blogging

Tips for Aspiring Bloggers

I could literally write about this for days, and if I had all the time in the world, I could grow faster so tip #1-BE PATIENT! You don't have all the time in the world so you aren't going to grow overnight and it just simply takes consistency throughout time to really do this. But just this week I've realized how passionate I am about helping others to figure out all these "secrets" that I have had to learn the hard way in coaching online as well as blogging and how to be successful in that. I hope to bring you information in this blog series that is informative and USEFUL not the typical "I just provide valuable content and millions flock to me" which is genuinely what I heard ALL the time when trying to grow.

I remember the first day that I made my instagram page and I came across some fitness pages and I never had the thought "Man I want to be fit like them" but rather "Man I want to be successful like them" which is totally my personality (admitably flawed part of it). The one tip that I will say that is valuable but isn't actionable is just to be genuine. People are going to pick up on things IMMEDIATELY if you aren't genuine about it and yourself. It's so hard to continue over the life time of your brand to keep up some show of who you really aren't, so you just need to be who you are. So, now that I've given you 2 tips, let's start with some actionable tips: 

PICK YOUR PRIMARY CHANNEL 

So, obviously mine started on instagram but then I built this blog. I tried so hard back in the beginning of this year to be apart of the cool kids club and do youtube. It's just not me. If I'm going to put up a youtube video, I want it to have sustenance and something useful that you guys can take away from. I just simply cannot have a camera following me day to day and Vlog.

You have to recognize that about yourself and what channels are going to be best for your personality and go with that. I actually guess I start originally on facebook but recognized the fast pace that you can grow on instagram and shifted my efforts towards that. Growing an instagram, blog and facebook is work enough much less if you are also trying to grow youtube, twitter,  pinterest, snapchat, and all these other channels. 

You are going to spread yourself too thin, and people don't want to follow across that many platforms so you just need to focus on one or two and using the others to redirect them to your primary (pinterest is great for that). 

CONNECT WITH OTHERS 

This is actually a really huge one that should be at the top of the list. Connection with others is actually the only way that you are going to grow. Relationships and connections with people and companies! But, how do you do that? GREAT QUESTION! haha! There are so many ways, but the primary one that people use is just commenting. 

I want to be 100% honest in these blogs and give you valuable information. Yes, there are those that don't have to do these things and that is wonderful but sometimes when you are starting from the ground up, people don't know how awesome you are yet and you need to get them to your page. So, when you comment on their stuff consistently, they start to take notice. They may click on your page. People will start to see your name in the comment section of other big names, and they will click on your stuff. People will start to see that the person posting the photo actively engages with you because you have a friendship and connection and they think "Oh this person knows this person. Who are they?" 

When they come to your page, you want them to trust that this is something that they want to follow. Here are just some quick tips on that: 

  • Your instagram is your art project and I do a terrible job at this. I do better on @_katieamelia so look to that. Em_dunc is a great example of a perfectly artistic masterpiece of an instagram, so when anyone comes to that page they value the beautifulness and want to follow. 
  • Followers=trust (as sad as that is-the more that you get the more people will trust that you are someone worth following because 10k, 20k, 30k people before you have done so) 
  • Keep your theme consistent (this deserves its own)

KEEP YOUR THEME CONSISTENT

This could be included in the "things katiesfitscript should have learned from day 1." I have learned many lessons along the journey and I have changed ALOT! But the one piece of advice that I have is just that whatever content that you decide that you are going to share, you need to be willing to stick with that. In fitness, I obviously started as fitfam and have transitioned into a runner so while I have a lot of followers on instagram, I have low engagement. Many people think that low engagement comes from bought followers, which I guess could be the case for some, but for me it's a clear indication of my switch. I have followers from my fitfam days but they are not interested in running and triathlon. Even the runners aren't interested in biking and swimming and the number of likes on pictures shows that. It's really not a big deal but it's a measure of things and something that as a business owner, you need to be aware of. 

The pictures that you are sharing should have the same type look to them and same filters. It cracks me up the pages that have the most engagement on instagram. They literally just basically share the same photo over and over and over and over again, and people just love it. They follow you for a specific reason and when they hit that follow button they are expecting for you to produce that kind of image. 

They do not care about your home life. They do not care about your dogs. The people reading my blog right now will tell me that they care about that with me, and I love you guys...so much. Those are the true "ride or die" people that you want on your #squad but just being honest, most are not like that and especially not on instagram where things are so visual. 

EXPECT AWKWARDNESS FROM IN PERSON FRIENDS

The things that I share on instagram and all of this might not be the exact way that I would say something in person. I'm not going to talk about my passions and dreams and deepest thoughts to someone's face, but yet they have read it on my blog. Sooooo, that's awkward right? Yep, it sure is. As you grow, people in your real life are even going to be a bit rude. I'm not even saying this is because of jealousy as so many would like to say (although sometimes it could be that). Most of mine was due to the fact that I was sharing pictures of my body to be honest and I think my friends didn't approve of that on the world wide web. I'm not saying that I disagree or agree with that, but it simply caused rifts in friendships but that's all better now so it's cool. ;) Friendships built on love through faith are a beautiful thing!

There will also be friends that read your blog and social media stuff and support you and that's a beautiful thing that I appreciate so much. There were also (MANY MANY) friends that became my friend and then nonchalantly wanted to use what they could get from the following to increase their efforts online. AH...that's the worst and so hurtful. But, just know that it's going to happen in some way or another. Don't feel awkward. Try to keep personal and business as separate as you can but the two are mixed when you are in this world so be cognizant of that. 

DO NOT MIMIC OTHERS

First of all, moving back to the first thing is that you need to be truthful and genuine about who you are. But sometimes, maybe you associate with who that person is. Copying them exactly is the last thing that you want to do, and it's also just really unfair to the person who has worked really hard to build what they have to just turn around and copy them. You can use them as something to look up to and move towards but you need to create your own path. The world wide web is HUGE. There is space for all of us, but really... don't do this. I've had it happen which I think is why it's so hard to find information about all of this because people get greedy and stop sharing details when everyone just steals from them. 

This is going to be a continued series and there has actually been emails/posts about people wanting me to do a workshop which I could totally work towards arranging. I'll have a little section on my blog for bloggers and how to get started with that coming soon! I tell people I meet all the time in person that they can do this too and that I'd love to teach them so I thought "well Katie, why don't you teach the people?" so here's efforts for that! :) If you want to subscribe, then I'll be posting a lot more of these. I'm prayfully considering doing income reports. I LOVE LOVE LOVE viewing them online but that's a huge step for me to take of course and I think thats why others love them because you are able to actually see where income comes from, where to concentrate your efforts, but it takes a lot of bravery to do that because people get hot and bothered ;) 

Patience and integrity are two of the biggest adjectives in this game with many more actionable steps to help you get there.

If you'd like to see how to start a blog, click HERE.

If you'd like to learn about Boardbooster, which is an outlet I use to grow my social media on pinterest which is a huge traffic driver to my page, click HERE.

 

 

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Networking & Growth on Social Media

Growth on social media is so wonderful for a business, and I wanted to start sharing some tips for those that are wanting to grow on a social media outlet. 

Here's the truth: everyone wants success. That's not even a bad thing. The internet is a massive space, and we can all be successful. I'm not opposed to helping others be successful. I will go ahead and add in the disclaimer that there are going to be people that steal your work. There are going to be people that take what you are doing, they see it's a good thing and that it's successful and they try to make it their own. 

It's not uncommon for bloggers to talk about blogging topics. There are a couple of different ways, and I'm going to tell you what they are, but then I'm going to tell you the social media unwritten rules behind all of them. #NOSHAME #LEGGO 

The point of networking on social media should be to make genuine friendships with people that have similar interests. I find that to be the best part about it, however most of the time people do it for their own personal glory of growth. So whichever you chose, this will probably help you grow. 

Met Bridget through collaborating and now she's one of my best friends

Met Bridget through collaborating and now she's one of my best friends

1. EXCHANGE SHOUTOUTS FOR ONE ANOTHER

HA! I put this one first because I just want to get it out of the way. It works, and it works well but everyone hates it. So, the unwritten rule on this one is if you are going to do this, then you should do it very minimally. It makes the engagement on your page go down. 

What is engagement you ask? Engagement is how many are actually interested in what you have to say on your page. This will show by how many likes that you get on pictures. In 100% honesty, I've had a lot of growth lately, but only about 200 more likes on pictures (yes I pay attention-it's my job ha). It doesn't make a ton of sense that I've grown by like 30,000 followers but only 200 likes and it bothers me. HA! I feel like I just have creepers. ANYWHO...

If you do these shout outs, then people think that you are greedy and just want followers. If you do it every once in a while, even if you do it once a week people just kinda ignore it and it does help growth. 

Rule #1: ask people that are your same size! If you have 3,000 followers, do not ask a page with 100,000. Like c'mon now! It's the hierachy of instagram so you just gotta learn your place! hahaha! No but really, it's quite comical. I'll comment on pages forever because I think they are awesome, and just recently, they have started responding(because my page has grown). Response to an instagram comment means a) they respond to everyone or b) You've "made it" or they think your following is substantial enough that you are in the cool kid club. I'm NOT even kidding right now. 

Rule #2: Be genuine. Don't say crap like "Follow so and so for inspirational workouts @katiesfitscript @katiesfitscript @katiesfitscript" It's so clearly annoyingly shoutout-y!!! If you don't even have something genuine and nice to say about the person then you shouldn't be shouting them out. 

Rule #3: Keep it consistent with your page. I'm not going to ask a fashion blogger to do one with me! And when I pick a fitness person, pick one with your similar photos or someone that has the same beliefs as you! Pick a photo of them that matches your page.

2. COMMENTING 

This is just me giving my opinion so I'm gonna throw it out there and you can throw it right back. If you are doing a shoutout, everyone knows that you are doing it for followers, and I think of it like a Wendy's commercial. Whatever, it's part of the game. Everyone has to advertise.

When people comment and spam my page, I just get ill. Like you are only being my friend right now with your emojis so that you can get followers ESPECIALLY when you just liked the same picture on facebook, and commented THEN you come to my instagram and comment there too. Then, you comment on 3 other pictures. This is not one person although there are a few I could name, but it's so dang obvious, and it makes me literally cut all ties. I don't want to be your friend when the only reason that you are my friend is for your success. BUH-BYE. But all of the people will grow on the inter-webs and everyone will think they are rays of beautiful sunshine bliss because they do emoji heart eyes and "YOU ARE SO INSPIRATION!!!!!" on every photo. 

Not only that, but they will be the first to say they hate shoutouts. HELLOOOOOOOO!!! I CAN'T EVEN!

But really, commenting on pages that are similar to yours is an EXCELLENT way to network. Please just be genuine. Read the caption, don't comment on every post. If you have nothing to say but fake mumbo gumbo then don't comment "Delish!" on their food every day. Just no! Same goes for commenting on blogs. It's great. It helps other people that are in the comments to see your name, and it leads them to your blog. That's wonderful and it helps you grow. But be genuine. If you are going to comment on the blog, you need to have READ THE BLOG POST FOR GOODNESS SAKE! 

Do I comment? Absolutely! .... I comment to my friends on social media and I comment if I have something of worth to say on their picture. I don't comment on every picture! I don't comment every day. I don't comment every week. I comment if I have a freakin reason for a comment. Why is this even having to be explained in our world? #FIRSTWORLDPROBZ #STOPTHESPAM

Collaborated with Steph and now we are the best of friends and meeting up in NYC this December!

Collaborated with Steph and now we are the best of friends and meeting up in NYC this December!

3. FEATURE ONE ANOTHER ON YOUR BLOGS

This is pretty well accepted or at least I think so! There are many bloggers that even have a section on their blog where every so often, they feature someone and ask questions. I absolutely love that bloggers do this, and I know it's for growth but how would we find other wonderful bloggers if we didn't share with one another. There are far cooler people out there than me, and I want the world to know about it and get to know them. Again, you want to aim towards someone that you have a relationship with or that is a similar following. It's just normal etiquette of the internet. You can't expect Taylor Swift to feature you on her instagram unless you are Carlie Kloss #NOMSAYIN #KnowYourLevel 

When I say know your level, I say that in a joking way so no one get feisty. I mean that in a way like if I was single and in a club and looking at the hottest guy in the room thinking I'm gonna get him to ask me for my number.... KNOW YOUR LEVEL KATIE! hahaha! 

I've done multiple giveaways with sheisclothing.com! This is because I LOVE their product and love what they are about!!

I've done multiple giveaways with sheisclothing.com! This is because I LOVE their product and love what they are about!!

4. GIVEAWAYS

Normally, the only person that the giveaway benefits is going to be the person doing the giveaway. I have found, in my experience, that if I do a giveaway, I post their picture like "To enter this giveaway you must follow my page and their page" but the person doing the giveaway NEVER posts me. So, it's literally pointless (if you are doing it sheerly for followers) unless they say up front that they will also post your picture AND TAG YOU IN THE COMMENTS (not in the actual picture). ha!

Hint: Many companies will say that they will feature and then they will tag you in the picture. No one clicks on the picture. They need to put @KATIESFITSCRIPT USING OUR PRODUCT or it won't help you grow.

Hint #2: The fitness world LOVES to be sponsored. We all love to say we are a sponsored athlete, but the problem is that now companies know that there is nothing to gain from them teaming up with you because they have tons of huge pages that if they call them a sponsored athlete, give them an affiliate link, and some free protein powder, they get a free advertisement. I just don't want to be associated with that anymore. If someone truly values me as an athlete then I'd love to talk, and I'm not sponsored. I just don't want to be used if the relationship doesn't go both ways.

5. LOOP GIVEAWAYS

This is actually very successful, and I think it gives your followers a good chance to find other really great pages to follow. It will provide you with THOUSANDS of followers because every single person in the loop is doing a shoutout with one another, but then once the giveaway is over, there is a lot of drop off and loss of followers but I'm sure you still retain some. 

Stick with me here. I'm not obsessed with followers. I could care less, and it's quite exhausting but growth is important if I'm trying to make this my full time job so I play these games.

Normally with a loop giveaway, you want it to be something of HUGE value. For example, we did $500 to Lululemon! Everyone wants to participate in that! Mycharge was the company that actually provided the gift card which was wonderful, but many times bloggers will go in together (maybe $100 each) and do this. You are thinking "$100 for some followers?!!!!" No! $100 for hopefully the chance that you make ONE sale of a customized client that is $250 so you make $150 and get many more customers probably. You only need one (depending on your price, supply, and demand) and you make your money back.

6. COLLABORATIONS

This combines all of the above into one, but I just wanted to touch on it real quick. If you are a smaller page, you might be reading this and wondering how to grow. If you are bigger, you might be nosy and wonder what I have to say. Tanner and I talk about this a lot. There is so much talent in this world. There is so much that each individual person has to give. Don't be greedy, and think that your social media is a bubble all about you. If you have a platform, don't be afraid to give others credit along the way. Don't be afraid to tell others about amazing athletes. Don't be the person that is like "Um no, I do not want to collaborate!" Maybe I'm wrong here, but I just feel like it's a nice thing to do. Be genuine to people, and people will be genuine back to you. It doesn't have to be fake collaborations. Do it with people you love and think are great! You'll come across as a lot more authentic anyway! 

Lastly, be patient. Growth takes time. Don't spam people with networking. Just slowly grow over time.




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Lessons I wish I had known starting Katiesfitscript

So, sometimes I don't even like calling my coaching a business. It feels like I'm trying to be all super serious but at the end of the day, that's what it is. And I've learned a lot along the way. I feel like so many times, I look like I'm just obnoxious on social media but it is my job so I thank the people in my real life that deal with my obnoxious posting all the time :) As I've gotten older, it's gotten a little harder because I've matured and there are certain things that I've put out there that I wanna suck back but you know that's life! hahaha! You live and learn and roll with the punches! 

1. I'M GLAD IT WAS NEVER ABOUT MONEY 

In the beginning when I created Katiesfitscript off the top of my head one night in pharmacy school, it was never meant to be about making it a job. It just chaotically turned into that ;) That makes me happy because I know in my heart that I do love this and that it's my passion. However, that leads me to the second point: 

2. I WISH I HAD BEEN MORE STRATEGIC IN THE BEGINNING 

There's always growth pains, and I wrote a post about how to grow a business online which you will find HERE. I'm not saying that I've made it, by any means, like at all. I'm just saying that I wish I had not been word vomiting and posting ridiculous photos in the beginning. I look back at my instagram, and I would like to formally thank everyone who followed my immature, neurotic 22 year old self. WOW. LOLZ! But, that's why when I see some of these younger girls on instagram and I'm like "Oh she's gonna hit 26 and regret DAT RIGHT THURR" hahaha or maybe she won't but I'm just saying! 

3. I WISH I HAD A TOUGHER SKIN TO START 

Y'all, someone could flat out write "You are ugly, and you look like a man, you are arrogant  and you are so stupid" and I legit don't think I'd care. I always write them off as a crazy animal who shouldn't be allowed to use the inter-webs and go about my day. I've seen it all and the beauty is that I know my heart, I know my desires and the things that I do are pure and righteous so accepting yourself as a business owner is KEY. You have to STAND by what you're doing. If you don't, you're going to constantly question what others will say about you in the social media spheres. 

4. I SHOULD HAVE READ A BOOK ON TAXES AND LOGISTICS 

Y'all, it might look like I'm not running anything over here, but it is complicated with all the laws and such and taxes and paying myself to Uncle Sam (which I can't stand). I almost wish that the programs that I use, they would just go ahead and take it out like you do at a job. Yes, I know that I should make a bank account that is just for tax money but really, it just breaks your heart to see thousands of your hard earned money go out the window to many things that you don't even agree with in politics #IWon'tGoThere

5. LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY

Visual things on the internet are all you have to stand by so unless you at least have some sort of clue about photography, no one is going to visually enjoy your page. I had to learn this the "hard" way I guess, but I've had some amazing people in my life (www.sweatstretcheat.com) who have truly invested time into our friendship and me to teach me things. {{And just a plug for her...she does incredible work and should have more of a following than she does. I really pray for her success in the online business sphere so much because she deserves it!}} I'll try to do a post on SIMPLE SIMPLE photography tricks that I use to create better photos. I'm in no way a photographer but I've come a long way. 

6. FIND WHAT YOU STAND FOR

This is huge, and so vital. You are creating an image and reputation of who you are on the internet especially if you are wanting to do like full time blogging. You are forming who people think that you are, and you need to be sure that this is someone that you are proud to be because it will follow you throughout your city and anywhere that you move. When people ask what I do, and I tell them, they want to see my page and my blog. I want to be proud of that. I'm honestly still embarrassed by a few things, which I'll touch on in the lessons to follow.

7. LOVE THE LORD MORE FROM DAY 1 

I was going to do a blog post today video of my testimony but I don't think that I'm going to have all the time to edit it and all of that so I wanted to write this one. I have had a big change in my faith over the past 2 years, and it's not that I haven't always loved the Lord because I have, but I've never committed my life to him like I am now. It's just different and it filters into everything else that you do. I'm happy with where I have led it to be but it wasn't like that in the beginning therefore I think that I have some people that follow me that are not actively engaged in anything because all they wanted to see was pictures of my body and I just am not really comfortable with it anymore. 

8. RECOGNIZE THAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE A MAJORITY OF YOUR LIFE AND TIME 

If you are going to create anything that is of value, it's going to take a lot of time. It's going to take a lot of effort. I knew when starting this blog October 1, 2014 that I had to commit to it. I had to post a lot and frequently or no one was going to want to follow it and it's your lifeline. If people aren't reading this or looking at my instagram, then they don't know me, they don't know what I'm about. You have to be diligent about it, but you also have to be patient. I'm not someone who just "got famous" online necessarily. I had to work at this, and all the people who act like they don't work it, are lying. You NEVER have 100K+ without trying. Please don't read that as a judgement because I could care less and I think everyone should work it if they want to create a business. I just don't really love when people act like "Ohhhh this just happened upon me because I'm so beautiful and awesome and I (quote) post good content" You should see my best friends page. I think it's awesome but she has like 200 followers because she doesn't care.

9. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF 

This one is a big one, and I don't mean physique wise. I mean success. Success and greed can lead to some really nasty people. Everyone is jealous of the next girls success. He or she got the sponsorship or got the gig or got the ad or got more followers or more likes or more opportunities. The list could go on forever, and the internet is a massive place. Even those that may have the same following as you may be having more success than you, and that's most likely going to happen. You CANNOT compare yourself to that or you're going to drive yourself insane...because I've been there. 

10. DON'T MIMIC OTHERS

This was such a huge mistake I made. In the beginning, I was like "Okay this worked for him or her so I'm going to try that." NO! You need to be different in order for people to want to work with you or buy your product. If you are the same, and most likely if you are mimicking someone, that someone probably has a larger following therefore as referenced in a previous post, people go to the people with a larger following almost always even if they don't know ANYTHING. It's sad but just the way the world works. So, you want to be different. You want to set yourself apart, and be proud of that. 

11. CREATE A BUSINESS MODEL BUT BE WILLING TO CHANGE

Lastly, I have an idea of what I want to do and I've had that in mind for a long time but it hasn't happened yet just because things went a different direction then I originally planned. There are going to be many growing pains as you try to grow on social media and you just have to be willing to go along with that. It's not always easy and some days, I just want to delete all accounts and cuddle with my dogs and my husband on my couch, but just stay the path and roll with the punches and all the learning curves will work themselves out. 

With love and business, 

Katie



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How to Start an Online Business

I'm not a pro at this, and I certainly don't have a lot of years under my belt but I will say that I've been able to not work as a pharmacist (yet haha) and become an online nutrition coach. I really do get a lot of emails not just about how to become a coach but how did I get an online business going, and so I thought I'd give you a few tips. 

First, the beginnings of the instagram was an accident. I simply posted what I loved, hash tagged some things, and people started wanting to follow. However, when I got that initial growth, I remember asking bigger pages "How do you grow?" and their answer "Oh you know, just post quality content and people will come." 

That's a load of horse bullcrappy on the side of the road. I have many friends who have no interest in growth and you know what, they don't grow. They have absolutely beautiful pages and beautiful content and photos, but they don't grow. 

I'm going to start with growth on instagram because honestly that's the new thing, and then I'll go into how I made this my income. 

Let's start with the easy one: 

MAKE YOUR ACCOUNT PUBLIC

So, if you really want to be big on instagram, I can tell you how to do that and to make enemies very quickly. Find people with the same topic as you, spam them with comments on every single one of their posts, follow them (to later unfollow them), and kiss you know what on the daily. I'm talking like EMOJIS to the extreme in their comments and do it mostly on the biggest pages relevant to your topic so more people can see your comment, click on your page, and go follow you. WHOMP. Not a fan. I would literally rather someone do a #WCW every week then do that. That brings me to another one:

FEATURES ON BIGGER PAGES

This isn't just going to be something that happens overnight. I don't have a problem with this, as we all want that moment of when some page with 1 million followers features you and your page explodes. You can pay for these, and yea it's kinda lame to "pay for followers" however I've seen many many people on pages that they have paid for and if they have a business, I don't judge them. It's just like McDonalds on your television paying for ads. You want more exposure, so you pay to have it. There's nothing wrong with that. But, there are free ones too (this happened to me a lot in the beginning). Hashtag their specific hashtag (probably for a long time on multiple pictures) and one day they may pick your photo to be featured. 

Growth is slow and steady. I've been at this game for 2years, and while I have almost 50k, I have had to actively work on it. 

BE GENUINE AND MAKE FRIENDS.

Like, just be nice but not nice just to get a dang follower. If you like something, then like their post. If you want to comment, then comment. Don't just comment just to say something but if you genuinely think someone is beautiful in their selfie, then tell them. Reach out to people and make friends. Ask people to do collaborations with you. Making friends in your topic of interest should be effortless because connecting through social media is a beautiful thing. Everyone is looking for growth to be honest, so if you become friends, then just be like "Yo girl, wanna feature each other?" There's nothing wrong with that. I hate when people are like "I don't even care about followers" while they SPAM MY COMMENTS and have like 250k. {I SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOU} I will say this though, be reasonable. If someone has 100,000 followers and you have 2,000, maybe aim for someone more with your following. It's not that there is a hierarchy but there most certainly is on instagram. It's annoying, and I hate it too, but the girls with 400K are not going to even answer my emails. However, I have 50K so if I message someone with 50K, they are going to want to collaborate with me. At 10K, I reached out to those with like 8-15K! :) Make sense?

FIND YOUR NICHE

This is important for business. If you want people to come to you specifically for whatever you are offering them, then you have to be different. This is a mistake that I made in the beginning. I watched what others were doing and tried to emulate that. But, um, if you are a smaller page, then they are not going to go to you. Point blank-it doesn't matter if you are smarter, prettier, or whatever, whoever has the biggest following almost always wins. That's the sad truth of social media. People trust the numbers.

My niche-I'm a marathon runner that lifts who used to compete. I also have had a lot of success with reverse dieting myself and other people, so that's what people come to me for. I also am very open about my faith.

They want to be lean, but eat a lot. They want to be able to run but also maintain muscle. They may be Christians and feel like other girls are too sexual for them. They want to be able to lift but also become a runner. Market yourself to a specific group of people in your particular subject matter.

DON'T BE GREEDY/SELFISH. 

You want to grow. We know that. We all do. Emailing someone bigger with this long spill of how wonderful you are and how they should feature you is not instagram etiquette. Don't comment asking them to follow you or feature you (just NO). And don't make friends with me with motives in mind. It's so sad that it has come to this, but it sure has. People will befriend you only because they are after your following. It's happened multiple times to me. SEE.YA.LATER. But also, on the off hand, don't be unwilling to participate in collaborations because you think you're too cool. Don't be spammy. No one likes a spammer, but if you genuinely like the other people then collaborate with them! The internet is a HUGE HUGE space. It's a HUGE world. You aren't taking away your business by telling people about someone like you.

NOTICE TRENDS

A good example of this is I noticed that if you have words on a photo, it looks like an ad and people HATE ads. They aren't going to like that photo no matter how well done it may be. People like selfies more than they like professional shoots. It's sad but true. People like sexuality but they can forget that with me. I'll take my losses on that. 

STICK WITH YOUR TOPIC

If you have a fitness page, your page needs to be about fitness. Throw in the once in a blue moon life picture but otherwise, make that a separate page if you want to post those. If you are interior design, post houses and your work. If you are a fashion blogger....fashion. It seems common sense but I feel many times people want to show off their real life but people honest to goodness don't care. I wish they cared but they just don't. I have an app that tells me when people defollow me. Every single time I post friends on my instagram that's unrelated to fitness, I lose hundreds. It's ridiculous but the truth.

START A BLOG 

This was a big one for me. People have to know where your content. They have to be able to trust you and see what you are about. When people visit my page, they are able to reach basically everything they need to know to be successful, but they are missing a few missing pieces where I come in. You have to let them know that you are someone that can be trusted, and honestly someone to be loved. When someone gets a large following, people start to really love them for who they are (normally or maybe hate them). People want to know about your life and who you are as a person separate from what your business is. They want to see your family, friends, and fun things you are doing so be open with your life which seems contradictory to the other. You have to be creative. Post friends if it has to do with fitness. Talk about your life, but only on your blog and only if it's actually interesting. That actually leads me to another point ... 

BE TRANSPARENT

Yes, you can make it on social media without telling one ounce of your outside life. But, that's no fun for those following you. If I'm following a page, I love to hear about their life. I love to see the struggles that they go through because we can all normally relate. On the other hand, don't be "Miss vulnerable" because the "Woe is me" thing is such the new trend. Everyone is like "Ohhhh look at me. I struggle so muchhhhh. Come follow me because I struggle." We all know the games (or at least I do). Don't play the games  in annoying ways. Just be transparent when you feel it's appropriate.

So, how do you make this a business? Honestly, growing on a social media platform is huge. You have to have some space that is your own whether that be instagram, youtube, or facebook. Once you establish one, you need to get active on the others. Like all of them-pinterest, twitter, facebook, snapchat, blog, instagram, youtube, garmin connect...I CANNOT KEEP UP. It can be exhausting but the more you market yourself and the more exposure, the better. 

POST OFTEN

Stay active on social media. That's a must. When you disappear even for days at a time and you are trying to make this an income, people become quickly disinterested. You always need something new to offer. You always need something to post. I'm always thinking of new pictures. I promise you I'm not THAT obsessed with my fitness life and my ab selfies. But the truth is, people want to see it and theres always new people visiting my page, so I rotate through different types of pictures and content. 

START WITH ONE

I made this a status a few days ago, but if you want to become a coach (or anything for that matter), start with one customer. Pour everything into that one person. Write out a business model but don't think about that. Be good to that ONE person. Whatever you create for that one person, pour your heart into it. It's a ripple effect. If you treat people well, more people will talk and more people will come. Like, be genuine though. It's hard to say "Be nice to get customers" because that's not what I mean. I just mean BE A GOOD HUMAN GEEZ. haha! 

SPEND TIME ON YOUR PRODUCT

You might have to hire a graphic designer, but make your product well. I've gotten lots of comments about how organized and well done my programs are. I'm not bragging about this. I just simply spent more time making it more than a word document. People notice that stuff. Change your product as the times change, your knowledge base changes, or the new trends change. 

SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

Lastly, don't expect growth overnight. Like I said, I've been trying to make this my income for over a year now. There are so many ideas that I have and more ways to get more exposure, more ways to market my blog and not just my coaching, but it takes time. You want to do things slow and well versus fast and chaotic. If you grow to 100K overnight, you probably wouldn't be able to handle the volume, so just be patient and keep at it. Don't give up. I don't know if I'm ugly or what (I'm kidding and not fishing for compliments) but I grow slowwwwwwww (until recently I've been growing faster). I don't get as many likes on my pictures as a lot of people (less engagement) and y'all better believe it makes me second guess myself. But, if I had given up at 10K, I wouldn't have almost 50k now. It will come but just continue being a good human, producing good quality images and products for people to look at and buy and make the money an afterthought. 

I hope this helps because I know I wish someone had given me these tips long ago. I have had to pick them up along the way because no one is willing to share about growth. Again, maybe I'm just not cool enough to follow but I've had to work at mine. Haha!!

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How to: Improve your Instagram Newsfeed

Hi, my name is Katie, and I like quality images. 

I know this is a weird topic but honestly I think it's important (or at least it is to me). 

It sounds awful but I've kinda "had enough" and I won't go into those details but I just can't take some of the images I was seeing every day. So, I had to start weeding them out. I went on a cleanse a few weeks back and deleted many accounts and every time I see one on my newsfeed that I don't enjoy, I unfollow. I don't mean this to be mean. I just simply want to follow creative, well done, good intention pages. Wanna know why pinterest was such a successful hit when it came out? WONDERFUL IMAGES. These were images that were created by really talented bloggers. Pinterest was created basically to give bloggers more exposure. There are so many ACTUALLY talented people out there in all aspects of things that you enjoy and I just really encourage everyone to clean up their feed as it can bring such joy (or maybe I'm just weird because I've been really excited about this post). 

Here's how I do this: 

1. GO TO THE PEOPLE YOU ARE FOLLOWING. 

When you look at their name, and you can't even place who they are or what their "genre" is, defollow. I'm going to sound so hateful and mean, but I'm just trying to be real with ya. ;) If you look at their name, and think EW then defollow. You don't need negativity in your heart popping up on your newsfeed. BYE FELICIA. 

2. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TOPICS? 

Here are some examples: 

  • Do you like reading? 
  • Do you like Jesus? 
  • Do you like interior design? 
  • Fitness? This can be broken down further:
    • Healthy lifestyle (more blogger well done images)
    • Foodies
    • Runners/Triathletes
      • These pages are ENTIRELY different than the next bullet point.
    • Fitfam?
      • would probably put myself in this category and I'm trying to honestly change to healthy lifestyle but it's very hard to switch your audience. People want to see selfies. If I put up well done images, my followers aren't interested. If I put up selfies and ab pictures, BOOM! Haha. You have to know your audience. I don't bore them with my real life anymore-they simply just don't care.
      • This includes harsh images non photoshopped, mostly selfies, gym workouts, and iPhone pictures of food 
    • Nudity eh? I'm putting this under fitness because that's what they like to call it.
  • Photography?
    • Portraits
    • Nature
  • Organization? 
  • Outdoors?
    • Skiing
    • Hiking
    • Mountaineering
    • Bouldering/Rock Climbing
  • Lifestyle Bloggers?
Paul is a really great example of a foodie! He takes time and attention that he puts into his pictures. The recipes are healthy and great however the photography of his images are what appeals to me and makes me want to follow him. 

Paul is a really great example of a foodie! He takes time and attention that he puts into his pictures. The recipes are healthy and great however the photography of his images are what appeals to me and makes me want to follow him. 

3. FIND ONE-FIND THEM ALL.

I used to be like "Man, I love this page but how do I find more like it?" The only time this method wouldn't work is if you are following me because I have way too many interests. But the gold mine is if you go to that person and look at who they are following. This will show you many more pages that are very similar.

Normally, the runners will be running in their main picture. The fitfam will have a competition shot. The small business owners will have a logo like mine. Outdoor people will have mountains. You will quickly learn and so you know not to even click on pages to know if you want to follow them or not. When I click on a page, I know immediately if I want to follow them. If their images are wonderful (and I really aim for wonderful), then I follow. If they aren't, I don't. It's that simple. I normally want to follow each page for a specific reason which is why I also know that people don't want to see a lot of my real life. 

If I click on a page that's meant to be interior design and I see like iPhone bad lighting photos of their dog like five times on my first impression, I'm not going to follow them. Again, I feel I must reiterate that I'm not being mean, I just want my newsfeed to be a continual pinterest board basically. That's just me, and you may be different and that's cool too. The exception to this rule is lifestyle bloggers that I follow. I follow them because I want to follow their life therefore I want to see their child, dog, plants, etc. Haha! 

Everyone has a different "theme" to their page and I like following pages with a well stated theme. I like a page that's organized for what their topic is. If they have bright white images, I love a page that has all bright white.

Absolutely love this page!! She is an interior designer based out of NYC and her images are just immaculate. 

Absolutely love this page!! She is an interior designer based out of NYC and her images are just immaculate. 

4. GO TO PINTEREST

I actually search out quality pages. I really love interior design (not that I'm good at it by any means but I love looking at it and dreaming how I will one day deck my house out when really I'll never spend the kind of money it takes but that's beside the point here). I go to pinterest and my board that I have saved for my future home. I click on the blog that's attached to the images. I find their social media sites and I click on the instagram link and I follow from there.

This is one that I just found today. You know that it's legit just by looking at this. She has almost 200K on instagram. You know her page at least has something that appeals to a big group! 

5. SEARCH HASHTAGS

I actually find this to be the least successful. I never find good quality pages this way because everyone hashtags and there aren't like specific hashtags that people use that can narrow a search down. So, a fitness blogger from NYC might tag NYC but so would some random person visiting so that's hard to shift through. 

Lastly, I wanted to share some pages with you that have quality images for you to follow as I know it can be hard to get started. I'll break them down into categories so that you know if you would be interested. I may come back and edit this list later because there's no way this will be all inclusive. Wanna know something that I think is a shame? The fact that people hate shoutouts. I get that it can be annoying if its all dumb shoutouts but if someone truly deserves it and has an interesting page, then I wanna know about it. It's a shame that it becomes so hated on. So, I'm going to shoutout many pages. 

Healthy Lifestyle

  • nycpretty
  • sweatstretcheat
  • leangirlsclub
  • evannclingan
  • corinanielsen (she's kinda fitfam but her images are too good for that so she will go in this category)
  • giantinheels

Fitfam (these are actually good pages)

  • vmfitness
  • ladyfit
  • jai_fitness
  • jessi_jean_fitness
  • gymgirljessie
  • kiracrush
  • therippedbarbie
  • torilifts
  • passion2befit
  • megmo7
  • alexajeanfitness
  • leanna_carr
  • dallasrae

Foodies/Food Bloggers 

  • Sprouted Kitchen
  • KinFolk 
  • wholelivinglauren
  • skinnykitchen
  • neuroticmommy
  • Sammybfit
  • runningonveggies (runner also)
  • cookeatlift
  • chocolatecoveredkatie

Interior Design 

  • sarahdorseydesigns
  • houseofjadeinteriors
  • janabekdesign
  • fashionablehostess
  • hugsandpunches (she is an all around blogger but she has some awesome home ideas)

Small Business

  • emilyley
  • valmariepaper
  • twinkletwinkleliljar

Christian/Lifestyle Bloggers (not the same but I'm grouping them together)

  • Hugsandpunches
  • emilyley
  • taza
  • laracasey
  • girlmeetslife (just found her and she's such an awesome NYC blogger to follow)
  • sarajanecase (She was my wedding photographer but she's incredibly inspiring and empowering)
  • jessigreenny
  • coralncognacs
  • thetaleofanuglyhouse
  • bowsandsequins
  •  

Outdoors (I have this new obsession with nature and these pages make my heart come alive with the mountains and snow)

  • roundtheworldgirl
  • correyrichproductions
  • contagiousoutdoorsporting (this one is cool because they tag all of the people in their images so you are able to find more amazing pages)
  • jboggs32

Runners 

  • sarcasminspandex
  • jennammchugh
  • angigreene
  • runtrimom
  • runnersgonnarun
  • nycrunningmama
  • ahappypace
  • heatherrosescott
  • heather_runs74
  • mileposts
  • irongirlnadia (this girl has ran 120 marathons and is 30 years old I believe #unreal)
  • run_far
  • run_emz
  • babfitrunlift
  • theathletarian
  • fitandfaithfullc
  • happytrigirl
  • ironmomkim

I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!!! 

With love and instagram, 

Katie

 

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