I realize I’m new to the world of blogging and most of all, Instagram. I thought I was killing Facebook with my all of 500 followers, but once I decided to take my social media game to the next level to increase my blog traffic and perhaps monetize I realized I was in some very sticky territory. At this point, everyone and their mother is an expert at increasing followers and has a webinar, an e-book, a course or a channel. I’m not even sure who to believe anymore. I started off with a great mentor/boss blogger on Instagram (@BossGirlBloggers). To this day, I credit her with the best material, the clearest information and hold her in high esteem as someone who was and continues to be transparent.
I then took an amazing Instagram course with Dean Street Society. I was very impressed with the amount of information shared and tips and tricks that really helped me grow from less than 400 followers to over 3000 in two months. I took notes, I put the Dean Street Society playbook into action as if I were taking an online certification class and it was wonderful. The catch? It costs money. Would I pay for the course again? Hell yes! The course helped me clean up my IG, find my niche and learn the basics ins and outs. In this case I definitely got what I paid for.
I’ve been actively reading books about affiliate programs, watching YouTube videos, engaging in Pods, and signing up for support groups on Facebook. My take? Do not attempt to engage in affiliate programs until you have regular visitors on your blog site. Amazon will drop you like a bad habit if you’re not generating sales.
As for groups, I’ve actually managed to make some buddies, who read my work follow my blog and share but not enough to make any real money. I will say those people willing to read and share my work have meant the world to me (you know who you are). Some groups are swollen with people like me trying to get a piece of recognition and it’s proving to be very frustrating. It makes me nuts when I’m asked to share twenty posts, or like five blog articles in a group of six hundred links and the shares or likes are not reciprocated. Why am I even there? After the fifth week of this, I’m out. I’m sticking to my groups where we genuinely engage with one another. I’ve come to the conclusion that the main person who gets a ton of followers and shares are the administrators. I’m not knocking them either, I just wish I had thought of it!
Another group experience happened when I commented on a post, and raised my opinion on a triggered subject. When I tell you this girl was angry and looking for a fight, I’m being tame. Who needs to deal with someone’s anger management and self esteem issues? The girl got so hostile I had to blog her. Millennial angst? Yup, it exists.
There are many contradictory theories on Follow 4 Follow, but this is the week, the Saturday morning of my discontent where I have officially decided to partner with two groups, who not only pay attention to people who unfollow you the minute turn your back and ban them but also share my passions and drive for creating a community. I’m done with the loops, which seem to lose as many followers as I gain in a week. These are not organic followers. They’re not interested in my blog or me for that matter. They’re interested in building up their own following and I can’t really blame them but…deuces!
Bots and Coupon Queens who only follow your giveaways to win, and then unfollow within seconds had me needing mouth to mouth. I think I lost hundreds of followers by the hour, (of course after I congratulated myself and my incredibly loyal base publicly on IG and had to quietly remove the embarrassing and now somewhat offensive post).
At the end of the day building a brand is an extremely slow and steady process. You do have to spend a bit, you must engage and it’s a world most people cannot break into over night. I plan to keep trudging along and enjoy every minute of this difficult to navigate, yet fun and rewarding platform. What are your thoughts on building a brand? How’s it going? I’d love to hear your opinion.