5 ways to get more followers on Instagram

How to get more followers on Instagram

Out of all the different social media, erm, apps (?) Instagram has to be my favourite of all. It doesn't limit me to 140 characters - which is something I struggle with on the daily #firstworldprobs - and it doesn't require me to record myself being interesting on the spot a la Snapchat (which FYI, I only use for taking double chin selfies and videos of the cats). But Instagram? Oh. Well. That little guy is my digital baby. Well, okay this blog is my digital baby, so I guess Instagram is my second digital baby that's constantly in competition with my blog. I have no idea where I'm going with this.

Okay, so we're all very aware that I love Instagram, and - just like everything else in the digital world - having followers is always good fun. Now obviously I'll put the usual disclaimer out there that followers shouldn't be the be all and end all to social media. But hey. gaining some followers here and there is a nice feeling. Unless it's the type of follower that's actually a creepy spammy porn account called sexygirlswithboobs69. That sort of follower can back off. I swear I can never write anything without being semi-awkward. Gah. I always start off so (okay, maybe remotely) well, then bam. Awkward turtle.

So here we are two paragraphs in and I'm still yet to let you all in on the mystical secrets of how to gain more followers. Well my friends, as always with all of my tips on here, it's a lot more simple that you'd probably think. And better yet is there's no spamming, no like for likes, no share for shares, nothing. Just a bit of honest grafting and lots of holding your phone/camera up really really high in the air. What am I talking about? Let's go straight to the first step..

From Where I Stand photos are the one

I'm not sure what I mean by 'the one' but I do know that - after doing my own bit of research - photos of people snapping their outfits from above (more commonly known as #FromWhereIStand pictures) get a crap ton of likes. Why? I have no clue. But if you look on all of the top fashion blogger accounts their FWIS pictures are usually some of the most liked. Now I know, I know, we don't all have perfect white floors or arms that spam around 8ft, but here's a little trick if you're trying to work out how to do it.

First, get a big piece of white card or a white sheet (or whatever colour you want!). Then whilst you're in your outfit of choice stand in the centre and stick your ass out. No, seriously. Stick your ass out like you've never stuck your ass out before. You'll look 100% doing it and you'll probably pull a muscle the first few times, but that's the price us girls pay for Instagram perfection. It helps to scatter around a few pretty items around you, like a bag or magazine, but feel free to hold something in your free hand as well. Or don't. Whatever. Either way make sure that - when you're taking the photo - your thinking about dat Instagram square. So if your taking your picture in landscape format, envisage the square. Be the square..

Post regularly, but not too regularly

I like to post at least once a day, just so the world knows that I still exist on the internet. But I know for some people posting around four times a day works for them. Personally I don't think I could manage posting that many photos each day, purely because I'm so uptight when it comes to what I post that I'd probably have a nervous breakdown on the third picture. Basically, you want to make sure that you post on a fairly regular schedule so that you followers know when to expect your snaps. Obviously it doesn't need to be to the minute (or even hour) but as long as your followers have some idea when to expect your content then you're all good in the hood. Like I said though, don't fully overwhelm your followers with twenty pictures a day, because that can get kinda spammy. If you've got millions of followers, go for it. But if you're just starting out maybe keep it on the D-L. Unless every single one of your pictures is of a cute cat or something. In that case, send them my way.

Use hashtags, but don't go overboard

This is pretty much an ongoing rule with anything to do with the internets. Rule #1 of the WWW. No spamming. But alas, hashtags are there to be used, so we may as well do just that. I tend to use the more obscure (but still popular!) hashtags to help get various posts noticed. For example, using #Fashion is great and everything, but everyone uses it, so you'll be lost in a crowd of millions. Instead, go for something used less often like #UKFashionBlog or something. I like to insert my hashtags at the end of my captions, because, well, Instagram OCD.

Communicate with each other

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The key to social media is in the name: actually be social. Be nice to one another like you would be on the street, be polite, talk to people you share interests with, get involved with the conversations and meet new people! Sure, doing follow for follows will work, but all you'll end up with is a big audience that doesn't engage with what you have to say or post. And what use is that!? It's the Instagram equivalent of poking someone on Facebook. Kinda.

Do your best

This goes for pretty much everything and anything you should do in life, because hey, why half ass something!? For me, I like to make sure my images are the best quality possible, so whenever I'm at home I use my camera to snap the pics and upload them through Dropbox. Then again, you're talking to the girl that has biscuit crumbs in her phone camera. Note for all: Biscuit crumbs do not look great as an overlay to all phone pictures. Let it be known. As we all do with the interwebs, try to be the best version of yourself. Be positive, be inspiring and - most importantly - be nice. Your images might not be the best, but if you communicate well with other people in your network you'll gain followers in no time. But seriously, try to make sure you don't get biscuit crumbs in your camera. Why can I never end a blog post successfully?

Do you have any other tips?

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ASOS lace up flats *
Carpena Elda plaid bag *

How to deal with haters and bullies on the internet

How to deal with bullies haters on the internet

I will admit, the picture above has no real relation to what I'm about to talk about, but let's pretend there's a seriously meaningful, er, meaning behind it. You see those sunglasses? They're blocking out the haters. You see me standing alone in the dark alley? That's a metaphor for how lonely bullying can make one feel. But the light at the end? That's another poetic metaphor for just that - there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Okay so I'm trying to make light of the situation, but we all know I'm never one for a super serious blog post. Either way, the topic of online bullying is something I'd like to address, in true, rambling Steph form.

I won't divulge into this too much, but I've been at the receiving end of both real life and internet bullying multiple times, probably just like most of you reading this! Last week I had a few comments regarding a certain blog post of mine, and they weren't exactly the nicest. No biggie. I mean, I like to think of myself as fairly thick-skinned (that saying always grosses me out for some reason) but a few months back it was enough to turn me into nothing short of an emotional wreck. In fact, that's probably an understatement. Now? Well, just call me the..hater see you later...er. Okay, I'll work on a better name, but you catch my drift. What I'm trying to say, is that when it comes to dealing with internet nasties, I like to think I've got a few tricks up my sleeve.

You know what they say - any press is good press. I mean, it's a little general, but it's pretty much true. If you're a good person (which I'm sure you all are!) the bad things being said are probably pretty inaccurate, which means you don't need to take personal notice of them anyway. For things like this, I like to think of it as the previous: it's all good press. If someone hates me enough to continuously come back to my site, then hell, I'll just go ahead and think of them as one extra unique visitor per day. It's a crappy thing to do (categorising people into being just a number, that is) but if it helps, I'm all for it. Just delete the nasty comments and subconsciously say thank you to the visitor for upping your analytics.

The next thing I like to do is to actually take the comments on board. Now obviously, if the comment is something along the lines of 'You're a *insert insult here* then please, feel free to block and delete that comment and person entirely. Bad vibes are not where it's at. But when it's a comment with a purpose, even if it's one that's not worded in the kindest way, I do like to take a little time to actually consider what these people are saying. Once upon a time I had someone tell me my videos on Youtube were too long and boring. Ouch. But hey, if they were thinking it (and happened to say it too) then maybe others were as well. And maybe they were just too polite to say anything about it. So I took that on as creative criticism, and voila! On the next video they complimented me and even apologised about the comment the time before. Score.

This leads me onto another way to deal with online bullies. Kill them with kindness. I said this on a Twitter chat the other night, and so many people agreed. Remember when your parents told you ignore the bullies? I was never very good at that. In fact, I'm still not very good at that, only now - instead of getting angry - I get friendly. Seriously friendly. If bullies (both online and off) don't get a negative reaction, they'll soon stop having fun. It's your blog/website/Youtube/whatever, and they're the ones encroaching on your little space. Have some fun of your own. Smiley faced emojis are my secret weapon. 

Now obviously one way to get rid of trolls is to delete them and/or simply ignore them, but let's face it, once you've seen a nasty message you may as well have it imprinted on your forehead for the rest of the day. One way that I've found to decrease the amount of negative comments even popping up on my blog is to address pretty much every issue imaginable in that one blog post. I mean, take this post for example. I'll be the first to admit that I am no psychology genius nor am I a poster-girl for anti-bullying. I blog, these are my thoughts, and that's pretty much all this blog is ever for (and the odd blog post about how much I effing love leather jackets). I tend to tackle any negative issues straight up, so that when/if anyone trolls the comments saying the same thing, I'm prepared for it. I know my downfalls, I know there's probably eighteen different typos in here and I'm fully aware that I've probably said something stupid within the past few paragraphs. Guilty as charged. So just as long as I'm aware, these commenters can't hurt me. Sticks and stones my friends, stick and stones...

How do you deal with the h8rs?

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Lily Lulu waterfall coat *
ASOS faux leather trousers
Forever 21 mules *
Ray-Ban sunglasses *
Forever 21 trio bag *

100 blog post ideas to help kick that creative block

100-creative-blog-post-ideas-cocochic.jpg

In the blogging world there can be days when one minute you're full to the brim with blog post ideas, and the next you've got complete writers block. I've only ever seen a few blog posts like this for the fashion and beauty world, so I've decided to jot down some ideas over the past few weeks to help you lovely lot out - and maybe kick my own ass into gear. Get your copy and paste on!

 

1. Five things to be happy about
2. Favourite blogs of the month
3. Facts about yourself
4. Outfit of the day
5. Makeup collection
6. A competition/giveaway
7. Blogging advice
8. Fashion wish list
9. Exercise tips
10. Fashion/beauty haul
11. Book review
12. Favourite Instagram accounts
13. 'How to style' outfit posts
14. Product reviews
15. Room tour
16. Host a guest post
17. What's in your bag
18. Photography tips
19. Facts about yourself
20. What's on your phone
21. Host a Q+A
22. Favourite podcasts
23. An interview with a blogger
24. Interior inspiration
25. A news story
26. Products worth the hype
27. A DIY / how to
28. Healthy snack recipe
29. Pay-day shopping picks
30. A fashion show review
31. A story about yourself
32. A list post (kinda like this!)
33. A rant (it feels good!)
34. Your favourite beauty products
35. A list of your dreams and goals
36. A tag post (TMI tag, etc)
37. A post on your friend/partners style
38. Your every day makeup routine
39. College/University advice
40. A before and after post
41. An Instagram roundup
42. A 30 day challenge
43. A review of a place
45. A controversial opinion
46. Your hair history
47. A 'get the look' style post
48. What's in your makeup bag
49. Monthly favourites
50. Details of your home
51. Your food diary
52. An empty products review
53. Your handbag collection
54. The reason you started blogging
55. A makeup tutorial
56. Share some positivity
57. Ask your readers a question
58. Places to visit where you live
59. Your favourite apps
60. A 'day in the life' style post
61. Offer a service
62. A list of life hacks
63. Must-have items
64. Empty product reviews
65. Share your work space
66. Round up your outfits this month
67. Style inspiration post
68. How you stay organised
69. A movie review
70. Favourite street style looks
71. A birthday/anniversary post
72. Share your favourite blog posts
73. A get ready with me post
74. 5 things you couldn't live without
75. Job interview tips
76. Behind the scenes photos
77. A brand focus
78. An event you've been to
79. Your opinion on a trend
80. Save Vs splurge
81. How to de-stress
82. An open letter to someone
83. A 'who wore it best?' post
84. How to gain followers on Instagram
85. How to start Youtube channel
86. What blogging has taught you
87. Blogger bloopers (I dare you)
89. Your shoe collection
90. Affordable homeware ideas
91. Your experience at school
92. How to promote your blog
93. An eBay wishlist
94. Face of the day
95. Ways on how to procrastinate
96. Blogging dos and don'ts
97. Beauty hacks
98. How to get motivated
99. Things to do when you're sad
100. Your five year plan

 

Let me know if you have any blog post ideas!?

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UK fashion and beauty blog


How much should you charge for sponsored blog posts?

How much should you charge for blog posts and how to set your rates

Sorry for the later upload, but I've spent a lot of my evening talking to the wonderful bloggers on the #fblchat hashtag on Twitter! Tonight's discussion was all about how to transition from a 9-5 job to a full-time blogger (which will be the topic of next week) and - since the two are linked up quite nicely - I decided to wait until the end of our chat to get this post up.

So alas! The golden question. How much should you really be charging for your sponsored blog posts? Now obviously if you're in The Blonde Salad or Zoella sort of territory, you can pretty much charge whatever you like, so let's keep this all quite realistic because - let's face it - if you were already making six figures a post, you wouldn't really be here, would you?

For ages I've just been plucking random numbers out of my head, or taking whatever brands gave me, until I spoke to a few blogger friends that made me realise I was possibly charging the wrong amount for different things. I was underselling myself, in other words. 

A few months ago I was asked for my rate card...I mean what!? Why would I - just a small town girl (living in a lonely woooorld) have a freakin' rate card? To act as a guideline for PRs, that's why. 

Now obviously you're not going to have one flat rate for absolutely everything you do. Sometimes brands want a lot of social push to go alongside the post and sometimes PRs want a dedicated feature that doesn't include any competitors, which means you're going to need to work out your 'hourly rate' to coincide with the type of post that needs to be done. Sounds like fun, right!? No. No it's not. So to save you lovely lot some time I've decided to make a little table for you that will hopefully give you an idea about what to charge. It's not set in stone (by all means, ignore it completely!) but it's the sort of thing I go by.

*Update: Google no longer updates their Page Rank. This blog post has been adjusted accordingly!

Sponsored posts how much should you charge

Check your domain authority here

Again, don't take this thing too seriously - I'm definitely not a pro when it comes to working out exactly what is right. But after looking at a bunch of different bloggers and their rate cards/price lists it all sort of averaged out at this - and I mean that very, very loosely.

For my little rate card, I go by the above table as well as my social reach and quality of what I do. If you have a special skill, be sure to add in a bit of extra dollar for that, as you'll need to be covering the cost of both your time and expertise. If you happen to have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, factor that in too. Basically, find that one (or two, or three!) thing(s) that makes you stand out from everyone else, and cater your price to that.

Aaaand breathe. Anyway. I hope this maybe helped some of you out there, and obviously feel free to put in your own points of view to help any one else out that might read the comments (or even help me out, pls). Stay tuned for the next Tip Tuesday!

Do you have any tips about how much to charge for a blog post?

UK Fashion & Beauty Blogger Cocochic

How to score your dream fashion internship

How to score your dream fashion magazine internship

So, about that news that I mentioned last week. I could pretend to act all cool about this and make out that it's hardly a big deal, but uh, GUESS WHO'S AN ONLINE CONTRIBUTOR FOR COMPANY MAGAZINE. Me, that's who. No biggie. Ahem.

Anyway, after interning with Company last week it's safe to say it all went pretty smoothly, and since this is this is perhaps my fifth internship I've decided to share with you some secrets that I may have picked up along the way. Hopefully they'll help you score your dream internship..and maybe even your dream job!?

THE RESUMÉ

They say it's not about what you know, but who you know, and whilst that may be kind of true in the fashion industry, it's not the be all and end all. When I first landed an internship the only semi-related things I had on my CV were my Tumblr account and a few pieces of College work that were seriously outdated. So if - like me at that time - you really don't think you have anything crazy outstanding to shout about, think again. It may not be a qualification or anything on paper, but even mentioning your hobbies and how they've sculpted you as a real life human being (!!) will help with your chances. I always like to include a 'personal' section on my CV that enlists a bunch of things that I'm proud of, and what skills I've gained from them. If possible, try and actually demonstrate them on your resumé if you can. Great at graphic design? Make it look that way! I can't think of anything worse than reading 500 applications written out in Arial font, so make something that you're actually proud of. If you're not super qualified, at least make it look like you are.

THE COVER LETTER

So this is the place where it's time to shine. If there's one thing you take away from this, it's to make sure that you make your cover letter personal to the company/organisation you're contacting. Find out the name of the person you're writing to, research the company and be sure to include some opinions and reasons as to why you actually want to work there.

Sounds a little boring though, right? I don't know if it's a general rule, or if I've just been lucky, but my most successful applications have included more light-hearted, personal information about myself. In fact, about two emails into chatting with the deputy editor of Company I decided to bring up my love for cats. Lolz. Now I wouldn't suggest caps-locking your ULTIMATE LOVE FOR RYAN GOSLING in an email to Anna Wintour, but it won't cause any harm to include a little bit about you - not just the work your produce blah blah blah. Again, it's all about standing out from a crowd of countless other applicants.

THE FOLLOW UP EMAIL

Unless you're a crazy pro (which if you are, why are you reading this!?) the chances of you getting every internship you've ever applied for is pretty unlikely, so expect some not-so-positive emails. In fact, expect to not even receive replies sometimes. I mean hell, I feel pretty busy sitting here writing this blog post, so just imagine how busy some of these editors are!

One thing I always like to do is create a follow up email a few weeks after applying, just to check up on whether or not they received my application (it's basically a polite way of pestering). If they don't reply, no harm done, but more often than not I'll get a reply shortly after, to which you can strike up a conversation.

Like I said, no one is going to get every internship they've ever dreamed of, but that doesn't mean it was a waste of your time applying. If you didn't get the job of your dreams, simply ask why! It seems a little daunting at first (and almost like a U WOT M8 kind of situ) but most people are happy to point you in the right direction, especially if they know how eager you are. I once applied for one internship, got declined, upped my cover letter game, came back and got through almost instantly! Just because you get declined, it doesn't mean you're banned from the halls of *insert organisation here* for the rest of time.

THE PORTFOLIO

So this varies depending on what it is you actually 'do' - for example, we all know I'm a bit of an online person (because real life is for l0zerz) so whenever I'm trying to showcase my work I'll always try to make a personalised website for that company. Even if it's just a Tumblr page or Wordpress featuring your work, going that extra mile will always look good on your application.
 

Hope this helps some of you! Shoot me any other questions in the comments below.
 

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