If you read yesterday’s post, you saw that I’m doing a 31 day blog challenge. Today is Day 2. I’m…
If you read yesterday’s post, you saw that I’m doing a 31 day blog challenge. Today is Day 2. I’m…
If you read yesterday’s post, you saw that I’m doing a 31 day blog challenge.
Today is Day 2. I’m supposed to share 20 things about me.
Oh good grief, this sounds hard….
1. I’m already drawing a blank! OK, I’m bad with things like this.
2. I’m 31. I can never remember. On my 29th birthday, I argued with a friend that I was only 28 because I honestly thought I was 28!
3. I love to window shop. I will spend forever narrowing down my cart only to never checkout.
4. I’m a thrifter. I love love love thrift shops.
5. Most of the items in my house are thrifted. Even our dining room table. Remember it?
6. I have 3 kids. Fin, Maddie, Owen.
7. I drink only coffee & water. Occassionally I’ll have something else, but 90% of the time it’s coffee and water.
8. I don’t like cereal for breakfast, but love it as a nighttime snack.
9. I have had my nose pierced (currently – setptum), my monroe, and a dermal eye anchor (it fell out).
10. Tattoos. I have em.
11. I like to read but rarely do.
12. I’m a sucker for a cute mug. You can search the hashtag #ambersmugcollection on Instagram and you’ll see some of my favorites.
13. David & I have been married for 10 years this year. We’ve known each other since I was 13, he was 14.
14. I pick up things with my toes off the floor all the time. It is so much easier than bending down. #lazy
15. I had a tummy tuck summer of 2014.
16. I’ve lost 40+ pounds since moving to Colorado. I cut out sugar in my coffee and we spend a lot of time outdoors, hiking, walking trailing, walking to the park… I’m just more active than I used to be.
17. I sing, a lot. To the radio, to whatever song is in my head, just while talking… I’m a very animated person.
18. I have lived in: Michigan (born there), Tennessee, Kentucky, Alaska, Georgia and Colorado.
19. I am a victim of identity theft. Sort of (that’s the short version). Long version — Social Security messed up somewhere and there are TWO Amber Nicole’s born same hospital, same day, same original last name with same social. BAM! What?! I know. Totally insane, huh?! Yeah… it’s easier to say “victim of identity theft” then go into detail.
20. I sell LipSense & it’s really fun. <-- click to read more about LipSense.[video width="1280" height="720" mp4="http://www.ambernicoleblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/JYRX5512.mp4"][/video]Day 1
Welcome to Chapter 4 of this random little series.
To create a giveaway form, I use Rafflecopter.com.
My biggest pet peeve when I see people using Rafflecopter though is when they don’t do it right! Link things the right way! I don’t want to have to copy/paste the link when YOU Can make it clickable.
Once you’ve entered in the giveaway prize and all that, to add your own option, click “Invent your own option”
Then just click the little globe there and it’ll put something like this– just change the ENTER YOUR TEXT HERE to whatever you want to be clickable. Then change the URL in the[ ] to the url you want and tada! Easy, peasy! If you don’t do that, you’re kind of lazy. I hate copying and pasting links when I could just click it and it’ll open the tab for me! DON’T BE LAZY!
Pinterest is SERIOUSLY a great tool for bloggers! Use it! Take the time to create pin worthy images, pin them with interesting captions and they’ll likely get repinned driving more traffic to your blog! Also, take advantage of bloggers that offer to pin your stuff as an advertising option. You can find me pinning over here. And you can become one of my sponsors by clicking here.
And know that it is A-okay to not blog daily.
It’s totally fine to blog whenever you feel like it and about whatever you feel like blogging about.
Just always always remember that it is YOUR blog! Do with it what you’d like!
Happy blogging, friends.
Okay, this one I’m a bit new to but I get the gist of it.
So you want to make money off of your blog….
Please please remember though, if you’re blogging JUST for money, you’re totally doing it wrong.
There are SO many great companies out there that if you try to join/work with them all at once, you WILL get very overwhelmed.
I’ll list a few below for you to check out.
Aside from working with companies that link you to brands, there are sites like:
Companies to work with:
Be sure to be very detailed when filling out applications so that they can match you up with the best campaigns. Think it through- it is a big commitment, decide if it’s right for you, and if it’s what you want for your blog before jumping in head first.
Setting up Ad sense:
Go to your blogger dashboard (log into blogger) and click the little pieces of paper, then scroll down and click earnings:
You can then choose where on your blog you want your ads displayed.
I know I’m forgetting half a million here, but these few should keep you busy for a while.
Oh and be sure to set up Google Analytics, if you don’t already have it set up. A lot of companies request this as well. I did a post about how easy it is to set up a while back, you can check that out here.
Chapter four: Other tips and tricks.
Today I’m continuing the little mini series: Blogging 101.
Chapter one was, “So you want to start a blog” and can be found here. It answered a few questions about how time consuming blogging can be, how to stay inspired, what to write about, etc etc.
Today I’m going to discuss advertising and how to really get your blog out there.
Sponsoring other bloggers is a phenomenal way to get your name out there.
Think about it, you’re paying to put your button on someone’s blog; a button that links back to your site in hopes of it getting clicked on, in hopes of them promoting you, in hopes that your little blog will grow a bit, that you’ll get page views, that your awesome recipe for tuna casserole will get pinned 100,987 times, etc etc.
When you start to consider sponsoring someone, it’s a risk, it really is. You don’t know if it’ll be worth the money, you don’t know if they’ll do a good job, you don’t know if they’ll be having an off month and miss that awesome casserole recipe you posted about, etc etc. But let me tell you, the door of communication goes both ways! Email them with the link telling them that you’d really like it promoted. Don’t be afraid to talk to the person you’re sponsoring. You’re paying good money, get your monies worth!
Okay, so for my sponsor options, I use Passionfruit. To me, it’s worth the money so that I don’t get the headache of resizing buttons (I despise HTML code). There are other options out there of course, Ad approval is one, just doing it yourself is another. PF is just my personal preference and who knows, that could change later on down the road. (Probably not-they truly do make it just super easy).
When buying an ad:
Through Passionfruit: You just go to their sponsor page, browse your options, pick which works for you and add to cart.
Then you click, “proceed to checkout” where it’ll take you to Passionfruit and let you buy your ad. Then you’ll go edit your ad and upload your picture, insert your link and leave a little note for whoever you’re buying a button from. It’s super easy.
A lot of people would prefer to do it themselves, so they just want you to email them. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR BUTTON IS THE RIGHT SIZE! If you don’t know how to do that, no big deal, just email them the closest size and they can probably fix it for you (I would anyway) or they can make you a button (usually for about $5 more).
Other ways to advertise:
+Create a Facebook page for your blog.
+Share your posts on your personal Facebook page.
+PIN WORTHY IMAGES! Can not stress this one enough (this is one I need to work on myself)- be sure to at least add an image to posts so that people DO have something to pin.
+Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Etc etc etc. Social media is a great way to get yourself out there but remember to have friends, you have to be a friend! Same applies for bloggers. To have followers, you have to be a follower. Talk to people, comment on posts, be friendly, respond to blog comments, etc etc. Put yourself out there. Communicate with other bloggers. Get to know people, let people get to know you.
+Linky parties: (Linky parties are like giant blog hops- you link up and then check out other bloggers that have linked up) Link up! Join the madness, it’s another way to get your blog out there.
+Giveaways: When you get asked to be part of a giveaway, consider it. It’s great promotion! You’re giving stuff away, of course people are going to follow/like you.
+Guest posts: Take advantage of this! If there is a spot that offers a guest post and/or a giveaway, think about that one! Guest posts are a great way to get seen; it let’s people know who you are, why you’re here, what you do, what you love, whatever you want to write about, it puts your face on their favorite bloggers page. Not everyone will check you out, but those that do, will probably like you a little more after reading your guest post. And solo giveaways- huge hit! People love free stuff and if you’re giving them a chance to win free stuff, chances are they will like your Facebook page to enter to win. A lot of people do unfollow after giveaways (Sore losers) but a lot won’t. A lot will stick around and join your followers.
+Blogging communities. Join them! If you happen to see a button that says, “Southern blogger something or other” and you’re a southern blogger, click it! It’s a great way to meet people in your area and another great way to get your name out there.
Overall, be active! Don’t buy a sponsor spot if you don’t have any posts planned for the month, if you do that, you’re truly wasting your money.
Make sure you post decent content that is promotable.
Make sure to be active and put yourself out there. Talk to people, make bloggy friends.
And this concludes Chapter two.
Up next: Monetizing your blog.
It can be quite the nasty little word.
I way too often doubt myself.
I doubt myself when it comes to blogging a lot and have to remind myself that it’s MY blog and only mine.
I doubt that I can do the posts that I think of.
I doubt that I can pull them off.
I doubt that I can do a post like this because so & so did one like it and mine won’t even compare.
I doubt that I can put into words what I want to express.
I doubt that my post will be half as good as this one by so & so.
I doubt that I can get my numbers up.
I doubt that people really read this.
I doubt that my pictures are good enough.
I doubt that I’m a good blog to sponsor.
I doubt that my tutorials are that good.
I doubt that they’re even worth doing.
I doubt that my posts help anyone.
I doubt myself a lot.
But then I remember that it is my blog. Doubting myself is okay as long as I push myself to be as great as I think I can be.
It’s okay to not have numbers like so and so.
It’s okay to not be a professional photographer.
It’s okay to skip days.
It’s okay to post the posts even if they only help one person.
It’s okay to just be you, to just blog like you want to blog.
Over the past two months, I’ve had FOUR friends ask me blogging questions: how to start, how much they’ll make, how time consuming it is, what do they have to do, etc etc.
In the past 6 months, I’ve had over twice as many friends ask.
I think it’s time for a post answering a few questions so that next time I’m asked, I can just send them this link and save myself the trouble of typing out a ton of things for the cajillionth time!
I love you friends, and I’m so so glad you came to me to ask, but this just makes it easier on me because really, you can’t even imagine how many times I’ve been asked the same few questions by different friends and just people in general.
The very first thing you should know is that if you’re looking to start a blog JUST to make money, then just don’t even bother. You’re already in it for the wrong reasons.
Yes, you CAN make money blogging, but it takes time and a lot of effort on your part! You can’t just start a blog and expect people to pay you tons and tons of money because you started a blog. You need to be passionate about your blog; if you’re just faking it, nobody is going to want to read it.
You yourself have to invest in blogging to get anything in return; a decent blog design, sponsoring people, putting yourself out there, putting effort into all aspects of it, the list goes on and on but I’ll cover everything I can possibly think of in this mini series! And if you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to ask- either in the comments or feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay, let’s get started, shall we?
1. How time consuming is blogging?
Blogging can be very time consuming, it just depends on how you want your blog to be. If you want your blog to just be a personal little family/friends blog, then it doesn’t matter too much what it looks like, what your pictures look like, or if your rambling makes any sense.
If you want your blog to grow and blossom into a bigger blog, then it’s a bit more time consuming, you type out posts, edit and reedit them, take photos, edit photos, edit photos again, merge it all together, make it look fantastic and then promote the ever loving crap out of it.
On the same topic though, promoting it won’t get you anywhere unless you have a decent internet following & in order to do so, you have to be active on social media. You have to be a friend to make friends. Without a social media following, all of that promoting won’t do you a lick of good.
Figure out who you want to blog for, who is your main focus? Women? Mothers? Crafters? Foodies? What? What do YOU want to blog about? Try to have a theme. It’s hard to be a “do it all” blogger.
Me, I consider myself a “lifestyle/parenting” blogger. I just like to ramble with the occasional recipe in there. I’m not a fashion blogger, I do like to throw in the occasional outfit post, but mostly that’s just to include pictures in the post. I’m definitely not a beauty blogger, I’m not a food blogger, I just blog about everything — lifestyle blogger.
2. What do you blog about everyday; how do you find inspiration?
This one’s pretty easy for me honestly! As a “lifestyle” blogger, I just get to ramble all day. I share stuff that we’ve done over the past week, talk about my kids, ramble about my thoughts and rants, share recipes that I love, etc etc.
Just don’t over think it; if you think too hard about what to write about, you will run out of things to write about. Just write to write.
3. Do you ever get writers block? And if so, how do you get past it?
Yup! I think everybody does from time to time, usually that’s just when I photo dump. And usually while looking for photos, I’ll stumble across a few that I’ve taken that I meant to blog about, I’ll come across some that I took just for blogging purposes and I’ll come across some that’ll just remind me of old stories that I want to share.
Reading other blogs helps, browsing the internet, just letting your brain wonder, again, just don’t over think it and you’ll be fine. I’ll get offline for the day and just go enjoy the day. I don’t really stress if I don’t have a blog post for the next day. It is OKAY to not have a post ready to go!
4. Where do I even begin?
This one’s easy enough. You need to pick a site to start on. I use blogger.com a lot of people use wordpress, some use typepad.com – this is truly up to you! With Blogger, your blog with be “whatever.blogspot.com” and you can buy a domain name through various sites (I use GoDaddy.com) and that’ll get rid of the “.blogspot”
5. When do you find time blog?
With a full house, a blogging schedule is pretty important; mine is crazy but it works for me. I try to catch up on blogs in the morning while sipping coffee, while the kids get ready/eat breakfast and then I write my blogs while Maddie’s eating lunch and Owen’s napping. I then double check the blog post I’ve written that afternoon at night after the kids have gone to bed before I hop offline to spend time with David.
I catch up on social media while lying in bed at night waiting to get sleepy.
And my day to day random tweets are usually while waiting for the kids’ to get out of school, while I’m sitting in the parking lot or standing around waiting to pick them up and while I’m making dinner.
I think that concludes Chapter 1 of this Blogging 101 mini series.
Next Chapter: Advertising — getting your blog out there!
If you have anything you want me to address, please leave a comment or feel free to email me at email@example.com