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…)

Clothing budget recap: April 2017

Oh boy… turns out April was the month for big spending! Between finally picking up the Stay Home Club shirts I’ve been eyeing for the last 3 years of my life, the blogger closet sale also did me in! Needless to say, I made it under budget just shy of $16… Let’s see what was in the haul, shall we?
clothing budget recap: April 2017

Purchased new:
1. Stay Home Club t-shirt – $25 (exact)
I have wanted this t-shirt for as long as I can remember. There are cats on it. Surrounding a lady. I finally caved…

2. Stay Home Club crewneck sweatshirt – $48 (exact)
As if the t-shirt version isn’t enough, I went ahead and splurged on the crewneck sweatshirt version of this print as well! On my first day of wearing this, my cat also decided to claw me and poked a hole in the sleeve! *cries* It’s ok. Still a cute sweater!

3. Striped tie-knot tee – $66 (exact)
After taking my beloved striped tie-knot tee in blue on vacation, I knew I needed another one of these. The fit is just so perfect! Thankfully, the Moorea Seal store stocked a white version of this top for 2017 and I managed to snag the last one in my size.

Thrifted:
1. J.Crew striped maxi tank dress – $5 (exact)
The jersey knit on this dress is unreal! If thrifting has taught me anything, it’s being able to feel the quality of materials before looking at brand tags. The fine knit jersey caught my attention on first touch and I knew I could not leave without the dress.

2. Zara high neck sweater – $10 (similar)
This was a great find at the Earth Day Blogger Closet Sale! Can you guess which blogger’s closet this was picked from? Rebecca of Blogger Not Billionaire had some of the best layering pieces and I could not leave without this sweater. I’ve already worn it twice and it’s barely been in my closet for a week!

3. Community ammonious sweater – $15 (exact)
This was another amazing find at the closet sale. This piece was from the founder of Fresh Tangerine, Kim’s, closet. With an almost fully monochrome rolling rack of pieces, it was hard to stop myself from buying everything from her closet!

4. L.L. Bean Bean Boots (8″) – $15 (exact)
My partner actually found these for me on our last date to the thrift store. He has the same pair which he thrifted a few years ago. While I already have a pair of the All Weather Bean Boots (worn in the apple picking post), the heavy liners are a little overkill for rainy days. Depending on how well these signature Bean Boots wear in, I may end up letting go of the All Weather pair. We’ll see!

Total for April: $184

While I still stayed under my monthly budget of $200, I spent a bit more than I thought I would. The Bean Boots were a bit of an impulse buy, but sometimes that’s the nature of thrifting! See how this month compared to past clothing budget recaps here!

Fitcode x AG

Ahhh, buying jeans. This is a personal topic that I like to talk about because I struggled for a long time in my teenage years and early 20s to find jeans that fit right. As someone who has a non-ideal proportion combination (hourglass + big hips + cycling thighs + long shins), jeans have been always been a bit of a pain to shop for. Mix all the different combinations of measurements between premium denim brands sizing and trying to buy jeans online and I have a lovely pickle of a problem on my hands!

Fitcode x AG x the demure muse, shot by Tawni Eakman

I posted about Fitcode back in 2015 when Fitcode first launched, and I’m excited to share today’s post in partnership with where the brand has come almost 2 years later!

If you’re not familiar with Fitcode, this company’s mission is to help you find the perfect pair of denim no matter what the brand. By taking a quick fit quiz, you can find out what your “Fitcode” is and how it maps to multiple denim brands. Once you have your Fitcode, you can shop personalized recommendations of styles and sizes in the boutique.

Fitcode x AG Jeans (legging Easton) x the demure muse; shot by Tawni Eakman
Fitcode x AG Jeans (legging Easton) x the demure muse; shot by Tawni Eakman

Earlier this month, Fitcode announced their partnership with one of my favourite denim brands, AG, and I’m excited to get to be part of this launch! What this means is that you can now shop across all of AG pieces using your Fitcode to find your next perfectly fitting pair of jeans! All of the outfits in today’s post feature pieces styled from AG’s Spring 2017 collection paired with their latest denim styles. What a treat it was to get to play around in the AG collection!

Fitcode x AG Jeans (legging Easton) x the demure muse; shot by Tawni Eakman
Fitcode x AG Jeans (Sloan lyric with bell sleeves) x the demure muse; shot by Tawni Eakman

A huge thank you to the Fitcode team for continuing to be one of my favourite Seattle-based companies to make shopping for jeans online so much easier!

All photos by Tawni Eakman

Bright whites and stripes

It’s been raining Spring Showers non-stop in Seattle, which makes looking back at Punta Cana vacation photos super fun! Dug up these gems from the last night in the Caribbean when we went out to a steak and ribs house for dinner. Of all days, I of course decided to wear white denim on the day that we had to eat dinner with our hands! Lets just say that these were the first and last time that the jeans looked so pristine… ;)

Outfit ideas: white jeans and striped tee
outfit details:
striped crop top: Moorea Seal (similar)
white denim: Michael Kors (similar for under $50)
sunglasses: thrifted & borrowed from T
tennis silhouette sneakers: c/o Brooks Heritage (exact)

Brooks Heritage white tennis shoes
striped-crop-top


This crop top is one of my absolute biggest wardrobe favourites. I picked it up from the Moorea Seal store last Summer and wore it all Summer long (here). Although this blue version is no longer in stock, there is a super cute white version with thin stripes available this year!

If you’re in the market for other cute clothes this season, don’t forget to stop by the Earth Day Blogger Closet Sale tomorrow in Pioneer Square! It’s going to be a ton of fun!

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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