One of my favorite parts of blogging is the photography! I love finding bits and bobs around the house that I can use to style photos, and then getting behind the lense to take the perfect photo. Photo props can take a good photo and turn it into a great photo, and odds are you already have a lot of these items laying around your house. If not, you can easily find them at Target, because we all need another excuse to go to Target, right?

I’ve already shared with you my photography journey, and taught you how to make your photos look professional, so finally I’m going to share some everyday items you can use as photo props.

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If you’re anything like me, you spend hours scouring Instagram, studying people’s photos to figure out how they got that angle, what props they’ve used, where they purchase those props, and how they’ve managed to take such a stunning photo. I’ll definitely admit that I’ve stared at more than one photo on Instagram and wondered how I could achieve an almost identical result. After all, they say imitation is a form of flattery…right?

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Why I left my Instagram comment pods and don't regret a thing. You don't need to be in a pod to have high Instagram engagement.

Instagram pods, some people love them, some people hate them, some people may have no idea what I’m talking about. If you don’t know, Instagram pods consist of a group of people on Instagram (maximum 15) who are part of a chat. Each time one of the members posts on Instagram, they notify the pod and each member must go and like the photo as well as comment. There’s usually rule about comment length, if you have to comment, if you have to like the photo, and so on.

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May Income & Traffic Report

Another month has come and gone! As we say goodbye to May I want to start doing something new, and that’s posting income reports! Along with the income reports I’ll be sharing the goals I’ve set for myself for the upcoming month. I see a lot of bloggers doing this, and I hope that by doing it myself I feel more drive to reach my goals.

I went back and forth about posting my income, because quite frankly, it’s nonexistent. However, I want to show smaller bloggers like myself that not everyone is making thousands of dollars a month. I also want to share my income with the hopes of gaining advice from bloggers WHO ARE making thousands of dollars a month. So, if that’s you, please sound off in the comments below. Everyone can learn a thing or two from you!

With that being said, let’s break everything down.

Income

  • Google Adwords: $0.51
  • Viglink: $0.00
  • Etsy: $0.00
  • Amazon Affiliates: $0.00
  • iPage Affiliate: $0.00
  • Total: $.0.51

Yup, I made a whopping $.0.51 this month! Hopefully these numbers increase next month.

Expenses

  • Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop: $10.00
  • Etsy Listings: $1.80
  • iPage hosting: $3.00
  • Total: $14.80

Traffic Report

One thing that did increase this month was my traffic! I had set a goal to reach 1,000 page views for the month of May, and I reached that!

  • Total Traffic for April: 723 page views
  • Total Traffic for May: 1,347
  • Total Increase: 624 page views, or a 86.21% increase in page views!

Social Media Stats

  • Pinterest Followers: 60
  • Instagram Followers: 233
  • Twitter Followers: 169
  • Email Subscribers: 21. I gained 13 of those subscribers during the month of May.

May income report traffic

Goals for June

I’m starting a new job on Monday the 5th of June (yay!), however that means I will have FAR less time to devote to my blog. There will be some growing pains as I learn how to balance working full time and running a blog (on top of everything else I do). I’m going to cut back from posting twice a week to only posting once a week, as that sounds much more manageable to me. That being said, I would still love to see my blog continue to grow. So, what are my goals?

  • Reach 2,000 page views
  • Reach 300 Instagram followers
  • Post 4 times during June
  • Sell 5 prints on my Etsy shop
  • Gain 10 more email subscribers

Miss a Post?

I know I follow a lot of bloggers, and it’s hard to get around to reading every post that ends up in my inbox. I’ve listed all the posts the went up in May in case you missed one.

So what are your goals for June? Did you reach the goals you set for yourself during May? Leave a comment below!

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Audrey Knizek

How Facebook Groups Increased My Blog Traffic

The Internet is a wonderful place filled with vast amounts of information. I feel like everyday I learn something new about blogging. This can be incredibly exciting and fun, but it can also become overwhelming. Everybody has their own plan to make their blog become uber successful, and often times they share their tips! It’s hard to decide what will work best for you and your blog amongst all of the information.

How Facebook Groups Work

One thing that, in my humble opinion, will help everyone in their blogging endeavors, is joining Facebook groups. I spoke a bit about them in a recent post about what I’ve learned about blogging, but I felt like they deserved their own post. Facebook groups have improved my blog traffic by leaps and bounds, and I wish I knew about them sooner.

Every group has different rules in terms of what you can and cannot post and share. All the groups I’m a part of have several administrators who run the group and make sure everyone is following the rules. Every day new threads are posted, providing opportunities to share your latest blog post, a pin you want re-pinned, your Instagram account, and so on and so forth. Once you share something, you’re usually required to interact with “X” amount of people’s posts. It’s a give and take relationship that will greatly benefit your blog.

How My Blog Traffic Improved

Blog traffic statistics

I joined my first Facebook group on April 1st, and look at how my traffic jumped from March to April! And now we’re halfway through the month of May and my blog traffic has already surpassed the total number of views for April. This is all thanks to sharing my posts, Instagram photos, and various social media pages on threads.

I’m hoping the increase in traffic is a trend that continues, as it finally feels like my hard work is starting to pay off. I’m also seeing some other perks come from the spike in traffic. My mailing list is starting to see some growth (though still not much), and my Instagram is starting to take off as well! I’m also starting to utilize Pinterest and gain a following over there. All this just by interacting with fellow bloggers on Facebook and gaining blog traffic!

So What Facebook Groups Can You Join?

I’ve joined six Facebook groups, all which offer opportunities to share and ask questions. All the groups require you to request to join, and once you do so you should have access to the group within a few days! Some have opportunities to share daily, others offer the chance to share a few times a week. Each group is helpful and useful in it’s own way, so I highly recommend taking the time to look at each of them.

  • Grow Your Blog – Daily comment threads, daily threads for social media shares (FB, Twitter, Pinterest, G+), monthly & quarterly Follow for Follow Threads, an open forum for blog discussions
  • Bloggers Supporting Bloggers – This one’s for any type of blog, not just beauty! Monday – Recent post thread
    Tuesday – Facebook Wednesday – Different thread every week Thursday -Twitter Friday – Instagram Saturday – Different thread every week Sunday – Blogger of the Week
  • Beauty Bloggers Forum – One of my favorite groups for blogging! Leah, the admin and creator, is so nice and supportive. She even runs a weekly photo contest on Instagram, providing you the chance to be featured. Here’s the schedule: Monday: Instagram Tuesday: Facebook Wednesday: Blog & YouTube Follow Thursday: Twitter Friday: Blog Favor Saturday: Pinterest
  • SIT Girls Facebook Group – particularly great for asking about ANY blogging issue you may need help with. With over 15,000 members, someone always has an answer
  • BTR  – Blogger’s + Instagram Community – Offers daily opportunities to share blog posts, social media posts, and ask for favors.
  • Beauty Bloggers Circle – Beauty Bloggers group that offers weekly threads to share your blog posts

Part of a Facebook group that I didn’t mention? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Audrey Knizek

How To Improve Blog Photos

When I first started blogging I knew absolutely nothing about photography. All I had was my iPhone, some makeup, and iPhoto to edit them in. I used overhead lighting to shoot and had no idea how to stage a photo. It’s safe to say my blog photos have come a long way since I first started With Love.

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