At first glance, Gala Darling's blog could seem like any other - it's overflowing with inspiring images, style tips and quirky quotes - but look a little deeper and it's obvious there's a lot more going on.
Gala Darling is a 30-year-old New Zealand-born blogger based in New York city whose self-titled website has garnered international interest due to its honest and empowering message.
While she may use her blog to showcase personal style and document travels, her main goal is to teach her readers about self-love, about valuing oneself.
After years of successful posting, Gala decided to collaborate with two blogger friends to create a place where they could pass on insider knowledge, and give people a backstage pass to the blogosphere.
The aptly named Blogcademy aims to arm aspiring blog queens and small business owners with anything and everything they need to elevate their online presence and ultimately make a living from their personal website.
As she puts it: "You might be the best at what you do, but if you aren't the best at blogging about it... you don't exist."
The three women have recently toured Australia and New Zealand imparting their knowledge to rooms full of eager ears and are set to return next year.
Read on for Gala's top tips on blogging, style and beauty...
HOW TO: BLOGGING
1. Set your blog apart from the rest: There's only so far you can go with 'What I Wore Today' photo posts. Find your own point of difference and stick with it.
2. Offer something to your readers: Be helpful and provide suggestions to make life better for others - it's a sure fire way to keep people coming back for more.
3. Be consistent: Make sure to post on a regular basis, it gives your reader something to look forward to.
4. Be accountable: Don't put things off, always post while the subject is relevant, otherwise you may just miss the boat.
5. Build your brand: Use all social media accounts and make sure to use the same photo on each site so that you're easily recognisable.
1. Black liquid eyeliner
2. Black motorcycle boots you can walk in - comfort is key.
3. A good concealer that hides a multitude of sins.
4. False eyelashes
5. Underwear that fits, doesn't ride up, isn't uncomfortable and makes your clothes look good.
1. Embrace colour: Black is easy, but it doesn't necessarily show you at your best. Wear colours that complement your favourite feature, whether it's your eyes, hair, whatever.
2. Adorn yourself: There's nothing wrong with chain store pieces as long as you top them off with something personal that has meaning to you. I've just collaborated with New Zealand Mint jewellery to create some wonderful trinkets which show personality and creativity - you can't go wrong!
3. Make it bright: You can't go wrong with bright lipstick.
4. Express yourself: Clothing is an amazing way to show personal style and express your mood - if you're feeling a certain way, why not show it by wearing something that works in with your emotions?
5. Be yourself: Dress for you, always.
1. Blend, blend, blend: Beauty blender sponges are great for both foundation and concealer.
2. Master liquid eyeliner: Learn how to use liquid eyeliner for a dramatic look.
3. Make a statement: A lot of people put so much thought into their outfit, but very little into their make-up. Make it a priority.
4. Have fun with it: Experiment with new colours and textures - you never know, you may come across something you love.
5. Own it: It will never look good if you don't feel confident while wearing it.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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