I created this page to answer some questions that readers have had in the past, and to pass along some insights that I’ve gathered along my way. Dislcosure: I participate in affiliate programs and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post. But, these are all products and businesses that I either use, or have the highest confidence in based on the experience of others.
Recommended Parenting Books
- Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
- How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk
- The 5 Love Languages of Children
Interested in starting your own blog or already have a blog and want to take a peek at what I use? Here ya go!
Siteground: It’s so easy to start a new blog with Siteground, you can have your new blog up and running in minutes for $3.95/month. I just started using Siteground recently (on a different site), and it’s been a great experience so far. Click here to learn about Siteground WordPress hosting. (This site is hosted on Dreamhost, but I still recommend Siteground based on my experience and the feedback of others.)
Genesis Framework by StudioPress: I switched to the Genesis framework after trying DIYThemes out. Between the two of them, Genesis wins by far. The themes are beautiful and easy to use. And they have a ton of plugins that help me create functionality in my site where I want it. Click here for a special 25% OFF discount of their all-theme Pro Plus bundle!
Pretty Darn Cute Design: I have been thrilled with the themes I’ve purchased from Pretty Darn Cute. Lindsey seems to intuitively know what bloggers need to make their content shine and her designs are modern, feminine, and functional. I’ve never needed their support, so I can’t speak to that. But, setup is a piece of cake and every step is broken down so that you can make your site look exactly like the one you see in the demo. See the Pretty Darn Cute Design themes here.
Restored 316 Designs: I recently switched to the Captivating Theme from Restored 316 Designs. I love all of the designs that Lauren makes, and I love knowing that I’m supporting a Mom-business. It has been very easy to use my new theme because Lauren lays out all of the steps of the setup for anyone to use. See the Restored 316 WordPress Themes here.
*OR* Take this quiz to find out which theme is best for your website.
Clouds Caprice Typeface: I use this font and the extra elements in my branding.
- WordPress: There are free themes from WordPress that you can install directly from your dashboard. Go to Appearance -> Themes -> Add new and choose from lots of designs.
- Creative Market: Every week, Creative Market offers free design files, which occasionally include free WordPress Themes. Subscribe so that you can download the free goods every week.
Learn to make money from your blog
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: Learn how bloggers make up to 6 to 7 figures per year from affiliate marketing. I was skeptical at first, but after taking this course I was able to see first hand how to increase my blog revenue through affiliate sales. Michelle teaches the course, and is now earning a seven-figure income from her blog. This doesn’t happen overnight. She’s been working on her blog for years, but she’s such an inspiration for others to see just how far you can take your blog if you’re willing to put in the time.
- Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers – Everything You’re Missing – If you already know about affiliate marketing in general, but feel like you’re still just spinning your wheels, then you will definitely get a lot out of this course. Carly is a straight-shooter who offers really solid, impactful, strategies that will help you increase your blog revenue through affiliate marketing.
- Shareasale: Join Shareasale to find affiliate programs to promote on your blog. It’s super easy and there are hundreds of companies to choose from. Just find the ones with products you love and tell your readers about them. Check it out here if you’re interested.
Grow your audience:
Pinteresting Strategies: I immediately saw results when I started using the methods outlined in the ebook. In fact, within weeks of starting to use her Pinterest strategies, my Pinterest referral traffic shot through the roof and I finally reached my goal of over 25K page views. The course has more than paid for itself with the increase in traffic I’ve had (and subsequent increase in revenue).
Tailwind App: I use a combination of tailwind and manual pinning to schedule my Pinterest pins. Tailwind offers valuable insights into my Pinterest stats that I can’t get from Pinterest analytics or anywhere else. And, if I know I’ll be away from the computer for a few days, I go ahead and schedule out pins for that time so that I can remain active.
Mailer Lite: After using MailChimp and Madmimi to handle my newsletter sign-ups, I decided to give MailerLite a try. I’ve now been using it for about 6 months and I have no plans on switching any time soon. It was easy to get my forms created and installed on my site. And, I had no problems configuring my newsletter updates to look exactly how I want them. The main value, however, is that the service is totally free until I hit 1000 subscribers. Click here to give them a try!
Jaaxy: I use this tool to help me turn my post ideas into a SEO optimized posts. It’s a tool that helps me see search volume and level of competition among keywords so that I can be smart about what I choose to write about. I can also track my site rank among Google, Bing, and Yahoo for keywords I’m interested in. If you’d like to give it a try, your first 30 searches are free.
About two years ago, I lost 20 pounds when I changed my lifestyle. I actually wasn’t even trying to lose weight, I was just trying to live healthier. The best thing, is it actually easy to lose the weight and keep it off. Here’s what I did: I switched to a more plant-based diet, and I increased my activity level.
These are my favorite books for plant-based eating:
Click on the images to see more details on Amazon.
When I switched from working part-time to blogging full-time, my activity level dropped, and some of the weight started creeping back on. This is how I’ve managed to increase my activity level while working from home and sitting at a computer most of the day: