Money Blogging: The Truth
The truth on how to make money blogging can be a touchy topic and many have different ways and methods of how to make money blogging. I am here to share my experience with you. I am not here to show you how to make money because I’m still figuring out myself. When I first wanted to blog I only wanted to do it as a way of expression and stress relief. Then over night, it turned into wanting money. It was easy for me to get caught up in all the wrong reasons and not focus on all the right reason to blog.
Don’t Buy The HYPE
That is right!! Don’t buy the hype. Pinterest is full of great resources for bloggers. However, beware of those trying to sell you something or give the wrong information out. Not everyone is truthful. Many pins are “get rich quick” schemes. I see it all the time. “How To Make Money From Blogging In 3 Month” ” Look At My Income Report”. All these will get you in a lot of trouble. Not to bust any bubbles, but yes that is how they are getting their money. But here is the ugly truth they didn’t get there.
Not to bust any bubbles, but yes that is how they are getting their money. But here is the ugly truth they didn’t get there overnight. For many, it took years to hone their craft. Not all of them were overnight success stories. So why do they tell you that you can make money that quick? Because they are selling you something. Look I am not mad at the method it is a great method to making money. It is all a part of marketing. But in business, you must have INTEGETY!! You can’t do business with lies and false promises. Your audience is trusting you to be honest.
~Look I’m not out here to chop heads. I’m here to speak the truth. There are bloggers with GREAT INTGRETY. Many I follow and love. They sell things of course, but it is worth every penny. But they will not lie. They are NOT telling you that you will be rich tomorrow. What they offer is stepping stones to get you where you need to be in order to profit.
Word of Advice: Don’t get into blogging if you doing it ONLY for the money!!
Reading bloggers income reports made me feel inadequate in the blogging world. With a hint of jealousy and salt in my wound. I wanted that piece of the pie. So I added and read every single pin I could find about income reports and how to make money from blogging. I was free falling and didn’t know it. I would stay up late and wake up early to turn on my laptop and search. What I wasn’t doing was actually working on my blog. I was just letting it sit there. No writing, no sharing. It was dormant like a bear hibernating. I was so caught up in the mindset of making a quick buck.
Digging My Grave
I believed every great phrase out there and took the bait and the hook was deep. My blog was a hot mess with no logo or brand. I had advertisers before I really even got writing my blog. I know what you thinking. “This chick is off her rockers!!” I was mad crazy. Desperation was in my pearly white eyes. Having a beauty blog I was out buying the latest makeup and hair products. I spent so much money. The sad part is I didn’t do anything with it. Every night before bed I would plan a YouTube video and what I was going to write about. The morning came and I was back on Pinterest looking up how to make money blogging. I lost focus on what mattered and what would make me real money…..MY BLOG!!!
Working It Out
Getting out of desperation mode I needed a break. I was three months in and was not feeling it anymore. The blogging bug was gone. However, I had a year of hosting left and didn’t want it to go to waste. Money is money and I wasn’t about to take it out in tomorrow trash. So, I had a heart to heart with my husband. If anyone could make me snap out of it. He was the one to do it. He is to the point and sometimes it stings the ego. But the TRUTH HURTS BABE!! He looked at me and said, “Why makeup? I said cause I like it. Again he asked, “Why you look good without it and you are not an expert.” Ouch!!!! talk about ripping the bandage off. But, he was right.
Getting On Track
I love makeup, I wear it often. However, I am not an expert in makeup. I was the one watching others do it in hope to mimic the same look. How can I talk about something I had little knowledge about. Now I’m not saying you need to be an expert in your niche….. I take that back YES YOU DO!!! Ok, you don’t need a degree but you need to know something. As you grow your audience they are trusting your opinion and expertise in the matter. You are a teacher!!! Know what you want people to learn.
The Truth Hurts
My husband and his kind words and not so kind words suggested I change my niche. So, I had to go back to the drawing board and find out what I was passionate about. I decided there was only one true passion I had and that passion was one reason I joined the Navy. That was travel. It was right there the whole time. I have seen the world and had many life experiences. BINGO!!!
So here I was recharged and refreshed. I promised myself to never let someone steer me in the wrong direction again. I was not going to look at another bloggers income report and I was not going to buy into the how to make money quick scheme. My main goal was being focused and determined to work solely on my blog. I became more engaged with other bloggers by commenting and sharing their post. No more get rich mentality. Money is always there, but it not my driving force.
Can you make money with blogging? Absolutely!!!! It is possible. You have to be determined and focused. This isn’t a Cinderella story. You can’t go from drab to fab overnight. It takes work and patience. My biggest advice is to be present in your blog. Love it and nature it. It is your baby. When you show it love, so will your audience.
Do I make money now? I have made a whopping $17.00. So no, I have not made $500 in 3 months. Guess what? I am ok with that. I found out that blogging isn’t about the money. That if you have that mentality like I did you are doomed. You will be singing Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”. So, how can you make money blogging? Do it the right way.
- Be patient
- Never give up
- Write what you are passionate about
- Know your niche
- Know your audience
- Focus on your blog: branding, logo, appeal
- Promote: social media is key
- Take breaks
- Stay positive
WE are all in this together, and that there is room at the top for everyone.
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Enjoying a cruise can be very expensive and even more expensive when you want to enjoy with your family. Although there are great deals the more you bring. The price difference isn’t that noticeable once you pay port fees and taxes. So how can a family of five take an amazing cruise on a budget? I will show what we do to cut cost and sometimes get a lower cruise price with free upgrades.
**These are affiliate links which will earn me a small commission if you purchase with this link. I thank you for your support. Read my disclosure, you can check it out here.
How to take an amazing cruise on a budget
You have to plan when and where you want to go. If you are lucky to live by a departure port and are a resident cruise companies offer resident specials and discounts. If you do not leave near a port, decide how far you welling to travel to get to a port. Best way to decide is what places you want to see.
We live in New Orleans, and have access to a port locally. This saves when you don’t have to by airline tickets and to stay in a hotel.
Booking The Cruise:
When booking decide what type of cabin you and your family will enjoy and be comfortable in. If you are prone to sea sickness having a cabin in the middle can ease the rocking. The next step is to decide which level you like to be on. If you want to be close to entertainment having a higher level cabin would be ideal. Keep in mind many of these changes can be at additional cost. We ended up booking for an interior cabin at the lowest level. However, before our
We have always booked an interior cabin as it makes more sense to us as a family. We don’t spend that much time in the cabin other then to sleep and wash up. So being in a small quarter for five days didn’t bother us. We have had our cabins upgraded to an ocean view as I will explain how we got that for free.
Cruise ships over price their excursions to make money. If you are a big family like myself this can be astronomical. So, as seasoned travelers, thanks to the military, we booked off the ship. Believe me when I say they will be out there waiting for your business. If you are afraid of this approach book with the cruise line. I do know that Carnival now does price matching. So if you find something cheaper they will match it and book it for you. (Be careful when doing this as it has to be the same excursion the cruise line offers, this can be very tricky).
What we did:
We book off the ship, many times prior to the cruise. Many companies have websites that you can reserve or telephone numbers you can call. The savings is so great we can book more then one depending on how long the excursions are.
Take for explain:
Carnival parasailing excursion was going to cost a family of 5: $700. That was for 1/2 hour ride. I called the company that does the excursion and I was charged $250 for a hour. Carnival wanted to charge. $65/person for a 2 hour of snorkeling which included snacks and drinks. That wasn’t a bad deal, however with a little homework we found another place in Cozumel that charge $90 all day admissions to park. Snorkeling was free and they also had snorkel equipment. Not only was this the best choice we go to see live
Carnival wanted to charge. $65/person for a 2 hours of snorkeling which included snacks and drinks. That wasn’t a bad deal, however with a little homework we found another place in Cozumel that charge $90 all day admissions to park. Snorkeling was free and they also had snorkel equipment. Not only was this the best choice we go to see live crocodiles, a free sea-lion show, Mayan ruins, and they had pools to swim if you didn’t want to swim from the beach.
They are a waste of money. Why pay for something you can bring on the ship for free. That is right….. You are allowed to bring a case of soda onboard the ship. Water bottles are now prohibited, however they can be purchased and they are not expensive. A twelve pack of soda was plenty for us.
This was hard to follow. The cruise line makes a big profit of this. They try to sell you on these big looking cups that cost $15. When you open the inside they are nothing but little kid cups that are water downed. Doing our homework on this matter we came across rum runners that we smuggled liquor onboard. SHHHHH don’t tell no one!!! I know Carnival has cards you can purchase for I believe $50/day/person. That is a lot. Here is the catch. There is a drink max. So you can not go over a amount of drinks per day.
Another way cruise lines make their money. Yes, they turn out so nice but they are pricey. They will be at every corner waiting to snap your picture. Just politely say no. The best way to handle this pressure is take one good family photo and use onboard credit to pay for it.
Who wouldn’t want to spend the day at the spa. I know I would, but reality is the $80 facials are not in the budget. You can get the same treatment of the ship by locals. They are not only good but cheap.
I am not going to say I am a professional at booking cruises. Who knows many I can get a cruise deal cheaper than what I have found. However, I have done this several times and has worked with our family each time so if you are looking for ways to cut cost. Here is how we do it.
How We Do Our Cruises:
So like I pointed out at the beginning. We saved tons of money and got free upgrades. Now I do not know if this works on all cruise lines, but I can tell you it works for Carnival. So take notes.
- Book the early bird special. This allows you to get a price guarantee.
Book well in advance to take advantage of this. We booked our cruise a year in advance which allowed as to make payments towards the total. We booked an interior room lowest level for $1400 for five nights. WOW!!!! Now while we wait for your cruise we constantly check back to the cruise line and continue to make payments to pay off the balance. We search as if we are booking another cruise. (Make sure it is the same cruise, same times, same ship, same type of cabin, same level). Cruise lines need to fill up the cabins. So, they cut the price the closer you get to the cruise. If you see a price difference in your favor call the cruise line and tell them. They will accommodate you with either one of these options or all.
This comes in the form of moving up a level or changing the cabin. Not too bad if you ask me.
They will give you onboard credit. If you have already paid in full your cruise total they will return that money in onboard credit. This is a sweet deal as this is where you can buy photos or get a spa treatment done.
Reduce your cruise price:
AWWW!!! my favorite. If you still owe money towards the cruise they will take off the difference. That leaves you having to pay less.
We have always had a wonderful time with Carnival and they have always accommodated us above and beyond. Our first cruise came to a total of $1900. That was including cruise, rental car, gas, one night hotel stay, excursions, souvenirs, and an extra tip to the wonderful cabin attendant. Yes big savings. We ended up going from an interior cabin lowest level to a level up in an ocean view cabin. We got $100 onboard credit. The total cost of cruise only was $1000.
The last cruise we took which was last year came in at $1200. We got it for $1000. Free cabin upgrade. It was interior but we didn’t mind. We also got $200 onboard credit. The total trip cost, $1400. No need for rental car or hotel. Just paid to park car and did plenty of shopping and excursions.
I hope you find this helpful the next time you decide to cruise. It is such an amazing experience and easy way to see different countries. There is so many activities onboard cruise ships for all ages. If you looking for travel trips and how to get organized for vacation check this out. If you enjoy my travels and want to see more on how we save on vacations check this out.
Looking for a quick way to get organized for your upcoming travel plans? Packing for that dream vacation is so exciting. However, living out of a suitcase for a week or more can get a little disorganizing and frustrating. With little space to store your belongings such as a cruise ship. It is important to get all items accounted for and organized. Below is how to get organized: Best Travel Tips for Beginners.
**These are affiliate links which will earn me a small commission if you purchase with this link. I thank you for your support. Read my disclosure here
Check List for Travel
- Plan ahead of time: Don’t wait until the last-minute to pack. This can leave you frustrated and more likely to forget something. Give yourself enough time to pack.
- Itinerary: Make an itinerary not provided for you. Which can keep track of planned activities, dining times, places to see, important contact numbers, etc.
- Plan on what to pack: Depending on the time and weather during your vacation. Determine on what to wear. You might need a light jacket or jeans.
- Don’t over pack: Ladies, we are queens at doing this. However, half the time we don’t wear the stuff we pack. If you plan on cruising this rule of thumb is very important as there is not much room for luggage. Pack lightly. ***Bring clothing you can interchange or wear more than once.
- Roll Clothes: Roll your clothes instead of folding. This will give you more space in your suitcase.
- Check Rules and Regulations: There are new airline regulations when it comes to luggage. Also if you decide to travel abroad check laws. You are a visitor and MUST abide by their rules. Take the time to check before leaving. A great place to look for rules and regulations is the TSA website.
- Is Everything Current: Make sure your passport is up to date. If your passport is about to expire 6 months before your vacation renew it. Customs frowns upon this. While there check out any changes that might have changed since the last time you applied. Apply for a new passport or renew now.
- Take Photocopies: In case you lose your passport have a backup until you can get a new one. By taking a photo of your passport and ID you speed up the process to enquire a new one. Be sure to take a photo of the front in back.
- Protect Valuables: Protect your passport, IDs, and any other documents you need. Use a plastic zip lock bag to secure documents. Another great idea is to have a passport wallet. RFID Blocking Neck Stash Passport and Valuables Holder , Unisex , Grey
- Contact your cell phone carrier: Make sure if you are traveling that you can make any necessary phone calls without getting charged roaming fees. This can be frustrating when you get back home from a great vacation and then a week later your cell phone bill is outrageous.
- Separate: Separate items. Use a cosmetic bag for your personal hygiene products and other handy storage bags to store items such as electronics. BUBM Double Layer Travel Gear Organizer / Electronics Accessories Bag (Medium, Black). Separate your shoes as well. You don’t want unwanted sand coming back home with you. YAMIU Travel Shoe Bags Set of 4 Waterproof Nylon With Zipper For Men & Women (Black)
- Bring EXTRA: Not extra clothes, but extra memory storage for your camera and extra batteries.
- Charge Them Up: Keep all electronics fully charged. Just for when you are out of reach of an electrical outlet.
- Secure Home: Secure all doors and windows before you leave. Set all necessary alarms. Let at least one person you trust know you are leaving and have them check on your house from time to time and collect mail if needed. This can give you that piece of mind while on vacation.
- No Social Media: Although not an organization tip. It is very important. Think twice before posting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram about your upcoming trip. DO NOT give out this information. Do not post dates and time of vacation, don’t post photos while on vacation. All that can wait until you return home. People can and will find where you live and when you return your house broken into. Not everyone that is on your Facebook page is a friend.
Need a Travel Check List? Click here now for a free Travel Check List
Now organized and ready. Sit on the beach and sip on a Mia Tia. Do you have any organizing tips that your family uses? Comment below.
Until next time,
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The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog:
Here is the ultimate beginner’s guide to starting a blog. When I first decided to create a blog there was so much information out there that I didn’t know where to start. This covers hosting, themes, content, and much more.
Finding Your Niche
Find something you want to talk about or something you are passionate about. Can you teach others your interest? Can you engage with your audience on such topic? These two questions should be answered before starting your blog. I started a blog so I can share my experiences with other people.
There are a lot of bloggers out there that will tell you to stick to only one niche. I am here to tell you don’t have to. However, with that being said pick a niche or niches that complement each other. For an example. You do not want to have a niche about recipes and then in another section talk about makeup. A good choice would be recipes and couponing, or recipes and health/fitness. Another good one is if you travel but you like cooking. Use your travel experiences from where ever you go and make a recipe dedicated to that particular place. The main point is you want to keep your audience happy and what to attract a certain type of audience. I have done my resource on topics within a niche that might help you decide, click here. Need niche ideas here are a few to help you out!
- Mommy/family life
- Healthy living/weight loss
- Fashion/clothing trends
- Personal Finance/money making
- Reviews/direct sales –Scentsy other home based businesses
- Product Sample Reviews
- Wedding/event planning
- Home decor
- Everyday lifestyle
Choosing a Platform
There are differnt platforms to choose from such as Blogger, Square Space, Wix, and WordPress. I decided to go with WordPress. I have seen all the great reviews on them. When I did start I did the free plan through wordpress.com and within a month I switched to wordpress.org where I was able to control my site through hosting.
If you decide on going with a platform such as wordpress.org you will need a host. My choice is WordPress and so that is what we will discuss here. My hosting is from SiteGround.
There are thousands of themes to choose from depending on your type of blog or business. Many web designers dedicate making themes for blogs. WordPress is known for having a variety of themes to choose from.
Now that we have your blog set up and ready to go NOW WHAT!?!
Content is a major part of growing your blog. In order to get traffic to your blog, you must have “GREAT CONTENT”. In blogging terms, content is “King”. How do you get great content? With quality work. What you write must be relevant and relatable to your audience. You must have an eye-catching title for the blog. A plugin like Yoast SEO will guide you into how to use keywords to attract people to your site. Another great source to use is Google AdWord Keyword Finder. That leads into quality photos.
Quality Stock Photos
When I started I thought all I had to do was go to Google and search for a photo and copy and paste to my blog. This is a big No. Many photos are copyright protected and grabbing photos off the internet can land you in the hot seat with lawsuits and legal fees. However, there are sites that provide content stock photos for your blog and business. Some come with a membership fee and others you can get free. Here are a few sites that are trustworthy and come with a copyright to ensure your safety and theirs.
Promoting is a big part when trying to get your message out there. The blog community is saturated with hundreds of niches. Social media is a great tool to promote. Pinterest is a prime example. Millions of people visit Pinterest to search a variety of topics. This platform is in your face type searching. When promoting on Pinterest you must have quality pins. I use PicMonkey and Canva to edit and design not only Pins but a variety of other social media photos. Next, make sure your Pins are rich pins. Facebook is another great platform. You can join great blogging groups and promote within those groups. ***Each group as their own rules and regulations. So Please read them before joining.****. Create a Facebook page to advertise to friends and family which can highlight all your latest blog post. Instagram is another great tool to promote your business. Although all visual content leaving your site URL and building followers will lead people back to your site.
All Done, Blog is Ready to Be Successful
In this guide, we talked about a niche, hosting, content, and a much more. Now you are ready to create a successful blog for a business or for pleasure.****Remember to read terms and conditions (copyright) of all stock photos you decide to use. I hope you enjoy and have a great time creating your blog. Please visit original site at http://www.mysweetbeautifullife.com
As a curly hair girl, I use to spend my time waking up early in the morning to washing my hair and letting it dry throughout the day. How crazy and time-consuming that was. Not to mention all the colds I got when it was winter time. Learning these simple curly hair hacks, I eventually cut a huge chunk of time on my hair for more important things in life.
Ditch the Brush
Brushes are damaging to curls. All that pulling and tugging can ruin those fragile curls. Reach for a wide tooth comb instead.
Loosely ponytail your curls high on top your head right before bed. This will keep your curls nice and safe.
Reach for a T-shirt
Stop using towels to dry your curls. The fabric pulls on curls causing frizz and mayhem. Use a T-shirt to dry your hair instead. If you still need help managing frizz click here.
Sleep on a satin pillowcase at night so your hair will not be pulled by the fabric of conventional pillowcases. Besides how doesn’t like satin????
Don’t Rinse All The Conditioner
While conditioning your hair do not rinse all of the conditioner out. This will help with moisture in your curls and less product you have to use after.
Use Cold Water
In addition, to leave some of the conditioner in your hair, use cold water to rinse it out. Cold water locks the pores in the hair so the conditioner will moisturizer your hair.
Deep Condition your hair often this will improve the moisture in your hair. Leaving those curls perfect.
Start From the Bottom Up
When detangling your curls start from the bottom and work your way up. This will stop the pulling of the curls and the pain of pulling.
Section hair while applying products. This will evenly distribute moisturizer, oils, and other essential products throughout your hair.
Trim ends often to get rid of split ends. Split ends are a nightmare for curly girls. Split ends lead to frizz of the end of your hair.
Use a diffuser to dry your hair. Set blow dryer on low heat. This might take some time but your curls will thank you for it. If you want volume flip your hair over and diffuse in an upward motion.
Stay away from Heat
Heat can damage any kind of hair and cause split ends. If you go in between straight hair and curly. Make sure you moisturize twice as much and keep your ends trimmed. To avoid heat keep settings low on the blow dryer.
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Manage Frizzy Curly Hair
How to manage frizzy hair as been a major issue especially during the summer time. I found the solution. After about a year of trial and error with curly hair. However, I have perfected a quick way of taming curls for that summer dip in the pool.
About a year ago I decided that although I love my hair straight and perfected my technique. I saw all these girls with such gorgeous curls and I wanted that piece of the pie. What I didn’t know was the cost behind it nor what it all entailed. I tried hundreds of dollars worth of curling products and found that I didn’t need the most expensive products to get the job done but needed a good routine. Check out my post about Curly Hair Products Under $10 The question is how do I keep my curls flawless this summer well lets begin with the most important of them all moisturizer.
Winter or summer curls need to be hydrated. That is the key ingredient. As long as you have a great moisturizer your curls will rock. African Pride, Olive Miracle Leave-in Conditioner. This is the first product I put in my hair once I hop out the shower. Apply to hair from roots to ends. Do not apply to scalp as this will form build up. I use this when I want my hair curly or straight. My next go to is Shea Moisture, Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. There is a smaller bottle for only $6 if the larger bottle is too pricey. Here are more Curly Products Under $10. Ok back to it…..I love this product nonetheless and if I had to buy the bigger bottle I would. This creamy concoction not only works but smells great too. I apply this to my hair in sections to make sure I hit every single curl and while I apply I twist unruly curls in my finger. This product not only helps moisturize your curls but helps with frizz.
Ok as a child I use to look like Buckwheat off of The Little Rascals. Yes, I had an afro for days and with no way of controlling it people swore I stuck my finger in an electric outlet. As I went through relaxers after relaxer my afro puff disappeared and what was left was a 70s Diana Ross fro. To keep my curls under control I needed a frizz controller. During the summer months, the humidity in some regions can have your hair in a rats nest. I use Fruitise Frizz Control. A small amount goes a long way.
This one I spent a lot of money on. The gel was either too heavy or too crunchy. I did a lot of research for this one and I found the only one that works for me is Eco Styling Gel. Lets say it doesn’t crunch and hold all day long. I apply this in sections as well as to get every curl. This way no curl is left out. Eco Styling Gel also helps with frizz. Win Win!!!
So I talked about the products that are needed to tame those curls but how can you manage getting hair wet and still look flawless after?
Water is NOT your enemy!!!
Matter of fact you need water to keep your hair moisturized read Myths About Curly Hair. That is right. WATER!!!! So why do black girls get told not to wash their hair every day. Here is why. 1. We have natural oils in our hair that provides the moisture we need. So, washing your hair every day strips the oils out. 2. If you have natural curly hair it takes twice as long for the oils to reach the ends of your hair do to the natural curl pattern unlike a straight shaft of hair.
Beach Time and Poolside Fun
Curly hair women can enjoy the beach again with these simple steps. After you enjoy the fun in the sun and water.
Before going for a dip. Get hair wet first. You can apply a conditioner to lock in moisture to your hair and protect it from the harsh chemicals.
Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. I prefer Aussie Moist shampoo and conditioner. Washing gets rid of salt or any chemicals that can damage any hair. *Quick tip: Rinse hair in cold water to look in the moisture the water provides.
Add moisturizer of choice. Refer to above. Then a frizz control and gel. However, if you don’t have these on hand just use a shampoo to wash out chemicals. Tie hair in high ponytail or bun. And bam!!! done my friend. Let the sun dry hair naturally. *I normally bring an extra t-shirt to dry my hair and my hair isn’t dripping wet when I apply my product. Use the t-shirt throughout the application of product if hair continues to drip of water. These rules apply to all ethnicities not just African Americans.
If you have a way of taming your curls during the summer or a day poolside please comment below. If you are looking on how to winterize your curls click here.