#8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

I started blogging when I was 13, that’s nearly 5 years ago, and I knew practically nothing about blogging in general. All I knew was that I wanted to write stuff for people to read, and WordPress made it easy for me to create a free online blog. I had never heard of SEO’s, affiliate marketing, hyperlinks or HTML codes, and my grammar wasn’t the best either.

During these 5 years I learned a lot and made some real progress, which all paid off. I’m proud of myself for the progress I made but there are still a few things I wish I knew before I actually started blogging. I’ve listed them below and I hope it helps you out too!

1. Treat your blog as a business (from the beginning)

I started my blog during summer break, because I had so much free time and simply didn’t know what to do. I spent weeks to get my blog up and going and it all went well until I had to go back to school. To be honest, I neglected my blog for a year, if not longer, and it took me really long to get motivated again. Not posting regularly from the beginning is also the reason you’re probably not getting the amount of traffic you hoped for. That’s why it’s better to treat your blog like a business from the beginning, even when you don’t plan on making money. This will keep you motivated and inspired, and it will definitely pay off.

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2. Do your research

This one probably speaks for itself, but doing good research is important. You don’t have to spend an entire day researching a topic you want to post about, just make sure you know what you’re saying and that it’s all valid (just imagine writing a DIY- face mask -tutorial and you’re telling your readers to put lemon juice on their face…Hell no! ).

3. It’s okay to  compare yourself to other bloggers

I’ve searched the web, and a lot of people were discouraging new bloggers to compare themselves with other bloggers. I have to disagree on this though, because what’s wrong with comparing yourself to bloggers and influencers you look up to?  I mean, that’s why they’re called influencers right? Yes, it’s wrong to compare yourself too much or take over original ideas from others. But as a blogger, you have to know your position in the blogging community. You have to compare yourself with others to find out what your blog is lacking, this is the only way to really improve your blog in order to get more traffic and become successful.

4. It takes time to grow

This might be the most important one yet. When you’re in the start-up phase of your blog, it’s easy to get demotivated because you’re not getting any traffic. But get this: there are over 1 billion websites online. Nearly 75 million of them are WordPress blogs, and yours just came on top of that. It takes time to grow your blog, create awareness and stand out. Finding out how you want to position yourself online takes time, but it is one of the most important steps to walk through when you’re starting a blog.

Melyssa Griffin has taught me everything needed to know about blogging with her free online workbooks, templates and sheets. If you’re new to blogging, I recommend checking out her website. You’ll find loads of useful tips and tricks to get started!

Check out: How to Grow Your Blog (Like a Boss) – Melissa Gryffin

Melyssa Griffin main page

5. Connect with readers

Seeking contact and staying in touch with (frequent) readers is so important. Your readers choose to read your blog so you have to keep them satisfied. It’s pretty similar to customer-relationships. Seeking contact with your readers can be as easy as ending your blog post with a relevant question, this will invite your readers to place a comment. Also important: staying in touch. Don’t forget to reply to the comments you receive, and take the time to check out other blog posts (and comment!).

6. SEO

As your blog is growing, you’ll have to deal with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is all about getting your blog posts on the 1st page of Google Search results. To end up there, you have to use certain keywords in your posts to show Google your content is actually relevant and helpful for the searcher. There are a million guides out there that will teach you every single thing you need to know about SEO, so it’s definitely worth it to take the time and do some research.

7. Content calendar

This is probably the simplest but most useful tip ever: make a content calendar. This way you’ll know exactly when to post what, and you can plan ahead. It’s not even necessary to use a real calendar, just write down the days of the week on paper and fill it in! It’s as simple as that and will save you lots of time and stress.

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8. And finally, blog because you love it! 

Many people think that blogging is the way to become successful, make money online and become an influencer. That all seems really great and it’s not entirely false, but it’s not the spirit you should have when you start blogging. The only way a blog can become successful is when you actually put an effort in it. And the only way you can keep up the effort is to write about what you love.

If your only intention is to make money fast, you’re not gonna get there and might as well give up already.


All in all, having a blog is fun but it does take time and effort. Make sure that you love what you’re doing and you’re actually still enjoying it, that’s the key to making your blog successful!

P.s. here are a few tips to help you create great content:

  1. Before you publish anything, ask yourself: Am I so proud of this post that I’m ready to show it even to my enemy?
  2. Subscribe to Neil Patel’s email-list and learn everything you need to know about online marketing.
  3. If you’re not already active on Pinterest, get on there! Pinterest is full of ideas for blog posts, improvements and motivational quotes. You might even find free worksheets that’ll help you out! 
  4. New to SEO or never heard of it at all? Read this beginner’s guide to SEO and become a pro!
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Review: Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation

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Hi all!

Today I will be reviewing the Estée Lauder Double Wear (Stay-In-Place) foundation, which is often used by professionals for its incredibly full coverage. I bought this foundation a year ago at Sephora in New York (it’s a shame Europe still does not have a Sephora!), but most major beauty / department stores sell the iconic Estée Lauder foundation as well. If you’re new to this foundation I’d definitely recommend you to visit a physical store rather than buying it online, not only because that’s the only way to find out the shade you need but you also cannot be scammed! High-end foundations often sell for way cheaper price on the web and more often than not, they’re not real! So if you find something that seems too cheap to be true, it most likely is.

The Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation comes in a heavy, frosted glass bottle without a pump, so I used the pump of an old Smashbox foundation and placed it on my new foundation. However, Estée Lauder does sell its own pumps separately. 

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I would usually not impulse-buy a €44 high-end foundation which I don’t even need, but you know, I did it anyways and I’m happy I did. I’ve been in love with this foundation ever since I’ve worn it for the first time. I  have some dark spots on my face which I usually cover up with concealer but with the Double Wear foundation, I don’t even need extra cover-up. This foundation has a great full coverage, it stays on all day (or longer), and one pump will suffice for the full coverage!

The Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation is available in 38 (!) shades, so make sure you get the shade that really matches your skin. The shade I own is 4W1 (Honey Bronze). 

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With a retail price at €44, this foundation is definitely not considered affordable. And I’m going to be honest, if you don’t wear makeup as often or if you don’t need a full coverage, you might want to opt for another foundation (or maybe even a BB cream). If you do wear makeup often or if you are looking for that full coverage, this would be a great investment.

Shade: 4W1 Honey Bronze
Finish: Matte
Coverage: Full
Price: US $42 / EU €44
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My #5 fave lipsticks + why

Good morning pretty ones!

Do you also love buying new lipsticks, even though you have an entire stack of old lipsticks at home? If you’re as addicted to lipsticks, lipglosses and lip balms as I am, definitely keep reading! Today I’ll be showing you my top #5 favorite lipsticks + a short review.

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#1 Clinique + Jonathan Adler Pop Lip Colour 

I always thought that Clinique lipsticks were way overpriced for its quality but turns out, I was so wrong. Past November, I bought the Clinique miniature skincare set for €16. The set included:

– Smart Custom-Repair Moisturizer SPF15- day cream 7 ml
– Smart Night Custom-Repair Moisturizer – night cream 7 ml
– Smart Custom-Repair Serum 7 ml
– Take The Day Off Makeup Remover 30 ml
– Liquid Facial Soap Mild 15 ml
– Pop Lip Colour & Primer Lipstick ( 14 Plum Pop )
– High Impact Mascara ( 01 Black ) 3,5 ml

If you’d like a review of another product in the set below, let me know! 

Clinique + Jonathan Adler

And I immediately fell in love with the Pop Lip Colour lipstick, in shade 14 Plum Pop. It does not dry out or turn darker after a few hours, in fact, the lipstick is really moisturizing. Unfortunately, the Pop Lip Colour doesn’t seem long-lasting to me. I’ve worn the lipstick for an entire day at school (09:00 – 18:00)  and had to keep re-applying after I drank or ate something. I drink a lot of water throughout the day so it was really inconvenient. But besides that, I love the colour and feeling this lipstick brings along

Shade: Plum Pop
Finish: Satin
Coverage: Full
Price: US $18.50 / EU € 23,00
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Clinique + Jonathan Adler online

#2 DIOR Couture Colour Lipstick Comfort & Wear 

I actually bought this lipstick a few days ago, because I still had a gift card to use. If I didn’t have the gift card, I probably wouldn’t even look at these kinds of high-end lipsticks. Let’s be honest, would you be willing to pay €38 for a lipstick? I know I wouldn’t.

Anyways, I do love it. The lipstick I bought is in the shade 964 Ambitious Matte. It’s long-lasting and the name already says it: it’s pretty comforting to wear. The lipstick doesn’t dry out my lips but it doesn’t feel heavy or too much either. Besides, it’s highly pigmented which I really like since my lips are naturally a little dark.

If you’re able to spend a little more on make-up than most of us, I’d definitely recommend this lipstick. But I’m convinced that there are much cheaper, similar lipsticks out there with the same quality (e.g. a classic Chanel lipstick costs €33 ). 

Shade: 964 Ambitious Matte
Finish: Matte
Coverage: Full
Price: US $37 / EU €38
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#3 KIKO Milano Smart Fusion Lipstick 

I am so in love with KIKO Milano. In a short time, KIKO grew to be one of the most popular budget/quality make-up brand. KIKO Milano has a big assortment, from skincare to nail polish…One of the products I love most is the KIKO Milano Smart Fusion Lipstick. I keep buying this lipstick over and over again because it’s simply amazing.
 
The Smart Fusion lipsticks are rich and nourishing for your lips and leaves a creamy finish (all – day – long)!
 
The lipstick I own is in the shade 434, which appears to be light brownish. If you’re looking for a high-quality budget lipstick, give this one a try!
 
Shade: 434
Finish: Bright 
Coverage: Medium
Price: US $6 / EU €3,95 / UK £3,90
 
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 #4 MAC Spirit Lipstick 

Of course, MAC couldn’t stay behind on my list of favorite lipsticks. To be honest, I only own 4 MAC lipsticks. But the MAC Spirit is one of my faves. This highly-pigmented lipstick has a satin finish and comes with a caramel kinda colour, which is a tiny bit darker than my natural lip colour. The lipstick seems matte but feels hydrating and soft on the lips.  It’s definitely worth checking out!
 
Shade:Spirit A86
Finish:Satin
Coverage:Medium- full 
Price: EU €19,50 / UK £16,50
 
 
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#5 Lakmé 9 to 5 Primer + Matte lip color 

This lipstick might not be as popular as the other lipsticks I mentioned, that’s because Lakmé is an Indian brand and it’s not available in all countries. However, I still want to give a short review because I adore this lipstick too much.
 
The lipstick I own is in the shade called “Hazel Rush”, which looks a lot like dark-brown. It comes with a matte finish and lasts around 12 hours. I really love the highly-pigmented colour and smooth application. If you ever see this brand, it’s worth checking out!
 
Shade: Hazel Rush
Finish: Matte
Coverage: Full 
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Price: EU €6,15 / UK £5,50 / IND ₹480.00 / $7,50

Lakmé online 


And these were my 5 favorite lipsticks, I hope you liked the post! What’s your favorite lipstick? Comment below! 

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#5 Things To Do Differently In 2018

New Year’s resolutions, a little cliche, isn’t it? You think of some impossible goals you want to reach in the upcoming year, you tell everyone and you feel proud. But low-key you already know it…Two weeks into 2018 and you’ll be falling back to your old habits again. Are you really going to the gym 3 times a week, when a week ago you didn’t even know you had a gym membership? Are you, the chain-smoker, really not gonna touch a single cigarette in 2018? As great as it might sound, unless you’re really motivated and desperate to change, there’s a big chance it’s not gonna work.

Yet there’s a reason we keep thinking of new year’s resolutions every December, even though we know it barely ever works out. Some people do it because they need an excuse to change themselves, others do it because they want to have something to look forward to, like achieving their goals.  Whatever your reason is, thinking of new year’s resolutions can also be fun.

I’ve written down some goals I want to achieve and some habits I’d like to change in 2018, and maybe it’ll give you inspiration for your own resolutions…

1. Save money

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I’m moving to New York for 6 months in September, for an internship. And we all know, New York isn’t really the cheapest city. Which means, it’s necessary for me to save money, like a lot. How am I planning to do this? First things first, I have to stop buying so many unnecessary things. Do I really need a new foundation, even though I already have 3 new ones at home? Do I really need to eat fast food, even though mom made food at home?

2. Go to the gym more often

Yes, I said “more often”. I have a gym membership and during the summer, I used to go 2 or 3 times a week. But now, I haven’t been to the gym for months. And the most ironic thing is: the gym is 2 minutes away from my house. I can actually see it from my room. So what did I do during my free time for the past few months? Netflix! Riverdale, Stranger Things, Suits…I had to catch up! That’s the second thing I really want to change. Less Netflix, more gym…Whenever I feel like it…Of course… 

3. Pass the important exams (!!!)

In order to do my internship in September, I need to pass two important exams in April. This is my main focus for now. I think I should just unsubscribe from Netflix…

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4. Read more

To be honest, I love reading. Months ago, I’d choose reading at night over any party, anytime. Why did I stop reading? My phone has become too interesting. Apparently I’d rather scroll my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feed at night then turning pages in my favorite book (Mini Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella). 

5. Improve myself

Last but definitely not least, improving myself. In the past few years, I could significantly notice how I changed and it feels good. I don’t want 2018 to be a year where everything goes great, without any mistakes. We learn from hard times and mistakes and that’s exactly what I want for 2018. Learning and improving.  

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So now it’s your turn, what do you want to achieve in 2018?

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#10 Christmas Gifts You’re Gonna Want For Yourself

It’s December…Which means…It’s almost Christmas! But what is Christmas without presents? That means it’s time to head to the malls and do some Christmas shopping!  But are you really gonna buy the usual bath or shower set again? Or are you gonna go for the easy way out, and give a gift card? Really? For Christmas?!

I have done some research and made a list of Christmas gifts you’re gonna want to buy for yourself! Curious? Keep reading!


1. La Vie Est Belle – Lancôme ($$$)

Buying a fragrance as a gift is always a little risky. What if they don’t like it?  Tastes differ, and especially fragrances make people quite picky.

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Lancôme has introduced La Vie Est Belle many years ago but it has never been such a hype until now. Throughout the years La Vie Est Belle has become Lancôme’s signature fragrance and because of its popularity, Lancôme decided to introduce a few more:

  • The original La Vie Est Belle
  • La Vie Est Belle L’éclat
  • La Vie Est Belle Absolu
  • La Vie Est Belle Intense
  • La Vie Est Belle légere

La Vie Est Belle might not be the cheapest Christmas gift but I can assure you, you’ll make someone really happy… Schermafbeelding 2017-12-13 om 16.16.07

2.  Pandora jewelry ($$)

The Pandora jewelry collection for 2017 has been more popular than ever. The rings, in particular, were the #1 go-to gifts men bought for a special woman in their life.  Whether it’s for an anniversary, birthday or in this case, Christmas, these rings will always make someone’s eyes twinkle.

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3. Clinique skincare products ($$-$$$)

Whether you want to buy something for him or for her, Clinique will take you out of your misery. Clinique offers a wide range of products for men and women, and even if their original-sized products are out of your budget, you could still go for their cheaper skincare gift sets (which, I think, are more fun to receive)!

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4. Portable speakers ($-$$)

Music has become a big part of our lives these days. Some listen to it all day and some only once in a while, but that doesn’t take away the fact that portable speakers are a great gift. There are a lot of different portable speakers out there, from cute, small ones to bigger ones that look like a radio.  Who wouldn’t like to receive a little portable speaker for Christmas? Exactly…

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5. GUESS bag ($$-$$$)

When you think of Christmas gifts, you might not immediately think of buying a bag. But what if it’s for your (grand)mother and you’re ready to spend a little more than usual? GUESS is a luxury brand but also offers the most fashionable clutches and crossbody-bags for less than $100. I think any woman would love to receive a GUESS bag for Christmas, am I right?

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6. Socks ($-$$)

Because who doesn’t like socks? You can make anyone happy with a pair of cozy socks and they’re not expensive at all! The socks are usually one-sized so they’ll fit anyone. The perfect Christmas gift!

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7. Nail polish ($-$$)

Nail polish makes everyone happy. Besides, you can never have enough?! Nail polish is more fun to receive when it’s in a set of 3 or 4, so there’s at least one colour you must like!

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8. Coffee mugs ($-$$)

Are you a secret Santa and are you absolutely clueless about what to buy? No matter who’ you’re buying for, mugs will always do good! I mean, everyone needs mugs, right? For tea, coffee, hot chocolate, soup… You simply can’t have enough mugs! A Christmas mug, maybe?

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9. Bath bombs ($-$$)

Maybe a little cliche, yes, but what about bath bombs?! They’re fun to receive, fun to give and you can make it as expensive as you’d like! Just make sure the person who’s gonna receive it, actually has a bath…

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10. Giftcards *sigh* ($-$$$)

When you have no idea what to buy because the person you’re buying for is really picky, a gift card is probably your way to go. It’s also the best way not to spend more money than you intended…

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This is my top 10 of products, most suitable as a Christmas gift. Most of these gifts are focused on women, but what are you gonna buy for your father, grandfather or your boyfriend? Let me know if you want a #10 Christmas gifts for the special men in your life!

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Updated: review on Clinique brush

Hi guys, just wanted to let you all know I just updated my review on the Clinique cleansing brush because I ended up having some bad experiences with the brush, it started to malfunction and stopped charging etc.

I explained and described everything in the post and I’m writing about the new brush I bought, soo if you’re interested..

Click here to go to the review

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Review: Dior’s Hydralife BB cream

What product am I going to review?

Dior logo

Today I’ll be reviewing the Hydralife BB Cream by Dior. I got this BB Cream as a gift and it was actually one of my first makeup products ever. However, the shade I got didn’t entirely match my skintone which was a bummer because I really loved the qualities this BB cream brought along. As soon as I noticed that the BB cream was a bit too orange for my skin, I starting mixing it with a lighter foundation which eventually gave me the perfect look. My shade is called ‘Sunny Amber’ and it has SPF 30, which is what we should all be looking for in BB cream or foundation.

Coverage

Dior’s Hydralife Beauty Balm is focused on protecting and hydrating the skin. If you’re looking for medium or full coverage, this might not be your best choice. This BB cream is suited for all skin types and available in many shades, so make sure you’ve got the right one (very important!).

Dior’s Hydralife BB cream comes in a grey/blue-ish tube (50 ml) . The shade is indicated on the front of the tube. The tube is quite small and tall, which makes it perfect for traveling. The BB cream itself does feel a little heavy on my face, I can definitely feel that I’m wearing something which isn’t really what one would expect from a BB cream.

What did it cost me? + Where can you buy it?

I didn’t buy this BB cream myself, I got it as a gift. You can buy it online on Sephora, Dior and Amazon. The average pricing would be around $56 (€54), which in my opinion is a bit too expensive. This is why I never bothered to buy the BB cream myself in another shade, it’s just not worth it in my opinion.

Conclusion:

Personally, not a fan. But then again, this might also be because I never used the shade I needed…Bear in mind that this is a BB cream and it will not give you much coverage; instead, it will help even out and smoothen your skin tone. In my experience the BB cream felt heavier than I expected which is also one of the reasons I’m not a fan . However, the Dior BB cream does have SPF 30, which is a huge plus. Maybe you should see it as a tinted moisturizer with SPF? Eitherway, I’m not sure it would be a great investment. Looking for a more affordable BB cream? Check out my review on the Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream!

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Review: Sephora’s brightening & hydrating foundation

What product am I going to review?

I am going to review the brightening & hydrating foundation by Sephora. This is my very first foundation and I still use it because it just works great for my skin.

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Coverage

The foundation has a great coverage. Make sure you’ve got the right shade for your skin for optimal coverage.  I don’t have many spots on my face but sometimes I got these weird, light spots and the foundation just makes everything look equal and smooth. I also like the fact that this foundation stays all day long and hydrates. + It’s oil free!

Package + feeling

The brightening & hydrating foundation by Sephora comes in a small circular tube/bottle. It might seem like the capacity isn’t that big (20 ml) but I can go months with this foundation, only using a little amount. The foundation in general doesn’t feel heavy at all on my face and my skin doesn’t get oily. But always apply some pressed, mattifying powder on top. I can tell, it won’t look cakey at all. The foundation is available in 9 shades.

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What did it cost me?

I actually got this foundation as a birthday present the first time and the second time my cousin gave it to me because she didn’t use it.  I actually planned on buying one myself but it turned out that there were no more Sephora shops in the Netherlands. I tried to look up this foundation on Sephora’s website but uhmm, I couldn’t find it there either?? I continued searching for it because I did see some other reviews and I ended up on the Brazilian Sephora site. It costs R$93, which is, I think, quite expensive.

Update: I found this foundation in the Sephora shop in Thailand, it was $48!

 

Conclusion:

This is a great foundation and I’m sure I’ll be using this for the next few years. I love the coverage and the feeling. It doesn’t look shiny at all and that was quite a ‘must’ for me. I’d definitely recommend this foundation!

Comment below for any questions or if you’d like me to review a product..!

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1st blog anniversary

Happy blog anniversary!
It has been exactly a year since I started this blog. Woah, all my blogs before this one couldn’t even last for longer than a month..

Aaaand, I almost reached 100 followers and that kinda means a lot to me so thank you all so much (:

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