Blogger Empty House Tour 2017 ● Katy, Texas

If you've been following me on Instagram Stories (I do a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff so be sure to hop on over and follow me!) then you saw that my family and I moved! I asked you guys if you wanted to see a house tour and a lot of you said yes, so here it is. 

And if you're visiting my site then you've thought about starting a blog at least once before, right? Let me tell you right now that you need to start one now because it can lead to beautiful experiences! Let me explain...

I've worked on this blogging thing for a couple of years now and I can honestly tell you I made money through passive income every single day that we packed, moved, and were unpacking. 

...I made money through passive income every single day that we packed, moved, and were unpacking. 
You guys asked for a house tour and I'm happy to oblige! Making money online as a blogger means that I've been fortunate enough to have passive income the entire time we were moving...even though I didn't work a single day! Hallelujah! If you're interested in starting a blog so you can have the same experience in a couple of years, check out this blog post for my free blog resources.

I made affiliate commissions, earned ad revenue, and sold my own products, like blogging workbooks and courses.

This was not an overnight process for me (I've been running this little blog since March 2015) but can we just share a moment and shout, "WHAT THE HECK, THAT'S AWESOME!" *throws confetti* 

If my personal story inspires you to start your own blog then you'll want to check out my free resources:

Step 1: Join my FREE blogging course and fill out the bonus workbook over the next couple of weeks

Step 2: Setup your domain and hosting using my step-by-step tutorial here

Step 3: Read about how I earned my first $200 to get some tips for earning your first paycheck

Step 4: Find out how much money I think it takes to start a blog

Step 5: Determine how you're going to make money by reading Money Making Ideas for Bloggers

Join my FREE BLOGGING COURSE today and I'll send over a bonus 29-page workbook to get you organized! 

Let's work on getting you one step closer to that passive income, mmmmkay? Enjoy the house tour!

Blogging Tips ● Stress Management Tips for Your Hectic Schedule

Starting a blog and taking care of it full-time isn't the easiest job in the world. And that's when life is on a normal schedule! Do you stress out during the holidays or when you get back from vacations? I've had some crazy to-do lists lately myself and have some stress management tips to share. 

If you follow me on Instagram Stories then you saw that my family and I are moving. To say that raising a toddler, packing up boxes, running a business, and still finding time for myself has been chaotic is an understatement! I know you can relate! 

Here are some of the ways I've been juggling everything and still keeping my cool. 

Tip #1: Prioritize and list everything

I'm a huge fan of lists and use them in nearly every aspect of my life. Just ask my husband about how much he adoooooores my never-ending lists. Ha!

If you can, begin to write down the tasks you'll need to accomplish before your chaotic schedule gets here. So if you leave for vacation in 4 weeks, write down everything that needs to happen before, during, and after that time. 

Then prioritize everything! I like to play the "Highest Priority" game that I mentioned in this post about how I stay productive. 

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my Disclaimer for more info. 

Tip #2: Automate as many tasks as you can

Starting a blog and taking care of it full-time isn't the easiest job in the world. And that's when life is on a normal schedule! Do you stress out during the holidays or when you get back from vacations? I've had some crazy to-do lists lately myself and have some stress management tips to share. 

We just wrapped up the most successful launch of my Blogging to Win course and I've got a big secret to share...I literally did nothing during that launch. 

Let me explain. 

I sat down and wrote an incredibly detailed list of tasks that needed to get accomplished months before I opened the doors. Then I woke about a few hours earlier than normal for about two months and accomplished them all. 

This means that every email that was sent, all promotions that were created/written, and some of the posts that were published were scheduled months before the launch actually occurred. 

Automating your posts is easy with platforms like ConvertKit, Hootsuite, Recurpost, Facebook scheduling, and even the integrated scheduling systems on your blog platform and YouTube.

I scheduled as many things as I could and then switched focus to packing. I checked in each day of the launch to answer any emails and see sales figures (WOOOHOOO!) but that was it. I was making money while I was packing my home. Best. Launch. Ever. 

 I was making money while I was packing my home. Best. Launch. Ever. 

Tip #3: Simplify and let go of the need for perfection

If you watched the video above (and you've watched all the others on my channel) then you could immediately tell that this one was a tad more casual than the rest. That's because I literally took 15 minutes to sit down and record it in between packing up my kitchen. 

As a business owner, I know it's a bad idea to have a long period of radio silence. But I HAVE to move my family so what am I supposed to do?! My answer was to simplify the process I have to create, edit, and publish content and then let go of my need for perfection. 

It was killing me that I filmed this on my living room floor in a baseball cap. But you wonderful readers don't care about that, do you? No! You care about whether or not I'm providing useful content. 

Tip #4: Attack harder/dreaded tasks in 20 minute spurts

Let's just take a minute to talk about how boring it is to go through the junk in your garage. Or how boring it can sometimes be to proofread long blog posts. 

Take a little of the pressure off by setting a timer for 20 minutes and tackling as much as you can. If you're feeling good at the end of it, then do another 20 minutes. But is not, hey, you're accomplishing that hard task a little bit at a time and that's okay.

Tip #5 (my favorite!): Seek out positive and happy influences

Misery loves company so resist the urge to let your chaotic schedule take over all of your conversations too. Instead, reach out to those friends or family who will give you an positive piece of advice or just some encouragement.

My mom was an actual cheerleader in high school and her "We Can Do It" attitude hasn't faded over the years. I normally talk to her pretty often but lately we've been talking almost every day. 

She's the one person I can count on to place a positive spin on almost any situation. This really annoyed me when I was a hormonal teenager. But as a grown woman with a baby of her own, I recognize just how lucky I am. 

I also recommend reaching inspirational books to help keep your spirits up. I'm reading Matthew Kelly's Resisting Happiness right now and it's so good, I can't even begin to describe it!

My favorite quote so far has been, "The ability to delay gratification is intimately linked with success. You cannot succeed at anything unless you are willing and able to delay gratification."

Always remember that holidays, vacations, and sports seasons all come to an end. Just hang in there!

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How to Be Different in Blogging So You Can Make Money From Home

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"I want to make money blogging but there are so many bloggers already! How can I stand out?"

"I'm incredibly shy. Can I still be a successful blogger?"

I get these questions all the time and I've got some tips for you that go beyond just "be yourself."

In person, I'm naturally very outgoing (this is sometimes embarrassingly obvious in my Instagram Stories...) but that doesn't necessarily transfer to the writing on my blog. And I know a lot of people who are very shy in person but incredible bloggers online! 

You can absolutely run a successful blogging business, even if you're shy or if there are a lot of bloggers in your niche. Let's dive into my fav tips!


We're currently accepting new blogging students in my budget-friendly course, Blogging to Win! Doors close soon so be sure to join while you can!


1. Take a break from your fellow bloggers

Initially, this tip sounds terrible so let me explain!

If you only seem to be writing about the same stuff everyone else is writing then you need to take a break from reading blogs in your niche. How can you think outside of the box if you only hang out inside of it?

How can you think outside of the box if you only hang out inside of it?

I'm a big believer in supporting our fellow bloggers so don't leave this post thinking you need to give everyone a cold shoulder. Just take a short break until you overcome your writer's block. 

2. Provide actionable steps in each of your blog posts

"I want to make money blogging but there are so many bloggers already! How can I stand out?" I get this question all the time and I've got some tips for you that go beyond just "be yourself." You can be a successful blogger, even if you're shy or if your niche is crowded! ● HOW TO BE DIFFERENT IN BLOGGING SO YOU CAN MAKE MONEY FROM HOME

Make sure that every single post you publish leaves your reader with an actionable step of some kind, be it the inspiration to finally start their new diet or the actual steps it takes to create a workout plan.

I've talked a little bit about this on my blog and YouTube channel but I really cover how important it is in my blogging course. 

I don't believe in writing fluff posts, which are simply posts that are written because it was "time" to get something new on the blog. Don't write a post if you can't provide value or inspiration. It's a waste of your time and it's a waste of your readers' time. 

3. Encourage interaction outside of comments and respond to every single DM or email

You will never have a successful blogging business without readers. That's just common sense, right? 

But how can you stand out in the crowd of bloggers and prove to readers that you and your content are special? Encourage personal messages through Direct Messages or your blog email!

This is very time-consuming but it's certainly been worth the effort in my experience. I personally handle all of my email correspondence by myself, partly because I'm controlling and partly because I don't want to be even one person removed from connecting with my audience. You're reaching out to Allison, not Allison's virtual assistant, right?

I personally handle all of my email correspondence by myself, partly because I’m controlling and partly because I don’t want to be even one person removed from connecting with my audience.

Email me a blogging question or a quick hello to hello(at)allisonlindstrom(dot)com and I will personally get back to you. Pinky promise. 

Nowadays, I spend a couple of hours each week responding to messages. It sounds like a lot (and it is!) but I look at it as building relationships with readers and gaining free research for my business. 

I encourage interaction with my subscribers by asking open-ended questions in my emails. And I never ignore a message. Ever. (Unless it lands in my Spam folder, in which case it disappears into the internet universe forever.) 

Responding to emails benefits my readers because they know that an actual person is providing answers to their questions and offering advice. And this benefits me because my readers are telling me exactly what kind of problems they have and how my blogging business can help them. It's a win win!

I've lost count of how many times someone has told me, "You're the first blogger to actually respond to my email!"

4. Be proud of who you are and what that means for your readers

It's said by everyone but I'll say it here too. "Be who you are and don't apologize for it." (As long as you're not hurting anyone, girlfriend!) 

Bloggers naturally feel the pressure to try different avenues in their business, be it a new category or project. Sometimes this pressure is good and you should take the plunge. But sometimes you need to just stick to the beat of your own drum. 

Here's an example of what I mean. 

You're passionate about golf and consider yourself a bit of an expert so you've entered the blogging world to help others. After a bit of time, your blog has grown considerably and you slowly begin to get requests for you to branch out into other sports. 

But you're really only passionate about golf and don't play (or even care about) other sports. Should you write about them anyway?

No! Unless writing about one sport is hurting your business in some way, you should stick with what you're truly passionate about. 

You can't please everyone so don't stress yourself out by trying!

5. Value your readers because they are the reason you have a blogging business

This tip is about valuing your readers beyond saying "Thank You" on the blog, although that's important too. 

Stop looking at your analytics as just pageviews and bounce rates for a moment. Each pageview was created by an actual human being who took the time to read what you have to say. What an honor! 

Readers don't just support your blog by making your Google Analytics look good. They also provide insight into how your content could improve and give you feedback/personal stories that can get you thinking outside of the box. 

You created a website to help others but don't be surprised if you find yourself growing and learning as well! If you're blogging the right way, then your blogging experience will be a two-way street. 

Your blog isn't just helping change your readers' lives. The relationships you build with your readers will certainly be changing your life. 

How will YOU stand out in the blogging world? 

 

How to Make Money From Home ● Money Making Ideas for Bloggers

Want to know how to make money blogging? It's one of the most popular questions I receive from my subscribers! 

Most, if not all, bloggers use multiple ways to make money from home. It helps protect them from drastic fluctuations in earnings throughout the year.

Depending on only one stream of income (like ad revenue) isn't the "thing to do" because it leaves you vulnerable to internet or advertising trends throughout the season. 

Here's an example. 

Advertisers (like those working with Google Adsense or AdThrive) typically spend most of their budget in the final quarter of the year, just before Christmas. This means that you could receive a million pageviews on December 26 and your earnings per 1000 pageviews (RPM) will be lower than normal because advertisers aren't spending much on ads that day.

The same rule usually applies at the end of each quarter throughout the year. Advertisers are resetting their budgets and RPM will again dip for bloggers. 

This can be a frustrating experience for anyone depending solely on ad income. The best solution for this is a hot cup of tea and creating multiple revenue streams! 


Psssst...don't forget that Blogging to Win is only accepting new students for a few more weeks when this post goes live! We won't open the doors again will Summer 2017!


Here are my favorite ways to make money from home as a blogger!

*My revenue streams are listed in no particular order unless otherwise noted.

1. Products (#1 source of revenue)

Creating something with your own two hands (or in my case, my own sturdy computer) can feel very satisfying! It makes you want to shout, "Look, Mom! See what I made?!"

But it can also be very profitable if you've created the right product, have the right audience, are charging the right price, are marketing the right way, and are doing everything else right. Sound difficult?

It's not easy making money selling your own products. But the nifty trick I've learned is to scan every comment, email, and direct message I receive, looking for certain phrases or questions that can help me identify exactly what kind of product my audience needs. 

...the nifty trick I’ve learned is to scan every comment, email, and direct message I receive, looking for certain phrases or questions that can help me identify exactly what kind of product my audience needs.

I'm constantly looking for ways to improve but I knew I'd hit a sweet spot when I received my first email saying, "Can I just pay you now? I can't wait for you to open the doors and I want to have access to the course the moment you release the content!"

That email came after months of hard work, cups of coffee, and constantly researching, where I tried to determine how I could help my audience the most. 

Imagine you have to ask your readers, "If you could only take one [course, product, etc.] with you to a deserted island, which one would you take?" 

...now go out and create that product!

2. Ads

A lot of bloggers discourage the use of ads but this particular passive revenue stream and I have a love relationship that stems back to my good ole days. 

Here's what you need to know:

I recommend using them because ads can be that necessary evil to help you afford larger investments in your blogging business. 

Ads can be that necessary evil to help you afford larger investments in your blogging business. 

I didn't have extra money to invest in my blog when I started out. Honestly, my baby boy was less than a year old so all of my income was going towards diapers, doctor visits, and caffeine! 

But I knew I needed equipment and I desperately wanted better software somewhere down the road. 

Ad revenue alone paid for all of the equipment and software that I used to create my first course. That branch of my blogging business would've grown much slower without the ad income, but now it's my #1 source of revenue!

There's also some talk in the blogosphere about how ads take away from a site's credibility but I'm not sure I agree with this either.  

I personally don't think any less of a site (blog or otherwise) when they have ads. As long as the site isn't composed of more ads than content, I simply consume the information on the page and ignore the ads.

Sites like Babble.com, Forbes.com, and even Dictionary.com use ads. Judge their content as you like, but they still maintain a professional experience for users. 

3. Affiliate Sales

If you're genuinely recommending any product or service on your website, you should be including an affiliate link. Period. 

But please don't run out and start throwing affiliate links all over your site! If you can include an affiliate link in a manner that feels natural, then you're in business. 

Example: 

You write a post about your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and include an affiliate link to your holy grail cookie sheets. You can't live without them and your readers might love them too. Include an affiliate link!

Some affiliate programs are better than others (I talk about my favs to work with right here) so don't feel like you have to just stick with one. I have personally used at least a few links from each site I mention in the linked post above. 

And you might find this post and video very helpful if you're looking for tips on getting that first sale and rocking affiliate marketing.

4. Services

Offering freelance services is a great way to make money from home if you have the time to invest in it! 

Most, if not all, bloggers use multiple ways to make money from home. It helps protect them from drastic fluctuations in earnings throughout the year. Check out the video or blog post below to find out the where I make the MOST money as a blogger! ● HOW TO MAKE MONEY FROM HOME ● MONEY MAKING IDEAS FOR BLOGGERS

I worked as a freelance writer and Virtual Assistant before and during the early days of my blog. But once I delivered my son back in the summer of 2014, it became harder and harder for me to handle clients. 

The downside of offering services is that your income depends directly on how much time you can put into the work. The more clients you have, the more money you're making, and the more time you need to spend on your work. 

Making money passively (selling products, affiliate income, and ads) is my preferred method simply because I only have to invest a large amount of time in the project once. 

My most popular course, Blogging to Win, took months to create but the time I have to put into the content creation is essentially over. Students can purchase my course while I'm sleeping or shopping for groceries. It's much easier than working as a Virtual Assistant!

I eventually put a self-imposed limit on accepting new clients for my services because I just didn't have the time anymore. But it was a wonderful way for me to make money when I was first running my blog!

How do you want to make money from your blog?