JUST A LITTLE DIARY ABOUT A GIRL & A GUY

Monday, November 06, 2017

YAY TO 20K

Jacket: H&M | Tee: Misspap | Trousers: H&M 
This one has come around quicker than I expected - which is a very good thing, so thank yeww guys. It feels like the other day I was saying thank you for getting me to 10k on the gram and now I've hit 20! If you're an OG reader you will know I started this blog a little while ago, but in all honesty I didn't have the time to take it seriously. Over the years I've learnt, made mistakes and still continue to learn, but one thing I know for sure is growing a following isn't easy, it requires alot of effort. The more time I spend in this industry the more I realise that some bloggers don't want to share and like to keep all their tips and tricks to themselves. Which is cool for them but that's not my style, I think there really is enough space for everyone. Plus just because someone else is growing it doesn't mean you can't grown too, regardless of if it is faster or slower. 

It wasn't long ago I basically had no followers and remember seeing people with 20, hell five thousand followers and thinking it seemed so far away. In someways it is probably harder to hit 5, 10 or 20 thousand then is it to hit 50k. The reason being the smaller your following the harder it is for you to get followers. If someone has 50 or 100 thousand followers people are more likely to hit that follow button then of someone with 2k followers, even if they like both peoples content. Plus once you have a larger platform you have more exposure, more chances of re-posts and likes. So if you have hit or are approaching any of those smaller milestone, big up yourself for the commitment so far! To this day sometimes I feel like I don't know what I am doing, it is all just one big learning curve. No doubt in 10 years time you will be able to get a degree in influencing, but until then we just have to keep figuring it all out. So I thought why not share a few things I've learnt along the way when it comes to Instagram and just blogging in general. 

Be Consistent:
Consistency is key and content is key to consistency, you have an audience who is following you because they want to see your content on their time line - don't disappoint them. I try to post everyday on the gram, but it is not set in stone. Some days I post twice, others none, it just depends if I have the content. I have found that posting more often has helped in growing my following as new picture generally brings new followers and re-posts. These days I always have some sort of content available as I use most opportunities to gather it, if that is a mirror selfie in a cute shop or just being that annoying person that gets everyone to take pictures of them wherever I go. Depending on the kind of feed you have, just taking pictures of pretty things, buildings, flowers, food are all great ways of having content. Try and gather as much content as possible, even if you don't use it right away, I often scroll through my photos and find myself loving a picture I didn't even rate six months ago.   

This goes hand in hand with writing content on your blog. I've had countless emails from new bloggers asking me how often should I write a blog post? The truth is (and I hate these kinds of responses) it really is up to you. There are bloggers who post everyday, that is not practical for me, and others who post monthly, that doesn't work for me either. In an ideal world I would post three/four times a week, but that isn't always possible - this post for example I have been writing for over a week as new things keep coming to me. So when I say it is up to you, it really is. For me writing a blog post shouldn't be a chore, if it is by force - it will probably read like that. I have weeks with lots of content and ones with less, it just all depends what works for you and your readers.   

Creative Content:
Having content will allow you to be consistent so making time to create content is incredibly important. If you're a fashion blogger you will know it ain't no joke creating content, from idea to reality it is a time consuming process. For me shoot day usually consists of an argument or two with the boy, feeling hella hangry and awkward changes in the car. I'm incredibly fortunate that I have the BF to take my photos, but he isn't always available, so at times I have to improvise. True story, this series of images (here) were taken by a 12 year old boy, because when you need that content you grab whoever is available. You should do the same, I have my mum taking my #OOTD on the way to Tesco. Because not everyday stand in-front of a white house in Chelsea (that's so over played anyways) some days take your snaps in Ikea or wherever. 

Jump Them Hurdles:
When I first started blogging and using the gram I created all these hurdles to stop me putting content out. I would only want pictures in the day time, wouldn't use the same image twice and never used old pictures. The main hurdle to only taking pics in the daytime meant I needed someone to take the pictures, so I rarely had content to post. If someone isn't available, think of alternative ways to get the shot. The mirror selfie is a sure fire way to get a great shot, some people have accounts dedicated to this with huge popularity. I love a good outfit selfie like this one (here) and (here) I usually break all the rules, I use my front camera and I only have an Iphone SE - but it works. Don't let your equipment be your hurdle, a 'proper' camera is great but some of my most popular pictures are taken on my phone. Once you have decent lighting, natural is best - you're bound to get a good photo. 

Don't be afraid to repeat content, I've used the same image (with a slight difference) more than once and the different shots have had completely different responses. This picture (here) got me about two thousand followers on its own as it was re-posted so much, I took it in Zara while waiting on my brother in the changing rooms. I didn't even plan to post that image as he had taken this one (here) outside Westfeild and I thought that was the winning shot, I was wrong.

Be Authentic:
People aren't silly, well some are but the majority can see past the BS. It is easy to get sucked into the unrealistic side of the gram. A few years ago Instagram was pure fakery, it still is to a certain extent but people have copped on to the filters and apps and authenticity is where it's at. People like real life, it is relatable. Your real life might be that you're an artist, a parent or a dog walker - if that is your passion share it. To be honest the more niche your passion the more likely you might see success. Fashion bloggers are a dime a dozen, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't pursue it, just put your own spin on it. I'm quite honest and open on this platform, but it didn't start like that. I used to write posts the way every other blogger I'd seen do, 'these jeans, so beautiful, so blue', yada yada yada. It wasn't authentic, now I write what I want in a voice that is my own, honest, open and chatty.

Know Your Audience:
Check your back-end stats and get to know your audience. See what they are liking and what content receives the most engagement and create more - sounds simple but it is effective! My blog is more than just fashion, it is a place to share my life and things I enjoy beyond the fashion. But, on Instagram my followers like the fashion, so the fashion is the majority of my content. My following is mainly women which explains why my outfit posts are more popular. It is my Instagram so I can post what I want, which I do, but it is good to check your stats and be aware of who is engaging in your content. Have your 'thing' and go with it, if it is fashion, food, babies, beauty or frogs people will follow you for that 'thing' they like the most.  

Forward Plan:
Plan your content in advance where you can, it is actually a time consuming process preparing a post, which is the reason I never used to post. Based on engagement figures there are 'good and bad' times to post. Before 8am and after 9pm in the evening is usually a very 'good' time to post, people are waking up or going home from work and checking their phones. 10am on a weekday morning is generally a 'bad' time to post as most people have just started their days and are checking emails and not their feeds. So it is important to have content ready for the 'good' times. You can use apps and sites to help you do this but that's really not necessary, just draft your posts on Instagram and have them ready. 

To create a draft (if you don't know already) go to your Instagram and create a new post. Create all aspects of the post, caption, tags and hashtags. When you are finished instead of pressing share, press the back arrow, it will take you backwards to an option to delete or save draft. Once you save as a draft you will have that content prepared, with the caption and tags which can take the longest time. When you are ready to post you can just pick the right draft and go live, for me it is one of the main reasons I can post often. Give it a try and see if it helps you out.

Have Direction:
Obviously it is your Instagram and you can do as you damn well please, but having direction on the gram really works towards gaining followers. Sharing pictures of your mates baby or your lovely cuppa isn't helping get your message across, unless that is your 'thing' and works towards your message. If your Insta is about Jewellery then don't loose direction and put up an image of your puppy, as tempting as it may be. To grow your following you have to make sacrifices, and as much as the puppy may be cute ask yourself does it aid the direction I want my Instagram to go in? None of this counts if your page is private, go wild doing as you please. But if you're reading this it is because you want to grow on the gram, so save all the random stuff for Insta stories. I didn't rate it at first, but it is a great way to be more relaxed and share a bunch of stuff that didn't make the main feed, plus I love chatting with you guys on there. 

Measure Your Successes:
Growing your following can be disheartening at times, so make sure you track your successes. What seems like a trickle of new followers can really add up at the end of a month. I started the year with an entire spread sheet of monthly statistics and goals, which is amazing for reflection and growth. A quick option is to screen shot your stats every month, it great way to see how much you have grown on a monthly basis and praise yourself for your hard work.  

Be Your Brand:
Haute On Life is a brand, I take my brand seriously and have plans to grow and evolve my brand. Your brand should be of up-most importance to you and yes you may be your brand. Remember that when you are working with other brands and the message you put out there. Your Instagram tells a story without words, so take a look at your page and think about the visual language - basically what does your imagery say about you. I've spoken here about the core values of my brand and what I stand for. Some people are just on the gram for 'Insta fame' which is cool, but having four years of Insta fame on your CV won't help you in the future when looking for a job or making a career change. So navigate this space wisely and think about the long term goals and not short term rewards. Plus who you are now isn't who you might be in the future as you grow and evolve, nothing is ever deleted once it hits the internet so remember that when sharing content. 

Enjoy The Ride:
I really used to overthink my Instagram, worrying about what people would think. This year I just said I'm doing me, I post what I want and I have fun with it. Some of my most random, fun pictures have been popular. This picture for example (here) was taken at about 5am after a fun night in Saint Tropez. The boy and I decided to have a photo shoot, I was actually really drunk in this picture yet it turned out great, plus it received over 3 thousand likes. Once upon a time I would have never have posted this picture. Since I started enjoying the ride I post things I wouldn't have before, just do you and stay true (to yourself). Comparison is the thief of joy, don't spend your time or energy focusing on what other people are doing and how they are doing it. Lord knows it is easy, but it is pointless as we don't know everyone's story and what journey they had to take to get to where they are. Most importantly it is not that deep people it is just Instagram, will it all mean anything to you in two, five or ten years time? If yes is the answer just enjoy the ride, you've gotta long way to go. xx
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2 comments

  1. First congrats!! And thanks for this post, i took notes and everything! haha xxx

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    1. You are such a sweetheart thank you - I hope it helped even just slightly xxx

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