Free Ways to Support Your Favorite Content Creators

If you are like me, then you have some of your favorite Instagrammers, style gurus, insightful informants, and just all around amazing content creators! They help us find ways to save money while traveling, how to shop on a budget, or just get the word out about all the new things Disney is dropping. Whatever the case may be, content creators really are diamonds in the rough!

I cannot tell you how many hours that I have been spent just editing pictures or writing the perfect blog with top-notch information. And more often than not, I am editing these pictures and writing these blogs simply to get fun or useful content out there – not because I was being sponsored or getting paid to do so. I enjoy every second of editing and writing because I just love the results I end up making. And even better, I love seeing what you all think!

So let’s chat. You probably have your favorite Instagrammers and you can probably start imagining their most recent posts now. You might like them SO MUCH that you want to support them in some way! Well here are the easiest ways to help:

1. Engage with their posts! 👍🏻 We live in a world now where creating content is 100% a career for some people and by doing that simple double tap or saving their post to show a friend, you are literally the fire behind helping someone make a living! You are helping them get noticed, you are helping them accept campaigns, you are helping them get paid for the incredible content they make for a company, and you are helping them pay their bills. You are doing so much more than simply liking a picture, I promise you.

And now more than ever, content creators need help because Instagram changed the algorithm again. You may have gotten in the habit of liking the posts that you see, but now I urge you to like AND save their posts! The way this new algorithm is set up, saving a post carries the most amount of weight for helping content get seen. Instagram only shows your posts to about 8% of your total followers. What those 8% do with your post determines if they continue to push your content to the other 92%. If those 8% don’t like or comment or do anything with your post, that results in a post flopping. But if those 8% are liking, and ESPECIALLY saving, your post, then Instagram will slowly open the flood gates for your post to be seen by more of your followers. If you wanted to put a point system on it, liking a post is 1 point, commenting on a post is 4 points, sharing a post is 7 points, and saving a post is 10 points!

Now maybe you are a super fan! Your day lights up a little bit when you see this person post. You’re always liking, always commenting, and now you’re always saving their posts too. You even take the time to read their posts on their blog (like you’re doing now!). But what else can you do to jumpstart this person’s career or continue to foster their dream?

2. Shop their affiliate links! 🛍️ Affiliate links are a way for content creators to share some great merch and get a commission from the company for recommending it to others! But there are some myths surrounding affiliate links. The biggest myth is that the consumer has to pay extra in order for the content creator to get a commission. That is not true in the slightest!

To summarize what happens: A content creator shares a $20 mug from ShopDisney. You use their link to be directed to that listing on the ShopDisney website. You like it enough to buy it! You buy it for $20. ShopDisney then recognizes that the link that the content creator shared resulted in that mug sale from you, so to say thank you to the content creator for helping them make a sale, ShopDisney then gives the content creator a small commission, or a “tip”, from that sale.

Another myth of affiliate links is that by simply swiping up or clicking on an affiliate link that the content creator gets paid. That is not true! Content creators only get a commission once a sale is made using their link.

The last myth is that affiliate links are an easy way for content creators to make lots of money for doing nothing. This one is extremely loaded so let me break it down a little bit at a time. Yes, affiliate links are an easy tool for content creators to get paid. However, to be honest with how much I can expect to make with my links is that I can get maybe one commissionable sale per 100 link clicks. I may have 19.4k Instagram followers, but 100 link clicks is still A LOT of link clicks haha! So it’s definitely not “lots of money”. Lastly, content creators work their asses off to make fun content for others, often times spending hours working for free just so they can post something fun. These affiliate links allow content creators to “run ads” on their Stories or in their blogs by sharing fun merchandise that they know their followers will love just as much as they do and to make a little money doing it.

With all of that being said, I encourage you all to shop your favorite blogger’s and content creator’s affiliate links this holiday season. I promise you there will be plenty of opportunities since this is the biggest shopping season of the year! All content creators adore every time you like or share their content with others because that helps them to get noticed by companies who may want to work with them, so keep doing that! But if you did want to help that little extra this holiday season, definitely shop their links. And if for some reason you don’t see a link to a certain store you want to shop, just ask your favorite content creator if they have an affiliate link to that store and I’m 10,000% certain that they will LOVE helping you out with a link. Let those myths stay myths and keep encouraging those creators to keep living their dreams! Remember, you are helping someone with their career! And that’s insanely awesome.


If you would like to support me this holiday season, I will leave my affiliate links below for all the hot stores to shop this holiday season!

Click any of them to be directed to that site, and thank you for all of your support!

Shop DisneyEtsyTargetBox LunchHot TopicWalmartAmazonPink Lily Boutique

Just FabBark BoxDooney & BourkeBoohooCoachSHEINKate SpadeMod Cloth


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You, Me, and COVID-19

March 15. I was out bar hopping with two of my coworkers. We had just gotten done with our last day of work until April 1st. We were happy, we were cautious, we were a little bummed about two weeks off from work but we were thankful for the opportunity to take a break for a bit.

April 1. Well.. that sucks that we aren’t back to work yet but hey, at least we aren’t furloughed!

April 20. WELL WE’RE FURLOUGHED. Man, that really sucks. I really thought we would be back to work by now. Everything is closed, I have no motivation to stay positive or even look forward to anything because now it truly seems like this is going to be our normal for awhile.

May 1. Nothing new. Still doing nothing. I have grown into my couch potato life. I guess I will binge watch everything.

June 9. FINALLY A RAY OF HOPE! The Safari Park (where I work) is opening back up on June 20th! That must mean I am bound to go back to work soon.

June 10. I finally have motivation to work and make a difference in how I want my life to turn out going forward.

Since June 10th, it seems like more things are looking up (in terms of things opening or seeing some of my friends being able to go back to work!) and I wanted to do more with my time after having a few months of doing nothing and gaining weight. I really didn’t like feeling unproductive and I was hopeful that with the news of the Safari Park opening that I would be back to work in no time. However, it is now August 16th and I still have no start date for work, but I am still trying to be productive because I still want to feel purpose in my life!

Needless to say, these last few months have probably been the same roller coaster for you too. Nothing seems to be constant and as someone who used to live in a rather unknown future back in 2018, I’m not a fan of this new normal. It raises more unknowns for me and that makes me nervous.

Now, I’m not about to spend this whole blog complaining – that’s not really my cup of tea nor do I think you want to read someone whining! But I wanted to share a little bit of what I am doing to find more constants in my life while also fostering productivity versus wallowing in a pile of blankets, Doritos, and self pity on the couch. I’m hoping by sharing this with you that maybe you can start to find a sense of productivity and start living your best life – even if it is in quarantine.

The first and most important factor for me being productive has been this blog! It’s not exactly a secret that between March and June, I haven’t been writing a whole bunch. Maybe one or two here and there but definitely not enough to call myself a blogger and that bugged me. I have always talked about “ugh if only I had more time then I could really turn my blog into something special.” Well I was literally given all the time in the world with this quarantine and I did nothing with it! Early on, I tried working in my bedroom just on my bed, or at my dining room table next to my living room TV, but soon I found that both places seemed to encourage laziness as opposed to progress. I found myself spending more time napping or binge watching a show than actually working. And doing that for three months really took a toll on my physically and mentally because I truly felt like this would never end and I would be stuck inside for another three months doing NOTHING. However, after I got news of the Safari Park opening, I kicked myself in to high gear and told myself that it was time to make up for lost time. I mean with it opening back up that must mean I would be back at work soon, and that gave me a new spark of motivation and productivity! It helped me get out of my funk because it felt like things were looking up and it was something to look forward to each week to see if I would be scheduled for a shift.

So I told myself to dedicate at least three hours a day to work in my office and get work done. If you’re in a productive place then you are more likely to do something with your time there, right? That’s probably why a lot of people find that working from home is hard because there are so many opportunities to procrastinate. But one of my goals has been to find success in blogging and influencing and ever since I set my mind to it, I have been able to work with so many new companies and brands! In fact during this quarantine, I have been able to work with more companies on a sponsored level more than I have all of last year!! The results for which may be rather small but I am still really proud of myself because without making the initiative then this would have never happened. Every step forward, however small, is still a step forward. And if I can keep finding success, then soon the small steps will start getting bigger and bigger! For that reason, I am motivated more and more to keep working and working.

The second thing I have tried to incorporate more of is being physically active. Ya’ll I am not going to lie to you. From March 15th, I have gained TWELVE POUNDS!!! I’m not trying to get pity points here because again, that’s not my jam. But that SHOCKED me to look at myself in the mirror and not like what I see, and honestly I was NOT about to let the “Quarantine 15” take another victim. I have always looked at myself with kind eyes, but that was my first time looking at myself and understanding what it’s like to tear yourself down. I looked at my pudge, I looked at the cellulite that looked like it was getting worse, and clothes that used to fit no problem – well, now I was having a problem. So a change needed to happen.

Physical activity is not just good for your physical health, but also your mental health. And with my job at the Safari Park being as active as it was, I was never concerned about gaining anything but muscle. But here we are! I’ve lost muscle and gained weight. And I needed a little boost in my self confidence since I was really taking it out on myself for having gained weight to begin with. So I have started taking my dog on longer walks and runs, and I have committed my mindset to focus on getting up and moving as opposed to focusing on the scale that seems to be taunting me from under the sink. Although I am still recovering from a hamstring injury, I have also been able to do leg strengthening workouts too. But I would much rather put on my music and run – my mind gets distracted and before I know it, I’ve ran 2 miles and I’m sweating my butt off. But maybe that’s because it’s been super freaking hot in San Diego lately too.. I’m taking workouts slowly because I don’t want to get injured again but so far I am happy with myself in getting up and active more than I had been!

Lastly, and this one might be the most important of all, is keeping myself to a schedule! A lot of people have been joking lately that they are bummed that they wasted money on buying a 2020 planner this year. And I get it, because I mean, what are you going to write in it? But keeping a planner has made me HELLA productive. I wrote in a previous post about the importance of writing even the smallest things down in your planner, even if you write it down after you have already done it! There’s just a sense of accomplishment from checking something off your list! But because I am trying to be a better “influencer” and I am trying to do more with this blog and be better at posting for my page and small shop, I actually break EVERYTHING up to make it something I can easily cross off. Post on my small shop Instagram? Check. Post a look on Pinterest? Check. Post a Disney Bound on LikeToKnow.It? Check. Etc etc etc. I have around 8-10 different things that I want to post per day on all my social media platforms. Keeping myself fully accountable for what does and does not get done really pushes me every day to wake up and get to work that way I can have a whole list of things that got done as opposed to looking at a blank piece of calendar paper. I don’t know about you but seeing a blank page would make me feel like such a lazy lump.

I also don’t normally schedule anything too far in advance because I don’t really need to, but obviously for things like appointments and collaboration deadlines, yea I make note of those dates. I have also found that I really love looking up “International/World ‘whatever’ Days” well in advance that way I can make fun content that relates to that day! But keeping my planner next to me all day, I can easily add and check things off of my list and stay on top of being productive. Even if you don’t have a lot of social media posting to do like me, I still write down more mundane tasks like “clean the kitchen” and “do laundry” because I feel like sometimes when I get caught up with work or sucked in to binge watching, I forget to do the small things that are still very important to life. Giving yourself that sense of purpose to finish things REALLY helps get out of a funk!

I wish I could tell you that I am going back to work soon, but honestly I’m not hopeful that it will be any time in the near future. Especially with California having an increase in cases and places beginning to close again as a result of that. But I’m really trying my best to not focus on the things that I can’t control and to keep my productivity train chugging right along. I have plenty of things in my life that I can control and to keep me busy. I can work on making this blog better, I can work on gaining a better presence on social media, and who knows, maybe I can turn this into a full time job. I mean, it’s doubtful but that’s not going to stop me from trying! More realistically though, I just want to create a productive space for myself to read more, to run more, to stay on top of cleaning my office and room, and more normal everyday things like that.

So I encourage you to try. If you’re like me and you are either furloughed or out of a job – keep trying to live a life you want to live! Whether that be trying to get another job, creating a job for yourself, or just working on yourself for the better by taking time for you and your mental or physical health – TRY! Never settle for being okay with just watching TV or playing video games all day. Maybe you’re okay with doing that, and honestly maybe you need that right now for your mental health, so I am specifically talking to those who are having a really tough time with being happy or positive right now because they feel like tey have lost a sense of purpose. I promise you that you can turn it around for yourself. You can still have an amazing life even if you can’t go do a whole lot of things elsewhere. If you need to get a planner to keep you in check like mine does for me, then I highly recommend that too because mine has been a blessing to keep me hoping for more! Because it helps me keep on track with blogging and being physically active, as well as getting so much other stuff done! It also has helped me feel like I am doing more with my day than just binge watching TV. It continually keeps me wanting to write more in it and work harder to fill it up even more. Whether that be blogging, posting, running, or figuring out cool new pictures to take to edit into something amazing, I am trying to make the most of my time.

Don’t let this quarantine get the best of you, because YOU are better than THAT! And like Walt Disney used to say “Keep Moving Forward.”


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Failure is in the Eye of the Beholder

The news is in! After struggling to keep my page new, fresh, and creative, I, Donna Gail, have officially fallen back down to 19.9k followers.

Now before you think this is going to be a sob story, I have a completely different direction that I want to go in. Like my past blog, “How Losing 11,000+ Followers Made Me More Successful“, there will be the real side of this (which is what I have lost) and the optimistic side (which is what I have gained!).

Ten months ago, I had around 33,000 followers. But I also had my Instagram handle still under my small shop’s name. I had started to convert my small shop’s page to a more blogger/lifestyle page for some time so it didn’t feel right keeping it my small shop’s name which is why I changed it to @donnagail.bby. In an attempt to help my page and my business out, I had done A LOT of loop giveaways which left my page with a lot of fake, spam, ghost, and giveaway accounts. I had many followers who just weren’t there for the content – only for the free stuff. Because all these followers weren’t engaging with my account, it made my page look relatively fake so I made the hard decision to delete all of those accounts. I knew the repercussions would be that maybe I would lose even more followers because they didn’t view me as legitimate or I would never gain more followers because, again, my engagement made me look like a fake or uninteresting account.

And that’s exactly what happened. I willingly deleted about 11,000 followers from my page because they weren’t people that actually supported me. From there, my page’s back-end numbers seemed to be staying steady for someone who had a third less followers! But what I feared was going to happen kept happening. Week in and week out, hundreds of followers would continue to leave. Maybe they didn’t recognize my page’s name after I changed the name, maybe because they didn’t like the content I was posting because it wasn’t JUST Disney, who knows! But I liked the content so I kept posting.

Now almost a year later, I am finally under 20,000. Trust me I understand how superficial this all sounds! “Waaahhh, you ONLY have 19,900 followers… Woah is you..” Haha I get it! Which is exactly the point I’ll be making here. That overall this whole losing followers thing doesn’t really matter. But at the same time, people can gabble on and on about how numbers don’t matter, and they are right they don’t, BUT it still hurts to lose the number or have poor numbers. The reason it doesn’t feel great is because content creators like myself usually spend A LOT of time curating their content, editing pictures, finding things to discuss that will spark interest. So when people don’t really end up liking it, it’s like “Ok well what am I supposed to do then?”

And right there is where the comparing starts. I can tell myself repeatedly to not be like others, to stay in my lane and do what makes me happy to post and success will be sure to follow. But then I see so many other people posting grainy pictures, selfies with the caption “I woke up like this” and nothing more, and overall just thoughtless content and yet they are the ones that get the most likes, comments, and followers. It baffles me! Then I wonder that if that’s what is driving success, maybe I just need to learn to not try to post good things, but how does that make sense? It doesn’t.

However, even with all the strife that my page has caused me, I have actually been able to work with MORE companies and brands. Strange right? Almost like they like the authenticity that my page holds and the fact that I’m not afraid to post what I like, be a goof on my stories, and actually engage back with the people who take time out of their day to comment or DM me. It’s in those moments of being offered a new collaboration with someone that I feel really good about the content I provide people!

If you are out there right now beating yourself up about the same thing I am going through right now, then here is me telling you straight up that this is the PROOF that numbers don’t matter! And no, it will probably never not hurt to have people continue to leave my page just as you will probably never feel great about that happening to you either. But we have to keep reminding ourselves and each other that this whole number game thing does not determine your overall success. It truly, truly doesn’t.

So although it doesn’t feel great to have people continually tell me “I don’t like you or your page” by the simple act of unfollowing me, I still like to think that I provide fun content. And even though it might suck to think about eventually being under 10,000 followers, I would like to be more optimistic than that. I haven’t had a whole ton of success these last two years, and it seems like more often than not my hard work kind of just goes unnoticed or falls by the wayside, never to see any tangible benefits. But I still choose to continue to work hard.

Because just like beauty, success, and all other positive things are in the eye of the beholder, so is failure. So even though I look at myself and my page sometimes as being a failure, I know deep down that that isn’t true. And maybe someone is out there right there looking at my page as the best thing ever!

So here’s to the failure of continually losing followers, but also to all the successes I’ve had without those people around to see it!


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