When planning our #BlogHer19 events, we think hard about what our “Instagrammable moments” will be. SHE Media Partner Network’s Archana and Kanchana of Twinspirational believe every party should be Instagram worthy, and we agree! We’re taking tips from these inspirational (get it?) lifestyle bloggers who focus on stylish entertaining, exotic travels and boutique fitness. Learn about which photo editing apps they use, their recent brand partnerships, and more below!
Tell us a little about yourselves and your blog!
We are twin sisters, Archana and Kanchana, and we are passionate about bringing together family and friends to create memorable experiences. Archana enjoys cooking and baking while Kanchana enjoys capturing special moments behind the lens. We started Twinspirational in January 2015 to create a space where we can share our hobbies. The blog initially focused on fresh, budget friendly event design and slowly expanded to include our interest in travel, wine, cooking and fitness. Why the name “Twinspirational?” We wanted something catchy and easy to remember. We also wanted to incorporate the word twins. So instead of “Inspirational” we have “Twinspirational.”
What is a typical day in the life?
Neither of us has a typical day. We keep our readers engaged by creating original content weekly or biweekly on our blog and daily on our Instagram. We are both involved in the creative process behind each Twinspirational event and blog post. Kanchana shoots and edits our images, while Archana seeks out new business opportunities and manages our social channels.
You started your blog to create a space where you could share budget friendly event designs. How did your blog evolve?
Twinspirational believes every holiday and birthday should be celebrated in style, without breaking the bank. With a few key elements, we can transform a traditional cocktail or dinner party into a memorable experience. We quickly learned that there are only so many events that we can plan in a month. We shifted the blog’s focus from event planning to lifestyle. We gave our readers insight into our other hobbies by diversifying our content to include our interest in travel, fitness, cooking and wine.
You have multiple Instagram accounts, why did you choose this strategy?
Our primary account is TwinspirationalParties. This account captures highlights from our events, travel, fitness, wine and dining experiences. We created TwinspirationalTravels to focus purely on our travel adventures. Some bloggers have interns, but we have twinterns! Our niece, Keira, and nephew, Dylan, assist us on a handful of blog and Instagram posts. TwinspirationalTwinterns captures some of their adorable moments behind the scenes. It’s a lot of work to maintain one account, let alone three. We focus on the main account, and periodically post on the secondary accounts.
Your blog’s largest category is holidays! How do you keep your holiday posts fresh and engaging?
We keep the holidays fresh by adding a twist each year. We often change standard holiday colors and tweak traditional menus. Last Halloween, we skipped the overused orange and black colors and incorporated a chic purple, black and silver color palette. For Friendsgiving, we hosted a modern take on traditional flavors. For Easter, we had a traditional Easter celebration with our family. We have a lot of Greek friends so we also hosted a dinner to celebrate Greek Orthodox Easter. With a little creativity you can make annual holidays less cliché and more memorable.
How do you incorporate your culture in to your posts?
As native New Yorkers, we have an ethnically diverse group of friends. We aim to incorporate all cultures into our blog. As Indian Americans, Diwali is our biggest holiday and we celebrate India’s Festival of Lights with our family and friends. In the past, we also celebrated Chinese New Year, Burns Night, St. Patrick’s Day, Greek Easter, Oktoberfest and Shabbanukkah.
How do you decide who attends which event? How do you split your time contributing to your blog?
Since the blog is a joint project, we typically attend events together. We are both involved in the creative process behind each Twinspirational event and the blog post. Kanchana shoots and edits the images, while Archana cooks and bakes for various events. Archana also creates our video content and manages our brand partnerships and social channels.
How do you decide which brands to partner with?
We focus our partnerships on brands that fit well into the Twinspirational lifestyle. Last week, we partnered with Evite and launched the first episode of their Crafting the Party IGTV series. Evite has a robust collection of free and premium online invitation designs for every major holiday and most themes. Their Star Spangled Premium Invitation inspired our July 4th tablescape. We also partnered with Atkins for a Mother’s Day dinner earlier this year. We generally try to incorporate a gluten free and protein rich diet during the week and splurge on the weekends. Atkins was a natural partner for us. We also partnered with Deer Valley Resort to style two Après Ski parties during Christmas. This partnership combined two of our interests – event planning and travel.
What editing apps to do use for your photos?
We edit our images in Adobe Photoshop and A Color Story. We edit our videos in Magisto and Wondershare Filmora. We also use the Instagram planning app, UNUM. Because our events are so colorful, we create a grid with 9 cohesive images that highlight a single color.
Which topic do you each enjoy writing about most?
Kanchana enjoys learning about holidays celebrated around the world. As a native New Yorker, she has an ethnically diverse group of friends. She enjoys researching and writing about the meaning and historical significance of these global holidays. With readers largely based in the US, these posts can serve an educational purpose. Archana loves mixing up our content. Being a lifestyle blogger gives us the opportunity to highlight a variety of our interests and hobbies. One week we might write about a stylish tablescape. The next week, we may write about a creative holiday recipe. And next could be a travel adventure that incorporates our event planning expertise.
What 3 things does anyone starting out as a blogger or influencer need to know?
Instagram and personal blogs are both highly visual platforms. We recommend investing in photography lessons to learn about photo composition and the importance of natural light. You can capture gorgeous shots even on an iPhone if you understand the basics of photography.
Actively engage with your followers. If you are trying to grow your social media presence, you should engage with the followers of the top influencers in your niche. If your content is as good, these followers should follow you.
Don’t worry about monetization at the beginning. Focus on building your brand and creating great content. With great content, brands will come to you.
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