December 30, 2015

Another year in business - the ups & downs

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 thing…
December 28, 2015

Prepare for another year of blogging - free editorial calendar 2016

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 tha…
December 25, 2015

Freebie Fridays #73 - 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

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! M…
December 21, 2015

Get creative with FotoJet - a free image editing 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 w…
December 18, 2015

Freebie Fridays #72 - 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 …
December 16, 2015

How to improve blog headers & post titles for better SEO

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…
December 14, 2015

Blogger Trouble Shooting - The Blogger 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 goi…
December 11, 2015

Freebie Fridays #71 - Printable 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.…
December 9, 2015

Christmas Giveaway & Discount

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

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 …
December 4, 2015

Freebie Fridays #70 - Christmas Covers for Facebook

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 Christ…
December 2, 2015

4 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 …
November 30, 2015

Doctor Blog #1 - get a free checkup for 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 ho…
November 27, 2015

Freebie Fridays #69 - Gift & Present 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

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

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 i…
November 20, 2015

Freebie Fridays #68 - Thanksgiving Labels

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

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…
November 16, 2015

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

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!

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

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 li…
November 6, 2015

Freebie Fridays #66 - Autumn Card Designs

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!

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 …
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 t…
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 f…
October 28, 2015

Using Google+ to grow your Blogger 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 …
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…
October 23, 2015

Freebie Fridays #64 - Social Watercolor Dots

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

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…
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 throug…
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 compan…
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 …
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 easie…
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

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

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 rel…
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.…
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 ne…
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 desi…
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 bl…