the biggest no-no's if you are trying to gain more followers

The Biggest No-No’s of Trying to Gain Followers

You’re trying to draw more eyes to your page and nothing seems to be working. People just don’t seem to be viewing your content and the people who do see it don’t seem to be engaging – how frustrating! You’ve heard inklings about “Instagram pods” and Facebook groups of like-minded Instagrammers who are just trying to get more engagement to their pictures too. You even think that joining a Group Board on Pinterest would only help your audience grow! Not to mention, EVERYONE is doing those big loop giveaways and they seem to be gaining a big following from it.

I am here to tell you – DO NOT DO THAT!!!!

This entire blog is speaking from personal experience. I know the idea of these little games to increase engagement seem harmless and could really only benefit your overall like or comment count. But I promise you that doing this will have long-term damage to your page.

Here is my experience with each one individually:

Instagram Pods

I was a part of a pod when this idea first started out a few years ago. Now at the time, the algorithm was a lot different, but the concept was the same – to bring more engagement to your recent post. But here’s why they don’t work. People are not that responsible. I was always one of those people that would like and comment right away to other people’s posts, but there were a few people in our group that would literally post and run – they would never do the same for the other people in the group. But I explain more of why Pods don’t work in the next section below since the idea of Pods have grown to MASSIVE sizes (far bigger than Instagram can handle in a group DM) and must be moderated via a Facebook Group.

Facebook Engagement Groups

When I first joined this idea, I thought probably what everyone else thought – “this will only be an addition to the engagement that I am already getting, so it’s obviously a win.” But I was very wrong. I will also put a disclaimer here that I don’t know HOW the algorithm knows this cheap trick, but it does. Let’s just agree that the algorithm knows when you’re cheating and acts accordingly.

If you aren’t familiar with these Engagement Groups, it’s essentially a large Instagram Pod. The one I joined on Facebook had over 5,000 active members, had strict rules for participation, and had many different opportunities per day to join games to increase likes, comments, Story Views, Tik Tok views, and more. I felt confident that I would be able to gain more traction on Instagram because there were so many opportunities and the group rules kept people in check to complete the games. The games were things like “Drop your Instagram URL and ‘like’ every URL in the thread”. Since there were many members, there would be probably 50-300 participants depending on the type of game (some of them had caps on the amount of participants).

I looked at the active members and thought that even 50 extra likes on my content would be a win! But having all those people flood a direct URL link to my page hurt my organic reach and engagement. My followers weren’t the ones liking my posts and no one was commenting. After a few weeks in the group, I found that I had to play two or even three of these ‘like’ games to get my ‘like’ count back up to what I was getting organically before I was playing the games! I had to make the hard decision to cut the cord, and boy did I pay the price to leave.

My first week of posting without the help of the Engagement Group sucked. Reach was low and it reflected in the likes. I had to work so much harder to get my like count back to where it was prior to playing those group games because now I was trying to get my posts back on to the feeds of my REAL followers. All I’m saying is that the algorithm knows. It will always be smarter than us. And having those people ‘like’ my content that were not my followers, that were not my target audience, and did not spend more than a split second on my post made the algorithm all read that as “FAKE”.

Pinterest Group Boards

Group Boards are a way for many Pinterest users to Pin their content on to one Board. Usually when you use Pinterest, you are pinning your content on your boards where only you have access to the ability to pin. And you should keep it that way!

Again, I thought joining a Group Board would just be a way to put more of my content in front of more eyes – especially considering these Group Boards had a few thousand followers! At the time, I was averaging 300,000 monthly viewers (and counting!) so I thought by taking this “next” step would skyrocket my content even further. But I had to learn a hard truth.

Being a part of a Group Board is THE WORST. When you post a Pin on to one of your Boards, and your followers react with it or you get organic growth from it being on a Search or Explore page, that’s progress. Every Pin plays a part in your overall average engagement. Now enter Group Boards. You join. You save a Pin to that Group board. And…… nothing.

What happened? Well what happened was that you posted a Pin on a Board that has HEAVY traffic. You posted a Pin and then a few hours later, it was shuffled to a position farther down on the Board that is past people’s short attention spans of scrolling to get to. So inevitably that post shows a few views and 0 engagement. And you know what else? That affects your overall average!!! You posted and that Pin failed.

So if you had posted 5 times that day on your own boards and gotten 1,000 views per Pin, that’s awesome! Now say you posted 5 times – 4 times on your own boards and 1 time on a group board, received 1,000 views on those 4 that you posted on your board and only 3 views on that one Pin that you posted on the Group board, well now your average views per Pin is around 800 views per Pin instead of 1,000. That’s not bad, right? But Pinterest’s own algorithm reads that as a major decrease in your engagement and will adjust accordingly. Keep this trend up, and you’re only going to lose your monthly viewership.

Not to mention that the people who post on Group Boards are trying to do the same thing you are trying to doboost their own engagement. Which means that they post and run! The majority of the people looking at Group Boards are not there to find new content to repin – they are there to post their content in the hopes of someone seeing it and boosting their engagement.

Loop Giveaways

You see them EVERYWHERE! And honestly, many influencers say this is the only way they can gain followers now. I even used to do them! But what I found at the end of the road was a ton of followers but no better engagement. Why? Because they people I gained in followership were not there for me – they were there for the next free thing. They never engaged with my posts and they never supported me or what I did. So more often than not it was embarrassing having 30k+ in followers but having a “like” count that did not reflect that. Not to mention, it’s almost insulting to your ACTUAL, supportive followers that the odds are stacked against them for getting this awesome giveaway package! They are there nonstop for you and some person swoops in and takes the grand prize and they’ve been following you for, what, five minutes?

Ditch the loop giveaways, ditch the fake following, ditch the lack of engagement from that following! Don’t do loop giveaways.

Now I know all these things will continue to entice you with a good time and the prospect of growing your audience. And trust me, I know everyone’s experience is different when it comes to each one of these things. This blog is written from my own personal experience! I am hoping that by giving my insight, you can come to a more educated decision of how you want to take your page. So take what I say with a grain of salt just because what works for me (and more importantly, what doesn’t work for me), might not be the same experience you have!

Follow me:

Follow me on Perlu

Also follow me on LikeToKnow.It for daily style links! Click here!

Latest Insta Posts:

I am standing in front of a green paneled and red brick wall. I am wearing my Mardi Gras outfit that featured my deep green Tiana windbreaker, a purple stiped Princess and the Frog shirt, and white pants. I also have colorful Mardi Gras beads as a necklace and bracelet.

Why Am I Still Losing Followers Even Though My Content Is Getting Better?

Day in and day out, I lose probably around 5-10 followers a day. I am just not growing, nor have I in the last couple of years. It seems like the only people that are growing are people either going viral or doing the large loop giveaways. And I absolutely refuse to do those large loop giveaways. I used to do them, and I am still recovering from the fake results that I got. If you are also losing followers consistently but are actually putting out better content that is receiving more engagement – listen up.

A mural in Downtown Disney Anaheim of Chadwick Boseman and a male child wearing a Black Panther mask. Both posing with the "Wakanda" arm crossing. I am standing in front of the mural in all black doing the same arm crossing.
This post got me 2,295 likes! But I also lost 50 followers in the process.

The reason you are losing followers is because you are getting closer to your true client market and getting rid of the people that are only holding your page back. I actually lose the most amount of followers on a day where my post does the best! No joke. The day I broke a record on my page for most likes in that year at around 2,300, I lost about 50 followers.

“Well that doesn’t make sense – you put out good content that people really like, shouldn’t you be gaining followers?”

That’s what I would think and would like to happen! But unfortunately it’s not. The reason I am losing more followers is because my posts are FINALLY getting pushed to more of my over 18,000 followers. Those people that are unfollowing me probably haven’t organically come across one of my posts in a really long time so either they 1) don’t recognize me or 2) are just no longer fans of my content! Either way you slice it, they aren’t about my page anymore.

Another big reason you could also be losing followers is that now more than ever, Instagram is getting very good at shutting down bot and spam accounts. So the followers that you lost could literally be Instagram helping you to do some housekeeping! Trust me, you don’t want more followers if those followers are ghost or spam accounts. They won’t interact with your content and that will hurt your page so much more than having a lower following count.

I am dressed in a red two piece set from SHEIN. The top is cropped and the pants are high waisted over my belly button. They are also flared and flowy. This outfit was to Disney Bound as slave Jasmine from Aladdin.
My Slave Jasmine Disney Bound started off with slow engagement but the more my followers got involved, the more overall engagement I got!

Because what happens when you post, Instagram only shows your post to a small percentage of your total following. If that group of people starts engaging with your post, then your post will go to the next tier group of your followers – and so on and so forth. So the better the post does, the more it goes to your followers. But if you have all these fake accounts or giveaway, spam, or bot accounts on your page and heaven forbid your post gets pushed to their feed, guess what? Your post won’t do as well because they won’t engage with your content and then your post won’t get pushed to the next tier level of followers. So circling back on that post that did really well for me but I lost 50 followers, my post probably got pushed farther then it has in a really long time to some of my followers who hadn’t seen me in a while, thus resulting in a massive flux to my page of people to unfollow me. But hey, no skin off my nose because they did me a favor my leaving!

What I am getting at here is that you do want to lose followers if it will help you get closer to your target audience. For me, I did a rebranding about a year and a half ago and changed my Instagram handle as well as the content I provided. I can’t expect that all of my followers got the news alerts when I was talking about it before I made the change. So it can then be expected that by the time my content actually turns up on their page, they might want to unfollow because the content I provide now is not what the originally signed up for anymore and that’s ok!

Close up of me in front of a colorful and floral "Happy Valentine's Day" mural in Escondido, San Diego County.
My followers have loved seeing how I am finding new spots around me to create engaging content.

I used to do those huge loop giveaways and granted I gained a lot of followers but it severely hurt my engagement because what I found was that my content was then being pushed to those dead-weight followers who were literally only following me out of obligation to get something for free. Those are not the type of people you want on your page – you want fans, not fakes! So I made the very tough decision to actually delete about 10,000 followers from my page as a way to help get my content back onto the feeds of people who actually wanted to follow me. Since then, it has been a steady decrease of about 0.3% in followers per week. That’s about 5 a day, which is much better than the 60 followers I was losing a day when I first made my brand switch!

But since that hard decision, my content has THRIVED! My content is being pushed back on to the page’s of people who actually want to see my content, and let me tell you, they are loving it. So don’t be afraid to drop the dead-weight in followers, and don’t be scared that you are losing followers even when you are putting good content out. It is all for the better that you get closer to your target audience and that you cater to their needs and not to the needs of people who don’t like your content and wouldn’t have engaged with your page anyway. They did you a favor by unfollowing – trust me!

Find me at:

Follow me on Perlu

Also follow me on LikeToKnow.It for daily style links! Click here!

Latest Insta Posts:

I am wearing a white denim jacket, a sparkly pastel rainbow dress, and a pair of Mouseketeer ears. I am spinning so my dress is twirling and my hair is flipped out to the side.

8 Tips on Feeling More Comfortable in Front of the Camera

During my journey into making content, one of my biggest apprehensions starting out was getting in front of the camera. I had never been the one to like all the attention on me, and having a small shop kind of put me at the forefront to modeling my own shirts and products. Needless to say, I had to learn quickly to get over it! But somewhere along the line, I wanted to get a little more creative with my posts – little did I know that it would help me into my role today as a content creator!

My first couple of rounds of photoshoots were very uncomfortable for me! With the help of my encouraging photographer friend as well as some liquid courage, I was able to feel a little more comfortable.
One of my first shoots with John back in 2017! I was always so nervous and often looked down or closed my eyes for pictures.

It took A LOT for me to even start getting in front of the camera. One of the biggest things that helped me break out of my shell was taking pictures with my photographer friend, John (or @dizmagic for those of you on Instagram!). He is an extremely bright, enthusiastic, and hilarious person and he very easily brought out the best in me when I didn’t think I was capable of taking good pictures. Having a friend as lively, active, and talented as he is, along with all of our similarities (especially for our mutual obsession with Tron!) it was pretty easy to develop a friendship, and that made getting in front of the camera so much easier because I knew I would be comfortable in front of him and that he would bring out the best in me!

But the flip side of having a friend like that also meant that he would yell at me to loosen up, and to “do something different with your face!”. Of course I didn’t appreciate his loving remarks, but he called it! I was always so tense in front of the camera and it definitely showed in the pictures, so usually before one of our shoots we would go get some food and alcoholic beverages at Cove Bar (now it’s the Lamplight Lounge). And let me tell you, the liquid courage found at the bottom of any one of those beverages is probably what made my face start to do some different things! But.. alcohol is not the best way to go for long-term solutions.

By putting on an outfit that I loved putting together and felt so cute in, my pictures came out just as cute because I was radiating my own sunshine!
This Dumbo photoshoot was one of my favorites! I loved my themed outfit so much and it made me feel so cute that I just radiated (despite the fact that I was being watched by many people).

Fast forward a year and I met one of the most incredible human beings on the face of planet Earth, Ashley (or @ashhtaylor). She is also a content creator and she was killing the picture game long before we met. Sooner or later we started having our own Disney days and she gave me some tips on how to feel more confident, more smiley, and less fake-feeling in front of the camera. With both John and Ashley’s help, I have developed my own confidence in getting in front of the camera and it’s not as scary as I once thought! But to be fair, any time I have to start “modeling” in front of an entire line waiting to get on a ride, it can still be fairly weird. I mean for reference, all of the pictures I took with this Dumbo statue right outside of the exit for the Dumbo ride were in front of the longest line for both Dumbo AND Casey Jr.

Anyway, I know how hard it is to have that confidence to step in front of the camera. Especially when it feels like everyone you follow on Instagram is naturally photogenic! I’ve been there, and now I want to pass on my own little tips that I developed for getting in front of the camera more or to just make your picture-taking more fun:

  1. Wear what makes you feel beautiful or handsome! Whether that is makeup, no makeup, high heels, jeans, a bowtie – whatever! Wearing something that you don’t feel comfortable or confident in will only result in a picture that you look uncomfortable in. I have changed my outfits for certain posts I wanted to make, specifically because I wasn’t comfortable with what I was wearing and it definitely showed in the pictures I was taking. If you feel uncomfortable then you will look uncomfortable – trust me.
  2. Look up posing references! Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with your body (especially your hands!), but by looking at what other people are doing, it might give you some direction. I personally like to ‘save’ some posts on Instagram when I see someone doing a pose that I want to keep in mind when I am taking pictures. This also becomes very helpful to do for me when I need ideas for posing with products for a campaign. I don’t want to make it look like I am just holding products at the camera – it’s more fun if I am more involved obviously!
  3. Don’t try to pose! This is kind of a disclaimer for the above point. Everyone you see on those posts or in magazines developed their own personal style of posing for what feels natural to them. Don’t go in front of the camera trying to mimic EXACTLY what someone else did, just use those poses as a reference. You’re you! Act and react as YOU would otherwise it may look fake. Sooner or later you will develop your own natural way of posing that looks and feels 100% you.
  4. Play music! Honestly, I still play music when I have the chance to without disrupting other people’s experience. I play music that makes me feel fierce, invincible, and what puts a smile on my face. My go-to is Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato! Playing music will help loosen you up and it will help you have something to react to – pose wise and facial wise. I have a whole lot of songs that will help me pose and have the certain facial expressions that I want out of the theme of my picture. (CLICK HERE for my full playlist of music that I use during a shoot)
  5. Get your photographer involved! This sounds weird, right? But trust me, if your photographer is having fun with it and being a dork or talking to you during it, you’ll find that you don’t feel so much like they are taking your picture as much as they are just hanging out with you. My boyfriend, Cody, loves doing this by saying things like “oh girl, get it. POSE POSE WORK IT! You fierce girl, you fierce!!” Having someone like this behind the camera definitely brings a smile to your face that is SO natural that it just radiates beauty for miles. Not to mention that your pictures will come out looking stunning!
  6. Don’t be afraid to dance! This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the music tip. I found it easier to pose when I was dancing at the same time because a lot of my poses were just dance moves that I stopped doing for a split second for the picture and then kept right on going! This will also help you loosen up your shoulders. If you’re tense or nervous, it will show in your shoulders.
  7. Wear sunglasses! I found it much less intimidating to be in front of the camera when I was hiding my eyes. Especially because I could look down or to the side and the pictures would come out looking like I was looking at the camera. My sunglasses were able to hide my shy eyes and the pictures came out looking a little more confident! Not to mention with the current times of wearing a mask, that also helps tremendously! There are still some people I feel self conscious taking pictures with, and wearing a mask helps me to not have look like I am faking a smile in front of them for a picture.
  8. If all else fails, get an alcoholic drink (if you are of legal drinking age)! Going back to my OG days of taking pictures, I know this will help. I’m sure we all know the effects that a drink has in boosting confidence, plus it will get you feeling a little bit loosey-goosey and not so stiff. Pair this with wearing your favorite shades and playing music if you’re still feeling nervous, and I promise this will work!! YOU GOT THIS!
Get your body involved with your photoshoots by working in motion!
Getting my sister involved with helping me take pictures brought out a beautiful, natural smile to this shoot!
Put on some music while your are taking pictures to get your body to loosen up! You will be surprised with what kind of pictures you can take when you are being encouraged by your favorite songs.
While listening to “Almost There”, I was able to feel so comfortable getting my whole body involved for this fun Tiana Mardi Gras picture!
Posing in public is never easy, but sometimes it's easier when you can hide your eyes or even parts of your face! Wear sunglasses (or obviously your mask) to help hide your more insecure feelings from your face because I promise you that if you feel uncomfortable in a situation, it will show on your face.
Wearing a mask or sunglasses definitely helps to hide possible insecurities about posing in public!
Put on an outfit that you love and feel completely fierce in and I promise the pictures you take will blow you away. Don't settle with what you wear! Be passionate about your outfits and the passion will show in your content.
When you feel fierce in your outfit options, you are sure to create equally as fierce content!

After a few years of working on my own style to take pictures, I can now take pictures in almost any setting naturally and happily! My next big step is learning to feel more comfortable in front of the camera during videos. A good baby step into this has been my constant videos on my Instagram Stories! Learning to get used to the sound of your own voice and how important it is to be lively and active while on video has helped me be able to record other content.

With these tips, you can be sure to feel more confident in front of the camera. It’s not so scary and it’s not that intimidating once you get used to it because, after all, practice makes perfect! I hope these tips help you take pictures like a freaking boss next time you need content for your social media! Work past those uncomfortable feelings you may feel at the beginning (I know I had to!!) because once you get past the initial feelings, you will start to glow on your own! And I hope that you can tell me about your success soon and share some tips that you found helpful to do for yourself.

Now get out there and take some pics!!!

Find me at:

Follow me on Perlu

Also follow me on LikeToKnow.It for daily style links! Click here!

Latest Insta Posts!

Instagram Posts: Doing More With Less

Have you ever looked at someone’s Instagram post and thought to yourself “I wonder how much money they spent to make this post?” I find myself thinking this a lot lately as I see so many people have new merchandise, insane decorations, brand new shopping bags, or go to these crazy beautiful locations on a vacation. I follow a number of people who always seem to have that newest thing or that best location on their page and I wonder what they are working on outside of Instagram to make it happen.

Then there’s lil ol’ me.

I don’t really have the newest things, I tend to be an outfit repeater, I don’t go on many vacations, and I feel as if I might be doing my page a disservice because I can’t offer those cool experiences and things to my followers. It just so happens that I can’t pay for all of that to bring my posts to the next level! I have so many things in my life that I want to do like buy a house and have a nice wedding, so if that means I can’t spend $40 to make one single photoshoot look really cool for that one day, then it’s because my priorities lie elsewhere!

I was able to edit a picture I took at a hotel in the summer to look like the Disneyland Paris castle is outside my window. I also edited in a Christmas tree, Santa Mickey Mouse Plush, a red bow on a light above me, and Christmas presents on the bed
Christmas at Disneyland Paris
– edited with Lightroom, Photoshop, and PicsArt

For example, during the Christmas season, I would have loved to buy all the cute seasonal merch and get a nice tree to decorate, but damn, trees cost a grip! Seasonal merch costs a grip! And I am just not the type of person to want to spend that money on things that won’t be relevant anymore after a month has gone by. Which is why I am finding that it is so much cheaper for me to just edit my posts to look like I had all of those really nice things! Take my Disneyland Paris inspired post for example. This was a picture I took back in summer at a hotel in San Diego where there was literally nothing else to the picture except me looking out a window with my book. But I was inspired by someone else’s post to turn into a Christmas wonderland. This edit got me more eyes to my page than any of my other Christmas posts that year!

There is no doubt in my mind that there is an attractive element to “new”, and I can’t blame my followers for seeking that out in other creator’s content. So I wanted to get savvy with how I offer that with my posts. How can I make it seem like I have these things without actually have them?

Well the biggest tool in my belt – a subscription to Adobe.

Um… didn’t you JUST say that you can’t pay for things to make a nice post??

Yes. I can’t pay for things for ONE single post. That’s literally the biggest waste of money for any content creating that I do. Can you imagine the bill behind spending $20-40 for every possible post to put props, merchandise, or decorations in it? Even some awesome and trending Disney merch can get to be upwards of $75 per item! (I’m looking at you, Spirit Jerseys…) Instead I pay for one subscription to Adobe to get ALL of their apps for a total of $53 a month to give my posts that extra razzle dazzle that my followers and I crave! I use Lightroom to edit the photos to the lighting and color that I want; I use Photoshop to add in cool things to my photos that I either don’t own or just to give my photos a fun edit; I use Illustrator to make any graphics that I want to put on to my pictures; and lastly I use Premiere Pro to make amazing videos that my followers love! I’m sure this goes without saying that I can’t just edit myself a new Spirit Jersey, but these apps do me enough good for background décor or general aesthetic that I can still get the same effect of “new” that I know people love to see online.

My birthday post is a safari theme! I am dressed in a giraffe onesie with blue balloons scattered around my feet. I was then able to edit in yellow and black birthday balloons and two large leopard print balloons to display my age - 27! I also edited in green vines behind me to cover my garage door.
27th Birthday post
– edited with Lightroom and PicsArt

For me posting around 15 posts a month, even if I just use one of those apps on every picture (which is guaranteed to happen because every picture I take goes through Lightroom at least), that means each post really only costs me around $3.50. But obviously if I use multiple apps for one picture, like I did for any one of my Tron Disney Bounds where I use both Lightroom and Photoshop, then that costs goes down.

This is not to say that I put “edited” things in my pictures every single time, but for a post like my birthday post where I want a lot of decorations, then yea it calls for some editing magic! And I sure as heck am not about to spend $30 on décor and balloons for a one-time picture.

To celebrate the premiere of Onward, I took my Jeep to the top of a hill, used a large stick to act as my wand, and mimicked the Onward movie poster. I edited a unicorn on to the side of my car, two crescent moons in the sky that is filled with beautiful stars, and a magical light at the end of my "wand".
Onward Disney Bound
– edited with Lightroom, Illustrator, and PicsArt

Now if you are just starting out then let me give you an even bigger tip – you don’t even need a subscription to get started on adding some flare to your photos! You might even be shocked to learn that my birthday picture was edited in Lightroom for the lighting and color, but then after that I used a free app called PicsArt to add everything else in. No subscription required! And one of the first pictures I ever tried to edit into something insanely fun was my Onward Disney Bound where I used Lightroom, Illustrator to add the moons and unicorn, and lastly PicsArt to add the sky effect and the glow on the end of my wizard’s wand!

Since I have started making fun edits, even if it’s just to add a small accent of sparkle to my posts, I have seen an increase in my engagement and post-likes! I even love showing my followers a behind the scenes look for my before-and-afters of my work because it allows them to see just how crazy some of the things I create are! It also allows them to see just how easy it is for anyone to expand their imaginative powers and use these creative tools to make a post go from “Oh cool post” to “Oh wow did you see what Donna posted today?! INSANE!”

If you want to take your post game to the next level, I definitely suggest making sure that you have the proper tools to edit your photos. Instagram’s algorithm rewards hard work by showcasing your posts to more people, and further more, the more time your followers spend on your posts specifically, the more engagement you will see!

A Cars Land and Radiator Springs inspired edit. I am sitting on newly paved asphalt and in the distance down the road is Radiator Springs as pictured in the Disney PIxar movie, Cars, in golden hour light.
Radiator Springs
– edited with Lightroom and Photoshop
A simple Disney Bound and edit where me and my boyfriend, Cody, are holding a Wall-E Christmas stocking. I am wearing mostly white, and he is wearing a yellow shirt so that we look like Eve and Wall-E. I edited the green leaf from the movie onto my shirt and edited "Wall-E" onto his shirt.
Wall-E Joll-E Christmas
– edited with Lightroom and Photoshop
My favorite Tron Legacy edit! I am wearing a form fitted black two-piece workout set that has white contrast stitching all over it. Behind me I edited in a background from Tron Legacy.
Tron Legacy
– edited with Lightroom and Photoshop
Using the trees around my house to my advantage, I took a picture standing next to one of my trees while wearing a Fall/Halloween inspired outfit. Jack Skellington's face is on my long sleeve. On the tree, I edited the pumpkin door that leads to Halloween Town from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas. Creeping around the tree is Zero the Ghost Dog.
Nightmare Before Christmas
– edited with Lightroom and Photoshop

Find me at:

Follow me on Perlu

Also follow me on LikeToKnow.It for daily style links! Click here!

Latest Insta Posts:

Donna Gail sitting on newly paved asphalt wearing a Pixar Cars inspired outfit - a black and white plaid shirt tied up, a pair of high waisted red shorts, and Lightning McQueen shoes. Picture taking during mid-hair flip

Everyone Wants to Be an Influencer But No One Wants to Work for Free

Lately I have been reading some new material to try to better myself as a content creator. With over fifteen thousand followers on Instagram, most people would usually say I have reached micro-influencer success and that “you have it all figured out so why learn something new?” Well the simple answer being, just because my follower count says one thing, does not say anything about me as a creator, and so I have to go to influencer school on occasion. I have to track trends, find new spots to take pictures that aren’t cliché or overdone or always a tourist spot. I have to plan my feed and work through when I post what and on which platform. I toss out content that I work hard on because it doesn’t fit with my theme or I just can’t edit it right. I have to research and read up on my niche’s news so I can be the one to put a foot forward before others. I do a lot of work, and guess how much I get paid? Next to nothing.

Working with Winner Winner Claw Game App inspired me to put together this post. I edited a giant game-play claw in the sky with puffy white clouds that are similar to what you see in the game, with featured prizes that you can win within the game itself floating in the sky!
One of my biggest accomplishments of 2020 was this sponsorship! I got paid a rate that I did not think possible.

Come off it, with that many followers you must get paid something. You probably just don’t think it’s a lot. Ok fine, let’s get in to it. In 2020, I made a total of around $700 as a content creator.


Absolutely. I am the biggest abuser of my time. I work myself very hard and I can’t pay myself anything. (No, this is not my full-time job, but I work hard so that it can maybe be a part-time job for me in the next year or so).

The reason I want to talk about this is because the influencer market is extremely saturated – everyone and their dog thinks they can be a content creator or influencer and the reality is that they can’t. Nowadays the word “influencer” is kind of a dirty word. The type of word that if you go into a job interview and they ask what you do for a living and you say “Oh I’m an influencer”, you might be met with an eye roll, a face scrunch of disapproval, or a very insincere “oh that’s nice..”. The fact is EVERYONE THINKS THEY ARE AN INFLUENCER which then makes the word itself into something that isn’t “a real job”. And what’s worse is that everyone who thinks that becoming an influencer is as easy as posting about what they had for breakfast that morning or a candid picture of them on a street corner, thinks that earning money as an influencer comes even easier than that.

Don’t get me wrong, some people truly have the intrepid spirit of successfully making it as an influencer, but others simply do not. Because what people do not understand is how long it takes to make this in to a full time job, and more importantly how much you will have to spend upfront to form a loyal following.

My most favorite Tron edit features me in a matching two-piece black workout set with white contrast stitching. In the background I edited in a landscape of the Grid in Tron Legacy.
I spent three hours editing this picture. Did I get paid? No, because I just wanted to make something cool. You have to put in time for your non-sponsored content to keep your following engaged with your page!

Well how much does it cost to get a following? Honestly, there’s no number and it really could depend on the niche you want to work in. And to be clear I don’t mean that you ‘ll be spending money on actually buying your following (that’s cheating and it will mean you are a fake). You will end up spending money on answering these kinds of things: Do you need to buy the hottest look, a nice camera for pictures, go on the fanciest trip, wear the newest clothes, drive to that cool location, purchase the most popular new Disney collectible? Now whatever you have to tangibly buy to keep your audience excited to see something new from you, it will be nothing compared to your most valuable resource – your time. And trust me, you will spend a lot of your time trying to curate the best page for yourself.

For me, I don’t even have an account with every social media platform because it’s just me doing this and I can’t afford to spend all my time doing work for free, which is why I have another job. At this point in time, I am active on this blog, my Instagram, Facebook, and my Pinterest, but Instagram is where I focus on. Per day working on all of those aspects of what makes Donna Gail Blog a reality is probably around six hours a day, but if I have a big project I am working on like a video or one of my insane edits, then I could be looking around ten hours out of the day. This is not time just actively creating content, mind you. It could be me learning something new, researching for a blog, engaging with my followers or with other pages on Instagram, or just brainstorming possible ideas for content. Thankfully I have had a lot of time on my hands with being furloughed and transitioning in to a new job role elsewhere, but for now this is what I have and this is what I am trying to make better for myself.

So let that sink in for a second. In one whole year, I made $700 creating sponsored content – just sponsored content. Not even the stuff I post on the regular. Around six hours a day with maybe one or two days off a week to do very minimal work and relax for $700 in the entire year.

This is what I and many other trying influencers are doing every single day to make this in to a livable wage for themselves. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people grow quickly and make those bank rolls and kudos for them for finding that right secret sauce to cause massive success!! But the majority of people that will try will not be so successful. And that’s not because I think the worst of their content, it’s because I know realistically a lot of people don’t know what they are getting themselves into when they say that influencing is not a real job and that any one can do it.

So before you jump in to this job role, you will need to understand that:

  • A paycheck is not guaranteed. You will be working for free far more than you will be working for that pay day.
  • You get out what you put in to it, and what you put in to it in the beginning (and quite possibly for a few years) will most likely be a lot of time and money to curate your content.
  • People will grow faster than you and it’s going to sting. I haven’t figured everything out, but sometimes it can feel as though others figure it out from the get-go and land all the deals I wish I could have had! It’s just how this job goes.
  • You are not entitled to free stuff or paid campaigns because you have X amount of followers. Work hard to make connections and good content and the sponsorships will come eventually.

Please take this entire blog with a grain of salt because it is not my intention to scare any prospects away from coming in to the world of influencing or content creating. Instead accept this challenge, understand the obstacles that you may have to overcome, and make this job role your own. By having an insight like this, my hope is that you will be better prepared for what you may encounter and hopefully you can have a leg up in making sure that you aren’t getting discouraged when things aren’t working as quickly as you may have thought they would.

And my biggest piece of advice for anyone looking to become an influencer or content creator is to always keep pushing yourself. Keep learning something new, keep trying your very hardest, and always believe in yourself! I know that sounds extremely cheesy, but if you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect others to?

Find me at:

Follow me on Perlu

Also follow me on LikeToKnow.It for daily style links! Click here!

Latest Insta Posts: