My Favorite Money Saving Apps

Top 10 Money Saving Apps

Your smartphone can be a very powerful tool if you know how to use it for more than just surfing social media and posting memes. There are so many money saving apps available that can help you save large amount of cash every single year! Here are my favorite money saving apps and the ones I tend to reach for on a daily/weekly basis.

If you have a smartphone, you know that there is an app for darn near everything. Type in “money saving apps” and the huge array of choices can be a bit overwhelming. It is hard to know what is legit? What companies will actually pay out? Some of these companies require you to enter sensitive information. Who can you trust?

Some of these we use on a regular basis. Some of these money saving apps are on our “2019 to-do list” to set up. Some of these are used daily! I hope you’ll enjoy our list of money saving apps, and please comment below with some of the apps your family enjoys using to help save money and meet your financial goals!

Ibotta

One of my faves and super easy to use! Simply scan this before you head out the door to shop and you can add offers to your account. Then go shopping and afterwards, just take a pic of your receipt and Ibotta will give you credit!

This is definitely one of those “small trickles make a big stream” apps but it can really add up over time!

Click here to sign up for Ibotta (this is my referral link FYI!).

Target

The Target app makes me so  happy. Not only is it now a one stop shop for all Target Cartwheel offers and coupons, but it also offers a built in price checker AND you can pay via the app!

As you peruse Target, pull out the app to scan items to see if there are relevant coupons/Cartwheel offers that you can apply to your purchase.

Are you a Target RedCard holder? You can actually link your card to your app so that you can pay with your phone at checkout!

This app saves me so much money because it makes finding the great deals at Target so easy!

Coupon Sherpa

This app saves my butt every single time I leave the house to go shopping and forget to bring my retail coupons! Standing in line at Sally’s Beauty supply? I quickly open up this app to see if there are any relevant coupons I can use!

I love the interface of this app over other retail coupon apps and I have found that if there is a coupon out there, Coupon Sherpa usually has it available.

Groupon

I love Groupon. You can save on products, services and travel! I have Groupon on my phone and try to check it on a daily basis to see if there are any deals that will help my family.

You can also use Groupon if you intend to travel. You are not limited to only buying deals in your local area. Say you are traveling to Branson, just plug Branson into Groupon and see what deals you can find! This can be a great and frugal way to travel for less.

Sign up for Groupon here if you have not already!

Cozi

This one might seem a bit strange. This is a calendar/family organizer that you can use to organize basically your entire life. My family uses the Cozi app and I have a full review planned for later this month about how much we love it (well, I’m not sure the kids love the chore lists…but it’s better than us barking orders at them!).

This app is a money saving app for me because it includes meal planning and from your meal plan, you can make grocery lists! Meal planning and never going to the grocery store without a list are HUGE money savers for me and my family!

We pay for the Gold version of Cozi, which is a bit pricey, but we more than earn that money back in our annual savings.

Gas Buddy

This app will do just what you think it will! It will help you save money on gas! Tell Gas Buddy where you are and it will find the cheapest gas around town for you!

If you are going on a road trip, you can even plan your trip based on where you can find cheap gas along your route!

My Grocery Store Apps

I’m not sure what grocery stores you have near you, but all of my local grocery stores have an app. Their apps all have coupons available that I can either add to my store loyalty card, or I can at least see the weekly ad. In my area, most grocery stores have stopped mailing their weekly physical ad, so I find this super helpful!

Restaurant Apps

Do you frequent your local Starbucks? Are you a Chili’s regular? Regardless of where you tend to spend your eating out cash, be sure to see if that restaurant has an app! Often times, chain restaurants will have apps that link to loyalty programs. The more you frequent their establishment, the more perks you get.

Here are a few of our faves:

Starbucks

Buffalo Wild Wings

BJ’s

Acorns

Acorns is a way to make saving and investing basically effortless. It works by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar and then adding that difference to your Acorns account.

Then, the money will be invested in your portfolio and you will earn a return on your investment.

It takes 5 minutes to set up and is a super easy way to increase your savings with minimal involvement.

You Need A Budget

This app works by going off of last month’s income. The theory is that if you are only spending money that is over 30 days “old”, you will relieve yourself of the neverending paycheck to paycheck cycle that most of society tends to live in.

FYI, you work your way up to this level. They don’t automatically assume you can just stop spending/paying bills this month to free up your income for next month.

This app does require you to hook up your bank account info for it to work effectively. It is highly rated and has great support if you have any issues. This app can be tried for 34 days for free, but afterwards you will have to pay a $6.99 monthly fee.

I have several other apps I use, and several others that I am interested in checking out.

For now though, these are the money saving apps that I am personally most excited about!

Do you have any apps that you love to use to save money? Am I way off the mark on my top 10 list? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Things I Do Daily Online To Earn/Save Money

You might not realize it, but every time you log into your computer you have the potential to improve your finances. Maybe you are already doing these things daily…maybe you are not. Either way, all 5 of these tasks are so easy to build into your daily computer time, that you’ll soon be doing them on autopilot!

Pull up my email using Swagbucks

Every single morning, the first thing I do is check my personal email account. I have a hotmail account and I could easily bookmark my inbox if I wanted to. However…I added one simple step to my morning routine about a year ago and I’ve never looked back.

Instead of bookmarking my inbox…I bookmark the search results page for Hotmail on Swagbucks! This way, I have the chance of getting Swagbucks first thing every morning (I’m going to let you in on a secret…about 70% of the time I get swagbucks for that very first search each day!). I do this throughout the day as well. If you don’t know much about Swagbucks, you can head on over and read my tutorial (I NEVER pay for diapers anymore! I use my Swagbucks to purchase Amazon Gift Cards and use those to buy my diapers using Amazon Subscribe & Save!).

*I know also click the Super Lucky button over on Superpoints a few times! I’ve been able to redeem several high value Amazon Gift Cards through Superpoints. Sign up here. 

Check my email for Paid Surveys and Paid Emails

I have really pulled back from paid surveys and emails, but there are three companies that still get my attention daily. Inbox Dollars, Toluna and Synovate . If there is an email in my inbox from one of those 3 companies that I can get paid for…I jump on it! Maybe those aren’t your cup of tea. Here are some survey/product review/paid email companies preferred by FFF readers:

  1. Synovate Global Opinion Panel
  2. Opinion Outpost
  3. MyPoints
  4. Inbox Dollars
  5. National Consumer Panel
  6. Valued Opinions
  7. Toluna
  8. MySurvey
  9. Vocalpoint-Does not provide monetary compensation. “Vocalpoint is a community for women that provides valuable and interesting insights about new products as well ascoupons and samples you can share with those you care about. These surprising gifts are certain to brighten your day. Membership is free and privacy is guaranteed. While you are able to keep the samples or coupons you receive from us, membership is completely voluntary.”
  10. Send Earnings

I never spend too much time on surveys or paid emails because time is money! I won’t spend 30 minutes on something that is going to pay me $.25. But $10? $5? Sure! Emails take seconds as well…totally worth it!

Check my bank accounts

This is super important. I’m not even the finance person in our family. We’re a team, but my husband handles most of the financial stuff, so luckily I don’t have to pay bills 😉 . However, I always like to be in the know when it comes to our bank accounts. We have our standard checking account and several savings account and sinking funds over at ING (I HIGHLY recommend ING…love them!). I go over the numbers and I make sure they seem like where they are supposed to be. We budget pretty much based on a zero balance budget (meaning every dollar has a name, even the dollars that go into savings), but every once in awhile something will sneak up! It’s good to be in the know!

I also like to make sure I don’t have any payments outstanding. Late charges and overdraft fees were once upon a time WAY too common in my life. So nowadays, we really try and keep on top of those things. Don’t let a stupid mistake result in a big fee!

Check out My Favorite Daily Deals Sites and Amazon Gold Box

Okay, maybe this is the blogger in me! But I always check these places to make sure there is nothing that I need/want that passes me by. I’m a big fan of stocking up when a price is hot, and I love finding awesome deals! As a result, we have a fully stocked gift closet and we never have to scramble last minute to find gifts. Come Christmas time, we aren’t out with the mad rush of shoppers unless we just want to be, because we shop all year long!

Here are the sites I frequent most often:

In some cases I am looking for my specific city, but I also try to hunt down nationwide/online deals as well.

Finally I head on over to Facebook

Facebook…where good deals and happy coupons live ;). I follow a handful of blogs that post deals to their fan pages. You see many of these deals pop up here on Family Friendly Frugality throughout the day (with credit to the originating source of course!). The truth is, the internet is wide and vast and you can’t expect to find every deal or coupon that is HOT on your own. So make a habit of following a few select pages and follow up with them throughout the day!

You might see some overlap…if something is hot we all want to tell our readers about it! But you’ll find different gems on different pages so it’s worth following a few (this coming from a blogger who wants to keep your readership and your like on Facebook…YES I do suggest following a *few* other frugal deal blogs on Facebook!).  I find deals on my own that the other pages you follow might not have been able to tell you about. Likewise, I have 2 kids and a husband and a home and a life of my own, so I’ll never be able to keep up with every deal that’s out there.

In conclusion

Basically I hit my inbox, my banks, facebook and a few shopping sites and that’s it. All over my morning coffee. How much have I saved/earned doing this daily? I couldn’t even begin to calculate it!

Chances are, you do these things already, but you might think it’s all just mindless surfing. Trust me, it’s not. You can make/save good money by keeping on top of these things, and I encourage you to work into your routine anything that you aren’t currently making a habit of.

What do you do online to save money daily? 

 

 

How to Set Up A Test Site for Your Blog (Self Hosted WordPress Blog)

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Lately, I’ve been tinkering with my site a bit more than usual. Playing with those dangerous files under the hood and driving myself and probably everyone else crazy.

I’ve broken my site several times and thankfully learned how to bring it back up again all by myself.

Today I learned how to set up a testing site for my blog, and I was really amazed by just how EASY it was. I had Googled my little heart out to find a tutorial for setting up a test site for my blog and honestly, I came up empty-handed.

Today, I headed out to the bookstore and found this book:

WordPress All-in-One For Dummies

This IS available in Kindle format.

But that would be a HORRIBLE idea.

For the process of setting up a test site for my blog, I flip-flopped throughout the entire book from front to back…this would not be easy in an e-reader (but I do love my Kindle!). This book is about 4 inches tall.

It’s an enormous book, but it contains a TON of awesome information.

I digress though, let’s set you up with a test site for your blog!

Set Up A Test Site for your WordPress Blog

Difficulty: Medium
Time: Several hours. Most of it you can walk away from, but be sure to copy down where you are at in the process so you don’t get confused.
Requires knowing how to use your FTP client.

WARNING: You can absolutely positively screw up your entire site by messing with these files. If you do EXACTLY what I say, you won’t actually be modifying anything on your actual site. However, if you mess up and delete something or hit the wrong key…permanent type stuff can happen.

I recommend backing up your site before you get started and making sure the backup is successful. Once you have your backup…you should proceed with caution. I’m not trying to scare you.

IN FACT, by helping you set up a test site for your blog, I’m trying to empower you.

With a test site you can start trying to learn how to modify and alter your site through trial and error, which in my opinion, is the best way to learn. I’m not going to lie though, if you don’t know  how to do much more than write a post and hit publish (and there is NO shame in that), you probably shouldn’t attempt this.

Note: This tutorial is long and it is involved. I recommend scanning it through before you start. That said, it’s one of those things that you might not fully understand until you are following along with it. Step by step. I might try and make it available as a printable PDF if anyone is interested. Tell me in the comments if you are interested.

Finally, I take no responsibility if you blow up your blog. I went so far as to double check this tutorial by setting up a SECOND testing site (which I don’t need) to ensure this tutorial would work. It works. If it doesn’t work for you, I’m so sorry but I can’t take responsibility. Okay…let’s go!

Part 1 of setting up a test site for your blog: Setting up the subdomain & creating your MySQL database

Step 1: First you’ll need to log into your CPanel where you host your site. I host my site through WiredTree (I love it there!).

Step 2: Now you’ll scroll down until you see Subdomains icon. Click on it.(note: You might find yourself stopped in your tracks right here. Not all hosting companies offer subdomains. If you don’t see this icon, contact them. They might be able to set you up from their end, or unfortunately, they might let you know it’s simply not possible. In which case, you COULD just buy a random domain name, and start this tutorial with installing wordpress. It’s more convenient though if you can just use a subdomain.)

Step 3: On this next screen, you’ll name your subdomain. Just type in what you want to call your subdomain.

Next to Domain Root, choose the name of the domain you want to assign your subdomain to in the drop down box (if you only have one blog hosted, it will be the only option in the drop down for you).

Step 4: Click Create

Step 5: Now you are going to go back to the home screen of your CPanel and scroll down to MySQL Databases

Step 6: Click MySQL Database. On the next screen, enter a name for your new database (Jot this down under Database Name somewhere)

Step 7: Now go down to MySQL Users on the MySQL Databases page. Choose a username and password. (Jot these down under Username and Password) Click Create User.

Step 8: A Message will appear to let you know you were successful. Click Go Back.

Step 9: In the drop down under Add Users to Databases, choose the user you just set up and in the database drop down list, choose the database you just created. You’ll be taken to a new screen. Assign ALL Privileges to the user (you). Click Make Changes. Go back.

Part 2 of setting up a test site for your blog: Installing WordPress via FTP

Step 1: Now you’ll need to install wordpress onto your subdomain. To do this, you’ll need to log into your FTP client. I use Filezilla.

Step 2: Log into your FTP (you’ll need your host {which is a bunch of numbers. Example: 111.111.111.111}, your username and your password…if you don’t know your host name you can ask your hosting provider. You were given this info at installation though and you should also be able to find it in your cpanel)

Step 4: Click on Public HTML and choose your testing domain from the dropdown. Yours should be empty right now.

Under Remote Site
Click the + sign next to public_html
Find the name you assigned to your testing site. Click the + to open.

Step 5: Go here and download the latest version of WordPress onto your computer. Once it’s downloaded, extract the files (not sure how? For me, in Google Chrome, I do the following: 1. Show in folder 2. Right click on file and choose Extract All Files 3. Designate the folder I want the files to end up in)

Step 6: In your FTP client, you’ll now grab the files in the FOLDER (not the whole folder) and upload those to your testing folder. (this takes a bit…there’s a lot to upload!)

Find the WordPress download on your computer and open it so it opens in the window below.
Open the folder
JUST the files. Not the whole folder.

Part 3 of setting up a test site for your blog: Getting WordPress Up & Running

Step 1: Now, in your browser, go to your test blog’s url. So if you called your test blog “testing123.myblogname.com”, type that in.

Step 2: You’ll be shown a screen that tells gives you the option to create a configuration file. Click that button.

Step 3: Click the Let’s Go button at the bottom of the page.


Step 4: Now you’ll need to pull out the info you jotted down earlier:

:: Database Name: The name you used when you created your MySQL database earlier. You might need to add your name as a combination of your username and the database name separated with an underscore (_). (I did)

:: User Name: This is the username you just created earlier just prior to creating your database.

:: Password: Use the password you used when you set up your MySQL database.

:: Database host: I was able to leave it as localhost. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to contact your hosting company.

:: Table Prefix: Left as wp_

Step 5: Click Submit.

Step 6: Click to install WordPress.

Step 7:    Site Title is what you want your testing site for your blog to be called.

Username is whatever you want to use as your WordPress login (don’t use admin for security reasons).

Password is whatever password you want.

Email is…well I’ll let you figure that out 😉

Allow your blog to appear in search engines? I’d rather my test blog NOT be indexed…so I unchecked this box.

Step 8: Click the Install button.

Step 9: When it’s done you’ll get an email to log in. Go for it! You did it! Dance like Dora!

(Possibly OPTIONAL) Part 4 of Setting Up A Test Site for Your Blog: Exporting/Importing Your Blog Content

FYI…here’s where things get a bit tricky. If you have a blog with any decent amount of content…it’s going to be BIG. I’ll tell you what I did, but I’m not convinced this is the correct or easy way to do it. If you find an easier way, please tell me in the comments!

***It dawned on me AFTER I did this whole thing that you probably don’t HAVE to do this step. You might want all your pages on your test site, but you really have no need to have all your posts on there.

It does also bring over your navigational menus and some other important items (specifically: “This will contain all of your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, terms, navigation menus and custom posts”), so you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Honestly on my second go round, I tried to skip this step and it didn’t work out. So I went back and did it and was once again successful. So I’m going to go ahead and say DO IT…but it you are smarter than me and you can figure out how to NOT do it…well that’s okay too 😉 .

Step 1: Go into your MAIN BLOG. The blog you are making a testing site for.

Step 2: Scroll down to Tools in your dashboard and choose Export.

Step 3: Choose to Export ALL CONTENT

Step 4: You’ll have an XML file downloaded to your computer.

Step 5: Here’s where things get tricky. My file was huge. WordPress’s importer will only import files 8MB or smaller so I had to find a way to make my XML file smaller so I could upload the files to my testing site. I downloaded this free program here that I found by searching the WordPress.org forums. It worked well and split my huge XML file into…wait for it…17 files.

SO yes, I had to import each file in separately.

If you want to do it my way, head on over here and download WXRSplitter. Once the program is downloaded, use it to split your XML file. Hopefully you have less files than I do! You can attempt to make them into 8MB chunks, but I had read in my googling that people were having issues importing anything over 2MB, so I made mine all 2MB.

Move the resulting files into an easy to find folder on your computer and head on over to your TEST BLOG now.

Step 6: Go down to Tools and Click Import. Now you are going to import each file one at a time. Be sure you don’t try to import your large file…it simply won’t work.

Choose WordPress:

The first screen you’ll see will ask if you want to assign new authors to the posts made by unregistered users. I ignored all of this. You are being asked this because the authors of the posts you are importing are not users on your test blog. There’s no need for them to be, so just ignore it.

I also did not check Download and Import File Attachments.

I just clicked Submit. For every file, that’s all I did on this page. Clicked submit.

Give it a bit and you’ll come to a screen that probably looks a bit alarming. Filled with a bunch of warnings that items failed to upload.

Don’t let it alarm you. Remember you are uploading bits and pieces of your site…it will eventually all end up up over there.

Step 7: When you finish…take a look at your site (it’s also fun to watch it as you upload the smaller files. It’s cool to see it slowly taking shape!)! You aren’t done yet though.

Part 5 of Setting Up A Test Site for Your Blog: Bringing in your Pictures, Theme and Plugins

Step 1: We’ve only brought in our content so far. We still need to bring over our theme files, our media files and our plugin files.

Step 2: Let’s go back to our FTP Client and log in once again (if you aren’t still logged in).

Step 3: Go into your main blog’s files and you’ll want to download the following files (they will all be under public_html->wp-content):

/wp-content/uploads

/wp-content/plugins

/wp-content/themes

Just an FYI…these can take a LONG time. Specifically the uploads file if you have a lot of media files on your site (which I did). You might choose not to upload the media file onto your site. It’s up to you.

Then you get to do the whole thing again in the next step (when you upload the downloaded files onto your testing blog). This is probably the most time-consuming but minimally hands on portion of this whole process.

Step 4: Once these are downloaded, go BACK into your testing blog in FTP and upload these files to the correct folder (wp-content). Since you installed a fresh WordPress install in there…you’ll get a warning that you already have some of the files and do you want to override them?

Yes you do. And to prevent having to do this a million times,  you’ll need to tell it to Always Use This Action and I’d suggest also checking Apply To This Que Only because you likely don’t want that to be the default for your FTP client in the future. 

Step 5: Now it’s just a matter of going into your test blog and setting things live. Everything you uploaded won’t be activated, so you’ll have to activate your theme, your menus and your plugins. In addition, any settings that you put into your theme (font size/color/etc) will need to be set by you on your test blog as well. This is a great time to play with different colors and fonts…since you are now on your TEST blog!

A few things to be aware of:

  • Your widgets won’t be in place. If you want to set up a true testing  environment, you’ll want to make your test blog as similar to your real blog as possible. So maneuver your widgets to be as identical as possible to your main blog.
  • Likewise, you’ll realize that some plugins and widgets require steps (api keys, can only be installed on one site, etc) that are unnecessary for a test blog. In that case, you can make place holders. For instance, for a 300×250 ad sense ad, just create a colored square and write “Ad Sense Ad 300×250” in it. Upload it to your site as media and use HTML to put the picture in the appropriate widget (like the picture below):
  • This is a testing environment. Which means that breaking stuff is okay! Remember, you can wipe this baby clean and re-install wordpress and your site files at any time. This should encourage you to try things that you probably wouldn’t try out otherwise!

I broke my testing blog when I started turning on my plugins. I got sick of turning them on one by one, so I turned them all on at once. BIG scary mistake!

Or it would have been if it was on my actual website. Since it was on my test blog, it was simply time to learn.

I ended up finding out that you can actually disable ALL your plugins via FTP by just renaming the plugin file “plugins.hold”. Then I was able to go in and one by one delete plugins until I figured out the problem. It was awesome!

I know this is LONG. And I know it seems like a ton of work. It will be SO worth it though. I’m so excited to play with my new test blog!

3 Myths About Making Money With A Blog – Yes, You CAN Do it!



Guest Post by Tonya (bio end of post)

If you haven’t heard already, the blogging world has absolutely exploded in the past couple of years.  There’s a lot of talk out there about people successfully making an income from their blogs.

Have you ever thought that YOU could be one of those people?

Well, I’m here to tell you, as a blogger making a full-time income from home with my blog – that, yes, YOU can!

Let’s take a look at three reasons most people think they can’t successfully blog for money.

Not Enough Time

I’m not going to lie to you – blogging does take some time and effort in order to be successful.  If it didn’t, would you even believe it was true?  How many “get rich quick” schemes have we all heard of these days?  Most, if not all, are a complete lie.

While blogging does take a time investment, particularly as you get started – it can be so much fun that it doesn’t even seem like work at all!  If you have a topic that you’re really passionate about – something you already talk to people about all the time anyway – why not start putting that information on a blog and potentially earn an income from home while doing it?

As a stay-at-home mom to little ones, I’m living proof that it IS possible to make the time to have a successful, money-making blog.  Here are a few things that I’ve done that help with balancing life at home and running a profitable blog:

  1. Schedule your time.  Decide what chunks of time you have throughout the day to blog.  Then set “blogging hours” – and stick to them.  I don’t like to blog while my kids are awake so I know this leaves me early mornings, nap times, and the occasional evening.
  2. Plan your blogging time in advance.  At the end of each week, plan what you need to get done the following week. At the end of each day, plan what you need to do the next day.  I’ve found that having a plan already in place when I get up in the morning saves me the time of groggily trying to remember where to even start (I’m NOT a morning person!).
  3. Blog ahead of schedule.  Everything about my blog that I can schedule in advance, I do.  I write several blog posts at once and then schedule them out over the course of several weeks.  As much of my Facebook and Twitter interactions as I can, I schedule in advance.  This frees me up throughout the weeks – just in case those unexpected little things come up and I can’t get to my blogging that day.

Can You Really Make Money From Blogging?

Yes, you can!  With the right information, the right resources, and the right motivation, it’s amazing what can be done with a blog! In the first year of my current blog, we grossed over $30,000.

Nope, that’s not a typo – read that number again.

While I will tell you that this isn’t necessarily the norm in blogging, it does show a bit of the possibilities there.

If you’re looking to start a money-making blog – or you’ve already started and need to see some change in your blog’s success, here are three tips I’ve found helpful:

  1. Blog about your passion.  You have to absolutely love your topic.  You love it so much you talk about it even if people aren’t going to pay you.  You love it so much you want everyone to be excited about it, as well!
  2. Get help from those who have gone before.  Don’t try to start out on your own – that’s what I did in the beginning and I wasted so much time trying to find all the answers and fit everything together by myself.  Once I finally learned that I should be learning from those who were seeing the success that I wanted, and I started applying what they were saying, then my life got a lot easier.  There is SO much information available out there.  Find someone who can help you stay on track doing what’s important.
  3. Find a need and fill it.  Take a look at the blogs that interest you – what piece of the puzzle are they missing?  What service or product or information are they leaving out, that you could provide instead?  Find your special perspective on your topic – then reach out and really start helping people by  meeting their needs.

I need to know too much technical stuff.

Maybe in the beginning, blogging required a lot of technical know-how – you know, like HTML coding and CSS, etc. – things I’m not even sure what they stand for, actually.  But, not anymore.  Blogging platforms and hosting companies with support teams are making blogging easier for the average person.

The three things you need to start your blog:

  1. A Hosting Plan – where your blog content is stored.
  2. A Domain or URL – your blog address
  3. A Blogging Platform – I highly recommend wordpress.org as the options for your blog are limitless!

That’s it – those are the basics you need to start publishing your blog!

What Are Your Blogging Questions?

Share in the comments below – I’ll do my best to get you the answers you need.

Tanya is the blogger behind Blogelina.com.  She loves blogging – and also enjoys helping other stay-at-home moms learn how to make money working from home.  Her popular Profitable Blogging for Beginners Online Class (which you can take right now for free!) has helped hundred of bloggers see more success with their blogs. 

 

P.S. Have you heard about our 10-Week Blog Mentorship Program?  It starts February 1st – space is limited so be sure to check it out!

How to Link a Clickable Image to A Document or PDF?

How to link a clickable image to an online document?

I’m going to teach you how to do it really quickly, it’s actually very simple!

This is a question I get asked quite often by newer bloggers. Even veteran bloggers will ask me about it if they notice I’ve done it on a recent post!

Disclaimers:

First off, if there is a way to “embed” the document itself into your content, I don’t know about it. This is just how I personally link to a document using a small image of the document.

Secondly, the process is pretty similar for Blogger or WordPress, but my directions will primarily be from a WordPress point of view.

How to make a clickable image link to a document online

    1. First off, I’m going to assume you have your document or PDF uploaded to the internet already. If not, you can upload to Google Docs or you can actually upload PDF’s (not the documents) onto your own site using the Add Media tab (WordPress only?).
      :: For Google Docs, make sure you grab the Share URL.  (Go to Share in the upper right hand corner. Choose your privacy settings. You’ll need to either choose “anyone with a link” or “public” for  your readers to be able to access the document. Then you’ll be taken to a page with the link you need to use to share the document. Do not use the url you see in your browser. That won’t work. You have to use the sharing url.)
      :: For Media uploaded to your website, you’ll just use the link to the media after you upload it. This is the link to the PDF shown above: https://www.familyfriendlyfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2011-Goals-Wrapped-Up.pdf

       

I usually have to hit Control A and then Control C to grab these links
  • Next you want to take a screen shot of the image you want to be clickable. I use either Snagit (costs $$$ or use the free version) or Awesome Screenshot (free extension for most browsers) to get my screen shot.
  • Now, just re-size the image to the size you want. Tip: I don’t necessarily want the image to be readable within the blog post. Why? Well because in the past, when I’ve made it readable on the blog post, sometimes people think that the image is NOT clickable (despite the caption “Click to Print”) and they mistakingly believe they have to print the entire blog post to print the document. I know, it sounds a bit crazy, but seriously? Just ask me how I know this.
  • Here’s where the magic happens 😉 . Upload the image to your blog post the same way you upload any other image. In the link field, put the link to the online document. In the caption field, write out Click to Print. (for Bloggers users, I think you have to upload the image first, then click the image and then click the attachment link to add the link).
  • Voila!
  • Super easy, and it looks really great too.

    Now you can offer your readers PDF’s and documents and make them even more attractive by linking to them via clickable images!

    Enjoy!

    Here are some posts where I have linked to documents with clickable images:

    WMFW: Small Trickles Make A Stream (Make Money Online)

    I’m often asked about the online money making offers I post:

    Do you really use these?”

    Can you really make money with these sites?”

    Are you sure this isn’t a scam? Seems way too good to be true!”

    My answers are respectively:

    1. Yes, although not as much nowadays.

    2. Yes, although be wary of claims of huge payouts.

    3. There are definitely scams out there, I won’t ever promote a scam though. Even the programs that aren’t scams tend to overestimate your potential earnings…so take their claims with a grain of salt.

    Can you really make money online?

    Yes you can. And  yes, you can make money online doing things like reading emails, completing surveys and reviewing products. Will you get rich? Absolutely not.

    However, small trickles really do turn into a stream! Like I always say, every little bit helps. Maybe you only earn enough to take your family out to eat once a week…that still can be a big morale boost! Some people earn enough to cover their groceries for the month. Swagbucks pays for our diapers and wipes each and every month and has for the past 8 months!

    It’s not as easy as it sounds though. It’s not as simple as just logging into your account and bam, people are going to give you money!

    First off, the reason they are compensating you for your time is because they want something from you. In some cases it’s your opinion, in others it’s your email address, in some cases they desperately want to get their hands on your phone number.

    Secondly, there’s no such thing as “free money”.

    Here are some things to think about when you decide you to want to start trying to earn some money online:

    1. Provide minimal personal information. If an offer pushes you past your comfort zone, opt out and wait for the next, less obtrusive offer.
    2. Set up another email account. These people want your email address and they will use it. Consider it your “work” email.
    3. Keep track of what you are earning and how you are being paid. It’s easy to cash those checks or spend that paypal without thinking much of it. Make sure your bottom line is making sense for the time you are spending.
    4. Focus on what works and forget what doesn’t. I tried a few different Swagbucks type sites before I started focusing my efforts there. Swagbucks provided the most compensation with the least work, so I focused my efforts there and have not been disappointed.
    5. Agree to give everything a shot, but allow yourself to back out if it’s not working out for you. This is similar to the above point, but it’s a reminder to keep an open mind. Just because something worked horribly for someone else, doesn’t mean that it won’t be great for you.

    Why don’t you do it as much nowadays?

    The main reason I don’t do many surveys nowadays is because I just don’t have time. However, if we started having money problems? I’d be right back to my survey’s and product reviews in an instant. When I was really involved in survey sites and paid emails I was averaging about a part time paycheck from a minimum wage job. Making money while I nursed and played with my babies. It wasn’t easy and a lot of it was crap, but we needed the money, so it was worth it!

    What’s worth it?

    I have personally either used all of the below companies OR I’ve heard great things about them from people I respect and trust (companies crossed out are not accepting applicants at this time):

    1. Synovate Global Opinion Panel
    2. Survey Junkie
    3. Earning Station
    4. Top Cashback
    5. Vindale Research
    6. Swagbucks

    Sign up for all or some of these and weed out those that don’t work for you. Utilize their referral programs and any other easy methods of earning. If you are hurting financially, you can make money by using these online companies. Keep it in perspective though and remember to use strategic shopping and budgeting to further your dollar even further.

    You won’t get rich, but small trickles can create a big stream. Be wise with what you earn and you’ll definitely begin to see a profit.

    How & Why I MonetizE My Blog

    I know there is always a bit of controversy surrounding monetizing your blog.

    You either are for it or you hate it.

    Personally? I love it.

    It’s no secret that my blog is monetized. I try to be as upfront about it as I can so people can make the decision themselves about whether they want to click my links (please do!) or not.

    Monetizing my blog allows me to get paid for doing something I love. It allows me to get paid for something that takes time away from my family. It allows me to get paid for helping a store get a sale, or a sign-up or simply helping get a site NOTICED!

    I decided early on that I wouldn’t ever promote anything I:

    A. Wouldn’t take advantage of myself (not to say I take advantage of every deal I post…I’m not made of money!)

    B. Wouldn’t fit in with my own moral standards (for instance, you’ll never see me promote anything that is illegal!)

    C. Would be considered spammy or unhelpful to my readers.

    My goal is to enrich your life by providing deals, access to special offers and links to coupons…and I get paid a bit for it. I’m not ashamed of it. I own it, and it works for me.

    Now, am I making enormous wads of cash doing this? Absolutely not. I know there are people that make 6 figures blogging. I am certainly not one of them! Do I even make a living? No, not by any stretch of the imagination.

    In time though? I do hope to earn enough to allow me to work from home even after my children are in school so I can be more available to them. Every time a reader supports my efforts, I get a step closer to that goal.

    I think because I am so upfront about my affiliations and have my disclaimer right at the bottom of all of my posts, I get a lot of emails asking HOW I monetize my blog.

    Here are a few links to companies I am affiliated with:

    • Google Adsense-If you have a blog, this is the easiest ad network you can sign up with. 
    • ShopHer– I don’t use this affiliate network that often, but often when I link to a coupon, I use their coupon printing links. 
    • Commission Junction– a network with Best Buy, Restaurant.com, Torrid, etc
    • Linkshare– Toys R Us, Itunes, Walmart, etc
    • Amazon Affiliate – This is my favorite! Who doesn’t love Amazon? It’s actually really easy to make money as an Amazon affiliate just by sharing the things you love. 
    • RewardStyle – RewardStyle can be a bit tough to get into for a new influencer, but it’s worth it! 
    • ShareASale – I love ShareASale for online retailers such as Jane and Proozy. I link to the great deals on these sites on a regular basis and ShareASale helps make this a win/win for me and my readers! 
    (yes some of those are referral links)
    The main way I make money though is because I am honest and passionate. I don’t promote things I don’t enjoy. I don’t promote things that I think are scams. If I goof up and promote something that doesn’t work out. I’ll fess up and pull it down.
    Monetizing my blog is a way to turn my passion into a business. It’s a way to help out not just all of my wonderful readers, it’s also a way to help out my family!

    Looking for more resources on starting a blog and monetizing a blog? Click the links below!