Q-insights Social Media Study – It pays $100!!

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Q-insights is another company that I do research groups, focus groups, and online surveys to earn extra money.

They have a lot of stuff in South Orange County, and less often San Diego County. These days they are doing most of their studies online via chat or online surveys.

Right now Q-Insights is currently recruiting for an online study on the topic of Social Media.

This study will run from April 7th to 8th. If you qualify and complete the study, you will be compensated $100 via check in the mail as a thank you for your time.

To be considered, please complete the screener questionnaire here.

Making Money as a Blogger or Influencer

**Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you click on links or make purchases. However, I only post about stuff that I like and use for my family.

As part of my New Years Resolution, I have joined a lot more blogger/influencer groups online to expand the number of blogs I read and also try to increase my engagement (that’s people reading and interacting with my blog and social media accounts). One question I see over and over is from new bloggers, and more and more, new influencers (those who microblog or vlog on Instagram or TikTok but don’t have a written blog like this one): HOW DO I MAKE MONEY??

That’s a valid and important question. I wanted to share some of the ways I make money or get free products. For those of you who aren’t bloggers, vloggers, or influencers this may be an interesting read to see how bloggers actually make money.

I don’t make a ton of money blogging, but it’s enough to pay for any promotions or contests I run, buy crafts supplies for the events I host (in pre-covid times), and my website hosting fees. I don’t blog to make tons of money, I blog to share my journey through parenthood and my frugal skills with others. That being said, it is nice to make a little extra money sometimes.

Most of these links are referral links, so I will either receive a bounty/commission if you sign up through my links.

Affiliate Networks:

  • ShopHer– Formerly MySavings. They have campaigns (pay per click, sign up) that change frequently, in addition to printable coupons and free sample offers.  Sometimes they have sponsored posts available too. Minimum pay out $50.
  • Shareasale– They partner with hundreds (maybe thousands) of companies and brands. Search for a company, apply, and once approved, start posting their deals and you’ll earn a percentage of what you sell.  I post deals from Mabel’s Labels, Craftsy, and Cents of Style. Minimum pay out $50.
  • Massive Sway- A completely different type of network. Massive Sway works with brands and PR companies to bring you campaigns to share on your blog and across social media platforms. Each campaign has it’s own set of posting rules and pay out amount. You apply for campaigns that interest you. Each campaign has either a set price or they let you pitch what you feel the campaign is worth to you.

PR Companies: I work with a handful of local (So Cal/West Coast) Public Relation groups to help local businesses, media ventures, movie premieres spread the word. I also review or share products. It’s a lot like Massive Sway above. Sometimes with PR companies it’s in-kind work, so free movie tickets and concessions, swag, or items to review and some to use as a giveaway.

Amazon: When you are writing about products that you use or like, you can link to the items on Amazon and when people click the link and buy the item, you receive a commission. Sometimes there are also bonus programs where you will receive a flat “bounty” (aka commission) if someone signs up for Prime- It’s usually $5.00

Tomoson: This is a company that works with brands to find influencers to share products (sometimes services too). Mostly social media sharing, but also blogging opportunities. Sometimes you can get free stuff, sometimes it’s discounted (and we’ll talk about this in a minute), sometimes you’ll get paid just to distribute content. BUT- Watch out, there are still companies and brands that want you to buy their product on Amazon with a coupon code and review the item (positively, of course) on Amazon. This is against Amazon’s TOS, and you can get your account wiped. That’s a nice way of saying the remove most or all of your reviews and revoke your ability to leave reviews on anything in the future. NOT WORTH IT!!

HeartBeat: This is a great one- It’s all on Instagram! I’ve done a few campaigns for them, and I have received free products in addition to payment. It’s quick work too. Anyone with an Instagram account can join! They tend to be more focused on influencers in the 18-30 age range.

If you are looking for just free stuff in exchange for social media shout-outs, check out this post on Word of Mouth Marketing. Word of Mouth Marketing is a perfect way to start out when you are dipping your toe in the Influencer world.

Instagram: If you have an Instagram account, no doubt companies have “slid” into your DM’s offering you a discount (usually 10-30%) for one of their products in exchange for free promotion/mentions on your Instagram account. Personally, unless it’s something that I need or have had my eye on for a while a 10-30% discount isn’t enough of a deal to persuade me.

Discounts vs. Free items (also called in-kind) vs. getting paid cash

A lot of people getting started in the blogging world want to make a go of it as their full time job, and I think that is awesome. It’s a lot of work.

If that is you then it is my opinion that you should go to as many gigs that pay cash as possible. Cash pays your bills, keeps your light on, a roof over your head, puts food in your belly.

A 20% discount on a pair of $200 earrings from some company that pitched you on Instagram through your DM’s does not.

I like partnering with brands that can help me stretch my budget. I love talking about cooking and food on the blog and my socials. I’ll work with food companies any day of the week if they can meet what I need. I need to make X amount of money, or receive X amount in their product to compensate. That helps me stretch my grocery budget, gives me content, and helps spread the word about their awesome nummy noms (whatever they sell).

Maybe food isn’t your thing. Maybe beauty products, or clothing. Whatever your niche is, know your price. Know your worth. In the beginning, when you first start out, don’t feel bad taking smaller contracts, smaller promotions. It’s all about getting established and finding your voice. That’s why I like ShopHer and ShareaSale. There are always things I can post or write about and earn money.

And don’t feel like you need to be posting monetized content 24/7. Most of what I post isn’t. It’s recipes, opportunities for my readers to make money, save money, tricks/tips.

If blogging/vlogging/infuencing isn’t going to be your sole source of income, or you just want to have fun and score free/discounted stuff- That’s cool too. Do what makes you happy!

Talk Back: If you have questions about blogging or making money, or if want to share a success, please leave a comment! I love helping and celebrating in the success of other Bloggers/vloggers/influencers!

 

 

 

Parents: Give Yourself A Break

DSC06725.JPGA friend posted this article from Motherly this morning about how self-care isn’t enough and parents (especially moms) are burnt out.

I can completely understand. As the mom of a kid with ASD and ADHD, and well as a neurotypical firecracker of a 4-year-old, I feel like I am always going going going. And really, I feel like it’s not enough.

This summer I’ve said NO a lot. No to racing off to an activity each morning, no to lunches out, no to 5 playdates a week, the craft dates, all-day zoo adventures, and sojourns to the beach. Oh, and this would have been just 1 week of summer activities in the past. Imagine that for 8 weeks. Are you tired now?

This is something I want everyone who reads this to take the heart: NO IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE. 

Plus, I still need to do household chores, cook, laundry and make sure the big kid gets to therapy twice a week, I need to exercise at least 4 times a week.

In saying no to all of these activities, the kids are able to relax, which means they are in a better mood, which mommy is in a better mood. We are still doing stuff, but it’s more things that the kids can do at home or in a small group of friends.  We’ve been swimming at our community pool each day in the late afternoon, playing at the local park. We’re going to the YMCA a few times a week in the afternoon so the kids can play while I exercise. Stuff that is low stress.

Why is parenting harder? Why are we burned out? This article gives us some ideas. The increase in activities for kids (If you want to go to an Ivy League school Little Timmy, you need to start your extra-curricular activities at birth!), social media expectations (It’s like Keeping up with the Joneses on crack), the constant barrage of information and data being thrown at us (pics of our kids, nanny/daycare cams being sent to us, text messages, chat apps, always being connected to people and media). It’s overwhelming. It’s tiring. Being expected to be Instagram-ready or Insta -Perfect is frustrating and exhausting.

For special needs parents, it’s harder because, for the most part, our kids aren’t  “like everyone else”, so frequently we are ostracized from activities. It’s the truth, and it sucks. and it hurts. To shield my kids from this hurt and keep myself sane, we’ve stepped back from activities this summer.

I’m not going to give you a list of self-care activities that will help you de-stress. You already know what works for you, your family, your budget.  This is what I do.

What I want you to know, moms and dads that read this post:

You are not alone. There are other parents and caregivers out there that are feeling the same way you do. You don’t have to keep up with everything you see online. You are doing the best you can for your family. YOU ARE ENOUGH!

I found this shirt on Amazon and I had to share it. 

Making Money Online with Social Media!

spilled-money.jpgI’m sure you’ve seen some of the Work at Home scams floating around the internet, in fact, I talk about a few of them in this post.

This post is all about making money (and/or scoring free cool stuff) via social media.

What’s your brand? Crunchy mom, Working mom, Millenial, Xennial, Stay at home mom, DINK, LGTBQA+, Latinx, Green living, a combination of the above, non of the above? Did you know that you are your own brand, and what you post about online is of interest to larger brands and PR companies.

These companies are looking for unique voices and viewpoints to promote their products and services. Sometimes it’s for free products, sometimes money, sometimes both! This is known as Micro-Influnced marketing. What is a Micro-Influencer? Mavrck says, “Micro-influencers are everyday consumers who have 500 – 5,000 highly engaged followers around relevant topics.” Most of you reading this fit this description and didn’t even know it.

That’s awesome, you are thinking, but how do I seek out opportunities?

Here are a few companies that I use:

Tomoson: This is a company that works with brands to find influencers to share products (sometimes services too). Mostly social media sharing, but also blogging opportunities. Sometimes you can get free stuff, sometimes it’s discounted, sometimes you’ll get paid just to distribute content, sometimes you’ll get paid. BUT- Watch out, there are still companies and brands that want you to buy their product on Amazon with a coupon code and review the item (positively, of course) on Amazon. This is against Amazon’s TOS, and you can get your account wiped. That’s a nice way of saying the remove most or all of your reviews, and revoke your ability to leave reviews on anything in the future. NOT WORTH IT!!

HeartBeat: This is a great one- It’s all on Instagram! I’ve done two campaigns so far, and I have received free product in addition to payment. It’s quick work too. Anyone with an Instagram account can join!

If you are looking for just free stuff in exchange for social media shout outs, check out this post on Word of Mouth Marketing. Word of Mouth Marketing is a perfect way to start out when you are dipping your toe in the Influencer world.

**Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you click on links or make purchases. However, I only post about stuff that I like and use for my family.

 

10 Practical Self-Care Tips

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There are tons of articles about Self-Care on Pinterest and mommy blogs. Having read a bunch of them, I’m lead to believe that all of these people have kids that go to bed on time, never wake up for water, cry out in the night, or may possibly be robots.  Why? Because facials, manicures, pedicures, private yoga sessions, and taking a long quiet bath are usually recommended. I can seldom do any of these after my kids are in bed.

Remember, self-care is more than slapping on a mud masque and shotgunning wine from a can (yes, it exists) on Sunday night while you hide in the bathroom and pray the kids stay in bed. My top ten list is stuff that is practical that will help “refill your cup”- and not with wine from a can.

  1. Go to bed early. Like 9:30pm instead of 11:30pm. It’s all about baby steps.
  2. Drink a glass of water in the morning. Yeah, you are supposed to drink 7 more after that, but, you’ve got at least 10 more waking hours to get that accomplished.
  3. Take your vitamins. They are doing no good in your medicine cabinet. To remind yourself, get an “old person pill case“. My husband and I each have one, and so does Henry. I refill them on Saturday night. I’m such the party animal.
  4. When you are alone in the car each day, do some deep breathing.  I like the Alternate Nostril Breathing (I learned it in yoga- pre-kids). It’s easy to do and just two minutes of it can really help you relax. Bonus: It’s free.
  5. Indulge in a guilty pleasure. Take 30 minutes and do something that you wouldn’t Facebook about- Take a couple Buzzfeed Quizzes, Watch Dr. Pimplepopper videos on YouTube, watch the Kardashians on Hulu. Just disconnect and do something mindless.
  6. Color! I have a bunch of coloring books for adults, but I also like to print off coloring pages too. I have some pinned on my 100 Days of Art Pinterest Board.  Color with what you’ve got on-hand. Crayons, markers, colored pencils. Heck, it’s ok to steal your kids coloring books.
  7. Do a Social Media Purge. I did this at the beginning of January. I unfollowed/unfriended anyone that caused me stress, pain, anxiety, or jealousy. You don’t need to be surrounded with Keeping Up with the Joneses all the time. Your time and family are great the way they are.  Removing these emotions from your daily life will give you relief. It’s liberating.
  8. Enjoy something to eat or drink that brings you joy or is nostalgic. Bonus if it’s something that your kids don’t like/won’t eat. Then there will be no sharing.
  9. Go for a ten minute walk. Outside is best, but a few laps around your office building is ok too. If you are home, grab the kids, the dog, and go outside. Investigate your neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be an Instagram-worthy sunset walk, just get out and stretch your legs!
  10. Power Down- Put down your phone, tablet, turn off the computer for an hour and take a break/nap/shower/bath.

Most of these things can be done with little to no cost. Anyone can do them. How do you make sure that you get enough self-care?

Make Money while Blogging

file0001174273310.jpgI get asked a lot how do you make money blogging. I was talking to a couple influencers at Influential Summit last weekend, and I decided that it was time to sit down and make a list to share.

There are several ways that it can be done. Here are just a few ways that I make money blogging.

I don’t make a ton of money blogging, but it’s enough to pay for any promotions or contests I run, buy crafts supplies for the Craft Mondays I host, and occasionally a trip to Starbucks for coffee and a breakfast sandwich. I don’t blog to make tons of money, I blog to share my journey through parenthood and my frugal skills with others. That being said, it is nice to make a little extra money sometimes.

Most of these links are referral links, so I will either receive a bounty/commission if you sign up through my links.

Affiliate Networks:

Escalate Network– My least favorite affiliate network, they have campaigns (usually pay per click/sign up) that change frequently and printable coupons. Minimum pay out $25.

ShopHer– Formerly MySavings. They have campaigns (pay per click, sign up) that change frequently, in addition to printable coupons and free sample offers.  Sometimes they have sponsored posts available too. Minimum pay out $50.

Shareasale– They partner with hundreds (maybe thousands) of companies and brands. Search for a company, apply, and once approved, start posting their deals and you’ll earn a percentage of what you sell.  I post deals from Mabel’s Labels, Craftsy, and Cents of Style. Minimum pay out $50.

Massive Sway- A completely different type of network. Massive Sway works with brands and PR companies to bring you campaigns to share on your blog and across social media platforms. Each campaign has it’s own set of posting rules and pay out amount. You apply for campaigns that interest you. I am unsure of any minimum payout.

Many companies have their own Affiliate or Tell-a-Friend Programs. If there is a website that you want to recommend, check out their site and see if there is a “Refer a Friend” page. Schoola has one that I like. When friends click on my link and sign up, they get a free $10 to spend, and once they place an order, I get $5 or $10 to spend too. It’s a win-win deal! All kinds of website have referral pages. I love that Zaycon Fresh (a company that sells farm fresh meat in bulk) offers $5 for new referrals and you earn $1 every time your friend orders!!)

There are tons of Affiliate programs and Refer-aFriend programs. Just check your favorite websites and shopping portals.

Other:

Amazon– When you are writing about products that you use or like, you can link to the items on Amazon and when people click the link and buy the item, you receive a commission. Sometimes there are also bonus programs where you will receive a flat “bounty” (aka commission) if someone signs up for Prime- It’s usually $5.00

Social Platforms- If you area blogger or influencer, make sure that your social media platform profiles reflect that. Here is a screenshot of my Instagram Profile:

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Remember that these social media platforms are a representation of who you are, so if you’ve embarrassing or unflattering photos, you might want to hide them! Brands will research you.

If you aren’t a blogger or influencer, there are still ways to make a little extra money. I wrote about my side hustles here and here.