I am so excited about today’s post because it is so different than what I normally do, but I really wanted to share my blogging and Instagram tips and tricks that I have personally used and learned from that have got me to where I am today. Heads up this is a bit lengthy post, but I hope it is able to help and teach you so much about improving your blog and Instagram game!
I wanted to talk about these two platforms today because these are the platforms that I use the most to grow my personal brand, and they go hand in hand with each other for so many reasons. For me, I do the same kind of writing and advertising on both my blog and my Instagram. For example, when I partner with brands for collaborations, I either post on Instagram, write a blog post or a combination of the two. They are the two platforms I use the most that help my brand grow. I advertise my blog posts on Instagram for my Instagram followers to read and vice versa. Instagram gives a look into my daily life through posts and stories and videos, while my blog is less day-to-day. In my opinion, they are the two best platforms you can have in this industry (of course others are important as well). So what I will be sharing today is how utilizing these two platforms and working hard at both led me to where I am today.
Tip #1: Utilize a Journal
This is so so important for starting your own little business like this. The moment I took the time and went out to buy a journal specifically for my blog, I felt so inspired and motivated to really get things going. I keep everything in my journal specific to my brand. I read so many articles about blogging and Instagram growth and take notes on each in my journal, I take note of what other like-minded successful bloggers are doing that has granted them such Instagram fame and success, I am constantly researching popular and trending hashtags for my niche that will help with my Instagram growth and engagement, I jot down thoughts and ideas of how I want to go about certain brand collaborations, setting my pricing structure for working with brands, literally everything there is to know about the blogging industry I take note of in my journal. At times during the day when I do not have my journal with me, I am still thinking of ideas in my head, and when I come up with something, either a new idea for a blog post or outfits I want to put together and shoot in, I’ll take a mental note and am sure to jot it down in my journal later so I don’t forget. It is seriously so important to have if you are serious about your blog and are looking to make something out of it.
Tip #2: Engage on Social Media
I guess I never truly knew what this meant until I started really getting into this industry, and what I know now is SO different than what I knew in the past in my early Instagram days. Social media is literally the most perfect way to get your name out there and advertise your brand, everyone’s always talking – so give them something to talk about! Being completely honest, I think my Instagram was absolutely horrible in the beginning. I did not have or know the resources I needed and really just knew so little about the industry at first that I just did not do well at all. My pictures weren’t very good or relevant to what my blog was, I hardly used hashtags at all which led to a very low engagement rate on my photos and a very small following.
And these are all things that I have completely changed that have led me to much more success than what I experienced just less than a year ago. It is SO important every single day to be active and engaging on social media, especially Instagram. Two top most important things first, keep your Instagram profile set to Public so people can find you and see your content, and have an informative bio! Bio’s are the first thing someone sees when they view your profile so it is important to include a link to your blog, who you are and what you do, something that draws people in.
I spend so much time on Instagram each day to continue to grow my brand, multiple times a day as social media really is a 24/7 type deal. My daily Instagram tasks include liking and commenting on photos from people that I follow, and even people that I don’t follow. I comment back to others that have commented on my photos, upload Instagram stories throughout the day, occasionally work on IGTV material. I search under specific hashtags or locations to find new people and engage with their photos, watch Instagram stories, follow people I want to follow that are relevant to my niche or people that just inspire me. I DM others whether I have a question for them, or just simply want to get to know them and connect. There is SO much you can do on Instagram to help boost your engagement and growth it’s crazy, and I did not know hardly any of this when I started. I also participate in engagement pods which are small DM groups you can create through Instagram to support each group member by engaging with each of their photos. These have worked so well for me and are such a great way to boost engagement and connect with others.
I also wanted to mention here that at the beginning of this year, just 9 months ago, I was sitting at 500 followers on Instagram and I was getting so frustrated. After making these changes I stated above, I am now sitting at over 2,300 followers just from small changes I started making in my social media method. Important and as you can see, this success did NOT happen overnight, it has taken me almost a year to get to where I am today, so it definitely takes time and effort.
Tip #3: Take Lots of Pictures and Edit
I am always, always, always taking pictures, everywhere I go, to ensure that I always have something to share on social media, and can even turn into blog posts as well. Whether it be on Instagram stories or even something I can post to my Instagram feed, there is always something to share. And make sure they are of good quality! Quality photos are definitely important and can help others determine your credibility by the quality of photos you take.
I primarily use my iPhone 8 Plus camera as it has an AMAZING camera and can take great quality photos in Portrait mode. I also occasionally use my Nikon DSLR camera to take photos as well, although I’ll admit, a majority is with my phone as it is with me at all times of the day more so than my camera.
And no matter what, edit your photos in some way (but not with Instagram editing features – a big no-no for bloggers and influencers!) I’ve heard many people rave about Lightroom presets they have purchased from well-known bloggers, and while I have not personally used this method, I would love to try it out sometime! I just haven’t felt the need to purchase presets to edit my photos when right now I am pretty content with the way I have been editing my photos. I edit each photo I share on my blog and Instagram with the VSCO app and it is amazing! I use the exact same filter each time to keep a consistent feed and photos, and of course, adjust the exposure and contrast if needed. Using the same filter for each photo you edit is the perfect way to keep a consistent feed that coordinates.
Tip #4: Schedule and Make Time for Your Brand
Your brand is a part of you, and you should always make time for it each and every day. I personally do not write a blog post every single day for so many reasons, as is with a lot of people. And that’s totally okay. But, what is important is making time for your brand on social media every single day. Spend time on Instagram, on Facebook, on Pinterest connecting with others and getting ideas and inspiration. There is always something to do in this industry and you will always be busy. Especially in the beginning as you are growing and building your brand. Each day I always make time for social media as that is one of my top priorities. About every other day I’ll brainstorm blog content and every couple days shoot some photos to make that blog content happen. It really is a full-time job, even in the beginning. And know that while you may not be getting paid what you think you deserve in the beginning, that is just a part of it all before you get to where you want to be.
Tip #5: Work Hard & Don’t Give Up
I think one of the hardest things about blogging, especially in the beginning, is that it can be SO discouraging and can really make you feel like a failure. I know I’ve been there, way too many times. I’ve constantly seen myself comparing myself to others on social media, discouraging me from my own brand and making me feel like there is no way I can succeed in this industry or that I’m not good enough. But each time that this happened, the thing that most motivated me to push through was my dream. I have not once given up on it. Even through the hardest of times. I know what I want the outcome of my blogging business to be, something that I absolutely love doing and spending time on and that I am so so passionate about that I can one day make a career out of. My dream has kept me going even when I feel like giving up. It has taught me to work so hard to achieve my goal and that success really does not happen overnight, it takes a lot of time and motivation to really make your dream happen.
I absolutely love being a girl boss and I am already so proud of myself for starting something like this and sticking to it. I never would have imagined myself doing this in the past or actually be at where I am at today because of it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and I hope it has taught you something valuable that you can take with you to your own business! I had so much fun writing this post and will for sure be doing something like this again in the future.
Cheers to all the girl bosses out there, y’all are amazing and so inspiring!