Somewhere between the ages of 13 and 15, I started to notice my body changing. I noticed the way my face was filling out, how my thighs were bigger than my friends, and my stomach was no longer flat as a board. I desperately wanted to fit into a size 0 or 2; instead, everyday I reluctantly pulled on my size 6 jeans. It was from then on that I began to compare my body to every girl I saw, diet and exercise like mad, and wonder why I wasn’t skinny.

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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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Blogger Chat Claire Lee With Love Beauty Lifestyle

Happy Tuesday friends! Today I’m kicking off my brand new collab series, and I’m so excited! I wanted to help other bloggers gain exposure, and I thought what better way than to interview them! This way they gain exposure, and you, my audience, learn some great tips about blogging. I hope through this series that you discover new bloggers who you grow to love and follow.

Today I’m featuring Claire Lee and her blog, Clairbear Blogs. On her blog she features food, travel, and life tips (check out her awesome guide to NYC)!

Claire Bear Blogger With Love Blog

1. When and why did you start blogging?

Originally started blogging last year in April, but I wouldn’t really count that since it was just a small hobby. I started to be really active beginning January of 2017. I started blogging because I wanted to share experiences with the people out there. Talking about my experiences is overrated, and too much, I wanted to write it out (like a journal, but in public).

2. What’s your favorite part about blogging?

I just love expressing the moments and memories through photos and text. It really takes a lot of time and thoughts, but that is what makes fun in blogging.

3. Least favorite part about blogging?

It really takes time, and a LOT of things to learn (which is fun & overwhelming at the same time).

4. Your number one tip or piece of advice for other bloggers.

When you start off, make sure to utilize all the social media platforms, and try to use automated platforms instead of doing everything one by one.

5. One thing you wish you knew when you first started blogging.

Monetizing my blog? I knew people got paid with blogging and social media posts but I didn’t really think it was a complicated process; now I am starting to learn, but you need that grasp.

6. Product, piece of clothing, or beauty tool you can’t live without?

Product will be my iPhone & Mac, clothing would probably my super comfy pajamas, and beauty tool would probably be my eyeliner & a pink blush from Clinique!

7. Favorite song (or top 5, I know it’s hard for me to pick!)

My current favorite song is Drive By by Eric Bellinger

8. One fact that most people wouldn’t know about you

You can easily think I am super outgoing & love being with people, (because I don’t mind socializing with people I don’t know) but most of the time I enjoy being by myself & writing in a quiet room for hours alone.

9. Favorite junk food (we all have one…)

Chocolate chip cookie!!!

10. Most loved quote

“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” – Orson Welles

Claire’s blog and social media:

Blog

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Facebook

I need YOUR help! Leave a comment below what you think I should call this series. Right now it’s called Blogger Chat, but that is only tentative.

Want to participate in this collaboration? Or maybe you have another idea that you’d love to collaborate on. Send me a message!

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Audrey Knizek

Bluebird tea pineapple coconut cocktail

Summer is here, and so are the ice cold cocktails. While I’m not a huge drinker, I definitely enjoy a nice cocktail every once and awhile, especially when I’m hanging out with some friends. There’s nothing like relaxing on a lounge chair after a long day and enjoying a drink. By a pool would be even better, however I don’t have one of those. Maybe one day…

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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