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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#BigBloggerConference

Yesterday I attended the #BigBloggerConference! The event was organised by @LDNMeetUp and was held in Hotel Russell, a beautiful hotel in Russell Square, London. Chandeliers adorned the hallways with beautiful decorative mirrors and gorgeous hanging baskets lined the fence to the grand entrance of the hotel.

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Front of the Hotel Russell, London

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The beautiful chandeliers throughout the building.

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Desperate for one of these mirrors for the hallway!

We were provided with some cute gifts from Ohh Deer and Jelly Belly and started the day with a number of really insightful workshops, starting with ‘Pinterest 101’ in which Elizabeth Sellers, Pinterest UK Ambassador gave loads of fantastic tips on how to use Pinterest with blogging. This was great as I have been using my personal Pinterest account more and more lately. I love looking through the beautiful pictures, gaining inspiration and creating wishlists! It’s fantastic for my blog too as it features a lot of smaller businesses and Etsy shops which I have not come across yet. I’m always excited about what I may find on there. So make sure you keep an eye out for Pretty & Petit on Pinterest soon!

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Check out these cute gifts from Ohh Deer and Jelly Belly!

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The lovely Elizabeth navigating us through Pinterest.

Next up we had a workshop from Jasmin Charlotte, Lifestyle Blogger in SEO. I have to admit, whenever I hear ‘SEO’ I seem to cower a little. I absolutely love social media and marketing – I do it as my full time job! but when it comes to SEO something about it makes me want to run into a corner and hide. It’s just not an area that I have an interest in. Jasmin however changed that yesterday. Through providing fantastic tips and advice she informed us of the best ways in which to aid SEO through our blogs. She noted that content is key and provided useful stats about the optimum number of words to include in blog posts and so on. It was very insightful and it was a fun approach to looking at SEO from a bloggers perspective.

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The lovely Jasmin providing us with an insight into the world of SEO.

Finally we had a workshop with Sarah Moody of The Prosecco Diaries in how to monetize our blogs. It was so nice to hear a bloggers perspective on how to do this. It is rare to hear of how much a blogger may be earning but with the rise in blogger and vlogger ‘celebrities’ it just goes to show that if you can put the hard work in you will definitely reep the rewards. I’m excited to take on board some of her advice through consultancy and developing my blog brand. It’ll be exciting to see what the future holds for my little blog!

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The lovely Sarah sharing her top tips on monetizing our blogs!

We headed out to have some (really delicious) cake! before heading out for lunch in the park opposite the hotel. As you might recall it was a beautiful 29 degrees in London yesterday and it was so nice to see everyone enjoying the hot weather. I definitely recommend heading over to Russell Square if you are ever in London. It’s close to the British Museum and is such a lovely place to stop and have a picnic. They also have a cute little cafe there that sells sandwiches, cake, ice cream and even prosecco!

We headed back to the hotel for the second part of the day which incorporated an exhibition. This interactive exhibition provided us with the opportunity to meet with brands and see their products first hand! I handed out my lovely new business cards and collated information of the amazing brands that were exhibiting. Brands included:

  • Shoeaholics
  • Scoliosis UK
  • Made by Jade
  • The Gifting Lounge
  • Look Fantastic, Beauty Expert and HQ Hair
  • Designed by Henna
  • The Parlour
  • Comb
  • Beau Bronze
  • Suti Skincare
  • SASS
  • House of Fraser
  • Heaven
  • Jewellerybox.co.uk
  • My Protein
  • Bee Good

(Sorry if I have missed anyone!)

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The amazing Shoeaholics stand. I absolutely loved their cute cupcakes and check out the leopard shoes on the right! Stunning!

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Made By Jade stand. Loved the cute leather bracelets!

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The Gifting Lounge stand. So bright and colourful! Such a cute range.

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The Look Fantastic stand, full of beautiful boxes of beauty gifts.

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Beautiful packaging on the SASS stand.

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A sneak A/W preview from House of Fraser!

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JewelleryBox.co.uk has the cutest range of jewellery. So many dinosaurs!

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The Heaven skincare stand. Loved the packaging of their gorgeous products.

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Bee Good with their bee inspired products and cute sweet and savoury biscuits!

There were also ‘tweeting’ challenges throughout the afternoon in which we had to provide tips and our favourite products to the brands we had come across throughout the afternoon. Make sure you look out for some reviews of these fantastic brands in the coming weeks!

The Parlour were offering cute braiding on their stand and how could I resist? These cute braids literally lasted all day and I really didn’t want to take it out at the end of the day. Their salon isn’t too far from me so I’m so excited to go and try them out – especially after reading all the amazing reviews they have received!

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Beautiful braids from The Parlour

At the end of the day a raffle was held with proceeds going to the Scoliosis UK charity. I never say no to a raffle and was absolutely delighted when I didn’t only win one prize but two! The first was a lovely gift set from Paul Mitchell and the second was an amazing beauty bundle from W7. I couldn’t wait to get home and try everything out so be prepared for some upcoming reviews soon!

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My beauty bundle from W7

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Collection of goodies from Paul Mitchell

Overall it was a fantastic day and I wish I could do it all over again! Thank you so much to the organisers from @LDNmeetup, including  and . You put in so much hard work for us all and it truly paid off. I can’t wait until the next event!

Becky at Pretty & Petit