3 Things I am LOVING Lately: July 20th

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3 Things I Am Loving Lately What about you

This week my family has been doing our BIG trip test run. So far it is going well. We have a running list of things we would like to alter in the RV before we leave and are figuring out how to best run our days so we have a good balance of family time, mom & dad time, alone time, and work time for me.

I will admit I am still having thoughts of “this is absolutely crazy” as well as “I can’t be away from my own bed for 6 months!” but for the most part this week I am in awe that my family can do this–even if biggest  reason why we can is a cause of sorrow for me. Still I know my dad would love the idea of our family taking his money and seeing North America in a bigger way. He was a real live in today type man.

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On the first full day of our week long camping trip in Michigan we went up to Sleeping Bear dunes to hike the trails. The views from the top were amazing.

It was a 4 hour trip from where our family is staying for the week but it was worth the drive.

disc golfing

After the day trip to the dunes we took a day off and just let everyone do their own thing for the day.

The next day we decided to invest in a simple long distance disc golf frisbee for each member of the family. My husband and I figure it will make for some great low cost fun for the family during the trip. In general once you have your disc you can play for free.

Although we did have fun, lets just say that certain members of the family really need to work on their throw. There was a lot of time spent searching for discs in the woods and long grass that bordered the course.

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Before you think the whole trip has been all fun you should know that I am also practicing how to fit in working while we camp this week, so that I know how to best do it during the BIG trip.

I have discovered that I can do most of my blog writing offline at the campground using google drive. However I do need access to WiFi for at least 2 to 4 hours 6 days a week  just to keep up with social media and the post writing tasks that cannot be done offline.

Thank goodness for Starbucks cards earned through places like InstaGC and Swagbucks. I can keep my Starbucks gold member card filled enough to allow me to get an ice-coffee while I catch up on my work. Since and ice coffee is under $2.50 that makes for some pretty inexpensive internet access.

What are you loving lately? Share it with me in the comments below.

Let’s get to know one another! Join me on Facebook and/or Instagram. Those are the places I hang out and chat.

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3 Task Sheets You Need To Blog More In Less Time

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Are you constantly feeling like you have too much blog work to complete in the time you have available? Do you want to get more done in less time?

Get more blogging done in less time! You can shave hours off your work week by creating these 3 task sheets for yourself.

I am constantly on the lookout for ways to get more blogging done in less time and recently I stumbled upon a great way.

It all started with the decision our family made to take a rather long road trip.

Being a blogger, I can’t stop work for the duration of our road trip. Well I could, but there would be several negative consequences that I am not willing to pay.

I realized if I want to enjoy this trip as much as the rest of my family and not feel like my blog is suffering, I would need to figure out how to get my work done faster.

After much brainstorming I decided the best way to get more done was to break down what I routinely need to do to maintain a profitable blog while still having a life into 3 categorized task sheets.

3 Task Sheets That Can Help You Get More Blogging Done In Less Time

First Vital Step

You have to actually use the sheets once you create them!

I don’t know about you but I am what I like to call Type B-personality. I type out lists like a Type A, but then I either lose the list or never follow it. So in order for this new system to work I had to make myself use them.

There may have been some chocolate rewards involved in helping me to make using my task sheets a habit. So if you need a reward system until using these tasks sheets becomes a habit–set it and go for it.

 Second Vital Step

Hold a brainstorming session

Before you set out to make these three task sheets you need to block out time to do some serious contemplation and brainstorming. A three hour time slot will probably be sufficient.

Here is what you agenda should look like for your brainstorming session

First spend time diving into your Google Analytics  as well as your income sources, asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are your top 50 to 100 posts of all time?
  • Where does the bulk of your traffic come from?
  • Where are you earning the bulk of your money?
  • What affiliate programs are you involved in that really just aren’t working for your blog?
  • What social media platforms are you using that bring you the most traffic?
  • What social media platforms don’t seem to be moving the traffic needle?

Now comes the hard part–make a pact with yourself to stop doing what isn’t bringing in a sizable return either in traffic or in money earned when compared to the time it takes to obtain it.

For example: if there is a topic you blog about and it isn’t getting you traffic, accept a narrowing of your niche and stop talking about that subject. If there is an affiliate that you have been pushing for months and yet you still haven’t made a sale (or just a few sales compared to other products)–stop spending time promoting it and spend the time you have on what is bringing you returns.

With those things crossed off your list you should be left with the most profitable blogging tasks for your blog.

Break down that list into blog tasks that you need to do daily, weekly and monthly to both maintain and grow in these areas.

I am not going to offer you my task sheet as free printables because they are very unique to my own blog, the time I have to work each day and a few more factors.  Therefore I feel it would be more helpful to just tell you how I did it so you can make your own.

Anyone can make these lists. I used Open Publisher to create mine. They do not have to be fancy–mine certainly are not. They just have to work!

Get more blogging done in less time! You can shave hours off your work week by creating these 3 task sheets for yourself.

 What Your Task Sheets Should Contain

Daily Blog Task List

Your daily blog task list should contain everything you need to do each day to keep your blog running well.

On one side of my daily blog task list page is a list of things in order of most important to things that I could miss doing for a day if needed. On the other side of the page is  lots of white space so I can also write down what I need to get done for the family that day, such as laundry or taking a child to the dentist.

I list things in order of importance so that if I am short on time I can skip what really doesn’t need to be done daily. For instance, I don’t have to look at my Facebook insights daily–I just like to, which means it is at the bottom of my list. However, I do have to make sure my post for the day is promoted through social media so that is at the top of my daily list.

Right under the absolutely essential daily stuff are the words “work on weekly task for the day.”  I will address that sheet in a moment, but know for now that this is a vital part of why this system is working so well for me. I use self discipline not to touch the things under “weekly task for the day” until my essential blog tasks are 100% complete.

Weekly Blog Task List

My weekly list breaks down one week of blog post writing into daily tasks so that I finish my blog posts days before they need to be posted–giving me breathing space in case of super busy days created by family stuff.

For example: on Monday I rough draft Friday’s post, Tuesday I finish it and Wednesday I read it one last time before sending it to the gal who proofreads it for me.

I keep Saturday open for special projects like eBooks, new subscriber freebies, an extra day off or as a catch up day if for some reason I got behind during the week.

Sundays I take a full day off blogging unless I took another day off during the week.

Monthly Task Sheets

My monthly task sheet is really more of an editorial calendar. I made a chart using the table maker in Open Office with enough boxes for a month’s worth of blog post titles and divided it up into sections for each day I post.

At the end of each month I hold a brainstorming session for blog post ideas. I can usually fill out this sheet with blog post ideas for the entire month within 30 minutes. I then take an hour or two outlining all those post ideas on paper so that I have a good post skeleton to put meat on when it is time write each post later in the month.

I would like to take this monthly listing of blog posts a step further and create a monthly post routine to follow. Something like “first Monday of the month a post on cleaning tips, second Monday of the month a post on decluttering, etc” so that even less brain power and time is needed each month to create a posting schedule.

Under the post title area I have a few empty lines dedicated for things I would like to get done on the blog during the month should I have more time than usual to work on it. Usually this includes 3 posts I would like to update for Pinterest.

At the very bottom I have an area marked “Saturday project” with two empty lines under it where I write down big blog projects I want to attack–currently this is my eBook time.

Get more blogging done in less time! You can shave hours off your work week by creating these 3 task sheets for yourself.

 

How These 3 Task Sheets Will Increase Your Productivity

These sheets help increase focus. They will quickly become task masters–tugging you out of rabbit holes and preventing you from screaming, “Squirrel!”

Personally, when I stick to my 3 task sheets I am finding that I am finishing my Monday through Friday weekly list by as early as Wednesday afternoon and often can either take Thursday and Friday afternoon off to enjoy more family time, use it to spend more time on my “Saturday Project” or spend it on those few things I listed on my monthly list as “would love to get to if I have extra time.”

On our long trip I am planning to use that found time to spend more time enjoying the sites with the family. I also don’t plan on doing a “Saturday project” while we are traveling to free up even more of my time.

If you have any tips for managing time spent blogging better, leave a comment below. This blogger is all ears!

How I Started Making Money From My Blog

How I started making money from blogging! | Snail Pace Transformations

If you are looking for ways to monetize your blog beyond ad networks, sponsored posts and products–check out my post on how I first started making money from my blog.

If you found this post to be useful, make sure you don’t miss my latest posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter. Get to know the blogger behind the blog by following me on Facebook or Instagram.

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3 Survey Companies That Really Pay

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(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)

If you have tried out various survey companies, you may have been frustrated by those that promise “big returns,” yet seem to have “big cash out thresholds” that can take you forever to reach–not to mention the time you spend filling out endless screening questions that often lead to you being tossed out of the system with no payouts for your time.

Tired of working forever to earn a cash out through a survey company? You need to try these 3 survey companies with low cash out thresholds and more ways to earn points.

I have tested out numerous survey companies; first as a mom of little ones wanting to earn something from home in the little cracks of time between the children’s needs and now as a blogger wanting to help my readers earn money from home.

What I have found out is that in the sea off unfruitful survey companies there are a handful of  fruitful survey companies. Sure these companies are not going to make you rich, but you will at least be able to hit their low cash out thresholds in a timely manner and earn at least a free fancy Starbucks coffee or perhaps even a dinner out for two each and every month depending on how often and how much time you spend filling out surveys at these companies.

First I want to share what I look for in a good survey company:

  • good recent reviews over at Survey Police
  • a good review from a reader or friend
  • low cash out thresholds
  • more ways to earn points than filling out surveys
  • quick ways to earn a few points on a regular basis
  • payments delivered within a reasonable time frame and several choices for cash outs

These three companies below have most if not all of these qualities.

3 Survey Companies That Really Pay

9 ways to earn gift cards with PrizeRebel.

PrizeRebel

PrizeRebel offers 8 other ways to earn gift cards beyond filling out surveys. It has cash outs available at as low as 200 points for a $2 Amazon gift card. The speed of delivery of your reward depends on what level on their member chart you currently are at, but once you reach silver level they are delivered almost instantly.

Use my referral link to sign up for PrizeRebel | Snail Pace Transformations

How to Earn Gift Cards with MintVineMintVine

MintVine offers several other ways to earn points besides surveys, but surveys are where the biggest point payoffs are. Each day you can earn 5 points simply by taking a few seconds to participate in their daily poll. Cash outs begin at $10 and there are a variety of different gift card options. You can also request a deposit into your Paypal account.

In MintVine’s survey area you will find a box beside each survey that tells you how long each survey should take. I have tested this feature out and found it to be accurate. You are also often given a few points for filling out the qualifying questions for a survey you didn’t get into.

Use my referral link to sign up for MintVine | Snail Pace Transformations

PaidViewpoint Survey Taking Simplified

PaidViewpoint

If you really don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to surveys but you don’t mind answering a few questions in exchange for a gift card now and again, PaidViewpoint is for you. In general their surveys take less than 5 minutes to fill out and you get paid for each and every one. The longest survey I have been a part of was probably right around the 15 minute mark and I did earn more for it than the short ones.

The cash out threshold for PaidViewpoint is $15 and you can currently get it in the form of a Paypal deposit, Amazon gift card code or a Walmart gift card.

Use my referral link to sign up for PaidViewpoint | Snail Pace Transformations

If you want to dive deeper into the world of online surveys, a few other programs you might want to try out include:

  • Mypoints–the simple click thru emails at 5 points apiece are a great way to earn points beyond survey taking.
  • InstaGC–You can cash out as soon as you get 100 points for a $1 Amazon gift card code and receive it instantly.
  • Swagbucks–Swagbucks is so much more than a survey company with over 2o ways to earn points. I have some readers earning as much as $100 a month just by maximizing their Swagbucks account.

For even more companies check out my list of 18+ point reward programs.

How to earn $100 in gift cards every month--Without Spending all day on the ComputerHow To Earn $100 in Gift Cards Each Month

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