I’ve seen a lot of people who seem to dislike, or even hate the idea of comment pods. Whereas, I’m all for Instagram pods, I think they work well and at the moment, due to the algorithm, engagement is at an all-time low. So, why wouldn’t you want to up your engagement while also supporting other bloggers?
If you’re new to the idea of comment pods, simply put they’re groups of bloggers who send each other their latest upload to like and comment on. There is some speculation as to whether Instagram penalise those who use them, however, as far as I’m aware this is just a rumour that arises every few months – I’ve never seen any evidence of doing so.
I completely understand why people aren’t fans of pods. The idea that you have to like and comment on every photo sent, even though they may not be the kind of photos you like, may seem like a lot of time wasted. For me though, I really enjoy seeing what other people post, my Instagram is filled with beauty products so every once in a while, I love seeing someone’s amazing trip to Disneyland pop up. Similarly, pods mean that I actually see people’s photos, if I wasn’t part of a few pods I’d largely end up seeing photos from 5 days ago rather than just today’s.
Yes, I’ll admit that pods are quite a big commitment. You catch up on others’ posts before sending your own, but honestly, that doesn’t seem like too much of a sacrifice. In return, you gain likes and comments. I know you could argue that pods ‘focus on the stats’ and don’t give you ‘organic comments’ but in my experience, nine times out of ten, the comments are actually relevant. If you’re in a pod yourself, you understand the value of driving traffic to your Instagram and then hopefully on towards your blog.
You would probably be surprised at the amount of ‘larger’ bloggers, (we’re talking 10k plus,) who use pods, but I completely understand why they do it. Imagine a brand saw your stats and asked if you would post a paid advert on your feed. Then imagine that it got next to no engagement and likes due to the algorithm. I can’t see myself a. feeling like I’ve fulfilled my potential at advertising, and b. showing other brands what a great investment I am. There are bloggers out there with 10k who only get around 300 likes per photo, the conversion rate isn’t what it used to be. And if pods help show your potential, why wouldn’t you want to try one.
I’ve heard a few people say that they think blog pods are ‘cheating’ the system. And to that I say: if Instagram wasn’t screwing creators over and actually showed our posts to people pods wouldn’t be necessary. In my eyes, the only way you can cheat the system would be to buy followers – and that topic could take a whole separate post, believe me. Pods let me see posts from people who, even though I follow, don’t appear in my feed. I tried cutting down the people I follow, searching for names, saving photos, but none of that worked.
I want to be clear though, I’m not judging you if you don’t use pods, I’m not judging if you do. I think you have to do what works for you. So, if you want to be part of no pods or you want to part of 10, you do you. Personally, pods work for me, if you’re ever feeling down about your blog or photography in any way, who better to talk to and receive advice from than other bloggers in the same situation. Some of the bloggers in my pods are the crème de la crème of the blogging world, and others are micro influencers (yes, I shuddered writing that icky term.) The mix of experience and freshness to the scene is what makes them work so well. Let me know what you think about pods. I’m very interested in opinions both sides of the fence. (Also I’d love you to follow my Instagram!)