Growing your Instagram

Have you ever wondered why or how so many people have tons of followers but you can barely get anyone to follow you without wanting something? I certainly have, though not on my personal account.

I was taking so many pictures of my dog and had overwhelmed my facebook with my obsessed dog mom posting, so to Instagram it was.

My dog had over 100 posts and was barely pushing 80 and worse? For every follower he got, at least three others would unfollow. I was frustrated seeing all these other people getting hundreds and thousands of followers for stupid stuff when clearly my dog was the cutest most adorable dog out there. (see? Mom bias)

After talking with his trainer, who had contracts with companies for her dog, and several hundred followers, i took a few steps to up my Instagram game. Here is how I started getting (and keeping) followers by the dozens.

  1. Make your own brand- This is something I had early on but became more useful with more followers. Create a hashtag unique to you and your page. Make sure you put the hashtag in every post, and also in your bio, that way people that get lost in hashtags can easily find yours. Even if someone doesn’t follow your page, they can always follow your hashtag, which is exposure for your page, so go for it.
  2. Speaking of hashtags, use them generously I was tagging my posts with several different hashtags, but only a handful. Did you know Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post?  Use them all. Do some research, find hashtags that have over a million posts and use them every time. The more hashtags, the more people that your posts get in front of, ultimately leads to more followers. Some of the ones I use for my dog- #husky #dog #allthingshusky #instahusky #instadog #huskylife #huskypic #huskygram #blackandwhitedog #blackandwhitehusky etc. Find what is relevant to your post and hashtag, trust me, there’s a hashtag for everything.
  3. Follow back One of the biggest mistakes I was making was not following other people. Apparently, there is some unwritten rule that you should follow those that follow you, this caused my notifications chaos but did wonders for my numbers. Once I started following other pages that followed me my ranks grew, and grew, and grew, and keep growing. I even began following other animals Instagrams and many of them follow me back. Make sure you aren’t just following random people, it needs to be related to your page or it won’t help you very much.
  4. Be active- No, I don’t me go outside and exercise, though I’m not against it. What I mean by this is post often, comment back and on other posts that are not yours, and update your info often. When doing research on Instagram and how to grow my followers, I found many websites telling me what times of day to post in order to gain more followers, spoiler, it never worked. One website said between 2pm and 5pm EST was the best time to post. Nope, barely got anything. Do your own testing, see what posts get the most attention and at what time based on your content. I have found that late evening, middle of the night is best for my content but it is different for everyone. Don’t just take someone’s word for it. The goal is to get your content in front of as many people as possible, so look for slow days and trending hashtags as well.  Reply to comments posted on your page to get people engaged with your content, as well as post on others content to get more exposure from others.
  5. Enter contests- There are great ways to earn free stuff on Instagram and one of them is by entering contests. Even if you don’t happen to win, these pages have huge followings that you can get your content in front of. Contracts and deals have been known to come out of pure exposure, and the bigger the following, the more brands or businesses will want to get you on their team.

 

All in all tailor these methods to you and your page, and you’ll see results. Do your own research to see what would be best for you and never follow advice blindly, you could just be wasting your time.

If you want to see the cutest dog ever  click here

Happy Instagramming!

 

Saving money- grocery edition.

I absolutely love saving money and making it for that matter.  I am a frequent visitor of The penny hoarder , always looking for that next dollar.

While there are tons of apps and ways to save money, here is what I have done to help me feed my family on a budget.

First off when shopping for groceries try to skip out on big box stores and find the cheap-o shops in your town. They wont be brand name stores but you will always get a deal. One of my favorites is Save-a-lot, but any discount grocery store would work. (most discount grocery stores are locally owned and operated, a quick google search will help you find one near you.)

The only issue with these stores is that because they are discounted, many have recently outdated items, and that’s OKAY. Many discount retailers will hold certain products for as long as six months after the sell-by date, and it is perfectly okay to eat such items. Make sure you know the stores’ policy about returns just in case something turns out to be bad quality because like any store there will be those items. Obviously, don’t eat anything refrigerated after a week or two, just use common sense. If it were harmful to consume then it most likely wouldn’t still be in the store.  Sell-by dates are just that, dates that the store needs to sell them by so consumption after the fact usually is okay and because these stores have those items it is much easier for them to get it at such a lower price, passing those savings on to you.

Go to discount stores FIRST! Always get whatever you can from such stores so that if you have any remaining items that those stores don’t carry, at least you will know you got the best deal on what you could.

Once you’ve picked up everything you can from these stores you can head over to your usual stores. When shopping at your usual stores always check out their clearance section, there is always great stuff that is the same quality as the shelved items but cheaper. An app that will basically pay you to shop is the Shopkick app. All you have to do is have it open when you walk into participating stores (mostly common ones such as Walmart etc.) and you get points as well as points for scanning items in the store, buying said items, or referring friends. In just a few trips you will earn enough points to get yourself a gift card to a place of your choosing. It’s fantastic, my family goes just for the scavenger hunt for the items, and anyone in your household can do it so if you’re a couple, you can each have an account and earn multiple gift cards.

While you have your phone in your hand scanning items, make sure you are checking Ibotta for cash back. Many of what you purchase will qualify for cash back and all you have to do is add them to your account, and then scan your receipt once you buy said items. It is not a quick way to earn money if you’re not buying brand name everything, but any little bit helps and it all adds up.

Once you’re done with your shopping make sure you have signed up for National consumer panel, you may not get in right away so be patient! This panel will either send you a scanner or direct you to their mobile scanning app. All you have to do is tell them who was shopping, scan the items that you’ve bought, tell them if you used any coupons, and your total amount spent, then send it off electronically. (the scanning device will transmit automatically once placed on its base.) That’s it! Just a few minutes of your time and you earn points that will get you cool goodies or gift cards. The great thing about this is you will continue to earn points for as long as you stay on the panel, and keep scanning items.

While these are great ways to earn cash back as well as keep money in your pocket, make sure you are part of any rewards systems the stores you shop at have.

Walmart savings catcher will compare prices with other stores on the items you buy once you scan in your receipt and will give you the difference if it finds a lower price. The difference will go on an electronic gift card which you can turn around and use on your next purchase. Usually, it’s not more than a dollar or two on groceries, mostly cents, but it adds up if you shop there often.

Kroger’s Freebie Friday will give you a free product every Friday for rewards members that download the coupon to their card. It’s never anything big but if you have multiple people in your family (with different addresses) that have accounts, you could get several products to make it worthwhile. Membership is free to sign up and use, and also comes with tons of coupons to add to your account, so take advantage!

Any great ways you save money? Let us know!

 

Shopkick app review

Do you earn money for walking into a store? No? Well, you should.

Enter Shopkick

This app is a gem that is not very well advertised which is sad for all involved. Most apps that give you points take way too long to get the points needed for any sort of reward, most lose patience before being able to obtain their first reward.

Finally, an app that gives you rewards for the things you already do (shopping, browsing without trying to look suspicious).

With Shopkick you earn points for walking into certain stores and also when you scan or buy items. Buying certain items and submitting the receipt earns you the most points but not necessary to earn a reward. Shopkick allows you to choose a gift card to work towards, these cards are for a variety of things such as Starbucks, Gamestop, Walmart, etc. I chose the Walmart gift card because the week after the paycheck is always a struggle. What I love about Shopkick is that you can get certain cards that have as little as $2, so if you’re hurting for money that second week and need ramen in order to survive, you can cash out with very few points.

After downloading the app it took me two weeks of walking into stores and scanning items, and I only visit a store maybe twice a week if I have to.

My husband got on board once he realized I was about to get a gift card that i wasn’t planning on sharing with him so by him signing up through my referral we both got 250 points or ‘kicks’ as they call them. This resulted in him reaching his first reward within a week.

Easy money is great but how many points do I need and can I choose different denominations?

This is the best part. Most of the gift cards start at one $2 which is normally 500 points (remember you get 250 for being referred by someone and another 250 if you refer someone and they walk into a store in their first 7 days, that’s an easy 500 points or $2 right there.)

If you happen to reach your $2 goal and you want to keep saving all you have to do is edit your reward and choose a different denomination, for Walmart, it’s $2, $5, $25, and $50. If you change your mind about the reward you’re working towards all you have to do is change it and your points will be applied to the new goal.

I can personally testify that this app is legitimate because I have already spent my first reward, oops.

This app is beyond highly recommended because it is super easy and relatively quick to hit your goal. The options for gift cards vary so there’s always something for everyone. If all you do is walk into a store with this app on you’ll earn points towards your goal, so really, why wouldn’t you do it?

Click here to sign up and when you enter a store in the first 7 days you will instantly get 250 kicks!

Remember to open the app when shopping to get your points!

You can use the referral code MALL745753 to get you started.

Invite friends and family to earn more kicks!

Foap app review

Do you have hundreds of great photos just sitting on your phone you’re not willing to delete while fully hoping they’ll come in handy one day? Don’t we all.

Foap is an app where you can upload all of your pictures from that time you thought you were a photographer. The idea is that you upload these semi professional photos, someone sees and likes them and buys them for stock photos or miscellaneous (hopefully PG) reasons.

The idea is fantastic, if it worked.

Uploading is a breeze, there are tags you add and you have to assure them no one is identifiable in said photos so that no one can be sued and what not. Once you upload your photos it is a waiting game, and you may wait forever.

I admit to be an impatient person so several months and 50+ photos later was more than enough time to know it was useless. Sure, people rate your photos but it means a whole lot of nothing if they don’t buy your photos.

If the waiting game wasn’t enough, Foap also has a section for contests where companies will ask for certain photos and choose their favorite(s) to buy. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of photos are entered in these contests and if the odds aren’t against you the contest is. Many of the contests will require certain overseas locations to be photographed, because if I had money to travel I would obviously spend my time trying to make a few bucks off the photos.

Basically your odds are slim to none on this app. Many users have complained that the same handful of users win these contests every time and they are the ones that sell the most photos.

Recommended: I personally recommend you waste your time elsewhere as this will most likely be a time consuming let down.

If your confidence in your abilities cannot be shook and you have time to burn then I’d say why not? The app is free and having hope is a nice thing but when hoping for the best at least prepare for the worst.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Surveys on the go app review

The survey on the go app is one of the highest rated survey apps available. I honestly don’t know why.

I have had this app previously and deleted it, now I remember why. I downloaded this app for the second time about a week ago in hopes of finding a way to earn extra cash when I’m not working. This app is recommended on almost every list of survey apps I look at and I’m beginning to think they are all sponsored because this app is clearly awful.

In the past week I have qualified for ZERO surveys and refused to take one because they want pictures of my phone bill. First of all I don’t get paper phone bills and second off, just no. I feel like that is more information than needed.

Each of these surveys that have come up had the price tag much higher than what I actually received because about 12 questions in (basically half or more of the survey) it is decided I am not qualified and I am given TEN CENTS for my time.

Surveys on the go requires you to reach $10 before allowing you to cash out. The options to cash out with include Amazon, Visa, Starbucks, and PayPal, all fantastic options if by some miracle you make it to $10.

Less than one survey a day comes up on the app and then like I said, qualifying is near impossible. At this rate it will take me a little less than a year to reach $10. Completely a waste of time.

Recommendation:

If you like rejection and never getting surveys then sure, download this app.

There are much much better apps out there than this one that actually pay something.

I suggest not to waste your time.

Lucktastic app review

If you are looking for a great way to earn some cash on the side, apps are a great way to do that. Here’s what you need to know about the Lucktastic app.

Lucktastic is an app full of scratch off cards. These cards could win you points or cash, though don’t expect much cash. To begin with I was winning cash (.50 cents or less) left and right, now I could be wrong but I think this is to keep you excited about the possibilities.

Before and after each scratch off card you must endure a sponsored ad, which is how they make money, I assume. The ads can get annoying if you’re trying to play multiple cards in one sitting because you spend most of your time on the ads.

The majority of the cards only offer a few points per card so expect to play for awhile before getting anywhere. When playing you will come to a point where there are no more cards for the day, so you are limited in how many you can do. It is possible to earn more coins by inviting friends to play, if you want to be that guy. The other issue with this game is the decent gift cards take a ton of points but it’s free so what can you complain about?

Recommendations:

Must have time and patience and expect little to come of it so as to not get your hopes up.

Ultimately if it sounds like something that would interest you it’s worth a shot.

Hatred in America

So yesterday, in Newnan Georgia, a group of Neo-Nazis set up a rally through the streets. I just want to take a moment to talk about this because it is a serious issue going on in America right now.

This group was permitted to do their rally because they had the necessary permits that they required. I am not upset that they were allowed these permits because it is a freedom of speech and suppressing anyone’s voice is just not the way of America. With that being said it’s sad that we still have hate groups within our country or even within the world.

I am from the south, so while I do not condone racism I do understand where the thought comes from because it is still prevalent if even if only with certain people. I have family members that are still rather racist, to which I have to learn to ignore it. Too many arguments have come from trying to correct those that have not grown with our country.

Everyone is biased in some way and that is fine if you know that those biases are there and you keep them to yourself because you know they are unfounded claims. We’ve all been guilty of judging someone and in the moment noticing their race and maybe even blaming their behaviors on it.

Just because you think a certain way or feel a certain way does not mean that, that type of negativity should be put out in the world. I do not believe any one race is better than another nor do I think that an entire race could go into the same category of any stereotype. We are all different. We are all unique and we are all great in our own ways.

Do these people have a right to think and say how they feel? Yes.

Should these people display their hatred and ignorance in public for all to see? No.

We have enough hate in this world, it is what drives wars and politics. While it seems the world is moving towards acceptance these groups hold on to their positions that most likely have been passed down through generations.

It is insulting to everyone to spread hate and it is not the way the world should work.

On a positive note, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that the permit was for 50 to 100 Neo-Nazi members but only a couple dozen showed up. On the other hand, hundreds of counter-protesters showed up to promote peace and acceptance. The love outweighed the hate and that is a step forward in the right direction.

There is hope.

You dont have to like everyone, just accept them.