Building Your Empire: Making Your Blog Successful in 5 Easy Steps

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Hi readers,

This post is dedicated for all bloggers worldwide, since a lot of my visitors are having their own blog too I’d love to help them getting forward and reaching goals. Building your brand isn’t easy, especially in 2018 where you have so many influencers trying to make it and trying to earn money through the internet. That’s why I’ve written this blogpost, as a small blog guide for you.

Here are 5 easy steps that will make your blog successful:

1// Give it time

Rome wasn’t build in one day (we Belgians have a saying about that, I’m not sure if the Englishman use this sentence too). You can’t expect that your blog will have thousands of visitors on day 1. Or day 2. Or week 5. Don’t focus too much on the numbers. Maybe you have 1 particular reader who looks forward to your new blogpost every single time, and maybe your writings make his or her day better. That’s enough to be happy about, right? Appreciate the small achievements and give it time. Most famous bloggers have been blogging for over five years or longer, so why expect yourself to reach those targets when you’re just getting started?

2// Be active on social media

You can’t build your empire without social media. As a blogger it’s almost an obligation to have an Instagram, Facebook and Twitter page. If you want to have success, it’s important to that you reach as much people as possible. When you don’t have any social media accounts, then your blog might disappear on the world wide web. But when you look at it from another perspective, it’s very interesting to make your blog well known through social media. Some bloggers have gain lots of readers because of Instagram. So keeping your accounts updated will definitely help you to get your blog to the next level. It might be more work, but you get the rewards of it at the end.

3// Engage with other bloggers

You want to have comments, shares and likes? It all starts with you. When you leave a comment, share and/or like a post of another blogger, they will likely give it back to you. That’s so wonderful about the blogger community, bloggers support each other. I’m not saying everyone, but let’s say 60% of all bloggers will give you something in return. Same with following, you can’t expect people to follow you if you don’t follow anyone yourself. Give and take, it’s as simple as that. When you engage you will receive more engagement too.

4// Work on your visual lay-outs

Visual lay-outs are very, very important when blogging. Of course your writing skills have to be on point, but the visual part may be as important as the writing itself. Would you like to read a book without a title, chapters, paragraphs or any structure? I guess not. The same with blogging. People don’t want to get headaches when they read your blogposts. They looove structure. Take my blog posts as an example: you have a title supported with an image, an introduction, the middle which contains the information I wanted to share and the end of the post which has the conclusion and an invitation to share your views in the comment form. The bold words are essential information I highlighted. And when you use images, make the color scheme attractive. For Instagram you can use the Preview app, it’s a good tool I can recommend.

5// Don’t compare yourself to others

It’s the same as in real life: comparing makes absolutely no sense. You’ll always find something better in another person. That’s what makes us different. The same with blogging, another blogger might be better at image editing or Instagram sharing. It doesn’t matter. You can be inspired by others, but don’t compare. It’s a waste of energy and you need to stay true to your own style. That’s your key to success.

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If you have any more tips & tricks, feel free to share them in the comment form. To me it’s all about supporting each other, I hate jealousy and negativity – there’s plenty of that on the internet. Instead of doing that, it’s better to help each other grow and respect the fact that we are different.

Thank you for your attention & ‘til next time.
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Privacy for Bloggers: Are you aware of what you share?

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Hi folks,

With the whole media buzz around privacy policies we become more aware of what companies can do with our information. These days customer data allows companies to contact people in many different ways. It’s now almost impossible to do a purchase without giving your name and email address for commercial purposes. Facebook is by far the most powerful tool for companies to get information about everyone worldwide (age, gender, work, email, phone number, interests, …), especially since the increasing popularity of online shopping. But what’s the deal with bloggers?

Before the whole buzz I wasn’t really thinking about what I share online, but after receiving loads of spam in my mailbox with policy agreements I asked myself the question: how much information should I share with my readers? There should be a limit of course, and it’s absolutely important to protect yourself, because information equals power. Especially when sharing personal life issues, bloggers should be aware of the visibility and accessability of that information.

Just some random facts to make you think:

  • An employee who said to his boss he’s sick and couldn’t go to work, shared his fun activities of that day on his Facebook because he faked the fact he was ill. His boss saw the message and fired him right away.
  • You’re sharing pictures of your traveling on your blog, while your neighbour is trying to break into your house after he’s seen that you’re gone for a week to another country.
  • Your best friend shares her location all the time on her Instagram and Snapchat. That way her ex boyfriend has the potential of stalking her en knowing where she is in one blink.

Sounds all cruel right? These are worst case scenarios of what people can do when they have specific information. That’s why you need to be aware of what you share on your blog and social media.

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I have some tips for you so you can make sure you won’t share too much.

  1. Things you shouldn’t share: your home address, your full name, your bank/identity information, passwords, phone numbers and your birth date or place. Sounds logical, but people with bad intentions can link things easily and sometimes you share this private information without knowing.
  2. When you’re planning to go on holiday, only share pictures of your trip when you don’t leave your house alone.
  3. Don’t forget that what you write, everyone – and then I literally mean: EVERYONE – can read it. Your collegues, your boss, your friends, your family, your neighbour, the old lady from the block and even that creep from across the street. So: if you wouldn’t share the information in a conference with all these people, then simply don’t publish it.
  4. Be aware of the non removable history of the internet: what you publish stays online for ages even when you delete it (people share all the time). So be careful with political opinions or religious preferences. This information is sensitive and to be rude, it really isn’t anybody’s business.
  5. Don’t share any photos, names or information about people you know without their permission. For instance, when I share a photograph with my boyfriend, I ask his permission if it’s okay if I publish it on my blog. Never ever give personal information of other people.
  6. Be careful with locations. These days when you share something, it’s almost natural to share the location too because it’s also a way to find new pictures and new accounts. But don’t be to specific. You can just type the name of the city, but never share a full address.

To finish this post, I’d also like to share a new privacy law for bloggers called the AVG/GDPR. Since we also possess data of our visitors, for instance when subscribing to a newsletter, it is important that we guarantee their data protection as well. For my blog, you don’t need to worry, my blog’s secured and the information stays on my platform – only I have exclusive access to it.

How do you deal with the new privacy laws as a blogger? Do you have some tips as well? Share them in the comment box.
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Nomination Liebster Award

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Hi readers,

I’ve some great news, I’ve been nominated a third time for the Liebster Award! I was nominated by the lovely Sarah from Lifewithlilred. Her blog’s filled with amazing fashion styles (gotta love her outfits) and all kinds of topics you absolutely will enjoy reading. It’s a blog where you can spend hours and hours discovering something new and interesting every single time. Worth a frequent visit if you ask me! 🙂 So Sarah, thanks again for the nomination, really appreciate it and keep blogging girl! ❤

Let’s get started then shall we! First of all, I need to share the rules.

The Rules:

  • Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award.
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination.
  • Give these blogs 11 questions to answer.

Q & A:

  1. What is your favorite thing that you have done this summer?
    I’ve been to Barcelona with my boyfriend last week. It was our first trip together, so I was beyond excited! We had an amazing time, having him in my life is such a blessing. We did several activities, as you can see in my latest blogposts.
  2. What is your favorite type of weather?
    Well, currently we’re having a heat wave in Belgium and I’m craving the winter season now! But that’s just because it’s too hot now. My favorite type of weather is the kind that allows you to go outside in a t-shirt without being cold – and no rain. And yeah, sunshine of course 😀
  3. Who is a celebrity that you can’t stand?
    Hmm.. can’t really think of anyone. I do have the most respect for Hollywood celebrities who have a stable life, who don’t seek attention of the camera’s constantly and who have a down to earth personality.
  4. What is one of your guilty pleasures?
    Ben & Jerry’s. Chocolate and coffee. Gossip magazines. And I really enjoy the sitcoms Desperate Housewives and Devious Maids.
  5. Do you take pictures on your phone or with a camera?
    Phone, I have an iPhone 6 and the quality’s spectacular.
  6. What is your favorite form of social media?
    Instagram’s still my number one because it’s not too personal, unlike Facebook. You can always search for similar accounts for inspiration and it’s easy to use. You can follow famous people and stay tuned whenever something new’s up with your fav accounts. I also love the filters you can choose from when uploading your pic, they all look good!
  7. Other than blogging, what is your preferred hobby?
    Shopping, reading, cuddling with my bunny Fien, spending time with my boy/friends/family, trying new makeup looks and creating new fashion looks, … I like everything fashion, beauty & lifestyle related. I’m a real home person, I’d rather have a cosy home to stay in then going out every day.
  8. What was the last series that you binge watched?
    At the moment I’m watching Devious Maids, I really like it. I also like Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy and Lost. Not the latest hypes in TV land, I know, but I don’t really do hypes anyway.
  9. What book is on your night stand right now?
    *shame on me* I’m not reading any book right now to be honest, I just came back from our trip to Spain and I need to get back to it. Still searching for a good book though, any recommendations? I like romantic comedy or psychological thriller literature. Nicci French is always a nice choice.
  10. Describe a perfect day out.
    Any day with my boyfriend would do 🙂 We’re really close.
  11. What is your favorite flower?
    Kinda cliché, but I love roses. I just like the layers and the romantic vibe that goes with it. I do prefer the ones with thorns, because I love the imperfections. The idea of good and bad, I guess.

Fun Facts:

  1. I have an irrational fear of smelling bad, so I carry my deodorant like 24/7 with me. I also wear (way too much) perfume, just the idea of me not having a nice scent makes me feel dirty. I use deodorant at least 3 times a day.
  2. I can’t sit still. I’m always busy doing household tasks, working for my blog, working at my job, cleaning, etcetera. That’s why my boyfriend’s the perfect match because he’s able to calm me down and he makes sure that I take a break when necessary.
  3. I’m petite, I’m only 1m63.
  4. I have very annoying feet, whenever I wear new shoes I always suffer from blisters. That’s why I always prefer wearing sneakers, especially Nike, Adidas, Converse and Vans. Those are my favorite brands.
  5. I always carry way too much stuff with me. That’s why I can’t wear a small bag on a daily base.
  6. I’ve been blogging for almost 6 years now.
  7. I started creating websites when I was 9 years old. I learned HTML quite quickly. When I was young I fell in love with the digital world and I even made my own magazines for class at primary school. So it was no surprise that I started blogging at 18.
  8. Before WordPress I had a blog at Blogger, but after three years I felt like I had seen it all. The platform wasn’t offering enough possibilities for a professional setting so I switched and I’m glad I did.
  9. I’m addicted to coffee.
  10. I’ve dyed my hair way too many times. I’ve been blonde, brunette, black, redhead. Name it, I’ve done it.

My Nominees:

My Questions For You:

  1. What’s your favorite food?
  2. Why did you start blogging?
  3. If it was possible, would you like to be a blogger for living?
  4. Name something you really loathe.
  5. Is there something you’d never write about?
  6. What are the most important things in your life?
  7. Which countries would you like to visit someday?
  8. Do you like traveling? Why?
  9. What’s your favorite movie?
  10. Do you have any pets?
  11. If you could only have 4 apps on your phone, which ones would you pick?

Again, a big thank you for Sarah for nominating me for this award. It’s an honor, and it was great to answer her questions. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post, make sure to share your opinions in the comment form!
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OOTD: Taupe & A Handmade Bag

Dag lieve lezers,

Vandaag deel ik met jullie mijn outfit van vorige week, de dag dat ik met mijn ventje langs mama en bomma ging voor een doordeweekse koffie. Al was het deze keer eerder een ice tea, want de temperatuur lag toen haast over de dertig graden!

Qua outfit koos ik voor een taupe kleurig ensemble, een kleur die quasi altijd mooi staat ongeacht het seizoen. Mijn topje is van Liu Jo, ook één van de vele stuks die ik gekregen heb van mijn lieve collega 🙂 ❤ Het zwarte rokje heb ik al enkele jaren, zo’n basic die ik ooit eens bij Vero Moda kocht. Dat is zo’n kledingstuk dat je met alles mix en matcht. Mijn cross body/schouder tas heeft mijn mama zelf gemaakt ❤ De stof is in kaki kleur en de flap is gedecoreerd met glitterveertjes. Een beetje een nonchalant vallend model, het staat erg leuk met die losvallende top van Liu Jo. Verder droeg ik (natuurlijk) mijn satijnroze ballerina’s van H&M, alweer zo’n topper die ik regelmatig draag.

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Mijn make-up was vrij sober, ik koos voor dezelfde tinten als mijn outfit: taupe. Voor de rest ging ik voor de no makeup look, kortom: veel laagjes fond de teint, concealer en slechts een dunne laag mascara. Eyeliner liet ik deze keer achterwege. Qua fond de teint koos ik natuurlijk voor producten van L’Oréal afgewerkt met het Matte Perfect poeder van M.U.A. om glans te doen verdwijnen. Mijn wenkbrauwen zette in in vorm met de Eyebrow Filler van Catrice, wat iets meer natural oogt dan een potlood. Ik gebruikte nadien de Keep It Perfect spray van Essence voor een sublieme afwerking die mooi bleef zitten.

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We hebben echt een erg leuke dag gehad samen, wat resulteerde in mooie foto’s, mede dankzij de iPhone X van mijn ventje. We hadden ook ons Fien (konijntje) mee, die heeft het ook erg leuk gehad, achteraf kon ze nog loslopen bij mama thuis en zij komt erg goed overeen met het hondje van mama.

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Tot de volgende keer,
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Lekkere bakrecepten die ik wil uitproberen

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Dag lieve lezers,

Ik heb de bakmicrobe te pakken! Deze week maakte ik voor de eerste keer vanille cupcakes met een glazuurlaagje en suikerconfetti, dit aan de hand van een mix van Dr. Oetker. Nu wil ik een stapje verder gaan: baking from scratch. Geen bakmixen maar gewoon echt vanaf nul. Ik heb nu ik verhuisd ben met mijn vriend een goede oven. Voor koken heb ik vaak niet uitgebreid de tijd wegens laat thuis, maar bakken kan ik wel doen op mijn vrije dag. Bovendien is het echt geweldig om je vrienden en familie te verwennen met een eigengemaakt gebakje. Er is niets leukers dan dat!

Bovendien heb ik erg veel likes gekregen op mijn post over mijn dagje vrij, waarvoor erg veel dank! Hieruit kan ik opmaken dat jullie als mijn trouw leespubliek dit ook boeiend leesvoer vinden! Jullie kunnen dus de komende weken genieten van mijn bak ervaringen en recepten die ik zal uitvoeren, waarbij ik volledig als beginner aan de slag ga! Verwacht dus geen culinaire hoogstandjes 🙂

Hier een lijstje van mijn beginner baking goals:

  1. Brownies
  2. Chocoladekoekjes
  3. Chocoladecake
  4. Kaastaart
  5. Appelcake met kaneel
  6. Cupcakes met Oreo
  7. Citroenmerengue

Als ik dit lijstje al doorploetert heb, dan mag ik al zeggen dat ik er al behoorlijk wat van kan! Ik heb talloze recepten verzameld, van Libelle Lekker tot VTM Koken. Hier een aantal leuke links om eens te brainstormen:

Hebben jullie nog leuke websites met receptjes? Laat het weten in de comment box.
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