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Blog News Blogging Tips

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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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

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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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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