How We Earned 176 Swagbucks Today

How We Earned 176 Swagbucks Today

I’m loving diving deeper into Swagbucks and really learning more about how to maximize it. Keep the great tips coming!

Today, I focused on looking for opportunities to earn on the homepage. I updated my profile, and earned 25 Swagbucks for that, I did some simple surveys, my kids played some games, I earned some Swagbucks for watching videos, earned 50 Swagbucks for following a YouTube channel, and I also won Swagbucks for search.

How We Earned 176 Swagbucks TodayHow We Earned 176 Swagbucks Today

I also decided to try a survey to see what that was like. Well, it was a survey worth 60 Swagbucks and I qualified for it — which I was excited about. But then it ended up taking me more than 30 minutes to complete. And I’m usually a fast survey completer. It went on and on and on and on. I decided it was totally not worth 30 minutes for 60 Swagbucks — especially when I am easily earning 60 Swagbucks in less than 10 minutes by doing various activities on Swagbucks.

So I doubt I’ll be trying to qualify for any more in-depth surveys like that. But I’m glad I tried it so I’d know it was not for me.

All totaled, we earned 176 Swagbucks today — and hit our daily goal, earning us 9 bonus points. Yay! Maybe we’ll hit 200 tomorrow, who knows??

How many Swagbucks did YOU earn today? Have you tried completing the surveys before? Did you think they were worth your time?

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How We Earned 83 Swagbucks Today (plus some quick tips!)

How We Earned 83 Swagbucks Today

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the Swagbucks tips. Keep them coming! You all are a wealth of secrets and insider tips!

We earned 83 Swagbucks so far today. We’re slowly getting closer and closer to our 100 Swagbucks per day goal! Here’s the breakdown of what we earned:

How We Earned 83 Swagbucks TodayHow We Earned 83 Swagbucks TodayI’ve been paying attention to the quick and easy offers on the homepage, trying to play videos on my phone and computer while I’m working online, always doing the NOSO, Daily Poll, using the Toolbar, and adding in Swagcodes when the toolbar alerts me that they are available.

The kids are so excited that we are getting closer and closer to their first $5 Amazon gift card. :)

Two quick Swagbucks tips:

1) Always check your Swagbucks inbox. I’m noticing that every day, there is usually one offer in there for a quick 2 Swagbucks.

2) Take a few minutes to check out the Book Excerpts. These are located under the Discover tab. There are 6 book excerpts there right now. Click on the book cover, click on Book Excerpt, and you’ll earn 5 Swagbucks per book! That’s an easy 30 Swagbucks! {Thanks to a few readers for tipping me off to this and giving me step-by-step help to figure out how this works! They’ve told me this section usually updates twice a month.}

How many Swagbucks did YOU earn today? What are your favorite ways to earn Swagbucks?

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Sign Up for Blogelina’s Profitable Blogging for Beginners for just $0.99!

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Everything You Need To Build Your Own Profitable Blog – For Just $0.99!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your own money-making blog? You want to start – but you just don’t know how? Or, maybe you have a blog that would like to take to the next level and start earning an income from it?

For four days only, Blogelina is offering a special deal for my readers who want to start a money-making blog. Enroll in their popular 4-week blogging class—Profitable Blogging for Beginners—for just $0.99!

If you want to learn the basics of how to set up a blog, how to take your blogging to the next level, or how to begin earning money from your blog, this class is for you.

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When you sign up for this class, here’s what you’ll get:

  • A 60-Page How-To Manual – packed with information that will help take the overwhelming out of starting your own blog
  • 4 weekly online class sessions where you can ask your questions and get personalized feedback
  • A FREE Year of Web Hosting
  • Blogelina Does Your Blog Set-Up For You – they’ll take care of the techie side of the set-up so you don’t have to. All you have to do is just have to start blogging!
  • Blueprints, step-by-step tutorials, networking with other bloggers — everything you need to grow your blog.

This class will cover:

  • How to Get Your Blog Started on the Right Foot
  • Questions to ask as you begin blogging
  • How To Actually Set Up A Blog
  • Why Your Blog Design is So Important
  • 9 Different Ways to Easily Monetize Your Blog
  • How to Draw Visitors to Your Blog
  • and so much more!

Blogelina has been featured on the Dave Ramsey show, and is well-known for their ability to help bloggers make a successful start. Many of my readers here have gone through this course in the past and have great reviews to share with me.

And for $0.99? That’s a steal! But this offer is only valid for the next 4 days!

Sign up for the Blogelina Profitable Blogging for Beginners class today!

*If you’re not 100% satisfied with your experience with Blogelina, you are free to walk away at any time during the class session! PLUS, you’ll get to keep your copy of the class manual and your free year of hosting – Blogelina will refund your money!

Note: This post was underwritten by Blogelina. Read our disclosure policy here.

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How I got started blogging, balancing business & family, and the most important piece of advice I’d give work-at-home women

My interview with WAHM.com

Recently, I was honored to have the opportunity to be interviewed by WAHM.com — a site for work-at-home moms or those who want to be work-at-home moms.

In this interview, I share:

  • How I got started blogging
  • The most challenging aspects of having a business and a family
  • How I maintain a healthy balance between work and family
  • The most important piece of advice I’d give to any work-at-home mom

Read the full interview here.

Thinking of starting a blog? Check out my step-by-step post on how to make money blogging.

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Help! I want to start a blog but I can’t figure out what I should blog about!

How do I choose what I should blog about?

I haven’t set up my own blog yet, I’m stuck on a decision I have to make before I can really begin. How do I figure out what topic I should blog about? There seem to be blogs on pretty much every topic imaginable, so I know I could write about any topic, but how do I figure out what kinds of topics people would be interested in reading about? -Christopher

This is such a great question, Christopher, and one that many people have. Here’s my encouragement to you and anyone else who is considering starting a blog and wondering what topic would be good for them to choose as their focus:

Take out a sheet of paper or open up a blank page on your computer screen and answer these questions. There are no right or wrong answers. Just write exactly what comes to mind in answer to these — anything and everything you think of.

  • What do you love?
  • What are your interests?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What words come to mind to describe you?
  • What unique life perspective do you have?
  • What could you talk about for hours and not get tired of?

After you’ve done this exercise, then wait a few days and take out another sheet of people or start a new page on your computer and ask a few close friends and/or family members to go through the questions with you giving their answers and input.

At the end of all of this, you should see some themes emerging and this should give you some direction for where to go with your blog.

How to Choose What Topic to Blog About

One important note: I believe that the most successful bloggers are people who solve a problem, provide hope, and/or meet a need. When you are considering what you should focus on when you blog, make sure that you are seeking to do at least one of these things through your writing. If not, I encourage you to go back to the drawing board.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. You don’t have to pick just one topic.

While there is definitely a place for a very niche blog, I think it’s much easier to choose a focus for your blog that encompasses at least a few different topics.

This not only makes your blog more appealing to a wider audience, but it also provides you with more blogging options and it makes it less likely for you to run out of post ideas within a few months!

2. The best way to learn is to just start writing.

I’m a big fan of just jumping in and learning as you go. Yes, it’s good to have an idea in mind of where you’re headed for the first few months. And no, I don’t recommend publicly announcing your blog when you haven’t even written one post. However, don’t sit around and spend hours agonizing over a topic; just jump in and start writing posts.

Here’s the thing: it’s hard to really know what works best until you just get out there and try it. I would have never guessed that I would love writing on some of the topics I’m passionate about today. And I certainly would have never guessed that so many people would have been so wildly interested in certain topics. Had I sat and planned and brainstormed and mapped out and goal-set and analyzed and never just DONE SOMETHING, I wouldn’t have figured out what I loved to write about or what the market wanted.

So truly, just go for it. Start writing posts. Try different kinds of styles of posts. Experiment with different topic angles. Keep learning, keep tweaking, keep observing what’s hitting a nerve and what’s not. And then keep doing what works and let go of the things that don’t work.

How to Choose a Topic to Blog About

3. It’s perfectly acceptable to change your focus down the road.

When I started my first blog, I would have never dreamed that I would someday be writing about intentional finance, intentional family, and intentional business. At the time, we were just trying to make ends meet financially, I had just had my first child, and I was trying to figure out how I could make enough money from home to keep our family afloat financially while allowing me to still be a stay-at-home mom.

I was not in a position to be blogging about intentional finances, family, or business because I had little to no life experience in those areas. In the beginning, I tried out a LOT of different topics. In fact, my blog was so eclectic that I really couldn’t tell you what the focus of it was.

I had a lot of learning to do and a lot of life to live. But honing and sharpening my writing and thinking skills by blogging about whatever I was passionate about that day was one of the best exercises for a budding blogger. Not only did I quickly discover how little I knew, I also discovered there were a lot of topics I shouldn’t be blogging on — because I had no life experience to bring to the table.

As I continued to experiment, I slowly learned things that worked, learned areas I was qualified to write on, and developed a better understanding of what kind of blogging focus was a good fit for me. It took me a few years, though, and lots of writing and trial and error to find that happy medium.

Pick some topics you think will be a good fit for you, jump out there and start writing about them, and keep learning and tweaking as you go. I’m cheering for your success!

What advice do the rest of you have for Christopher? If you’re a blogger, how did you choose the focus of your blog? I’d love to hear!

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Thinking Of Starting a Blog?

Over the years, I’ve received many requests from folks asking for help and information on how to start a blog and how to make money blogging. I’ve written about this in past years, but I wanted to let you know that I recently put together a comprehensive page on How to Make Money Blogging with updated information and links. I encourage you to check it out here if you’re interested in how to make money blogging.For those who already have established blogs and are looking for some encouragement and inspiration to take them to the next level, my good friend, Ruth, has opened up enrollment for her brand-new course called the Elite Blog Academy.

This course will guide you through the process of creating a successful blog and show you, step by step, exactly how to grow a loyal following, generate a sustainable income, and transform your passion into a profitable business. Find out more details here. If you’re interested in purchasing, you can get $50 off by using coupon code IBLOG at checkout. Note: Course enrollment is only open through September 30, 2014.

photo credit; photo credit; photo credit

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This crazy journey I’ve been on the last 10 years (and yes, you CAN make money blogging!)

My Journey to Making Full-Time Income as a Blogger

In 2005, I started this thing called a “blog” — something that most people in my circle of friends and family had never heard of before. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I had a big dream: I wanted to find a way to earn enough money from home so I can supplement our meager income to allow me to be able to stay home with our baby girl, Kathrynne.

In addition to my big dream, I also had perseverance — something I was going to need in big supply over the next few years. I was very, very determined and that determination drove me not to give up even during the many, many times when I wanted to.

That little blog had a few readers. Then a few dozen. I kept blogging. I kept commenting on other blogs. I kept writing articles for other sites and linking to that blog. I kept networking with other online entrepreneurs.

Over the course of many months, that little blog grew a tiny bit and then a tiny bit more. Pretty soon, I woke up one day and realized that I had a few hundred readers. That idea just blew my mind.

My first blogging header{My first official professionally done website header — added when I switched from Blogspot to Typepad.}

The Income Began With a Little Trickle

I started experimenting with ways to monetize that blog. I researched. I watched what other people were doing. I read many books and blog posts on monetizing a blog. And I just jumped out and began trying things.

Pretty soon, there was a little trickle of income coming in from that blog. When I say “trickle”, I truly mean it. It started with $10 per month, then $20 per month, then $50 per month.

If you would have divided my blogging income by the hours invested in blogging, I was probably making what would amount to a few nickles per hour. However, I was learning, the blog was slowly growing, and I was truly enjoying the process of writing and interacting on a blog.

Speaking at My First Blogging ConferenceSpeaking at my first blogging conference — I was a scared, insecure mess inside and I can see it written all over my face in this picture.

Starting to See the Potential

As time marched on and I kept plugging away, I found other creative ways to add additional income streams — like selling ebooks and then an online course on cutting your grocery bill. I went from making $50 a month to a few hundred dollars per month.

I started to see the potential. And I began to believe that it truly would be possible to earn a part-time income from blogging someday.

My husband and I began talking about adding a niche blog dedicated to frugal living. There was a lot of interest in the topic, it was something I was passionate about and experienced in, and I was pretty sure I could do some specific things to monetize a frugal living blog that I couldn’t do on the blog I currently had.

My Second Blogging ConferenceMy second blogging conference — I was still nervous and scared, but I felt more myself and more whole and I can see it in my face here.

How MoneySavingMom.com Began

It took about a year from the time the initial idea was birthed to when the final product, MoneySavingMom.com actually happened. But in the fall of 2007, I announced the launch of MoneySavingMom.com on the other blog I had.

I still remember the post where I let the world know MoneySavingMom.com was official. I said that I was probably going to blog on MoneySavingMom.com “about 3 times per week”. {Yes, 3 times per week. That still cracks me up!}

The first version of MoneySavingMom.com was on Blogspot. It was an all white background with capital letters at the top of the page that said MONEY SAVING MOM. {Clearly, I was very into bells and whistles. ;)}

I had spent $10 to buy the website URL and that was all I could afford. Later, I paid $25 to have a teen of a mom I knew design a header for me. But those were the very humble beginnings of something that I could have never imagined…
My first radio interviewMy first radio interview — again, this was a completely unnerving experience for shy me. I felt like just going back to my hotel room and crying when it was over because I was sure I had totally bombed it.

Rapid Growth Beyond What I Could Imagine

Since I’d already put in countless hours to build an online platform over the two previous years, knew how to run a blog, and had a pretty good grasp on what topics people were interested, jumping in with MoneySavingMom.com was much easier than it would have been had I been starting from scratch. I also was at the right place, at the right time, because the economy was beginning to tank, coupons were coming into vogue, and the media started to do a lot of coverage of money-saving ideas and frugal living topics.

My initial readers told their friends who told their friends, people found me from random searches and stuck around, and within a few months, MoneySavingMom.com had grown to 14,000 to 16,000 pageviews per day.

It. was. mind-blowing!

I didn’t really know what to do, but I knew that I needed to continue to produce good content and continue to do all I could to help people save money. I also continued to learn all I could about win-win ways to monetize the blog.

My First BookMy first book: basically an exercise in how to do everything wrong! I learned so much, and wished I could have done it all over again because there would be so much I would change!

Fulfilling My Dream — And Making So Many Mistakes

Within a few months, I was making $800 to $1200 from MoneySavingMom.com. And the income just kept increasing. By the end of the first year, I was making the equivalent of a full-time income from blogging.

All of a sudden, I woke up and realized that not only was I living my dream, it was a LOT more work than I could have ever imagined — especially as the blog continued to grow!

The Story Behind MoneySavingMom.com

The past almost 10 years have been a journey… one riddled with many ups and downs. I’ve made many mistakes. I’ve let people down. I’ve sometimes posted things before taking time to really think through what I’d written.

I’ve been arrogant. I’ve said and written hurtful things. I’ve taken on too much and stretched myself to thin. Many times, I’ve had my priorities out of whack and given my family the leftovers instead of my best.

Through it all, I’ve grown, matured, been humbled, had to ask forgiveness, and learned a great deal about my own limits. I’ve gone from a very black and white person who thought she had everything figured out and thought she should share her very legalistic, dogmatic views with everyone, to discovering this beautiful thing called “grace” and realizing that there are very few hills worth dying on.

My First TV Interview

My first TV interview — I was a complete nervous wreck. Literally shaking from head to toe!

I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve faced a lot of fears. I’ve done things I never thought I was humanly capable of. I’ve confronted many of my deep-seeded insecurities head on. And I’ve had many opportunities to work through my long-held tendencies to be a people-pleaser.

Scared of the Scrutiny

You see, as the blog took off and became something more than a little mommy blog, I struggled a lot. Part of me was so excited about the growth and the possibilities. The other part of me wanted nothing more than to just run away from it all and go back to being a stay-at-home mom.

As a normally private person, I hated having my life scrutinized by people I didn’t know. I was scared to come out and talk much about the business side of my life — the meetings, the responsibilities, the opportunities — because I knew some people wouldn’t be happy and would criticize the fact that I was making a good income, was running a thriving business, and was no longer just the frugal stay-at-home mom blogger struggling to make ends meet that I had been when I started blogging.

My Second Book

Growing Into My Own Skin

I love being a wife and mom, I love managing my home well, I love saving money, and I love freezer cooking. I am also a business woman who loves marketing, entrepreneurial ventures, and learning everything I can about strategy and monetization.

It took me awhile to be brave enough to say that I am both out loud. But once I did, it has freed me up to make decisions that were best for our family and the business — like bringing on more help, not always making everything from scratch, and eliminating some frugal practices that were not giving enough return on my investment of time in the season of life I am in.

Knowing who I am and embracing that has been so freeing for me. Yes, I still regularly get emails and comments from people who think I shouldn’t be living my life the way I am, but for the most part, this community has rallied around our family. And you have no idea how much you bless us.

allume-conference-smilebooth-0154My 4th(?) blogging conference: This time, I went with the sole desire to pour into others and look for other people to bless. Guess what? I completely forgot about my usual insecurities and ended up having a blast!

I Would Have Never Imagined This Life

As I look back over the past 10 years, I could never have imagined what my life would look like today. I would never have pictured myself running a business with multiple team members, speaking at events around the country, working with brands, consulting, doing national media interviews, or writing a book that hit the New York Times bestseller’s list.

Nor would I have pictured that this blog would be the catalyst for our family to get in a much better position financially so that were no longer living on a beans and rice budget, could pay cash for a house and a rental house, and can give generously to the needs in our community and around the world.

I also would have never pictured that, through the income from this blog and business, we’d be able to make the choice to move from Kansas to Tennessee, to slow down and simplify our lives, and get the opportunity to work together as a family from home.

So grateful I get to do life with this man!I’m so thankful for the opportunity to get to work together with my husband and best friend! While we have our disagreements and struggles, we are a definite team. I wouldn’t be who I am today without him encouraging me, supporting me, and being my biggest cheerleader.

THANK YOU For Being a Big Part of This Journey

You all have been a big part of this journey. Without you reading here, this blog would never have grown like it has nor would the doors of opportunity have opened up like they have. I am forever humbly grateful for each of you.

While the income from this blog has been a blessing, the community I’ve found in you all has been priceless. You’ve supported our family through thick and thin. You’ve loved us. You’ve prayed for us. You’ve cheered us on. You’ve forgiven me when I’ve made mistakes. And you’ve been incredibly loyal.

My three precious kiddosMy three precious kiddos. There are days when they make me want to pull my hair out (!), but I love them to pieces and am so thankful for the privilege of being their mom!

Looking Ahead to the Future

I don’t know what the next 10 years of my life will hold. Right now, I’m just focusing on living one day at a time! But I do know that I want to live each day that I’m given to the best of my ability. And as long as I’m given the privilege of blogging here, I want to use this platform to make the most impact I can and encourage and bless as many people as possible.

Blogging has broken me. Blogging has healed me. And, more than anything, blogging has taught me that perseverance pays off.

So no matter where you are in life right now, I want to encourage you: Keep on. Press forward. Keep learning. Keep experimenting. Keep holding onto hope. And most importantly: don’t give up! The best is yet to come!

Thinking Of Starting a Blog?

Over the years, I’ve received many requests from folks for help on how to start a blog and how to make money blogging. I’ve written on this in past years, but I wanted to let you know that I recently put together a comprehensive page on How to Make Money Blogging with updated information and links. I encourage you to check it out here if you’re interested in how to make money blogging.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
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