Blogging Tips Monetize Your Blog Uncategorized

Blogging 102: Blogging Challenges – Are They Worth Your Time?

blogging 102, learn to blog, make money blogging

Over the last 5 years of blogging, I have participated in quite a few blogging challenges. At first, I only participated because they allowed me to connect with other bloggers, but after a while, I began to see the true value of these challenges.

Value of Blog Challenges

1. Connect with other bloggers in your niche.
It is easy to loose sight of what other bloggers are doing out there, in your niche, and by connecting with them via the link up of blogging challenges, you can get a better understanding of patterns, trends, and what is lacking in your particular niche.

Are Blogging Challenges Worth Your Time? Let me tell you why they are: #blogging Click To Tweet

2. Trading comments
Many participants will leave comments on other linked up blogs, which is a great way to get comments to your blog, especially if your blog is new. Not only is that good for your SEO ranking, but a great comment is also a confidence booster.

3. Blogging Discipline
Participating in challenges, may it be those who you have to post once a month, or once a day for a whole month, give you an accountability partner(s) pushing you to blog more regularly and with a clear theme or purpose in mind. By making a commitment, and knowing that you have people who will actually come to your blog, following along with you on that commitment gives you an incentive to blog more often.

Related Blogging 102 Posts:
How Book Bloggers Make Money
Don’t Be Intimidated By Your Competition
Rework Your Old Content

4. Networking Opportunities
With all of the other participants out there, you might run into one or two whom you want to network further with, for things like guest blogging on each other’s blogs, or just for emotional support. Either way, the world of blogging can be a lonely one without these connections. Cherish them.

Here are some challenges I will be participating via my multiple blogs this year:

NaBloPoMo
The Nationational Blog Posting Month is held in November. This is not niche or theme specific, so it is open for everyone. Check out the Unofficial Guide to NaBloPoMo here.

The Ultimate Blog Challenge
Happens a few times throughout each year – January, April, July and October. This challenge comes with support, and a newsletter. You can sign up for it today – no worries, you are not too late, just begin whatever day you read this, and make a commitment from here on out

April A to Z Blogging Challenge
I have participated in this blogging challenge for three years now and will do it for the 4th year as well. This was the first challenge I have ever been a part off, and it is the one what got me hooked. Look for the sign-up-page in March.

Want to increase your Adsense Earnings? Then check out this valuable training from Wealthy Affiliate University Today!

Niche specific blog challenges:

There are niche specific challenges available as well. Most prevalent tend to be book blogging challenges. I am participating in the following challenges via my book blog Within The Pages Of A Book

NetGalley Challenge
Pagan Books Challenge
Review Writing Challenge

Question:
What blogging challenges have you been a part off? Did I miss one, that you think others would benefit from? Please leave a note in the comment section below.

Fiercely Independent Blessings

Claudia

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Making Money

Get Money And Discounts With Referrals – Make Money From Home

Referral programs are similar to affiliate programs in which you are receiving a commission by sharing a link. Just like affiliate programs, you can add this link to your content, or send it via social media, or email marketing campaigns.  Unlike affiliate marketing you do not get a percentage, but a flat fee per referral, and in some cases like Ebates extra bonuses for referring a specific amount of referrals.

Other referrals allow you to receive brand credit, which you can then use to purchase products from the promoted company. If you use this technique wisely, you can get quite a few free products you would usually buy anyway. Membership on all of these companies are free, and the only payment info you enter are to get paid or to purchase products (like with the Honest Company)

My Favorite Referal Companies

Ibotta: Ibotta is a savings app, that allows members to receive a rebate on normal household purchases, at grocery stores, and large retailers. I love this app because it allows me to save money on food, such as eggs, milk, and bread, as well as other household items. It is easy to use, simply scan the barcode of the products you purchased, as well as the receipt of your purchase, and you can get up to 5 Dollars on an item. This adds up quite quickly, especially in larger households, and we save an average of 90 Dollars a month with this app. Now as a referral program, you will get 5 Dollars per person you refer, which is easy to do, considering that it is an easy sell. Who does not like money back? Ibotta pays out via PayPal, and you can request a payment made to you once you hit the 20 Dollar mark. You will receive your money usually within 48 hours.

Now as a referral program, you will get 5 Dollars per person you refer, which is easy to do, considering that it is an easy sell. Who does not like money back? Ibotta pays out via PayPal, and you can request a payment made to you once you hit the 20 Dollar mark. You will receive your money usually within 48 hours.

Ebates: Ebates does not work for groceries, but gives you rebates for all of the other stuff we need to buy, from clothing on Amazon to items at Walmart. The offers change often, so you should install the chrome extension to get the latest deals. Ebates also gives you 5 Dollars for referring someone and often has bonuses if you reach a certain amount of referral. Again, this is an easy sell, because you are giving the opportunity to save, and receive cash back while shopping for everyday items.

The Honest Company: If you are looking for sustainable and organic products for your household, The Honest Company has you covered. Not only can you purchase truly awesome personal care products, cleaning items, and other items that are cruelty-free and green, but you can also earn 20 Dollars of store credit for each referral. Considering that they have a wonderful selection of high-quality products, this is a win-win. Oh, and you can offer, as well as take advantage of their free trial of their subscription boxes.

Fusion Cash: This site is a survey site, that allows you fill out surveys as well as print out coupons to make a  few extra dollars each month. I hope everyone is aware that surveys alone will never make anyone rich, but they are a fun hobby which can bring in a few dollars every month to cover the extras. Fusion Cash has also a referral program that allows you to make money in 3 different ways:

Refer a friend who confirms his/her email address: $1 bonus
Your friend completes his/her first offer: $2 bonus
Your friend cashes out: $5 bonus (each and every time they cashout – for life)

There are quite a few more referral programs out there, which can earn you cash and free products. I truly think that this type of earning potential should be explored alongside affiliate marketing to make the most out of your passive earning potential.

Question: Have you ever tried rebate sites like Ebates and Ibotta? 

Fiercely Independent Blessings!

Claudia

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Uncategorized

How To Turn Your Love For Handmade and Designer Items Into Affiliate Marketing Income

How Turn Your Love For Handmade and Designer Items Into Affiliate Marketing Income

Do you love shopping for interesting and unique items that are not from the big box stores, and have a little more personality? Then you are probably familiar with Etsy. What if I would tell you that you can use your love for the unique can make you on your blog?

Writing About What You Love

Blogging and affiliate marketing can be a lot of fun, especially if you write about what you love. Featuring items you already enjoy, and techniques you have a passion for, makes not only for a fun hobby but a legitimate way to make serious affiliate marketing income. Growing an online business takes time, but working on the subject matter you already have an affinity for makes the long hours a lot more rewarding.

Etsy As An Affiliate Marketing Opportunity

Etsy has a very good affiliate marketing program that allows you to create an income from writing about your favorite unique pieces. There is something for every niche.

  1. Organization bloggers can take advantage of the many sellers that have high quality planners and planner inserts, as well as custom designed binders and more.
  2. For health niches, fitness trackers, motivational posters and workout clothes are just a few choices you have.
  3. Sites with particular spiritual affiliation can find religious and inspirational items and gifts, such as mugs, cards,
A Creative Way To Generate Affiliate Marketing Income: Read more: Click To Tweet

And these are just a handful of the opportunities that Etsy has to offer to an affiliate marketer. You can sign up for the Etsy Affiliate Program here.

But Etsy is not the only option for affiliate marketers who want to showcase the unique and handmade. Handmade By Amazon has high quality sellers who offer handmade items in the same niches as Etsy does while supporting individual designers. Handmade By Amazon is a part of the Amazon Affiliate Progam, so you do not need a separate affiliate account for them. Sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program here

Not offering handmade items, but designs created by individuals, Zazzle And RedBubble also have affiliate programs, that allow you market their creative and often very unique content.

Find out more about these two programs in the following articles:
Get started with RedBubble
Get Started with Zazzle

How To Get Started In Affiliate Marketing:

If you already have a blog, you only have to sign up for the individual affiliate programs and add links, and banners to your site.

If you are new to blogging and online marketing, I suggest that you give Wealthy Affiliate University a try, where you will get free lessons on how to get started on Affiliate Marketing. After the free beginner lessons, you can decide if you want to upgrade to the premium membership, which gives you access to even more lessons, and free hosting (domain not included) for up to 25 wordpress sites.

If you however do not want to take advantage of the lessons, and are only looking for hosting, I highly recommend that you use the very reliable and inexpensive service of HostGator to host your WordPress blog.

Both of the above options allow you to purchase your domain, and offer secure and competend hosting services.

If you have any additional questions regarding affiliate marketing, or Wealthy Affiliate, leave me a comment below.

Fiercely Independent Blessings!

Claudia

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Uncategorized

Blogging 102: Rework Your Old Content

Blogging 102: Rework Your Old Content

In order to maximize page views and with that your ability to maximize your potential to monetize your blog,  I find it wise to contemplate reworking your old content, especially the content that has in the past gained some interest with readers. One of the biggest mistakes a new blogger can make is to have the write it and forget it attitude and ignore this potential.

Some of these posts though might need some serious reworking. Links might no longer be functioning, the content might not be optimized to fit today’s reading habits, or your blogging goals have changed, and your content from 2 or 3 years ago does not fit into that picture.

Rework your old blog content to optimize pageviews. Find out how: #blogtips #blogging Click To Tweet

No worries, here are a few steps you can take in order to optimize the content and make it shareable again:

1. Does your blog post have a call to action?
Your call to action should reflect your current blogging goals, therefore you might want to change your previous CTA to fit your campaigns of today. Examples of effective CTA would be to ask people to share your content, to add a comment,  or follow a link to a related blog post. You can also ask people to subscribe if you are trying to grow your email list.

2. Images
Does your blog post have an image that is optimized to be shared on social media? Ideally, you have two images to share per post, one at the beginning, and one further into the content. Each of those images should have a solid description, as well as an ALT description that features the keywords you are trying to rank for. Make sure you are using a consistent style and font for all of your images, so that they are easily recognized as your brand. If you do not already have created a style guide for your blog and brand, do that before you optimize your images and posts.

3. Optimal formatting
Your blog posts should be easily scannable with multiple subheadlines, in complementing colors (see my thoughts on style guide above). While people appreciate a long-form content, it is much easier to read it if it is not written in a long blob of text. Enter bulletin points whenever necessary and possible, and break up the text by using images, as well as a click to tweet box.

4. Links
Add relevant affiliate links to your post, and check those you have already added to your content. If you have written relevant content since writing the old post, add a link to it.

Make it a habit reworking your content on a regular basis, in order to optimize your page views.

Question: What are your best tips for optimizing old blog content? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Fiercely Independent Blessings

Claudia

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Affiliate Marketing Marketing

4 Social Media Strategies You Should Implement Right Now

4 Social Media Strategies You Should Implement Right Now

Whether you are a blogger, affiliate marketer, or run a business, with an online presence, effective social media strategies can increase the traffic to your product, website, and blog. But, due to a large amount of social media platforms out there, and the constantly added features, and even more platforms, it has become essential to create an efficient social media strategy.

1. Automate as much as possible

Scheduling apps such as Buffer, and Tailwind (for Pinterest), and social media management sites, such as ManageFlitter (for Twitter) allow you to create a faster, more effective campaign that is right for your business. No matter if you are using a tool to schedule your social media posts to fit the best times to share, or using a tool to effectively follow influencers and your audience, they free your time and make managing the individual platforms easier and more effective.

2. Be Personal

4 Social Media Strategies You Should Implement Right Now - Learn more here: Click To Tweet
Social media platforms are foremost social, and thrive on personal interaction, rather than connecting only on a business and marketing level. Share personal insights, behind the scenes stories, and other posts, that highlight the softer “not- selling”side of yourself.

3. Provide new content on a regular basis

While it is okay to repost your old blog posts, it is essential that you keep on adding new content on a regular basis. Do not only post your own content but those of relevant influencers in your niche.

Related Post: Pinterest Tips And Tricks

4. Keep Up With Social Media Trends

Updates, new features, and new platforms can create marketing opportunities that you can take advantage off. Keeping track of these updates and finding a creative way to incorporate them into your marketing efforts will allow you to become an innovative leader in your niche. Tailor your efforts to where your audience spends the most time, which can vary greatly depending on your niche.

For more marketing strategies, blogging insights, and small business tips, subscribe to our newsletter today!

Fiercely Independent Blessings!

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Marketing Tools

ManageFlitter Review: An Effective Twitter Management Tool

social media tool, business tools,

I have recently discovered a great social media management tool, I wish I would have found earlier. ManageFlitter is my new favorite twitter management tool, to help me create an effective twitter presence.

Tailwind Visual Marketing SuiteAs most of you probably know, Twitter is not very keen on any account following more people than they are followed by. Twitter tends to look at these accounts as spam, but one of the most effective strategies to building a following is to follow and interact with people. In order to balance these both aspects, a Twitter management tool, allows you to go through the people who you are following, who are inactive accounts, as well as filter spam accounts and those with no profile image out of the bunch you are following.

It is a lot easier to keep your follow/follower ratio down, while still maintaining the ability to gain new and quality followers. There are many tools available to let you do this, but ManageFlitter is the most effective one, I have used so far. With the free account, you can unfollow 100 accounts every day. Not a bad deal for free.

Are you using a twitter management tool? Read about my top pick here: #BTRTG #smm Click To Tweet

ManageFlitter also has additional features for their paid account options. Not only do you have unlimited unfollowing features, you can also take advantage of account analytics, which allows you to see your influence, your own spam probability,  and keep an eye on how many followers you have gained (or lost).

In Tweet Analytics, ManageFlitter allows you to keep an eye on specific keywords, hashtags, and accounts you want to monitor to gain a more effective insight into any potential future connections or potential campaigns.

An additional business plan feature, I have not used yet, is the potential of creating a Power Post. Basically, it allows you to schedule an effective post (either their suggested content or one you write on your own), at what this management tool deems to be the best time for your particular twitter account. Because I use my upgraded Buffer account for all of my social  media scheduling, I have not taken advantage of this feature, but if you are unsure of when it is the best time to  schedule a post, this tool can be a helpful addition to your Twitter campaign.

Conclusion:

Overall I am very happy with the upgraded plan for my twitter account. While the basic account might be enough at the beginning, I purchased the upgraded (12 Dollar/ month) plan after a week of using the free one, because I did not want to be limited to 100 unfollows. That is simply not enough for me, but can make the difference for a small twitter account, and is a great way to get used to the ManageFlitter platform without having to make any commitment.  Like I mentioned in the beginning, I wish someone would have pointed me in the direction of this tool a long time ago, but better late than never. I hope, this little article will help you make the right decision for you when  choosing a social media management tool for twitter.

Fiercely Independent Blessings

Claudia

Rainmaker Platform: Build a Powerful Website

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Uncategorized Wealth Mindset

Blogging 102: Don’t Be Intimidated By Your Competition

blogging tips, blog course, blogging

Yes, some of you are just starting out on this adventure that is monetizing your blog. At the same time, there are influencers, bloggers, marketing experts, and others who have a mass following, make waves on a regular basis, and seem to be able to do just about anything better than you and me, my friend.

Don’t Be Intimidated By Your Competition

You see, they all started where you are at the moment. At the beginning. No one starts at the top, even if you think they might have had a silver spoon handed to them – NO ONE STARTS AS A WINNER. No one.

Don't be intimidated by your competition. Read this instead: #hustle #blogging… Click To Tweet

The difference between them and you is the following

1. they did not give up
2. they worked their you know what off
3. they worked some more
4. they did not allow others to stop them no matter what
5. they outworked the competition

It is not always talent that wins. So you are not the best writer in the world. Neither am I. It is often times those who have little talent but who outwork others with talent, who make it to the top.

Is it possible to outwork others? Sure it is. That is something you can control. You can control if you are going to take a chance, even if it might seem impossible to you right now.

Write the best copy you can think of.
Write better copy next time.
Apply for campaigns even if others who apply have more followers or more experience. Do it anyway.
And when you get accepted, give your best work.
Be willing to fail.
Learn.
Repeat.

Now get back to work.

Fiercely Independent Blessings

Claudia

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Affiliate Marketing Marketing

Pinterest Tips And Tricks: How To Make The Most Out Of Pinterest

Pinterest Tips And Tricks: How To Make The Most Out Of Pinterest

Pinterest is a fun and potentially profitable social media platform. It is not as hard to navigate and make  money from as you might think. In order to make it even easier, I have compiled some Pinterest tips and tricks to help you navigate this versatile platform.

5 Quick Pinterest Tips And Tricks:

1. Follow 300 people a day interested in your niche.
Pinterest has a daily follow limit of 300 people, but if you work smartly with this follow limit, you can use it  to grow your audience with relevant followers that are already interested in your niche. Finding these followers is
easy: Find boards that are relevant to your niche with a large following. Follow all of those followers (up to your 300 per day follow limit). Repeat daily. I have grown my audience from 800 followers to 9500 followers in a matter of 6 weeks, using this  trick.

2. Share your videos
You do not have to only  pin images to the platform, but also videos from youtube. Post your video to your relevant boards. Because people on Pinterest are usually ready to buy or consume content, so this is especially useful for guides on how to use products, unboxing videos, and review videos.

Want to learn how to make the most out of Pinterest? Check out these Pinterest tips and tricks!… Click To Tweet

3. Share direct affiliate links.
Pinterest allows direct affiliate links. You can take advantage of that fact by sharing items from a variety of products  that are related to your niche, by adding them to your boards or create specific boards, such as a Mother’s Day Gift board, or gifts for her board, or a fashion board. I have a board that includes home decor, another that is solely for pillows, as well as a popular board containing business cards from Zazzle designers. Be creative.

4. Pin relevant quotes, linking them to your content.
Quotes that are related to your content (which you can also use for Instagram and Twitter) are very popular on Pinterest. Quote boards are often group boards and have a large following because everyone looks for inspiration, and motivation at times. This universal appeal can help you promote your blog and website without seeming spammy to a wide audience.

Pinterest is a versatile platform for bloggers and marketing opportunities. Find out more:… Click To Tweet

5. Add a humor board to your collection.
Just like quote boards, humor boards have a wide appeal. In order to draw a wide variety of people to your Pinterest account, and to keep the content light you can create a board that contains funny content related to your niche. Sports humor goes well with fitness niches while parenting humor is much appreciated in lifestyle and parenting, as well as education and homeschool niches. Again, be creative, but keep the content relevant.

I hope these quick Pinterest Tips and Tricks helped you to utilize the potential of this versatile social media platform.

Check out the following books for more details on social media marketing strategies today!


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Marketing

How To Get People To Share Your Content – Resource List

How To Get People To Share Your Content - Resource List

Want to get more people to share your content? Me too! I am pretty sure, I can speak for most bloggers here, that
when we are putting our posts out there, we are looking for exposure. What if I tell you, that I have found a series
of articles, that teach you exactly that? Cool, right?

Check out the following articles and resources below, which will assist you in sharing your hard work and getting the
attention it deserves!

 

Free Exposure via Triberr
What is Klout All About?
Klout Part 2: Influencer Marketing
Exposure, Traffic, Branding And More!
Get Your Content Viral!
Get Other People To Promote You!
Co-Promote: More Free Exposure!

All these training modules are available for free with your free Wealthy Affiliate membership.
Simply click on any of the articles, and sign up, or use this direct link to sign up right now!

See you there!

Blessings!

Claudia

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Making Money Monetize Your Blog

How Book-Bloggers Make Money: Blogging 102 Series

How Book-Bloggers Make Money

Hi, everyone! I have received many questions about how bloggers make money, especially when it comes to niche blogging, so I decided to create a series called “Blogging 102”, to answer these questions. I am looking forward to sharing with you the tips and tricks I have collected over the last 5 years of blogging – yup, it has been 5 years now, wow!
Blogging 102 posts will come live every Friday!

Let’s get started with Book Blogging, shall we?

Book blogging can be a lot of fun for people who love to read and write. I am one of those people who can not imagine my life without having books accessible to me. But is it possible to turn your hobby, and the love for words into a  business? It is!

Want to know how book bloggers make money? Then read this! #amreading #books #blogging Click To Tweet

Where to get the books from?

While you can always buy books yourself, and as my ever growing collection of digital and physical books shows, I do
this quite often. However, when reviewing books on a regular basis, this can get rather expensive. Therefore utilizing
the power of the internet, and the need for Authors to receive reviews, it is possible to get your supply of books filled
without spending a dime.

Netgalley
Netgalley is my favorite place to find great books to review. This platform connects publishers and Authors with professional readers, who in return for receiving books, leave reviews on the site itself, and on their blogs. All books are received digitally, either via a download or directly to your Kindle. There are some books that you can read right away, others need to have the publisher give you the green light. You will then receive a notification and can download the book.

It's a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together - read more here! #business… Click To Tweet

Kindle Unlimited
While not completely free, (it costs 9.99 a month for this Amazon service), you can read an unlimited amount of books that are offered through the program. Not all Kindle books are, but there are quite a few high-profile Authors who choose to list their books on Kindle Unlimited, for which they will receive pay per read. You can “borrow” up to 10 books at a time, which is plenty, and review these books.

Directly from Authors
Authors are always looking for reviews for their books, and you can receive them directly from the creator via two ways.
1. Ask the Author directly. Send them a message and ask them directly to review their book for them. Many will be happy to give you a copy of their book. This is a great way to establish a relationship with Authors and gain a reputation as a person to go to.
2. Authors contact you. After reviewing a few books for a variety of Authors, many times, you will find yourself contacted by them directly. Reliable book bloggers are not as easy to come by, as many might think, so you can position yourself well, by creating high-quality reviews.
3. Facebook groups.
This is not my favorite way of receiving books because you have to wade through a ton of books who are poor quality, and some even plain awful, and unprofessional. You can get lucky but try the other options first.

How To Monetize Your Book Blog

1. Affiliate links (Amazon and otherwise). If you become a member of the Amazon Affiliate program (they are called Associates), you can use an affiliate link within your reviews. Many people reading a book blog, are ready to purchase something to read  right away, and you can take advantage of that fact by linking them directly to the books listing. How cool is that!  Of course, there are other companies and publishers besides Amazon you can utilize. Target, Walmart, Barnes and Nobels, Dover Publishing are just a few sites, that you can use for your book links.
2. Highlight the benefits of the Kindle Unlimited program. Another Amazon Affiliate perk is that you can make money each time someone signs up for Kindle Unlimited if they are using your blog link. It is a great program that is easy to promote, which means cash flow!
3. Google Adsense. Adding Google Adsense to your blog is probably the first thing that most people think off when they consider making money off blogging in general. While this is not exactly the most lucrative way of making cash, it is one you should consider. However, I personally do not use Google Adsense in any of my blogs, no matter what niche, because it is simply a less attractive option than other ways of monetization.
4. Youtube videos. Connecting a youtube vlog to your actual written blog strategy, however will give you another way  of utilizing the power of Google Adsense. In that case, that option is much less intrusive, and it is how a lot of YouTubers make money. Also, adding videos to your blog posts, makes them more likely to be shared, and gives you additional exposure. Do not overlook the power of youtube videos, even for book blogging!
5. Sponsorships. Larger book bloggers, and those who participate in Influencer Networks (more on that in another post),  will sometimes be contacted by companies, publishers and editors to review a product or book for payment. This can range from a few dollars to a more lucrative pay, but largely depends on the size of your blog following as well as your social media presence. If you are a small blogger, you can expect to get less sponsored posts, but that also depends on your book niche. Which brings me to my next point:

Choose a narrow book niche!

In order to monetize your book blog more effectively and increase your chances of finding targeted sponsors, you should narrow your book blog down to a specific sub-niche. Examples of that would be “young adult”, “contemporary romance”, ‘crime books”, or “cookbooks”, “health and fitness books”, and so forth.
You can also utilize the power of book blogging by combining it with a  broader subject blog, which is what I do for 3 of my current blogs. You will see me highlight business books here on this site, healthy living books on my site Happy Health And Herbs, and budgeting, organization and productivity books on my site “Save Money, Save Time, Succeed!”.

If this info got you interested in starting a book blog but you have no idea where to start, check out the Wealthy Affiliate training program, which includes free WordPress hosting for your blog. You will learn how to set up your blog, how to choose your niche, anything you need to know about making money via affiliate marketing, as well as social media  marketing and more. Sign up for free today!


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