Advice for New Bloggers

advise for new bloggersI hear people discuss the idea of starting a blog all the time. Anybody can blog if they are actually serious about it. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. Some folks believe that you can just create a post and BAM it’s viral. It doesn’t work like that. Today’s post offers some advice for new bloggers.

Find a Niche

This is an important step when creating a new blog. You should find a niche or 2 and discuss topics concerning them. This should make it easier for you to keep and gain new readership. It’s hard for most people to follow a blog that takes you all over the place. In my opinion you have to eventually choose a few topics and roll with them.

Try it Out 1st

Try out blogging for a few weeks first before you go into it 100%. If you’re not a blogger you may be reading that statement and wondering why you should do that. The reason I say try it out 1st is because blogging isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t like to write. Some start blogging and eventually realize they don’t like it. Some don’t have the time. There are a lot of reasons. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve seen start strong then disappear within 5 or 6 months.

Free Blog Hosting Platform or Self-Hosted

Decide if you want to have a self-hosted or free blog hosting platform. There is no investment involved with the free blog platform.  With self-hosted blogs you will need to purchase the domain name and hosting. In my opinion self-hosted blogs are the way to go. They are more professional and you have 100% control over it. They are also easier to monetize when or if you decide to go that route. If you plan on going the self-hosted route Go Daddy has a $1 domain name deal. I went through them to get the domains for my 2 websites. For hosting Bluehost has a great $3.95 deal. I’ve been with them for over 2 years. I haven’t had any problems.



Have a Posting Schedule

Having a posting schedule is very important. Your readers will get used to looking for your new articles each week. You don’t want to be that blogger that posts an article at the beginning of the month then have your next one post two months later. That’s not a good way to get new readers. Once you have a posting schedule down the amount of people that read it will go up.

Lazy Days

Some days you will feel lazy as hell. You just won’t feel like writing. That’s perfectly fine. Take a couple of days to regroup and get your mind back in the game.

Network With Other Bloggers

One thing that you have to do is network with other bloggers. I’ve reached out to a few of them on Twitter and LinkedIn from time to time to ask questions. They have been very nice. They are really here to help you. I’ve also been motivated by some of the bloggers that I follow. Knowing that they made their sites grow from nothing to something should give you the confidence that you can do the same thing.

Promote Your Blog

Last, but definitely not least make sure you promote your blog. People are not going to magically find out about your website. You have to promote it. Some of the ways I promote mine is through social media and word of mouth. I’m also getting a few t-shirts printed with my URL on it. Decide how you want to promote your site and make it happen!

Hopefully someone that’s thinking about blogging has the chance to read this post. I hope it helps at least one person.

Are you a blogger? If so, How long have you been blogging? Do you have any advice for new bloggers? If you have questions about blogging don’t hesitate to ask me!

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June Round Up

June-calendar

The last Friday of each month I do a round-up post. This post features articles that I enjoyed reading during that particular month. Today’s round up features 5 great posts from around the internet. Enjoy

Chonce from My Debt Epiphany shows us How to Get Started with Freelance Writing.

 

Erin from Young Adult Money explains why you should be Pushing Past the “Broke” Mentality.

 

Phoenicia from Organised Lady gives us Five Tips for Working in Excellence.

 

DC from Young Adult Money shares with us 10 Ways I’ve Made Side Income.

 

Jacqueline from Jacqueline Gum asks us about Platitudes….Where’s the Justice?

 

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10 Colleges/Universities in the Chicago Area

depaulThis month I will be profiling colleges and universities in the Chicago, IL area.

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago was established in 1890. Their colors are maroon and white.

Chicago State University

Chicago State University was established in 1867. It is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

DePaul University

DePaul University is the largest Catholic school by enrollment in the United States. Their motto is “I will show you the way of wisdom.”

Harold Washington College

Harold Washington College is a community college. It is an urban center of higher education offering accessible and affordable opportunities.

Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago was established in 1890. They have an enrollment of over 10,000 students.

East-West University

East-West University is a private, non-denominational university. East-West University offers two and four year degrees and certificates.

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago was established in 1970. Their colors are maroon and gold.

Robert Morris University

Robert Morris University was founded in 1913. Their nickname is the Eagles.

Saint Xavier University

Saint Xavier University was established in 1846. Their colors are scarlet and gray.

John Marshall Law School

The John Marshall Law School was established in 1899. It became accredited by the ABA in 1951.

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June 2015 Debt Update

june 2015Today’s post is my June 2015 Debt Update. Another month has gone by. The debt is slowly falling. I started this journey with over $72,000 worth of debt. I intend to pay it off by October 2018. I plan on doing that by making extra income in numerous ways such as with this website and my part-time job. Here is the June update:

My total debt went from $71,514.63 to $71,289.73. It decreased by $224.91. The momentum is picking up. As long as I continue to work hard the debt will continue to get smaller.

Loan 2 – DOWN from $5970 to $5960

 

Credit Union Loan – DOWN from $430.82 to $361.09

 

Wells Fargo Loan – DOWN from $1350.77 to $1299.23

 

Bank Of America Credit Card – DOWN from $3250.24 to $3214.01

 

Navient Loans – DOWN from $25857.26 to $25,760.95

 

Nelnet Loans – UP from $34.655 to $34,694.45

The snowball is picking up steam. Make sure you join me in July for the next update. Below are a few of my previous debt repayment posts:

March 2015 Debt Update

April 2015 Debt Update

May 2015 Debt Update  

       


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Ebay Flops

ebay flopsAs you probably know by now I enjoy selling items on eBay. I have had some pretty good success selling on there the last few months. My eBay posts are usually discussing the items that I buy for a low price and flip for an even better one. Today’s post is different. Every item that I try to sell is not always a hit. I’ve had a few duds. Today I will discuss some of those items

 

 

Old Colorburst 100 Camera

colorburst

I saw this camera at a flea market. I figured since it was only $3 dollars this would be an easy flip. Boy was I wrong. I made the mistake of not using my eBay app and checking the recent completed sales of the camera. I checked eBay when I got home and saw at least 100 auctions featuring this camera. The camera was selling from $1.99 – $5.00. I decided to list it anyway. After about 5 months I stopped listing the item. There were still too many people selling it. I eventually donated it to the Goodwill.

Happy Days Puzzle

Depending on your age I know that you have probably heard of the show “Happy Days”. I used to watch episodes of this show when I was a child. I saw this item for $0.50 at a yard sale and figured what the hell. The puzzle was already opened, but I didn’t think to see if all the pieces were in there. That was a BIG mistake. I got home and attempted to put the puzzle together. There were at least 4 missing pieces.  Even though I only paid $0.50 for the puzzle I listed the item anyway. I’m not into losing any money. I was hoping that I would find a die-hard fan of Happy Days that would buy the puzzle even though it had a few pieces missing. I was wrong. I trashed the puzzle after a few months. Note to self, if I ever sell another puzzle I have to make sure it’s new and still sealed.

Timberline Lake by Wilmer Print

0131151637

I found this item at Value Village for $0.99. I figured I might as well try to flip it. I tried to sell it for 3 months. I started it off as a buy it now item then switched it up to a regular auction. After the third month I stopped trying to sell it. This was one of the least viewed items that I’ve ever attempted to sell. I donated it back to Value Village a few weeks ago.

Coca Cola Lady Tin

cocal

I purchased this tin from a thrift store for less than $2. Looking at it I thought I had hit the lottery. Again, I was wrong. The tin looks like it could be from the early 1900’s. It’s actually from an adverting campaign that Coca Cola had in the 70’s & 80’s. This is another item that nobody wanted. I couldn’t even sell it with it being listed at $0.99.

Billy Joel Record

billyjoes

After the success of selling a copy of The Eagles smash hit “Hotel California” I decided to see if this Billy Joel record could do the same thing. This is another item that already had too many listings. There were people selling sealed copies of this album. Mine was used. After a few months I took it down. I may eventually list it again. I have a feeling that I can still sell it.

The good thing about these eBay flops is that I spent less than $8 dollars total on all the items. I learned what items sell for me and which ones don’t. Selling on eBay is always a learning experience. I have a couple items that I have been trying to sell for a year. I should remove them, but I have hope that they will eventually sell.

What items have you had flop on eBay?

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June 2015 eBay Update

ebay

If you’re a new reader to my website I want to welcome you. Today’s post is my monthly eBay update. Selling items on eBay is one of the hustles that I’ve been doing to help make extra money.  The extra money that I make from these sales will go towards paying off my debt. At the beginning of the year I set a goal to make at least $200 each month from eBay sales.

I bounced back pretty good in May. I sold $154 worth of items. That was much better than the $88 worth of items that I sold in April. It wasn’t the $200 goal that I set for each month, but I will take it. I’m still not sure why the selling has been slow. I believe it will pick back up though this month.

Here is one of my good sales from last month.

derby

I purchased these two Kentucky Derby glasses for $.99. I sold them for a buy it now price of $10. That’s a good flip for me. I’ve been on the prowl looking for more of those glasses since then, but I haven’t had any luck.  If you see any of them in your local thrift stores grab them. You should be able to make a decent amount from them.

Below are a few of my active auctions:

Nike Men’s Casual Pants

Allen Iverson “The Question” Shoes

Nike Air Jordan Black

Mayfield Dairy Farms Mug

If you sell on eBay, how were your sales in May? What items do you like to sell on eBay?

 

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5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas For Lazy People

lazyFather’s Day is almost here. I know there are some people who decide to wait last minute to purchase their Father’s Day gifts. They could be busy with their day to day life activities or they could just be lazy. Whatever the reason is I’m here to help you out. I’ve come up with 5 items that I’m sure your Father would like.

BBQ Gift Basket



Summer is here. If your Father likes to show off on the grill this Delight Expressions BBQ Gift Basket could be the perfect gift for him. It comes with utensils, pot holders, sauce and more.

Tools

If you’re Dad likes to fix things up around the house you can’t go wrong with getting a tool set.  This 65 piece kit should do it. It comes with damn near everything.

Grooming Set



What man doesn’t want to look his best? Another gift idea is this grooming set called The Man Can. It is a bath and body gift set for men. It comes with soap, shaving gel and a few other items. Any Dad would enjoy this gift.

Whiskey Decanter Set

I’m not even a Dad, but I love this gift idea. Your Dad could use this to enjoy his spirit of choice. This Decanter set could be brought out to impress his friends while they watch the game. Each glass is 10 ounces. This gift is definitely worth the price.

Smart Watch

If you don’t feel like spending all of your hard earned money trying to get an Apple Smart Watch check out this alternative from CNPGD. This watch can sync to your Android or IOS smart phone.

Bonus Gift

If you are truly lazy you can get your Father an Amazon gift card. He can then choose his own gift. Some people look at gift cards as taking the easy way out. I disagree. There is nothing wrong with gift cards in my opinion. I love gift cards. With a gift card you could get the gift that you really want. Also you can purchase a gift card in any denomination.

 

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