You guys. I can't believe Pine Barren Beauty is TWO! First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who has been following along! Whether you've been following from the beginning or you're new here, I appreciate you so much. It's you guys who keep me inspired and allow me to do what I love! I will be forever grateful for you babes!
If you missed my one year blogiversary post, I encourage you to click here and read that one first! Even if you did read it, maybe go read it again to refresh your memory lol ;) I talk about how my blog came to life and the number one lesson I learned during my first year of blogging.
When contemplating what I wanted to talk about this year, a few solid ideas came to mind, but the idea I kept coming back to was Instagram. So that's what we're talking about today. I want to address it in a way that appeals to everyone - aka bloggers and non bloggers. Let me start by saying Instagram has changed so much since I started blogging, even more so within the past year.
To all of my non bloggers - you probably noticed that Instagram changed how photos show up in your feed. It is no longer in chronological order. It is now based on what Instagram "thinks" you want to see. I mean, because Instagram can totally read your mind, right? WRONG. So instead of seeing my photos when I post them, you might see them hours (or even days) later. OR you might not see them at all. Think about that from a business perspective - I'm posting on Instagram to get my content out there, reach a large audience, and essentially build my business, but my followers (let alone non followers) might not even be seeing my posts. That doesn't seem right (or fair), does it? Didn't think so. Needless to say, this was a major game changer for anyone who uses Instagram as a platform to grow their community and business.
So how do you make sure you get to see the photos you actually want to see in your feed? Engage. Comment. Like. Watch Insta stories. DM. It's all about interaction and engagement. If you like and comment on my photos, they'll continue to show up in your feed. If you don't, they won't. Simple as that. I can't tell you how much it means to me when you guys respond to my Insta stories or comment on my photos answering the question I asked in the caption. Seriously. I do a little happy dance when I get to interact with you, knowing I'm inspiring you in some way! It lets me know that you genuinely enjoy my content and gives me reason to keep doing what I'm doing! So pretty please, don't be shy! If you have a question, ask. If you love the outfit I post, comment. If you want to see more beauty product reviews, send me a DM and tell me. Interested in more real talk? Let me know what topics I should cover. It really does make my day when I hear from you guys!
Now, to all of my blogger babes who are reading this - don't let Instagram get you down. Am I absolutely pissed that my engagement has been cut nearly in half because of the algorithm change? YES, you bet I am. But the difference is, I'm not going to sit here and cry about it. Instead, I'm focusing on engagement as well. I always respond to DM's and try to respond to every comment I get, especially if it's someone asking a question. I also engage with other blogger accounts, big and small, who's content I love. I try to be present on Insta stories so my followers can see what my every day life is like, rather than trying to look at a carefully curated grid to decide how they feel about me. I could sit here and talk strategy all day, but I think what it comes down to the most is genuine engagement, organic growth, and continuing to do what you've been doing but only better and because you love doing it.
It's all a process. And you have to trust it. It took me almost two years to hit 10k followers starting from scratch. Compared to others, that's a long ass time. But I can honestly sit here and say I'm proud of myself because I did it all on my own. Did I desperately try follow/unfollow for a week because I didn't know what else to do? Yes, and I hated it. I hate when people do that to me. So I stopped. Have I done giveaways? Absolutely. BUT only on my own, with a brand, or with a small group of bloggers who I have grown to know and love. In the end, what matters is that you're being true to yourself and following your heart. If you can do that, you will be successful!
Also, I think it's so important to remember why you started blogging in the first place. I'm sure it wasn't to gain a ton of followers on Instagram. And if it was, then you might want to reconsider. The second I start to feel discourage, I tell myself I started my blog to share my love for style and beauty, in hopes to inspire others and make a difference, even if it's just for one person. That is what makes this whole process worth it for me! With that said, my blog - not my Instagram - is my baby. My blog is the only thing I have 100% control over, so I would be silly to not invest in that most!
Now I'm going to go finish eating those macarons pictured up there, because what better way is there to celebrate?! (Shout out to Emma over at Farmhouse Confections for making those delicious treats 😋)
As always, thanks so much for reading!
Leave a comment & let me know what you want to see over the next year on the blog! (Seriously, comment below!)