. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 8.14.17
  9. stef wrote:

    Couldn’t have read this post at a more perfect time!!! Thanks for the great tips! i definitely got wrapped up in Insta and my website has suffered. Time to get back to my basics.

    Posted 8.17.17
  10. Dayana Staneva wrote:

    Loved your article! So well written and indeed very helpful and resourceful! Good job!

    Best regards
    Dayana <3

    http://www.dayanastaneva.com

    Posted 8.23.17
  11. CHALK Academy wrote:

    Great reading this – I am kind of an Instagram addict and definitely overthink about those little squares. You’re right – I need to focus on my website first and foremost and not get distracted by Instagram!

    https://chalkacademy.com/

    Posted 2.5.18

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