What’s The Point?

What’s the point of starting a blog?

Everyone’s done it. The market is saturated. Blogging is outdated. No one will read it. My pictures aren’t good enough. I don’t know how to write or convey my thoughts. I just suck.

Those are the thoughts that ran through my head the first time I even considered starting my own blog. It was silly to me to even try, considering the amount of people who were already way ahead of me in the blogging sphere. To be honest, I LOVE to write and I always have had a sincere passion for it–but after reading countless others posts and seeing all of their beautiful photos that seemed effortless, I was afraid to even put myself out there to the world and TRY. It was fear that was holding me back–maybe because I cared so much about what other people thought of me, and what other people would say.

Growing up, I was teased a lot for my big nose, and I guess that was another reason I was partially afraid to put myself out there on the internet. As I got older, I learned to embrace myself a little more but still, it was tough to post pictures of my face. I also fluctuated with my weight a lot as a teen and into my college years, so I would go through phases where I felt really good and then periods of time where I felt like crap about myself. My last years of college, I started working out and going to the gym on a regular basis to build up my confidence and feel stronger mentally/physically, and that actually worked. I was amazed at how secure and happy I felt–running, lifting weights, drinking lots of water, eating right and just living life in a healthy and positive way. I would work out twice a day sometimes if I felt like it, and that really helped me clear my head and was a means of therapy for me for a very long time.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I think half of why people don’t want to start something new is because they think it’s too late to start, and the other half lies in insecurity and fear. At least these things are what made ME feel like I wasn’t capable of achieving my dreams–for years I felt this way and I was hesitant to do anything outside of the box, because people told me it wasn’t possible. That being a singer, an actor, a radio host, a model, a BLOGGER–as a full time job, was just plain unrealistic.

Maybe it is unrealistic. It’s unrealistic to someone who is constantly negative about their outlook on life. It’s unrealistic to someone who doesn’t believe in his or her self, and is projecting it out on the world. It’s not reasonable to dream big when you’re so trapped inside of a dark bubble of pessimism that you can’t ever see that there is never a goal that is too big. My motto: if someone else has achieved it, remember that it CAN BE DONE. It is possible if you work your ass off and stay focused, and positive, and strong throughout the entire journey. You will also need a lot of patience, dedication and preparation for failure along the way. No success comes with a smooth road–there will be lots of bumps and unexpected turns involved! 😉

Anyway, back to my first question. What’s the point of starting a blog? The point is that this is your outlet. No one owns it but you. You don’t rely on the power of a huge corporation like instagram or youtube to stay in tact. You own your blog, and that’s your outlet for creativity, content, expression and art. You can be whoever you want to be, post whatever you want to post, and use it without expectations of an algorithm affecting your work. A blog is an open opportunity to start your own online business without the fear that it could die out. It can only grow, get bigger, and better if you put your 150% into it every single day. It’s also just fun to upload tons of content without a necessary “limit” capping off your photos and text. You can write as many articles as you want, as many thoughts as you have, and it all sits in one organized place that you own the full rights to.

It’s never too late to start. Some people may say it is, but those people are always the ones who are too afraid to go for it 😉 And this goes for any dream job you want. Whether you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, write a best-selling novel, or own the world’s best cupcake shop, the sky is really the limit. We have SO much to live for and such limited time, so why not just do what you love, all day every day?

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DUBAI

Hey everyone!

It’s 9 PM on a Friday night and I’m sitting down to write this blog post about my trip to Dubai. We actually arrived home a bit earlier than expected due to the fact we (my boyfriend and I) caught some sort of virus. Pretty sure it’s the flu. I’m still recovering from it, and half-asleep right now, so excuse any typos. 😉

We chose to visit Dubai for a few reasons, but mostly because I’ve heard amazing things from multiple friends of mine. For the last 7 days, we have been exploring this exciting and bustling city. From the insane plane ride we took to get there, to swimming at sunrise on top of our hotel, to the crazy skyscrapers that towered over us, to meeting the locals in the middle of the desert…there were SO many new experiences that I’d never had before. Some of these experiences were incredible and eye-opening, and others were not exactly my favorite. In every blog post and instagram caption, I always aim to be as honest as possible–so I’m here to tell you all the good and not so good parts about our personal trip in Dubai.

The Flight…

The flight to Dubai was INSANE. I’ve never flown Emirates before and as soon as I boarded, my mouth dropped open. A week before our trip, I received a special “promo” from the airline offering to bump us up to business class, and I was ecstatic! However, I had no idea what I was actually in for.

The Emirates business class is out of a dream. There is a separate deck and check-in for Emirates business class/first class, and a separate deck of the 2-story airplane. Right after we stored away our carry-on luggage, we were greeted with champagne and fresh orange juice from the stewardess. The seats have so much extra leg room, and recline into a bed so you can sleep for the entire duration of the flight (which we both did, very comfortably).

The business class lounge features a bar that serves drinks and small snacks for the duration of the flight as well, and a separate seating area near the bar if you’d like to relax. Before our flight, I put in a special request for a vegan option–and they provided us with bread, fruits, and vegetable-based options which was really nice.

The overall experience was truly amazing and made the flight to Dubai such a breeze.

Arriving in Dubai…

Arriving in Dubai gave me such a rush of energy considering I’d never been before and have only heard such great things about this big city. The airport is huge, and really strict with security, so we had to go through a security check upon arrival to the airport. After going through customs and claiming our bags, we found our driver to our first stop — Shangri-La Dubai, which is located downtown.

The Shangri-La is the perfect spot if you are looking for a real city-life feel. The location reminded me of New York in a way, except everything is more spread out. There were a lot of business men and groups running in and out of the hotel at all times, and night-life seemed prominent there. Our hotel room was a superior king room overlooking the city skyline, with a pretty decent view of the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world!)

My favorite part about the Shangri-La was the observation deck and swimming pool area, which had the most insane views of the Burj Khalifa up close. It was incredibly breathtaking to arrive at the hotel, drop our luggage off in our room, and start taking photos on the deck right away! The next day, we woke up for sunrise and swam in the pool overlooking the city and the amazing views of the Burj. The hotel was kind enough to also set up a private breakfast on the deck for us, consisting of fruit platters, chia pudding bowls, avocado toast, and juices!

I would say that this hotel in particular did have the most nightlife vibe to it–which is an amazing thing if you love to stay up late. We grabbed dinner one night super late at their Japanese restaurant located inside the hotel and the place felt like a nightclub — loud bass music and lots of people, but really AMAZING food. Meir and I both ordered the mushroom tofu rice bowls and chili edamame and loved it. Personally — we are not huge party people and we like to be very lowkey, so the vibe was a bit out of my comfort zone but I did still enjoy it.

 

Our First Night…

The first real night we spent exploring in Dubai was at the Burj Khalifa light show and the Dubai Mall.

The light show was so magical. Hundreds of people crowd outside the tallest building in the world to see an array of lights and pictures appear on the Burj, while romanticized music blasts in the air. There were so many people from all around the world taking photos and videos as we watched.

After the show, we headed into the mall which was right next door. The Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world! I don’t even think we were able to cover a quarter of it. There were hundreds of designer shops, big and small, everywhere we turned. There was an enormous food court, stacked with dozens of fast food joints and dessert shops. There’s a hotel inside of the mall and a hospital, as well as an ice skating rink, a full-sized aquarium, and probably a million other things I didn’t even get to see in time.

The Safari…

We ended up doing a safari tour the second night we were in Dubai. The safari was not what I was expecting to say the least, just because we didn’t really get to see much even though we were out the entire day. We drove through the desert, which was definitely a cool experience–but since we were with a large group of people, it was hard to experience everything the way we had wanted to. If you do decide to go on a safari tour, I recommend doing a private one so you can relax and take your time experiencing everything.

The coolest part I would say about the safari tour was towards the end. We visited a site in the middle of the desert surrounded by palm trees and these cozy bedrooms that you can actually stay in overnight. There were a bunch of locals, also known as “Emiratis”, who were making food for everyone, herbal teas and coffees, and playing Arab music. It was nice to immerse ourselves in that “authentic” type of experience for a night. The best part about the night though by far was meeting one of my followers–who happened to be in the middle of the Dubai desert at the same exact time! So random and SO amazing!

The Palm…

The next hotel we stayed at was on the Palm, which is a man-made palm tree shaped island consisting of dozens of hotels. This area has much more of a beachy feel because all of the hotels have their own beachside area. I love the ocean and laying out in the sun, so this was definitely right up my alley.

For the next few nights, we stayed at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray property–which is seriously out of a movie. The hotel replicated an Arabian palace. Everything was so lush and ornate, from the entrance to the pools, to the spa, to the rooms–all of it was so over the top and luxurious. When you walk in, you are greeted by a huge sparkling fountain and golden plush sofas in the seating area. Once we arrived to our room, we were greeted by a HUGE over the top marble bath tub, a giant king sized fluffy bed, and Arabian palace decor.

My favorite part about this hotel was by far the spa–voted one of the best in the world. The women’s pool is a dream–featuring galaxy star ceilings, that make you feel like you’re in outer space while you are swimming through the warm water.

 

The Rooftops, Spice Markets and Miracle Garden…

The rooftops in Dubai are inaccessible to the public unless you have a connection. We met with another content creator who lives in Dubai and was fortunately able to give us access to this amazing rooftop with direct views of the Burj. The photos we took there were so stunning. Although it was totally worth it for the photos, getting to these rooftops is never an easy task and required lots of climbing. 😉 This night was actually the night I started feeling a bit under the weather, and the flu symptoms started to hit us both.

The Spice Markets were super interesting to go to, and nonetheless very far from where we were staying on the Palm. They were about an hour drive from where we were, and unless you are closer I don’t highly recommend going here as a top destination spot. We only spent about 20 minutes here, and all of the shop owners kept grabbing our clothes and our wrists, telling us to stop and buy things. I’m used to this type of hustle in NYC, but I personally didn’t feel comfortable being there for too long. It was 99% male populated, with nearly no women other than a couple of tourists, in site. If I wasn’t with Meir, I would have felt unsafe.

The Miracle Garden was also pretty far from where we were–but it was worth the trip to see its beauty and to get some amazing photos. The entire garden smells like all different types of flowers, and everything is so colorful and vibrant. The music in the garden was honestly a bit trippy, kind of like Alice in Wonderland, luring you into the different alleys and making you feel like you’re on some sort of spring fever high. I liked it, but I also felt a bit overwhelmed with the hundreds of tourists scurrying everywhere.

The End…

Our last part of the trip was experienced at the One & Only Royal Mirage, alongside the beach. This hotel was one of my absolute favorites. We felt super welcomed right as we arrived and were greeted with the biggest smiles at check-in. Our room was super roomy and beautiful, with a stunning balcony view overlooking the property and the ocean.

Because Meir and I both had a virus, we opted to stay on property for the rest of our stay and relax. The Royal Mirage made this simple for us–and set us up with amazing spa treatments and meals. I enjoyed my first traditional Hammam experience, which is essentially a type of cleansing treatment and body scrub. I wish I could have captured this but it was super private and such an intimate, cool experience. It was actually nice to take a break from my phone and just enjoy the hour spent at the spa for the day.

At night, we decided to go to the night restaurant and lounge called DRIFT to get some more photos at sunset. It was so gorgeous and modern, and they had a huge swing overlooking the city skyline. Unfortunately, we were both pretty sick by this point in the night and after a quick dinner, we went to bed and had to wake up at midnight to catch our flight back to NYC at 2:30 AM.

Overall…

Overall my experience in Dubai was awesome. I had so much fun exploring this city and there were a lot of cool opportunities I’ve never had before — including riding through the desert, shopping in the biggest mall in the WORLD, seeing the tallest buildings I’ve ever seen in my life, and meeting local people who’s families have been there for hundreds of years before all the crazy architecture and nightlife. That being said, I don’t think I would ever live in a place like Dubai. Yes, the city life is something I truly love, but it was a bit too overwhelming for me in terms of the attractions. Everything is so extremely over the top, luxurious and surrounds this idea of wealth and fortune. It’s amazing to visit, but to live in a fantasy world 24/7, I would have to pass.

Have you ever been to Dubai? If so, would you want to visit? I would love to hear your experience or opinion of it!

-Lyss <3

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Our Greece Getaway

GREECE

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There’s a lot of places that I can say have truly left me mesmerized, but Greece made me an entirely different level of speechless. If I could only put into words the amount of love I have for Greece in one blog post, my life would be just a little bit easier 😉 Unfortunately, that’s impossible. The beauty of this country was something like I’ve never experienced before and I am counting the days until I travel back. 

Meir and I traveled to 3 different main islands in Greece. 

Breakdown of our itinerary:

  1. New York -> Athens -> Mykonos
  2. Mykonos -> Santorini
  3. Santorini -> Athens -> Zakinthos
  4. Zakinthos -> Athens
  5. Athens -> New York

As you can imagine, we were definitely all over the place and packed in a ton of different sites to see over the course of 10 days, which is the perfect time to see everything. By the end of the trip, I was a little burned out and we actually did end up getting sick (more on that later in this blog post!) but overall, I feel 10 days was ideal.

MYKONOS

First stop: Mykonos. We left New York and took an overnight flight to Athens airport. When we arrived in Athens, it was 9 AM, and the perfect time to start our adventures. I don’t even think I slept during the flight to Athens, (it is SO hard for me to get a good sleep on any flight) so I was pretty tired but my excitement and my adrenaline rush kept me going throughout the first day! We took a quick connecting flight from Athens to Mykonos an hour after we landed at the Athens airport, which is definitely the easiest and most painless way to make the first day smooth. It sounds like a ton of traveling, but since it was early when we arrived, we still had the entire day in Mykonos to explore, unpack our belongings, and get some amazing photos for sunset hours 😉

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When we finally arrived in Mykonos, we headed straight from the Mykonos airport to our hotel, Cavo Tagoo Mykonos. When we arrived, we were SO taken back by how gorgeous this property was. The entire hotel is painted and decorated white and gold, featuring huge golden doors to greet you and such friendly, welcoming staff. The hotel features a large swimming pool overlooking the ocean and it is a 5 minute walk from the main Mykonos town, which was super convenient during our stay. When we saw our room, we could not get over how magical it really felt to be there. The rooms were also decorated in stunning white and gold decor, everything was immaculate, modern, and super cozy. 

We ended up wanting to stay an extra night with Cavo Tagoo because of how beautiful it really was, and they ended up surprising us with the most insane dream suite of the entire hotel. It had 3 large bedrooms, two upstairs and one downstairs (yes there were multiple levels in this suite!), with enormous glass panorama doors overlooking a private swimming pool, a jacuzzi, which both led out to the ocean view. The living room had a huge communal table for us to work and eat our dinner and dessert (which we ordered in from the room service!!) and a surround sound music system to play our favorite unwinding music as we worked and relaxed together at sunset. When we woke up in the morning, we immediately opened our suite doors out to the pool and took a sunrise dip, and filmed some video footage while having Greek coffees and eating our breakfast. This experience was truly one of a kind, and I could not be more thankful for it.

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The Mykonos town was on another level of perfection. I have never been to Mykonos before, but Meir has in the summer, and he said that September there was SO much better and less crowded/touristy for sure. If you are looking to travel to Greece, we recommend going later in the year, towards September or even October after the “rush”. We were able to navigate the town easily, and explore with our cameras without feeling too overwhelmed by other people who were there visiting and taking photos as well. The streets are just so cute—everything of course is painted white and blue, and there are little fashion and food shops on literally every corner. The beauty of Mykonos and Greece itself is that there are so many different spots all on one street. We passed pastries and coffee shops, book stores and clothing shops, and then busy seafood restaurants, italian restaurants, etc…it is just so diverse and magical. Every step gave us a new experience.

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Second stop: Santorini. We decided to take a 5 hour “quick” ferry to Santorini from Mykonos. Mykonos has a port where you can jump on a ferry, which is the main means of transportation for many. Although 5 hours seems like a lot, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. When we finally arrived in Santorini, we grabbed a cab to our first hotel, which was sitting on top of a cliff in Imerovigli. This is such a quaint and peaceful little town in Santorini, with not a lot of tourists, at least when we were there. Our hotel was a wellness spa and resort called Andronis Concept. It featured its own farm and garden, with animals and fresh fruits and vegetables, a beautiful spa and a private gym, overlooking the most stunning views at sunset hours. We loved it because of the amazing views overlooking Oia—which was across from our hotel, miles away but it was so amazing to see all the lights and the sky glowing at sunset. Our room featured its own hot tub with such gorgeous peaceful views, and the breakfast there was UNREAL. We woke up to fresh fruit platters, freshly baked croissants, cereals, french toast and Greek coffees (need I say more?). It was truly just something out of a dream.

It was close to one of the main towns, Thira, which is a cute area: surrounded by more blue and white streets, restaurants (we had some amazing pizza)!, and clothing boutiques. We spent the day in Thira exploring, shopping and eating. PS – I highly recommend renting an ATV for the week in Santorini if you decide to travel there. Everything is spread out and it is A LOT of walking, so we decided to use an ATV to transport around the island for majority of our trip!

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After our stay in Imerovigli, we spent the next 4 days in Oia, which was my favorite part of the entire island. There are so many different kinds of people, shops, food spots, boutiques, bars and the most beautiful places to capture every single moment. We were in love the moment we arrived. We spent the nights shooting sunset overlooking the city lights on top of a famous photography spot, on the very edge of the island. Everyone at night gathers around in the town for the sunset and watches as it sets down below the sky, and burns a bright, stunning orange as it dissipates. I was blown away by the beauty of it all—everyone just standing, watching in silence and snapping photos peacefully, as the sky changed its colors and faded into night. The people all around us began to clap once the sun had fully set, and I was just amazed. This was by far one of the most breathtaking moments I’ve ever experienced.

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We stayed at 3 different hotels while we were in Oia — the first hotel was called Astarte Suites, and it was a very small, but charming place. It sat directly in the cliffs, and had so many steps in order to get to the property, but the views were so worth every moment of walking! It was definitely great exercise to say the least 😉 The hotel greeted us with glasses of champagne, and we enjoyed the amazing ocean views from our suite balcony. The second hotel was called Santorini Secret, and it was situated right directly in the middle of Oia which was super convenient and nice because the walking was minimal to get anywhere. We did enjoy this, as the hotel had a gorgeous private swimming pool overlooking the ocean, and amazing food (we ordered the spaghetti and ate it by the pool, it was so delicious!), however we DID experience an ant infestation in the morning in our room and we were not too happy about that. There also was not a shower in our room, only a bath, which for some people might be an issue. I am always going to be completely 100% honest about my full experiences anywhere, so yes, it was beautiful but there were some issues during our stay. 

The third hotel we stayed at was called Astra Suites, which was so so amazing and the staff couldn’t have been more accommodating. Our suite was overlooking the gorgeous island of Santorini, and the water was such a deep beautiful blue. We had an enormous private suite, with a private jacuzzi and we ordered room service at night as we watched the sky light up. The hot tub was also amazing to just relax with Meir and enjoy our night together.

But…the third hotel was where things started to go downhill for our trip. Everything was truly incredible really up until this point for us, until we both had gotten some sort of food poisoning there and we were in bed sick for the entire next day. We both had fevers, chills and nausea, and we couldn’t work or walk anyway. Meir had it much worse than I did, and he spent the day in bed taking medicine, sleeping and not eating a thing. I felt so terrible, but the hotel was SO understanding and sweet, and they made us hot soup and gave us plenty of water and medicine to take care of us, which I was so thankful for. I ended up feeling a bit better and taking care of Meir as he slept, and we stayed in the room the whole day. Luckily, it seemed to be a 24 hour thing, because the next day we both did feel somewhat functional again and still got to explore a bit, although we definitely took it easy.

After we recovered, we took a ferry back to Athens from Santorini and spent the night there. We had about 12 hours in Athens, and we stayed in an Airbnb. We found a healthy vegetarian spot near our place and ate there for both lunch and dinner, although we both still felt kind of queasy from being sick the day before so the eating was minimal. We got to see the Acropolis and shoot there for sunset while it was lit up, which was really amazing. I loved looking over the city and seeing everything lit up, bright against the darker shades of the sunset. There is a famous photo spot to get these amazing views, and we found it from searching on Google Maps. A ton of tourists were there to shoot the sunset too. Luckily, we were able to snap a photo when no one was around us 😉

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From Athens, we flew on a 5 AM flight to Zakinthos, which is a much less touristy island on the other side of Greece, far from Mykonos and Santorini. Zakinthos in my opinion was my least favorite island, and seemed pretty run down compared to the others, although I think this was Meir’s favorite! It was his birthday, so we wanted to do something special and explore as much as we could for the 24 hours that we had. We rented a car from the airport and we went on our way, with no real plan. We drove through the mountains (there is so much rocky terrain, and everything is so elevated!), where we were. The main town has its own little harbor, and as we drove out of it, the roads turned into hills and we were suddenly surrounded by pure green. It felt like an entirely different country. The air smelt so fresh and clean, and our surroundings were just pure nature. I was so exhausted at this point that I slept half the time in the car while Meir drove around, but about a half hour into the drive, he woke me up to a crowd of goats grazing in the middle of the highway! They were eating grass and just chilling casually on the road, staring at our car as we slowly drove past them. I was freaking out with excitement because I LOVE animals. I just thought they were adorable and I kept trying to take videos of them on my phone, but none of them really came out so great (haha!)

After driving for what seemed like hours, we found the road that led us to one of the most famous spots on the island, Shipwreck Beach. This was probably the most incredible place I’ve ever been, strictly because of the WATER. The water was such a rich, piercing, deep blue that couldn’t be replicated anywhere else in this world, I promise you. The water was sparkling from below as we climbed the mountains and the path to see the views from above. My mind couldn’t simply wrap around the fact that water could be so saturated, it looked completely fake to me. I thought Meir was about to cry of happiness of how gorgeous the view really was as we snapped photos and drone footage. This was my favorite part of Zakinthos, for sure, although at this point of our trip I was so burned out that I felt I almost couldn’t even appreciate it enough.

The rest of the trip was not exactly the smoothest experience. After grabbing lunch, we ended up parking on a hill and another tourist slammed into the back of our car. We ended up spending the next 2 hours in this spot, recording the details and speaking to the police, as both of our cars were rentals. I think at that point all we could do was make jokes and laugh about it. We were still recovering from being sick and then we had gotten into this little accident, so I felt that we didn’t get to experience Zakinthos the way we had hoped for, although there were still a lot of memorable moments and scenic views along the way :). We ended up crashing at a hotel that was super close to the airport, and from there we flew back to New York. I was definitely ready to go home, but the second we left I knew I’d be back to Greece next year. 

The experience we had overall was just truly  unforgettable. I am so thankful and blessed to be able to have experienced such beauty, and I can’t wait to visit again. 

I would love to hear if you are planning on visiting Greece, or if you have already been there and about your experience! 🙂

Xoxo,

Alyssa

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10 TIPS TO GAIN INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS

MY TOP 10 TIPS TO GAIN INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS QUICKLY

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This is by far one of the most frequent questions I get asked, so I decided to make a detailed blog post about it. Here are my top 10 tips on how to grow your instagram account. The overall key is to STAND OUT amongst the rest. Instagram is my full time job, and it requires a ton of time invested, hard work, and commitment to create the content each day. I spend hours a day working on my content, so if you are ready to make this commitment, you will have a much higher change of great success! 😉

  1. Find your purpose. Set a goal for yourself of exactly how you want to brand yourself. I struggled with this idea for awhile and it made it a lot harder to grow and to get people to WANT to follow me. Do you want be known for your photography, your recipes, your workouts, your makeup tips, your music, etc.? Once you figure this out, it’ll be easier to strategize an actual plan for your future and it will establish a clear path for you to follow.
  2. Create a list of what type of content you want to put forth, and how you are going to add value to other peoples lives. I highly recommend putting out both photos AND video. These are both amazing ways to engage your audience with your content, but as video is becoming more of an engaging platform, I would invest time into making short video clips to allow your audience to get to see you on a more personal level. Video tends to bring higher engagement simply because it shows the real you and people will spend more time watching you then looking at your static image.
  3. Write thoughtful captions to engage your readers and the people who see your content. I always see the same repetitive captions on everyone’s photos over and over again and it gets old really fast. Put your thoughts into each photo or video you are sharing and be real. Be authentic to yourself and don’t copy others words, and more importantly…
  4. DON’T REPLICATE PEOPLE’S WORK. This is a problem I see occurring a lot and people wonder why it’s so difficult to grow. Stop copying other bloggers and influencers, and think of your own creative twist. It’s so amazing to get inspired by others work but ultimately the goal is to be someone new, refreshing and unique on the platform where there are so many replicas. Think of how you can create similar (not the same!!) content but with your own unique twist so you are standing out and offering people something new and different. The more creative you get with your content, the more likely people will follow you and define you as your own special self 😉
  5. Invest in your content. It is all about the small details. Dress up with accessories and find a spot that no one has photographed before to shoot at. Spend time planning your outfits, your hair, your location, your captions, whatever it may be. Find props that will accentuate the photo and bring out the colors, for example, a cozy red sweater and a red cup to match the fall colors in Central Park. Also, invest in your equipment. If you are shooting on a mobile device, that is an amazing start – but make sure the lighting is nice so you are able to edit and play with the colors in different photo apps or even better, Lightroom / Photoshop.
  6. Follow, like and comment on other people’s work who you admire. I think engaging with people who you aspire to be like is also an amazing way to grow because their followers may see your comment, and check out your page. If your pages are similar, they may choose to follow you. Sometimes different comments that have a personal feel to them really stand out to me and I’ll check the person’s page out when I read it.
  7. Don’t be afraid to collaborate. Send a direct message to someone who you feel would be an amazing person to work with and collaborate with. It’s always worth a shot. Also, using instagram stories to mention other accounts that you love, and do a “share” exchange of accounts is always great exposure and can attract a mutual exchange of followers to both of your accounts. Find people in your niche and reach out!!!
  8. Tag bigger accounts that repost other people’s work. There are hundreds of accounts that tag and repost other’s content to support their growth, so do your research. For example, there is a huge fashion page with over 8 million followers called American Style that reposts some of my work and I grow from her because she is so big, but she also benefits because she loves my content and receives a ton of engagement on her own page by reposting me. If your content is good enough and fits well with these bigger account’s pages, they may repost you and send their followers to your page.
  9. Use the appropriate hashtags and geotags. I am always researching different spots and tags wherever I am, especially when I travel, and I get to discover new accounts this way ALL the time. Don’t overdo it on the hashtags, but be relevant and use them in an efficient way to categorize yourself. For example, if your feed is all about travel, use the hashtag #travel and #adventure on some of your photos that correlate.
  10. BE YOU!! People can sense when you’re not being genuine, and true to yourself. Don’t force something that isn’t you. If you’re a fashionista, dive into fashion content. I forced myself trying to wear luxury clothes and designs 24/7, and I really don’t have a passion for that, so I started focusing on what I LOVED, traveling and creating scenic photos, and the results were so much better for me. 

I hope some of this tips will help you as you begin posting your content and building your instagram brand! Let me know in the comments if these are posts you would like to see more of, more tips, advice, tricks etc.! 

Xoxo,

Lyss <3

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