Things I Changed That Help Me Build A Following
So just recently I hit 4K on my Instagram which I was extremely pleased and grateful for. However, over the past few weeks I’ve had a few people ask me personally how I managed to grow my following to 4K on Instagram and 3.7K on twitter – so I thought I’d try to explain my top tips on how to boost your following / engagement.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still new to all this so I don’t know the proper way to help boost your following, however what I’ve done for me has helped me a lot. If you are a very new blogger, check out my blog post ‘How To Start A Blog’ as I have the best top tips to get your started before you use these tips too.
Some of my points might not help you but they are definitely worth a try.
Choose Your Future Goals
This is probably a very important point to what’s helped me. Luckily, I’m definitely someone who has major dedication and motivation to go towards what I want to do in life. This has massively helped me – if you visually think in the mindset that you know exactly where you want to be and make a future plan of how you want to get there, it will help you. So when starting your Instagram/Twitter for blogging or a business you need to work out what you want to achieve from it and how you are going to achieve it.
Connect With Other Instagrammers
This is very important to connect with other Instagram users, comment, like and follow as much as you can. I am really bad at it but replying to comments on your photo is great for helping your engagement.
Link Your Social Media Handles To Your Blog
I always have all my social media links attached to my blog so its easier for bloggers and brands to contact me and find me easily on places other then my blog.
Link Your Social Media Handles To Your Emails
This is something I’ve done for quite a while and its really helped me… I have inserted a footer on my email which contains my name, website and social media handles. This helps me when emailing a brand as all my details they need are already attached to my email.
Hashtag or Not To Hashtag?!
Hashtags are a funny one. I used to think hash tags helped me a lot but it turns out, they didnt help me at all because of the famous shadowban, every blogger is talking about. If you have never heard of ‘shadowban’ before its basically when instagram can ban your photos from appearing on any of the hashtags. You mainly get shadowbanned if you use instagram too much which to them can be seen as a spam. I have been shadow banned before which was so annoying but its meant that now I rarely use any hashtags and if I do I insert the hashtags in my caption rather then the comments.
This point i absolutely love. As it doesn’t just help your following on twitter, it also helps towards Instagram. Twitter chats are mainly hosted by a blogging promotion account – these are well hosted and organised. You can simply join in the chats by answering all the questions the account asks and replying your answer with their dedicated hashtag. This is great to find and find out about more bloggers.
If you get the chance to host a twitter chat, definitely grab the opportunity. You can apply to host twitter chats to, I’ve done one for @GRLPOWR and @BBLOGGERS. For @grlpowr you can simply enter in a form if you want to apply to host. Make sure you have an idea of your topic and questions ready!
So I have done two different Q&A’s – I have done a blog post one and a YouTube video. I found doing the YouTube video easier purely because its a lot easier for me to explain myself. Doing these is a great way to up your engagement and at the same time time its great for people to know more about you on a personal level. This is when brands and bloggers will start to connect with you even more.
Okay, real talk now. Everyone loves a giveaway no matter how big or how small the giveaway is. You can win stuff for free. This is one of best ways to up your following and engagement. However, for myself I haven’t actually done a proper giveaway – I have only done giveaways on behalf of a brand. Ive found they really helped me engage and my following grew a lot during hosting a giveaway.
So this is the one a lot of people talk about, in my opinion you dont need a theme on your Instagram to be successful. As-long as your images are taken well and relate to your niche and caption – you will most definitely stand out. As my niche is mainly fashion, I try and base my feed around OOTD’s photos. The most important thing about making your feed is never compare yourself to anyone else as it will always get you down and make you feel rubbish. If you believe in yourself more, you will well and truly shrive to success.
The True Reality Behind Blogging
A lot of people never realise how much work goes into blogging, behind the writing and pictures there is a totally different world. What you see is probably only 10% of the work that goes into blogging.
I remember the other day someone said to me ‘blogging must be easy really, sitting at home just writing posts’ oh boy, how wrong was she. I mean don’t get me wrong if you just blog for you personally, more like journal and you don’t promote it to the world… it’s definitely easy. However me as a blogger, I want my blog to be my future career so it honestly takes up all my time which I don’t mind because I love it so much!
On average day I get up, go the gym, come home, get ready, go out and shoot photos, then edit edit edit, write a blog post or two, film a YouTube video and edit it. Alongside all this I need to be active on social media, reply to emails and promote everything as a whole.
I spend majority of my days up until early hours of the morning simply trying to make my blog looks its best – alongside my daily antics I have my personal life and social life as well blogging which is pretty much 24/7. Obviously it’s your choice how much time you spend on blogging – but me, working with brands and knowing bloggers from all around the world is amazing, but it’s makes the day to day blogging job never ending.
‘YOU NEED A BREAK SOMETIMES’
Every blogger eventually has a down day and realises it’s a lot of work – needing to take a break. It’s never wrong to take a day off, especially from social media as it can be so overwhelming at times.
Ever so often I will always have a day where I’m both physically and mentally exhausted… but in reality being a blogger or not, we all have them days. Some days I literally hate my blog and my Instagram feed but I’ve learnt to look at all of this as a learning curve, I’m constantly evaluating my blog and improving it to make it better and better every day.
Talking about needing a time out, the blogging community itself can be so hot headed and too much at times. Don’t get me wrong I’ve never been in any blogging drama, you will see a lot of the days on twitter, my feed can be full of drama which can also be very overwhelming and stressful. However, when there isn’t any drama it switches to love and support from all the different bloggers around the world and it is just incredible. The blogging community can be such a strong community full of love. There will always be advantages and disadvantages to the blogging world itself…Don’t you agree?
THE REALITY BEHIND BLOG POSTS
One of the most annoying realities about writing blog posts is definitely having a writers block. After going through a lot of great blog posts, you will come to a point where you struggle to think of other blog post topics. Before you even write a blog post, I always have to plan and schedule so they all are relevant and fit into my blog nicely – I have to make time to go take pictures too.
Blogging has changed my life for the better, it’s made me actually believe in myself and my future to come. My confidence has pretty much shot through the roof, alongside this I’ve never been amazing at English but it is constantly improving my English from day to day. Being a blogger is such an amazing feeling, besides any drama and the down days, I would never regret becoming a blogger.
This blog post has simply just outlined the home truths about blogging as a whole, but honestly you will never truly know the proper ins and outs of the blogging world if you’re not a blogger. If you ever feel like starting a blog, I completely support you and wish you all the luck – it’s a truly remarkable feeling from the love, support and opportunities you get from the blogging community and friends and family.
If you are starting a blog and need advice, you can check out my blog post ‘How To Start A Blog’ here.
You can also message me anytime at this email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
There is absolutely nothing I would change about becoming a blogger or the blogging community itself.
How To Start A Blog
I thought I would write this blog post because when I first started my blog I found it quite hard to get it started, I seemed to be like, what happens next, what do I do now? As i have now been blogging for a while, I have learnt blogging isn’t as straight forward as you think, there is so much people don’t know and how much hard work actually goes into having a blog. For me, i pretty much blog full time and I would love to eventually have my blog as my career, what a dream.
Things you need to do when starting your blog;
Find Your Muse
When it comes to starting a blog I definitely believe the biggest starting point is to work out what you want to blog about, find something you’re passionate about.
Whether it’s Beauty, fashion, travel, lifestyle, even abit of everything?! However, being passionate about your topic is the most important thing, because if you are not – you will really struggle to sit and write about it all the time.
For me I started of completely dedicating my blog to fashion and now I have about 5 different topics running of my blog.
So for this you can either jump straight in and buy your own domain and template or you can have a go on a free blogging platform.
Majority of people usually use either blogspot or WordPress as they are great to start on.
I started on blogspot it’s completely free to start and so easy to use – however, I eventually moved to WordPress which is free to use to but they have a lot more variety of free templates.
When you’ve set your blog up don’t be disheartened if it’s not looking how you wanted it to look as it does take time to build – the more you blog and add your own style it will build and grow faster.
This has to be the MOST important part of creating a blog, right? What are going to call it…? You can either create a name dedicate to your blog or like me I’ve just used my first and middle name. I preferred to use my own name as I felt that my blog is now more personalized to me.
If you create something that’s not your name, make sure it’s catchy so people will remember and it will become easily known to other people.
Blog, Blog, Blog
Now everything is finally set up, blog blog blog. Don’t get me wrong I look back on old material now and cringe – but doesn’t everyone?! I always think it just shows how much you’ve grown so I don’t regret anything.
The benefit blogging has for me is that it’s definitely improved my English and Vocabulary a lot!
When posting on your blog try an stick to schedule as you can so easily go off track if you don’t. I tend to post every Sunday and Wednesday. I do write my blog posts in advance so I never need to worry or stress about rushing them.
One of the keys pointers for your blog to grow is having a social media platform you can start promoting on. I mainly use Instagram and twitter, which is good to promote your blog on it but don’t go to over the top as some people don’t like seeing constant advertising – I try and tweet or post in between. I am currently writing another blog post about boosting engagement for your blog which I will write in more detail about growing your blog on there.
I most admit I need to focus on this, it’s definitely my downfall for my blog. It’s so easy to do and it will help your blog so much! When I do schedule I tend to schedule my tweets over a few weeks promoting my blog posts whilst I’m busy in the day time and not able to go on twitter. I use Buffer to schedule tweets – its definitely one of the best apps to use.
I must say my photography game has completely improved from when I started blogging it’s mad. When I started I didn’t and still don’t have a professional camera – however now, I tend to get proper photographers to take my photos which is so much better. Just make sure your photos are relevant to your blog post.
When thinking of ideas to take flat lay pictures, I tend to use white card, marble pattern (which is printed and stuck to card), a white fur blanket. There is so much more you can use, you can also make it really cheap for yourself too.
Okay this was me, before I blogged I spent weeks googling so much about blogging. I would spend hours and hours, even till the early morning literally researching so much about blogging. This allowed me to jump straight in head first.
As part of my research to blogging I found 3 different bloggers who really inspire me to get ideas and see how they communicate to their audience. I messaged them bloggers for advice, this was so helpful and they are all so nice, even the bigger bloggers! Never be afraid to ask.
Through my journey I loved / still love knowing and finding new bloggers to talk to and to find inspiration from.
The biggest advice I can give you is when I comes to blogging never put yourself down over your blog. Don’t think your blog isn’t as good as others and your blog is amazing and individual to you. Time is definitely your essence, give your blog time to blossom and grow.
If you ever need any more advice or just want to talk, feel free to message on any social media platform or email me at email@example.com
When it comes to collaborations or product reviews I’d say brands approach me as much as I approach them. If there is a certain brand you really want to work with it’s better them hearing from you as there are millions & millions of different bloggers and especially if you aren’t a huge blogger it will be hard for brands to find you. In my opinion its always best to approach the brands you want to work with yourself (even if they reject you, at least you have now put yourself out there!) This is key to remember especially if there is a brand you really want to work with!
When I approach brands I will always provide them with a media kit which is possibly one of the best things to have as blogger! How I always describe it is… a Media Kit is pretty much a CV for your blog – it allows brands to get to know you a bit better before replying or to consider working with you.
What should a media kit contain?
Facts About You
‘ SELL YOURSELF ‘
This is basically your introduction to your media kit, its nice for companies to know a bit about you that you don’t share on social media. It shouldn’t be massively long either, as companies will be reading loads and might not have time. Short and sweet.
In my media kit I decided to include; a brief summary of my niche and details about my current education status, my career goals. I mean some people might not think this is very relevant – but as my background and education is based around fashion & marketing subjects, I added it in. Alongside this, I described goals for my blog over the next few months.
Blog, Blog, Blog !!
This is essentially the most important part of your media kit, whether you have a blog or vlog completely impress them. Even if it feels like you are bragging too much, carry on, sell yourself and your blog! Its your time to shine!
Don’t forget to explain what your blog is about and the story / timeline of my blog. I’ve outlined the strengths and plans for my blog in the future. Explaining your best blog post is good too – this allows the brand to see your full hard working potential. Outlining categories and special elements to your blog that makes it individual to you. You are all special in your own way!
Another, crucial part of describing your blog is your target market, who looks at your blog? What age range are they in? Gender?. There is endless ways to describe your blog, just pick out the best qualities and flaunt them.
Statistics / Followers
Majority of brands will always ask for this specifically. So making sure they are clear and accurate are so important! Google Analytics are a great way to measure statistics accurately, if you haven’t heard of it, go get it!
For my statistics in my media kit, I include;
- Unique Visitors Per Month
- Page Views Per Month
- Twitter Followers
- Instagram Followers
Everything that is relevant include it, you could include all your social media statistics if it suits you. For example I wouldn’t highlight my 41 followers, as I haven’t been growing it properly. I would love for you to show some love on my Facebook page, click here.
Whatever you are comfortable in showing, show it!
This part isn’t 100% needed. Depending on what you offer – personally on my media kit, i don’t include specific prices as i prefer to discuss this with the brand privately. I do outline what certain collaborations or product reviews i accept and i describe how i go about show casing / promoting the collaboration. So the brands know what to except.
This part literally can take up a lot of room. I have two different sections, brands I have previously worked with & brands I am currently working with. Try and make sure you include all – so the companies can be impressed with your blogging work. You know what they say; IF YOU’VE GOT IT, FLAUNT IT.
I update my media kit quickly, as stats and collaborations change all the time. So when you send your media kit off, it will at the most updated stage.
I wouldn’t recommend over loading in pictures as brands like to read about you too! On my media kit I have three different images, of course the best images that display your individual style.
Your contact details are a must!! You can add as many personal details as you want – personally right now I only send out my email address. Make sure it’s very clear.
I simply just email my media kit with a cover message relating to why I am emailing my media kit to them. In some cases, I have been and handed my media kit to companies who have been searching for bloggers.
Creating a Media Kit can be quite fun as you can be as creative as possible. I hope this has helped you all create your own media kit.
Any questions? Don’t be afraid to contact me through social media or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have any Media Kit top tips? Leave a comment below I’d love to hear your tips!
EDITING MY INSTAGRAM PHOTOS
Over the past few weeks i have had loads of compliments about my Instagram feed and a few people have asked me what i have done to improve my feed?
My Instagram feed used to be such a mess none of my photos went together and to be honest the photography skills were lacking too. Everyday I am learning something new about Instagram and i always get inspiration from other bloggers who have fabulous feeds.
I’m not a big fan of filters on photos, i think sometimes it can remove the natural feel about the photo. To create my Instagram feed i rely on 3 apps completely which are; LINE Camera, After-light and Facetune. I use all these everyday religiously, all the apps together create my photos to look so much better.
I take all my photo using my IPhone 5s as i haven’t yet brought a camera, i bet your thinking why are all my photos better quality than an Iphone 5s? This is completely down to this app, it is amazing – even though i am still taking photos with my phone the quality is about ten times better.
This image is unedited and taken with my ordinary Iphone 5s back camera.
This image is unedited and taken with the app LINE camera on my Iphone 5s.
Incredible right?! i recommend anyone that doesn’t have a camera to download this app!
You can download the app FREE by clicking here.
This is the first stage i go through to start editing my photos, its a brilliant app to make your photos look so natural and defined. I will show how i create the perfect instagram image using one of my latest pictures. When editing my photos the difference is very subtle so i keep them as natural as possible.
The Original Image
I tend to adjust the clarification edit to add texture in my images, you add it between 0 – 100. Alongside adding texture is does add some brightness to my images.
On this photo you can see it has slightly enhanced the colour of the tree. Each image I edit through this app are always different depending on natural lighting and placement of images. For this image I have changed the clarify to around 80.
Obviously, changing the brightness of your photo is quite simple. I tend to make my photos quite bright so it looks really natural, sometimes even in natural lighting the photo can look quite dull. This photo was taken on a cloudy day so it naturally looks very dull – for this photo I adjusted the brightness at 100.
I tend to use contrast to define the darker and lighter elements in my photos. It will make the shadows darker and the highlights lighter.
For example in this picture it has added depth and a darker tone on my hair, whilst making my jacket and stones lighter. I have adjusted the contrast to around 50 – 60.
Finally, the last step on this app is Sharpening. This is a crucial part of editing my images, as I use this to define my whole image. To make it look very sharp, but not distorted, so i adjust this to around 50.
This is everything I use on the app After light – in my opinion it is one of the best photo editing softwares i have ever used! I would recommend it to anyone.
You can download it by clicking here for £0.99!
To finish editing this photo, there is another app i use which is on a rare occasion.
I tend to use this app to blur my images. So in this case i used the app to blur the background of my image, so it didn’t distract the fact I am trying to show of my jacket. At the same time it really defines me.
You can download Airbrush by clicking here for free.
This app isn’t always used, but when i do need to use it i find it incredible!! I use this app to sometimes blur but i mainly use this app to whiten my image.
I sometimes struggle taking pictures at home because majority of my walls in my house are cream, however after finding out about this app its not a problem at all. Just simply upload your images and use the whitening tool to whiten the white elements on the photo.
Never go to crazy with it though, sometimes trying to whiten shadows it can create a nasty grey scale on your image, even though i use this i still manage to make my image look as natural as possible!!
How amazing is it?!!
This works fabulous with brightening up flat-lays and keeping that natural colour.
You can download the app by clicking here for £3.99!
Hopefully you have enjoyed reading this blog post and learnt something new!! Whats your favourite photo editing apps? I would love to know!!
If you would like to see more of my photos, view my instagram by clicking here ! I always follow back.
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