Strategies That Helped Me Grow My Blog Presence

Friday, April 19, 2019

Nearly 7 years ago I wrote my first blog post - I had no idea or direction, wrote when I felt like it, wrote about what I liked - so my second post was 3 month, and another one 3 months after that. It wasn't till summer of 2017 that I kind of got it together and decided to see if I can do this.  

I often get asked if you could start a blog now and still be successful. I 100% think, yes! The internet is a huge place and while there is not a “how to start a blog in 10 minutes”  and do well solution,  I am convinced starting a successful blog takes time, a lot of thinking and planning, and a lot of work before the launch and possibly even  more work after.  

If you are doing research the advice you get from most bloggers kind of sounds all similar – they aren’t wrong.  I think you need 4 things in order to be successful:  

Choosing your blog niche
Staring a blog is a good idea, but what are you going to blog about? What are you good at? What are you passionate about? Finding that niche early on is what makes all the difference. I didn’t have that direction  looking back now I would have spent more time to doing this, because  your niche core of your blog so you want to make sure that you’re thinking it through.

Build a strategy
This might be one of the most important things - how often are you going to post? When you are going to post? How will you engage? Where are you promoting your posts? Are there affiliates you need to include? How will you drive people to your content? - While there is 100 different questions you might not be able to answer, it all comes down to consistency and a great plan. I highly recommend having a game plan based on research before you even go as far as creating a blog.   

I have come to the conclusion that posting every single day will not make you more money blogging or necessarily mean you will be successful. I wasted a lot of my time thinking that I needed to publish a post every day and was posting random thing just to fill my que – while I post 4-5 times a week now there is rhyme and reason of why it's done that.

Choosing your (blog) brand
This is who you want to be – it is much more than just a cool logos, color scheme  or a well-placed social media content – its building who you want to represent yourself as, and aligning it with your niche.  When you start blogging, you become your blog, so I would spend some time deciding what your brand will be.

Choose your blog name and create a website
There are many places you can start a blog on - some free, some that you have to pay for. I started out on blogger, they have been good to me and the set up was super easy. Having a self-hosted blog, means you own your content unlike on some free sites - so in the near future I will be transitioning over to a self-hosted website. While you are setting you website, I recommend getting a domain name off the start, linking all your social
media, hover over Pinterest buttons, and e-mail address that is yourname@blogname.com or contact@blog.com. I personally think it looks more professional if you can be contacted and its all neatly laid out and matches your blog.


and than you start.
When I started blogging I promised myself that if I ever came to the point that I have figured out how to do this thing I would share it with you guys. Focus of most content here on letterstolalaland.com is to hopefully help and make a litter difference. So today I wanted to share two things that have made a world of difference for me in the last year:

Pinterest.There is at least 6 social media platforms that you can use to make sure your blog is a successful, its hard to choose. I personally made a huge mistake and dedicated most of my time and energy into Instagram, where now looking back if I would have chosen. Don't get mw wrong, Instagram has been beneficial to me growing my impact and engagement but it does not drive people to my content as  much as it should have. 

You want to make sure to set up your Pinterest account the right way (meaning you have a business account, with a verified website, a profile with good keywords, and well worded boards)  which will help you an start driving traffic and sales within a few weeks.


Easiest way to grow your Pinterest account is with Tailwind; you can check my post on how I went from 617 views to 55K+ in less than 30 days. Tailwind is a scheduling tool that is approved by Pinterest and Instagram. My favorite part is that it provides analytics and smart scheduling insight.  Not sure if you want to spend money on it, sign up for it! Start the FREE trial to check it out first. If you use this link you get to try it out for free for a month. I think urging it for a month gives you a good insight if it will work for you. It is $9/month after that per account.

People Map.I stumbled upon peoplemap.com after I was trying to find a better way to track an Instagram campaign I was running. Peoplemap.com is just that; the most affordable, comprehensive tool for authentic growth, campaign tracking, case studies and Instagram stats. There is power in knowledge – people map gave me just that. You are able to look at engagement rates of anyone with a public Instagram account which helped a lot as giving me a benchmark of what you should be striving for; most importantly I was able to track exact impact a campaign on Instagram has had. I include this information in my media kit and its made a world of difference in response rates when I do pitches.



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Best Gifts for Moms on Mothers Day

Thursday, April 18, 2019

My mom is one of my favourite people in the entire world. Even tho we don’t always see eye to eye – her old school ways and my I like to do things not so traditionally – I would like to say thank you for always having my back mom. To all the moms out there who have given us the world. This Mother's Day, maybe give her a great and unique gift she'll be happy to receive and proud to show off. 




A little gift for everyone - from stylish moms, to fit moms and ones that are hard to buy for.






Shows You Need To Check Out

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

I have been watching an embarrassing amount of TV lately, I just haven't been motivated to do anything. But to your benefit, I have rounded up my favourite shows i've been watching in the last little while.

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The Order- I love fantasy shows, and this has everything I love magic and werewolves. If you love those things too check this show out on Netflix.

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Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj- This show is amazing he does a weekly deep dive into a topic that is trending, I love this it's both informative and funny. 

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The Last O.G.- I watched part of the first episode and I think I can get into it, I'm going to have to watch a couple more episodes. I am excited because I do love Tiffany Haddish so I have to give her projects some love. 

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Killing EveAfter a series of events, the lives of a security operative and an assassin become inextricably linked. that's what IMDB says but anything with Sandra Oh in it is going to be good. Watch this show you won't regret it.

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The Fix- This show is great comedians fixing the worlds problems with humour but also some really great ideas. You have to watch this and you will either love or absolutely hate Jimmy Carr's laugh, let me know your thoughts I find it both funny and annoying. 

What are you watching? What should I watch next?


Four Beauty Instagram Accounts I Admire

Friday, April 12, 2019

I absolutely love make up and beauty - am I good at doing my make up? Absolutely not. While there is hundreds of huge make up beauty gurus, who are kicking butt and taking names in the beauty influence game, I m always more amazed and impressed by up and coming beauty experts. Here is five kick ass boss babes who's looks I admire - check them out - and if you think they are awesome, follow them!

Symphony Monelle Beauty @symphonicchaos



Makeup by rocky @muarocky 

Sam's Makeup World @samm_ll


True Beauty Makeup Artistry @truebeautymakeupartistry

What do you guys think? Who inspires you?


Four Podcasts to Get You Motivated

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Last month has been hard. Its been one of those times where getting out of bed and dragging myself to work takes all of my energy, which made being at work, doing blog things and pretty much participating at life hard. I had no energy or motivation to do anything. Finding a way out of this state of mind is hard but listening to inspirational and motivating podcasts made a difference. 

This is a podcast by Julie Solomon - she talks about about influencer marketing, talks to experts and shares tips and tricks on how to engage and motivate people as a blogger or influencer. Maybe it was hearing all the bad ass women (and men) but it wasn't till this podcast that I wanted to sit down and start creating content again.

When this podcast came up I wanted to say he (Jeff Sanders) was too happy go lucky for me but you know what?  Totally grew on me. The tagline is "The 5 AM Miracle is a podcast dedicated to dominating your day before breakfast." and it got me motivated to go back to my morning routine and actually drag myself out of my house for a friends birthday.

I love reading blogs - and this is a podcasts that shares cool and relevant blog posts. There is ton of stuff on motivation, personal growth and such.

I like this podcast because its kind of like a live-workshop style podcast made for creative girl bosses to help us reach our goals and learn from the best in the industry. It was motivating and inspiring. 

I understand that podcasts alone might not have a huge impact, but for me podcasts, good music, yoga, gym and actually talking to someone all played part in getting back to what feels normal. If you are having a hard time, talk to someone, if you ever need anyone to chat with or someone to listen you can e-mail or connect with me on any social media. xNermisa

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#Review: Nirvana Weighted Blanket

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

I have so many thoughts on this blanket, so let's get started. I have wanted a weighted blanket for so long. After reading an article and figuring out that I had anxiety, and not just feeling "weird" sometimes. I looked for things to help me with my anxiety. I tried watching ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) videos on Youtube, which did not work for me, more on that in another post. Anyway, long story short I tried a lot of things that helped a little but what I ran across constantly to help anxiety was weighted blankets. I added it to my wish list for wedding gifts and at the time I kept coming across the Nirvana blanket which had great reviews so I added that specifically to the list to make it easier for people. I ended up getting it as a gift and I was super excited to try it out. 
The packaging was nice, I forgot to take pictures my bad. It's a nice light grey, we got the bamboo one because my mother in law knows we like to be cool while we sleep and the website said the bamboo one has cooling benefits. The dimensions on the website say 58" x 80"  to give you context a Queen size bed is 60" x 80". It comes in 15, 20, and 25 pounds you choose your ideal weight depending on your body weight. You can usually find a deal for free shipping and there is a 30 day money back guarantee. Okay enough about the description onto my thoughts on this.
First off, the blanket is not wide or long enough to cover both me and my husband. We do share it but we have to use the widest part across the bed to cover both of us so our legs aren't covered by the blanket.
Second, the blanket is really warm I don't find the cooling technology works for us. You can remove what they call the magic bands and put them in the microwave to heat them and freezer to cool them. It does say that the cooling technology works without putting the bags in the freezer though. I have not tried putting them in the freezer yet, but may try it as it warms up more outside.
Third, the way they advertise the blanket is so misleading, they finally changed the banner picture on Facebook. I'm assuming it was after my back and forth with them on there. It was only after getting the blanket that I started seeing more and more negative reviews on the blanket and Nirvana's customer service, or lack there of. Their response to my review saying it's terrible for couples was to let me know their FAQs say maximum benefit is for one person, which is great but who reads the FAQs? Based on the picture above and below I assumed it could be used by couples, am I wrong or is that not misleading if that's their response.

All throughout their website they have pictures of couples using the blanket, not to keep going on and on about this but their response irked me to say the least and has now made me really dislike this brand more.
My thoughts definitely get a weighted blanket, as I do think it helps with anxiety,  just don't buy one from Nirvana especially if you want to share it with your partner. My suggestion is DreamHug, they actually have a blanket specifically for couples and it says king size. This is not sponsored by DreamHug in any way I just wish I had found their site sooner so I could try out their blanket instead. I know I got mine as a gift but I am not willing to shell out $319 on another weighted blanket when I already have one, a girls gotta eat.
What are your thoughts on weighted blankets? Have you tried Nirvana, do you like them? What brand do you suggest?
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OOTD - Cold Shoulder and Real Talk

Monday, April 8, 2019

Edmonton weather has been all over the place - so dressing for the weather has been hard. I paired this dress with over the knee boots because it was rather cold today. I finished the look with my favourite Bano eeMee leather jacket. I love the style of this dress - it comfortable and the cold shoulder cut outs are a fun detail

Now, onto some real talk. I have always been a bigger, fully figured women. I love having curves, and a butt - my stomach I could afford to lose but meh. My relation with food is well evident, and healthy food isn't for me. I have never once been able to stick to a diet, and I am too lazy to get to the gym consistently. For better or for worse my weight has never bothered me, until recently; I have gotten a lot of backlash/comments about my weight.  I knew what I signed up for when I decided to be a blogger - my life on display and open to critics. Being told that on one side I'm too big to be "a regular/skinny" blogger; and on the other I'm on the smaller side to be considered big so I can't possibly be a body positive blogger is so frustrating.  Not that this is anyone business, but this is who I am- size shouldn't matter - if it does to you, the internet is a giant place and if you don't like what I am wearing or think I'm too fat/skinny/overweight/regular, please move on. Love, Nermisa







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dress: Nordstrom Rack
boots: Steve Madden
purse: Chanel
jacket: Bano eeMee
DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS