Pictures by : Kevin Adams @smada.k

Very often I get the questions: how did you grow your Instagram account till 16,5 k followers? How do you contact brands and how do you create a feed? When I was younger I would never thought I would be here right now. Doing something like this, was only a dream. In this blogpost I am going to explain a few things to you about Instagram and how to get noticed as a ‘blogger’ or ‘instagrammer’. I do not like the word influencer so you won’t see this back here.

The App

A little reminder: Instagram is a Social media application. The app was build to connect with each other by sharing photo’s or video’s. So, if you want to get noticed: be out there. Like and comment on other bloggers photo’s. Share thoughts, your daily activities and favorite songs on your insta stories. Try to be as open as possible: they need to get to know you ! By being super active on Instagram you will receive comments and likes back. Because of Instagram I met two of my best friends now. It is way more then just an app to share photo’s. See it a little bit as a ‘dating site’, your followers want to get to know you, but you also want (and need) to get to know them! Once you know which kind of people follow you, you can see which kind of pictures work for your community. The more and more people starting to follow you, the more time it takes to keep these relationships. This works just like a brand: if you want to sell a product, you need to have customers who know you exists! For me it took 1,5 years to get here, for other people it takes half a year and since the algorithm changed it can take maybe 5 years to gain 10 k followers. But this should never be your goal. Your only and most important goal is to build up relationships, very strong ones, with the followers you have! Brands find this more attracting these days, since so many people are buying followers. It is not about (okay, it is, but also not) the amount of likes or followers but about the quality of the relationship between you and your following.

How to start

Take your favorite outfit, grab your boyfriend by his arm and be sure that you have a phone with you. Choose a background outside and take the picture! Well this is how I started haha! Just do it, that is all I can say. Start posting pictures every day. When you post one, be sure that you thank the people who leave a comment by sending them a message, like there photo’s or react on there comment with: thank you so much dear (something like that). These people can be a follower in the future. And as I said: be super active. If you are willing to do that, you will grow your account eventually.

Step 2 is to find your own editing style. Collect pictures of other Instagrammers  in a save map and call it: inspo. Try out different apps to match the styles you like. Editing is my favorite part of Instagram, I can do this for hours. Since I am using Lightroom I noticed such a big quality difference in my photo’s, I can definitely recommend this program. The other apps that you need to have as an instagrammer/blogger are:
– VSCO
– Afterlight
– Facetune ( to make everything white and smooth)
– Snapseed
– UNUM with this app you can plan out your feed.

It took me a while before I found out which editing style I liked the most. And every season I change up my editing to match the colors of the season. This is all totally up to you ! Don’t expect that it is all going to be super great and beautiful when you start, try out some things and play with the tools of the apps.

How to get noticed by brands

This can be hard, especially in the beginning. Just as you have to build up relationships with your followers, you also have to build up relationships with brands. It took me some time to connect and build a partnership with brands. You have to think about their position: all they want is getting noticed by their target audience to provide more sales. So how did I started?  I posted everyday on Instagram and on my blog and I was very active with commenting on other bloggers pages. This is how brands noticed me and my style. Also, some times I had this kind of picture idea in my head of an outfit and location but I did not had the outfit yet. I send a lot of emails to brands with a collaboration idea. They love this! A great idea can be good for their branding position. This way I would get the outfit to make the picture and they had more marketing activities. Another way to get noticed by brands is to like and comment on their Instagram or blog page. It can be hard to find an email address who brings you in contact with the right person (PR or Marketing division). So this is a great solution to solve that problem.

There will be times when brands say NO. I have been there. This can have several reasons: maybe they already have a bunch of bloggers in their mailing list and they can not provide new ones with collaborations. Or your content does not match theirs! This is a very common one. ALWAYS choose brands who match your personal style and content ! I see so many instagrammers receive and promote clothing that they would never where in real life. Only for the pictures?! Also, do not hesitate to tell if you do not like their offer. Some times it just does not work for you. I had some brands in the past who asked about 10 pictures of one item. That was just way to much. Creating content takes a lot of time and some people do not know this yet. Tell them that this is to much for you, you are in charge.

What now?

So, your page is slowly growing, you worked with a few brands and your blog posts are going well. What is next? The most important thing is to keep going. Find out what works for your Instagram and do this a lot. Visit events to get to know other bloggers and share tips with each other.

If you still feel like you are not getting any traffic on Instagram, here are a few things you can do:

  • Try to get one of your pictures reposted on a big Instagram page, like: fashiongoalz
  • Message other bloggers and ask for a shout out on Instagram stories. This works so well!
  • Take a look at your content: are there things you can improve? Is something missing?
  • Learn how to edit your photo’s in your own way! Stand out!
  • Share your Instagram photo’s and link on your other social media platforms
  • Tell people about it! Be a little proud of yourself.
  • Ask for some support of your friends. Maybe they can comment on your latest picture?
  • When you work with brands, ask them if they can share your photo on their account!
  • Push Push Push yourself : the only way to get noticed is to be active daily

I hope that these tips work for you ! Keep going lovelies!

Share your account down below so that I can take a look ! 

xo Esmée

 

 

I was thinking about writing this blogpost for a long time now and I finally found the courage to put the words out: Instagram has a major influence on me. Daily. We may not admit it, but just like other social media applications it does. In negative and positive ways. I can not imagine how young children grow up differently now compared to my life when I had their age. It is not a surprise that brands or organizations call us ‘influencers’. We are ( now I speak for the other bloggers out there ) a huge part of this social media hype, even if we do not want to. As a blogger you need to be out there and to be honest, I may see my IPhone screen more hours per day then my boyfriend… That sounds almost sad right? Maybe it is, to other people. But even with the impact of social media: I love that this is my part-time job.

This does not mean that Instagram does not have an influence on my life. It can make me feel so many ways: insecure about my looks or style, happy when I get positive feedback, scared that I will not be good enough and if I don’t protect myself I will compare my life to much with others. All the happy, perfect pictures. This is not real. I can hate Instagram for that. It is like a love/hate relationship. You love seeing it, the perfect, the stunning, it personally gives me lots of inspiration. But always keep in mind that it is just a ‘photo’. Lately there are more and more people posting real pictures of themselves. This makes Instagram a bit more accessible.

Instagram now has become a platform full of jealousy, money, contracts, fake accounts and fake people. Believe me, there were moments when I wanted to quick because of this. Everyone now a days calls themselves a ‘blogger’ or ‘online influencer’. Just as simple as that. They post a picture, buy some followers and add: ‘blogger’ to their bio. All this to get the free stuff. Is this really making them happy? I wonder….Lately I have been doing more of things that make me happy and I stopped letting Instagram run my life. I stepped away and focused more on myself. I noticed that I missed writing, so I started again. This, what you are reading now, is a part of what I have written the last couple of weeks. Also, my creative mind grown and I had more space for new ideas. When I post a picture now, I interact with my followers and send them a big thank you for their daily positive support. For me: Instagram became fun again. It is not a competition, it is just a platform for creative minds.

Maybe you remembered: Essena O’Neill? Who had half a million followers on Instagram? She tells about how Instagram controlled her life and why she deleted her account. She tells how she was hungry for social media validation. It had such an impact on her self esteem: she felt insecure. This is also happening with girls with a younger age, they are growing up with Instagram which is for most of them an example how life should be. How you should look. It is not a surprise that more and more girls are developing eating disorders and depressions. This makes one thing clear: more likes, does not mean that you are happier. You do not have to prove anything to anyone.

Now a days I see Instagram as something fun to do. I absolutely love interacting with my following. But I only use it when I feel like I want to. There are so many amazing changes in real life, take them with all your heart and work for this.

XO Esmée

 

 

Hi Loves! How are you doing? I hope you loved this amazing weather today as much as I did! Lately I am obsessed with buying florals, they bright up my room and the smell is amazing. I prefer to put them next to my window, so that they get enough sunshine and every time I look at them…. It just makes me super happy. Although you guys know that I am a winter lover. But, enough rambling for today.. let’s move on to today’s topic I want to talk about. I see so many girls dying over big bloggers: ‘so perfect!’ or ‘I want her life!’ and stuff like that. I know growing your blog can be hard and it may looks impossible. Today I wanted to spread some positivity to tell you how much you can actually do when you are a small blogger! 

Close with your audience

First things first: having a blog is already a great! Be super duper proud about it. It is your little place on the internet, which you all created by yourself. Realize that in real life not everybody is going to like you, the same goes for the online world. But you did it, you are here! When you have a small blog or you are maybe not that active, the audience is usually small to. This means that most of use have a great connection with our followers. We know them, share a lot of pictures with them and talk to them daily. Do not underestimate this! If brands are looking for bloggers to collaborate with, they want to see that you have this strong connection with your followers. The amount of them does not count. Unfortunately a lot of brands and organizations do not realize this yet, it can be a strong benefit for you! For example: if you want to work with an amazing fashion brand, which you love, try to convince them this way. Your power is your community, make use of it! How fun is that? I met my best friends because of blogging. 

The fun aspects 

This makes us move on to the next benefit of being a small blogger: the events. Bloggers with a big audience have a schedule which makes me stressed out by even looking at it. Why would brands even invite them? They do not have the time to pass by! I hear you thinking: but they are getting those amazing trips and bla bla. That is true, to be honest: I am jealous to. But, as a smaller blogger you will get way more invites. On these small events you will get a great connection with the brands, other bloggers and most of the time: it is not that far away! You do not have to travel for hours. And a lot of times you can travel with other bloggers together ( at least in the Netherlands ).

Creative Mind

Now, let’s talk about all the free stuff. I am a student. Dying in school, because my creative mind is always the craziest. I do not life with my parents anymore and my room rent is high. Although I am having a small audience, I have got the opportunity to work with amazing brands. My closet exists mostly of clothes that brands nicely given to me. That maybe sounds really sad, but how can I buy myself a Chanel bag when my main income is as high as my room rent? I want to make some thing clear here ( before you are going to start thinking weird about me) : I did not start blogging to get free stuff. That is maybe another topic to talk about later..

To conclude… having a blog and small audience is amazing! I am so happy and crate full that I can do this. Connect with your following, go to the small events and write with all your heart and maybe we are all as ‘the big bloggers’ some day… 

♥ Esmée

 

 

Hi loves! How are you doing? Lately I got this question a lot: how do you start a blog?
Since blogging is getting more and more popular, I thought, let’s give you some tips and tricks! I also started from nowhere. In this blog post I will ask/you 5 things you have to consider before you are starting a blog. The beginning is simple, but since there are so much others, it is really hard to stay ‘different’. Starting is easy, but growing your blog is the hardest part! I am also still struggling with this. So below, I also have some tips and tricks for that 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

Ask yourself: Why?

This question, is maybe the hardest one, but so important. Ask yourself: Why do want to start a blog? Do you want to make money with it ? Or do you want to share your creativity? Or are you just obsessed with using social media? You can start for many reasons. I started to share my creativity, for example. And I loved to use social media since  I was in high school. I became obsessed with changing my theme’s and made photo’s of everything. In 2016 I found out about blogging and so on. Think about this and write down your thoughts. This will help you in the future, it gives you some extra motivation! Remember why you started.

What kind of content do you want to create?

For example: Fashion, lifestyle or maybe you want to talk about your favorite brands. Or maybe just about your cat. If you know what kind of content you want to create, you will also know what kind of pictures or information you’ll need. Choose a topic that you like and write down a few subjects you would like to talk about. Then you have a little start already! These days it is kinda hard to create content that is new or unique. But there is always space for new blogs! Just do your thing and create what YOU like. It helps to save lots of pictures who inspire you, for example on Pinterest or Instagram.

 

Commitment   

If you want to grow your blog big, you have to be out there all the time. It is really important to connect with your followers and readers. This can be helpful by using social media. You can share you blogposts and talk to your followers. You have to realize, that if you want to grow your blog big, you have to work hard. It is not going all by itself. Ask yourself: do I want to write every week? or just ones a month? What are my goals with this blog? Also: be open towards your readers. People will only follow you when they trust you. Show who you are and stay close to yourself. It is like opening up to someone, but then on the internet. Of course, you are in control, you can share as much as you want.

Style

It can be hard to find your own personal style. It took me years and I still feel like I am changing all the time. If you decide to start your own blog, it is important to stand out from the rest. You are not the only one these days anymore who is into blogging. Find what makes you different, don’t expect that everyone is going to like it. Like real life. Just do you. If you have a specific style or theme people are more likely to follow you. Build your empire around your style, this will provide your content!

Passion

If you do something with all your heart and passion. People will see this, love this and LIKE this! Before starting a blog, find what you are passionate about. This can also help by choosing a subject for your blog. If you like horse riding more, for example, then maybe blogging is not something for you. Your passion can be something in life you want to reach, a goal. It can also be a hobby or a person. Find your passion and you will see amazing results!

I hope these tips may be relevant for you and helping you out by starting your own blog.

Let me know !

xo Esmée

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Loves,
How are you doing? Today I wanted to talk with you about something that is going on lately. Since December I completely stopped eating meat. You probably heard from so many people that they started to eat vegan or vegetarian. It is a ‘hot’ topic lately. Girls on Instagram who show that they are eating meat, are getting angry comments from there followers. And suddenly everyone is trying to make the best vegan meals. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this! I love to see that the world is more aware of what they are consuming. It is a way for us to connect more with our earth. Today I will talk more about why and how I stopped eating meat, not to convince you to do to, but to make you more aware of what is going on in our world of ‘meat’.

How it all started, back in 2013 

So, I have been dieting for almost 4 years now. It all started when I got really sick after my holiday in Greece, in 2013. My mom and I both got sick, very sick. It happened over night, which was so scary! My mom got so sick that we had to call an ambulance. Luckily the doctor came really fast and my mom felt so much better the next morning. Except for me, it took me 2,5 years to recover. After a couple of months we found out that the food in a restaurant, where we had eaten the day before, wasn’t that good as we thought. It contain a particular bacteria, that stayed inside my body for 2 years. When I got home I consistently felt sick in my belly, there where days when I only trow up and days where I had consistently pain. On doctors advise I started to follow a diet, together with medicines and antibiotic. After 2 years, the bacteria finally got out of my body, the diet helped me so much with fighting this gruel that I wanted to continue doing this. I felt so much better, had way more energy and school went so well. I was so aware of my body, my health and I felt everything so strong. I never thought that a thing like this would happen, but it made me where I am now.

So, my diet continued. I only ate: white rice, green vegetables and fish/meat during my diet. No unions, tomatoes, belle pepper, chocolate, milk, kiwi fruits, pineapple, oh god guys the list was so long! I slowly added more and new things into my diet. I am still having problems with some kind of foods. My belly will never fully heal again. The bacteria made a lot of damage, that can’t be changed. This is what my diet look liked in 2013:

Morning: Yoghurt with granola and blueberries ( to have some vitamines! )
Afternoon: Rice with broccoli/carets/green beans and fish/ meat.
Evening: Rice with broccoli/carets/green beans and fish/ meat.

I also couldn’t eat meat that was already seasoned. Because my belly couldn’t handle that. I also avoided pig meat, because this also didn’t work out for me. The only meat a ate was most of the time chicken. (for those who are wondering: I still can’t eat meat that is already prepared or peppered when you buy it, if you know what I mean ) This diet was the hardest thing ever, because I love sweets and snacks. But my parents helped me trough it. It changed the way I eat these days.

 

What my diet looks like right now

As a said before: after the bacteria left my body, I slowly added new fruits and vegetables into my diet. (btw guys, I didn’t followed this diet on my own, I had a special doctor who helped me with this! Always find someone who can help you with dealing with things like this, someone who is a professional!) So, she told me that I had to listen to my body. Slowly I tried out to eat pancakes, unions, eggs and chocolate again. Pancakes and pizza are still a no go, I always feel sick for 2 days after eating them. But unions, eggs and chocolate is fine! I became so close with my body, I started to work out in 2016 and I felt better and better. If you want to change how you feel, listen to what your body says to you! Unfortunately my belly will never be as how it was before that night, never. I still have to be really strict sometimes. This is how my diet looks right now:

Morning: plain yoghurt with granola, blueberries, kiwi, banana and 2 mandarins.
Afternoon: rice waffles with avocado and 1 egg. Sometimes I like to eat bread, but depends on how my body feels that day.
Evening: a lot of different vegetables, fish and rice/spaghetti. I don’t eat fish every day, most of the time twice a week.
Snack: chocolate nuts or tomatoes.

Why I stopped eating meat

Following this diet and listing to my body learnt me what I exactly like to eat. I wondered that eating meat, didn’t make my body feel any better. My belly was swollen very often and I couldn’t figure out why. At the end of 2017 I started to eat less and less meat, I wasn’t really aware of what I was doing, but I chose more and more for vegetarian meals. I didn’t miss it at all. I loved to play around with vegetables and tried out new recipes. There is a long list of things that I still don’t eat or things where I get sick from. Dealing with this daily, made my love my body more and more. Skipping meat, makes me feel better not only for myself, but also for our world. We don’t care about our environment and animals so often. I feel like I am doing something good for it now. Yes, I am also thinking about eating completely vegan, but that is a step for the future.

  • Here is a list of food that I still can’t eat or where I get sick from:
    – everything that is seasoned
    – potatoes
    – pizza dough
    – prepacked sauces, spaghetti sauces or anything else that is already done and you only have to warm it up or cook it.
    – Bread
    – A lot of different sauces, I can only eat home made sauces
    – Chips, candy or other snacks like these
    – cookies
    – garniture
    – alcohol
    – etc.

Of course, I cheat. I don’t always eat this clean. There are days where I eat chocolate cookies, the fact that I am going to be feeling sick the next day doesn’t matter. Cheating is natural, it would be very hard for me to not to. I am definitely an emotional eater, so it is worse when I have had a bad day or something. Eating and following this diet makes me feeling very well and it gives me so much energy.

How does your diet look like? I would love to read and share recipes with each other ! 

XO Esmée 

 

 

 

It is finally here! My Instagram Photo Editing Guide . So many of you asked me to write one. This editing guide will help you to create your own style and hopefully it gives you inspiration to get more into editing your photos. So welcome, to Step number 1Before I will start, I would like to make something clear: My Instagram is not my real life, I just love to be creative as it comes to my pictures. Some people call it fake, I call it content. Since everyone’s content is different, I don’t assume that you like mine. But the fact that you are here… well I hope you like this post! If you have any questions at the end, feel free to ask me. I am here to help.

Style & Location                                                       

When I started my Instagram I had no clue where to begin. During these years on Instagram, I learned about my style and what works for me. Finding your style is really important, your Instagram is representing you, so stay close to yourself. This will be must more appreciate, then cooping someone. Most of the time I find my inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest. Save all the photo’s that really inspire you or the photo’s who give you new ideas for your Instagram. Also: go location hunting, take a look around. Maybe there is a lovely small street behind your house, or how does your garden look during spring? Sometimes the best locations are closer then you think.  I always want to create a specific ‘vibe’ or feeling in my photo’s. Although, I love to take just happy, spontaneous ones.  But this is really important for me. I don’t want to take just a simple outfit post. I always hope that my photo’s inspire you, to do different.

Lighting is key

If you want to take a good, clear photo use natural lighting. Open your window, feel the weather. But, avoid sunlight! This gives some extra shadows and yellow in your photo’s that you absolutely don’t want to have. Try to find a place in the shadow or take photo’s outside when it is a cloudy day. If you want to take a photo outside at night, make sure that you are using the right settings on your camera or phone.

Software/apps to edit your photo’s

There are a lot of editing programs, apps en tools out there. Personally, I prefer to edit my photo’s on my phone. It is way easier and so much fun to use a lot of different apps. Every time I edit a new photo, I try out something new. Just to practice more with this. Warning: stop editing at the right moment, sometimes you can get a little to excited and maybe it will then look to much! Down below is a list of all the apps I use to edit my photos. Of course, I don’t use all the apps on every photo, it depends on what I want to do with the picture!

  • VSCO
  • Facetune
  • Snapseed
  • Juxtaposer
  • Afterlight
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Lightroom CC

 

Step by Step

Before & After

Step 1.

First I add the photo to VSCO, the app consist of so many beautiful filters! Every season I choose another one. For my winter to spring theme I am using the filter: S2. It makes your photo’s bright and light. This go’s really well with the white and pink winter tone in my photo’s.

Step 2.

I go to Facetune, to give the photo some extra detailing. Such as the background, our little cupcakes and my watch.

Step 3.

I open the app Snapseed (which is my favorite!) and go to the drama tool. Here I choose the filter: Light 2. This makes your photo super bright and light.

 

Filter Snapseed Drama

Step 4.

At tools -> settings, I change up the brightness, saturation, shadows and highlights until I like the result. And that was basically it for this picture!

 

How do you add stars into your pictures?

Well, I got this question a lot after I posted my London pictures. To add stars or a different sky to your photo I use the app Juxtaposer. It is perfect for this! You can add anything if you want to a photo! You can add two photo’s and use one as a layer over the other one. By playing with this tool, it now takes me just a few minutes to change up the sky. I always download the sky or star images from google. I hope that this guide was helpful for you! Let me know in the comments what you would like to read or learn from my next guide!
xo Esmée

 

XO Esmée

 

Hi loves, how are you doing? I hope your January is going well so far! School started for me again and I am so happy, because my classmates are super fun. It makes me happy to go to school again, and I think that is really important. This month I started to keep up with a bullet journal for the first time. It made me think about myself, myself growth and how I want everything to work out this year. So I wrote down my fears, goals, favorite songs. Everything that inspired me. Today I wanted to share a few of these things with you. Maybe you wrote down your personal goals also already? Writing down what I want to achieve opened my eyes. In the future of this year, it will keep me motivated. My bullet journal is always in my bag because if I think about something or when I have a creative idea I can write it down immediately.

Self – Growth

On top of the list stay’s: Self growth. Last year, I would say ‘yes’ to everyone, if they asked me to do something. I am not going to be that person anymore. I want to became stronger at this. Because I can’t do anything. Focusing on myself and my future (school) is way more important. My goals are separated into different topics, to give it a clean overview. Every topic has his own subjects.

Fitness 

Last year I focused a lot on weights and getting stronger. This year I want to add some more cardio to get leaner. I am going 5 times in the week to the gym now, mostly in the morning. I decided to do more reps, then adding weights. I don’t want to get to ‘big’, if you know what I mean. Seeing a lot of skinny girls on Instagram daily doesn’t make it easier. remember why you started. I started my workouts because I love it and I am having so much fun in the gym most of the time. That is my motivation for 2018, having fun in what I am doing. Not only to get leaner or to reach my goal: also to enjoy my time doing it!

Nutrition

Something that go’s along with a healthy lifestyle, body and mindset: Nutrition. What do you eat? And why? In 2017 I was eating healthy most of the time. I had a good breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only thing I did a lot was: snacking…. And that guys, is screwing your whole diet. I didn’t lose fat, the only thing I got was stronger. I was basically bulking all the time ( if you are into fitness you know what I mean, if you are not: it means you are taking more calories to grow your muscles then your body needs). Nutrition and your work out routine should be in balance, to keep yourself strong and active. This year I am going to give my body what it needs. Enough sleep, only healthy food and continue with being a vegetarian! (would you guys be interested to read a post about that?)

Creativity 

Creativity is really important to me. Sometimes your head can be full of all the work you have to do. The more work, the less I am creative. So every time, when an idea pops up into my head I immediately write it down. I made a little notebook for myself, to give all my ideas in 2018 a little reminder.

Did you also made some plans for the new year? I am curious what you guys want to achieve! Let me know!

Lots of love,
Esmee

 

 

 

It is almost Christmas and that means not only the most magical time of the year, but also the most stressful one. You work hard to get everything done before the end of the year. The pressure at work is high, it can be so busy! At moments like that it is really important to take some time off. Even if you don’t feel like you having time for it. Me-time for me means: taking a hot bath, together with my favorite music and a roman. In this blogpost I wanted to write something about this subject , because I know how much it can mean to me. When I feel tired, unmotivated or stressed I definitely need an evening off. Below you can find a list with all my tips and plans to give yourself some extra time to relax.

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