I don’t blog about blogging. So how can I make money blogging?

“I don’t blog about blogging.  So how can I make money blogging?”  How many times have we heard other bloggers say this or even said it to ourselves?  In the world of blogging, it is a truth that we all know: the big, well-known bloggers out there making five and six-figure incomes each month are blogging about blogging!  And selling books, and e-courses, and access to mastermind private groups—all to teach the little blogger how to make money blogging.

How to make Money as a Blogger. If you are a blogger who doesn't blog about blogging, but want to monetize your blog, you need to do this! #bloggingtips #blogger

So why doesn’t everyone that buys these items turn into a millionaire blogger?  I can’t honestly say, because, well, I’ve never actually paid for any of these books, e-courses, or private groups.  But I have taken a bunch of free webinars and courses and found quite a bit of good in those.  Now, I’m definitely not bashing anyone who makes money from teaching others how to be successful in this industry—that’s the beauty of a free market!

But sometimes, it just seems that the only way to make money as a blogger is to sell blogging resources.  I can’t be alone in this feeling, can I?

How to make money blogging:

So can a small blog or a medium-sized blog make money?

The answer is: Absolutely, YES!  Okay, great…. But how?

Ads

I’m going to go ahead and get the most obvious one out of the way first.  If you’ve been blogging for even five minutes, you have probably figured out how to set up Adsense.  Keep in mind, until you have a lot of people visiting your blog, ads won’t bring in much revenue.  Of course, there are other ad networks to join, like Mediavine or AdThrive.  As you may notice, I don’t have a ton of ads on my blog just because I think it detracts from the user experience I don’t like trying to read an article and having ads popping-up or slowing down the page when I am the user, so I try to think of that when formatting my own blog…

Affiliate Links

You can sign up as an affiliate through several Networks to partner up with several companies:

This is only a few, but it’s a good start…  With affiliate programs, you can embed links to products that you have an affiliate relationship with and get paid a commission when someone clicks through to purchase.  The good news is that it doesn’t cost the buyer any extra than if they were just shopping on their own, but you get paid a fee for sending over the referral.

Or you may just come across products that you love and they ask for you to refer other people to them and they will give you a “thank you” for referring new customers (you don’t even need to have a blog to find these, but if you are a blogger, you can incorporate these types of links into posts as well!)… one of my favorites is Home Chef.

Of course, if you’ve been blogging long enough, you know there are affiliate links for blogging tools as well.  Such as Tailwind for boosting Pinterest engagement, Milotree to gain social media followers, and Bluehost for website hosting.

Sponsored Posts

Once you have been blogging for a little while and have built up your audience, you can actually apply for paid opportunities to write sponsored content.  These are product and campaign specific, you need to make sure that you are applying for campaigns that fit into your blog niche.

Yes, you want to make money, but every post you write should also be building your blog’s brand.

There are several places that you can go to get sponsored posts.  A few of my favorites are:

Working with Brands

Of course, once you have been publishing content online long enough, you may get contacted by various companies looking for freelance work or sponsored content for specific clients or projects.  Most companies that reach out to you will probably be within your niche of writing because they are looking for bloggers and freelance writers with an audience to help spread the word about a product or service that they are looking to sponsor content about.  Obviously, not everyone that reaches out to you will be a fit, so don’t feel bad about turning down a sponsored post opportunity.  You are much better off to stay true to your personal brand and your blog’s brand rather than feeling like you are “selling out” just to make a few bucks.

Become an Affiliate for a Specific Product

You can take the time and energy to create your own product, but you certainly don’t have to!  There are a ton of great products already out there and you can sign up to be an affiliate with them.  I would suggest becoming an affiliate for products that you have used and love and can somehow incorporate into your blog posts or a newsletter easily.

Here are some examples of products that I have signed up to be an affiliate for:

Social Warfare plugin—this is for social media sharing on your blog.  I found out that I needed this because it is one of the only plugins out there that can actually recover your social share counts on blog posts after implementing an SSL certificate on your website.  It’s something that I use and have found useful, so I am confident recommending it to others.

Pinteresting Strategies by Carly Campbell—Carly has used Pinterest to drive so much traffic to her blog and I can say that she has truly mastered Pinterest (or at least in my opinion!).  Regardless, this book is a great resource for bloggers and is relatively inexpensive, so it really is worth the investment to help you grow your blog.

Bloggers Tell All Facebook group—this group has lots of resources.  There are lots of tips, tricks, and advice from some very successful bloggers, so it is a paid group.  But, you can also make a bit of money as an affiliate for referring other people to the group.  Check it out and see if your blog grows. Okay, I know I said I never paid for any of these things—and that was true until I decided to try this group.  I had lots of blogger friends recommend it, so I’ve been a part of it for two weeks now and really like it (but the good news is that you can cancel at any time if you decide to…)

Promote Your Own Business

I decided a few years ago that starting my own side business was something that I wanted to do.  Of course, I realized that it wouldn’t make me rich overnight, but it is something that I can build over the years to help make my retirement a bit more comfortable.  I also like that fact that building my own business is actually something that I can pass on to my kids someday… so I started two businesses—both are completely done online.  So my initial investment was extremely low and so are the on-going costs.  First, I found companies that I already loved the products.  If you personally like something and can personally recommend it to others, then you may as well get paid for it, right?! Then I decided to partner with them directly to earn money.

My first business is Juice Plus+ .  I absolutely love these whole food supplements and plant-based protein shakes!  Not only do I take them, but my entire family does—even the kids love them because they have chewable gummies that really tasty!  If your kids are like mine, you will have to cut them off from eating too many at once!  This is something I believe in because I have seen and felt the changes in my own body (migraine free for over 2½ years now!!) and I just know that this helps bridge the gap in our diets of not getting enough fruits and vegetables.

My second business is Rodan+Fields.  Again, I use and love these products—especially the ones for anti-aging!  They work for my skin and I have had great results, so I am able to share them very honestly with others.  Of course, they have several product lines to help with all types of skincare needs.  And again, I am able to grow my own business this way.

I definitely think that everyone should have a their own business on the side… you may want to check out these Side Hustles that will Actually Give You a Full Time Income for more great ideas on how to start your own business with very little start-up costs…

Referral Links

The reason that I love referral links is because you don’t even have to be a bloggers to take advantage of these!  But the nice thing is that with a blog, you can probably incorporate them into posts for further reach.  These are links that you can get from companies that you already buy from and love, so you can get account credit or money off on future purchases every time you refer someone to them who makes a purchase.  Some of my personal favorites are:

How to make Money as a Blogger. If you are a blogger who doesn't blog about blogging, but want to monetize your blog, you need to do this! #bloggingtips #blogger

 

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content.  Please know that all opinions are mine alone.

3 Easy Ways to Quickly Grow Your Pinterest Following

Any blogger or business owner knows that a strong social media presence is key to success in today’s virtual community.  So, if you want to grow your online business, you need to know how to gain followers on social media and know how to direct traffic to your website.  Pinterest is one of the best platforms to help you grow your social media following. 

 

While the algorithms of each social media outlet seem to be ever-changing, one of the biggest platforms for bloggers and business owners still remains with Pinterest.  So, to increase your reach on this platform, there are three easy ways to quickly grow your Pinterest following.

3 Easy Ways to Quickly Grow Your Pinterest Following

MiloTree

MiloTree is a pop-up that you can customize to showcase your Pinterest account to attract new followers.  (MiloTree also can connect with your Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or email list as well!)  I would normally recommend against pop-ups; however, this one you can customize how often it will pop-up when a visitor comes to your website– so you don’t annoy your audience.  There are both FREE versions and paid versions, so it is a very affordable resource to help grow your blog.

 

Group Boards

Group Pinterest boards are a great way to post high quality content and also find other high quality content to share.

I am a member of several group boards started by other people, but I also have started by own group boards.  I’m going to leave the links for them below and if you find that one of these boards suits your niche, just follow the board directions to be added:

  • Beautiful Budget Life—anything that has to do with frugal living. It can be recipes, DIY, budget travel, everyday money saving ideas, inexpensive family fun… you get the idea!
  • Blogging Tips, Tricks, & Advice—share your great blogging hacks and tips to help other bloggers grow…
  • Bloggers United—pretty much any topic (family friendly only!)
  • Christmas Roundup—bloggers can post their own original posts and agree to allow other bloggers to use them in roundup posts for Christmas.

Why do I love group boards so much? 

Well, because Pinterest loves it when we share other people’s pins and content!  Of course, we have to share our own, but part of the equation is sharing other content as well.  I don’t know about you, but I want to make sure that I am sharing good content.  So having access to group boards is a great way to know that my content will be shared with a lot of other people and I also have a huge pool of high quality pins to re-pin from… and this helps all of our numbers increase!

 

Auto-Pinning vs. Manual Pinning

So then the next question is, should I pin manually or automatically?

Short answer: Both!

I have not done any scientific studies on this, but from my personal experience, I saw my number skyrocket when I started using Tailwind!  So I am a believer in auto-pinning… but I haven’t given up on manual pinning.  My strategy is to use Tailwind to make sure that I have my own pins, as well as some other pins scheduled so there is always activity in my account, but then I also go in and manually pin every day as well.  This is the only auto-pinning resource that I have used, but I love it!  Tailwind gives you insight into the best pinning times for your audience, what their interests are, which pins are high-performing, etc.—lots of great info to know if you’re trying to grow your Pinterest account!

 

A great resource that you might want to check out is Pinteresting Strategies by Carly Campbell.  She really knows her stuff when it comes to using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog!

 

Happy Pinning!

 

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.

Ultimate List of Blog Post Monthly Topics + FREE Printable Planner

Ultimate List of Blog Post Monthly Topics + FREE Printable Planner

So how is your blogging going in 2018?  If you are like me, you probably had really good intentions of getting organized and getting off to a good start.

Unfortunately, that has not happened for me.  Things are always so busy at the end of the year with the holidays… and so I thought I’d get things in order when my kids went back to school.  Well… we had a lot of snow days, and when my kids are home, my focus on the blog is set aside…

But, it is not too late to get organized and still get going on a great year!

So, I put together a calendar with monthly topics to publish and a look-ahead to see what I want to start writing about… and you can download your FREE copy of my Ultimate List of Blog Post Monthly Topics + FREE Printable Planner and use it to organize your blogging topics this year too!  

This list takes into account the things that are popular on social media— such as seasonal topics, but also includes a bonus list of evergreen topics that can be used to write about throughout the year and be of interest to readers year-round.

 

January topics

Organization • Healthy Recipes • Weight Loss/Fitness • Resolutions • Winter • Starting a Business • Winter Skin Care • Snow/Snowflakes • Silver/Gold • Comfort Food • Super Bowl Party/Recipes • Heart Health • Cold/Flu Season

Planning for February

Valentine’s Day • Black History Month • President’s Day

 

February topics

Ground Hog Day • Valentine’s Day Gifts/Quotes • Black History Month • President’s Day • Handmade Valentines Crafts/Cards • Cold/Flu Season • Winter Fashion • Meal Planning • Heart Health Month • Date Ideas • Date Ideas on a Budget • Indoor Gardening Tips • Love • Red/Pink

Planning for March

St. Patrick’s Day • Preparing for Spring • Easter • Mardi Gras Recipes/Parties

 

March topics

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts/Recipes • Passover • Easter Cards/Crafts/Recipes • Spring Cleaning • March Madness • Basketball • Daylight Savings • National Nutrition Month • Spring Break • Spring Gardening • Mardi Gras • Entertaining

Planning for April

Tax deductions/filing taxes • National Financial Capability Month • Spring Weddings • Summer vacation

 

April topics

April Fools • Easter eggs • Decorating Easter eggs • National Financial Capability Month • Graduation • April Showers • Spring • Spring Break • Pastels • Outdoor Entertaining • Gardening—vegetables/fruits/herbs/shrubbery/flowers • Fresh starts

Planning for May

Cinco de Mayo • The Masters (golf) • Mother’s Day • Memorial Day • Memorial Day picnic/recipes/party planning

 

May topics

Flowers & Gardening • Cinco de Mayo • Mother’s Day Crafts/gifts/cards • Graduation • Kentucky Derby • Grilling/BBQ Recipes • Memorial Day recipes • Outdoor Entertaining • School’s Out • Summer Activities for Kids • Picnic Foods • Weddings • Vacation Plans

Planning for June

Swimming/Pool • Father’s Day • Summer Parties

 

June topics

Vacation • Staycation Ideas • Summer Drinks/Infused Water • Summer Travels • Beach • Father’s Day • Picnics • Pool Party • Grilling/BBQ • Gardening • Summer Skin Care • Wimbledon • Outdoor Entertaining • Outdoor Décor

Planning for July

4th of July/Patriotic • Beach vacations

 

July topics

Healthy Recipes • Weight Loss/Fitness • 4th of July • Grilling Recipes • Outdoor Entertaining • Weddings • Patriotic • Summer • Beach • Summer Adventures • Summer Crafts • Vacation • Frozen Drinks • Pool Fun • Fun Ways to Beat the Heat •

Planning for August

Back to School • Weekend getaways

 

August topics

Back to School • School Lunches • Back to School Shopping • Summer Olympics • Tailgating • Labor Day Recipes/Parties • Scheduling • Planning • Picnic Foods/Recipes • Gardening • Recipes from the Garden

Planning for September

Canning • Tailgating • Fall/Autumn • Fall Sports

 

September topics

Labor Day • Fall • Fall Décor • Fall Crafts/Recipes • Fall Fashion • Motivation • Organization • Apples • Grandparent’s Day • Yom Kippur • Comfort Food • Canning/Food Preservation

Planning for October

Halloween • Fall/Harvest • Breast Cancer Awareness • National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

 

October topics

Halloween • Fall/Harvest • Breast Cancer Awareness • National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month • Pumpkins/Fall Colors/Leaves • World Series • Football • Slow Cooker Recipes • Fall Recipes • Halloween Crafts/Parties • Preparing Outdoor plants and house for colder temps

Planning for November

Thanksgiving Crafts/Recipes • Gratitude • Harvest • Cold/Flu Season • Christmas

 

November topics

Thanksgiving Recipes • Gratitude • Leaves • Thanksgiving Crafts/Tablescapes • Fall Celebration Crafts • Veteran’s Day • Election Day

Planning for December

Christmas Crafts/Recipes • Hanukkah Recipes • Kwanzaa Celebrations

 

December topics

Christmas • Christmas Cards/Crafts • Holiday Recipes • Gift Ideas • Snow • New Year’s Eve Parties/Recipes • Hanukkah • Kwanzaa Celebrations

Planning for January

Weight Loss • Budgeting • Organizing • Resolutions • Goal Planning

 

**PLUS, get the Evergreen topics list as a Bonus with the FREE downloadable planner!

 

 

Download your FREE Ultimate Blog Topic List and Planner

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Happy blogging!

Bloggers: Become a Target Affiliate and Start Earning

Bloggers: Become a Target Affiliate | Money Savvy Living

You guys!  For a limited time, Target is offering a $500 shopping spree to a new affiliate!  So any new affiliate that joins by the end of January 2017, will be entered into the drawing to win this awesome shopping spree!

And let’s be serious, who wouldn’t want a $500 shopping spree at Target??

In addition to the chance to win the shopping spree, when you become a Target affiliate, you are eligible for some pretty nice commissions too!  Here are some of the highlights of the Target affiliate program:

  • Earn up to 5% on popular categories
  • 7 day cookie
  • Weekly newsletter with updates on promotions, contests, and sales opportunities
  • Clean, well-regulated program
  • Dedicated program management

There are also payouts for other things besides shopping.  So you will also get paid when people apply and are approved for a Target card, or create a Wedding, Baby, or College registry at Target.

 

Sign up today and start earning!  Click HERE to get started!

 

Who can benefit from signing up to become a Target Affiliate?

Every blogger.  Do your readers buy things for their babies and kids?  Home décor? Apparel? Health & Beauty items?  Of course, they do!  So why not sign up today!?

Get FREE Exposure for Your Blog with TalkMarkets

Get FREE exposure for your blog with TalkMarketsGet FREE Exposure for Your Blog with TalkMarkets | Money Savvy Living

TalkMarkets, a new financial media site which customizes its content to user’s interests, preferences and levels of investment sophistication. While TalkMarkets covers the entire breadth of the diverse financial realm, it is customized and tailored to each individual user; this ensures a browsing experience which is easy, quick, and personally relevant.

 

 

For a limited time, TalkMarkets is accepting new contributors to its Founding Contributors Club. As a Founding Contributor you will earn equity in the company in exchange for your contributions.

Four ways to earn equity:

  1. Submit content—you can choose to upload your own content, or TalkMarkets will monitor your blog and repost anything that they feel is relevant. Content can be Non-Exclusive (something you have already published on your own blog), or Exclusive (written specifically for TalkMarkets and not published anywhere else).  Of course, Exclusive content is worth more equity points than Non-Exclusive content.
  2. Drive Traffic to your TalkMarkets Content—the more shares you get the more equity you will build…
  3. Refer Others—any other contributors that you refer, you will get bonus equity for those that you refer who register and when they become a contributor. You also earn 10% equity on the equity earned by those that you refer.
  4. One-Time Bonus Opportunities—there are several tasks that you can complete in order to earn additional bonus equity points.

So why should you consider signing up to be a contributor with TalkMarkets?

  • As a financial blogger, you will receive extra exposure for your blog! This is the big one, right?  Your TalkMarkets profile links to your social media and your blog, so people can easily find your work.
  • Once you sign up, TalkMarkets can monitor your blog for relevant articles to re-post, so you don’t have to do anything else to get your content promoted, unless you want to…
  • You are earning equity in TalkMarkets. While you don’t receive income now, your work is earning equity in this website… and you still get the free exposure, right?!

 

Click here to sign up to become a contributor. It’s free to sign up, and so easy…

 

If you want to see an example of how becoming a contributor for TalkMarkets directs readers back to your blog and social media, check out my TalkMarkets Contributor page.

Get FREE Exposure for Your Blog with Talkmarkets | Money Savvy Living

Best Sources for Free Stock Photos: No Attribution Required

Best Sources for FREE Stock Photos: No Attribution Required // Money Savvy Living

Do you have a blog that you would like to have access to high resolution stock photos to really make your blog stand out?  Or perhaps, you are a small business owner and would like to use high quality photos for advertising or on your website…. if either of those scenarios describes you, read on because I have discovered 75+ of the best sources for free stock photos, and in many cases, no attribution is required.

 

There are a lot of places that you can find free stock photos.  Sometimes you can sign up for a free membership and have them emailed to you.  Other sites provide some for free, but require you to pay for others.  Or have restrictions on when and where you are allowed to use the photos.  When I am looking for stock photos, I don’t want to have to spend a lot of time searching for sites or worry about having to provide attribution… finding high quality, photos that are truly free and don’t require attribution, and from a trusted source is what I am looking for.

 

The absolute worst thing that anyone can do, whether on their blog or personal/business website, is to post a picture that they have searched for on Google images without attribution.  DON’T EVER DO THAT.  Many of those images are copyrighted or not a part of Creative Commons (CC0).  Using those images could have very negative consequences, such as lawsuits or fines.

 

I have used sources that I have paid for in the past, but have more recently found a few great sources that provide high quality photos, which have been released under Creative Commons (CC0).  Creative Commons Zero “enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright- or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.”

 

So here are my three favorite sites that provide great photos, and can even be used commercially… and best of all, I don’t have to worry about attribution.  Each of these sites has a search option where you can enter in a topic or you can simply just scroll through the gallery of photos.

PIXABAY

On Pixabay you may find and share images free of copyrights. All pictures are released under Creative Commons CC0 into the public domain.  According to their website, “All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty-free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.”  You can read more about Pixabay’s policy here.

UNSPLASH

Unsplash is another great resource for high resolution images that are released under Creative Commons CC0.  This website allows you to do whatever you want (all photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash) with the high-resolution photos on their website.  What I like about Unsplash, in particular, is that the site adds 10 new photos every 10 days, so you always have fresh images to choose from.

PEXELS

Pexels is also a website that offers free stocks photos, which you can use without attribution:

“all photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.

  • The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use.
  • You can modify, copy and distribute the photos.
  • All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. So that attribution is not required.

The CC0 license was released by the non-profit organization Creative Commons (CC). Get more information about the license on the official license page.”

 

*I have included links to each website’s policy of use and to Creative Commons, so make sure you check those out before downloading and using any of the photos…

 

Best Sources: FREE Stock Photos | Money Savvy Living

 

ADDITIONAL FREE STOCK PHOTO RESOURCES

*Attribution may be required*
There are so many websites that offer free stock photos, that you literally may never need to purchase a stock photo again.  Canva has a great list of 73 websites that offer FREE stock photos!  Keep in mind, that many of the sites on this list do offer FREE photos, but DO require attribution, so make sure you carefully read each websites rules before using the FREE stock photos that you find there.