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  1. Money making blogger interview with Alexia from Los Angeles Mamma Blog

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    Welcome to my Money Making Blogger interview series where I interview bloggers who are making money from their blogs! 

    Read on to discover how they make money from blogging and the steps they took to monetize their blogs.  Feel inspired and learn something new from this series!  Also learn how many hours they spend on their blogs per week, what sort of income this provides and their tips for new bloggers who want to make money by blogging.

    I get to write every day and make money by doing what I love.  It’s amazing and still amazes me each day.  It’s not without a lot of hard work though, so don’t be fooled into thinking you simply set up a website and voila, income starts rolling in.  If only!  I work 30-40 hours per week currently and my blog is my life!

    In this series I am going to interview other bloggers who also make money from their blogs to hopefully inspire people to start a blog if they wish or to make that leap to monetizing content.  I also find it so interesting to learn what other bloggers are up to and even us full time bloggers can learn from each other and inspire one another.

     Money making blogger interview with Alexia Los Angeles Mamma Blog (2)

    Hello, please introduce yourself and tell us all about your money making blog.

    I’m Alexia from http://www.losangelesmammablog.com. I’ve been blogging for years and really just started the blog just to share my experiences as a new mother shortly after I had my daughter 8 years ago. It turned into a side income soon after.

    How long have you been blogging for and when did you begin to monetize?

    Over 8 years.  I monetized about 6 months into blogging

    What's your monthly blog income like? (Pocket money, part time, full time or if you're happy to share the figure)

    It’s more pocket money and definitely part time as I have a full time job. Some months I make $300 and some I make $1500. It’s not consistent.

    How exactly do you make money from your blog?

    Sponsored posts and being an affiliate to programs I believe in and use myself.

    Were there any steps you took to prep your blog for making money?

    Basically writing on the blog regularly and building an audience, using social media to engage with other bloggers, PR, and brands. Basically just being open to opportunities that came my way, accepting lower payment at first and gradually growing from experience

    Has it been an easy process to make money from your blog? Why?

    I wouldn’t say it has been easy, it takes effort to keep putting my blog out there and contacting brands I want to work with. On occasion I have good opportunities come my way, but I still feel it’s due to my constant work trying to get my blog out there and visible.

    How many hours per week do you work on your blog? Has this changed over time?

    Probably about 20 - it’s daily whenever I have downtime. It hasn’t changed over time.  I think it’s a constant effort but I enjoy it, so it’s pleasant work. Seeing the benefits in pay and extra money in the household makes it all the more worth it.

    What are your aims for your blog in the future? Do you plan on increasing your income and how?

    I would love to increase my income. I just want to continue to grow the blog. Interests and focus have changed over time, from a parenting blog I would say it has evolved to more lifestyle. Also, with the purchase of our first home in the beginning of this year, home, interior decor and gardening have become a focus.

    If someone is totally new to blogging, what should they concentrate on most to start making money?

    I think concentrate on keeping your blog updated, make connections with other bloggers and networks on social media.

    Are there any drawbacks to running a money making blog?

    Yes, downtime is difficult to get. Constantly being on Twitter and other platforms, posting and doing all the work instead of just taking time to be with family when not at work.

    What inspires you to blog and what is the best thing about blogging?

    I love writing. I always have. Getting to work with brands I have always admired and just the opportunity to receive these perks and speak about my own experiences with products I love is definitely gratifying.

    Would you still blog even if you couldn’t make money doing it and why?

    I think so, it’s fun for me.

    Do you think blogging is here to stay and why?

    Yes. More and more bloggers are popping up. I think brands like the real person experience and that level of marketing is something that can be honest and relatable to potential consumers (when honestly and transparency are there).

     

    Thank you so much for taking part in my Money Making Blogger interview series and best of luck with your blog!

     

    Helpful articles if you want to monetise your blog:

    Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing
    Make money from your blog without Google ads 
    4 ways to find paid blog opportunities
    How I save hours every week scheduling tweets with Social Oomph
    How to improve your domain authority (DA)


    Make money blogging with Get Blogged (even as a new blogger)
    6 secrets to make more money from your blog
    6 handy tax tips for bloggers
    Online resources and blog posts to make money blogging
    Blogging tips

    How to make money from home:

    The 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018
    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum
    Online resources to make money at home 

    Take part in my money making bloggers interview:

    Do you make money from your blog?  Would you like to take part?   

    Click here for the interview questions.

     Money making blogger interview with Alexia Los Angeles Mamma Blog (1)

  2. Setting up a successful business space from your home

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    With rental and property prices changing constantly; it can be difficult to find the right place to run your business, especially if you’re already a busy mum. Due to uncertain times, many people are choosing to save themselves the cost of renting, or paying another mortgage, and running their businesses from home, whether it’s their full-time job, or an exciting side hustle.

    By keeping your company within your property, you’ll save commuting costs, and won’t have to pay additional bills on a space that doesn’t belong to you.  There are even some bills you can class as a business expense when you work from home.  I’ve been self-employed for six years this month and currently have an office at the end of the children’s playroom.  Ben has just set up a home business and has a workshop at the bottom of the garden!  

    There are, however, some things you should consider before taking the plunge, and turning the place where you live, into an office, workshop, or studio.

    Setting up a successful business space from your home

     My walking desk/office set up at the end of the children's playroom!

    All you need

    You’ll need to scope out your house, garden, or land (you lucky thing), for the suitability of running your company, and it will depend on what your business is. Office-based work is probably the most straightforward, as a room or area within your home can easily be converted into an office space, using a desk and appropriate shelving. To separate your home life from your work; you might want to consider setting up your business in the garden by using, or building, a dedicated room to work inside. By keeping your work removed from family life; you’ll be able to concentrate professionally at the job in hand, throughout your time “at work”. 

    This is definitely something that would be great for me as currently my office is a third of the playroom!  I thought it was a great idea at first so I could be near the children when they are playing, but it’s actually impossible most of the time to get work completed if they are here as they can see me and want my attention.  A separate area, if you have the space, is definitely recommended.

    For companies that manufacture goods; you’ll need to think about the scale of your operation and how much you’ll be producing. Any machinery will have to have ample room to be used correctly, and you’ll need adequate storage for your items. It’s worth investing in all the tools needed, both physical and digital, so that you’ll have all you need from the get-go. 

    Even if you’re a maker, like Ben my husband is, the importance of organised admin and digital marketing cannot be undervalued. Yes, he needs a workshop to make, but he still needs a space and tools to be able to promote his wares digitally as this is how he can get a sale in this day and age.  And, of course, there is admin to deal with, whether that is emails, uploading listings or documenting income and expenditure.  He still needs a space to be able to work digitally too.  Make sure you scope out the best template management or social media platform system to make things easier for running your business; find what suits you and your business so that you can begin to thrive.

    Separation is key

    When you run your own business, it can often consume every part of your life, especially when you’re working on it from your home.  There is always something to be doing with regards to your business, new ideas popping into your head constantly, emails to respond to and work to be getting on with.  The problem is you work at home and you could therefore always be working and thinking of work!

    Therefore, it’s crucial that you’re able to switch off and enjoy your family life after the working day is finished. Having a separate space to work on your property is the best way to switch off, as you can lock up and leave everything in there, away from the house. If you have a work environment inside the home; try to remove as much as possible from the rest of family life, by locking doors and turning off any phones and computers.

    If, like me, your work space really is in the middle of family life (who thought a playroom-office was a good idea again?!), then you need to try to set clear boundaries between work and life.  I admit, I still struggle to do this on busy days, especially as I like to stay on top of my work and get things done promptly, but I do try to have working hours that I stick to.  I usually work when the kids are at school and then again when they are in bed.  I also take weekends off, most of the time.  When I work every day I feel all consumed by my business and don’t give my children the quality time they need, so by taking the weekends of I can at least give them my full attention for two days of the week without my head stuck in a laptop. 

    It can definitely be a struggle to take time off when you’re setting up a business and it demands all your attention and time, but it’s best to set some clear rules about when work time is and when your own life time is!

    A quiet space

    You’ll also want to be able to drown out (most) of the noise when you’re working on something important or during unusual hours, such as when the kids and husband are home. This factor will again stress the importance of separation, so make sure it’s a focus when you’re designing the space.  If I do have to work when my children are home then it’s quite impossible if they are being noisy and I need to concentrate, especially as they are usually in the same room as me.  A separate room where I can shut the door would be ideal – so do consider this if you are setting up your own workspace.  

    Ben’s workspace is great as it is at the bottom of the garden, away from our home and noisy family life.  I’m sure he can much better separate work and life compared to my setup.  Of course, mine is lovely and peaceful in the day when the children are at school and nursery, and Ben is at work!

    For more on the importance of switching off from your business, take a look online for some inspiration and tips or check out my running a home based business blog posts or my work-life balance blog.

     

    Related blog posts

    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum
    How to deal with overwhelm as a work at home parent
    Tips to stay healthy if you work from home
    How to manage your time effectively when working from home
    Managing life as a full time working parent

    Setting up a successful business space from your home

  3. Blog and home income report November 2018

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    Get ready for a blog post stuffed full of resources to help you make money online, from smart phone apps and from home!

    Welcome to my monthly income report where I share how much money I have managed to make from home.  This income is from freelance blog writing, various side hustles online, apps for mystery shopping, website testing, matched betting, online selling and I also include any cashback earned.  To read an in-depth reason behind sharing my income reports start with the blog post why I publish income reports and click here to discover the top 3 ways I made money from home in 2017.

    Here goes, from smallest to largest...

    My November 2018 blogger and online earnings income breakdown

    blogger Blog and Home Income Report NOVEMBER 2018 (2)

    Please note - the below are my totals before any deductions, so my total turnover for the month, not including any expenses.  My yearly business expenses last year were about £4000 and so far they look the same this year too.  I also save £500 per month to cover my tax, national insurance, student loan and pension.  So my total monthly business expenses and tax, etc savings are around £830.  So deduct this from the overall figure at the end of this blog post for an idea of my take-home pay.

    From smallest to largest:

     

    Shopmium cashback £2.50

    This is a new entry in my income reports as I have only just signed up to this app.  I'm a bit late to the party I know!  It's a fab cashback app with offers on lots of branded items in the main UK supermarkets.

    Simply sign up by clicking my referral link here  and enter my referral code 46e3t – there is sometimes a freebie in the app if you do this…  at the time of typing it’s a free Nutella jar for you!

    Read my review here: How to save money at the supermarket with Shopmium

     

    Curve cashback £5

    Get FREE MONEY from Curve!

    Curve is an app and also a Mastercard debit card with which you can use any of your bank cards or credit cards to pay for a purchase, but you only have to carry around the Curve card.  You use the app to control which card you pay with.  You also get 1% cashback for the first three months on three retailers from their selection (including supermarkets), so it’s worth paying for everything in your 3 chosen stores for at least three months using the Curve card to take advantage of this.  It costs you nothing as Curve is just like a third party, so you still pay for the purchases using your own bank card at no cost to you.

    Plus, the best bit, you and me both get £5 cashback if you sign up with my code: FL2KH at https://dw92j.app.goo.gl/ZV9a

    It costs nothing to sign up to their free service and you’ll get £5 for free for using my code and the 1% cash back for three months at no extra cost to you.  It’s basically free money!  Plus, you'll get your own referral code so if you sign all your friends and family up then you'll get £5 for each referral too (and they get £5 too!).

     

    Top Cashback £8.73

    We’ve now had over £800 from Top Cashback, as a household, since signing up in April 2016.  You’re crazy if you’re not doing it.  It's money back on things you were going to buy anyway.  Learn how to earn cashback on things you already buy and be amazed with how much extra cash you have back in your pocket!   

    Read my latest blog post about it here: Over £800 cashback in 2 years with Top Cashback

     

    Shoppix £10

    Another new entry on my income reports from Shoppix!  This is a smart phone app that gives you tokens in exchange for receipts and when you reach a threshold you can exchange these tokens for cash or vouchers!  I cashed out £10 to my PayPal.

    If you enter 52YFMN8U when you download the Shoppix app, we can both get 200 tokens when you snap a valid receipt and complete the profile survey!

    Read more here: Make money at home from receipts with Receipt Hog and Shoppix

     

    Blogger Blog and Home Income Report NOVEMBER 2018

     

    WhatUsersDo £20

    I do website testing at WhatUsersDo and it’s so easy!  I get paid £5 per test and some of them are only a question or two. 

    Read my blog post easily make money from home by testing websites and sign up yourself!

     

    Online scarf sales £35.10

    This is the total sales from my online scarf boutique where I sell a few printed scarves.  There are a few left with 20% off currently and they make great Christmas gifts!

     

    Matched betting £36.96

    My quietest matched betting month ever, but I am now restricted from the offers for most of the good bookies!  My strategy was just to ride out making money from this for as long as possible and it is coming to an end after almost two years.  Some people only do the sign up offers which took me around six weeks to complete and I made £1500 from just those offers.  Some people use various strategies to pretend to be a real customer and do it long-term, some even claim to make a full-time living!  My plan was to do the sign up offers and continue doing the reload offers for as long as possible, until all the bookies realised what I was doing and gubbed me!  It's been a great ride as I have made over £5000 profit since starting in January 2017!

    I highly recommend matched betting as it's made me £5000 in just under two years which is tax-free cash.  At first it was very time-consuming, but once I got the hang of it I could make around £50 per hour with the little time I spent doing it.  As a side-hustle it is a brilliant and fun way to make extra money from home. There's no need to do every offer and you can take your time working through the sign up offers.  

    I recommend using Profit Accumulator for matched betting as a beginner.  They have so many guides and walk you through the process in the first few offers.  If you get stuck you can ask a question in the forum and someone will get back to you.  They also have a 30 day money back guarantee on their memberships, plus you can try the first couple of offers without even signing up to anything to see that it really does work and is so simple once you get the hang of the free bet offers! 

    See also:

    One Year Review: How I earn up to £50 per hour matched betting from home 

    Matched betting milestones 18 months and £5000

    matched betting box

     

     

    Personal eBay £104.70

    I've been consistently making around £100 per month by selling our outgrown and unwanted items on eBay and sometimes on Facebook Marketplace.  It keeps our home clutter free and provides us with a bit of extra pocket money each month.  If items don't sell after a while, then I donate them to the charity shops.

    Related - 5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum

     

    PA referrals £137.47

    This is from referring people to Profit Accumulator who I highly recommend for matched betting.  I use them myself and have done since January 2017 making over £5000 profit.

    Related - Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing and get £30 per person you refer to Awin!

     

    Blog writing £2421.58

    This is always my most lucrative method of income from home each month.  I love to write and thoroughly enjoy writing about topics that I am passionate about, sharing my experience, or researching topics I enjoy to learn more and then share it on my blog in a relatable way.

    For more blogging tips and advice on ways to make money from home and online read my blog posts how I made £26000 from home in 2017 and 10 ways to make money blogging.

    Find lots of handy blog posts in these sections:

    Make money blogging
    Blogging tips

    November stats for reference:

    2018 Nov
    Page Views 11935
    Sessions 7261
    New Users 4540
    Total Users 5068
    Twitter @lyliarose 57014
    Instagram @lyliarose 13151
    Pinterest @lyliarose 1870
    DA 37
    Newsletter subscribers 4300

    Related

    How to improve your domain authority (DA) 

    6 secrets to make more money from your blog

    6 handy tax tips for bloggers

    Make money blogging with Link Monster

     

     

    November 2018 grand total £2782.04

    Shopmium cashback £2.50
    Curve cashback £5.00
    Top Cashback £8.73
    Shoppix £10.00
    Whatusersdo £20.00
    LR shop sales £35.10
    Matched betting £36.96
    Personal eBay £104.70
    PA referrals £137.47
    Blog writing £2,421.58
    TOTAL £2,782.04



    If you want to read more, then check out the 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018

     

    Please pin me to your money boards:

     Blogger Blog and Home Income Report NOVEMBER 2018 (1)

     

  4. 6 handy tax tips for bloggers

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    It’s coming up to that time of year again… no, not Christmas, but the other time of year that all self-employed people start freaking out about… tax return time!  OK, not everyone freaks out as some of us do our tax returns as soon as we can, like in April!  I’ve always wondered why people put it off until the very last minute. 

    The only thing I’m freaking out about is remembering to pay my bill!  I have several alarms at the ready near the end of January.  I have the money sat waiting to pay it and just need to log in to make my payment.  I did actually pay it right away, but it just sat there in my tax account doing nothing, so I thought it better to earn interest on it until the due date if they’re not going to actually deduct it from my tax bill until 31st January.  I had it refunded and it’s been sat patiently waiting until the end of Jan whilst nicely earning a bit of interest (which of course I will declare on my next tax bill!)

    Many bloggers find the whole tax thing really scary and intimidating.  I’m here to tell you it’s not at all.  I am by no means an expert, but I want to share with you a few tips and some handy links to get you started.  I should probably mention at this stage I do love spreadsheets and form filling doesn’t faze me, so maybe that’s why I find it OK.  I get not everyone is like this though, but hopefully you won’t find it scary and if you do then seek professional advice.

    6 handy tax tips for bloggers

    Image

    Things to note – I am not an expert, so please do your own research.  I’ll share some links here.  Also, tax rules change all the time and I am writing this in November 2018 so do check the links and investigate for yourself as allowances and rules can change each new tax year.

    Keep records of everything

    Firstly, if you are planning on running your blog as a business then you need to keep records of everything.  Even if you are only going to make £10 from your blog this year, that’s a profit and an income and it makes your blog a business.  You might not have to register for self-assessment with such a small income from your blog (see next point), but you still need to keep records.  There’s a chance your blog will make enough over the next few months to have to register as self-employed, so it’s best to keep on top of record keeping.

    Keep all invoices, receipts, bank statements and email correspondence with customers.  I keep a spreadsheet with all my incomings and outgoings which I update every day as and when I have an incoming or expense.  I then cross reference this with my bank account and PayPal every week and ensure the balances match up.  I have a separate spreadsheet for each tax year.  I rarely have paper receipts, but when I do I keep these in an envelope for each tax year.  Many of my invoices and receipts are electronic so I keep them in my email account all sorted into ‘incomings’ and ‘outgoings’ for each tax year.  I can easily print everything and find records of everything for each tax year.

    You really need to come up with an organised system to keep records of everything and stay on top of it so it doesn’t overwhelm you.

    The HMRC website says “examples of the records you may need to keep are:

    • copies of your invoices, paper or electronic
    • a spreadsheet of your income receipts
    • emails confirming income received
    • statements from the company who paid you which show the amount you received
    • bank statements
    • bank deposit pay-in records
    • a diary or appointments book showing your income from each customer

    HMRC can charge you a penalty if the records you keep aren’t accurate, complete and readable or if you don’t retain them for the required period of time.”

    Go digital

    I must admit, I love spreadsheets.  I love adding formulas that work out all my tax payments and national insurance contributions and automatically update as I add new figures every day.  Some people loathe spreadsheets though or they simply don’t get them and get into a muddle.  Just because I use a spreadsheet, it doesn’t mean you have to, but you have to have some way of recording every incoming and outgoing each month.  If you’re making enough money or as your blogging business grows then you may wish to consider hiring an accountant to manage your tax returns or using some digital software to make everything easier.  I’ve heard many bloggers talk about using Quickbooks before to make accounting and invoicing simplified and of course, digital.  Digital tax accounting company Tax Kings also offer digital bookkeeping services for sole traders including ‘preparing, recording and completing your annual return’.

    If your gross income is £1000 or less, you don’t have to register with HMRC

    If your gross trading income from one or more self-employment trades is £1000 or less then you don’t have to tell HMRC or register as self-employed.  That means your total income before any expenses.  It’s known as a trading allowance.  If you don’t make much money from blogging (under £1000) and you have no other trades then it can save the hassle of doing a self-assessment. 

    However, there are some reasons why you may wish to complete a self-assessment, even if you earn under £1000 from blogging and any other trades.  These include if you’ll want to claim Maternity Allowance based on your self-employed income, if you want to claim Tax Free Childcare based on your self-employed income and if you want to voluntarily pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions to help towards some benefits.

    You can find out more information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tax-free-allowances-on-property-and-trading-income

    Register for self-assessment if your income is over £1000

    If your gross (before expenses) income from blogging and any other trades is over £1000 then you’ll have to register for self-assessment with HMRC.  Even if your income from blogging is under £1000 then are some circumstances mentioned above where it could benefit you to register anyway.

    You can register for self-assessment here: https://www.gov.uk/log-in-file-self-assessment-tax-return

    Use ‘simplified expenses’ to claim for utilities

    If you work from home then a proportion of the energy bills will be during the hours you are working.  Instead of trying to break down exactly how much gas, electric and water you used during working hours to claim as an expense, you simply use the ‘simplified expenses’ flat rate  which tells you exactly how much you can claim as an expense each month:

    Hours of business use per month

    Flat rate per month

    25 to 50

    £10

    51 to 100

    £18

    101 and more

    £26

    Click this link to find out more: https://www.gov.uk/simpler-income-tax-simplified-expenses/working-from-home

    I work anywhere from 30-50 hours per week on my at-home business so I can add £26 per month as an expense towards our utility bills. 

    Note – this doesn’t include telephone or internet bills, so these need to be worked out and claimed as a separate expense.

    Save as you go

    This is probably one of the most important things to do!  Save your tax as you go!  As mentioned, on my spreadsheet I have formulas that are linked to my profits each tax year that work out my total costs for the following:

    • Tax (20% of income over my £11850 personal allowance)
    • Class 2 NIC (set amount £153.40)
    • Class 4 NIC (9% of profits between £8424 and £46350)
    • Student Loan Plan 1 (9% of income over my £18330 personal allowance)

    So by the end of the tax year I already know exactly how much I owe thanks to my spreadsheet.  I save throughout the year though by putting £500 a month to one side – a savings account – so I have the money ready to pay the tax bill at the end of the year.  Anything left over, £2000ish, will go in my pension pot.

    I know roughly what I’ll earn now as I’ve been full-time blogging for a while, but if you’ve no clue how much all your outgoings are then search Google for a ‘self-employed tax calculator UK’ where you can enter your monthly income and it will tell you how much tax and expenditure for student loans, etc, you’ll have to pay on that.  Then you can put this amount to one side and do the same the next month.  This might be a handy way of doing things if your income really fluctuates each month.  If you save too much then just see it as savings!  Better to save too much rather than too little or nothing at all!  You want to be prepared and all saved up for your tax bill at the end of the year.

    I’ve no idea of the accuracy, but this looks like quite a good calculator: https://www.employedandselfemployed.co.uk/tax-calculator

     

    Hopefully these 6 tips have been useful.  By no means is this a definitive guide!  There is so much more I could say, but this is a good starting point.  You’ll also need proof and amounts of any interest earned on savings for the year, dividends earned and other income such as from an employed job.  Basically, just keep records of all monetary income or make sure you have digital access to them as proof and for filling out your tax return when the time comes.  The HMRC website really is so helpful and full of so many guides to help you or you can always choose to seek professional advice or hire an accountant to make the whole process as easy as possible.

     

    Helpful articles if you want to monetise your blog:
    6 secrets to make more money from your blog
    Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing
    Make money from your blog without Google ads 
    4 ways to find paid blog opportunities 
    How I save hours every week scheduling tweets with Social Oomph
    How to improve your domain authority (DA)

    Work from home blog posts:
    The 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018
    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum
    How to deal with overwhelm as a work at home parent
    How to survive the half term when you work from home
    5 tips to stay healthy if you work from home

    6 handy tax tips for bloggers

  5. 6 secrets to make more money from your blog

    Posted on

    A question I am regularly asked is how I make money from my blog and how to find those opportunities.  Whilst I share how I find blogging opportunities in my blog post 4 ways to find paid blog opportunities, today I want to share some of my secrets of how I believe make even more money from my blog each month. 

    These are the things I believe I do that help me make a consistent income from my blog.

    6 secrets to make more money from your blog

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    Follow up

    How many times do you reply to an email about an opportunity never to hear back again? If you get emails directly to your inbox every day like I do, then I bet it’s a lot.  Every time I reply to an email opportunity I am interested in, I then move the email to an ‘in progress’ email folder.  Once a week I will look through this folder to see who hasn’t replied to me in more than one week and I’ll send them a polite follow up email asking if they are still interested.  I then move the email to a ‘complete’ folder and I don’t bother them again.  If they aren’t interested then they may let me know or won’t reply.  But sometimes, they are interested and my original reply was just lost, forgotten about or they had tons of replies, but now I stand out as someone who is keen.  It’s surprising how many will actually reply if you send a polite follow up email.  I only like to do this once as I figure they’ve had my original reply and now one follow up, so that’s two chances for them to get back in touch with me.  You don’t want to keep emailing as it’s annoying and they might blacklist you!

    Email previous contacts 

    I keep a list of all contacts I’ve worked with on a spreadsheet.  I have a column for the date I Iast worked with them and the date I last contacted them.  I also have columns with their name, business name, email, type of collaboration e.g. ‘advert’ ‘product review’ and so on.  I don’t keep details of single brands as they tend to only work with bloggers once, so this is just for PR companies and agencies.  I sort the spreadsheet in date order and contact anyone I haven’t spoken to in three months.  I update the ‘last contacted’ date each time I email them.  I then colour code once I’ve contacted them – yellow for once, orange for twice and red for three times.  Once I’ve contacted them three times (once every three months) and had no reply then I won’t contact them again as they’re either not interested in working with me or they don’t work for that company anymore.

    Be timely

    I believe I get a lot of interest and repeat work because I respond to emails promptly – usually within a few hours, sometimes instant, but definitely within 24 hours.  I am also prompt with my work and turn pieces around quickly.  I don’t rush, but I love to write and can write quite quickly - as soon as I have a title then I’m off and keen to write!  I never leave work until the last minute and prefer to complete before a deadline (unless it’s a strict don’t do it until the deadline type scenario!)

    Start another blog

    I now have four blogs, well three of my own and one I’ve taken over!   I have my main blog, my husband’s website blog, my second blog that I set up almost one year ago and my third blog that is almost one month old so very new.  Setting up new blogs has allowed me to niche down on these separate blogs and to begin niching down a little more on my main blog instead of covering so many topics in one place.  It takes time to build authority and readerships on the newer blogs, but I was able to monetise my second blog after a few months and I hope to do the same with my third blog.  it also gives me back up and means I can apply for different sorts of opportunities for each blog.  It’s also meant some opportunities are relevant for all of the blogs and so I can let PRs or agencies know I have more than one blog and sometimes they want to work with all of them.

    Have more than one niche 

    So I am trying to niche down on some of my blogs, but I’ve always been a big believer in write about whatever you want and love.  I’m sure I get a lot more opportunities than some because I do cover a lot of topics, especially on this blog.  I’m trying to go more with a money angle on this blog now, but I do still love to write about other topics that fascinate me too and this opens my blog up to more opportunities.

    Be active every day

    I saw a blogger recently tweet something like ‘hey brands, I’d love to work with you, email me at *** and I’ll respond within a week or so’.  Really?!  I am active every single day checking my emails and responding.  Sometimes brands will have a deadline in the future and take a while to collate interested bloggers, but the majority in my experience are looking for bloggers NOW.  They have a deadline and want a response sharpish.  With that in mind it pays to be actively responding each day and hunting out the opportunities on Facebook, Twitter and blogging platforms daily, or at least every other day.  I check them all every single day and apply for any that interest me.  Yep there’s a lot of spam now on the Twitter feeds for example, but if I want to find the work then I have to fish through it daily to dig out the real opportunities!  Checking all the blogging Facebook groups daily is something I do too.  People often share so much advice that I can learn something new each day or even learn about a new networking group or somewhere to find paid work.

    Obviously you might not have time to write four blogs or you may only want to write about one very niche topic and that’s totally fine. These are the ways I believe I have been able to consistently make a full time living from my blog for 18 months and hope that it might offer you a little deeper insight into things I do, especially as I’m asked a lot.  There might be something here that helps you or you think ‘that’s a good idea, I’ll steal that’!

    Happy blogging!

     

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