Category Archives: Blogging
As a blogger, I wear a lot of hats. However, one of those hats that I never thought I’d have to wear is the “Instagram Algorithm Guru” hat. I’m not good at beating the system, and an algorithm is a system that isn’t necessarily meant to be beat. Since the latest IG algorithm roll out, I’ve found myself being forced to try and understand something that no one really does. If you love Instagram as much as I do (or did), then this open letter to Instagram might echo your sentiments.
Your new algorithm has royally messed my Instagram up and I want to know the reason you changed it. It can’t be for the user experience as mine has been awful. I’m seeing some of the same posts twice at the top of my feed and its almost always from influencers who have a lot of followers to begin with. No one seems to be seeing my posts either, unless I pay of course. Most annoying of all though, is the popularity game the algorithm supports.
No one likes a system where the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Everyone wants a fair chance to succeed. I shouldn’t have to figure out how to out-think an algorithm in order for my posts to be seen by my own followers and by potential new ones. I worked really hard to build up my following and increase my engagement rate. Then one day, it dropped in half and my Instagram hasn’t recovered since. Talk about a lot of hard work and time spent to literally have it all taken away.
Interestingly enough though, the algorithm tends to favor people who have always been popular. By showing only their posts in my feed or in the “explore” area, popular influencers continue to get all of the followers and traffic that smaller accounts have to pay dearly for.
So what am I asking for? I’m asking for the algorithm to show a chronological feed from EVERY account I follow. Forget the relevance aspect of the algorithm- if I’m following an account, then chances are its relevant to me. A chronological feed like in the old Instagram days makes it easier for everyone to have their posts seen. I miss IG being about creativity, getting to take a peek at someone else’s life, and sharing the things that made people happy. When my feed featured everyone instead of just the popular crowd, it was much more interesting.
Please change the algorithm back to the way it was previously, because right now it’s ruining my ability to grow as a blogger.
Happy Friday you guys! I’m so excited to share this post with you! As many of you know, I’m a Style Collective member and every few months every city that has Style Collective girls in it does a meetup, Last weekend, I met up with the Dallas/Fort Worth SC girls at The Theodore in North Park mall and we had a blast!
We ordered our brunches, shared a few style tips, and chatted about Christmas plans and that sort of thing. Just gal talk! It was so nice! After we finished eating, we all exchanged blogging tips and suggestions for coming up with a “side hustle.” Every blogger has one and I’m no exception. I write freelance on the side for small businesses that need content for their websites. A topic that came up during our conversation, is how do you know what your side hustle is? And that’s what I want to chat about today.
Finding Your Side Hustle
It’s so hard to know what you’re good at. We all have jobs, careers, and things we enjoy doing but what of those things can be turned into a side hustle? We all talked through our side businesses and I noticed a few things we had in common:
- it was an extension of what we did as bloggers
- it used our creative mindset
For example, Jessica of My Curly Adventures blog is also a photographer (and happened to take the pictures shown above!) In addition to her regular job, she blogs and does photography on the side.
Other bloggers I know sell product lines like Rodan & Fields or essential oils. Quite a few them do really well with it too! Their side hustles are an extension of what they love to do and value in their own lives. But how do you know what your side hustle is? Here are a few of my tips:
- Would you do it if you weren’t paid? My dad always told to do what I loved and the money would come later. I’m still waiting on that great paycheck but for now, I’m writing, which is what I love.
- Is it something you do for your blog anyway? Photography, SEO, social media, graphic design, and content creation are all part of what a blogger does to create a blog post and promote it. Selling these talents as a freelance service is a great way to start a small business.
- Is there a subject you blog about more than others? For example, if you find yourself blogging about how you’ve decorated and then redecorated your apartment a million times then sell your design services! Or if you’re a fashion blogger that comes across great deals on clothes, start an eBay account and sell the items you find!
There are so many smart ways to make a little extra cash on the side, sometimes you just have to be creative. Share your ideas and tips below!
Hey everyone! I wanted to give you a little recap of StyleCon Dallas last weekend! One of the things I never expected to find in Texas was so many fashionable ladies (and bloggers!) This event was so much fun and everyone walked away with a ton of swag in their swag bags (who doesn’t love that?!) I got to meet up with my Style Collective sisters and meet our founder, Miss Annie Spano!
Fashion Blogging Tips from Experts
I wanted to share with you a few blogging tips and things I learned from the panelists that spoke at StyleCon. They were all really helpful and lots of fun to listen to, especially Catherine Lowe, the winner of the Bachelor a few years back!
One of the speakers (I’m a flake and forgot who) was talking about how brands are looking for influencers with high engagement rates. What this means for bloggers like me is that a big following is no longer enough, brands want influencers with followers who like, comment, and click on links.
Holly Tuggy talked about her experience on YouTube dealing with bullies. I thought she was really clever when she said that she pins mean comments to the top of the comments section and replies to them saying she’s sorry for whatever they’re going through, because happy people don’t say things like that. I’ve had one or two people say rude things to me and I just brush it off because they’re trying to get under my skin.
Raven Elyse shared how she puts herself out there and tries to be authentic with her followers. I think that’s really important because people want a personal connection with brands and influencers. I’m in marketing so I should know! Raven said she will cry on camera if that’s how her heart is feeling and I admire her for that- it’s scary to be vulnerable!
Catherine Lowe shared about her life and winning the 17th season of the Bachelor and also starting her own company, Lowe Co. She also brought up being vulnerable and authentic with your followers. She said her very first kiss with Sean (her now husband) was on national television. Talk about being vulnerable!
Finally, Annie Spano shared her story on how she went from being in a work place that wasn’t kind to her to running her own company- Style Collective! The whole purpose behind this resource for bloggers is to help women to connect rather than only compete. I absolutely love this! Women are so competitive and to have a group of girls that lifts one another up is fantastic!
Fun perks from StyleCon
StyleCon also offered some really fun perks in addition to great speakers! You’ll see in the photos above that I got my hair done for free thanks to the Tangerine Salon. Aveda also freshened up my makeup AND waxed my eyebrows- all complimentary! I also got a neck massage for free, talk about being pampered! There were also several stations offering manicures to conference goers, which was really neat!
There were tons of fashion and beauty vendors there as well. One of my favorites was Studio to Street Boutique! They specialize in affordable luxury fitness clothing and let me just say, it’s adorable! I bought a cute shirt from there that says “Will Blog for Brunch.” How accurate is that?!
If you were at StyleCon, let me know! It was such a fun event and I’m still tired from it, but so worth it!
I’m jumping right into the topic of this post instead of informing you of how tired I am (I’m really tired). Instagram’s algorithm has changed yet again! Shocking, isn’t it? I’m seriously suffering from this update and according to other bloggers and Instagrammers I’ve talked to, they’re suffering as well. It’s so discouraging to have worked so hard to build up an audience of followers that like your content only to have it go away thanks to a new algorithm. Such is life. My engagement has dropped more than 50% in the last few weeks and unfortunately, I’m not alone!
What You Need to Know About the Instagram Algorithm
Ok so, I’ve done my research and picked up a few important tidbits about the Instagram algorithm change. Are they all verified by Instagram? No, but I don’t think they every verify much of anything to begin with. So here’s what I’ve come up with:
Instagram Engagement Matters
Obviously engagement matters no matter what, but now Instagram is showing posts with higher engagement above those with less engagement. On top of that, Instagram posts need engagement immediately for them to rank higher and be shown to more people.
Instagram has gotten smart and now values posts from people you tend to engage with more. For example, if you like and comment on your best friend’s Instagram posts quite often, Instagram is going to show you their posts before anyone else’s.
I used to rely entirely on the same set of hashtags for every post I published but from what I’ve read, that’s a terrible strategy. Your hashtags have to be relevant to the post your publishing. For example, I published something on my Nike shoes yesterday and I used hashtags like #fitspo and #justdoit. Those hashtags are relevant to what I was actually posting about. However, hashtags like #girlboss or #dallasblogger would have hurt the post more than helped it.
Grid Changes are in the Future
As if not showing our posts in chronological order wasn’t enough, Instagram might also start showing posts in our profile in a 4 x 4 grid as opposed to 3 x 3. How’s that for mind blowing? Instead of bringing back the old algorithm, they might be introducing something else too.
Have you noticed a decline in engagement? If so, comment below! The algorithm changed earlier this year and they’ve tweaked it since causing chaos among all the fashion bloggers such as myself. Let me know what your experience has been like!
Hey lovelies! I hope you’re having a nice week! I’m sitting in bed writing this waiting for the weekend to come. I’m having brunch this Saturday with a bunch of bloggers from Dallas and really looking forward to it! I love getting together with other creatives to chat and share ideas. It keeps me inspired to continue blogging. Not gonna lie, there have been quite a few times I’ve felt like quitting.
One thing that keeps me motivated is having a community of bloggers and Instagrammers to feel inspired by. Since moving to Dallas a year ago, I’ve had a hard time making friends. Around this time however I joined Style Collective and immediately had a support system all over the place! If you’re going to invest in anything for your blog, I highly recommend joining Style Collective! Here’s why.
Benefits of Style Collective
Style Collective was started by Annie Spano when she saw a need for blogger babes to have a space just for them where they could talk and collaborate. A few leaps and bounds later, she started Style Collective. I joined last year and love it! The benefits are endless but my favorite parts of this group include:
- Community forums where we can seek advice or share opportunities
- Space to share blog posts and get engagement on them
- Regional meetups with your Style Collective sisters
- Brand opportunities
- Brand directory where you can find contact info for your fave brands
- Worksheets and e-courses to help you grow
- Weekly tips and blog posts that answer all your questions
There’s so much more to this group than I can share here but these are just a few things I benefit from the most!
The above photo is from one of our first meetups here in Dallas! You can read the original blog post here. Since I had just moved to Dallas and literally knew no one it was so great to meetup with these girls and build a connection with my new city!
For a monthly membership to Style Collective it’s basically the cost of two lattes at Starbucks ($10!) and you can sign up here through my affiliate link! I really love this group of girls and I’ve been connected with some of the nicest ladies! Annie is also such a sweet, genuine person that she’s easy to talk to and often times personally messages you back if you have a question. If you’re looking to learn and grow in your blog, then definitely join us at Style Collective!
If you haven’t noticed, every week I’ve been trying to bring blogging tips and ideas to you (my lovely readers.) And if you haven’t noticed that I’ve been doing this, then maybe you need to like my Facebook page to get updates (hint hint!) Today I wanted to share a few easy ways to avoid or get over the blogger burnout!
Write a Blog Post Somewhere New
One of the worst things a writer can do is sit and stare at the same 4 walls day after day! Nothing sparks creativity when you’re stuck in your room without inspiration. Change up your “office” location and go find a new coffee shop to enjoy while you write!
Get Creative in Your Closet
For fashion bloggers, clothing to photograph is important to the overall success of the blog. However, I hate running out and buying new clothes all the time (translate: I love buying new clothes but my bank account won’t let me.) Go through your closet and pull everything out. Make a goal of putting together at least 3 new outfits you can wear for your blog!
Do Something Social With Other Bloggers
Getting together with other bloggers can give you that little bit of passion you need to keep going and write another blog post! A few months ago, my Dallas Style Collective sisters and I hosted a meetup for other SC girls in the area.
Take a Week Off
You heard me. Take some time off from blogging. I used to blog all the time thinking that people would forget about me if I didn’t. I was soooo burnt out! You can’t keep pumping out great content if you don’t love what you’re writing. Seriously, take time off.
Reflect on Why You Started
Sometimes I get so caught up in being popular on Instagram or trying to earn money for my blog posts that I forget why I started blogging in the first place. I started because I wanted a fun hobby. Take a day and go back to your roots and remind yourself of the reason you started blogging.
Blogging ain’t easy, but it can be really fun if you don’t let yourself get burnt out on it. I’d love to hear your blogger burnout tips or stories! Leave me a comment!