Abandoning your blog for social media (particularly Instagram) is a trend I’ve noticed in the last couple of years or so.
It may be a trend in an industry where Instagram rules – especially where huge follower numbers seem to be the number one goal of influencers these days – but it’s also a huge mistake. In fact it’s not just a huge mistake, it could be devastating for your brand or business (even if it’s your hobby) to turn your back on your blog.
Think about it: Instagram is currently a free platform. Sure, you can pay to advertise and boost your visibility on there, but at its core it’s free. How long will it be 100% free for? How much of your content on Instagram do you have control over if they decide to pull the plug on it, or change it beyond recognition? (Then there’s the fact that Facebook owns Instagram, and much of Facebook has to be paid for these days… hmm.)
Answers: Probably not much longer, and effectively none.[tweetshare tweet=”It could be devastating for your brand or business to abandon your blog and concentrate on Instagram because you’re relying on a third party to reach your followers.” username=”notlamb”]
Instagram does not belong to us, and we have NO control over it whatsoever. However, what you DO have complete control over is your blog (if you host it on WordPress) and you DO own your mailing list.
This is something that I’ve heard more and more lately by experts in business and the blogosphere: Your mailing list is the most important resource you have as a business owner. Sharing apps and social media platforms come and go. Your followers, with individual email addresses that THEY own, do not. But if you have 50,000 followers on Instagram and you long since decided to give up your blog because er, what’s the point, right?! then you are very, very reliant (TOO reliant, in fact) on a third party to do whatever they choose with your “contact list”.
Despite this, I’ve seen so many bloggers that I’ve followed over the years simply give up on their blogs and concentrate on Instagram only. Every so often I’ll check in on their blogs and I’ll see that they haven’t posted for a couple of months. And the previous post was published several weeks before that. Now I KNOW that engagement and page views are down or stagnant for many of us (though there are ways to increase traffic you might be squandering), but that’s because people are choosing to read us elsewhere and the explosion of social media has meant our audiences are being spread more thinly.
So we need to constantly direct them back to our blogs and onto our mailing lists, because that’s the only way we can contact them without any interference from any third party.
Don’t put all your eggs (followers) in one basket
Deciding to give up on producing content on your blog and concentrating on Instagram is a bit like the proverbial putting all your eggs in one basket: You are placing 100% of your trust in one platform to run your hobby/microblog/business. If Instagram goes tits up for whatever reason (I know it’s hard to imagine but everyone thought Snapchat would rule at one point – now that’s dying a slow death…) then you are up a certain creek without a paddle. You have no way of continuing the contact with your hard-earned following.
The importance of your mailing list
So entice your followers – on whatever platform they may be seeing you on – back to your blog. And push that mailing list! It’s the reason that I’ve been subscribing to so many more blogs lately: notifications in my Inbox telling me my favourite bloggers have published new posts are an awful lot easier to keep up with than hoping I’ll see them in Instagram or in my Bloglovin feed (another platform that’s dying a slow death…?).
I’ve got plans for a new business venture this year so I’ve been reading a lot about marketing and how to run a business lately. The advice that seems to be everywhere is build, build BUILD that mailing list. It applies to bloggers as much as it does to businesses because for many of us our blog is our one source of income. And if it’s not, it’s either a large part of it or an important hobby that we couldn’t imagine life without.
It’s not worth risking!
Therefore if you’ve been thinking that in order to thrive in the blogosphere you need to ditch the blog in favour of Instagram, stop and think (don’t do it, in other words). You need to OWN what you own [your site] and you need to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF what you don’t [Instagram] while you can.