how to use social media to grow your blog (and a J Crew giveaway!)

9.22.2014




 Target sweatshirt (under $20!) and dress, old (almost exact!); Hunter boots.


I was reading blogs the other day and came across one where, on their contact page, stated that they didn't have time for social media and therefore did not have any accounts for their blog. Now I'm not one to pick apart blog strategy, I made a zillion and one mistakes myself and still learn something every single day when it comes to blogging. I think social media is one of the most important things to have when marketing your blog, it is free and all it takes is a little bit of time each day to keep it active and useful. Having a social media account that matches your blog name for ease of use is easy and fun, and also is a great place to get to know your readers outside of your blog. I use my various social media accounts for different things, I'll outline them below!

Twitter (@becauseofjackie):

I'll admit, Twitter took me awhile to figure out. I was used to Facebook and never even knew what on earth a hashtag was for until about a year ago. I like Twitter because I can put some pretty funny and random one liners about myself and they fit there. I like to read through my feed a couple of times a day and respond to things that strike me as fun and unique, and I also use Twitter to share bog posts I love (in a  non sponsored way.) I think sharing things for free is a great way to share the love so to speak, and to create good Karma. Often times folks reciprocate back and I have done a lot of collaborations through Twitter and blog post sharing. 
I also share my daily blog posts twice daily through Twitter via bit.ly.

Facebook (Because of Jackie):

I have two Facebook accounts, my blog page and my personal page. My personal one is for friends and family only, it's my one social media account not attached to my blog and I like that separation if you will. My blog Facebook page is a lot of fun! I post my daily blog posts there, but also a lot of daily bits and pieces that don't make it into Instagram. You'll see a lot of behind the scenes stuff from my life that I don't post anywhere else, as well as promo codes and such for my sponsor program. I really like interacting with my readers here. I think a lot of folks think Facebook is "dead", yet most of us check ours multiple times a day. I've also learned that paying to boost your post is pretty useful as well, sometimes as many as 4,000 people can see a particular post you've written that you wish to share, which costs as little as $5.

Instagram (@becauseofjackie):

Instagram is my favorite to look through daily, but the hardest for me to personally post. I say this because in the last six months or so Instagram has become very curated and commercial. If you look at popular blog accounts you will see that each photo is staged and professional looking. Rarely do you see a blurry, candid moment on there anymore. I find I am a lot more choosy about the photos and moments I share via Instagram because I want my account to radiate a certain message, so my account can be a lot slower there than say, on my Facebook page. That being said, I like pushing myself to create beautiful photos and moments there that show bits and pieces of my life.

Pinterest (meagan_rigney):

It just dawned on me that this account is in my personal name, so there goes my theory on keeping things in blog name only! I do think Pinterest is pretty personal though, and find folks can find me by my name or blog name anyway. I LOVE Pinterest! I get inspiration daily via my style board, and look on it multiple times a day. I post my blog photos on there daily as well, in several different place, and create tags and key words to help folks find the photos easily. I get a lot of hits from Pinterest, too! Folks are pretty visually oriented nowadays, which is why Instagram and Pinterest are so popular. We like quick little bites that intrigue us, but we don't want to spend a lot of time on it.

In the end, I really can't stress enough how important social media can be when it comes to growing your blog organically. It doesn't take that much time per day to share yourself via social media, I typically do it while my kids are getting dressed in the morning, and then update during various moments in the day. I don't do any of it in a calculated way, if I have something to share I will, and if I don't, I just don't. I think folks can tell if you only put up sponsored stuff, too, it's important to be natural and be yourself. Creating a conversation between yourself and your readers takes time, and is built one follower at a time. Before you know it you will have created an audience that is there for YOU, and that is the fun of social media.

>>On that note, my Group Sponsor's have a wonderful giveaway for you today! They've pooled together their funds and are offering YOU a chance to win $100 to J Crew! The giveaway is open for one week, and is open to International readers. Good luck;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

watch, wear, read

9.19.2014

>>Friday night dinner attire//Soccer mom style//My little princess//This boy is so loving!<<
All photo's via my Instagram, come follow me!

We made it to Friday! Its been a bit crazy over in our neck of the woods, with school starting, soccer every Saturday, and a double ear infection for one kid and a cold for the other. I'm tired just thinking of it! Now I just need to pour some wine…

For my new weekly series, Watch/Wear/Read, I found some awesome things for you to explore. I'm constantly inspired by what my fellow blogger's and friends out out there, or just plain funny stuff that I found, so this is the day to share it. 

On another note, I'm going to a "passion party" this weekend, so my Saturday night could get real…interesting;) Wish me luck!

Watch:

I love when Jimmy Fallon does lip sync battles on Late Night! This current one with Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani is a blast;)

And of course, my all time favorite one with Emma Stone. I mean, she NAILS both songs. I sit there watching it with a huge grin on my face at least once a week. 

Wear:

Shanna from Because Shanna Said So first wore this buffalo print dress on Instagram, then on her blog. I almost died and then broke my shopping hiatus to buy it. Doh! 

Emmett Katherine from Hippie Lace is the cutest boho gal I know, I envy her style and closet daily. Also, how cute is she with her baby bump?!

I just ordered two new rings from Baublebar (it's becoming a problem!) Digging the cross style of this ring, and the pearl look of this ring. Pearls are so HOT right now, especially when worn in a new and exciting way. 

I'm loving the old school sneaker look lately, but worn dressed up a bit for fun. Classic New Balance (with leopard lining!), may have to make their way into my closet;)

My friend Nikki from The Fashionable Wife does work appropriate style so well. Loving this late summer/early Fall white jeans look (with eggplant heels!)

Hello Fashion dug out the 'ol denim skirt trend from the 90's…and it looks GOOD.

Read:


I love how Samantha from The Samantha Show gets real on her blog. This post where she wonders about doing a good job with her kids really spoke to me.

How other people blog is a big fascination of mine. Rebecca from Mommy In Heels talks blogging and planning for the unorganized gal

In Case You Missed It…

Over the Knee Boots for under $50!


The best Fall raincoat + a giveaway!

Happy Weekend, friends! What caught your eyes today?

rainy fall days with boden (and a giveaway!)

9.18.2014





℅ Boden Rainy Day Mac in citrine; Target top and bag, old (similar); Old Navy moto jeans; Hunter boots

Please use the code W8C9 for 15% off site-wide and free shipping at Boden!

When I moved up to Michigan last year from Florida I quickly discovered one thing: I needed more COATS! The weather up here calls for a number of different types of jackets, and I believe I have collected more than my share. (I may have a coat addiction, don't judge me;)

The obvious thought is that you need a great winter coat when you live up North, right? I have a down one with a fur hood that is for super cold days, a ski parka, a leopard faux fur one (LOVE), and a gray fax fur. Oh shoot, and a camel one, a simple black wool, and a plaid coat as well. I told you I had an issue;) 

After I looked everything over this Summer and thought about what was missing it became obvious. I needed a Fall weight jacket that would also work as a rain coat. Something more dressy than my fleece jacket I wear when working out, yet less than my faux fur leopard or down options. Cue the Rainy Day Mac from Boden. First of all, it is FLEECE LINED. Even the pockets! It also has an adorable hood, a zipper AND buttons, and is the perfect length. Pair all that with the citrine color (who DOESN'T want a yellow rain slicker, right?), and there you have it: perfection. 

(They also have other super cute prints and colors to choose from, THAT was a hard decision!) 

Boden was nice enough to offer me credit to choose what I wanted, and in the end I spent $50 of my own money so I could get this coat. I loved it that much! It's honestly the type of coat that I will have forever. It's not a one season/throwaway trend type of jacket, it is quality through and through and I look forward to reaching for it season after season.

Boden has been nice enough to offer my readers (YOU!) a discount code with free shipping (see above!) One lucky reader will also win a $50 credit to Boden, so you can choose anything you want for yourself. My friend Megan and I both styled looks from Boden today, you can see her look HERE.

Enter the giveaway below! Good luck, friends;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

conquering indecision

9.17.2014




Target jeans, boots and sweater, old (jean option, sweater option, boots option); Logo layering tank (the BEST!); Ray ban sunglasses (a belated birthday gift to myself;)

One of the biggest things I struggle with in my life is indecision. I will think and rethink everything a thousand times, often not feeling the happiness I should because I have doubts or I wonder if what I DID decide is the right thing. I do this while shopping, figuring out how to parent my children, what dinner place to go to, absolutely all the things in life you can think of. It stinks.

Like the sunglasses you see above. I have wanted them for the past four months! They have been a trend out everywhere this summer, and this is why I struggled with actually needing the real thing. When in doubt, I almost always buy the cheaper version of something and never look back. I have gone back and forth, buying the inexpensive Forever 21 version of these to see if I really did love them (I did), and finally buying them this past week with income I earned myself through this blog. They were expensive and they are amazing, yet I feel guilty about spending the money on the "trend" version that I really do love, or if I should have been more practical and got regular aviators. In the end, I love these and I don't regret them, but thinking about how I struggle with daily decisions got me thinking about the different strategies I use to make my decision less guilt ridden.

1) The biggest thing I do when struggling with a thought to decision to is go with my gut. It always leads me where I should be going, whether I want it to or not. If I am figuring out whether or not to sit on my couch and read, or play with my daughter, I think about which decision feels better. If the thing I really want to do (READ), makes me feel guilty, and playing with my daughter makes me feel good? The decision has been made.

I do this a lot shopping, too. I can find LOTS things that appeal to me, always, yet I sit and look at what is in my cart and figure out what I would be really upset to leave at the store. Most of the time I will put all but 1-2 things back and then I feel good about what I have purchased (and spent less money!)

2) I curb my impulsive nature and sleep on it, often for months. Being a style blogger means I constantly read amazing content and see clothes and products that I need RIGHT NOW. Advertising through blogging DOES work, because I have done/bought it all;) Now I try to wait, a day or week, (or more!), to see if I really want what I am seeing or is it just the feeling I get from acquiring new things. This takes the indecision I feel when wanting to buy something but not knowing if I SHOULD by making me take it off the table. I take shopping hiatus' for this reason, it takes the thought out of buying, a stress in my life that is completely self induced, and that feels good. 

3) I like to talk over my thoughts, a lot. If you are a close friend of mine you MIGHT know this;) I agonize over the littlest details in life (should I renew my vows, buy my daughter Ugg's, eat low carb?), and talking it over helps me. Often I just need that other set of ears to listen, a sounding board of experience that I can bounce ideas off of. I most often KNOW what I want to do, but organizing my thoughts and either saying it out loud, (or writing it in a blog post!), shows me what I really want. 

Tell me, are you indecisive? How do you make daily decisions?

P.S. Shop some of my FAVE Fall accessories!


Fall trends with lulu*s: Jazzing up ordinary denim

9.16.2014




℅ Lulu*s boots (ONLY $49!) and fringe bag; Target jeans and hat, old (option); Old Navy tee; Blanknyc moto jacket (save option). Wearing Bare Minerals Moxie lip color in "Lead the Way."

One of my favorite ways to dress lately (um, always?), is to take really basic items that I've had forever (vee neck gray tee shirt, black skinny jeans), and update them for Fall with REALLY fun add ons. Like over the knee boots! I've been wanting to try this trend for awhile now, but had a hard time finding options for less than $150. I wanted a simple enough pair with no huge bells and whistles, just black slouchy (faux) leather and a simple silhouette. I was so thrilled to find a pair on Lulus.com for under $50, and once I tried them on I KNEW they would be a staple in my closet. I plan on pairing them with simple skinny jeans like above, leggings and tunics, as well as baby doll dresses and tights. As a mama of two small kids, I find it fun to add in pieces that make me stand out and look cool, but fit into my lifestyle. I mean, I still have to do school drop offs and playgroup and soccer games, you know? And I can do all this stuff in a look like this. 

It's funny. Some days I really go for it and dress for me. I throw on a trendy fringe bag, over the knee boots, and (a new fave) moto jacket, and feel great. Other days? I DO wear yoga pants and fleece jackets and sneakers. Both those sides are ME, and I enjoy having the option to dress up or down depending on my mood. I don't think style has to suffer after becoming a mama, I just know I have to be comfortable as well. A simple jean and tee is comfort to the nth degree, especially when I can throw on some trendy seasonal colors (burgundy!) in my lip, nail and accessory colors. 

Want to see how another trendy mama styles her denim for Fall? Check out my (fabulous) friend Megan from Chasing Davies, she always makes "working mama on the go" look GOOD!

This post is sponsored by Lulu*s! Thank you for supporting the brands that help support this blog.

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