New Year, New You – How to Gain Instagram Followers That Stick Around!

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 

Today is the turn of the lovely Louisa Rogers, who has a vibrant and beautiful blog accompanied by a fabulous and equally stunning Instagram feed. She shares her tips on how to use Instagram, how to gain followers and most importantly how to keep them. Make sure you take a read of her blog by clicking here.

Contrary to popular belief, Instagram is not an easy business. Amongst the meme pages, the self-obsessed 12 year olds and the Russian spambots lie real people who are interested and passionate about your content. The only problem you have to get around, is finding them, and keeping them interested. I used to notice that my follower count was volatile and I would lose 5 people overnight for no apparent reason, now I only ever notice the odd person unfollowing and I can put that down to one thing only…

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My Instagram pre-overhaul… as you can see there was no over-riding aesthetic style, and the whole thing looked messy and a bit crap!

I used Instagram (@louisagrogers, if you’re curious) for a long time without taking any notice of aesthetics: I guess you could say that I used it for its’ intended purpose, as a real-time photo-sharing app with an emphasis on the social! However as I became more serious about my blog, I realised that if I was going to gain a decent number of followers on Instagram like my influences @Helibells and @LisaMcconniffe (amongst many others!) I was going to start making sacrifices.

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My Instagram pre-overhaul… Once you realise how important the cohesive feed of images is to followers, not just individual photos, it’s a lot easier to use Instagram more wisely and make your whole feed look awesome and appealing.

I stopped posting random, funny moments with friends and only posting from my camera roll. I started considering using the same filters for every post to keep things quite coherent (Ps. I use Clarendon, that’s mine now, no touching) and making sure any images I post fit my colourful, slightly vintage, slightly funny aesthetic.

I do make the odd exception for a hilarious meme because they are uber-shareable, people always tag there friends in them, thereby increasing your visibility and I think humour and fashion should be placed together more often!

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My Instagram post overhaul… My new approach is still as quirky and varies, but I make sure to use similar colours and filters throughout to keep things relevant. I can thank this change of attitude for all my new followers!

I now wholly understand why many bloggers have separate blog and personal Instagram profiles , as the ultra-curated content of influencers who have over 10,000 followers is often very glossy and impersonal, almost business-like, and I understand them wanting to retain Instagram for those fleeting, semi drunk moments with friends that we all used it for back in 2012.

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My Instagram post overhaul… I even feel happier looking at my feed when it’s nicely composed!

Curating your Instagram may be upsetting at first, and I still sometimes hate how disciplined I’ve become, especially when I upload a photo that I think will fit and it suddenly throws off the entire photo-feed with the wrong colours or composition, but it does pay off. I had about 300 followers on Instagram for the first year and a half that I used it. Since changing to a more carefully considered use of the app, and hashtagging mercilessly in my comments (yes, I’m that girl – but it works) I have garnered over 600. This number is by no means impressive or putting money in my bank account, but I think it does prove that anyone is capable of gaining followers and therefore exposure by making a very simple choice.

So what will you do? Do you want to keep Instagram as a platform as light-hearted and spontaneous as Snapchat? Or are you looking to boost awareness of your blog and personal brand by stepping up your #instagame? Let us know in the comments section below!

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27. Impossible to Buy For

For those of you who are stuck for ideas on what to buy for loved ones for Christmas this year don’t despair! I have a fabulous business to share with you this week called Impossible to Buy For.

Impossible to Buy For is a website suited to those who are totally stuck for gift ideas for loved ones in the run up for that special occasion be it Christmas, Birthday, Valentines Day etc. Set up by blogger, Louise Croft who owns blog, Pauper to Princess. All of the gifts are supplied by Amazon to provide gifts for literally everyone in your life!

“So many of my friends and family are impossible to buy for, and I knew I couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, so I figured it was time to fix the problem.” – Louise Croft, Founder of Impossibletobuyfor.com

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What I love about Louise’s website is how easy it is to find a gift. What I often find with larger department store websites is that it can take a while to find the perfect gift but this has all the ideas in one place for any budget.

So are you looking for some gift ideas? I’ve put together a few lists for you below for the different people in your life! I hope it provides you with some inspiration!

Gifts for the lady in your life

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Kate Spade Watch – £173.50

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Pink Lemonade Candle – £12

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Bottega Gold Prosecco – £47.99

Gifts for those who love a good book

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Invisible Bookshelf – £39.90

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Dawn O’Porter Book – £14.99

Gifts for those who love to bake

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Macaron Pyramid – £22.81

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Mug Cakes Recipes – £3

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Retro Waffle Maker – £27.15

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Chocolate Brussel Sprouts – £9.95

Gifts for the creative ones

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Artistic Clutch Bag – £29.99

 

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Illustrated Map of London – £13.99

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Vogue Colouring Book – £7

and of course I have to include my total faves!

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LOVE Light – £29.99

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Dressing Table – £69.97

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Fujifilm Polaroid Camera – £76.49

Do you have any gift ideas? Share them with us in the comments!

Click here to visit the full range of products available.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Images taken from impossibletobuyfor.com

YouTube Introductions: Mrs Rodial

As part of my YouTube Introductions series I want to introduce you to some of my favourite YouTube channels!

This week I am featuring Mrs Rodial. Mrs Rodial is the ultimate ‘How To’ channel providing guidance on the latest celebrity looks, beauty tips and fashion highlights.

The Mrs Rodial channel, is run by Maria Hatzistefanis, founder of Rodial Skincare & NIP + FAB and inspiring role model for those wanting to go into the beauty business. She has over 50.9k followers on Twitter, 263k followers on Instagram and 21.5k subscribe to her YouTube channel.

I’ve included a couple of my favourite videos below, including a Q&A session on how she started her business, her review of the Balmain for H&M collection and skincare for when you’re in your 20s.

She is such an inspirational lady who I really hope I have the pleasure in meeting one day. I absolutely love her top tips and advice on all things beauty and hope you do too!

Do you have any YouTube channels you would like me to check out and review? Leave your links in the comments!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

#MyChocBloggers Event

On Sunday 26th April I attended my first blogger event in London. As I have never been to a bloggers event before I was a bit unsure as to what to expect but everyone was so lovely and friendly and there were plenty of other newbies there too!

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The event was held at MyChocolate, a chocolate making events company located in a beautiful, light venue with floor to ceiling windows looking out over a canal near Shoreditch in London. After arriving, we all sat at workbenches and chatted about our different blogs and interests before we got started.

Hannah, who set up MyChocolate eight years ago introduced the business and described what we would be doing throughout the session. It would be a highlights session incorporating some of the best elements from various classes. We were introduced to Davis who would be talking us through the various techniques before we got onto the chocolate making!

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We started off by trying various types of chocolate, tasting the difference between a luxury chocolate and an ‘advent calendar’ chocolate. The chocolate smelt and tasted amazing (regardless of the type!) and it was definitely a good way to start! We also tried some more exotic flavours of chocolate, guessing which ingredients were included in creating them. I rarely try other types of chocolate (even being a bit wary of mixed boxes of chocolates!) however I really enjoyed guessing the different flavours and I will definitely be a bit more adventurous in future!

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We then got onto the chocolate making, starting by working in pairs to make some delicious looking truffles. We had to work quickly to ensure the chocolate didn’t set. Davis then introduced us to a number of various techniques to decorate various sweet treats including chocolate fudge, marshmallows and the truffles we had produced! There was a lot of dipping in milk and dark chocolate, using flakes and nuts to smother the chocolates and various instruments to create pretty patterns on the chocolate. This was definitely the messy part of the session but everything smelt amazing!

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As our chocolates set Hannah told us more about The Chocolate Hedgehog, a business selling gift sets to recreate the workshop in your own home. I thought this was such a fab idea and I look forward to creating some more chocolatey mess in my kitchen! Click here to find out more!

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Overall, the event was a fantastic way to meet other bloggers and I had an amazing time! I’m really looking forward to the next one! I really enjoyed the experience at MyChocolate and would definitely recommend visiting the workshops as a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon or even as a corporate or hen party event! Click here to find out further information on future events at MyChocolate.

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Click here to read a blog post about the event from MyChocolate.

I’d love to hear from you! Have you attended any blogger events? What has been your favourite activity? Let me know in the comments below.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Images are my own or have been taken from the MyChocolate website.