Instagram has become both a great channel for expanding your blog reach as well as a stand alone way to generate income. We’ve all seen those beautiful, highly stylised IG accounts, all tonal colour coordination and carefully sourced props, but can parent bloggers succeed on Instagram taking pictures of real life? Joy from Pink Oddy has proved you can with her pictures of daily life, her kids, nature and LOTS of Lego regularly getting hundreds of likes and lots of comments. To find out what we can learn from Joy’s approach, Parent Blogger News tracked down the lady herself and bribed her with biscuits to spill the beans. Here’s what Joy had to say:
Thanks for joining us, Joy. How did you get started on Instagram?
It was a while ago that I started using Instagram by just downloading the app and following a few bloggers. To be honest, I can’t even remember why now but was probably due to Annie Spratt if I recall correctly. I didn’t really start using it like I do now until much later on when I really started getting into LEGO photography. I just remember watching my first “popular” picture clock up to 118 likes before my eyes and it was such an amazing feeling (although now I realise that is hardly any likes at all!) but right from the beginning I knew it was all about community. I wrote this post on Instagram Tips back in 2014.
What do you enjoy most about IG?
I enjoy the social interaction. Other platforms just feel like link dumps now and IG feels like home, whether it is just sharing some happiness or a genuine question about improving my health and well-being. A community with people checking on one another to see that we are ok, and what we are up to. It feels like micro-blogging that people actually can fit into their very busy lives.
Do you see IG as a way to promote your blog or as a stand alone platform?
I guess I don’t see it as either, which in itself sounds rather random I guess. My blog and social media platforms are all intertwined. But no I don’t add pictures to promote my blog as a general rule (not unless it is something I am reviewing and have agreed to – like this one in advance of my yoga retreat with Mark Warner – and then I will state that on the picture). I occasionally promote my IG on my blog however, or add the IG feed into a post.
How have you gone about gaining followers?
I try to find people with similar interests, whether that is running, nature, or general well-being for example. I follow people, like their photos, join in with hashtags. I have tried some of the follow for follow groups on Facebook in the past very short term but they weren’t for me as the new followers didn’t really seem to be engaged with what my feed is about.
Which pictures do you find gain the most likes and do you specifically try to select shots that will be popular?
I guess that I do seem to have found myself being more drawn to nature shots and then getting more likes on them. Having said that though, I think it is about the community as my most popular shots are the ones that have a story attached about how I am feeling at that time (like this recent image) or something I have accomplished. I don’t try and select shots that will be popular as personally that is not for me, although I suppose I don’t put pictures up that I wouldn’t click like on myself if I saw them in my feed.
17 years ago today that my mom died from a minor, routine operation that went wrong. At only 20 years old I had to make the decision to turn off her life support machine. She was a good woman, always there for everyone. So kind and considerate. Her death was, and still is, felt by many. They say you live on in the stories of others and that it isn't what you did for others but how you made them feel – my mom made everyone feel important. She will live on in the hearts and stories of others for a long long time. #loss #memories #remembrance #anniversary #flowersofinstagram #fleur #floral #flowers #pink #pinkflowers #Pinkoddy
You get lots of comments on your pictures. How have you encouraged that interaction?
I think that is just because I am being natural. I do try and respond back like you would any friend. As I say for me it is about a like-minded community, so if someone has answered a question I asked on running, for instance, chances are they might have something else in their feed that I might like to comment on too.
If you had to pick just one, what would be your top tip for IG success?
Authenticity, be yourself. Ignore any advice that you have to do this or that because you would be surprised at the variety of people on Instagram all using it differently. You just have to find the ones you fit with.
Pinkoddy is a Gloucestershire blogger just living life: Trying to take care of her own health and well-being to ensure that she is in a better place to look after her husband and four sons. You can also find her on twitter, facebook, linkedin, youtube & pinterest.