Anyone who depended on free facebook organic prominence, expecting it to last, must be new to the Internet marketing industry :)

On January 11, Mark Z shared that Facebook will show “less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media” in your newsfeed. There’s been an onslaught of complaints from publishers, brands, journalists and other invested players. From a FB user perspective, less publisher content may be a good thing. Lots of FB users want to see more content from their friends.

Yet ANOTHER conversation about lost organic prominence is a tempest in a teapot, a non-starter, so boring we barely noticed.

For Facebook the company, this is a big and necessary step to retain users and attract new ones. Management knows what they’re doing. Putting the friendship back in Facebook was perhaps a matter of life or slow death as FB walks a thin line. The move has already cost FB serious stock devaluation, at least short term (it will likely rebound, so now might be the time to buy).

Publishers whose undies are currently bunched up over recent (and upcoming) traffic losses, may not have been paying much attention to the Internet all these years…same organic sinkhole, new year.  It’s kind of a blood sport to watch publishers scramble to replace traffic lost. Yes, it’s true. Free Facebook distribution for publishers is neutered, even to their followers. However, distress concerning lost organic publisher traffic is neither new nor news.

If we’ve learned one thing over the years, don’t depend on free traffic from any channel long-term. Why? For the history of the Internet, most every search and social channel, platform, community, engine and network that previously provided free (organic) social distribution took that prominence away – replacing free with paid ad units, often similar to previous organic units.

Facebook started major feed changes with an organic-content-smackdown early, as it prepared for that infamous IPO. Organic reduction was a perfect storm, in a good way for Facebook. FB needed to make money. Massive user-count meant there simply was not enough room in the newsfeed for every user to see all content from pages liked or even friends. Users and marketers were pissed.

Organic Impressions Decline as Paid Increases

By the fall of 2011, even as I was writing Killer Facebook Ads, marketers already noticed a profound drop in free Facebook company page post distribution, correlating to new visibility of rapidly growing Facebook Ads prominence. This graph from the same blog post  clearly revealed FB’s metered organic visibility decline, in favor of radical advertising prioritization. FB wanted more money pre-IPO.

Marketers not schooled in Internet history were crushed, having spent large between 2007 and 2011, building up Facebook likes ostensibly to grock free customer distribution lists. A main goal of Facebook marketing in those days was posting on a company page and having all or most followers see it.

In 2012, Aimclear published a blog post entitled, Undressing The Secret Of Facebook: Paid Organic Is The New Black,” and I quote: “Goodbye, pure Facebook EdgeRank organic tactics. Hello, pay-through-your-nostrils-rank! Professional Facebook marketers have felt a distinct change coming on for months. Here’s the bad news first: It’s getting much harder to drive organic impressions in the newsfeed.” Since then publishers have been feeding on organic prominence scraps, with many brands becoming addicted. You see, at Facebook’s scale, even scraps can send notable traffic. Now FB is reducing the scraps.

By 2013, EdgeRank, FB’s organic algorithm, which prioritized content in your Facebook feed, had essentially been replaced by a more complex feed ranking formula, taking into account more than 100 variables.  Free FB prominence for publishers was an endangered species. Over the next four years, publishers enjoyed relative equilibrium with transient increases and decreases and even an uptick in news.

Facebook was, and is now dealing with the same riddle other major Internet players have been trying to navigate since the 90s – how to balance user retention/diminishing engagement with revenue. AltaVista invented paid search with keyword triggers for banner ads, became Overture and then Yahoo PPC.  Google and YouTube were able to pivot from free to paid models. MySpace didn’t make the cut because advertising units were crap and didn’t work well for marketers. StumbleUpon,, Digg, MyBlogLog and a cornucopia of graveyard also-rans failed to scale from organic to paid models. Just look where these channels are today – either dead and buried or mostly irrelevant.

Notable exceptions to the rule are Reddit and Craigslist, which seemingly flourish with lavish user engagement, but not necessarily plush in revenue compared to other players.

Here are the most important takeaways and steps to take:

  • We’d have to be nuts to depend long-term on any channel’s free traffic, without planning how to buy the traffic from the same source later. That’s like ceding Facebook controlling equity in your firm.
  • Finding free channels to feed your business is a high stakes game of Whack a Mole. Treat it as such or you might trash your business.
  • On the Internet, free lunch is only for the rare radically clever content marketer. Create content to take the world by storm. It’ll be all over Facebook for free, even without ads.
  • Everyone else, get out your wallet and buy FB traffic with organic-feeling ads driven by an editorial calendar as others have for years.
  • Facebook is still awesome, the intersection of paid and earned social media, the epicenter of the psychographic targeting universe. Paid FB works well, even for mediocre content that serves a purpose.
  • Take inventory of all free traffic sources and plan for the day when the channel generating the traffic decides to monetize.
  • Consider focusing free traffic initiatives on social channels such as Reddit, which have demonstrated a commitment (or need) to remaining mostly organic and survivd.

All this is not to say that free prominence is not important. It is. Marketers still should include organic search and social marketing in the mix as appropriate. Using your personal FB account to keep business/social relationships makes a lot of sense. In my case, the majority of personal friends are from business.

However, anyone who depends on free Facebook or any-channel organic prominence for business, expecting it to last, must be new to the internet marketing grind.

Hell, this is the same media conundrum publishers faced before the Internet, as newspapers pondered the balance of ads, news, obituaries, local sports and human-interest stories.

At Aimclear we’ve been preaching and practicing the concept of “paid organic” feeling social ad units since 2011 to great success. There are ways to buy Facebook ads with first touch costing as low as $.01 cent, literally. If you want your traffic back for inexpensive aggregate, attributable costs just pony up the loot and bring some skills. FB media spend won’t cost much in the overall scheme of things and can often result in generating many more brand searches, which after all is one of the ultimate marketing goals.

Join the Conversation


Anyone who depended on free facebook organic prominence, expecting it to last, must be new to the Internet marketing industry 🙂


How to Use Guest Blogging as Part of Your Content Strategy

Guest blogging is a content marketing strategy whereby you pen blog posts for a website that is not your own.

Why would you want to do that?

Because guest blogging provides you with the opportunity to share your voice, your thoughts and most importantly your brand with new audiences.

The Benefits of Guest Blogging

There are two main benefits of guest blogging. The first, as we’ve just touched upon, is that you will get immediate exposure to an audience that you wouldn’t normally have access to. This can be of huge benefit if you manage to persuade a major site to publish your material and indeed can be a real traffic driver back to your own website.

The second benefit is social proof. Since that major site with thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of fans to please is allowing you to publish an article on their site, they are giving you and your business their firm stamp of approval. They’re saying to their audience that you and your content meets their high standards.

Indeed, when it comes to guest blogging, it’s of vital importance that you keep your standards high. Your aim is to showcase your company’s area of expertise to the world, and particularly put the spotlight on the author as an industry thought leader. Only with well-written, well-researched and highly thought-provoking pieces will you achieve your guest blogging aim – to reach online users who aren’t familiar with your brand and draw them towards your website to learn more.

As such, guest posts (or off-site thought leadership content assets) sit right at the top of the funnel – right where the buyer’s journey begins.

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Guest Blogging Success Stories

The most famous example of a company which had success with guest posting is of course Buffer. Buffer is a social media management app that seemed to burst out of nowhere about seven years ago – first there was nothing, then it seemed as if everyone was using this cool new tool to schedule their social posts.

The key to Buffer’s overnight success was a guest blogging strategy. CEO Leo Widrich knew that the only way to spread the word about Buffer on a low budget was to get his app in front of engaged audiences – and so he wrote about it. Everywhere.  

In fact, over a nine-month period, Widrich wrote approximately 150 guest posts and earned 100,000 new users for the BufferApp for his efforts. Amazing.

More recently, Silvio Porcellana – CEO and founder of (a tool that helps agencies and businesses build native apps and mobile websites) – found similar success with a similar tactic.

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Last year, Porcellana realised that his website wasn’t getting enough search traffic. And so he turned to guest blogging. Penning 44 posts over a period of five months, he managed to increase his company’s exposure, boost his website’s search traffic by 20%, and increase his Domain Authority (DA) by a whole five points – that’s impressive.

How to Use Guest Blogging as Part of Your Content Strategys

Building guest blogging into your content marketing strategy is essentially a six step process. The major difficulty comes in trying to persuade a third-party website to accept your blog for publication – after all, the purpose of a guest post is to subtly promote your business, whereas the host site is mainly concerned with its own promotion.

However, if you write great content, get the pitch just right and remember to add value to the host company’s website and not just your own, guest blogging can be a great and hugely rewarding content marketing tactic.

Let’s take a look at the six steps.

Step 1 – Identify Guest Blogging Opportunities

You’re really looking for two things here. First, you need to find sites that are relevant to your niche or industry, and therefore carry a following that will be interested in what you have to say. Second, major publications – such as Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, etc. – that accept guest posts.

Start with a Google search, including the keywords “guest post”, “guest blogging”, “accepting guest posts”, or “guest post guidelines” in your search query and see what comes up.

Make a list of target sites, and then move onto the next step.

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Step 2 – Select Your Topics

When guest blogging, your post will have to match the host site’s output and its audience’s interests. Unfortunately, this means that you won’t be able to get away with penning a post entitled “10 Reasons Why My Business Is Brilliant”– no one is going to accept that.

Instead, the idea is to find a topic that would interest the host site’s existing audience, write a blog that brings some new ideas to the conversation and then very subtly match it all up with what your business offers.

In fact, you might need to steer clear of mentioning your business at all in the actual post (depending on the site’s guest post guidelines) – which is fine, so long as you will be the named author, and can include a link back to your website in the author bio section.

Step 3 – Pitch Time

Now you need to approach the host site with your guest blogging idea.

Buffer CEO Widrich gives an example of an email pitch he used when he was landing all those guest post slots that skyrocketed Buffer into an overnight success.

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Notice how it’s important to keep things brief. Introduce yourself, pay a small compliment, state your intention, mention how it will benefit the host site’s readership, provide a title, link to existing work, and sign off.

Step 4 – Follow Up

If you don’t get a response, you’ll need to follow-up your initial email – though leave it a week or so before you do.

You don’t want to pester anyone, but you of course need to know either way if your guest post idea is being considered. If you still don’t get a response, try once again with a different topic. If that still fails, you’ll just have to let the publication go for the time being.

Step 5 – Get Writing!

Once your idea has been accepted, it’s time to start writing!

Well – almost. Make sure you’ve got all the details you need from the editor to begin – deadline, word count, rules on links, etc.

Now you just need to be sure that you pen a brilliant, thought-provoking piece of content, finish it off with a great guest bio, and hopefully you should steer plenty of traffic back to your website.

Step 6 – Promote

Many sites accept guest posts because they benefit both parties. The host site knows that if they publish your post, you’re going to work hard to promote it far and wide – so make sure you do.

Go for it on every social network, and be sure to engage with anyone who likes it, shares it, or leaves a comment.

Over To You

Those are the basics of using guest blogging as part of your content marketing strategy. Essentially, the purpose is to give your business greater exposure to larger swathes of internet users. By putting well-written content in front of new audiences, you’ll draw a proportion directly back to your website – so you’ll need to think about guest blogging as an ongoing endeavour. One guest post on one site might give you a little spike in traffic, but if you can aim to get one guest post a week out there, you’ll soon be enjoying some pretty major brand lift, and hopefully some new customers will come your way, too.

If you need help developing a guest blogging strategy, get in touch with the content marketing experts here at Incisive Edge today.  


Why Blogs For Business? For Content That Connects With Your Customers

What’s your take on why blogs for business?

Do you consider them useful? A necessary evil? Something to run away from? A digital doodad with possibilities, but too confusing to pay much attention to right now?

Blogs Are Critical for Business

I consider blogs critical for business. In fact, I can’t imagine any business serious about connecting with customers and getting found online being without one.

Without a blog, how do you create meaningful content for your customers?

How do you communicate what you know about solving their problems?

How do you start building trust with them?

How do you add depth and relevance to content shared via social networks?

How do you even get your business found online?

1. A Business Blog is Your Content Strategy Hub

A blog is the centerpiece or hub for your content strategy as well as any marketing you do online. That includes social media. In fact, a blog makes social more meaningful.

  • It’s via a blog that you are able to develop thoughts and create meaning for your readers.
  • Only through a blog can you build on the thoughts and conversations that others have developed through their blogs or in industry publications.
  • On your business blog, you can experiment with topics and formats and see what resonates with readers.

Your content strategy supports your business products and services. It creates a bridge between what your customers need and what you can offer them which translates into the topic clusters you focus on.


2. Blogging Lets Your Business Get Found Online

Furthermore, a blog is how you produce new content on a consistent basis. As a result of publishing regular and consistent content on your blog, you develop a body of content around specific keywords, terms and queries your readers have. That’s how you get indexed by search engines so potential customers find you when they start searching…

As content marketing matures, your blog content needs to adapt. You’ll want to create longer, deeper content such as pillar or cornerstone content.

That’s not a problem on your business blog. You have no character limits there. You do want to produce articles that are at least 750 to 1000 words in length. Beyond that, you can experiment to your heart’s content, including adding multiples images, embedding videos or infographics or even recordings.

Compare that to the limits you encounter on social networks. Blog content goes deeper than 140 (or 280 as of November 2017) characters.

If done with your customers in mind, your articles allow you to become a trusted resource. Not only can you address customer concerns, issues and questions based on where they are in their buying cycle, but you also get to show your human side.


3. You Own Your Business Blogging Content

This is a big deal. The content on your blog (and your website) belongs to you and your business.

When you publish content on other platforms, that content becomes the property of the platforms. Yes, you have access to your network, and the tools are nifty. However, you don’t own the network or your presence on that network. That’s an issue if you place your entire online presence there rather than on your own platform.

Social networks can change overnight. They can decide you no longer have access as easily as they grant you access or change your access.

Blogs protect you from all that. That’s not to say there aren’t significant benefits to participating on social networks and publishing content in multiple locations. However, start on your own blog then strategically make use of those satellites.

Not everyone comes to your website ready to buy. For those who aren’t, yet are interested in what you have to say, you have something of value to offer them: the content on your blog and the opportunity to subscribe to new articles.

Every time they interact with your new content, they learn a little bit more about you and your business. They become more familiar with your expertise and they start to develop trust toward you.

That’s the first step to establishing a business relationship.

And, for those you already have a relationship with, include some of your articles in email newsletters and other communications. The more your content supports your day-to-day operations, the more value it will offer you and the easier it will be to commit to it over time.

You’ve worked hard to create, publish and promote your content. Make it work equally hard in support of your customer relationships.

5. You Can Continuously Improve Your Content Through Your Blog

Blog articles provide you with content that can be reimagined into ebooks and whitepapers, or even perhaps a book as David Meerman Scott did with The New Rules of Marketing & PR. These in turn enable you to connect more intensely with your customers.

At the same time, you can also take hard-working existing content, update it and republish it. Blogs are that flexible. Better to take existing content and make it better than to publish filler content just for the sake of having another article.

Don’t You Want to Connect with Your Customers?

As I mentioned earlier in this article, I’m a complete blog convert. I consider a blog to be the most powerful marketing and communication tool that any business can aspire to. It makes possible content that connects with customers.

Of course, if you don’t really care about that, you don’t really need to worry about a blog.

What’s your reaction? What do you think about blogs for business? Have I convinced you to take them more seriously?


This article was originally published on Oct 20, 2011 and has been seriously updated!


10 Homeschooling Mom Bloggers Share How They Make Money From Home With Their Blogs!

Have you ever looked at other Homeschooling blogs and wondered how they make money doing what they do?

Have you ever wondered how it could be possible to find the time to blog?


Whether you’re a homeschooling mom or not – momming takes a LOT of time and focus – and it can seem completely impossible to even think about adding a blog to the mix!

Am I right?

But… what if you could turn that blog into a really fulfilling outlet?  What if it could provide a way for you to connect with other moms and grow friendships from all over the world?  What if it could add to your family income – all through working from home?

Just getting started with blogging?  Grab our FREE Blog Starter Kit to get a bunch of resources, templates, and how-to guides to help make it easier to start your own successful blog!

It’s easy to look at successful blogs and feel overwhelmed or like you’ll never measure up. That’s why I’m so excited to share with you what these lovely homeschooling mom bloggers have to say!

Imagine yourself as sitting down for a cup of coffee with these ladies – and getting to pick their brains about blogging…

Then, start imagining the possibilities of starting your own blog – because, as a mom myself, I say “If I can do it, YOU can do it!”



10 Real-Life Homeschooling Mom Bloggers Answer 6 of Your Top Questions About Growing A Money-Making Blog

Click on each blogger’s image to read their whole interview.

What is ONE piece of advice you would give to a new blogger starting out in your niche?

ONE?! That’s SO hard. If I HAVE to choose just one, I’d say, “Remember to always be a student.” The very first training I ever took when I started blogging was Tanya’s course, and it was so valuable to me. Even after almost five years of blogging I love that there is always something new to learn, and I regularly take classes and set aside time for learning new information. Of course this can be daunting, but pick one or two main focus areas at a time to become an expert in. Then as you tackle those move on to another area to learn more about. View the fact that things are always improving and changing in blogging as a benefit and not a burden…it will save your sanity. –Shaunna @

Be YOU. Do not worry about what others are blogging about, do what you are passionate about and what works for you. And don’t be afraid of your uniqueness. I think this is such an important thing to understand in the blogging world now. There are so many bloggers that it can be hard to stand to from the crowd! Don’t worry about comparisons and keeping up with others. Obviously you need to keep up with the trends and the current advice, but do it in your own unique way!  –Karyn @

Don’t expect to be an overnight sensation. Blogging takes a lot of time, dedication, and hard work. Don’t make it over-complicated either. I think sometimes we get so caught up in having everything done “just so” and then get frustrated when a post doesn’t perform as well as we anticipated. Be yourself and be true to what you enjoy – because if you don’t enjoy it, you’ll quickly lose the desire to blog. –Jolanthe @ HomeschoolCreations

One piece of advice I would give to new bloggers is to stay true to your voice. Although sponsored posts bring in good income, I have learned that it is important to choose carefully and not be afraid to turn down offers that would not resonate with my audience. In the beginning, it’s tempting to say yes to anything that comes along, but a loyal audience will be confused and will stop coming around if the content they expect from you changes too drastically.–Anne @

Find something that makes you unique from all the other homeschooling bloggers. It could be the number of kids you homeschool, your child’s learning needs, your method and approach to teaching, your geography, your faith…. find something you can take and own that will make you stand out.–Lisa Marie @

How much time do you spend blogging each week?

Right now my blog is a full time job, but this is just for a season while my husband is in grad school. Normally my blog is a part time job with me spending as much or as little time as I desire. On average I would say I spend several hours per day blogging, but rarely full time hours. –Carisa @

Blogging is my full-time job. I divide my time between activities for my education blog and my Pinterest management business. I typically spend about 15-20 hours per week working on the education blog side of my business. –Shaunna @

This is an issue that has haunted me from the very beginning of blogging. My top priority is and always will be my family. I quit my teaching job many years ago to stay home with my children and eventually took on the (sometimes massive) task of homeschooling. Blogs can take A LOT of time (whether they are successful or not.) Over the years, I’ve watched many a blogger neglect her homeschooling and/or family time in order to grow her blogging business. While I do get dreamy eyes about just how big my blog could be “if only” I had more time to work, hired more people, etc., I always have to remember that the first jobs I dedicated myself to so many years ago are my family and homeschooling.

I’ve chipped away at blogging bit by bit over the years and have nearly 600 posts and 30 products as a result! There have been seasons when I spent upwards of 15-20 hours a week on blogging tasks, but there have also been seasons where I’m lucky to find two hours to work each week. Currently, I’m spending 5-12 hours on blogging tasks. I’ll tell ya, though, actual blogging is a teeny portion. I’ll be the first to admit that all extras that go along with blogging these days – social media, managing plug-ins, newsletters – have really taken a lot of my joy away.  –Cindy @

The short answer is too much!   It really depends on what type of post I’m writing. If it’s a review for a book/product, I will spend more time to make sure I have included all intended details, but if the post is about a feast day celebration or homeschool activity, I can spend a few hours editing photos and blogging about our celebration or activity.  I’m somewhat of a perfectionist so that is a blessing and a curse at the same time. –Tracy @

As I mentioned earlier, I started blogging in my spare time, which often meant late-night writing sessions—sometimes too late. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or to spend too much time away from family and other responsibilities when you work at home. I now have set ‘office hours’ so I can close the computer and live my life! Being involved in blogger groups with like-minded entrepreneurs has been one of the most helpful things I’ve done along the way for support and advice. Blogging is a wonderful way to express yourself and share your little corner of the world with others.–Anne @

I am not sure I want to admit that!  I spend a lot of hours – 20/week, perhaps (probably) more.  BUT, since I am earning an income, it is well worth my time. –Karyn @

It’s funny, when I blogged as a hobby I had more time to spend on it.  But now due to changing life circumstances and working as a virtual assistant, I can no longer spend my evenings blogging.  However, my focus is now more concentrated on weekends to do as much as I can.  In an average week I probably spend about 17-20 hours working on posts, scheduling social media, working on task threads with tribemates, emails, etc.  If you add in the time spent using products we’re reviewing, this would go up significantly. –Crystal @

I spend approximately 15-20 hours/week. –Heather @

What is your favorite way to get traffic to your blog?

My top two traffic drivers are Pinterest and Google. So I recommend creating great pins for each of your posts and joining some group boards to help get your content seen on Pinterest. This is my favorite way! I love Pinterest!

Also, learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so your content can be found through Google. If people can’t find you, they will not come! Feed Google. I share my intent to Google+ even though nobody really uses it. It helps content to come up in searches better. Also, I use the Yoast plugin on WordPress to help me with my SEO skills.

But, I think the most important way to get traffic is to create content that people want to see!  If you don’t have great stuff, people won’t care to read it.  –Karyn @

Pinterest, hands down. It has been my number one traffic driver for years. Over time I’ve created a system and now manage Pinterest accountsfor many other bloggers to help them bring in more consistent traffic to their websites using Pinterest strategies. –Shaunna @

My favorite way to get traffic to my blog is through email subscribers and posting my links on Facebook. Sharing my posts via Facebook on my personal pages and in groups is the one strategy that is working best for me now. –Tracy @

The key to any successful blog lies in the strength of its email list. If you want to increase your traffic, increase engagement with your email list.  –Heather @

How do you make money through your blog?

I use a variety of platforms and try not to put all of my eggs in one basket. Affiliate programs such as Amazon and other companies that I have a personal relationship with have been great for me over the years, but I also have quarterly advertisers and sell a few products that I’ve created.. –Jolanthe @ HomeschoolCreations

As a single mother who is solely dependent on income from my online businesses I try to have a wide variety of income streams so that if anything goes astray at a given time I’m not solely reliable on one income stream. I make money by selling my own products (preschool classroom and home preschool lesson plans available on my sister sites and on Teachers Pay Teachers but promoted mainly through Fantastic Fun and Learning. I also make money via advertising, sponsored content, and affiliate programs. –Shaunna @

I make money several different ways: through selling my own products (printables & books), through my ad network (AdThrive), affiliate sales, and sponsored posts.

I started selling my products last year after giving them away FREE for years. It has quickly moved to one of the top income sources for me!  I am so glad I finally jumped into doing that!  I also was part of a collaborative book project that has been really successful.

For affiliate sales, my biggest earner is Amazon, but I also have a few good ones within my niche that have been successful for me.

Sponsored posts come through networks that I am part of as well as independent companies who reach out to me. I have a media kit that I send to people who are interested in working with me that explains my rates and services.–Karyn @

I make money on my blog mostly through products and affiliate promotions. I create Canadian-centric learning resources, usually focused on areas that are harder to find things for – like geography and history. –Lisa Marie @

I make money through the sales of my own products and courses, along with sponsored content, paid advertising, and affiliate monetization. –Heather @

Currently, I make money through my blog through Amazon Affiliate links and a few ads on my sidebar.–Tracy @

My blog is currently a side-gig. In other words, I don’t have to make money from it to support our family. And, as I mentioned before, until my kids have all flown the coop, I’m not going to pour full-time hours into it. That being said, I am making enough money to make the short time I invest worth it.

I’ve taken the rather bold stance to NOT be part of an ad network. Some people call me crazy and maybe I am. Here’s the rub for me…I can’t stand to be on a site where ads ruin my experience. We live in a rural area where internet speed isn’t always the best. When I click onto a blog where pop-ups are jumping out at me at a steady clip, I can’t even see the images because of ad coverage, and the whole site freezes because of the dumb video ad trying to load, I almost start to cry. I don’t want people who come to my site to ever feel that way. I want them to feel at home. After all, the entire point of my blog is to encourage mommas to find joy and creativity in homeschooling. If they leave crying over the ads, I’ve failed.

So, I’ve chosen two main modes of income – products and affiliate programs.

Products: I write creative homeschooling curriculum and sell it digitally using a WooCommerce shop on my blog. I have yet to sell via Amazon, but I realize I probably need to make that jump sooner than later. I did sell via some other platforms at one time, but found it difficult to keep up with everything that was involved in each of those spaces.I have one giant caution about product creation…make sure your products are good. Really good. There’s a ton of crap being created in the name of getting a digital product out there to sell. While you may sell in the short run, it will be hard to keep the momentum if your products aren’t top notch.

Affiliate Programs: I’m a huge fan of the Amazon affiliate program and use it frequently within blog posts and occasionally on social media. I’ve determined my audience really seems to prefer naturally integrated affiliate links versus obvious ad placement.

I’m also an affiliate of several homeschool friendly companies. There are several strategies I use with these affiliate links – reviews, evergreen posts, and social media shoutouts. Typically, I get paid for a review post and include affiliate links. If I just happen to be using the product and loving it, I’ll often naturally integrate affiliate links into an evergreen post. If the company is having a sale or I get a good picture of my kids using the product, I’ll direct affiliate link to the product on my Facebook page or some other social media account. –Cindy @

My income comes from many different places with the top being my own product sales. Affiliates, private blog sponsors and ad networks come right behind that.–Carisa @

I have made money mainly through sponsored posts and affiliate products.  Having my blog has had the advantage of allowing me to gain the skills needed to become a virtual assistant for others as well. –Crystal @

Though it is still a work in progress, I make money through my blog from affiliate sales with direct links in relevant posts. I’m careful to only link products I actually use and like so as to remain authentic with my audience. –Anne @

What is ONE big blogging hurdle you had to overcome and what steps did you take to overcome it?

I think my biggest hurdle to overcome was believing that I was worth earning money from my site. I did not think that my things were good enough to charge for and I waited way too long to believe in myself. I wish I would have started selling my own products and services earlier! Putting my first shop item up for sale was scary, but once people started buying things I started believing in myself more. –Karyn @

There is always SO much you CAN do to grow your blogging business, but you don’t have to do it all RIGHT NOW. It’s easy to let blogging eat up all of your time, and before you know it your priorities have shifted away from why you originally started blogging in the first place (for me that has always been to be able to be home and care for my kids even after becoming a single mom).

It has been very important for me to set a realistic schedule that keeps my priorities in balance and to really try to stick to that schedule. I’ve also worked hard not to compare myself to what others are doing or what they have accomplished, so that I’m content with my schedule and the results I can get while keeping those priorities in line. I also keep note of key stats and accomplishments so that I can focus on what I have accomplished and not what I still have on my to do list for the future. –Shaunna @

Burnout. There was a point when I just wanted to put everything aside. I had to take a step back and evaluate what was most important to me and what I needed to do to keep it enjoyable in the process. For me that meant taking dedicated time off each year (it’s ok to not post every day), change up my blogging schedule, and put less pressure on myself overall. –Jolanthe @ HomeschoolCreations

My biggest piece of advice would be to be persistent and only blog if it’s something you love to do.  If you don’t love it, it will show in your posts. –Crystal @

I like to write. I’m good at it. I don’t like many of the other things that go along with blogging, though. Heck, just hearing about the ever-changing must-do’s keeps me spinning in circles. You can imagine my frustration trying to actually stay on top of it all! So…I don’t.

I really have given up trying to do things the ways I’m “supposed” to and I’m trying to stay truer to my heart and my mission. As an example, I’m no longer listening and adapting to the latest guru’s advice about various social media platform growth. I’m just being genuine and fitting in what works for my schedule. I may not be growing by leaps and bounds, but I’m also not hustling at a time in my life when a hustle is just too much.

I should add that I have hired out help for some of the things that really do “have” to happen. I have a great webtech who helps me keep my blog in tip-top shape. I have also hired out things such as freebie creation, book formatting, and installing WooCommerce. Hiring a social media manager isn’t out of the question one of these days either. –Cindy @

What is one of my favorite blogging tools/resources and why?

PicMonkey& Canva photo editing tools have been great for me! It is an inexpensive way to edit photos and make pin-able graphics. –Karyn @

I started blogging before blogging back when many didn’t know what a blog was. I fell in love with using Live Writer to write and edit posts and I still use it today. I strongly dislike writing in the WordPress dashboard so this is my most favorite tool. I personally love Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling, Photoshop for graphic design work, PicMonkey for quick graphic work, and PowerPoint for creating printables. –Carisa @

My favourite blogging resource is Facebook!  The most important information I’ve learned and the best help I’ve had along the way have been through Facebook groups.  Large groups of people blogging in the same niche, and small tribes of just a few people with more diverse interests; all are great for asking about things I don’t know, bouncing ideas around, and supporting each other.  Lovely friendships have been started that go beyond the groups….and when I’m having a bad day, there’s bound to be an appropriate meme in my feed that will make me smile. –Crystal @

Actually, one of my very favorite blogging resources is my Building an Effective Email List Course. It is run in a group setting and I learn so much from the course participants. I provide them with direct coaching for 8 weeks and  they are constantly asking me questions that result in me learning new tricks and techniques which helps me to grow as a blogger…plus I’ve made some amazing friends!–Heather @

The biggest thing that has pushed my blogging to the next level is accountability. Joining a mastermind group that meets every other week to inspire and support each other, talk through challenges and brainstorm together, keep each other on task to reach our goals, combined with my best blogging buddy who is keeping me accountable every day has moved me forward more than anything I’ve ever invested in or used on my own. Find people with the same mindset as you, who are working on similar goals – whether in the same niche or not, and work together to reach those goals! –Lisa Marie @

My blogging friends are the best resource I have by far! Some of them I’ve met in person at various blogging retreats, but most of them I’ve never met in person. However, all of them have become dear friends as we encourage each other and freely share blogging wisdom.

I can ask just about any question in the iHomeschool Network Facebook group or the Inspired Bloggers Facebook group and have several answers in a matter of moments. For those friends who are extra-close, we Voxer back and forth to ask questions, bounce around ideas, share advice, and even hold each other accountable to our personal blogging goals.

Even if I never gleaned anything at all from these ladies, their understanding of my life as a blogger would be enough! Most of my IRL friends just don’t get what I do or why I do it. Ever feel the same? –Cindy @

Thank you to all of these AMAZING homeschool bloggers who shared their insider secrets to monetizing their blogs. After reading through all of their tips and tricks, I truly hope that you feel geared up and ready to take on your own blog and start monetizing it, today!

What’s One Tip We’re Missing From The List? Which Tip Will You Be Putting Into Practice First?

Please share in the comments below!


7 Real Ways You Can Make Money from Home

Many of us love the thought of being able to earn extra income part-time, or even quitting our full-time jobs in order to start working from home. Despite the scams that give work-from-home jobs a bad reputation, there are plenty of legitimate jobs that you can do remotely. They come in a variety of urgency and pay rate as well, with most of them requiring a lot of work and dedication. The secret lies in knowing how to tell the scam from the real.

Below are 7 real ways you can make money from home:

Take online surveys

True, there are plenty of these floating around on the internets that are not even legitimate, but there are also plenty of online surveys that you can take that actually pay. How will you know if the survey site is legitimate? Look for reliable sources, and make use of referrals. Also, avoid any sites that require you to pay a fee upfront.

Evaluate websites

With all the new websites popping up every day on the World Wide Web, there are a number of trusted testing sites that see to their usability. They typically hire people to visit and explore these new websites, do several simple tasks on it, and then evaluate and provide feedback on their experience.

Run virtual errands

A lot of small and medium business owners are in need of personal assistants but can’t quite afford having the extra employee on their payroll. Instead, they hire virtual assistants to help them do certain administrative work from remote locations. As a virtual assistant, you’ll be running errands online, including planning events, making travel arrangements, seeing to business correspondence, and other tasks that can be done remotely via phone or email.

Tutor students

If you’ve got a college degree and teaching skills, you can use these to your advantage and earn from tutoring students online in a variety of subjects. Teaching English as a secondary language is also a popular job to do over the internet. Just be sure to have a solid internet connection for your lessons.

Do online freelance work

There is a lot of freelance work available online, and you can get paid while working on these from home. You can use your writing talent to create online content, or bank on your creativity to make book covers and logos for clients online. Not really good with words or art? Other freelance work available online range from data entry to calculating tasks, and even voice acting.

Create an online shop

The online selling market has been trending up for several years now, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s one of the ways to make money from home. To start, create an online store, and make sure to set up all the necessary tools and systems in order to make the shopping experience both easy and painless for your customers.

Make money from your photos

Other people sell their handmade jewelry and crafts online, while yet some others sell services ranging from their writing skills to their voice. If you’re a gifted photographer and know just the right way to take amazing photos, consider selling your photos online.

Working online from home has been a thing for well over a decade now, yet for many, it’s still an unfamiliar concept. There are a lot of earning opportunities online, and while working from home those does come with its own challenges, it’s also a great way of spending more time around family and being more in control of your own working schedule.


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