Alternatives to the Instagram "Link in bio" Problem

I'm sure you've seen it. A brand posts a photo on Instagram that relates to either a blog post or a product and tacked right onto the end of their caption are those three little words, "link in bio." Ugh. 

Unless there's something I'm missing, I don't see how this is a viable option at all. Really though, is there something I don't understand? If you use this method, I'd love to hear your reasoning behind it.

Why's it bad? Well, if you do it for one photo, you're probably doing it for others. So what happens when someone is scrolling through your feed and sees an older photo and wants to learn more about that photo. Your caption says "link in bio" but that link has probably changed 20 times already. You just lost that reader or customer. I don't think that's far fetched because that's exactly how I operate. When I click the link and it's not the page I was expecting, I don't often hunt it down, I just move on. 

Instead of simply griping about it, I thought I'd offer some solutions. Skip the constantly broken/dead links (and possibly even lost customers) and consider my options.

Custom Short Links 

Since Instagram doesn't allow hyperlinks in captions, you need to keep your URL as short and as memorable as possible. Sure this isn't ideal but it's a workaround that I've implemented for brands in the past and it seems to work fairly well. 

You can use either a plain old Bitly link or go full custom with something that matches your domain. Click here for steps on how to make your own custom short URL.

The key is to make the part after the "/" unique to what you're sharing. No one is going to remember "" let alone be able to tell you if that's a 1 or a lower case "L" or a zero. You get the idea.

An real-world example would be "" (which can be seen in use here). The "" is a shortened version of "" which isn't too difficult to remember. And your URL may be even easier to work with. A Bitly example of this link would be: "" and this is cool because if you follow that link, it goes to the correct page because the ITS Tactical short URL is tied in with Bitly. 

A Dedicated Page on your Site

This was an idea I had recently so I don't know if it's a good one yet or not. The gist is this, you make a page on your site, something like "" and that's the URL that lives in your Instagram bio.

The page itself will be a single page with thumbnails of your Instagram photos (and maybe captions) with links to whatever specific thing you wanted to link to.

My thinking is that if someone wants to read more about X product on your Instagram page, they'll be able to quickly scan that page on your site for the matching photo and subsequently get directed to the correct product.

The Last Resort

Even though I have no idea why you'd do it, if you insist on using the "link in bio" method, at least do one thing for me. Once you post a new photo and change the link in your bio, go back to any previous photos and edit the caption. It's only fair that you delete the call to action lest you have people ending up at dead ends.


Do you have any other ideas? I'd love to hear 'em.

Chris Brogan on Failure

I don't believe that I've ever met someone who truly doesn't worry about failure in some aspect. Some are better at keeping those thoughts of failure pushed away most of the time but every now and then it creeps back into view.

Whether it’s in a relationship, career, foot race, or whatever other situation we find ourselves in, the fear of failure can prevent us from taking risks and ultimately gaining ground outside our comfort zone.

Here’s an excerpt from an email Chris Brogan sent on Sunday, September 13, 2015 that's simple yet illustrative.

P.S. If you like this, you should definitely subscribe to his email newsletter.

Another View of Failure

Think of failure as “an outcome you didn’t expect or want.” That’s what Tony Robbins taught me. It’s very freeing to consider failure that way. Instead of “Oh wow, you suck! You’re terrible! You’ll NEVER make it,” this kind of mindset is, “Huh, well, that’s not what I wanted to see happen. What do I do next?”

It’s a powerful reframing and it changes everything.

Actions You Can Take

Want to test this? DELIBERATELY do something you know you’ll fail at and work on accepting the response. For instance, take three bean bags or tennis balls down to the street corner and show off your juggling prowess (with no previous knowledge). Go to karaoke and belt out the lyrics to a song you don’t really know (especially if you can’t sing). Just let it out there, fail, and see if you die. (Hint: you won’t.)

Take a Break from Sharing for Others and start Sharing for Yourself

Does every blog post you write need to be shared across every social network in hopes that everyone you know will read it? You may feel like it's necessary but I'm recommending you take some time and just share for yourself.

There’s something freeing about hitting "Publish" on a blog post and just leaving it there, not raising attention about it. Overall it's a great way to become comfortable with your own thoughts. The opposite side of this is that as soon as we put something out, most will immediately begin the constant checking of how many likes or favorites it gets.

Keep sharing your thoughts through a blog or journal but don't feel pressured to post it to every social network imaginable. Yeah you may feel like you're missing out on "reach" but chasing numbers is a time waster anyway. Share for yourself.

What do I do well? What should I be driving towards?

I don't know what I'm supposed to be working on every single waking moment of the day. In all of my jobs both past and present, there were/are duties and responsibilities I enjoy more than others but what's the one thing that people would call my "passion?"

I really don't know. It used to bother me but I've learned to not dwell on it and just keep doing what I'm doing until I find it. A video (which I can't find now) from Gary Vaynerchuk got me thinking about it again.

A couple of my creative inspirations are Casey Neistat and Tim Ferriss, for very different reasons. When I look at what they're doing I get jealous, in a good way, but also question where I am in life and if what I'm doing is something I'll be proud to show off.

That's a poor way of saying it though because I actually am proud of what I do. It just seems that my "purpose" continues to elude me. Rest assured however that I'll be going all in once I find it.

"What man needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him." -Victor Frankl