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What is Periscope? (and why you should join today)

Hi there! Today, I am happy to share an excerpt from The Ultimate Guide to Periscope eCourse. To know when the course is complete, be sure to subscribe!

Why should bloggers be joining Periscope right now? She has some great ideas!


If you have heard about the new live streaming app from Twitter but wondered, “What is Periscope?” allow me to help.

Introduction to Periscope

In February 2015, Twitter purchased Periscope, an iOS live broadcast app, and by late March, launched to be greeted with a great deal of celebrity and excitement. In May 2015, Periscope was also released for Android users.

Similar to Meerkat, another live streaming app that launched in 2015, Periscope allows anyone to stream live, unedited content to the internet with just a smartphone.

Periscope lets users easily stream footage from their devices to their followers. Viewers can comment and send “hearts” to the streamer. The footage can be then replayed later — a key difference to Meerkat, where the footage is gone for good once the stream is over.


The user interface is simple, making Periscope attractive to anyone with a desire to stream live content without a lot of equipment or experience.

NOTE: You no longer need a Twitter account in order to sign up for Periscope.

Why bloggers should join Periscope now…

Since joining Periscope less than three weeks ago, I have seen my numbers increase across the board:

  • added over 100 Twitter followers
  • saw more than 200 email subscribers opt in
  • recruited over 200 new Facebook group members
  • watched product sales rise by 35%

In other words, engagement like CRAZY. What every blogger wants!

Why should bloggers be joining Periscope right now? She has some great ideas!

Periscope provides you with an excellent platform for presenting tutorials, encouragement, advice, etc. with real time engagement from your followers in a chat-style stream. Using Periscope regularly will enlarge your sphere of influence, placing your content in front of more people.

But more than numbers…

  • I have forged several new and strategic relationships with people I did not previously know in my niche.
  • I have received huge accolades and encouragement from experts and friends about my abilities and knowledge (which is a tremendous motivator to keep going).
  • I have renewed my vision, and I am charged with new ideas to help others grow their blogs.
  • I have learned a ton from others by watching broadcasts too.

Most people either “get” what Periscope is, or they don’t. I think the best way to understand how Periscope will work for you is to try it for yourself, and if you need more ideas and help in choosing your niche, refining your strategy, and making money by using Periscope, invest in The Ultimate Guide to Periscope eCourse.

And follow me…

Be sure to follow me on Periscope @TabithaPhilen for blogging tips, social media advice, entrepreneur insights, and great blog marketing strategies.

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How to Backup your WordPress Blog to DropBox

We all hear about backing up our WordPress blogs and website, but some of us trouble wrapping our heads around this idea. For the longest time I never backed up my site, and I was always worried that something would happen. But with this plugin, I’m able to have peace of mind that my site is always backed up!

Backup a blog quickly and easily with Dropbox. Protect your hard work.

The plugin I’m using is called WordPress Backup to Dropbox.

To install, go to Plugins-Add New:

Step 1

Type in WordPress Backup to Dropbox:

Step 2


Click “Enter” and you’ll see the plugin:

Step 2.1

Alternately, you can download the plugin directly here. Once again, you will go to Plugins – Add New. But this time you will go to the top of the page and click “Upload Plugin”.

Step 2.2.1

Click Choose File, select the zip folder of WordPRess Backup to Dropbox from your download folder (or desktop – wherever you downloaded it to). Click Install now.

Step 2.2


Whichever road you take to get the plugin on your site, both will bring you to this page where you will click “Activate Plugin”:

Step 3

Once it’s activate you will be able to find it in your Plugins: 

Step 3.1


On the sidebar you will be able to find it too, just look for the blue arrow icon and WPB2D (WordPres Backup to Dropbox):

Step 3.2

Next, you have to connect the app to your Dropbox account. This is the page you will see the first time you go to the plugin (via the left sidebar):

Step 4

Once you click the green “Authorize” button you will be directed to Dropbox and see this:Step 4.1

Click “Allow” and you will see this screen once it’s connected successfully: Step 4.2Within your Dropbox a new folder will be created for your WP Backups. In mine, two folders were created. The first is titled “Apps” and within that folder I can find the WP2D subfolder.

Step 4.3


It’s within this WPB2D folder in which all my backups are stored:

Step 4.4Now, return to your WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin via the sidebar:

Step 3.2

You can see here that I am now able to unlink the account if I choose to do so. I can also see my storage usage/availability right from the plugin:

2 Step 4.5


Now, we are going to configure and set up the plugin to auto-backup based on our preference. I choose do backup daily, so I’m choosing “Daily” from the drop-down:

Step 5


Go ahead and choose the time too, as you can see I choose to backup at 11pm.

Step 5.5

On to the bottom part. This is a section you MUST read well. You are going to check the files and directories you want to EXCLUDE from the backup. So anything you check will NOT be in the backup file(s).

Step 5.2

Click the “Save Changes” green button and you’re good to go!

Step 5.4

This is incredibly an incredibly easy and secure way to backup your WordPress Blog or Website!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

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Celebrate Work-at-Home Moms and Dads Instagram Challenge


It’s that time of year when mothers and fathers everywhere have a special day.  Whether or not your blog is your main job, side job or hobby, you are a Work-at-Home-Mom or -Dad.  We want to celebrate Work-At-Home-Heroes with an Instagram challenge.

Join us for a 30 day #InspiredBN Instagram Photo Challenge celebrating work-at-home moms and dads. #WAHHeros

This is too big for just one day, so we are going to take 30 days to celebrate all the Work-at-Home-Heroes – both moms and dads.  We’ll be hosting our first #InspiredBN Instagram Challenge.  For six weeks, Monday through Friday, beginning May 11th, share your pic on Instagram and use the hashtags #InspiredBN and #WAHHeroes.  We have a different prompt for each day of the challenge, 30 in all, taking us from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day.

New to Instagram Challenges?

  • Use the daily prompts as a guide – interpret how you wish to make your post your own while keeping within the guidelines of family friendly and celebrating work-at-home-heroes.
  • Post one picture each day on Instagram – need to edit your photo on your computer?  E-mail the edited photo to yourself and open from your mobile device to post via the Instagram app.
  • Use the hashtags designated for this challenge – #InspiredBN and #WAHHeroes  Search those hashtags to see what others have shared.  Have fun and share yourself!
  • Repeat each day of the challenge.

#InspiredBN Instagram Challenge Week1

#InspiredBN Instagram Challenge Week2







#InspiredBN Instagram Challenge Week3

#InspiredBN Instagram Challenge Week4







#InspiredBN Instagram Challenge Week5

#InspiredBN Instagram Challenge Week6

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Networking: The Overlooked Benefits of Blogging Conferences

Today we welcome Dollie Freeman, founder of the Focused Blogging Conference to share how networking can often be one of the biggest overlooked benefits of attending a blogging conference.


Blogging conferences are an investment that any business-minded blogger should be investing in for the growth of their online business. Often times, conference attendees solely focus on the learning benefits of the conference, without taking the consideration of how important networking is to their blog’s growth. I want to highlight how networking is the overlooked benefit of blogging conferences and what you can do to increase your rate on investment through networking.

Networking is often overlooked when weighing out the benefits of blogging conferences. Here are 7 tips to help!

Networking: The Overlooked Benefits of Blogging Conferences

Investing in a blogging conference is always a good thing to continue growing a blog and the learning that comes from the sessions speakers are always filled with nuggets to improve your current efforts. However, there are always so many more opportunities for growth through networking at blogging conferences that I would love to highlight the ways you can benefit from making this a focus for your future conferences.

Networking Opportunity One: Social Media

Prior to attending the conference, be sure to get connected on all the social media platforms available through the conference. They may offer an attendee only group on Facebook to connect with the other attendees, conference team, speakers and often times the sponsors. If the conference is offering any Facebook parties be sure to participate and start the learning and networking prior to attending.

Twitter is another social media platform that conferences utilize to grow community prior to their event, as well as during and after. Follow the Twitter handle for the conference and also the hashtag. Join in on the conversations and start using the hashtag prior to attending the conference. Mark your calendar for any Twitter parties the conference could be offering, as it is a great opportunity to follow other attendees and become a part of the growing community.

Dont’ forget Instagram!

Instagram is a really fun way to connect with others attending the conference and get a feel for those that really resonate with you, building what could be amazing relationship for years to come. Follow the conference and begin using their hashtag!

Networking Opportunity Two: Arrive Early on the First Day of Conference

Organize a lunch or relaxed meeting with those who have arrived early and start to get to know each other FACE to FACE. Don’t just meet up with your establish friends! This is one of the biggest mistakes I see bloggers making all.the.time.

Make the most of every opportunity to connect with other attendees. Exchange business cards, take selfies together and share them with the conference hashtags, follow each other on your favorite social media platforms.

Take some time to share your elevator pitches to each other, so you can identify those within your niches, and than put a * on their business card if you want to network further for a future project together.

Networking Opportunity Three: Always Eat With New People

Networking can be difficult for most people, especially those who aren’t comfortable in new environments or a conference setting. Sharing a meal together makes it so much easier!

Conversations around a meal can feel less threatening and open up more potential when you have a table of people to enjoy a conversation with and get to know in a relaxed setting.

Nothing is easier than just simply asking, “Tell me about your blog” or “Where have you seen the most growth in your blogging journey?”

Networking Opportunity Four: Accept Invitations That Are Offered

One of my favorite networking parts of a blogging conference is the impromptu meet-ups, whether they are for brain-storming, grabbing a bit to eat, enjoying an evening in a room to laugh and eat chocolate or just working on a project.

It is important to be watching the Twitter hashtag, or the Facebook group for things that are put together last minute. These are golden opportunities and worth taking advantage of because often times they are inspired by something that is taught at the conference and people are ready to network with others who share their vision or within their own niche.

Pack your own chocolate and open up your room for a late night debriefing of the day, where you all share your top 3-5 things you loved best about the learning for the day. Then put a plan together and see if others share your idea… you may just get a business partner for an idea!

7 ideas that get overlooked when networking at a blogging conference.

Networking Opportunity Five: Don’t Assume Another Blogger Is Too Big to Get to Work With

Some of the most successful bloggers are the easiest to approach and network with, but you need to get past the star-struck ideas. They started their blogs with no traffic, no followers and no knowledge, so they know how important it is to network.

I approached many of the most successful bloggers I have met through blogging conferences to work on several projects and each time I was thrilled to see they were completely excited about the opportunity to work with me, and never asked my blog size before jumping in on the project.

Networking Opportunity Six: Niche Networking Is Powerful

Learning about the bloggers who are attending the conference that are writing within your same niche can be a powerful way to network together. Have a few project ideas in mind to share with those you are meeting during the conference and see if they are interested to join you or have additional ideas to share how to make it even better.

Embracing those that share your influence online will strengthen your message and grow your platform because you are focused on meeting the need of your readers, not competing with a fellow blogger.

Networking Opportunity Seven: Follow Up After the Conference

Once all the knowledge of a conference sinks into your brain, and you have had time to sleep, digest the information and make a plan of how to implement the key take-aways from the conference, you will want to be sure to follow up with those bloggers that you met that stuck out to you.

You may want to invite them to a private Facebook group to discuss a project, start a mastermind group or have an accountability group where you work on the key things you really want to do to grow your blog.

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5 Ways You Can Use Freelancers to Save Time and Stay on Budget

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fiverr in partnership with Kasai Media. All opinions are 100% mine.


One of the most important lessons I have learned as an entrepreneur is that even though I might be capable of doing everything, I shouldn’t try. Sometimes, you need to outsource and that is where Fiverr becomes a smart option for small businesses on a tight budget.

One of the most important lessons I have learned as an entrepreneur is that even though I might be capable of doing everything, I shouldn't try. Sometimes, you need to outsource and that is where Fiverr becomes a smart option for small businesses on a tight budget. #FiverrFreelance #Ad

Many bloggers and authors tend to have a DIY approach to everything and I am no exception. There is no way I can calculate the number of hours I have spent with Google and YouTube, trying to master something that would take another person minutes to accomplish.

Then, I had this lightbulb moment…

When someone hires me to write a blog post or to monitor their social media, I charge them ($150) per hour. And yet, here I sit wasting hours (equal to at least $300) trying to master a skill that I might only need once a year when I could hire this out (paying only $5 for the entire task).

Many bloggers are using Fiverr

Inside the Inspired Bloggers Network Facebook Community, I have seen people talking about Fiverr often. If you are unaware of this brilliant way to save time and money, allow me to give you a quick synopsis:

  • You need something created.
  • Visit Fiverr and search for a freelancer who can accomplish that “gig.”
  • Agree on the terms and payment.
  • Get what you need accomplished for a nominal fee (prices start at $5) while you get more pressing tasks finished.

If you need something additional added to your task, most freelancers allow you to add additional gigs at equally low prices.

fiverr freelance

So, what are some of the options available at Fiverr? What are other bloggers and small business owners outsourcing?

1. Logo Design

I found someone that I liked the designs they had pictured, filled out a questionnaire to tell them what I was looking for and gave the a few ideas for fonts/design. The design was done in about 4-5 business days and I loved it. Simple and exactly what I was looking for.

Jennifer, Boots, Lace & Liftin’ Weights

2. Kindle Formatting

I have used Fiverr for numerous things over the years. I usually go to the site for small one-off tasks that require software I don’t have and don’t want to purchase like Open Site Explorer or, in years past, Kindle formatting software.

Angie, The Work at Home Wife

3. Avatar Creation

I was having an avatar made of myself. I was promptly contacted by the artist making my avatar after I paid. I provided a photo of myself and gave some guidelines about what I was looking for an pointed out some distinguishing features about myself. If I remember correctly, the completed avatar was emailed to me two days later for my approval. I wrote back and suggested two quick adjustments (I wanted some distinguishing moles added) and they provided the completed avatar the next day. I was really pleased with the process and the work that was done for me and I have recommended Fiverr to many people since then.

Brianna, Mending the Piggy Bank

4. Website Developing

I was looking for a web developer. I had great luck with finding THE perfect person to work with! He responded quickly, understood my issues right away and offered me a great deal. The turnaround time was phenomenally quick. Everything he did on my website was done without any errors, and he even said that if for some reason a plugin or something would stop working after he had installed one, then he would fix it right away free of cost.

Denise, DIY Crush Blog

5. Ebook Covers (and more)

I needed an ebook cover and for just five dollars (in fact, for free, because I got one free gig), I got an amazingly designed piece that I will definitely use. I think Fiverr is a great place for bloggers, small business owners or anyone else in fact. For just five dollars you can get anything – header for your page, your cartoon photo, a logo, blog post, or even a video of a British man singing you Happy Birthday.

Marina, Parental Journey

Using Fiverr is not expensive but it is smart. You can outsource copywriting, video editing, mobile apps, music promotion, animation, keyword research, vector tracing, business cards, and so much more that it blows the mind.

Stop wasting the time you could be using to make money by utilizing freelancers.


Connect with Fiverr

Browse Gigs | Read the Blog | Like on Facebook | Follow on Twitter | Connect on Linkedin

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How My Frugal Mindset Almost Killed My Business

One morning as I loaded my dishwasher, I was assaulted. Not for realz but in my head. Ramit Sethi read my mind, pulled out a major problem I was hiding, and then proceeded to beat me to a pulp.

Choosing to live frugally did wonderful things for my budget and saved my family from bankruptcy... but it almost killed my business. Are you making these same mistakes?I was catching up on some podcasts and decided to listen to the one that I had been avoiding.

Amy Porterfield interviewed Ramit Sethi about changing your mindset to gear yourself for success.

[Get this podcast.]

Even though a part of me KNEW I needed to listen, I didn’t want to because I had a feeling it was going to challenge me in uncomfortable ways.

I was right.

A little background

My husband and I made really bad financial decisions before we met and continued making huge mistakes after we married. Soon, we had six figures in debt and faced bankruptcy.

Recovering from this spend-thrift lifestyle required a tremendous change in how we thought, and the change did not happen overnight. For a decade, I woke each morning trying to make better financial choices and sought a very frugal mindset. I would tell myself the same things over and over again:

  • Less is more.
  • Do it yourself.
  • Save a penny.

The self-talk constantly reminded me of my failures, and I was determined to never return to the days when we could not afford groceries. I reprogrammed myself.

During this same time, I was learning to blog and shifting from blogging as a hobby to blogging for a profit, and without me realizing, that frugal mindset was carrying over into my business.

Paying for my own domain name (which can be purchased for only $0.99 through GoDaddy) seemed like a HUGE expense. Paying a monthly bill for self-hosting felt frivolous. Even so, I made these small investments and saw a great return on my investments.

But that is where the investment stopped.

Changing my mind

My blogging business was growing but it was slow. The income was a trickle compared to what I was hearing other bloggers made. I was just about ready to give up.

On a whim, I asked my husband about attending a conference for bloggers. Attending this conference would mean eating beans and rice for a month because the money was not in our budget, but he was extremely supportive. So, we risked it.

Literally, that one conference and the lessons I learned changed not only my blogging business but our lives.

From that point forward, I struggled with my frugal self-talk: Should I pay for a plugin? Can I afford this e-course? Can’t I just find a tutorial and do it myself?

The time it was taking me to learn and make changes was eating the majority of my work hours. Blogging was infringing on my family time and my home was a wreck. Life was way out of balance. Again, I was ready to give up.

My frugal mind-set was still at work. My children were well-fed but my business was starving and I was completely burned out.

Putting money into my business

Remembering the impact my first conference had on our lives, I decided to try putting more money back into my business in three specific ways.

1) Investing in my website

Free plugins and themes were only taking me so far but I wanted more for my websites. I wanted the look of a truly professional website and I wanted the control to create an online destination that would generate more income.

This required buying a premium themes from Studiopress for my websites, add-on features for Woocommerce, plugins that would capture email addresses when I offer a freebie, and more.

2) Investing in a staff

Do you know what my greatest strength is? I can do anything. Seriously. Give me a tutorial on YouTube and I can blow your mind. But… should I do everything? No. I can save money this way but I am wasting my time and the bigger my blog grows, the more valuable my time becomes.

So, I hired out some duties that were demanding huge chunks of my time: creating printable packs for my subscribers, checking and sorting my email, moderating my Facebook groups, etc. Paying for these services took a huge bite out of our budget but I was willing to try.

3) Investing in myself

You want to know my greatest weakness? Self worth. I will spare you the details of how the voice got there but there is this nag in my head telling me that I am a failure and therefore, I often quit before I try. How could I silence that bully in my brain? I had to invest in myself. I had to push myself outside my comfort zone.

Join the Inspired Bloggers University before April 15th and save 15%. How? This introvert went shopping in a department store (not online but a REAL store with dressing rooms) for a professional wardrobe and started attending blog conferences regularly. I took some paid courses online and subscribed to a magazine for bloggers. I bought books that would strengthen me in the areas where I was weak.


After learning to think frugally in my personal finances and strategically in my business finances, did I see a return on my investment? Absolutely.

In one year, my income quadrupled. I had more expenses but my net value still increased more than three-fold.

I gained a confidence in who I was. I even bought makeup and pitched myself to the local media, becoming a monthly contributor to a live lifestyle program.

What this means to you

Now that you know the ends and outs of my brain, how does this apply to you?

Are you living a frugal lifestyle? Great! But is that mindset choking your business? Do you answer each problem with “I can do it myself”? Do you stop short from buying the tools and courses you need because you are cheap?

Stop limiting yourself by not investing in your business.

Wait… I hear that voice in your head. I know it is refuting everything I have said. The voice is telling you that you cannot afford these investments.

Do this… send an email to your favorite BIG blogger and ask him or her one question:

If I want to be a successful blogger, is it necessary for me to invest financially in my business?

Now tell that voice in your head that you canNOT afford to NOT make these investments.

The harsh truth is that it takes money to make money. If your vision is to blog for profit, realize that with income comes expense. There is a reason why every business runs a monthly profit and loss statement. You cannot have one without the other.

So, sit down and silence your frugal mindset with a business budget and start investing in your business.

Your thoughts? Leave a comment.

  • Have you struggled with a frugal mindset killing your business? How did you overcome this battle?
  • What have you learned about investing in your blogging business? Have you seen a return on your investment?
  • What was the best investment you made into your blog? What was the worst?
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Investing Time and Money into Your Blogging Business

Today, I finished my taxes. My profit for 2014 from blogging was over $31,000. Looking back on the last three years, I cannot imagine what would have happened if I had all the information I needed to be a successful blogger from the start.

Why should you invest time and money into your blog by continuing your education? Expert bloggers share their opinions.

I have strong opinions about why you should invest in your blogging business by attending conferences and joining membership-based blogging sites:

  1. You should always be learning. If you are not learning, your business will grow stale.
  2. Technology is always changing. You should always be changing too.
  3. Investing means you are serious about what you do and willing to pay a little to learn a lot.
  4. Learning more means earning more. Want to make money at this blogging gig? Take an e-course.

But, there are other bloggers out there. Do they think investing time and money into your blog is a good idea? Let’s see…

Toni Anderson, The Happy Housewife

As someone who has made close to seven figures in my 7 years of blogging, you have to be willing to invest time and money if you want to make this a profitable business. You have to invest in the tools/ training/ time/ foundation in order to make it work. I’ve spent thousands of dollars in events, online training, and books to help grow my business. There were times when that was a very hard choice for me to make because it meant not getting something else. However, had I not invested in those things I would not be where I am today.

I say all this not to make anyone feel condemned about their choices, but rather because I’ve been there before. I’ve missed opportunities because I was afraid to invest in my business. Don’t be afraid to invest- if you are spending more than 20 hours a week building your business and are not seeing measurable growth/ success, you need to change something and my suggestion would be to sign up for Inspired Bloggers University. You can’t continue to lose time/money because while you can make up the money you can’t get back the time.

Join the Inspired Bloggers University before April 15th and save 15%.

Erin Chase, $5 Dinners

You have to be willing to get past your fear and your excuses if you really want to make change in your business and your life.

Alicia Myers, The Sensible Family

I make a larger income with my blog than I did as a CPA and more money than our farm earns. At this rate, for 2015, I’ll hit the 6 figure club before the end of the 2nd quarter, working 10 hours a week. After 10+ years, I should have hit that goal sooner, but I didn’t want to spend the money.

Once I learned that if I’d turn loose of a few bucks, I’d learn things much quicker than doing all of my own compiling of research, I started making the big bucks. I’m a bit of a wanderer.. I’d research one thing, print it, forget about it, repeat. I’d start reading one thing and look up hours later in something completely unrelated.

The other thing I learned was that I’d put MUCH more work into implementing something I paid for. If it were free- so what? I’d do it whenever. If I paid for it, I wanted my money back PRONTO. Sure, I learned a lot by trial and error, along with careful and documented testing, but by paying for and completing resources created by others, I was introduced to things that I never would have even thought to look for on my own.

Those theories should apply to anything you try to increase your earnings. Not every class, seminar, book, etc. will work for you, but when you find the one that does, things will take a quick turn for the better.

Sarah Eckert, Scissor Savings Sarah

I can tell those who lack the funds for the classes that setting aside the money to participate in Inspired Bloggers University is WELL worth it. I was in the same boat last August. Free blog platform, bills coming from every which way, looking high and low for free content with no funds to pay for more. I discussed my future business intentions with my family and expressed the value in what the courses had to offer.

I am not going to lie… it was an expense that we had to budget around, but now it is something that I wake up every day and am thankful for because I can do what I love! I gained the basic and advanced skills necessary to kick my blog up to the next level and monetized as SOON as I got the blogs up. I made the money back for my classes and continue to grow.

It is an investment, yes. Is it worth it if you are serious about your business and the future of your blog? Yes! I took the leap, rearranged funds and have only looked back on the month or two that it took to rearrange my budget as a blessing because I am ten times the blogger I once was before gaining the knowledge!

Join the Inspired Bloggers University before April 15th and save 15%.

Katie Hornor, Paradise Praises

Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and I daresay none of us start off a pro at anything. We all have to learn. Making the sacrifice of time and money to learn blogging and business is well worth it. It may seem like it doesn’t make sense to pay for a class when you’re not yet making money, but when you plug in what you’ve learned, you can make that cost back and much, much more. I’ve been where I didn’t have $12 extra in a month, but we got creative, moved stuff around in our budget, and figured out how to make it work b/c it was important to us that we keep learning in order to improve ourselves and our business, and it does pay off in the long run.


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Finding the Time, Money, and Everything Else to Be a Successful Blogger

Since launching Inspired Bloggers University last week, I’ve heard a few concerns that I think are extremely valid for bloggers. When I first started investing in my business, I had tons of questions too.

online blogging classes community

I felt completely alone and wondered where I would get the money to invest, where I would find friends and support, and where I would find the time to do everything I needed to do each day. I struggled. A lot. But when I finally knew enough to teach others, I created the Inspired Bloggers University.

How can I spend money when I have yet to make money?

In any business, you have to invest. In direct sales, you buy a kit or inventory. In retail, you purchase product to sale. In blogging, you purchase a domain, hosting, and knowledge.

During the month preceding the time I truly invested into my education as a blogger, my family did not even have money for groceries. How in the world could I afford to invest into my business? My husband and I had no idea how to make it work but were willing to make sacrifices to help me grow in my chosen career.

Join the Inspired Bloggers University before April 15th and save 15%.

The results were almost immediate. Within the next business quarter, my blog traffic doubled. During the next quarter, traffic doubled again. The third quarter, AGAIN… and I started seeing an income from my blog. By the end of the year, our investment had been completely paid back plus more.

Encouragement from an Expert

Can I just say as someone who has been blogging since 2009, I wish there was a course like this around when I started. I spent so much time thinking I was too “broke” to pay someone else for their knowledge and wasted countless hours in front of “Mr. Google” trying to find an answer. In retrospect, it wasn’t until I took a leap of faith on attending a conference (it was around $1K to go) and started believing that I could make a regular income from my blog, that my blog took off. If you think of what you can give up in the short term (for me, I took money out of our grocery budget for five months) in order to follow your dreams for the long term, won’t it be worth it. If this was easy, everyone would be an entrepreneur and everyone would have a blog. There are always sacrifices that have to be made in the short term to get to your long term goals.

Kelly Snyder, Redefined Mom

How will I find the time to take the classes at IBU?

We all have 24 hours in a day, and while it may seem like we have more to do than we have time, our priorities are reflected in what we accomplish each day.

Join the Inspired Bloggers University before April 15th and save 15%.

When I was first starting to blog as a career, I worked long hours at night and rose early. I had four small children and homeschooled, and even with an extremely supportive spouse, my work-life balance was confused. However, as I began to structure my time, I saw a significant improvement.

I have set office hours and within those hours, I equally designate time for content creation, promotion, and education. Why? Because the more I learn, the more money I seem to make.

Encouragement from an Expert

I think fear of failure is what holds most people back. It’s certainly held me back for a long time. I do make a full-time income blogging, but I’ve had to take lots of death leaps and try lots of things to be successful. This is absolutely not a sales pitch, and I get nothing monetarily from encouraging you guys… But what Tabitha has created here is an absolute goldmine of resources. If you push yourself, it very well could be a catalyst to your success. Yes, it will take some money, some time, and a lot of energy and effort. However, you cannot be successful in blogging by being passive. Blogging takes full force contact every day to be successful.

Jamerrill Stewart, Free Homeschool Deals

Blogging is never easy. It’s not a “get rich quick” business. You will struggle. You will be faced with tough decisions. Your business will be full of risk.

But it is the most fulfilling experience… growing a blog… building a business… supplementing your family’s income… and changing your life.

Join the Inspired Bloggers University before April 15th and save 15%.

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How to Customize an RSS Feed for Subscribers

Please welcome guest blogger, Katie Hornor, founder of Paradise Praises as well as a bilingual author and international speaker. 


Many bloggers write on multiple topics in the same niche. And yet often times our audience may desire to follow only a part of our offerings. Allowing readers to customize the information they receive is just one more way we can serve them better.

How to customize your rss feed for subscribers.


How to Customize an RSS Feed

RSS means Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication and it is a term we use to describe posts or updates that are automatically sent to subscribers via email.

Your subscribers do not HAVE to get everything you publish. Your audience could sign up to receive only the posts of their choice or only for the specific categories they are interested in.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the 3 steps to setting up customized RSS feeds for your subscribers. The first one is to create your list, the second is to create the RSS customized campaign, and the third is get the sign up form and place it on your site.

Step 1: Create the List

To create your list, you will want to go into your mail service provider and create either a list for each category (which could get cumbersome in step 3) or create one main list that is segmented (divided into sub-lists). The way you choose to set this up may depend somewhat on how your mail service works. I use MailChimp, and it is possible to do it either way, but other mail services may be different.

For example sake, we will choose a fictional family blog; The Family Blog and our main list is “The Family Blog Posts by Email” list. The lists or the segments that we would want to set up for our blog might be:

  • marriage
  • parenting
  • education
  • family entertainment
  • finances

Step 2: Customize the RSS Campaign

In this step we want to set up our automatic emails so that each time a post publishes on our blog it will send to those on that list. In MailChimp this is called an “RSS Campaign”. And to create it, follow these steps:

  1. Choose campaigns from the menu
  2. Click on the “create campaign” button
  3. Choose “RSS-Driven campaign
  4. For RSS Feed, enter the following replacing “marriage” with the specific category of posts:
  5. Choose date and time to send Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 10.50.23 PM
  6. Choose which list (or segment of a list) to send it to
  7. Fill out campaign name, email subject, from name and from email
  8. Select a template
  9. Edit the design (don’t forget to add in the RSS items/content block)
  10. Confirm and start the RSS campaign.

You will want to repeat step 2 for each one of your lists, or segments.

Step 3: Place the sign-up form on your site

Now that we have it set up to send out posts by category, we want to add the correct sign up form to our site. To get the html sign up form for the desired list or the list with segmented sign up options, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Lists in the MailChimp menu
  2. Click on the name of your list
  3. Go to sign up forms
  4. Choose embedded forms
  5. Preview the form and make any changes (If you have one segmented list, it should show the segmented options below the name/email options)
  6. Copy/paste the html form code onto your page or post in text view, or into your text widget.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 10.46.15 PM


If you have chosen to do a different mailing list for each segment then you will need to create a separate sign up for each list. If you have chosen to segment one list, the segment options should appear on the form (as seen above).

So, now that you know you can offer different sign up options and you know how to offer them, go serve your people by offering them options when signing up for your RSS content!

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How to Streamline + Save Time On Social Media

Being active on social media is such an important part of blogging success – but it can lead to a lot of wasted time if you don’t have a solid plan. Fortunately, there are a lot of tools we can use to save time on social media – while keeping our platforms truly engaging.

Here are some of my favorite tips and tools for streamlining social media – gathered over 7 years of managing social media for my own blog and others’!

Save time on social media with these tips and tools!

Set Your Social Priorities

If you’re managing your blog and social media on your own, it’s probably best not to try to be everywhere. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you absolutely must be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, and even all the new social media networks that pop up. You’ll be much more effective if you put the same amount of energy into focusing on your ideal readers’ favorite networks rather than spreading yourself too thin across all of them.

To decide, just think about the content you see doing best on each platform – and the platform you enjoy most!

Schedule Updates

You can use apps like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule social media messages on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. A lot of bloggers love CoSchedule for scheduling shares and future reshares of their content, too!

Since each app has a free option or at least a trial period, I recommend using each of them for a couple days to see which one you like best, since everyone works differently. I personally love Buffer, but I’m warming up to CoSchedule and I know others who swear by Hootsuite, even though I find it really clunky.

Viraltag is an app you can use to schedule pins (and repins!) on Pinterest, and to upload many pins at once more efficiently. I especially love using it to schedule pins right when my posts go live. Then I come back and schedule repins to group boards.

While you can’t exactly schedule Instagram updates, you can set up Instagram reminders with Crowdfire (The smartphone app formerly known as JustUnfollow!). I am loving this tool, because it automatically chooses the best time to remind you to post on Instagram based on when your followers are most active. It also suggests hashtags to use with your update, too, though that feature could use some improvement.

I like to schedule updates weekly – usually on Sunday or Monday – so then it’s done and I can focus on engagement during the rest of the week. Some people like to spend a few minutes each day scheduling updates, though, which is definitely ideal if you have more timely content to share. You’ll know which option is better for you and your readership.

Share Content

Sharing your own content on social media is a no-brainer, but it’s really important to share relevant content from others, too! You can cut down on the amount of time spent searching for good content to share by setting up a steady incoming stream to choose from.

  • Use Buffer feeds. One of the reasons I love Buffer for scheduling is that you can add feeds to easily share updates from. I have 15 blog feeds set in Buffer that I love and that all create similar content to mine, so there is always great stuff to share that I know my readers will love.
  • You can easily use the same tactic by using any RSS feeder to subscribe to blogs in your niche and grab content to share from one place.
  • The Pocket app works across your smartphone and browser – it’s sort of a streamlined bookmarking service. I use this to save content I find throughout the week that I know I’ll want to share. During my weekly scheduling sessions, I have them all in one place and can easily share and delete them from the pool as I go. I also use Pocket to save content I need to share from the support threads I participate in with other bloggers.

Don’t Forget to Engage

Although all these tips will help you save time on your social media marketing, we can’t forget: It’s social media! It can’t be completely automated. We have to remember that behind the metrics, the numbers, the “likes” and “followers” are REAL readers – people who deserve a real relationship, not a robotic one!

So, set aside time for responding to comments, interacting with others each day – you know, being “social!” Ideally this would be during the time when your network is most active.

Do you feel like your social media routine is efficient? Which of these tips or tools will you start using?