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    12 Things You Must Do If You Want to be Successful as a Blogger or Instagram Influencer

    So if you’re wanting to step into the world of blogging or Instagram influencing, you probably have a lot of questions. You probably also have seen a lot of advice given out + don’t know how to separate the noise + fluff from the real stuff.

    Or maybe you’ve been trying your hand at it for a while + feel like you’re getting nowhere.

    Here’s what I know has helped me be successful + I truly believe you can be too if you follow these 12 tips!

    1. Decide what your focus is going to be and who your ideal audience is.
      If you don’t know what you’re going to share, you aren’t a blogger, you’re just another person with an Instagram account. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you’re talking to no one.
    2. Start a running list of hashtags broken down into categories.
      I have categories like Motherhood, Self Care, Women Empowerment, Fashion, etc. Within each category, I have 500K+, 100K-500K, and less than 100K.
    3. Buy a tripod and ring light.
      It sounds cliche, but just do it. This is a good one.
    4. Use presets in the free Lightroom app on all your pictures.
      It is the best photo editing app + it’s FREE. Presets are very affordable + make you look like a pro photographer.
    5. Create a Canva account and upgrade to the pro account (it’s worth it).
      Canva is how people make all those really cool graphics.
    6. Use Site Ground to host your site and WordPress to design and edit.
      Use Creative Market to get a WordPress theme.
    7. Flodesk for email marketing.
      I have used other email marketing platforms, + I can say without a doubt, Flodesk is the absolute best out there. Plus you can sign up for only $19/month FOR LIFE.
    8. Engage with others if you want others to engage with you.
      If no one is commenting on your photos, think back….when was the last time you commented on someone’s photo??
    9. Follow brands you love and engage with them.
      Like their photos, comment on their posts, reply to their stories, tag them.
    10. Utilize Pinterest + Tailwind.
      Pinterest is the easiest + best way to drive traffic to your blog + with Tailwind, you can schedule pins to go out on autopilot.
    11. Look at your analytics but don’t obsess over them.
      Use your analytics to tweak your strategy, but remember, they are just numbers on a screen + don’t define you as a person.
    12. Join influencer platforms to apply for collaborations.
      There are SO many ways to get collabs: Heartbeat, AspireIQ, Corcus, ShareASale, Sway, + so much more.

    Are you utilizing all of these? If not, which are you going to try? Comment below + let me know! I love to hear from you! Reach out on Instagram if you have any questions! I would be happy to help!



    *This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    PS- Did you check out my post 12 Mistakes I Made as a New Blogger?

    12 Mistakes I Made as a New Blogger

    Hey, hi, hello, my name is Lindsey, + I made a TON of mistakes as a new blogger (especially on Instagram). I’m still fairly new at blogging + still make mistakes all the time, but I’ve learned A LOT over the past 10 months that I’d love to share so that I can help others not be as clueless as me!!

    So without further ado, here we go:

    12 Mistakes I Made as a New Blogger (Hint: Don’t do these!):

    1. Thinking it was all about me—instead of all about my audience.
      Something I realized recently: no one, + I mean literally no one is searching for Lindsey Bowen. Not one person. They’re searching for answers to their problems, support, encouragement, + entertainment. So simply put, that’s what I need to be sharing if I want to be found by a wider audience.
    2. Using the same hashtag group over and over.
      I used to copy + paste the same hashtag group to every single one of my pictures (embarrassing, I know). Little did I know, Instagram hates that + could potentially think of your account as spam. I have spent a long time perfecting my hashtag strategy + I have a nice little library now of hashtags that I always rotate.
    3. Not using the right hashtags.
      So even if you switch up your hashtags every time, if you’re using ones that have 22 million posts attached to them, you probably will not be discovered by anyone. You have to be strategic about which hashtags you’re using.
    4. Posting photos in landscape orientation.
      I used to wonder why my posts that were horizontal were not getting much engagement, + then I learned that posting landscape photos on Instagram is a big no-no. The reason why is because portrait photos take up much more space in followers’ feeds. Landscape photos can get lost when followers are scrolling.
    5. Posting captions that were super short.
      I know you see some people post captions that are short + sweet, but if you want to encourage conversations + get people to stop the scroll, you need to post longer, more meaningful captions. Plus, Instagram favors longer captions.
    6. Saying yes to every collab offer.
      This is a big one. I seriously said yes to every. single. request. It was exhausting + time consuming + I didn’t get much out of it. I would even purchase things that I didn’t really want just to do the collab with them. It makes me sick now thinking about it. But ya live + ya learn, right?
    7. Not defining my ideal audience.
      When I first started, I wanted to reach everyone. Not realizing that by speaking to everyone, I was speaking to no one.
    8. Pitching to a million and one brands.
      I was under the impression at first that more collaborations equaled success. So I literally sent hundreds of really bad pitches out + sure I got some responses, but I was honestly wasting my time for the most part.
    9. Not realizing the value in finding others to support and collaborate with.
      I remember saying the words, “I don’t just want a bunch of other bloggers following me. That’s not the point.” Ummmm, well, yeah, it kinda is. Bloggers are going to like, comment, + engage more. They get the industry, + they will shop your links. They will be your biggest cheerleaders + are much more likely to give you a shoutout!
    10. Worrying too much about my follower count.
      Have you heard the age old saying, “A watched follower count will never rise?” Ok, maybe that’s not the saying, but seriously, forget about that number. It doesn’t define you or your success.
    11. Posting just to post.
      Woo, I remember being like, “Ok, what am I going to post today? I haven’t posted + I HAVE to, so what’s it going to be?!?” SUCH A WRONG MENTALITY. You should be posting purposefully + intentionally + it should never be a spur of the moment thing.
    12. Not posting based off my analytics.
      I used to just post whenever I had a free second. Then I looked at my analytics, saw when most of my followers were on Instagram, started posting around that time, + BOOM, started seeing much more success with my posts!

    Soooo, tell me I’m not alone in these!?!? Which one of these did you do too?!? Which one of these surprised you?!?! Comment below + let me know! Or message me on Instagram!



    *This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    PS- At the bottom of this page, I have a list of my favorite blogger resources + tools…check it out!

    My Instagram Engagement Rate Has Reached 5.60% Thanks To LadyBossBlogger

    *This post is sponsored by LadyBossBlogger. Thank you to founder + CEO Elaine Rau for putting together these amazing resources for bloggers + influencers. All opinions expressed below are my own.

    You’ve been sitting on the edge of your seat wondering my final thoughts after taking LadyBossBlogger’s course, Make Money as an Influencer, + I’m here ready to spill!

    I completed the course last week + my head has been spinning with all the great information that was packed into this course. So. much. good. stuff.

    So what were my favorite parts?

    I LOVED the legal/financial section because I plan to make enough where I will have to start filing taxes as a business, so this section was very helpful for me to plan for the future. I will definitely refer back to this section when that time comes.

    Another favorite part was I learned about some great resources that I had never heard of before. (You’ll have to enroll in the course yourself to see what they are!)

    I also learned about a platform where I can earn commissions in a very simple way + I’m super excited to get started with it! (Again, you’ll have to take the course to find out what it is!)

    My Exact Results

    Since starting the course, I am getting emails almost daily of brands wanting to work with me. 

    My Instagram impressions have increased by 6.02% over the last week.

    After being stuck in the 3-thousands for a while, I finally broke 4K followers on Instagram!

    My Instagram engagement rate has gone from 4.77% up to 5.60%!

    I have much more confidence + feel certain about what I should charge for my work.

    So if you’re on the fence about whether or not you should take the course, here are the main things you should know about what you’d learn:

    1. You’ll learn Instagram engagement hacks that will get more traffic to your page.
    2. You’ll learn how to create a business plan.
    3. You’ll learn how to define your target audience.
    4. You’ll learn everything you need to know about media kits.
    5. You’ll learn how to pitch to brands + how to make sure you get responses.
    6. You’ll learn how to stand out to brands.
    7. You’ll learn where you can find brands that want to work with you.
    8. You’ll learn how to set your prices + where to find out how much you should charge.
    9. You’ll learn the legal aspects of blogging/influencing + how to keep track of income.
    10. You’ll get a content calendar made out for you for an entire year along with many other bonuses!

    All in all, I know that I have all the tools I need to be successful + continue to grow as an Influencer + Blogger. Thank you to LadyBossBlogger + Elaine Rau for putting together these incredible resources to help newbies in the biz grow + have success.

    Make sure you check out my Instagram to see who the winner of the giveaway is for a FREE course!

    If you didn’t win + are wanting to enroll in one of her courses, you can use code LINDSEYBOWEN to get 40% off! There are payment plan options available as well so you don’t have to pay all of it upfront!

    Have you enrolled yet?!? Let me know + we can chat about our favorite parts!

    Cheers to learning + growing!



    PS- Free LadyBossBlogger Resources

    Learning is the Key to Growing: How LadyBossBlogger is Helping Me Grow!

    *This post is sponsored by LadyBossBlogger. Thank you to founder + CEO Elaine Rau for putting together these amazing resources for bloggers + influencers. All opinions expressed below are my own.

    As I’ve gotten older, I crave knowledge. I crave learning. I am always wanting to discover new ideas, new concepts, new opinions, etc. Learning is fun to me. And I believe that learning is the key to growing, whether that is emotionally, spiritually, in your personal life, or professional life. 

    You can’t do anything new without learning something you didn’t previously know. Ever heard the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results”?

    When I started my blog last October, I spent hours upon hours researching + learning as much as I could soak in. I learned a lot, but you know what I’ve learned since? You can never learn TOO much. You will never get to a point where you say, “Ok, I’ve learned everything there is to know. There is nothing left for me to learn or change or improve.”

    I think so many people wait to get to that point where they’ve “made it” + skip the step of doing their research + being open to making changes after learning new information. While there is certainly a lot I’ve learned about blogging since last October, there is still so much to be discovered.

    That is why I am taking Elaine Rau’s course, “How to Make Money as an Instagram Influencer.” It’s no secret that people spend more time on Instagram than on your blog, but your Instagram is how you direct people to your blog. This is what makes Instagram such a powerful tool as a blogger. 

    My ultimate goal since starting my blog has been to make money to help provide for my family. So far, I have definitely achieved that in a small way, but I know there is much more to be made. That’s why I’m super excited to be taking this course and learning from someone in the industry who has been successful.


    The course itself is broken down into 8 sections PLUS a bonus section with TONS of resources for you. These sections are not fluffed; they are jam-packed with useful information + tools to help you succeed.

    Some of my favorite topics include: 

    • Mistakes to avoid that most influencers make
    • How to be attractive to brands 
    • Defining your target audience
    • Help with your pitch 
    • How to find brands to work with
    • How to set your fees
    • Legal aspects of blogging/influencing

    Plus SO much more! There really is not one thing left out in this course!

    Some of you may be thinking, “Well I already know those things.” I’m here to tell you that hearing something for a second, third, or fourth time is not only OKAY, but you may also learn something additional that you didn’t know. I’m telling you guys, there is always more to learn. If you want to be successful as a blogger/influencer, this course is a huge step in that direction.

    I will check back in with you guys in a few weeks to let you know my EXACT results after implementing everything I learn from the LadyBossBlogger course! This is just the beginning!


    Would you like to win this course FOR FREE!?!? (Who wouldn’t?!?) I have partnered with LadyBossBlogger and Elaine Rau to gift one of you a free course! Please head to my Instagram + follow the instructions for your chance to win a course of your choosing! The giveaway ends on July 14, 2020, so RUN on over to make sure you’ve entered!


    If you just can’t wait any longer to get started (understandable), then click here to get all the details on the course + the pricing. LadyBossBlogger generously offers 6-month payment plans if you can’t pay for the whole course at once. PLUS they have also given me a coupon code to share with you all so you can SAVE 40% on the cost of the course! Use code LINDSEYBOWEN

    I get questions a lot about how I got started blogging/influencing + what tips I would give to someone wanting to get started. I ALWAYS recommend investing in yourself! Everything I know, I learned from someone else. 

    YOU do NOT have all the answers! 

    So why not take a course that will teach you everything you need to know?

    Have you taken this course or one similar before? 

    If not, what is holding you back? 

    There is so much out there to be discovered just waiting on you! 

    If you decide to enroll in the course, let me know so we can chat about all the content together + share what our biggest takeaways are!



    PS- Additional resources from LadyBossBlogger:

    *This post contains affiliate links.


    Everyone wants their Instagram story slides to be aesthetically pleasing + well, just cute! If you have a cute background, you can add words, GIFs, pictures, etc. + instantly have a really professional looking story!

    Having backgrounds already set to go makes things so much easier. So I have taken the work off of you + made some that are the right dimensions + ready to go!

    Let’s talk about blogging

    Ok, let’s talk about something, shall we?

    Ever notice when someone gets a job as an engineer, an accountant, a teacher, etc, people congratulate them + tell them how awesome they are? (by the way, not saying there’s ANYTHING wrong with these jobs or the people who do these jobs!)

    But when someone chooses to do something a little more unconventional—a blogger/influencer, MLM sales, start an etsy shop, etc—people aren’t as proud? Aren’t as congratulatory? 

    Wonder why that is?

    I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that for the more conventional jobs, they all had to be interviewed + offered the job. For the less conventional ones, you choose it yourself. You decide yourself that you are going to be a *insert title here*. For some reason, people don’t celebrate this as much. Because it’s not “earned”, we just “give” it to ourselves.

    I’m going to speak specifically on the “blogger/influencer” title (because I am one!). There are so many preconceived notions about bloggers. + most of them are not flattering. So many people make fun of this title + say they’re self centered, lazy + delusional.

    While some might very well be self centered, I think most of us honestly want to help others. We don’t think that we’re just that awesome that we need to share everything about us to the world. It’s just that if we have any one thing that could help someone, then we want to be able to share that to help others.

    Some think that bloggers are just lazy + don’t want to work, but that’s honestly the farthest thing from the truth. Most of us are working nonstop, around the clock to create things for you. It’s not for us—it’s for YOU! + I know I have worked just as hard at this as I have any other job that I’ve ever had. It took me HOURS to build my website from scratch with ZERO formal training on web design. + by the way, what’s wrong with not wanting to work in an office everyday so you can see your kids more?!? People act like that’s lazy! Being home with your kids is definitely not a job for the lazy!!!

    Some might think we’re delusional for thinking that anyone cares, or that we could actually make a living from social media, but honestly even if no one cares, even if we don’t make a penny, it’s just FUN. We do it because we like to + that’s reason enough.

    So yeah, no one interviewed me + approved me to be a blogger. I’m self appointed. But to be honest, I’m my own worst critic, so it’s pretty impressive I’ve made it this far! Sometimes it’s a lot harder to work for yourself than it is for someone else. If you don’t believe me, try it!

    The world is changing + the way people make money is changing. Get used to the fact that bloggers/influencers ARE real jobs + we’re here to stay! The past 5 months through this journey, I’ve made some great friends, learned A TON + partnered with some awesome brands I might not have heard of otherwise. Opportunities are presenting themself in ways I never would have expected. It’s been amazing to see how others want to support you, people who I haven’t even met!! The community of women who encourage + uplift each other is something I’m so grateful for.

    I’m so thankful to be on this adventure…this adventure that I created MYSELF. Instead of looking down on people who decide to start their own business, let’s uplift, encourage + celebrate them because they’re doing something INCREDIBLE, something that most people couldn’t do + most of the time, they’re doing it all on their own.

    What are your thoughts about this? Is this something you have struggled with if you are one of the “self starters” that i’m referring to? Please let me know in the comments! If you think this might speak to someone you know, please share with them!

    Are you one of the people who used to have these preconceived notions on bloggers? (Don’t be embarrassed–I did too, honestly!!) What changed your mind? Do you still think that, but you’re starting to reconsider? Let me know in the comments!

    As always, reach out to me via email, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, whatever! I’d love to get to know you more!

    Love y’all + thank you tremendously for your support!