Little hacks from someone who still has no idea what they’re doing.
I recently got the opportunity to attend a workshop in the Short North district of Columbus, Ohio. The workshop was led by Stephanie (@bohemiancrown) and Becca (@girlwithoutfilter), two blogging beauties in the Ohio area. Throughout our time there, we got the opportunity to ask some of the questions that we haven’t been able to figure out on our own (aka through google) and I wanted to share some tips I learned! Quick note, I know I have only the bare minimum figured out, but if you have any questions about how I do something or what else I learned from this event, PLEASE feel free to reach out to me!
Helpful Hints for the Amateur Blogger:
- Use both general & specific hashtags to promote your posts
- Don’t use over thirty hashtags (Instagram will think you’re a spam account & hide your content!)
- Watch out for banned hashtags! This will also bury your content. The list is pretty obscure and has things you would never expect, so do a quick google search of “2019 banned hashtags Instagram”.
- Look at what is working for other accounts you follow. Watch what hashtags, promotions and other content works best for them and try it on your own account!
- Use apps to help plan your posts (I use UNUM, which allows you to import images and see how the layout will look on your instagram page before actually posting it)
- If going for a certain aesthetic, Stephanie & Becca both recommend using Lightroom (desktop version has better options but phone app works too). My favorites include: VSCO (A2 filter), Snapseed (brush tool to lighten exposure), and Facetune 2 (whitening tool to lighten the background of photos).
- If you have a business account, take advantage of it! Look at the statistics given to see what time posts are most successful, which posts got the most attention, which posts didn’t take off as well as planned. Use the promotion option for posts you would like to get the most reach.
- Stephanie’s Key to Success: Spend at least two hours a day interacting with people on social media. Starting conversations, replying to comments, answering direct messages, reaching out to other accounts. Interacting with other people in your network is essential to building your brand (whether personal or business). Take the time to build genuine connections with others.
- Becca’s Key to Success: Networking! Joining Facebook groups relevant to your interests or areas of expertise, talking with other bloggers, going to local events to meet people with similar interests are all great ways to get more reach. Although her rule was similar to Stephanie’s, Becca also encouraged the “real” aspect, showing your true self to your followers and not being afraid to show up on your story dressed in a robe, no makeup on, hair still wrapped in a towel. People can relate to that!
If you’d like to keep reading, here are a couple more in-depth lessons to consider whilst on your blogging journey.
We’re All Learning
The biggest take away I had from this workshop is that we are all constantly learning. Both Becca and Stephanie reiterated how constantly the social media game is changing, especially since they had started out. There’s always a new rule to follow, there’s always a new algorithm to be aware of and you’re always going to be one step behind of someone else. At the end of the day, you’ll never be able to keep track of all of it. Don’t get caught up on the small stuff!
Ask Yourself Why You’re Doing This
When asked why you are doing what you’re doing (whether it be blogging, starting your own business, etc.) the answer should pop into your head immediately. You should be doing this because it’s something you’re so passionate about that you can’t help but want to share it with others. If the first thing that pops into your mind has anything to do with followers, endorsements, or money, you might want to reconsider. This should be something you love!
As we can see from both “keys to success”, building a community is essential. Don’t be afraid to talk to other people! Reach out to other accounts, bloggers, business owners, whoever it may be that is similar in interests. Start conversations, ask questions, build those relationships. It can be intimidating to reach out to people who seem to already have everything figured out. Remember, we all had to start somewhere. At the end of the day, we’re all here to support one another.
Always, always, always be yourself. It can be easy to get caught up in being what you think others want to see. Be nothing but yourself and show the real you. Don’t be afraid to post embarrassing photos, show your average daily routine, post ten pictures in a row on your story of your dog. People relate to this! If you’re true to yourself, your followers will be true to you as well.