Making Money


Limit Work Stress With These 5 Life Hacks All Posts / Making Money / Miscellaneous

*This guest post is sponsored by CrushEmpire and may contain affiliate links.  Read our full disclosure policy here.

Stress is common in today’s work environment. There are plenty of tools to help de-stress outside of work, such as meditation, yoga, taking a few days off to re-charge at a retreat, or something as simple as listening to the sound of waves before bedtime.

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5 Ways to Make Money Online in 2017 All Posts / Making Money / Side Hustles

*This is a guest post by Kim Dawkins.  This post may contain affiliate links.

Today, there are more than enough online materials about making a steady side income from the comfort of your home. However, most of them are sales pitches and designed to convince readers to sign up for some training session, webinar and more.

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How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps All Posts / Making Money / Start a Blog

 

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I only promote products and services that I truly believe in.

Blogging has changed my life in so many ways.  I’ve made friends that I never would have met if it weren’t for my blog.  I’ve earned extra money that I’ve been able to put toward the debt snowball on my student loans.

I’ve discovered a passion for writing about personal finance.  When I first started blogging, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it.  It’s funny because now I can’t imagine my life without blogging.

If you’re thinking about starting a blog, I highly recommend trying it out.  It might seem a little intimidating at first, so that’s why I’ve broken down exactly how to create a blog in five simple steps below.

1. Choose a topic.

What do you want to write about?  What are you most passionate about?  What are you knowledgeable about?  What do you know that others might not know?  You can write about a variety of topics, but there should be an overarching theme that brings the different subjects together.

For example, your theme could be frugality, DIY, or minimalism.  I cover a wide range of topics on my blog – but my theme is frugality.

Keep in mind that what you want to write about may change over time.  Also, don’t write about something just because it’s a topic that others are writing about.  When I first started my blog, I tried to include recipe posts, and it didn’t go very well.

I hate cooking and I share a tiny kitchen with four other people.  Not a good idea.  Write about what you know.  I don’t know how to cook, but I do know how to find free yoga classes and how to save money on puppy-related expenses.

2. Select your hosting service.

I highly recommend Bluehost because their packages are affordable and their customer service is excellent.  If you sign up through my link, you will pay just $3.95 per month.  There are higher priced options that you can select if needed, but I recommend starting with the cheapest option.

2-select-your-plan

If you decide that blogging isn’t for you within the first 30 days, Bluehost will give you a full refund.  If you change your mind about blogging anytime within the next 36 months, you will receive a refund for any months that you don’t use.

You have nothing to lose and it’s worth giving it a shot!

3. Choose your domain name.

If you sign up for Bluehost using my link, you receive a FREE domain name (this is a $15 value).  Once you select your hosting package (from step one), you will be brought to a screen where you can enter your domain name.

3-sign-up-nowWhen choosing a domain name, make sure to pick something unique, easy to remember, and fairly short.  The name should align with the topic of your blog.  “Frugal Millennial” explains what my blog is about in just two words.

I write about frugality, saving money, and topics that are particularly relevant to millennials – such as student loans and planning a wedding on a shoestring budget.

4. Install WordPress.

Once you have signed up for Bluehost, log in and go to hosting.  Next, click on “cpanel” and scroll down to “website builders”, then click to “install WordPress.”

9-bluehost_cpanel-loginAfter you click “install”, choose the domain that you are installing WordPress to.  Next, set up your login information for WordPress.  You now have a WordPress blog!

5. Start blogging!

To login to your WordPress blog, go to your domain name and add /wp-admin.  Next, enter your username and password.  Once you start posting articles, publish compelling content consistently.

You don’t need to post every day or even every week, but try to post often (most bloggers recommend posting at least 1-2 times per month).  I usually post once a week.

Now that you’ve created your blog, here are some tips for beginners!

Focus on Photos

Even if your content is amazing, readers aren’t going to stick around for long if your site is visually unappealing.  There are thousands of others lifestyle blogs that they can read…they’ll choose yours if your site is visually enticing.

Poor quality photos are a major turnoff.  Try to improve your photography skills or get awesome (free) stock photos from websites like Pixabay.

Keep it Simple

If your layout is confusing or difficult to use, readers may become frustrated.  Keep your layout simple and free from too many distracting ads or buttons.

Keep your articles organized in categories that are logical and user-friendly.  Make sure to include a “search” bar so that readers can search for the specific topic that they’re looking for.

Network

Connecting with other bloggers has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging for me.  I’ve made new friends and I’ve learned so much from others who have been blogging for much longer than I have.

There are numerous ways to reach out to network with other bloggers – comment on their posts, follow them on social media, attend conferences, or email them!

Plan Ahead

Plan your articles in advance instead of writing them on the fly.  This helps when you find yourself too busy to write.  If you’re say, a month ahead on blog posts, you can relax if something comes up and you just don’t have the time to write.

This way, you can still post regularly even when you don’t have time to write articles.  I like to write my posts on the weekends (and I’m currently a few months ahead on blog posts) and save drafts of them in WordPress.

When I post an article during the week (when I’m busy with my day job), all I need to do is hit “publish” and share my article on my social media sites.  Planning ahead makes balancing work, life, and blogging much simpler!

Do Your Research

There is some great information out there about how to increase your blog traffic and how to make money blogging.  I highly recommend reading some articles about these two topics, taking some classes, or reading books on these subjects.

How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul, by Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less, is an amazing resource for all bloggers – whether you’re brand-new to blogging or have been blogging for a while.

Are you considering starting a blog?  Is there anything that has held you back from starting a blog?

 

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you sign up for Bluehost through my link, I will receive a commission and you will receive the lowest hosting price possible.  It’s a win-win!

 

Other stuff you might like:

3 Reasons to Find an Online Side Hustle
How to Go From Hundreds of Page Views/Month to Thousands – Tips for New Bloggers
My Personal Finance “Aha” Moment
The Path to Financial Freedom Isn’t a Straight Line
2016: Planning Your Best Year Ever

Blogging Resources:

How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income by Darren Rowse
365 Blog Topic Ideas for the Lifestyle Blogger by Dana Fox


The 10 Best Career Lifestyle Blogs for Millennial Women All Posts / Making Money / Millennials

There are many negative stereotypes about millennials.  We’re often classified as lazy, entitled, and immature.  I don’t agree with these stereotypes.  Of course, there are a few millennials out there who fit these stereotypes, but there are more who don’t.

Many millennials are working their asses off, paying off debt, starting their own businesses, and building wealth.  Here are 10 inspiring career and lifestyle blogs for millennial women.  These incredible ladies are killing it!

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5 Strange Things That Happen When You Blog About Personal Finance All Posts / Making Money / Side Hustles

I love blogging.  It’s interesting, rewarding, and often opens my mind to new and different perspectives that I hadn’t considered in the past.  I also enjoy feeling like I’m making a difference in other millennials’ lives.  Reading personal finance blogs inspired me to pay off my massive debt as quickly as possible and to start making better financial choices.  I hope to inspire others to make smarter choices too.

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Side Hustle Series No. 2 – Pet Sitting All Posts / Making Money / Side Hustles

Hi guys!  I’m excited to share the second post in my “side hustle” series.  I’ve mentioned before that frugality only goes so far – we can scrimp like crazy, but at a certain point, it’s impossible to save more money.  This is why making more money is a crucial part of the “getting out of debt” equation. 

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I Wore Sweatpants to Work, and No One Cared All Posts / Making Money / Millennials

I wore sweatpants to work last week, and no one cared.  No, I do not work from home and this is not going to be a post about how awesome it is to work from home.  I work a full-time 9 to 5 job in an office.  But I wore sweatpants to work last week – something I’ve never done before in my life – and no one cared.

There are many articles on how to dress professionally for work, and many of these articles are targeted specifically toward millennials.  I learned plenty of office dress code rules in grad school as well.  I received my master’s degree in HR from a snooty business school, and it was typical for students to dress up for class.

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No, I Don’t Want to Join Your Pyramid Scheme All Posts / Making Money / Side Hustles

My husband and I are working on paying off six figures of debt in just three short years – on entry-level salaries.  Living frugally only goes so far – we can scrimp like crazy and be frugal weirdos, but at a certain point, it’s impossible to save more.

We can only save so much, but we can always earn more.

Increasing our income is an essential part of our goal of paying off $117,000 of student loan debt in three years.  As such, I’ve been looking into several ways to start “side hustling” and increasing my income.

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