If you haven’t read the first part of this post, you can do so here.
6) They encourage reader participation
Bloggers often solicit participation and contributions from their followers by asking questions, running exclusive giveaways and competitions, and requesting recommendations for places to visit when they’re travelling.
Some popular bloggers also reply to comments left on their photos, which strengthens their relationship with readers and in turn encourages further participation. Researcher Kayla C. Boyd suggests in her paper ‘Democratizing Fashion‘ that these blogger-reader interactions establish a sense of community and allow followers to ‘build self-confidence by exploring their identity with like-minded others.’
Photo by Gustavo Gomes. CC BY-NY 2.0.
7) They interact with their followers in real life
When bloggers become sufficiently popular they often host meet-and-greets for their followers, particulate in industry events, and occasionally run workshops, masterclasses or retreats, some of which are conducted through The School Instagram.
The workshops I’ve come across have ranged from photography to styling to cooking to calligraphy to writing, just to name a few. These courses run from anywhere between a few hours to a few months, and may even be conducted virtually.
8) They post at the right times of the day
This point is a little arbitrary, given that many bloggers have international followings, but most successful bloggers tend to post at times that are optimal for their primary audiences. An article in The Huffington Post has shown that 2am and 5pm EST are the ‘best times to post [on Instagram] if you want your followers to pay attention to you’, and that ‘the worst times are 9am and 6pm’.
These are logical statistics: at 5pm, as the article suggests, people are finishing work and will likely browse through social media as they wind down and head home for the day. The article shows, however, that optimal times vary significantly throughout the week; that while a post is likely to perform well at 5pm on Wednesday, the optimal time shifts to 7pm on Monday and 8pm on Friday, and so on.
Photo by Gustavo Gomes. CC BY 2.0.
9) They accept sponsors strategically
As bloggers become more popular they invariably receive requests from companies to endorse certain products. Many bloggers have openly stated that they are careful about the sorts of products they choose to feature; they don’t promote items they don’t use or believe in, they clearly disclose sponsored posts, and they ensure that a partner company’s image and values are compatible with their own.
10) They integrate their Instagram account with their blog and other social media
Specifically, they excerpt and promote their blog on their Instagram account, often sharing numerous photos from a single blog post over successive days to maximise click-throughs. They provide a link to their blog (and sometimes other social media accounts) in their Instagram header, and their blog in turn contains links to accounts on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and so on.