Happy 1 year Blogiversary!
One year ago I decided to join the blogging world and launched my own little corner of the internet. Styled Adventures was created as a way for me to share my outfits, style tips, and everyday adventures. I had been using Instagram since 2014, and after discovering so many amazing bloggers I was inspired to start my own. Over the years I had dreamt of having my own blog but never felt like it was "the right time" so I kept putting it off. One of my goals for 2016 was to start a blog and it was seriously the best decision I've ever made.
If you're thinking of starting a blog DO IT NOW!
Now that I've started, I wish I would've done it sooner. I had no clue what I was doing when I started but have had so much fun learning along the way.
Over the past year my blog & Instagram have become my full time job. Before that, I had been working in corporate accounting for over 7 years. It wasn't something I was passionate about, and I knew I wanted to do something that allowed me to be creative and be my own boss. In July 2016 I took a leap of faith, quit my job, and started blogging full time. It was one of the scariest and BEST decisions I've ever made.
Today I wanted to share a few things that have helped me grow my blog and Instagram. There is so much that goes into blogging/Instagram--I could go on for daysss. So today I'm going to share my top 5 tips for growing your blog/Instagram. This can also give you an idea of where to start if you haven't started blogging yet. Over time I've learned a few things that I think make the biggest difference and have helped me grow. Hopefully they're helpful to you as well.
But first a quick disclaimer...
Blogging and Instagram is different for everyone. Instagram is tricky and is constantly changing. What has worked for me might not work for everyone. I can only share what I've done and how I've done it.
Here we go...
Create amazing content!
Instagram and blogging is image based. So it's no surprise that amazing pictures are key to growing your Instagram/blog. One of my biggest tips is to only post your best pictures on your Instagram. I know it's hard to do, but bad pictures can lead to people losing interest and unfollowing you. Share those less-amazing pictures on Facebook or twitter where it's a little more casual. I do a combination of iphone 6 pictures and camera pics on Instagram. I think doing a combination of "real" or more casual pics and high quality pics makes you a little more relatable. An editorial feed is beautiful but I prefer to be a little more real.
Invest in a quality camera and learn how to use all of the settings. We (my husband mostly) use a Canon EOS 6D and usually shoot with an 85mm 1.8 lens. Don't forget to edit your pictures before posting! I use Lightroom for all of my blog pics. For Instagram pics I usually just edit on Instagram--I don't use any filters--I just brighten and sharpen them up. Find a theme (light & bright, gray toned, bright colors, etc.) and try to stick to it--this mainly goes for Instagram but editing your blog pictures consistently is good too.
Cross-promote your blog posts on your Instagram and vise versa. You might have blog followers who don't follow you on Instagram, so posting an IG roundup on the blog is a great way to share that content. Also, promoting your blog posts on IG can help generate blog traffic and exposure. I try to always share my content across all social media when I post.
Consistency is key! Posting consistently on your blog and Instagram will help keep your readers interested and attract new followers. Consistency comes in the form of both creating consistent content and posting regularly. I knew from the beginning that fashion would be the focus of my blog. I also wanted to touch on beauty, home, and travel. Don't be afraid to try new topics but make sure you stick to what people know and love. Figure out what posts get the most likes and engagement and do more of them. My mirror selfies always seem to get the most likes.
Find a blogging schedule and social media routine that works for you and stick to it. Right now I post 3 times a week on the blog--usually Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. On Instagram I post 3 times a day--usually morning, afternoon, and night. I noticed a lot of growth when I started posting consistently--the more you post, the more exposure you get. This is especially true with the new IG algorithm. Experiment with different times and see when you get the best engagement.
Don't forget to use hashtags on your pictures and tag any brands you're featuring. Hashtags are a great way to reach new followers. Find a few relevant hashtags that work for you and post them on every picture. I have all of my hashtags saved in notes which saves a lot of time. Tagging brands can get you reposted which can give you great exposure and reach new potential followers.
Engagement is everything!
Be social---after all, this is "Social Media"! Engage with your followers/readers and be sure to answer their questions. If people are taking the time out of their day to leave you a comment, make sure they know you see it and appreciate it. Every night I try to go trough all of my pictures and reply to everyones questions. Instagram recently added the "like" feature so you can like comments left on your pictures. This is just another way to show people you appreciate what they say to you.
Engage with similar Instagramers and bloggers. A great way to gain new followers is to make friends with them. Go through some of your hashtags and like & comment on accounts that catch your eye. Do this a few times and you'll notice that most people will usually like and comment back. This is a great way to gain exposure and reach new followers. Leaving comments on other blogs has the same effect and is also a great way to make new friends.
Be original and true to yourself!
Creating new content day after day can be challenging. One of my biggest tips is to be original and try not to copy other bloggers. Stand out by creating new and exciting content. One of my favorite things about blogging is coming up with new ideas and bringing them to life. I find inspiration everywhere and I'm always writing down my ideas for new blog posts.
Don't lose sight of who you are and why you started. It's easy to get caught up in the hype and feel like you need to be like everyone else. Don't feel like you need to change what you blog about, your picture style, or personal style just because you see other people doing it. Find out what works for you and stick with it--people follow YOU for a reason. Always stay true to yourself and your followers.
Don't give up!
Growing a blog and Instagram takes time--be patient and believe in what you're doing! It's easy to get discouraged when you start comparing yourself to others. Remember, everyone's journey in life is different. Everyone has struggles and no one is perfect--regardless of how perfect it looks on Instagram. TRUST ME! Everyone started somewhere.
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason exactly when it's supposed to--not necessarily when you want it to. Everything in life, good and bad, is leading you to where you are meant to be. One of the best things you can do is focus on yourself and remember why you started, where you're headed, and how you're going to get there. Worrying about others will only slow you down.
Growing your blog and Instagram is a lot of trial and error and truthfully, it's a lot of luck too. Hopefully this post was helpful and can help you grow your blog and Instagram. Like I said before, I could go on for days but I think these are the most important tips.
If you have any questions at all be sure to leave a comment at the bottom!
A highly-requested tour of my home office below. All of the details are listed and I've linked to as much as I could find.
Pergo MAX Heathered Oak Embossed Wood Plank Laminate Flooring
Floor mirror (homegoods) similar here
Urchin wall decor (Hobby Lobby)
Deer head (Michaels) similar here
Bamboo tray (Marshalls) similar here
Letter L (Homegoods)
Chanel quote wall art (Homegoods) similar here
Marble stand (Homegoods) similar here
Gold Dream (Marshalls)
Hermes tray similar here
Salt Lamp (Local shop in St Augustine, FL) similar here
Pineapple bookends (Hobby Lobby) similar here
Watch case (Hobby Lobby) similar here
Ikea candle holder
My husband attached the rods to the bookcase.
Fuzzy rug (Homegoods) similar here
-Top runs a little big. I'm wearing an XXS.
-Jeans run a little big. I'm wearing a 24.
I'm 5'1". Typically wear 6.5-7 in shoes. XS/0 in tops and dresses. 24 in Jeans.
-SHOP THE POST-