The Unfollowers, or The Super Annoying Trend of Following Just to Unfollow

I recently tried a marketing lesson thing that was supposed to unlock some sort of magical secret to using Twitter effectively and growing your audience. The main lesson I got out of it:

1) Follow a bunch of people

2) Unfollow them if they don’t follow you back

3) Repeat

It got more detailed than that of course, and there were some good tips for someone just starting out on targeting your market. But this seemed to be the core curriculum, and I just don’t agree with the method. It just seems a little silly, childish even. “I’ll follow you only if you follow me back!” And it’s not just Twitter. This happens a lot on Instagram too.

I follow people because I’m interested in their stuff. I’m not going to stop following someone unless they just post irrelevant content I’m not interested in. Likewise I’m not going to follow someone just because they followed me.

Will this method gain you lots of followers really fast? Yes, probably. Will these people necessarily care what you are writing? Probably not. Pretty sure the German DJ and air conditioner place that followed me yesterday aren’t interested in my potty training stories. But they are interested in my follow back.

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My Week in Review – Local Beans, Free Bowling, Pavers and a Magic Wand

This week I stumbled across a local bean roaster right here in Jax Beach, set the first paver stone down in my new front patio, learned (sort of) how to use a curling wand and introduced my son to the wonders of the bowling alley.

My week in review 6/17 -6/23 

First Crack Coffee CompanyPsst…you got the beans? My husband loves fancy coffee and grinds his own beans every morning, so I’m always looking for new or unique coffee for him. I ran across First Crack Coffee Co while booking our dinner reservations at Doro and loved the fact it was locally roasted beans, right here in Jacksonville Beach. I messaged about getting a couple bags, and then the next day we met up in a nearby parking lot to make the purchase. Have to say, that was a first, lol. But my husband said they were delicious, and on top of being local and great quality, they also cost less than Starbucks beans so  I may be making another parking lot appointment soon!

Beachy waves like magic – I tried a curling wand for the first time and loved it! The curl is closer to my natural waves than the traditional clamp style curling iron. The one I tried is the Nume 25mm Classic Wand with a tourmaline infused ceramic coated barrel that actually makes glossy curls. It also comes with a heat resistant glove, but unfortunately I didn’t discover that until after I had already done my whole head and nearly burned myself about 10 times!

I got to set the first paver stone down in our new patio/fire pit area. My husband and a neighbor are doing a total DIY project on a grand scale. When we moved in, the front yard center piece was a 6 ft. tall, five tier concrete fountain, with a pineapple on top, spray painted black and filled with fake flowers because it didn’t work. I was lucky enough to sell that monstrosity off on CraigsList.

We’ve totally been taking advantage of Kids Bowl Free this summer! Bowling alleys all across the US are giving kids two free games a day all summer! All you have to do is sign up at KidsBowlFree.com. You can even add two family members for around $20. There’s also an app you can download and then you don’t have to worry about printing out coupons.

That’s it for my week! How was your’s?

*Any link to Amazon is an affiliate link *

 

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You’re the Reason We Can’t Have Nice Things

img_9755I have a fancy new white couch and a toddler.
WTF was I thinking???

I also chose white cabinets for our kitchen remodel. I’ve obviously lost my mind.

I spend wayyy too much time wiping hand, feet and God knows what else kind of prints off everything from the couch to the light blue colored walls. I feel like my time might be better spent doing other, more important things than erasing toddler grime, but I made my nice clean bed and now I must wipe it down before I lie in it.

The funny thing is, it doesn’t really bother me anymore. As my son entered his 3rd year with an impressive resume of destruction, I realized I’ve let go of some of my nitpicky tendencies and just accepted things get dirty, things break, and things stay in new condition around a toddler about 2.5 seconds.

Oh I see those sparkling clean white/grey/beige Instagram feeds from popular mommy bloggers, looking all fresh and put together. I understand it is possible. And while I admire their aesthetic, that’s just not me. My life is messy, colorful and often smeared with mud and/or chocolate. I learned to relax and not stress over the mess.

messy toddler room
Godzilla in a TuTu

I mean, I wouldn’t turn down a regular maid service so I could spend more time putting together fresh pastel ensembles in a spotless house, but unless this blog thing really blows up, I am the maid service around here.

And our maid sucks…lol

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Striking Oil – My 5 Top Oils for Hair, Skin and Nails

As a teen with oily skin, you learn to fear the oil. I invested in a lot of products meant to soak up, blot, dry out and suck the oil out of my skin. As an adult, I’ve learned to not be afraid to embrace the idea that oil is not all bad. In fact, it’s probably my skin’s shiny nature that has kept me from having more fine lines at 40 plus. My toddler is trying to accelerate things to catch my face up with my age, but I’m fighting back and learning to keep my skin, hair and nails soft and healthy with oil based beauty products.

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I was always into beauty product DIY when I was younger, so Olive Oil was my first exposure to using oils for hair and skin since it was always around and my mom didn’t mind me using it. It was easy to heat up a little olive oil with a few drops of essential oil and make myself a hair treatment at least once a month. I still occasionally try and fit in a homemade hot oil treatment, and I always massage a little into my cuticles when I’m cooking. And if I use to much then I rub the extra on my knees and elbows. Olive oil is pretty good head-to-toe, inside and out!

deep cleansing oilSince I was already familiar with the benefits of olive oil, DHC , a Japanese skincare company, caught my eye years ago with their olive oil based products. I fell in love with their Deep Cleansing Oil, and been using it now for about 15 years! It was the only thing I found that could take off all my heavy duty cosplay make-up, false lashes and mascara and gobs of liquid eyeliner, and leave my skin clean without scrubbing it three times. I also love that their catalog comes with free samples every time!

My next favorite oil is Jamberry’s Cuticle Oil. While I do really like this one, to be honest, I used to always use Delore Nails cuticle oil and was out of it when I hopped on the Jamberry train and tried out a bunch of wraps and got the starter kit. So I started using the cuticle oil like the Delore Nails and found I liked it better than I ended up liking the wraps. I peel those things off in less than 24 hours. So I have yet to run into a cuticle oil I haven’t liked. I have some serious cuticle issues.

jamberry

A new favorite was recommended to me at Cortello Salon, where I recently went to get my summer blond back. To protect those pretty highlights from the sun and smooth my color treated hair, they rubbed in a few drops of their ReForm 4U Hair Oil before blow drying and styling. reform hair oilI took a bottle home and use a few drops when I get out of the shower, and then a few more if I am heat styling. On top of being free from all kinds of harmful chemicals, vegan, not tested on animals and made in the USA, it also smells beautiful. I’m very sensitive to scented products and I think this smells clean and fresh, but not in an overpowering way.

And now for my last and most recent oil, a facial oil by Beauty Counter called the #1 Brightening Facial Oil. It’s a blend of seven natural oils with a fresh citrus scent and it soaks right in leaving my skin nice and soft. You can use it alone, or add a few drops to mix with your usual nighttime moisturizer for an added boost. I really like the way this stuff leaves my skin feeling- soft but with no greasiness like you might think would come from an oil.

BC_No1BrighteningFacialOil-SKU1041_Alt01In fact, overall I think that’s the message here: oils do not have to be “oily.” A good facial oil doesn’t leave you slick and gooey and a good hair oil doesn’t make it look like you need to wash your hair. Beauty oils are made to soak in and are amazing moisturizers. So don’t be afraid to try an oil, even if you feel you are producing plenty on your own!

Do you have a favorite oil to recommend? Let me know!

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The Number One Thing I Did to Increase My Blog Traffic

A lot of people ask me about starting a blog and how I got readers. I found one thing that made a HUGE difference in my blog traffic. If you look at my blog stats from where I started with my first post to now, you can see exactly when I implemented this strategy, and how I went from about 200 views a month to 20,000.

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So here’s the big secret: I owned it. I basically “came out” as a blogger. Meaning I put it everywhere and I told everyone about it, and I told people it’s what I do instead of just acting like it was a little hobby or not important. I made it important.

I had my first blog for probably 10 years, and I thought I had a good readership. Overall I got maybe 2000 views a month. I wrote about my costume shop, cosplay events and conventions. I never had very many comments or likes, and I didn’t really pay much attention to it. I had no idea how big a blog could be once you really focus on it.

So how do you make it important?

First, make sure your blog is on all your social profiles. I started getting a lot of traffic from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter when I started sharing my posts there. Then I created a LinkedIn account, put on there that I was a blogger and linked my blog. I felt pretty official after that!

I also got a little more focused and accepted the mom blog thing. At first, I wanted a mostly geek-centered blog with crafting, plus movie and book reviews. But what I really enjoyed writing most was my personal stories and doing product reviews. So instead of a geeky blog run by a mom, it became a mom blog with a dash of geek. Once I had a focus, I felt more confident telling people I was a blogger because I felt more secure about answering the usual questions that follow, like, “What’s your blog about?”

It’s been six months since I made the change and became a blogger, not just someone with a blog. While the change was sudden, it takes some dedication to keep the momentum. I notice my stats slipping when I get quiet and stop sharing or commenting on other blogs. It does take at least a small amount of engagement to bring in new readers and stay connected with current ones.

So that’s the big secret. If you want to BE a blogger, you have to let everyone else know you ARE a blogger. Even if it’s just in your own mind to start, lol.

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So what’s your number one strategy for increasing blog traffic?

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