How To Start A Blog In A Day & Make Money With It, Too!

** This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here

Have you ever wanted to start a blog? But, you’re just not sure where to start? Well, look no further. I love expressing myself. So, blogging has been a huge game changer for me. When I decided to start a blog, I had no idea I could make money, too. But, it’s completely possible. Even when you don’t have a huge following!

I can’t believe that the 1 year “blogiversary” for Dogs Kids is right around the corner. I feel like it was just yesterday when I was buying the domain. I have to say, without a doubt, Dogs Kids has been my most profitable blog. That’s because, unlike my past adventures, I did my research. So, I’m glad you’re here. That means you’re doing your research, too!

The best part is that I started Dogs Kids within a day! Including setting up many ways to make money right away, too. 

But, let’s chat before we talk about how to start a blog. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made in the past.

start a blog

Mistakes You SHOULDN’T Make When You Start A Blog

Don’t spend a lot of time editing your blog layout.

This is something I still struggle with. We want our little space on the internet to look nice. But, that isn’t necessarily what people come to your blog for. Of course, an easy to navigate layout is best. But, people are coming to your blog to read your content. That’s what blogging is all about. Content, content, content. Below you’ll find my go to places for responsive layouts. Hopefully this will save you time on searching the internet.

Don’t expect to get rich overnight from your blog.

It is possible to make money with a blog. But, it’s a process. A process that is easy to do, though. Also, you’re not going to “make money while you sleep.” Making money when you start a blog takes proper planning and reaching out to others.

Don’t wait to market yourself. Start right away!

If you’re totally shy, you may have to tuck some of that away. You’re going to want to really tell people about your blog. So, it’s vital to hop on social media and tell friends and family right away. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching your audience grow.

But, don’t only focus on the numbers.

I love all the “How I Had 100k page views in a Month” stories. Because, that’s an amazing growth spurt for a blog. But, when you start a blog don’t just focus on the numbers. My page views just hit 10k about a month ago. But, I’m fine with that. Because, what’s important is that you have an audience who trusts you. An audience that knows if they reach out to you, you’ll respond. If the people who hit 100k page views in a month can respond to all of their audience, I applaud them. But, right now, that wouldn’t be quite feasible for myself.

Don’t always go with the first option when you start a blog.

I know, I know. You’re ready to start blogging NOW! But, that need for speed attitude may end up leaving you disappointed in the end. But, explore your options when it comes to all aspects. From layouts, to domain names, to web hosting. I even encourage you, if this is your first “how to start a blog” article to look for more articles. Because, all of my options may not be time and/or cost effective for you. There may be a better option for you. We’re all different. I totally support that!

Don’t accept every opportunity that comes your way.

Some offers that are thrown your way as a blogger may seem tempting. The compensation may be decent. You may need new content to write. But, not every opportunity may be in your best interest. It’s really important to make sure your content matches who you and who your audience is.

Now, hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes I made. But, if you do – you live and you learn, right?

How To Start A Blog In A Day

Setting up your blog in a day is easy. The best part is that it can be done in increments, too. But, before you start building you need to done important thing: brainstorm. Yes, it’s time to start a storm in your brain!

Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm!

Before you start picking out pretty layouts and domain names there’s a few details you need to figure out.

Ask yourself these four questions first:

  1. What will you blog about? Parenting? Life? Technology? Couponing? The possibilities are endless. Make sure whatever you chose, you are passionate about it.
  2. What is your ideal audience for your blog? Are you aiming for an audience that consists of primarily moms or techies?
  3. What will you name your blog? Short and sweet is usually best. But, it is your choice. You could even use your personal name if it makes you happy.
  4. What experience can you offer your audience? Dig down deep and discover what you know you’re good at. Even if you don’t think it’s a “big deal” – someone, somewhere, out there may be able to benefit from your knowledge.

Now that you have figured out your “blog game plan” – it’s time to start getting creative.

start a blog

Start A Blog TODAY!

THE BASIC BUILD OF YOUR BLOG 

So, you’ve already finished your brainstorming. Now you’re ready to move onto the “big boy” stuff. Well, I’m here to hopefully make it as easy (and painless) and possible.

1. Hosting & Domain Names

It is possible to start a blog on a free hosting plan. But, most of these are going to leave you with a sub-domain name for your blog. Instead of an actual domain name dedicated to your blog. Plus, with paid options you have a lot of options that include security and customization.

Sub-Domain Example: dljkfasd.wordpress.com

Currently I host Dogs Kids through HostGator. I pay for monthly hosting at this time. But, signing up for a 12 month or more subscription would be more cost effective. But it all depends on what you can afford. When I signed up for Host Gator they were having a promotion so my domain was only a penny! Yep, a penny! Plus, I’ve never had any issues with them.

Signing up with HostGator is super easy. Plus, you have all the tools to get started with WordPress. WordPress is my favorite platform to blog on.

You can sign up with HostGator here

My other blog (The Thrifty Bark) is hosted through BlueHost. When I signed up with BlueHost I was “ballin'” a little bit more as far as money goes. So, I splurged and paid for a 3 year hosting and domain plan. I’ve also never had a problem with them either.

Just like HostGator, Bluehost is super easy to sign up with, too.

I’ve also heard wonderful things about SiteGround from other bloggers, too.

As far as a “blogging” platform, I can’t recommend WordPress enough. There are so many great layouts available for WordPress. Most are responsive and offer customization, too! It’s a win/win situation, really.

MAKING YOUR BLOG LOOK GORGEOUS

A fun, well laid out blog is great. But, like I said, don’t focus too much on appearance. But, make sure that your blog is responsive (looks great on all devices: mobile, tablet, browser, etc.). Plus, it should be easy to navigate, too. If you overload your blog with advertisements it’s going to slow your load time down most of the time. We humans are impatient. So, if we have to visit a website that takes a while to load, more than likely we’re going to dip before we see the content.

If you chose the WordPress platform, they offer a lot of great free and premium layouts available. They are easy to customize and responsive.

But, what if you can’t find the right layout for you there? Then there are two other websites that I absolutely recommend when it comes to anything layout related.

My first trusted go-to is Creative Market. Creative Market has a load of blogging material available starting at only $2! Plus, every Monday they send out an e-mail with free goodies to download!

So, what can you find on Creative Market?

Fonts
Templates
Themes
Photos
Add-Ons

There is so much to see at Creative Market. Plus, you’re buying these things from the “little people,” like you and I. 😉

Another great choice when you’re ready to beautify your blog is trusty Etsy. Yep, the homemade superstore. Another great way to support the little people again.

If you want to create your own graphic masterpieces but aren’t the “preferred” graphic designer, there are two great options I love. PicMonkey and Canva are, without a doubt, my go-to choices when it comes to drag and drop graphic editors.

CREATE SOME CONTENT!

Are you satisfied with your blog hosting and layout now? If so, if you haven’t already, start creating some content! Although I do recommend have at least 3-5 posts already ready to go before you launch your blog. That will just get you a little step ahead.

start a blog

Now that your blog is all set up and you’re showcasing has began, the fun part starts! Making money with your great skills.

Making Money With Your Blog

Like I said above, you don’t need 100k page views to make money with your blog. So, what do I trust when I monetize my blog?

Sponsored Post

A sponsored post is a post that a company “sponsors” for you to write. This can either be through product, money, gift cards, etc.

If you’re interested in working with a company – even if you’re small – don’t be afraid to contact them and pitch yourself! You can get a lot of opportunities by being ambitious. 

start a blog

If you want to join a community that posts sponsored opportunities, here’s some that I use personally:

I also am part of other communities. But, the ones above are the ones I’ve made the most income from.

Advertising/Affiliates

If you don’t mind placing a few advertisements on your blog, this is a way to make money, too. The advertisement platform I currently use on Dogs +  Kids is Google Adsense.

As far as affiliate links go there are a few platforms I use, including:

Some affiliates through these platforms will contact you for sponsored posts as well.

Another way I monetize my site is by working with Spark! by News Republic. News Republic is a popular app. On many smartphones it is already pre-installed onto the phone. I can write content directly just for them. But, I also link my blog to the service and it pulls my articles and posts them onto the app. In just a short month my posts had already received over 1 million impressions!

You can sign up with Spark! here.

Keep an eye out for my full list of resources I have used, and currently use, to help grow and maintain my blog! I’ll be releasing it within the upcoming week. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starter Pack Memes for Bloggers and Pet Lovers

So, I’ve began to realize how popular these “Starter Pack Memes” are. I have to admit, some of them are hilarious to me. Plus, some of them you can’t deny aren’t true. I’ve decided to create a few of those “Starter Pack Memes” for your entertainment. Well, for my entertainment, too. In my Starter Pack Memes I tried to be considerate. Because I believe that every person I listed is a vital part of the community. 

Ya’ll have seen those “Starter Pack Memes” right?! You know the ones that show what you need to be a certain type of person. Now, some of them are quite judgmental. But, some of them are right on par. Plus. pretty hilarious, too.

Some of the great people I know deserve to be celebrated. In order to do that, I created my own “Starter Pack Memes.” Yep. But, these aren’t to degrade these professionals. These “Starter Pack Memes” are to hopefully bring a smile upon a blogger or even a pet owners face.

Now I’d like to introduce you to my newly designed “Starter Pack Memes.” Created just for ya’ll, of course! 😉

Dogs and Kids “Starter Pack” Memes

starter pack memes

The Cat Lady “Starter Pack” Meme

I’m not ashamed to say at one time I was the “crazy cat lady.” I worked in a cat sanctuary for a year. It housed over 300 cats. Yep, that’s right 300 of them. I loved my job. Plus, I loved the cats. At one time my family and I fostered 14 cats. That’s a lot. So, I love this “Cat Lady Starter Pack” meme!

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starter pack memes

The “Animal Rescue” Starter Pack Meme

For over 10 years, I’ve dedicated my life to animal rescue. So, I’d say this “Animal Rescue” Starter Pack meme really hits home. I remember crawling under cars in a junk yard. Just to rescue a dozen puppies. It involved knee high boots and welding gloves. These puppies were feral. Completely feral.

starter pack memes

The “I Can’t, It’s My Dogs Birthday” Starter Pack Meme

I know you’ve seen the memes with the dog and their human cuddled up in bed. Then a friend calls asking for a night out. But, nope not happening. Wanna know why? Because it’s the dogs birthday! Now, I’ll have to admit. I’ve owned quite a few dogs in my lifetime. I’ve thrown a birthday party for just one of them. I know. I’m a horrible pet owner. 😉

starter pack memes

The “I Just Got A Puppy” Starter Pack Meme

We all get excited when we get a new pet. Nothing is more fun to watch than someone who got a new puppy. Be prepared to see cute outfits, cute bows, and lots of treats. Oh, had to add the chewed up book. Because, that comes with puppy territory, too.

So, let’s talk all you social media moguls. Do you love memes?! If so, share with me some of YOUR favorite “Starter Pack Memes.” I’m always looking for a good laugh. Oh, and don’t worry pet professionals. I’ve got a few more coming just for you!

Quick Guide: Monetizing Your Blog

** Some of the links in this post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and subscribe or make a purchase I will receive a commission. This is what keeps Dogs + Kids running!

Monetizing your blog is possible from day one. Now, I say it’s possible. I don’t say you’ll be an overnight millionaire. Now, if you have had that kind of success, please e-mail me! Because, I’m pretty sure you’re the cousin who borrowed $20k from me a few years ago. All jokes aside, monetizing your blog is a process. You should look forward to long nights. Some days you may even feel like giving up. But, if you truly believe blogging is your passion – work for it! Because it is true that if you love what you do – you’ll never work a day in your life. 

Technically, I became a “blogger” 14 years ago. I was the generation who survived on daily doses of FreeOpenDiary, LiveJournal, Xanga, and MySpace. But, that’s another story for another day. I didn’t realize you could make money blogging until about two years ago. That’s when I started my first blog. Many of ya’ll may be here from that blog: The Southern Bark. The Southern Bark hung around for about a year. But, my audience wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Believe me when I say it’s sort of difficult to create content in such a little space. I was focusing on pet owners, of course. Which we all know is huge. But, I was really only trying to target pet owners in the South. My audience needed to be widespread.

But, I still found ways to monetize The Southern Bark. Even if, in a year, my page views didn’t reach 5k. To be honest, I didn’t monetize the blog per say. I monetized the the blog presence on social media. Once again, that’s another story for another day. Then I began The Thrifty Bark. Another pet focused blog. But, it wasn’t narrowed down to one region. That blog is still up and hanging in there. (Visit The Thrifty Bark) Although I should add content more frequently to it. I have monetized that blog somewhat. Mostly in product reviews.

My real hero came when I created this blog, Dogs + Kids. I believe I have found my “comfort point.” With this blog I am able to combine my three greatest passions. My kids, the pet industry, and writing. Plus, children and pets reach a large audience, too. Who doesn’t love cute babies and puppies?! Since my focus is wider I can create more content, too. I’m far from rich. You can see HERE I only made $1074.38 in my first 10 months when I began monetizing my blog. Now that I am 100% dedicated to my blog, more opportunities have came around.

Yep. Blogging is my FULL TIME job!

So, if you’re ready to monetize your blog, here’s a quick guide to get you started.

Always remember: you have to work to see progress in your blogging. You have to dedicate time, sweat, and sometimes tears. But, in the end, if it’s your passion, it’ll be worth it. You’ll have no problem monetizing your blog!

monetizing your blog

 

Quick Guide: Monetizing Your Blog

Affiliate Programs

If you’re looking for a genius in affiliate marketing, I’m not your girl. I mean, I know what they are. I know where to find them. But, I don’t do well on making money from them. But, it’s a learning process. I’m getting there. I will be successful!

So, what are affiliate programs? Affiliate programs are where you are advertising someone else’s product. It may be a digital download, clothes, jewelry, pet supplies, the choices are endless.

There are many different ways you can incorporate affiliate links into your blog posts.

Incorporating Affiliate Links Into Your Blog Content
  • Text Links Adding affiliate text links are a great way to earn money by sharing products you love. For example, you’re writing a great DIY post. Let’s say you have to have a pair of scissors to do this project. It just happens that you have a brand of scissors you love. Suggest those scissors in your post. Provide an affiliate link in the post so your audience can buy the scissors. Plus, you’ll earn a percentage from the sale, too!
  • Banner Ads Banner ads are a great visual placement. Many affiliate programs provide their affiliates with eye catching banners. These can be placed on side bars, in headers and footers, or even throughout pages and posts. Let’s say you’re a member of the Cricut affiliate program. You write a post on the awesome shirt you made thank to your Cricut machine. You can place creative banners throughout your post. Some may even feature special discount codes for your audience only.
Trusted Affiliate Programs

ShareASale

ShareASale is a great program. They have great affiliates. Many popular ones, too. Some examples of companies in their network include: Cricut, CityPASS, and many more!

Conversant

Conversant, formerly Commission Junction, is another trusted affiliate program. There are major brands part of their network, too. You can find Stitch Fix there!

Rakuten LinkShare

Another great program. Rakuten LinkShare has great companies in their network, too. You’ll find companies like Dog Is Good & Melissa and Doug!

Sponsored (Paid) Posts

I’ve done my fair share of sponsored/paid posts. I’ll break it down as easy as I can as to what these posts are:

  • Brand has a product/service/information they think would be valuable to your blog audience.
  • You contact brand/brand contacts you
  • They tell you what all is expected of you (length of post, how many posts, if there will be a giveaway, social shares, etc.)
  • They discuss compensation (I have seen compensation for sponsored posts $1000+)
  • They give you a deadline or you give the brand a deadline.
  • You do what is expected of you and send the brand the links.
  • Brand gives you feedback
  • You get paid!

The most frequent piece of advice I hear in reference to sponsored posts is that most bloggers have success reaching out to brands. Not waiting for them to come to you.

Now, I have reached out to a few brands. But, have not asked for compensation other than a product to review. Some have happily provided me with a product. Some have told me they couldn’t.

Rejection is just part of the game!

There are some GREAT networks out there for bloggers. Networks that will connect you with brands for sponsored post or paid social media shares. I have a post that I created a few months ago that lists networks that I know help bloggers connect with brands.

4 Ways I Make Money Blogging

There are many other ways that will help you monetize your blog. Including just placing advertisements on your blog. But, most of these require you to have quite a bit of traffic to see any income. If you monetize your blog, how do you do it? 

4 Ways I Make Money Blogging

I wish I could say I have 100k page views a month. But, I can’t. Because it wouldn’t be the truth. My page views still have not hit 10k. I can still make money blogging. Because there is one thing I do have. That’s a loyal audience. A loyal audience that trusts me. I want to make sure my blog audience and social media followers can connect with me. So, I’d hope, that they trust my insight. So, my audience knows that if I recommend a product it isn’t just for the compensation. It’s because I truly believe in the product or service. 

There was a lot of research involved when I decided to monetize my blog. I wanted to make sure I went with trusted brands, brands I trusted, trusted influencer networks, and well known advertisement networks. During my search I stumbled upon many ways that claimed to help you make money blogging. But, only a few came through on that promise at a fast rate. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s several networks I trust. But these networks in particular have delivered what they promised. They delivered it at a fast right. I trust these networks without a doubt.

make money blogging

4 Ways I Make Money Blogging

IZEA

IZEA (affiliate link) is a great way to make money blogging. But, you don’t even have to be a blogger. There are also influencer opportunities on social media. IZEA is easy to use. Plus, IZEA is proactive when you have low page views. They reached out to me for many campaigns. With all of those campaigns, I made $100 each assignment.

Opportunities with IZEA I Have Participated In

  • Tweets on Twitter

I have accepted many proposals that involved me tweeting a tweet on Twitter. Payment varies from $1 – $8 per tweet. Although, if your following is large, you may receive larger compensation

  • Editing Product Descriptions

An IZEA rep reached out to me personally via e-mail about a couple projects. They were simple. I just edited product descriptions. Most of the work and research was already done. These projects took about an hour a piece. Each assignment I made $100 .


Get Sponsored by Big Brands

Is IZEA Free?

IZEA does offer a free plan for Creators. But, they also offer a Basic and Pro plan, too. The free plan has a lot of great perks, though! I was with a free plan when they reached out to me about the product description projects.

Free Plan
  • You can up to 5 free bids a month
  • You must accumulate up to $100 to cash out. But, there is an option to pay $3 to cash out early.
  • 10 URLs for your ShareMonitor
  • 1 SocialShare Group
Basic Plan ($1/Month)
  • You get unlimited bids
  • You only need to accumulate $50 to cash out. But, you have the option to pay $2 to cash out early.
  • 50 URLs for your ShareMonitor
  • 2 SocialShare Groups
  • Your own vanity URL
Pro Plan ($5/Month)
  • Unlimited bids
  • Only $1 to cash out. But, you only need to accumulate $25 to cash out without an early cash out fee.
  • 250 URLs for your ShareMonitor
  • 10 SocialShare Groups
  • Vanity URL
  • Your issues always go to the top of the list
  • A neat banner showing your an IZEA Pro Member

One2One Network

You can read my rave review about One2One Network here. One2One came onto the scene when social media was just beginning to sprout. They debuted in 2008. They work with some popular brands, too. It seems as if their e-commerce reviews always come with a bonus Amazon gift card, too!

My biggest campaign with One2One Network was the Graco E-Commerce Campaign. I received a Graco Modes LX Travel System. My family named it the “Rollys Royce of travel systems” for quite a while. I also received an Amazon gift card as a thank you for my participation from the One2One Network Gals!

This network has exciting opportunities. They compensate you fast, too. I have no done a sponsored blog post campaign with them, yet. It seems as if the page views for these opportunities are in the 100k range. So, I’m not quite there. But, you can make money blogging with them, too.

It’s free to join the network. Plus, you don’t have to be a blogger to join. Being a social media influencer is just a nice as far as One2One is concerned.

Linqia

Linqia has 100K dedicated social influencers that are a part of their network. Plus, their reach in the United States is 244 Million! I recently accepted my first Linqia campaign. This a true, beneficial way to make money blogging. You earn money for writing for brands that match your blog. The setup is also a great way to spread the word that your blog exists.

Their payout is fast, too. Payout comes within 10 days! The average payout for each campaign is $200 . They also give you plenty of time to create your content.

Requirements to Join Linqia
  • 2,500 blog visitors or social media followers
  • Update your blog or primary social media channel at least once a month
  • Live in North America
  • If you’re a blogger, you must have a RSS feed

It’s free to join. They try to match you with a campaign within 3 months of you becoming a member.

Share-A-Sale

Share-A-Sale is an affiliate program. Pretty much, you apply for the opportunity to advertise brands on your website. Some of the brands require you go through a waiting process. This is so they can review your website. While others have an auto-approval system.

Each time someone clicks on one of your links or banners containing your Share-A-Sale affiliate link, and makes a purchase, you receive a percentage.

Some of the programs will even send you free products in exchange for your review on your blog or social media. Some even send out e-mails with blog post opportunities. Where they will compensate you for writing a blog post on a specific topic. Even if nobody buys anything.You may even find a few that pay for ad placement on your blog. Pretty sweet, huh?

Share-A-Sale Merchants That Offer Paid Blog Post Opps Paid Ad Placements

Do you monetize your blog or social media? If so, how do you make money blogging? Or how do you make money using social media? I’m always looking for new ways to expand my reach. I love helping people out!

Free Blogging Tools: 5 I Can’t Live Without

It’s not an understatement when I say I love blogging. Especially since I started the “dogs + kids” blog. That’s because I’m combining my three passions. My kids, the pet industry, and writing. It’s true when they say if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life. But, my blog would never flourish if it was just my knowledge compiled in it. Because when I began blogging, I had not freakin’ idea what I was doing. That’s why I am thankful for some timeless free blogging tools. 

So, if you’re a new blogger, you know how time consuming blogging can be. Some may think that it’s a piece of cake. Sure, play on the internet, write about your life. All that’s easy, right? WRONG! As a blogger, you want your audience to trust you. So, you edit your blog post a million times. It may even take you a few days to write a post. You take a gazillion pictures. Then you learn Photoshop or use a few cool photo editing tools (you’ll find a few below!). You spend so much time perfecting your blog layout, pages, posts, sidebars, etc. But, if you’re spending all your time doing this – how will you ever create another honest blog post?

That may seem like a silly question. But, it isn’t. When I first began blogging, when I was blogging tools stubborn, I spent hours perfecting one blog post. While I am spending time behind a screen, I’m missing out on some major post opportunities. In order to create content, you have to be able to experience life. Once I began noticing how blogging was taking over my life, I had to find a different way. Because, now I wasn’t creating content. I was too focused on making sure my layout was perfect. But, nobody was coming to my blog to check out my layout. They were coming for content. Content I barely updated. All because I was too wrapped up in my blog to find content opportunities outside of the computer screen.

I had to find a blog/life balance. So, I began looking up ways to maximize your time as a blogger. Well, it worked. I discovered so many handy free blogging tools. Tools that would help me create better content but, at a faster pace. Goodbye working on a blog post for days! (While this still happens sometimes, I do have an 11 month old and 5 year old, it isn’t as often.) I did run into a few tools that were duds. I mean, they didn’t benefit my blog. But, who knows, they may benefit another blog. But, then there are a few blogging tools I fell in love with.

So, bloggers and soon-to-be bloggers, don’t you want to create trustworthy content? Well, in order to create content, you have to experience content. So, get ready for less screen time. All thanks to the amazing blogging tools. I’m being honest when I say stay way from being blogging tools stubborn. These 5 tools are going to save you time and enhance your content. The best part? They all have a free option available!

free blogging tools

5 Free Blogging Tools I Can’t Live Without!

Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor is a great editing tool. It makes sure your content is user friendly. It does this by making sure your blog post is easy to read. Life is busy. We all know that. So, you want to make sure you blog posts are easy to read. People don’t have time to try and translate every blog post they read.

So, what are all the features of the Hemingway Editor? Well, there are many.

  • Two different modes to compose your blog post in. Either “Write” or “Edit”
  • Readability Scale
  • Word Counter
  • Paragraph Counter
  • Sentence Counter
  • Characters Counter
  • Letters Counter
  • Read Time Counter
  • Shows sentences hard and very hard to read
  • Shows alternative phrases. Phrases that have a simpler alternative.
  • Points out adverbs that need to be removed
  • Shows when you’re using passive speech. Plus, lets you know how often you should use a passive voice.
  • Available Desktop App. But, you can use the editor without a download on your computer or smart phone!
PicMonkey

PicMonkey is a great blogging tool to help you enhance your blog post images. Plus, you can create blog post images with the program, too. It’s drag and drop so it’s easy to use, too. I have the Royale option. It’s a paid option. But, the free option offers plenty of great features, too. But, I must say that Royale is worth the price. Plus, they offer a free 7 day trial of Royale. PicMonkey offers great features, too.

  • Easy upload. You can upload pictures from your computer, your PicMonkey Hub (a new feature!), Facebook, or OneDrive.
  • There’s an app for PicMonkey, too! It’s even available on Android. 😉 The app is super convenient. Plus, it’s easy to use.
  • You can do basic edits to your designs/photos.

Basic Edit Features

  • Crop
  • Canvas Color
  • Rotate
  • Exposure (Auto adjust option!)
  • Colors (Auto adjust option!)
  • Sharpen
  • Resize

There’s also other great features that PicMonkey offers, too.

  • Effects
  • Touch Up
  • Text
  • Overlays
  • Frames
  • Textures
  • Themes

So, if you’re far from a graphic designer, like myself, you’ll appreciate PicMonkey!

SEO Programs

Do you want your blog to be noticed? If so, you’ll need some amazing SEO. What is SEO? It’s “Search Engine Optimization.” In order to reach a broad audience, you’ll want search engines to pick up your blog. A few great, easy tools help you with that.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a great SEO tool built for WordPress. There are free and paid options. It’s easy to optimize each of your blog posts with this blogging tool, too. The program give you tips on optimizing your posts for search engines. The tips are simple things to do. Such as picking a focus keyword, adding more keywords in the post, and much more. I can only speak for the free version. But, I feel like it has helped me immensely.

SEO by SQUIRRLY

SEO by Squirrly is another great SEO post optimization tool. They also offer paid and free options. I can only speak on the free option. It’s easy to research trending keywords. Plus, SQUIRRLY even finds you images that match your keyword that you can use on your blog. This blogging tool also gives you simple tips to better optimizing your SEO.

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

This is another great blogging tool. With the Google Analytics Dashboard you can easily see that stats for your WordPress blog. You can see how many visitors you get, where they are coming from, and a lot more.

Canva

Canva is another great tool. With this easy to use tool, you can create blog post images or even create infographics. It is a drag and drop builder, so it’s easy to use. There are a lot of freebies included with Canva. But, if you see something you like that isn’t free, each option is only $1! So, affordable, too. Similar to PicMonkey with different options.

These are my top 5 blogging tools that I love! Do you have any tricks on minimizing your time behind a computer screen as a  blogger? Please let me know! I’m still learning. So, any tips or tricks are appreciated. 

 

 

 

 

One2One Network: Connecting Influencers With Brands!



I’m a member of quite a few influence communities. But, one of my favorites, without a doubt, is the One2One Network. They have sent me quite a few Amazon gift cards for participating in their campaigns. But, there is one campaign that I loved. The Graco E-Commerce Campaign. The One2One Network and Graco sent me a Graco Modes LX Travel System (Cadet). The travel system came right in time. I had just gave birth to Dray around the time this campaign launched.  So, I owe One2One Network and Graco a HUGE thanks for sending me the Modes LX Travel System. 

Do you own a blog? Do you influence your friends on social media? If so, get rewarded for that with One2One Network. It’s free to sign up. Influencers sign up for free here and connect with brands.

The beginning of June I got an exciting e-mail. It was from Brittany with One2One Network. Previously I applied for a Graco E-Commerce campaign. Brittany was informing me I was selected to be part of the campaign. I was ecstatic. Dray had just came into the world. We had a travel system for him. But, I have to be honest with you. I purchased it at a yard sale when I was pregnant. Funds were tight. I needed something reliable but affordable. Plus, it was a Graco product, too. But, it was older. When I got the e-mail from the One2One Network, it was perfect timing.

Graco and One2One Network sent me the Graco Modes LX Travel System in Cadet. Months later, we are still using this travel system. Even my daughter Haley loves it. This travel system has a lot of great features. Vince calls it the “Rolls Royce of Travel Systems.” That says quite a bit. He’s technical, and quite picky, to say the least.

one2one network

One2One Network Graco E-Commerce Campaign

One2One Network and Graco sent me the Graco Modes LX Travel System in Cadet, free of charge. In exchange I provided a honest review on the Graco website. This travel system is awesome. But, getting a free product in exchange for my review does not effect my review. All opinions and thoughts are all my own. 

Graco Modes LX Travel System (Cadet) Features

  • 3-in-1 feature: infant car seat carrier, infant stroller, and toddler stroller
  • SnugRide®35 Click Connect™ Infant Car Seat
  • Toddler seat has 3-position leg rest
  • Click Connect™ technology
  • InRight™ LATCH system
  • Standing fold that is one-handed
  • Storage latch that is automatic
  • Holds up to 50lbs
  • Adjustable height handle bars (for us shorty’s!)

 

one2one network

One2One Network and Graco thanked me even more for my honest review on the Graco website. They sent me an Amazon gift card, too!

While Graco E-Commerce Campaign was my favorite, I also participated in some more.

What I Love About One2One Network Campaigns

  • You get to connect with amazing brands. One2One Network helps brands connect with influencers. Yep, ordinary people like you and I. Ever had a friend ask your opinion on a product? If so, you may have influenced their decision to buy or not buy. Making you an influencer.
Brands One2One Network’s Members Have Worked With
  • Graco
  • Johnson’s Baby
  • Dove
  • Barilla
  • American Heart Association
  • Care.com

and many, many more!

one2one network

 

  • Simple tasks to complete. When you’re accepted into a One2One Network Campaign, you have tasks to complete. These tasks are simple. You may have to post a tweet, pin on Pinterest, write a creative blog post, share on Instagram, or share the news with your Facebook audience. Most campaigns have many posts that are pre-written. But, One2One encourages their members to let their creativity shine.
  • The variety of the possible opportunities. One2One offers many different opportunities to connect influencers with brands.
Possible Opportunities
  • Blog Ambassadorships
  • Local Event Coverage
  • New Music Reviews
  • Social Sharing Projects (My favorite!)
  • E-Commerce Reviews (Another favorite of mine.)
  • Twitter Parties
  • Special Events
  • Social Media Conference Coverage
  • Surveys

 

  • The Rewards – Although I have yet to be accepted for a sponsored blog post, I know the compensation is decent. A sponsored blog post may earn you $150 and up. Sharing campaigns on social media will earn you Amazon gift cards. The products they offer you to review are nice, too. Most are from well known brands. Plus, most of the time, they’ll throw in an Amazon gift card, too.
  • Processing Time – If One2One Network chooses you for a campaign, you will usually get your product and/or compensation rather quickly. Once I was approved for the Graco E-Commerce Campaign I received the stroller within 2 weeks. Amazon gift cards have came within a month. Others campaigns may take 3+ months before you receive compensation.
  • Low Audience Size Needed. With a lower an audience size, your payout may not be as big. But, there are still campaigns available for influencers who lack the 10k+ followers range. My total follower count is about 6k+. But, I was accepted into campaigns even when my total count was around 1k+. They don’t descriminate! One2One offers campaigns for all sized influencers.
One2One Network Campaigns I’ve Participated In
  • O2O Member Love Campaign (This blog post is part of that campaign!)
  • #SuaveBodyWash Social Media Campaign
  • Graco E-Commerce Campaign
  • #ENDALZ Social Sharing Campaign
  • Gwen Stefani Album Review
  • Gwen Stefani Make Me Like You Social Sharing Campaign
  • Hallmarks #CareEnough Social Sharing Campaign

So, do like sharing your opinion to your friends, family, and social media followers? If so, why not connect with cool brands and earn from it, too?! Signing up with One2One Network is totally free. You’ll never need to spend a dime.

Click here to join the One2One Network for free!

Cool Facts About One2One Network

  • The network was founded in 2008. Which is right about the time social media started becoming popular.
  • One2One is composed of 20k+ influencers.
  • There is a campaign for everyone. They have campaigns that focus on food, beauty, lifestyle, parenting, health, fitness, social good, and so many other categories.
  • The network began as a network only for women. But, now men are influencers for One2One, too.
  • They were one of the first networks to invite influencers who didn’t blog.
  • Since 2008, One2One Network has payed out an excess of $1 Million dollars to their influencers.
  • They support their influencers and believe in them. They share and feature influencers to show their continued support.

As you can see, I’m quite fond of the One2One Network. I’m always looking for other influencer networks to discover. If you have a favorite, let me know. Even better, leave it below in the comments section. I’m sure there are other influencers out there that may be interested, too!