Have you ever stared at the balance on a credit card and wished there was something you could do right now to get it paid off? I know I have.
I can’t give you directions to a money tree (besides, if I find that puppy I’m keeping it to myself!). But I can do the next best thing. Let’s talk about retail merchandising and how the flexibility of this job might make it the right side hustle for you.
Medium Sized Family has turned one! I’m so excited about reaching this milestone. I actually published the blog in July 2015, but I didn’t tell a soul about it until August 6, 2015. So I consider that to be the blog’s “birthday”.
I’ve come a long, long way since those first posts. When I look back at some of my first work, I’m a bit embarrassed at how little I knew. But more than that, I’m proud of how far I’ve come! I’ve learned a ton about things I didn’t even know existed a year ago.
I’ve made new friends and met some fabulous readers. I’ve learned about some of your struggles, and I’ve learned how to better handle my own.
Today’s guest post is by Emily Jividen from John & Jane Doe Guide to Money & Investing.
Most of us have things we need to get rid of or no longer use. You have a few options: keep, give away, discard or sell.
I want to talk about selling your stuff, particularly selling your unwanted items to a reseller. Secondhand shops and consignment stores can be a good way of unloading your extras for cash or turning them in for trade for things you do want.
Selling items yourself has one big advantage over selling to a reseller: You cut out the middleman. Secondhand shops and consignment stores need to make a profit to stay in operation, so you won’t get the full amount that the end customer is going to pay. You’ll usually get a substantially lower price. So why sell to a reseller?
*This post contains affiliate links. Your purchase through these links helps to support Medium Sized Family. All opinions are my own.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your earnings, to add another income stream, or just bring in a little more money, we’re going to continue to talk about ways to do that today.
Last week we talked about creating a blog. This week, let’s talk about how to use that blog to earn money. There are hundreds of combinations you can try, and I strongly suggest that you try several different methods. Don’t rely on just one way to earn money.
We Moms are a scrappy bunch. We are often in charge of the family budget, so when we see first hand that the outgo is greater than the income, we try to do what we can to make up for it.
Most stay at home Moms do a variety of things to bring extra money in. I know I have! Today I want to talk about my latest scheme for finding extra income. Blogging.
You might be wondering how a person can make money from a blog. Well, the answer to that question is simple, but also complicated. There are hundreds of ways to make money blogging! But let’s put first things first.
Here’s how you can create a blog and make money from home.
Pick a topic or niche.
What are you great at? Think about the things that friends and family are most likely ask your help with. Maybe you’re a great cook, you give the best advice about parenting, or you are the one sure to make them laugh on a bad day.
Whatever that area of strength is for you, that’s a great place to start considering as a topic for your blog.
On the other hand, prepare to be flexible. I began Medium Sized Family with the idea of writing for medium sized families. You know, people with more than 2.3 kids, yet not enough kids for their own reality show.
Well, that was a fun idea. But as it turns out, my readers were more interested in learning how I keep expenses down while raising my medium sized family. And that was fine by me. I’ve always been super interested in the frugal lifestyle (after all, I live it daily!) and personal finance.
So I went with the flow. These days, my blog focuses on several parts of raising a family. But my biggest focus is ways to save money.
Choose a great name
What’s in a name? Well, in the case of your blog, it’s a lot.
You might be tempted to choose a very cute name for your blog. Sometimes that’s a good idea, but don’t leave your reader confused about the purpose of your blog. You’ll want to choose a name that describes exactly what your readers will get when they visit your website.
Picking a name that gets a lot of Google searches is also a great idea. Sign up for Adwords and type in some ideas to get an idea of how often your title is searched for.
Then you can do a search to see if the title you want is available.
Purchasing your domain name will cost around $10 per year, depending on where you buy it from and if you can find a sale. Always be sure to check for coupon codes before you buy!
But do not make that purchase until you’ve decided on the next step, which is….
Decide on Hosting
This step is kind of a big deal. You need to decide how much money you want to put into your blog from the start.
You might be thinking about creating what is called a “hosted” blog. That means you don’t pay for hosting. These types of blogs cost little to nothing to begin.
Some popular free “hosted” blog platforms out there include WordPress.com or Blogger. But there are many other options. Be sure to do your homework to choose the platform that works best for you.
This can be a great way to dip your toes in the water if you just aren’t sure if blogging is for you. Or if you tend to start things without finishing them. (Hey, you’ll get no judgment from me! I have plenty of half-finished project lying around my own house…)
Although I love to save money, I decided that I wanted a self-hosted blog from the beginning. I had done a lot of research on how to blog. I knew that I wanted my blog to earn money for my family and become a business that would eventually help to make thousands of Moms’ lives easier.
And from that research, I realized that my dream was best built on a self-hosted blog.
A few reasons I chose to self-host:
- If you go with the free (hosted) service, you can be limited by the rules they put in place for you.
- Companies may bypass paying you for services, ads, or blog posts due to your hosting.
- If you later choose to move to a self-hosted platform, the crossover can become very messy and expensive.
- Earning money from a blog takes a lot of time and effort. For me, the psychological effect of having paid real money for my blog keeps me going. I’m not going to quit and lose the money I paid!
How to set up self-hosting
If you decide to go with self-hosting, it will cost you some money. But whether you spend your money on education, an office building, inventory, or in this case, a place to park your internet space, you usually have to spend some money in order to make money.
When you choose self-hosting, you’ll also need a platform. This is the space where you work on your blog. You’ll type up posts and determine the look of the blog in your platform.
Like most people, I chose to use WordPress.org. (Remember, WordPress.com is the free choice for hosting. Wordpress.org requires you to purchase hosting, but it doesn’t cost additional money to use WordPress.org.) It’s easy to learn to use and is readily accepted by most companies that you’ll want to do business with.
Behind the scenes of the blog. This is a blogger’s view from WordPress.
The hosting company that I personally use is Bluehost.
I like Bluehost, because it is affordable and has given me great service. I’ve not had trouble with my blog loading properly, even when handling traffic spikes.
They’re having a special sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, so now’s a great time to start!
Notice that all of these options include a free domain name, so you won’t need to purchase one otherwise.
You should know that these prices shown are for 36-month contracts. You can get smaller contracts, but your monthly cost will increase. You’ll want to weigh your options to be sure you get your best deal.
Knowing that many blogs don’t begin to earn a real income until they are between 1 and 3 years old was what made me ultimately decide to go with the 36-month option. If you are less sure or just don’t have the money upfront, choose the cheaper option and/or the shorter length of time. You can always upgrade later.
Once you’ve made your purchase, be sure to check your email for information on completing your set up.
Once you connect your WordPress to your Bluehost, you’re ready to dig into the work of blogging. Most of the work will be done at WordPress. This is where you’ll choose a theme, mess with the design or overall look of your blog, and write those great post ideas you’ve been thinking about.
A lot of behind the scenes work goes into blogging. But don’t be discouraged. Take it one step at a time, and teach yourself what you don’t know. Google and Pinterest are your new best friends!
You’re on your way!
There are many things to learn about blogging. It really is a lot of work. But if you stick with it, there are great rewards! I’ve met so many awesome people since beginning blogging.
And it feels amazing to create something brand new from your hard work.
Want to learn some ways you can use your blog to help you make money from home? Find more info here.
Have you ever considered creating a blog? What would you like to blog about?
Once upon a time, I was an elementary music teacher. I really enjoyed teaching children. Watching them grow into little musicians was such a treat for me.
Meanwhile, back at home I had two babies within 16 months of each other. And then I became pregnant with our third child.
And as much as I loved my students, I didn’t love being told that I had to choose between my job and going with my sick baby to the hospital for an asthma attack.
I didn’t love the politics at the very local level, or the national level, or anywhere else.
And I didn’t love being forced to constantly prove that my job mattered (since music is so often the first thing cut from a struggling school district’s budget).
A Dream Come True
When our family could finally wiggle room for me to be a stay at home mom, we made the move. The summer my third baby was born, I put in my notice and gave up my teaching job.
Sometimes it feels like that was a lifetime ago…and I suppose it was my third born’s lifetime ago! But no sooner than meeting our goal of staying home with our kids, I began to hear a certain question. If you are also a stay at home mom, you probably get this question as often as I do.
“When are you going back to work?”
Let me clarify that it doesn’t bother me when people ask this. I think it’s a natural question, since we so often identify with each other through work.
But I tend to hem haw around that question. There’s not a great answer. I doubt I’ll ever be a full time teacher again.
In fact, I’ll let you in on a secret… I don’t want to go back to work for someone else.
What Else is There?
I have always tended towards being a “road less traveled” kind of gal. There are so many ways I can contribute financially to my family, even without a traditional job.
For such a long time, more work was just not doable. Caring for a young baby or toddler, especially while pregnant and not getting enough rest, makes taking on additional work at home nearly impossible.
But recently our “baby” turned 2. And while this is still a rather busy stage, he just doesn’t need me as much. With four of our kids starting school this fall and the baby still napping, I had an opportunity to try something new.
Starting a New Dream
With new found free time on my hands, I decided to try blogging. And I’ve learned that I enjoy blogging for so many reasons!
- I can create something that is just mine.
- I can connect with other Moms that I might otherwise never meet.
- And I can hopefully use the blog to create a business and make some extra money for our family. Extra money that would mean paying down debt more quickly. Extra money that would mean being able to make larger contributions to worthy causes and people who are truly in need.
My blog is still pretty new, and I haven’t made any money from it yet. I’m still learning how to blog and where I fit in on the world wide web. I want to be very deliberate about what I do here. I want to be sure that the choices I make don’t benefit my wallet more than they benefit my readers. So I am still reading and researching.
That’s why, when I learned that the title of Crystal Paine’s newest book was Money Making Mom, How Every Woman Can Earn More and Make a Difference, I couldn’t believe the timing. Just as I was ready to join the world of entrepreneurs, there was a perfect book just waiting for me. It was like an amazing God wink.
Crystal generously offered me an advanced copy to read. I have to tell you, this book is encouraging. She has a way with words that makes you feel like you can accomplish great things.
Money Making Mom offers real world advice that any Mom with an entrepreneurial spirit can follow. She gives real life examples from women who have their own businesses from a variety of backgrounds.
This book is unique from other entrepreneurial books I have read. In addition to discussing the whys and hows of beginning a business, it also talks about keeping a good balance in your life between work and family. (That’s a struggle I think all working Moms can relate to!) And her words about generosity are truly inspiring.
I am not a person who typically purchases a lot of books since you can get them from the library. But I would definitely purchase this book to keep as a resource.
It’s that good.
And I promise you that I wouldn’t promote anything that I wouldn’t truly purchase myself.
If you aren’t sure yet (or if just want more great resources!), you can try a free 5 day course about how to Make Money from Home.
Have you ever considered starting a business? What is stopping you from beginning or from being successful?
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