12 Awesome Places to Get Stock Photos

image of a map, camera and plant

12 Awesome Places to Get Stock Photos

Do you find yourself swooning over images on your fav blogs? Yeah, I’ve been there too – and then I learned about how bloggers would get stock photos to use in the graphics they made for their blogs. 

There are many, many places to get images you can use, but most of them aren’t that great. At all as a matter of fact. And, lately, there have been many photographers with a great eye taking it upon themselves to help provide amazing photos for others to use.

Photos are an important part of a blog post:

  • They can draw the eye of your audience
  • Can convey emotion
  • Can make a point
  • If created poorly, they can be a turn-off
  • A great photo can bring you readers

If pictures can say 1000 words, then it stands to reason that having a great image for your blog posts is vital.

Finding places you can get stock photos that are beautiful is like striking gold. The list below is not anywhere near all of the places on the internet that you can find stock images, but I think they’re freaking awesome.

12 Best Places to Find Stock Images

#1 Haute Chocolate

get stock photos

This site is by far my favorite right now! She provides SO many beautiful images that are created and uploaded each month into the library. You can purchase in 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions for access to the entire library. You’re allowed to download as many images as you want as many times as you want.

When you sign up for their mailing list, you’ll receive samples from the library.

#2 Rekita Nicole

In this blog post, you will find 11 stock images that you can download and use as you like so long as you give attribution to the creator. But, when you sign up for her mailing list you’ll receive access to the library where you can get stock photos each month.

#3 Wonderfelle

get stock photos

Aside from having great content on her blog, Elle has a post where you can grab ten of her stock photos for free. If you decide to use them and share on social media it isn’t required that you give her a shoutout, but it would be nice if you did.

You also have the option to sign up to receive even more stock photos every month!

#4 IvoryMix

get stock images

Be sure to sign up for this woman’s email list! You’ll get access to an excellent library of stock photos on a monthly (or more) basis! The images are clean, crisp and pretty darn impressive if you ask me especially when they’re free.

Share this link with your friends and share the great find!

#5 UnSplash

get stock photos

Unsplash is a fantastic place to find photos. They have such a wide variety of images that you can pretty much find a picture for anything you’re writing about.

They’re free to download and can be used for non-commercial use.

#6 Jennifer Field Designs

get stock photos

I found out about Jennifer’s photos from another blogger and fell in love. When you sign up for her email list, you’ll receive fresh, styled images each month straight in your inbox.

She also has a paid service where you can choose between purchasing from the stock shop or have her create custom images for you! How’s that for nifty?

#7 SC Stockshop

get stock images

This is what I would call the “cream of the crop” of stock photos. She curates packs of images that have a set amount of times they can be purchased before they’re removed forever from her shop. Talk about not seeing the same image all over the internet – am I right?

However, if the price tag is a bit much for you right now, there’s always the option to sign up for her email list to receive monthly doses of her amazing images. Be sure to share the love and tell others!

#8 Twigy Post

get stock photos

Again, another fantastic place to find free and paid stock photo options. They’re lovely, minimalistic, bright and beautiful. These are bound to brighten anyone’s day when they come across it in their feed.

Go take a look. I dare ya!

#9 Gold and Berry

get stock photos

Free photos to use is one of my greatest weaknesses. I want all the photos! And this site doesn’t make it any easier for me to keep the memory on my computer low. The photos are pretty awesome.

Don’t believe me? Check them out for yourself!

#10 Pexels

 

Free, free, free when you sign up for her list. But! That’s not the only thing you get when you sign up. She has some amazing resources in The Vault!

Check it out and let me know which is your favorite!

#11 Wonderlass

get stock photos

Ah, alas, we’ve come to Wonderlass! Let’s talk about spunk right here… Cause this lady has some spunk going on! And check out those photos – pretty great right? They’ll make your photos pop off of the Pinterest page with ease.

Check out her free courses while you’re on her site. Oh, and her great content too!

#12 Death to the Stock Photo

 

They have some amazing photos on their site by photographers that want to get their names out in the world (not to mention want to be a part of the movement to end boring stock photos).

When you sign up for their mailing list, you will receive photos delivered every month to your inbox.

Things I Recommend:

Tailwind:

I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I’m done. In the dashboard, you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I’m creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.

BoardBooster:

I use BoardBooster mostly right now for its pin looping capabilities. It’s amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that’s not performing the best. I’ll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.

ConvertKit:

I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I’ll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no-brainer!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:

The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I’ll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.

GOT ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS OR TIPS ON WHERE TO GET STOCK PHOTOS THAT ROCK YOUR WORLD? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

You Might Also Like These:

[pt_view id=”b63f9fekd7″]

The 10 Best Plugins for New Bloggers This Year

image of a computer on a table

The 10 Best Plugins for New Bloggers This Year

Is your head swirling in a sea of plugin options for your new blog? Yeah, I’ve been there too. This post on the best plugins for new bloggers will definitely help you!

When I first started my journey in the online world all of this was so confusing and intimidating. So much so that I left WordPress for about a year before making my way back to the platform.

I was on Squarespace for a while ( a year or so) and I love the platform, but it was missing some components that WordPress had. What plugin capability.

Squarespace was missing plugin capability, and that was something I wanted.

After months of research and playing in the backend of WordPress sites for my Virtual Assistant clients, I became more knowledgeable and competent working and even altering things inside the different areas.

Another thing I learned about was the multitude of amazing plugins that WordPress has available for use. But, what wasn’t so obvious was which plugins were the best plugins for new bloggers.

So, I researched and this post details the ten plugins that made my top ten list.

So, what are the best plugins for new bloggers then you ask?

The 10 Best Plugins for New Bloggers This Year

There are so many plugins that can fall into the category of “best plugins for new bloggers” but, I’m only going to talk about ten in this post. This list could get really, really long if I named all the different plugins that a new blogger could use based on their audience, niche, layout and more.

There are plugins out there that for everything:

  • protecting your site
  • social plugins
  • backup systems
  • image optimization
  • popup optins
  • link masking
  • performance
  • and so much more.

Where do you draw the line on what to upload to your site?

It’s a choice you have to make for yourself. I try to keep my plugin list under 20 at once. If you have too many active or too much going on it can bog down your server and cause your website to load slowly. (Psst, that isn’t a good thing.)

So, where do you start? Try the list below and keep exploring. You will likely find that you alternate or even use and then delete many plugins as you get further along on your journey.

 

Plugin #1: Akismet

I L-O-V-E, love this plugin.

And, it ranks #1 on my list of best plugins for new bloggers for one reason:

  • Akismet cuts down on the spam comments that your posts might end up receiving, and protects you from the would be comment attackers.

You’ve seen those posts… the ones with all the spammy-looking comments (or even those that border on the line of being graphic in nature) that have nothing to do with the post itself?

Not only does it block the spam, but if someone happens to fall through that spam crack, you’ll be able to see. Akismet lets you know about every comment that comes to your site so that you can evaluate it yourself.

Oh, and it cuts down on your time vetting the comments, and that is a major plus!

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.33.14 AM-min

Plugin #2: Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Google Analytics is one of the best plugins for new bloggers around town!

Why is this plugin the bee’s knees?

  • Track your growth
  • Figure out where your traffic is coming from
  • See how long people are staying on your site
  • You can tell how many pages they’re viewing
  • You’ll be able to see where people are visiting from in the world
  • Figure out what article/blog post is doing the best
  • What social media platform gives you the most traffic (i.e. where you should start focusing)

It’s a monster. Google Analytics is how you can tell what’s working, what isn’t and where you need to concentrate on fixing it or ramp it up and do better.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.34.15 AM-min

Plugin #3: W3 Total Cache

If you’ve been blogging for a while or running your website for a business for a good bit of time you’ve likely run across the issue of site speed before.

If your site loads slowly, it will affect the user experience, and that is not something you want to happen. When a visitor has a bad experience because of slow site speed, it’s likely they won’t want to come back and continue to wait for a site to load.

That’s where this plugin comes in handy. It will boost your site speed by optimizing your site using something called “caching.”

Now, I’m a nerd, but not so much of a nerd that I am able to explain that to you. However, I do know that it’s a good thing to have on your site and comes highly recommended by others. When I was looking for the best plugins a new blogger could put on their site; this was a top one I saw recommended.

*Note: If you use OptinMonster this plugin could adversely affect the use of OptinMonster’s functionality (it happened to me). If that is the case, then Autoptimize will work perfectly for you.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.34.38 AM-min

Plugin #4: Yoast SEO Premium

I love, love, l-o-v-e this one too. They have a Lite version (linked to the picture below), but I bought the premium version. You can check it out here.

This one definitely makes the top ten best plugins for new bloggers because:

  • it’s important if you want to grow your blog’s audience and traffic
  • it’s simple to use
  • leads you step-by-step
  • lets you know when you’re off your SEO game
  • even tells you how readable your post will be

When starting out as a new blogger, you should try to maximize every avenue you can to get traffic to your site. The Yoast SEO plugin helps you accomplish that by breaking SEO down Barney style.

Don’t understand SEO?

If not – no problem! Follow the directions that it tells you in the section under where you write a blog post or write your copy for a page. It will give you red, orange and green lighted dots that let you know when you’ve ticked things off of the SEO list.

How does SEO help? Short and sweet – it helps you rank in the eyes of Google. When people search for your site or a keyword/key phrase in Google, and you rank high enough for it, your site will pop up.

You’ll want to learn more and more about SEO as you go along, but this is the basics for now and all you need to know so you don’t overwhelm yourself :).

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.35.05 AM-min

Plugin #5: CommentLuv

Oh, sweet mother of comments! CommentLuv is amazing. I love when other bloggers use it, and I am a proud user as well.

This one isn’t a plugin you’d die without, but I love it so much that it ranked in my top 10.

With this plugin, you’re allowing commenters to link to their most recent blog post when they comment on your site. This encourages people to visit other bloggers, helps them get seen, and makes your blog more friendly.

A friendly blog is a popular blog!

When you encourage sharing, your stuff is more likely to be shared.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.35.22 AM-min

Plugin #6: VaultPress

VaultPress and Akismet go hand in hand. At least they did for me.

When I purchased Akismet, it asked if I also wanted to purchase VaultPress. Now, I’ve heard some horror stories about people losing ENTIRE websites from poorly backed up sites (or sites that had no back up at all!!!) and that was not going to be me – no ma’am.

When in doubt, back it up!

*Note: There are free plugins for backups, but I use this and love it. BackUpWordPress I’ve heard is good. It will back up your site and email you every time it does.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.35.37 AM-min

Plugin #7: Pretty Link

If you plan on doing any affiliate marketing or if you intend on using LeadPages at all this plugin is a MUST HAVE.

If you’ve ever seen any ugly affiliate links floating around the interwebs (and, I’m sure you have), just know there is a better way. A prettier way! Just get the Pretty Link plugin.

See it in action!

When you use this plugin it allows you to take a link that looks like:

https://prettylinkpro.com?aff=briannalnash

And, after creating a Pretty Link it will look like:

https://www.simplelittlehomestead.com/pretty-link

Nifty isn’t it? I thought so too!

I heard of other bloggers using the Pro version of this plugin and invested in it myself. It has a few more bells and whistles added in, and I plan on using the pants off of this plugin in the coming years.

Check out Pretty Link Pro here.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.35.49 AM-min

Plugin #9: Limit Login Attempts

I’ve read about quite a few people I know on the internet having their sites hacked. And some of those were hacked more than once! That’s why this plugin ranks in my top ten for the best plugins for new bloggers. Protect your site!

Honestly, I really don’t want my site hacked. Not even an attempted hack, but I’m sure it might happen one day. When that day comes though I want to be prepared and Limit Login Attempts is my preparation. (I may  or may not have just pumped my fist in the air Breakfast Club style.)

When you install Limit Login Attempts onto your account, it will limit the number of times a person can try to log in (gasp! say it isn’t so simple).

Now, don’t run off and lose your login password, but if you do…it’s not the time to be playing the guessing game! You don’t want to be locked out.

Don’t worry – you won’t be locked out forever, only for a time period. That’s why I would suggest not trying to remember your password by attempting to log in to the site. Just go ahead and click the “forgot password” button at the very beginning of this pre-catastrophy. You’ll thank me if you do.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.36.38 AM-min

Plugin #10: Pin It Button

Woohoo! We made it to the tenth plugin! Are you ready?

There are so many different Pin It Button plugins out there, how do I know which to use? Trial and error. That’s about it.

I use two different plugins really. I use jQuery and Pin It Button (there is a pro version if you want) for various reasons.

With jQuery, I uploaded a custom Pin It Button, and it creates a highlight over the image to encourage visitors to pin it to Pinterest.

The other Pin It plugin I use for the basic Pin It button.

Is it overkill? Maybe, but I’m testing right now. You don’t have to use both or even one of these, but having a Pin It Buttons as a blogger is super handy for growing traffic.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.37.04 AM-min


Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.37.27 AM-min

And The Best Plugins for New Blogger Bonus Plugin Is…..

WP Hide Title!

This super snazzy plugin allows you to hide single page and post titles! I use this son of a gun all.the.time!

Mostly, I hide my page titles. I rarely hide my post titles. That’s just how I roll and everyone is different.

I like this one and find it comes in handy, but it’s not a dealbreaker “can’t live without” plugin either.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.37.47 AM-min

Have you found any new plugins to upload yet?

With so many plugins out there available to use and upload to your site it can be easy to get overwhelmed. You’ll see a new one pop up and wonder if you should upload it onto your site too. These are just the ten plugins that rank on my list of “best plugins for new bloggers.” You’ll have to figure out which plugins are on your list of top ten.

How can you get around the overwhelming feeling? Deep breaths and know that less is more with plugins.


 

Things I Recommend:

Tailwind:

I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I’m done. In the dashboard you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I’m creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.

BoardBooster:

I use BoardBooster mostly right now for it’s pin looping capabilities. It’s amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that’s not performing the best. I’ll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.

ConvertKit:

I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I’ll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no brainer!

Bluehost:

This is my hosting provider and I absolutely love them. They’re always super helpful to me and I’ve never had an issue. I recommend them over all the others besides WP Engine. If you have a shit ton of pageviews per month (like over 100k) I would advise using WP Engine. Their hosting plans are ideal for websites that have tons of views because once you start getting tons of views it can slow your site load time down and that is a big no-no. I’ll be upgrading to them as this blog grows.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:

The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I’ll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.

GOT ANY COMMENTS, QUESTIONS OR TIPS ON THE BEST PLUGINS FOR NEW BLOGGERS? SHARE IN A COMMENT BELOW!

You Might Also Like These:

[pt_view id=”b63f9fekd7″]

Top 5 Things Online Business Owners Need

image of keyboard and tools

Top 5 Things Online Business Owners Need

Ever wonder what in the heck business owners need?

Business owners need a lot, but then again, maybe they don’t!

Don’t get me wrong, in a way it’s true, but how do you know if you’re following the right expert?

In all honesty? You don’t. And furthermore, everyone has an opinion of what is right and who they think is wrong. So, I just want to let you know that the what I mention that business owners need in this article are purely my opinions.

This is what they aren’t:
•    Hard and fast rules
•    Absolute necessities
•    Not better than anything else really

I know people out there who had NONE of these things at one point and were complete successes in their own rights (because success is relative – but, I’ll save that for another article). And, if you decide that you don’t want any of these, some of these or even all of these…

It Is Ok!

Only you can decide what is right for you and your business. You have to tap into that part of yourself where your soul speaks loudest and ask for guidance. If you’re quite enough, long enough and ask enough – your heart will begin to speak. Softly at first, but it will. It’s like a muscle we’ve forgotten we have.

So, after saying all that, here are the Top 5 Things Online Business Owners Need (in my opinion of course):

Number 1: You need a website

This is not NECESSARY, but it helps when people are looking for you and want to learn more about you before reaching out to you. I think business owners need this, though. Folks can be a bit shy and just want to see what you’re up to, what you’re about and if you might be the right person for them.

It doesn’t have to be extravagant by any means.

Simple. Elegant. Beautiful. You can achieve this with either one of the platforms listed below.

Website platforms I have used and recommend:
a)    WordPress (hosted with Siteground)
b)    Squarespace
c)    ONTRApages (Free)

I have personally used Squarespace and loved it. It’s simple. Easy to use and super intuitive. You don’t have to be technically inclined to use it, and the drag and drop software is amazing.

However, WordPress is an entirely robust system and fully capable of handling anything you throw at it. It has been around a good long while and integrates well with a lot of things out there. The only downfall is that some of the themes that you need to have for WordPress aren’t exactly the easiest to customize to your liking and require some coding.

You’ll need some hosting for WordPress, and I’ve swapped over to Siteground. They were super helpful to me and were willing to talk with me via chat – if need be – to figure out a problem. Super champs.

If you’d rather not go with either of those, ONTRApages is an entirely free software and creates some pretty amazing pages.

Number 2: You need a payment system

This one is, albeit, kind of really necessary. Well, unless you only plan to take checks and cash, which won’t work for everyone.

Below I’ve listed some options for you.

Payment platforms I have used and prefer
a)    PayPal
b)    Infusionsoft
c)    ONTRAport
d)    MoonClerk
e)    Simplero

PayPal is free to use, but they take a service charge for using their services. You’ll pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. It’s not entirely bad, and it’s safe and secure (which customers love).

Infusionsoft is the top of the line in the world of payment processors, but it is so much more than that and only necessary once you get to a certain point in your business (think big bucks coming in). It’s quite robust in its capabilities.

ONTRAport is similar to Infusionsoft, but not quite as expensive. It also doesn’t have the hefty upfront cost that Infusionsoft has either. ONTRAport is user-friendly and once you invest time to learn the backend – it’s not so bad. Delegating to a VA who knows ONTRAport is also a good idea.

Then there is MoonClerk and Simplero.

Simplero is like Infusionsoft “LITE”. It’s simple, and I loved the backend of the system. It’s user-friendly and kind of fun – at least for me it is, but I’m a nerd.

MoonClerk is easy to use but has a monthly fee that increases as your sales increase. That’s probably the biggest downfall I’ve seen with using it. I completely understand a company needing to make income, but that almost seems like penalizing people for doing well in their business.

Number 3: You need an email marketing system

This is critical in my opinion. I avoided building an email list for the last two years. Mostly, I never did this, because I was hiding, but finished hiding and I know the value of having an email list.

A lot of people will build their following on Social Media, but here’s the thing… you don’t own those accounts. If your profile(s) get shut down, you’ll lose everything. That’s why a list is super important. You own it, can download it and move it anywhere at any time.

Here are the email marketing systems that I have used and preferred:
a)    Mailchimp (Free)
b)   ConvertKit (my #1 – paid)
c)    Active Campaign

I am currently using (and loving) ConvertKit. I just love the layout of it and simplicity of using it. Not to mention, it’s relatively inexpensive to use for the functionality it provides.

Mailchimp is generally (and I use that term loosely) where everyone starts. It’s free for up to 2,000 contacts and gives people the system and platform they need to get that running start. You don’t have to start with Mailchimp, but it’s straightforward and easy.

Active Campaign is a bit of a robust system and can do quite a lot. I know many women who have and use Active Campaign, and although I suggest it to many people… it’s not my favorite platform (shhhhhhh).

Number 4: You need a client scheduling system (if you’re seeing clients)

This isn’t a necessity, but it makes life so much simpler. You can automate clients scheduling time with you and end the back and forth emails to find days/times that work for you and the client.

The basic concept for these systems is that you input your availability, give clients/potential clients your scheduling link and THEY schedule a time that works for them based on your schedule. It’s genius.

Talk about taking your time back.

Here are my favorite client scheduling systems I have used and preferred:
a)    Calendly
b)   Acuity Scheduling
c)    ScheduleOnce

When I work with a client and we’re getting their systems set up and in place, I usually recommend EITHER Calendly or AcuityScheduling. Both systems are excellent.

With Acuity, you’re able also to have people pay for a session during their scheduling if you desire with integration. It’s quite handy really.

But, if you’re looking for simplicity really, then Calendly is your option here.  I love this one so much. It’s simple. It’s sleek. And it’s awesome really.

If you aren’t sold on either of those, though, ScheduleOnce is pretty impressive too. (I swapped over to Calendly/Acuity loving from ScheduleOnce)

Number 5: You need social media platforms

Last, but certainly not least, is the all-powerful (maybe not so much) and ever-awesome… social media!

Ok, look. Let’s be honest with each other here… this one is necessary for whatever field you are in. It’s the super connector of platforms. Business owners need this kind of stuff right here. It get’s their business out in the world.

People from all over the world convene in their favorite platform. It’s a great place to meet individuals who are into what you’re into, who struggle with what you struggle with and ultimately who resonate with the message you’re putting out into the world.

The social media platforms I have used and recommend are:
a)    Facebook
b)    Instagram
c)    Twitter
d)    Pinterest
e)    There are tons more, but they aren’t my jam.

Explore each one. Find your favorite. Find where your audience lives, eats and breathes social media.

Connect with them there. Don’t sell often. Give them so much value they can’t help but wonder how they can work with you more.

In any business, it’s all about the connections.

When you build the relationships, anyway you build them, that’s what matters. It’s not about who’s right or wrong with their systems/platforms.

It’s about what’s best for you and your business.

Try out some of the ones listed above. Experiment. Don’t go into it thinking, “If I try this one I have to stick with it,” because that’s not true.

You can do whatever the hell you want. It’s your life. It’s your business. But, stay true to who you are and always ask what’s the best way/thing for me.

Things I Recommend:

Tailwind:

I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I’m done. In the dashboard, you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I’m creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.

BoardBooster:

I use BoardBooster mostly right now for its pin looping capabilities. It’s amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that’s not performing the best. I’ll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.

ConvertKit:

I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I’ll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no brainer!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:

The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I’ll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.

GOT ANY COMMENTS, QUESTIONS OR TIPS FOR THINGS BUSINESS OWNERS NEED? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

You Might Also Like These:

[pt_view id=”b63f9fekd7″]

How to Keep Affiliate Links from Looking Spammy Immediately

image of a woman on a computer

Affiliate marketing can be an excellent way to earn extra income or even a full-time income, but some things can keep a person from never wanting to click on your links. Things that you might not have even considered before. Affiliate links sometimes (or a lot of the times) can look spammy. Have you ever wondered how to keep affiliate links from looking spammy? If so, I’m here to tell you what I use.

How to Keep Affiliate Links from Looking Spammy Immediately

How can you keep affiliate links from looking spammy?

I’ve visited people’s websites before and have seen some crazy looking links. Sometimes they don’t even use a linked word or phrase!

Ugly links can be scary and can even be a bit off-putting to people. It just looks spammy and might deter people from actually clicking on the link.

I want to help you fix this problem, though, and if you have a website on WordPress it can be super easy to set up!

There are many ways to mask an affiliate link.

I’m not going to give you many ways to keep an affiliate link from looking spammy, though.

One is all you need. Have you ever wondered how people could link to an affiliate from their domain link?

The trick? They use a plugin. And, I use the same thing!

The way I keep my affiliate links from looking spammy is by using a plugin called Pretty LinkPretty Link.

Pretty Link is a WordPress Plugin that masks a link and transforms the affiliate link into a lovely little thing that won’t scare anyone in your audience anymore.

Pretty Link will take a link that looks something like this: https://BoardBooster.com/invite/SIYEW

And helps you turn it into something like this: https://www.simplelittlehomestead.com/boardbooster

Which link would you rather click on?

The BoardBooster link is a nice looking affiliate link compared to countless others I’ve come across. I’ve seen some links that span 2-3 lines of text! Yikes. That’s a bit scary and seems spammy to me.

That’s where Pretty Link comes in, though! All you have to do is download the plugin on your WordPress website to get started.

Step 1: Download the plugin

Pretty Link has two versions. They have their Pretty Link Lite version and their Pretty Link Pro version. Once you have it downloaded, you’ll be able to start creating attractive links for your affiliate programs.

*Note: I recently upgraded to the Pro Version for their tracking capabilities.

keep affiliate links from looking spammy

Just click “Add New Link” to get started creating your Pretty Links.

Step 2: Create a Pretty Link for your affiliate link

Put your affiliate link in the Target URL area.

Name your Pretty Link something easy that you’ll remember. For instance, we’ll use Pretty Link for an example. You would just put wwww.mywebsite.com/prettylink, and that would be your new link that would redirect to your affiliate link.

Title your link so you won’t forget, and DO NOT forget to click on the “‘Nofollow’ this Link” box under SEO Options.

keep affiliate link from looking spammy

Step Three: Test out your new link!

I always test out my links. I want to make sure that I entered the affiliate link correctly, so I don’t miss any potential sales.

After you’ve tested your link the first time, you should be good to go and ready to mask your links in any blog posts you’ve created so far.

*Note: I encourage you to get this plugin from the very beginning so that you don’t have to go back through tens of hundreds of old blog posts. 

And, the great thing is, if your link ever changes the only thing you have to alter is the affiliate link in the Pretty Link plugin area. Once you update the affiliate link, it will automatically update everything you’ve ever connected to that particular link.

Things I Recommend:

Tailwind:

I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I’m done. In the dashboard, you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I’m creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.

BoardBooster:

I use BoardBooster mostly right now for its pin looping capabilities. It’s amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that’s not performing the best. I’ll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.

ConvertKit:

I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I’ll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no-brainer!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:

The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I’ll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE BELOW AND MAP OUT YOUR TOP TEN AFFILIATE PROGRAMS AND SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS!

You Might Also Like These:

[pt_view id=”b63f9fekd7″]

7+ Ways to Work Virtually and Make a Good Living

image of a woman writing in a journal

Work Virtually

Ever think you couldn’t work virtually? Well, you’d be wrong!

I started my journey back in 2012 before I had my first child. That’s when I realized quickly that I didn’t want to do the usual grind of dropping my kids off at daycare, going to work and never actually spending time with them.

I’ve always had this idea that I would go to college, get a fancy degree or two (maybe a Ph. D) and end up teaching at a university somewhere. But, I never considered the idea of being a stay-at-home mom or even a work-at-home mom where I’d work virtually from a computer.

That was a preposterous idea to me, because “it was my duty to go get a job and help with the bills.”

Then, I was introduced to this concept of Network Marketing, and the idea seemed lovely. I help people get in shape, and I get paid. All while doing everything from home and being with my son.

The introduction ended up being a complete and utter flop for me. I’m just not the network marketing type of person.

NOTE: it is a viable source of income, but you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to make it work. And, you have to resonate with the products you’re promoting.

At this point, I had been really into fitness and had a dedicated yoga practice. I began to love the idea of owning a yoga studio and teaching yoga for the rest of my life.

That was a short-lived dream.

I became certified as a yoga instructor and loved teaching, but the business side of things was where it started to fall apart. The studio rent was super high, and the amount of students coming to class wasn’t enough to cover it.

I was bottom up.

My husband ended getting put on some full-time Army orders (he’s National Guard), and we moved 3 hours south of our home. This meant I had to close the studio.

I was back to the drawing board after this and tried to figure out a way to contribute from home so that my son didn’t have to go to daycare.

That’s when I started a certification course to become a Life Coach through Mentor Masterclass with Jeannine Yoder*.

Joining this was the start of the beginning of my journey towards being able to work virtually from home.

My eyes opened to an entirely new world and way of being IN the world. It shook me almost literally to the core.

I am forever grateful.

During my deep dive into the world of self-help, growth, and learning about me I also discovered this whole new world of working virtually. It’s insane what you can do online nowadays. What’s even more insane is the ability to be paid well to do it. As in, more than out in the “real-world.”

Can you imagine making $15-$50 an HOUR working virtually from home?

Go ahead. Tell me I’m nuts. Or, say that this is some scam. Maybe tell me that I’m full of shit.

Go on. I know you want to.

But, it’s the truth, and it’s all legal. (sure there are things that people do that maybe isn’t legal, but I like living in a house and not a jail cell)

Different Ways to Work Online:
1.    Freelance
2.    Fiverr
3.    UpWork
4.    For someone else as a contractor

Finding work on places like Fiverr and UpWork is sort of like freelancing, only with a little-guided help and they’re great platforms for finding clients.

What Can You Do Work-Wise Online?

#1 Be a Virtual Assistant

As a virtual assistant, you work for other people in their companies. You can either be full-time, part-time or project-based. The sky is the limit with what you can do, or not do. You’re the creator here and are the one that determines what you do.

Options:
–    Generalist: You do pretty much whatever the client wants to be done
–    Customer Service: You work primarily as an agent that deals with the customers and whoever writes into the support box (the thing where people email for help and questions)
–    Tech VA: You are someone who works well with technology or is a fast learner with technology and can do light tech work. Learn more here*.
–    Infusionsoft/CRM Expert: There are places out there (like here*) that teach you everything you need to know about becoming handy when it comes to working with something like Infusionsoft or a CRM (customer relationship management) Software. Infusionsoft is a robust system that allows virtual companies to manage email marketing, the selling of products and the managing of affiliates. It’s complex and a beast.

#2 Be a Social Media Manager

Do you LOVE everything about social media and the different platforms? Why not become a social media manager?

Get paid to do what you love!

You can focus on one platform or more than one platform, but I would encourage you, to begin with, one first. Learn everything you can about it, start working with clients that use that particular platform and then learn a new one.

Learn Instagram Here, for Pinterest Go Here,  and for Periscope Go Here

It takes time. It takes dedication. But, learning a system makes it all worthwhile if you enjoy it and want to turn it into a business.

#3 Become a Coach

And no, I don’t mean like a coach that works with a school or coaches a particular sport.

The kind of coach I’m talking about deals with coaching people in their life, business, health, relationships, career and more.

You can start as you are, coaching people on things that you can help others with.

Or, the alternative is to become a certified coach through a school or mentor (Like Mine). It’s not necessary, but it can give you the confidence to go out into the world and do the work.

The sky is the limit on this one as coaches are coaching on a crazy amount of different things. It astounds me still to this day.

#4 Become a Graphic Designer/Website Designer/Website Setup Person

I did this for a stint. Well, to be honest, I still take on the side job of creating a website, but it’s because I enjoy it. I only do it if I feel aligned with the person, though.

My favorite place/person to learn from for this is Miss Jenna Soard from You Can Brand and her Launch Your Brand course*. She’s quite amazing and teaches her students a helluva lot.

I learned from her.

But, there are things you can do that don’t require a vast knowledge of graphic design to begin helping your clients.

You can use things like Canva.com or PicMonkey.com to create graphics for them. (Canva is my favorite though honestly)

Or, you can learn my favorite tools: Photoshop and Illustrator. These are super robust and downright fun to work in. Creative Live is a great place to learn about Photoshop and Illustrator (well you can learn a lot there actually).

#5 You Can Create Your Own Products

This one is self-explanatory.

You can create things such as:
–    T-shirts
–    Mugs
–    Wooden items
–    Baby items
–    Crafts
–    Clothes
–    Jewelry
–    Stationary
–    Etc

Whatever you can think up to create can probably be turned into a business.

And, the working virtual part is how you’re marketing your products through places like Etsy, Shopify or even just on social media with a website that’s set up showcasing your products.

#6 You Can Create Online Courses

Courses are becoming all the rage nowadays. And, you can create courses around your specific expertise too.

It doesn’t need to be something genius for it to be a hit.

That woman I mentioned above, Jenna Soard? She has a course called The Course Launcher that’s pretty badass and teaches you how to create your e-course from A-Z. Give it a look-see and tell me what you think.
Honestly, you can create a course on anything:
–    How to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks
–    How to get rid of headaches for good
–    Meditation for beginners
–    How to paint
–    How to crochet

Are you getting any ideas? Grab a journal and write down all. All of it. Find inspiration daily that will contribute to it. Then, learn how to create a course.

#7 Use Your Imagination

Get online and get some ideas. Search for groups/people who have an online business that you can connect with to learn more about how to work virtually from home, how they do it, what they do, and what would be right for you.

Facebook has quite a few groups that are online business-related, but you have to be careful and find ones that are about your audience and your type of business. You can email me at hello@simplelittlehomestead.com if you need some ideas.

Where to start from here?

Are you ready to work virtually from home? Then, get out there and research. That’s pretty much the name of this game.

Find a mentor. Reach out and see how/if they can help you on your journey to self-discovery and uncovering your desires.

Just get started. That’s the easiest way to learn. Don’t give up. Look for new things you can learn.

OH. Udemy.com! Go there and check out all the courses. They’re all pretty cheap, and they often run deals.

Things I Recommend:

Tailwind:

I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I’m done. In the dashboard, you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I’m creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.

BoardBooster:

I use BoardBooster mostly right now for its pin looping capabilities. It’s amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that’s not performing the best. I’ll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.

ConvertKit:

I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I’ll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no-brainer!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:

The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I’ll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.

GOT ANY COMMENTS, QUESTIONS OR TIPS FOR WOMEN WHO WANT TO WORK VIRTUALLY? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

You Might Also Like These:

[pt_view id=”b63f9fekd7″]