I will be visiting ​​BookBar. Soon.

As week eight approaches and our guest speakers for WRIT 2701 die down, I have started to reflect on what valuable skills and information I have learned from each speaker. All the speakers have been so different from one another, therefore, it was very hard to choose just one to write about. After thinking about which person I admired and learned the most from, I came up with Kat from BookBar.

When I started looking through BookBar’s social media accounts last week, I was immediately excited that we were going to have Kat as a guest in our class. I have loved reading since I could, well, read. I have always wanted to work at a book store or be a part of the communications team for a creative storefront like the BookBar, so getting the inside scoop about this business will hopefully prove to be very helpful in my future goals.

Kat began by talking about what exactly BookBar was and how they run their store. She is in charge of organizing events, running the social media accounts, posting on the BookBar blog, etc… She is pretty hands-on with her business and it was inspiring to see how much she likes her job.

After she talked about how she runs the BookBar social media, I was able to pick up a few tips about how to approach my social media project differntly:

1.Promote other accounts.

Kat mentioned how she gives bloggers books to review. After they write an article she will promote their posts on the BookBar blog. This allows both blogs to receive more followers and traction than they would otherwise.

Cross-promotion on Instagram is something that I can definitely utilize through my Instagram stories. Follow for follow, like for like!

2. Sync my posts.

Whenever Kat posts about BookBar on Facebook, the same picture or paragraph automatically posts to Twitter. This is a great way to be on multiple sites without having to spend tons of time managing them.

I could definitely benefit from syncing my Instagram to my Facebook. I have a lot of friends and family on facebook that I think would like to read my blog posts and Instagram posts.

3.Post personal captions.

Kat talked about how she likes when her captions have a certain voice- engaging, consistent, and personal. She wants her followers to know what to expect and be excited to read and look at her content.

I think that making my captions a little longer and more personal seems like a good way to switch up my content and make it a little more interesting.

Moving on to the collaborative digital campaign, one tip that Kat gave about keeping your voice consistent was something to definitely transfer over to this project.

When multiple people are writing a proposal it is important to make sure to keep the language and ‘voice’ consistent throughout. Kat mentioned that she applies this consistency to her posts- the way they look and the captions.

Here are a few example of consistent Instagram feeds:

You can see how keeping a consistent theme can be more pleasing to the eye. This tip can transfer into many other areas of writing and media: for example, captions and proposal writing.

Canavor, 2012

Overall, Kat’s advice and insight into her own business was really helpful. I will definitely be visiting the BookBar as soon as I can. I am also hoping to start reviewing books from the BookBar- Utilizing some of that cross-promotion action in real life!

Happy reading!


Blog Post 2: @musicspeaksv0lumes Progress

I would describe my progress on @musicspeaksvolumes so far as slow but steady…

Over the last 4 weeks I have seen interaction with my posts, receiving likes and comments on (nearly) every post and have gained 98 followers (give or take a few every time I check).

On my 11 posts I have 438 likes and 23 comments. Each post gets around the same number of likes and most of the new attention is made obvious by the different and new accounts that comment on the posts (drawn by hashtags specific to the post).

The most liked of my posts is the first post in which I introduced myself and the page.

Making this progress: I gained a handful of followers by sharing this page on my personal Instagram story. With each popular artist account that I follow I see an increase in interaction with my page, the same applies to following fan accounts. I would attribute the majority of the likes and comments on my posts to the hashtags curated to each post.

Most of the use of the story feature on my page has been to share the music I’m listening to with my followers, but this last week I utilized the poll feature. I had also previously posed a question on my story asking about their music preferences. I found this is a good way to interact with followers beyond commenting.

Hashtags seem to promote more of a short term interaction with my page (liking rather than following). I would like to continue using hashtags to initially draw people to my page and posts.

What’s going well?

Hashtags!! I have noticed that the interaction based on hashtags is good. I’ve been using different hashtags on each post as well as a few of the same hashtags across posts. I have been using around 10 hashtags on each post.

Following accounts of musicians that I like attracts their fan pages to my page. I received a handful of followers from following @spotify even. I need to continue to follow musicians that I like as well as following and interacting with predominant fan pages for them.

The layout of my page is something that I had not considered until we explored the importance of theme/consistency. I’m proud of the way my page has come together and would like to continue to follow this layout style!

How would I adjust going forward?

Despite my 98 and fluctuating following, the business insights of my page show that I have “made impressions” on 755 accounts. I think my biggest focus going forward would be to increase the following on my account. I would like to find alternative ways to bring in followers who are interested specifically in my page, outside of hashtags. I would like to pursue linking up with other accounts for shout outs. I find this method of self promotion a bit awkward, but I would like to grow past that moving forward.

Based on the positive promotion of interaction that my story polling received I would like to continue to use these to seek engagement directly from my audience. As another form of direct engagement I could pose questions as a part of the captions on my posts!

As well as finding new ways to gain followers I would like to continue my use of hashtags and incorporate more of them (a higher number on each post) to reach a broader audience.

I post daily during the week Tuesday-Friday and then on the weekends I lose that streak. I am thinking that it may be that inconsistency with posting across all points of the week that may lead to losing some of those fluctuating followers. If I better distribute my posting throughout the week or commit to posting to my story the days I don’t make a post on the page I may increase my chances of keeping the people who have already followed. From there as long as they stay following the page it promotes their interaction.

My Indoor Garden: How’s it Growing?

Written by: Katy McDonald

So far, things are great! My social media account has been growing at a nice and steady pace. I’ve gained about 89 followers organically from just following accounts that have similar content as mine, liking their posts, and definitely from using #hashtags. These strategies have proved to be incredibly useful in growing my account, but I have also noticed that there are a lot of accounts that will unfollow you if you do not follow back immediately. In the early stages, I noticed it was hard to get past 40 followers because a lot of the traffic my page was receiving wasn’t people who were interested in my content, but rather just interested in gaining followers. Now that I have pushed past that point, I am finding that gaining followers is more geared towards my content and how much they enjoy what I post, which is awesome! Going forward I am also going to work harder at engaging with other people’s stories and commenting on their posts, even if it’s just simple emojis!

Credit: lifeinmotion.co

I’ve even made a plant friend online, @plantsbywyatt, who interacts with almost every post I make and comments on my posts too! I think that making friends online has been one of the more exciting and fun parts of this project. 

credit: pinterest

Something I talked about wanting to make sure I accomplish is creating an aesthetic for my page. I really have enjoyed messing with my stories on Instagram and seeing how I can make my aesthetic my own. I have found that for stories that require multiple pages of content, like my informational stories, I tend to just stick to a default format that Instagram creates because it’s hard to put a lot of effort into 4-6 posts at the same time. Despite this, I still do try to be consistent and use the same filters and text styles to maintain that consistency in the design. I also like to take that format and change something slightly to keep the audience interested in my content. I am also happy with how my photos look and I think that sticking to a consistent editing style is helpful to create a cohesive page. I don’t want all of my content to look the same because I want my page to be more organic and natural, which makes sense for a plant/nature page. 

Other than these minor challenges, I think we all know what I struggle with the most… POSTING ON TIME. I had a tough week the last week and was not motivated to post or create content and I fell a little behind. I knew this was going to be a challenge for me because I’m already not great at posting on my own social media, so I’ve slowly been trying to build up my feed again so that I can finish strong and keep growing my following. I do agree that consistency is key, so I’m going to keep at it so that I can provide better content for my audience.

Progress and Growth comes from Instagram

I never thought that I would be writing about my progress regarding my social media use and my page’s development but, here I am doing just that. I think that using my Instagram account these past few weeks has been a lot more challenging than any of us thought it would be. At the beginning of the project I was very excited about what I was going to post and keeping to a schedule. But as time progressed it was harder to find relevant pictures and captions and the daily struggle of getting homework done for all of my classes has gotten in the way of me putting in more effort towards my page.


At the beginning of the project I saw my followers growing quite steadily after I followed a few pages similar to mine including Indigenous Women Rising and Reclaim Your Power. These two pages unlike my own post much more frequently and their pictures are much different than mine. From the beginning I have tried to keep everything on my page similar and hold a similar look. I chose to use personal photos of my family and home and used a preset filter for each one. 

It has been hard to find pictures that I am able to share but people have been liking my posts, especially those outside of our class. I think that the relevancy of my page to others that I have followed has helped in gaining followers and likes but my content has yet to evoke some comments. I think that this is in part of how I am captioning my pictures. At first my captions were very thought out and long but recently they have been short and sweet. I feel moving forward that I will need to write exactly what I want to and not worry about the comment being long because looking at other pages, their captions are long and people seem to respond to what is in them.

I also think that to continue growing my account that I need to use more hashtags. I have developed my own: #indigenouswomenunited. But I think to reach a wider audience I need to adopt a few more that bigger accounts use to maybe catch the eyes of their audience or even use a site that has insight on which hashtags are being used the most.

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 11.03.06 AM

I think overall that my growth on my Instagram account is hindered by me. I have not been putting in enough effort and I think I can really start to engage more people if I work harder to use the skills we read about to gain a following. I think my first steps will be posting more regularly and finding news articles that relate to what I want to talk about and share my own experience as a native woman in college. My next step will be using hashtags that are relevant and finally, I think that I need to engage with other pages to help myself gain a presence in the community that I am trying to reach.




The Progression as a Video Game Reviewer

Going in to this project, I had no idea what to expect. Before creating the account, I noticed that there are no other Instagram profiles that are trying to tackle the idea of reviewing video games. However, now that I am halfway through my Instagram project I am much more confident in how the profile is turning out. It isn’t ‘top of the line’ as would be expected from a large game reviewer such as IGN, but I am still happy with where the profile is going and the potential it contains.insta page

So far, my Instagram profile is simply doing average. I have just over 40 followers and average about 10 likes on each post. To gain followers initially, I followed a bunch of well known video game profiles myself. As I slowly gained followers, I would follow them back (relevant profiles, not ones asking for sex) which would then lead to more followers. I maxed out at 51 followers and then it sank to a steady 44ish. Other than that, my engagement with others in the community has been crude; I have not commented on other people’s posts and searching for more people to follow has been minimal. As a result, I will have to be more extroverted in commenting and following to gain more interest from others.

The content I have been posting is fairly straightforward–post a picture of a game’s title screen and write a consistently structured review that nearly reaches the character limit. However, although the evidence isn’t very strong considering the small number of posts, posts with a more personal touch seem to receive more attention. For example, the post with all of the games lined up in a row describes my entire video game history and has nothing to do with a review. Also, at the end of the post I included a list of my favorite games over the years. This post received the most likes out of any post yet. In addition, my most recent post was a “throwback-Thursday” post where I both reviewed the game and gave personal reasons as to why I love it. A user was interested enough in my post to comment his thoughts on the game, and this caused a minor interaction that I hope to see more of.

Hashtags are definitely something that insta commentattracts a few followers after each post. Since I recently learned that having at least 11 hashtags is great for gaining followers, I have tried to hit this mark every post. In that sense I am doing well, but as I mentioned earlier commenting on other people’s posts is important for engaging with the community and gaining followers. Stories are something I haven’t gotten in to as well. Moving forward, I will post stories that will hopefully attract others. Their content may include upcoming reviews or personal things like what I am playing on a given day. Right now I feel that I have lied out the basic groundwork for a potentially great Instagram page. I can only improve, and improve I shall.


Catching Fish and Followers

Okay fine my account @travel_trout has only “caught” 107 followers, but I couldn’t resist the title. While my main goal of this project hasn’t been to acquire as many followers as possible, somehow gaining followers seems to be the natural metric of success on instagram. Using this metric I hit 100 followers very quickly by using hashtags and following similar accounts. After these 100 followers I seemed to have hit somewhat of a plateau. To overcome this I need to continue to consistently put out content in order to lend my account some credibility. Additionally, I plan on changing the hashtags I am using weekly in order to test new audiences as well as reach audiences that are specific to the region I am featuring that week.

While followers are a good indicator of success, some other measures of engagement should be taken into consideration. In my blog post #1 I mentioned,  “I will need to make sure that the primary goal of every post is truly fishing, with travel being the secondary aspect” As I have progressed I have found myself moving more towards fishing and even further away from travel. While I am still featuring two locations per week, the emphasis on travel has declined. The reason I have chosen to do this is due to the type of audience I believe I am reaching on instagram. Instagram is less conducive to lengthy travel tips than other mediums such as a blog. I have found that I get the most engagement with short and simple captions with the emphasis being on quality photos. For example one of my most engaging posts has been my post with the simple caption “calma” meaning calm in Spanish.

This also speaks to the fact that I have built a large portion of my following from South American fishing guides. I believe this is in part due to my hashtags and tagging location, but also because South America is in the middle of their trout fishing season whereas North America is largely out of season. Once I started to notice a lot of my followers were coming from South America I started to target my audience more by using Spanish hashtags and featuring a lodge in Argentina. In the future I plan to feature Chilean Patagonia and the Brazilian Amazon to cultivate more followers interested in or living in South America.

Some other measures of engagement I have been tracking are comments as well as direct messages. First of all, when it comes to the comment section I have found it better to include my hashtags in a comment rather than the caption, this way I can use hashtags without them distracting from my caption.

In the comments I have had a few people comment to tag their friends which not only shows some level of engagement but also attracts more followers.

Thanks! @mm.fisher

I have also been making a point of commenting on similar accounts, in order to attract more followers interested in the topic. As far as DM’s I have had some let’s say… mixed reviews. Although I always tag accounts whose photos I use.  I have been contacted by a few people angry that I used their photos without directly asking them.

…. Sorry @alaskaflyout

For the most part they have been forgiving when I apologize and explain a little about my account. If they have reported me, I am yet to receive any kind of notice from instagram, so for the time being I’m going to continue with the ask for forgiveness, not permission approach. In addition to some angry DM’s I have received plenty of positive response. A few accounts have approached me asking to do promotions, which I have refrained from doing as of now. My reasoning is that for the most part they are account’s asking me to post their photos that aren’t too related. Moving forward I am going to try to do promotions with other accounts, but only if the accounts are related to my topic and offering a fair trade.

As far as the overall progress in aesthetics to my page I have made a few observations. While my stories are not getting as much engagement as my regular posts, I think they have become an essential part of of my instagram. I have started to use a story per location, which I think adds a great overall look and feel to my instagram.

I also have taken advantage of instagram music to add music native to the location, which I plan on continuing to do. Additionally, while I have not been going particularly out of my way to create an overall “feel” or athletic between pictures, I think it has occurred naturally. I haven’t used any filters, but because my page is all trout fishing all the pictures have a similar color way or view to them due to the inherent similarities of trout fisheries.

A Work In Progress

Then and Now: How My Progress Has Changed

After managing my social media account for about four weeks, I would say that I gained momentum in terms of follows and likes at the beginning, but my progress has recently hit a plateau. My account gained traction at the beginning because I was pretty active in trying to comment on people’s posts filed under similar hashtags to mine. I also was posting throughout the week, and not just all at once every week. Overall, I think what is keeping me back right now is a combination of inactivity on my account. In addition to my lack of commenting on people’s posts to gain more exposure, I have yet to post stories to my page, which would add another layer of multimodality to my project. I have so far only done image posts with text, and only a couple of videos, but have plans to add video stories in the coming weeks.


What is Going Well

I will continue to make my own graphics because it makes my page original and I don’t have to deal with copyright issues. I also think that it gives me more control over how my page looks because I am able to maintain a consistent aesthetic. I use Piktochart to develop each image because it is an easy, free tool that has the potential to create just about any image. Right now, I have a consistent schedule of posts that are going to have a rainbow effect on my page at the end of the quarter. Each week is also a set of three posts that have common themes relating to a specific crystal. For example, week 4’s posts were yellow and surrounded the themes associated with citrine– courage, comfort, and creativity. I posted a mindfulness technique that encourages being comfortable with yourself enough to enjoy your own ideas and an affirmation that focused on the significance of embracing your strength.


Challenges and Solutions 

One challenge that I have faced is posting my three weekly posts all at once instead of throughout the week. This tends to happen because I make all of my weekly posts at the same time and post them immediately after, so there is not a very long break between each one. I have been trying to change this by working on my graphics over the weekend so that they are ready to post throughout the week. Despite hurting my exposure, this challenge has not posed any other issues.

The Progression of A Wellness Project

@AWellnessProjecth started out as a vision. It was messy, incomplete, aspects were unknown, and I wasn’t sure if my vision could come to life. One day, I sat down and made a timeline, an exact plan for what I envisioned from when I would post, to what those posts would look like. Now, as I am halfway through this project, I look back at my original vision and can’t help but notice that my content and page isn’t anything like I had hoped. But that is okay because it is so many other things. Throughout these four weeks, I have learned so much more than I thought I would have. I have learned from my personal experiences and through multiple blogs and articles I have read. By applying my new knowledge to my own account, I have gained 40 followers, a good number of likes on each post, and a few comments as well.

My account: @awellnessproject

Gaining followers is a hard task to do. It requires a number of different strategies and requires you to be outgoing by following many different accounts. Gaining followers was, and still is hard for me for a number of reasons. With my personal Instagram account, I don’t follow many people first, and I also don’t follow many people back. I had to get over that weird mindset when it came to this account. I had to follow people first and if other people followed me first, I knew I had to follow them back. Following someone back that has somewhat of a similar account to yours shows that you support them and their cause, and I have found that most of the time they support you back. They will like your pictures and even comment sometimes. Almost every day I gain at least one new follower and have found myself eager to follow them back and see what content they have to post. The photo above shows amount of photos, followers, and following too. Since this picture, I have gained even more followers and hope that the number only continues to rise.

As I start to gain more followers, I have started to gain more likes on my photos as well. I have also been getting more views on my stories too. These likes have come from followers, but also accounts that I have tagged in either my comment or my photo. In order to get likes and get traction towards your photo, it has to be relevant and provide a good message or idea to your followers. In many of my posts, I have tried to provide some inspiration, tips, reminders, and have also tried to incorporate my own life into my posts too. By incorporating my own photos and my own day to day activities, I think it gives my followers a sense of my personality and allows for them to connect with my content on a deeper level. Then, if they feel a certain personal connection with me, maybe they will be more inclined to like my photo or even comment too!

The amount of likes on one of my photo

Another thing I make sure to do consistently is to use relevant hashtags. The ones I stick to on every post no matter what it is include both #awellnessproject and #abetteryoueveryday.  These hashtags give my account an identity of its own. When people see these hashtags, hopefully they will know it is me and know what my goals are. I think these hashtags have brought traction and likes to my posts, along with other ones relevant to each specific post.

Comments are also such an important factor when it comes to posts because it involves a level of interaction with the account owner and posts. When liking a picture, it somewhat forces you to interact with it, but not nearly as much as comments. I use products in my everyday life such as Tula products and Lean Shake from GNC. Since I use these products every

Comments on a photo.

day and they have to do with my health and wellness, it only makes sense to share them on my health and wellness page. By doing so, I am able to tag those companies, and some have even commented back or liked my picture! These tags are important because it will create a little bit of traffic on your page if others see that you tagged a certain company, or if that company liked or commented. It is also a great way to network and get your account out there in front of a wider audience.

Running a social media account for something other than your personal life is hard work. It take time, effort, and commitment. I have done many things that have worked and have been beneficial, but there are also things I want to work on. As I look through my original proposal, I had an idea for every post including when I would post it, what it would be, what I would say, and who it would be directed towards. For example, I was hoping to have more pictures and videos of me working out, but that hasn’t happened much. There has only been one video of me doing an ab workout and I have had a few stories based off my workouts. If I could start to include more workout posts in my actual feed, I think that would make my account even stronger and it would allow for my followers to be able to interact with me more and see what I do every day as well. Another thing I want to work on is my consistency. We have read articles about how important consistency is and how that also helps gain and keep followers, so that is one thing I need to keep in mind over these next few weeks.

Overall, I think my biggest challenge has been finding relevant content enough to have that consistent presence. I need to remember to take pictures, videos, and even post more personal stories as I do everyday activities. If I work hard at achieving my goals, I think my Instagram will only progress from here, and who knows, maybe I will continue to post on this page after this quarter is over. I just need to…

Image result for simple quotes

Staying Hungry

Wow, this has been so much harder than I could ever have realized. I did not imagine how difficult it would be to maintain a constant Instagram presence. To begin, I had a very clear idea of what I had intended my account to be like. What I did not process was how difficult it would be to continually post content or to have enough content to post regularly. I had a very exact idea of what I was going to post and when.

My biggest accomplishment so far has been getting reposted by Snarf’s Sandwiches. For an account with a little over 50 followers, I found this to be really exciting and hopeful. I thought that an account with over three thousand followers would generate a small buzz about my Instagram account.

instagram GIF

However, I gained a handful of followers and then nothing. I have found that the best way to gain followers is to follow back the accounts that have followed me. Engaging with these accounts has also helped with my non-personal followers to like and comment on my photos and view my stories. I have also found that using Denver-centric tags has generated lots of engagement from local businesses and Denver based followers. The best way I have found to gain comments from my followers or from people who follow the #hashtags I use, was to ask questions in my captions. Responding to their comments, has also created an “informal” relationship between our two accounts. Other than that, the majority of my presence has occurred naturally, with people who have similar content following me.

Something I really need to do and hold myself to is posting on a regular schedule. I think something that holds me back from posting is feeling like I don’t have enough content. Something that I can do to change this is to begin to post content that isn’t mine. I can start by reposting images from restaurants I follow, or even other similar accounts to mine.

Something I have done and felt successful is the creation of my own personal hashtag.


The #hungrydenver tag has become a mini collection of all of my posts in one place. A type of community where you someone could see everything I have posted.

action bronson instagram GIF by F*CK, THAT'S DELICIOUS
What I should be doing more of…

Lastly, I really need to post on my stories more. As we have learned, the Instagram algorithm is not super dependent on time, whereas stories appear in a chronological order. Utilizing the story feature, even if it is of homemade foods, can help me gain traction.

parks and recreation instagram GIF
Every time someone comments or follows me, this is my reaction.

Development of @dailydudevotionals

My social media account, @dailydudevotionals

I have enough trouble managing one account on Instagram already ‘how I should’. I don’t have a consistent feed or aesthetic, I don’t really post stuff on my stories. However, with these new goals of regular posting, a good aesthetic, using Instagrams features, and using tactics such as hashtags and engaging with similar accounts to get followers and likes, I have made progress with my account for this course. I don’t have as many followers and likes on my @dailydudevotionals account as my regular account, but I have seen how much these small differences in the content I post can drastically improve my account and the interactions with my account. I haven’t been as consistent with my posting as I would like to be, however, I am proud of myself for getting 2-3 posts out there a week. It can be difficult to write devotionals! Especially when I have a lot going on in my life, or I’m not in the best place. I think I have been doing a pretty good job with the pictures and stories I post all having the black and white theme.

These are common hashtags I use on my posts that get other similar accounts to engage with my account.

I have a pretty good amount of followers, I’d say the ‘ratio’ is good. Most of my followers are students from DU, the students in this class, and a few similar pages. I have noticed a lot of likes from similar accounts! Particularly when I use relevant hashtags (#dailydevotionals, #dailydevo, #kingdomminded). Sometimes, I will use related hashtags (#love, #positivity, #kindness) and get likes on my posts from accounts who I don’t follow or don’t follow me, but who wants to send the same message to their audience through their content.

One of the accounts I engaged with sent me a DM.
One of my followers sent me a DM and let me know they appreciated my content.

I think I have maybe gotten a couple comments, but I usually don’t get a lot of comments or shares. However, one thing I have received is a lot of DM’s from either my followers or people who have come across my page telling me they are proud of me or they really enjoy the content I am posting. I think something I can do to get more engagement with my page is to interact even more with similar pages, such as liking and commenting on their content.

One of my favorite pictures and verses from my account. The white background with black handwritten text is consistent throughout my content.

One of my main goals from the beginning of this page was to put out content not only relatable to people of faith, but to everyone. I think I have done this well. My pictures are Bible verses, but the captions are always more generalized advice that vaguely follows the moral guidelines of Christianity. I wanted to convey the messages of kindness, love, patience, courageousness, anxiety, forgiveness, and individuality through my captions; all while being potentially helpful advice to college kids who might be struggling with similar issues as I am. I want my captions to be personal; like I am having a conversation with whoever is reading it.

Taken from one of my ‘daily sumthins’ Instagram stories; all having a black and white filter over them with a couple of GIFS for excitement and color.

I was really worried about making devotionals and having Christianity as the foundation of my page. I know that in the time we live in Christianity comes with a lot of negative connotations. Many openly Christian people, especially college students, are harshly judged and stereotyped or are even laughed at. I felt that this account could help me diminish some of those thoughts people have. Sometimes I am really scared to share my beliefs or stand up for myself, so I appreciate having a place to express myself and to help others through my experiences and the things I have learned through the Word.

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