Instagram Hashtags to Grow Your Following!

Oh Instagram. How do I count the ways that I love you? It’s no secret that Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms for a number of reasons! I love how easy it is to use, the wonderful photos that people publish, and the extensive network that I’ve created over the past few years as enabled me to connect with some seriously talented folks. We’ve talked before about how to use Instagram for business purposes and how to really grow your Instagram account, but we haven’t touched on one really critical piece of this puzzle.

Hashtags.

Let me tell you, I love hashtags! I’m always searching for new ones that fit my niche and allow me to connect with our similar bloggers either in my region or across the U.S. All because of a little word typed into Instagram. Isn’t that cool? To make your life super simple, I’ve rounded up every single one of my favorite hashtags that I personally like to use and into categories. Now I mainly blog about fashion however, I don’t just post about fashion on my Instagram. I do a pattern of fashion and lifestyle shots because that’s what my followers like to see. However I use totally different hashtags for each of those types of posts so I can reach new people! Below are the best hashtags to reach each of your different audience niches:

Fashion Hashtags

#regionblogger (for me that’ll be #southernblogger) #cityblogger (#charlestonblogger) #stylemacaroons #femininestyle #southernstyle #lifestyleblogger #howyouglow #livecolorfully #abmstyle #fashionblogger #stylecollective #flashesofdelight #whatiwore #wiw #currentlywearing #petitejoys #ootd #ootdmagazine #outfitinspiration #outfitpost #outfitideas #outfitinspo #todaysoutfit #boutiquelife #southerncharm

Lifetyle Hashtags

#thatsdarling #darlingmovement #darlingweekend #thehappynow #petitejoys #livethelittlethings #livecolorfully #girlbossparty #flashesofdelight

Entrepreneur Hashtags 

#savvybusinessowner #risingtidesociety #communityovercompetition #bandogirlgan #dontquityourdaydream #flashesofdelight #entrepreneurlifestyle #theeverydayproject #creativepreneur

Travel Hashtags

#travelblogger #travelblog #travelgram #travelphoto #travelbloggerlife #wanderlust #solotraveller #traveldiaries #adventure #instatravel #cityscape #travelblogging #dametraveler #keepitwild #welivetoexplore

Food Hashtags

#foodblogger #foodporn #instafood #nomnom #foodies #foodstagram #foodgasm #foodphotography #foodlovers #foodstyling #vscocook #vscofood

Flat Lay Hashtags

#fromabove #onmytable #tablesituation #onthetableproject #flatlaynation #flatlayforever #flatlaystyle #flatlay

I use the above hashtags for the various photos that I post on my Instagram account. And it works! I try not to use hashtags that have millions upon millions of photos already associated with that hashtag. Your post will only last a mere second or two before it disappears again thanks to other users using that same hashtag. Instead, try using more hashtags that are specific to your niche and where you are located. Try using your city’s hashtag combined with blogger, eats, food, etc. These are a great way to connect with people that are local to your city!

What are some of the Instagram hashtags that you use? I’d love to hear what hashtags you use to connect with your following!

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How to Plan Your Blog Content

Today in Blogging 101 we’re going to talk about the next big thing for your blog. Blog content! We talked last week about the importance of blogging consistently and how it can help grow your blog. So you’re motivated, ready to go, but how do you come up with content so you can blog consistently? We each have our own method and ways of doing so but I’m going to let you in on my personal method.

Carry a Notebook! 

There’s no telling when you may have a light bulb moment for some seriously awesome content, so why let the opportunity slip away? We’ve all tried the ‘I’ll remember later’ trick but it never works. If you don’t want to carry a notebook, that’s totally fine! I don’t always either so I resort to my notes app on my iPhone. On there I have a running list broken down by category (yes, I am crazy specific!). That way whenever I have a great idea for a styled shoot, lifestyle post, or even an outfit, I can quickly jot it down so I won’t forget.  Easy peasy!

Pinterest 

I’m not ashamed to say that I do resort to Pinterest for some inspiration every now and then. It’s an amazing site that can really trigger some cool ideas! If I’m planning a styled shoot, I love to see if others have either created a shoot like it before (which if not, awesome!) and if so, how they did certain things. I definitely encourage you to look at Pinterest for help when planning content!

Editorial Calendar

You guys, I’ll never stop saying it. You need an editorial calendar! As you go along with planning and creating your content you’re going to need a way to track it. Find your own method and stick to it. I’ve written a very detailed explanation on why and how to set up an editorial calendar here. Having an editorial calendar helps me plan content effectively and efficiently. No more headaches of what and when I should publish!

Track Analytics 

Now you’ve planned your content and you’re ready to rock n’ roll with it. Great! But don’t hit publish just yet. Take a deeper look into your website analytics. When does your website receive the heaviest amount of traffic? When is your audience most engaged with your blog? It will differ from person to person but I always shoot for the mornings or evenings because I’ve noticed people checking in more often. Find that blogging sweet spot and post there!

Talk to Others 

One way that we come up with content here at PMP is talking! Shocker! And trust me, we’ve come up with some hair brained ideas! Talking to others is a great way to go over ideas, see what works, doesn’t, and go over the logistics of a shoot.

What do you do when you’re planning your blog content? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

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How to be More Consistent at Blogging

Congratulations! You’re here either because you’ve started a blog or you’ve been blogging for a while and seeing little to no results. First off, don’t worry. Blogging can be an incredibly challenging task and feel like such a drain after you work all day, handle the kids/errands/daily responsibilities. The last thing you want to do is spend even more time in front of the computer!

Trust me, I get it.

As much as I’d love for blogging to be my full-time job, it’s just not.

Many of you know that I run the marketing and development department at an animal shelter. Talk about some grueling hours and responsibilities! However, I’ve learned over the past two years that I’ve been blogging some serious lessons to keep going and be successful at blogging. It all starts with the letter C.

Consistency!

By being consistent with blogging you will start to see a dramatic shift in how you operate your blog and how your followers perceive you. Read on for my top tips on how to achieve consistency and be a successful blogger!

Set Goals

‘Tis the season for goal setting! What better time to truly reevaluate your blog and see what you can do better than now? If you work a standard 9-5 like myself, set achievable and attainable goals for each week and month. I live, breathe, and die by my calendar. Inside of it I keep my weekly and monthly goals that I’d like to achieve. This can include growing my blog following, social media, and posts I make each week. By tracking these goals it keeps me motivated to post consistently.

Create a Plan

I’ve talked before about creating a plan and making an editorial calendar. I want everyone to do one small piece of homework for me. If you’re serious about blogging more consistently, I want you to go to Target and pick up a small calendar. I recently bought a binder with fillable pages from the $1 section (best.find.ever!) and use it daily as my editorial calendar and as my road map to success. By having a plan, you have more time to prepare so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. I typically plan a month in advance and I like to look up any fun holidays that I can center around a shoot. Because of this, I like to give myself more wiggle room so we can plan the shoot, reach out to vendors, shoot everything, and allow for editing/processing time. Once you start creating a plan and sticking to it, it’ll become part of your every day routine.

Maximize Opportunities! 

Want to know every blogger’s secret to more content? Maximize your opportunities to create content! This can be as simple as snapping a few pictures while you’re around town and you talk about why you love your city so much. Creating content while you’re out and about makes the task seem less daunting. When we shoot outfits, we try to see if there are pieces of the outfit that can go on to make it’s own post thus creating more content!

Block Out Time

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years is to block out time. P loves to watch football and for days that I don’t want to watch, I stay home to work. Find a day that works for you and dedicate to blogging time. For me, that’s usually on the weekends. Saturdays are our shoot days and Sundays are for writing days. If I have the odd night during the week with no plans, I try to squeeze in some time in there too.

Schedule Your Social 

I’m sure you’ve heard by now how great it is to schedule out any social media posts. Well, it’s true! By scheduling out all of our social media posts, we save so much time! I particularly love looking at my Facebook insights to see what’s the best time to schedule out content for the week to maximize our engagement with followers. We do the same with Instagram but until they have automatic scheduling, we can at least see when the best time to post is, thus taking out the guess work.

Final Thoughts

Having a successful blog won’t happen over time. However, if you continue being consistent with blogging and creating content, you can do it! It’s so worth sticking to blogging and seeing where it can take you! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, I’d love to help you find your path to being a successful blogger!

 

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How to Create a Dream Board

As a blogger or entrepreneur, creating a dream board is a great way to realize your vision and start putting pieces into place. Nothing can get more crazy than starting your own dream path in life. There’s so many things and options to choose from that it gets overwhelming fast. 

I have always been a BIG fan of dream boards. They keep my vision in place and if I start to pull one way over another, I can see those changes happening. Plus, who doesn’t love getting their hands dirty with some glue? 

Well today we’re going to by-pass the old fashioned route (if you do want to cut up magazines, please feel free to do so!) and stick with Pinterest as our guide to creating a dream board. I’m a big fan of Pinterest because it provides so much content and can really help you creatively. Just don’t get sucked down too far and miss the point of your dream board. 

Earlier this year I made a dream board with both my blog and personal goals for 2016. I have it pinned in my home and work office so I’m constantly reminded of what I want. And it works! Since I’ve started focusing on a dream board, I’ve seen an improvement in my blog traffic, social media interaction, plus I’ve knocked out some serious goals personally. I can run a mile without stopping and running my first 5K this weekend! 

The process of creating and dreaming can really help not only stay focused but stay truly connected to your cause. It gives you intention each day rather than treading water every day. 

So let’s get started with our dream boards!

Step 1: 

Decide what your dream board will be about. It can be blogging/marketing goals, fashion, DIYS, or personal goals like fitness, finances, ect. 

Step 2: 

Start writing down your dreams! Go big or go home people! Have fun with this part of the process and don’t hold yourself back. 

Step 3: 

Get your pins and board ready!

Step 4: 

Find or create images that reflect your dream well. I have my boards broken down into concise areas (that’s only because I’m a little type-A!) but each dream board reflect something I want to achieve. There is one specifically for quotes that I go to whenever I’m feeling unmotivated or lost. 

Step 5: 

HAVE FUN! I cannot stress this one enough! Don’t let your thoughts get too in the way with this. If you feel a certain way about a picture, add it to your dream board and keep building. That one image could lead the way to one awesome idea. 

Creating a dream board can be an excellent way to keep track of your dreams and keep yourself going. Keep it handy at all times by printing certain images out and hanging them in your home office. I love looking up at my 2016 goals written out and seeing what I’ve crossed out so far. It’s so powerful to see how far you can go in just a year! 

Do you have a dream board or are you going to create one? What’s your big goal for 2016? Let me know in the comments!

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