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The new year is literally here and when I think back to this previous one I shake my head in disbelief. It’s been a rocky road for me with a big move to a new state, a major life change going from a duo to uno, getting back on track with college classes and supporting myself and my son all the while managing emotions in a healthy way. To me, finding some stability in the early stages of this new year is absolutely key.
Becoming financially stable on my own is an important goal I’ve set for myself. Plus, in a few short years I’ll be bombarded with the inevitable ” I want” and “I need” from my growing son. I want to be a great Mom and support him as needed- so I’ve got to do the hard ground work now.
I’ve done my own research on ways to make extra money while working full time. I’ve seen the Ibotta app, Checkout 51, Swagbucks, and a few others, but every time I try to make head way with them there is always a catch. I have to buy the name brand products (which I don’t always because I can get the store brand that is exactly the same for cheaper), or I have to watch ten 5 minute videos to get a total of a whole 12 points towards 100 points to earn a buck. What….? The amount of time I have at the end of the day is so precious that I cannot bring myself to find value in those 12 points… that took me a solid hour to accrue when I could have been putting it to better use, such as sleeping. (I’m exaggerating about this but you get the point.)
I did find a few ways helpful. I researched ways to make a quick buck and ways to have passive money coming in, and for us Moms- single or not- both ways are important. I think it’s also worthy to note that implementing ways to make money- whether it is a quick buck or not isn’t an easy task, but I did try to list the simplest and safest ways. It also takes hard work and patience. We’re moms and we’ve got that covered 😉
Selling Items for Quicker Return
Ok ladies, what have your got stored away that you don’t need? If you haven’t used it in the last 6 months, let it go! You need the $20-$50 in your pocket that you’re going to get for it, whatever it is.
Sell it however you need to, but if it’s small and easy enough to ship I definitely recommend Ebay. For larger items such as bulky appliances or furniture try Letitgo, and OfferUp. You get a much larger audience and I personally think it’s a tad bit safer than posting things on craigslist. Buuutt, with that said, if you do post something and do meet up for an exchange make sure you take any and all safety precautions! I CANNOT stress that point enough.
Do you have a creative side to you? Do you make seasonal items or have a passion for making things? I personally love to craft- I love all things nautical and beachy so I began creating custom earrings inspired by the ocean. If you have an knack for the arts you may want to consider opening up and Etsy shop. It’s an easy platform to manage, listing fees are nominal, and you get to choose your prices for your work.
And, let’s not forget that shopping itself can help bring in some income. Many of us moms simply don’t have the time to shop in store. And if you do, your time is extremely limited with a kid tugging at you to leave the second you walk in. Try shopping through Ebates. There are tons of stores listed and you get money back for shopping through the site. It’s almost like getting a discount on purchases.. but they come in the form of a check. #momwin!
Before I started working in the human healthcare system, I worked as a assistant/tech in the veterinary field. I loved my job- to say the least. However, when I became pregnant with my son I opted for human health so I wouldn’t freak out (… as much…) when my kid became ill or did something ridiculous as he got older. Plus, I had some knowledge from working with 2 vet doctors and many tech friends that if I ever needed something I could contact them regarding my furry “first born”.
If you have a love for pets, I would recommend setting up an account with Rover.com. You can offer services from the basic to the full nine yards- and again, you can choose your pricing. If you’ve got a day off and don’t mind walking and picking up after a few pooches then this is for you. Or, you could even have dogs (mostly) come stay at your home on weekends or holidays and get paid for it. When I think of this I imagine those silly Facebook memes with people lying on the ground getting covered in puppy kisses. In theory that’s what it seems like, and for dog lovers (like myself) it basically feels like that…. plus some work.
The same can be said for children. Although for some people that only have a dog- that is their child. These are similar principles for the next service I suggest: Care.com. You can offer your services of childcare, cleaning, etc. And, you don’t even need to leave your home. A day off where you already have you and your munchkin at home, you could make a decent pay depending on hours, availability and your rate. And, on the other hand you could use it to find care for your little one if needed.
I can’t go through this post without mentioning this. Yes, every blogger suggests this route- especially if they’re making a decent income from it. I will be honest, I haven’t made much from blogging as of yet- however I am starting to see growth and income is beginning to trickle in. It is as most blogger say, hard work and almost a full time job to get it off the ground. But, to quote a fellow blogger (you can visit Ashli’s blog here at The Million Dollar Mama) “Know your WHY.” Know why you are starting this blog and what it means to you. Anything worth while is hard work so be prepared to do lots of it.
If you’re new to blogging, don’t fret. Although blogging definitely has it’s learning curve it’s very easy to get started with- and that is the most important thing: to start. You will learn as you go and you’ll become a better blogger over time and produce better results, more traffic and income. Here’s a summary of how to get started with your website and get your income moving.
To Start a Blog
Name and Niche
First start thinking of your niche and name. Technically your niche can be anything but think about what you know and what people are researching. Keeping these things in mind when deciding will help you get started in the right direction- especially if you’re looking to make your blog profitable.
Once you choose a name (which I suggest you make it simple, to the point, and easy to remember) head over to Network Solutions to see if your domain is taken. If so, head back to the drawing board and rethink your name. If not, go ahead and purchase it and then head to the next step of setting up your web hosting. ** Your chosen host site may check domain names for availability too. I offer looking ahead to see if it’s available before you go through the process of setting up hosting.
Web Hosting Options
I have heard many many good things about both BlueHost and Siteground. Fortunately for me, my dad is a tech guru and runs his own hosting company so I run my site through him. However, I believe that both BlueHost and Siteground offer great packages for newbies starting around $3.95 per month. Check out both sites and choose which is best for your needs.
If you’re on a tight budget you can absolutely start with a free template provided by WordPress. If you have a little money to spare, you can shop themes on Studio Press. After you’ve chosen and/or purchased your theme start customizing your site! If you follow any blogs currently, check how they’ve mapped out their page(s) and try to mimic what you like and leave out what you don’t. Referring to favorite blogger is both a compliment but also helpful when you’re new to the blogging community.
Making Money with Your Blog
There are numerous ways to start making income with your blog from the very beginning. Besides the very important part of providing quality content, there are different avenues for new bloggers.
One of the simplest ways to start is to place ads on your blog. Since I have an email account with Google I chose to add Google Adsense first. After you add the code to your page (not as hard as it sounds- adsense gives you a walkthrough) then the ads are placed on the page(s) of your choice.
Another quick addition is Sovrn ads. This program is similar to Adsense, just a different company. Why 2 ad agencies you ask? Every blog I’ve read about making this a profitable adventure has said to NOT put all your eggs in one basket. Place a few programs throughout your blog to gain more exposure and potential earnings. The important piece of advice is to choose your wisely.
Joining affiliate networks has big earning potential- again, you must choose your affiliates carefully. So we’re on the same page, affiliates in a nutshell are programs you join to place an advertisement on your blog or platform of choice via review, products, ads etc. with a link to that company or store. You receive commission if that particular link is clicked on, or has purchases made through it from your readers.
As a newbie there are only a handful of networks that may accept you in if you’re just starting out. A lot of networks prefer to have an established blogger with a lot of traffic, but there are a few I joined that will accept you in to help you get started.
Before you do, I highly highly recommend you splurge and take Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. This is the most invaluable tool I have purchased. The info given in this course goes in depth about affiliate networks, marketing, how to be successful with affiliates, and how to start off on the right foot. I cannot say enough great things about this course. If you’re serious about wanting your blog to have real income, you need this course.
Michelle’s course is your starting point. Once you’ve started this course you’ll have a better understanding of what affiliates are and how to use them in your favor. Other affiliate networks that you should consider join as a new blogger are:
All these programs are great starting points to get your feet wet with affiliates and earning residual income. Once you gain more views and readers and decide to branch out, you can tackle the larger networks. Check Michelle’s guide for more info. Can you tell I simply love her course?!
Another way to boost income is to sell your own products. This can range from goods you’ve made, to printables, e-books, courses etc. For those of us that are new at blogging and/ or have limited time because you are a mom, it’s completely normal for your own products to come with time. Before you jump into an avenue of products, do some research first and see what you want to start with. The easiest way is to start simple and work your way up. For instance, design a PDF for a download as a subscription incentive to start, then make your way to e-books, courses, and other materials.
So to moms everywhere- whether or not you’re starting this year off on your own… and if you’re just trying to make an extra buck or two (I’m being completely facetious about the amount) you are not alone in this struggle. Making ends meet is tough enough without the added stress of doing it alone but, here’s a secret I’m going to tell you. You can do it. You don’t realize the strength, knowledge, and determination you hold. Dig deep and find it fast. You’ve got fuel waiting to be ignited!