Blogging Resources

Can you believe it is almost Christmas? I feel like the last part of this year is zooming so fast, I can barely keep up. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, it is nice to just slow down, and sit together with my kids and read a book that brings us back to the true meaning of Christmas.

With all the commercialization, it can seem like everyone’s focus is on the latest sale or chasing after this year’s hottest toy. The Stable Cat’s Christmas  by Christina Vrba is a timeless picture book that celebrates the fact that everyone has a gift they can bring the newborn King, no matter their size or stature.

This message resonates so well with children, who sometimes feel their size or age limits them in contributing something that matters to our world.

The Stable Cat is worried that it has nothing to offer the newborn king. The cat has no jewels, riches or gold to bring this very special baby. However, when the cat notices the newborn king shivering in the stable, there is no doubt, this stable cat can help. Curling up with the newborn baby Jesus, the stable cat offers its warmth to our tiny king.

This is a heartwarming story and it will be one you will want to share with your children or grandchildren every season.

Giveaway:

Worthy Kids/Ideals  is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! One lucky blog reader will win their own copy of The Stable Cat’s Christmas! Thank you to Worthy Kids/Ideals  for the review book and for sponsoring this great giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Open to US Residents.

The Stable Cat’s Christmas Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget. Good Luck!!!

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You are going to be seeing some big changes on our blog in the upcoming weeks. We will be changing our look, and think it is long overdue. I purchased one of the most popular website themes, Genesis Framework, many months ago.

The good thing about Genesis Framework is that once you buy it, it is yours to use for life. This is an extremely good thing when like me, life gets in the way, and your plans to update your website get delayed. I had not decided on a StudioPress Child Theme to go along with my Genesis Framework, and that turned out to be a good thing!

This morning in my inbox, I received an email from StudioPress, letting me know their Black Friday Sale has started early and all New Customers get their themes at 25% Off. If you are a Returning Customer like me, you get your themes at 50% Off! If you are a new customer, buy one theme for 25% off. Start a new order and  get the next theme for 50% off as a returning customer! Since you will want a framework and theme, you can still make out like a bandit!

Every theme is included in the discount!

There are no exceptions!

And yes, this includes the Pro Plus Pack, which gives you instant and immediate access to all StudioPress themes — including third-party themes. (It’s more than 60 themes in all, every one with a unique specialty but flexible enough to fit almost any purpose you can conjure up.)

Maybe you’ve had your eye on their newest themes like Outfitter Pro or Authority Pro since they were launched. Great! They’re both included in Pro Plus, which you can get at the discount … or you can buy either of those themes, or both, or any other theme or combination of themes and get 50% off the entire order.

The only “catch” — which isn’t really a catch, because you’re expecting it — is that the offer only lasts for one week.

This Black Friday sale begins today (11/21/17) and ends one week from now (11/28/17) at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

I wasted no time in shopping for my new child theme. The ones I like the best and have been debating over are: Mom Blogger Pro, Lifestyle and Magazine. However, with the Pro Plus Pack being 50% off too and letting me have access to all the themes, that was very tempting!

I finally made my decision and pulled the trigger this morning. I love that I was able to snatch up such a great theme at an even better price. If you have been waiting to purchase themes for your website, you can also benefit by getting great pricing on all kinds of themes. They have a huge selection of themes to create or customize your website whether you are a foodie, author, online retailer, realtor, photographer or any other kind of professional or business.  

StudioPress Premium WordPress Themes: Foodie Theme
Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to take your website to the next level for less than you would imagine. To make a great thing even better, BlueHost has some amazing Black Friday deals of their own on low cost web hosting and domains! I have used BlueHost for almost 10 years and recommend them highly. If you need help starting a blog or website check out How To Start a Blog in 15 Minutes.

Let me know if you do purchase a theme or web hosting. I love sharing great deals with you!

This post includes affiliate links,  if you click and purchase something , I will earn a small percent of the sale as commission. This is a good thing because you will be helping me continue to build my blog and bring you more great content, reviews and giveaways. Thank you for your support.


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If you have a blog or business and you want to create a Facebook Fan Page but don’t know where to start, we can help. If you still have not started a blog and need help, go to our, How To Start A Blog Tutorial first.

You might wonder if you really need a Facebook Page for your blog or business. Social media is one of the easiest ways to connect with your target market or audience. A Facebook Page allows you to bring targeted content, promotions, sales and giveaways in front of hundreds of thousands of potential customers, clients or readers who are looking for what you have. It also gives you a platform to showcase photos of your work. We know a picture is worth 1,000 words. If you are an artist, photographer, restaurant owner, contractor, decorator, DIY blogger, crafter and more, post fabulous photos of your best work to attract your audience.

Bloggers should use a Facebook Fan Page to interact daily with their audience. They can do this by posting call to action posts that ask a simple question like, what is the last book they read or what is their favorite classic movie. Beyond that, all blog posts should be promoted on your Facebook Page. There are many plugins or widgets that will automatically post to your page as soon as new posts are published.

Businesses can use their Facebook Page to connect with clients and customers and improve customer service by engaging and answering any questions or concerns they may have. 

So, now that you understand the importance, let’s get your Facebook Fan Page up and running. I promise, it will take only a few minutes. 

The first thing you need is the name of your page.  If you already have your business or blog, it is easy, just use that name. If you do not have anything and are just starting, think of a name.

Once you have your name, you might want to check on domains for that name if you don’t already have one. The reason I am saying this, is because you may be thinking small now and just want the Facebook page. However, if you decide to start a website for your business or blog later, and want a domain with that name, you might be very disappointed to find it is not available.

You can research domain names on  BlueHost , if you sign up for their low-cost hosting for your website, it includes a free domain! If you do find an available domain for your business or blog, it is a good idea to purchase it while it is available.

Step one,  go to Facebook. Click “HOME” on the top of your page. On the side You will see pages and then on the bottom something that says “create a page” and you click that.

create-page

After that, you will be directed to a page where you pick a category for your blog. For bloggers, photographers, musicians etc. you should choose the Artist, Band or Public Figure. If you have a cause, choose Cause or Community and so on. Just pick the best category for your page. Then, you can choose a sub-category and add your page name.

artist-band-or-public-figure

Next, it will take you to where you can enter your “About” information. Let everyone know what your page is about. You can also skip this, but the more details you have, the more people will find your page.

about-page

Now, you need to add a profile photo. I am also going to cover the cover photo here too. To add photos, you can use your own photos but if you don’t have any that will work, you can try free photo sites like Pixabay.com. These are royalty free and can be used without any attribution. Type a word or two into the search bar and search for images. When you find one you like click on it and then save in your files.

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You can then upload the images to Facebook to customize your page. If you want to add elements to your cover photo you can use FotoJet.  Just upload your image and customize.

To add a title you can choose an overlay or just add text directly. Many of the features are available for free. Anything with a special icon is only available if you have a subscription. This screenshot is from PicMonkey which has a free trial or you could use FotoJet or any other photo editing software you like.

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You can change colors, sizes and more to really make it your own.

 

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When you are happy, save it to your computer and then upload to your page.

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Add your page to your favorites so you can find it easily.

add-to-favorites

You can customize who the ideal audience for your page is. Do not limit your audience too much.

demographic

At this point you are ready to go, you can learn more about promotion and adding buttons etc. but the basic page is done.

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So what are you waiting for? Write your first post. Good luck guys, any questions you can ask them in the comments. 

 

Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links, if you purchase through these links, I may earn a commission. All of the links in this post are products or services that I recommend because I truly believe they are the best and would recommend them whether or not I earn a small commission from them. 

 


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As a professional blogger, social media influencer and digital marketing strategist for almost 10 years, there is something that really gets under my skin.  I rarely see it myself, because I nipped it in the bud many years ago. However, blogging forums are peppered with posts from new bloggers sharing how they received an email from a PR rep asking them to promote a service or app without any mention of compensation. Even over the internet, I can see the quivering lip of the new blogger, as they meekly ask, if this is okay.  Some will try to justify it by saying  they really have no right to ask for compensation, because their blog is brand new.

It isn’t just bloggers, who are routinely asked to “donate” their services. Photographers, Magicians, Vocalists, Graphic Artists and DJ’s  are often asked by friends to provide their services for free. These well meaning friends will even go so far as to tell them it will be great experience, they will make new contacts and build their portfolio. The way they spin it, they should be so grateful to provide their services for nothing. When people get something for free, they don’t put much value in it. By accepting the gig, they are putting a nail in the coffin of their career. The bottom line is, if they want to be treated like a professional, they need to start acting like one!

Even the newest blogger needs to quit acting like their work has no value, and their time is not precious.  This is easier said than done because many newbies have a hard time standing their ground. They may even try to justify taking the job for free, telling themselves it is a portfolio builder.

I will-not work for free

I tell new bloggers they are going to need a strong backbone. Next , they need to respond to the email  with confidence.  Their response should let the PR rep know that they think the app or service sounds like it would be a great fit for their blog audience and social media followers.  Further more, they need to explain they are skilled at creating buzz worthy content that will drive targeted traffic to the brand’s website and social media accounts. Lastly, they need to ask what the compensation is for promoting this content on their blog and social media channels,  I guarantee Gloria from  XYZ Media is getting paid to find the bloggers and social media influencers to promote this, so why shouldn’t they?

I also prep them about how to respond if they receive a reply from Gloria stating the client has a very small budget and while they are not able to provide compensation for this campaign, they have many other clients and may contact them in the future for paid promotions.

Now, they say that for a reason, they want the new blogger to think, if they throw this away, they will never hear from this agency with any other opportunities.  It usually works like a charm, and the rep gets free promotion that they then charge their client for. To make it worse, the blogger goes on the agency’s  “Will Blog For Free” List.  Their name will never make it to big budget clients, because by accepting the free gig, it showed the rep  they are not a professional blogger.

The bottom line is, if  you  want to be taken seriously, you need to respond confidently, that you can definitely create buzz worthy content to promote the product or service, but you don’t work for free. Go even further, turn the tables and ask them if they work for free? Don’t be afraid, let them know, you are well aware they are not a volunteer at XYZ Media.

I’m not saying you should never volunteer for worthwhile things, but make sure you are not being taken advantage of. The perception some have of bloggers, is that what we do is so easy, or of such little value, we should be glad to have some content to post.  They want us to think, they are really doing us a favor.

It is the exact opposite, bloggers are powerful influencers brands can plug-in with to have their product or service promoted to the blog’s audience which likely is their target market. Bloggers have the  power to create and amplify stories, experiences, services, images and ideas through their posts as well as ingniting a social media fire storm of tweets, pins, posts, likes and shares on every major social media channel.

Start valuing your work! The next time you get an email from any rep or agency trying to make you feel special because they picked you to promote their client for free, just ask what the blogger compensation is.  Go on, you can do it.  Be proud of your work.  When you feel the butterflies, just ask yourself if the client they are pitching you about is paying them for their services.  You know the answer is yes, so why would you let them take advantage of you?

Have you ever dealt with someone asking you to do your craft for free like they were doing you a favor?  How did you respond?  Please share your stories, I would love to hear them.

 

 

 

 


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When someone finds out I work from home as a blogger, they are usually very intrigued. Their curiosity leads them to ask me several questions. After answering the same kind of questions, literally, hundreds of times, and my good friends and colleagues constantly telling me to make a post about it, I am  finally doing it!

This post will cover many of the questions I have been asked over the nearly ten years I have been blogging. If you are looking to start a blog or just want to learn more, you are in the right place. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and get cozy while I give you answers to my most frequently asked blogger questions. If you still have questions after reading this, leave them in the comments and I will answer them for you.

Why Did I Start My Blog?

Believe it or not, earning income from my blog was the furthest thing from my mind when I started it almost 10 years ago. At that time, I did not even believe people could make money from blogging. I started my blog to share my photos (I am a hobby photographer) and tales of our family (I am a wife and mother of 5) with others. I also wanted to create a sort of online scrapbook/journal of our lives for us all to be able to look back on.

How Did I Start Working With Companies?

A little less than a year into blogging, I started connecting with companies and doing product reviews. I was bitten pretty bad by that bug, and it became a conquest for me to see what kind of products I could get to review. Adding giveaways really brought me traffic. I have to laugh, in the beginning I was so lost. I had some amazing giveaways too and because I was so new, the entries were low, so I started to get some loyal fans who loved the high chances of winning.

Shortly after I started with reviews and giveaways, things started to take off. My pageviews shot through the roof over the course of a few weeks. I was getting many high-end products that more established bloggers were not getting, and the reason was, because I used my advertising and marketing background to my advantage. I have many years of experience dealing with companies and so I knew how to approach them. I did not follow any of the other bloggers, I decided to use what I learned in the corporate world and approach things as a confident, professional entrepreneur. My confidence and digital marketing experience helped me to connect with companies and led to great partnerships.

What Sets My Blog Apart From Others?

I have always loved writing, and that along with my insatiable love of photography was another thing that set my blog apart. I saw so many bloggers putting up generic posts with stock photographs. It turned me off, and it turned companies off. When a company wants a top promote a product through a blog review, they want to see authenticity.

Other bloggers were so obsessed with numbers they were churning out content at record speed and their blogs lacked any personal flair.  From their posts it was evident, they did not even open the box or try the products. They copied and pasted most of the content in their post right from the company website. Around this time, media contacts and PR agencies were getting wise, and knew that engagement was more important than exaggerated stats.

Does A Large Number of Followers Guarantee Your Success?

Many bloggers felt blogging was a numbers game and the blogger with the most followers on social media wins. They took it so far as to use services like Fiverr to buy tens of thousands of bogus followers for their social media accounts. The problem was, since they were fake followers, they did not engage with the content. What good is that to a company? PR agencies and media contacts are wise to that now and care more about engagement. Smaller bloggers with good engagement are a better choice than a blog with inflated numbers of fake fans.

What Kind of Feedback Did Companies Give You?

Companies told me they appreciated the authenticity of my blog content.  There was no doubt we were using the products, because my detailed photographs and original content clearly showed that.

I had converted part of my third floor to a photo studio shortly after my fifth child was born. I upgraded cameras, bought some Alien Bees lights, got a ton of props and backdrops and was in my glory. When I started blogging my studio came in very handy. Companies loved my photos, and I know it led to me landing products that some would have said, were out of a new bloggers league.

I was getting Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs 2 at a time plus holding giveaways for the same products. I received all kinds of designer clothing, jewelry, lighting fixtures for my house that cost thousands of dollars, area rugs, appliances large and small, furniture and so much more.

How Did You Start Working With Blogger Networks?

From that point, I began to really get noticed and companies started coming to me. I joined a few blog networks, became an Amazon affiliate and was having a great time.

I started receiving emails from a major blogger network that I signed up with.  They had different campaigns you could apply for. Up to that point, I had been dealing direct with companies. I was also a staff writer for a children’s trade publication that introduced me to many established and up and coming companies. This blog network kept asking me to go to a brief online meeting so they could show me how their site worked. I literally dragged my heels on attending for about six months. I finally went, and literally a week later they asked me to write a post for a major television network.

I remember seeing the price they were going to pay me to string together some words and was floored. That was the first time I was paid for creating content on my own blog without reviewing anything or holding giveaways. They just wanted me to write about the channel.

After that post, I was getting picked frequently by that network, and I had joined others. I started working with several blogger networks and was being chosen for all types of campaigns. Some were more creative like creating recipes, throwing parties or coming up with crafts and tutorials using the products they were promoting.

Did That Lead To Other Opportunities for You?

I was asked by that first blogger network to teach a time management course for bloggers. I was paid very well to create my curriculum and produce a video course.

After my course was published to their blogger university, they selected me to be on their creative council. I was one of four bloggers paid to brainstorm and come up with marketing campaigns for companies like Nabisco,  Pepperidge Farms, Coca-Cola, Hershey’s and more.  It was fast paced, with a quick turnaround time and I thrived because, I work best under pressure. I was a natural because my marketing and advertising background gave me the insight needed to outline the best ways to meet the company’s goals.

Along the way, I was asked to write as a staff writer for other sites and it provided a significant stream of income. I believe in multiple streams of income, and it helped to get my name out there, and looked good on my resume.

What Kind of Advantage Did Your Experience Give You?

My years in social media marketing and advertising  helped me to be hired as a consultant for a very large company where I work to evaluate the effectiveness of social media advertising. I do that a few hours a day and I am a staff writer for a major retail coupon site. I not only write three blog posts a week for them, I write website copy for them and post about great deals. I like the variety, and I have a great deal of freedom with my writing on their site, allowing met to put my creative spin on things.

What Do I Have Planned For Mommy Ramblings?

I am currently working on some huge projects for my blog which I will be revealing very soon. They are things that have not been done before, and I am majorly excited to be working on them with some amazing companies. I consider myself very blessed by the opportunities I have been given. I do work very hard, and if you are looking to become a blogger, you will need to work hard.

Is Blogging an Easy Way To Make Money?

If the only reason you want to start a blog, is to make money, it will probably be a drudgery for you. I would even go so far, as to advise you to look into something else. I feel that way because I have seen countless others start a blog because they think it is an easy way to make money. Many of them do not even like to write. When they find out the amount of work and time they need to put in, they soon become frustrated. It is not long after, they throw in the towel.

It is easy to see the ones who are not in it for the long haul. Go to any blogging group of new bloggers, and you will see post after post of whining want-to-be bloggers complaining that they have been blogging a whole month and are not making any money. I have to laugh, when I read posts like that. The next thing they say is that they are giving it 3 more months before they give up. I want to tell them to just save themselves the headache, and give up now.

How Do People Set Themselves Up To Fail?

Once you say you are going to try anything for a set period of time, you already have one foot out the door. You have to have, a failure is not an option attitude if you want to succeed at anything.

Are There Other Ways To Work From Home Other Than Blogging?

It is said, that making a living doing something you love is priceless.  I totally believe that, there are many ways to make money with your passion beyond blogging. The internet has opened a lot of doors that we never would have dreamed of , and blogging is not the only way to work from home.

Many people are doing well on YouTube creating video content about  everything you can imagine. You will find videos showing people how to organize their homes, sharing what they bought at the store in a shopping haul, demonstrating home repairs or craft projects and so much more. If you have a a passion for something, you can bet others do to and that is how you find your audience.

I Still Want To Start A Blog. How Do I Get Started?

If you still want to start a blog, the next step is to read my post-How To Start A Blog In Fifteen Minutes. 

Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links, if you purchase through these links, I may earn a commission. All of the links in this post are products or services that I recommend because I truly believe they are the best and would recommend them whether or not I earn a small commission from them. 

 

 


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So, you want to start a blog, this step-by-step guide will get you started with your domain name, blog server and website in about 15 minutes.

What Kind of Blog?

Think about what kind of blog you want to start. Maybe you already know, and that is good. If not, the first thing to consider is, the type of blog you want to start. Do you want to have a niche blog that will limit you to one topic or do you want a more general blog that gives you the freedom to post about different topics?

There are pros and cons to both.  A niche blog on a subject you are knowledgeable about can help build your credibility as an expert. Some say they rank better and are easier to make money with than a broad subject blog. However, others will say that a broad subject blog allows you to appeal to a larger audience and get more new readers from search engines thanks to the wide range of topics.

In the end, I believe if you are sharing great content, your followers will come whether you have a niche or broad topic blog, so blog about what you like to write about.  It is always easier to write about what you know and are passionate about. 

Own Your Domain 

Next,  you need to think of a name for your blog and register your domain URL. You might think you would rather skip buying your own URL and start blogging on a free site like Blogger or WordPress.com. If I can offer my first piece of advice,  it would be to start with your own domain name on self hosted site. I speak from experience as someone who started on wordpress.com. Within 6 months of my blog taking off,  I switched to a self hosted WordPress.org blog for a number of reasons.

First, it allowed me to add sidebar ads and affiliate links to monetize my blog as well as being able to use plugins which helped me to customize my blog easily. When you switch platforms, you have to transfer all your content from one platform to another. Many bloggers are not comfortable moving their content over, and so they have to hire someone to do the transfer for them.

Luckily, I am tech savvy and performed the transfer myself or I would have had to shell out a few hundred dollars to have my site transferred. Beyond that, when you do switch, you have to build up your stats again. All of that could have been avoided had I just started on a self-hosted WordPress.org site in the first place.

Register Your Domain 

After you chose your domain name, you have to register it. The first step is to make sure your domain name is available. Go to BlueHost and click GET STARTED.

You will then be taken to a page that shows you the plans. I know you will be thrilled to see that it is not going to cost you an arm and a leg to get started when you use BlueHost. They have some amazing deals on their already low-cost hosting.

The great thing is one domain name is included with any hosting package you pick. The thing I love about BlueHost is that for their Plus, Prime or Pro hosting plans you  can host an unlimited number of websites with them for the same price.

That means you pay the same low price a month to host 10 sites as you would 1 site. If you want to branch out in the future and add more sites, you will not have to pay any extra. Right now, the Prime plan is the same as the Plus and so, it is a no brainer to go with the Prime. 

Choose your plan and it will take you to the next screen where you can check to see if your domain is available. Just type the name in the new domain box and click on next. If your name is available, you are golden. If it is not, they will give you some alternatives or you can think of something else.

Once you have a name that is available you can advance to the next page where you will fill in your information.

 

There was a nice surprise on this page. As I was scrolling down, a pop up appeared with an offer to save even more. It said I could get 3 years for the price of 2. The new price was $4.95 a month, and as you can see, it is quite a savings.

The other great thing is with the Prime membership, many extras other companies charge you for things like domain privacy protection, site backup pro  and domain registration are FREE. You can add SiteLock security for just $1.99 a month, and I would recommend it. Okay, you are all set, just hit submit and we can move on to the fun part.

Install WordPress

Once you have checked out, you will get an email from BlueHost that will have your login information. Once you have that, you are ready to log on to your BlueHost CPanel.

The second icon on the first row under the heading WEBSITE is what you will click to install WordPress.org.

You will be advanced to another screen where you will click the down arrow to select your website and it will show up as the domain for installation. Click NEXT.

On the next page, you will fill out your site name which would be the name of your blog, your admin name that you will log on to WordPress with and your WordPress Password as well as, your admin email. Acknowledge the terms of service and click NEXT.

While WordPress is installing, you will see a bunch of themes on the page. Don’t worry about those and just wait until the installation is complete. I will go over themes once you log into your WordPress site. There are many free themes available as well as some like Genesis that many bloggers use because it is so easy to work with.

When the installation is complete, you will get an email with everything you need to log on to your new WordPress site. 

As you will see in your email, the address for your login will be http://www.YourDomainName.com/wp-admin. When you enter that address, you see the log in screen below.

Choose A Theme

Log in and look at the sidebar, you will see a paint brush icon and the word APPEARANCE. Click it and you will see THEMES. When you click that, you can have fun browsing themes for your blog. There are so many to choose from . There are many free themes you can choose from or you can go with the very popular Genesis Framework.

Genesis is very flexible and makes it easy to customize your blog easily whether you are a novice or advanced developer. The Genesis theme provides a secure, search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go, for a one time purchase price of $59.95. Once you purchase this theme you can use it on as many sites as you have, at any time. That is a super value!

You can then get a return customer discount on a Child Theme that works with your Genesis Framework. There are Child Themes for Lifestyle Blogs, Food Blogs, Business Blogs, Real Estate Blogs and more.

If you are looking for a low cost logo or custom blog theme etc, check out Fiverr. You can find some great graphic artists on there as well as virtual assistants or any other services you need to help you build a great income producing blog.

When you start making that income and need some user-friendly accounting software to help you manage payments, send invoices, manage projects, track time and so much more, try the free trial of FreshBooks. They are helping the self employed and small business owners, including bloggers to easily manage and run their business.

See, that was easy wasn’t it. We will cover more about customizing your blog and the best plugins to install but the hardest part is done! Give yourself a pat on the back, I am really proud of you!

 

Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links, if you purchase through these links, I may earn a commission. All of the links in this post are products or services that I recommend because I truly believe they are the best and would recommend them whether or not I earn a small commission from them. 

 


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I belong to a few blogging groups on Facebook. I really don’t frequent them, because I have always been the kind of person that does my own thing. A lot of those groups are full of things that bloggers “need” to do, to be successful. What I see now, are many people starting blogs to make money.

When I started blogging, making money from blogging did not even enter my mind. It truly didn’t. I started blogging because I wanted to share things about my family and myself with the world. When I started doing posts about products I loved, that was natural for me, since I was always recommending things to friends and family.

It was not long before I was courted by influencer networks to join them. I was very resistant to join and waited several months before I accepted their invitations.  When I was selected for a campaign a short time after and was paid, very well, for a post about a mom’s comedy site, I was shocked. After that, I had constant work coming in, I was paid to create and teach a course for bloggers on that same network, and before long, blogging was a substantial part of my income.

Besides just earning money, there have been other perks like big-ticket items for our home, tickets to area attractions, vacations, large recreational toys and more. I am also invited and paid to attend all kind of events in New York City and the surrounding area.

Blogging has enhanced our lives in many ways. I know the reason I am successful, is because I blog to the beat of my own drum. I don’t follow cookie cutter courses, I don’t get hung up on numbers, I write about what I am passionate about and I use my marketing and advertising background to connect with companies and PR agencies for all kinds of projects.

My blog was the reason I was approached by a large retail promo code site, and asked  to be a staff writer for them. Before that, I was a staff write for a children’s industry press publication. I have several streams of income that allow me to work from home, a real blessing.

So, when I see posts from new bloggers asking why after 2 months of blogging they do not have the stats they want and then start complaining, it irks me. When they say they are going to try it until the end of the summer and then… I just want to tell them, get out now and do yourself a favor. When you say something like, “I am just going to try it until…”, your foot is already out the door, so just keep walking.

Blogging takes commitment, there are no overnight successes in anything, so chin up buttercup. If you don’t really like to write, if you don’t want to write about what you know and are passionate about, blogging will be a drudgery for you. Stop worrying about numbers, learn some basic SEO and write about what you love, take photos, connect with your readers. Learn to write better headlines, promote your site and just relax.

If you want to just create niche sites for passive income, they take time too and they often fall flat if you do not have a real desire to write Most “want-to-be-bloggers” lose interest and their sites die out within the first year.

Here are some other things for new bloggers to know:

  • Don’t whine, it is not attractive and gives you the wrong mindset. 
  • Don’t work for free, EVER. 
  • Believe in yourself and what you do, never minimize it.
  • Connect genuinely with other bloggers, and I don’t mean just following for follows. Engage, get to know them, read and genuinely comment on other blogs that you are truly interested in. 
  • Join blogging and influencer networks. 
  • Take what you read in Facebook blogging groups with a grain of salt. I have seen so many filled with erroneous advice from bloggers who have just started. 
  • Don’t be afraid to do your own thing. 

Lastly, reach for the stars! I started in my first year working with companies that one might have said, were way too big for me to be working with. The reason I had dynamic partnerships with these companies, was my confidence and my unique blogging style. They liked my photos, they liked my style, they felt my passion, they loved my advertising and marketing background, and the presentations I made.

I have been blogging for nearly a decade, and I am getting ready to reveal some incredible partnerships with companies that I am ecstatic to be working with. Many are working with us on our home renovation series and others for some tech savvy campaigns and sporting equipment. These are going to be very different from anything we have ever done before and will include blog posts, social media posts and video content.

I will also be filming videos about cooking, baking, using essential oils and DIY. I am excited to get more connected to all of you, and hope you will enjoy the new content. We have so much planned for the rest of this year and 2018. Thank you so much for being such loyal Mommy Ramblings readers. I appreciate and care about you all so much. I have had the pleasure of getting to know many of you very well and have made many friends. I am looking to get to know more of you and share things you want to see.

Let me know what kind of video content you would like to see. Do you want to start a blog and don’t know where to start? Follow my step-by-step guide and get your blog started in about 15 minutes!


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As bloggers we have a voice, it can be one that helps or one that hurts.  Many times bloggers intentionally create content that will stir controversy.  As they say, “any publicity is good publicity.” Blog comments are gold and outrageous posts can go viral and create enormous traffic.

Yesterday, there was a post and I will not reference it with a link, I truly believe it needs no further attention.  It created a bit of outrage as the blogger posted how she was so happy she would never have a son. The post was a  list of reasons why, from not having to talk about penises to pee on the bathroom floor.  At the end there was a call to action for all mothers who were happy to be “son free” to comment.

It was pretty bad and I found zero humor in it.  I was not alone judging by the two hundred or so comments that called her out.  Many said that since she just has one child, a girl, who has not hit puberty, she has no idea what she is talking about.  Most of the people commenting had children of both sexes and still found her post highly offensive.  As a mother of both sexes, I found it offensive, a tad bitter, and not at all humorous.  I openly pointed this out both on the site and on her personal Facebook page where she posted a link to the article.  I just found it to be something totally unnecessary and created to draw attention, albeit negative to herself and her post.

Normally, I ignore this stuff, but could not help commenting on such a derogatory post toward  sons.  She also has no experience to speak, all she knows is being the mother of a daughter.  That’s all she knows, she can “know of boys” but that is not the same as being a mother to a son.  When I pointed this out, she responded that having grown up with a brother and being married to a man she was more or less qualified  to give her opinion.

I grew up with 3 brothers,  I’m married to a man and  it’s no way close to holding your newborn son for the first time.  It’s an entirely different experience from parenting a daughter and a bond that is nothing at all the same.  Not saying one is better or worse, as all children are miracles and I am thankful to be the mother of both sexes. However, being the mother of a son is not all about penises,pee on the bathroom floor or circumcision.  Not all parents have to go “round and round” over the cut or uncut issue either.  Let me tell you my experience of being the mother of a son.

sons

It is the birth of a protector

It is a handful of dandelions delivered in a dirty hand

It is the little treasures he brings you because he loves you

sons 1

It is the laughter you share over your adventures

It is the sparkle in his eye when he introduces you to all his preschool friends because you are his world.

sons 8

It is the way he snuggles when you are reading to him

It is all the times he asks what things were like when you were a kid

It is about his endless collection of super hero costumes that he wears 24/7

sons 7

It is about how much the younger sons look up to their older brothers

sons 3

 

sons 6

It is about pride so huge when you see them stand up for what they believe in

It is how your heart swells when others tell you what great young men they are or how they helped someone

It is the pride you have when you see the man he is becoming

sons 2

 

sons 5

 

It is about the ability to build them up to be the best men they can be

It is imagining what it will be like when they become husbands and fathers

It is about hoping you don’t cry but knowing you will when you dance with them at their wedding

It is about holding on and letting go

sons 9

It is about all of this and so much more.

Thank God I was blessed to be the mother of four sons.

 

 


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What a stressful week it has been.  Discovering  our blog was hacked 2 weeks ago when we got what is called the “white screen of death” which matched the color of my face, was bad enough.  The wonderful tech support from my server had me thinking we cleaned any back doors from being entered again, but I found out this week, that was not the case.  I had to put a lockdown on brute force attacks and then resurrect my poor blog.  I now know that the security I have in place will not allow brute force attacks and also let me ban countries where most of these mechanical bot hackers were coming from.

I don’t understand why any time is wasted hacking a “mommy blog.”  Is it just to make the moms crazy or is it for some other reason?  I wish someone would enlighten me because I don’t have my credit card numbers or bank account info anywhere on my blog.  Absolutely baffling, but worse than that is all the time I lost having to spend days to get everything back up and running.  It also occurred at the worst time of the year since sponsors are really in a time crunch and losing days getting holiday gift guide products up is unacceptable.

no_hacking

I however, feel empowered now and the new security installed alerts me right away and bans the user ip of anyone trying to guess the password to log on.  Beyond that we have added a telephone code that changes every 30 minutes to the password so they would literally have to come and steal my phone now to have a chance at logging on.  All the malicious code they hid on my site has been detected and erased.  I look at the reports each day and smile, our spam has been reduced 1000 fold, declining  log on attempts are reported since we banned countries and the hackers ip addresses.  I almost was physically ill looking at the log on attempts to my blog, It made me scared but then turned to anger and finally to action, putting the plan in place to lock them out for good.  Now, I feel great about the security of my site.

I know you all had difficulty leaving comments or not being able to bring the blog up while we were in maintenance mode and I thank you for you patience.  I am scrambling to catch up but have some awesome giveaways to put up this weekend so please stay tuned.  We also are behind drawing winners and we will get to that too!

Thanks again for sticking around, I truly appreciate it.


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online-learning

If we’re lucky we will learn at least one new thing a day, every day, until the last day of our life.  I can tell you the last few days I have learned quite a few things about sewing.  I finally feel like I just may learn to love my sewing machine which has intimidated me for almost 2 years.

Learning new things keeps us sharp and current.  If you are wanting to gain some new business knowledge, learn how to build apps, or delve into product design, journalism, photography, storytelling for work, leadership skills, teaching, chemistry, philosophy, math, medicine, coding, Facebook marketing, blogging, content marketing, poetry, technology, design and much more, I have great news!  Did you know there are a multitude of classes and courses you can attend online for free?

Free courses from Harvard, MIT, Stanford and other distinguished universities are available for you to take online!   I have compiled a list of some of the top resources and hope you find them helpful.  So go on and embrace that knowledge, it could change your life but it will definitely enhance your life!

willingness-to-learn

Coursera– an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.  Coursera envisions a future where everyone has access to a world-class education. They aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

Kahn Academy– Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. They’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.  All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.

Academic Earth-Academic Earth was launched on the premise that everyone deserves access to a world-class education. In 2009, they built the first collection of free online college courses from the world’s top universities. The world of open education has exploded since then, so today their curated lists of online courses are hand selected by our staff to show you the very best offerings by subject area. They also make sure there is something for everyone: whether you want to explore a new topic or advance in your current field, Academic Earth brings the amazing world of academia to you for free.

Open Culture-Get 1000 free online courses from the world’s leading universities —  Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more. You can download these audio & video courses (often from iTunes, YouTube, or university web sites) straight to your computer or mp3 player. Over 30,000 hours of free audio & video lectures, await you now.

Learn when you can

NovoEd-NovoEd partners with leading education institutions and corporations to offer collaborative, experiential online courses.  Choose the Free courses and search for a great variety of courses.

edX-EdX offers interactive online courses and MOOCs from the world’s best universities, and institutions. Online classes are available from MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, UTx and many others. Topics include biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, finance, electronics, engineering, food and nutrition, history, humanities, law, literature, math, medicine, music, philosophy, physics, science, statistics and more. EdX is a nonprofit online initiative created by founding partners Harvard and MIT.

I am still learning

Alison– Their mission at ALISON is simple: to enable you, wherever you are in the world, to learn and get certified – at your own pace – using their free, interactive, multimedia. Every course is standards-based and certified. That means bragging rights with family and friends, an edge in your first job or new job, and inspiration to be all you can be. There are 600 free courses for you to choose from!

SkilledUp-Our ultimate vision is to transform education as we know it — how it’s delivered, how much it costs, how quickly it helps people get to a career they love.

Open Education Database OEDb-The most comprehensive collection of online college rankings and free courses anywhere online. They welcome learners of all levels to explore their interests and prepare for exciting new careers, build on existing foundations of education and experience, or just satisfy a craving to learn something completely new.

Open Culture-Get 1000 free online courses from the world’s leading universities —  Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more. You can download these audio & video courses (often from iTunes, YouTube, or university web sites) straight to your computer or mp3 player. Over 30,000 hours of free audio & video lectures, await you now.

E-learning or distance learning concept


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“Daddy longlegs are poisonous.”
“Mosquitoes prefer adults over children.”
“Ants can survive underwater.”

You’ve heard the myths about bugs before. Do you know what’s fact and what’s fake?

Take Orkin’s Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake™ Quiz to test your knowledge, and be sure to watch every clip for the scoop on these infamous bug myths.

 

Orkin uses the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop a treatment that’s right for your home and your needs. To learn more about pest control that’s based in science or to schedule an inspection, visit orkin.com or call (844) 503-8251.  You can keep up with Orkin on Facebook, Twitter and their YouTube channel.

 

Would you like a chance to win an Orkin Scientific Back-To-School Prize Pack? If you would just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck! Open to US residents.

 

orkin scientific prize pack

The Orkin Scientific Back-to-School PRIZE PACK includes: 
– Clip-on Fisheye Lens (iPhone, Galaxy, Android compatible)
– Orkin On-the-Go Drink Tumbler
– Orkin Drawstring Bag
– Orkin “Field Notes” Notebook w/ Pen

Giveaway Rules: Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin Fact or Fake School Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  Open to US residents.  Giveaway prize is sponsored and provided by Orkin LLC.

(read more…)


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World Vision Logo

I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by.  I thought today that by now I have usually baked many batches of pumpkin chip cookies and this year I have not made one.  I better get some made pronto or it will be time for gingerbread.  ‘Speaking of gingerbread, you are probably thinking of your holiday gift list or will be soon.  I really want to share an idea for truly meaningful gifts this season, The World Vision Gift Catalog offers more than 250 items that help fight poverty and save lives here in US and around the world. What a great gift to buy for anyone but especially for those who are so challenging to find the right thing for.  These unique, life-changing gifts will never be too small or need to be returned and they  give back all year-long. With a financial contribution, donors can select one of the 30+ Handcrafted Gifts that can be shared with a loved one and at the same time help a person in need.

world vision goat 1

World Vision goat

D087-0057:30

 

You can follow  World Vision USA  on Facebook  and Twitter at @WorldVisionNews or @WorldVisionUSA.  You will also find that gifts from The World Vision Gift Catalog are featured on Mommy Ramblings’ 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.
World Vision Animal Trio Ornaments #WorldVision
World Vision Ornament Set #WorldVision
World Vision is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings.  One lucky blog reader will win the set of 3 handmade Zakale wire and bead animal trio ornaments from Nairobi.  Thank you World Vision for these exquisite ornaments that will be gracing our tree this year and for sponsoring this inspiring giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.
Set of 3 Handmade Zakale Wire Bead Animal Trio Ornaments Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:
Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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I love being a blogger, but there are some things that really suck.  That’s when you realize people have either been cheating in their entries or other bloggers are doing unscrupulous things.  That is when I become very irritated.  I thought I had seen it all; but every day I am privy to even more underhanded tactics that taint what I do, the fabulous people I have come to know and the PR reps and sponsoring companies who so generously host these reviews and giveaways.

I know many will say one person cannot make a difference but, I will certainly try. If you frequent blog giveaways you may have noticed a new trend in the blogging community.  That trend is that many bloggers are promoting the same giveaway on their pages.  Why would they do this?  They do it for inflated stats that have nothing to do with their blog, their writing, their reviews or giveaways, but are the result of riding on the coat tails of  a blogger with good stats and a good following.

These giveaways make you like as many as 100 or more Facebook pages and follow the same number on Twitter and Pinterest, subscribe to the blog newsletters and more. All the bloggers either pay for a spot or promote the giveaway earning them one free link and pay for additional links. Confused yet? The Facebook pages that a person must like are often arranged 25 to a page and the entrant must like every one, if one is not liked, they will not receive credit.

The other thing they do, is that certain entries can count as multiple entries in an effort to drive up their number of entries. For instance a blogger may say that following them on twitter counts for 25 entries, this way they get 25 entries for one small task. Why is all this done you may be asking.  It is all done in order to gain blog subscribers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Pinterest followers, and to boost the number of entries on their giveaways.

Why is this important?  Well, it is important to them because they believe that PR reps and sponsoring companies will be impressed by the inflated stats and send them enormous review items like washers , dryers, kitchen appliances, etc.  Sad truth is they have been getting away with it for a while now.  They are not about blogging anymore, not about content, many of them post nothing but these joint giveaways of 100 or more bloggers together for even the smallest giveaway prizes.  It hurts the people entering the giveaways because when bloggers wrote their own reviews and did individual giveaways there were more for them to enter and the amount of entries were not in the tens of thousands.

These bloggers that are doing this now are making the chances for an entrant similar to being struck by lighting with the number of entries zooming up in the hundreds of thousands. When does it end?  Well, more and more bloggers who truly care about their craft and the integrity of their blog are speaking out.  PR companies are being alerted of these inflated stats that do not mean a thing because many of the giveaways are entered by “sweepers” who will enter for any product and either sell on ebay or hoard.  They are not a representation of followers and probably have never even followed the blog prior to them having to like it for an entry.

More ugly things happening, are brand new bloggers do not put dates on their blog posts to make it look like they have been blogging longer. Another sneaky and underhanded tactic is that many unscrupulous, new bloggers are taking on the name of a very popular blog and sending that blog’s stats to the PR companies.  For instance, let’s say there is a blog that is very popular called “Rambling Mommy” a newbie will create a blog called “A Rambling Mommy” or Rambling Mommie” etc and when the PR companies ask for their social media accounts and followers they submit that blogger’s stats.  See?  They already have their blog loaded with reviews of products that they have in their house, big group giveaways and no dates so they look like this big time blogger.

If you see a new blogger suddenly getting sponsors that we as bloggers know require much hoop jumping, you can be rest assured that something fishy is going on. The last ugly thing for now is about bloggers rigging  Rafflecopter giveaways so that their immediate family members are winning the “big” giveaways.  These are on the independent giveaways but, it is more than obvious.  It really disgusts me, can you tell? I for one will not be running any of these multi giveaways on my blog and I do not rig my giveaways.  I would love to start a coalition of bloggers who feel the same and want to create a society of true bloggers with integrity.  If you are interested in banding together with me on this please contact me at carolyn@mommyramblings.org or use our contact form. Our giveaway rules can be found HERE!


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Recently, I was asked by Out of the Box Publishing to pick out a game to review.  I chose 10 Days in the USA.  In this game, you have 10 Days in the USA – Travel the country by jet, car, and on foot. Plan your trip from start to finish using destination and transportation tiles. With a little luck and clever planning, you just might outwit your fellow travelers.  The first traveler to make connections for their 10 day journey wins the game.  This game is for ages 10 to adult and for 2 to 4 players.  Each game takes about 20-30 minutes to play.  Game includes  a game board map of the USA, fifty destination tiles representing the states, sixteen transportation tiles and four 10-day card holders.  This game has the National Parenting Seal of Approval, Parents Choice Gold Award, Major Fun Award, Doctor Toy- Smart Play Smart Toy,and the Mensa Select Award.  This is a fun, educational game that can be used in the classroom as well as a great family game.

Would you like a chance to win your own  10 Days in the USA?  Then you are in luck, Out of the Box Publishing is sponsoring a give-away on Mommy Ramblings.  One lucky blog reader will win 10 Days in the USA.  Thank you Out of the Box Publishing for the review game and sponsoring this awesome give-away!!!

Out of the Box, 10 Days in the USA Game Give-Away on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Mandatory Entry– Visit the Out of the Box Publishing Website and tell me another game you like, leave your answer in a comment on this post.  (If this entry is not done, all others will be deleted)

Extra Entries: (make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry or they will not count)

1. Like Mommy Ramblings on Facebook and leave me a comment here that you did.

2. Like Out of the Box Publishing on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall that Mommy Ramblings sent you.  Then leave a comment her that you did.

3. Follow Mommy Ramblings on Twitter, and leave me a comment here that you did with your Twitter name.

4.Follow Out of the Box Publishing on Twitter, and leave me a comment here that you did with your Twitter name.

5. Vote for Mommy Ramblings on Picket Fence Blogs (Button is on the side of our blog, “We’re on the Fence) and leave me a comment here you did. You can do this every day for another entry, make sure you leave a new comment every day for it to count.

6. Vote for Mommy Ramblings on Top Mommy Blogs (button is on the side of our blog) and leave me a comment here that you did.  You can do this every day for another entry, make sure you leave a new comment every day for it to count.

7. Post this give away on your Facebook status and leave me a comment here that you did.  You can do this every day for another entry, make sure you leave a new comment every day for it to count.

8. Tweet this give-away on Twitter and leave me a comment here that you did with your Twitter name.  You can do this every day for another entry, make sure you leave a new comment every day for it to count.

9. Like Blueberry Hill Photography on Facebook and leave me a comment here that you did.

Good Luck Everyone!!!  Give Away Ends August 9th at 12am EST.  Winners will be selected by Random.org.


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Scotts Miracle-Gro sent me a package the other day of their products to review.  The first review that we are doing on the products they sent is the Miracle-Gro Kids Terrarium.  We are big gardeners here and our vegetable garden is in full swing.  I love the idea of the terrarium because it teaches kids how plants grow from seed and then produce fruit when cared for properly.

We headed out to the deck and after unpacking the box and removing all the plastic coverings we got to work.

The first step was to put the pre-measured packages of gro mix in the containers and then add 3 Tablespoons of water and watch it expand.  Then give it a stir with the planting stick.  When all four were done we planted a few of the provided seeds in each container and labeled them and then put them in the terrarium.  We then covered them with the 2 plastic pieces that complete the top.  Now we take care of the little seeds and watch them grow into seedlings.

There was a neat little pyramid included that was an excellent tool for teaching little once the stages of plant growth.  It also explained what is needed for the plants to grow like sun and water.  It was a great springboard for education and you could tailor it to the age of the child and expand the conversation for older children.

All in all this was an easy project that provided a great opportunity to really slow down and concentrate on the planting and growing of vegetables and fruits.  If you have the chance you should try this with your kids.  Let me know if you do. Mommy Ramblings thanks Scotts Miracle-Gro for their support.   Now back to watching our seedlings grow. : )

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company logo

 


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I am so excited to have Capturing Couture sponsoring our next review and give-away!!!  I am not ready to post the review yet, but wanted to leave you all with a little teaser of what is to come.  I will be reviewing and one of my lucky blog readers will get their own 2″ Silk collection camera strap (MSRP $49).

Intrigued???  Stay tuned for our review and give-away, these straps are awesome!!!


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Here are the official rules for the My Little Cupcake Pop Mold give-away: You must subscribe to this blog, you must LIKE my blog Facebook fan page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mommy-Ramblings/142284565832382 , then you must share this contest on your Facebook status and have all friends you refer post a comment on my blog fan page that “you” sent them.  When you have done all these things, post a comment on my blog fan page that you have done these things and put a link to your Facebook page with the shared status.  The person who has the most referrals at the end of the contest will win the mold.  Good luck everyone!!!  If you can’t wait and have to have one right now, you can visit the website at http://www.mylittlecupcakepop.com/ and order direct from there or they are available on Amazon.com.

Contest is for one new boxed mold!


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Well, I just got done making about 40 cake pops.  The “My Little Cupcake Company” sent me a mold and one to giveaway to a reader of my blog.  They sent everything out so fast and gave me a nice history of the company and business cards and brochure. The mold was invented by a mother of 3.  I love mom-invented products.   The mold itself is very sturdy and easy to use.  It has a hinge on the bottom which is very handy and makes the mold really easy to operate even with sticky hands.  The company will be coming out with at least three more designs in the near future.  If you can’t wait to see if you win the giveaway, you can visit their website at http://www.mylittlecupcakepop.com/ You can purchase the mold direct from there or they are available as well on Amazon.com.

The first step is to take your cooled baked cake and put it into a large bowl and break it up into small pieces.

Then I added my cream cheese frosting and mixed it all together.

Then take the mixture and scoop it out with a cookie scoop and put the balls in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

You will have about 40 balls.  Then take your “My Little Cupcake Pop Mold”

Open the mold and put one of the balls in.

Close the mold and let the excess squeeze out.  Then wipe off the excess and put it into a bowl to re-mold later.

Open the mold and you should have a nicely formed little cupcake.

Repeat with the rest of the cake balls and then put the formed cake balls in the freezer again for at least 30 minutes.

Melt your chocolate, then dip the bottoms of the cake balls into the melted chocolate.

After you dip it in the chocolate, put a pop stick in it and let it dry upside down.  When dry, melt the white chocolate and dip the top in white chocolate and sprinkle with decor of your choice.

Stick the pops into Styrofoam and keep going.

Okay so that is it.   Now for my review.  This was not a lot of work until the end.  The dipping of chocolate is messy and tedious.  There are also some casualties where the ball falls off the stick.  I think that is why some people just make cake balls and not pops.  The mold itself worked well.  It is just a lot of work and for me I do not know that I would do this again.  I mean the end result was okay but nothing that spectacular that I would have to make these again.  Maybe it is me.  Maybe I am not that creative or this just is not my thing.   I do not feel the need to rush and make another batch.  Like I said, someone else may have a knack for it, and I do appreciate that the mold was designed by a mom.  As I said in a previous post she does recommend using a pack of Oreo cookies and a brick of cream cheese.  Maybe that mixture holds better and definitely is less work than making your own cake and frosting.  Maybe sometime soon I will give that a try, who knows?  It depends how fast I forget.   I am giving away one brand new mold.  If you want it and you will give this a try then you need to subscribe to my blog and like my Facebook blog fan page.  In the next day or so I will post a post about the giveaway and it will have the instructions for the contest.   I think I am going to spend a bit of time with my treadmill now.  Have a great Saturday night!!!

I will leave you some pics of the little guys eating them.  Luke had a problem with it falling off the stick but he solved that by just stuffing the whole thing in his mouth.  : )


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I am so excited.  I have two product reviews and give-aways coming up and many more to follow.  I will let you know that the first is a “My Little Cupcake POP Mold.”  It is super cute and I will be doing a full review and making the cake pops hopefully today or tomorrow.  I will also update with the specifics of the contest later but I will tell you, you need to subscribe to my blog and like my Facebook fan page to be elgible for this and all future give-aways.  I have a lot of great stuff coming up as well, so stay tuned.


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg thisEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page


Share If You Liked This Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg thisEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedInPrint this page