December 30, 2015

Another year in business - the ups & downs

business and blogging in 2015

And with only one day left to go, 2015 is nearing its end. Incredible. I don't know about you, but time really seems to go a lot faster with each year I get older. But maybe time flew by as well because I was having fun this year with my business and blog. It hasn't made me a millionaire yet, but it did bring me a whole lot of other things. Good and bad. And that's why I thought it would be nice to share the more personal side of things in this last post of the year. Because it is really easy to keep up appearances online and on social media, but don't we all just want to know the juicy details? After all, we are human, and we like to find out that the people we follow along with online are human too. So let's dive into the ups and downs of my business and blogging this year!

December 28, 2015

Prepare for another year of blogging - free editorial calendar 2016

free editorial calendar for bloggers

Just a few more days and we will be entering 2016. I have always loved the quote by Brad Paisley:

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.

And while 2016 has an extra day, resulting in a 366 page book, I hope we can all write beautiful stories in our personal lives, but also on our blogs. And to help you out with that I'm sharing a free editorial calendar for bloggers with you today!

December 25, 2015

Freebie Fridays #73 - Sparkle Papers

Free digital sparkle papers

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are all celebrating today with your loved ones. I won't be at work either, instead I'm going to hopefully spend a nice day with my family. So this post was actually written and scheduled a couple of weeks ago. But definitely with the sparkle of the Holiday season on my mind!

December 23, 2015

Adding a good search description to your Blogger posts

adding a post search description in blogger

Have you noticed that while writing a blogger post the side of the screen is filled with options to improve that post in a lot of ways? It's the part that is called 'Post settings' and when you are totally new to Blogger these options often seem so overwhelming that you want to forget about them as soon as possible. But not so fast! Most of these options are there to improve your blog's SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And you don't want to miss out on that, do you? So let's dive into the Search Description option today!

December 21, 2015

Get creative with FotoJet - a free image editing tool

fotojet online creative image tool

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a lady named Candy who had read my post about how to create your own Facebook cover with Photoscape, a free image editing progam. She wrote me that the company she worked for had designed an intelligent online tool that helped people create facebook covers and other image related projects in a very easy way. And she asked me if I was willing to bring this free tool to the attention of my readers.

December 18, 2015

Freebie Fridays #72 - Christmas Gift Tags

free Christmas gift tags

With only one week to go until Christmas you might be busy with shopping for gifts and presents for your loved ones. Giving and receiving presents is always a nice experience, but what makes it even better is often the way the gift is presented. And you don't have to buy expensive papers and tags for that, you can use today's freebie for it!

December 16, 2015

How to improve blog headers & post titles for better SEO

how to improve seo for blog titles and headers

About a month ago I spent a very interesting afternoon with a guy that taught me a little more about general SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how to improve SEO for my own website. And while I am absolutely no expert in this field, and probably never will be, because it is incredibly comprehensive and a profession on its own, I did learn some great tips from him. Several of those tips involved blog headers and titles, so that is what I would like to share with you today!

December 14, 2015

Blogger Trouble Shooting - The Blogger Search Bar

Blogger trouble shooting - The search bar

As a designer of Blogger templates it's no secret that I like Blogger as a platform. Probably the best thing about it is that it is a free blog platform, giving people the chance to share their stories without paying hosting fees. But despite the benefits, Blogger has some issues as well. And sooner or later, most of the Blogger users are going to bump into these issues.

One of them is the search bar. While being an important part of a blog, it is not working on a lot of Blogger blogs. Why is that and what can you do about it?

December 11, 2015

Freebie Fridays #71 - Printable Christmas Menu Cards

free christmas menu cards

In last week's Freebie episode I shared a set of free Facebook covers for the holiday season and this week I'm sticking to the holiday theme with a set of printable Christmas menu cards.

Fortunately our family has been invited to have Christmas dinner at our sister-in-law, so I won't be spending too much time in the kitchen this year. But if you are having people over or just like to go crazy in the kitchen with Christmas, you might want to style the dinner table as well. These printable Christmas menu cards will at least take that bit of styling work away from you.

December 9, 2015

Christmas Giveaway & Discount

Christmas Giveaway 2015

Of course I can't let the holidays pass by without giving away something. It's still a good two weeks until Christmas, but that will give you plenty of time to join this giveaway. So what can you win this year and how can you participate?

December 7, 2015

Creatives in the spotlight - Whitney Mitchell

Creatives in the spotlight

It's been a while since I wrote the last Creatives in the Spotlight post, but today I am back with an incredible inspiring person for this series. I had the privilege to interview one of my own clients that has an important story to share with us all. Whitney Mitchell is a 23 year old girl from Dallas, Texas, who went through a huge ordeal a couple of years ago and in this episode she is sharing how she is dealing with this enormous challenge in an inspiring and creative way. So let's meet her!

December 4, 2015

Freebie Fridays #70 - Christmas Covers for Facebook

free facebook covers for the holidays

I can't believe this is already episode 70 of the Freebie Fridays series! But each week it is so much fun to give away a graphic/digital design item for free, so I will hopefully make it to a hundred and beyond!

With Christmas around the corner what better freebie to share than a Christmas freebie? So this week I'm sharing a set of Christmas styled Facebook timeline covers.

December 2, 2015

4 Tips for better blog post images

tips for better blog post images

Photography has never been my forte. It's an area that needs exploring and a subject that I would like to dive into more myself. To be able to make beautiful family pictures, but also to create good quality blog post images. Because when you are a blogger, photography should be on your agenda, whether that is in the form of shooting your own images or using high quality stock photos.

November 30, 2015

Doctor Blog #1 - get a free checkup for your blog layout

get tips to improve your blog layout

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas in front of us, it's still the season of giving. Today is the last day of the 50% Thanksgiving discount in my Etsy shops The Dutch Lady Designs and Dutch Lady Digi Design, so if you are in need of some creative clipart or a blog makeover, be sure to check out last week's post that will tell you how to get the discount!

But I have been playing with another idea lately to help out my readers with their blogs. That ultimately resulted in the idea of creating the Doctor Blog post series, and today's post is the first part in that series.

November 27, 2015

Freebie Fridays #69 - Gift & Present Clipart

free present and gift clipart

We're still amidst of the Thanksgiving weekend, meaning that the 50% discount on every item in my Etsy shops is still available until Cyber Monday, November 30th. So if you are in need of a new blog design or some clipart for creative purposes, don't miss out on this chance!

November 25, 2015

50% Discount on almost everything during Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving Discount 2015 The Dutch Lady Designs

Today I don't have a tutorial or a bunch of blog or business tips to share with you. Instead I want to focus on tomorrow's Thanksgiving holiday in the US and the days following.

November 23, 2015

How to increase the loading speed of your blog page

how to increase your blog's page speed

Just recently I had a very informative Saturday afternoon which left my mind spinning from all the info I received. A good friend of mine hooked me up with another friend of his that works in the field of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). While I have come a long way as far as blog design and graphic design for blogs, Search Engine Optimization is still largely unexplored territory for me. But with the idea in mind to grow my own blog traffic and at the same time being able to inform my clients better on this subject I had to start learning more about this topic.

November 20, 2015

Freebie Fridays #68 - Thanksgiving Labels

free thanksgiving clipart

Did you know that I don't celebrate Thanksgiving? It's just not a holiday we Dutchies are familiar with. But with TV and other media bombarding us with everything from the US, I am now pretty familiar with how you guys celebrate this day.

November 18, 2015

How to make your blog's sidebar work for you

How to make your blog sidebar work for you

Have you ever come across a blog or website where the sidebar looks an awful lot like that little clutter drawer in your kitchen? The type of sidebar that is filled with tons of funny gadgets, buttons, awards and God knows what? I'm sure you have! But in the midst of all this visual turmoil it is hard to find out what the blog is really about and who the blogger is behind it. Does this even sound like I'm describing YOUR sidebar? Then it is about time for some action!

November 16, 2015

How to grow your blog traffic with Gawkerverse

How to grow your blog traffic with Gawkerverse

About a year ago I wrote a post on how to gain more blog traffic through sharing your blog photos on certain platforms. Today I would like to share some of my own recent experiences with one of these platforms, what it is that I did and what it meant for my blog in the hope that it will help you grow your blog traffic as well.

November 13, 2015

Freebie Fridays #67 - Golden Christmas Wreaths

Free golden Christmas wreath clipart

Now that November is nearly half over I thought it would be an appropriate time to share a Christmas freebie. Maybe you are busy looking for Christmas cards to send out to friends and family, and if you're really creative you might want to make them yourself. This week's freebie will help you with that!

November 11, 2015

Blog niches & how to find yours!

finding your blog niche

It's one of those words that you will encounter pretty early on when diving into blogging: Niche. So what is it and how can you find yours? That's the topic I want to cover today since it has taken me quite a bit of time to find mine...

November 9, 2015

Place your post title before your blog title - SEO Tutorial

how to put the post title in front of the blog title

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a field in which I still have a lot to learn myself. I am currently spending some of my time diving into it in order to get my own blog more visible in search engines, but also to advise my clients better on this subject. But let's be honest, that whole technical language can be quite overwhelming, so I like to start small. And in this post I want to highlight a little tweak that you can easily do yourself to make your Blogger blog (or any other blog) a little more visible in search engines!

November 6, 2015

Freebie Fridays #66 - Autumn Card Designs

free downloadable post cards

It's already November and Autumn is in full swing over here. We still have some beautiful colors around us, but the trees are losing leaves rapidly, so a lot of the color is ending up on the ground.

November 4, 2015

Need blog & business advice? Meet this awesome business babe!

marie forleo

Growing a blog and business is serious work. I bet you all know that. It's about finding things out, trying things out and definitely finding your own voice. It's about creativity, marketing, planning and persistance. And while a good and energetic attitude is probably half the work, we can't do it all by ourselves, can we? Sometimes we just need someone else to give us fresh ideas and tips and tricks to keep things flowing. And my go-to girl for this is miss Marie Forleo!

November 2, 2015

How to install social media icons on Blogger


A really long time ago, like May last year, I wrote a post on how to add social media icons to your Blogger sidebar in a way that they display and function properly. That method involved the use of an online image storage program like Photobucket, but there is also a way to upload icons to your sidebar with the use of Blogger itself. And I like to use that method myself, so today I am going to show you how it works!

October 30, 2015

Freebie Fridays #65 - Handdrawn Feather Clipart


It's feathers again this week. I seem to have a thing for feathers lately. Every time I go outside for a walk or to run errands I find bird feathers on my path. Some people think that these feathers represent a spiritual message of some sorts. And I am one of those people ;-) If you are interested in this subject you can google 'finding feathers on your path'. There is more than one explanation for this and the message seems to depend on the color of feather and if you find it on the left or the right side of your body. I haven't found out yet what they mean exactly for me personal, but finding the feathers became so obvious that I couldn't ignore it any longer.

October 28, 2015

Using Google+ to grow your Blogger blog audience

how google+ can grow your blog audience
If your blog is hosted on the Blogger platform you have a Google account, because without a Google account you are not able to open a blog on Blogger. I bet you knew that. But did you know that you can expand your Google account with a Google+ profile and use it to grow your blog's audience? Well, in the very beginning of my blogging journey I didn't and I am happy I know now!

October 26, 2015

How the Blogger subscription options work


As a designer of Blogger blogs, clients often think I know all the ins and outs of Blogger, and while I have come a long way since starting out myself as a blogger I still have a lot to learn. It is one of the reasons that I currently only design Blogger blogs. The work involves so much more than only making the designs. Clients also want to know how the Blogger platform works and how they can get the best out of it for their blogs. And I really want that to be a part of my service as well. But it is also the part where I am still learning myself. Google and Blogger are huge platforms, with lots of options, and it takes time to explore and understand them all. But while I am doing that I love to share what I have learned so far!

October 23, 2015

Freebie Fridays #64 - Social Watercolor Dots

free social media icons

Let's keep the intro short this week. I know a lot of my blog readers prefer blog related freebies. So this week I am sharing a set of black watercolor social media dots for blogs and websites.

October 21, 2015

Why small business owners can benefit from having a blog

benefits of blogging for business owners


Are you a small business owner always looking to grow your platform and clientele? In this age and era you will probably have a website or a web shop. But do you keep a blog as well? No? Then this post is written especially for you!

October 19, 2015

How to create a watermark for blog post images


Since helping out clients with their blog designs I have gotten this particular question more than once: 'How can I create a watermark on my blog post images?'. You have probably come across a lot of blogs that put either their blog name, their blog URL or a logo on their blog post images. Often in one of the corners of the image.

October 16, 2015

Freebie Fridays #63 - Autumn Labels


Just another two weeks and it's Halloween again. Here in the Netherlands it is not celebrated as big as in the US, but we are slowly getting there. With TV and commercials the Dutch kids get introduced to this freaky night and they want to celebrate too! My youngest will be celebrating Halloween in a theme park with her friend where they have a fright night. I bet there will be some candy involved as well.

October 14, 2015

Designing your blog - start with a style guide


Whether you are just starting a new blog or you are thinking about a blog makeover it can be pretty damn hard to select a color and font style for your blog. But it is critical for the end result that you really set a specific color palette and font style for the layout. Being consistent in your use of colors, illustrations and font styles throughout your blog layout will give it a professional look and will even keep your readers on your blog for longer. We all have come across blogs that are all over the place style wise. The blogger uses all colors of the rainbow and a new font style in almost every new line of text. This often creates a very messy look and while the blog content might be worth reading, these layouts often scare me away immediately. Just because the great stories are hard to read with all this stuff going on.

October 12, 2015

A new look & rebrand


Hi dear readers! I am so excited to present you the new look and logo for The Dutch Lady Designs! I've put many, many hours into thinking about it and eventually creating it. Sometimes it's just time for a brand and website to take it one step further and invest in a more professional look that still reflects the personality of the company and the person behind it.

October 9, 2015

Freebie Fridays #62 - Floral Blog Header Banners


And again we have come to the end of yet another work week... That means it's time to share another freebie. This time in the form of blog header images.

These headers are actually floral banners to which you can add your own blog title. The images are placed on a transparent background that is 1000 x 300 pixels. That is a size that will fit the average blog header area when you upload it. 

October 6, 2015

Autumn Sale on Premade Blogger Templates


Now that the days in the Northern hemisphere get shorter and colder, it's time to bundle up at home reading inspiring blogs or writing great posts yourself! It seems that for me personally Autumn and Winter are most ideal for writing. I'm less distracted by beautiful weather and an open back door and inspiration often comes a little easier.

October 2, 2015

Freebie Fridays #61 - Another free Blogger template


Since I haven't been spending a lot of time on the blog this week I thought I would make it up by sharing the third free Blogger template with you all.

I have been working on updating some of my Premade Blogger Templates in the shop this week and got into the swing of things. So why not create a freebie template as well? And here it is!

September 25, 2015

Freebie Fridays #60 - Ethnic Arrow Clipart

free ethnic arrow clipart

Hey there! I can't believe it is already Friday again! The weeks seem to fly by since the kids have started school again at the beginning of September. And it does help that I have a ton of ideas for products for my Etsy shops. There are almost not enough hours in a day to work on everything ;-)

September 23, 2015

How to add a free newsletter pop up or bar to your blog

how to add a newsletter pop up screen to your website

If you have visited this website over the last days you may have noticed that after about five seconds a little screen pops up looking like this (note - the pop up might change over time, so at the time you are viewing this post it might not look exactly like the image below):

September 21, 2015

The new Etsy shop: Dutch Lady Printables

As promised last week I am going to share some more info on the new Etsy shop that I just opened. I worked pretty hard last week to get the items ready for display in the shop and I can announce now that it is all up and running!

The shop is called Dutch Lady Printables and is all about printable graphic design. Right now there are 34 wedding related card designs displayed in the shop, but I hope to add more in the near future and maybe even card designs for birthday invitations and other invitation cards.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MY PRINTABLE & CUSTOMIZED CARD DESIGNS
The designs that are on display are basic designs. When you purchase a design you have a ton of options to tweak the design to your satisfaction:

• you can add the text of your choice - you don't have to use the sample text
• you can add the text colors of your choice - you don't have to use the text colors as shown
• you can choose the card size - you don't have to use the size of the sample card
• you can choose the background color of the card - you don't have to use the sample background color
• in case you choose a photography card design you will of course be able to add your own beautiful photograph to the design


Since I am a graphic designer and not a printer I do not print out the cards. I only sell the customized designs. After purchase I will make a proof card according to the information you will give me on text, color and size. From there we will tweak the proof to your full satisfaction after which I will send over the files of the card design. You will get the files in high resolution (300 dpi) .JPEG file and in .PDF file.

With the digital files you go to your local or online print shop to print out your cards. Please keep in mind that the quality of the printer and paper used is important for the outcome of the printed card!


GET A 20% DISCOUNT ON YOUR PURCHASE
As a way to celebrate this new shop with my blog readers I am giving a 20% discount on any purchase you make in the printables design shop. Just use coupon code TWENTY at the checkout and a 20% discount will instantly be deducted from your total purchase amount. The coupon code does not have an expiration date, so if you bump into this blog post a year from now you will still be able to use the code.

Hope to see you around in the new shop!




September 18, 2015

Freebie Fridays #59 - Floral Clipart


I've been working hard on my new Etsy shop this week and I will make sure to tell you all about it next week! But first, let me share this set of 10 floral clipart images with you.

The images are of course in .PNG file with a transparent background which makes them ideal for decorating your digital images or for making printable card designs. And don't forget that clipart makes great decoration for blog and websites as well. Use clipart in your blog header or in a button that you want to have in your sidebar. Lots of ways to get creative!

Have a nice weekend and till soon!



September 14, 2015

Setting business goals for 2016


While we still have about three and a half months ahead of us before 2015 turns into 2016 I felt the time was right to think about my business goals for next year. I know a lot of people use the month of January to start new projects or work on personal goals, but for me the beginning of Autumn has always had that vibe of change that I seem to need to get excited about new thoughts and ideas.

With the Summer vacation behind me and the weather getting colder again I'm spending more time indoors by myself. My husband and kids are at work and in school during the week and that allows all these creative ideas to pop up in my mind. And why not make the best of that by setting out and structuring some goals for my business for the upcoming year?

So what are my goals for next year? And what will I have to do to come as close as possible to meeting my goals? I thought this would be a nice subject for today's blog post, so let's dive into some goal setting!

I MAKE A HABIT OF WRITING DOWN MY GOALS
By writing stuff down it feels like ideas and plans solidify a little more than when I only keep them in my head. It's a bit like making a vision board (if you don't know what that is, check it out in this post). I have a little notebook that I use to write down personal and business goals, but writing them down in a digital way, like in a blog post for example is a great way too.

GOALS I MADE FOR 2015
This year was for professionalizing and growing my business. I submitted my little business to the Dutch chamber of commerce back in April, which made things very real all of a sudden and I set a goal for the income I would like to earn this year. I put down a number of 7.500 Euros as my turnover goal and knew that the biggest part of that amount would have to come from my blog design shop Dutch Lady Digi Design

My shop and business were of course a little smaller at January 1st of this year so I had to come up with a plan how to grow towards that turnover goal of 7.500 Euros. I decided I needed to make more premade blogger designs to fill up the shop and to offer my clients a wider range to choose from and I also knew I would have to raise my prices. I did both of these things in the course of this year which resulted so far in a turnover of 5.200 Euros. With three and a half more months to go it is likely that I will be meeting my turnover goal of 7.500 Euros this year.

I am both proud and thankful. If you would have told me five years ago that one day I would have my own business I would not have believed you. I am very happy that the income goal I set for myself at the beginning of this year will probably be met in December, but the feeling of gratitude and passion that I get from working in my own little business gives even more satisfaction. It is as if I start to see and believe that it is possible to make dreams come true and to do something in life that makes my heart sing. Something that benefits me and my family as well as the clients I help out.

SO WHICH GOALS DO I SET FOR 2016?
For the upcoming year I do not want to set a fixed income goal like I did this year. Instead I am setting the following goal:

- I will make enough money to support a fully organic and ecological way of living for me and my family -

Graphic design is definitely a passion of mine, but my other big passion is healthy living. With the income I earned so far we have been able to buy more organic foods and ecological household products. This does not only benefit my own health and that of my family, but also the environment. I would love to take that a step further by making enough money to buy all my groceries from the organic/ecological supermarket. So that is going to be my goal for next year. In December of 2016 I hope to have a monthly income that supports that way of living.

I started out with my own organic little veggie garden this year which gave me quite a few zucchinis, tomatoes and cucumbers this Summer. I hope to take that to the next level as well in 2016.

Another goal for next year is:

- I want to keep the creativity flowing -

The creative part of my job is what makes it so much fun. 

HOW DO I PLAN TO MEET MY GOALS?
Having goals is one thing, having a strategic plan to reach them another. So I gave my goals some thoughts over the last few days and came up with the following strategics to try to meet them:

  • I need to widen my product range to reach more possible clients
  • Widening my product range will also give me the opportunity to get creative
  • Opening a third Etsy shop for this new product range
  • To be of even better service and for my personal development I have to educate myself more in the field of web design and graphic design with the use of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I will have to invest time to watch and read tutorials on these subjects or find online courses.
  • Keep writing useful posts for this blog ;-)

Yes, you have read it correctly. I have plans to open a new Etsy shop. Since Autumn is such a very creative time of year for me I decided to put my energy in developing a new graphic design product line and I think this line of products will be best presented in a new shop. It's a work in progress for now but you can expect a blog post when the new shop and products are launched sometime this Fall.

If you have visited one of my shops over the last week you might have noticed that I put in some new products there as well. I made some new clipart sets for The Dutch Lady Designs and I made a section of Customized Business Cards for Bloggers and Business Babes in the other shop. So I have already started putting my plans into action.

examples of the customizable business cards for bloggers & business babes

WHY DON'T I MAKE A SIX FIGURE INCOME?
The title of this paragraph should of course say 'Why don't I make a six figure income YET? ;-)
I almost here you thinking: 'how the hell does she make a living from a 7.500 Euros income'? Well, my husband has always been the one that brought in a steady monthly income. I took care of our kids and had some small part time jobs on the side every now and then. But my main focus was on raising the kids. Now that they are teenagers and I have some more time to myself I can invest that time in my business and slowly grow it. The fact that we were able to live on mostly one income over the years makes my income from the design business a nice extra. With one income we lived on a very tight budget and with my newly gained income our budget expanded. So much that we were slowly able to start buying more organic (one of our personal family goals).

When starting a business it is almost impossible to start earning a six figure income from day one. And I don't know if I will ever reach that figure. But you know what? It's not even a goal of mine. My goal is to live and work happily. To have a good balance between business and private life. My goal is to be able to live more sustainable, but I'm pretty sure my husband and I can do that without a six figure income from both our jobs. 

Have you already thought about business / personal goals for next year? Or maybe blogging goals? Blogging can turn into a serious passionate business too! Let me know your ideas in the comments below, I would love to read about them!

September 11, 2015

Freebie Fridays #58 - Transparent Makeup Circles


I made these slightly transparent, watercolor style circles in Photoshop and when I placed them next to each other on the image above it made me think of a little box of blush or eye shadow. Hence their name: makeup circles.

You may use them as digital makeup for your blog or website, to spice up your digital images or to make beautiful card designs with them. And if you can get a hold of some white or grey social media icons, you can put those on top of the circles and make your own social media icon set for your blog! Lots of ways to use these cuties.

These 10 images are all in .PNG file with transparent background. Their size is 2500 x 2500 pixels. I hope you have lots of creative fun with them and have a great weekend as well!


September 9, 2015

Why I love Bloglovin & how to link your blog to it


Ever since I've started blogging myself I've been a huge fan of Bloglovin. Most bloggers probably know what I'm talking about but if you're new to blogging, this site might need some introduction. Bloglovin is a site that brings bloggers and blog readers together, making life a lot easier for all of them.

In the beginning of my blogging days I thought people would automatically subscribe to my blog with their email address since this is what I did with the blogs I liked to read. But I soon found out that receiving updates in your mailbox from the blogs you love gets really overwhelming when you start following more and more blogs. My inbox got bombarded with updates and it soon drove me crazy. Then I found out about bloglovin and my overcrowded inbox problems were solved in an instant.

A blogger can register his or her blog at bloglovin and a blog reader can subscribe to that blog within Bloglovin. As a reader you can subscribe to as many blogs as you like and you will get all new updates from the blogs you follow in a daily feed that you can view on the Bloglovin website. You can do this by visiting the Bloglovin site on your computer, but Bloglovin also has a beautiful app created for mobile devices. This gives me the opportunity to read all my favorite blogs on my Ipad whenever I feel like it without clogging up my email inbox.


It's clear that I love this site. And while a lot of bloggers know of its existence, beginning bloggers often don't and they miss out on a great opportunity to gain more readers. So to give your blog the opportunity to grow I definitely recommend giving your readers the option to subscribe to your blog via Bloglovin. But how does this work? How do you connect your blog to Bloglovin and then create a link that readers can use to subscribe? Well, that's the subject of today's tutorial. So let's go!


STEP 1 - CREATE A BLOGLOVIN ACCOUNT

Whether you are a blogger that wants your blog to be connected to Bloglovin, or you are a serial blog reader that loves to get all your favorite posts in one daily feed, the journey starts with a free subscription to Bloglovin.


STEP 2 - ADD YOUR BLOG TO YOUR ACCOUNT

  • when you are in your bloglovin account click on your little circle shape image in the top menu bar (this might be empty when you haven't added your photo yet)
  • then select the option 'Profile'


  • then select the option 'Edit your Profile'
  • if you scroll a little down the page you will see the option 'Add Blog' - select this
  • if you don't see a bar yet where you can type in your blog address, search for the blue 'Claim Blog' button and select that
  • a bar should now open where you can type in your blog URL and claim your blog - I have done this in the image below. I added my blog URL www.thedutchladydesigns.com and then pushed the 'Claim Blog' button next to it. The Blog URL and info appears underneath it. 



STEP 3 - LINK BLOGLOVIN TO ONE OF YOUR BLOG POSTS

  • Once you see the screen in the image above, click on the blog name and it will take you to the HTML code for claiming your blog:


  • Now go over to your blog and open a new blog post


  • Click on the HTML button on the top left side, this will open the HTML screen
  • Now copy the HTML code you got from Bloglovin and paste it into the HTML screen:


  • Once that is done click on the 'Compose' button in the left upper corner and the Bloglovin claim link will appear in your post
  • Publish the post now - it needs to be published in order for Bloglovin to recognize the link you have just created
  • Once you have published the post, go back to Bloglovin and click the blue button under the coding that says 'Claim Blog'
  • Your blog should now appear in the blog analytics page of your Bloglovin account and it should look like this: 


In your analytic page you will be able to see how many people sign up for your blog.

You have now linked your blog to your Bloglovin account, but to make it easy for your readers to find you on Bloglovin you want a good subscription link in your sidebar. That is the next step.

STEP 4 - MAKE A BLOGLOVIN SUBSCRIPTION LINK FOR YOUR READERS

  • Now hover over your little circle shaped profile image again on Bloglovin
  • Select the option 'Widgets'


  • Choose one of the 'Follow Widgets' and click the 'Get this Widget' text underneath
  • An HTML code appears


  • Now copy this code
  • Go to your Blogger Dashboard and select option 'Layout'
  • Then add a new gadget to your sidebar (choose the HTML gadget option)
  • Paste the code into the gadget screen and save
  • Your bloglovin widget should now be visible in your sidebar and when readers click on it it will direct them to the Bloglovin page where they can start following you

TROUBLESHOOTING
If you are not familiar with adding new gadgets to your Blogger blog you can learn how to do this in the tutorial over here: http://www.thedutchladydesigns.com/2014/10/how-does-the-blogger-sidebar-work.html

If you need to know how to add the code to a gadget on another platform than Blogger, then please follow the instructions that Bloglovin gives for that over here: https://help.bloglovin.com/knowledgebase/topics/36515-guides

And if you are experiencing trouble claiming your blog URL because Bloglovin says it cannot find this particular blog (this happened to me more than once while trying to do this for a client), you can always turn to the Bloglovin helpdesk over here. In most cases the Bloglovin team will help you out connecting your blog to your account.

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