Simply Dakota Uprising » Inspiring a Life of Love + Adventure in the Black Hills

Masthead header

horsethief lake

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

2017-03-18 16.05.39

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I’ve lived out here for two and a half years and had not visited this perfect lake behind Mt. Rushmore yet. We decided that camping here this summer is a must. Horsethief Lake has fallen into my top five favorite places in the hills. Located two miles northwest of Mount Rushmore, add this to your summer hike / picnic / camp list.


Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetWith the blast of 70-degree days, we got outside and conquered one of my favorite hikes. Osprey Trail is such a beautiful (and super easy) hike. With an A and B loop to choose from, both routes offer different view points around the backside of Pactola Lake. A gem of a trail.


The SD 1889 items dropped in the latest fall 2016 collection – if you haven’t seen these items yet, you need to take a good look at these. The year 1889 comes from the idea that the state of South Dakota was founded in 1889 – it’s the year our state became official. I thought it was a fun date and moment in time to recognize, so I put the idea into print on a couple of tees and a couple of new items – a mug and a really sturdy tote.

The SD 1889 Tee – $32.50

The SD 1889 Tee is THE SOFTEST TEE IN THE HISTORY OF TEES. Not even joking. It’s a white-flecked (kind of a gray-looking color), unisex tee and Bella and Canvas brand (heck yeah) with a faded, grunge design of the SD 1889. It’s pretty rad. If you like the vintage look, which is totally in right now, then you need to swoop up this tee stat. Ellen is wearing a small in the photo below – if that gives you an idea of the fit.And it’s now my favorite shirt of all time. SHOP IT NOW.

SD 1889, black hills t-shirts, clothing, dakota uprising


The SD 1889 Tote – $23.50

It’s not just another tote, you guys. Ok, well yeah it is another tote. But the quality is REALLY sturdy with super thick fabric, nice printing quality and the perfect size for a grocery bag, snack bag on road trips, or you can probably think of other creative ways to use it. SHOP IT NOW.

DSC_0981 copy

Thank You Shoutout

Thank you to Mike and Ellen of Our Adventure for volunteer to model for me. Take a peek at their Instagram for some of the best photos of our beautiful Black Hills area. See their Instagram feed.

Shop more SD 1889 items at including a long sleeve, sweatshirt, and coffee mug. Remember to use coupon code STAYWARM to get free shipping through the end of February.

dakota uprising, instagram

Oh great, another social media algorithm changed. Here’s what you need to know: In early 2016, Instagram announced that it was planning on rolling out its new algorithm by the end of the year (end of 2016). I can tell with my feed, that it just hit. My likes are down. My comments are down. Even when I hashtag the maximum 30 hashtags, I don’t see much more of an increase. Thanks, Instagram. Maybe you’ve noticed the same thing recently?

According to the announcement Instagram posted on its blog, “the order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.” So in other words, the algorithm now gives more visibility to those that have the highest engagement. Before, the algorithm used to share the most recent photos on your feed first – not the case anymore. Instagram’s new system decides what you want to see, and then orders your feed accordingly.

I think we all remember when Facebook’s newsfeed took a dramatic turn for, in my opinion, the worst. I remember the good ole days when I used to only see my friend’s posts, people I actually know, and now, I see everything and anything under the sun. Facebook is my least favorite social platform, but because it was the first of its kind, honestly, most of my  Dakota Uprising traffic still comes from there.

And so, this new Instagram algorithm just hit.

Now, in your feed, you’re likely to see the same posts over and over again throughout the day, photos with timestamps that are out of order (a six-hour old post might come before a 2-hour old post), and the sad thing is,  you might start missing the fun, silly, personal posts by your friends.

So I scoured the internet to see what you (and I) can do about it.

The Key

The key to staying at the top of your audiences’s feed is to generate a lot of engagement right after posting, which means, get your comments and likes rolling in. Higher engagement = more visibility.

Post at the Right Times

One key to generating more engagement is to post at the right time of day. According to Later’s most recent survey, the best time to post is around lunchtime from 11 am – 1 pm and in the evening from 7 pm – 9 pm. Avoid the 3 pm time of day as this seems to be when most people are busiest with work.

Looking at Dakota Uprising’s most engaging times of the day – 9 pm was always a win for me. The next highest time of engagement was around the 5-6 pm mark. Sunday’s have the lowest engagement for me.

Post Multiple Times Per Day

Find your most popular times of the day to post an then be consistent with posting during those times. But make sure not to annoy your followers though – some brands/grams can pull off posting four times a day and some can only do it once per day before they start losing followers. Instagram stated that people miss 70% of their feeds and so Instagram’s goal is to keep the top 30% of content visible in your feed. The rest falls away into oblivion. So don’t be afraid to post-post-post (with intention).

Don’t Switch to the “Business” Instagram Profile

This might just be my paranoia, but it was also backed up by a couple of other posts I read recently. By moving to a Business Profile for Instagram, yes, you get their behind-the-scenes analytics called Insights (which are weak anyway – VERY limited) with your account, but it also tells Instagram that you are not a personal account. I am suspicious that this affects your algorithm even more because they ultimately want you to start advertising to get more engagement.

What We Can Do For Each Other

Like and comment on each other’s posts. If you’re on Instagram all the time and clicking around our little Black Hills niche (the #blackhills, #hifromsd #blackhillsbadlands #discoverblackhills, and of course, #dakotauprising hashtags) then we can help each other out by liking and commenting on each other’s posts, which we should be doing anyway. If you want to keep seeing your friend’s posts – like and comment. If you want to keep seeing a business’s posts (like Dakota Uprising) then it’s important to like and comment.

What You Can Do Yourself

Besides all of the tips above, here’s what you can do on your own Instagram:

Tell stories. Stories drive more engagement. Personal reflections, funny situations, random thoughts – make your Instagram feed your mini blog. Being vulnerable allows other people to do the same, and people ultimately start commenting and sharing their own insights.

Host a giveaway. People love free stuff. Tell participants to like your page, like your post, and comment to win your freebie.

Be intentional with your posts. Be genuine. Be authentic. Be clever. Be witty. Be you. People like reality, not seeing a superficial, perfect world all the time.

Hope these tips were helpful. Good luck out there!


Follow me on Dakota Uprising’s Instagram page.

If you have a page you’d like me to follow, comment the username (handle) below.

  • Kyle Kranz - I use Iconosquare to track my IG analytics. Over the last three months my average likes per image was 570 and my average comments was 10.2. Over the last 30 days, however, my average likes per image was 448 and comments was 9. For reference, I’ve definitely noticed the decline.

    I agree it’s very annoying to see photos from 10 minutes ago next to photos from 10 hours ago…ReplyCancel