INSTAGOALS: How to create a beautiful cohesive Instagram

SUP LADIES!

Hi!

So sharing a little 'pretty instagram feed' insights today, because...the important things in life ya know?

Let me start by saying, that I personally dont think my feed is amazing, and I think secretly at points everyone hates their feeds, ha. I go in waves where I can't even look at it, nor will post reguarly. 

We're all too critical of ourselves (and one another for that matter).

Sometimes I want mine to be more moody, more editorial, include more of a diversity of shots, blah blah blah.

Just think, before Instagram we had none of these thoughts.

 SMH.

Anywho, so my instagram feed has definitely evolved through the years. I did the whole 'instasize' thing and it's my biggest regret in life. All of the images are different sizes and I have dope images from places like Morocco, Vietnam, Patagonia...that are instasized aka weird. 

I also was a XX Pro Filter queen, and, to be honest, some of my photos look like I'm on fire I am so tan and filtered. Those got deleted. Sorry memories, but ya gotta go. I also was a huge 'clubber' before so I had images of bottles and shit...SMH.

So I've learned from my mistakes, but I did the majority of my learning when I got my websire redone by GoLive HQ - you can read about my experience here.

Going through an entire branding exercise, and redoing all aspects of Hundred, bled to my Instagram feed too.

My graphic designer, said, 'no matter what, just keep your mood board colors consistent'.

My mood board was what I created on Pinterest to describe the look and feel of Hundred Blog - you can see it here:

This has lots of pinks, blues, some aqua, and it's beachy, California, with a bit of an edge. 

But when you see these images you think of Hundred Blog, right? That's what's important.

So applying that same principal, I looked at my instagram feed. Realizing that almost all big bloggers, like Happily Grey for example, follow this same strategy. They keep the color scheme consistent so that the overall theme of the Instagram is visually appealing when you look at the profile. It means these images are 'theirs' and they have a certain vibe.

gram.png

Happily grey is known for keeping everything cool, everything grey and all of it neutral. She uses the same filters and the same photo editing every time so that it's unique to her.

Same Chicstyling. She follows a pattern - consistent pattern of grey, one detail shot, one full body, one with the face. Every row has that same idea. 

For my instagram, I like to keep it bright, and the colors in the blue and pink color palette. I definitely move off that sometimes, but within every 3-4 posts I bring it back to those colors so that it's cohesive. I'll use a beach scene, or something that helps to tie it all together so that it follows the same brand visual. 

Pick your color scheme: The best feeds have a recognizable color feel at a glance! This is what draws you in and makes you want to stay around for more. 

Give yourself options: Take LOTS OF PICTURES. Yes be that girl, be annoying and take all of the angles in all of the lights. Don't screw yourself with only a few options! 

Plan: The major key to creating your dream feed is understanding your aesthetic. What do you want people to think and take away from visiting your feed?When I’m planning a feed, I like to make sure that everything is laid out in a cohesive way – shots in the same perspective or category next to one another or above one another I try to avoid (looks boring). To understand the state of my current feed and my future feed, I use UNUM so that I can see the 'squares' together. This also helps me to make sure I am staying consistent with my colors and that my pictures are varied and look good together. 

Write rad captions: This is really important to me. My photos are good, but you need to know about ME, the person behind it. I love captions more than pictures because you get insight into my personality and humor. Make yours, YOU. 

Use natural light and FOCUS. DUH. 

My favorite photo editing apps, here. 

At the end of the day, Instagram aids in adding a visual personality to your brand and a way to reiterate your message and purpose.

Focus on that, and you're good.

Let us know any other tips you have. Would love to hear from you.

Happy Monday,

xoxo

Krista

Market yo shit: How to share your blog to get more traffic

Hi Hi!

Happy Wednesday, friends! How's it going? 

I recieved a lot of positive feedback on the blogging tips post, and the measuring your analytics post I did in the past few weeks.

Which makes me SO HAPPY because those posts, I am SO INTO.

Value added and super juicy.

Real quick though, lets get the outfit over with!



 You and I have talked about starting the blog, and about the importance of numbers, but it's even more important to know how to MARKET your blog. I feel like when I talk to people it's the same sentiment. They're looking to get more people to their blog. 

I mean, I hear you.

100%.

If you do amazing, bomb-ass posts that you take hours and hours to do, but don't market your shit, no one's going to read it.

Sad, I know. 

For me, hearing the word marketing sort of makes me feel, icky.

Just a bit though!

Just, unnatural. But it's the way of the world and people WANT to find what you're putting out.

Marketing is the sharing.

It's the engagement and it's the back and forth between you and people that want to connect with your brand. That's critical, honestly. 

As an example, I was doing Hundred for about 5 months before I shared it with anyone. Which, was a good thing because it sucked, LOL. It also allowed me to get content there, and find my voice.

But I didn't get ANY readers, until I started to market my content. Then, it grew from there, and continues to grow with each and every time I create content, and MARKET it.

So all I do is listen to podcasts, read, speak with and learn from other smart people. So in that, I wanted to just break down the best way to market your brand or business, to grow it to be the thing that you want it to.


Get your content right:

First things first.

Create the content that you love, and honor what it is you want to put out in the world. Do it! I won't tell ya to do otherwise, but I will say that the best content to create is the content that your customer wants to read. 

If you're a food blogger, people may be thrown off if you show a post that's about the beauty products you've been using. It's weird, but people are creatures of habit and like when they go to a blog expecfting something, to find it.

Not saying you don't need to stay in one lane (I mean I'm all over the fucking board) but you're content needs to be right. 

Whatever your blog and it's vibe is make sure to ask yourself:

Am I providing value to my audience?

What is the topic that I cover that this post falls under?

What is the action that your reader can take next?

I think each of these pieces of information is equally as relevant and important. Each post, needs to provide value, it needs to align to your  brand, message or belief and the reader needs to be able to 'continue the conversation' or take an action against it. Shopping, as a popular one is one action. Or it can be to follow you on other socials as you travel this weekend. To read more on that topic in a book you suggest. To check out x website. Or for those that have products whether physical or digital it's to buy that product.

On the value piece I think it gets a little bit tricky. Because a lot of times, people rate or find value in different places than others. What I may find value in, others may not.

But this is where you cultivate your voice, your differentiator, and follow that.

On the topics piece, this can be tricky to categorize everything if you are a 'Lifestyle' blogger but there are creative ways to do so. Still working on that one, LOL.

I would however think about which topics you're most excited about, and write those down. Break it down to what areas fall in that, and try to always go back to those original topics. 

Smart content is also well-strategized content. 

If it’s a post on your own site, keep them moving through to related blog posts or a sales page for your latest product or service.


Create a process (and stick to it!):

Creating a process for blogging and sharing content is really important.

Your audience needs to know when to check in with you to see what's new. Consistency is really key. 

I post on Mondays and Wednesdays and the podcasts go up on Tuesdays. I want people to know when to check in!

But more importantly to that, I have a process (although very basic) for marketing my blog when I've shared a post or a new podcast is out.

For the blog it's:

Reading this, it seems more time consuming than it is honestly. It's a good half hour or so to do all of the above, but when I am in the zone I whip right through it. I do it right after I post at 6 AM PST.


Know your readers: 

How about calling them fans eh? Yes your mom and friend from High School who read your shit, are FANS. I just sort of feel weird calling everyone readers or viewers, maybe just calling you friend also works!  

Of course, all of the tips above aren’t going to do you any good if you don’t know your readers well, or if you don't engage with them.There are so many opportunities to tap into your readers and get to know what they want, what they don't want and what they like to see/read from you. 

Read (and engage with) your blog comments:

Which post really reasonated with your audience? What do they love to read about and see from you? Was there something you did when markeitng that post that may have driven more traffic than normal? There could also be something there too!

I LOVE to read the blog comments to really make sure that I am writing what you want to read. 

Ask for feedback:

If you're feeling like you don't know what your readers want from you, just ask them. Do a poll or share an instagram like Damsel in Dior, and ask how they want to engage with you. Is it on snapchat, is it once a week through a thorough blog post? People like to share feedback if you're going to take it into consideration and be respectful of their opinion. 

Interact with other bloggers:

Most of marketing for me, is interacting with my readers and importantly other bloggers. This is done via Facebook groups, or communities like The Style Collective. 

I do a lot of commenting, reading and engagement with other blogs, because it's important to me to support others, stay interested and give credit where credit is due.

By sharing my posts in blog communities, I get lots of traffic and readers to the site. 

You can also consider business cards, as a way to market yourself. I got mine from MOO and wrote a post about them here. They are good when I attend events and conferences.

Which brings me to the point of getting to know people you interact with online, IRL. 

Attend an event or meetup:

I think these are so underrated and I want to meet people IRL much more this year and into next. Although I may seem cool with all these spelling errors and random knowledge, I am way cooler in person :) Plus it allows me to feed off and contribute to others energy. I always try to meet local LA bloggers, and am starting to host more events like the one at Soulcycle or the one this Friday in Manhattan Beach.

You can join the SoulCycle Almost 30 Podcast Launch by clicking here.


Have brands you work with market for you:

Whenver I work with a brand, I include in the terms that they are to share my link, photo, pin or instagram on their socials as well.

This is HUGE and it's a really great way to get traffic and to bring their readers, to your site. This often happens naturally, if a brand likes the photos you've taken, but I like to be sure! As an example, I've seen a 192% lift in my posts, if a brand shares what I've done for them on socials.

It's a win-win! They get content, you get traffic.


SEO

As far as SEO, people need to find you on Google Search.

Having an SEO strategy in place is really important for marketing you and getting traffic to your site. Having an SEO plan gets organic growth and page views (vs. paid or bots - which I don't know how you can actually do that with page views...). 

It's really important and it seems really techy, so just a few high-level tips:

Being Boss on SEO Strategies

Style Collective SEO 101

There are so many resources for creating an SEO strategy, and I would suggest a few articles here to get started. Frankly I am not a complete expert on this, but manage to have Hundred listed as #1 on Google Search.  


Most importantly, having a marketing strategy is the best way for you to get your content out there. It's how you connect with your audience, brands find you, and get you paid for what you do! Finding the right plan to distribute your content is a critical part of your process! 

Okay PHEW.

What do you think? How do you market your blog, or business or service? I feel like so many people are moving towards more creative, living on their own but also need to know how to share their business with others so I am hopeful this is helpful!

Let me know :) 

Loving you,

Krista