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  1. Money Making Mums Blogger Interview: Jon from The Money Shed

    Welcome to my Money Making Mums guest series all about how to earn a decent living from home, even as a busy parent.  As well as guest posts from awesome bloggers sharing their tips and tricks, I am now also interviewing relevant bloggers to discover how exactly they make money from home.

    As you’ve probably guessed, I love making money from home.  As a busy mum to two young children, working from home for myself provides me with the flexibility I need to care for my children and avoid high full time childcare costs.  It also means I get to do what I love.  I’m an advocate of earning money online and from apps, and I’m always looking for new ways to make more income from home. 

    I’ve decided to invite other bloggers and money making mums to share even more ways us busy mums can make money from home.  If you’d like to feature in this series with a guest post or you’d like to be interviewed, please do get in touch.

    This week I’m interviewing Jon from The Money Shed:

    Money Making Mums Blogger Interview The Money Shed Jon

    Hello, welcome to my Money Making Mums Interview.  Please tell me a little about who you are, where you’re from and where you blog.

    My name is Jon and I’m based oop North in Leeds although I am originally from down South in Norwich. I came here for University and just sort of stuck around lol. My main job is working in ICT Management in Local Government but alongside that I run a website called The Money Shed which is the UKs largest community website dedicated to earning money from home. We have a HUGE forum with over 100,000 posts and thousands of members and a thriving community and alongside that we have a great blog that is chocked full with posts on how to make and save money!

    This series is all about mums being able to make money from home.  Can you tell me what you do from home to make money?

    I’ve been doing this ‘earning from home’ thang for over 15 years now and have done everything from selling socks on eBay to those god awful low paying surveys. These days I only really do 2 things and that’s Risk Free Matched Betting and Blogging! As the years have gone on I’ve dropped anything that is low paying or not worth my time. My motto is that just because you work from home it doesn’t mean you deserve a rubbish pay so anything that doesn’t pay above the UK Minimum wage isn’t worth mine (or your) time in my opinion.

    What makes it suitable for mums?

    Blogging is great because you can just fit it in whenever you want. Sure the promotion side of it can make you feel like you are stuck on a conveyor belt that never ends. Risk Free Matched Betting is something EVERYONE should be doing who works from home as it’s just basic math, Zero Risk and who on Earth wants to turn down earnings THOUSANDS of pounds each year of TAX FREE cash!

    What do you love about working from home?

    I actually still have a main job which I do 4 days a week alongside working from home so I have a real mixture. Each Friday though is my dedicated day to working from home and it’s when I catch up with all things Money Shed related. I enjoy the flexibility; I very rarely work from home and will often take my MacBook into town with me and work out of one coffee shop in the morning and another in the afternoon!

    What are your top three negatives to working from home?

    1)    Trying to convince other people you can earn DECENT money from home and not just pocket change.

    2)    You can feel a bit over exposed on social media. If you are a blogger the emphasis is that you are ‘always seen’ and that can be a tiring if you have to do it over 4 or 5 different social media platforms!

    3)    Invoicing - Some companies will pay you much quicker than others and the endless chasing can becoming a bit of a chore.

    If you could only pick one, either working from home or working in an office for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

    Work in an office I’m afraid. I like the mixture I have now but I LOVE management and developing my staff which is something I can’t do being self-employed working from home.

    Lots of people say they’d find it hard to stay motivated if working alone at home.  What keeps you motivated?

    Targets help. If I want to earn an extra £2000 in the month of July then 9 times out of 10 I will smash that target. If I don’t set myself one then I just accept the amount of work that comes in and don’t bother chasing for any extra. It is quite hard to keep motivated all the time if you work from home so I don’t know how people do it who work from home 24/7.

    Do you have a favourite quote to keep you inspired?


    Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to share with mums wanting to make their own income from home?

    Don’t settle for low paying jobs online. There is a whole raft of HIGH PAYING work out there and you are worth much more than earning 50p per hour doing a survey!

    Would you love to work from home, or perhaps you already do?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

    Check out the rest of the series here:

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    Money Making Mums Blogger Interview Jon from The Money Shed



  2. Winter is nearly upon us and as much as I love the great outdoors, I absolutely cannot stand being cold!  This means it’s inevitable for me, and many of us, to start spending a lot more time indoors.  Aside from wrapping up warm to attend a fireworks display, I’d rather be snug at home with the log fire roaring if it’s cold and dark outdoors.  It’s only a matter of days before the clocks go back and darkness will soon begin at around 4pm.

    To make the most of those long evenings indoors, here are a few ways to entertain yourself at home:

    9 Indoor activities to keep adults entertained at home this winter

    Online Bingo (for free)

    If you’re feeling lucky check out the list at Boomtown Bingo of no deposit bingo sites.  These are sites which have a no deposit offer, meaning you can play bingo for free for a chance to win some real cash.  Boomtown Bingo have done all the hard work by trawling the web to find all the best no deposit bingo deals for you and creating the ultimate list.  Park yourself on the sofa, pop on your favourite TV show and try your luck at winning at bingo for free.


    If you never normally have enough time to cook as you’re not usually home much, take this opportunity to perfect your culinary skills.  Make those dishes you’ve been longing to try, but didn’t have the time for in the summer.  Make batches of hearty vegetable soups to see you through the cold months ahead.  Take this time to slow down and enjoy cooking, rather than seeing it as a chore.

    Have a clear out

    Forget a spring clean, how about a winter clean?  Go through your summer wardrobe and get rid of anything you haven’t worn for the past year.  Give it to charity shops or sell on eBay to make some extra cash in time for Christmas.  If you’ve got any unwanted gift cards you can sell them for cash on Zeek.


    Switch the TV off for an evening, light a scented candle, cover yourself with a throw, curl up and stick your head into your favourite book.  Let your imagination take you on an adventure in your head with the words on the page.  Switch your phones off and have a digital detox for the evening to really recharge and relax whilst you read.

    Box sets

    There’s nothing quite like binge watching an intense box set with good snacks and good company.  Long winter evenings are the best time to get hold of those box sets you’ve been dying to watch and as it’s dark outside you’ll not feel guilty about spending time indoors.


    If you’re going to be stuck indoors a lot, then it’s the perfect time to redecorate or touch up that wall you keep putting off painting!  Make the most of being indoors now and getting your home up to scratch, so you can spend plenty more time outdoors once spring rolls around next year.

    Practice yoga

    Yoga is great for fitness, meditating, reducing stress, toning, weight loss, flexibility and so much more.  Search YouTube for free videos tailored to your needs, be it time or the level you require, and practice in your own cosy living room without needing to leave the house.

    Write a letter

    Take this time to stay in touch with loved ones.  Write a letter by hand to a faraway friend or elderly relative.  Why not take the time to really write a personalised message in all your Christmas cards to update loved ones?

    Make money online

    There are so many ways to make money online and there’s never a better time to get started.  Why not start that online business you’ve been dreaming of or write your own blog?  For lots of inspiration on how to make and save money online, visit my money, savings and earn from home section.

    What do you love doing indoors during winter?  Let me know in the comments.

    Related blog posts:
    As Nights Get Darker, Here’s How to Make the Most of the Lighting in Your Home
    Winter is coming:  How to keep healthy in the cold weather
    Easy ways to keep fit this autumn
    3 Ways To Welcome Autumn Into Your Home
    Beating the Winter Blues
    Not sure about Matched Betting? Make £40ish now to see if it’s for you!

    Please pin me:

    9 Indoor activities to keep adults entertained at home this winter 

    *collaborative post

  3. OK, OK, so I use Google ads!  I used to have them at the end of every post, but now I just have one ad in my footer.  It brings me in a whopping £60 per year! Woohoo.  So as you can see, unless you have a gazillion page views per month, Google ads are probably not the way to monetize your blog.  When I was a blogging beginner I thought ads were the way to monetize.  I had NO IDEA there were other ways to generate an income from blogging.  Roll on 4.5 years and I’m now making a steady full time income from my blog even without that yearly £60 ad payment!

    Here are the top four ways I make money from my blog:

    4 ways to make money from your blog without Google ads

    Sponsored blog posts

    My biggest income source comes from sponsored blog posts.  If you want to know exactly how I source them read 4 ways to find paid blog opportunities
    As I’ve been blogging for so long now I do get daily opportunities straight to my inbox.  I’ll get repeat work too.  I always deliver my blog posts on time and usually within 2 days or so, depending if there’s a weekend or school holiday.  I like to complete work as soon as possible so I can move on to the next collaboration.  This doesn’t mean I rush it.  I still spend time writing a blog post and write it well, but I just complete all my tasks as soon as I can.  I don’t procrastinate.  My blog is my livelihood and my job, so if there’s work to be done that is my priority.
    I still search for blog posts too.  Sometimes spending one hour a day scrolling through the Facebook groups and Twitter feeds to fish them out!
    Many people think it’s selling out once you accept sponsored blog posts, but I don’t think so.  The best sponsored posts are where you have free reign over the content.  I love these.  I simply have to add a link somewhere, but I have full control over the editorial.  This basically means I can still blog how I want, in my own voice and about subjects that matter to me.  It’s very different to the sponsored blog posts where they are provided and you’re not allowed to edit them at all.  These still play a part if you have bills to pay, after all money is money and sometimes you need some, but I prefer the ones where I can heavily edit them or I can write my own blog post from scratch.

    Review blog posts

    At the start of 2017 I decided to charge for product reviews and to stop doing them for free.  Reviews can take up more of my time than sponsored blog posts and yet I was sometimes only receiving a £10 item in exchange.  I’d have to test the item, share on social media, research it and then spend up to two hours writing the blog post.  Oh and then promote the blog post, plus spend hours every day building up my following that companies then want access to.
    I had a week last year where I had approx. 10 blog reviews to do!  I realised this was upwards of 20 hours of my life that week to do them all.  Yes I wanted to help all these companies, but I realised I wasn’t helping myself.  This was 20 hours away from my children.  20 hours of my precious free time.  20 hours I wasn’t getting paid for, but was helping these companies get paid more in one way or another, whether through sales, exposure, free advertising or giving them a link to help their Google rating.
    Now I offer a review package and I charge.  I have accepted a couple of items as the payment as they were over £100 and I really wanted them!  Otherwise I always charge for my time.  If I have free time I’d rather spend it with my family or doing something I want to do instead of working for others for free, which is what it is.

    4 ways to make money from your blog without Google ads 1

    Hosting giveaways

    If I host a giveaway for a company I charge a small fee to cover my time and the exposure they receive.  Most of my giveaways receive upwards of 1000 entries and they are shared all over social media giving some exposure to the company.  Entry methods usually include following the brand too, so they get social media followers from it as well.
    It’s a win-win situation as they get more exposure and followers, plus I get some new views on my blog and payment to cover my time.
    I also charge to ensure they are committed to the giveaway.  If a company fails to dispatch a prize then did you know you have to give the winner a prize of equal value? 
    I’ve seen a couple of scenarios where this has happened to bloggers and they can’t afford the prize or are left out of pocket.  It’s something to consider when you run a giveaway for free, especially if the company is not well known.  Taking a payment upfront assures me the brand is committed to sending the prize and if the worst happens, I can use the payment to cover the prize.

    Affiliate links

    I’ve not really made the most of affiliate marketing yet and I don’t want to become really salesy.  I’ve stuck to mainly promoting things I know and love myself.  At the moment I mostly make money from my referral links for Profit Accumulator and Nutriseed   - two companies I use and thoroughly recommend so I find it natural and easy to promote these companies as I am a customer myself of both.
    I’m also a member of Awin which is an affiliate marketing company with over 6000 brands!  So far I’ve had one pay out and I’m really not making the most of it yet.  I need to go through lots of publishers and really find out what suits my blog.
    Amazingly I’ve made the most money from them with a sponsored blog post and a competition, not even through the affiliate links!  They have a marketplace where you can offer your services.  I received a sponsored blog post through this.  I also entered an Etsy competition through them and won some money straight into my account.  There is so much more to Awin than just affiliate marketing.

    Click here to sign up to Awin and start making money from affiliate marketing!

    Related blog posts:
    How I save hours every week scheduling tweets with Social Oomph
    4 ways to improve your domain authority (DA)
    5 ways to manage your time effectively when working from home
    Are you destined to be a blogger?
    Need Some Inspiration? Your Ultimate Guide of Blogging Mottos

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    4 ways to make money from your blog without Google ads