What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

Ah, Berlin. Our beautiful all white apartment in Mitte had a set of french doors that opened to a balcony overlooking a massive courtyard. It was the ideal spot to spend our mornings. But, perhaps even better than that were our late nights propped up on the couch sipping rosé and singing along to a Spotify playlist crammed with dozens of yacht rock tunes. I’m positive our neighbors were reaching for the ear plugs to avoid our off-tune Michael McDonald renditions.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

I’d found this shirt emblazoned with You Only Live Once in a very YSL-inspired type treatment just a few days before tucked away on a rack at H&M. Aint that the truth. Traveling so much this summer has really opened my eyes and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. Knowing that I can survive with just a small suitcase and my laptop for three weeks has made me realize how little I actually need on a daily basis. When I pack, I stick with mostly solid black basics including shoes and then throw in a few bright, lightweight dresses and accessories to keep things interesting.

I wore a Crown and Glory Oversized Rococo Headband (not the most subtle piece!), an H&M shirt (I can’t find the link on their site but it should still be in-store), a J. Crew skirt I found at Buffalo Exchange and All Saints boots.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

Photos: Shell de Mar with special thanks to Go With Oh.

Blog Log #17: Products, Services and Digital Offerings: Successfully Selling Yourself Without Traditional Advertising


Nubby Twiglet | Products, Services and Digital Offerings: Successfully Selling Yourself Without Traditional Advertising

In the early days of blogging, the most obvious way to generate extra income was through banner advertising. And while there is still money to be made in this format (especially for the big-time bloggers with huge traffic), there are a lot more blogs now and therefore, the slices of the pie to go around are much smaller.

Today, I’m talking about a few alternatives to the more traditional forms of advertising. While I occasionally do some advertising and sponsorships on my blog (and have a media kit on hand for when I’m contacted about those opportunities), as a creative offering services since I launched my site in 2007, I’ve always viewed income generation slightly differently.

Since the day I started my blog (I just celebrated my seventh anniversary!) it’s been more of an indirect portfolio. While I was blogging, I was also in school full-time for design and the week after graduating, that transitioned into a full-time agency job. While I was very consistent with sharing fresh content five days a week, it wasn’t my full-time gig. During those very early days of blogging, I was also doing freelance work on the side for clients including Virgin Records and Forever 21 and my blog gave me a direct outlet to share these projects with my audience. Though project-focused posts were perhaps 10% of my overall content (variety is important — you don’t want to bore your audience!), it was enough to help me gain even more freelance clients. Building this client base through my blog eventually made it possible to quit all outside agency work.

If you’re looking for fantastic examples of folks who indirectly generate livings from their blogs by offering products and services, Joy Cho, Jess Lively, Alexandra Franzen, Garance Doré (I love her online shop!) and Breanna Rose do a great job of making it feel seamless.

On that note, these are three key ways you can generate income from your blog without traditional advertising:

1. Offer A Service

My blog was built on offering design services though I never pushed them very hard — I just naturally shared projects as they wrapped up and had a permanent link to my portfolio in my main navigation (note — if you do this, be very direct. Mine says,”Hire me” so people know that I’m available.) Even when I wasn’t posting about client work, I still used my blog as a vehicle to share my interests, aesthetics and personality. When I launched my design studio Branch last year and was no longer just supporting myself, all of our rates doubled overnight from my previous freelance ones. At that point, advertising felt a lot less lucrative since an average client at Branch books in at a few thousand dollars minimum and blog ads generate much, much less here on average. About half of Branch’s potential clients find us on Nubby Twiglet and click through from a project link, graphic in the sidebar or a pinned project image on Pinterest. I’ve also watched dozens of other bloggers launch services and cultivate a dedicated following of clients directly through their personal sites.

2. Create Digital Products

Digital products are the holy grail of blogging these days. After all, your dedicated readers tend to want more of what you have to offer and if you can provide them with useful content in a nicely packaged format, they will love it. We have a whole section dedicated digital products at The Blogcademy because it’s such a far-reaching subject but in a nutshell, digital products can range from PDF / Kindle / iPad friendly books, Photoshop actions, podcasts, online courses, blog templates or anything else that can be packaged and delivered in a digital format. In the last six months, we’ve done really well through offering digital products at The Blogcademy with our Home School modules. Our digital products are centered around 14 different blogging topics and each one features a video with PDF worksheet downloads. You pay $20.00 for access and can watch the video as many times as you like. The key to digital products is to create an offering once and then sell it repeatedly to generate income with very little extra effort. If you’re looking for a shop example with a variety of digital product formats, Gala’s is a great place to start.

3. Support a shop or outside business

Over time, it’s natural to evolve and gain new interests. When I first started blogging, I had no outside businesses and now, the two that I do have make up my full time job. Chances are that you’ll also start businesses beyond your blog and your personal platform is a great place to share these ventures. Perhaps you’ve started a vintage clothing shop, a baking company, a juice stand or even a line of art prints like Anna has. If you feel that this content ties in with your audience’s interests, create useful posts and how-to guides that promote these offerings while helping them in some way. That’s the key. A Beautiful Mess does this extremely well since they now have books, Photoshop actions, e-courses, apps and more. They are able to promote this wide range of content on their blog while always keeping their core audience in mind.

Advertising is just one way to generate income from your blogging. I hope this post helps you think outside of the box and use your blog as a vehicle to make a living doing what you’re passionate about.

Your turn: What are the unique ways that you’ve used your blog as a platform to generate interest in your offerings?

Photo: Shell de Mar with special thanks to Go With Oh.

The Week In Pictures: 8.22.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Hello again! How was your week?

I’ll be honest…since I’ve been back, it’s been full-on catch up mode around here. Putting together timelines for new jobs, getting my accounting caught up, long coffee dates with friends, birthday parties (the big 6-0!), squirrel sitting and backyard barbecues (we finally got one and are using it nearly every day!) have left my days feeling really full. As I say, work hard and play hard! I feel like the first half of this year got off to a really slow start but things are finally picking up steam and I’m excited to release a bunch of new projects for both Branch and Blogcademy over the next few months.

I stopped into my absolute favorite place to shop, Buffalo Exchange yesterday and found this vintage orangey-red felt hat (above). The thing is, my office is a bit of a distaster at the moment so when I got home, I sat on the floor facing my windows, pulled a white curtain behind me to block out the messy background…and the curtains draped awkwardly, cutting off part of my hat! Haha! Didn’t quite go as planned but I ended up liking the negative space.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Chubby has been doing so well this week. He’s now drinking out of a bottle and has grown a ton. Joey also built him the equivalent of a squirrel mansion (seriously, his new “house” is massive) and he’s able to keep his balance much more easily while walking.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’m always on the hunt for visual inspiration and like to stop into a variety of places. I love Pastaworks for this reason. It’s a European-style market with so much great packaging I’ve never seen before.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Coffee dates with Pam: always high energy! She’s one of those friends where we get so excited chatting about design and projects that we keep talking faster, faster, faster! Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

One of my favorite houses near Hawthorne. Best paint job on the block!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This is a peek at my desk right now. Black felt-tipped Stabilo pens are awesome — I use them to cross items off my to-do lists (I hand write them every day). I thrifted that mug 10 years ago, my new phone case was found at a shop in Berlin last month and the Rodin lip balm looks and works great.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I also wanted to say thank you to those of you who’ve picked up the new Home School modules. Seeing your still lifes pop up has been making my day! I especially love Angela’s photo! xo

Link Love: 8.21.14

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love Header

Nubby Twiglet | The Parker Palm Springs: Angie Silvy for Rue Magazine

• One of my favorite bloggers has been on an epic road trip and this isn’t your typical one, either. She’s driving down unmarked dirt roads, visiting ghost towns, stopping by abandoned hot springs…and sharing the whole experience!

• What happens when you like everything on Facebook?

• Such an insightful read: 5 questions for 100 designers.

• One of the trickiest parts of freelancing is when your clients go quiet. Bre has some great advice on how to chase them down and not be scary about it!

• 5 things you must do when applying to art colleges!

• I have a total crush on this perfectly executed ballpoint pen inspired script.

• This is one of the best bathroom remodels I’ve ever seen!

• What the heck is toothpaste, anyway?!

• I really enjoyed reading about Jenna Lyon’s beauty regimen. I hadn’t heard of about half the products she mentioned…but now I want to try them all.

• You’ve done a great job of being alive. Obviously, you deserve a medal.

• The expert guide to working from home.

• If your camera gear isn’t the best but you have a passion for photography, can you still make it work until you have the money to upgrade?

• This is how the sun sees you. A great reminder to wear sunscreen!

• A brief look at texting in movies.

Photo: The Parker Palm Springs by Angie Silyvy for Rue Magazine.
Check out more Link Love columns right here.

The Blogcademy Home School: Building Your Audience, Dealing With Negativity, Creating Awesome Still Lifes and Setting Your Rates!

The Blogcademy Home School Modules: Building Your Audience, Dealing With Negativity, Creating Awesome Still Lifes and Setting Your Rates!

Over at The Blogcademy, we’re launching four new Home School classes today! What I love most about Home School is that these modules make it possible for you to learn at your own pace — the videos can be watched as many times as you want and always include PDF worksheets to drive home the most important points. We filmed these four segments last month in London based around the subjects you asked us most about through email, in class and over social media.

Still Life 101

I’m really passionate about still lifes because they have the power to convey so much about us as individuals. These days, you’ll notice that photos of experiences tend to generate more interest than selfies or your latest purchase because the truth is, people want to see what you’re working on and what you’re inspired by! In this segment, I share the tips I personally use to compose all of my still lifes and include a visual example of each so you can see it in action. This is a great way to improve your still lifes whether you’re shooting photos for your blog or Instagram. Even better, if you’re feeling stuck on what to share in your still lifes, I’ve created a worksheet of prompts. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

How To Set Your Rates

When you’re starting a business, one of the first hurdles you’ll have is knowing how much to charge. In this segment, I chat with Kat about coming up with rates and sticking to them. We cover it from the perspective of both a blogger figuring out how much to charge for sponsored posts, advertising or collaborations, and as a creative using your blog to sell your services. This advice is practical and non-nonsense while shedding some light on what makes sense for your business!

Building Your Audience

Bloggers are always looking for new ways to engage readers and grow their audiences and we share the techniques we personally used when we started our blogs. To this day, we still implement most of them and have had great success. The advice Kat shares can be easily applied to all levels of blogging.

Dealing With Negativity

Have you ever received negative feedback online? Most of us have and that first time can really sting. The thing is, that negativity ends up holding a lot of people back from sharing their true selves online. Kat, Gala and I chat about how to cope with it, share some personal experiences and finally, have a candid conversation centered around if it ever gets easier. If you’re dealing with negativity, you’re not alone and I really hope this segment will help you feel more brave about putting yourself out there.

These four new modules build upon the original Home School topics including Blogging Basics (free!), Media Kits For Bloggers, Creating An About Me Page, Blog Brand Audit, Brands Working With Bloggers, PR & Marketing For Blogs, Advertising, Creating Killer Content, How To Work With Brands and Pinterest For Bloggers.

Each module is priced $20.00 and available in the shop. We promise to only give you real, actionable information you can put into use. Enjoy!

An Afternoon Of Beauty and Excess At Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” ―Charles Bukowski

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

On the hunt for a cool lunch spot in Amsterdam, I discovered a little gem called Bar Bukowski. The place is named after writer Charles Bukowski who had a not so subtle way with words and is best described as “breathing his love for alcohol, women and literature.” Bukowski once said, “There is always a reason to drink!” (and I dare not argue with the statements of a literary legend) but the food here is pretty good, too.

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

The music is loud, the walls are tiled and there are fresh flowers on every table. This is the ideal spot to grab a coffee, stay for lunch and then pick out a dessert. But if you’re a true Bukowski fanatic, polish it all off with a strong drink at Henry’s Bar next door. Indulge in some excess!

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.” ―Charles Bukowski

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Nubby Twiglet | An Afternoon at Bar Bukowski in Amsterdam

Bar Bukowski has humor, style and great food — truly a winning combo.

“If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose.” ―Charles Bukowski