How I Made My First $1,000 Blogging

This first year of blogging has been incredible, a learning process for sure full of unforgettable opportunities. Throughout this journey, I’ve been lucky enough to make a few extra dollars doing the thing I love most. This post will focus on how I’ve made an income while blogging and how you can too!

Reach Out To Brands

This is first on the list because truly I wouldn’t be making anything or receiving any free product without reaching out to brands myself. Up and coming companies are in need of people to show off their product. These brands need you as much as you need them. I’d say I’ve spent about an hour each day emailing, messaging, and calling the companies I’d be honored to work with. It’s not easy and I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone more than I can count on one hand…even two! For every 9 no’s I get at least 1 yes which just proves I’m doing something right by putting myself out there!

In the beginning, don’t be discouraged if brands would rather collaborate on posts in exchange for product rather than payment. Establishing a connection with the company can be much more rewarding and beneficial in the grand scheme of things. Brands want to develop a trust with the people they work with and I don’t blame them! I’ve tested the waters with many companies that have now allowed me to create content on a long-term basis for real money. It’s all about proving yourself and selling the services you can provide.

Download Apps To Make Connections

I think a handful of bloggers forget about accessible free apps that can help them grow! For instance, I’ve made a few good paychecks off of apps likePopular Pays which connects Instagrammers and bloggers with real-deal brands. Companies such as Kraft, Macy’s, Chameleon Cold-Brew and so many more are listed on the app.

Once you find a brand you’d like to work with you pitch a creative idea to them, request the amount of money you’d like to make, and answer a couple of questions regarding your social platform. From there, the brands can choose to work with you or not. The process is easy and completely cost-free to the influencers!

Some other great apps and networks include SocialNative.com, Obvious.lyMaverick.co + Collabor8, and Influenster.

Establish A “Blogger Resume”

This is more of a tip but I’d highly recommend creating a blogger resume. A single document or media kit that can be sent out to potential partners and companies is important! Some things I’ve included in mine are my contact information, a collection of my best photos or written pieces, my analytics from my social platforms, and a professional photo of myself with a description of what I do best! This goes along again with…selling yourself!

Use Affiliate Links

The last and final thing I did over this last year to make my first $1,000 was using affiliate links. You can do this easily by signing up online with some of the brands you may already know and love! Personally, I’ve found the biggest return by using affiliate links through Target and Amazon. You basically earn a percentage of the purchase someone would make by using your link!

The appReward Style also does an awesome job of simplifying the affiliate link process by putting everything you’d need in one place. You can easily search for a product and see what percentage you’d make if someone bought the product using your link, you can copy links, and keep track of your commission!

So that’s the jist of it guys! 2018 is near and now is the perfect time to make some financial moves! If you have any suggestions that I didn’t mention in this post – please leave a comment down below!

img_4107

Tips For A Long Distance Relationship

Being a military wife has taught me a lot of things. It’s taught me how to be patient, be polite, be strong, and most of all has taught me how to love someone no matter the circumstances. My husband has been gone for a little over 7 months and it’s been one of the hardest things we’ve ever gone through both individually and as a couple. But in the midst of all the unpredictable craziness, we still find the time to show we care about one another.

Dogs during Christmas time, dealing with a long distance relationship

This post is going to be a mixture of a lot of things but mainly how we’ve conquered a long distance relationship and how you can too! Keep reading if you’re interested…

My husband was deployed officially on April 18th, 2017 but has really been on and off away since January of 2017. Deployment was unexpected for him and truly came as a surprise. My husband is Army Reserves meaning he lives a pretty normal and routine life outside of the military – doesn’t work on a base, we aren’t “stationed” anywhere, and does one weekend a month in uniform. If he’s called for a deployment, he goes but it was never a concern of ours up until this year.

Dogs during Christmas time, dealing with a long distance relationship

During his time away from home, we’ve been fortunate enough to get a few chances to see each other. His unit has been very flexible with leave time and making sure families get to see their service members. It’s been a huge help considering when he left, I thought I wouldn’t see him for that whole duration of time. I’d say we definitely got lucky with that.

Here are a few of the tips and tricks I’ve learned throughout this experience that may be helpful to some of you!

Communication is key. If you won’t be able to talk or text during a certain day, time, whatever…let your partner know. Before my husband goes into “work” he try’s to let me know ahead of time so I’m not bothering him during those hours. It’s convenient for both of us.

Plan vacations and time together. This will be different for each person because all situations are unique. However, if you can plan events or vacations to go on, do it. The time away can be so much easier to endure if you have a date to look forward to. I’ve found comfort in hard days knowing there are only a few weeks left until we meet again.

Dogs during Christmas time, dealing with a long distance relationship

Lean on family and friends, keep yourself busy when you’re not around your partner! This is so crucial! Staying at home everyday, will not help time move faster so get outside and make the best of the situation you’re in.

Send care packages and special items! Celebrate Holidays with each other through a gift exchange via snail mail. Everyone loves to get a surprise from their special someone! Christmas is coming and I know I’ll for sure be sending my hubby a few things he’s been wanting. FYI – there are a ton of easy ideas on Pinterest for decorating the inside of a care package!

These were just a few of the many things that have helped me through this journey. Share some of your experiences and tips in the comments! I’d love to hear some of the ways you all cope with someone you love being gone!

img_4107

 

Halloweekend Favorites

Lately, it seems like some things are just sweeter than usual. And I can’t necessarily pin it on the colder weather or the fact that we’re only days away from Halloween. Soon, it’ll be November! Just such a crazy thought to think about. Seems like yesterday it was still in the 80’s and now Chicagoland is barely holding onto 60 degrees. Today, it even snowed a bit. Granted for a short period of time, but still!

Because Fall is barely hanging on a thread (at least for me) I gathered up my last bits of Fall before the time was up. Here are just a few of my favs. What’s been your perfect thing, food, or place recently? Leave a comment at the end of this post and let me know!

@realgoodjuiceco company has come to a Whole Foods near me and I can say with confidence…thank the lord! After having their “Fruity Pebbowl” in the Gold Coast of Chicago, it’s all I’ve been craving. A couple of days back I grabbed this new creation made with acai, almond milk, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, cacao nibs, granola, coconut flakes, and bee pollen (which if you’ve never tried, is fluffy and melts in your mouth). It’s called the “Michael Bowlton”. Did I mention the menu is completely sarcastic and punny?! If you’re like me, you’ll giggle no matter what you order.

@realgoodjuiceco has multiple locations throughout the city so be sure if you live near the Chi to check them out! They’ve got lots of options for everyone’s taste.

Dunkin Donuts came out with a new line of Halloween themed pastries that have stolen my heart. I can’t stray away from my beloved strawberry sprinkle so DD found a way to bring the spooky to a donut called the “scary sprinkle”. Cute huh?!

I snapped this pic while stuck in traffic. The color changing leaves matched my aesthetic perfectly. How could I not capture something?

I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed with the new Starbucks Zombie Frappuccino. It seriously does taste like a caramel apple in a cup. I don’t typically go for whipped cream on my drinks so I didn’t taste test that but the rest of what I sipped was delicious!

Oh and FYI, I wouldn’t recommend ordering this in anything but a tall. It’s very sweet and a tad on the sugary side! Might just be my personal preference though!

Last but not least on this list is my Google Home Mini. I hate to say it but I’ve fallen more in love with this little guy over my Amazon Echo Dot. It’s got a much louder speaker, performs so many different functions, and best of all seamlessly hooks up to my Philips Hue system. Everything is connected and everything is easy! I’m still not sure how I lived without this for SO long!

Oh, and before I wrap up this post, how many of you are binging Stranger Things 2 right now?! I just finished today! If you’ve kept up with the show, what have been your opinions? Good, bad, in between? I thought this season had a LOT more action than the last. Definitely impressed and can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment!

Happy Sunday funday!