Bella Vida by Letty

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My Favorite Instagram Travel Hashtags

My Favorite Instagram Travel Hashtags

Instagram Travel Hashtags

I am officially hooked on Instagam. I love going through the images and being inspired by so many great photographers. It’s the best of the best that truly spark my creativity. I admire their works and instantly want to amp up my game and skills. It’s the best platform for sharing travel photography

There are countless travel hashtags to follow however these are specifically curated because of the high quality of photography as well as subject. I’m looking particularly for great storytelling by observing how the photographer is telling the story of the location they are visiting.

If you enjoy high quality beautiful images I highly recommend exploring the following hashtags. There are my favorite travel related hashtags.

 

1.     #instatravel  10,206,343 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

 

2.    #travelgram  8,803,808 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

3.     #scenery     5,808,646 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

4.     #travelinggram   3,533,355 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

5.     #instapassport     2,609,812 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

6.     #neverstopexploring          2,280,555 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

7.     #travelphotography      1,680,355 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

8.     #wonderful_places     1,648,269 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

9.     #cityscapes     1,496,460 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

1o.     #lifeofadventure      1,361,906 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

11.      #letsgosomewhere       1,285,669 posts

Instagram Travel Hashtags

 

 

How about you? What are your favorite Instagram hashtags?

You can find me on Instragram by clicking here.

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Blogging Tips & Social Media Tips Round Up

BVBL Blogging Tips

Today’s post is about the business of blogging. Here’s a roundup of helpful blogging tips and social media tips  I’ve written about previously on this site. Bookmark this page and feel free to peruse.



Blogging Tips
I’ve been blogging for over seven years and these are some useful things I wish I would have implemented from the very start.
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging 

The more you develop your voice the more successful you will become with your readers. Infusing your writing with your personality helps engage your audience. Revealing your personality gives you authenticity making you a reliable source to your audience.
10 Steps to Finding Your Blogs Writing Voice
10 Benefits of Guest Posting 

Some legalities you should know about advertising and endorsements.
Blogging Ethics & FTC Requirement of Full Disclosure 
Writer’s Block: 25 Things To Do When You Can’t Write

Top Reasons to Own A Domain 

Social Media Tips
100 Pinterest Tips & Ideas for Artists Photographers Creatives 
How to Embed an Instagram Photo 

Networking Tips
Blogging conferences are the perfect place to connect with people and keep up to date on what’s new in your industry.
How to Get Ready for a Blogger Conference 

Life & Business Tips
Regardless of industry or career, developing your style demonstrates mastery and professionalism.
Style is a Way of Life ~ Design Yourself 
Creating New Goals & Objectives 

How can I help you? Do you have any blogging or social media questions?

Leave them in the comments below. I’d love to help.



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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

5 things i wish i knew when i started blogging

I’ve been blogging for many years and it doesn’t seem like I will get tired of writing anytime soon.  This May will be the one year anniversary of Bella Vida by Letty .com.  Thinking about that made me want to share some tips that sure could’ve helped me way back when I first began blogging. 

Self Host

If you plan on blogging seriously the main piece of advice I wish I would have taken was to begin with a self hosted WordPress site.  I was on blogger for years cultivating a steadily growing following but when I moved from Blogger to WordPress I lost all of my followers and subscribers.  I had to begin all over again.



Domain Name

When you decide on a name purchase the domain name. It shows professionalism and authority.  Here’s a previous post where I list several more reasons why it’s important to own your own domain name.

Analytics

Set up Google analytics right from the start.  It is the most trusted and reliable.  You can learn all sorts of helpful information like what keywords bring in the most visitors and who your audience is.  That is exactly who you are writing for.

Quality Content

The quality of your content matters.  Everything you post lives online forever.  Take your time to write a proper thoroughly researched post with great photos.  It will receive much more traffic than a hurried one and it will likely get shared because of its useful information.  Don’t worry the more you write, the better you get.  That has been my experience.

Grow Organically

I’m happy to report the site has been steadily organically growing since day one.  I don’t believe in paying for followers, hits, likes, etc.  The main reason is a major factor to measure a blogs success is engagement.  You might not have a lot of subscribers but if you are steadily growing a community who replies and shares your content you are well on your way.  All it takes is time.

Bonus

Build a Community

It’s easy to get caught up in wondering why another blog might have more traffic, ads or sponsors but you shouldn’t compare yourself to them.  You are your own unique voice and it’s up to you to cultivate your brand.  Connect with other bloggers you admire and build relationships with them.  I belong to several different communities which you will find on my sidebar.  Reach out, makes friends and build your community.

 Your turn.  What things have you learned from your years of blogging?  If you had to pick your greatest lesson what would it be?



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 “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” Anaïs Nin

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”  C. JoyBell C.

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.” Heath L. Buckmaster

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The Niche Parent Blogger Conference RoundUp

TheParentNicheHighRes-1024x518

 

I want to commend Nadia, the Niche Mommy Network and conference staff for putting together such a great event. It was my first time attending the Niche Parent Conference. The intimate atmosphere left time for lots of networking. I connected with many online friends for the first time in person and reconnected with many friendly familiar faces I hadn’t seen in awhile. This is a great conference to attend if you are ready to take your blog to the next level so keep an eye out for next year’s dates.
There were many interesting panels and workshops to choose from focusing on things like the business of blogging to advice on growing your blog. These are some of the sessions I attended along with some of the wonderful things I learned.

How Much is it Worth? The State of Social Media with Ted Murphy, CEO of IZEA, Inc
Ted Murphy has many years of experience building businesses. One of my favorite takeaways from this session was his insistence that bloggers must get paid for their time and work. It does take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours to edit photos and write great content. Not to mention the cost of equipment. It takes money to run a business. Value yourself and your work and others will too.

How to Grow Your Email List, Influence, and Monetize your Blog with Laura Fuentes of Momables and SuperGlue Mom

One of my favorite sessions was given by Laura Fuentes. She spoke frankly and honestly about her journey as a blogger and shared step by step how she grew her platform. It was an information packed session and I learned many things which I will be implementing in the near future.

Secrets for a Successful Freelance Writing Career with Lorraine C. Ladish

Lorraine has many years of experience as both writer and editor. As a writer it was wonderful to learn industry insights. One of her best tips was not to take criticism personally and maintain good relationships. In an industry in flux you never where they or you might work next. 

Start-up Secrets & Tools for the 21st Century Woman with Celest Benn & Divina Rodriguez

I’m glad I attended this session because it refocused me onto a business mindset and both speakers were very motivating.

#NicheParent13 #sexystartup @TrumpetingMedia @DancingHotdogs decide if you want to run a lifestyle or buyout company then put a number onit

Past the Pitch: Brand Relationship 2.0 with Sili Recio and Eileen Campos

In this session Sili shared her media kit and gave great tips on how to pitch brands. Not only did she share great information but she gave us yummy samples of International Delight creamers in different flavors. Thanks Sili, who knows a girls gotta have her cup of coffee every day.

Vlogging – Making it Practical, Fun & Professional with Caroline Murphy

As an artist I always find myself behind the camera and never really thought about being in front of it. Caroline of Smarty Pants Mama spoke with such energy and enthusiasm I just might give a try soon. Thanks for the inspiration and Cover Girl Lipsticks. You know how much I love makeup don’t you?

The Content is the Ad with Ted Rubin

Social marketing strategist and author of Return on Relationship gave his wonderful insight reminding us it is not the amount of followers nor the size of your audience rather the quality of interaction. Learn who your audience is and engage them.

Blogger/Brand Playbook: The Top Spoken and Unspoken Rules of Engagement between brands, bloggers, and blogger networks with Crystal Duncan of IZEA Inc., Courtney Velasquez of Collective Bias, Latina Mom Bloggers, Cristy Clavijo-Kish, Latina Mom Bloggers

New FTC Disclosures: What Marketers & Bloggers Need to Know with SOWEB Inc.

It’s better to be honest and authentic rather than dishonest.  Always disclose and you won’t have any problems, your audience will respect you more.

Blogging 101: How to Make Something Out of Nothin’ with Vanessa Bell, Eileen Carter-Campos & Chaton Turner

I enjoy attending conferences, learning new things and networking.

What conferences do you recommend for taking your blog or business to the next level?

 

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How to Embed an Instagram Photo

Three weeks ago Instagram announced the capability to embed photos because it was its most requested feature since they disabled the twitter share capability.  This is fantastic because now I don’t have to download the photos from my phone then upload them again to my website.

 How to embed an Instagram Photo

 

On the Instagram website it says you will see a new share button but for some reason I don’t see that share button on my laptop.  I do see three dots.  So whether you see the share button or the three dots when clicked, you get the embed option.  Simply copy the code and paste it into your preferred editor.  I currently use WordPress.

 

How to embed an Instagram Photo

 

When you use this code you do not have to worry about photo credit, a link right back to your instagram profile appears right above the photo along with creator’s username, the number of Likes and comments it has received.  Regardless of where it is embedded everyone can see who the content belongs too.  Another important note is ONLY photos marked public can be embedded.

10 Reasons to Use Instagram

10 Reasons to Use Instagram

  • Photos are powerful.
  • To build your Brand.
  • Shows your unique personality.
  • Encourages conversation via hashtags.
  • Tell your stories.
  • Share behind the scenes.
  • Share a project.
  • Teach.
  • Inspire.
  • You just might go viral.

How to Embed Instagram Photos

 

Have you used the instagram embed feature yet?  What do you think?

 Are we connected on instagram?  If not, leave your links in the comments.

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Attending the Niche Parent Social Media Conference 2013

The Niche Mommy Network  Announces
The Niche Parent Social Media Conference 2013

The Niche Parent Social Media Conference 2013

#NicheParent13 

Connect with the best in social media, marketing, and entrepreneurship  at the Niche Parent Conference. The setting will be intimate at 200 attendees to allow meaningful connections between attendees, speakers, and brands present.  The conference features a workshop-style agenda giving bloggers hands-on professional development.

Attendees will have a lot to look forward to at this year’s Niche Parent Conference! This year’s conference will  offer  socially savvy moms and dads  headliner keynotes including  Ted Rubin, Ted Murphy, CEO of IZEA, Miriam Muley, expert and published author on marketing to women and women of color.  Like last year, there will be  hands-on innovative workshops taught by Collective Bias and other industry leaders.  Empowering sessions will round off our agenda to  elevate attendees’ blogs and brands.  Finally, Momprenuers and Dadprenuers will walk away with tool-kits to get their startups off the ground AND generating revenue.

Sounds amazing right?!  That’s why I wanted to share it with you.

Save the Date:     Thursday, September 5th – Saturday, September 7th, 2013

The Niche Parent Social Media Conference 2013

 The Niche Parent Conference will be taking place at the beachfront Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida aka paradise.  This hotel is ranked in the top 100 meeting hotels in the U.S. by Cvent.  Unlike other conferences I’ve been the hotel is family friendly and includes a Kids’ zone for children offering a range of activities.

Niche parent conference discount

****  Click HERE to receive a special 25% Discount for my readers ****

You do not have to be a parent blogger to attend the conference.  I am a lifestyle blogger and will be attending because it’s a great opportunity fine tune my skills as well as network with sponsors and fellow bloggers.

An example of the workshops I’m looking forward to:

  • Breakout: Secrets for a Successful Freelance Writing Career
  • Workshop: SEO & Search For Bloggers
  • Panel: The Basics on Protecting Your Intellectual Property On the Internet 
  •  Workshop: Past the Pitch: Brand Relationship 2.0

These are just a few of the workshops going on during the conference and they continue to add more.  You can read about them HERE:

Will you be attending? 

This will be my first time and I look forward to seeing you there.  Don’t forget to purchase your discounted ticket via the above link or the badge in my sidebar.

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This is a sponsored post opinions are mine.

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An Experiment: Opening Up to Guest Blogging

I am excited to announce I will be opening my blog to guest posts for a brand new blogging series.  It will be a great way to network and discover new interesting bloggers you might not otherwise come across.  The objective of the series is to empower one another with our best blogging and/or business tips.  I want to learn about you and your blog while sharing our best advice with others.

What is guest posting?

Guest posting means writing and publishing an article on someone else’s website or blog.  In this case your article will be published on Bella Vida by Letty.

10 Benefits of Guest Posting

10 Benefits of Guest Posting

10 Benefits of Guest Posting

– It gives you and your blog exposure to a new audience.

– It’s a way to grow your platform.

– Creates relationships with other bloggers.

– Links back to your blog are good for your SEO and rankings.

– Build the reputation of a real expert in your niche.

– Get introduced to new niches you were unaware of.

– Create an impressive online resume.

– Learn from other bloggers.

– Increase your influence.

– Build your writing credentials.

Do you want to guest post on this blog?

I am looking for quality, insightful and opinionated posts from people who have blogs.  These are posts in which you share your experience, thoughts and knowledge.  Don’t be afraid to submit even if your blog is new, I’m sure you have something teachable to share.

All guest posts will be highly promoted across all of my social media platforms and will be pinned to my shiny new board at  the top of my Pinterest profile.

Do you want to be the next guest blogger

Submission Guidelines:

1. To be considered, submit a well written original article between 500 and 1000 words.  Tell us about your blog in such an exciting way and share your most amazing tip, we will want to visit immediately after reading the post.

2. The subject of your blog post may be business, entrepreneurship, blogging, leadership or empowerment.  Your submission should answer one or more of the following questions.

  • What is your best blogging tip?(ie. SEO, social media tips, growing your audience, making money, advertising, etc.)  Do not be limited by this short list of suggestions.  Impress me with your vast knowledge and experience.
  • What is the best lesson you have learned since you began blogging?
  • What are you passions and how do they relate to your blog?
  • What is your best advice for other bloggers?
  • Do you have ads on your blog?  How do you make money with ads?
  • Have you pitched to brands?  What’s the best way to go about it?
  • How do you make money from blogging?
  • How did you grow your blog traffic?
  • Do you belong to blogging groups?  How can they be useful?
  • Do you sell products via your blog?  How does one do that?

3. Required: What 5 categories or keywords describe your blog? (ie. art, fashion, feminism, tech, business, travel, etc.)

4. Please attach a photo of yourself and your blog logo.

5. Don’t forget to include: Your Name, a one or two sentence bio, Blog Name, and Blog url.

6. Email to: [email protected]

 


Resources

Here are some great tips about guest posting from some of the biggest professional bloggers:

7 Crucial Tactics for Writing a Wildly Successful Guest Post

How to Guest Post to Promote Your Blog

8 Essential Do’s And Don’ts Of Guest Posting

How to Write a Killer Guest Post: The Art of the Clickthrough

Guest Blogging: The Ultimate Guide

 

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Writing: How to Find Your Blogs Voice

Style is the perfection of point of view.

Style is the perfection of point of view.

The internet and blogging platforms are the greatest things ever invented in my opinion.  Previously we were stuck with only one view, the corporate owned media who generates content purely to sell products.  Most of which is harmful to our self esteem.  It’s not healthy to be bombarded with messages telling you how much you need to improve this or that.  The beauty of reading blogs is exposure to alternative perspectives.

Every blog has a particular voice.  Writing voice is the uniqueness of an authors writing style.  It’s not just the words they use but also the perspective they bring to them.  On this blog I write about subjects I care about.  One tends to write more passionately about things we find important.  I use certain expressions and certain styles which all contribute to my unique voice.

The more you develop your voice the more successful you will become with your readers.  Infusing your writing with your personality helps engage your audience.  Revealing your personality gives you authenticity making you a reliable source to your audience.

 10 Steps to Finding Your Blogs Writing Voice

10 Steps to Finding Your Blogs Writing Voice

10 Steps to Finding Your Blogs Writing Voice

 

  1. Name 10 adjectives about yourself.
  2. Name 10 favorite books and similarities between them.
  3. Determine your purpose for writing.
  4. Write down what your passions are.
  5. Is there something you would like to change in the world?
  6. Define your audience.  Who are you writing for?
  7. What skills have you mastered?
  8. Are you an expert at a subject?
  9. Tell your stories.
  10. Ask a friend.
Style is the perfection of point of view.

Style is the perfection of point of view.

 

The more you write the easier it will be to find your voice.  How would you describe your unique voice?

If you have a blog be sure to leave it in the links so I can visit.




 

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“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.”  T.S. Eliot 

“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”  Rumi

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”  Joyce Carol Oates

“When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.”  Laurie Halse Anderson 

“If you hear a voice within you say „you cannot paint“, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”  Vincent van Gogh

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”  Steve Jobs

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Welcome to BellaVidabyLetty.com ~ Top Reasons to Own A Domain

A Brand New Platform for Bella Vida by Letty

Bella Vida by Letty

 Welcome.  I’m so happy to launch and share my new site with you today.  Not only have I been published on several online magazines and news sites but I’ve blogged on various platforms such as blogger and tumblr since 2007.  While other pages and platforms may come and go, Bella Vida by Letty .com is here to stay.  It is the virtual control center for all of my online activities.

Bella Vida by Letty continues to expand.  My love of sharing information grows stronger everyday along with my writing.  I will continue to write powerfully about the subjects I’m passionate about such as: inspiration, art, empowerment, activism, Puerto Rico, travel, business, tips, etc.  Creating art in many forms is also an important part of who I am as a person.  I continue to work on my “Libertad pa’ las Muñecas” mixed media series as well as create photography, poetry, short stories, etc.  It’s my way of life.  My hope is to share the lessons and joy of my Bella Vida through my unique perspective.




Here are some of the reasons I made the leap to creating my own platform and maybe something to consider whether you are a blogger, journalist, writer or business.

Top Reasons to Own a Domain

Top Reasons to Own A Domain

– Full Control

I get to decide every miniscule detail from design to software and security.  Not conformed to templates, which everyone else has, I can customize pages.  This will be especially handy when I launch various products in the upcoming months.  I can also make changes when necessary.  Most importantly I have room to grow.

 

– Owning My Content

– Security

This is a major issue for me as an artist.  If you are blogging on other platforms such as Blogger, WordPress or Tumblr after reading the TOS you realize it’s either Google or the other companies mentioned who in fact own your blog.  If you violate any of their policies you are subject to being suspended and / or losing all of your works.

 

– Authenticity of my Brand ~ Bella Vida by Letty

– Professionalism

– Branding

I’ve cultivated my brand for several years now and it’s important to me, it be presented authentically and professionally because beyond being an artist I am also an entrepreneur.



Do you own your own dot.com?   Share it with me in the comments.

 

Please be sure you subscribe to receive future updates and stay in the know for several product launches and projects I have scheduled for later in the year.  In addition, I will be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card giveaway to celebrate the first month of my launch.

 

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“It wasn’t a beautiful face. But it was a nice face. It wasn’t a face that could launch a thousand ships. Maybe two ships and a small yacht.” Grant Naylor

 

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” Henry David Thoreau

 

 

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Blogging Ethics & FTC Requirement of Full Disclosure

Key Biscayne Florida and quote

 

The blogging boom has created an exuberant amount sources for receiving information.  This is a huge plus since we no longer have to rely on a limited, antiquated or commercial sources for information.  It is also a great platform for new voices like mine where I get to share my knowledge and experience.  Most blogs can be compared to getting a word of mouth opinion.  This is why ethics and trust need to be established and maintained with your community. By displaying full disclosure you are protecting your reputation and respecting your audience.



There’s no shame in making money from blogging it’s just a matter of disclosing that information. The intention of disclosure is to let your readers know where your loyalties lay, who is receiving benefits from your posts, and what outside forces may be influencing your posts.  If you know me or read any of my articles you know very well I have to problem saying what I mean and meaning what I say.

 

A few examples requiring full disclosure:

  • If you are being paid to write about a product.
  • If you’ve received a free sample for your opinion or publicity.
  • Some people are paid to blog for their employers.
  • Affiliate marketing.
  • Sponsored posts
  • Endorsements
  • Product Reviews

A few blog post disclosure examples:

“I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.”

“I was financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.”

“Company X reimbursed my expenses for attending this event.”

” I received payment in exchange for publishing this post.”

I recommend you draft a policy for your blog. Below in the resource section you can find information and examples on how to create a disclosure policy for your blog.

In summary and this is very important for you to know and understand:

The Federal Trade Commission does regulate blogging and requires transparency and full disclosure from writers and advertisers.

and

Full transparency is also required on social media platforms. ie: Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Social Media disclosure hashtags:

  • #spon
  • #paid
  • #samp

There is nothing wrong with receiving compensation to endorse, promote, advertise or share information about a brand, service or product. If you are honest with readers and viewers, they will be more encouraged to continue the relationship.

Resources:

You can read the official guide, rules and regulations here:
FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
Changes Affect Testimonial Advertisements, Bloggers, Celebrity Endorsements

Read the actual FTC text here.

There is free help.  You can create your own disclosure policy at Disclosure Policy .org

You can pledge and get the Blog with Integrity badge here.

Humorous Image Disclosures by Louis Gray.

Cmp.ly a company which addresses social media compliance

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“Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.” Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

“Unless today is well lived, tomorrow is not important.” Alan Sakowitz

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