9 Steps to Go From 0–10,000 DAILY Website Visitors from Pinterest in Under 6 Months

9 Steps to Go From 0–10,000 DAILY Website Visitors from Pinterest in Under 6 Months

9 Steps to Go From 0–10,000 DAILY Website Visitors from Pinterest in Under 6 Months

Despite What You’ve Been Told, This Ain’t Yo Momma’s Social Media Platform…

Originally published January 2018.

At the start of 2017 I was just like you. I too thought that Pinterest was nothing but hordes of mums.

I was lost.

Confused.

Completely. Fucking. Wrong.

Pinterest is a traffic beast, and may be a smarter investment of your time than more popular platforms (hint, Instagram, hint).

Want to start Pinterest pimpin?

Let’s set the scene with a little story..


It’s the start of a wonderful new year. Whilst using IFTTT, I noticed they have a “Repost from Instagram to Pinterest” automation.

I set up a simple profile and just let it auto post out.

See what happens.

[Spoiler alert]

Sweet fuck all. For months.

Several months later…

After a large expanse of nothingness, I notice a traffic spike that catches my attention..

intresting😏..

Turns out, good Instagram content is also good Pinterest content (I’m now confident that this can be extended to any visual platform).

I make my profile look better, create 10–15 varied boards, and start posting tens of daily posts across those boards.

Working, but not for me..

I notice that some content I’m reposting is gaining repins, but the majority is getting little to none.

Also, the pins that are gaining traction, are only going to be sending traffic to the external sites that they link to.

I think I need more followers to seed out the content. That way I can determine which type of content does well more quickly.

I start using some engagement automation to follow, like content and unfollow the accounts of my competition’s followers.

Ooooooo….

I notice 10–15 of the repins I’ve done are getting shared 10,000+ times… Interesting..

I decide to make my own versions, and direct them at my own website and blog content, and then..

10,000 shares.

20,000!

And then…

50,000!

100,000!!

250,000!!!

The shares keep on climbing, as does the traffic those pins are sending to my website.

Some peak at over 1,000 unique hits A DAY.

I know I know, it sounds really sweet, right?

But don’t worry, I know there’s one burning question on your mind…

“Mmmm, sounds impressive, but I think I’ll just keep bashing my head against a wall with Instagram. Could you talk about that instead?”

Look, I’m known for being good at both Instagram and Pinterest.

I’m acutely aware that Instagram is all that everybody cares about with regards to visual marketing.

I get asked about it far more often.

But you know what?

Everybody might be dumb.

Don’t get me wrong, Instagram’s traffic is GOLD. It really does convert very well for (mostly) cold traffic.

But, it’s now a nightmare to do well at Instagram without investing serious time and or cash.

It can give the best results.

But not for you.

Because you’re a business owner with a million and one tasks and projects to juggle in order to make your baby a success.

You got no time.

You got no money.

You need marketing with maximum bang for your buck!

What do I know about Instagram? I grew my business’ account from 0–250,000 followers in 10 months.

Sounds awesome right?

It was, but Instagram has a massive problem at the moment.

You only really get website clicks based on new followers.

To reliably add new followers, you need not only post effective, regular content, but you need to keep on top of every new feature in order to remain in the algorithm’s good graces.

That doesn’t mean that Instagram can’t work. I have lots of friends having success with it, and running large Instagram marketing groups.

Vivien and Tasha have an awesome group — Instagram Growth and Engagement. It’s more branding focused.

Jeannette , Daniel & Len have a great one as well — Dream Team Instagram Secrets. It’s more growth hack focused.

So if you insist on Instagram, check them out.

It can work. I just think you’re unlikely to have an easy win with it.

Instagram’s biggest business issue is that you can’t currently share content on it.

The lack of shareability means that your existing audience is only so powerful. Again, the majority of website clicks comes from new followers.

Yes, they will engage with your content, which helps it get in front of more new potential followers — meaning your audience GENERALLY grows at an accelerating rate, but they can’t propagate your content .

Once content is posted, it will be useful to you for maybe 3–7 days.

If Instagram content could be shared, then your followers could seed out content you create.

This would make having more followers, more useful, as they’re essentially posting your content to all of their followers. It would also give your content a MUCH longer lifetime.

So, which platform has the best potential for shared content…..?

You guessed it 😉

Pinterest is absolutely insane for content sharing.

With just 500 relevant followers, you can have your content become one of the most repinned in your niche (if you’re smart with your content creation).

Not only is this great for reach, but as each pin can link back to your website, one super successful pin can generate hundreds of clicks a day, for months and months.

If you think you could get results from Instagram, you 100% can get results from Pinterest.

Here are the 9 steps you need to follow to get a tsunami of traffic from Pinterst:

1. Change your mindset about Pinterest

  • It’s the 2nd biggest referrer of traffic online (after Facebook).
  • It’s not just full of mums — you’re audience is there, and no one is effectively marketing to them.

2. Do your research

Use Pinterest’s search to:

  • Find keywords in your niche.
  • Find influencer accounts with 5,000+ followers.
  • Find board name inspiration from the influencers.

3. Build your profile

  • Fill your account name and description with keywords relevant to your niche.
  • Create 10–20 boards in your niche. Get granular. Use the influencer accounts you researched for inspiration.
  • Fill your board descriptions with relevant keywords.
  • Create a covers for each board.

4. Repost A LOT to find the best content

Pinterest use to give repin counts on all content, so it was easy to see what the best performing content was.

Today is different. Now you need to repin lots of content in order to see what bubbles to the top.

  • Use post 50–100 posts across your boards DAILY.
  • Look at the influencer accounts you identified and schedule any pins you see them reposting often.
  • Schedule pins that the search returns near the top of the results for your keywords.

5. Engagement automation

With no followers, no one is getting alerts when you repost all of this content, and so no one is sharing it.

You need to hit about 500 followers to start getting good repin counts.

  • Follow the followers of your identified influencers (start unfollowing them once you’re following ~10,000 people)

6. Content seeding with group boards

Group boards are boards that you can request to contribute to.

Joining them means you can repin content to an existing audience. This can greatly increase your follower growth and greatly shorten the time it takes to identify which pin style is the most shareable.

  • Find group boards in your niche and follow the boards steps to become a contributor. This may be email, commenting on a specific post, sending them a DM etc.
  • See if your influencers are part of group boards, its a good place to start.

7. Identify content that resonates

Now comes the waiting game. Sometimes this may take a week or two, sometimes it could take a few months.

It’s a case of viral natural selection — you need to figure out what works the best, the more followers you can gain, the faster this should work.

  • Look at which pins are getting the most traction, being shared the most.
  • Repost those pins more, and schedule more that are of a similar style.
  • Stop reposting the content that is performing the worst.

8. Run with the winners

Whist you’re repinning, you’re just sharing other peoples content. Generating traffic for them.

The next step is to create your own pins and direct them to your website.

  • Wait until 5–10 of your repins, have been repinned over 1,000 times.
  • Create your own versions of these pins with corresponding blog posts.
  • Enable rich pins to pull your blog post titles to display with your pins — this will make them perform better.

9. Create a blog post system

Once you’ve had a few of your own pins reach 10,000+ repins, it’s time to create a system.

  • Find a type of blog post you can easily whip up in 30–90 minutes that suits the type of pin you’ve identified as high performing: recipes, listicles, workouts, quizez etc.
  • Alternatively — if you have a strong enough profit engine from your website, pay people to write unique content. Point is, you want lots of content relevant to the pin style, and you want it fast.
  • Churn out 50+ of these blog posts and pin combos.
  • Profit!

Make sure to constantly analyse the similarities between your top performing pins:

What words in blog post titles are performing the best?

What structure of post title?

What imagery style is performing best on the pins?

What colours are performing the best?

What you’ll likely find is that pins that reflect fixing the fears, relieving the pains, or enabling the desires of your audience will perform the best.

So make sure you understand your audience, it will only hasten your success!

That’s it!

You’ll be amazed at how much traffic you can start to pull from Pinterest once you run through this strategy.

It takes a while to gather the data, but once you know what works and start directing pins to your own site, you’ll start hitting 1,000+ clicks daily before you know it, and it’s not difficult to maintain this!

Post August dip is because I created zero new pins for 3–4 months when I started traveling 😅

Yo, I’m Connor!

I’m a smart person. I don’t do smart things.

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250,000 Instagram Followers in 10 months

My 3 Biggest Lessons and the Fun it’s Allowed Me.

Need to celebrate wins more soooooo;

I’ve just passed 250,000 Instagram followers in 10 months!

Woo.

Go me…

I’m going to give you my biggest 3 takeaways from growing this account, but first I want to give you a peak behind the curtain at some of the fun that I’ve been having in the last week or two, based largely on the success of this Instagram account.

  1. If you’re just here for the marketing knowledge and want to skip this section — DON’T!

I mean, there’s nothing “useful” for you in this section, but it’s not long, and there’s a chance you might even enjoy it 🙃

2. If you do find it in anyway amusing, here’s a peek at my first two weeks in Croatia.


Wednesday

Fly over to Copenhagen for a Bachelor party.

Realize Stevie, a girl whom I’ve never met, but am doing a goal setting workshop in Italy with next month, is also in Copenhagen for a few days!

Meet her for drinks / to battle plan. She’s amazing.

Spend $15 on a beer. Die a little inside.

Meet my uncle who’s flown from Canada for the party a few days early. We drink too much and sing karaoke.

I pick “Power of Love — Huey Lewis”.

I jump on stage and “Power of Love — Jennifer Rush” starts to play.

These are not the same song…

Thursday

Caffeine through the previous night’s antics.

Work. work. work.

Go to some hipster barber shop. Get the most meticulous haircut anyone has ever had. This dude shaved my head with 8–9 different clipper lengths.

It was nuts.

Hair looks dope though!

The rest of the bachelor party turns up and we head over to the boat we’re staying on.

We drink. We sing karaoke (you may detect a pattern emerging).

 

Drink. Drink. Drink. Pass out.

Friday

Not feeling too fresh. We go to the Carlsberg brewery. They have nazi elephants . We learn some beer history and taste some (lots) of beer.

My energy returns.

We throw on some pirate outfits and take to the streets!

I discover 7Eleven taquitos.

I destroy 7Eleven taquitos.

Taquitoppenheimer

Guess what! We drink, again.

I drunk eat too many taquitos, again.

I’m so tired from too much fun and not enough sleep, I swear I feel my soul break, horcrux style.

I knock back 10–15 shots hoping that my energy returns.

It does not.

I go to bed for about 3 hours before…

Sunday

I wake at 7am and fly 5 hours back to Split.

I’ve never been so annihilated it’s making me cry to keep my eyes open

Monday

I’m a man reborn. Punch work in the face with my productivity fists! Me and Joe punch our workout in the face with our, er, fists!

Go to a meeting that the amazing L.D organised where everyone turned up to talk about their background, goal and fears for the coming year.

It was fucking awesome.

Got all the friendship feels and get a good kick to scale and automate my business more.

Would be the nuts if I could free up more of my time, and help the awesome people I’m traveling with smash their goals!

Watch Wonder Woman.

😍

Decide I need to marry wonder woman.

Tuesday

Work like a bloody bad man again. Get a good 11 hours in.

Chill with the bestie watching Despicable Me.

Wednesday

Go to some huge outdoor rave to celebrate the solstice. Develop GCLF (gorgeous Croatian lady fatigue). Not even joking. The ladies here are so good looking, it actually exhausts you.

Uber home at 5am.

Me and Mark ask our driver to stop so we can grab pizza half way.

There are two shops, one’s stopped serving and one has approximately two thousand hungry people outside it.

We go into the closed ones and they cook us up the two remaining pizzas with topping combos so nasty, that clearly only idiots would buy them.

We’re hella drunk so, tasty AF…

Sleep.

Thursday

Wake up. It’s 9am and I’m like:

Wake up at 6.30pm.

Solid day.

Mark cooks L.D and Amelia and I some dank munchies. He’s awesome.

Sleep.

Friday

Work, work, work, gym, work, work.

Amazing Sushi round 2.

We go out for one drink.

Then two. three. four.

Alcohol magically cures GCLF.

Stay out til the sun comes up dancing with lovely Croatian ladies.

Saturday

I wake up and decide, once again;

No adulting for me.

Moving ain’t on the cards for me today.

I chill and get loads of writing done.

Sunday

Sunday Funday!

Me, Eddie, Kib and John drive to Plitvice National park. It’s unspeakably beautiful.

Epic Waterfalls.

Pristine lakes a magical shade of deep cobalt.

And apparently all of America and Asia over the age of 60.

It’s pretty busy!

Luckily, we march around for 6–7 hours and for the last couple, we are the only people around. It is stunningly tranquil.

But that’s not the end of the fun…
We travel to Knin to Europe’s second largest castle. It’s on top of mountain. It’s fucking epic.

We eat a gorgeous feast as the sunsets over the mountains and then, then the heavens open.

The sky’s alight and the rumble of thunder shakes through each of us. People are inside to avoid the rain, but I need to find the lightning.

I run from the restaurant to the top of the castle until I find my moment.

Looking out across an expansive plane, mountains on each side to frame it, gorgeous tendrils of lightning branch across the sky. The hair on the back of my neck stands up as a storm of rain drenches me.

Everyone else catches up and we all get just a little silly… We run around screaming ghost noises, gibberish and movie quotes into the heavens..


Yeah, yeah, get on to Instagram.

Okay okay…

To top it off, this week I hit quarter of a MILLION Instagram followers!

Here’s what you actually came here for, my take away’s from achieving this.

1. It’s not difficult to grow a large following

No intention to sound like an arse, and perhaps you’re putting in the right hours in the right place and getting no results.

But.

I’m almost certain that 99% of people aren’t doing the following:

  • Posting good content, consistently.
  • Priming that content for discovery by using good hashtags and engaging.

What do I mean “good content”?

Content which has proven itself to perform well. That could take a lot of forms:

  • You could see locations or styles of photos that work well and imitate them.
  • You could find “themes” on Instagram and fit your photos to that theme (travel, fitness, fashion, food, memes, motivation, or more granular sub-niches of these).
  • Or, most simply — you could find larger accounts in your niche and find the best content they’ve ever posted, and repost that with an attribution to them (you’ll likely need to contact them before doing so).

If you’re relying on the business that this Instagram account funds to pay the bills, or to get you out of a life you’re not enjoying;

DON’T TRY TO REINVENT THE FUCKING WHEEL.

Find what works and adapt it in whatever way works best for you.

If you’ve got a load of time to test new shit, or you’re doing an art project, fuck yeah, try something edgy and viral, otherwise — stick to what works.

What do I mean by “consistently”?

Posting 2–8 posts, at about the same times. EVERY DAY.

EVERY, DAMN, DAY!

Most people freak at the thought of this, and so most people aren’t doing this.

Know what helps with making this many posts per day? Having a large store of content ready for your account to use via some or all of the methods mentioned above 😉

2. Instagram will constantly try to fuck you.

Instagram isn’t your platform, it’s continuously changing!

Guess what, maybe, they decide they want you to do something differently.

Maybe, you don’t want to.

You like what you’re doing.

What you’re doing has ALWAYS worked, stupid Instagram.

Doesn’t matter.

Pants down.

Boom, say bye to your engagement.

And she ain’t some cheap, $50 fling. This Instagram traffic is conversion meth. Missing out on it going to your website for 1–2 weeks is really going to kick you in the (literal) coin purse.

There is hope. I’m going to let you in on a little (big) secret:

Your traffic from Instagram is related to your account growth, not your follower count!

Is it easier to gain lots of followers if your account is big?

Sure.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing. My largest traffic day from Instagram was at perhaps 30,000 followers. And my most profitable month from Instagram traffic was in the 80–120k follower range.

My traffic is steady, and it does continue to go up on average, but when it has big growth (usually from a string of successful posts) it’s really noticeable in the traffic you get.

Point being, don’t think that everything hinges on having a huge Instagram account. I’d suggest you have multiple accounts and stick to maintaining them.

What works can change quickly and multiple accounts helps you experiment more to find out what Instagram is after.

If you can get some quick growth, you can get much of the reward of a larger account with a small one.

Know what you’ll need to get that tasty, tasty growth?

3. You’ll need to get creative!

The algorithm changes lately have been savage and people are feeling the squeeze.

You’ve now got to get very creative because 3–4 posts in a row with low engagement and Instagram will limit your exposure to YOUR OWN FOLLOWERS, which can cripple your further exposure for the next week plus.

So; if you’re feeling a little hard done by, if you’re feeling like going into a Facebook marketing group and making a post anywhere along the lines of:

“Oh no!! I’m not getting growth any more, I’ve been shadow banned!”

“Oh no!! I’m not getting growth any more, Instagram’s algorithm has changed and now my account is dead!”

“Oh no!! I gained 6 followers today and then I lost 9, my Instalife is ruined”

If you feel like saying anything like that, I have a little gift for you:

Shut the fuck up.

Know what you’re not doing if you’re moaning?

You’re not getting shit done.

Getting shit done >> moaning on Facebook.

So try using your time productively by experimenting with any / all of the following:

  • Posting more.
  • Finding better quality content — look at large accounts that are in your niche and repost their best performing content.
  • Get more hashtags that are relevant to your account and build some hashtag ladders with them.
  • Network with influencers. Under about 250,000 followers I’ve found it very easy to get in touch with influencers by engaging with their content in a thoughtful way, or sending them a direct message offering something useful . If they engage back with your content it can give you a big boost in the explore page.
  • Try posting videos — Instagram is making a push for them as shown in their video feature section. Try posting a video a day for 3–4 weeks, see what happens.
  • Use Instagram stories more and try using hashtags and location tags with them. Instagram trying to crush Snapchat and so just doing stories may give you an algorithm boost when posting photos to your followers.
  • Ditto for Instagram livestreams.
  • Try some creative album posts.

Instagram’s algorithm is usually looking for something, and a good guess is whatever their latest update introduced, so give that a go.

Don’t want to do live streams or stories?

Tough!

Instagram wants it and it will make your life all the harder if you don’t get on board.

You can either embrace it as they intended, or find a system that allows you to do it in a way that suits you.

That’s really it. There are very few secret, hidden techniques to getting this shit to work. Get to work and in less than a year you can also have a big account!

Like the post?

What’s your largest social media achievement?

What creative Instagram strategies are working for you?

Here’s a present for letting me know 😊

Mwahahaa, stupid human..

Yo, I’m Connor!

I’m a smart person. I don’t do smart things.

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How to Find the Most Viral Content for Your Instagram Account

How to Find the Most Viral Content for Your Instagram Account

Double Viral Content

How to Find the Most Viral Content for Your Instagram Account

Originally published May 2017.

If you chose to take action on just one thing I teach, let it be this:

To effectively grow an Instagram account, you NEED a consistent supply of high quality content!

I’m talking 1–8 posts a day, every, single, day.

This completely freaks most people out, often to the point that they don’t even bother to start. This doesn’t just apply to Instagram! If you want to become successful on any social media platform, you need a consistent stream of high quality content, and you need to keep putting it out for months or years at a time to grow a following large enough to run a successful business from.

“Ahhh! But I don’t have time to make 35 pieces of content each week for each social platform I’m on!”,

I hear you say..

Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’ve grown my largest account @TransformFitspo, which delivers over half of my businesses sales, without a single piece of my own unique content 😉

And guess what, the content I use for Instagram works crazy well on Pinterest, Twitter and Imgur. Good visual content is good visual content. It appeals to people, and all platforms are used by people!

So what do you do?

Instagram has an array of “themes” that have already proven themselves.

Fitness, art, tattoos, travel photos, fashion, food, motivational quotes etc.

These themes already exist and they exist for a reason — people like them, en masse. If you’re not already super successful and have loads of free time, or you’re trying an art project, I suggest you mold your Instagram to fit one of these themes.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel!

You may need to use a little creativity to shoehorn your existing account or business into one of these themes, and/or relax your standards on what kind of content your account will post. If you want to grow a successful account, run with what works 😉

How do you find the best content for your account?

There are a couple of methods you can try, depending on how much time you have to invest, and how many accounts you have. For this post I want to quickly run you through how I find content for @TransformFitspo. This method has a higher time investment per post, but finds the best performing content.

So, I’ve identified that female fitness transformations perform the best on Instagram (in terms to building a following that ALSO want to buy from you).

So my strategy is to use 2017bestnine.com to find the top performing posts from the year from a whole range of women that have made fitness transformations, who have over 50,000 followers.

By finding photos that have done extremely well before, and that are from accounts that have proven successful by growing a large following, I can be doubly sure that the post will do well.

My second account…

Using 2017BestNine I can scroll through the accounts of these influencers to find the top transformation post. I can then see how big their posts have been, contact them for permission and I can then download the top one or two best photos they’ve posted using something like dinsta.com.

Alongside downloading the photo, I make sure to copy the caption that came with the photo as they can 2–3x the engagement of the photo. To expand on this a little bit, I’d always recommend you try to add meaningful captions to your posts. If the posts you find don’t come with strong captions, you may need to get creative. A good example would be finding articles your audience is interested in and spreading their content across the captions of your posts for the day.

Legalities

Again, if you want to use other people’s content and cover yourself against legal action, ask them for permission to use it! It’s crazy easy to get in touch with people on Instagram, even if they have large accounts (up to 250,000–500,000 followers in my experience).

Are larger accounts likely to know if you post their content? No. They get tens of thousands of notifications every day, they’re unlikely to spot one from you mentioning them in you picture. However, large accounts are more likely to have the resources to take legal action if they want, so don’t be a dumbass.

Many accounts are likely to be happy that you’re posting their content as you are promoting them (especially as your account gets larger), so the permission is usually quite easy to get. Consider having a VA do this for you.

I always suggest you tag the owner of the photo in your posts. Your audience will appreciate it, and the owner appreciate it. Building relationships is easy with Instagram, so helping to promote other accounts is generally going to help that.

And that’s that! This is a great way to find top quality content. This isn’t the best strategy to find a lot of good content, but it is the best way I’ve found to find a small amount of top quality content (usually more than enough for one strong account).

Have you got an awesome content sourcing strategy?

Not just for Instagram, but for any platform?

Cuddles for replies.

Yo, I’m Connor!

I’m a smart person. I don’t do smart things.

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Hashtag Ladders: My Secret to Massive Instagram Growth that Anyone Can Use

Hashtag Ladders: My Secret to Massive Instagram Growth that Anyone Can Use

Hashtag Ladders

The Secret to Massive Instagram Growth that Anyone Can Use

Originally published May 2017.

You want to know the secret to skyrocketing your Instagram growth?

It’s probably some little known technique, hoarded away by the Insta influencers right?

Think again!

It’s hidden in plain sight, open to for anyone to take advantage of.

Intrigued?

Read on 😉

I’ve used this strategy, in combination with one or two other simple strategies to grow my Instagram audience by 5–20% per week, every week, for months.

That’s compound growth baby! Once you get this right, you’re off to the races and ready to making all that Internet bank.

My main account @TransformFitspo was launched in mid July 2016 and has just crossed 200,000 followers. Every day it sends ~500–1500 super targeted buyers to my website, and for most of its existence, it’s taken ~2 hours work a week to get those results (I’ve recently started investing more heavily into it, hiring someone full time to keep on top of it).

So what’s the big secret?

Drumroll please….

Hashtags!

Keep with me now! Everyone knows about hashtags, right?

Sure, but I’ve seen NO ONE nailing this in quite the right way.

Everyone pulls together 30 somewhat relevant hashtags and post them as a first comment. Great, you may get a handful of extra likes you otherwise wouldn’t have had. But if used correctly, you can structure your hashtags in such a way that primes your posts to get 10x the engagement.

What’s more, the extra engagement from hashtags translates into an avalanche of new followers, as the new engagement doesn’t come from your existing followers.

I’ve used this strategy to grow @TransformFitspo at 10 times the rate of other pages the same size as it, posting the same content as I do (trust me, I monitor my competition closely!)

My page posts female transformation pictures, and despite not being the largest of it’s kind on Instagram, it is the fastest growing, and that’s largely due to this hashtag strategy.

But that’s just because you’re posting inspiring fitness pictures I hear you say?
Sure, and perhaps that helps me get 10x the growth expected, but I’ve translated this growth to a number of other accounts with almost as impressive results!

I grew 10 accounts across the whole range of fitness niches (hot gals, hot guys, gym jokes, female transformations, male transformations etc.) to 5,000–10,000 followers on autopilot in 3 months.

In total, each account took perhaps 10–15 hours to set up and automate. I’ve done the same for accounts about art, travel, fashion, and sport.

I’ve also applied them to client accounts, growing a success quote account with ~100,000 followers at the rate of similar accounts with 3–4x the follower counts.

So hopefully you get it – nail this, and you’re not only making your life much easier, you’re in on something that 99.999% of Instagram is completely fucking up.

So, hashtags, what are they?

For most, they will be a familiar concept, but with regards to Instagram, #hashtags are a particularly important as they make up one of the main discovery mechanics of the site!

 


Slight aside:

I’ve managed to figure out several social platforms at this point, and it seems like the formula is pretty much the same for all of them:

  1. Find the discovery mechanic — How do people find your content on the platform / how do you make your content more discoverable.
  2. Put out consistent, quality content — This changes from platform to platform, but the basic formula is the same. If you can put out X good quality, consistent content posts, every single day, at about the same times each day, you’re onto a winner.

That’s literally it. Figure out how people find your content. Put out lots of good content. Easy 😉


Back to Instagram — hashtags make up one of two main discovery mechanics on the site (the second being the explore page, the third-ish is other accounts tagging you in various forms).

Hashtags are the mechanic that anyone can nail from the start, making them great to focus on for small accounts.

Each hashtag on Instagram has a feed that people can search for content relating to that tag.

The results page for each hashtag has a chronological stream of all the latest content to use that tag, and a top 9 “Top Posts” section — it’s this popular section that we want to take advantage of. If we can get our posts in that popular section (one of my posts is in the middle there), we will get more likes, more comments and more followers.

Bingo.

Each post can use 30 hashtags, so you best be sure we’re going to find 30!
Technically, you can post 30 hashtags as a first comment, and then edit your caption to add another 30 for a total of 60, but with some basic tests this doesn’t amount to much more engagement.
Could be worth playing with though!

So we need 30 hashtags, but which ones to pick? To get into the popular results of any hashtag, you need to quickly build up engagement on your post — if you’re account has a lot of followers, this is simple, as your followers will engage with your posts, and you’ll hit the popular section for the hashtags you use for that post.

Trouble is, most people don’t have lots of followers!

On top of this, even with a “great” engagement (~5% of your followers liking anything you post), you’re unlikely to rank in the popular results for hashtags that are large enough to give you much of a boost, let me give you an example to illustrate!

Say you’ve got 5,000 followers, so a 5% engagement rate would be 250 people liking one of your photos.

Using a classical hashtag strategy, that 250 likes is unlikely to get you to appear in the popular results for most of the hashtags you’re using, they’re just too competitive.

For the tags you do rank in, you may be an extra 10–20 likes, so it’s not enough to get any crazy growth.

So what’s the solution?

Hashtag ladders!

The theory is that by having a set of 30 hashtags, ranging from easy to difficult to rank for, you can start to hit the popular results for the easy ones, gain some engagement, rank for more difficult ones, grab more engagement and so on.

By structuring your hashtags in this way you can start to have posts that get 10x the engagement you’re use to!

This won’t happen all the time, but it can set you up for these spikes every 5–10 posts, which come with big followers boosts.

More detail?

I’d suggest that for an account below 10,000 followers, you want to find a range of RELEVANT hashtags (check the popular results to make sure there’s content similar to your in them) that have been used between 10,000 and 250,000 times.

You may even want to find multiple sets of 30 hashtags, each with a roughly even distribution of hashtag uses across this range, using different sets for different posts.

The key here is that your posts normally couldn’t rank in the popular results for the hashtags that have been used 250,000 times, but they could easily rank for those that have been used 10–20,000 times.

So you get some engagement from those, which pushes you into the results for the 20–40,000 tags and so on.

Off course, the more content you post (to a degree), and the better quality that content, the more runaway successes you’ll have.

The key point here is that if you don’t have this hashtag ladder in place, it’s much more difficult, if not impossible to get any viral results from your Instagram posts!

What’s your Instagram hashtag strategy? Any recommended tools? How many do you use per post?

Any success using 60 per post instead of 30?

Let me know!

For your hard work,

Yo, I’m Connor!

I’m a smart person. I don’t do smart things.

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Imgur: How I Got 140,000 Views in 1 Week

Imgur: How I Got 140,000 Views in 1 Week

Imgur Gave Me 140,000 Views in 1 week

Why I’m NOT Using it as a Growth Channel and How YOU CAN

Originally published June 2017.

Accurate…

So I decided to give Imgur a go a while back, and had some awesome success:

Not bad hey?

I had a post with 82,000 views and another with 60,000.

Those were 2 out of perhaps 8 or 9 posts that I tried.

Imgur has an awesome “Submit to Community” discovery mechanic where your post gets sent out to all of the “Imgurians” and if it’s upvoted, more people see it.

If you find a good piece of content, it get get tens of thousands (or even millions of views in a few hours).

Imgur is a platform that no one seems to be effectively marketing on, but that has a massive potential upside for those that can figure it out.

So, I’ve got your interest, let me explain Imgur a little.

Imgur is like Reddit for images — in fact that’s why it was created, to share images to Reddit easily.

It has an upvote and downvote system.

Good quality is rewarded more selectively than on a platform like Instagram, where you could just post anything controversial that gets a lot of comments, good or bad, and Instagram will promote it regardless of sentiment.

Imgur has Imgurians — a crowd of primarily millennial males, ready to relate any post to sex, and to rabidly tear to pieces ANYTHING they suspect is promotional.

Imgur vs anyone trying to make some dolla

They’re fucking savages

Which I’ll admit, does also make them quite a funny bunch.

So, how did my little foray into Imgur go?

I create an account, post a transformation picture that I know has done really well on my Instagram account and submit it to the community.

It get to about 1,500 views before fizzling out. Not bad I think.

So the next day, I try another.

~300 views and -15 in downvotes (at which point you basically drop out of their public content feed).

The next day I try another successful transformation post.

~100 views and -15 in downvotes, again

Fourth times the charm? I go to post again and..

2 views, no downvotes.

yup…

So I take a at look at my personal messages section and instead of the one or two “Is that photo you” and “hey, you’re cute” messages I have received on the other posts, I have an admin message saying my account is blocked..

I look back at the comments on my previous posts and see comments saying “OP is a spambot”.

It looks like the community is willing to assume that my first post is a personal transformation picture (despite me crediting the original owner and having permission to promote their images), but posting 3 transformation pictures puts me firmly in the spamming for promotion space.

Which bring me to the number one rule of Imgur:

These guys do NOT like you promoting things.

This is likely not helped by my username being @transformfitspo, and me having a link in my bio to our landing page, which is for a paid fitness program.

With that rule burned onto my brain, I do everything I could to prevent the negative comments that can cause a spiral of downvotes.

I change my account name to a personal one, change up my bio and removed the link, with the hopes of building some reputation before introducing it again, and delete my older posts.

I messaged Imgur support, pleaded ignorance and get my account de-limited.

Round 2!

I repost a post that had recently done well on my Instagram — Make sure to set the precedent that I’m just reposting things that I find inspiring and,

GAME TIME!

50k views of the post in 7–8 hours. 1.3k Internet reputation points. Imgur suddenly seems MUCH more interesting.

Slight aside to set the tone for the people of Imugr.. the top upvoted comment on the picture references a popular porn series 😑

So now I’ve built up a good amount of reputation points, I figure I’m safe to keep posting, as posts don’t really get more than about 20 downvotes (negative reputation points) before they drop from the discovery feed, but they can get an unlimited amount of positive rep points and continue to be seen.

My post the next day?

Nothing.

The next day?

Again, nothing.

The neeeext day?

Me, one punch man-ing Imgur IN DA FACCCCEEEE!

Gold again, 80k views!

Perhaps this is just how Imgur works, people always hate it, you just have to hope that just enough people don’t hate it for long enough for it to take off!

I try again a few times for the next few days, but after another 4–5 failed posts I decided to call it a day on Imgur.

Looking through the comments on all of the posts, most of the negative remarks related to:

  • Spaming for Interent points
  • Them being sick of people reposting content

There is a very strong group mentality on Imgur (and Reddit). If you piss them off, they’re the kind of people to build a vendetta mob to downvote everything you try to post for months.

But what about all of the success I had?

Well, it is very promising, but I think that Imgur just isn’t developed enough in the fitness space for me to make it work without a load of headache.

I’ve got limited time, I prefer to put it in areas that I know I will pay off.

Some promising points for me — I have a lot of reputation built up there, that will still be there if I return.

Due to some big recent success with Pinterest, which really needs to send traffic to blog posts, I’m building up a funnel to move people from blog viewers to paying customers.

So, do I think Imgur is something you should write off?

Have you seen those view numbers? That’s nuts. I got that in a week, with no profile building.

You can go from zero to ballin on Imgur, you just need to find a good fit.

If you can do promo through memes, humor, cosplay, or I’m sure a number of other niches, I really think you can do well with Imgur.

I broke one of my own rules with Imgur, which is make sure you fit into an existing powerful niche on the platform. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel by carving out a new niche on a platform (just because some people have, and have had crazy success, doesn’t mean you should waste time trying, you’ve got limited hours, put them in areas more conducive to your success)!

If my business could related to one of the big niches on Imgur, I would be straight back over there.

Remember

You need to be able to promote your business to them at some point, you need a way to pull the traffic from Imgur. You may want to do like I’d planned, and build a reputation before promotion — but my suspicion would be that if you can’t make it work whilst promoting something from day 1, you’re likely doing to struggle down the line.

You could try a link which looks very innocuous and safe, that can generate you money in a funnel down the line, like a blog, that could be okay.

You need a way of either putting out fresh content daily, or reposting content that people won’t turn on.

I think memes and jokes fit this really well, but most other posts it seems hard to make a system out of them. Yeah you could get a few one hit wonders, but if everyone turns on you as soon as you try to do that each day, you need another plan.

Basically, you can’t come across spammy or promotional in any way or they’ll gut you, then string you up by said guts.

But, again, give it a go!

Imgur clearly has loads of potential for massive, quick, business success.

Will you be the one to crack it?

Let me know if you’ve tried Imgur marketing?

How did it go?

What was the most amusing comment you got about your efforts?

Yo, I’m Connor!

I’m a smart person. I don’t do smart things.

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