The Secrets of Insta-Fame: How to Join Instagram’s In-Crowd

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Gaining an online following and getting paid to promote products has become the Generation Z equivalent of rock-stardom. Young adults who have found virtual fame – for fashion and beauty blogging, vlogging, or posting their music to social networks – now command a huge paycheck every time they endorse a product. Even those who want to be known for their music feel the pressures to make their online posts all about how they look.

British vlogging star Zoella reportedly earns nearly $70,000 a month after becoming internet famous for her beauty reviews and ͚outfit of the day͛ posts on photo sharing sites. She now makes her money through public appearances, sponsored posts, monetized YouTube videos and her own range of products.

So – how can we emulate this and make our living through posting selfies and sharing opinions on the latest makeup products? Here͛s how you can begin to gain a following fast on the world͛s most famous photo sharing network, Instagram, the most up-and-coming platform for teens seeking digital fame.

1. Media & Equipment

Posting unedited selfies straight from your iPhone 5 camera doesn͛t cut it in the cutthroat blogging community. Pro equipment has become standard to start taking quality photos at home on your own – before you can hire your own personal photographer.

Here͛s what you’ll need:

  • First off, you need a good camera. Generally, phone cameras aren’t quite good enough yet, unless you go for the newest iPhone, latest Samsung, or the new Kodak Ektra that combines smartphone technology with professional photography quality.
  • Good lighting is integral for good content. Get studio lighting for your bedroom when shooting videos, and a selfie light for taking pics. Ring lights are a cheap and amazing investment for taking pro-standard photos on your own. Clip onto your phone to instantly take your selfies to the next level.
  • For mirror selfies, you’ll need a cute iPhone case. Casely do beautiful, affordable cases that will look stunning in your mirror pics.
  • As well as this, a large clean mirror is essential!
  • Becoming a pro with editing software will help exponentially. We͛re not saying Photoshop yourself unrecognizably – we mean touching up brightness and making  colors vibrant for striking, likeable content.

2. Choose Your Niche

Like in any business, you need a unique selling point to stand out from the crowd and gain  your own following. What will you bring to people’s feeds that others don’t provide? Beauty and fashion blogging is a very saturated market. Let your personal style shine through to compete with today’s tough Instagram algorithms.

3. Network, Tag, Share

Networking is an essential part of making it big as a blogger. Building good relationships with other bloggers in related fields means you can be seen by their followers. There are hundreds of blogger conferences and events held every year – get your name out there in real life as well as on the internet. Learn to use picture tags to your advantage and spread your links whenever possible.

4. The Cost of (Internet) Fame

It’s also vital that we understand the financial side of blogging. You might be thinking by now that all this sounds outside of your budget range – the studio photography equipment; an expensive phone; a Photoshop subscription; not to mention all the products and outfits you’ll need to buy to stay current in your outfit photos.

The truth is that breaking into blogging is an expensive business. Before you get sent piles of products and clothing for free, you need to amass a following by looking up-to-date; and this usually means staying ahead of what͛s in the shops – social media is a massively visual business.

The hefty price of consumerism perpetuated by the blogging community is sometimes too much of a strain to keep up with, which makes many of us feel like we͛re inadequate and have fallen short because we can͛t afford all these new things. It͛s important to separate ourselves from the constant need to buy; as this can negatively affect our mindsets. You can still show off your great eye for clothes and photography without getting yourself into debt – our belongings aren͛t the sum of who we are, despite what Instagram might be telling us.

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Valentine’s Day with Captain Morgan #LikeACaptain with #MyCaptains

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It’s that time of year again. Love is in the air, and people everywhere are racking their brains for the perfect gift for that special someone or ways to treat themselves this Valentine’s Day.

Don’t kill the vibes with another boring gift. This year, Captain Morgan is here to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day #LikeACaptain with a pair of comfy, fun and a little strange Captain pose pants – also referred to as #MyCaptains. For all the couples, singles and anyone who doesn’t take life too seriously, these pose-ready briefs are sure to make this the most absurd – but definitely the most fun – Valentine’s Day yet.

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You can buy Captain’s pose pants for both men and women in the Captain Morgan’s apparel store

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Smirnoff Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes

Check out these delicious Smirnoff Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes Courtesy of Sylvia Fountaine of Feasting at Home that are sure to be a huge hit with your loved one. The first is the “Hibiscus Punch”, that is bound to make any Galentine’s get-together a little less sour and a little more sweet. Made with Smirnoff No. 21, this is a quality recipe that won’t break the bank! The “Secret Admirer” is the perfect cocktail to serve up for your date night, which features Smirnoff’s most popular flavor, Smirnoff Raspberry.

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Hibiscus Crush

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 32 ounces lemon lime soda
  • 1 lemon- sliced
  • 1 lime-sliced
  • 1 orange- sliced
  • 4 cups crushed ice

Place hibiscus, water and sugar in a small pot to simmer over the stove for 5 minutes. Once sugar is dissolved, set aside to cool. Strain. Place vodka, triple sec, soda and sliced citrus in a punch bowl or beverage container. Add hibiscus infusion. Stir. Right before quests arrive add 4 cups crushed ice.

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Secret Admirer

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces Smirnoff Raspberry
  • 1.5 ounces Chartreuse
  • 6 fresh raspberries

Place all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into two vintage martini glasses. Garnish with fresh raspberries. You could sugar the rim for extra sweetness.

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2018 Valentine’s Gift Guide

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Valentine’s Day is less than a month away and I have come up with some great gift ideas for you.  Just HEAD OVER HERE to check out my 2018 Valentine’s Gift Guide !!!

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The First Swago Shopping Edition of 2018

swago-2018Still recovering from all of your holiday shopping? The online rewards site Swagbucks has a smart and fun way for you to earn and save when you spend.

Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shopping Swago! What is SWAGO you ask? It’s a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you’ve never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly.

Click here to get started!

Here’s what you need to know to get your 300 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):

  • Go to the Swag page and make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value – up to 300 SB – enough for your first $3 gift card.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Friday, January 26th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

Also, if you sign up through me this month, you’ll get a $10 rebate when you make your first purchase via Swagbucks Shopping! You can activate it in the “Swag Ups” area of “My Account”.

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Yankee Candle Cake Scented Candles

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With new years resolutions in full swing, Yankee Candle has created a way to enjoy your favorite cake scents without all the calories to ruin your diet.

Fill your home with delicious scents such as…..

  • Chocolate Layer Cake – The scrumptious layering of cocoa and chocolate mousse is pure decadence.
  • Vanilla Cupcake – The rich, creamy aroma of vanilla cupcakes with hints of lemon and lots of buttery icing.
  • Caramel Apple Cake – Rich caramel and vanilla frosting surrounds apple cake perfection-sugary sweet and finished with crunchy nuts.

My family’s favorite was definitely the chocolate layer cake.  It smells so chocolatey and is sure to have you drooling.  However you may end up disappointing people when they find out you really didn’t make a chocolate cake and the house just smells like that because of your Yankee Candle LOL

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MuttNation Fueled By Miranda Lambert Guitar Strap Dog Bed and Harness

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The MuttNation Fueled By Miranda Lambert Guitar Strap Dog Bed is ideal for a variety of sizes of dogs and features luxurious long-pile plush sleep surface with extra filling 4 pounds of recycled polyfill for superior support. This super-sized bed (40″x29″) is designed in blue tones with accents inspired by Mirandas vintage guitar strap.

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Also, inspired by Miranda’s vintage guitar strap, the MuttNation harness is perfect for any dog looking for extra swagger.  The velcro closure and auto-adjusting straps help keep dog secure and it has an easy to use step-in design. This harness gives extra support and safety when walking your pup and is available in XS-S-M-L sizes.

One thing that I love is that all of Miranda’s proceeds from the MuttNation pet collection go directly to the MuttNation Foundation. SAVE A MUTT, SHOP MUTTNATION !

Make sure you follow MuttNation on their social media accounts:

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Eat Smart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale Giveaway

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The EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale is not your ordinary bathroom scale as it can quickly and easily measure weight, body fat, body water, body muscle and bone mass using our new ITO BIA technology. This scale is perfect for individuals who are serious about taking control of their health. BIA (Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis) technology allows you to easily calculate your body fitness by imputing information of gender, height, age, activity level and your weight. In bare feet, this technology sends a low-level electrical signal though your body fat and then measures the resistance the signal encounters. This signal is perfectly safe and will not be felt.

The Precision GetFit Scale stores up to 8 different users’ personal profiles and will be able to recognize these users as soon as they step onto the scale. This auto recognition software makes it simple to operate, since all you have to do is stand on the platform barefoot and it identifies who you are based on past weight.

Let’s not forget about its universal EatSmart features! The Precision GetFit uses “Step-On” technology which means no more tapping to turn on your scale. It measures up to 400lbs and will display an accurate readout to the nearest 0.2 lbs on the oversized 3.5″ LCD display. Its sleek design and slim profile fits perfectly into any surrounding. The touch screen interface makes it one of the most user friendly bathroom scales on the market today.

Make sure you follow EatSmart on their Social Media accounts:

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Now for the giveaway (US residents only)….

One readers is going to win a Eat Smart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale.

To enter, leave a comment stating what feature you like the best. I will give you additional entries for each of the following:

I will end this giveaway on 1/31 at 5 pm EST

Disclosure: I was given the products featured in this post. However, all opinions are 100% mine and not influenced in any way.

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Self-Love Sip + Spa Kit by SakéOne

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This year, instead of stressing to fill your evening with a date, gal-entines celebration, or everything in between, we are voting you scrap all of that celebrate with a little self-love.

Just for you to celebrate the day of love, SakéOne has created a custom kit to create the perfect evening to celebrate you – it’s time to draw a bath, pour yourself a glass and enjoy!

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You can include any items that you love but here are some examples of items to include in your Self-Love Sip + Spa Kit by SakéOne:

  • Pink Petals Bath Bomb – First and foremost, draw yourself a bath and drop in this pink petal, bubbly bath bomb for ultimate relaxation
  • Hakutsuru Sayuri Nigori – Pour yourself a glass of chilled Hakutsuru Sayuri Nigori, unwind and enjoy some “me time.”
  • Chocolate Bar from Xocolatl de David: Momo Miso Bar – Indulge yourself with a deluxe chocolate bar from Xocolatl de David. This delicious Momo Miso bar is the perfect way to treat yourself with some sweets while you sip.
  • Heart Candles – Place these candles around the outside of the bath to create an instant spa ambiance
  • Hakutsuru Kasu Face Cream – Treat tired skin to one of Japan’s best kept secrets – this Hakutsuru face cream is made with saké kasu (the lees left over from saké production), which is deeply hydrating and brightening, giving you a beautiful luminous glow
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