How To Use Tailwind Tribes: The Epic Guide For Bloggers

How To Use Tailwind Tribes: The Epic Guide For Bloggers

She shows how to use Tailwind Tribes to get traffic to your blog. Step-by-step instructions and screenshots... need to do this asap on my blog! Pin for later.As a busy mom who’s running a family and a blog, you know how important it is to make the best use of your time. There’s always so much to do, it seems virtually impossible to get it all done.

So when it comes to using social media for getting traffic to your blog, being ruthlessly efficient is a must (we’ve all been down that Facebook and Pinterest black hole where entire hours disappear in seconds)!

I am still learning the ins and outs of using social media to help me grow my blog, but have had huge success with using Tailwind Tribes to get blog traffic from Pinterest.

I thought I would share my Epic Guid on how to use Tailwind Tribes to help you get started and find your way around the inside of the Tribes dashboard so you can get your own surge of blog traffic!

If you’ve been wanting to jump on Pinterest to help you grow your blog, you’re definitely in the right place. I am going to walk you through step-by-step on how to get started.

While I don’t have any secret Pinterest traffic secrets to share, I can say that this guide will help you understand how to get started using the Tailwind Tribes.

I know what you’re thinking: another tool that’s going to cost me money.

But if you’re serious about turning your blog into a business, then you know that it’s impossible to do everything for free.

The great thing is that you can use the power of Pinterest and Tailwind Tribes to help you grow your blog, and once you have your blog profit plan in place, the boatloads of traffic are going to pay you back 10 times over.

How To Use Tailwind Tribes to Grow Your Blog

So ask yourself, do you want to make your life easier? If you understand that all business owners have to spend on their business, then you’re in the right place. I am going to show you how I use Pinterest to grow my blog.

Now if you’re new to Pinterest, you may not know what Tailwind is. It’s nothing more than an automated scheduler. It costs $10 per month or you can save by paying for the annual subscription. I went ahead and purchased the annual subscription because I love saving money.

YOU CAN TRY TAILWIND FOR FREE >>> (but you’ll probably want to go “all in” after reading the rest of this post!)

Tailwind has helped hundreds of bloggers make better use of Pinterest, without having to spend hours online. As bloggers who don’t have a lot of free time, it’s important for us to know which tools will actually help us grow our blogs without needlessly wasting hours on something that can be done in minutes.

As bloggers, it’s important to be able to get traffic to our blogs. Without traffic, no one is going to sign up for your email list, buy your products and services or click on your affiliate links.

Your Own Personal Virtual Assistant

Most successful bloggers hire virtual assistants for all those repetitive tasks. They no longer have to worry about wasting times on tasks such as; finding pins to share, creating pins, responding to emails, creating book covers and etc… You know those repetitive tasks that take time away from our money making tasks.

Unfortunately, as a new blogger, when you start your blog, you’ll have to do everything yourself. Most of us don’t have the money to hire our own virtual assistants. This is where Tailwind comes in handy. While you may not be able to hire a human virtual assistant, this tool will help you automate your Pinterest efforts.

I couldn’t imagine trying to do everything it does manually. I don’t have enough time in the day to do it all by myself.

How to Make the Most From Tailwind

Tailwind offers a 30-day free trial and you’ll be tempted to start with that. However, I recommend signing up for their annual subscription. They will give you a discount for doing so and you’ll be able to start pinning as many pins as you want.

Once you sign up, head on over to your dashboard. I recommend taking some time to watch the Tailwind training videos. You’ll find it inside of your dashboard.

Tailwind training videos

Once you’ve watched the videos, it’s time to start finding the pins to schedule. I recommend scheduling at least 30-60 pins per day.

Of course, everyone’s opinion will vary on this, the best thing you can do is test things out to see what number of pins is your sweet spot.

Join Tailwind Tribes

One of the reasons that I love using Tailwind and decided to keep using it even when I started with Board Booster is because of the Tribes feature. If you don’t know about Tailwind tribes, read this. I recommend taking the time to join as many tribes as possible. Find tribes that your blog will fit into, here’s a list of 10 tribes you can join right now.

Editor’s Note: Some were reporting difficulty joining the Tribes via the original links in this post. I have contacted Tailwind support and identified the problem, so all of the links should now be working properly. Thanks so much for your patience and understanding 🙂

  1. Striving Bloggers
  2. Blogging Friends Pins
  3. Pinterest Friends
  4. Milspouse Bloggers
  5. Bloggers Chalkboard
  6. Blogging Tips
  7. Small Business
  8. Christian Bloggers-Faith
  9. Home Design & DIY
  10. Practical Mommy Lifestyle

These are just a few of the Pinterest tribe groups you can join. There are literally hundreds of Tribes available.

To find even more Tribes: Google is your friend! A simple search for “Tailwind Tribes for bloggers” will uncover boatloads of Tribes in every niche. Join as many as possible!

Before You Add Your Pins to the Tribes

I know you’re going to be extremely excited about getting started using the awesome Tribes feature in Pinterest. However, every Tribe is different. They all have their own rules, so you want to make sure that you take the time to read their rules.

Most Tribes will require that you pin at least 1 pin for each pin you submit to the group. This means that before you start submitting your own pins, you need to take the time to share the other member’s pins. I recommend taking the time to share other people’s pins before adding your own pins.

The last thing you want to do is break the rules and get kicked out. Plus, it’s not hard to share other people’s pins.

Adding Your Pins to The Tribes

Once you’ve shared some of the tribe member’s pins and have a reserve of shares built up, it’s time to start adding your own pins. After all, you want people to share your pins too.

Head on over to your Tailwind dashboard again and click on published pins. This is where you’re going to find the pins from your own blog. I submit all my published pins from my own blog to all the tribes.

published pins

Adding Your Pins to the Tribes from Tailwind

Once you’re inside of your published pins on Tailwind, you’ll see all the pins from your own blog. I start from the top and work my way down to add them to the group.

On the far right, you’ll see a button 3 buttons, click on the “add to tribes button.” This will bring up all the tribes that you are a member of.

adding your pins to the tribes

A box will popup that lists all the Tribes you are a member of. You’ll notice that a little red caution icon appears next to the Tribes that your pin has already been added to. You never want to add duplicate pins to any Tribe. Once you’ve added the pin to the tribe you’ll notice that Tailwind will inform you that the pin has been added successfully.

added to tribes

You can add as many pins as you want to, as long as you’ve met the sharing ratio guidelines. Most tribes have a certain limit of pins you can share on a daily basis. They set a limit so you won’t flood their members with a bunch of new pins. If there’s a limit, you can always keep sharing on a daily basis, until you submit all your pins.

Adding Your Pins to the Tribes from Pinterest

You may want to add your pins to the Tribes from inside of your Pinterest account. It’s really easy to do, just follow along. Log into your Pinterest account and find the pin your want to add.

Click on the schedule button, instead of clicking on the red save button.

Tailwind scheduler

Once you do that you’ll be taken to the Tailwind scheduler. On this screen, you can add the pin to any of the Tribes.

Click on “add to tribes” and find the tribe you want to submit your pin to.

add to tribes

This will add your pins to the Tribes board. You can also use this method if you want to add pins directly from your blog to the tribes. If you want people to share your pins on Pinterest, you may want to read which social sharing plugin makes it easy to get more shares.

How to Find Your Pins In Your Dashboard

I personally found it a little confusing at first to find my pins inside the Tribe dashboard. It’s NOT hard and once you get a quick tour of where to find your pins, you’ll be a Pinterest Tribe champion.

When you’re inside of your Tribe dashboard, you’ll see these tabs.

tribe dashboard

Let’s run through all these tabs so you’ll have a better understanding of what each one means.

  1. All: These are all the pins inside of the tribe. In this tab, you’ll find all the pins of every member in the Tribe.
  2. New: These are the new pins that have been added recently.
  3. Yours: These are your pins that you’ve added and people are sharing.
  4. Shared: In this tab, you’ll see all the pins that you’ve shared from that tribe.
  5. Skipped: This tab contains pins that you’ve skipped. For instance, if you are constantly seeing pins that you know you’ll never share because the pins won’t fit on any of your boards, you can stick those pins in the skipped tab.

The Tribe Members

You’ll also be able to see all the Tribe members inside of the dashboard. Pinterest will also give you some stats about your pins.

tribe members

Let me run through what each of these mean so you have a better understanding of it.

  1. Re-shares: This is the number of times that your tribe mates have shared your pins. If you’re not getting any shares, it may be because your pins are not high quality.
  2. Re-pins: These numbers indicate how many people are re-sharing your content.
  3. Reach: This number represents the number of potential impressions from all the re-shares.

If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of what these tabs mean, read this.

It’s important to create awesome looking images people want to share. Learn how to create captivating images for Pinterest.

Why Are My Pins Showing Up As Drafts

When you add pins to your Tailwind Tribes and aren’t scheduling on one of your own boards, you may notice that your pin will show up as a draft. I had this happen to some of my pins and freaked out. People were still sharing the pins, but they said draft.

The easiest thing to do to remove the draft label is to head on over to your drafts inside of Tailwind and delete the draft that was created. Tailwind automatically creates a draft of your pins, if you don’t add them to any of your boards when adding them to tribes.

Leaving Tribes

The main purpose of joining tribes is for the traffic benefit. We want other people to share our pins because we are sharing their pins. It’s kind of like you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back.

However, if you’re not getting enough shares or don’t feel like the Tribe is worth your time, you may want to consider leaving. When I first got started with Tailwind Tribes, I was scared to join a Tribe. I thought what if I join and I decide that I don’t want to stay.

I finally figured out how to do it and the best part is that it’s extremely easy to do. So don’t be afraid to join tribes to see if they will work out. If they don’t you can always leave.

Let me walk you through the process, don’t feel like you have to stay in a Tribe if it’s not meeting your standards. It’s extremely easy to leave and you won’t feel bad.

Log into Tailwind and head on over to the tribe that you want to leave. Scroll down to all the members section of the group.

Find your personal member info.
leave tribe

Once you find yourself on the members dashboard, place your cursor on it. You will see two options, chat and leave the tribe. Click leave tribe.

You’ll see a toolbox that pops up and asks you if you are sure you want to leave the tribe. You’ll also be notified that any content you’ve added to the tribe will be removed.

Click on the leave tribe button once you’re positive you want to leave. Now you’re no longer a member of that tribe.

Final Take Away

I suggest setting aside some time this weekend to get started with Tailwind. Join some of the Tailwind Tribes from above or find some other ones online.

Start sharing other people’s content and don’t forget to add your own content into the tribes so they’ll share your pins. Start learning as much as you can about Tailwind to get the best bang for your buck.

Once you start making use of Tailwind and the tribes, you’ll realize how much free time you have for other productive tasks like guest posting on Candis’s blog to help you grow your blog.

A Word of Warning

You’re going to realize that after a couple months your Pinterest traffic is going to start growing. You might even be tempted to ditch all your other traffic generating methods.

However, you never want to put all your eggs in one basket. While Pinterest is fun and can definitely be a huge game-changer it’s important to find other traffic methods as well.

Susan Velez is helping people start, grow and monetize their passions through blogging. She loves helping people with the techie side of blogging sign up for her FREE 7 day WordPress Course at susanvelez.com

How To Make an Online Quiz To Grow Your Email List

How To Make an Online Quiz To Grow Your Email List

I've been seeing quizzes everywhere! Here's how to create an online quiz to grow your email list (step-by-step with examples). Pin for later or click through to read the full article right now.You’ve seen them, you’ve taken them, you’ve loved them and loathed them.

It’s that BuzzFeed style quiz that has taken over your Facebook newsfeed and promises to tell you what kind of Disney Princess you are if you’ll just answer a few short questions about your coffee preferences.

They reel you in with the carrot of revealing something about your personality or intelligence, and before you know it you’ve not only taken the quiz in its entirety but are also now sharing your results on social media.

It’s viral marketing at it’s best, and companies, entrepreneurs, and bloggers are using this strategy to grow their email lists like crazy.

Take the one I created to see how it works: “What Type of Mom Blogger Are You, Actually?”

This article on Forbes explains why online quizzes are so effective:

“If you want a lot of people to share something online, there has to be something personal, interesting, or fun about it… Most people love reading and hearing about themselves.

 

A quiz can offer that same satisfaction of speaking to something about who the reader is, but it does it in a way that offers instant gratification. A person on Facebook can do a 10-question quiz and see a result within a couple of minutes. At that point, they’re excited and it’s easy to coax them into sharing the link to see what kinds of results their friends get.”

You’ve heard you need to build your email list with freebies and checklists and resource files. And those can work great!

But if you’re looking to try something a bit more fun and “out-of-the-box” that will both delight your audience and grow your email list at the same time, then I think you’re going to love creating an online quiz for your blog.

I created my first quiz last month and it was so much fun! Well, not fun like having crazy dance parties with your kids, but wayyy more fun than creating ebooks.

Want To Create Your Own Quiz Right Now?

You can begin creating your quizzes immediately with an online quiz creator like Interact (this is the one I used). They have a fantastic tutorial and a bunch of examples and tips to help you create an awesome quiz.

How To Create an Online Quiz that Grows Your Blog Email Subscribers

When I first heard about using online quizzes as a marketing strategy and list building tactic I was intrigued and excited to try it but, having a bazillion things on my blogging to-do list already, filed it away on my “someday” list of things to try.

Then I came across this super-easy online quiz builder so I had to give it a go. All in all, it took me a few hours to brainstorm, create and publish my quiz. Here’s how I did it:

Step #1: Create Quiz Title, Questions & Answers

When you’re thinking about what type of online quiz to create, try to keep these three things in mind:

1. It should be enticing and fun for your ideal readers

Make sure you create a “clickable” title and cover image that piques your ideal reader’s interest and makes them want to click. Here’s a screenshot of my quiz, and the simple addition of the word “actually” to make it pop a bit more.

If you miss the mark on the title then your quiz is DOA (as is also the case with your blog post titles!), so spend time brainstorming and coming up with one that’s great.

2. It should give your readers a sense of what your blog is about and why they should care

The questions and answers inside your quiz are the heart of the quiz. They should be related to your blog topic and also lead the reader to take the ideal next step (sign up to your email list).

The Interact quiz builder I used makes it really easy to set up questions and answers. Their quiz builder guides you through adding questions and multiple choice answers. You can also add pictures to spice things up (they have a bunch you can choose from for free).

3. It should get them to sign up to your email list

At this point, you’ve had fun creating a quiz that will delight your readers, but don’t forget about your ultimate objective of getting email subscribers! You can set it up so that people will have to give you their email address in order to see their results.

Pro Tip: Add a “freebie” offer at the end of the quiz to increase conversions. When I did this, it increased my email sign ups dramatically! The first week I promoted the quiz I got 36 new subscribers, which I was happy with. But after adding the freebie incentive, my promotion efforts after the second week increased 72%!

The quiz builder integrates with most major email service providers (like MailChimp, ConvertKit, Aweber and many more), so connecting this with your email list is a breeze.

Step #2: Create Results

This is the part I was most skeptical about because a lot of the quizzes I’ve taken online seem to have such random answers. Like the one I recently took on BuzzFeed titled, “Build A Starbucks Frappuccino And We’ll Tell You How Many Kids You’ll Have”… it said I had one. Ummmm, not even close.

And even though I’d set up my questions and answers with specific results in mind, I was curious as to how the quiz builder would make it all work. Thankfully, it was really easy! They have a little tool that lets you easily correlate the answers with your desired result.

Step #3: Publish & Promote!

As I mentioned above, the entire setup – from brainstorming to creating all of the content – took me a few hours to complete. But I wasn’t done yet! Just like writing blog posts or any other type of content, you need to promote it to get the word out and readers in.

The quiz builder I used has a “viral” share feature built in so people are automatically prompted to share their results once they’ve completed the quiz. This was a HUGE help! But to get the ball rolling, I also:

  • Posted in Facebook blogging groups on promo days
  • Created a Pin image and pinned to relevant group boards on Pinterest
  • Emailed my list (Note: Even though these readers are already on my list, thanks to the “viral” aspect of the quiz, if they share their results on social media then that means more free traffic to my quiz!)

Here are a few things I plan to try going forward:

  • Facebook ads
  • Add a link to the quiz in my main menu
  • Add the quiz to relevant blog posts

Important Note: Don’t forget to welcome your new email subscribers with a strategic welcome email sequence. This will help ensure that your readers not only become subscribers, but also true fans that want to hear from you again and again.

Trying to build your blog email list can sometimes feel like a chore. Somewhere between daunting downloads and overdone ebooks, we’ve lost some of the FUN in growing our blogs! If you’re feeling stuck – either from boredom or lack of results – I think you’re going to love creating an online quiz for your blog.

It’s the most fun I’ve had in a long time, and if you keep these three tips in mind (from Step #1 above) then you’ll have set the foundation for a winning quiz that both delights your audience and grows your email list like whoa 🙂

❀ If you enjoyed this post, will you please share it on social media? That 5-second gesture goes a long way to support my blog. Thank you! ❀

Free Resource Guide: 8 Steps to a Money-Making Mom Blog in Just 2 Hours a Day

Everything you need to know, and in what order, to start and grow your own money-making blog in just 2 hours a day.

How To Create a Free Designer Logo For Your Blog

How To Create a Free Designer Logo For Your Blog

Such a neat trick. She shows how to create a free logo for your blog that looks like a professional designer made it. Tons of logo designs and styles to choose from and takes literally 5 minutes :)Ever tried to DIY your blog logo? How’d that turn out?

Unless you have the happy coincidence of being a blogging babe and a graphically gifted, I’m guessing not too great. Even attempting to create a basic text-based logo can take hours of your time and still come out looking home-grown… and not in a good way.

It’s sooo easy to get sucked into the design of your blog in the beginning. Forever tweaking your layout, colors, fonts and yes, your logo.

But when you’re just starting out, there are WAY MORE IMPORTANT things that you need to be spending your time on.

Things like creating awesome content, getting traffic, growing your email list and creating a profit plan for your blog. And tweaking your blog logo a gazillion times doesn’t contribute one bit to any of those important things you should be focusing on to grow your blog.

Some marketers will even tell you that ugly websites perform better than fancy ones.

The key here is not that “ugly” or “pretty” is better, but that you don’t have to dump a bunch of money into your logo or branding in order to have a successful blog. Especially in the beginning, it’s important to set a strong foundation and spend your time on tasks that will directly contribute to the growth of your blog.

That said, you don’t want your logo looking like a hot mess that your Kindergartner put together in his free time. A homemade logo that looks homemade can lead to a decrease in credibility in the eyes of your readers.

So if you could get a professionally designed logo for your blog in about 5 minutes – for FREE – would you want it? Stick with me, it’s coming 🙂

But first, let me just tell you that you’re not alone if you’ve already dumped a bunch of time and effort into your blog logo. I’m embarrassed at how much time I spent in the early days of this blog tweaking my logo. And completely changing it 100%. And then tweaking it again.

Here are a few of my early concepts (2 of which were actually on the blog for a time):

Attempt #1:

Attempt #2:

Attemp #I-lost-count:

The current logo I have isn’t perfect, but I’M NOT TOUCHING IT for a good long time! I’ve already wasted way too much time, and the thing that pains me the most is that I SO didn’t have to.

There’s a much faster, easier and smarter way to getting a designer logo for free. If you’re graphically challenged (or just a perfectionist who spends waayyyy too much time on your blog logo design), then this video is for you.

In it, I show you how to create your own free designer logo for your blog… fast.

Here’s a quick recap of what’s in the video in case you didn’t watch:

1. Log in to Canva.com (it’s free and takes seconds to sign up if you don’t already have an account)Click

2. Click on “More” (looks like a plus sign inside a square)

3. Click on one of the templates that best resembles the basic shape/orientation you want your logo to be (ignore the pictures and graphics on them… you’ll customize this in the next step). This will open a blank canvas in the shape/template you chose.

4. Once you have your blank canvas open, click on the T-Text tab in the left sidebar. Then scroll down and choose the designer logo template you like.

5. Now just customize it with your blog name and colors. Aaaand, done!

The logo templates are pre-designed by real designers who actually know what they’re doing, so you know it’s going to look legit when you place it on your blog. Of course, design is subjective, but pretty much everyone can spot a DIY logo that was done by a not-graphic-designer.

So save yourself the time and trouble, create a fast, free designer logo for your blog and call it a day!

Then move on to the truly important tasks when it comes to growing your blog, like you know, getting traffic, growing and nurturing your email list, and making money.

❀ If you enjoyed this post, will you please share it on social media? That 5-second gesture goes a long way to support my blog. Thank you! 😚

Free Resource Guide: 8 Steps to a Money-Making Mom Blog in Just 2 Hours a Day

Everything you need to know, and in what order, to start and grow your own money-making blog in just 2 hours a day.

Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program Review

Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program Review

The Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program

An insider’s review of the EBA affiliate program benefits and features.

elite blogging academy affiliate

A review of the Elite Blog Academy affiliate program for bloggers. Click the image to learn about the program benefits, payout amount, and how to apply.What Is Elite Blog Academy?

Elite Blog Academy (sometimes mistakenly referred to as “Elite Blogging Academy”) is the premier blog training program on the internet. EBA is the only blogging course recommended by most 6- and 7-figure bloggers for its comprehensive approach that teaches new and seasoned bloggers alike to make a full-time income blogging from home.

I have also taken and personally recommend the course.

How Much Money Does the Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program Pay?

The Elite Blog Academy affiliate program pays out 40% for anyone who purchases through your referral. The price of the course in 2017 is $797, but has typically gone up every year since it originally launched. That’s almost $320 commission per sale… you can see how this could add up fast. In fact, the top affiliate last year (2016) earned almost $50k in commissions!

There are also monthly payment plans available wherein if someone purchases that way, you’ll get monthly commissions for the duration of their payment plan.

Is the Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program Easy to Promote?

Yep, and this is a huge perk of the program. TThey have tons of freebies that you can offer your readers and audience that are tracked all the way through the sign-up and sale (called a “forever cookie”). Once someone signs up to the mailing list via your referral link (either through one of the freebies or a direct link to the waiting list), they are forever linked with your account. So, even if they purchase a year after they sign up for the waiting list, you still get paid.

Additionally, it’s just flat out an amazing blogging course, so you can feel confident that you’re promoting a quality product that will benefit your audience. They also have a 100% money-back guarantee:

“Elite Blog Academy comes with a 100% money back guarantee, which gives you the freedom to promote it with confidence. If one of your referrals completes the course and doesn’t see measurable results, they will get a full refund.”

– taken from the Elite Blog Academy affiliate program description

Elite Blog Academy Freebies (or “Freemiums”) You Can Promote

When you promote these freebies to your audience, and if they sign up to get one then they’re forever linked to your affiliate account. That means if they EVER purchase Elite Blog Academy down the line, you get the credit. Click on each image to see the email capture page for each.

How To Apply to the Elite Blog Academy Affiliate Program

If you want to become an Elite Blog Academy affiliate, the program is currently available by invite only, but if you purchase the course, or are alumni, you can become an affiliate.

You are required to complete an “affiliate bootcamp” before being approved as an affiliate. This short course has videos that show you how others are successfully promoting the program and how you can do the same, so it’s a super helpful.

Questions? Comments?

If you have any questions about becoming an Elite Blog Academy affiliate, let me know in the comments below & I’ll do my best to answer them for you!

5 Super Simple Ways Any Mom Blogger Can Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

5 Super Simple Ways Any Mom Blogger Can Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

The Little Black Book of Affiliate Programs for Bloggers

107 Affiliate Programs for Bloggers + The $500 Affiliate Marketing Roadmap
Check It Out!

Need to try this! She shows how to make money blogging using affiliate marketing. Love the mini case studies from other mom bloggers - gives me ideas to try! Pin for later or click through to see now.Six years ago my world changed in a moment.

Up to that moment, I was a young wife and working professional who could go anywhere and do anything on a whim.

After that moment, I was a young mother completely responsible for the life and health of another human being.

It was humbling and terrifying and exciting all at once.

As I held my newborn boy in my arms, the thought of “going back to work” was the farthest thing from my mind. But the reality of having two full-time incomes and no kids go to one income and a baby (with more to come) was impossible to ignore. We made it work, but knew we didn’t want to stay in that place.

You know which place I’m talking about, right?

The paycheck-to-paycheck place. The “You’ve got to be kidding me! The car needs what? And it costs how much??” place. The “I don’t think we’re going to be able to make it for Christmas” and “thank GOD for hand-me-downs” place where money is tight and stress is high.

Nope. We definitely did NOT want to stay there.

I was able to work on and off from home on a part-time basis (which helped), but I started to feel trapped. Tired. Bored. I thought: of all the things life can be, boring should NOT be one of them!

I craved flexibility and freedom, so I went out to get it.

I read and learned everything I could about blogging, wrote post after post during my baby’s naptimes, obsessed over SEO and my blog design, put ads in my sidebar… and wondered when the money was going to start rolling in.

Want to start a blog of your own but not sure how? Here’s your free step-by-step guide.

Not that I expected to get rich.

But I thought there’d be something coming in after several months at the grind. What was I doing wrong?

It wasn’t long before I realized that blogging – at least profitable blogging – doesn’t actually work that way.

The ads that I thought would be bringing home the bacon were actually a waste of space on such a new blog, and there was actually a MUCH BETTER way for me to be making money as a new blogger.

As Ruth Soukup teaches in Elite Blog Academy, if you have a new blog or low traffic, ads are most likely not going to be the best income stream for you.

Thankfully, I realized that there was a much quicker and easier way to make money with my blog.

The Quickest and Easiest Way For Mom Bloggers to Make Money

So, what is this diamond in the rough I found that enabled me to make money from my blog naturally and easily?

It’s called Affiliate Marketing, and it’s probably not what you’ve heard it is.

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission (money) for referring buyers to products and services. As a busy stay-at-home-mom of 4, this is now my #1 favorite way to make money blogging because it requires very little time to get rolling and, if done properly, still has huge potential for making a lot of money.

No products to create or services to provide that suck hours out of your day. No writing half-hearted sponsored posts just to make a one-off buck or randomly placing ads in your sidebar and crossing your fingers that someone clicks them.

Affiliate Marketing the Right Way (Because There is a Wrong Way)

Unfortunately, lots of bloggers do affiliate marketing all wrong, which causes them to make NO money and  LOSE trust with their readers. Don’t let that be you!

Here are some “Dos and Don’ts” you should know if you want to be successful with making money from affiliate marketing on your blog:

Get Your FREE $100 Affiliate Marketing Cheat Sheet for Bloggers

Discover the “Affiliate Marketing Profit Equation” that makes it easy to plan your first $100 revenue (+ peek behind the curtain at 3 of my personal favorite affiliate programs for bloggers)!

Not That!

Don't make these common affiliate marketing mistakes!
  • DON’T: Personally recommend products and services that you haven’t used just to make a buck (you’ll lose the trust of your readers)
  • DON’T: Sign up for every affiliate program under the sun. It gets too confusing to track them all and remember which ones to include in posts. I recommend signing up for 5 – 10 core affiliates to stay focused and effective.
  • DON’T: Get too pushy or salesy with promoting affiliate products. No one likes to be sold to (this is why people dread buying a new car or walking through the perfume & makeup section of a department store). Remember the “friend rule” from the “Do this” section.
  • DON’T: Just put affiliate ads up in your sidebar or random places on your blog and expect to make good money.
  • DON’T: Try to hide the fact that you’re an affiliate for the products and services you recommend. Not only does this violate the law, but it also violates the trust of your readers. Not worth it.

Steal These 5 Affiliate Marketing Hacks From Smart Mom Bloggers

As a blogger, there are countless ways you can use affiliate marketing to make money with your blog. Here are five real-life examples from bloggers who are using affiliate marketing successfully on their blogs:

1. Reviews

Write a blog post focused on reviewing a specific product or service.

Ashli from The Million Dollar Mama demonstrates this perfectly in her review of the Living Well Planner.

In her post, “How to Organize Your Whole Life With The Living Well Planner”, she explains what she was looking for in a planner and why the Living Well Planner was the perfect solution.

It includes several pictures and examples of how the planner would be useful to her readers, making it a great example of an effective review post that earns affiliate income.

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2. Tutorials

Write a how-to article that helps your readers solve a problem or reach a goal.

This article about going paperless from Abby over at Just a Girl and Her Blog is a great example of how to write a helpful tutorial that also earns money from affiliate marketing.

The post is packed to the brim with step-by-step advice and helpful resources. Affiliate earnings come from recommending products like the scanner (Amazon), Evernote and The Paperless Home ebook.

This type of post is perfect for earning affiliate commissions since it helps her readers solve a very specific problem and also has several opportunities for including affiliate links in a natural and authentic way.

3. Lists

Present a list of products or services that will help your readers in some way.

BuzzFeed made the “list post” popular, but you can make it profitable! Here’s a great example from the blog What Moms Love:

87 Energy-Busting Indoor Games & Activities For Kids (Because Cabin Fever Is No Joke)

Instead of another puny list of ideas, What Moms Love compiled a whopping 87 ways for moms to entertain their kids on a rainy day. Filled with bright, colorful pictures and easy-to-follow instructions, this post goes over-the-top in delivering value to its ideal reader.

The affiliate links that are sprinkled throughout the post accomplish two things: 1) They make it super easy for readers to get what they need and, 2) They earn the blog easy profit from commissions.

4. This vs. That

Put two different products up against each other and declare a winner.

Showdowns have drawn crowds since the Wild West, and blogging is the perfect platform to pit one thing against another in an epic head-to-head match.

Try comparing two similar products or services that your readers are interested in and break them down into nitty-gritty detail. Chantal of Busy Blogging Mom does this in her post about two popular but competing Pinterest schedulers, Tailwind and BoardBooster:

BoardBooster VS. Tailwind: Which Is Better?

In her post, Chantal discusses her experience with trying both services out, the pros and cons of each, and which one she ultimately decided to go with.

Since she’s including the features and benefits of each in an objective and factual way in order to let her readers decide, she’s able to use her referral links for both services – bonus!

5. Videos

Record a video to answer questions your readers have that would work naturally for making money with affiliate income.

Jordan Page of FunCheaporFree.com recorded this video to answer her #1 asked question from her fans on social media:

 

In the description of the video on YouTube, it has affiliate links to all the products used in the video. This is a fun, entertaining, and super helpful way to deliver value to her audience and make money.

There are a lot of different ways to make money blogging: ads, sponsored posts, selling products and offering services, to name just a few. But all of these methods have the drawback of either taking a lot of time and effort to setup and maintain or they only make you pennies when you’re starting out.

Affiliate marketing is the only blog monetization method that works great for new bloggers, takes very little time to set up, and also has great potential for making you a lot of money (which is why it’s perfect for busy moms!).

If you want to be successful with affiliate marketing on your blog, remember to stick to the “Dos & Don’ts” from the table above and use the real-life blog examples in this article as inspiration to create your own profit posts!

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Create Your Own S.M.A.R.T. Blog Profit Plan

Create Your Own S.M.A.R.T. Blog Profit Plan

Stop reading other bloggers' income reports and create YOUR OWN blog profit plan. A simple and S.M.A.R.T. profit action plan (+ free worksheet)So, hey. The new year is here… again. Another year gone, another year where your blog didn’t make any money. Or if it did, it was only a few measly bucks a month.

You read a million blog posts about making money and tried every monetization tip under the sun hoping it would do the trick.

And to be sure, some of that helped.

You probably learned a ton, grew your pageviews and social media following, and are a more seasoned blogger today than you were last year.

But you can’t cash pageviews in at the bank. If making money with your blog is a goal of yours, but you’re still not where you want to be after tons of trying, then it’s time to create a S.M.A.R.T. profit plan for your blog.

Tips and tricks and tools aren’t cutting it, and in fact, they’re probably doing more harm than good.

If you haven’t started your self-hosted blog yet to start earning money, here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.

A Quick Word On “Blogging Tips” and “Trying Things”

You’ve heard Pinterest is awesome for getting traffic and subscribers to your blog, so you go after it!

You’ve optimized your profile, switched to a business account, and revamped your Pin images on all your popular posts. You were just about to set up your daily Pinning schedule and re-work your board descriptions when you see it:

“Webinars Are The Best Thing In The World For Getting Subscribers”

It’s the shiny New Thing that gets your attention and makes you think everything you’re doing now is a waste of time. So you forget about Pinterest and start researching all things webinars. You’ve drafted your webinar outline and were just about to finish your slides when you see it:

“Facebook Groups Will Change Your Life! You Must Start One Today!”

Another shiny Shiny New Thing. Ugh. You put your webinar work on hold and start a Facebook group for your blog. You have a few hundred members, daily prompts and were just about to start doing Facebook Live videos when you see it:

“The Ultimate Guide to SEO and Infinite Free Traffic To Your Blog!”

STOP! Just stop, please.

It’s nearly impossible to finish the thing you’re working on right now before something new, and seemingly better, gets your attention.

And believe me, I get it. There are so many awesome ideas and advice out there about blogging, marketing, list building and making money that it’s hard to stay focused.

But focused, you must stay, my friend.

Jumping from one thing to the next is the kiss of death when you’re trying to grow your blog into a profitable side hustle or full-time income.

You need to stick to a goal-focused blogging plan and put every potential action through that filter before you do it. Don’t write one more post or spend one more minute on social media until you have a plan.

Create Your Own S.M.A.R.T. Blog Profit Plan

Before we start creating your blog profit plan, let’s take a quick moment to discuss what this whole S.M.A.R.T. business is that I’ve been talking about, because it’s important to set the right kind of goals before you set out.

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym used to help people set the kind of goals that get results. While the meaning of the letters can vary a bit depending on which application they have, for planning out our blog profit we’re going to use:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Actionable

R – Realistic

T – Time-bound

In order to get the best results from your blog profit goals, they need to meet all criteria. For example:

BAD GOAL: Make money with my blog.

This goal is Realistic, but it’s lacking the other 4 criteria. It’s completely generic, so once you set out to try and achieve it, you’ll end up chasing tips again and reading a dozen more articles about “How To Make Money With Your Blog” without adding a dime to your bank account.

GOOD GOAL: Make $2,000/month in consistent passive income by the end of 2017.

This goal is S.M.A.R.T.!

Specific – $2k

Measurable – Monthly

Actionable – Since the goal is passive income, you can focus on strategies that will feed that goal (eg. affiliate marketing) and ignore strategies that work against it (eg. offering services).

Realistic – While $2k a month isn’t easy to reach (you still have to set the foundation and do the work to get there!), it’s definitely realistic!

Time-bound – By the end of 2017

Okay! Let’s create your S.M.A.R.T. blog profit plan.

Step #1: Choose a “Dream Big” Goal for the Year

Start by choosing your one main profit goal for the year. Now’s not the time to be shy. Dream big – set a goal that excites you!

Doing this will help keep you motivated throughout the year as you start working through your plan monthly, weekly and daily.

[Tweet theme=”basic-white”]Your goals aren’t too big; they’re not BIG ENOUGH to get you excited. No snooze-fest goals![/Tweet]

Make sure it’s something strong enough to pull you out of bed in the morning and towards your keyboard at night when Netflix is calling.

Quick tip: Make sure you write your goals down! You’re 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

Step #2: The 10-Minute Idea Dump

This step is crucial to do at the start of your planning so you can avoid chasing after the Shiny New Things as they come up throughout the year.

Continuing with our goal example from above of $2k per month in passive income, set a timer to 10 minutes and write down all the things that come to mind that might help you reach that goal.

So if you run a style blog for busy moms, your list might look something like this:

  • affiliate marketing
  • google ads
  • simple hairstyles for moms (affiliate links to hair products & accessories)
  • amazon affiliates
  • sell ebook
  • roundup blog post with affiliate links
  • 5 staple pieces every mom wardrobe must have
  • look into RewardStyle affiliate marketplace
  • sell ad space
  • research how to do funnels
  • create course
  • reach out to etsy shop owners to pitch ad spots
  • course idea: “rock every season in style”, videos, photos, how-to guides
  • email series with affiliate links
  • shop page with recommendations
  • ask email list & FB groups what their biggest style frustrations are
  • how to style any outfit with these 3 accessories (post with affiliate links)
  • ebook idea: the frumpy mom’s guide to chic style in 10-minutes a day

This is just a sample list I came up with in about 5-10 minutes, and I know pretty much nothing about style! I’m sure you can come up with many more ideas that fit your own niche.

The trick is – don’t hesitate and don’t judge your ideas before you write them down. It’s an idea dump. Be general, be specific, be redundant… just write everything down and don’t stop until the 10 minutes are up. You can (and should) edit later. Just focus on getting ideas out of your head and on to paper.

Tip: If you need help figuring out a comprehensive gameplan for how to make your blog thrive, I personally suggest Elite Blog Academy. It’s only open once a year, so it’s best to jump on the (free) waiting list now so you don’t miss the enrollment period.

Step #3: Create a 90-Day Action Plan

Since I started blogging and goal setting roughly 7 years ago, I’ve always used a monthly planning system to guide me towards my yearly goal.

While this has worked pretty well, I’ve recently started to implement a 90-day plan and am loving the clarity it delivers! It’s so much easier to break my “Dream Big” goal into 4 large chunks and work my way down from there.

To implement the 90-day plan for yourself, set a goal for the first 90 days of your yearly plan, and break it down into 30-day actionable items.

Here’s what it looks like:

Download your free copy of this editable worksheet.

**This worksheet is modeled after the 90-day plan in the Fresh Start workbook, a workbook & planning guide to help you grow your blog & love your life in 2017! To download your own copy of the worksheet, go here.

Step #4: Work The Plan

I learned a new mantra recently (from the Fresh Start workbook mentioned above), and oh man is it powerful: “Work the plan”.

Don’t let its simplicity fool you; these three words will keep you focused and on track like nobody’s business! Work the plan monthly, weekly and daily.

  • When you sit down at your computer and don’t know what to start on first – work the plan.
  • When you find yourself scrolling aimlessly through Facebook looking for something exciting to happen – work the plan.
  • When you find yourself checking email for the 100th time today hoping for something noteworthy to pop up – work the plan.

By making a habit of this, you will start to make something happen. Of course… that’s assuming you have a plan to work.

Here’s how to create your plan:

1. Start by breaking your 90-day action plan into monthly tasks (like in the worksheet example above) and write them out in your blog planner (LOVE this one by Meera Kothand) or weekly and daily planning sheets.  You can do this for the full year if you want, but I like to keep it to 90-day chunks at a time so I don’t get overwhelmed and I can stay nimble and change things up if I need to (see step #5 below).

 

2. At the end of each week (I do it Sunday night), write out your goals for the following week so you’ll be able to hit the ground running on Monday morning. Make sure the items that make it onto your list feed your 30-day goal for that period. Don’t waste your time doing things you think you might need to do… be ruthless with your time and focus on things that you must do in order to meet your goal.

 

3. At the end of each work day, write out the tasks you’ll need to complete the following day to be able to meet your weekly goal. Since I only work about 2 hours a day, I keep my list to 2-3 things max (most days only 2).

Keep everything S.M.A.R.T., and make sure every item is feeding it’s bigger goal, and remember to write it down! Even billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson still writes down his goals, plans & ideas daily:

Write it down, write it down, write it down

A photo posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on

So your daily tasks should feed your weekly goals, your weekly goals should feed your monthly goals, your monthly goals should feed your 90-day action plan, and your 90-day action plan should feed your “Dream Big” goal for the year.

Step #5: Evaluate + Adjust Monthly

As important as it is to create your blog profit plan and work the plan daily, it’s just as important to evaluate your results on a regular basis.

Use a time block at the end of each month to check in on your goals and make sure your plan is actually working to help you reach them.

If so, great! Keep on working that plan! If not, then it’s time to be flexible and change your approach.

For instance, one of your 30-day goals might be to increase your email subscribers by 100. In order to accomplish this, you set a weekly goal of publishing one guest post per week to get 25 new subscribers per guest post.

If, however, your guest posting isn’t returning those results, then it’s time to switch up that strategy! Consider what you might be doing wrong with your guest posts and also brainstorm other ways to build your email list. Then, work up a new plan for the next 30-days.

Having a thriving and profitable blog is no accident, and no amount of chasing tips or reading articles is going to help if you don’t have a strong goal + plan to get there.

We’ve learned how to:

1. Set a “Dream Big” profit goal for your blog this year

2. Do a 10-minute Idea Dump

3. Create a 90-Day Action Plan

4. Work the Plan!

5. Evaluate & Adjust

Follow these 5 simple steps to creating a S.M.A.R.T. blog profit plan that works… take the time NOW to map it out and get clear on what you want from your blog. Don’t forget to sign up for the Elite Blog Academy waiting list if you need help figuring out how to grow your blog readers and income. You can do this – I promise.

Consider sharing? If you enjoyed this post, would you share it on social media? That one 5-second gesture goes a long way to help support my blog ❀. And I’m always happy to chat with you in the comments below if you have any questions or feedback!