How nice that you want to know more about Your Little Black Book. On this page, I will tell you everything about the creation of the blog and you will get to know me better. Who am I? My name is Anne de Buck (1983), I suffer from chronic wanderlust, write travel books and live with my son, Manuel, and my lovely boyfriend in Amsterdam. Your Little Black Book is the go-to platform for everyone who likes to be informed of the best addresses in the Netherlands and far beyond but has no time (or desire) to find out all of this for themselves.
Via @yourlbb on Instagram, I also share many personal tips about things that are currently going on in my life. Among other things, I give a glimpse into my life as a mother, but I also share, for example, the choices we make around the major renovation of our house. Many of my followers are in the same phase, and this leads to a lot of recognition and interaction.
I often get asked how I started blogging. Well… I am addicted to travelling and good food, have a bohemian lifestyle and am happy to discover new hotspots. I can still get butterflies in my stomach when I walk into a new restaurant or hotel or travel to a destination I have never been to before.
In 2012, I started Your Little Black Book and @YOURLBB on Instagram in addition to my job as a marketing manager at a large magazine publishing company. Your Little Black Book was meant as a platform to share my personal tips and experiences about the nicest places in Amsterdam and other cities, but also travel and lifestyle tips that match my personal taste.
Your Little Black Book really originated from my own needs. I was missing a website where I could go for an up-to-date overview of everything that is hot and happening in Amsterdam, but also somewhere that had information about other places in the same style for other destinations. Apparently, I was not the only one, because Your Little Black Book now has an average of 250,000 unique visitors per month that together view more than 1 million pages; something I could never dare dream!
Your Little Black Book is your 24/7 go-to place for handpicked shortlists with tips ranging from restaurants to hotels, fun things to do and special shopping addresses. Almost all tips have been personally tested and sometimes supplemented with the best tips from locals.
Of course, it is not just about the latest hotspots, every Little Black Book should also have all-time favourites! The kind of restaurants that you keep coming back to because they have exactly what you like and where the service is good.
In addition to writing about Amsterdam, I make city guides and travel guides for destinations all over the world. So, if you are about to go on a trip soon, make sure to check whether we have listed the best addresses and tips for you!
The concept is simple, and you must be able to rely on it without question: if something is mentioned on Your Little Black Book, then we think it is fun and good enough.
If you regularly follow my blog, you will notice that Your Little Black Book has a positive approach and we never put addresses to shame on the blog. That is because we only write about locations that we like on Your Little Black Book. I cannot emphasize often enough that the reviews on Your Little Black Book are based on an N=1 experience. If you want to know what the rest of the Dutch population thinks, it is best to consult the traditional review websites.
Anything or any place we would rather not refer you to will NOT be posted on the blog. I like a positive approach and would find it a waste of my precious time to write negative reviews. The concept is simple, and you must be able to rely on it without question: if something is on Your Little Black Book, then we think it is fun and good enough.
If it is not mentioned, there may be two reasons: either we still have not had the time to visit or we do not have a good feeling about it. It also happens (fortunately, rarely!) that we have high expectations when something new opens up and it does not meet expectations. In such a case, we remove the blogpost to keep our Little Black Book as up to date as possible.
No matter how much I like being in Amsterdam, when I am home for more than four weeks, the itch to discover something new starts to come back again. From city trips to relaxing in nature and from skiing to relaxing on a tropical island; I am one of the lucky people who have been able to turn their hobby into their work.
Because making city and travel guides is my job, I do a lot of research before I go anywhere. You can read all about how I approach that in my books ‘Wanderlust‘ and ‘Feed Your Wanderlust‘! I often get the question of how I manage to discover those great addresses. It is a certain sense of taste that you develop in the long run, but you must also have a curious and inquisitive nature.
All my personal discoveries come together on Your Little Black Book; from new hotspots to a special brand, and from events you cannot miss out on to the best deals for tickets and complete trips that you can book directly. If I go on a trip, you can travel with me through Instagram Stories and the travel vlogs.
How amazing is it to turn your hobby into your work! I have built up my platform, Your Little Black Book, from scratch into what it is today. For almost two years, I was spending every free moment I had working on your Little Black Book while still working my regular job. In 2014, I quit my job to be a full-time entrepreneur. That decision was made while I was lying on a beach bed! While travelling, I finally had the time to think about the things that really made me happy in life.
After having worked as a marketing manager and content specialist at Sanoma for 8 years, I quit my corporate career to pursue my dreams. I think I was suffering a bit from something called a ‘30-something dilemma’… and luckily, I can now tell you from experience that quitting my job and jumping into the deep end was the best decision ever.
Back when I started Your Little Black Book as a hobby, I never dreamed that my website would grow into the largest travel and lifestyle blog of the Netherlands. Because of my work as a professional blogger, I am lucky enough to work with great brands and to be regularly invited to press trips and trial dinners.
I am proud of how I – without an investor – managed to turn Your Little Black Book into a real company that, in addition to a free platform, also has an app and various travel books. Every week, I work with a small team of freelancers to further expand the platform. By doing what I do best, I now travel all over the world and wake up in a different city almost every week.
In 2012, I was the first to start a blog about hot spots and travel, now I am one of many. The huge maze of city and travel blogs and Instagram accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers has created an ideal image of what professional travel-blogging is all about. Believe me, there is much more to this than taking a picture in a pretty dress in a special place abroad.
YES, it is a dream job, but it is also hard work and staying true to your own dreams instead of solely focusing on what is thrown into your lap. I often get asked if I ever pay for trips and dinners. Yes, of course, I do. Just like everyone else does. If I want to go somewhere, I do not sit back and wait until I get invited.
Travelling and going out to dinner has always been my hobby; I used to spend my entire salary on this. That is exactly why I started Your Little Black Book and was able to share all those tips with you. So, if I want to take a dream trip to a city that is on my #bucketlist or eat at a certain restaurant, then I simply book and pay for it myself. Just like everyone else!
WHAT ABOUT YOURLBB’S BUSINESS MODEL?
Just like other professional bloggers, online magazines and traditional media, the most important revenue model of Your Little Black Book is advertising. This can be through banners, but especially through creating unique content in collaboration with premium brands in the travel and lifestyle industry. If an article is a collaboration, then this is explicitly stated at the bottom of the article (if you want to know more about this, you can also read my disclaimer).
Together with advertisers, I come up with concepts that fit within the editorial formula of Your Little Black Book. This allows me to talk about my personal experience with the brand in a natural way. If you are just starting a business, it takes a while for you to find out how your business model works.
For example, I have learned over time that writing hotspot reviews is not a revenue model for Yourlbb. I prefer to help and get new hospitality and retail entrepreneurs off to a flying start by writing about them around the time they open a business if I think it is a good addition to the existing guide. There are many companies that are disappointed if they do not end up on Your Little Black Book. Unfortunately, I cannot enter into any discussions regarding the choices that are made.
It is also possible for catering establishments and retailers to set up campaigns for social media, such as Instagram or, for example, the newsletter. I will always try to arrange a nice prize competition to go along with it for you.
By working together with advertisers, I can create space within the editorial section to also create content that is purely editorial, such as the hotspots and the lists that you often see. I hope you respect and understand this. After all, nobody can make a living off of free dinners, and the lights still need to be kept on.
The freedom to do the things I enjoy and to work on Your Little Black Book gives me an endless amount of energy. I really enjoy being an entrepreneur, and in the coming years, I want to further develop Your Little Black Book with beautiful content, products and services that will benefit you as a reader! To do so, I listen to your wishes as much as possible and regularly do a little research on my Instagram Stories.
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Vandaag mag ik een geheel verzorgd diner voor 2 weggeven voor Groovy Tables by Gin Mare op 4, 6, 18 of 19 juli! Geloof mij dat je daar bij wilt zijn. Want: 1) de unieke setting op het dakterras (of in de dakkas) van nieuwe hotspot Hoogtij in Amsterdam Noord, 2) het 6-gangen Mediterrane menu van chef Dennis Huwaë van Daalder en 3) de perfecte cocktailparings van @ginmare. Een bijzondere avond waar jij bij kunt zijn, want je kunt mijn 2 tickets winnen! Meedoen is simpel: tag de (vriend)in in een comment om kans te maken. De winnaar krijgt uiterlijk 2 juli via een DM bericht en kan een avond naar keuze kiezen om aan te schuiven bij Groovy Tables by Gin Mare. Jullie begrijpen dat ik lichtelijk baal dat ik zelf deze maand niet kan he? Daarom gun ik het jullie des te meer! ✖️✖️✖️ ANNE #yourlbb #igersamsterdam #igamsterdam #amsterdamfood #views #amsterdamfoodie #amsterdamlove
If you had told me ten years ago that I would have written at least four books by 2020, I would never have believed it. I still think it is incredible that I can now call myself a published author. These books can be ordered online from Bol.com, among other places, and are sold at concept stores and selected book stores throughout the Netherlands.
In addition to the books, I have developed The Amsterdam City Guide app that only contains tips for Amsterdam. This app is available for $ 2.99 in the iOS app store. What makes this app different from the information available on the website is that The Amsterdam City Guide app is only available in English, it only contains tips for Amsterdam, the app contains no third-party ads and all locations can be found on a map. You can also search for tips ‘nearby’ where you can see which ‘Yourlbb approved‘ addresses are currently in your area, based on your current location in Amsterdam. You can also search by themes such as lunch or breakfast, and district. During its launch, the app contained over 700 addresses. By now, it contains more than 900 addresses because of the quarterly updates!
Would you like to collaborate with Your Little Black Book? We advise you to take a look at the page for advertisers. All possibilities are described in detail.
Do you have any other great ideas you would like to get in touch about? Such as an interview in a magazine or newspaper, or organising an inspiration-workshop about working with influencers, creating content or social media? You can always e-mail me to enquire about it at email@example.com.
Nothing is ever perfect, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you have feedback about Your Little Black Book. This can be a tip or just a comment that you are missing certain topics. I would love to hear about it!