I Posted on Instagram Every Day this Week

Photo by adrian.

This past week, I decided to up my Instagram game. My main method was by posting every day, along with a few others, like engaging with a lot more users. I had a couple goals and methods (listed below) that I was looking forward to trying.

My Goals for Instagram this Week:

-Get over 100 followers.

Obviously, we all want more followers. I specifically wanted over 100 because I wanted to be able to view my demographics. With a business account, you can view follower demographics if you have 100 followers.

I started with 85 at the beginning of the week, and I made it up to 115 by the end of the week. Now, that may not seem like a lot, but it’s a 35% increase in 7 days. And it’s the best I’ve ever done.

-Drive more people here, to Thoughts.

This worked . . . sort of. The number of people that clicked through to my site from Instagram was very low before this week. I managed to double that amount by the end, but it’s still super low.

-Start talking about Pura Vida on Instagram.

Pura Vida and Instagram Tips

I’m a rep with Pura Vida Bracelets (super cool, right?), so I wanted to start letting people know that and get my promo code out there. If you buy from them, you’re supporting artisans all around the world. And if that’s not enough, many of the bracelets purchased have a portion going back to numerous charities. The company is great.

If you’re going to be making a purchase with them soon, use my code REBEKAHJOAN20 to get 20% off your order.

-Get more engagement on my posts.

This super-duper worked! My impressions (how many times my posts were seen) were up by +469, my reach (how many unique views my posts had) was up by +112, and my profile views were up by +92. I was averaging about 28 likes per post before this past week (all-time). Taking all of my posts from the past 7 days, I averaged 46 likes per post. Again, might not seem like a lot. But it’s a 64% increase in likes per post.

My Methods for Upping my Instagram Game:

-Post more.

I posted once a day (although some post more often than that). You can post more than once day, but from what I read, you need to be careful with that. You don’t want to overwhelm people’s feeds with your posts. That’s annoying and definitely not what you want.

-Engage more.

For this, I went through the hashtags I used on my posts. I’d like a lot of the pictures, and quite often I’d leave a comment. I tried to make those comments meaningful – not just the generic “that’s pretty” comment.

Tip for meaningful comments: Read the caption of the post, and then comment how it resonates with you. Don’t skimp out on putting thought into your comments.

-Create better captions.

Another thing not to skimp out on – your own captions. While your picture does a lot for your post, so does your caption. Never forget that words are important. Use yours wisely.

-Use high-quality pictures.

Posting Every Day on Instagram

Why would someone like your post if you picture is grainy, blurry, or bad quality? I’m not perfect at this one, but for the most part, I don’t post pictures I take on my phone. I take my pictures with my Canon Rebel t7i, edit them on my computer, and then post them on Instagram. I usually try to avoid filters/editing with Instagram as well.

-Find a variety of relevant hashtags.

This one was fun. I already have a few hashtags I always use (#thedailybasic, #photosinbetween, and #thatsdarling), and a few favorites, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to use around 10(ish) for each post.

So I researched. I did Google searches and Pinterest searches and came up with travel hashtags, fashion hashtags, blogging hashtags, etc. And then I incorporated those into my posts.

Tip: only use relevant hashtags. Don’t use travel hashtags for a fashion post, etc.

-Look at demographics.

I hit 100 followers in the middle of the week. For the most part, my followers were on Instagram more often from 3-5 PM and later. So I’d usually try to post within that timeframe. I didn’t one day and posted in the late morning (around 11), and that post didn’t do nearly as well as the others.

Read Instagram Demographics

Lesson learned: listen to what the demographics are telling me.

-Manage time wisely.

This was a tough one. Each day I’d come home somewhere between 2:30-3:30, be exhausted from work, and the last thing I’d want to do would be to come up with a good caption for my post. I had already laid out the picture and the hashtags for each day, but not the actual post. That I left for the day of.

You can read my post (including some tips) on time management here.

 

Overall, I’m happy with how my Instagram grew this week. Now let’s see if I can keep it up! Have any tips or comments? Leave them below! I’d love to hear from you.

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What I’ve Learned about Time Management

Learning Time Management
Photo by Dawid Liberadzki

When I first started this blog, I didn’t think I’d need to set specific days aside for it. I thought I’d be able to work on it in my spare time, and that would be enough. Time management didn’t even cross my mind.

But, funnily enough, my time slipped through my fingers. I wasn’t able to focus on Thoughts from behind the Lens nearly enough. Too many things came up, I wasn’t home enough, or I’d be too tired and fall asleep instead.

This led to me being super stressed out because I had too many things to do, and no time. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Take time management seriously.

This is something that’s actually important, not just some dumb thing you do to make yourself feel like you have your life together. I need to set aside time for blogging or it doesn’t get done. And sometimes that means pushing myself. Because when I come home from work, the last thing I want to do is more work. I’m usually exhausted and ready to fall into bed.

But writing is important to me. So I do it.

How do I apply this?

Take my Instagram, for example.

This week I’ve decided to post on Instagram (follow me here!) every day this week. Which I don’t think I’ve ever done. Ever. So I took Sunday afternoon to do a few photoshoots and research hashtags for my posts. I had everything put together in a note on my phone so I could just copy + paste the hashtags.

Go behind the scenes.

Then there’s plenty of other stuff that goes along with blogging, like:

-writing drafts

-pinning my published posts on Pinterest

-either taking photos or finding them on stock sites

-researching ways that I can be a better blogger

-sorting through my to-do list

. . . and many more things.

If I don’t set aside time for these things, they don’t happen. I say, “Oh, I’ll blog in my spare time.” But then my spare time gets eaten up by sleep or my social life or my day job. If it’s a priority, I build it into my schedule.

I need to stick with my plan.

This goes for more than just time management. I use the same principle in budgeting. And this might just be the most important part of this post.

Let’s say I set aside time to blog. How about a Thursday afternoon? Then, let’s say something comes up. A friend wants to go out for coffee, or I had a really rough morning at work and I really just want to be a slug. What happens if I let that time slip away?

That’s right. If I don’t stick to my plan, I don’t blog. And that’s not a method that works.

So what are you going to do?

Here’s what I’d recommend:

Take whatever it is you need to manage, and then sit down with a piece of paper. Or an app on your phone, a Word document – whatever it is you use. List out what you need to do, and an estimated time for how long it will take you.

Then what? Set aside time for those things. Maybe it’s a Tuesday evening or a Friday morning. Find what works for you, schedule those specific things you came up with, and stick with your plan. Try to keep distractions at bay. The key here is time management, not procrastination.

Best of luck!

Have any other tips? Let me know. I love hearing from you.

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10 Verses on God’s Provision

Verses to remind you that God will provide.

Remember: this is a relationship that works both ways. He puts in effort toward you, and you do the same. Trust him. He’s worth it. He’s wise, loving, and altogether perfect. If there’s one person who can handle your life and provide for you, it’s God.

Verses on God’s Provision:

Genesis 9:3

[3] Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (ESV)

Hebrews 13:5

[5] Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (ESV)

Jeremiah 29:11-14

[11] For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. [12] Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. [13] You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. [14] I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. (ESV)

Luke 12:24

[24] Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! (ESV)

Romans 8:28

[28] And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)

Job 38:41
[41] Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food? (ESV)

Matthew 21:18-22

[18] In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. [19] And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.

[20] When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” [21] And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. [22] And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (ESV)

Hebrews 4:16

[16] Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (ESV)

Psalm 84:11
[11] For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (ESV)

John 15:7

[7] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (ESV)

 

What I want you to take away from this:

Abide in God. Seek him. Make him your first priority, your goal, your overall focus. He loves you, and he wants to protect you. So let God’s provision in. All you have to do is work toward him, and with him.

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Leaving Anxiety Behind

The Journey of Leaving Anxiety Behind

The Journey of Leaving Anxiety Behind

Anxiety has been something I’ve always struggled with, but it’s increased considerably within the past few years. While I’ve had my triumphs over my anxious heart, I find myself with wide eyes and shaky hands more often than I should. I can’t even count the times I’ve lost myself to fearful tears.

The problem with anxiety is that it sucks the joy out of things. How can I be content when I’m constantly worrying? Anything can get me – driving, work, blogging, or social anxiety. It robs me of my happiness and my ability to enjoy life. It takes away the power of the knowledge that God will always protect me. Read More