Omg, she’s blogging AGAIN. Starting and abandoning blog projects is pretty much a signature behavior of mine. Since the age of 13, I have likely had over a dozen blogs that I have created, worked on for a while and somehow lost track of. I owe my incessant need to create blogs for my career in the content marketing industry. It was, in fact, the question “do you blog?” that landing me my first longterm content writing gig for an S.E.O company back in 2012.
So much has happened since then. I’ve started three online businesses! Built my Facebook and Instagram following to over 10K AND been able to help my husband leave his 9 to 5 job!
I did this all while chasing after one… and now two busy little boys!
What now is THIS blog going to be about? Currently – I am writing about Instagram Marketing and Instagram Growth Hacking, the content promotion tool Tailwind. and my life as a second time new mom an online business owner.
What will this blog become? I don’t know… but I guess that’s half the fun of it!
Get A Jumpstart On Your Blog With This Awesome Blogging Course!
I have made multiple attempts at “becoming a blogger” and frankly, none of yet to be substantially successful. However, they have been awesome vessels for me to express myself, share my life, harvest new opportunities and grow as a person.
I’ve long since accepted that blogging will never be my “career” but, it will always be a small part of what I do online because I enjoy it so much.
While in the process of relaunching THIS BLOG I recently came across this recommendation for this “Becoming a Blogger” Facebook Group – and I decided to pop in and see what all the fuss was about, and immediately found myself “at home”.
Now, trust me – I have been a Facebook Group user for years now. In fact, without Facebook Groups I wouldn’t have my career OR my business… ( maybe more about that some other time. )
This group is unique because it is full of bloggers at varying experience levels all “tribing” together to learn and build passive income blogs.
It is also hosted by Cate Rosales ( a kindred spirit and savvy entrepreneurial blogger ) who puts a lot of time and energy into making the group a great place to be!
After I expressed that I was a bit “rusty” as a blogger and was diving back in, Cate kindly offered me the opportunity to review her “Becoming A Blogger” Teachable course.
I was really impressed by how much excellent and informative material Cate included in her course ( for an astonishing price of only $97 USD ) – her material is short, sweet, and too the point – with clear instructions, no jargon; precisely what I look for in an online course.
It isn’t just your usual “here’s how you get a WordPress blog” here is how you change your theme kinda stuff, Cate includes IMPORTANT >> money-making << details like:
– What is affiliate marketing
– Top affiliate networks to join ( full list )
– Amazon affiliate marketing
– What are sponsored posts?
– Getting your first sponsored post!
– Guest posting 101
– List of websites that pay for guest blogs!
Like this is the good stuff!
And the stuff that YOU NEED to know if you want to make money blogging full-time, part-time, or ANY TIME.
It is all the stuff I wish I had known when I was a thirteen-year-old spending 300 hours making the perfect CSS custom WordPress theme for shits and giggles.
So here’s the thing.
If you’ve stopped here… on my blog… because you want to blog yourself – and we’re like hey, she seems to know a bit about blogging… thanks…I don’t, consider me clueless…OBVIOUSLY! *wink*
However, I do have one solid recommendation for you – try Cate’s blogging course on Teachable!
It’s in-depth. Thoroughly done. Affordable. And it will save you years of stress trying to figure this stuff all out for yourself.
If you are serious about diving into blogging, I’d say it is well worth the investment!
And trust me, had I know half the things that Cate covers in this course when I first started blogging ( at age 13…), I would be WAY further ahead than I am now…
Want More Instagram Followers? Have A Website? Install THIS Plugin!
Ah, Milotree where have you been all of my life? I have been looking for a WordPress plugin that does EXACTLY what Milotree does, which is prompt visitors to THIS website to follow me on Instagram after they have have been on the website for a certain amount of time.
Although I am not a huge fan of pop-ups, I do believe that it is important to collect visitors on your website to your most active social media so that you can speak to them again. This of course, dramatically increases the likelihood that they will return to your blog and read more content in the future. Plus, this gives me/you the opportunity to connect with the people who visit your website or blog.
Milotree was a WordPress Plugin that came to my attention while I was doing research about affiliate links that are popular
How does Milotree work?
It is actually pretty simple; Milotree generates the code needed to produce a pop up that is connected to your social media profile; Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Youtube. When a visitor is on your website, it pops up after they scroll and prompts them to follow you, subscribe to you or like your page.
I installed Milotree using the WordPress plugin provided to me when I signed up. However, if you don’t use WordPress, you can get a piece of shortcode to put into your website code that will allow the popup to appear OR you can follow specific instructions; again provided by Milotree for installing the app into your website if you use Squarespace, Shopify, Weebly etc.
It takes less than 5 minutes to get it up and running, and there is no maintenance required.
This type of pop up is THE BEST way to grow your social media platforms – when you have a blog or website that people visit every day. Most of the time, social media links are subtle and easy to ignore. This pop up prompts the visitor to follow you, and if they are enjoying the content on your site ( or ) if they are a fan of your business they will likely do so no problem.
So far, I am very happy with the results I am garnering from Milotree – as it has already captured me 70 new followers and I only installed it today. If your goal is to increase your follower count on any of your social media or get more subscribers on Youtube, I highly recommend that you check this application out!
Can You Make Money Using A New “Pinterest-Like” Social Media Platform?
Continuing on in my adventures finding realistic passive income sources, I stumbled across a relatively new social media platform that apparently “pays you” to participate on called Maven. Is Maven for real? I have been hearing about these mythical social media platforms that pay you to be a member of them for years, however, when you click to see what they are all about, they turn out to be total scams/click-bait. This is why I approached this new platform “Maven” with guarded skepticism. How is this going to work?
Much to my surprise, it appears that Maven is actually a legitimate social media platform that pays!
Here is one of my Maven boards:
Crazy right! Here is how it works. You use Maven just like you would Pinterest. Pinning products onto custom boards that you like online; fashion, home decor, beauty products. Then, you share your Maven board with friends via your “other” social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter – if anyone buys any of the items that you have “pinned” you get paid a commission for recommending the product on your board.
You may be wondering what the catch is because it sounds “almost” too good to be true right?
Well, from where I am standing the only real catch is that the items that you pin to your board must be from Maven’s list of products in order for you to get paid. Yeah… So really what you are doing is a form of affiliate link marketing just delivered in the more unique way. The pin-board gimmick being a way to convince people into thinking that the board, when shared, was built to show off your product and lifestyle preferences – NOT to be presented as a bunch of affiliate links. Clever?… In a way. Worthwhile? Possibly! I would recommend using Maven to make a little bit of extra money if;
– You have a large following that would easily convert; meaning you are influential in the “lifestyle” niches; fashion, beauty, decor, and can drive enough traffic to your boards – people who may potentially buy the items you are recommending.
-You enjoy building boards and collections. Obviously, the key here is going to be building these Maven “pinboards” to showcase the unique fashionable items and complimentary products. If this is something that you genuinely enjoy doing in your spare time, then why not? Regular old Pinterest pays nothing; Maven offers some return. With that logic, it is a no-brainer.
– You have low to moderate expectations. Like all make money online opportunities, I always suggest that you approach it with skepticism and low expectations. I cannot see Maven replacing anyone’s day job BUT I can see it having some payback if you dedicate yourself to the process; building those pinboards and sharing them. Lifestyle bloggers should certainly check this one out, as they have the best chance of success with it.
Will I be using Maven to make money?
I am going to withhold my final verdict on Maven; the Pinterest-like social media platform that pays you to use it UNTIL I have had some time to try it out. I am enticed enough to give it a fair trial and build a few boards of my own, share them, and see what happens.
Browsing the items that are listed to be pinned, I can see quite a few high-quality items that I actually would potentially want to buy. This is important to mention; the stuff on this website that you can choose from isn’t crap – there are NICE clothes, make-up and home decor items that I feel anyone would like. Plus you don’t actually have to buy these items yourself to recommend them, so you can make a commission for suggesting high ticket products that you don’t even own. Seriously, worth daydreaming about some cool outfits and stylish interior design for the sake of building some boards!
Worst case scenario you spend some time window shopping – and playing around.
Best case scenario, your Maven board converts and you earn enough commission to actually buy some of the items you pinned on it!
Could Swagbucks Be A Good Source of Passive Income?
Ever since I started my career online in 2012, I have always been on the lookout for easy passive income opportunities. My current online business is helping with Facebook Ads, and although it is pretty steady work; it is quite time-consuming, finding new clients – working with clients- monitoring all of the ads. I mean I don’t mind the work but it isn’t exactly the #freedomlifestyle that one would hope for. One of my current goals is to spend less time at my desk and more time enjoying my children, so achieving a good amount of passive income has become a new focus of mine. Although, I am always wary of too good to be true “make money online opportunities” I am not against experimenting with different things and seeing how they work. I have had enough experience in the online space to be able to quickly weed out if something is going to be a “time-suck” or a money-maker…
Which leads me to the topic of today’s blog and that is Swagbucks.
I had seen Swagbucks mentioned on a few other people’s blogs about affiliate marketing and passive income. At first, I thought Swagbucks was similar to E-bates ( A website that I am quite a fan of BTW) which is why it first grabbed my attention. However, once I signed up for it and started playing around I realized that Swagbucks wasn’t like e-bates at all, but instead a gamified beginner level affiliate marketing, paid surveys, and some other random actions that you can do online and get paid for. Sorry if that seems like a weird description, Swagbucks really hard to describe because there is such a medley of “stuff” involved in the site.
At first glance, it looks like the payouts for performing these actions are really high, and you may feel enticed to dive right in. But watch out because what the payouts actually are “Swagbucks” – kinda like arcade tokens that you cash out and redeem for Amazon and Paypal cards. This is important to know because when it says you get 50 Swagbucks for a survey you are actually only getting a couple of cents.
According to the redeemable gift cards – $1 USD is equal to 90 Swagbucks… so you need 450 Swagbucks to get one $5 gift card. That’s a lot of work for very little payout.. or is it?
You see one feature of Swagbucks is that you can install the browser extension that will automatically determine if you are doing “Swagbucks” earning actions – and you get Swagbucks automatically just for having the browser extension installed. Okay, so I can handle that – even if it doesn’t payout high I am not against earning a little here and there just for my normal online behaviors.
Like with E-bates and Honey Extension you can also get $5 dollars just for referring your friends to Swagbucks. Like I explained in my blog posts about those two beginner level money makers – you could potentially plug your Swagbucks referral link into your Instagram and start earning money by just telling people about the program.
Other ways to make “Swagbucks” ( redeemable for Amazon and Paypal gift-cards ) on the Swagbucks website:
– Shop online cash back ( get cash back from Swagbucks when you make purchases on affiliated websites )
– Answer surveys and earn Swagbucks good “time killer” probably not gonna see a huge return…
– Watch specific viral videos, and get Swagbucks just for watching… interesting, but again not a great time investment ( but definitely do if you are watching videos anyways )
– Sign up for product trials and coupons, you don’t have to buy – you get Swagbucks just for signing up for the offer
– Use Swagbucks ( powered by Yahoo ) as your default web browser… ( interesting, if you don’t mind switching your default browser… )
– Play Swagbucks online games and earn Swagbucks … [ This is sort of hilarious, Are there child labor laws in place preventing a person from having their kids play online games so I can make the Swag-
Asking for a friend …]
– Use the Swagbucks app to do all of the above – YES! I was hoping that they’d have an app.
Okay so if we really want to talk about Swagbucks as a passive income opportunity then I would give it a thumbs down. Why, because REALLY when it comes down to it, earning with Swagbucks isn’t passive at all – it requires “action” and keeping up with the program. If you wish to make money Swagbucks you need to be really active on Swagbucks, performing the various actions that earn you those fun tokens that you can then trade in for real money ( but in the form of gift cards only ). Personally, I can’t imagine anyone doing this enough to make it a full-time gig but I do see it as a fun boredom killing activity that is “in the end” worthwhile.
These bucks could potentially add up – particularly the $5 refer a friend deal, so I would not dismiss Swagbucks completely.
That said, if you are looking for a way to make money online and do less – then this probably isn’t the route to go.
What I like about Swagbucks ( to wrap on a positive ) is that the process of earning is “gamified” and I am a sucker for any program or application that turns otherwise boring and repetitive tasks into a game. Rather than just being like other cash back and paid survey websites that are boring as all hell, Swagbucks has turned these processes into “fun games” with daily goals and quotas. I think that this is a nice touch and absolutely novel – for this reason alone, Swagbucks is worth looking into.
Using Tailwind to Grow Your Instagram Account – Getting Started
Today I am going to show you how to get started using Tailwind for Instagram Growth! I have been experimenting with Tailwind as a tool for content networking, and audience growth. Normally, I am very careful about what type of “apps” and tools that I endorse because I do not want to advocate for something that isn’t ultimately useful. A lot of the people who follow me and read my blogs are busy mom entrepreneurs like myself – and therefore the last thing I would want to do is send anyone down a rabbit hole that just drains their time and they don’t get anything back from it.
However, this is one of the main reasons why Tailwind is so promising –
Because it is a solution for anyone who is spending A LOT of time trying to get traction with their content ( Instagram, Blogs, Videos etc. ) and have not yet had any luck.
Simply by being active on Tailwind, you can 10X – seriously – 10Xs the amount of traffic that your content gets!
It is an app that focuses on mutual sharing within niche’ networks.
So the traffic that you get ( if you use this app correctly ) will be people who are legitimately interested in what the content is.
Additionally, if you know anything about SEO, Tailwind helps with “link-structuring” and “backlinking” that will boost your content’s visibility long-term.
Again, this makes it a very promising app – for anyone who is in the content networking space – I recommend using it.
However, to keep things simple for today, I am going to focus on Tailwind for Instagram.
Here is what you will need:
Here is how you get started!
Get Your Free Trial of Tailwind
Okay so naturally the first step is for you to actually SIGN UP for Tailwind. Tailwind offers a Free Trial so this isn’t going to cost you anything to do.
Initially, you want to actually sign up for Tailwind for Pinterest. Pinterest is how we are going to drive traffic to your Instagram account! Yes, Tailwind does have tools for Instagram specifically ( scheduling and posting ) but you need to use Pinterest to get the traffic boost.
So hook yourself up to Tailwind, for Pinterest – not Tailwind for Instagram for THIS tutorial.
Get the Tailwind Chrome Extension!
Optional: Once you are signed up with Tailwind you are going to want to grab the Tailwind extension for your Chrome web browser!
This will make it MUCH EASIER to share your Instagram posts to Pinterest and use Tailwind.
Create a board on Pinterest!
Login into Pinterest and create a new board specifically for your “Instagram Posts”
This is where you will “pin” the Instagram posts that you want to share virally and drive traffic with Tailwind!
Visit Your Instagram Profile ( In browser not mobile )
Then hop over to Instagram.com and load up your personal Instagram profile view.
Click the “tailwind” icon in the corner ( if you installed the extension ) and live links from your Instagram – to post on Tailwind will load up.
Select the images from Instagram that you want to schedule to be pinned.
Choose the “pinboard” you wish to post them to.
Select “schedule all” or individually “add to queue”
Now hop back over to Tailwind and go to your publisher.
You will see your Instagram posts have now been scheduled to be pinned.
Now, this is something that you want to do with all of your appropriate Instagram posts on a regular basis.
Having your Instagram posts pinned to Instagram – and share-able will allow you to get more traffic to your Instagram content over time.
Making this a regular habit will immediately make your Instagram posts “discoverable” on Pinterest.
This is easy to do, saves time and beneficial for both your Instagram and Pinterest growth.
The benefits of pinning your Instagram posts
You might be wondering, what is the point? Here are the benefits.
– Traffic potential; by pinning your best Instagram posts you are making your Instagram content discoverable on Pinterest!
– Network; now your Instagram posts are also pin-able and can be shared and re-pinned within an online network for again, increased visibility and traffic
– Visibility; this makes your Instagram account visible outside of Instagram and now on Pinterest
– Tribes; if you choose to participate in Tailwind’s Tribes or join a Tailwind Tribe for growth this makes your Instagram a post for tribe sharing
Long-term what you should see is more organic traffic to your existing ( pre-existing ) Instagram posts – driving traffic to your profile daily and allowing people with an interest in your content to find you and follow you.
It doesn’t take any more than a few minutes to add your Instagram to Pinterest using Tailwind and you can do this “repeatedly” ( post cycling ) so that your Instagram always has a fresh presence on Pinterest!
Will you be trying this out?
If yes let me know! And if you want to join the Tailwind Tribe you are more than welcome!
102 FREE INSTAGRAM IMAGES
These images are 100% Royalty Free
Meaning you can use them ANY WAY that you like!
Make ’em your own with your favorite photo editing app
Or use them to help you plan your perfect Instagram Grid
You can even use them for your Instagram Ads!