MOODBOARD | AUMONERIE FRENCH RIVIERA

MOODBOARD | AUMONERIE FRENCH RIVIERA

Hello everyone, hope you had an amazing start of the year!

My 2017 is crazy busy at the moment, I am currently working on 4 projects so I know I have been MIA for awhile now.

I hope I can manage to get back on track and start writing and sharing my work and my work process with you on a weekly basis. I’m not making any promises though 🙂 

instagram tips for product - based businesses | nataliesbox.com

Today’s #MoodboardMonday is all about french chateau style. I am currently working on an amazing project for 2 clients. Sabine, from Avalon Events Organisation and John (visit his website here) who is an amazing architect from LA and a sweet, down-to-earth human being – we are putting together a website for John’s house in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, South Of France. 

He wants to rent the house to beautiful couples who want to enjoy their time together in a secluded and intimate village; a village with such history, such beauty… I am just going to add some photos here so you can look for yourself.

The website is 90% finished, we still need to add specific details, more content and more amazing photos.

But I do have to mention that this process is a special one because John and Sabine have such an incredible and distinct sense of style. They know exactly what they want and I’m here just to help them execute it.

If you asked me to describe my dream client, I would show you a picture of their sweet faces!

Stay tunes for updates on the logo design process and final website reveal!

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

FREE DIVI CHILD THEME | CYBER MONDAY

FREE DIVI CHILD THEME | CYBER MONDAY

I am so excited about the new shop launching here soon at NataliesBox.com.

And before I start adding new products to the shop, I invite you all to take a look at a new DIVI child theme I created. Did I say it is FREE?  Well yes it is! 

instagram tips for product - based businesses | nataliesbox.com

To be honest, I am more creative than technical so it took me a while to figure out how to export and write the PDF instruction file for this child theme (shhh…. watched a lot of youtube tutorials 🙂 )

But the theme is finally here and can now take 2 days off from the computer!

Anyway, here is the link to the DEMO SITE hope you like it. I wanted to name this first child theme after my first child – Ana – clever right? I wanted to keep the layouts as simple and clean as I possibly could so whoever downloads it, can play around with it, and add in their personality and character. Every layout, button and element is meticulously styled. With beautiful white space and elegant typography, all from Google fonts.

Feel free to look around, download it and play around with it!

*FREE download only available until November 30, 2016 as part of the Cyber Monday week deals.

VIEW ANNA THEME

DEMO PAGE

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

MOODBOARD | ROYAL AESTHETIC CLINIC

MOODBOARD | ROYAL AESTHETIC CLINIC

I am currently working on 5 different projects. This is just one of them. The color inspiration for this particular project is just so “down to earth”.

In the next month I will be working for a plastic surgery clinic in Dubai – the clinic is called Royal Aesthetics Clinic and the colors we came up with are perfect for their online visual identity.

royal-aesthetics-clinic-moodboard | color inspiration boards designed by nataliesbox.com

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

flower-icon-2

Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

CREATING A COMING SOON LANDING PAGE FOR YOUR NEW BLOG

CREATING A COMING SOON LANDING PAGE FOR YOUR NEW BLOG

Guide To Creating A Landing Page Before Your Blog Launch!

You can find hundreds and hundreds of different tutorials on how to install WordPress and different themes (I’ve written one post about it here). The reality is that you likely will launch your blog on the same day that you set it up. Believe me!

Once you have decided to START A BLOG and setup a site, it is only right and appropriate to want to set up a coming soon page at first. A coming soon page allows you to generate interest about your blog before you actually decide or plan to launch, get comfortable with the WordPress dashboard (play around with buttons and options), setup your static pages, and build up a number of posts before you launch. I recommend that new blogs launch with between 4-5 posts per week.

CREATING A COMING SOON LANDING PAGE FOR YOUR NEW BLOG | Guide To Creating A Landing Page Before Your Blog Launch | nataliesbox.com

In order to create and set up a coming soon landing page for your blog, you will need the following:

 

  1. DESIGN ELEMENTS
    Blog Logo: Recommended → no bigger than 600 pixels wide
    Brand Colors: You will need a color for the background, for the text, and for your internal and external links
    Fonts: I usually recommned to start with standard fonts like Arial or Arial Black
    Background Photo: this particular element is optional but if you decide to add a background photo this should be 2000 pixels wide.
  2. CONTENT
    Text promoting your new blog
    Relevant Social Media and Sign-up links

How To Create A Coming Soon Landing Page

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard, go to PLUGINS → ADD NEW.
  2. Enter “COMING SOON” into the Keyword Search box (located in the right part of your plugin page). Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd plugin should come up first. You can now select INSTALL NOW. Follow the steps to install and activate this plugin.
  3. Once the plugin is activated, go to SETTINGS → COMING SOON PAGE & MAINTENANCE MODE.
  4. Under GENERAL section, the default setting is DISABLED. To activate the Coming Soon Page, select ENABLE COMING SOON MODE. 
  5. Under PAGE SETTINGS section, enter in your LOGO, HEADLINE, and MESSAGE. The message is the same visual/text editor as in your posts and pages. You can enter in images, format text, and add your styling.
  6. Under HEADER section, you will enter your FAVICON, SEO TITLE, SEO META DESCRIPTION, GOOGLE ANALYTICS CODE (click here for a tutorial on how to install Google Analytics on your blog).
  7. Once you have entered in all this content, select SAVE ALL CHANGES. You have now just entered all the content for your landing page; it’s time to make it beautiful!
  8. Go to the DESIGN tab. You will see four different sections – BACKGROUND, CONTENT, TEXT, and TEMPLATE.
  9. Under BACKGROUND section, you can enter either a background color or a background image. If you use a photo, make sure to check RESPONSIVE BACKGROUND. This feature will allow the image to be the full size of the browser on each device.
  10. Under the CONTENT section, you can change how wide it is. With this generic template, I recommend that you do no bigger than 720 pixels wide. It is tough for your reader to read paragraph text that is larger than 720 pixels wide on a desktop. I typically leave this as the default – which is 600 pixels.
  11. Under the TEXT section, you can customize the colors as well as the font.
  12. Under the TEMPLATE section, you can enter any CUSTOM CSS that you want to the project. I typically add a few different things, but if you are not familiar with CSS, you would just ignore this section.
  13. When you have made all of your design changes, select SAVE ALL CHANGES. You can then preview your layout in the LIVE PREVIEW tab.
  14. The ADVANCED TAB section is where you can put scripts and custom HTML. I very rarely use this part.
     

If you are a brand or business who will have a landing page up for a couple of months, you might be interested in the PRO VERSION. I have never used the pro version because I never had to actually. I have found that I am able to customize the landing page to my clients’ needs with just the free version.

If you need help with anything please let me know in the comments or by email. I would be happy to help you.

Until next time, 

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Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

HOW TO START A WORDPRESS BLOG

HOW TO START A WORDPRESS BLOG

+ FREE BLOGGING RESOURCES

(THREE PDF FILES)

So, you are thinking about getting serious? Are you ready to switch from .org to .com?

When starting a WordPress blog, you might be very confused with how to set it up. And I am talking about Hosting + Domain registrar – these might seem like confusing words to you! But have no fear! I am going to show you how to start your WordPress blog in 20 easy minutes, using SITEGROUND.

Why SITEGROUND? There are several different hosting companies out there, but from my experience working with tens of clients and customers, SITEGROUND hosting is far superior to their competitors. SITEGROUND offers customer support and server security that far outweighs the competition. 

how to start a wordpress blog | step by step tutorial for beginners | nataliesbox.com

So here it is –  few simple steps to get you started!

1. DOMAIN NAME + HOSTING SETUP

Now, please select the blue “LEARN MORE” button under BEST SELLER. The plan is only $3.95 / month and you get extra discounts with domain purchases so keep this in mind!

 

 

 

In the next screen, you will have the option to choose between 3 different plans. I suggest you choose the STARTUP plan if you own just one website. If you want to add multiple sites to one account, please choose the GROWBIG plan. 

 

siteground screenshot | how to install wordpress blog using siteground | nataliesbox.com

Moving forward, you will be redirected to a CHECKOUT page where you will need to enter your details – such as: Name / Email / Payment Information and Plan Information. In the Plan Information you will have to choose how many years of hosting would you like to pay for. I suggest going with 1 year at first. You will also benefit from a FREE SETUP after you pay!

One reminder for you: even though the regular price is $9.95 after the first year, you will always have a discounted price with them so don’t worry about it 🙂

When you are selecting your package information, I recommend that you buy the following – Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup Pro, and SiteLock Security. These additional add-ons protect your website from hackers and also demonstrate that you are a verified Brand.

Once you’ve selected a plan and checked out, you will follow SITEGROUND’S instructions.

2. INSTALL WORDPRESS

All right, so far so good. Now, for this next step, you will want to go to the top of your SITEGROUND’S account where it says SUPPORT. You will see the next image in your SUPPORT TAB. 

Go to WORDPRESS ASSISTANCE – You will be asked to talk to a support team. Click CHAT and you will be redirected to an actual person who will gladly install WordPress to your new domain and hosting account. The support will also ask you about your preferred email address, passwords, etc. He/she will go that extra mile and will email you your new credentials to your desired email address so you will always have those in hand whenever you will need them. EASY, right? No need for advanced technical knowledge.

3. CUSTOMIZE YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG ACCORDING TO YOUR BRAND

Now that WordPress is setup, it is time to make it beautiful! To do this, you will need to select a BLOG THEME that best showcases your blog content. There are both free and premium themes, but I recommend PREMIUM THEMES. The biggest advantage of premium themes is support. I aim to help provide my customers with tools and resources needed to have a successful blog.

Go to your WordPress dashboard, From there go to APPEARANCE → THEMES. Select the blue ADD NEW button at the top.

If you are uploading a PREMIUM THEME, select UPLOAD THEME button. Upload your ZIP File. If WordPress Twenty Twelve is not installed, you will be prompted to download it. Once the theme is installed, select ACTIVATE. Your theme is now live.

ENJOY! YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG IS READY TO SHOWCASE YOUR CONTENT!

 

If you are just starting off, I would like to offer you three different PDF files that aim to help you plan and organize your blog!

Just add your info below and check your email. You will receive a link to these FREE resources.

  1. HOW TO START A WORDPRESS BLOG
  2. WEBSITE CHECKLIST
  3. BLOG CONTENT PLANNER

 

Disclaimer: Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links. I earn commission only if you purchase through these links. I only use affiliate links for products that I use and would recommend to others. There is no additional cost to you for using these links!

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

flower-icon-2

Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

7 PRODUCTIVITY TIPS TO KEEP YOU FOCUSED ON WORK

7 PRODUCTIVITY TIPS TO KEEP YOU FOCUSED ON WORK

Being an entrepreneur and/or working from home can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling, but it can also be such a challenge! Staying on task and remaining productive is a real struggle sometimes when you don’t have a boss, manager, or other co-workers to keep you on point. Today I am going to share 7 different productivity tips that I use to keep myself moving forward and on task!

1. NOTIFICATIONS – OFF

One productivity killer is proved to be all of those notifications that keep popping up on your phone or your computer screen, all the time. I don’t know about you, but when you get notified that someone said something or sent you something, the urge to go and check it out is almost impossible to resist. What is the consequence of falling for this? You get lost in the endless scroll of social media or you get sidetracked responding to an email who can be left unanswered until later on and before you know it a few hours have gone by. What you were supposed to get done gets pushed off until tomorrow. AGAIN. Don’t let notifications get in the way of getting your work done. I myself struggle with this but let me tell you something: I turned off all notifications on my phone a few months ago and my productivity during the day has increased tenfold! I will never go back to my old habit!

2. SCHEDULE BLOCKS OF TIME

When you don’t have the structure of a 9-5 to deal with, working for yourself or working from home can be kind of a “available and free for anyone”. If you do go into the day without a plan, the day can tend to get away from you and you might end up feeling like you didn’t get anything done.

Planning out your week at the beginning of the week and then scheduling blocks of time to take care of tasks can be a huge productivity booster. Knowing that every day from 8-9:30 you will deal with emails and draft posts and from 1-4 you will focus on your freelancing job: blog posting, or web designing or diy projects etc… can keep you on point and moving throughout the day. Hold yourself accountable to get done what you have pre-scheduled to get done. Take breaks in between your tasks and eat, hydrate, go for a walk and clear your head… and your lungs.

3. SET YOUR OFFICE HOURS

Having set office hours can be a huge game changer especially if you have other commitments, like children or a spouse, that also need your time and care. If you know that no one else will be in the house from 8-4, then dedicate yourself to working those hours. Anytime after or before those hours, work will not be done and you can focus your energy on other commitments. It doesn’t really matter what the hours are or when they occur during the day, but be honest with yourself about when you work best, when you have the ability to work in a focused way and stick to it!

4. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. OR TWO

This one links with the second suggestion I wrote. Along with scheduling blocks of time, make sure to also schedule yourself some breaks throughout the day. Whether it be a few minutes to go outside and take a walk, a quick 10 minute break to stretch, a lunch break with a favorite TV show or even a short afternoon snooze, taking breaks throughout the day gives your brain a chance to relax and re-energize!

5. UTILIZE ANY RESOURCES YOU HAVE

Let’s face it: in many ways technology has made our lives more complicated and we sometimes struggle to keep up to the new tech trends, but it also has the ability to make our lives so much easier and more efficient.

To give you a few personal examples: for my designing process and overall work I use Creative Market a lot and I usually buy bundles and creative packages at a fair price. I also use any free stock photo website I can find and store them in a special folder where I can use them quickly if I need to.

When I deal with SEO projects I rely mostly on paid softwares that ease my workflow. I use the MOZ software and other paid tools so everything I can do to minimize my headache and my client’s dissatisfaction – count me in.

So, utilize some really great productivity resources to help you complete tasks that are repetitive or time-sucking. There are so many resources out there that can help small business owners and entrepreneurs (way too many to get into here), but what really helped me right from the start was to reach out to others in my field and just ask them what they use.

You can easily do some google searching or ask in Facebook groups for some resources that others use to keep on point and keep their days being productive. I promise you will find some really valuable things out there that can make a huge difference in your day to day freelance life!

6. WHITE NOISE. IF YOU’RE INTO IT

This might not work for everyone, but I find that having a little bit of white noise on wherever I am working lends itself to my productivity. Rather than the room being completely silent, having some music playing, or even a podcast running in the background helps me to keep my focus on the task at hand. I’m not at all sure why it works, but it just seems to!

7. SCHEDULE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA

I’ve saved one of the best for last. Social Media. This is probably one of the biggest struggles for most small business owners and especially creative entrepreneurs. We need to be on social media. This is often the main source of finding clients. But once you get there, it is so, SO easy to stay there. For hours. And HOURS.

Other small business owners, on contrary, feel overwhelmed with all of the platforms going on at the moment so my advice to owners just starting out in the online industry – keep it simple; use 3 main social media platforms and invest in them.

But back to those who get easily distracted by this – an easy solution to stay away from social media as much as possible during working hours is to schedule everything ahead of time. Use a resource like BufferHootsuiteCoSchedule, or Edgar to plan all of your posts for a few days at a time and then simply move away from social media.

You can still get your information out there, but you don’t loose hours in the process by getting sucked into juicy Facebook posts or group conversations.


I hope these tips have been helpful for you and that you now have some more tools in your tool belt for staying productive throughout the day! What is your #1 favorite productivity tip to keep yourself on point?