the 100th post

the 100th post | The Native New Yawker

I started this blog on a random Wednesday in June with no real direction of where I was trying to go with this blog. I knew I wanted to inspire others through great design and share valuable resources, but there was never no clear plan at first. Just another one of my experiments to see what works & what doesn’t.

100 post later, I think I’m finally confident in the direction I’m trying to take this blog. My main mission is to inspire & inform creatives, brands & entrepreneurs on topics pertaining to design, branding and marketing. If you’ve been here from day one, I sincerely thank you. If you’re just now tuning into NNY, welcome.. I’m just getting started. Hopefully you’ll rock out with me for at least 100 more post.

As I continue you to bring you more interesting content, let’s have a little recap of what’s been going on here since June, just in case you missed anything:

    If there’s anything you’d like to see more of on The Native New Yawker, feel free to leave comments below. Otherwise, enjoy your weekend!

*photo source

the blog critique | 11 | The Native New Yawker

The Blog Critique #11: Brand & Engagement Building

It’s been weeks since I critiqued a blog — once again.. my bad, ya’ll. This 2014 Blog Planner, on top of crazy freelance work, has consumed all my time lately. I have quite a few projects & businesses launching for 2014 that I can’t wait to share with you all, including ebooks, webinars and consultation. I’m really trying to turn it up next year and slowly make my way back over into the freelancing lane. I miss working from the privacy of my own apartment in my PJs.

I will tell you all this.. for 2014 I’m working on one-on-one blog critique sessions that will take place over Skype or Google Hangout. I’d do a live critique of your site showing you how a new user navigates your site, pinpoint problem areas and what you can do to fix them, as well as touch on any specific concerns you may have such as getting more engagement from your readers, or how to properly go about monetizing your blog. So stay tuned for that. Make sure you’re subscribe to the blog as I’ll be sending emails out for signs up a few days early. Moving right along.. let’s jump into today’s critique.
Lifestyle Blog

Ariel started her blog as a place where she was ‘testing the water’, voicing her opinions on topics, such as the latest celebrity news. But that got old real fast and she realized she actually can’t stand celebrities. So nowadays her blog focuses more on ‘girl talk’ where she offers the realness with an inspirational twist. She now wants to start using her blog as a platform to offer her services and products and figured her blog could use a critique. Her major concerns dealing with her blog are that it’s not only not visually appealing, but she’s unsure if her brand message is clear.. or if there’s even a brand at all. And, of course she’d like to improve the engagement factor with her audience. She lives for conversations and engagement and just wants to know if there’s anything she can do to turn it up. Well, Ariel.. you’ve come to the right place.

The Good

Despite not being aesthetically stimulated when first arriving on your page, you got all your vital information about the fold. You have all your social networks listed, including G+ (you go, girl!), making it easier for people to follow you. When I actually went to click they links though, it took me to the main pages of the social networks rather than your actual profiles. I can check out your YouTube videos, follow you on Bloglovin’ or find specific articles I want to read from your navigation section. When it comes to the basics of what’s need for a blog, you’ve definitely got that covered so as I say, kudos.

The biggest challenge you’re facing with your blog is the aesthetics, but before I give you some suggestions.. let’s talk about some of your other concerns.

The Concerns

I’m not sure if my brand message is clear.. or if there’s a brand at all.

When it comes to branding, I’ve noticed a common misconception. People think that once they have a site, a name & a logo, they instantly have a brand. Sure, visuals can play a large part in your branding, but that alone doesn’t make a brand–you just have an identity.

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wanderlust | copperhill villa ski lodge

wanderlust | the villa ski lodge

Typically, I’m not one for Winter sports. I don’t ski. I don’t snowboard. In fact, I don’t really even like to go outside when it’s snowing. What I do love about the Winter is cuddling up with the boo, sipping on spiked hot chocolate & getting it in with Netflix. Movies all day. Although I’d probably opt for somewhere warm to avoid the New York City Winters, I’ve always wanted to get a bunch of my friends together & rent a ski lounge somewhere Upstate. I’d dabble in a few snow sports, but I’m really all in it for lounging in the lodge.

I came across The Villa Ski Lounge which is part of the exquisite Copperhill Mountain Lodge in the Åre ski region of Sweden. The Villa is a private ski lodge that offers exclusive accommodations for up to 16 people. The services provided at The Villa are tailored to your stay and can include helicopter transfers, private ski tuition, mountain guides, catering.. and of course, spa treatments. This private chalet oozes glamourous alpine charm, without losing anything in terms of comfort and intimacy. With the stylish furnishings and sophisticated interior design by Anemone Wille Våge, it’s no wonder this place can cost you approximately 45000 SEKS (appx $6900 USD) a week. Definitely a splurge trip to save for with friends.

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Inspiration | Vogue India November 2013

I’m the type of person that buys magazines solely for the aesthetics. If it’s designed well enough, I’ll read whatever is inside. That’s how I’ve come to love magazines such as Wired, GQ and Inc. to name a few. Personally, I loathe most fashion magazines–with the exception of Elle UK.

What I loathe more than fashion magazines are Vogue magazines simply for the fact that they are filled with way too many ads, horrible layouts and copy so small my 25-year old eyes even have problems reading. So, I don’t buy them. At least not the US Vogue. Last month, while picking up some magazines for the month I stumbled across a fashion spread within Vogue India that simply took my breath away. Signe Vilstrup captured an amazing Indian wedding & I just had to share. Loving everything about this spread from the vibrant colors, to the elegant patterns, but most importantly.. the make-up. My freakin’ goodness.

Working on a few campaigns for my Party Over Hair blog for 2014, let’s just say Signe Vilstrup has inspired me in so many ways this month.

inspiration | signe vilstrup for vogue india november 2013
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how to increase facebook likes with one simple step

how to increase facebook likes | The Native New Yawker

If you follow me on Twitter, occasionally you’ll see my mini rants about being fed up with Facebook and their constantly-changing algorithms. I had started a Page for The Native New Yawker on Facebook back in June hadn’t had much growth since then. For months, my number of likes remained within the 80’s. Now the low numbers are mostly, if not all.. because of me.

The goal of the Facebook Page is to share design articles, products + useful tidbits, as well as the latest happenings in New York, with my readers. Sometimes I come across awesome things & don’t want to write a full post to share the info. But I wasn’t posting frequently, nor was I promoting the actual page.

Not ready to divorce Facebook just yet, I decided to try a slight change that ended up bumping up my Facebook Likes 17% last week. Finally hit that 100 Like milestone on my Page that was taking me months to achieve. How did I do this? I said, screw design for a second and used the actual Facebook Like Box Social Plugin.

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