5 questions to ask yourself to choose your instagram niche

Photo by @muradosmann

If you’re thinking of getting started on Instagram, that’s awesome! It’s heaps of fun to share images of things you love and interact with followers around the world.

Before you even set up your account you should have a serious think about what kind of content you’re going to put out and what kind of followers you want.

If you’re just using Instagram to share fun pics with your friends, then this isn’t so important. But if you’re trying to build a brand or hope one day to make some income off your feed, you’re going to want to narrow down a topic (or niche) to focus on. Having this niche enables you to connect with like-minded people and become known for a particular style.

We’ve put together some hot questions you can ask yourself to narrow down your insta-niche:

1. What am I interested in?

Instagram is fun, but it takes a lot of effort. You should only put that effort in for something you’re passionate about. Whether it’s fashion or travel or health or illustration or books, whatever your passion is you should be able to find a niche to match.

For some people, their niche will be immediately obvious – it’s the thing they’re totally passionate about. But what if you’re passionate about lots of different things? Grab a piece of paper and start brainstorming ideas. Write down all the things you love. You can group them together and look for patterns – a fun niche/theme will emerge.

If you’re not excited about your niche then you’ll get bored and stop posting, and all your hard work will be for nothing! So make sure you choose something that ignites your creativity.


2. What can I create content about?

This question is similar to the first question, but with one key difference – it’s about the resources you have available to do a niche justice.

Sometimes you’re interested in a subject, but you might not be the best person to create the Instagram about it. For example, if I’m really interested in exotic wildlife but I live in the middle of a city with no great access to these creatures in their natural habitat, my Instagram is probably going to be pretty boring.

It’s far better to focus on a niche that is accessible to you or find ways to make your niche work. If you want to be a travel grammer but can’t afford the plane tickets, start exploring the little-known areas around your own city. Get creative!


3. Are people interested in my niche?

After you’ve chosen a niche, you’ll want to do a little market research to make sure there’s a hungry audience out there for it.

Use Instagram to hunt down tags related to your topic. Check out how many pictures are posted under those tags. Click on a few profiles. How many people are liking and commenting? Is there a thriving, active community? Are high-quality images being posted?

It’s possible that you could pioneer a new Instagram niche and bring a whole bunch of followers over from other platforms. But for the best chance at success, choose a niche that already has a dedicated insta-following.

Certain types of content do particularly well on Instagram: fashion, food, travel, home decor, and art/design, to name a few. Within these large topics are various niches where your content can shine: goth fashion, vegan food, budget travel, minimalist design, quirky illustrations… the possibilities are endless.


4. Are there already influencers in my niche?

It pays to look at the other accounts doing really well in your niche. Find five of the most popular Instagrammers and make notes about their followers, likes, and comments, the types of images they post, their posting frequency, and anything else of interest.

It’s useful to learn from people who are already ahead of you about what your audience likes and dislikes.

Plus, learning about influences can give you an idea of the competition you can expect in your niche. On the one hand, if there are already people out there rocking your passion, there may not be any more room for someone else at the top. On the other hand, seeing how other people have succeeded gives you motivation and shows you there’s an audience for your niche. It’s easier to target the followers of those current hot feeds and try to get your stuff in front of them.


5. Is there a way of monetizing my niche?

If you’re in this because you want to make some extra moolah, then it helps to consider the monetization aspect from the start. How exactly will you make an income off your Instagram fame?

Posting pictures and interacting with your followers doesn’t pay, but once you have enough followers you have the power to become an influencer, and THAT can pay off big time.

Looking at what other influences are doing will give you a clue as to what this will look like. They may be collaborating with brands, producing sponsored content, making and selling their own products, releasing a book or movie… the list just keeps going.

Choosing which niche to target is perhaps the most important Instagram decision you make, so choose wisely. And above all – choose with passion!

What’s your Insta-niche?

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Monetising Instagram – How you earn money on Instagram

Photo by @galadarling

Let’s face it – while posting pics for your friends is fun, most of us are here on Instagram because we’re hoping to earn some serious dosh. Maybe we want to fund more travel, or buy a house, or keep our cats in the matter to which they’ve become accustomed.

Once you start building up your follower numbers and create that authentic brand, you’ll be able to start earning money. Here are four clever ways influencers make money off instagram:

1. “Renting” your instagram feed

Anthony Carbone operates over 28 instagram accounts in various niches totally over 13 million followers, and the way he makes a living from those feeds is interesting. Anthony effectively “rents” areas of his account out to brands – he sells the caption under his image, the image itself, his bio link, and even his finger on the “like” button.

“You don’t need to have millions of followers to become an influencer marketer on Instagram, just a nice following with great engagement.  I have seen people with 10k followers make over $100 per post to promote shoes, clothing, and accessories.”

2. Creating “curated” content

“Curated” content means you publish unique pics on your feed that incorporates a brand’s product into the images. Your readers see you using the product in an “everyday” setting and immediately want to own it, too.

For brands this is amazing – they get their brand associated with you in an authentic way and get to showcase who their product looks, feels, and behaves in real life. And they will happily pay you for the privilege. According to Adweek, most curated content is paid between $300-800 per post.

A Beautiful Mess is a craft, home decor, and lifestyle blog with a popular instagram feed. Many brands pay them to feature their products in their craft projects and room designs. Despite this, their content doesn’t feel salesy – it’s still interesting and authentic.

3. Running an e-commerce store

Black Milk Clothing is an Australian label creating printed leggings and other clothing. They pride themselves on creating unique collections that tell a story. For online stores like this, Instagram serves as a way to showcase a product and how it can be styled. The more visually stunning the images, the more followers click through and buy the product.

Black Milk use instagram to showcase swoon-worthy styling and to pimp their amazing customer selfies.

4. Writing a book

Instagram star Gala Darling uses the platform to promote her self-help book Radical Self Love, as well as other self-improvement courses and retreats. Gala’s popularity and following were part of what sparked her book deal with Hay House Publishing.

Gala posts mainly inspirational messages about living your best life and loving yourself. Her readers are attracted to her positivity and larger-than-life personality and go on to read her book.

All of these revenue streams take effort and time to pay off, but it’s worth it. If you continue to produce quality content on the regular, you can use any of these techniques to provide a steady income stream to make your dreams come true.

How do you earn money from Instagram feed?


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Instagram for e-commerce: getting more peeps to your online store

Image by @blackmilkclothing

Image by @blackmilkclothing

So you’ve heard Instagram is a great way to spread the word about your e-commerce store? It’s true – while big brands can dominate Google search results with their deep pockets, you can tap into something even more powerful; the allure of desire.

To create a successful Instagram feed for an e-commerce store you need to create an image your followers want to adopt. Whether it’s a certain room decor, a killer wardrobe, or an unforgettable holiday, you’ve got to give them moments they desire and then say to them, “you can have this too – SHOP HERE.”

How do you do this? We’ve got our top tips below.


1. Check out what other brands are doing

Your first step is a little market research. Check out the feeds of the brands you love – or the brands who are getting the following and interaction you desire. Study what they post, how they interact with their followers, and what their audience is excited about.

Do they post sneak-peeks of upcoming products to make their followers feel special? Do they showcase their products in beautiful compositions? Do they use lots of humour, memes, or GIFs? Don’t copy, but learn from those who have come before you so you can see how it’s done well.


2. Involve your customers

Use your brand to give the love back to your customers and they’ll thank you for it. Re-post customer images (with permission, of course!) showing them enjoying your products. You can pick and choose the images that best represent your brand – over time, customers will learn what you want to see if they want to be reposted.

For example, New Zealand brand Zeffer Cider frequently post pictures from their customers of happy people drinking cider in great locations around New Zealand. This shows Zeffer as a friendly local brand that’s consumed by real people having a good time, and it also allows them to give love back to their customers.


3. Stay consistent

The most IMPORTANT aspect of a brand’s Instagram page is that it remains consistent and on-message. Have a clear idea of the look you’re portraying and stick to it. Use the same filters and colours across your images to maintain that consistency. Post at the same time every day. Don’t suddenly decide to post random, off-topic things. Keep your feed professional and focused.

Create a visual and social media branding guide to help others managing your company’s social media to stick to the same theme and message.


4. Great content isn’t enough

Being an e-commerce store on Instagram is more than just pretty pictures (although they are hella important!) You’ve got to engage with your audience and get them excited about your brand. Ask them questions. Get them to choose between two colours or their favourite items.

Always, always let them know that an item is available for sale through your link.


More insta-ecommerce tips

Here are a few more quick tips for instagram success:

  • If you have an image containing a certain item that is going viral, change the link in your bio to point directly at that item.
  • Don’t make it all about the sale – try to have some fun and laugh together, too.
  • Pay careful attention to hashtags. The right hashtags will have you showing up in front of hundreds of new eyes.
  • Invent your own hashtags. You can hashtag your popular items – that way customers can just lick and see images of that item you posted months ago.
  • Be positive. Don’t use your page to talk about politics or go off on rants about annoying customers. Remember that you’re trying to create a feeling of desire. No one desires being ranted at.

Using Instagram is a great way to showcase your products to a wider audience. By being strategic about who you target and engaging with your audience, you’ll quickly discover all the benefits of being authentically you.

What are your hottest tips for selling products through Instagram?

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