Dynamite Spring Try On


10 Ways To Grow Your Instagram Following

"How did you grow your Instagram following?"  is one of the most asked questions in my DMs and emails.

I've been promising this post for a long time and it's finally here!

Let me start off by saying that growing your audience is a marathon not a sprint.
It will take lots of time and dedication.
There are people who spend money and buy their followers but trust me when I say, this is not how you want to go about your growth! 
In the end, it's not worth it.
Not if you want to grow an engaged following anyway.

I could probably spend $200 right now and go from 12,000 followers to 50,000 ( I don't know if that's actually the cost as Ive never looked into it) but then I wouldn't have followers who are actually interested in what I'm posting which would result in low engagement (how many people are interacting : liking & commenting on my posts)

So, if you want to grow overnight this post definitely isn't for you.
If you're here to learn how to grow an engaged following, stick around and I'll share 12 ways in which you can grow your Instagram following.  

1. Optimize your profile.
This is the first thing people are going to see. 
Think of it this way, it's like your store front.
You want to catch people's eye and give them an idea of who you are.
People will decide in seconds if they are interested in sticking around or not.

Things to include in your profile:

1. Profile Photo 
Something clear that represents who you are. 
If you are a business you can use a logo.
 If you're a lifestyle blogger a headshot, a family lifestyle blog use a family photo.

2. Username & Tag Line 
 Your username should be relevant to your brand and easily searchable. 
My blog is www.kelseydianeblog.com and my instagram handle is @kelseydianeblog 
Someone who reads my blog can easily find me on Instagram.
 It says right in the tag line that I am a Lifestyle Blogger so people know right away what I do.

3. Bio & Email 
 This is where you can share exactly who you are and what you're about. 
Make sure it looks clean, short and straight to the point.
 Look at the example of my bio above. It's important to include your email address in your bio. 
Often brands that want to collaborate will look for your email and if they don't see it the bio they will move on to the next.

4. Website 
 This one shouldn't need an explanation.
 Instagram is a great tool to bring traffic to your blog or website so it's important your website is clearly linked in your bio.

2. Connect with those in your niche.
Find similar accounts within your niche and connect with them and their followers.
If you're a home decor blogger for example, go to your favourite home decor blogger and like and comment on their 5 most recent photos. Go to five accounts that are following them and do the same. 
Leave genuine comments, not just "so cute". 
Try to comment 5 words or more. 
If they're following other home decor bloggers and your posting similar content, chances are they'll like what you're posting too! 
In my early days of growing my following (2 years ago) I would spend 3 hours each night just liking photos within my niche to grow.
 It's become a little harder to grow since then so make sure to leave those thoughtful comments to increase your chances of having accounts come back to your page and check you out.

3. Hashtags.
Use a variety of hashtags. 
If you're following count is under 5,000 make sure to use more hashtags that aren't as commonly used to help you get to the top of that hashtag.  
Getting to the top of the hashtag essentially gets more eyes on you which is what you want.
Let's say you're a mommy blogger of all girls and you want to connect with other moms, you might want to use a hashtag like #girlmom {see the example above} but since there are already 2.2 million people using that hashtag, the chances of you being pushed to the top are slim to none.  If you use #girlmommy however, there are only 27.9K people using the hashtag so you have a better chance of being seen.
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags. 
What I recommend doing is putting one or two in your Instagram caption then having a set list of hashtags saved in the notes on your phone with a variety of different sized hashtags { look at the example above:  large hashtag, medium hashtag, small hashtag} that you can copy and paste into the comments of your post.  

4. Tags
Take advantage of tags.
Make sure you tag brands in your photos. 
For example, tag the brand that makes the dress you're wearing. 
If it's a good photo, they may ask permission to repost your photo which will result in a brand new audience with eyes on your account. 
Geo Tags are important too. 
Posting a photo of a cute cafe you went to?
Tag the cafe and add the location. 

5. Connect With Your Followers.
We talked about connecting with those in your niche but don't forget to engage with those who are already following you. 
Answer your DMs. Reply to comments. 

6. Instastories. 
Instastories are a great place to share behind the scenes. 
People want more than just pretty photos, they want to feel connected and Instastories are a great way for your audience to really get to know who you are. 
I actually get a lot more engagement from my stories than I do in my feed.
I usually check in at least once daily as my audience has come to expect it, even if I'm just sharing what I'm having for breakfast or what show I'm watching on Netflix.
Just like in your photos, make sure to add geo tags and hashtags to increase your reach.

7. Plan Ahead.
I have to admit, this is not something I'm great at doing.
I can be pretty impulsive and post spur of the moment but I do know that when I take the time to plan my content ahead of time I get way more engagement. 
This also helps ensure that your feed flows and that you are posting quality content that people want to see.
Make an editorial calendar for the month ahead. 

8. Quality Over Quantity.
Some people will tell you that it's important to post daily but I think it's better to think about quality over quantity. 
Make sure you're posting good quality photos that bring value to your audience. 
If this means you can only post once or twice a week, that's fine. 

9. Collaborate With Others.
I'm sure you've heard "Community Over Competition".
There is room for everyone to succeed! 
Collaborate with other bloggers, small shops etc to do Insta takeovers, giveaways, shout outs etc to help get your account shown to different audiences and vice versa.

10. Purpose.
What is the intention of your post? 
Are you motivating, helping, or informing others? 
Make sure there is a purpose behind your post. 
How are you benefiting your audience by posting?


March Old Navy Try On

To get in the mood for Spring, I popped into Old Navy the other day to do a Spring inspired try on.
I'm loving all things pink and striped this year for Spring. 
For shoes, I'm seeing a lot of sling backs and I'm here for it.

Outfit 1 

Outfit 2

Outfit 3

Outfit 4

Outfit 5

Outfit 6


How To Get Ready For Spring & Spring Shoe Must Haves

Okay, so it's extremely cold outside and there's snow on the ground BUT the sun was definitely  shining a little brighter yesterday.
You know, the kind of sunny day that reminds you that Winter won't last an eternity and this is something to be excited about! 
We're reaching the point in winter where I usually start to get a little down so I thought I would share some ways I get into the Spring spirit! 

The end of Winter is the perfect time to go through your closet and make a pile of anything you didn't wear this season. 
If you didn't wear it, chances are you probably never will so instead of packing that sweater away for next Winter donate or sell it.
Closer to April, I like to go room by room and do a full house declutter in preparation for Spring.

Start Exercising 
If you're anything like me, you use the Winter as one long opportunity to drink all the hot chocolate with marshmallows while binging Netflix. 
This might be cozy AF but its not the healthiest lifestyle.
March is the perfect time to start implementing daily exercise.
Go for a half hour walk or pull out that yoga mat and do pilates in your living room.
Just get that body moving.

Start Planning Spring/Summer Fun
This is the time of year to start making your Spring/Summer plans. 
Spring/Summer creeps up quickly and if you aren't prepared it can get away from you.
Start thinking about which weekend you want to host that BBQ, sign the kids up for summer camp before there's no spots left and book that camping trip you've been looking forward to all year.
Our family takes a road trip to Oklahoma every Spring so I'm in full road trip planning mode over here.

Plan Your Garden
This is the year we are finally going to commit to having our own vegetable garden. 
While it's still far too early to start planting outdoors {remember, there's still snow on the ground and I'm SO over it} planning what you want to plant ahead of time is never a bad idea!
You can also start planting seedlings indoors to give yourself a few extra weeks of growing time.

Spring Cleaning
Get ahead on Spring cleaning and write a list of everything you want to get accomplished. 

Start Planning Spring Outfits
All the stores have swapped out their winter coats for rainbows and light spring jackets and I'm here for it. 
Browsing through my favourite stores for Spring outfit Inspo has got to be my favourite way to get into the Spring mindset.
I usually buy a couple new pieces each season. 
I've already purchased an adorable polka dot dress and wedge espadrilles that you can see in my instagram post HERE

Speaking of Spring Shopping....I've rounded up some of my most coveted shoes for Spring. 
I own the first pair of espadrilles in black and the rest are on my Spring Wish List.

Which are your faves?


Small Shop Love - Katye Landry Design

I'm starting a new series on the blog where I'll share with you some of my favourite small shops with you.

First up, is Katye Landry Design - Canadian Jewlry Designer.

Katye and I first bonded on Instagram over our mutual love for 90s boy band, Hanson. 

Katye lives in Ottawa with her son and makes all her jewelry handmade in her home studio.

She is completely self taught, inspired by the jewelry she saw throughout her travels around the world.

Her designs are simple and elegant, using materials that are sterling silver, 14 karat gold-fill and various gems from around the world.

Given our mutual love for Hanson, I asked Katye if she could make an MMMBOP necklace for me and I'm OBSESSED. 

You can bury me in this necklace hahaha 

You can find some more of Katyes Designs on her website HERE 
or find her on the gram HERE 

I also have a 20% off coupon code for you if you use the code KELSEYDIANE20

photos by : ampstudios

A few of my favourite pieces from her shop....


24 hours in Portland, Oregon

I had the incredible opportunity to visit Portland, Oregon last week to tour Laika Studios with Elevation Pictures. 

I'll share more details of that in a post later on this month, but for now, here's a little travel diary of my 24 hour trip to Portland.

This was the first time I'd ever travelled alone on my own outside of the country and I have to say it was life changing. 

I came home with a new sense of independence and really grew as a person while I was away.

It was nice to let go of that mom guilt and see that the kids really can survive a few days without me.
 A few days to miss each other and see mama chasing her dreams is never a bad thing.

Portland has been at the top of our couples bucket list for quite a few years now.
We found out our favourite tea, STASH, was founded in Portland many years ago and ever since have been drawn to the city of Portland and all it's amazing food, drink & fun culture.

Unfortunately, my husband couldn't swing this trip, but we definitely have plans to come back just the two of us. 
The plan is to one day visit our friends in British Columbia then tour around Portland & Seattle. 

Where I Stayed
I stayed in the Monaco Portland Hotel in downtown Portland that is known for its boutique style vibe.
The building was established in 1912 and was named "Most Beautiful Hotel in Oregon" by Architectural digest. 
The rooms are eclectic in the most beautiful, vintage way. 

They are basically, an Instagrammers dream come true. 

Each night, the hotel holds a Happy Hour in their salon style lobby, where guests can sip on local wine and beer while listening to local talent play.

When we do decide to visit Portland again, I will most definitely be staying at the Monaco.

Where I Ate
When I found out I'd be visiting Portland, I knew the first place I had to stop was Voodoo Donuts.
My husband and I have been low key stalking them on Instagram for the last few years.
I had heard stories and prepared myself for the long line ups Voodoo usually draws, but fortunately, there was a big wind storm the day we visited resulting in only a few people ahead of us in this eccentric donut shop.

Voodoo is known for its amazing variety of super creative donuts and bright pink sign out front. 
The Homer and Captain Crunch topped donut are what drew me in.

The second place I ate at was Pok Pok, in SE Division Portland.
They are known for recreating the most authentic and delicious food from Thailand and South East Asia. 
The food is served family style, meaning it is meant to be shared.
We ordered a variety of dishes and everything was absolutely wonderful.
The meals were clearly well thought out, each flavour in every dish perfectly complimenting each other. 

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