Buying Instagram Followers: Is it really worth it?

Buying Instagram Followers: Is it really worth it?

I’m going to start this post out by saying that while I have never personally paid for followers, I can empathize for why people do it. In an ever-evolving industry where the sheer number of followers can make or break a sponsorship deal, I can see the appeal (and temptation) of buying followers. My goal of today’s post is to shed some light on the topic of buying Instagram followers and generate a discussion on whether or not it’s really worth doing. While I’m personally very strongly opinionated about the side that I sit on (don’t do it!) I’m curious to know how others feel about this topic.

Let’s dig into the good, the bad, and the really ugly of buying Instagram followers, shall we?

The good: Spoilers, there’s not much…

I’m probably stating the obvious here, but the only good I can see in buying Instagram followers is the bump in sheer numbers for a following. And, of course, the potential sponsorship deal(s) that come with a large following. While having a huge following count is impressive, more than just the number of followers are now being considered for sponsorship deals.

Brands who do their homework will know to look for other criteria like engagement, trajectory of growth, and dig into the percentage of real followers. Let’s explore how to dig into these other criteria, what they look like after buying Instagram followers, and the tools used to do this research.

The bad: It’s pretty obvious to spot if you’ve purchased followers

I want to introduce you to a tool called Socialblade. This site allows anyone (no account necessary) to dig into the analytics of any user on any social media platform (IG, YouTube, Twitter, etc). I’m specifically focusing on Instagram because that’s my personal favourite social media platform and the one that I have the most experience researching.

The examples that I’m going to show you in this post have been stripped of any identifying username info… know that this information is easily accessible to anyone (aka potential brand sponsors, other bloggers, your followers, etc)!

Case #1: How to tell if someone has purchased Instagram followers

buying-instagram-followers-example

In this specific example, it’s really obvious that followers were purchased. This particular user only had 700 followers on March 22, and by April 11 hovered just under 10,500 followers! That’s an increase of almost 10,000 followers in ~3 weeks! Not to mention, the numbers of followers “delivered” is extremely unnatural where it fluctuates from 600 to almost 1,500 per day. A true following of real users would be amassed in a steady growth, where the daily average count would be similarly reflected in the daily reported counts of new followers. In this specific case, we see that at the bottom of the report that the daily average value is +433, even though this particular user was barely scraping a +30 daily average prior to March 27. The numbers tell everything! No one’s being bamboozled into thinking this is natural growth here!

Case #2: What happens when you decide to stop buying Instagram followers?
This is another tell tale sign of whether or not someone is buying Instagram followers: the period of time right after all of the purchased followers has been delivered. This is what I call “the bleeding period” because it’s when they start to bleed followers.

Using the same user from Case #1, we can see that all of their purchased followers were delivered by April 11, and they began to bleed followers on April 12:

buying-instagram-followers-stop-buying

The “bleeding” is caused by a combination of the fact that no new followers are being delivered and the fact that Instagram discovers spam accounts. The spam accounts make up the majority – if not all – of the purchased followers. Since fake spam accounts are being banned and the user who purchased followers does not have the steady, natural momentum of gaining followers, the net following is negative. This is such a fascinating period of time to witness as a third party observer…
If you want to see what this use case looks like for a blogger with a much larger following, here you go!

From this use case, we learn that the only way to sustain the net positive growth after buying Instagram followers is to continue to buy followers. It’s a really ugly (and potentially expensive) cycle to fall into.

We’re now going to go into “The Really Ugly” part of buying Instagram followers.
(more…)

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Earth Day Blogger Closet Sale!

Today’s an extra exciting post because of an upcoming event this weekend! If you’re in the Seattle area, I’d love to invite you to the Earth Day Blogger Closet Sale (FB event details here) happening on Saturday in Pioneer Square. Along with 6 other bloggers/small business owners in the city, we’ve teamed up to throw an afternoon hangout with drinks and snacks while opening up our closets for folks to shop!

Earth Day Blogger Closet Sale
Where: Fresh Tangerine studio (89 Yesler Way, 2nd Floor)
When: April 22, 2017; 11am – 3pm

closet-sale
Jenn of Hello Rigby, Lisa of Story of My Dress, Alyson of Circa 1988, Rebecca of Blogger Not Billionaire, Me (!), Kim of Fresh Tangerine, and Moorea of Moorea Seal

I will be sharing a rack with the lovely Alyson of Circa 1988 and cannot wait! I have about 30 items pulled from my closet (some – embarrassingly enough – still have tags on them) and am so excited to find new homes for them. Here’s a little teaser of what I’ll be bringing to the event. You may notice from familiar pieces from the blog!

blogger-closet-sale-preview

Hope to see you on Saturday! (FB event details here)

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3 Tips for keeping fitness goals

tips for keeping fitness goals

One thing that I’ve struggled with a lot in the past is keeping up with fitness goals. Although my original fitness goal for 2017 was around yoga and not running, I decided to pivot activities. Despite changing things up, these same tips apply.

Context: My Seattle BFF has a goal to run every weekend, increasing the distance by at least 1 block each session. As I’m not a strong runner at all (not much as changed since 2015… heh) and barely made it 4 blocks after weeks of trying to increase continuous distance (I blamed it on the cold, wet, Seattle Fall weather back then, I decided to share some tips for how we’re helping each other stay accountable in keeping our fitness goals for the year.

running-buddies

1. Find a workout buddy!

Depending on what your fitness goal is, having a buddy to workout with is huge. Not only does it help with accountability for showing up (scheduling to meet up, making sure the workout/activity happens, etc), but it also helps to keep motivation levels high while actually doing the workout.

2. On top of one big goal, set mini weekly goals

Instead of only having one big goal, it’s been helpful to have weekly mini goals. I’ve found myself trying to set goals like “Run 1 mile without stopping”, only to become discouraged even before the run starts. Today, having a mini goal of pushing one more block in distance every time we run has made a big difference. Not only does this mini goal feel much more attainable, but the immediate satisfaction of hitting a new PR every time we run ups the stickiness of the overall big goal.

I like to think of this one like breaking down a big task. If we start with something huge, it can feel overwhelming and undoable. Breaking it down into the smaller components that make up the bigger picture and chunking the tasks makes it seem more attainable. Similar method for how I’ve been thinking about fitness goals and how to make them feel less daunting.

Brooks Running gear: ghost crop, LSD jacket

3. Rain or shine, keep a consistent schedule

One thing that I noticed in the past is how easy it is to fall off the fitness train. A day of rain and deciding to not workout could throw an entire schedule off– not only would I have put off working out on this particular day, but I found myself dragging my feet even harder the next day/time to workout (even if the weather was beautiful out) because I allowed myself to skip a day.

So far this year, I’ve gone for 2 rainy runs. One day it was so cold and bone-chilling that we decided to cut the run short. Despite not making it to our goal distance, the experiences of staying accountable and keeping each other motivated in bad weather made the next run in nice weather a lot more satisfying. I even caught myself finding more internal motivation on the next run because of the fact that the previous week’s run was less satisfying in terms of distance and set a new PR!

Even if you don’t have a goal for running, I think these 3 tips apply for anything that requires consistency and accountability! The hardest part is always getting dressed and out the door. Everything after that get easier! ;)

A huge thank you to Brooks Running for providing us with beautiful running gear featured in this post! I’m wearing last year’s LSD jacket (current season’s version), the ghost crop tights, and PureCadence 6 shoes. On my BFF is the men’s LSD running jacket in yellow.

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Whistler weekend and gearing up for upcoming seasons

Last weekend, a handful of friends and I headed up to Whistler to enjoy the snow and beautifully laid out runs on the mountains. I’ve only ever been to Whistler one other time (back in 2012) and was so excited to revisit the beautifully laid out the runs and gorgeous scenery.

Back in 2012, my visit was right after a night of snowfall, so there were nothing but amazing pillows of snow to catch my falls. This would have been amazing if I had stayed on green runs, but a friend accidentally led us down a black diamond with moguls… let’s just say I ate a lot of snow that first time and hoped to not repeat history on the second trip.

Snowboarding gear for women going to Whistler - Helly Hansen
outfit details:
Powderqueen jacket: c/o Helly Hansen (exact)
neck cowl: Helly Hansen (similar)
snow pants: Burton (old)
snowboarding boots: Salomon (old)
snowboard: K2 (old)

Fast forward to 2017 and the mountains are still as beautiful as ever! With the sun shining and only doing green runs (for real this time… haha), I thought we were set up for a pain-free day. Sadly, with no fresh snowfall the night before, the ice pellets were not as forgiving. Despite practicing my S-turns after making it a goal to learn how to carve instead of always leafing down the hills (don’t judge!), I still left with a bruised bottom. Snowboarding is something that I really want to learn to excel at, especially since it’s one of the few sports that all my friends and I can enjoy together during the winter.

Whistler green runs
Helly Hansen W Powder Queen jacket review
With just over a month left in the snowboarding/skiing season this year, this is one of the best times to gear up for the future snow seasons to come! I first bought all of my gear in 2012. The jacket, snow pants, boots, board, and helmet were all purchased during a mid-season sale. Sadly, I also managed to outgrow some of it in the last 5 years. In the last couple weeks, I’ve scored some great deals at the Helly Hansen outlet store in Burlington, WA. I bought myself a new neck cowl for $10 (regularly $20), a new pair of baselayer pants for $20 (regularly $40), after being really impressed by the quality and performance of the HH base layers I got to try earlier this season.

Helly Hansen skiing and snowboarding gear
With a jacket being one of the most important pieces of equipment, I’ve rounded up a handful of Helly Hansen jackets that are going to keep you warm on the slopes (linked below). If you’re local to Washington, you’ll be able to find these HH beauties locally here:

REI – Crystal Jacket is currently 51% off! (here)- 222 Yale Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Burlington Outlets – 314 Fashion Way, Burlington, WA 98233

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Goals for 2017

Re-reading goals posts from previous years, I always tend to start off with “[current year – 1] was the busiest year yet!” In an honest effort to try to avoid writing that same statement this year, I’m closing the chapter to 2016 and its reflections and moving straight into 2017. New year, new goals. (If you’re interested, past posts from 2016, 2015, 2014 reflections, 2013 reflections linked)

2017 is the year of being intentional. I did a lot of soul searching and self exploration last year, learned a lot, and now am ready to apply it all! It’s a hefty list, but here are my 2017 goals:


(via @viacalligraphy)

eat healthier. No more daily chocolate. Less fast food (bye, McDonald’s!). Maybe try paleo or Whole30? Realizing that I only have one body in this life, it’s time to start taking better care of it.

go to yoga regularly. Given that 2016 was full of exactly 1 yoga class (completed on December 31, 2016, no less), 2017 is going to be a more productive year. I forgot how good it felt to stretch all the muscles that sit stiff during the work day. Plus, it’ll be a nice balance to the on-and-off cycling and jogging that happens in the warmer seasons.

start wedding planning! We haven’t quite decided if we’re going to have a (traditional) wedding yet, so this goal is a little gated on whenever that first decision is made. Will it be 2017? 2018? Not sure, but it’s on the list just in case!

go paddle-boarding at least 2X. Being out on the water is my favourite thing to do in the Summertime. So much paddle-boarding happened last Summer and I can’t wait to surpass that number this year! It’s a bit of a trek to get to the water though, which is where the “2X” comes into play.

continue “no tech” weekends. My partner and I pick one day of the weekend to meet up at a coffee shop and hang out without our phones. This is something new that we started in the Fall of 2016 and really enjoyed. There’s something really special about not feeling the pressures to be constantly connected to social media and enjoying the presence and full attention of whoever you’re with. This is also our reading and journaling time, which gets me excited for the next goal…

finish documenting 2017 in bullet journal form! After a year of stalking beautifully designed and pages of bullet journal layouts (the #bujo tag on IG is the best inspiration!), I’ve finally taken the plunge to start my own. I got a set of grey Moleskine cahiers and ultra fine Shapries for Xmas and will be working my way from the front to back cover. (note: the combo of these pages and Shapries isn’t the best… but I’ll go into that more in another post)

blog authentically. A lot of my unfiltered, candid thoughts were shared in the first post of 2017. This goal is almost the most important one to me because I truly felt like I lost my voice a bit on this blog (compared to my voice on other platforms) last year. Here’s to being more transparent, sharing more personal stories, and continuing to build the awesome blogging community!

budget $200/m for clothes. no carry overs! I’ve never had a self-implied clothing budget before, so this one will be a challenge. With shifting my shopping habits from cutting fast fashion to primarily thrifting and buying “investment pieces”, we’ll see how well I can stick to this budget.

send at least 5 pieces of snail mail. Because who doesn’t love a little surprise in their mailbox? I had so much fun penning and mailing holiday cards in December that I hope to keep this old school pen + paper going! Something to do during those “non tech” mornings…

organize Instax photo collection. Last year I went a little crazy printing Instax photos. Now that my fridge is covered in photos, I’ve started to sprawl out my prints on the kitchen table. Food tables are no place for photos, so I’m looking to get crafty about organizing and storing the prints this year.

practice calligraphy once a month. This should be “easy” considering my goal to complete a bullet journal and seeing all the inspiring, beautifully penned pages on Instagram. *fingers crossed*

stay positive!! Saved the best one for last!

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