I remember doing a radio interview a few months ago, where we chatted about blogging & my blog in particular. One of the questions I was asked in the interview was “Can Instagram be considered a blog?” My answer, “No, Instagram is not a blog.” However, that statement in no way devalues what Instagram is, & what an amazing tool it can be for the digital influencer of 2015.
I love Instagram. I scroll my Instagram feed before I even get out of bed in the morning. But, to say that Instagram & a blog are one in the same would be not be correct in my opinion. There are many influencers in South Africa who have created a ‘brand’ just from their Instagram accounts. It is amazing to see some of these girls (& guys) I follow with tens of thousands of followers on Instagram – & that’s all they do. They post their looks to Instagram, & are able to generate an income based off that Instagram account. This is much like some of us who are able to generate incomes from blogs. I think it’s much simpler to run only an Instagram account than it is to run a blog. But this is mainly because with a blog comes an Instagram account (among others) too. But by no means am I saying that an Instagram influencer has it easy, because social media is not easy.
I know that some digital influencers who only have Instagram accounts refer to themselves as bloggers. But I disagree with that. These areas are similar, but not the same. And I discuss some of the similarities & differences between having a blog, & having an Instagram account below.
We Live In A Visual Society
Instagram is focussed on the visual, & that’s why it has become so popular. People love visuals. And on Instagram, you are able to tell your story in images or videos. On a blog you are able to view imagery just like on Instagram. However, like I do, many others scroll their Instagram feed multiple times a day. And scrolling through blogs is simply not the same experience as scrolling your favourite social media platform. However, even with saying that, I find that on social media people don’t read. I get people asking me questions that I already laid out for them in the caption or tagged in the picture. In a blog, yeah people can choose to skip the text & only look at the pictures. But, I find that my readers love my chit chats with them. A blog really gives you that opportunity to write, make a connection, & start a conversation. Whereas my Instgram posts that have lots of text, I find that it gets skipped over.
Instagram is FREE
Having an Instagram account costs you nothing. You sign up & upload. You can have a free blog too, but if you want a really professional looking blog – you’re going to have to pay for it. You may pay in cash or in time, but either way you pay. There is domain registering & hosting fees; & you may want to pay someone to design the blog for you too. The costs add up.
Earning an Income
Instagram influencers are able to earn money because they have a certain amount of reach on their Instagram account. Followers = reach. And really that’s all many brands want: Someone who is going to be able to get their product/service out there. As a fashion blogger I earn money from my blog. However, I also earn money from all my social media platforms too. So, just like an Instagram influencer charges x amount to post a picture on their Instagram account, I do the same. Although, I have to tell you it’s completely small scale compared to people like Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What who charges up to $15 000 per Instagram picture. She does have 1.2 million followers, but do you see what I mean when I say brands care about reach. The more reach you have, the more you can charge. A recent article I read stated that (internationally) about $1 billion is spent on sponsored Instagram posts by all sorts of brands. Crazy right?
I schedule my blog posts so that no matter what I am doing, my posts are able to be published when I need them to. Now, thanks to Apps like Hootsuite you can schedule your Instagram posts too. This is very handy & I use it from time to time myself.
With Instagram everyone is able to see the basics: How many people you follow; How many people follow you; How many likes & comments a picture receives. There are also other apps you can download to connect to your Instagram account that give you info such as: Average likes per photo; Total likes; People who like your photos but don’t follow you etc. A blog on the other utilises Google Analytics to view the in depth details of what is going on behind the scenes. I am able to view How many unique visitors my site receives; How long they stay on my site for; Where in the world they are connecting from; and much more information. So, in this sense I don’t feel Instagram compares. Let’s be honest here, we all probably have a whole lot more people looking at our IG pictures than is actually being reflected in the likes/comments. Imagine if we could see how many people looked at an image on Instagram (like snapchat)?
For us bloggers, Instagram is a tool for us to share everything with our readers. We use Instagram to alert readers of new posts; or to share how amazing we did our make-up that day; or what we ate for lunch. But is Instagram my blog? No. Instagram is an extension of my blog, just like my Facebook & Twitter accounts.
Now that I have given you some differences & similarities between having a blog & an Instagram account, you tell me what you think? Do you think they are the same? Or do you agree with me in my opinion that a blog is more complex. Tell me what you think below.