The Simple, Safe Way Families Are Earning A Ton Of Extra Cash

So what is a real way to earn real money without selling your first born to get started? Enter Driving for Lyft.

Lyft has become one of the top earning platforms for moms and we’ve compiled a few pretty compelling reasons why after talking to a few moms who are absolutely crushing it with Lyft:

It is safe.

It can be a scary world out there but not so much with Lyft. You are in your own car and driving on your own terms. Rider profiles are complete and tied to real payment methods allowing you to interact with verified people (no internet trolls allowed). You can choose your hours and work the daylight shift vs. the 2am pub crawl. Every move you make is tracked and monitored, which for safety feels pretty good.

It pays out fast and furiously.

Not only does it pay out weekly. If you are low on gas, you can request a quick payout and from what the drivers tell us, you get it pretty much right on the spot. Not waiting 2 weeks for the angry PR lady to hand you a check is pretty nice plus let’s get real – bills don’t wait to get paid. Thanks Lyft.

You can set your own hours.

This is one of the biggest benefits according to Lyft drivers. You literally get in your car and turn the app on and you are live. Want to stop, turn it off. One driver said they take rides only while their kid is in school. Another driver who was saving to buy a house (how cool is that), will grab a few rides after work to help bring in extra money.

The mom mobile is a premium service.

Ever think the soccer minivan or SUV would be coveted?  Well it is. With Lyft, bigger parties need more space. Minivans and SUVs are needed for more than two riders or riders with luggage. All pay a premium.

Interested in checking out what Lyft has to offer? You can check it out here no strings attached. What do you have to lose?

 

 

How To Use Pinterest To Drive Traffic And Revenue To Your Blog- Setup & Tactics

To date, I have generated over 7 figures with traffic and revenue through Pinterest (My profile is pinterest.com/cacd if you want to connect :)) . Facebook has been king of traffic for a long time and Pinterest the queen BUT the tide is turning. Facebook is extremely challenged and more expensive every day.

There is another huge difference between the two and it lies in “what”  Pinterest actually is. Pinterest is less of social media and more of a virtual search engine. Keep that concept in mind as you think through how it can best serve you and what you do.

So for the first time I am going to unpack some of my tips, tricks and tactics. I will start out high level and then get directly into what I am doing and what is working. Here we go :)

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual search engine that allows users to find inspiration and discover new ideas. It is for the highly motivated user to accomplish something, as opposed to a passive user who is just researching or collecting data. Users can save ideas, recipes, crafts and more to personalized boards, as well as participate in shared group boards. Pinterest is NOT a social network, but it does use friends and fellow pinners to cultivate a unique and personalized experience for its’ users.

Why is Pinterest important?

In an age where Facebook is constantly changing (and radically declining in traffic) our ways to access and find new and trending content, Pinterest is quickly escalating to the top of food chain when it comes to both curating and sharing unique content. Tapping into the 175 million monthly users and over 50 billion pins allows businesses to reach a new audience by sharing action-oriented content they may not find elsewhere.

How do I use Pinterest for my business?

Pinterest is used for businesses to reach new users with beautiful imagery and content. Sell products, educate your followers and empower them to take action by creating content that is articulate and aesthetically pleasing.

In order to maximize a presence on Pinterest, users must pin other users content in addition to sharing their own. Pinners who constantly “spam” their followers and Pinterest with repetitive content and images will get their accounts suspended.

Businesses using Pinterest need to pin content EVERY DAY to ensure their content is being put into the Pinterest content pool which will make its way in front of new users in the form of impressions. (Jump to the Scheduling Tools section to see how an online platform can help ensure content is being pinned out via schedule.)

The basics of Pinterest

To sign up for a Pinterest account, visit Pinterest.com. Once signed up, be sure to switch your account to a business account by clicking on the three dots icon the upper right hand corner of your account and selecting Switch to Business. You will be prompted to complete several steps and to eventually verify your website.

Once completed, be sure to enable Rich Pins on your account. Rich Pins provide additional info for each pin and a better user experience. There are 4 types of rich pins: app, recipe, article and products.

It is highly recommended to follow the steps from Melyssa Griffin to quickly enable and validate rich pins for your site.

Finding & Curating Trending Topics

Use your knowledge of your own business and niche to help guide your content development––it’s always best to stay true to your audience and mission. You can use the following tools on Pinterest to help identify ways to incorporate your unique content into current trending topics.

1.  Pinterest Analytics

Single click Analytics and Overview to open up your business analytics dashboard.

You will see your analytics dashboards which houses all information for your unique Pinterest profile, the people you reach and the content that is specifically saved from your website.

Your Pinterest Profile

This report details impressions (how many times your pins showed up in front of a user, regardless of clicks or saves), saves, clicks and all-time best performing pins. Underneath the graph you can see which exact pins are performing the best. These may not be YOUR pins, but any pin you pinned to one of your boards.

This is a simple way to monitor trending content- if it’s being pinned from your account in large numbers it’s trending! Curate and develop more content of this nature to keep the momentum going.

People You Reach––> Interests

The People You Reach section of your dashboard can provide valuable information as to the types of content your followers would like to see. At the very least, create your own boards to mirror these interest and begin pinning content to them. You should take it a step further and begin to develop content that easily fits into these categories. That way your followers can keep pinning your content that already fits into their boards.

While every interest most definitely will not fit into your niche as a business, these interest categories can provide fresh ways to write and style your content to appeal to your followers. Keep in mind that this report reflects your current followers, not necessarily your audience as a whole.

Activity From Your Website

This section of reports will probably be the most useful. Here you see all the popular performing content that is developed from YOUR business on your own site. You will not find competitor data here.

Data here represents your top performing pins, sorted by impressions first. You can single click Saves, Clicks, Original Pins and All-time at the top of the graph to see the date sorted that way.

This data represents your most pinned content and what you need to keep pinning and reproducing in new and fresh ways. Keep developing material and ideas in this vein to continue your reach potential.

2.  Pinterest Top 100

Another simple way to develop content that is trending is to follow the Pinterest account, and their Pinterest 100 for 2018 board. This board outlines the top 100 trends for the year which are pretty much guaranteed to appeal to a large audience and bring you pins and clicks.

3. Explore & Popular Categories

Use the Explore feature by single clicking on Explore, next to the Pinterest search bar. This search function brings up current and trending topics in a variety of search categories and is updated throughout the day. Use the trending topics as a basis for developing new content ideas.

Type in “popular” after Pinterest.com in the URL bar to bring up some of the most pinned content. Keep in mind this is not organized into categories like it would be in the Explore search option, but is a way to generate new ideas for content curation and development.

4. Design Tools

There are numerous web-based design and editing tools that have free components, as well as added features for a nominal fee. When it comes down to it, find the program that is easiest to use for YOU. Here are some of the most common free designing software websites:

Canva

Vectr

Pixlr

Pic Monkey

Snappa

Get Stencil

Pinterest Image Basics

1.  Image Size

At minimum, all Pinterest images should be 735×1102 pixels in size. The aspect ratio is 2:3 to 1:3.5. The larger your pin is, the more “real estate” it takes up on the Pinterest news feed and is thus, more likely to draw attention. Longer pins should be no longer than be 735×2060 because images beyond 2,061 pixels will be truncated when viewing on a mobile device.

2. Image Quality

Images should be high quality, high-res and tell the overall story of your post. Many design websites offer thousands of creative commons issues that are free to use, or you can use one of the many free sites geared towards free images such as Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay and Kaboompics.

3. Image Creation

Use your web-based design software to create clean and simple images for every post that you will be pinning on Pinterest. Click here to see a quick and basic image that can be created in 2 minutes. Some things to keep in mind for images with high click probability:

  • Consider creating a set of branded images with your logo that will serve as templates for each post, product or roundup pin.
  • Use the image to serve as the entire backdrop of the pin
  • Always include a logo for your business
  • Use text as an overlay in the negative space of the photo. Ex:

Be sure to include your Pinterest image at the bottom of each blog post that the pin will be linked to, so readers can generate clean pins directly from your website.

Publishing Tools

Tailwind and BoardBooster are two of the most popular scheduling tools for Pinterest users. They offer features such as pre-set schedules, analytics, pin suggestions and board lists that make using Pinterest easy and not time consuming. For the purpose of this instructional, we will be showing how Tailwind make scheduling pins simple in our Pinterest course (coming soon).

 

How I Went From $0 to $2k+ Per Month Blogging And Proof It Works

How To Make Money Blogging and why you should start a blog:

If you are like me you’ve seen a lot of headlines online about making money blogging. Who doesn’t want to make additional income doing something they enjoy that is time and location independent, right?

But is it for real? Yes. Very real.

What can you do with this extra money you are making on the side?

-Pay off student loans

-Pay off debt

-Save for a home

-Pay for a private school for the kids

-Buy a new car

-Travel

The opportunities are endless.

Before we go any further I promised proof that I know what I am talking about so below is a screenshot from one of my Adsense accounts in regards to a site I launched in 2014. Below is the launch and 90 day earning summary for one site I launched last year that focused on food:

What would it feel like if you had an extra few hundred per month?

I’ll tell you. It feels awesome.

We live in a great time in history. The internet can work for anyone.

If you get a blog setup and are willing to put in the time and effort, it can become some serious income. Many bloggers we work with make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

 

Here we go:

4 Key Steps in launching your own blog :

1. Setup A Blog With Hosting

To setup a Blog you need a host (where the site lives) and a domain name.  Setting up a blog nowadays is super easy and costs very little – especially with the host we use – BlueHost (To help I’ve put together a more thorough step by step walkthrough here: How to setup WordPress Blog on Bluehost :) )

For Your Domain Name – Pick something easy and memorable. This doesn’t have to be a premium one word dot com but it does have to give people an idea of what you are about when they look at it.

Check what is available here:

Plus, right now BlueHost has a ton of specials on setting up a website.

Hosting- There are a lot of hosts out there but I’m a big fan of BlueHost. They are super affordable (like $3.95/month) and have great support. A host is where you website and content will “live”. It’s where the actual files are located that people will access – articles to read, images,etc.

With Bluehost you are going to be able to install WordPress ( a blogging platform) at no additional cost. The reason I recommend WordPress is because it is so easy to learn and there is a lot of documentation online and on YouTube if you get stuck or need training. Plus you can find amazing themes already prebuilt for around $50 on ThemeForest.net instead of spending $2,500 to have someone build it from scratch.

(To help here is a technical link I put together to help you step by step the entire way: How to setup WordPress on Bluehost :) )

2. Signup for Adsense

Adsense can be a gold mine for bloggers because as soon as you get signed up and approved, is starts running advertisers. All you need is a gmail account, personal info and a bank account.

You can sign up here: www.google.com/adsense

The key for Adsense is placement. Remember a lot of people are browsing on their mobile phone and ads on the top or sidebar don’t get shown. Make sure you put ads in the middle of your web page like this:

 

I have found one of the best performing zone sizes on blogs is a square adzone.

3. SIGNUP FOR GOOGLE ANalytics

This is a free Google tool (you can signup here )and extremely powerful. It is how you will measure exactly how many people are going to your website. By using this tool you will know how many people are going to your blog, where they are coming from and what they are reading plus a ton more data. Use this to your advantage – if you know people are most interested in your blogs on home improvement, write more home improvement blogs, etc. The more you provide that your readers want the more they will read. Below is a screenshot from one of our sites that has over 1 million visitors per month.

start a blog

4. Find a social platform that has an audience you can write to.

Just a heads up, these tactics are for advanced users. Those who have setup their blog, have content and are ready to go.

A lot of websites and individuals write content (blogs, articles,etc.) and publish them but have no idea how to put them in front of people who will actually read them. They just go out online and get lost in web space. I’ve found a lot of success in finding a niche that you understand and can be an authority in – moms with toddlers, car enthusiasts, adults with ADD,etc. and use that as your starting platform.

The next step is to then find people that would most likely be interested in what you are writing. Social media is a perfect tool for finding potential readers. Here are some of my tips for the ones I use:

Facebook 

-Join Facebook groups who have individuals that would be interested in what you are writing about and share your articles there.

-Reach out to Facebook page owners with topics and followers that would be interested in what you are writing about and try to get them to share your content across their pages.

-Start a Facebook page and start running “like” ads to build up your followers. (Great info from AdEspresso here). We believe in this – we currently have 100 Facebook pages we run with over 15 M fans! (Link to pages).

Pinterest

-Look for group boards you can join that have followers that you can pin your content too.

-Create a Pinterest profile and pin high quality content that will attract the type of people that would love to read your blog. We have over 300k followers for our site LifeAsMama.com that caters to moms and I currently have over 975k followers on my personal profile of people that are into the stuff I am.

Bonus: I want to support your next steps. If you take initiative, set your blog up through BLUEHOST and email me, I’ll promote your first blog post to my social media followers. (I have close to 1 million) :)

What are you waiting for? It’s your time.

Next Steps? Follow My Step by Step Walkthrough (Literally takes 10 minutes) by clicking here:  

 

HOW TO SETUP A WORDPRESS BLOG IN 10 MINUTES OR LESS

 

10 Amazing Web Tools That Will Save You 10+ Hours Per Week

It’s natural for you to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. This is especially true if you’re starting a business or side project to earn extra income.

I’m a self-confessing tool & app junkie. I love trying out great new tools to become more productive or automate manual tasks.

In this post I’m sharing 10 best online productivity tools that save me at least 10 hours every week and can do the same for you. I’ve put the time each tool saves me per week next to each one.

1. Atext –SAVES 30 minutes

atext text expander

A text expander, like Atext, allows you to create keyboard shortcuts that automatically expand to common phrases or text. When you type in a shortcut, Atext will replace it with the full text so you don’t have to type it out.

For example, you could create a shortcut that triggers your mailing address any time you type “adr” and hit the spacebar. You can do the same with your email signature, an entire email template, and more. I use shortcuts for names, directions, URLs, email templates, commonly used phrases, and dozens of other things.

Atext is for Mac and it’s only $5 for a lifetime license!

2. Calendly – SAVES 1 hour

calendly scheduling app

Calendly is my personal appointment scheduler. It saves a huge amount of time by eliminating the back and forth when trying to schedule a meeting. Simply set up the type of meeting, duration, and your availability. Then, give the other person a link and they can choose a time. Calendly even notifies them with the phone number to call or any other instructions you want to give.

Calendly has a free and premium version. The free version gives you one meeting type (e.g. 60 minute call).

3. Voicebase – SAVES 1 Hour

voicebase-transcription-platform

I haven’t seen many people talk about this one, but it’s one of my secret weapons. Voicebase saves a TON of time, especially when I want to recall a certain part of a recorded conversation.

Ordinarily you would queue up the recording and search for one small part, which requires a ton of tedious work and time. Voicebase removes that struggle by allowing you to search the transcript by keyword. It creates a machine transcription (which isn’t perfect but works great for searching) and it will show you every instance in the recording where you said that keyword.

4. Alfred – SAVES 30 minutes

alfred productivity

Alfred is my shortcut to everything. If you use a Mac, the free version is amazing for quickly locating anything on your computer. Alfred also allows you to program almost any action on your computer with hotkeys or commands. And unlike the Spotlight search, Alfred remembers your searches and prioritizes what you search for most often.

Here are just a few of the ways you can use Alfred:

  • Saved searches take you directly to any of your Google drive folders
  • Search all of your Evernote notes
  • Change system settings
  • Turn off or restart your computer by typing ‘restart”
  • Search the web

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s so customizable and saves lots of time searching for items on your computer and online.

5. join.me – SAVES 1 hour

join.me-screen-sharing

I hate writing out technical instructions over and over again. Join.me has saved me, and anyone I’ve tried to explain something to, hours of time. The next time you’re on a call and need to give instructions, just send the other person your join.me link. You can quickly share your screen and show them exactly what to do.

Out of all the screen sharing apps, this one is my favorite because it’s easiest for the other person to set up. All they need to do is click the personal link you send them.

6. Dragon Dictate – SAVES 2 hours

dragon dictate voice to text

When you just don’t want to type, Dragon Dictate gives your fingers a rest. Dragon is a voice to text software for Mac and PC. It’s far from perfect but one of the best out there. I use Dragon to write blog posts, compose emails and even write out my to do list for the day.

It’s a little pricey, but don’t pay full price for it — you can often find it up to 50% off.

apple voice to text screenshot

If you don’t want to pay for Dragon, Apple’s built in voice to text lets you record 30 seconds at a time and it’s extremely accurate. If you have the latest OS, hitting fn twice should trigger it. Or, go to settings, dictation and speech, and make sure that dictation is on and you have the right mic selected.

7. Outread/Spreed/Spritz -SAVES 30 minutes

outread-speed-reader

It’s tough to find time to read when you’re busy, and even tougher to read when you are distracted. These apps take the distraction out of reading and speed up the process using 2 types of speed reading techniques:

RSVP (Rapid serial visual presentation) flashes one to four words at a time at the speed you want. Think of it like words on flashcards at a few hundred words per minute. Spritz and Spreed use RSVP.

Guided Reading highlights the words at the speed you choose while dimming out the rest.

Spritz has a bookmarklet that allows you to select any article online and set the speed at which you want to read it.

The Outread app for iPhone is excellent. It offers both methods of speed reading and you can sync it with save-for-later reading apps like Pocket. Which brings us to…

8. Fiverr – 1-3 SAVES hours

fiverr-marketplace

Fiverr is an incredible marketplace that allows you to get almost anything done for just $5.  If you can dream it, there is someone willing to do it for $5 on Fiverr. And if your time is worth more than $5 an hour, this will save you literally hours a week.

Here’s a few things Fiverr can help you with:

There are millions of ways to shave hours off your day for just $5. We use Fiverr several times a week and it saves us hours. If you’re new to outsourcing, the best part about Fiverr is it allows you you to dip your toes in risk-free because of the small investment.

I highly encourage you to try Fiverr at least once to see the potential for freeing up hours a week. Start by looking at your tasks you dislike most, and search for someone to do them on Fiverr!

9. Lastpass – SAVES 1 Hour

lastpass-password-management

Lastpass is my password saving app. It makes it easy to manage all of my passwords, but the thing I love most is the ability to share passwords without the recipient seeing the actual password. Once they have a Lastpass account they can easily use the shared password. Lastpass also allows you to revoke a password if needed, at the end of a project, etc.

Lastpass can autofill password forms when you want it to. If you have more than one password saved for a site, simply select the password and username you want to use. Lastpass has a great free version and the premium version is only $10/ year.

10. Buffer – SAVES 1.5 Hours

buffer social media app

Buffer is one of my favorite social media tools for finding and sharing content. I love the extremely easy to use interface and the ability to set times I want to share content throughout the day.

One perk of Buffer is their mobile app gives suggestions for content to share based on the content you’re already sharing. It’s a great way to find high quality content to share and discover new content.

If you use chrome for your browser, don’t forget to download the Buffer chrome extension which lets you easily schedule and share any blog post you read.

What about you? What are your favorite productivity tools? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Featured image “Driving Car” via Splitshire

 

How To Make Money Blogging

If you’re like me, you’ve seen a lot of headlines about making money blogging from home. Who doesn’t want to make additional income doing something they enjoy that is time and location independent, right?

But is it for real? Yes. Very real.

What can you do with this extra money you are making on the side?

-Pay off student loans

-Pay off debt

-Save for a home

-Pay for a private school for the kids

-Buy a new car

-Travel

The opportunities are endless.

Before we go any further I promised to show you an example. Below is an earning summary from Google Adsense for a site I launched recently:

What would it feel like if you had an extra cash monthly and more time with the family?

I’ll tell you. It feels awesome.

We live in a great time in history. The internet can work for anyone. If it can work for me – it can work for you.

Being able to set my own hours and work from home has so many more benefits than just money. When my wife had pre-cancer and was pregnant with our second son, I was able to be completely available to her without the stress of leaving her alone or 8 hours a day. It plays into the quality of life stuff that is virtually priceless.

If you get a blog setup and are willing to put in the time and effort, it can become some serious income.

Ready? Here we go:

4 Key Steps in launching your own blog :

1. Setup A Blog With Hosting

To setup a Blog you need a host (where the site lives) and a domain name.  Setting up a blog nowadays is super easy and costs very little – especially with the host we use – BlueHost (To help I’ve put together a more thorough step by step walkthrough here: How to setup WordPress Blog on Bluehost :) )

For Your Domain Name – Pick something easy and memorable. This doesn’t have to be a premium one word dot com but it does have to give people an idea of what you are about when they look at it. The best available now I find are two -three word (dot) com or (dot) co domain names.

Check what is available for you right now:

Plus, right now BlueHost has a ton of specials on setting up a website.

Hosting- There are a lot of hosts out there but I’m a big fan of BlueHost. They are super affordable (like $2.95/month) and have great support. A host is where you website and content will “live”. It’s where the actual files are located that people will access – articles to read, images,etc.

With Bluehost you are going to be able to install WordPress ( a blogging platform) at no additional cost. The reason I recommend WordPress is because it is so easy to learn and there is a lot of documentation online and on YouTube if you get stuck or need training. Plus you can find amazing themes already prebuilt on ThemeForest.net instead of spending $2,500 to have someone build it from scratch.

RECOMMENDATION: Do not have someone custom build your website at this point in time. It is way easier and more cost effective to buy a site template from ThemeForest for a fraction of what you would pay a developer.

(To help here is a technical link I put together to help you step by step the entire way: How to setup WordPress on Bluehost :) )

2. Signup for Adsense

Adsense can be a gold mine for bloggers because as soon as you get signed up and approved, is starts running advertisers. All you need is a gmail account, personal info and a bank account.

You can sign up here: www.google.com/adsense

The key for Adsense is placement. Remember a lot of people are browsing on their mobile phone and ads on the top or sidebar don’t get shown. Make sure you put ads in the middle of your web page like this:

 

I have found one of the best performing zone sizes on blogs is a square adzone (300×250 ad zone).

3. Signup for Google Analytics (FREE)

This is a free Google tool (you can signup here )and extremely powerful. It is how you will measure exactly how many people are going to your website. By using this tool you will know how many people are going to your blog, where they are coming from and what they are reading plus a ton more data. Use this to your advantage – if you know people are most interested in your blog posts on home improvement, write more home improvement blogs, etc. The more you provide that your readers want the more they will read. Below is a screenshot from one of our sites that has over 1 million visitors per month.

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 7.02.10 PM

4. Find a social platform that has an audience you can write to.

A lot of websites and individuals write content (blogs, articles,etc.) and publish them but have no idea how to put them in front of people who will actually read them. They just go out online and get lost in web space. I’ve found a lot of success in finding a niche that you understand and can be an authority in – moms with toddlers, car enthusiasts, adults with ADD,etc. and use that as your starting platform.

The next step is to then find people that would most likely be interested in what you are writing. Social media is a perfect tool for finding potential readers. Here are some of my tips for the ones I use:

Facebook 

-Join Facebook groups who have individuals that would be interested in what you are writing about and share your articles there.

-Reach out to Facebook page owners with topics and followers that would be interested in what you are writing about and try to get them to share your content across their pages.

-Start a Facebook page and start running “like” ads to build up your followers. (Great info from AdEspresso here).

Pinterest

-Look for group boards you can join that have followers that you can pin your content too.

-Create a Pinterest profile and pin high quality content that will attract the type of people that would love to read your blog. We have over 200k followers for our site LifeAsMama.com that caters to moms and I currently have over 996k followers on my personal profile of people that are into the stuff I am.

Bonus: I want to support your next steps. If you take initiative, set your blog up through BLUEHOST and email me, I’ll promote your first blog post to my social media followers. (I have close to 1 million) :)

Next Steps? Follow My Step by Step Blog Setup Walkthrough by clicking here:  

HOW TO SETUP A WORDPRESS BLOG IN 10 MINUTES OR LESS