Thursday, June 15, 2017

Third Thursday Thoughts: Instagram, Blogging and Social Media.

Happy weekend you all! I am having a hard time believing how half of 2017 is already pretty much gone. How is it June 15th already?! June was a very fast wind so far and it makes me think that Summer will be over before we know it. To tell you the truth I have so many things in my mind and I could write a 20.000 word blog post here but A] who has time for that (I don't have time to write it and neither do you have time to read it lol) and B] I am just going to get to the gist of my thoughts. So since it is the third Thursday of the month, here is a brain dump.

- For months now I have tried to improve my Instagram. I have been pretty good with posting about everyday life (mostly) as well as sometimes products or things I am loving, wearing, eating, buying, shopping for etc. on my Instagram stories but have fallen very behind with my Instagram posting due to the fact that I am always so busy and when I am not working my job, I am being a mom, cleaning, cooking, spending time with Vivian, editing photos, blogging, etc, etc. You have probably noticed too that 2 or 3 days a week my Instagram stories are light or non-existent because those are usually the days I am working 10 hours. Unfortunately, Thursday is one of those super busy days but that is also my linkup day. Though my linkup is going well and strong thanks to myself making the rounds with comments and trying to find several new blogs each week and invite them to join my linkup. Also thanks to several of you who don't forget to come by and join every week. Most weeks I am also posting about/promoting the linkup on my Instagram every Thursday morning but I haven't been able to do so every week, unfortunately. I realize the more hashtags you add to a post (relevant to the post or photo, of course) the most view it will get, but those hashtags take a long time. I also really really need to start working on gathering all of your e-mail addresses in order to send you all an e-mail reminder on Wednesdays about the linkup. But again, gathering all of those e-mail addresses and getting my shit together so to speak, takes time. Sorry, just being honest.

- See, I only started my Instagram a little over a year ago - very late to the game. I realize though that it is such an important social media channel, especially as a blogger. Even better since the Instagram stories came into play. It is time for me to utilize it more and gain more followers. My goal is to reach at least 2000 followers by the end of 2017. If you all have tips and suggestions for a newbie like me about how to improve my Instagram, gain more followers and therefore gain more readers to my blog, too, please let me know. I'd love to hear any and all of your suggestions. Thank you.

- Yesterday I was listening to one of my favorite instagrammers Karla Reed who is also a mommy and has the cutest little toddler girls. Anyway I was listening to Karla's instagram stories yesterday when she was being open, raw and genuine about Instagram and sponsored posts. I loved how true and genuine she was while talking. Yes, ultimately all the brands that instagrammers work with want these influencers to sell or promote something but keeping true to yourself and your values while promoting something is important. You have to be genuine and tell the truth and you have to work with brands you actually love or whose products you would use. Karla has been on Instagram for 5 years and has been doing these type of sponsored posts for about 3 years. Plus her Insta stories, Insta photos and her feed are so gorgeous and she has over 60k followers, so I know I can learn a lot from her. She is also kind and friendly, replies back to DMs (I will get more on that a little later so read on). And like myself she loves Target. One important thing she mentioned too is that it is important to comment, like and DM (direct message) the accounts you are following. Not only would that person appreciate your support but it is good for them to know who is reading and that their work is evaluated. I have always known this and I follow this tip myself too. 

- I just don't understand how you may have send someone a few DMs where you are being very kind and they have never replied back, not even a little thank you. A little "thank you" goes a long way guys. It will take you less than 5 seconds to type it and send it. Some instagrammers are very good about replying, giving you details about something, etc. Some won't even be like "you can click on my like to link" in order for you to find the source of their products (which I don't have LTK anyway). But there are some who feel like they are so much better than you. Sure they may have thousands of followers but I will take 100-200 followers who constantly like me for me, comment on my blog, like or comment my instagram posts, etc. These women still have similar lives to you. What makes them feel so much higher?! A lot of them have messy homes and messy kids. They are not better than you. It just amazes me how unkind some people are. I am not ranting, just an observation. If you haven't as much as made some type of interaction or said HI back to me, what makes you think I will click your links or buy what you sell?! Do I even believe you?! It is also important to follow people whose outfits, blogs or whatever it is that they feature you genuinely like. And instead of sending someone a negative or offensive comment, if you don't like their content, simply unfollow them. It's as simple as that. Life is too short to get upset, be mad, live with regrets or let the smallest things get to you! Who has time for that?!

- Another thing important when it comes to both blogging and social media is not to compare yourself to others. I am sure we have all fallen prey to this. I know I have. Many times (up to a year ago even) I was like, why does so and so person get so many collaborations. How does so and so person has an entire c/o outfit in almost every post. I know I have been blogging for 5 years now but only really been into it the last 3 years. I have probably only done three dozen collaborations so far and I kid you not I have turned down at least 3 other dozen ones. I will be honest, some collaborations never made it onto the blog due to time because I am always super busy and wish there were 30 hours in the day. My point is, if I want to do something right I want to give it all of my own. I want to collaborate with brands and stores I genuinely like and trust, be it for me or for my daughter. I want to write posts that come from the heart so whether you see one Instagram photo for me per week or 3 per day, know this, that time and dedication went to those posts.

- Last but not least and entirely unrelated. The last episode of season 5 of "Wentworth" - that prison drama I cannot stop talking about - will be on next Tuesday and I am dying to watch it. Unfortunately that means season 6 won't be coming back on until April or May next year. The last couple episodes have been so good. I think once I am done with that I will start watching season 5 or "Orange is the New Black" because they left it off with a good cliffhanger. Has anyone watched OITNB's season 5 yet?! How do you like it?! I will be honest, season 3 and half of season 4 got quite bad and boring for me. In case you are wondering "Wentworth" is very very different from "Orange is the New Black" though they are both dramas set in women's prisons. I recommend it so much. You will be hooked!

If you made it this far, I want to thank you for reading along. AND as always thank you to all who view, read, follow and comment on my little blog. I love my little space on the net where I get to talk to you all. =) I am interested to hear your thoughts on what I said today about Instagram, blogging, etc. 

I want to wish everyone the most fantastic weekend ahead and enjoy the rest of June. Some good news: we booked an 8-day vacation starting on August 6th and I cannot wait!