I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but even more so now that the Instagram algorithm has kicked in making it even more important to make your posts discoverable! I’m sharing some of my favorite hashtags to use as a fashion blogger and those that can help get your content in front of your ideal audience. It’s literally been talked about all over the web that hashtags will help make your posts more discoverable by 12.6%, so let’s hop to it!
The Lovely Lessons
outfit photos? How do you organize the clothing you want to post on your blog?
Does someone follow you around with a camera all day? (I’ve actually gotten
that question more than once.)
but there really is a simple answer! I’ve teamed up with CONAIR on today’s post to share a peek into how I stay organized
and get each outfit and piece of clothing photo-ready. See today’s full post for more!
photos by Lainey Reed
pieces that I know I want to include on APOL. For me, outfits are easier to
visualize and put together if they look like they are ready to wear. (Same
concept that all clothing stores and boutiques use when they steam the clothes
and hang them on the racks.)
– I don’t even use an iron/ironing board anymore. Steaming is so much easier
and faster – especially because the CONAIRExtremeSteam® Handheld Fabric Steamer includes a turbo button for hotter,
more powerful steam. (It’s touted as the most powerful steamer on the market.)
Fact: I ALWAYS pack a handheld steamer with me when I travel. You can’t trust
those hotel irons!
also slowly convincing Jordan to ditch the annoying ironing board in our closet
because he can press his work clothes using the aluminum plate and built in
creaser on the CONAIR steamer.
Having a designated area for steaming and
setting aside my outfits is also extremely important. Right now, I have a small
setup area in our bedroom that is conveniently right next to my full-length
mirror. (The mirror also houses my steamer that is plugged in right behind it!)
I have a set of wall hooks where I hang each clothing piece which allows me to
quickly try on and match accessories. I lay out alternate bags or shoes if I’m
indecisive. I like to keep each outfit staged in this area, so I have a visual
reminder of what I need to shoot, not to mention, everything is ready to grab
and throw on at any given time.
has really kept me organized and ready to shoot any outfit at a moment’s
notice. It’s also cut down major time when it comes to getting ready for events
too. I have already answered the “what to wear” question before it even
happens. And because I’ve already steamed the outfit, I don’t have to worry
about wasting any time the day that I wear it!
exact SAME thing when I travel. I unpack my entire suitcase as soon as I get to
the hotel/destination, steam the clothing and set the outfits up in the closet
as I intended to wear them. Takes a lot of the stress of out getting ready on
for teaming up on today’s post and for helping me stay organized (and
wrinkle-free) for my outfit photos!
Out of sheer transparency, I want to share something super personal today – my income. And even more important, my expenses and how they are affecting me financially. Blogging is relatively new, and taxes are basically a big ball of confusion for me. I’ve literally never had to take a finance or business class in my life (this coming from an art major), so I have been trying to single-handedly figure out how to submit my self-employment taxes myself. Up until 2015, APOL was quite honestly breaking even, so worrying about taxes was – whatever. I really wasn’t paying much attention to what was coming in or going out of my account because well, I had a full-time job for that. Mistake number one. 2016 was the year that I tackled accounting and tax deductions for bloggers.
I know I’m a little late to the game on this post, but better late than never is starting to become my motto in life! Last year, I filled out this goal-planning sheet that I found on the Nectar Collective that I kept in the back of my agenda, and at some point along the way, I moved it into my desk drawer where it stayed until last month when I found it again. I got a little nervous to look back at what I envisioned for my 2015 and if I had met any of those goals – and a little excited too. Turns out not only did I achieve almost every single thing that I wrote down for myself – I far exceeded it! THAT was a motivating moment for me, so I decided to fill out the very same sheet again this year, and this time I game myself a little loftier goals…
So what did I do right and what did I do wrong in 2015? Here are my rights:
1. I joined a “gang.”
Last year, I was sitting in an AdFed luncheon, and a creative speaker was talking about the importance of finding your “gang.” She suggested that as a creative, you need a group of like-minded people to bounce ideas off, get feedback from, ask questions, and share resources. It’s like a really cool support group you could say. That resonated for me because I had just really become friends with Nikki (My Style Diaries), Kathleen (Carrie Bradshaw Lied) and Jenn (Haute Off the Rack), and I realized that I had found MY gang. In 2015, we went to New York for fashion week, went to a week long trip to Cabo and started a group text that doesn’t go a day without conversation. We’ve already started planning our new adventures for this year and beyond all of the blog-related parts of our relationship, I’ve found friends for life too!
2. I got picky.
2015 was the year I got picky – in a good way. I started being more selective about what I posted to make sure that it was all things that I truly, truly loved and want to share. And I started to get picky about the photos I was posting. Were the compositions, colors and creative direction all photos that reflect “me?” That was a rather difficult project towards the end of the year because for a large part of 2015, I had Kaela taking all of my blog photos, and we were able to develop that brand together. The past few months while she has been on maternity leave, I’ve realized that instead of relying on one person, I need to know how to be able to work with multiple people to get the same end result. So the pickiness is a current work in progress…
3. I chose Instagram.
For a girl with a full-time job, tackling all forms of social media is a pretty impossible task. So I decided that instead of trying to fully engage on all of them, I needed to hone in on just one. And that one in 2015 was Instagram. At the end of 2014, I had 13K Instagram followers, and at the end of 2015, I was close to 70K. I chose to put the most energy into creatively curating content for my Instagram account, and it paid off. More Instagram fun coming this year!
Here are my wrongs:
1. I failed to launch.
Setting up my email newsletter and online closet sale were all ideas that I had LAST January. They just became real, ahem, this month. One year later. How great would they be now if I had started a year ago? I guess we’ll never know! Chances are if you have a great idea that you keep thinking about day after day, it’s probably one you need to act on – that’s something I’ll be reminding myself this year!
2. I didn’t say NO enough.
Although I did get picky, I still had an issue with saying no. I took on too many blog projects along with being completely overworked at my full-time job in athletics which led to me being frazzled pretty much all of the time. Finally towards the end of the year, I prioritized and realized that I needed a job that encouraged my social media growth instead of hindering it. Now saying YES, means only positive things for me career-wise.
3. I stopped learning.
Okay so that doesn’t mean I turned my brain off, it just means that I wasn’t actively pursuing the education necessary to succeed online. Instead of watching Real Housewives, I probably should have been reading SEO for Dummies or watching tutorials on Lightroom. 2016 is going to be a year of learning for me! I’ve already started soaking up some new knowledge regarding Mailchimp and my newsletter – more to come on that in a lovely lesson soon to come!
photos by Kaela Rodehorst Photography
Have you evaluated your wrongs and rights of 2015? I highly encourage looking into your faults and how you can make them right this new year!
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