Best Planner Printables for 2018 (All for Free!)

I know it’s still 2017, but if you’re like every busy mom I know, you’re already thinking about all the things that need to be done in the coming year. Well, the best way to mark it all down in a planner. Here’s a roundup of the best planner printables for 2018, which pretty much cover everything you need to track of in life. Oh, and did I mention they’re completely FREE and available for IMMEDIATE download. Happy planning!

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer here.

Handmade Home

Over 200 customizable printable including:

  • Info page
  • Year at a glance
  • Calendar view
  • Weekly view
  • To-do lists
  • Contacts
  • Birthdays and anniversaries
  • Goals
  • Dividers with motivational quotes
  • Budget
  • Cleaning schedule
  • Menu planning
  • Time sheet
  • Lesson plans
  • Chore charts
  • School charts

>>Grab your free planner printable downloads here<<

 

The Organized Dream

Multiple planner printable packs including:

  • Year at a glance
  • Monthly view
  • Blog planner
    • Password tracker
    • Social media tracker
    • Stats
    • Revenue tracker
    • Blog post planner
  • Meal planner
  • Contacts
  • Daily planner
  • Grocery list
  • Monthly budget

>>Grab your free planner printable downloads here<<

 

Shining Mom

Planner printables with three sections, including:

  • Life Planner
    • Goals
    • Daily planner
    • Meal plan
    • Blog planner
    • Vision board
    • Budget tracker
    • Weekly blogging plan
    • Blog post ideas
  • Kids Planner
    • Homework tracker
    • Activity planner
    • Chores
    • Reading list
    • Creativity
    • Things to Remember
  • Home Planner
    • Contacts
    • Annual goals
    • Daily tasks
    • Monthly goals
    • Dates to remember
    • Notes
    • Inspirational quotes

>>Grab your free planner printable downloads here<<

 

Printables and Inspiration

A pink planner with printables including:

  • Year at a glance
  • Monthly view
  • Daily planner
  • Habit tracker
  • Notes page
  • Inspirational quotes

>>Grab your free planner printable downloads here<<

 

Home Printables

A Happy Life Planner with printables including:

  • Vision board
  • Weekly planner
  • Monthly view
  • Goals
  • Daily planner
  • Password tracker
  • Menu planner

>>Grab your free planner printable downloads here<<

 

These top five free planner printables for 2018 will help you get your life organized for the coming year!

Challenges that Will Actually Help You Save Money

Feeling “ugh” about saving money? Then you haven’t been properly introduced to these creative challenges to save money that might make it *gasp* fun.

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer here.

 

1. 52-week challenges

Save the same dollar amount each week or increase the amount each week by a set pattern.

Some ideas:

  • $1 each week will get you $52 by the end of the year
  • $2 each week will get you $104 by the end of the year
  • Growing each week by $1, starting from $1 will get you $1,378 by the end of the year
  • Doubling each week, starting from $1 will get you

 

2. No spend challenges

Pick select time frames to challenge yourself not to spend any money that day. It can be specific days, weekends, weeks, and even months.

You can also pick a period of time and the percent of time you aim to not spend anything. For example in a month, you can shoot to not spend money on half of the number of days. This would be 15 days you would try to not spend money that month.

Another variation of this challenge is to select specific spend categories that you will refrain from during a set time frame. For example, this month, you won’t buy any new clothes. Next month, don’t buy any junk food, and so forth.

 

3. Have family and friends join the fun

When you get others involved, you’re more likely to stay on track with your saving. You can get them involved strictly for accountability purposes, or turn it into a challenge with an incentive, preferably something that doesn’t involve money like winner gets to choose which board game to play for family night.

 

4. Track every dollar you spend

Okay, this one doesn’t sound as fun, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can use apps like Personal Capital (it’s free to sign up) to see your overall net worth, or go with a good old spreadsheet.

 

5. Save according to…

Have the dollar amount that you’ll save in the day/week/month determined by an external factor.

Some ideas:

  • The minute hand on the clock when you glance at it each morning
  • The weather (degrees)




 

6. Randomly selected amounts

You can choose to have a string of dollar amounts and randomly select the amount you’ll save that day. For example, in the 52 week challenge, you don’t have to save $1 the first day and $2 the second day and so on. You can choose to save $34 one week, then $16 the next, until you cross off all the values from $1 to $52.

 

7. Swap outs

Challenge yourself to swap out cheaper alternatives for the things you regularly buy.

Some examples:

  • Make your own coffee instead of buying
  • Pack lunch instead of eating out
  • Try an alternative brand to something you use regularly
  • Instead of hitting the movie theater in the evening, go during the matinee

 

8. Make money challenge

Instead of saving money, you can also aim to earn money instead.

Some examples:

 

These are just a few ways you can use creative challenges to grow your money. The desired outcome is to make saving money a habit so that you can continue to grow your wealth week by week, year by year.

 

8 Christmas Traditions Every Family Should Celebrate

This is going to be my son’s first Christmas, so I’ve been thinking about some fun family Christmas traditions that we could start.

In line with the spirit of giving and families coming together, I’ve rounded up the best ideas that would bring meaning to this time of the season.

 This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer here.

 

1. Drive around to see Christmas lights

My parents don’t usually celebrate holidays, but the one thing we did do while I was in elementary was put up Christmas lights. We also used go around the neighborhood to see the lights and it was one of my favorite activities during the holidays.

 

In the neighborhood I live in now, there’s a street nicknamed “Christmas Lane.” Every house on that street is decorated, and every night in December, someone dresses up as Santa and passes out candy to the kids.

 

2. Drink hot chocolate and watch classic Christmas movies

My dad and I always have hot chocolate (with marshmallows and candy cane to stir it) during the holidays. I can add Christmas movies since the only “classic” I’ve seen was Jingle All the Way. Yes, I know I’m a deprived child so I have some serious catching up to do on this.

 


3. Give a gift through Angel Tree/Toys for Tots

Since Christmas is supposed to be about giving, programs like Angel Tree and Toys for Tots are a great way to teach my son to be grateful for what he has and to be generous and giving.

 

4. Trace hands on tree skirt

I’ve never had a Christmas tree in my life, so probably won’t do this tradition, but it was too adorable for me to not include on this list.

 

Get a tree skirt, and every year, trace your child’s hand somewhere on the tree skirt and label the year. Do this every year.

 

This could be modified in other ways, like picking a special ornament each year. Another similar concept is the next idea.

 

5. Write letter to kids from Santa

These letters from Santa could share the ways I remember my son being nice over naughty. It would be cute to keep these letters each Christmas and see how he’s changed (or not) over the years.

 

6. Camp out by Christmas tree

Another fun idea if you have a Christmas tree would be to have a slumber party in the living room and sleep by the Christmas tree. The whole family will be ready to celebrate on the morning of the special day.

 

7. Bake for friends and family

I love this idea for two reasons: I get to bond with your child during the baking process, and then our family gets to share the treats with loved ones afterwards.

 

Another variation would be to give these goodies to a member in the community who does good, like nurses at the hospital or the local fire department.

 

8. Encourage kids to be nice over naughty with Kindness Elves

Last but not least in this roundup is the concept of Kindness Elves. Basically, these dolls leave a suggestion for a good deed that kids can complete during the day. After the task is accomplished, the elves leave a nice note congratulating them on passing on kindness, encouraging kids to keep up with the spirit of giving.


 

These are the 8 wonderful and fun Christmas traditions that any family can start to celebrate the real meaning of the holidays.

 

Source:

 

Over to you – what holiday traditions do your family celebrate?

24 Insider Tips to Get Your Target Savings Game On

I used to be “eh” about Target until I signed up for their baby registry and got hooked up with a bunch of freebies and coupons in gear for my baby. One of the easiest ways to my heart is free stuff for my baby. Another way? Saving me money. Read on for top insider tips to make the most of your savings from Target.

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer here.

 

1. Target celebrates in your milestones with savings

From going off to college to getting married to having a baby, Target has you covered with a 10-15% discount on any of the essentials left on these registries. Another perk with the baby registry is $50 worth of free samples and discount coupons. And all of this is completely free to sign up for!

 

>>Sign up for the baby registry<<

>>Sign up for the wedding registry<<

>>Sign up for the college registry<<

 

2. Know what day of the week to shop at Target

 

Want to know when to get the best deals? Target marks down items in specific departments on different days of the week. According to All Things Target, here is the schedule that most stores follow:

 

  • Monday – Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby and Stationery
  • Tuesday — Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)
  • Wednesday — Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn & Garden items and Furniture
  • Thursday — Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage
  • Friday — Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry

 

3. Or, just go in earlier in the week

For the weekly ads, heading into Target earlier in the week increases your chances of catching deals while items are still in stock.

You can check out the weekly ad from the top right menu of their website.

 

4. Not all clearances are created equal

Want to know if clearance items will be marked down even more? Look at the upper right hand corner for a number, which will indicate how much percent off  you’re getting from the original price. It starts at 15% off, then 30%, then 50%, and then 70%. Depending on the item, usually holiday ones, you can see prices marked up to 90% off.

You can play the waiting game, but you’re taking a gamble of someone else snatching up the deal.

 

5. 4 is your lucky number

Prices that end 4 will usually not be marked down any lower, so if you see it, snag it.

 

6. Shop elsewhere

Comparing prices at other stores can get your item for cheaper from Target through their price match guarantee. Unfortunately, this is not valid for Target stores in Hawaii.

 

7. Catch savings after your purchase

If you saw your item go on sale after you purchased it, you can get refunded the difference when you bring in receipt and show the new price to Target.

 

8. Outsource your savings to a robot

Or if you’d rather not spend your time doing that, install the free Paribus app, which will run through your store receipts from merchants like Target in your email and get you automatic refunds without you having to lift a finger.

 

9. Wait until the season is over for huge discounts

Target wants to get rid of their seasonal stock to make way for other great things so take advantage of low, low prices:

  • January: Christmas, toys
  • End of February: Valentine’s Day
  • Mid-July: Toys
  • July/August: Summer wear
  • August/September: Back to school, outdoor gear (grills, patio, outdoor games)
  • November: Halloween

 

10. Be loyal to Target

When you shop the Target brand, you’re bound to save. My favorite example: Up and Up diapers!  I’ve done comparison shopping and this is the best deal on diapers.

 

11. Be rewarded when you shop Target regularly

Target has a subscribe and save option to set it and forget it for household items that you use regularly, like toilet paper, diapers, and toiletries. Get 5% when you use this program.

 

12. Get 5% and free shipping every time

If by now you’re loving Target as much as I do, then get their Target RedCard debit or credit card to get an additional 5% off and free shipping of your purchase. If you use this to buy Target-brand items through their subscribe and save, you’re essentially getting three times the savings.

 

13. Get discounts outside of Target

There are sites, like Raise.com, that sell gift cards at a discounted rate. Sign up for Raise.com through this link and get $5 off your first purchase.

 

14. Use shopping apps to increase your savings

Use apps that reward your shopping by giving you cash back. Two of my favorites: Ibotta and Ebates.

>>Click here to get a $10 bonus from Ibotta<<

>>Click here to get a $10 bonus from Ebates<<

 

15. Download the apps

Target has two apps that will give you savings. The Target app connects to the weekly ad among other sales and deals. There is also the Target Cartwheel app with additional coupons that you can stack to save even more.

 

16. Get coupons right to your phone

Text COUPONS to Target at 827438 to get deals right to your mobile. There are even select categories you can hone in on. When you text BABY or TRAVEL, for example, you will get specific deals.

 

17. You can stack coupons

In addition to Target’s coupons, you can stack manufacturer coupons for additional savings. These coupons can be applied after price match (though you can’t use Target/Cartwheel coupons if you choose the price match).

 

18. Follow Target on social media

Follow Target on Twitter and/or Snapchat for exclusive deals

 

19. Get free gift cards on special offers

Target has generous gift card promotions running constantly throughout the year. Stock up on these deals when you see them and get money to spend on your next Target run.

 

20. Get free gift cards for being active online

Take surveys, watch videos, and do other mindless online tasks to earn rewards points through Swagbucks. The points can be redeemed for gift cards to merchants like Target.

 

21. Help the earth, help your wallet

When you bring your own reusable bags, Target will credit you for helping the environment.

 

22. Item out of stock? No problem!

Get a rain check and Target will honor the price when the item is restocked again.

 

23. Do strategic browses for ninja savings

Target doesn’t always advertise its sales, so be on the lookout for the ends of the aisles that are facing walls or on lower shelves for other good deals.

 

24. Make friends with Target employees

Team members get a discount, which can be applied after other savings like price matching.

 

Bonus

Target is one of the best places to stack your coupons, but you don’t have to be a coupon master to maximize your savings. Just for fun, here are some scenarios to help you get the most bang for your buck:

Shopping online at Target:

 

Shopping in-store:

  • Buy the Target brand with gift card promotion
  • Use the Target or Cartwheel apps
  • Apply a manufacturer’s coupon or registry discount
  • Carry your purchases in a reusable bag

With this many ways to save at Target, you’ll definitely want to make it part of your regular shopping.

 

 

5 Ways Every Child Should Be Loved

Love, we have it, want it, and need it. But how do we give and receive love effectively with our kids? As unique as our children are, so are the ways in which they feel love and connect to others. Dr. Gary Chapman broke this down into 5 love languages. Learn about each of the languages, do’s and don’ts to effectively express it, and over 100 unique ideas to communicate these 5 love languages to your kids.

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer here.

 

 

Why the Love Languages Matter for your Kids

Each child has their own way to feel loved and give it to others. Identifying the love language of your child and “speaking” it will help you figure out the appropriate ways to express love in a way that your child needs and understands, which will help improve your relationship with your child.

 

For Your Little Ones Who Like to Speak and Read

Their love language is words of affirmation. They feed off spoken or written encouragement and appreciation.

 

DO:

  • Praise your child on a job well done
  • Be aware of your tone and how your words come out
  • Listen

 

DON’T:

  • Dish out compliments too frequently to the point they expect it all the time
  • Assume they know they are loved and appreciated without being told
  • Use harsh language

 

Practical ways to express love through this language:

  • Say “I love you”
  • Make a thank you card
  • Write a list of three things that you find awesome about your kid
  • Speak in a kind tone
  • Come up with a love song together — complete with dance moves as a bonus 🙂
  • Say “I like it when you ___”
  • Reinforce the positive by saying, “You’re doing a great job”
  • Draw a happy picture and share it
  • Write a secret note on the bathroom mirror
  • Write a note before bed and exchange it with your child the next morning
  • Hum a happy song together with a loved one
  • If someone does something that makes you upset, take a breath and tell them, “That’s okay”
  • Smile and laugh together
  • Draw a family portrait and hang it proudly on the refrigerator for at least a week
  • Make a get well soon card
  • Encourage your child by telling them, “Don’t give up”
  • After saying good night, add “I can’t wait to see you again in the morning!”
  • Create a secret love signal just between you and your child
  • Write a love poem
  • Compliment someone with your favorite adjective: “You are ___!”

 

For Your Young Ones Who Like to Be With You

Their love language is quality time. Their love tanks are filled by the moments they share with you.

 

DO:

  • Give your undivided attention
  • Engage with your child and ask for engagement back
  • Have face-to-face time

 

DON’T:

  • Look at your phone or computer while interacting with your child
  • Leave long bouts in between one-on-one time
  • Avert your eyes while talking

 

Practical ways to express love through this language:

  • Go on a picnic
  • Head to the park for playtime
  • Go on an early morning or evening walk
  • Watch a movie together
  • Have a one-on-one breakfast with your child
  • Volunteer for a community service project together
  • Do a puzzle together
  • Play a board game
  • Have a camp out
  • Head to the library to pick out new books to read
  • Head to the museum
  • Find a new event to attend
  • Go the mall and window shop
  • Head to the zoo
  • Teach your child a new song/skill
  • Tell a made-up story — have your child contribute as well
  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Come up with a play with your child and perform it for the rest of the family
  • Make and fly a kite or paper airplanes
  • Have a face-to-face conversation — uninterrupted, giving your full attention

 

For Your Little Ones Who Like to Do Things with You

Their love language is acts of service. They find helping others to be fulfilling.

 

DO:

  • Lend your assistance to lighten the workload
  • Help them learn to do something better
  • Show support of their efforts

 

DON’T:

  • Do too much for them and stifle their independence
  • Stand aside when they are really struggling
  • Create more work for them

 

Practical ways to express love through this language:

  • Help make each other’s bed in the morning
  • Do laundry together
  • Prepare lunch together
  • Wash the cars together
  • Help each other with the dishes
  • Tackle a room to clean and organize
  • Go grocery shopping together
  • Have your child help you make breakfast for your partner
  • Ask someone, “How can I help you today?”
  • Switch a chore with one another
  • Prepare your child’s bath together (you get the water ready, child brings towel/clothing)
  • Vacuum or mop the house together
  • Bring a drink to refresh someone
  • Do an outdoor chore together — rake the leaves, shovel snow
  • Teach your child a new chore so that they can help out more around the house
  • Clean up toys together after playtime
  • Clean out the garage together
  • Rearrange a heavily-used area of the house tends to get messy easily — shoes near front door, dining table, etc
  • Surprise a family member with a treat — sibling at school, partner at work, etc
  • Head over to the grandparents and help them with a needed chore

 

For Your Young Ones Who are Touchy-Feely

Their love language is physical touch, and they thrive off, yup you guessed it, physical touch.

 

DO:

  • Pay attention to the messages you are sending with your body language
  • Use gentle touches
  • Be in physical proximity

 

DON’T:

  • Be too rough and physically hurt your child
  • Give the cold shoulder
  • Disregard boundaries and personal space when they need it

 

Practical ways to express love through this language:

  • Bear hug
  • Plant a kiss on each other’s cheek
  • Cuddle on the sofa during a movie
  • Have a tickle session
  • Hold hands while out and about
  • Give each other a massage
  • Snuggle under the covers
  • Have your child sit on your lap for storytime
  • Pick your kid up and swing him/her around
  • Give each other a high five
  • Give each other a cool hairdo
  • Touch foreheads during a hug
  • Rub noses
  • Squeeze each other’s faces for some silly time
  • Be each other’s dance partner
  • Link arms and skip in circles
  • Do a three-legged race down the hallway
  • Kiss the left cheek, then the right cheek, then the forehead in one go
  • Give your child a piggy back ride
  • Squeeze your kid’s shoulder

 

For Your Little Ones Who Like Tangible Things

Their love language is gifts. The thought behind the gifts is what drives them.

 

DO:

  • Take the time and effort to think of a meaningful gift to give
  • Keep special occasions in mind
  • Change it up between large and small gifts

 

DON’T:

  • Be haphazard in your choice of a gift
  • Mistake this love language for materialism and shower your child with too many gifts without purpose
  • Use gifts in place of expressing love through the other four languages

 

Practical ways to express love through this language:

  • Go out for ice cream
  • Make your child’s favorite meal
  • Pick up a treat from the store while on errands
  • Give your kid some cool stickers
  • Share dessert together
  • Make a small toy for your child
  • Have you and your child come up with a gift for your partner
  • Pick a few gently used toys and clothing to donate
  • Head outside with your child to pick flowers separately, arrange in bouquet and give to the other person
  • Find something funny/useful/hasn’t been used for a while, wrap it up, and exchange presents
  • Buy a book for your child
  • Create a scrapbook together
  • Leave a surprise gift on their bed before bedtime
  • Give a smaller gift leading up to a special occasion
  • Pass out candies for a job well done
  • Accept a gift with a great big smile
  • Hide three of your personal items, have the other person find them and “give” them back to you
  • Enjoy a special drink, like lemonade, together
  • Make a craft from unused items lying around the house
  • Buy an article of clothing for your child

 

Keep This in Mind for all 5 Love Languages

The most important thing to remember is that your expression of love should be heartfelt and genuine. Also, while there may be a primary love language, you should incorporate all 5 languages to show love all around.

 

Want an easy activity to make this fun and exciting for your family? Download the FREE printable love language bingo sheets (+ a bonus one just for babies) and get blackout bingo! Now get to showering your kids with lots of love!

 

Wrap up (tie back to intro)

 

Call to action

 

 Over to you –

 

Keep learning:

100 Ways to Make Your First $100 Blogging

Thousands, if not millions, of new blogs are started each day. Most have hopes of someday monetizing them. Before you start envisioning all the dollar bills flowing your way, let’s focus on making your first $100. Here are 100 ways to help you earn money blogging and make your first $100.

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer here.

 

Why pick $100?

As you probably already know, blogging is not something you go into and make money from right away. Almost all successful bloggers who are able to create a sustainable income (meaning making a decent sum of money month after month), they started off not earning even a penny for months (or even years) before any income came in.

 

But once that first income started rolling in, they kept building and building until they earned thousands (and sometimes much more than that).

 

If you only think about jumping from $0 to thousands a month, it can be daunting, and when you don’t reach that for a long time, utterly frustrating. Instead, break it down and pick a smaller, more attainable goal like $100. Bloggers say first $100 is the hardest, so when you do reach that threshold, build on that process and momentum to increase your blogging income beyond that $100 and continue to grow from there.

 

Also, there are many moving parts to blogging that you will need to take care of if you want to make your blogging successful, such as writing quality content, promoting on social media, networking, among other things. This list is not meant to demonstrate how easy it is to make money blogging, but rather give you ideas for how to hit the first $100.

 

Brief Overview of 3 Major Ways to Earn Money Blogging

Three main ways to monetize a blog are:

  1. Advertising
  2. Affiliate marketing
  3. Own products/services

Advertising

Let others use your site for advertising. You can do this by applying to programs like Google Adsense or Media Vine where they set the rates. Or you can rent out your site’s real estate and set your own rates. Another form of advertising is doing sponsored content, either getting paid to promote a product or receiving a product and sharing your experience with it.

 

Affiliate Marketing

Promote someone else’s product and getting a commission for selling it. You can do this through affiliate networks like Share-a-Sale, Max Bounty, Amazon Associates, and Commission Junction, which opens you to many different merchants. Or sign up individually for specific companies or products.

 

Own Products / Services

You can create your own products to sell, which can be physical products or digital ones. You can also offer services, which can be customizable based on your client’s needs.

 

Now let’s get on with the list, shall we?

 

100 Ways to Make Your First $100 Blogging

Blog / Website

  1. Write a detailed review focused on product that you’ve used as a blog post
  2. Compare different companies or brands offering a similar service and your experiences using two or more of them
  3. Create a resources page that lists the various products and services that you highly recommend
  4. Sign up for ads through programs like Google Adsense or Media Vine that have set advertising rates
  5. Set up personal advertising
  6. Place ads / affiliate products / own products / services in the sidebar
  7. Put text and banner ads within your blog posts
  8. Write a case study of someone who achieved awesome results from a product you recommend or created
  9. Create a round-up post of related products (eg. gift guide of 20 of the best gifts for animal lovers)
  10. Create a Hire Me page so brands and collaborators can contact you
  11. Write a blog post according to the brand / product you’re working with / promoting
  12. Interview the author / creator / owner of a product and share their personal experiences / expertise
  13. Write a tutorial showing a product or service in action
  14. Create an online shop within your blog showcasing your products / services

Email List

  1. Use an email course to recommend products you use (eg. how to declutter your home course can link to specific products used to keep house organized)
  2. Use an email to funnel to a product/service at the end (eg. you’re own recipe book)
  3. Send emails to your list to promote a certain product
  4. Send emails to have your list opt in to a free webinar or product, and earn a commission if they end up buying
  5. Advertise a product / service in your email signature
  6. Link to your latest blog post on a particular product in your email signature

Facebook Page

  1. Use your business page sign up button to direct a visitor to a specific product / services page
  2. Use your business page sign up button to direct a visitor to your email list / opt-in
  3. Post about your products / service
  4. Post about your freebie, which leads to a paid product
  5. Pin a post about your product / service / freebie so whoever visits will see it right away
  6. Create posts that lead directly to your affiliate links
  7. Create posts that lead to blog posts that speak further about the thing you are promoting

Facebook Groups

  1. Promote your product / service in promo threads
  2. Post about your freebie, which leads to a paid product in promo threads
  3. Answer member questions about products  / services with your affiliate / product link
  4. Do a survey in a Facebook group to find out your potential next product
  5. Share your affiliate program in collaboration threads
  6. Create your own Facebook group and promote your freebies that lead to a paid product
  7. In your own Facebook group, post direct links to affiliate products
  8. In your own Facebook group, post direct links to your product / service page
  9. In your own Facebook group, link to posts that talk about the product you are promoting
  10. Run a Facebook Live leading to a product you are promoting

Twitter

  1. Have the website in your profile link to a specific product page
  2. Have the website in your profile link to your email list / opt-in
  3. Tweet about your products / service
  4. Tweet about your freebie, which leads to a paid product
  5. Pin a tweet on your homepage about your product / service / freebie
  6. Have tweets that lead directly to your affiliate links
  7. Have tweets that lead to blog posts that speak further about the thing you are promoting
  8. Bid on sponsored tweets
  9. Do a sponsored tweet if a brand reaches out to you
  10. Participate in Twitter parties / chats with prizes
  11. Host a Twitter party or giveaway

Instagram

  1. Have the website in your profile link to a specific product page
  2. Have the website in your profile link to your email list / opt-in
  3. Post about products / service
  4. Post about your freebie, which leads to a paid product
  5. Pin a tweet on your homepage about your product / service / freebie
  6. Have posts that lead directly to your affiliate links
  7. Have posts that lead to blog posts that speak further about the thing you are promoting
  8. Bid on sponsored tweets
  9. Sell a shout out to your audience on behalf of a brand
  10. List your services on site like Grapevine
  11. Sign up for campaigns with brands

Pinterest

  1. Have the website in your profile link to a specific product page
  2. Have the website in your profile link to your email list / opt-in
  3. Create multiple pins about products / service
  4. Create multiple pins about your freebie, which leads to a paid product
  5. Create multiple pins that lead directly to your affiliate links
  6. Create multiple pins that lead to blog posts that speak further about the thing you are promoting
  7. Create boards dedicated to products/affiliates

 

Podcast

  1. Reach out to brands to do shoutout before or after your main podcast
  2. Have brands reach out to you for airtime in your podcast
  3. Interview an author / creator / owner of a product you are promoting

Videos

  1. Run ads in YouTube videos
  2. Focus YouTube video on an interview with an author / creator / owner of a product you are promoting
  3. Do a step-by-step tutorial to teach others how to use a specific product / service
  4. Use your video description to drive viewers to your freebie, which leads to a paid offer

Own Products / Services to Create

  1. Ebooks
  2. Printables
  3. Ecourses
  4. Membership sites (recurring monthly/annual subscriptions)
  5. Exclusive access to private communities
  6. Coaching
  7. Auditing/Consulting
  8. Hire for services (eg. social media manager, freelancing)
  9. Create physical products
  10. Speaking services

 

Other

  1. Get paid to guest post
  2. Post for another site as a freelancer / ghost writer
  3. Sell your blog
  4. Contribute to a conference / summit / bundle and sell it
  5. Collaborate with others to host a giveaway and get subscribers to sign up for a funnel
  6. List your ebook on Amazon Kindle
  7. Create software or an app
  8. Offer a private package if someone approaches you for assistance

 

Ways to Increase Sales

  1. Lead into a free product or free trial before asking people to commit to buying your product
  2. Hold special sales throughout the year
  3. Bundle your products at a discounted rate
  4. Add bonus(es) for your products
  5. Offer bonus(es) for an affiliate product
  6. Do a deadline funnel for a deep discount on a product
  7. Do a deadline funnel with a BOGO offer for two of your products
  8. Run a beta version of your product or service at a discounted rate to a select group of your email list
  9. Have affiliates advertise your products

Ready to make that first $100 (and counting)?

Now that you have the “how,” you need the “what” to do this.

 

The road to the first $100 is the hardest step. Once you figure out how to get there, then the next $100 and so is much, much easier. You could try to blaze the trail on your own, or, save yourself the time and frustration by learning from someone who has experience and is willing to provide the guidance.

 

My friend Ana Savuica of The She Approach is exactly the person who can help with this. She has an awesome course designed specifically to help beginners with the heart and drive to start making their first $100 (and then $1000, and counting).

 

Her bundle includes a detailed e-book to help you get started on monetizing, a master list of programs you can join broken down by niches, video tutorials and case studies to show you exactly what you need to know to make that first $100. Best of all, there’s a private Facebook group for 1-on-1 advice, social accountability, and exclusive insight to get you on your path to monetization. If guidance is what you’re looking for, this is exactly what you’ll need.

>> Click here to check out the Zero to Superhero Bundle <<

 

There are many ways to get you started and make money blogging to hit your first $100. As experienced bloggers say, that first $100 is the hardest hurdle. The best way to reach that $100 faster if you are not sure of the ways is to learn from someone who has experience and is willing to provide the guidance. Because when you learn how to find the products that will help your readers, you build trust to win them over. When you do and build a loyal fan base, these customers are likely to buy from you again and again.

Don’t forget to check out the Zero to Superhero Bundle to get you on our way to making money blogging!

Comprehensive and Honest Review of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

I knew from the start that I wanted to make money from my blog so I focused on ways to monetize it. Affiliate marketing is by far the best way for beginners to start implementing strategies because it doesn’t require much traffic and you’re promoting a product that is already created.

 

Many bloggers rave about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing from Michelle of Making Sense of Cents, who makes $50,000 A MONTH from affiliate income so it was definitely on my radar. But with the hefty price tag of $197, which to me is a lot of money to drop on something, I thought it was destined only for my wish list.

 

In my first month blogging, I was struggling to decide if I should bite the bullet, Michelle made it easier for me to say yes with a sale. I enrolled in the course and am now giving you the lowdown plus my results from it. This is the most comprehensive and honest review of the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course that you’re going to get.

Everyone talks about this course from Michelle of Making Sense of Cents, but is it really worth it? Read how this beginner blogger who bought the course and tested out strategies started seeing results and actually make money blogging. A success story in a blogging side hustle for passive income.

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer here.

 

What you’ll learn from the course

I’m going to go over each module and bonus of the course to give you an idea of what to expect.

 

Module 1: What is Affiliate Marketing

In this module, you’ll learn the basics of affiliate marketing, which most bloggers are probably familiar with.

 

Module 2: How to Find and Apply to Affiliate Programs

This module covers the #1 thing you need in order to succeed in affiliate marketing. It also delves into how you can find and apply for the affiliate networks and individual programs with a list of ideas for various niches. For the most part, I think this is information that you can find easily on the internet.

 

Module 3: Follow the Rules

You definitely want to make sure you have your i’s dotted and t’s crossed when it comes to legal matters. Most of the information was general, like how to properly disclose affiliations and labeling nofollow links to stay on Google’s good side.

 

But one that not many know about is how to be a successful affiliate if you live in a Nexus State. This basically means there’s a law that makes things complicated for affiliate programs to pay you out, and so some of these programs don’t allow you to be an affiliate if you are a resident of that state. Michelle teaches you other alternatives you can take if this applies to you.

 

Module 4: How to Get Your Readers to Convert

She teaches strategies that will help tip readers into paying customers. She addresses how to build trust and make things more convenient for your readers to say yes.

 

There were a few pointers here that were new to me, but for the most part, this too was information that I think is commonly found on the internet.

 

This is the best, most thorough review of Making Sense of #AffiliateMarketing @SenseofCents Click To Tweet

 

Module 5: Strategies and Ways to Promote Affiliate Links

This is when I felt like things started to click.

Whereas beginner bloggers would benefit all the way from the first module, seasoned bloggers would probably feel a little disappointed until this point, when they realize this is where the good stuff is at. These are specific tips to incorporate affiliate marketing in a natural, non-salesy way. You’ll also learn tactics that can be used on your blog, in your email list, and on social media. There’s some highly useful stuff about using affiliate links on Pinterest.

 

This is the turning point where you really get into deep knowledge that shows Michelle’s expertise in affiliate marketing. Especially the sections on promoting products effectively on social media, particularly on Pinterest.

 

Module 6: Rinse and Repeat

Affiliate marketing isn’t just about putting up your links and that’s it. Michelle goes over things that most people don’t even think about, with tips on how to keep up to date with affiliate products. She also shares tips for what to do when you begin to succeed with affiliate marketing, like how to negotiate for higher commissions (I didn’t even know that was possible). Highly valuable info that I don’t think you can really find floating around on the internet.

 

Bonuses

How to Get Approved for an Affiliate Program

This comes from an affiliate manager, so you’re hearing insider tips. She clarifies what you should be doing when applying for programs and how to appeal if you happen to get rejected. Stuff that I’ve been guessing on when filling out affiliate applications now makes sense and will help me moving forward as I apply for new programs.  I’ll also know what to do if I want to get into a program but don’t make the cut the first time.

 

Pinterest Strategy

These tips come from Rosemarie Groner of The Busy Budgeter (another blogger who’s killing it and making bank on her blog) on how to grow your Pinterest following, click-through traffic, and maintenance of your pinning schedule. There were definite gold nuggets in here.

 

Facebook Mastermind

This is a group only for students of her course. I’m a part of multiple Facebook groups (like 30+), and I gotta say, this one is a pretty involved, collaborative group. This is crucial for networking and connecting with other bloggers within your same niche. Also, on the topic of affiliate marketing, the questions and responses that you’ll find on here are bound to help improve your strategy.

 

My Experience with Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

Before & After Results

Prior to course, I did my own research into affiliate marketing on the web. I applied for some affiliate networks like Share-a-Sale, Max Bounty, and Commission Junction, as well as Amazon Associates and a few individual programs. I incorporated a bunch of links on my website and left it at that.

 

But after taking the course, I ramped up my strategy, particularly with points outlined in Module 4 and 5. As a beginner blogger (I took this course towards the end of my first month blogging), I thought nothing of it since I was practically brand new at this.

 

I was totally surprised to get my first $100 blogging in the same week after I made this change. Yup, I was totally like, what?! It’s worth reading about it, since it was for a non-blogging product that you can actually earn money even if you don’t want to blog about it.

 

Pros of the course

If I were to highlight the best parts of this course, it would be:

  • The single most valuable part of this course is access to a Facebook group, which is essentially a ticket to her but also a group of like-minded individuals who interact in the group and are supportive.
  • Going in depth in the psychology that will convert readers into sales so that you don’t have to feel icky about selling things because you’re promoting products in a tasteful way
  • I appreciated examples of how to accomplish this not only in blog posts, but in social media platforms because each one caters to your audience in a different way
  • Knowledge to help you make more out of your affiliate marketing even after you start making money; most courses are geared towards beginners, but this is something that even the most advanced bloggers aren’t aware of and can benefit greatly from
  • Getting outside expert advice, from an affiliate manager and the blogger who taught Michelle her Pinterest strategy
  • There’s an affiliate program for this course, so it’s a great way to put our affiliate knowledge to practice.

 

Cons of the course

No product is perfect, not even from someone who is making my annual salary just in affiliates in a single month. So here are the drawbacks:

  • Her list of 80+ programs for any niche aren’t really 80 programs because some are repeated in different niches. Also, since Michelle’s blog is focused on personal finances and travel, you’ll probably benefit the most from the list of affiliate programs.
  • The Pinterest strategy that Rosemarie outlines is 80% valuable information; her Pinterest scheduler is Boardbooster though, so for someone like me who has a Tailwind annual plan and doesn’t want to add yet another blogging expense (I’ve already dropped at least $700), I won’t fully benefit from this lesson.
  • It’s kinda pricey, so I can understand why you would want to hesitate on buying it.
Real, inside scoop in this detailed Making Sense of #AffiliateMarketing course review Click To Tweet

 

Final verdict

I did make $100 within the same week after implementing strategies from it.

 

Could I have made the sale without this course? Maybe, but it would have taken longer to get it.

 

I knew going into blogging that it typically takes bloggers 6 months before they start seeing any income. Yet even though I was prepared for that, it was discouraging to feel like getting the hang of blogging was such an uphill battle in the beginning.

 

To have earned this much this early on has been a great boost to my confidence.

 

Of course, I can’t guarantee that you’ll see the same results, but the course page has testimonials from others who have achieved success (some have even grew their affiliate income by thousands of percent!) from this course so you don’t have to solely take my word on it.

 

If you are serious about monetizing your blog, then I am confident in recommending that you invest in this course and start learning the strategies to make money blogging. I made this the most comprehensive and honest review of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, but if you have any other questions, feel free to let me know in the comments.

How I Made $100 Blogging in My First Month

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Here is a recap of the main points you should be getting out of this post:

  • Don’t expect to be rolling in the dough from the start with blogging
  • You also don’t need to wait a long time to start making money from it either
  • If you are committed to your blog, invest in a reputable resource that will help you achieve your goals
  • More importantly, invest the time to implement it; you don’t have to wait until later when you’re more established
  • Sign up to learn which product earned me $100 and how you can too in a few easy steps, whether or not you’re blogging (which you can do right below by entering your info)
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Over to you – Have you implemented affiliate marketing into your blogging plan? What’s your long-term monetization plan?

Ways to Save on Blogging Expenses

You know you need to spend money to run a business, but you also don’t want to waste your hard-earned dollars! Especially when you are starting out and don’t have a lot of capital, there are lots of ways to save money as a blogger.

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer here.

 

Reasons to start a blog

First off, figure out why you want to blog in the first place. Here are some motivating factors:

  • document your journey through some kind of change
  • share your knowledge/expertise in a specific subject
  • help/inspire/teach other people
  • build an online presence, both with an audience and relationships with other bloggers
  • an outlet or meaningful focus for your energy
  • earn an income

 

If your blog is for purely personal purposes, then you can set one up for free on platforms like WordPress. com or Blogspot. If you intend to start a blog to make money, then I recommend you go self-hosted through Bluehost. Head to my tutorial to set up your blog on Bluehost, with a simple, secret hack to save yourself $200 in the process.

 

There are other costs associated with blogging that will add up. Here are ways to cut down your expenses and make the dollars you spend worth it.

 

1. Go with longer-term subscriptions to get cheaper monthly rates

For costs that you know you will have to incur anyway, go with the longest-term subscription to get a cheaper rate. For most of these types of plans, you invest the money upfront, but if decide that it is not right for you, then you can get a prorated refund. So if you have the funds to invest from the beginning, you really have nothing to lose.

 

Why this helps your business: Sure, you might not want to put the money upfront if you’re not sure how long you plan to use the service for. But it’s a good idea to do it because not only are you saving on the cost per month, it also gives you a psychological boost that you are in it for the long haul and will more likely see it through to success.

 

Examples of plans that you want to lock in for their longest subscriptions:

Web hosting through Blue Host

Pinterest scheduler like Tailwind (get a $15 credit when you sign up through this link, which is equal to one month on a monthly plan or 1.5 months for an annual plan)

2. Use free alternatives

Free doesn’t mean lesser quality. You can often work with free alternatives forever or a long enough time until you reach a point where you need to upgrade (in which case you are successful enough to be needing to pay for the services).

 

Why this helps your business: Most times, these free services are easy to use, and even if you need to invest a little time to learn workarounds with a free service, it won’t be so hard on your wallet.

 

Examples:

Canva – Easy-to-use photo editor software to create stunning graphics. There is an option to upgrade for access to more features, though I’ve only stuck with the free plan.

 

Ivory Mix Stock Photos – Library of a chockful of feminine stock photos. Kayla is very generous with the amount of photos stocked in her library, and keeps giving more out each month! You can also upgrade to a monthly subscription to gain full access to tons more of photos.

 

Buffer / Hootsuite / Recurpost – Tools to manage your social media posts; most offer a certain limit of prescheduled posts before you need to upgrade. I use a combination of all three to keep my management costs at $0 this early on.

 

MailerLite – Email service provider to handle your subscription lists, email campaigns, and other automated emails. Access to full services for free up to 1,000 subscribers. Even after you hit 1,000, the rates start at $10/month and are very affordable compared to other email service providers. Get a $20 credit to use when you do need to start paying for a subscription.

 

3. Take advantage of free trials

There are 7-day to month-long free trials for a bunch of different tools that you can use to make your blogging life easier.

 

Why this helps your business: Free trials are a great way to test out products and services before you commit your hard-earned dollars to them. You always have the option to stop after the free trial so you really have nothing to lose by using these free trials.

Pro tip: Don’t just sign up and leave the account to the wayside while your free trial is ticking away. Take the time to get used to the dashboard and settings to maximize your free trial period.

 

Examples:

Automation tools for Pinterest, the #1 traffic source for millions of bloggers

Tailwind – Get a $15 credit

Boardbooster – Get 500 pins for free with this link.

 

4. Invest in courses or tools that get you a return

I do believe that you need to invest some money in your education. Sure, you can try to learn things on your own for free, but a lot of the information is fragmented and you don’t get a clear picture or path to where you should head. Find courses of value that will help you move forward. An extra perk are bonuses that make your money investment that much sweeter.

 

Why this helps your business: You should always be learning to keep up with blogging since trends change rapidly on the world wide web. When you investing in a course, oftentimes the course creators offer you lifetime access to updates that they make to keep up with the times so it’s worth it to spend. Plus, time is money. Especially when you have a family or other more important things you want to be doing in your life, if you’re waste hours sifting through information and getting super frustrated, then you should think about investing in a course to maintain your sanity.

 

Examples:

  • Starting a Blog: Blog by Number by Start a Mom Blog
    This ecourse and ebook provides the basis for setting up your blog, from idea to the technical set up of your blog. It also covers some basics of social media promotion on Pinterest and Facebook. One crucial component that is missing is setting up your email list to get your first subscribers. If you’re a visual learner, then this is a great medium for you.
  • Starting a Blog: Blog Startup by Meera Kothand
    This ebook provides a detailed overview of what you need to set your blog up for success. This course lacks the technical set-up aspect, but it is more informative on helping you figure out the overall picture of your blog and where you want it to head. It does include guidance on setting up your first successful opt-in to get subscribers. If you function better with a detailed step-by-step plan, then this one is for you.
  • Monetization: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
    One ideal way to make money from your blog, even from the beginning is through affiliate marketing. This course goes into full details on how to succeed in that realm. It’s suitable for beginner and advanced bloggers.
  • Traffic: The She Approach Boosting Your Blog Traffic
    Getting eyeballs onto your blog is the first important piece of the puzzle if you’re looking to make money from your blog. Instead of trying to figure out search engine optimization, each of the social media platforms, and ways to network with bloggers through multiple different sources, it’s all sourced in one jam-packed ebook.
    If that isn’t enough to convince you, then an exclusive bonus of two months of Tailwind ($30 value) for free should.
  • Pinterest: Pinteresting Strategies
    If you are hesitant to invest in an automation tool to schedule your Pinterest pins, then this book goes into deep knowledge on how to succeed with manual pinning. This comes from a blogger who went from 0-200,000 views a month in less than a year.
  • Pinterest: Boardbooster Breakthrough
    If you don’t know already, Pinterest is hailed as the best way to get traffic to your blog without much time investment, thanks to automation tools like Boardbooster. And coming from a blogger who used to be a Pinterest manager and has connections with the CEO of Boardbooster, you get $30 worth of pins for free. That’s good for three months of pinning.

 

5. Wait for sales

Blogging is just like any other retailer like the ever popular Amazon.com or your local Target. Wait for special occasions for the best deals so you don’t have to pay full price, especially for some of the more expensive blogging courses. Sign up for my mailing list, and when one of these sales hits, I’ll let you know and offer bonuses you don’t want to miss.

 

6. Find alternatives to help you make capital

Make or save money doing things that you already do so that you can use it to invest towards your blog. Here are the best side hustles for busy people and make money online in these ways to get the capital I need to start my blog. A few of my easy favorites:

>>Sign up for Ebates<< to get $10 when you sign up and more cash back every time you shop online.

>>Sign up for Raise.com<< for discounted gift cards. Plus get a $5 bonus when you sign up.

>>Sign up for Ibotta<< for grocery rebates and a $10 bonus when you sign up.

7. Actually stick to it

The biggest way you can let your money go to waste is to sit on your blogging. You can’t just invest the money into it and expect to get a return. You also need to put in the time and effort to make something out of it. Give yourself at least one year (and make sure it’s a decent effort), and you’d be surprised at how far you can come along if you really set your mind to it.

 

These are the best ways to save money with your blog and make the most of your financial investment in this endeavor.

Best Tips to Save Money on Amazon During the Holidays

The holiday season is coming up so you know what that means on Amazon. Shopping madness! You definitely want to beat the crowds for your sanity’s sake and also to make sure you get the best gifts while they’re still in stock. Even more important than that though, you’ll get tons more in savings with time on your side. Let me show you how you will literally get paid to shop early and save money on Amazon during the holidays. This blog post will cover:

  • Tips and tricks within Amazon to save yourself a pretty penny by shopping early
  • Tips and tricks outside of Amazon to save you even more

 

Get a headstart on your holiday shopping to save heaps of money online with these unknown hacks on Amazon.com. Whether you're searching for Christmas gifts, Christmas decor, holiday crafts or what have you, get it for way less. But hurry! The early bird gets more money in their pocket! Awesome tips via mommyoverwork.com

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy something using my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclaimer here.

 

Get a high-paying cash back credit card for your Amazon purchases

Sign up for the Discover IT credit card to get 5% cashback on your Amazon purchases from October to December. It’s a no annual-fee cash back credit card with a $50 cash back bonus after your first purchase if you use the link.

 

Shop around for good deals on the Amazon site

Shop Amazon Warehouse or Amazon Outlets for heavily discounted items (think 70-80% off retail price). You can also search through Amazon Coupons for more savings.

Pro-tip if you want to hone in on the deals: In the search bar, type &pct-off=# to find discounted deals. &pct-off=90 will show you items that are 90% off. You can also do ranges like &pct-off=50-80 (50-80% off) or search with a minimum like &pct-off=60- (stuff 60% and above off).

Hit the minimum quota to get free shipping, or don’t worry about it with an Amazon Prime membership. Sign up to get your first month free, or six months free if you happen to be a student and sign up with an .edu email address.

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Join Prime Student FREE Two-Day Shipping for College Students

 

Select the no rush shipping option

This is available if you have Prime and makes sense if you use benefits like Prime Pantry or digital products. When you select your shipping method, there is a “no rush shipping” option. You will see what type of credit you will receive if you opt for “no rush shipping” and decide whether it’s worth it for you to wait.

Early bird gets the worm! Hacks to save on Amazon.com when you shop early Click To Tweet

 

There you have it, some simple ways that can save you hundreds on your holiday shopping. Sign up for the Discover IT credit card to save $50 and get additional cash back from your purchases on Amazon.com. Take advantage of Amazon Prime (free trial when you sign up) to save even more. Get a headstart on your holiday shopping to make the most of it and save money on Amazon.com!

 

Keep learning:

Ebates & Raise.com – Stack Savings like a Crazy Coupon Lady (minus the actually going crazy clipping coupons!)

 

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