Blogging is a powerful way to share experience, education, and lifestyle. It’s also a great way to earn extra income. Before you take off on all that, though, it’s important that your blog gets started correctly. Here are 5 Life Saving Tips on Starting A Powerful Blog Successfully.
Before I get going on those tips, there are a few things you need to know:
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme
It takes hard work and consistency to create a successful blog
You need to be open to learning and growing. You don’t have it all together just yet!
If you’re serious about blogging you can make a go of it. If you’re just drumming up ways to try and quickly earn K’s while sleeping in and being lazy, you should think twice before investing your time into this.
5 Life Saving Tips on Starting A Powerful Blog Successfully
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1: Choose Your Niche
A niche (pronounced “neesh”) is basically the subject or main theme of your blog.
This is going to directly control who your audience is and how you market your blog.
Your niche can be anything, from raising chickens to underwater basket weaving.
However, you should choose your niche wisely.
Not all blog niches are as likely to be successful.
Think about what you want to write about. If you want to make money blogging, you need to research your niche.
Is it a topic that’s in high demand? If you’re passionate about it and don’t care whether or not you make money from it then write away and have fun!
But if you’re planning on turning your blog into a small business, make sure your niche is a carefully chosen business move.
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2: Domain Name
A domain name is the address of your blog. It’s what you type into the URL bar (ie: earningsahm.com).
This is another decision you need to make carefully.
Think of your domain name as the title of a book you’re trying to publish. The title has to be catchy, something people will remember, and not overly complicated.
It’s your blog’s identity.
Kind of a big deal, right?
Take your sweet time choosing a domain name. It will be face of your blog from now on.
3: Blogging Platform
A blogging platform is the site where you create and customize your blog. This should also be a carefully-made choice as well.
I started out on a free blogging platform with my first blog and ended up creating a nightmare.
Make sure your blogging platform is focused on helping your monetize your blog and gives you the options and freedoms to turn your blog into a business.
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms and it’s compatible with basically everything. For beginners, it’s a good place to start.
4: Hosting Platform
A hosting platform is the site that essentially enables you to monetize your blog.
In a nutshell, a hosting service, like Bluehost or SiteGround, grants you the real estate to run your blog online.
By setting up your blog with a host from the get-go you save yourself the trouble of having to transfer over later–which you will need to do if you ever wish to grow your blog or online business.
You can set up your blog through SiteGround for just a few dollars a month and get all the services you need to start out.
In this article we’ll be looking at some habits and ways to shave off a substantial amount of money, making your earnings that much higher! Let’s look at 5 ways to save over $500 a month.
This article contain affiliate links, which means I’ll make a small commission if you purchase something. It won’t cost you anything extra or alter your experience in any way.
5 Ways To Save Over $500 A Month
Sometime back, my husband and I sat at our desk, looking over our spending habits with some serious shock.
In an effort to get some goals lined out, I created a meticulous list of where our money was going each month. We were amazed.
We’d been living our lives, doing our thing, and hundreds–yes hundreds of dollars a month were slipping through our fingers.
My husband owns his own business. We’ve literally built it up from nothing. To see our seriously hard-earned money being spent like that… well, it didn’t sit well with either of us.
We dedicated ourselves to discussing our finances more often and created a stricter budget than we had been using. Within a matter of weeks, we saw a huge shift in our cash flow.
Here are some habits to either cut out or incorporate to bring in that extra money.
1: Eat At Home
How boring, right? Sure, until you sit down and calculate how much you’re spending. The national average of families eating out is around 3-5 times per week.
I won’t dissect numbers for that, but I can tell you what my husband and I discovered for ourselves.
We discovered that we ate out twice a week as a couple, maybe three times during a busy season. My husband, on the other hand, spends his day out of the house.
He often would grab a sub for lunch, or drive through somewhere, in a hurry and focused on the day.
Between the two of us, that was over $354 a month. What? Exactly. The average takeout dinner for us was around $22.
My husband’s quick little stops were racking up, too. This is on top of the hundreds we were spending on groceries!
If just the two of us spent that much money, how much does a family of 4 spend on average?
We immediately changed our habits. When my husband knew he couldn’t come home for lunch, I packed him a lunch to take on the road.
I began pinning delicious meals on Pinterest like crazy, and planning a weekly menu. I was able to plan our meals, do some meal prep for lunch, and still stick to our grocery budget. In fact, planning the menu made it that much easier!
2: Save Your Cans and Bottles
This one sounds so annoying, I know! We didn’t bother with it. We just tossed our cans into the recycle bin and forgot about them.
As a rule, we don’t keep soda in the house, so we are big sparkling water fans. I found a brand of sparkling water that is much less expensive than the popular name brands, so we are able to buy a few packs a month of water and drink it happily.
We decided after our big money shock that we’d save our cans, just to see how much we could get back.
I don’t like having bins and bags sitting everywhere, so I came up with a way to store our “can bag” in an out-of-the-way place.
My husband’s office is just off the dining area, and he has a roomy closet he doesn’t use. I took a 13-gallon trash bag and hung it on a sturdy hanger on the far side of the closet. We started tossing our cans in the “can bag” instead of in our recycle bin.
Once a bag is full, my husband takes it to a special place in the garage to wait for others. You’d be surprised to see how fast the bags fill up! It grew addicting!
Soon we began adding water bottles and other cans and bottles to the bag. Our first trip to the can recycling company with 5 bags yielded us $30! And, no, our cans weren’t crushed either.
Is It REALLY Worth It?
While that may not seem like a whole lot of return, think about it like this. You’re spending X amount of money on those sodas, waters, or canned beverages.
Why not get some money back? You’ll be surprised at how fast it adds up! We can easily get $40 worth of cans in two months. That’s $240 a year!
3: Wash Your Own Car
This one is another small biggie. I say that because it seems like such a small expense, but if you calculate the annual cost, you’ll be surprised at how much it adds up.
Remember, all of these tips may not feel like a lot individually, but add them all together and you’ll see something significant.
The average car wash is $15-$20, depending on where you go. Most people get their cars washed a couple times a month. A lot of families own more than one car.
If you have two cars for your family, and you’re getting them all washed twice a month, that’s easily $60-$80 a month.
A pail, towels, sponge, and car cleaning supplies will cost you a one-time expense of around $20 or so, with smaller purchases to replenish supplies throughout the year.
That’s a massive annual savings of hundreds of dollars!
4: Cut Out The Coffees
I simply don’t get this one. I’ve been at a store where I’ve seen a mom and her 4 children, all with their own coffee drinks. That had to cost over $30. I’ve also heard of people who drive through their coffee place every single day.
On the lower end, a coffee is $5-$6. If someone is getting a coffee on their way to work every day (let’s use a 5-day work week as an example), that’s $25-$30 a week on just coffee.
And let’s be real for a minute. That’s on the lower end. That’s also assuming a person only gets their coffee 5 times in the week. A huge percentage of people easily spend over $50 a week on their coffee.
That’s over $2500 a year. In coffee.
I know several people who took their money back into their own wallets. They purchased an espresso machine–a one-time expense–and for just a fraction of the cost to buy supplies, make their own specialty coffees, just how they want them.
None of them regret it. It saves them literally thousands a year, and they can make their favorite drinks exactly how they want.
5: Don’t Buy Groceries Without A Plan
As a mom, I can honestly say this one is huge. It’s so easy to head to the grocery store and start buying things with all the best intentions. I’ve done it countless times.
That’s when I looked at my spending habits and realized I was spending over $400 a month on groceries for two adults and one baby (who doesn’t eat that much food yet).
I realized that I was wasting money by just buying what looked good and by coming up with meals on the fly.
The worst part is that I ended up throwing out good food that spoiled. There is nothing sadder or more wasteful than tossing out food that you purchased but did not eat. It hurts my heart.
Plan Your Meals
By planning a weekly menu, you stay focused on just the items that you need. As you plan, create a list of all the ingredients that you need to purchase.
Yes, it requires a little bit more time to plan and perhaps more trips to the grocery store. But if it’s saving you $80-$100 a month (around $1000 a year or more), don’t you think it’s worth it?
We shaved our grocery budget from over $400 down to $300 a month. I’ve found ways to get it below that amount as well, but I haven’t committed to it monthly.
If you use grocery delivery services like InstaCart, calculate the cost of an annual membership. An annual membership will ensure you save on delivery fees, which add up quickly!
Using a grocery delivery service can easily add an extra $15-$20 per shopping trip. Beware that some grocery items may cost more through delivery services than purchasing them in-store.
Thanks for reading 5 Ways to Save Over $500 A Month! I hope this helps at least gain some ideas where you can cut spending or add habits that save you serious cash!
Thanks for stopping by the Ultimate Yard Sale! In this article, I’ll share some nifty tricks and ideas to optimize your yard sale and increase that cash flow!
This article contains affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a small commission if you purchase something. This will not cost you anything extra or affect your experience in any way.
Let’s get started!
The Ultimate Yard Sale
One of the fastest ways to earn some cash–and de-clutter–is by having a yard sale. It takes a little bit of prep work, but it’s so worth it! With the right tools and methods, you can earn a nice chunk of cash in short order! Beware: successful yard selling gets addicting!
My last yard sale was a happy success. I sorted through items in the garage that I knew I was planning on selling, and then I took an afternoon to go through my house and find other things that I didn’t use or want anymore. I added those to the pile. It took me a solid three days to totally prepare for the yard sale, but it was organized, planned and profitable.
I earned over $250 in a little over 5 hours. That’s $50 an hour! Not too shabby! Doing 1 yard sale every so often throughout the year can easily bring in around $1000. That’s pretty amazing to think about.
Now, this all sounds great, and it’s so easy to run, full speed ahead, with the best intentions. But how often do we get caught in the trap of planning that elusive yard sale that actually never happens? Well, all that stuff that’s sitting in your garage, waiting to be sold, becomes a pile of dusty good intentions. And it’s money just sitting there. So, why do we do that?
Reasons Why That Ultimate Yard Sale Never Happens
Procrastination: Ugh. We all do it. Some of us are worse than others. I think I got an extra large dose of it in my DNA. We have the best ideas ever… but we’ll get to them tomorrow. Especially if you’re a mom. You’re busy and you have a lot going on. The best way to conquer this is to simply just do it. Look at that stuff sitting in your garage, or in storage, and view it as cold, hard cash. That’ll motivate you for sure!
It’s Messy: Well, if you’ve just been chucking stuff in the garage, then, yeah. It’s messy. You can avoid this by sorting as you go, placing things together and in plastic bins or boxes. Just like step 1–go stand in the garage and stare at that pile. It’s literally cash just sitting there. Take that extra day and sort. If something is garbage, then toss it. You know what’s salable and what isn’t. If your pile is pretty big, then chances are you can toss some stuff without missing it, saving time and energy for the stuff you know will bring you some dough.
It’s Time-Consuming: This just depends. So, is it really time consuming, or does it simply require some extra time? If you stop and think about it, how much time are you spending on Facebook or social media per day? It’s commonly know that research shows people spend at least 2 hours a day on social media. What if you took some of that time and devoted it to planning a yard sale? One week of prep and you’ve got some serious cash. So, in short, the answer here is you’ll have to prioritize and go with what really matters.
Tips to The Ultimate Yard Sale
So now that we’ve begrudgingly accepted that this amazing yard sale really can happen and is very possible, let’s look at some tips and tricks to make it as successful as it can get. My little yard sale brought in over $250, and the things I sold were so simple. I did not sell a single piece of large furniture. Everything I sold fit in the back of a tiny, Toyota pickup and the trunk of my car. The yard sale lasted around 5 hours, but 90% of my earnings came in the first 3 hours. More on that later.
So, what did I do? Here are some tips I learned along the way!
1: Keep It Simple
It’s easy to get excited and a little carried away. Before you start pushing your couch outside, stop and think about it. Most people who are shopping at yard sales come with a certain amount of cash. It’s usually enough to fit in one pocket. Someone purchasing a couch would need three things: A truck or large vehicle, a larger amount of cash, and help to lift and haul the furniture.
That severely limits the amount of people who would be able to purchase your couch. Unless your couch is beautiful and you’re selling it for $40 in like-new condition, you’re probably going to lose the average shopper from your house to theirs.Keep things simple. Sell what you know a person can pull over, impulsively buy right then, throw in their car and go.
Still want to sell that couch? Use platforms like OfferUp, Facebook and other free online apps. Buyers on these platforms have most likely typed in search words and key phrases to find what they’re looking for. If someone asks you about your couch, it’s most likely because they’re looking specifically for a couch. Read more about how to sell on OfferUp here.
2: Keep The Prices Low
I know some stuff is important and that salad mixer your grandma gave you means the whole world, but it probably isn’t worth $10 to anyone else. It’s probably not even worth $5. In fact, most people won’t even pull over for a salad mixer. They’ll pull over because they see all that stuff in the yard. Then they’ll walk by that salad mixer and see that you’re only asking $1 for it. They’ll readily hand you that dollar and take that salad mixer home.
Before you scoff at that $1, there’s something else you should know. Sure, a buck is just a buck. But that yard sale shopper will probably also notice the pretty vase, ornate picture frame, and the pair of candle holders sitting there, all for $2-$3 or less. They’ve got ten bucks cash. They’ll most likely give you that ten and take all those items. Now that $1 has just multiplied tenfold. That’s not too bad.
If you’d stuck to $5 for that salad mixer, all that may not have ever happened. Yard sales aren’t about haggling over pennies. This is where a lot of people trip up. It’s about getting rid of stuff you’re not going to use and serve you no purpose, and swapping it out for cash. If you get hung up on trying to maximize every single sale, you’ll exasperate your shoppers. They’re looking for a deal. Give them what they want!
3: Keep It Organized
There is nothing worse than being a yard sale shopper and having to ask “what are you asking for this? How much for this?” on every item. It’s frustrating. Unless it’s this incredible find that a person has been searching for, most people will lose interest. Yard sells are all about impulse buying. Keep that process as quick and simple as possible.
Before the day of the yard sale I went through all of my items and placed stickers with the prices clearly labelled. Keeping sentimentalism out of it, I listed everything at an unbeatable price, clearly written and easy to see. My goal was to make it as easy for those impulse buyers as possible. It worked.
People brought stuff up to me to talk price, but it wasn’t asking “how much”. It was to haggle. If the vase I was selling was $3 and they offered $2, I said “deal”. If they offered $1 I countered with $2 and they said “deal”. I was stuffing my money bag with bills left and right.
4: Keep It Appealing
If you’re selling a bunch of stained clothes from the 80’s, don’t expect to make much. The same goes for broken picture frames, cracked cookware, and non-functioning electronics.
Sure, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but the reality is that if it looks like it belongs in the garbage, it probably belongs in the garbage. You’re not going to get very much money selling stuff you didn’t feeling like hauling away.
But if you have a set of dishes in perfect condition that sat in the cupboard for ten years unused, or 4 crock pots, or a gild-frame mirror in great condition, you’ll get some money for that stuff.
A very appealing item to see is something still in the packaging or box, unused. A yard sale shopper is going to love feeling like they just bested Home Goods or Bed, Bath and Beyond by buying your blender, still boxed, for $7.
You also get away with charging a little more for the pretty stuff. I had way too many cloth laundry bins that I’d received as gifts for my son. I sold a large, gray laundry bin with elephants on it and rope handles for $10. Those things are sold everywhere, and you can find them at Ross or Home Goods for $15-$20. However, that shopper saw my like-new laundry bin and recognized the bargain. So I got the cash rather than Ross or Home Goods.
5: Don’t Be Afraid to Bundle
As a mom of a 1-year-old, I had a surplus of baby blankets. Almost all of the blankets I had were virtually new or in excellent condition. The idea of sorting and pricing every single blanket was a bit overwhelming. Instead, I got the idea to bundle them in packs.
I bundled the muslin swaddles together, the receiving blankets, and the thicker blankets, and rolled them up and then tied them all together with ribbon. Then, I sold each bundle as a set. I charged less for the receiving blankets, selling them for $5 for a pack of ten, as those are inexpensive. The muslin swaddles were separated into packs of 5 and the thicker blankets sold in bundles of 2-3. I charged for each bundle accordingly.
I made over $40 in just baby blankets. This is extra nice when you consider these were mostly gifts, which means I didn’t buy them to begin with. That $40 was pure profit.
I did the same with my son’s shoes, separating them by size and selling them for $10 a bag. I also sold bags of baby clothes for $5-$10 per bag, based on the size. When shoppers saw the bags for sale, full of items, they didn’t waste time. At least two shoppers handed me $20 and grabbed their money’s worth of bags. They acted like they’d hit a gold mine, and, hey, it was money in my pockets and more space in my house.
I was rather amazed at how the bundling idea appealed to the shoppers. Rather than trying to sell every receiving blanket for $1 or scattering baby clothes all over the yard, the bundling method sold more, much faster.
6: Keep It Tidy
One of the things that added to the success of my yard sale was the fact that we set up folding tables under E-Z Up canopies. The larger items sat on the driveway, and the smaller items were organized on the tables by category. Adult clothes were neatly on hangers and hung on the canopy frame. Everything was well tended, easy to reach, and clean.
I know we’ve all seen those yard sales where stuff is virtually piled on the lawn. A determined shopper might rifle through the items, but most people are overwhelmed and a little put off by what looks like a mess. Your yard sale will be significantly more successful if you take the extra time to place things neatly on tables or hang clothes up.
Things like furniture, containers, large electronics, and so on can easily sit on the ground without looking cluttered. But a pile of clothes just dumped on the yard gives the appearance of disorder and uncleanliness. You’ll make more money avoiding that altogether.
7: Remember Prime Selling Hours
This one is huge. If you miss it, you’re going to be so frustrated. I found by experience that the best time to sell is Saturday morning, from 7:30 to 10:30. I live in Southern California, so the weather allows for those hours. Depending on where you live and how chilly it gets, those hours may change. For us, it was definitely early on Saturday morning.
We were still setting up at 7:30 and had shoppers waiting on us. The biggest crowd arrived from 8:00-9:45, with other shoppers trickling in between 9:45-10:30. By 11:00, the traffic had considerably decreased. Our official hours of selling were 8:00-1:00, but the last hour was spent chitchatting with the neighbors.
For the best results, be ready at the prime time. If you start at 10:00, you’ll most likely wind up exhausted and discouraged in a couple hours, with minimal success. Just make that sacrifice and get up early.
8: Market Your Yard Sale
Don’t let this one put you off. I’m not about to start a spiel on marketing techniques and all that complicated stuff. The reality is that those “yard sale” signs are super effective. But, you can take it one step further.
My husband was clever when selling time came. He took pictures of specific items and posted them on our local Facebook “Buy, Sell, Trade” along with info about the yard sale.
I sold an item for $50 off of that technique. Someone saw the baby item (still boxed), asked about it, and then drove all the way to the yard sale, cash in hand, to buy it. We also generated much more traffic by posting the choicest items on Facebook.
A good way to market is to have one person handle the physical shoppers, and another focus on answering all the “how much” questions on Facebook. By responding and interacting with interested people on Facebook, we sold more items, specifically some of the larger ones.
My mother-in-law even sold her car for $5000 at that yard sale!
Pro-Tip: For Extra Results, Team Up!
Unless you have a yard full of stuff, this one is a great way to generate lots of traffic and interest. I didn’t have a huge amount of items, and neither did my mother-in-law, so we put our things together and had one big yard sale. I had less than 50 items, and she had around the same amount. She, too made a couple hundred dollars (aside from her car sale).
It can be overwhelming to take on a yard sale alone. If that’s the case, team up with someone! Keep your things separated by specifically colored price stickers. Make sure both sellers are following these tidy techniques, and don’t forget your coffee!
I hope you enjoyed reading about the Ultimate Yard Sale. I plan on doing another one soon, and I’ll keep you posted on its success! My goal is to break $500 in 4 hours, so it will require prep, marketing and organization.
Thanks for reading How To Make Money on OfferUp! In this article you’ll find helpful tips to get your side hustle growing and get you in the flow–the CASH flow!
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Make Money on OfferUp
When I first got married and relocated to Southern California, I wasn’t working a full-time job. We didn’t have any children yet, and I was going nuts. I had to find something to do. I’m results-oriented to the extreme, so I needed to do something that would give me something in return–why not money?
I started selling items from my wedding that we no longer used on OfferUp. I learned some tips and tricks, honed my skills, and sold everything I listed.
Well, that was easy.
Next, I decided to experiment with creating something to sell. I went to our practically empty garage and found a solitary dining chair. It was sturdy but dusty and outdated. With sudden inspiration I used some things I had on hand and up-cycled the chair.
It turned out great. I didn’t want to sell it as a tribute to my new inspiration, but I began restoring chairs and selling them on OfferUp. It worked beautifully.
Here’s how I used OfferUp and presented my items to get responses.
1: Post EVERYTHING!
First, OfferUp is like a virtual, 24-7 garage sale, so what you’re selling doesn’t really matter. It’s one place where you can sell anything and everything on one page and it’s perfectly orderly and expected. So don’t worry about trying to turn your OfferUp page into a website.
2: Get Good Feedback
Next, OfferUp is highly influenced by reviews. I asked my buyers to please rate me and the item they purchased. The app pushes buyer/seller reviews so you can count on getting at least a star rating. However, making the extra effort to ask for a rating encourages buyers to say something about you. Having the extra description works toward building trust.
3: Take Quality Photos
The most important thing I can say about selling your product on OfferUp is to take quality photos of the item. It’s not only odd to see pictures someone posted and only half the item is showing, it screams “something’s wrong with this item and the seller is hiding it!”
Blurry and grainy images will make shoppers scroll right past your item. Why pause and look at something they can barely see? Another thing I saw that made me shake my head was the same photo posted 3 or 4 times. When buyers are perusing through OfferUp and they click on your item, they want to view the item at different angles.
Thankfully, OfferUp understands not everyone is a photographer and allows you to ask for more information about the item in question, including requesting specific photos. Still, you’ll make more sales if people don’t need to nag you for more info because it’s all right there.
4: Be Willing To Negotiate
When it comes down to how to make money on OfferUp, it’s important to again remember to think of it as a yard sale, which means negotiating is a norm.
About 90% of my buyers offered lower than the listing price, and they almost never paid the asking price. That means that if you want a certain amount for your item, make sure the asking price is higher than what you expect.
OfferUp shoppers are after a deal, and paying the asking price in their mind is not getting one (never mind that what you are selling is probably a fraction of the price of a new, store-bought item).
Again, people are after a deal. OfferUp gives the option to list your price as “firm”, which means no negotiating. I found that unless my item was coated in gold, the “firm” button scared a lot of people away. T
he “firm” button is good for brand new products with the tags and packaging in tact and in view, or for something in extremely high demand. For upcycled, funky and whimsy accent chairs, people liked to haggle.
I gave them what they were after.
5: Respond Promptly & Interact
Responding promptly to inquiries is crucial. OfferUp is similar to the “buy-it-now” button on Amazon. Impulse is a huge motivator.
If you respond too late, the buyer may have already moved on from the purchase or may have purchased from someone else. When a potential buyer asks about whatever you’re selling, your quick response will open a conversation and greatly increase the likelihood of a sale.
Don’t waste time on an unresponsive buyer. If you sell on OfferUp for any length of time, you’ll see how often people ask a question or even give an offer on your item before disappearing into oblivion.
When someone stops responding, just move on to the next offer. If you’ve committed to selling your item to them, politely give them a deadline to respond, letting them know you have other offers.
I wouldn’t recommended selling items out from under people, however. It’s not the kindest move and you can bet on getting a negative review out of it.
Making money on OfferUp isn’t going to make you rich, but it’s easy and a lot of fun, and you can earn some decent side cash fast.
There are some things to keep in mind when selling, for your safety.
Try and always meet in a public place if it’s possible. If the item you’re selling is too big to be moved around, make sure you have at least one other person with you when you are selling from your home. You are selling to complete strangers, after all.
Don’t accept checks. That’s a surefire way to get gypped after all your hard work. Deal in cold, hard cash.
Communicate within the OfferUp app, only. It has everything you need to conduct the sell without giving your phone number or other personal information away.
Steer clear of anyone or anything that makes you feel threatened or unsafe, regardless of a sale. When it comes to safety, err on the side of caution.
Now that you’ve got some tips under your belt, enjoy making some extra money, and all the best to you OfferUp tycoons out there!