Interviewing Sombras Blancas Art & Design & 20%Off Promo Code

So today I am interviewing Cris from Sombras Blancas Art & Design and she tells us about her website and Etsy store. She has also kindly given my readers a 20% Off promo code which you may want to use this code to design you log or website, read ahead!!

Promo Code

Hi Cris! Can you please tell me a few things about yourself?

Hi! My name is Cristina, I’m 26 years old and I am from and live in Spain. I studied industrial design and classical guitar and I started learning the basics of graphic design at college.  I’ve never stopped since then.

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 What kind of services do you provide?

 I offer branding services for small businesses and startups at an affordable price, mostly logo and website design but also marketing graphics and custom illustrations.

 What advice would you give someone who wanted to make banners/ cards / digital designs like you and was starting a business now?

 Start before you are ready. There is no better way to learn all those things you have no clue how to accomplish. Researching and planning are great but they will never give you as much experience as trying by yourself.

 What inspires you?

I look for inspiration EVERYWHERE: from an ad I see on TV to a song or a children’s book. Recently, I’ve been using Pinterest as a source of fresh ideas almost every day.

 Can you share an example of your favorite work and tell my readers about it?

 It is difficult to pick just one project but I’ve recently created a logo for Inked Regards and I’ve really enjoyed both the design process with Melissa and the final result. You can see it at http://inkedregards.com

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 Is there some kind of offer you would like to make to my readers?

 Yes! They can use the code JOANNA20 to get a 20% discount until July 20th both on my website and my Etsy shop.

 Where can people find you?

 Website: www.sombrasblancasdesign.com

Etsy shop: www.sombrasblancasdesign.etsy.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sombrasblancasart

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sombrasblancasdesign

Twitter: www.twitter.com/sombrasblancas

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/sombrasblancas

Art shop: www.sombrasblancas.etsy.com

So, do check out her website and store if you are look to jazz up your website, or buy anything. Cris is very talented and I am sure you will be able to make use of the promo code!!

If you have a website/Etsy store or would like to be featured on my blog, feel free to contact me (check my About page).

So, that’s all for now!!!

Subscribe to my blog if you liked what you read. It does put a smile on my face. Maybe give my Facebook page a ‘like’ so you can get notifications of when I post? Connect with me on Pinterest / Twitter/ Instagram/Google+.

Have a lovely day, evening!!

xxx

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Going to the #BloggersBall

Hi everyone!!

Today’s post is about my first Bloggers ball/meetup/ convention or whatever term you choose to use. It is basically an event with a lot of bloggers, brands and exhibitors.

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So, let me tell you all about it. But first, a bit of background info! I am in the UK now (as I said in my last post). I arrived last Friday and stayed a couple of days in London. I had a really good time in London. I went for some nice meals in China town an in Kingly court.

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I got to check out Liberty ( a store in London that sells designer brands and more eclectic makeup). I went to the National Portrait Gallery (which is amazing).

As I said at the beginning of this post, during my stay I also went to the Bloggers Ball and it was a very interesting experience. Let me start by saying that this was my first Bloggers ball/convention/ meetup.

How I found out about the Bloggers Ball

Easy. I googled “blogger events in London” and it showed up. I went to the website that had details about the event, bought some tickets, and went to the Ball.

Why I wanted to go

I wanted to meet people who do the same thing as I. I wanted to see what it’s like to talk to brands and I live in Greece and these things do not happen on my little island, so I am deffo gonna take advantage of any opportunity I have whilst in the UK.

The Bloggers Ball

The dress code was formal/semi formal. I got dressed up (just a bit) and went. There was a cloak room to leave any clothing/ extras (aka umbrellas). Once I entered the venue, I realised this event was packed and there were loads of things to see. There were many exhibitors from different brands. I learnt a lot about brands I had never heard of before, got to speak with people from these brands and also got samples.

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They had lots of stands and they were exhibiting their products/ services. I got to give them my business card which was great.

I didn’t talk to any bloggers though! So, I will try to be a bit more sociable next time. You see I went with a friend and I was chatting with her and not really talking to other girls there.

I think this was a great event and I wonderful opportunity to get in touch with brands especially if you are a small blogger like me.

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I will be attending events in London and Sheffield in July and I am really looking forward to that. I will also be posting mini reviews about some of the free samples I got in my next posts so stay tuned!!

So, that’s all lovelies!

Time to beg for followers. Subscribe to my blog if you liked what you read. It does put a smile on my face. Maybe give my Facebook page a ‘like’ so you can get notifications of when I post? Connect with me onPinterest / Twitter/ Instagram/Google+.

Talk soon

Jo

 

How to make a Business Card for your Blog

Hi everyone!

I decided to get a business card after a lot of thought. I say after a lot of thought because the whole idea seemed silly to me. Why silly? Well, I have a small blog, not that many followers and I spend most of the year in Greece. I blog in English. I mean, how many chances will I have to actually use the card? Then, I was asked to supply a media kit, got taken on as a writer, I got my first actual partnership with Uber UK, and I will be actually living in the UK for the next 3 months, so I started thinking more seriously about the whole business card business. Then I realised that I will definitely need one since I will be attending a bloggers’ ball in June, a bloggers’ conference in July. I took the plunge and made my card.

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Business Card vs. Media Kit

I have a media kit, which is 2/3 pages long. That’s too much paper to carry around. A business card is more practical and you can give it to anyone who wants your contact details. Then , you can email your media kit.

My thought process behind my card

Step 1

I googled bloggers business cards and saw what other people put on their cards. Unlike a media kit, a business card is more about connecting you to whoever wants your contact details.

Step 2

Decisions, decisions, decisions: One-sided or two-sided?

I went with two-sided. One side would have my face, my blog’s address and what I like to write about. The other side would have my social media handles/ details on how to find me.

Step 3

Design

I wanted something fun, girly but chic. My blog has the word PINK in it and polka dots, so that was going to be my theme. Now, this is where it gets tricky. I am colourblind, so I cannot really tell the difference between pinks and what matches with what. So, I needed to get my card made by someone who I trusted which is where Irini (the card’s designer) came in. I was very specific with my colour palette. I said,

I want pink and white polka dots (I actually sent her the digital paper I wanted her to use) and I want the rest of the card to have shades of grey, pink , white and black. I want you to choose the shades and how they match.

I wanted to use the Lucinda handwritten font. I also found some royalty free social media icons I liked and said that I would like to use these. Irini put everything together and this is the result.

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You can find Irini on Facebook, by pressing here. She speaks English so feel free to contact her if you like her work. She is great to work with! She makes lots of things (cards, pamphlets, wedding invites etc.).

On hindsight I realise that there may be a bit too much of a match-y match-y polka dot theme going on (my blouse matches the polka dot background by mistake), but I like it. It’s me. So, that’s how I cam up with my business card. You can read about my media kit here.

Subscribe to my blog if you liked what you read. It does put a smile on my face. Maybe give my Facebook page a ‘like’ so you can get notifications of when I post? Connect with me on Pinterest / Twitter/ Instagram/Google+.

Talk soon!

xxx

 

5 Step Guide on How to make a Media Kit

There comes a time when you get asked to send a media kit and that’s when you start asking questions like, “Why me? Why now?” or “Why don’t I have one ready?” You see while I have been an educational blogger for about 3 years now, I only recently started ‘lifestyle/beauty blogging’ wand my blog is small. I mean tiny. So, imagine my surprise when a company asked me to send them my media kit. I was like, “What? Why?” Then I started doubting myself and telling myself, “What’s the use? I will only get rejected”. If you have that mind set fellow blogger, snap out of it. Now! Anyhow, I sat down and made one and I got taken on by the company, so I must’ve done something right. So today, I am going to share with you my media kit.

5 Step Guide to making your media Kit

Some Background info first

I am a teacher and that affects my blogging. I teach Business English and I have learnt a few things about marketing and doing business cause I teach my students! I also create lessons that focus on marketing/business. I am a planner and I also like to outline stuff. So, I approached my media kit like a Business English Teacher/Blogger/Planner/Capricorn! So, let’s have a look at my media kit, the thought process behind it and my suggestions

Step 1- Getting the Right Mind Set

Get it in your head. Don’t panic. A media kit is a good thing. Try to connect with other bloggers and talk a bit about media kits. Exchange views. Suggestions. For me, that person was Tania and my blogger girlies. You can also read up on media kits and look at examples. I read 2-3 blog posts and looked at a couple of Google Images. But, don’t overwhelm yourself. Too much info is not always a good thing especially when you are pressed for time.

Step 2- Let’s Think

OK! Make yourself a cup of coffee and sit in front of your computer and look at your blog. Ask yourself some questions. E.g. “What defines you as a blogger? What do you write about? What are your strengths? What does your blog say about you? How will you convey that in your media kit?”

I knew that I wanted to make something fun but chic. I wanted polka dots. I love writing about lifestyle, beauty, but I also want to have some sort of impact and of course I had to have the colour pink (my blog is called My Pink Rambles!).

Media kit Page 1

Let’s Plan

Step 3- Outline

Figure out what you will include in your media kit.

I decided on:

A blog banner

A picture of me

Bio

Interests

Social media Info

Info about blog stats/ readers

Samples of my work (variety of my work and pieces of writing I thought showed who I was as a blogger).

Samples of my pictures

Step 4- 1st Draft

I used Word to design my media kit. I used Word for various reasons, but the most important one is that I know how to use Word!! You see, I am a tech dummy and I am not that used to using different software, so I thought, go with what you know well. I increased my Word margins (the little rulers on the sides of word) so I could use my page to the maximum. I inserted tables and shapes. I used squares, ovals and circles and played with the borders of whatever I inserted. I found social media icons that were royalty free and chose the ones that I liked. The font I chose was Lucinda handwriting and Lucinda Sans. I also added page numbers. Because I have difficulty seeing, I didn’t want tiny fonts. I wanted everything to be as visible as possible! Word allows you to insert links and when you turn your file into a Pdf, the links are still there.

I also used Picmonkey for my picture collage.

My media Kit is 3 pages long ( most people online say it should be 2 pages long, but I wanted to include my pictures and not in a tiny size).

1st page is my info/blog info.

2nd page is samples of my work

3rd page is pictures

Media Kit page 3

Step 5: Your Media Kit/ Final Draft

Check that everything looks fine. Proofread and save your final draft. Then turn everything into a Pdf file, send it and good luck!!

Avoiding my fails

I forgot to mention my blog followers and Bloglovin followers! You should include them!!

So there you have it! How I made my media kit. I hope you found this information useful.

You can download the steps  and all the questions I asked myself + tips here.

STEP GUIDE on how to make a media kit

Do keep in mind that I am a new blogger and this is my 1st media kit. I decided to share this post because it may be helpful for other people who are in my shoes.

So, that’s all for now. I hope you liked this post.

Subscribe to my blog if you liked what you read. It does put a smile on my face. Maybe give my Facebook page a ‘like’ so you can get notifications of when I post? Connect with me on Pinterest / Twitter/ Instagram/Google+.

Talk soon

xx

Joanna

 

Around the Web Wednesday

Hi!! I am starting a new ‘series’ (maybe?) called around the #webwednesday . Every other Wednesday I will share with you things I saw/found online and that I think deserve your time. If you like this post, make sure you follow me (see sidebar on how to connect), so you do not miss out on my fabulous suggestions. These picks have to do with things I like aka beauty, planning, clothes, food, travelling and writing/blogging. So let’s jump in, shall we?

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YouTube Videos

 Focused YouTube videos

If I am going to spend time watching videos, I really want to watch videos that are focused. That’s why I really enjoyed the following videos. So what have I chosen for you? Smokey eyes tutorial for people who wear glasses, clothes for the hourglass shaped woman and contouring for the round face.

Smokey eyes for people wearing glasses. Jordan’s channel is Jordan Liberty.

Next video. Erin (who is one of my favourite YouTubers, is a stylist and she has started a series where she dresses her friends, family and makes videos based on the body shape. This one is for the hourglass shaped women. Her channel is BusbeeStyle.

Finally, contouring for the round face. This is from   Amy Macedo’s channel.

 My post in the Huff Post.

I have already shared this here but incase you missed it. This is my Huff Post article and it is about something that happened to me. The one where I got ‘makeup shamed’.

Recipe

An oreo cheesecake. C’mon. I mean. Yum and Yum.

Looking for jewelry?

I got a pair of earrings when I was in Athens and then checked to see if they do online shopping options. They do and they also ship internationally, so yay. You need to check out Anna’s store.

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Useful sites for bloggers

Hashtags you should be using if you are a blogger or a business owner. This  was a great post with loads of hashtags. I actually printed it out, so I can refer to it when I blog (See! Extra tip!).

Pinterest Boards for bloggers and business owners.. Suggestions for 7 pinterest boards you should try to join.

So, there you have it. My first post about what I saw around the web and shared on Wednesday. Give it a ‘thumbs up’ if you liked it. Have you found something interesting you would like to share?

So, that’s all for now. Subscribe to my blog if you liked what you read. It does put a smile on my face. Maybe give my Facebook page a ‘like’ so you can get notifications of when I post? Connect with me on Pinterest / Twitter/ Instagram/Google+.

Talk soon

xx

Joanna

 

My Huff Post Story: getting Published & Plagiarised

Hi everyone,

Today I thought I’d share with you my own Huffington Post story. I will talk to you about how I got published, I will share my posts with you, and what happened after I got published. In the end, I will give you my words of wisdom (aka what I really think).

The beginning

So, I started blogging here about 8 months ago and I joined a few Facebook groups to get a few ideas and figure out how I could become better at more general/ lifestyle-ish blogging. From time to time I would see people in these groups talk about being published on the Huff Post and how great that was. I knew the Huffington Post, I read it from time to time, and thought to myself, ” Hey! I will give this a shot” and I did.

1st attempt

I filled in a bloggers form. This is a page that you can fill in and upload your post. My post was something very dear to me. I thought it was a good post and actually believed if I ever had an opportunity at being shared, it would be with this post. I clicked the submit button.

No response.

I then read that many people were emailing Arianna Huffington herself, so I did.

No response.

A few months went by and I wrote another post. I thought I’d give it one more shot and that’s when I heard back from Arianna.

What happens once you get the OK?

You get an email saying that your post has been accepted and you will be receiving a new email with passwords to set up your blogger profile/page.That happened and then I made my profile. The hardest part for me was choosing a decent picture. Yeap. I know. Vain but, well, don’t wanna look like crap in my Huff Post Profile! I actually asked my friends which one they preferred the most. Most of them agreed on this one pic. I disagreed, and chose a completely different one!!

Then?

Well, once you submit your post it gets published in one or two days.

Tips?

I learnt this the hard way, so I am going to tell you a few secrets.

  1. Always choose a picture from the royalty free image section the Huff Post blogger page gives you cause otherwise you end up sharing your post with no picture appearing except for some boxes.
  2. Add links to your page cause that way people can come to your website. I actually added the phrase

If you want to read more of my adventures, make sure you check out my blog at http://www.mypinkrambles.com

at the end of my blog post and it got published without any editing.

     3. Make sure you proofread your article and don’t rush to press submit.

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Is it worth the fuss?

Well, this depends on why you are sharing your post on the Huffington Post website. It looks good on your media kit. I was happy to see my name on a bigger platform. I enjoyed seeing the ‘likes’ and the comments on Facebook or my other social media.I did get approached by a few websites to write a few blog posts for them though (unpaid) and actually did write one.

BUT my page views did not go up. I only got 20-30 extra page views whenever one of my posts was shared. I did not get blog subscribers from this experience.

And anything else?

Oh yeah! Now the good part. I got plagiarised! 4 times. My blog post, the one I wrote about opening and closing a business in Greece, got copy pasted on websites and two personal blogs. Everything!! Like…. every single word. The irony is that the plagiarists were Americans talking about going to university in Greece and opening a language school in Greece. I mean…. c’mon!!! One of my plagiarists was actually in publishing!!! What did I do? Well, I sent messages and tweets to the websites and asked them to take my post down or at least mention me as the writer. I also contacted the Huffington Post.Nothing has happened though. I will now take harsher measures against these websites. Do keep in mind that some websites can repost a Huff Post article, but this was not the case! 

Will I write again?

Sure! It’s just me sharing something I have already shared here, so why not? It’s not like I have a super-duper popular blog and am missing out on traffic. It’s not like my Huff Post blog posts are reducing my DA numbers.

So, there you have. Now my words of wisdom.

WOF

I say go for it. Try it at least once. So, you don’t get paid. Big woop. Did you start blogging cause you wanted to become a rich blogger?

My posts

You can click here to check out the 5 posts I have published.

Subscribe to my blog if you liked what you read. It does put a smile on my face. Maybe give my Facebook page a ‘like’ so you can get notifications of when I post? Connect with me on Pinterest / Twitter/ Instagram.

Talk soon!

xx

Jo

 

Confessions of a blogger: finding time and struggling…. a lot

A few moments later……..

This post is probably the most random post I have written so far. I started off wanting to write about one thing and then I started feeling sorry for myself which lead to a completely irrelevant ending. So, here is today’s post.

I work a lot. Like all day long. Literally. I teach Business English online in the morning and I teach kids English in the afternoon. I also blog. I have two blogs. One is an educational blog and the other one is this one which is, let’s call it lifestyle-ish/ beauty-ish or a Me, Me,Me blog.

My edublog has been there for about 3 years and this one is almost 8 months old. Trying to juggle life, work and blogging is hard. Today, I want to talk a bit about blogging and how I find time for it.

How do you find time for blogging?

I don’t.

I make time for blogging.

That’s the answer. I do not have time to blog. I mean I should be working out or cleaning the house or something but I don’t instead I make time to blog. For me, at the moment, blogging is my creative outlet. I do it for fun. Even if I write about what I bought, it’s fun. It’s like hanging out with the gals and showing stuff.

Yes, I work all day, but I do have free time and when I have free time instead of say watch TV, I blog.

What do you mean by ” make time”?

Well, in the mornings I am a freelance online Business English teacher (yes, that does sound fancy). What that means though is that I am home in front of my pc from 9-3 teaching. I do not have a set timetable though, and I may have gaps between lessons. That’s when I write.

I also blog late at night instead of reading a book (I feel a bit guilty about that one).

I do not always have time to finish a blog post. I have lots of posts that are in draft form which I continue writing whenever I have ten or fifteen minutes, here and there. That helps me have content.

The hardest thing

I don’t know about you guys, but the hardest thing about blogging for me isn’t making time to blog, but making time to share my posts. Dedicating time for all the social media. Yes, I have Buffer and I schedule posts. I use Pinterest and have a Facebook page for my blog, but sharing takes more time and it sometimes feels like it is not worth it. I often see that my page views are from an ‘unknown source’. Whatever that means! I am still baffled as far as Instagram is concerned. I am amazed by how up and downsy my twitter following is.

I am “spoilt”

In terms of my edublog. I do not have these problems. Finding time, sharing and trying to help the blog grow. I do nothing and people read my posts. It just sits there and gets page views. I think it’s because I have had it for a longer time and because I share material which teachers can download and use in class.

This random blog (yeah, I am talking about this one. The one you are reading now. If you are actually bravce enough and have reached this part!) does not have content that will make the reader come back. Actually scratch that, there are some planner printables which make readers (new readers) visit my page but that’s it. They do not follow or subscribe. They get what they need and go.

Other thoughts

I had to give this section a title cause it doesn’t make sense and has nothing to do with finding/making time to blog. I often get discouraged. You see, while I do tell myself that I blog because it’s fun and I like writing (I actually think I am quite good at it. Yeap. Me getting a big head). I am not happy with my page views. That for me is a reality check. I am lying to myself when I say I write because it’s fun opr maybe I should say, I half lie. I do have fun, but I also want people to read what I write and enjoy it as well. Find it interesting and on some days my page views are like close to 0.

That is discouraging which makes me realise that I am not just writing for fun. I am writing because I want something to come out of all this writing. I do not know what though.

Isn’t that funny? Why write when you have no clear goals? Or do I have goals that I am scared to word?

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Dunno fellow blogger. This blog post feels like a whole lot of nothing, but anyways, I am sharing some thoughts with you guys and waiting for words of wisdom from you guys. How do you keep going. Why do you keep going? Why do you make time?

That’s all for today.

Oh! Yeah! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog (follow me somewhere or add me to your Bloglovin thingy).

Thanks for sticking around. If you actually stuck around.