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Lifestyle And Book Blogging – A Change In Direction

 

Hi everyone,

I have been AWOL for a little while, due to being pretty sick, as well as trying to overhaul Miss Fiercely Independent into a website, that serves you the best.

Because I primarily blog (if I am not on this site), about books (my book blog is Within The Pages Of A Book), and Lifestyle (Avalon-Media.org), I have decided to write here on MFI about the experiences and lessons I have learned by running a lifestyle and book blog.

What You Can Expect From Miss Fiercely Independent Blog

  1. Topics related to running a lifestyle blog – such as organizing a blog, finding topics, working with genre-specific sponsors, monetizing a lifestyle blog
  2. Topics related to running a book blog – such as how to write a better review, getting in contact with book tours, where to get books from, monetizing a book blog – and more
  3. How to promote your blog
  4. How to make money off your blog, to create an independent (perhaps even full-time) income
  5. How to expand your brand – there is more to blogging than just writing on your blog, if you want to turn it into a business
  6. How to juggle running multiple blogs

 

And more!

Because I think it is related to just about any content-creating business, I will also write on occasion about eBook publishing.

So stay tuned for some exciting new content, and please be patient with me, as I am creating a new, more regular posting schedule for MFI.

 

Blessings!

 

Claudia

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Blogging Tips Monetize Your Blog

Utilize Facebook Social And Blog Share Groups (Part 1) + Facebook Support Group List!

blogging tips, social media support, blogging support

If you are looking to expand your reach, get your content shared more often, and are interested in increasing your comments, I highly recommend that you join facebook groups in which members share each other’s posts on social media, as well as leave comments.

You should, however, follow a few rules before engaging in these groups:

  1. Most groups have specific days for specific threads. For example, some groups only allow you to share your blog posts on a specific day, while there are other days for comment threads, or facebook support threads. Become familiar with each groups thread posting time, so that you do not violate group policies
  2. Read the group description thoroughly! Many of these groups have very specific rules, such as the above-mentioned threads, or when you can ask for advice. Make sure that you are familiar with them, and do not confuse the rules if you are joining multiple groups
  3. Share other people’s content. Some groups require that you share or comment on each of the members participating in the individual threads, while others require you to share/comment on a specific number of member posts. Follow these instructions, and do not skip through a thread, even if you might not get caught. It is simply the polite thing to do, and it helps each member of the group to increase their reach.
  4. Leave meaningful comments. If you are participating in comment threads, be kind and leave thoughtful comments. I have seen groups that require a certain word count or have specific rules for comments, but even in those groups who do not have those types of rules, you should give your best comments.
  5. Only participate in some of the threads, in order not to get overwhelmed. It takes quite a bit of time to share content, and visit other people’s blogs and sites. Don’t commit to threads that you can not follow through.
Utilize Facebook Social And Blog Share Groups #socialmedia #blogging Click To Tweet

Here are some groups that you should consider joining:

Taylor Manning Facebook Group 

Learn To Blog Hangouts 

TBC Support 

Blog Big! Group

Related Post: 22 Tips To Rock Linkedin!

Bloggers 2 Brands Group

The Blogger Life

Friends Who Love Blogging

Bloggers Social Media Support

Blog Support Group

 

This is an incomplete list, so look for the second part of this post about facebook groups to be posted here soon!

For more blogging info, and a few more facebook support groups I highly recommend, click here

 

Fiercely Independent Blessings!

Claudia

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Blogging Tips Uncategorized

Choosing The Right Blogging Platform And Host For Your Blog – Blogging 101

Choosing The Right Blogging Platform And Host For You

Once you have chosen your niche your next most important decision when creating an affiliate marketing income is your blogging platform. There are many free and paid opportunities out there, each one of them having their own pro’s and con’s, which I want to highlight for you today.

Free Hosting Platforms

The following platforms are completely free and do not include the free versions of premium hosting services and platforms available.

Choosing The Right Blogging Platform For You - Blogging 101 #blogtips Click To Tweet

WordPress.com
This platform is not to be confused with wordpress.org, which needs a web host such as Siterubix, or Hostgator.  Wordpress.com offers responsive, yet basic free themes, as well as potential upgrades you can purchase – such as a  domain name, and premium themes. The downside is, that you can not add any plug-ins that are essential to monetizing your blog or site. This limits your ability to use this platform as a money making business and is therefore not a platform I suggest you should use.

Blogger
Blogger is similar to WordPress.com, as it is free, and allows you to upgrade your site for money. It is however, a little less restricted when it comes to making money. I don’t like the free themes available for Blogger as much as WordPress. They have a little bit of an “old school” feel to it, but you can change that with a little bit of coding knowledge. It is a decent place for a blog, but can not keep up with the more professional WordPress self-hosted sites, Shopify or even Wix

Related Post: How Book Bloggers Make Money

Paid Hosting Platform

Shopify
If you are looking to create an eCommerce site, Shopify is the best way to go. This platform is easy to turn into a responsive online shop and has visually pretty themes, that are easy to work with. You do not need to know anything about programming in order to set up your site, and the support is friendly and fast.

Weebly
While this website makes beautiful sites, it is not as effective in creating a responsive eCommerce site as Shopify. Yet, it is easy to use, with plenty of design options that make designing an individual unique site easy. No need to know anything about coding, unlike WordPress.org sites, you do not have to worry about installing your site, and the support is also very good, and always willing to help.

HostGator
One of my two favorite hosts for WordPress.org sites. Competitively priced, with great service, and plenty of potential add-ons, as well as the opportunity to buy domain names, domain emails, and other premium services. HostGator is the cheapest way to start building an effective WordPress.org site out there.

SiteRubix
SiteRubix is an all-inclusive webhosting service for WordPress.org sites. You can host up to 25 sites at a time, for one price, which also includes domain email, 24-hour site support and monitoring, free themes, and most importantly it  includes access to the Wealthy Affiliate Universities business building lessons. I host all of my sites there, simply because it makes economical sense, because I don’t have to purchase seperate services for each of my five websites. Not everyone needs this type of support, but I highly recommend this option for someone new to online marketing, or monetizing a blog.

Question: Which platform are you using currently for your blog/website? What are your favorite aspects of the platform you are using? Share your answers with the community below!

Fiercely Independent Blessings

Claudia

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Social Media Tips

How To Master Twitter For Marketing And Business

How To Master Twitter For Marketing And Business

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Twitter is not a social media platform you should ignore if you want to grow an engaged blog or website audience. On top of that, it is possible to make money on Twitter, by being part of social media campaigns run by brands and companies throughout the year. In order to maximize your potential income – and we are on the internet to make money, so this should be our main goal – I have compiled a list of tips and tricks that can increase your potential for both traffic and income generated via this social media platform.

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Increase your twitter following:

1.Do a keyword search on your niche in twitter.
2.Follow people who have real names, and pictures of themselves, or something related to the niche in their
profile.
3.Make sure that they are actually engaged in the niche, by reading some of their feed
4. Do not follow companies, unless it is a company you are actually working with – i.e. as an Influencer, Brand Ambassador and such

How To Master Twitter For Marketing And Business #socialmediatips Click To Tweet

Increase your twitter engagement:

1.Take 15 minutes a day to engage with those you follow and take 15 minutes a day to engage in trending topics, and related to your niche hashtags. This could mean that you offer encouraging advice to questions posted, that you tell someone you enjoyed their post, or to connect in any other meaningful way that is related to the subject at hand
2. Get comfortable with the hashtags for your niche. Make a list, and refer to it every time you are on twitter. You should be not only using these hashtags in your own niche but to find and engage with followers.
3. Respond to comments likes and retweets. Mention those who were engaging on Follow Friday, or thank them throughout the week for being engaged.

Follower/Following Ratio:

Your follow count does not have to be low – it should not be more than about 2/3 of your follower rate, BUT
most importantly those should be, targeted people! Do not randomly follow people, make sure each of them count!

Bring Value To Your Followers:How To Master Twitter For Marketing And Business

Share other people’s stuff- but only when it is high quality. Use automation tools like Buffer to share some of these posts, considering that you might find quite a few posts in one setting, but will overwhelm your followers if you share too many posts after each other.

Twitter Images:

1.Change the variety of your twitter images – your images should not always be the same type. I fell for that in the beginning, all of my blog posts have the same type of images as a starter image, which is boring for followers. Make them different, engaging have about 5 different styles that you switch up on.
2. Be sure they are the perfect size for twitter – which is 440 pixels wide and 220 pixels tall.

Twitter Goals:

Do you have twitter goals for 2017? My twitter goals are currently to grow my followers to 12K by the end of the year and be listed in 2500 lists. What are your goals?

Fiercely Independent Blessings!

Claudia

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Marketing Monetize Your Blog

5 Quick Tips To Take Your Medium Content To The Next Level

5 Quick Tips To Take Your Medium Content To The Next Level

You probably are wondering why you should care about Medium, and post your content there. Medium has a unique feature, where you can collect subscribers to send email-type newsletters to, which in turn you can use to market yourself and your brand just as you would do with regular email subscribers.
Also, Medium allows affiliate links within the content, so you can also market directly to your audience. But, because Medium is not like a blog in other ways, you should first get familiar with the platform, and head a few tips and tricks, that will make your content stick out of the crowd, get you followers, and give you the opportunity to increase your sales.

5 Quick Tips To Take Your Medium Content To The Next Level

1. Use quotes
Quotes – may they be from fellow medium publishers, or from related sources to your niche – are very shareable and relatable. Readers are more likely to share your content on social media if it includes a quoted phrase, that makes them look smart. Medium has quote options in its editor – which you can access by either one time or double clicking the editor.

5 Quick Tips To Take Your Medium Content To The Next Level Click To Tweet

2. Use Lower Competition tags
Medium allows you to see how much content you are competing with when you are adding your tags to the post. Unlike most platforms, though, you are going to be limited to 5 tags. So you have to make sure that you make them count. Use keywords with low, but not too low competition to get your chance of being seen increased. But do not completely disregard the popular tags. I would highly suggest for you to add at least one if not two of the more popular tags for the most successful mixture.

3. Choose an engaging category for your Medium post
Combining life experiences with work, technology, design or politics are the top categories that go viral on Medium. Make your stories personal, engaging, and yes a little bit controversial.

4. Import your Blog Content But Change It To Make It Medium-Worthy
While I love the medium import feature, do not get complacent to simply importing your content, without tweaking it, to fit the Medium audience. Maybe you should get more personal, use a more attention-grabbing headline, or add quotes, and highlights you did not use in the original content. However you choose to modify it, the key is to change it up a little,  while keeping the general idea intact.

5. Make your headline stick out of the crowd.
Engaging, opinionated, controversial, all of these types of headlines – including a rock solid subheadline – is what will determine if your Medium post will get any clicks. To get a better feel for what type of Medium headlines get the most attention, check out Medium’s top posts

Question: Have you published any content to Medium yet? What was your experience? Did you have any successes you want to share? Please leave a comment below!

If you are looking to grow your online business to the next level, get coached by me – learn more right now!

 

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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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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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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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