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How I Made My First 1k Online in 45 Days

How I made my first 1k online in 45 days

Three years ago, I made the decision to become a freelance writer – it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. That’s not to say it’s been easy. There’s a lot of hustlin’ and business analysis that’s gone on behind the scenes but if it wasn’t for my blog, I wouldn’t have the job that I do now.

Today, I thought I’d give you an insight into how I made my first 1K online. Making my first £1000 wasn’t just from freelance writing – I definitely recommend that anyone looking to make money online or by working from home doesn’t put all their eggs in one basket. It certainly pays off to be focusing on more than one income stream.

So, how did I manage to make my first 1k online in 45 days?

Freelance writing

Around 70% of my first 1k came from freelance writing projects. I had zero experience in writing for clients when I started applying for jobs and I managed to land a couple of small gigs in my first 45 days. Here’s the strategy I used at the time to gain my first gig;

The only published work I had at the time was my own blog posts and a couple of guest posts on beauty blogs. Before I applied for any writing jobs, I searched through my blog to find my best work and 2-3 posts I could use as writing samples to put forward in job applications.

I then crafted a draft application which I could send to prospective clients – view my post on 5 actionable steps to become a freelance writer to see the structure I use when writing about myself.

Armed with samples and an application template, I then searched for freelance writing jobs – the two sites I used were People Per Hour and Pro Blogger Jobs. I still used these boards today and would rank them as two of my favourite sites for job leads. You can also find some more good freelance writing boards here.

I landed a couple of small jobs on these sites – writing blogs for a language learning company and writing articles for a range of websites in entertainment, health and fashion. I won’t lie, the pay was shitty because, at the time, I didn’t realise that my writing was worth more. However, despite the pay covering my outgoings, I decided to add another string to my bow.

Etsy

To supplement my freelance writing income, I opened an Etsy shop selling blog designs. This made up around 20% of my first 1k. I’m not a web designer but I learnt how to code blogger templates via google and would tweak my own blog a lot. At the time, I saw a gap in the market for affordable blog designs so I sold them fairly cheaply but still made a profit as once I had created a template, I could sell it more than once.

I was pretty lucky that I could write about the products on my blog and link to my shop. At its peak, my blog was receiving almost 100,000 hits per month which meant a good amount of traffic to my Etsy shop.

As my freelance writing career took off, I decided to close the shop as I didn’t have enough time to promote the products, answer queries or make any new templates. However, it was a good extra source of income at the time.

If you’re thinking of setting up an additional source of income, Etsy is a great platform as it already has an audience of its own. But, if you have creative talents, you could also use Society 6 to sell your own products.

My blog

The final 10% of my first 1k came from my blog in the form of advertising, Google Analytics and sponsored posts. I used to offer small adverts on my blog for other bloggers and small businesses. It doesn’t seem to be a very popular method of making money from your blog anymore. These days, affiliate marketing and sponsored posts seem to be the way forward. Whenever I’ve written a sponsored post, I’ve been asked via email but if you’re in the UK, the UK bloggers Facebook group is a good source of sponsored post opportunities.

Google analytics isn’t something I would recommend. It took me around 6 months to earn £60 with a small advert. You could probably earn much more with another company. However, it was still a lil’ bit of passive income and it was an unobtrusive way of making money.

Remember, if you’re making extra money online, you need to declare your income for tax purposes. If you’re in the UK, you can find out more here.

How to Improve Your Blog in Just One Hour

how to improve your blog in one hour

Many of us want to improve our blogs but don’t have enough time. Whether you want to refresh your blog design, tackle social media or make your blog easier to read, there are a few simple tricks you can do in just one hour. If you want to improve your blog but your job, social life or perhaps, life, in general, is getting in the way, set aside an hour in your schedule and give your blog a boost with some of the effective methods below.

How to improve your blog

Drive traffic to old blog posts

Checking your Google Analytics is a handy way to see what blog posts are popular and are gaining the most traffic. On your most popular posts, go back and link to other related posts (this is known as deep linking). You’ll notice that I’ve linked to some of my blog posts in this article – this helps readers to find other valuable content on my site that may help them. You could also add a P.S section at the end of your blog posts with links to some of your content if you don’t want to link within the blog post.

Schedule your social media

Sharing your content via social media is the best way to help increase your views and allow new readers to find your content. I personally like Hootsuite for scheduling but you could also use Buffer too. Why not schedule your posts for the week ahead and see how it boosts your hits.

Get pinning

Pinterest is one of my favourite ways to share blog posts. If you haven’t signed up to Pinterest, I recommend signing up for a business account here. You can also easily switch a normal account to a business account too. Enable rich pins here and each time you pin content to the platform, your pins will automatically contain extra information to make them more visible. Pinterest is a great way to improve your blog traffic – find 5 other ways to improve your blog traffic here.

Plan your content

You don’t need to post every day but publishing consistently will help to increase your audience and bring traffic to your blog. How many times have you stopped reading a blog if they haven’t posted in months? You could write your ideas in a notebook, digitally via Asana or via your blog platform.

P.S. If you need content for posts or are suffering from writer’s block – check out 85 blog post ideas here.

Refresh your blog header

The visual appearance of your blog can improve your reader experience and make you feel more positive about blogging in general. You don’t need Photoshop to make a blog header as there are plenty of free tools online. Both Canva and Picmonkey are great for editing images and making a header from scratch. Canva, in particular, has many free templates that you can use.

You can find free fonts over at dafont and font squirrel

I also suggest looking at the free goods Creative Market offer each week. Every Monday, you’ll find 6 free downloads and a range of fonts, graphics and themes to choose from.

Change your blog design

Not everyone can afford to hire a web designer, and that’s OK. There are plenty of beautiful blog templates/themes which will improve your blog and make it look super pretty, as well as being functional. Some of my favourite places for blog templates include;

Creative Market

Etsy

Bluchic

Envye

Angie Makes

 

85 Blog Post Ideas To Increase Your Readership

Creating blog post ideas can be challenging if you’re suffering from writer’s block, want to consistently post content or want to create an effective content strategy for increasing your readership. To get your creative juices flowing, here are 85 blog post ideas for a range of blog niches. Use these posts to fill your editorial calendar, create a blog series or switch them up and put your own spin on them.

Blog Post Ideas

Beauty

5 organic beauty brands to try

The essentials in a travel makeup bag

10 amazing beauty dupes

10 epic budget beauty buys

10 new beauty products you’ll want to buy

An easy everyday look with the X makeup palette

Luxe makeup items you need to splurge on

An easy makeup look for busy girls

Bedside beauty staples

A skincare routine for acne prone skin

A secret trick to make your lips look bigger

A beauty haul

Everyday nude nail polishes

5 DIY beauty projects anyone can make

Foundations for dry/oily skin

The Indie beauty brands that are killing it right now

Beauty spotlight: favourite cream highlighters

Holy grail concealers

A beauty wishlist

5 amazing MAC products

Beautiful beauty products to make you glow

Building a makeup collection in 3 simple steps

Top 5 liquid lipsticks

12 revolutionary beauty tips

The best makeup brands for summer 2017

My morning/evening routine

Fashion/style

A fashion wishlist

5 new items for spring/summer

How to style converse trainers

The best faux leather jackets under £50

Transitional pieces for winter to spring

How to layer clothes for your body type

Celebrity fashion inspiration

How to build a capsule wardrobe

The best ruffle tops under £30

5 reasons why you need to invest in a little black dress

cosy pieces to buy for winter

Summer holiday essentials

Lifestyle

Recipe – How to make cute cupcakes

3 places I want to travel to

3 favourite reads from the past month

A restaurant review

Letter to my teenage self

DIY project – How to make a rose gold/copper makeup brush holder

A bedroom tour

5 awesome Netflix TV shows you probably haven’t seen

5 phone apps I couldn’t live without

10 quotes to brighten your day

How to start a bullet journal

My favourite Instagram/Pinterest accounts

5 fun date night ideas

5 brilliant organisational tips

5 new homeware buys

How to style a coffee table

4 healthy snack ideas for work or uni

5 quick breakfast ideas

How to refresh your bedroom on a budget

An easy home workout for your abs

5 self-care ideas and why you should look after yourself

How to switch to a nutritional plant based diet

How to pack like a boss

8 etsy finds you’ll love

How to re-use your candle jars

Easy ways to become more positive

25 things to do on a cold, rainy day

A soothing pamper evening

6 tips for increasing your self-confidence

BLOGGING/BUSINESS

Sharing the blogger love – my favourite blogs

Why I started a blog

My blogging routine

How to create a kick-ass editorial calendar

How to edit your blog photos in Photoshop

5 SEO tips for your blog posts

How to grow your Instagram account in 30 days

5 WordPress plugins you need to use

How I make money blogging – income report

How to master your blog photography

How to promote your blog without being spammy

How to get noticed on social media

How to create a social media content strategy that really works

8 awesome tools to get shit done

5 girl boss babes that are killing it online

The best planners for organising your blog or business

15 top tips from successful bloggers

25 Content ideas for Instagram

How to Make Extra Money Online in 2017

When I first started freelancing, I researched varying ways I could earn money online to supplement my income. There are a range of ways you can make extra money online and I’ve tried varying methods with some working better than others.

I wanted to make extra money online to try and start a savings account, start driving and help pay for a masters degree, all of which I’ve managed to do.

You can make anything between £100/$100 to thousands by setting up some side hustle and I recommend using a few differing methods rather than putting your eggs in one basket.

Whether you’re a student, stay at home mum, or are simply searching for ways to earn extra cash, here is my list of sites that you can legitimately earn extra money online from.

*may include affiliate links

Swagbucks

You may have already heard of Swagbucks as its one of the most popular methods of earning extra money online. You can make money via Swagbucks in various ways, like watching videos, completing a daily poll, surveys, playing apps and more. It’s pretty easy to accumulate swag bucks which you can then redeem.

Sign up here and receive a $5 bonus.

InstaGC

InstaGC is another ‘get paid to’ site that allows you to earn cash via testing apps, watching videos, completing tasks and surveys. Payout starts from just 100 points and its super easy to rack up points just by completing the free offers.

Sign up here.

Prolific Academic

Prolific Academic is definitely one of the best survey sites on the web. Unlike other survey sites, Prolific Academic offers surveys and tasks from researchers and startups. Survey payments can range from 50p to £10 or more. The minimum payout is £5 which you can receive via paypal.

Sign up here.

Mintvine

Mintvine is a site that allows you to earn cash from surveys, daily polls and other offers. You can cash out at 1000 points which is $10 and you can gain extra points by completing your profile.

Sign up here.

Clickworker

Clickworker is a site that allows you to complete small tasks in return for a cash payment. Tasks can include surveys, visiting a shop to take a photograph, mobile jobs (you can complete activities via the app) and more.

Sign up here.

Profit Accumulator

Matched betting is a great way to make some extra cash each month. Many people doing matched betting are making in excess of £500 per month. I’ve made a couple of hundred pounds doing matched betting which has helped to pay towards my driving lessons. Matched betting is a risk-free way to make money using free bets. The best site I’ve found to help you seamlessly through the process is Profit Accumulator.

Profit Accumulator helps you understand exactly what matched betting is and takes you through the entire process, and even with a free trial of the site, you can earn up to £45 so it’s worth signing up just for that – think of the makeup you could buy!

Sign up here.

Do you have any ways to earn extra money online? What do you think of my suggestions?

How to Save Money on Your Favourite Beauty Products

I’m sure most of us love buying a little treat now and then but buying your favourite beauty products can add up, especially if you’re purchasing a luxe item. Luckily, I have a few money-saving tips up my sleeve and these may help you to save a lil’ cash on your favourite beauty products.

Do your research

If I’m buying an expensive beauty item, I always shop around to find the best price. Usually, I’ll type the product name into Google and click on the first few links that come up. Generally, I always find that places like Feel Unique, Look Fantastic and Beauty Bay can be slightly cheaper than other retailers, though it does depend on the product you’re buying.

If you’re looking to test a product before buying, try Love Me Beauty or Latest in Beauty – these sites allow you to build your own subscription box so you can see exactly what you’re spending your money on. Latest in Beauty also have ‘pre-made’ collection boxes that you can buy.

Cashback sites

I’ve used cashback sites for the last couple of years and they’re a great way to get money back on your purchases. You can also use them when you’re signing up to buy a mobile phone, insurance, finance etc. I’ve made over £500 back with Topcashback and 100% recommend it to anyone looking to save money on their purchases.

Cashback sites track your purchase and you’ll either receive a percentage of your spend back or a certain amount. For instance, if you were to currently spend £50 at Space NK online, you’d receive £4.50 back via Topcashback.

As well as a wide range of stores, including Feel Unique, ASOS, Fragrance Direct, The Body Shop and Cult Beauty, there’s also exclusive discount codes.

It takes a few weeks to get the cashback into your account and if you don’t want to add your bank account to have your cashback directly transferred, you can opt for Amazon vouchers, Love to Shop vouchers, Paypal and more.

Amazon

Amazon is a goldmine for saving money on your favourite beauty products. You need to spend £20 to get free delivery unless you have a Prime account – you can get a free 30 day trial of Prime if you haven’t had one before. You can cancel it straight away in your account and you’ll still get the 30 days free.

Just make sure that you’re buying directly from Amazon as there are many fake products sold by marketplace sellers. I’m not saying they’re all fake but its better to be safe than sorry. A few current bargains include;

Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set 

DE’LANCI Eyeshadow Palette (Morphe Dupe)

Revlon Colourstay Foundation

Nip + Fab Glycolic Night Pads

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

GHD IV Styler

Search discount sites

Discount sites offer many reduced beauty items. However, it’s important to know that some of these cosmetics may be discontinued lines or shades. Still, you can save a bit of cash by searching for your favourite products. Fragrance Direct and All Beauty are two sites that I’ve used with no problems. I’d also recommend TK Maxx – they have quite a good beauty selection online but you may find some gems instore too.

Discount codes

Websites such as HDUK show you the latest instore and online offers. You can search for hot deals as well as recent discount codes. I also like to use voucher sites to see if there are any current codes floating around the net. My favourite sites are;

Voucher codes – You’ll find codes on here for stores and restaurants.

Paypal shopping – If you’re paying by PayPal, take a look at the offers on this official website.

NUS Codes – If you want an NUS card to save money on your purchases, buy this Microsoft Course for £4 by e-careers and you’ll be able to apply for a £12 NUS card. Use your NUS card to save at least 10% at ASOS, Superdrug and Office as well as half price Spotify, six months free Amazon Prime and 25% off at Odeon.

eBay

While I don’t recommend eBay for makeup as its overloaded with fake products, its great for buying makeup brushes. The makeup brushes I’m talking about are the dupe versions that you can buy for as little as 99p. I’ve purchased many brush sets and they’ve all been excellent quality. Some of them are even better than shop purchased brands. Here’s a heads up on affordable brushes I rate;

Pro makeup metal brush set

Kabuki style brush set

Spectrum brush dupe set

Zoeva brush dupe set

Unicorn brush set

Indie brands

Finally, I thought I’d mention some of the amazing indie brands on the beauty market. You’ve probably heard of Colorpop and Makeup Geek but I wanted to note some of the other affordable brands you may not have heard of. Obviously Morphe are well-known for their incredible palettes, but lately, I’ve been loving BH Cosmetics – their shipping to the UK is also cheaper than Morphe and you can find some of their products at Beauty Bay. I’ve also heard great things about Coloured Raine and LA Splash.

Do you have any money-saving tips? What’s your favourite way of saving money on your favourite beauty products?