How To Get Your First 500 Followers On Instagram

Instagram has changed. Gone are the days where you take a photo straight from your iPhone, slap on a Valencia filter, put one or two hashtags and call it a day. Instagram has evolved into a powerhouse especially for bloggers and influencers! I have had Instagram for 5 years now so I have seen many changes in the app. However, it wasn’t until 5 months ago I decided to create a separate Instagram for my blog and grow it. I have amassed a lot of amazing followers so I would like to share how to get followers on instagram!

A lot of the strategies that bloggers tout as the best strategies honestly do not work. Hashtagging brings almost no returns now. It is also a complete waste of time spending hours on your phone liking and commenting on people’s photos in the hopes that someone will follow you.

I needed to find a method that worked so I read lots of blogs on how to get followers on Instagram. My main criteria was that the method should be cheap and show a noticeable growth in followers without spending hours on Instagram.  After a few tweakings and experiments, I found it!

I didn’t use any follow bots/automatic liking systems because I don’t have the money and I wanted a more organic growth. Growing your Instagram this way is definitely slower than using bots but I’ve found that the audience you build will be more engaged. Also, as your following increases, the amount of followers you gain increase exponentially so patience is the name of the game!

Post (Semi) Often

I’m guilty of not posting often because I don’t have the time to take pictures for the week and schedule them. Whoever does this is a true champion! How do you do it?!??!

Posting frequently on Instagram is a no – brainer. It’s always the key to growing any social media account. Post frequent, high quality posts. The more often you post, the more exposure you get and a greater chance of more people seeing your Instagram and following you! Most experts say posting once a day is optimum for growing your account.

But it’s not absolutely necessary. I only post once or twice a week and I get followers everyday. Do what frequency is best for you and makes you comfortable. Just be consistent. Consistency is key.

Do A Follow Train

This is the most important thing that has made my instagram grow these past 5 months. I do a follow spree 5-6 times a week and I have seen a lot of growth from this method. Here is how I do it

At peak hour, (which is 7-10 pm for my time zone) I click on the latest posts from a user I follow and see who liked it. Once I’m there I visit the pages of whoever liked their picture. I like the users pictures and then follow them. I usually follow 10-15 people on these days. They will usually follow you back. I have a 70% success rate using this method. This method is absolutely necessary for me.

One thing to consider is a users follower to following ratio. If a user has a massive gap between followers/following, do not expect a follow back. It also helps to follow people who are interested in the same things as you are. So I usually follow a lot of bloggers and females age 18-30 because I know they fit my demographic of who I am trying to reach!

Instagram Pods

Instagram pods are completely optional but they do help somewhat in engagement on photos. An Instagram pod is a group of bloggers on an Instagram group chat (usually 15) who comment and like on every post anyone shares in the group. There’s no limit on the amount of instagram pods you can join, but one pod is a lot to keep up with!

It’s nice to have a group of bloggers that will always like your pictures and comment. I also ask for blogging advice and general chit-chat from time to time on the group chat so it’s a nice community to be in. However it’s not necessary, Instagram pods are so new and you can grow your account without one.

Follow a theme

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Once someone visits your page for the first time, the overall impression that they get is what will make them decide to click the follow button. Themed Instagram can help drive people to click the follow button. I love having a themed Instagram, but it’s not always the easiest thing for me to achieve.

My theme is currently (to the best of my knowledge) lots of white space with a pop of neutral colors. I don’t overthink my theme and frankly I don’t care. As long as my pictures look decent I’m posting it.

You can tweak and try different themes to see what gets the most likes and comments. If a streamlined theme works for you, do it. It’s also good to have a theme when you are branding yourself on social media because you can be easily recognized by your style of photos. It’s all dependent on what you personally want!

Once you implement these tips, you will see an organic growth of your Instagram with highly engaged followers. I hope you got some amazing tips on how to get followers on Instagram!

Instagram is fun, but my new favourite social media is definitely Pinterest because I get lots of traffic from there. I wrote an extended post on how to get started using Pinterest and drive traffic to your blog. Do check it out!

Amazing Books To Read This Fall

Fall is upon us and I think this is the perfect time to snuggle up and find some new reads! But first let’s take a moment to thank the book gods…I’ve read more than 2 books in a month! I have read a lot of  books recently and I decided that it would be nice to share 4 amazing books to read this fall.

I can’t believe I’ve read these many books in a short span of time because I literally have the attention span of a fish. Reading for me used to be anywhere and an anytime thing but now it has become so ritualistic and boring. 

I need to have the perfect conditions present before I can read now. I’m talking a dark room, complete silence and preferably snuggled in a blanket, before I can read. My high maintenance habits have made it difficult to finish books within a sensible time frame…until now!

I usually read all my books on the kindle app on my iPhone or Kindle device and I buy all my books on Amazon. It’s so much more convenient and I prefer reading the reviews before I shell out money to buy it. Most of these books are 4.5 stars so they’re fan favorites!

Lifestyle Blogging Basics – Laura Lynn

books I've been loving lately lifestyle blogging basics

I’m always on a path of self improvement especially when it comes to my blog. So I decided to buy a book about lifestyle blogging to see if I would learn anything new. This book is written by Laura over on Breezy and Brazen.

Why you should buy it:

This book is perfect for any beginner blogger that wants to get started on their website/blog. It talks about starting a blog, what blogging platform to use, how to promote your posts, working with brands and many more. I also loved how there was a “how I failed” section in each point because it’s reassuring to know that blogging is not a smooth sailing ship. You will make many mistakes but as long as you keep going it’s all good. It’s an extremely valuable book for all level bloggers so it’s worth a read!

Luring A Lady – Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is a really popular author and I’m sure almost everyone has read one or two of her romance novels. I’m a romantic girl at heart so I enjoy reading romance genres from time to time. I was pulled in by the plot in this book so I decided to make a purchase.

Luring A Lady is a about a woman called Sydney Hayward who recently took over the family’s real estate business. She has always felt the pressure to be the perfect wife/socialite/daughter so she is closed off and too busy for any distractions…that is until Mikhail comes along.

Why You Should Buy it:

It is a simple, cookie cutter, entertaining romance story. It’s so easy to read and you don’t have to rack your brain trying to comprehend what is being said. It was also cute to see how her ice-princess facade was slowly melted by Mikhail. And if you love an Alpha type main character in a novel, this book is for you.

The Curated Closet – Discover Your Personal Style And Build Your Dream Wardrobe

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I have the most haphazard personal style ever because I just throw anything on and pray for the best. I also happen to hate shopping and the thought of spending hours in a clothing store makes me want to gouge my eyes out. Although I hate shopping, I love fashion! I wanted to see if there is way to build a wardrobe I love that captures my personal style, but is versatile for any season. Enter the curated closet! It goes into detail about building your wardrobe based on what you like, shopping tips and building a capsule wardrobe! It’s a really invaluable tool for anyone that wants to improve their closet with minimal effort.

Why You Should Buy It:

If your closet is a mess, you have no semblance of a personal style and you don’t have the willpower nor energy to figure it out yourself, this book if for you!

The Naturalist- Andrew Mayne

books I've been loving lately

The Naturalist is a thriller/crime investigation novel about a scientist who is thrust into the middle of an investigation when one of his former students is brutally murdered in the woods. I’m not done reading this but I’m really enjoying it at the moment! I’m also getting a serious Gone Girl vibe from this novel and I know there’s going to be a massive bombshell at the end. Fingers crossed it lives up to my expectations!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my post this and found some new books to read this fall!

What are your current favorite books?

Related: The Mid Year Favourites Roundup: Books, Music, Movies and Makeup!

4 amazing books to read this fall

How To Find The Perfect Shade Of Red Lipstick

I think red lipstick is the quintessential makeup product that every woman should own. Red lipstick makes a woman instantly more bold and makes her exude much more confidence!  I wear red lipstick often because it looks great on any makeup look and it makes me look more powerful!

Finding the perfect shade of red lipstick is a game of trial and error. However, as long as you don’t go too orange or too dark, most red lipsticks are universally flattering. I also did a post on my guide to the perfect nude lipstick! So if you are struggling with finding your perfect shade, I’ve got you covered!

Find The Perfect Shade Of Red Lipstick

It’s important to know what type of lipstick look you want when finding the perfect shade of red lipstick. There many types of red lipstick shades. These include lipsticks with blue undertones, orange reds and true reds. There are also lip glosses, lipsticks or tinted lip creams. How these colours perform on your skin depends highly on your skin color or undertone.

I personally do not use skin undertone advice when it comes to choosing lipstick colours because I’ve found that the advice does not work for me! It can also be very overwhelming and confusing for a beginner who is new to makeup to try to understand skin undertones. I also believe that all skin tones can pull off any light or dark lipstick colour as long as their skin tone is taken into consideration.

Getting Practical

My best advice to find the perfect shade of red lipstick is to always to try a cheap alternative of what you think would look good on you. I always try drug store alternatives to get an idea of what lipstick colour I like before making the splurge on more expensive alternatives. Go to a drug store that allows samples and try a few lipstick shades. Try a dark red, a true red and an orange coloured lipstick if you’re feeling adventurous. Taking swatches on your hand is also a great way to know if the colour is flattering or not. If it looks like it accentuates your skin tone then it is probably a good lipstick match. If it is too bright or deep, it would probably not look good on your skin tone!

But don’t be afraid to try a bright lip color! As long as you have a darker lip liner, you can line the outer corner of your lips to create an ombre effect and make any lipstick colour wearable!

Orange lipsticks are too bright on me so if you have a similar skin tone to me this is something to keep in mind!  The lipstick colours that flatter me the most are usually deep but I have begun to gravitate towards true reds because they look more eye-catching!

M.A.C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour – Feels So Grand

This is one of my new favourite lip colours because it dries into a matte finish and it is a very eye-catching red. This colour is a classic red lip colour which is timeless in my opinion. I also love how bright it appears on my skin!  My only con about this lipstick is that it’s quite drying. It is expected though because most liquid lipsticks are drying. It doesn’t flake though so that’s a plus!

M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick – Ruby Woo

This used to be my absolute favourite lipstick. It is a vivid blue red lipstick that is creamy with a matte finish. I always reached for this lipstick any time I wanted to wear a red so it’s extremely versatile. The reason why I’m using this less now is because I want a flashier red! Which is why I bought Feels So Grand.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick – Kiss Of Life

I usually don’t like drugstore lipsticks (liquid lipsticks on the other hand…) but this one is actually a dupe for Mac’s ruby woo. It’s also a blue red lipstick with but this has a creamy matte finish so if you are looking for a more affordable red lipstick this is the one for you!

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss – Black Ruby

This lip gloss is very shimmery and reminds me of christmas because it’s such a festive colour that’s perfect for the holidays. I love the depth of the colour and how easy it is to apply the gloss. It also lasts super long and it isn’t too sticky or tacky on the lips!

Now that you have an idea of how to find the perfect shade of red lipstick, you’ll be rocking gorgeous lip colours in no time! I hope this post was helpful for you. Thank you so much for reading!

I’ve Gone Self Hosted: The Move To My New Website!

I’ve Gone Self Hosted: The Move To My New Website!

I have been flirting with the idea of going self hosted for months now and I finally did it! I’ve Moved! If you’re reading this post right now it means you’re still subscribed to Thepearlylife.wordpress.com!

I have now moved my blog over to thepearlylife.com so I will no longer update posts on this website!

I hope you can join me over on my new website! I already have some new posts I would love you to read.

Thank you so much for your support on my blog. I wouldn’t be here without it. ❤️

Love,

Pearl.

I Am Now A Self Hosted Blog! What I’ll Miss About WordPress.com

I Am Now A Self Hosted Blog! What I’ll Miss About WordPress.com

Do you notice anything different on here? Well I have now officially moved to the Thepearlylife.com! It has been a very long time coming to get a self hosted blog. I am so excited for this next phase in my blogging journey! I’m so glad you’re all here along on the ride with me.

My move from wordpress.com to a self hosted wordpress.org blog was not without it’s challenges. However, it was not as difficult as I expected! I’m going to miss so many things about WordPress.com but I know this is for the best. Here are some of the things I’ll miss about WordPress.com! Think of this post as my little goodbye, love letter to WordPress.com

What I Will Miss About WordPress.com

  1. I no longer have access to the lovely WordPress.com community! I’m really going to miss tagging my posts and seeing them come up in the reader. I don’t think my tagged posts will show up in the reader anymore! Do they?
  2. I will miss the access to likes and ease of commenting on the reader. It will become significantly harder for my readers to comment on my posts using WordPress.com reader since I am technically no longer a member! You would have to go straight to my page in order to comment. Don’t worry though, I have made sure my page is easy to navigate so it will not be too much of a hassle for you!
  3. I don’t have to bother about updating plug-ins because everything is automatically updated for me by WordPress.com! Now I have to manually update some plug-ins because they can’t be auto updated.

The Self Hosted Blog Journey….

It was a simpler time for me back when I was a wordpress.com blogger. However, everything is much more challenging now which is really exciting to me. I am absolutely in love with my website now and the freedom I have. I am also enjoying learning about SEO and seeing some of the many mistakes I made in the previous posts. As I continue to improve I am sure I will get better at being a self hosted blogger!

I hope you all enjoyed reading this little post of mine and I can’t wait to start publishing posts on my new blog! Thank you so much for reading and subscribing.

Have you thought about self hosting?

What was your experience and what will you miss?

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Here are some of my recent posts you may have missed:

How To Create The Perfect Pinterest Profile

The Foundation Tip That Changed My Makeup Game

What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag: Autumn

What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag: Autumn

What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag: Autumn

I took a blogging hiatus this week because I had been in a whirlwind of packing for my trip to Orlando! I haven’t been as active on social media because I’m just enjoying the holiday and I kept on messing up my blogging schedules because of the time difference.

Thankfully I am now in the sunshine state of Florida! It’s not so sunny right now because it’s September and officially the start of autumn! I’m happy about the mellow weather because I always got unsightly tan marks whenever I was in the sun.

Finding the essential products to pack on my trip was such a hassle because I knew I was going to buy new makeup, but I still wanted to pack makeup that looks good and will look versatile for any occasion that may arise. I didn’t mention everything I have here but I am mentioning some new products and old favorites!

Illamaqua lipstick in ESP

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I’m usually not a big coloured lipstick wearer because it is so difficult to find a shade that I actually like on me. However, this purple lipstick is one of my favourites. I also think Autumn is a perfect time to wear deeper shades but this shade can be worn beautifully in summer too!

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

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My favourite foundation. Need I say more? Do I even need to elaborate? This foundation is my whole life. It makes my skin look flawless and I just love the matte finishing it gives. I also don’t break out using this foundation in the summer. I will definitely keep repurchasing this again!

Urban Decay NAKED 3 Palette

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I love the Naked 3 Palette because it is extremely versatile and very wearable on any type of outfit. It’s a shimmery rose, gold nude palette that matches with everything I wear. There is no strong color that can’t be worn in this palette which is why it’s what I always go for when I’m travelling on a trip!

Lip Balm

I’m absolutely obsessed with lip balm and it’s something that I can’t leave my house without. My lips always get super dry when I’m traveling so I always need to have a lipbalm on hand to prevent cracks! I’m currently using a massive pot of Vaseline to keep my lips nice and soft.

L’Oreal Luminous Mascara

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This is my first time trying this mascara and I am quite impressed. I usually don’t try most drug store mascaras because the wands are super frustrating and they always suck at separating my lashes. However this mascara has a curved wand which I discovered was the best wand shape of for my short, curved lashes. It’s also super pigmented and makes me look like I’m wearing false lashes. My only con is that it clumpy so I have to go over my lashes a couple of times to get it to look smooth!

Maybelline Eye Studio Pot Liner

In currently trying out a different type of liner because I’m so used to using pen liners and I like the look of the pot liner gives. This liner is waterproof and pigmented/creamy. It doesn’t smudge once its dry so its been pretty good to use. The only issue I have with it is the fact that I suck at doing a wing with this liner so I’ve been sticking to the simple wingless liner for now. I’m probably going to buy a new liner soon because I love doing my wings!

That’s it for my travel makeup! I hope you enjoyed reading this and maybe you could discover some new makeup. I’m enjoying switching up my look and these makeup products are perfect for that!

I have finally moved to a self hosted platform so I am currently moving my site to thepearlylife.com! If you are currently subscribed to me don’t worry, I will migrate all my followers to my new site so you don’t need to do anything. If you aren’t subscribed, please do so you don’t miss any updates from me!

Thank you so much for reading!

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flatlayamelii

How To Create The Perfect Pinterest Profile And Drive Traffic To Your Blog

How To Create The Perfect Pinterest Profile And Drive Traffic To Your Blog

I had an overwhelming amount of requests on my last post for tips on how to get started with Pinterest and use it to drive traffic to your blog. When I first started blogging, Pinterest was an app that was not on my radar at all. I actually thought Pinterest was just a personal scrapbook where you save random stuff like recipes and wedding ideas. Pinterest is actually those things, but it’s so much more!

I didn’t realise that Pinterest could be a great source of traffic till I stumbled across it on an article that talked about ways you could drive traffic to your blog. I was intrigued, but I was shocked when I found out that 90% of some bloggers traffic came from Pinterest.

I wanted to know more so I read many articles which were mostly confusing, but I slowly began to get it and now my Pinterest game is improving! I’m shocked at how Pinterest brings a steady amount of traffic to my blog. I can’t say the same about my other social media accounts which only peak whenever I post something new and I don’t have the time to post daily.

Before I begin, I am by no means a Pinterest expert. I think I’m the last person that should be giving advice on Pinterest but since a lot of people really want to know how to use Pinterest from my perspective, I am happy to make this post!

My traffic from Pinterest is also pitiful compared to other bloggers and I am still figuring it out. I only started using Pinterest last month after half-assing it for 3 months! The improvement is amazing and thats why I’m beginning to really like Pinterest. So as I go along, I will continue to share what I have learned from Pinterest to you!

So What Is Pinterest Anyway? 

Pinterest is a social media/ bookmarking site that allows you to share, search and “pin” any interesting image you find on the internet. You can organise your interests in board, re-pin other people’s photos and follow them. Pinterest is filled with photographs, recipes, informatics and many more stuff. Which is why it is perfect for bloggers.

How Does The Algorithm Work?

The reason why I like Pinterest in particular is because your feed is highly tailored to your interests. If you have ever used Pinterest, you would notice that when you search for something (like chicken nuggets) and go back to you home page, similar photos of what you searched for will begin to pop up on your feed.

This good as a blogger because your stuff can pop up on someones homepage without you having thousands of followers or re-pins. However, I recently learnt that Pinterest favours accounts that pin often. So I strive to pin 5-10 things each day.

Creating Your Pinterest Profile

Your profile is really important in Pinterest and it’s important for it to be visually pleasing and easy to read/navigate. With a good profile, you will appear higher in search results and allow readers to visit your blog! Here are some of the things our Pinterest profile needs:

  1. A business account.
  2. An easy to read bio that explains what your blog is about.
  3. A profile picture
  4. An explanatory username
  5. Seven to twenty boards related to your blogging topic.

 

First of all, you need to create a business account. Which you can easily do here. Having a business account gives you access to Pinterest analytics and ads. Which is invaluable for a blogger. Just like viewing your blogging stats, it’s also good to view your Pinterest stats to see what Pins were popular, insights into your followers and average daily impressions! Here’s a snapshot of my recent stats!

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Quick Tip: You also need to confirm your website is yours on Pinterest! Here’s a guide to help you achieve that.

Now, on to my Pinterest profile. I currently have 16 boards consisting of things I enjoy but are somewhat related to my niche. I add a new board every 2 weeks. Theres a lot of makeup, hair, beauty and photography pictures/tips.

It is important to pin within your niche because the if people that follow you are interested in your pins, they will probably click and visit your blog!

Your bio also needs to convey what your blog is about in a few words. Be direct and straight to the point. There’s usually no need to beat around the bush in the bio section. The perfect bio should ideally explain what you do and there should be a link to your website so people can visit it straight from your profile!

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It may be helpful to have a username that contains a tagline of what your blog is about. This is to make it easier for people visiting your blog and pinning your posts to know what type of blogger you are.

Finally, a profile picture. Duh! You don’t need to think too much about this one because I didn’t. Just make sure you have a profile picture there! You could use a clear selfie of your face and you’re good to go!

 

Pinterest Boards

Once you’re done with your bio, you can usually start searching for photos and pinning right away! Search for things relevant to your niche that can be organised in a board. Once you see something you like, click the pin button and create a board for it to be located it. It’s that simple!

Here are some things a board needs:

  1. A strong description (Oops I haven’t completed this lmao.)
  2. A straight to the point title.
  3. Cohesive set of posts with a minimum of 20 pins.

It’s also good to pin popular and visually appealing pins. It seems like the more popular a pin is, the more people will find it and consequently visit your page. So because of that, I strive to strategically pin high quality or popular pins each time.

You may also need to create a separate board for your blog so all your personal blog pins go there.

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Once you’re pinning other people’s photos, you can inject some of your personal pins into the mix! However, you shouldn’t spam your boards with all your pins. 80% of your pins should be other people’s pins and 20% should be yours. So always try to balance it out.

That is all you need for making you Pinterest profile ready! Once you have a legit looking profile, you will definitely get more visits to your blog.

I sincerely hope this was as helpful as possible. I was once confused starting out on Pinterest so I’m happy to be helping other people navigate this website even though I’m still a baby blogger/Pinterester.

This post is just how to build an optimum Pinterest profile but there is so much more things you can learn about Pinterest too.

In my subsequent posts, I will discuss about making your images pinnable, how to edit them and promote them and pinning strategies to increase your exposure. These tips really increased my engagement and I hope they work for you too.

Thank you so much for reading and give my baby Pinterest account a follow!

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