Posts in Useful
The Ultimate South African Christmas Gift Guide - everything you need to know about keeping it local this festive season

Christmas is right around the corner (6 weeks away to be exact!) and to help you beat the stress and overwhelm that often takes over when it comes to buying gifts, I've put together the following gift guide.

All of these wonderful gifts are from local South Africans and buying them means you are supporting the small business trade. I love the idea of supporting small business owners, because with each gift bought for your loved ones, you are enabling that business owner do the same for their family...it's a win-win situation.

I've started the guide with gift ideas for the special ladies in your life, followed by a selection of ideas for men, and ending off with loads and loads of inspiration for the little ones.

Please do feel free to share this post with all your friends and family, and anyone else you can think of who may need a little help finding the perfect Christmas present this year.

This is a VERY image heavy post, so you might want to go put the kettle on and make yourself a warm cup of something while you wait for all the images to load. In the mean time, make sure you bookmark this post so you can come back to it if you need to.

Happy Shopping!

x

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Why you need to build an email list: Email Marketing for Beginners

If you've been blogging for some time and especially if you've been looking into how you can make money from blogging, I'm sure you will have come across the term 'email list'. I'm sure you have heard loads of other bloggers and business owners talking about 'list building' and how 'the money is in the list' but perhaps you've been wondering not just why on earth you need a list for your blog but also what on earth you'd be sending those people. Can't your readers just follow you through Bloglovin' or Feedburner? Why do you need to invest your time into another form of marketing?

If you're anything like me, you've been pondering those questions. It's time to stop wondering and start doing & so today I'm going to tell why you definitely DO need an email list for your blog or business, plus I'm going to show you how you can start building yours today.

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What is Brand Photography and why you need it to grow your business

Brand Photography: What is it and why do you need it to grow your business?

As a blogger and photographer I am so excited to create this post for you and to explain how powerful brand photography is for your business. When I first started my own blogging journey over 6 years ago, I was grabbing random images from Google and sites like WeHeartIt and just throwing together blog graphics without paying much attention to my brand image. Since picking up my first fancy camera 4 years ago, I have seen first hand how much beautiful & purposeful images can really propel your brand and give it an edge that sets it apart from every body else. This is what I want for you, fellow creative! I want to show you how custom brand photography can really help you to grow your business.

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Innisfree Cafe Seoul, South Korea

If you've been following this blog for any time at all, I'm sure you'll know have come across a post or two sharing my love for the Innisfree brand.

Innisfree is known as the first, original South Korean all-natural brand, and is one of the few Korean brands that use organic ingredients certified by France's ECOCERT organisation. All of it's packaging is recyclable, and the ingredients in it's products are natural and not filled with a million and one chemicals.

What I love most about Innisfree is the fact that their products are reasonably priced, and they WORK! There are so many amazing Korean skincare and makeup brands, but a lot of them look a lot better than they work. Korean packaging is incredibly cute and will have you buying all sorts of products just because they will look pretty on your dresser. 

You can imagine my delight when I found out that Innisfree has it's own cafe! There are two locations, one on Jeju Island (the home of Innisfree) and on in Seoul.

During the last weekend we spent in Korea (in case you're new around here, my husband and I spent 3 years living in South Korea and have only just returned home to South Africa) I was able to pop into the cafe and experience the beauty of Innisfreein it's 'cafe' form.

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The Best Places to eat in Korea: Burger Bridge, Gwangju, South Korea

After a second visit to this delightful burger place in Gwangju, I am 100% convinced that this will be one of the best you'll eat while in Korea. I'm talking real, homemade, grilled patties with plenty of extra toppings that will leave you with a very full stomach and a happy heart.

Burger Bridge is a small restaurant located on the other end of downtown Gwangju, near Mudeung Mountain 무등산. It's in the Chosun University area, a place filed with the trendiest cafes, bars and restaurants. It's quite nearby to Florida Cafe and Hertz Guesthouse (one of our favorite dog-friendly places to stay).

The best part about this place (apart from how good their burgers are and what good value for money they are) is their opening times! Most restaurants open closer to midday in Gwangju, which is a real pain if you wake up early like us. Burger Bridge is open from 10 am! The restaurant itself is small, but oh-so-charming, and the guys who run it are super friendly. You can tell they are proud of their burger joint!

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Beautiful Free stock photos for bloggers and business owners

When I first started blogging back in 2010 (6 years ago...eeek!) I used to shamelessly copy and paste images from We Heart It, which was kind of the OG of the visual world before Pinterest came along. I had no idea about copy-write (in fact, I couldn't even really spell that word properly) never mind understand the legal ramifications of using someone else's work without giving them full credit.

It wasn't until 2012 when I came across an article from a blogger who had been sued for a HUGE amount of money after using someones photograph on her blog. The blogger had actually given the photographer credit in her blog post, but she hadn't asked him for permission to re-post his image and so she ended up going to court and was found guilty of intellectual property theft! Can you imagine being charged with a criminal offense for using an image on your blog? Madness!

I was terrified after reading that blog post and promptly set out to learn how to take my own photographs so as not to have to worry about image copy-right ever again! I ended up falling in love with photography, and have since gone onto to freelance and now go under the title 'professional photographer'. I understand that not everyone has the time, or the desire, to pursue photography full time, especially if their interests lie somewhere else, in writing for example or making or drawing or painting. This is where stock photographs come in and this is where I wave a little (pink) flag that says I've got you covered and have FREE STOCK PHOTOGRAPHS JUST FOR YOU!

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#FromBlog2Biz My journey from Blogger to Business Owner: Let's start at the very beginning

Hi everyone!

In case you're new around these parts and have stumbled across this blog series, I thought I'd take a moment to introduce myself.

My name is Roxy and I am the blogger, photographer, planner, crafter, maker, designer and general busy-bee behind CityGirlSearching. I am South African, but have been living in South Korea with my husband and rescue pup (Shadow, who yes, has his own # and Instagram account and FB page because that's what you do these days) for the past 3/technically 4 years.

We are about to wrap up our final contract and will be heading home to South Africa at the end of June...yippeee!

In this series #FromBlog2Biz, I am going to be sharing with you my journey from blogger to business owner. In this post (Part 1) I want to share with you my blogging journey so far (it's been a good number of years) and to set the scene for you for where I am at right now and how I have been making money from my blog and how I plan to monetize moving forward from here.

I do hope you'll join me on this journey as I share with what I've done so far, what has worked and what hasn't. It's going to be an awesome adventure so let's get started right away.

 

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A beginners guide to Blog Photography & Styling - What you need to get started

I've been blogging for about 6 years now, and I do so because I genuinely love providing free, useful content for people. This blog is not a diary showcasing my life but rather I hope that it is a platform for you to learn new things (like my blogging tipstravel guides and posts about owning a dog in Korea) as well as a place to be inspired (by my travel posts, recipes and my photography). 

One thing that I have learned from all these years of tapping away at my keyboard is that the images on your blog can make or break your brand. 

These days technology has advanced so much, there really is no excuse for anyone to have poor quality images on their blog. This doesn't mean you have to own the fanciest camera on the market, your cellphone/ipad/tablet will work just fine.

In this post I'm going to be sharing with you what I use to style & take photographs for my blog. 

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Introducing the #BeautifyYourBlog Handbook for Bloggers

I recently created and launched #BeautifyYourBlog an easy to follow, free online course for bloggers. Alongside this course, I created a handbook which I'd love to share more of with you today.

Making your blog look it's shiny best can be a difficult process...But it doesn't have to be.

When I first started blogging, I wish I had had someone show me the ins and outs of branding and what it means to build a brand around your blog.

I fumbled my way through the first 4 years of blogging, making so many changes and wasting so much time creating graphics for my blog that really didn't fit my style.

If someone had given me this handbook when I first started blogging, it would have saved me so much frustration, not to mention time.  

This Handbook goes through the how's and the why's of branding your blog and most importantly, it shows you how you can do it yourself.

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