Bloggers: Why Email Subscriptions Are Hugely Important (Plus a How To)

When you are trying to drive traffic to your blog, it’s easy to focus on just getting people to land on your home page. You hope that once they are there, they’ll fall in love with your stellar content and sing your praises to everyone they know!

The truth is, we’re all on information overload these days, so just hoping you get return traffic isn’t enough. You need to find ways to ensure it.

That’s where Social Media comes in, and why it’s so great! Make sure your Facebook, Twitter and other social media icons are super obvious and easily used and if you make the like/follow/share easy enough…you’ve got a new committed reader, right?

While it’s no secret that I enjoy getting new followers on Facebook and Twitter (Facebook specifically seems to be a fabulous traffic driving tool for my blog), it also makes me a bit nervous.

Remember MySpace? Remember Friendster? Remember all those other Social Media giants that disappeared overnight?


If you entrust your readers to social media, listen up…you are doing a major disservice to your blog.

Even if Facebook doesn’t shut down tomorrow, they could shut YOUR page down. From what I hear, they aren’t very forgiving or understanding when you plead your case either.

So why not traffic build the good old fashioned way?

By creating a mailing list!

Email subscriptions (and RSS subscribers…but many people don’t understand what an RSS subscription is) are a much safer basket to place your readers in. Think about it, if your Facebook and Twitter accounts were shut down tomorrow…where would your readers be?

I guarantee they’ll still be checking their emails.

There are many ways to handle your mailing list. I personally use Feedblitz, and have for years. You could also give Aweber a shot and I have also heard great things about Mail Chimp.)

Here are some ways to entice readers to sign up for your email list:

  1. Offer email subscriptions as entries into my giveaways
  2. Offer a free ebook with email subscription
  3. Make subscribing super easy with multiple areas to sign up displayed throughout your blog

Stop trusting your traffic to outside sources and take control of your mailing list today!

Check out all of my other articles on blogging today!

How to Link to a Specific Status Update URL from Twitter or Facebook

Have you ever had a need to link to one specific Facebook or Twitter status, but you weren’t sure how? Sometimes for giveaway entries, bloggers will specify that you need to share a giveaway post on your wall or on Twitter and they expect you to leave the link to that update in your entry.

Or maybe you want to share a funny/clever/dumb status update with a friend, but you know that there’s a possibility that it won’t be easily found on your wall or Twitter feed when they get to it later.

Well, I’ve whipped up a quick and easy tutorial for you!

It’s actually really really easy, and once you see what you need to do…you’ll probably groan and roll your eyes.

I know I did!

How to Link to a Specific Status Update URL from Twitter or Facebook

*The rules are the same for BOTH Facebook and Twitter, so I’ll be using the names interchangeably

1. First you’ll need to click on the date stamp of the specific status update you are trying to grab the url for. Here’s a pic of the date stamp on both Facebook and Twitter:

Facebook Date Stamp
Twitter Date Stamp

2. Clicking the date stamp will bring you to a page where ONLY that specific status update will show. Grab that URL and that’s your sharing link!

Facebook URL
Twitter URL

See! Easy peasy.

Note: You wouldn’t really want to do this with friend’s status updates because depending on privacy settings, even with the specific url they might not be able to see the status update if they aren’t friends with your friend too (that was a mouthful).

I hope this helps!

Bloggers, feel free to link to this quick and easy how to if you want your readers to link their status updates for giveaway entries!

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 to Start a Successful Money Making Blog

I get a lot of emails asking me for advice on blogging. The truth is, I am not a blogging guru. My answers are generally always prefaced with, “Well this is what works/worked for me.”. The truth is, that’s the only advice anyone can really give about blogging for money (or just blogging in general). What works for me will not be guaranteed to work for you and vice versa.

I love these emails though. I love them so much because blogging is my passion. I attempt to answer every single blogging email that lands in my inbox, and if you have emailed me you might have been surprised at my lengthy responses! Anyone can set up a blog and write. Not everyone can set up a blog and make it successful. Success is subjective though and I can’t tell you at what point you can consider your blog a success (shoot I’m not even sure if my blog is a success yet!).

What I can tell you is what steps I took to get to where I am today. Please don’t think there is only one path to success though. You could do everything I did and end up surpassing my traffic in just a few months OR you could do everything I did and not see a trickle of traffic. You have to decide what works for you, but I wanted to share what worked for me:

Continue reading How to Start a Successful Money Making Blog

Monetizing Your Blog: Building Traffic

Build your traffic My post about Monetizing My Blog sparked a lot of interest from bloggers and non-bloggers alike. Since so many are interested…I decided that I would start a series of posts titled “Monetizing Your Blog“. This series will serve as a helpful jump start for anyone wanting to begin monetizing their blog, or just to get some new ideas.

You can sign up for all the affiliate programs, have several Google Ad Sense banners running, and post your referral links until you are blue in the face. If you don’t have traffic, you can forget about making any money from your blog.

How to Get Traffic To Your Blog

So how do you get traffic? Well the internet is wide and vast and if you want traffic you have to go out there and get it. I recently wrote this article on Quick Online Tips about Why New Blogs Fail. First and foremost, make sure your blog isn’t making any of those big mistakes. Make sure you have a Twitter account and Facebook fan page associated with your blog. Promote your posts in social media. That is the easiest and most predictable way to get your content out to the masses.

What Else Can I Do To Get Noticed?

These are my 5 best traffic boosting suggestions as of right now. I have had good success with all of these methods.

  • Promote your writing and your niche elsewhere. I freelance for Associated Content and Ezine Articles. At times I re-purpose content I write here to submit over there. Associated Content can also earn you some money. These sites rank very high in the search engines, so by association…your articles will get a boost. You can link to your blog from your bio, so if someone clicks on your author profile, they’ll land back on your site.
  • Guest Post. I posted about why guest posting works for me already, but it bears repeating. Guest Posting has been my #1 traffic booster
  • Comment GENUINELY on other blogs in your niche. This means you read what is written and you write a comment that says more than “Great Post! Rock On With Your Bad Self.”. No one expects a 3 paragraph monologue in their comment section, but well thought out comments make people take notice and might drive some traffic back to your site.
  • Take the time to build up your email list. The more people who see you in their inbox every day, the more people that will come to your blog. I subscribe by email to VERY few blogs. Those that I do subscribe to, I visit almost every day. I’m currently running a monthly giveaway right now for those that subscribe by email. I’m also about to release my very first e-book! It will be free with email sign up (don’t worry, if you are already subscribed you will be the FIRST to receive the e-book!)

So I Have Traffic, Now What?

Now you have to keep your traffic. This pretty much means that whatever it took to get them there?

You need to deliver on.

Be a responsible, trustworthy blogger and you shouldn’t have much trouble keeping your audience. If you give your readers what they want, they will stick around! I love my readers, I think hard and long every day about what they want, and what they need from me. I’m here to help them and once I stop delivering on that promise…they’ll go elsewhere.

Another thing to think about is how targeted is your content? Be sure not to lose focus on what the primary content of your blog should be made up of. Family Friendly Frugality is a family blog about frugal living.

If it doesn’t fit in those categories, it shouldn’t be a part of my blog. Don’t get me wrong, my personality and my life is ever present.

I’ve learned through this experience that my readers expect a certain stream of topics from me. They want to see hot deals, money saving tips, frugal recipes & activities and ways to earn money!

Topics outside of that focus don’t do much for the blog or my readers.Be Patient!

You aren’t going to build an email list overnight. You aren’t going to have 60,000 visitors a day in a month. It takes time to build up a readership.

Have patience, keep plugging away and be an authoritative voice within your niche and you will succeed!

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,, 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!

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