Inspirational and (Actually) Helpful Resources for Starting a Instagram/Blog

Want to grow your Instagram or blog but don’t know what else to do? Here are some (mostly) free resources to help you get up and get inspired!


Since I have started an Instagram account for makeup and beauty, I have looked into a few ways I can make some money form it sometime in the future. (Also because I have a cruddy job that I am looking to get out of, and I kind of have an entrepreneurial spirit. but mostly don’t want to work for a corporate business!) I feel like this are of Pinterest, Instagram, and blogging, is a center for clickbait and supposedly free tips which then turn into a slew of emails begging you to buy into their online course FOR ONLY 297$ Today only!!

Yeah not really for me when thats one whole paycheck for me…

I literally feel lied to when I click on a “free masterclass” and then get bombarded with emails. I know, not that smart because I even know what they’re doing but I put my email in anyway!


Here I have compiled a list of blogs, youtube videos, and podcasts that are mostly COMPLETELY FREE! No, I do not collaborate with these people, I just have been clicking and reading around and have found some great sites that I think you might enjoy as well! I will list some that are 100% free and let you know which ones to watch out for with hidden email marketing down the road… So lets get to the list!

Mostly COMPLETELY FREE Blog to Business Resources!

  • Podcast by Amy Porterfield “Online Marketing Made Easy With Amy Porterfield” Available on Podcast app on iPhone.
  • She also has a website with a lot of cool free stuff for you to download! Podcast linked on website as well. WARNING: She does sell webinars and courses so be cautious but they are high quality because she is super successful! It might be worth checking out.
  • Whatever Is Lovely blog. I found this one from Pinterest while at work (hehehe 🙂 smug) and she has some great insights about how to get started! Here is the start of a great post series that expands on how to get started. Its all free!
  • Elise Darma has great blog posts on her site and her free masterclass has a lot of great Instagram insights! But I put my email in and have gotten a blast of “buy me”, so theres that.
  • Miranda Gardley on Youtube has a series about working on Instagram that I thought was helpful. heres the link to the first part of the series.
  • The Preview App’s website has some great articles about organizing your Instagram and how to grow a following. Heres a very helpful link for finding an attractive layout for your page from them. And some more articles… Instagram Shadowban and 2018 Instagram Hashtags Rules
  • List of affiliate programs from HerPaperRoute

These are a small but growing list of places I’ve looked at and read and have found helpful insights! Please check out these resources for help growing your blog and Instagram!

Also, please drop any links to resources you have found helpful and a little blurb about the resource and how its helped you! I would love to branch out and find more resources and be able to provide them for you and readers as well!

Happy Blogging everyone!

Fave 3 Products of the Week!

Talking about 3 of my favorite products this week!

Goooooooooood Morning this beautiful Tuesday!

Well actually, its more like afternoon, but thats okay…

Today I wanted to share three of my favorite products that I am obsessing over right now! This is the first post of its kind on my blog. I’ll give it a try and hopefully it’s a helpful post for you! I will be talking about 3 products I love and 1 that I created thats working really well for me! If you want to check out how I made my own DIY Lip Scrub, head over to my makeup Instagram page to check it out in my last post! @MakenziReviews

So the first product I want to tell you about is a brand new facial cleanser I grabbed at the store LAST NIGHT! It’s the first product in the photo above. I already love it! Its the Baking Soda Cleanser by Biore. You can find it at Walmart, Target, Maceys Grocery, basically anywhere there are general bathing and grooming products! To start off, this product has really great packaging. I love how it is all a translucent white/clear color. From the pump, to the gel itself, and the whole container, it all just ties in. The color reminds me of when you make a mini volcano in grade school and put the baking soda and vinegar together…IDK if thats a good thing for a face cleanser but I like it! Next, it smells great, which is typical for all Biore products. Its got a lovely fragrance, similar to the Charcoal cleanser. However, this one does not have the cooling effect like the Charcoal cleanser. It does have a few small exfoliating beads, I think they are supposed to be little baking soda beads. Theres not enough for me to say its an exfoliating gel though because I still use it with my Clarisonic brush. Overall it is a great face wash! Heres the Biore Baking Soda Cleanser as an add-on on Amazon. And the Mia 2 by Clarisonic

Next product is a hair product! This one is the Taming Elixir by Sebastian Professional. I love this as a conditioning heat protectant for when I blow-dry my hair. I don’t blow-dry my hair often, I normally let it air dry and sometimes straighten a few weird curls. But when I do use hot tools to dry my hair, I use this. I don’t usually buy higher end products for my hair or very few because I am low maintenance with my hair but this one is so great because it leaves my hair super shiny, I feel like my hair is much stronger when I use it, and its a great heat protectant. It contains avocado oil in it so that provides the natural heat protecting element. Its very light weight too so its not going to be a heavy greasy hair product. Perfect for me and smells wonderful! Check out the Sebastian Taming Elixir here

The third product is a sample of the Coconut Sheer Oil by Kopari Beauty. I have actually had this product for a couple years now but never really knew what to do with it. I used it in my hair a few times but it did NOT go well! My hair didn’t soak it in very quickly and it looked greasy 😦 but now I am using it on my face as a moisturizer along with my Elta MD SPF moisturizer! It makes my skin sooo soft and hydrated and I have not had any problems with break outs while using it. I feel like it makes my skin softer and helps impurities move through easier which = less fiery red zits! And OH MY GOODNESS this oil smells SO GREAT! Like it smells the best out of all 4 of the above pictured products! I absolutely love it! I like this small size but I don’t know if I am ready to commit to the bigger size that is 45$ at Ulta…Maybe when I make more money…one day… 🙂 If you have the $$$ to get the regular size or if you get your hands on a sample size TRY IT OUT! It’s a wonderful multi use coconut oil! You’ll fall in love 🙂  Luckily this product is on Amazon for 39$! Check out the Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil here!

Pictured above is a glass container of lip scrub that I made the other night foe you all on Instagram. Its super easy to make and has so many exfoliating and softening properties! Check it out on my Instagram! @MakenziReviews


This page does contain affiliate links which, when you click and purchase a product through a link, I may get a commission as an Amazon affiliate. Doing so does help me out but no sweat if you don’t click or choose to buy. Thanks!

Deconstruct a Video

Today I wanted to “deconstruct” a video to show how there is so much thought put into social media and online video content. The video I will be talking about is on this page by Womens Health. It is an article about the benefits of taking BCAA’s as a supplement while training. The video is halfway down the page and talks about how to read nutrition labels on the foods that we buy.

Strengths and Design: The first thing I noticed was that the video definitely uses the rule of thirds in the layout of the video. The text in each shot takes up about two thirds of the frame, either horizontal or vertical, and the visuals takes up the last one third. Another strength in the video is that there is a lot free flowing white space. There are not blocked corners and the background seems to flow nicely without being choppy. The color scheme is very integrated and simple as well which adds to its appeal. The video is very informative and supplements what the reader is already looking at in the article.

BCAA Article Video CompanionScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 10.27.14 PM

Weaknesses: One thing I noticed that is a little odd is that the video is about food and health but the colors in the video are not complimentary to that. Blue is not a great color to incorporate into food related subjects because its not an appetizing color. From our human instincts, if you were to come across something edible that is blue, it most likely has gone bad, like meat or mold. I think the video could have had more red, green, and yellow in it so that it seemed to be more food related when first looking at it. McDonalds does this, everything is red and yellow, reminding us of warm yummy food. I do understand that the video is about food labels so its not QUITE about food but its close enough. Appetizing colors could pop up when giving an example of healthy foods and labels that go along with them.

The video is trying to show off quick information about reading nutrition labels so that you can benefit for your health. I think the clean design and the uniform color scheme adds to this idea of being neat and clean about your health. The main thing that will show that this video is successful is how many views there are on the article and how many times it has been shared on social media. Since it is an in house video and not published on Youtube or social media its kind of hard to determine that.

Overall I thought this was a really cute video and one I enjoyed watching through to the end. I think its a great example of a native video for a health and fitness website, it holds some great ideas.

Deconstruct an Article Promotion

Today I wanted to talk about article promotion and show you a great example I have seen on Instagram. Article promotions are like the only links I will click on these days! I don’t mind reading articles about things I am interested in, but as soon as it hits to an advertisement or learn more tab, I am OUT!

So the great example of article promotion I wanted to share is by a company called “HudaBeauty” run by beauty pro Huda Kattan. She is the face of her brand and is recognized by makeup lovers all over the world. And I mean all over the world for a reason because she promotes her makeup tips and tricks as well as products in English and Arabic, so she has a pretty far reach in the market. I love watching her Youtube videos and seeing her articles promotion posts on Snapchat, she does a wonderful job in directing traffic to her website. She gives off a genuine feel in all that she posts. She also promotes her makeup tricks through her Instagram. Most of her posts are showing off other peoples work with her products but occasionally she will post her video of a tutorial or a makeup swatch or how a new product works. She then will put the link to that expanded post for her website in her biography link in her Insta profile. This is just the nature of Instagram that live links can only be put in the profile section, not the actual post itself. So here is here latest post about How To Clean False Lashes

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 11.22.11 AM


As you can see, she posted the How To video and the link is inherently bio. When you click the link it follows to her website where the original post is. Heres the link if you want to check it out followed by the site screenshots. HudaBeauty

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 12.55.47 PMScreen Shot 2018-02-21 at 12.56.14 PM


So I think she did a great job with promoting her Instagram and website. The Instagram video is in her site article and the Instagram page links to her article. I would say her social media channels are all interwoven and that is really important. That is definitely a strength in how HudaBeauty shares their posts. Her image is consistent across the two sites. She keeps her color scheme of black white and pink with Huda Kattan being the main person. Some weaknesses I see are that the posts is pretty short on the website. I think there is more info about how to clean the lashes in the video than the actual article so its almost redundant to have a whole other article about it on the website. I think the fact that her article is short could be a strength and a weakness. I know I like her other articles because they are short and to the point and not painfully long or repetitive, thats why I like reading them. In this case though, the video has more info than the actual article. When posting a video in an article I think the article should expand on what is shown or talked about in the video so that they are complimentary. I also like that on her site there are relevant related articles suggested on the sidebar and at the end. There are no ads for random clickbait sites and I really appreciate that. I also don’t know if this is a strength or weakness but I think it is strange that the title of the article is different on the site than what the title of the video is on Instagram? Like shouldn’t they be the same? What are your thoughts on that?

Thanks for reading and hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration for your next round of article promotion posting! Thoughts and comments are welcome below!

Deconstruct an Advertisement

Lets talk about why Halo Top Creamery icecream has become so wildly popular, so quickly! I want to show this photo of an Instagram post by Halo Top. Its a bit older, but its a good one. Here are a few points I wanted to go over about this ad.

  1. What is the main purpose of the ad?

The main purpose of this ad is to show off one of the many flavors from the company AND to show how few calories are in it. It shows a fun vibrant flavor…HOW COULD THERE POSSIBLY BE 240 CALORIES IN IT? Yes its that amazing. Thats the main point of this ad.

  1. What are the ad’s strengths?

It is very bright and eye catching. Unicorns are also very trendy and popular at the moment, so that attracts likes and attention. It showcases the brands top feature- its Low Calorie feature, too.

  1. What are the ad’s weaknesses?

It is not very informative. They only have text for one line of the post. Many people do not read long text posts on Instagram, but it still does not convey much information, just a clever little line about unicorns.

  1. What is the ad trying to accomplish with its design?

It is trying to draw the eye to the calorie count. It is trying to show that you can have fun while eating ice cream and not counting calories. It is showing that Halo Top is a carefree treat.

  1. What metrics (likes, shares, re-tweets, etc.) will be used to determine if the ad is successful?

This ad will be popular if it gets a lot of like. that is seen just under the photo with a count of how many people like it. It will also show if some of your friends or people you follow, like it too so it creates a community feel as well.

Halo Top is so great at advertising and I just wanted to highlight some of their tactics. They are a great brand to follow and observe.

My Social Media Manifesto

Social Media is undeniably a part of all our lives. There’s no getting around it. Even if you yourself do not have social media accounts, the people around you do. Your granddaughter is probably checking her Instagram right now. Your mom is posting about how proud she is of you on Facebook as we speak. Your friend just accepted a friend request from a mutual coworker. You are reading this on this type of social media right now.

So now I have some questions for you… Have you ever thought about how we all interact on social media? Did you ever think to have a plan for how you would act as you surfed the internet? I think if we all had structure to our interactions online, and really thought about how we would contribute, and what our beliefs are about social media and the internet, many things would change. We would see more personal updates from family, we would see more support from friends and family. We would connect more easily with those with whom we have not spoken to in a few years. Fewer hurtful words would be said. Going online would not be as much of a waste of time. You may not have concerns with some of these things, and that’s fine, but I have seen how I could improve my social media persona. I have also been asked to write about this subject for a class but I think it goes deeper than that.

Today, I want MY personal manifesto for social media to be known. It is rudimentary but I know it will help me think about how I interact with you and others online in public internet spaces. If you stop to take time and do something similar I believe you will definitely benefit for the better.

To start off…

My Beliefs:

On social media, I should…

  • Be real- I don’t want to portray something that I am not. I want to share my victories and some sorrows.
  • Positive- Even when I share content that is serious or negative, I want to point it to a higher ground, see the light in the darkness at some point.
  • Fun- I am a funny person! I love making people laugh!
  • Worry-Free- I promise not to over-advertise personal ventures or repost too often or spam out my feed. That’s a no-no
  • A Way To Reach Out- I want to use my accounts to reach out to old friends better, people  have not talked to in a few years.

My Goals:

I want to…

  • Post at least Bi-Monthly
  • Uplift others
  • Make my content/posts useful
  • Connect personally with friends and family better
  • Make it personal- I want to put my heart into whatever I put out for others to see and read.


I have had a few years on social media. I know what I like to see and I know what I don’t. I don’t think my preferences are too different than others. Fewer ads, less reposted memes and gifs, more real updates from real people about real life, and good friends who are always still there for you. Be the kind of social media contributor that you like and see in others! Social media can have a huge impact especially since it is becoming ever more prevalent in our daily lives. Choose Wisely.

These are a few values I have thought about and believe will help guide my interactions and  hope it has given you something to think about as well. Thanks for the read and see you soon!

Herbal Essences Is Making “Naturally Derived” The New Thing

Herbal Essences is taking the convenience store hair care world by surprise! (So basically the average woman buying shampoo) BioRenew hair care is the newest release from the company and their ad presence is everywhere, from Facebook video modules to Twitter to Instagram.They are really showing the world that it is possible to have hair products that are natural and actually work.


Their advertising campaign is beautifully done as well. Some of the objectives of the campaign is to reach the Millennial age. This is seen in their graphics, very mermaid-like and magical and earthy in design. This is for the younger demographic of women, not too common with older or middle aged women. Many of the posts that they share online feature millennial age women who have used the new BioRenew line and love it.

Another objective of the advertising campaign is to show that the product is “green”. Some of the labels touted on the products are “90% Naturally Derived” and “Natural Ingredients” while showing lots of fruits and greenery to go along with products and posts.

Screenshot (27)

The two main principles that Herbal Essences is using in their advertising for BioRenew are the presentation principle and the value principle. For the presentation principle, the company is presenting the new product as a fun, natural, effective way to take care of your hair. If you buy the product then you will have the hair that they show to you in ads. You can buy into the fun and adventure that they portray. If you are intrigued by the way they present their product, then its for you. If you care about how you look and you want to show others that you are flirty, adventurous, beautiful, and care about the earth, then use this product.

For the value principle, I think the company has created value in their posts. They post “hair-iscopes” for your hairs horoscope, they feature other popular users of the product, beautiful photography featuring the products, and other content that brings users in rather than just posting a picture saying BUY THIS SHAMPOO! They do have a great following on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, along with a  beautiful website. They are very well connected and bring useful content to all sites for all their viewers and buyers.

Some of the weaknesses of the brand though, are that they do not market to older women (over 30, over millennial age). I think women who are older than the millennial generation have more money to spend on hair care products and care about their hair more than younger people. I also think the appeal of natural ingredients to nourish the hair is appealing to all ages, not just younger women. Their posts sometimes feel a little to “young” like its for high school and middle school girls, yet the packaging is more refined and I see it as a product for a young adult, so there is some disconnect there, in my opinion. Herbal Essences also does not have many, if any, men’s products, and they could possibly adapt the BioRenew line for men as well.

I love this product and its seriously changed my hair and its strength! I especially love the conditioner! If you want to check it out, here’s a link to my favorite shampoo and conditioner set on Amazon!