This is Everything I Learned in My Third Year of Blogging

This is Everything I Learned in My Third Year of Blogging

It’s August again, which means another Happy Birthday to Medium Sized Family!  The blog is now 3 years old.  (3 years!!)  I cannot believe how much I’ve learned through this journey.

And I can say for certain that we couldn’t have conquered our credit card debt without the accountability this blog provided.

Everything I Learned in My Third Year of Blogging

Blogging tips and ideas for beginners so you can learn how to make money.


Oh boy.  You can’t have a successful blog without a good Pinterest strategy.  I knew that all along, and I’ve been tweaking my pins for three years now.

This is the first year I felt like I actually gained some traction!  My traffic from Pinterest has steadily risen, and I finally have a good idea of how to make it work for my blog.

In fact, my pageviews for the year nearly doubled what I saw last year.  (Up 45%!)

I also fully understand that next week, Pinterest could change their entire algorithm and all of that traffic could disappear.  (Yikes!)  But if that happens, I’ll just keep adjusting!

My absolute favorite resources for Pinterest are:

Pin Signals

Pin Signals  This is the second best thing I invested in this year for my blog.  Pinterest went through a big shake up in the late spring, and it left many of us floundering.

This simple book helped my Pinterest traffic recover.  Not only that, but it made me believe in Tailwind again.  Which is great, because now I’m far less tied up to my computer each evening!

I love it when I can learn something without spending hundreds of dollars!  (Amazingly, this book is less than $40!  And if you buy it, DO NOT skip the free video that comes with it.  Worth its weight in gold!)


Tailwind:  I had nearly quit Tailwind earlier this year in favor of manual pinning.  But then the big announcement came that they were the only official partner to Pinterest.

And now it turns out that pushing pins through Tailwind is giving me the strongest traffic. Plus, I love setting everything in just a couple of hours per week and being done!

Blogging Like We Mean It

Blogging Like We Mean It is a free Facebook group brought to you by Carly Campbell (who is one of my favorite people to learn from!!).  It’s the perfect place to learn new things and keep up with the latest news in the blogging world.


Canva is a free website is the only way I make pins.  I’m on this site constantly, because I try to make at least 5 new pins for old posts each week.

Keep Learning

One thing you’ll find when you learn from big, successful bloggers is that they believe in education.  They reinvest part of the money they make from their blog into learning how to do new things.

There are so many aspects to blogging that you could probably take courses forever and still need more.

This year, I took several more courses.  I learned small bits and pieces from many of them, so I wouldn’t call any of them bad.  But here are the top courses I took that gave me the most bang for my buck.

Bloggers Tell All

Ok, so this isn’t a course so much as an ongoing chance to learn from the masters.  But I believe that this was the best money I spent on my blog all year.

Bloggers Tell All is a monthly membership.  You’ll get access to videos and resources for everything from better SEO to email help to affiliates and more.

But the best part is the Facebook group where you can ask questions directly to bloggers like Becky Mansfield from Your Modern Family, Stephanie Keeping of Spaceships and Laser Beams, and 6 other big time bloggers!

I was lucky enough to sign up for this when it was getting off the ground.  The price has gone up a bit since then.  BUT, BTA is a great alternative for bloggers who don’t have $1,000 to invest in EBA or other courses.

And the good news is that you aren’t locked into a contract.  You can try it for a month and see if it’s worth the cost.

Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers

I’m a huge fan of Carly Campbell, so I jumped at her new course.  I struggle with affiliate sales, and I know that this is a good source of income for her.

So of course I HAD to try out Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers.

Since taking this course, my meager sales have doubled!  That doesn’t mean I’m getting rich from affiliate links…

But I know that if I put in the work to find better products that match my readers, the methods she teaches in this course will make me that much more effective.  I’m anxious to see the progress I make during the holiday season this year!

Grab the Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers course here.  Use coupon code MEDIUMFAMILY20 to get 20% off!  

Find Your People!

I have wanted to join a mastermind group of like minded bloggers forever!  So many big bloggers swear by having a group to pass ideas through, collaborate together, and learn new things from each other.

Finally this year I was invited to join a group!  It’s been so good for me to learn from these ladies, and I love how supportive the group is.  Plus, I know their advice has helped me get closer to my goals for the year.

Start a FB Group

Starting a Facebook group feels like just another thing to keep up with.  And I’m not great at posting in there regularly.

But boy am I glad I made this work this year!

The readers who have joined Living That #YearofNo Life enjoy having a place to go for support living the frugal life.  Sometimes it’s hard to find friends and family who understand your lifestyle.

Plus, when we have moments of imperfection, it’s so good to know that you’re not the only one!

Join the Facebook group here.

It’s Worth It!!

When I started this blog, I had read that most blogs take 1-3 years to start making any money.  I swore to myself that I would give it my all and work hard for 3 years before I quit.

Three years in and I’m starting to make some decent money from this blog!  In fact, I was able to treat our family to a trip to Washington DC last month using blog money!  That’s something to be proud of.

I couldn’t have imagined the journey that blogging would take me through.  The people I’ve met and the source of pride I have from building this blog is something I’m so glad I risked!

Now I’m not a blogger who blogs about blogging (haha!), but if you’d like to learn how to blog, I recommend you learn from a master.

Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom has been blogging for over a decade.  She’s very successful, and her teaching style will make you feel totally at ease.

Blog Start Up 101

You’ll learn a lot from Blog Start Up 101, and a little hand holding can help you avoid costly mistakes that will take you a lot of time to undo later.

Learn from my hard earned lessons and take the short cut to better blogging success!


Back to School Tips That Will Make Your New Year The Best Yet

The right back to school tips can set up your school year for success! Be sure you’ve covered everything by keeping these things in mind.

Whether your kids are heading to school for the first time ever, starting over at a new school, or just heading back to a familiar place, getting into the swing of a new school year offers a fresh start.

Every parents wants the new year to be a successful one.  Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to get everything off on the right foot.

As Mom to five kids heading back to school, I’ve been there done that!  Here are some of our favorite back to school tips.


Money and Life Goals 2018: August Check In

I didn’t get to the July check in of our yearly goals because…life.  We’re enjoying our summer, and a small blogging break is just what I needed to get the creative juices flowing again!

Happily, we’ve been able to cross a few things off of our list this summer.

The nice thing about having yearly goals is that it keeps me grounded.  When I find myself on Pinterest dreaming of new projects to take on for the house, I don’t go into debt trying to take on more project than we can afford.

Instead, I focus on getting these projects done.  And I make a list of things I’d love to be able to do next year!


Things to Do In Washington DC with Kids: This Is How To Make Your Trip Unforgettable

There are so many things to do in Washington DC with kids that you’ll have trouble deciding what to do first! Here’s a list of must sees.

A visit to Washington DC is on the bucket list for many Americans.  Our family of 7 took a trip to the nation’s capital, and we learned a lot about things to do in Washington DC with kids.

So learn from our experiences!

If you’re a little nervous about visiting the big city, don’t be.  We felt safe during our trip there.

In fact, we encountered many acts of kindness.  One man gave us his umbrella in a downpour.  And a jovial woman got such a big kick out of our daughter that she gave us a discount on our drinks!


Getting Out of Debt? Here Are The 7 Things You Should Never Do

Getting out of debt takes discipline. But there are some things you should NEVER do to win the fight against heavy bills! Are you guilty of any of these?

You racked up some serious debt, and now one thing is clear.  If you want to have a different life, there are certain things you can

Don’t worry.  It’s all worth it when that magical day comes that you get a paycheck that doesn’t have to immediately be divided up between your un-best friends, credit card company A, B, and C.

What are these forbidden things?  Glad you asked!


5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week #126

5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week #126

Summer is by far my favorite season.  Which makes it an even bigger bummer when we get sick this time of year.

When I’m not feeling great, I’m even more grateful for kids that are willing to pull their own weight!  With their help, we’ve been able to keep the house running pretty smoothly.

We’re all pretty tired of Netflix now, though.


Brilliant Too Hot To Cook Meals That Will Make Your Day Cool

Too hot to cook? No problem! These meals will fill you up without adding to the heat. These recipes are what summer is supposed to taste like!

It’s hot as the blazes outside, but you know good and well that your family is still going to want to eat.

That doesn’t mean you’re in the mood for heating up the kitchen.  And that’s ok!

Because here you’ll find a long list of yummy recipes to try when it’s just too hot to cook.

Whether you want a cold dish to serve or something seasonally delicious that didn’t cause you to turn on the oven…you’ll find all types of recipes on this no-need-to-think-about-it list!


5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week #125

5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week #125

It was a little surprising to get mail from the dealer that we bought our van from just 10 months ago.  Guess what?  They want to buy our van back from us!

It’s time for an upgrade!

I had to shake my head.  Marketing like this must work, and it’s a shame.  There’s no way they would pay us back anything close to what we paid them last year.  And people who fall for this are probably rolling lost money into a new payment plan.

Cars are already expensive enough without feeling like you deserve an upgrade every year!