Coming Out Of a Global Pandemic: What Now?

Let me start off by telling you that this is not a post with specific advice, I’m not going to tell you how to deal with coming out of a global pandemic. However, I am going to give you some insights into how different people are dealing with it, which can hopefully help you and make you feel more comfortable as well. I hope this post makes you realize that, however you feel right now, there’s no pressure to be doing anything, at all.
Source: One World, n.d.

Now that more and more people are getting vaccinated all over the world, we can slowly see our daily life returning to the way to the way it used to be. Or at least, a new ‘normal’. We suddenly do not have to wear face masks in public anymore, restaurants and clubs are opening up, we are allowed to travel abroad, and many employers are encouraging their employees to start coming to the office again. As exciting as these changes may sound, it can also be quite overwhelming. Some might feel like they are not ready to go out again, some might feel pressured to go out when they see all their friends hanging out again, and some simply don’t feel the need to be going out and be social again at all. When you relate to (some of) these feelings, you might also think that, by staying in, you’re isolating yourself and that there is something wrong with you for not wanting to be social. Well, let me tell you, your feelings are valid. Whether you spend every single day making plans and hanging out with friends or family, or whether you prefer to stay in and spend time by yourself like you have been doing the past year(s)- there is nothing wrong with that!

In this new era of digital media and social comparison, it is easier than ever to feel like you’re falling behind on your social life. It is kind of like indirect peer pressure. No one is telling you that you have to go out, but you still want to. Why? Because everyone else seems to be doing it and you don’t want to seem like a loser, right?

So, here are five situations you might relate to but feel unsure about. Which ever situation you relate to, they are totally understandable. It’s okay when…

  • You were never really an outgoing person before the pandemic, and you now feel pressured to go out of your comfort-zone and start going out more.
  • You were going through a hard time during the many lockdowns and you feel relieved to be social again, so you take every opportunity you can to meet up with friends.
  • You used to be an outgoing person before the pandemic, but the lockdowns taught you that it is okay to spend some time by yourself, and now you’re actually fine with not going out as much.
  • You were never really an outgoing person before the pandemic, but the lockdowns made you realize that you do crave certain social interactions, so you’re looking for (new) friends to hang out with now.
  • You used to go out a lot before the pandemic even when you didn’t feel like it, and now you’ve decided that you really only want to go out when you want to and feel like it.

One thing I frequently hear is that 2020 (and a part of 2021) has helped many people with getting to know themselves. Some realize that they are a complete mess when they have to spend more than a day without seeing anyone but themselves, and some realize that they actually like the peace and quiet. The thing is, even when you’re taking online classes or working from home, you still spend a great amount of time in your own head. You start re-thinking your relationships, you evaluate your past and present and start dreaming of the future, you criticize yourself and your (unhealthy) habits, and you learn things about yourself that you never knew before (for instance, you turn out to be a great painter or writer). So, coming out of a global pandemic, how do you move forward with this new knowledge about yourself?

It’s definitely scary. But, ever since things started opening up again in the Netherlands, I noticed one thing that I really liked. Whether it’s in the supermarket, in a shopping centre or at school, it’s obvious that almost everyone has been putting some extra effort in their appearance. In fact, I’ve barely seen students in sweatpants and hoodies; and there was a time when that seemed to be the only ‘appropriate’ college outfit. You can tell that people feel grateful for being able to go out again, and they appreciate the hell out of it by wearing that one outfit they were never too sure about, or by going for that bold make-up look. Or, something that I can personally relate to, I can see some people who have chosen to go natural. They’ve spent so much time by themselves in their natural look that they’ve grown to be comfortable with it. Going natural can mean different things to different people. For me it meant growing out my natural curls and not straightening it at all anymore, not even when I’m going out. For others, it could mean wearing less make-up or not wearing body-enhancing underwear. People realized that they’ve been doing so much just to be liked by others. Whether that is wearing or not wearing make-up, wearing or not wearing that one outfit, straightening or not straightening our hair- we’ve all been changing ourselves because we think we’re liked better in a certain way. But now, we’ve realized that it really doesn’t matter if others like us, the only thing that matters is if we like ourselves. This topic might seem to come out of nowhere, but it matters because it’s part of how we developed ourselves during the pandemic, and how we maintain these developments moving forward.

So, what’s the takeaway of all this? However you feel about things opening up again, it’s okay. I’m not going to tell you to take it slow, I’m just going to tell you to do things at your own pace. Don’t let others (indirectly) pressure you into going out when you’re not ready for it; but also, don’t make others feel bad when they prefer to stay in while you want to go out.

#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!

SocialMedia

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!

Pinterest Analytics



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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