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Welcome back to my new series for all the bloggers who read my blog. My regular readers can still enjoy these posts, but this series is very much dedicated to those who use their computer to spread joy and knowledge to people across the world. Or those who just wanted a job that they could do in their pajamas…

No one tell the Hubster!

So far I’ve given out the number one piece of advice I hope everyone will learn from my 4 years of blogging. I’ve gone over the 5 ways that Twitter can improve your blog and your life. I also talked about the cardinal sin that bloggers commit when they are new to the game.

This week we are going to talk about Instagram. Oh Instagram! That merciless wench who wants nothing more than to force us to pay for sponsored posts or forever be banished to the bottom of the picture bin. I’m not going to bore you with the same old advice about quality photos, great hashtags, picture perfect everything – you know all that already! Instead, I’m going to give you actual practical advice for increasing your following without having to take a selfie while dangling from a threadbare rope over a cliff.

Choosing the type of Instagram account is critical.

There are two types of accounts on Instagram and knowing the difference is important. Your follower count will be wildly different depending on what you use your account for. The personal account is just that, it is set up to allow you one link in your profile and that’s about it. You can link a personal Instagram account to your Twitter and Facebook profiles, as well as several other social media platforms.

The business profile gives you space for more information. In addition to a link in the profile, you can also add contact me buttons. This allows you to put a phone number or email, very useful for bloggers who are interested in PR work for companies. You can connect the business profile to various social media accounts. However, the best feature is the analytics. You will see which posts are performing the best, who your target viewing audience is, and can run promotions.

I am running a personal Instagram account for this blog and a business Instagram account for my online store.

Recently Instagram went the way of Facebook and instituted a secret algorithm which dictates the order that photos show up in your feed. No longer will the newest photos show up first, now you see what Instagram wants you to see first. Everyone is unhappy with the algorithm and question why it stays. It pays, so it stays. Companies love the smell of money.

This leads us to the one huge downside to the business profile.

I have noticed that my business account loses and gains a lot more followers in a single day than my personal account. This seems to be true of many people I’ve spoken to who have multiple accounts. While my personal account ticks up at a slower pace, it also doesn’t see ridiculous highs and lows – I have never plummeted in numbers. On the business account I easily lose 30 followers each day, gain 31, and repeat every single day of the week. So if I look at my follower analytics, I’m averaging only a few actual followers each week on my business account.

My personal Instagram account is nice and steady, like the turtle the won the race! I average about 10-15 new followers each week and I rarely lose them.

So why would you choose business over personal? That decision will boil down to what you want your blog to accomplish. If working with companies is important to you, you need the analytics. If you are selling things, the business account will give you the data to reach target audiences. If your blog promotes books that you’ve written and want people to read, you will need the extra spots to put contact information in your Instagram profile.

If you are merely using your blog as a way to express yourself, not earn any income, than a personal Instagram account will be sufficient. You won’t have anxiety when you open up the app each morning and see you’ve lost more followers than you gained the day before. You also won’t get all the spammy accounts who want you to “check this out” which is prevalent on the business account side. Instead, you’ll see a slower follower count but it will actually be people interested in reading your blog and seeing you in your personal space.

Now that you’ve read all my words, come find me on Instagram so I can see your awesome photos!

Check out my Facebook page @ShankYouHeather and @ShankYouDesigns

I also tweet like a bird on Twitter @HeatherKeet

You can also find me on Instagram @ShankYouHeather and @ShankYouDesigns

Lola and I opened a store so we can sell our funniest blog sayings on cool stuff. Check it out at Shank You Very Much