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Bloggers: Think Twice About Blogger vs. Blogger Contests

by Freebies4Mom on January 17, 2012 12:05 pm

CarrotChances are you won’t win, and then you just spent time writing and promoting something that may not be your normal content, or something you’re not passionate about. Many companies are sponsoring contests that pit bloggers against bloggers in order to dangle a really big carrot in front of the bloggers as motivation while drawing upon our natural competitive spirit. But what I’ve seen happen to other bloggers is that this friendly competition somehow turns into something they don’t want to be a part of. Questions are raised about if votes are being obtained fairly in the contest. Most companies never write “Official Rules” for these contests and make them up as they go. Bloggers may feel like the outcome of the contest was influenced or predetermined by the sponsor.

Most bloggers that participate come away disheartened, not necessarily about not winning that big shiny carrot, but about participating in something that didn’t feel good (and probably wasn’t the best promotion for their blog). That’s because in these sponsored contests of blogger vs. blogger the real winner is almost always THE SPONSOR and not THE BLOGGERS. No matter how big the prizes given away, the sponsor just cashed-in on bloggers sharing sponsored content purely to try to win something. It kind of feels like bloggers are being tricked into these things. Please think twice about participating in this type of contest because your time may be better spent promoting your blog (and not a sponsor).

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Bloggers: Your Time Is Valuable

by Freebies4Mom on January 2, 2012 9:57 am

I wanted to share a lesson I learned from my blogging experiences of 2012: Your time is valuable, so spend it on what you’re passionate about sharing.

It’s difficult to remember this when there is so much pressure from others to host a giveaway, share a deal, write a sponsored post, and promote an affiliate. I’m not the only blogger who is learning this lesson and sharing it. Bobbie Byrd wrote “Your Worth As a Blogger” to share her story of how she fell into the trap of not valuing her time in order to promote a big brand. She says “You are letting these companies walk all over you. They get their name out to all your community, your Facebook fans and your twitter fans and you get a free product that you don’t even use or a gift card that doesn’t compensate for your time.” And then we have to ask: What do our readers get out if it?

As bloggers we tend to be over-connected with a network of people who are trying to get their content shared more. We can never share everything we hear about, so we must be selective and pick our favorite content. And of course we are always being bribed with free products or gift cards to share that content (which hopefully you are always disclosing to your readers). That’s why I want you to really own your content and not let others pressure you into sharing their content unless you really feel it has value to your readership. Remember that you own your blog, and you control your content. Your time is valuable, so spend it on investing in yourself instead of others.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so please leave a comment to share. Which lessons from 2011 are you taking into 2012?

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Money4Mom Join MySavings Media

by Freebies4Mom on September 21, 2009 7:35 am


Bloggers can make money by being an affiliate for freebies! I recommend joining MySavings Media for access to free sample and coupon offers that make you money. One of the things I love about MySavings Media is that many of the legitimate offers they have are ones I’d be blogging about anyways. So it’s nice to be able to diversify my blogging income by getting paid for a few of the free samples and coupons I blog about. Plus it is simple to navigate their site and they offer personalized assistance which is really key for new affiliates who are learning how the system works. If you have any questions about my personal experience with MySavings Media, feel free to email me.

I’ve written more at Be An Affiliate for Freebies if you’d like to find out what other affiliate programs are available to join. Never assume that your blog is too small to be accepted. I always recommend that you apply, and apply again if you aren’t accepted the first time. Persistence is key to growing your blog and growing your income opportunities.

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Money 4 Mom: Starting a Blog?

by Freebies4Mom on December 1, 2008 8:19 am

The most frequently question I get asked is:
How do I start a blog and make money blogging?

Here’s my short answer:
You don’t start a blog to make money, you blog for fun.

Saving money and sharing the freebies is what I’m passionate about. I started my blog for fun because it had become my hobby to find new freebies and coupons. Blogging was the best way to share my finds with the most people. I started my blog with no expectation that I would make enough money to replace the part-time job I held at that time. It just happened after several months of hard-work, and I am lucky that I found my niche in the blogging world and have experienced rapid growth that is uncommon for most blogs.

The truth is that most bloggers are “self-taught”, which means they spend hours and hours teaching themselves how to do things related to blogging. The best way to learn about blogging is to struggle through it yourself and learn as you go. The best resource to go to for help with all things related to blogging is BlogCoach.org. Anyone can learn how to blog, but they have to be willing to make the time commitment to teach themselves.

Blogging is not an easy way to make money. Most bloggers do not see that first penny in their hand for many months (even a year) after starting their blog. Blogging has become a wonderful work-at-home business for me, but it is not a piece-of-cake. I typically work 7 days a week, several hours a day (mostly when my children are asleep). It has also replaced all of my hobbies I used to enjoy simply because it is a huge time commitment and I do truly love it as much as a hobby. But it is still work, and some mornings I don’t really want to get up early to write a new post. But I push myself to keep up with my aggressive posting schedule to keep new content on my blog, and I do find it to be rewarding to help others learn how to save money and have some fun doing it.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions, and I’ll point you to my previous “Money 4 Mom” posts for more information.

Getting Started Blogging
Penny by Penny – The kick-off to the Money 4 Mom series and discussion about how blogging is a slow way to earn money, so you better be passionate about what you write about.

WordPress – I used to recommend Blogger (because it’s FREE) but I now actively discourage people from using Blogger.  The reason is that in May of 2010 Blogger’s little spambots flagged my blog as spam (which it isn’t) and I lost all access to it.  I then made an emergency move to Worpress and thankfully with the help of WordPress Blog Experts I was able to get my backup file restored and not completely lose all 3,000 posts.  The thing about Blogger is that they don’t offer any customer support.  If they lock your blog, there’s nobody you can contact about it.  Everyone who blogs on Blogger is at risk of losing their blog at any time for absolutely no reason.  It’s true – I’ve been there and I don’t want it to happen to you!

Monetizing Your Blog
Finding New Readers – Six tips on how to find new people to read your blog. Because growing your readership is directly related to growing your income for most bloggers.

Google Ads – A few tips based on what I’ve learned about Google Ads, also I share a blogging tip with you; how to get your hyperlinks to open in a new window.

Join Logical Media – My favorite affiliate program for free samples and offers.

BlogHer – I’m not longer with this ad network, but it’s a great one for bloggers to join because they help you grow your blog while monetizing your site.

Referrals
– An excellent guest post by Northern Cheapskate about yet another way you can make money on your blog.

Blogging Tools
Smarter Email with Gmail – Why didn’t I switch to Gmail a long time ago? It is truly helping me work smarter and I can still keep all of my old email addresses.

Google Alerts – The easiest way for bloggers to stay on top of who is blogging about them, and who may be copying them.

Tips from a Self-Employed Work-at-Home Mom
Your Blog is Your Small Business – Resources to help you treat your blog as your business, because that’s what it is if you are making any money!

Invest in Yourself
– Your blog is you and you are your blog, why investing in yourself should be a top priority.

Being Your Own Boss – How to work smarter and set limits on your blogging time.

Feel free to ask me a question, or suggest a future topic by leaving a comment for me here.

Turn your Blogging hobby into a business at Freebies 4 Mom

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Money 4 Mom: Being Your Own Boss

by Freebies4Mom on November 24, 2008 7:05 am

Since I’m reminding myself this week that “I am my own boss” as a self-employed blogger, I thought it would be good to remind you too. I need to remind myself of that right now in order to keep my blogging fun and flexible enough to accommodate my schedule. With the holidays coming up, many of us are traveling or having company at our homes. Don’t stress yourself out about keeping your blogging humming along like normal. Because guess what? You’re readers are not going to go away if you take a few days off. Likely they are taking a few days off themselves from their normal routine. Remember that you are your own boss and that you are the only one who sets your blogging schedule. You don’t have to post something every day. Your posting frequency is determined by you and it is completely flexible.

I know that most bloggers love to blog – it’s a work of passion to write about what interests us. But we can do so much blogging that we can also easily get burned-out. Here are four things I’ve learned over the past month when I’ve been trying to avoid burnout myself:

Schedule Guest Posts – But make it easy on yourself! Ask your guest posters to send you their html code for the guest post so that you can simply copy and paste it into a new post.

Take a Day Off – This is challenging to do, maybe impossible for some. But consider taking one whole day off. And maybe that means you still read your comments, but you aren’t actively working on anything new to post on your blog. The best way to do this is to write things in-advance so you can still post something new but can do so in just a few minutes during your “day off”.

Say “NO” to Yourself – I’m doing this more and more. Yes, there are million things that I could be doing to develop my blog and network with new people. I just have to say “NO” to myself to keep blogging an enjoyable part-time job for me. This even means canceling something I planned on doing because I can not squeeze in the extra time for it. I try to be a flexible boss to myself.

Work Smarter – I’m always looking for ways to work smarter to help me accomplish more in less time. My latest new tool to use I wrote about in “Smarter Email with Gmail” and it is helping me keep up with my email better.

The Money 4 Mom weekly series focuses on blogging as a potential source of income. It’s where I share tips and resources with bloggers every Monday.
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