Update: First month in NYC

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Hi everyone !

This is my 6th week in New York, which means I’ve been here for longer than a month! I experienced a lot in just a few weeks and I’m having the greatest time so far.

In the past 6 weeks I’ve met a lot of new, amazing people at different occasions and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be here. It’s truly wonderful. Also, happy Fall! This is one my favorite seasons of the year and I get to experience it in New York which makes it a 100 times better.

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What’s it like to live in “The city that never sleeps”?

The lifestyle in the US, or New York in particular, is very different than what I’m used to. Life goes way faster and everyone always has somewhere to be. But even though everyone has such busy lives, New Yorkers are the kindest people I have ever met. They are incredibly helpful, whether you ask for help or not. If someone catches you looking around in confusion, they’ll walk up to you and offer their help. I’ve seen it happen several times and it keeps amazing me.

I’m working full-time at my internship and I spend my weekends working on school assignments, so it’s really hard to find some time for myself. Luckily, I sometimes get Friday’s off and I spend them wisely. Every Friday off I plan an exploring-day. I visit parks, different neighborhoods, tourist attractions, museums etc. A few weeks ago I visited the Museum of Modern Arts (MoMa) by myself, and I loved it! Even if you’re not really into art, it’s a must-see when you get the opportunity!

 

I also spent one day at the annual Coterie trade show at the Javits Convention Center, which was a great experience. I was representing Only Hearts with the sales team which was very fun and interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’ve got many more exciting things coming up and I can’t wait to tell you guys about it (best friend and my parents visiting me in NYC, weekend-trip to Philadelphia, Thanksgiving, Holiday-season……)!

I’m so sorry for not keeping this blog up to date, but I hope you can imagine how busy I’ve been the past few weeks. Please comment below and let me know how you’re all doing ! I miss catching up with you all :(

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P.S. Feel free to message me if you have any questions (moving to NYC, internship in USA etc…) 

P.P.S.  Are any of my readers from New York or in the city right now? Let me know if you want to go out for coffee sometime. I love meeting new people here! 

 

 

Officially Moving to New York!

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all doing great, and my apologies for not posting anything for a while. I’ve been really busy in the past few months, and it all worked out:

This Fall I’m going to work as a marketing intern at Only Hearts, in New York. I’ll be moving to New York this August, until the end of January 2019 and I’m so excited!

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Only Hearts is a lingerie and clothing brand, based in New York. Their pieces are worn by Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Kate Moss and Demi Lovato to name a few.  Only Hearts offers a full range of lifestyle lingerie, sleep- and loungewear and it’s all about being sexy yet glamorous. I’m really looking forward to joining their marketing team!

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Check out their Instagram here: @OnlyHearts1978

A must-have bucket list item: doing an internship in New York. Sometimes I don’t realize how blessed I am to get this opportunity and make this dream come true. It will be a period full of new experiences, meeting new people and living in an entirely new environment. Hopefully,  this opportunity will give me the chance to improve myself, not only in knowledge but also mentally.

Obviously, I’m a little nervous about moving to an entirely different and huge city like New York. I’ve always lived in a pretty small and quiet town in the Netherlands, and now I’m about to move to ‘the city that never sleeps’.

If any of you are living (or have lived) in the US, please let me know if you have any tips, or if you want to share any experiences just comment below!

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#8 Amazing Skincare Benefits Of Aloe Vera

What’s the one natural beauty product all beauty bloggers swear by? That’d be Aloe Vera. This tropical plant is known for its multiple uses and health benefits. In fact, it’s the gel that does the trick. Fortunately, you don’t need an actual Aloe Vera plant to enjoy its benefits. You can buy the gel at a lot of drugstores and health and food shops, and it’s entirely affordable!

In this post, I’ve summed up the most popular skincare uses for Aloe Vera which will make you ask yourself: why do I not own this amazing product yet?!

#8 Amazing Skincare Uses of Aloe Vera (TCOADG)

1. Treating skin conditions

Aloe Vera gel is a combination of vitamins, minerals, acids which makes it a great remedy for skin conditions (this is also the most common use of Aloe Vera gel).

For centuries people have been using Aloe Vera gel for treating minor cuts, soothing rashes, treating minor (sun)burns, accelerate wound healing, reducing infections and many other skin conditions. The gel is cooling and anti-inflammatory which makes it great for treating sunburns and soothing the skin. This sounds like the kind of product your grandma would pull out of her kitchen cabinet for any little problem, right…? It’s a must-have home remedy!

(If this is your first time using Aloe Vera: always do a patch-test on your hand before applying the gel on your face. Just to make sure you’re not allergic!) 

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2. Hair growth 

Aloe Vera contains proteolytic enzymes which repair the dead cells on your scalp and maintains its pH balance. This is why many people claim that applying the gel on their scalp (or using it as a conditioner) makes their hair grow faster. It has not been proven by any researches yet, but we’d like to believe it, don’t we? Also, what’s the harm?

Besides hair growth, Aloe Vera is believed to do many more wonders to your hair: it relieves an itchy scalp and significantly reduces dandruff. After using the gel as a conditioner, it will leave your hair smooth and silky. I say it’s worth the try, isn’t it?

3. Make-up Remover

It might be a little weird to think about: using a gel as a make-up remover. Honestly, it’s not something I would try out myself but there are people who did, and they’re loving it! The gel is very gentle and not harmful at all for the delicate skin around your eyes, the cooling ingredients also reduce the redness on your skin (e.g. acne scars, spots, rosea).

Just apply some gel on a cotton ball/ pad and use it like you’d use any make-up remover.

 

Aloe Pura Organic gel

This is the gel I own: Organic Aloe Vera Gel by Aloe Pura

 

4.  Exfoliator

Aloe Vera gel works great as an exfoliator (homemade scrub) and it’s so easy! Just mix the gel with brown sugar (brown sugar is rough and works better as a scrub than normal sugar). Be careful not to exfoliate too much though, 2 times a week is all your face needs.

5. Skin brightener

Aloe Vera gel is often used as a skin brightener in the South-Asian countries. It might not be as effective as lemon juice but it’s way less damaging, which is exactly what you need if you want to brighten scars or blemishes on your face.  All you have to do is apply the gel to your flaws every night (or morning too, if you’re not going to wear make-up) and stay consistent for a few weeks to see a significant change.

6. Anti-Aging

If you’ve ever applied Aloe Vera on your face or body, you’ll know that it tightens after a few minutes. But how does that fight aging? Aloe Vera helps to rebuild collagen (more of it and faster) which controls the aging process of your skin. Aloe Vera also contains vitamin E which will keep your skin looking youthful and prevent premature signs of aging. Some even claim that Aloe Vera works better than anti-aging products…

Aloe Vera moisturizer

7. Overnight Mask

Because of its soothing and moisturizing ingredients, Aloe Vera gel works great as an overnight mask. The gel will significantly reduce redness and scars and you’ll wake up with a healthy, glowing skin. Isn’t that what we all want? 

8. Moisturizer

Many models swear by Aloe Vera as their go-to moisturizer. The gel increases the water content in your skin and leaves it hydrated and non-greasy. This is perfect for people with an oily or acne-prone skin.



And that was it! I hope this post convinced you that Aloe Vera should be a part of your skincare routine, because you’re missing out on some great benefits! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried Aloe Vera on your face and how you experienced it.

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Note:

  • Using Aloe Vera on your skin is safe, but do not take it internally!
  • If you’re considering to buy Aloe Vera gel, make sure you buy it in an actual certificated drugstore/ health store instead of on some strange online webshop (for your own health!) 

 

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#5 Places to Successfully Promote Your Blog (Tips + Tricks)

Like I mentioned in one of my last posts, traffic is one of the most important things when you’re a blogger. There are so many ways to increase your blog traffic, but the simplest one is to promote your blog and yourself: it’s more sensible to let readers associate your name with your blog (unless you’d rather stay anonymous, obviously). Today I’ll tell you about a few ways to promote your blog and how to do this. You’re probably familiar with most of them, but are you really using them to the fullest?

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1. Social Media

This isn’t only the most obvious one,  but also the most important one. In the US only, an estimated 185 million people are active on social media. Also, 9 in 10 companies worldwide are using social media to interact with customers and promote themselves. Research shows that there were 2,46 billion social media users active in 2017, and people are expecting a total of 3 billion users in 2021. In short, why would you not promote your blog on social media? It’s the way to reach whoever you want to reach. (Source)

A lot of us are currently using Instagram to upload selfies, holiday pictures, party pictures or stalk our “friends”, but this exact same platform could be used for business purposes. If you’re ready to let people know you own a blog, consider putting the link in your Instagram bio. Believe me, it will attract dozens of viewers on a daily base which will make you realize how much people stalk your Instagram…

Another way is creating a Facebook page for your blog, this is also great if your blog has multiple writers. A Facebook page is the way to connect with your readers in a more personal way and keep them up-to-date.

If your blog is all about photographing or any other kind of art, you should definitely start promoting on Tumblr. This might also be your place to be for inspiration!

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2. StumbleUpon

I used StumbleUpon a lot when I started getting more serious with my blog, it’s the easiest way to discover new and interesting websites, photos and videos across the web. It’s also your chance to put your website/blog posts on there and get noticed!

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3. Tell people about it (Word-of-Mouth)

One of the most effective ways to create awareness under your target-audience is to talk to them. Tell your friends, family or acquaintances about your blog and ask them to check it out. For example, you can ask an uncle who’s great in English to check out your grammar. This way the people around you will know about your blog and there’s a big chance they’ll tell other people about it too and that is exactly what you want!

Talking Women TCOADG

4. Pinterest

I have written an entire article about how to get the most out of Pinterest, which you can find here. Pinterest is full of possibilities to design your life. Discover recipes, healthcare, skincare and self-care ideas, style inspiration, blog post ideas, projects for your home, DIYs and tips and tricks you should definitely try. Find everyday ideas you love, what to make for dinner, what to put on your walls, what to wear and more ideas for every part of your life.

5. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place to find and make business connections, expand your business community and share your business-related experiences. If you want to promote yourself or get your blog to a higher and more professional level, this is exactly what you need.


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How to Efficiently Use Pinterest to Increase Blog Traffic (Beginner’s Guide)

Succesful bloggers aren’t always full-time bloggers. They just spend their time wisely. One of the things they always do is create content for their readers, not for themselves. Besides creating new content, these bloggers are spending hours on creating awareness and eventually gain more blog traffic. If you’re new to blogging, you might find it hard to promote your blog, create content and increase your blog traffic at the same time. One of the most effective ways to do this is using Pinterest. Obviously, anyone can use Pinterest, but are you really getting the most out of it? In this post I’ll explain how to effectively use Pinterest to increase blog traffic.

How To Use Pinterest To Increase Blog Traffic TCOADG

1. Treat Pinterest like any other social media

A lot of people see Pinterest as the place to promote yourself or your blog, and that’s entirely right. However, Pinterest is much more than that. Start using Pinterest like any other social media account: scroll through your feed and pin whatever interests you. Check out other pinners and their boards, and get inspired. You just have to keep in mind that Pinterest is social media platform and when it comes to online marketing-promotion, it works pretty much the same.

2. Minimum of 5 pins a day

Facebook and Instagram have likes. Twitter has retweets. Pinterest has pins. Try to reach a minimum of 5 pins a day, this way you’re motivated to stay active and create awareness, which is exactly what you need!
The best way to promote your blog post is by sharing it on Pinterest, and you could even re-pin it after a while. Just make sure you don’t pin it 5 times in 5 minutes because really, you’re gonna annoy the hell out of your followers.

Monthly Viewers on Pinterest TCOADG

3. Regularly refresh boards

Just like your blog content, your pins stay on your boards forever. Make sure that most of your pins (and blog content) are evergreen content, which means that it will always stay relevant or interesting to the readers.  So it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check out the content of your boards every once in a while. Ask yourself these questions while going over your board-check:

  • Is every pin placed in the right board? Re-pin and delete!
  • Check out the pins you created yourself, are all the sources still working?
  • Could you make your pins more attractive by changing the caption?
  • Do you still use all your boards? Are there any irrelevant ones? If so, you don’t have to delete them. Consider putting some boards on private.

Pinterest boards

4. Make everything on your blog pinnable

This is easier for people with a self-hosted blog, because you can edit and adjust your content by yourself. If your blog is self-hosted, make sure that your readers can pin all the pictures on your blog onto Pinterest. You’re really gonna need this feature if you want to get the best out of Pinterest.

Tip: If you’re gonna make all the pictures on your blog pinnable, make sure they’re your own pictures. Don’t just find an aesthetic picture on Google and let people pin it as if it’s yours because that wouldn’t be fair to anyone, right?

5. Pinterest business account

This might be the easiest but most important thing yet. If you already have a Pinterest account, turn it into a business account for free (settings). This way you’ll be able to keep track of your Pinterest analytics which can come in handy when you want to increase your blog traffic.

If you have a self-hosted blog, you can also connect your website to Pinterest. You’ll be able to see what people are saving from your domain and you’ll know how all your content is doing on Pinterest, not just the pins you’ve saved to your profile. It’s free so it’s definitely worth checking out!

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I hope these 5 tips will help you out with increasing your blog traffic, because really, Pinterest is the way to go. How active are you on Pinterest? Comment below!

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#5 Ways To Stay Focused On Your Goals

We all have goals in life, don’t we? And we would all like to achieve these goals, but there are days in life when we just don’t feel like doing anything. And that’s okay. Just remember you’re gonna have to pick yourself up eventually and move on, because your goals are waiting for you. That might sound easier than it actually is, I totally agree, and that’s why I’ve made a short list below that will help you to stay motivated and focused on your goals.

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#1. Make a to-do list 

This always works. When you wake up and feel like doing nothing today, just grab your phone or notebook and start making a to-do list for the day. Just make sure that the order of the tasks doesn’t matter, because that’s gonna make you even more demotivated. This way you can pick anything that’s on the list and accomplish it any time of the day.  Try to get as much done as possible and you’ll be surprised how much you’ve done at the end of the day.

You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for.

#2. Go offline! 

One of the reasons you can’t focus could be because you’re easily distracted. What’s the biggest distraction in our lives these days? That’d be social media and you knew it. It’s so tempting to reach out for your phone while you’re “thinking”, just try not doing that for once! You’re unconsciously taking your mind somewhere else, and your focus goes along. Turn off your wifi/ data or just entirely turn off your phone, to make sure you don’t go checking your social media timelines. Maybe try out the Pomodoro-method?

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#3. Change your work place/environment 

Are you always working at the same place, in the same environment? That might be another reason you’re not really motivated anymore. Your mind gets used to the environment and it’s not as exciting as it used to be. Try switching to a different environment from time to time. Maybe this cute cafe, a restaurant or the library? You’ll be surprised what it could do to your motivation and inspiration.

#4. Track your progress

There’s no better way to get a confidence-boost than seeing the progress you made. When you’re a blogger, read back old posts and the track the traffic you had on your best days. This will get you motivated to post more in no time (always works for me).

Another way of tracking your progress is checking off the things you already did, e.g. on your to-do list. It will make you feel satisfied and motivated to keep going!

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#5. Have a healthy mindset

There’s no way you can stay focused if you don’t have a healthy mindset, but what does this mean? Of course it’s important to exercise regularly and eat healthy, but it’s even more important to make sure your mind is healthy. First of all, life can be stressful sometimes so it’s important to say no sometimes. Also make sure you’re surrounding yourself with positive people, which means: leave all the toxic people behind! You deserve much better and you’ll definitely notice the change.


Click here to read all about having a healthy mindset.

Click here to check out my Pinterest board about motivation and self-improvement.

I hope these tips will help you out and get you focused on your goals again! What works for you when you’re feeling demotivated? Let me know!

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#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!

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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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