Thursday, May 24, 2018

5 Ways Blogging can Bring in More Income at Home

As you all know, a chunk of my income comes from blogging. I've even registered my blog business with the BIR and pay taxes through Taxumo. I'm very proud of this, mamas. I think everyone who's turned their hobby into a legitimate income-generating venture should celebrate that fact and also encourage others to do the same. After all, as the adage goes, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life!"

That's not true. Work is still work haha! It can still get exhausting and frustrating many times. But at least since it's work that you enjoy, then it doesn't hurt so much! 

Blogging brought me many opportunities I'll always be grateful for.

A lot of mommies ask me how to earn from blogging, too. Aaaaand that's why I have blogging workshops! Well, I haven't done any this year yet. Too busy with my work as beauty editor at L'Oréal, but I do miss doing blogging workshops. It's so nice sharing with other people how to make money from blogging. I want my success to be every blogger's success! Especially if it's a mommy blogger. Any income is always welcome to moms, right? And if it's enough income that lets you stay home with your kids, then it's the best kind of income!

Since I'm not doing a blogging workshop soon, let my guest writer Clarissa Caouette share with you 5 ways blogging can earn you extra money. Take notes, mamas! 

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Is your budget a little tight at home? Perhaps you aren’t working right now in order to take care of kids and there’s only one wage earner in the house. But you want to contribute to that take-home pay. How can you do it? Taking a job outside the house kind of defeats the purpose. It means paying for gas and parking, lunches out, new clothes and shoes, so that income can be eaten up in added expenses. What you really need is a way to earn money at home. 

One way to make some cash at home is blogging. Yes, you can make money at it, although it is certainly not guaranteed. But if you want a flexible method that lets you stay home, this one fits. So first thing to do is to set up your blog, then we’ll talk about how it can bring home some cash. 

Getting Started 
This is the short version, so make sure to check out a more in depth tutorial if you need one. First two things you need: your own domain and a web hosting service. Often the hosting company will offer domain registration as part of their charge, so factor that into your research. Make sure you get a domain that you own, don’t go with a free hosting service with a tacked on name. Either you control your site or someone else does. Free sites can be shut down at any time and have many restrictions on how you can make money from them. Take control, you’ll be glad you did. 

Now install WordPress, it’s by far the most common blogging platform and very easy to use, and a framework. Consider a premium framework, they aren’t very expensive and come with a much better design which is easier to use and more powerful. Choose your topic and your schedule and start writing. You’ll need some articles posted, content as it’s known, and some readers before you can really make much money from your blog. So post useful articles and draw as many people to your blog as you can. 

Once you’ve got some readers, you can start with one of the easiest ways to ‘monetize’ your blog, affiliate marketing. Simply put, you sign up for an affiliate program for a company you like and direct your readers to it to purchase things there. If they do, you get a commission. Your reader doesn’t pay any extra, the commission is directly from the affiliate. A common example is Amazon. Reviewing or recommending products that are available through Amazon lets you earn that commission if your reader uses your link to buy the product you talk about. 

Pretty simple! Make sure you would honestly recommend the product or you may lose readers who feel you are simply pushing those items to make money. And be sure to disclose that you are an affiliate and are earning a commission. It’s best to be upfront and honest about that. 

Digital Sales 
Another great way to go is to create a digital product, an eBook, video seminar, or artwork for example, and sell that through your blog. Digital is a great way to go since there is only the initial cost of creating the item and you don’t have to manufacture it each time to sell it again. Be sure the product is something worthwhile, something valuable to your audience. One way to convince people to buy is to offer a free item first. A short eBook where the only cost is signing up for your mailing list for example. Then market your longer books later on. 

Physical Sales 
If you do crafts or are willing to buy items wholesale for resale, you can sell physical items over the internet as well. Be sure to budget in shipping costs, but as long as you set it up properly, you can still manage most of this from your home. Another option is setting up a system where you take orders then have them drop shipped directly from the producer to your customer. Selling physical items does have some extra expenses associated with it, shipping, inventory, materials, etc., but if you are willing to invest in those you can make it work. 

If your blog itself is enough of a draw, you can charge a membership fee for people to access it. This is usually a way to earn from either a very popular site, or one which has a great deal of expertise and experience behind it. If you happen to have experience or training in a field you could set up a members only site for your most useful articles. Some pay sites will allow any reader to see the first few paragraphs but ask for registration to see the rest. As with any of these tips, there are several ways this could work. 

Finally, there is simple advertising. Placing ads along the border of your blog is an easy and low maintenance way to bring in some income but be prepared for it to be small. Click through ads only deliver a small amount each time a reader uses them, and CPM ads need huge numbers of viewers to return large amounts of money. Most internet users pay little attention to ads, although if an inappropriate one appears on your site you will probably hear about it. Be sure to screen the companies on your ad feed to prevent offensive content. 

As you can see, all five of these allow you to stay at home and work from there. There is a fair amount of work to be successful, though. You may need to spend several hours a day researching and writing your articles, so don’t over commit to your blogging schedule. If you can only manage one post a week don’t say you’ll do more. Missing your schedule is worse than having a relatively long update cycle. Now that you know what to do, get to work! Set up your site and blog!

*This post contains paid links.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Why we switched Piero to pull-up pants

I'm a mommy of three boys and the third one, Piero, is still not ready to be toilet-trained. We've talked about it, been super enthusiastic, tried bribing—nothing's working. What worked with his two older brothers is not working this third time around. So we need all the help we can get, mamas! Leave your toilet-training tips in the comments below!

"No toilet until I'm 5, Mama!"

One tip I saw at the start of summer was to use pull-up pants, or training pants. I've not used pull-ups before because my first two kids took to potty training fast. Like so: "Hey, you want to use the toilet now like a big boy? Yes? Great!" Three days later: "We're done! Good job!"

With Piero, it's taking a bit more time and tools so we got BabyLove Premium Gold Pants (you can check out my reasons for switching to BabyLove here and my review of the Premium Gold Pants here) to help us out.

If you're wondering how pull-up pants help with potty training, it's really for two simple but big reasons:

1) Pull-up pants mimic the pull-up/pull-down action used with briefs/panties. Once your kids know how to pull down their pants to go weewee or poopoo, they can transition faster to the real thing; and

2) Pull-up pants make babies feel grown up. That change in mindset is what's essential to transitioning them from diapers to real underwear.

Piero loves his BabyLove Premium Gold Pants so much. He likes them because they're soft and smells good and has "cute dwawings on the fwont and on the butt, Mama!" I'll update you when we finally successfully potty train my last baby. So wish us luck!

If you want to try out BabyLove diapers, too, there's a current promo now at Shopee. From May 21-24, 2018, the first 100 customers buying any BabyLove diapers will also receive a free sample of a preschool milk as well as a voucher discount for the next purchase of other milk supplements with the value of P350.

Shop here!

Check out the Facebook page of BabyLove Philippines for more info!

*This post is brought to you by BabyLove Diapers.

Monday, May 21, 2018

My favorite moments from Harry and Meghan's oh so perfect wedding

Yes, perfect wedding! It's the most perfect wedding I've ever seen. Everything about it was Harry and Meghan. It was deeply British and very African-American. It was royal and Hollywood. It was traditional and modern. It was so elegant and stylish. Every moment was studied and yet also candid. How is this wedding so amazing?

They're so happy! And so adorable!

Okay, I have too many favorite moments. Like, I can't count! But here are a few that were documented by my favorite Instagram fan account of Meghan and Harry, @meghanandherprince.

Meghan walking down the aisle on her own. You know that I am such a huge feminist so to see a woman walking alone to the man she chose with no need for approval from any other man in her life is so empowering! And then I loved when Charles got her halfway. On one hand, he was making her sundo for his son; on the other hand, he has always wanted a daughter. In fact, when Harry was born, Charles was disappointed and Diana said something in her died that day.

Harry meeting Meghan.
A post shared by Harry and Meghan❤️ (@meghanandherprince) on 

When Harry unveiled Meghan. Apparently, this is the duty of the father of the bride. But since Meghan's dad wasn't around, it was Harry who had to do it. Check out when he said, "Hi!"

Harry playing with Meghan's ring! And staring at her the whole time! Hoy, makinig ka sa sermon, Harry!

Ehem ehem. Tigilan niyo nga yan! #kilig

This scene straight out of a James Bond movie except that in this story, the guy married the girl!

I also loved Bishop Michael Curry's sermon. It was so apt for a couple who have devoted their lives to public service, human rights, and love for fellow man.

It called to me so much to forgive, serve and love. Love lang talaga! Ang hirap kaya niyan in this world of hate and fear. But I heard you, Bishop Curry, and I will follow the way of love. As his chosen verses said, "Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God. He that doesn't love knows not God for God is love." (I John 4:7-8) So let us love one another. Always choose love! Just like Harry and Meghan. Through everything that happened in their life, they always chose to respond in love.

I'm so inspired this weekend, mamas! If you follow me on my Facebook page, you'd know I'm on a royal wedding fever high. I'll blog again about other things this week. Let me just get down from my happy loved-up cloud.

Please follow @meghanandherprince for more updates on Harry and Meghan!