Top reasons social media experts recommend niche websites: a simple Instagram study
If you perform a bit of qualitative analysis and social media research, you will quickly find that “how to make money online business niches“, “best internet businesses” and “residual income” are popular search phrases. Most social media experts recommend starting a blog focused on building a niche website or selecting profitable niche markets and using affiliate marketing or affiliate programs for revenue. No matter what the message, you quickly learn that niche websites are the way to go. However, I decided to break the rules to see if there was another way.
As a Jack of all Trades, I find this advice difficult to follow. I become unexcited unless I’m engaged in learning something new. I thought it would be more interesting to create the best website possible with lots of valuable information. After all websites such as Life Hacks or Huffington Post get millions of visits per month. However after performing some preliminary analysis, I now understand the reason this is the top recommendation for successful online businesses.
In order to test the potential for a variety website I did qualitative analysis based on the interests and reactions from Instagram users. Although this is not a very precise method to critically evaluate a theory, I thought it would be a great way to gain information on the interests and patterns of mainstream Internet users with a sample population. I attempted to post various pictures to see how could get the most followers on Instagram. Remember more followers on Instagram or any social media platform translate to more website visits and eventually more revenues from affiliate programs. The results were very clear. My top tips are below.
1. Building a niche is important.
People follow you for a specific reason. Your audience is primarily interested in accessing the best websites that provide information targeted to their interests.
2. Gear posts toward a target audience to gain customer loyalty.
Because Instagram allows you to see the followers of followers, Instagram users have the ability to find others who share similar interests. That audience will eventually attract others with similar interests, which can bring loyal fans otherwise known as brand loyalty.
3. People follow people who have unique experiences focused on a theme.
When people visit your page they want to learn something new, or embark upon a life journey. After reviewing the pages of several Instagram users with 10,000+ followers I noticed that all the pages displayed a unique theme. The theme differed from travel to modeling to luxury goods however the themes were high quality and consistent. The pages created a haven, told a story and provided interesting details and information in the commentary centered on the theme.
4. Posting too many selfies will make your audience unfollow you.
Unless you are Kim Kardashian, Serena Williams, or the First Lady, your audience is not that interested in you and your personal life unless you are a lifestyle blogger / vlogger. Selfies that pass the test are ones where you are engaged in something funny, amazing, unique or inspiring. For example a mud bath in Bali, an amazing pose under a waterfall in a rainforest, a comedy performance, or getting up early in the morning or late at night to do workout. A selfie in Starbucks??? Eh, not so much.
Just remember, if you continue to post repeat pictures of the same things the rate at which you gain followers may decline. You may even lose some of your loyal followers.
5. Revenues will increase when you attract a target customer.
Developing content on a niche subject will help your website get to the top of search engine pages and onto the screens of your target audience. In order for your website to increase in value your pages have to rise in popularity.
If you are interested in learning more about how I came to these conclusion I will explain further. I came up with an idea to attract about 10 followers a day. I posted photos once in the morning, and once at night. The first picture I posted was a recent photo of myself on my way to a formal black tie event. I gained about 20 followers interested in building riches, wealthy entrepreneurs, luxury brands, and expensive cars. Then I posted pictures of me dancing next to my current body size, hoping to obtain accountability partners to follow me on my weight loss journey. I received about 30 followers to that post. I have a feeling that many didn’t read the photo and they assumed that was a “before and after” shot rather then an “after and before.” That was when I came up with the not so brilliant idea to post live video of my weight loss journey. I posted a not so complimentary video of myself headed to hot yoga class in a two-piece outfit. What was the outcome? I lost about 50 followers. Yeah…that’s pretty funny. I wasn’t that bad looking or at least that’s what I thought!
I then posted another picture with the words “Low Ego”. I gained many followers interested in holistic healing but I lost almost all of my original followers. I’m still not sure if it was that picture or the residual fall-out from the live video post. All I know is that my followers were leaving as soon as they joined. I then posted a picture of me with a tiger and a picture of an online trading screen and gained a total of 60 followers. I then deleted the live video post. My followers began to stabilize. However, I noticed that each time I posted photos posted on another topic, I lost many of the previous followers.
It then became a bit of a game. I decided to take a run in the cold one night as part of my weight loss journey. I was curious to see how many followers I’d gained from posting a video of my run. In an hour I gained about 30 followers for a total of 134 followers. But then I posted a selfie the next day and I lost about 40 followers over the course of 4 days. That was when I decided to give up and go the traditional route.
Although I gained more followers than I was losing, it was clear to me that the time I spent posting and monitoring the website was not worth the trouble. I think the best strategy to get the most followers on Instagram is to post valuable content that people can use. I will however continue to stick with my strategy of creating a variety website. I think it’s more important to be who you are.