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How I Make Money Blogging Managing Your Monthly Nut

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Please Say Hello to My New eBook – Managing Your Monthly Nut!!!

I’ve finally finished my second eBook, “Managing Your Monthly Nut: Budgeting Basics, Pruning Expenses, and Tracking Your Financial Health”!!!  Yep, long subtitle, so I’ll just refer to it regularly as Monthly Nut most likely.  :-)

Managing Your Monthly Nut

Quick Rundown

“Managing Your Monthly Nut” is a basic guide for anybody that needs to start paying attention to their personal finances.  Most of my long-time readers (hi and thanks for reading!!!) may actually recognize some of the material for the book from my posts years ago, but they were just the starting points that have been fleshed out, and more examples and info has been added to really create a great starting point for anybody that needs help.

Not to mention, with this eBook, you don’t have to read through more than 1300 posts to find the info you want about getting financially healthy and creating a budget.  ;-)

Here’s the chapter list (it’s another 30-ish page eBook…I’ll be famous for these short but packed guides soon, lol):

  • My Budgeting Background
  • Are You Fiscally Fudged?
  • Quiz Results
  • Diagnose Your Financial Health
  • Spend Less Than You Earn
  • Cutting Expenses
  • Haggling in General
  • Housing
  • Save Money Renting
  • Buying a Home
  • Our Vehicle Negotiations
  • How to Buy a Car – Tips for the Future
  • Cutting Costs on Luxuries like Cable
  • Income Ideas
  • Budgeting Basics
  • Creating Your Budget
  • Sample Budget
  • Emergency Fund
  • Retirement
  • Debt Reduction
  • Diversification
  • Insurance
  • Estate Planning
  • Action Plan

The Plan

Monthly Nut is on a slightly different sales plan than How I Make Money Blogging.

First of all, Monthly Nut is in the Amazon Kindle Select Program, so it’s exclusively available on the Kindle for 90 days starting July 15, 2013 with the list price of $7.99.  You can download the Kindle reading software for FREE from their site if you rather read from your computer or don’t own a Kindle (like me, lol).

I’ll release it as a PDF with worksheets in mid-October, but it will cost more than the Kindle version.  It most probably will be $17 and there will be some coupon codes available to newsletter subscribers that will take it down to $10.  Amazon likes their Kindle version to be the cheapest version on the market, hence the price difference.  Plus I try to pack more extras like worksheets to go along with the PDF version to help offset the cost difference.  But both versions have all of the same written info and chapters, so don’t worry about missing anything big either way.  :-)

FREE RIGHT NOW

Oh, and here is a quick FYI.  From July 17, 2013 (TODAY) through July 21, 2013 (SUNDAY), you can download it ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!  The Kindle Select Program allows authors to offer their wares for free for 5 days in total during that 90 day period to get it out there and talked about, so I jumped in.  :-)  My one request if you download it for free (and please do!!!), please, please, please leave an Amazon review or email me your thoughts about the book.  :-D  That would help me out a ton and every author appreciates feedback.

Anyway, I am super excited to have it finally finished!!!  I hope you all like it.  I also really hope it helps people as much as I think it can.  I know most people that are financially-oriented already know the basics, but I figure that there are a bunch of noobs out there that may just need a quick guide that is easy to understand.  And maybe they’ll like my own special sense of humor that’s thrown in there once in a while too…we’ll see.  *Fingers crossed*

What do you think?  Please download it onto your Kindle or computer for free until Sunday and let me know!

How I Make Money Blogging Challenger Group – 1 Year Update

I introduced you to the five How I Make Money Blogging challengers on July 11, 2012. These bloggers were letting me publicly document their progress as they follow the action plan in my new eBook, How I Make Money Blogging. Today we are taking a look at their progress over the last 12 months since several of you have been dying for an update. :-)

How I Make Money Blogging Challengers

As I mentioned in the 6 month update, Weird About Money and Contented Momma didn’t make it to the one year mark, but I do have a Contented Momma update…congrats on the baby and the new virtual assistant position!  Motivated Madison decided to move on to a new project about 6 months in, Planet Mads (good luck!).  That means 2 of the 5 bloggers that started are still active with their sites from a year ago, which is exactly how blogging is in general.  :-)

The Budget Professional

The Budget Professional is owned and run by Wendy.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Wendy had also not started her blog yet. But she was super pumped to get started.

Beginning Stats / Current Stats:

  • Page Rank – 0 / 0
  • Moz Rank – 0 / 4.04
  • Domain Authority – 1 / 19
  • Page Authority – 1 / 32
  • External Links – 0 / 94
  • Total Links – 0 / 217

Update:

Well, let’s see …

Daughter given cancer diagnosis

Husband loses job of 13 years with no warning

Mother-in-law passes away very unexpectedly and very suddenly

Must suddenly take over all of FIL’s “stuff”

FIL diagnosed with cancer, surgery, radiation

2 months of bronchitis turns into pneumonia

Younger brother had massive heart attack

Any one of these could be picked as a once in a lifetime event, and based on how you handled the stress you’d either succeed or fail.  Unfortunately, all of these things (and a few more) happened to me within a 6 month period of time.  I should be blowing bubbles right now, blissfully unaware of my surroundings, instead of writing a coherent sentence!  :-)
All of the above really doesn’t matter when it comes to blogging.  You either write the posts, publish them, and create your blog, or you let lifetime events – or just plain old life – get in the way.  (Wasn’t it John Lennon that said, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”?)

TheBudgetProfessional.com is not where I wanted it to be a year later – but you won’t believe the ideas all those lifetime events gave me for upcoming posts!  Sticky notes are waiting to be translated into site content, and it’s time to get some monetization on the blog.  In another year, I’ll be reporting from the warm sand of a private beach while living the writers life!  :-)

Sign up for the site newsletter, and you’ll be the first to know about a new series of free short reports filled with money-saving advice and money making ideas you can use.  I’ve got a lot of interesting information coming your way!

Crystal’s Comments: Holy hell.  That is a crap year.  Way to be positive though!!!  Good luck with every future endeavor and I can’t wait to see your new material!

Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap

Call Me What You Want Even Cheap is owned and run by Shondell.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Shondell started on Blogger in September 2011 and switched to WordPress April 23, 2012. She was already posting about 3 times a week, but she wanted to dig in and grow faster.

Beginning Stats / Current Stats:

  • Page Rank – 0 / 1
  • Moz Rank – 4.27 / 5.08
  • Domain Authority – 23 / 35
  • Page Authority – 33 / 43
  • External Links – 9 / 106
  • Total Links – 158 / 870

Update:

I can’t believe it has been a year since I started the BFS challenge. Crystal has been a huge help and inspired me to start my blog and branch off into other things online. I haven’t been as active on Call Me What You Want Even Cheap as I use to because I started freelancing, and realized that I was making more money providing content for businesses and blogs than I was from my site. So my focus has shifted to my writing business than my blog. I have been extremely fortunate that I am getting clients when just a few years ago I didn’t even know about blogging. I currently write for realtors, builders, contractors, many small businesses as well as personal finance blogs. I’ve been writing on Gail Vaz Oxlade’s site for a few months  as well. You can check out my articles here http://gailvazoxlade.com/othervoices/category/shondell/

I was also recently interviewed by Redbook Magazine for my debt payoff. I will be in their August issue. I was also interviewed on a local radio station in Toronto CFRB 1010 for my debt pay off as well.

Although I am only making a few hundred dollars on my site, I am still having a blast! I will continue to focus on my writing business and see where it takes me. If you are in need of a writer for your blog or your business site you can contact me at Callmewhatyouwantevencheap@gmail.com for more details. I write web content, press releases, blog articles, and pretty much any other content. Connect with me for samples.

Cheers!

Crystal’s Comments: Wow, congrats on the writing business!!!  It was also great to meet you this year!!!

How Would You Do?

And because I am human, here’s another link to my eBook in case you would like to dive in too – How I Make Money Blogging.

Any advice for the challengers? Any questions?

Motivation Boost Please! My Second eBook is SLOWLY Developing…

Semi-secret being revealed…I am attempting to write a second eBook by the first week of July.  It isn’t about a topic as sexy as making money online, lol.  But it was requested by more than a dozen of you over the last year or so.  My plan is to cover how to budget, stay financially healthy, and negotiate down your big bills to manage your monthly nut.  The plan is to be in that exclusive Amazon program, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), for 3 months and then be released all over like my current eBook right before the next Financial Blogger Conference.  But I have stalled.  It just isn’t nearly as exciting to me as it was two weeks ago.  Poop.

How Do You Motivate Yourself?

I’m mainly telling all of you because having accountability partners generally helps me.  I still give up on stuff once in a while anyway, but I accomplish more when others are expecting it.  So here’s the trick up my sleeve – everyone knows now.  I even told my newsletter subscribers last week, so I will at least push myself to finish just due to peer pressure, hahaha.

My second trick isn’t really a trick.  I make myself do things whether I want to or not.  Some days, I might not feel like writing a blog post or checking all of my emails, but that rarely keeps me from doing it.  If it matters at all to me, I can make myself do it even when I rather be zoning out on a book or trying to catch up on my new addiction, Dr. Who.  I was introduced to the 2005 season last week and just started Season 2…

And lastly, I am bribing rewarding myself.  If I finish and have it posted on Amazon by July 4, 2013, I will be able to fully enjoy our 4 day trip to San Antonio way more.  I will also be treating myself to one hell of a meal at some point to celebrate (yeah, food is my ultimate bribe…and hence my food issues…whatever).  :-D

What Say You?

While I am on the subject of the eBook, feel free to chime in with anything that you’d like to read about in this one (or even the a completely different idea for yet another)!  What price would you be willing to pay in general for a short but info-filled budgeting guide?

My goal is to make this one cost less than the last one since it’ll probably be similar in length (short and to the point), but less popular based on the subject alone.  So few really seem to have our love for budgeting and managing their money.  ;-)  But I am hoping it ends up being just as helpful to anybody who downloads it.  I want that streak to continue, lol.

What do you do to motivate yourself?

Secrets Revealed: Your Insider’s Guide to Personal Credit!

The following is a guest post from Dominique Brown at Your Finances Simplified about his new eBook.  :-)  Check it out!  Dominique has been a great pf blogger and friend – this is a real eBook that can help.

As you probably know, personal credit is increasingly important in today’s modern economy.  Unfortunately, there seems to be quite a bit of misunderstanding, confusion and outright false information “out there” today.  Thankfully, a new resource has just been released which will clear up much of the mysteries about your personal credit; what it is, how to check it, how to fix it if it’s broken, how to protect it and much more.  Just recently made available to the public, “How To Fix Your Credit “can be found at Amazon.com. Click this link to see the book.

How to Fix Your Credit

What is this all about?

Consider this book to be a crash course in personal credit.  Yet, don’t be fooled by its brevity, there’s a lot packed into these seventy-six pages.  Consider “How To Fix Your Credit “as more of a desktop reference than a book you just read and put back on the shelf.  This is a resource you will find yourself referring to over and over again.

You’ll enjoy the easy to read format written in a straight-forward pull-no punches style, with short power-packed informative chapters.  You’ll find yourself going back to this resource time and time again to answer your credit questions.

Here is just a small sample of what you’ll find in my book  “How To Fix Your Credit “. From the beginning you start off with a thorough grounding in what credit actually is, you learn all about credit scores and credit scoring and then you move on to learning how to take charge of your own credit.  Then you move on to the really good stuff.  You learn all about your credit report, you learn how to get your credit report for free, and you learn to make sense of your credit report once it’s in your hands.

Next, you discover insider secrets to disputing errors or omissions on your credit report plus you learn all about the protections by Federal Law that you already have but may not even know about.

In this part of your personal credit resource, you will find real sample letters you can use yourself for any credit disputes, credit settlement letters and more.  These letters alone are worth many times your small investment in “How To Fix Your Credit “.

There’s more: you’ll find a tremendous resource towards the end of this book.  Here, you learn all about protecting your credit, when and how to use a Fraud Alert, when and how to use a Credit Freeze and if Credit Monitoring makes sense for a person like you.  This section of the book even includes a valuable guide explaining what to do in case your identity is ever stolen.

Do you think that’s a lot? It is a lot, but, incredibly there’s even more.  You will find a slew of unadvertised bonus chapters included.  In many cases, some of these bonus chapters by themselves are worth 10 times what you may have invested to obtain this personal credit guide.  Here, you find out about such intriguing topics as fake credit scores, how to be a credit score master, what to do if debt collectors start calling, things you must know before you just whip out your debit card and more.  All told, you will find 15 bonus chapters strategically placed at the end of this book.

Why now?

I wrote this book for two reasons! First, I was tired of my friends asking me for help with their credit. I swear I would get a call just about every week from someone asking about how to improve, fix, polish, or buff their credit. It was getting way out of hand! I noticed the questions starting to get repetitive, so I decided to make a book that answers all the questions.  The second reason is I noticed that a lot of those same friends thought they needed to get professional help to fix their credit problems. However, one of the secrets of the credit industry is that a credit professional cannot do anything for you that you can’t already do for yourself and in most cases you can do it for free.

In short this power packed guide will help you understand, protect and even improve your personal credit.  For a modest investment that will deliver tremendous benefits, go here now . You’ll be glad you did.

How I Make Money Blogging Challenger Group – 6 Month Update

I introduced you to the five How I Make Money Blogging challengers on July 11, 2012. These bloggers were letting me publicly document their progress as they follow the action plan in my new eBook, How I Make Money Blogging. Today we are taking a look at their progress over the last 6 months since several of you have been dying for an update. :-)

How I Make Money Blogging Challengers

Blogging isn’t for everyone and life can sometimes simply eat all spare time.  That is why not all blogs last.  With that in mind, two challengers, Weird About Money and Contented Momma, simply didn’t make it this far.  It really happens to about 90% of bloggers.  I wish them both the best!

The Budget Professional

The Budget Professional is owned and run by Wendy.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Wendy had also not started her blog yet. But she was super pumped to get started.

Update:

The Queen of England has nothing on me when it comes to an Annus Horribilis!  When I started my blog last July, I had plans to write daily and create all kinds of things for my readers.  For the next 6 months, between major surgeries, medical complications, cancer scares, job loss and hire and a lot of time spent on a relocation that turned out to be staying put, unexpected and major repairs with the house, and multiple deaths in the family and among friends, I found myself doing nothing I had planned.  I got a few posts written each month, but I can’t count how many good ideas came  – and went.

Even though my blog might have been on a back-burner most of the time, it was never far from my thoughts.  I kept track of the stats, and saw them rise each and every month, even with the infrequent posting – heck, they rose every day!  And they still are!  Based on two posts and the resulting traffic uptick, I realized the importance of keywords and search terms and hit on a method that is guaranteed to bring traffic – if the bloggess can write it and get it out there!

I’m a competitive person.  As I do watch my blog stats, I feel a burning desire to repeat, but do it better, get higher numbers.  Even though my only competition is myself, raising those stats is never out of mind.  I thought long and hard through the holidays about what I needed to do in the coming new year, and I created a wonderful plan – And then I got sick.

I think the stress of the hits that just kept coming and coming finally got me.  After I’d been sick over a week, I hauled myself to the clinic.  The Crud Bug was finally bad enough that all the Vitamin C, Echinacea, Zicam, and Old Indian Cherry Bark Cough Syrup in the world just couldn’t fix it.  Ear infection, sinus infection, bronchitis that turned out to be pneumonia – well, let me tell you – this chick just cannot catch a break.  What was I – Marie Antionette in another life, and this was payback?

I might not have felt well enough to get much of anything done, in the office or the house, but that didn’t stop my brain from thinking.  You know that hazy place where you suspend, sometimes – that place between sleep and being awake?  If you listen, some of the most simple but absolute truths come to you in dream states like these.

I really looked at all of things I was trying to do with my writing, and realized I was not where I wanted or needed to be and I realized why.  I realized the problem with success or failure is in the “DO”.  You either do it or you don’t.  It’s something I’ve coached people and business owners to “DO” for years – and that is ACT.  Plan the trade, trade the plan.  Success comes only from action.  If I could teach this and have those students go on to great success – what was the deal with me?

Writer, Heal Thyself!  I may still be coughing up crud to this day, but I have been changing the way I do things and I’m getting stuff done.  I’ve gotten more done in the last week than I have in many weeks.  Things are falling into place and things are working.  Come back and visit my blog, and subscribe – because you don’t want to miss a thing! 

Crystal’s Comments:  Health affects everything.  I’m so glad you are getting better and back in the game.  Never feel bad about being side-lined because of illness…it happens and you have to put you first.

Motivated Madison

Motivated Madison is owned and run by Madison…although she has moved now…

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Madison just started on June 24, 2012. She had a few posts up before joining the challenge at the end of the first week of July 2012.

Update:

Brace yourself, a long update is coming! Internet meme references aside, I do have quite a bit to share with you!

Years ago I used to blog on various platforms: blogspot, livejournal, xanga, and even my own manually typed html websites I’d upload straight to a domain through ftp. But I took a break from blogging in college. Last spring I wanted to join the blog world again, and I thought I had a great idea of how to go about it. It was, in a way, but once I started blogging I realized what I missed about blogging back in high school and college. I used to write about whatever popped into my head, about whatever happened to me that day, something cool I saw on the way home or on the internet. With Motivated Madison I felt trapped into a particular idea and every time I didn’t stay true to that idea I’d feel like I was letting myself and everyone else down. As if I had led them on, did a bait and switch… And this made me realize I needed a new blog.

Last month I launched Planet Mads. This new blog is going to be me being me. I don’t want to be anyone I’m not, which is what Motivated Madison made me feel like. I also realized I don’t want to make money on my blog. The whole reason I started Planet Mads was so I could just be me without anyone or anything to answer to. It wouldn’t feel right to me to have advertisers that expect something from me that I either can’t or don’t want to give. Maybe someday in the future I may change my mind on making money with my blog, but I think I’ll tackle that when the time comes.

Even though I don’t plan on making money through my blog, there was something I definitely took away from Crystal’s ebook: virtual assistance. It’s not something I had ever heard about before Crystal’s book, so I’m very happy she mentioned it. I have a degree as an administrative secretary that’s being unused and I’d love to make it useful! Some of the things I’d love to help people with are social media management, answering emails, handling giveaways, preparing and editing blog posts, etc. Right now I’m in the process of finalizing the last few details before I launch. So if anyone reading is interested in getting some help with their blog, website or shop, let me know!  :-)

Crystal’s Comments: Blogging is like everything else you create, it changes as you change.  It is sort of awesome in my opinion that you realized what you really wanted and went for it.  Making money with blogging is not a requirement of a great blogger, lol.  Thanks for finding your new path and having fun with it!

Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap

Call Me What You Want Even Cheap is owned and run by Shondell.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Shondell started on Blogger in September 2011 and switched to WordPress April 23, 2012. She was already posting about 3 times a week, but she wanted to dig in and grow faster.

Update:

I still enjoy blogging, and interacting with other bloggers. Recently I have noticed a slow down in the amount of advertisers that have been contacing me. I know it’s directly related to my traffic, which has slowed down over the past few months because of my lack of interaction with other bloggers. I have not been commenting on as many blogs as I use to and that has affected the amount of traffic that has been coming to my blog. I’ve realized that it is an absolute must to interact with other bloggers by commenting and guest posting. So I will definitely do a better job at this in the future. Plus I do miss reading all the blogs I use to read.

Crystal’s Comments: Having a slow down is natural.  It’s how you bounce back that is the important part. :-)  Google also scared a bunch of advertisers out of the ad pool last year, so some of the slow down isn’t because of you at all…

Stay Tuned

Please remember to stay tuned so you can watch as these bloggers move forward! I am really excited to see what happens! We’ve already seen that continuing a blog isn’t for everyone, but a ton of progress can be made when you dig in!

And because I am human, here’s another link to my eBook in case you would like to dive in too – How I Make Money Blogging.

Any advice for the challengers? Any answers to the questions they mentioned?

How I Make Money Blogging Challenger Group – Ten Week Update

I introduced you to the five How I Make Money Blogging challengers on July 11, 2012. These bloggers are letting me publicly document their progress as they follow the action plan in my new eBook, How I Make Money Blogging: The Beginner’s Guide to Building a Money-Making Blog. Today we are taking a look at their progress over the last 10 weeks. :-)

How I Make Money Blogging Challengers

The Budget Professional

The Budget Professional is owned and run by Wendy.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Wendy had also not started her blog yet. But she was super pumped to get started.

Update:

I have not been posting enough.  The month of September I wrote 3 blog posts, and it should have been much more.  I’ve seen a steady rise in traffic since I started the blog in July, and each month has shown an increase in unique visitors.  Those numbers could and should be much higher, and a new month brings a new resolve to “just write”.  I need to get serious with time managment, and start filling in my calender with blog post dates (in addition to what bill is due) – and just write.

I have not been commenting regularly on other blogs. I’ve noticed Madison is pretty good at that!  I’m sure it is translating into traffic for her, as I have seen hits to my blog go up the few times I have commented on something.  I do have a good friend who is making it a point to post my blog posts to Facebook, and I’ve seen traffic from that.  Getting the word out does work!

No advertisers have contacted me yet, but I’ve had a couple of contacts regarding guest posts.  Two people have sent me complete articles, and I need to ask your opinion of those, Crystal.  Can you give any tips, hints, or warnings about guest posts?  One of the articles reads well, but the link back is to a “financial service” – an MLM, if you will, in the financial world.  What are your thoughts on the subject?

Crystal’s Comments:  I reply to “guest posts” that seem like they are from commercial sites with a reply asking if they would like to see my rates.  If I am not sure about the linked site, I ask if I can change the links to authority links of my choosing.  If they say no, then they get sent my sponsored post rates since they are looking for free advertising.  :-)

Contented Momma

Contented Momma is owned and run by Helen.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Helen had bought the domain already but hadn’t started blogging yet as of the beginning of July 2012.

Update:

With pregnancy fatigue, I have been slacking on blogging. But I have a plan in place to get my topics/posts in line. I’ve got 17 weeks until baby comes and I want to be sure I have a good schedule in place before then and also some posts ready to go for when baby is actually here!

One thing I’d love to hear you/your readers talk about is the demise of Feedburner. Through the comments on your blog I was advised to use this service rather than the simple WordPress feed and now it seems Feedburner is no longer a viable choice!

I am still great on commenting on my favorite mommy blogs and getting discussions going there. No blog carnivals, but I am now aware of some that I can participate in with regards to menu planning or mommy ideas. No advertisers yet. Hoping next time we post our stats I can see something that will get me closer to that.

Crystal’s Comments:  Here is a solid update about Feeburner…I’m waiting to see what really happens…
http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/24/feedburner-experiencing-stat-issues-api-to-shut-down/

Motivated Madison

Motivated Madison is owned and run by Madison.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Madison just started on June 24, 2012. She had a few posts up before joining the challenge at the end of the first week of July 2012.

Update:

I try to post 2-3 times a week, but this past month has been rather stressful outside of the blogging world. Which meant I just didn’t feel like posting for a while. However when I do actually post, I notice a lot more interaction and growth. So I think that just shows that posting frequently and reliably is important for blog growth! Apparently it’s something I need to work on too.

Commenting is so much fun! Even during my times away from blogging, I do make sure to comment on posts that I find interesting. Commenting has really helped me get to know a few other bloggers, find new blogs to follow, and get my own blog out there to new people. Another new blogger just recently reached out to me via email and we’ve been chatting a bit since then. I’m a rather shy person so emailing people out of the blue just weirds me out for some reason, but it worked in this case. No guest posting yet for me though. But I think I’ll try making time for it soon.

Advertisers haven’t contacted me yet. Both button swapping and one blog sponsoring another blog seem to be pretty common in the personal, lifestyle type blog niche. I have been swapping buttons recently and I do see growth based on that! I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing for now to continue growing my blog and my readership.

Crystal’s Comments:  Great job on commenting!!!  Good luck with posting more!

Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap

Call Me What You Want Even Cheap is owned and run by Shondell.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Shondell started on Blogger in September 2011 and switched to WordPress April 23, 2012. She was already posting about 3 times a week, but she wanted to dig in and grow faster.

Update:

I’ve still been posting 3 times a week. I have seen some growth, but I know I would see more growth faster if I posted more often. I am still working on increasing my number of posts per week. I was thinking of including some guest posts to increase the frequency of posts per week.

I have been keeping up with my commenting, but haven’t been doing much guest posting on other blogs. I’ve done a few blog swaps which I enjoy, so I’ll probably do more of those.  I have met a few bloggers which has been great! I’ve been learning a lot from other bloggers.

I have submitted my articles to quite a few carnivals, but with the wedding and honeymoon last month I did fall behind. I am getting back into the swing of things now.

A few advertisers have contacted me, but I haven’t been able to close the deal. One asked for my rates. I sent them based on your suggestions and I haven’t heard back. I sent a follow up email and still haven’t heard back. I am sure more will come knocking at my door.

Crystal’s Comments:  Remember to send your rate letter to the “free” guest posters that are obviously from commercial sites too.  Only 1 in 10 will become money, but it’s still money.  :-)  And if if that doesn’t interest you, keep in mind that the more requests like those that you receive, the better your site is looking to direct advertisers.  :-)

Stay Tuned

Please remember to stay tuned so you can watch as these bloggers move forward! I am really excited to see what happens! We’ve already seen that continuing a blog isn’t for everyone, but a ton of progress can be made when you dig in!

And because I am human, here’s another link to my eBook in case you would like to dive in too – How I Make Money Blogging.

Any advice for the challengers? Any answers to the questions they mentioned?

How I Make Money Blogging Challenger Group – Five Week Update

I introduced you to the five How I Make Money Blogging challengers on July 11, 2012. These bloggers are letting me publicly document their progress as they follow the action plan in my new eBook, How I Make Money Blogging: The Beginner’s Guide to Building a Money-Making Blog. Today we are taking a look at their progress over the last 4-5 weeks. :-)

How I Make Money Blogging Challengers

The new stats are following the slash mark behind the ones when they began.  They are based on the results from http://www.check-domains.com/website-analysis/website-analyzer.php.

Weird About Money

Weird About Money is owned by Brett.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Brett had not started blogging yet.

Update:

He still really hasn’t started blogging yet.  He created a site but didn’t get it going from there.  Sometimes you can really be excited to start something new but that can be overridden by the rest of life.  So good luck Brett!  I know you were getting really busy at work, so I hope that settles down soon!

The Budget Professional

The Budget Professional is owned and run by Wendy.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Wendy had also not started her blog yet. But she was super pumped to get started.

Update:

The most fun part is the inspiration that comes when I hit on an idea for a post.  I had a phone call from a friend a few days ago, and she’s going through a serious issue right now.  After helping her do what I could, it occurred to me – her situation was a perfect financial blog post.  It’s amazing how many things a person can run across in a regular day that will translate into a blog post of some sort.

I have had some issues with plug-ins, but by uninstalling and reinstalling I finally got things to work.  I also have an on-going issue with the plug-in I am using to share posts – the pictures selected when sharing to          Facebook, for example, still aren’t working right.  I thought I had it fixed, and it worked for a few shares, then started messing up again.  I’ll be changing that one out as I can’t spend any more time on it.  I made a post to the blog last week, and when I hit publish the whole thing crashed.  I was able to get things back up as they were, but it took me all day to fix it, and I did lose some material I had recently added to a few of the tabs.

(Crashes suck.  Period.  Sorry it happened to you too!)

Stats (Starting/Now):

  • Page Rank – 0 / 0
  • Moz Rank – 0 / 0
  • Domain Authority – 1 / 14 (Yay!)
  • Page Authority – 1
  • External Links – 0
  • Total Links – 0

Contented Momma

Contented Momma is owned and run by Helen.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Helen had bought the domain already but hadn’t started blogging yet as of the beginning of July 2012.

Update:

I am having the most fun with writing about whatever I want, especially about parenting and homemaking. I just love taking care of my family and home and can’t wait for comments to pick up and get more discussions going! I am also enjoying the spam comments! haha

As far as issues, just knowing how to change design and other things. Like my share buttons (FB, Twitter, RSS).  I had to figure out why they were so big and how to adjust them.  But I have been able to set up Google Analytics, AdSense, and my Facebook page.

(Yeah, some things just take time to figure out.  Glad I could help you with those since we used the same plugin, lol.)

Stats (Starting/Now):

  • Page Rank – 0 / 0  (but my estimate is 3? how often does Google update this?)  Your guess is as good as mine on that, sorry.  It seems to be every few months.
  • Moz Rank – 2.57 / 3.76  (Yay!)
  • Domain Authority – 10 / 16  (Whoo-hoo!)
  • Page Authority – 22 / 30  (Yay again!)
  • External Links – 0 / 5  (Woot!)
  • Total Links – 10 / 16  (Cool beans!)

Motivated Madison

Motivated Madison is owned and run by Madison.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Madison just started on June 24, 2012. She had a few posts up before joining the challenge at the end of the first week of July 2012.

Update:

Things have been going pretty good for me so far. No problems or concerns have come up. After the last update, I went and upgraded my wordpress theme to paid theme called Thesis. It was the theme I liked the best of various ones I have seen around the internet recently. It was fairly easy to install and customize. One question I have is about layouts. For you bloggers, did you create your own graphics or did you have someone else make them for you? I’m not very good at Photoshop, so what I did create for my layout isn’t that great. Any recommendations on where to go for custom graphics?

(I sent over my contact’s name from Fiverr.com who created my eBook art and HIMMB website banner – he goes by “nisha”.  And I have also heard that Thesis kicks butt.)

I’ve spent the last few weeks finding new blogs to follow. Since my blog is mainly a personal blog, I’ve been trying to find other personal blogs written by people that have similar interests or writing styles. And this is probably the most fun so far. It’s been so cool reading about these different people and getting to know them through their writing. My goal was to find about 20 blogs that updated a couple times a week and that I liked reading. Now that I’ve found a good number of blogs, I plan on commenting on 3-5 each day to start my networking. I’ve also signed up for two blogging networks: Better Blogging Network and RevolutionizeHer. I’ll also plan on posting on both of their forums once or twice a week which will hopefully help me connect with other bloggers.

I’ve noticed on various personal blogs that they offer ways to sponsor or ad swap with their blogs. Nearly all of them do this through Passionfruit Ads. Passionfruit Ads opens a small little ‘shop’ on your blog where people can purchase an ad spot, upload their own banner, and send it to you for approval. Once approved, it shows up on your blog. I’ve started ad swapping with a couple blogs already. Hopefully this will increase my traffic and help make my blog grow a little faster. I’m not necessarily looking for money at this point, just looking to network with other bloggers and hopefully have some more readers. :) Has anyone heard of Passionfruit ads? What do you think of this whole idea?

(I let her know that I haven’t heard about them and to be a little careful in case they are seen by Google as inorganic link building.  I will only take that risk when money is involved, lol.)

Stats (Starting/Now):

  • Page Rank – 0 / 0  (Sorry Google sucks)
  • Moz Rank – 0 / 3.77  (WOOT!)
  • Domain Authority – 1 / 15  (Yippee!)
  • Page Authority – 1 / 29  (Whoa!)
  • External Links – 0 / 5  (Yay!)
  • Total Links – 0 / 15  (Whoo-hoo!)

Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap

Call Me What You Want Even Cheap is owned and run by Shondell.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB: Shondell started on Blogger in September 2011 and switched to WordPress April 23, 2012. She was already posting about 3 times a week, but she wanted to dig in and grow faster.

Update:

The most fun part so far is interacting with other bloggers through the comments they post and through email.   And I have a quick question. What is the difference between External Links and Total Links?

As far as your eBook, I loved it! I like that it’s short and sweet, which makes it much easier for me to go back and look for a particular section. I really liked the action plan as well. I do wish there was a calendar outlining what should be done in what time frame to be most effective and successful. Maybe it’s just me that would like something like that!  Haha.

(And I had to add this part of her email in because I love the calendar idea and will see what I can do in future editions…)

Stats (Starting/Now):

  • Page Rank – 0 / 1  (Yay!)
  • Moz Rank – 4.27 / 4.43  (Woot!)
  • Domain Authority – 23 / 29  (Yippee!)
  • Page Authority – 33 / 38  (Yay again!)
  • External Links – 9 / 45  (Wow!)
  • Total Links – 158 / 387  (Holy Moly!)

Stay Tuned

Please remember to stay tuned so you can watch as these bloggers move forward! I am really excited to see what happens!  We’ve already seen that continuing a blog isn’t for everyone, but a ton of progress can be made when you dig in!

And because I am human, here’s another link to my eBook in case you would like to dive in too – How I Make Money Blogging.

Any advice for the challengers? Any answers to the questions they mentioned?