This Website is For Sale!

If you would like to make an offer or have any questions, please email me at budgetingfunstuff *at* gmail.com.  Thanks!

Financial Blogger Conference 2012 Swag Bag Giveaway!!!

I just made it back from the Financial Blogger Conference 2012 and it was AWESOME!!!  You can read all about it at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.

BUT, I totally did not forget you either!  Whether you forgot to grab something or just couldn’t make it, here is a FinCon Swag Bag just for you!  I grabbed extra swag just to give away here and on BFS – feel free to enter both giveaways to double your chances!!!  The BFS giveaway will go up over the weekend…

Financial Blogger Conference 2012 Swag Bag for HIMMB

You will be leaving any comment below to win:

  • Ally Bank tote bag
  • Ally Wireless Mouse (USB just clicks in and out – it is so cool!  And they included batteries!)
  • “Pocket Your Dollars” by Carrie Rocha – Advance Reading Copy
  • USAA small note book and pen set
  • Metal business card holder with sea shell theme (sponsored by Crystal, lol)
  • RetailMeNot stylus pen
  • Power Wallet pen
  • Power Wallet screen wipe
  • CommissionSoup money clip
  • Ally white-chocolate covered Oreos
  • Lending Club M&M’s
  • How I Make Money Blogging eBook bookmark (has $10 off coupon code)

Ally Swag Bag

 How to Enter

  •  Simply leave a comment below.  If you need an idea, let me know what your favorite item in the swag bag will be!  My fave is the wireless mouse…

 

The official stuff:

1) SORRY, but ONLY Continental USA entries since shipping is going to be costly.
2) 
Contest ends September 30, 2012 at 11:59pm CST.
3) ONLY ONE COMMENT/ENTRY PER PERSON.
4) The winner will be selected randomly and notified by email by the third day of October 2012.

5) The prize will be held for 2 calendar days. If it isn’t claimed, a new winner will be randomly picked and contacted.
6) I reserve the right to reject comments that I consider spam or invalid entries.
7) An invalid or incorrect email address automatically disqualifies you from the drawing…it’s hard to contact a fake email…
8)
Local laws, rules, and regulations apply.

How I Make Money Blogging One Week Stats

Hi everyone!  It’s been about a week since I launched How I Make Money Blogging: The Beginner’s Guide to Building a Money-Making Blog.  Yay!!!  I have had a few people ask about how the launch went, so here we go:

HIMMB One Week Stats:

  • 28 copies sold
  • 13 affiliates have signed up
  • $349.50 grossed before Paypal fees but after affiliate cuts
  • 5 reviews other than mine posted throughout the web that I know about

It is selling for $17 right now but will be raising up to $27 on August 1, 2012.

HIMMB Challenge Group

In order to show that this book works and to help a few fellow bloggers succeed as quickly as possible, Nell at Housewife Empire suggested I publicly chronicle the journey of a new blogger using the book’s action plan.  I ended up accepting five bloggers into the How I Make Money Blogging Challenge Group, lol.  Please meet the group:

Reviews So Far

I am excited to say that there have been some great reviews so far and they all swear that they are from the heart.  :-)

If I missed your review, please let me know and I will add it in!!!

Plans

Overall, I am super happy!!!  But you know me, I always have to plan for the future.  That said, here are my HIMMB goals:

  • Sell 100 copies by September 5, 2012 – the day I head out to the 2012 Financial Blogger Conference.
  • Have at least 25 affiliates signed up by September 5 too.
  • Update the progress of the HIMMB Challenge group at least every 2 weeks.

Thank you so much for following along with this process – it has been taking up a bunch of my brain for more than a month now!!!

How I Make Money Blogging eBook is Available!

How I Make Money Blogging

I finally finished “How I Make Money Blogging: The Beginner’s Guide to Building a Money-Making Blog”!!!  Woot!!!  It hits the shelves today!!!

The official page can be found here, but here is what you probably want to know the most:

Background

I started Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS) at the end of February 2010 and grew it into a site that has made more than $42,000 as of the end of June 2012.

I also used 2011 to start several other sites, buy six additional sites to co-own, and I found other ways to make money online. I went from making a salary of $35,500 a year in a cubicle from 2005-2011 to working for myself from home by July 2011!

Since then, I have brought in $6,000 – $23,000 a month from my online endeavors!!!

What the eBook Covers

You can make money blogging too. This eBook explains in more than 10,000 words how I built BFS so quickly and how you can grow a site from the ground up too. Here are the main points covered:

  • My Background with Blogging
  • Picking a Name, Host, and Blogging Platform
  • Main Parts of a Blog
  • Building Up Your Blog
  • Making Connections
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Plugins
  • Rankings
  • Types of Ads
  • Ad Rates
  • Handling Offers
  • Tracking your Ads (Free Excel Sheet Example to get you started!)
  • Other Ways to Make Money Blogging
  • Action Plan to Get You Started Right Now

Plans for HIMMB eBook

Over the next few weeks, you should see:

  • A few bloggers in different stages of blogging have volunteered to follow the action plan in this eBook and we will post regular updates on their progress.
  • I am running an affiliate contest for a month to give an extra chance to earn some cash!
  • I will be publishing this for Kindle.
  • I will be writing about the process of creating an eBook since it was way more involved than I initially thought.

100% Money-Back Guarantee

I am positive that you will like this eBook. BUT, if I am wrong, I do offer a 100% money back guarantee within 30 days. This is a true, no questions asked guarantee. If you aren’t fully satisfied, I will refund all of your money. Period.

Buy Now

$27 – Just $17 for the month of July!!!

Become an Affiliate

If you are interested in promoting “How I Make Money Blogging” and earning 50% of every sale, please click here!

Just Have a Plan

I have been asked a few times in the last 2 months if I would have jumped into self employment if I knew Google would hit my clients and advertisers in March and April 2012.  Yes, yes I would.  Self employment obviously has its ups and downs, but quite frankly, I feel that a bad day working for myself is better than a great day working for someone else.  Period.

Just Have a Plan

That said, bad months need to be planned for.  Here is what I have concentrated on:

- Diversification.  We have many clients and many advertiser contacts.  That helps lessen the risk.  I also have started a side commenting business, can go back to staff writing, and have a few other ideas in the shoot.  In short, there are backups – lots of backups.

- Save.  We make sure to keep cash on hand to cover bad months and build this padding up during the good ones.  We also used extra to pay down our mortgage so we’d have less debt liability overall.  We’ll be buying a new home, but will be renting out our current home and a room in our new house, which will cover the new mortgage, taxes, and expenses.

- Pay yourself a salary.  The reason we could save and pay down mortgage debt during the good months is that we didn’t spend the extra we were making then.  We pay ourselves a salary that relies on us making way less than normal and stick to it.  I swear by this method and would suggest it to anyone.

My View

Overall, self employment is NOT for everyone.  Some of my friends actually like their regular day jobs, and I think that’s awesome.  Really.  I just want everyone to love what they do.

No matter what you choose, I would suggest having a plan.  Plan for good months.  Plan for bad months.  Plan for layoffs.  And make sure to budget in some fun.  Just have a plan.

February 2012 Self-Employment Income and Expenses

Since this blog is all about How I Make Money Blogging, I will be breaking down the past month’s online income and expenses at the beginning of each new month from here on out. Now that Mr. BFS and I are both working from home, we have to make this work.  We are aiming for $15,000 every month.  You can see my traffic stats for my main blog, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, at the beginning of every month too. So here we go!

February 2012 Income Breakdown:

Please keep in mind that I had been working in a professional position with my very own cubicle from June 2005 to July 2011 for $35,500 a year at my highest point (less than $3000 a month).  My husband was a public school librarian for $47,500 a year (less than $4000 a month).

As you can see, our advertising business and regular advertising is really the only thing we are leaning on right now. I will grow passive income streams online at some point, but right now we need to put all of our effort into the growing business.

February 2012 Expenses

  • Outsourcing: $200.00
  • Paypal: $1244.61
  • Empire Expansion: $245.00
  • My Newsletter Monthly Giveaways: $50.00
  • Prize for Another Blog’s Giveaway: $25.00
  • Yakezie annual membership dues:  $60.00
  • TOTAL: $1824.61 (about 10.47%)

I am now outsourcing my social media, my BFS newsletter, blog carnival submissions, niche site development for 6 new niche sites, my backups and back end work, staff writing on co-owned sites, and any sponsored posts. Plus, Jesse and I are buying up at least 1-2 dormant sites a month to grow our online empire (we took this month off). We are trying to keep our overall spending to less than 15% of what we bring in for right now just to help us feel comfortable, especially now that Mr. BFS is working from home with me.

February 2012 Net Income = $15,600.72

Please keep in mind that more than a third of that is being put away for taxes. BUT YAY!!!

Any recommendations, questions, comments, or anything?

More Tips for Working with a Spouse

My husband quit his day job as a school librarian about 4 weeks ago and joined me at home.  I wrote a few tips about working with your spouse after our first week at home together.

Here are a few more tips of the trade that have kept us from murdering each other:

- COMMUNICATE – yes, I mentioned that one before, but it is HUGE and worth mentioning again.  If we didn’t communicate, our business and marriage would fail – it really is that simple.

- Assign Tasks – each of us has our own jobs now.  Mr. BFS checks and replies daily to all of the emails that are forwarded to us by our clients, which is more than 50-100 every day now.  He is also the record keeper and types in all of the info for every deal we close or transaction we make.  Lastly, he sends out the letters to anyone who we have an incomplete deal for to find out if they have been paid or not.  My job is to provide customer service to all of our clients, act as the middle man between the advertisers and our group as a whole to develop ad campaigns, to run those campaigns, and to answer any direct questions anyone sends us about the business.  We each take turns contacting past ad contacts with our most updated client lists.  In short, we each have our own assigned duties so we do not waste time looking over the same stuff or step on each other’s toes.

- Separate Work and Home - even though our day job happens in our home offices, we do stop talking about work and just hang out over the weekends and for most of our evenings.  We talk about our plans with friends and family, the vacations we would like to go on this year, whether or not we should get a puppy, and we just hang out.  We even curl up on the couch together to just veg out on tv if we don’t have plans with anyone.  Overall, we keep ourselves from just talking about work 24/7.

Those three tips above have really helped us.  We’ve only had a couple of crappy days and both of them were because of ignoring one or more of the tips above.  I’ll be sure to let you know what else we learn along the way.  :-)

Any other big tips that I missed in this post or my last one?

January 2012 Self-Employment Income and Expenses

Since this blog is all about How I Make Money Blogging, I will be breaking down the past month’s online income and expenses at the beginning of each new month from here on out. You can see my traffic stats for my main blog, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, at the beginning of every month too. So here we go!

January 2012 Income Breakdown:

Please keep in mind that I had been working in a professional position with my very own cubicle from June 2005 to July 2011 for $35,500 a year at my highest point (less than $3000 a month).

As you can see, my advertising business and regular advertising is really the only thing we are leaning on right now.  I will grow passive income streams online at some point, but right now we need to put all of our effort into the growing business.

January 2012 Expenses

  • Outsourcing: $353.00
  • Paypal: $807.91
  • Empire Expansion: $1090.17
  • Scribe SEO software: $0.00 – I cancelled the service since it has taught me what I needed to know
  • BFS Giveaways: $0.00 – I paid at the end of December and will be sending the January prize tomorrow
  • My Newsletter Monthly Giveaways: $25.00
  • Prize for Another Blog’s Giveaway:  $25.00
  • TOTAL: $2301.08 (about 11%)

I am now outsourcing my social media, my BFS newsletter, blog carnival submissions, niche site development for 6 new niche sites, my backups and back end work, staff writing on co-owned sites, and any sponsored posts. Plus, Jesse and I are buying up at least 1-2 dormant sites a month to grow our online empire. I am trying to keep my overall spending to less than 15% of what I bring in for right now just to help me feel comfortable, especially now that Mr. BFS is working from home with me.

January 2012 Net Income = $17,979.04

Please keep in mind that more than a third of that is being put away for taxes. BUT WOOT!!! WHOO-HOO!!! So happy!!!! Since this is the fifth month in a row that I beat the $10,000 mark, Mr. BFS and I are now aiming for $15,000 a month or more.

Any recommendations, questions, comments, or anything?

The First Week with a Partner

Last week was the first full week that my husband worked from home with me.  So far, so good.  I am really happy that he is a fast learner and so grateful to have help! 

Here are some tips I have picked up so far about working from home with your spouse:

  • Have separate working spaces or you may end up driving each other nuts.  We have separate offices and that seems to be working well.
  • Communication isn’t just good for a marriage, it is really important for the business too.  We make sure to tell each other what’s going on so we don’t miss anything big while we find our groove.
  • Lists help.  Mr. BFS has his daily task list and I have mine.  Things are added throughout the day as needed to both, but in the end, the lists are completed and we keep our sanity.
  • Start small.  Mr. BFS is learning the business from the ground up and it has meant that the more difficult tasks are easier to learn since he already learned the basics.
  • Take each other’s opinions seriously.  Just because Mr. BFS hasn’t been doing this for the last year with me doesn’t mean I should ignore his suggestions.  In fact, he has already stream-lined our record keeping so it is more accurate and faster.
  • Make sure each of you have reasonable expectations.  I got ticked off the other night because I was still working and Mr. BFS was out testing his prototype board game.  I never asked him for more help, so he had no idea why I was mad.
  • Have outside hobbies.  I do not want my marriage to ever suffer because we are spending every waking second together.  So I have friends to go out with and blogging like this to do and Mr. BFS has reffing, board gaming, and Curling.  We also have joint activities like poker night and bowling.

Have you ever worked with your spouse?  Could you share any tips?

Credit Card Debt – Bad for Self Employment

The following is a guest post.

If you are self-employed, chances are you have been inundated with credit card offers in your mailbox.  Every business seems to get bombarded with offers every day.  However, what many self employed individuals don’t realize is how detrimental credit card debt can be.  Credit is essential to most self-employed small businesses, and being in debt makes that credit harder to come by.

What You Need Credit For?

If you are self-employed, there are variety of things that you could need credit for.  As the old adage goes, “It takes money to make money” and that is incredibly true.    Even for the smallest eBay seller, you need to buy supplies such as shipping and postage.  And if you are waiting to get paid, you need to purchase these items on credit first.

The need for a credit card can be great depending on the business.  If you’re mobile, you may need to purchase gas.  You may need to book travel to meet a client, or pay for a bunch of proposals to be professionally printed.  Either way, until the revenue comes in, the credit needs to be there.

How Credit Card Debt Hurts You

Being in credit card debt can negatively impact your credit score, which, in turn, makes lenders less likely to extend credit to you.  Since most banks view a business line of credit (even a business credit card) as risky to begin with, your poor credit history will not help you.

If you do have a low credit score due to credit card debt, and the bank is willing to extend you a credit card, you will most likely end up paying higher interest rates and fees, and usually have a lower line of credit.  Both of these could make using the credit card more difficult.

As a result, you should strongly consider building a solid credit score and credit report prior to getting a line of credit for your business.  Even if you’re self employed, having good credit is essential.

 

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