How I Make $3000 A Month Working From Home

*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Rest assured that I would only promote products & services that I have used myself and completely believe in.

fw

I debated posting this, because it requires vulnerability, which is terrifying. Income is a touchy subject, and I have never been one to disclose how much I make. I decided I needed to share with the world how I have completely turned my life around, by spending only a few hours each night (if that) working from home. I used to find these kind of articles inspiring, and they gave me hope that one day I could do the same. I’m glad to say that now I can.

One day I came across Gina Horkey, a freelance writer who shared her income, and it blew me away. I couldn’t believe that someone could actually make that much money by writing. I mean, I have been writing as long as I can remember, and it was something I have been very passionate about, but I didn’t know you could make money from it. It seemed almost unreal, or too good to be true.

I started dabbling in freelance writing here and there for a while, but it didn’t seem worth it only to make $0.03 per word, like most places were paying. It is very easy to get burnt out when you are writing about topics that don’t excite you, for next to nothing. I didn’t get how others could be making so much, when it was hard to find great paying gigs. Then, I took Gina’s freelance writing course, and so much has changed since then.

I was so scared when I bought the course. That would make it my very first investment towards my freelance business, but I wanted to learn from her so badly. I flew through the course as fast as I could, and I was surprised by how much useful information there was. Not only that, but it was information that I could use right away, so I hit the ground running.

I scoured job boards, and sent off as many pitches as I could right away. I didn’t think I had much of a chance at landing any of these writing gigs, but I tried anyways. You never know unless you try, right? Well, to my surprise, quite a few of the did actually respond to my pitch. I didn’t land every single one, and there were some I never heard from again. The most important part, however, is that I did get some of them. Despite my deepest insecurities and negative voices telling me I’d never get a paid job, I got quite a few of them.

After taking the course, I got higher paying jobs. I learned to know my worth and stick to my guns. I didn’t take jobs that didn’t pay well. I learned the value of the industry, and the value of my work. I was scared at first that this would limit the amount of jobs I would get, but that didn’t seem to be the case.

That was in May, and it has been 4 months now. So much has changed in 4 months, for the better. My freelance writing business has allowed me to bring in a minimum of $3000 extra a month, on average. The best part is that I feel like there is still so much room to grow and improve, to bring in even more of an income. I have no college degree, or formal training at what I do, I am simply good at it. We all have our talents, and writing has always been one of mine. I feel very blessed that I am able to do what I am passionate about every day, to help support my family.

What would you be able to do with an extra $3000 a month? For me, it meant I would be able to pay off debt, help my boyfriend with some big bills each month, and it even helped me buy my new car. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can definitely help buy peace of mind when it doesn’t seem like you can keep your head above water.

This may not work for everyone, and some people might find greater success. Not everyone is good at, or even likes to write, and that is OK. The point of this story is to inspire you to explore your talents. What is it that you are good at, and like to do? Is this something you would like to do everyday of your life?

Do you think freelance writing is for you? Do you have knowledge in one or more areas that you could contribute to the world? Give it a try! One of my favorite parts about freelance writing is there are little-to-no costs. I paid absolutely no money to get started, and I didn’t make any investments until I had already started making a small amount of income. Right now, I have $0 expenses as well (aside from my websites, which cost about $20 a month).

With almost no expenses, that means I get to keep 100% of my earnings. Ok, I shouldn’t have said that, because I have to set aside around 20-30% for taxes. Since I am self-employed, I have to make sure I have enough to pay in on taxes at the beginning of the year, so that I don’t face big penalties later on. This kind of stinks, but it is what it is.

One day I may be able to do this full time, you never know. When you work as a freelance writer there is never a “guarantee” or stability that comes with a “normal” job. I love the doors that it can open, and the people I get to work with. I never know who is going to email me, or what they are going to want me to do for them, but there is never a dull moment.

Stay tuned for my next post where I will go over the steps to starting your freelance career, and what you may or may not need to get it up and running.

Do you have any questions you would like me to answer in my next post? Leave them in the comments and I promise I will get to them!

 

 

 

Firmoo Glasses- an Honest Review

***Disclaimer: Affiliate links have been used in this post. If you make a purchase I may or may not receive a commission for referring you. I was gifted these glasses for free in return of my honest review. I believe in transparency, and I wouldn’t recommend something I didn’t like myself.

 

I haven’t been wearing glasses very long. In fact, I only wear glasses about 50% of each day. It started about a year ago when I was getting constant headaches every day after an hour or two at work. I noticed I was needing to squint my eyes every time I was looking at the computer, because it was very blurry.

I finally bit the bullet and took a trip to the eye doctor (for the first time in my adult life).

My new Doctor concluded that one of my eyes was slightly near sighted, and the other eye was slightly far sighted. It  was not enough to need glasses all the time, but he told me my eyes were straining hard when I was working on the computer or reading, so that was likely the cause of my headaches.

I left the eye doctor with a new pair of glasses on the way, and when I saw the price tag I cringed a little. Thank God for vision insurance, because I definitely would not be able to pay for them out of pocket. I cherish my glasses, so much that I keep them at work so I don’t lose them. That’s fine and dandy, but when I am at home writing, I am running into the same problem again.

Then Firmoo came along.

About a month ago, I was contacted by a company I have never heard of, Firmoo. They wanted to gift me a pair of glasses in order for an honest review. When I said honest, I mean honest. I’m not the kind of person who would sell my soul for free things.

I agreed, and went through the ordering process. I was amazed by all of the different options! When I saw the price tag on these, I realized that I would have bought them even if I wasn’t getting them for free. Most glasses on their website range from $20-$50 from what I could see.

The customer service reps were great, emailing me throughout the whole process and making sure I was satisfied. Make sure that you have your prescription handy, because you will have to enter that if you are ordering a pair of prescription glasses. If you are wanting a pair but you don’t need prescription glasses, don’t worry! They have non-prescription glasses too, and they are so cute.

About 2 weeks later I got my glasses in the mail, in the cutest case! It was a hard, sturdy case with a design that looked like a map on it. The glasses looked exactly how they did on the website, so it was a good first impression. I tried them on and they fit perfectly! I was really happy with how they fit and looked.

Firmoo Glasses Case

I think I am slightly obsessed with the case they came in

They are a lot flimsier than my expensive pair, but that is to be expected. You get what you pay for. These glasses are perfect for when I am working on my computer at home, and that is exactly what I am going to be using them for! I don’t know what it is about glasses, but they make me feel like my creative juices are really flowing, and I seem to get so much more work done!

If I had one complaint, it would be that they are kind of hard to clean with anything aside from the cloth that comes with the glasses. That seems to be a common complaint. If you use the cloth they clean fine but you can’t use your shirt, for example, it will just smear. Another blogger here thinks it may because of the special coatings on the glasses, like the anti scratch coatings.

Firmoo Glasses

Awkward Glasses Selfie 

All in all, I am very happy with these glasses. The shipping took around 2 weeks, so don’t expect to get them right away. I think they are perfect for the price you pay. Thumbs up from this girl.

Firmoo Family

Me trying to get work done with a toddler- impossible

If you want a pair, go to this link and use this coupon code: 94153628ba

This special offer is for my readers: The first 5 people to use this code get their glasses for free– all you have to do is pay for shipping. This offer is good through May 27th, and like I said, it is only for the first 5 people to claim the offer.

Let me know what you think!

How to Create a Blog in Less Than 10 Minutes

*Disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you purchase something I may make a commission.  I only promote items I personally use and recommend to others.

How to create a blog in less than 10 minutes

 

I’ve been blogging for quite a few years now.  Before My Life on a Whim, there was 2 or 3 other blogs (is it sad I can’t remember the names I had for them?).  They just didn’t feel right.  The names weren’t right, the design wasn’t right, and the content wasn’t right.

One day the name “My Life on a Whim” popped into my head and it just felt right.  I wasn’t even actively blogging at that time, because I had a newborn and had just gone back to work.  It just popped into my head out of nowhere like it came right from God himself.

For those who know me, it fits perfectly.  My brain constantly is thinking up new ideas.  For everything.  For business, parenting, crafting, and even weekend planning.  My boyfriend has learned to just roll with the punches and will most likely roll his eyes at the new ideas I am sharing with him.

Needless to say, I have the whole “creating a website” thing down to an art.  With all of my blogging/experimenting, I have learned many different tips and tricks.

I have also tried many different website hosting companies, and finally settled on my favorite, Host Gator.  This site is hosted through Host Gator, and I have been more than happy.  Host Gator has been the cheapest company I have hosted with, at $11 a month.  Since this is my go-to website hosting company, I will be using Host Gator for my tutorial today.

Note: I have not done much tutorials, so bear with me.  Oh, and constructive criticism is welcomed!

Setting up a website is really very easy.  The difficult part is getting the design and content just right (I am STILL working on my design all the time).

So, here we go:  How To Create a Blog in Less Than 10 Minutes

First:  First you need to go to Host Gator, the place you will be purchasing your domain/hosting from.  For those of you not familiar with these terms, the domain is your url, in my case it is mylifeonawhim.com.  The hosting is your monthly payment for basically keeping your site up and running.  The domain is a one time payment at the time of purchase, and then you choose to renew it (or not) after 1 year.  It is usually about $10 to purchase a domain. 

Once you are there, the Get Started button would be hard to miss.  Hit that, and choose a plan.  I chose the middle plan, called the Baby Plan.  You choose what is right for your goals.  I want a site that is more than the basic plan, but not as complex as the top plan, so I chose the middle plan.  So far, no regrets.

Then, you search for and find your domain name.  Choose carefully.  I have been through 3 domains so far, and it’s a big commitment.  When in doubt, just use your name.

NOTE: If you use the coupon code MYLIFEONAWHIM, you get $9.94 off!   

Once you get that figured out, just fill out your account information: user name, billing information, payment plan (if you pay for more months all at once, you get a huge discount, or you can pay month to month like me).

Now You Are Ready to Build Your Site!

You will now get an email from Host Gator with the link for your control panel and your login info (the username and password you just set up).  Go to your control panel and log in.

Go to “Quick Install” and you will find WordPress right on the homepage.  (WordPress is the best and easiest platform, in my opinion).

Once WordPress is installed, head on over to your site to log in.  Your admin log in url is http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin

When you are logged in, you are now in your “dashboard,” where you will be spending most of your time, creating posts and customizing your site.

Your Site Is Built!

Now the fun begins! (For me, anyways).

You can now find a theme you want for your site, and tweak it until it looks how you want.  Build your dream site!

 

 

Overwhelmed?  Don’t be!  I am here :)

I am offering my services to those who purchase hosting through my affiliate link (click on the “Host Gator” above, or click the banner at the bottom of the post).

What does this include?  I will install a theme, 3 key plug ins, set up the layout you want, and customize the theme to your liking.  All For Free!

This does not include making a header for your page, but I will do that for an additional $15.

If you want my help after the initial site is built, just shoot me an email: gabep889{at}gmail{dot}com.  Can’t wait to help you customize your website!

 

 

An Elephant Never Forgets

“Do you really need that cookie?”  My Grandpa asked me, when I joined my cousins in eating Christmas cookies while helping our Grandma put up the Christmas tree.  I looked away and pretended I didn’t hear him while I ate the cookie in shame.  I had to have been about 10 years old, and that was about the first time I realized I was fat.

I wasn’t ALWAYS this way.  I used to be the same size as all of my peers.  I was a normal kid.  I ate normal things that the rest of the kids ate.   I was also just as active, if not more active, than the other kids in my grade.  I was in gymnastics, and was constantly practicing when I was at home.  One day it’s like my body decided to slow down and pack on every single calorie I ate.

I remember feeling disgusted with myself all the time, looking at my body, and then looking at my cousins’.  I always felt compared to them, and I didn’t stand a chance.  At least I had one cousin close to my age with the same problem, and knew what I was going through.  Her and I were always put in “diet competitions” against each other.  We  would be offered prizes for losing weight, but we never really could follow through.

Looking back on it now, I realize how it was only the beginning of the dark shadow cast on me.  My weight has haunted me for the past 15 years.  I would get called fat in middle school and high school, and I would always pretend I didn’t hear it.  I would wish myself invisible every day.

My whole childhood was spent analyzing everything I ate, and feeling intense guilt after eating something I shouldn’t have.  This naturally led to me taking it to drastic measures in high school.  I would starve myself, and then slip up and eat something- so I had to punish myself and throw it up.  I remember asking my older cousin to “teach” me how to make myself throw up.  That’s pretty sad, isn’t it?  All the while, when I was a freshman, a senior guy, lets call him Marvin, would go out of his way to call me “fat” every. damn. day.  I would avoid him at all costs, but he seemed to be around every corner.

I remember one Friday night in high school like it was yesterday. My friends and I had a few drinks, and needed a ride home. My best friend was pretty good friends with Marvin. So, she called him to pick us up. I pretended to pass out in the back seat, to hopefully avoid being degraded because of my weight. No such luck. I heard him making fun of me, and my other friends laughing, and acting concerned that I would hear them. They reassured themselves by saying, “She’s drunk, she won’t remember.” His next words still ring in my ears almost daily. He said, “An elephant never forgets.” He’s right. I will never forget.

I never said a word to my friends about that car ride, because I didn’t want to face the truth. Not only that I had a weight issue, but that my close friends also found entertainment at my expense.

I just want to go back in time and give myself a hug.  Why?  Because I was no less of a person than I am now.  Why do I feel like I am a more valuable person now that I am not obese?  Last time I checked, it was still me back then.

The attention and praise I would get from the results of my eating disorders were overwhelming.  Family members would seem to treat me better the thinner I was.  It felt good.  This would lead to a spiral of ups and downs with my weight and extreme weight loss tactics.

Eventually that senior graduated, and I let myself go.  I just stopped caring.  I leveled out at around 230 lbs, and stayed that weight for most of my adult life.  I still would go on fad diets, and do pretty good, but as soon as I quit I would gain it all back.

My breaking moment was when I was 9 months pregnant, and the scale glared back at me. 289 lbs, it said.  The doctor warned me that according to my BMI, I was morbidly obese.  I wasn’t even “eating for two,” I did not understand how in the world I gained 80 lbs while pregnant.  I beat myself up everyday, while fighting the urge to eat every candy bar I could find.

When my son got baptized and I saw a picture of myself, I was mortified.  I had leveled out at 260 lbs, and I was so ashamed of what I saw in the mirror, so I took it in my own hands.  I wanted to try something completely different, because I knew that the fads I had done before do not work.

I had heard about this thing called Shakeology, and a workout called PiYo.  I met up with a woman from my local moms group, and I signed on as a discount coach right then and there.  I completely jumped in to this blind.  I had NEVER had Shakeology before, but I just NEEDED it to work.

And it DID work.  It worked great!  I had not only the tools to lose weight, but I had now gained an amazing support system full of motivational women (and some men) who had gone through this before too, and knew the struggles I was going through.  I pushed myself, because they were pushing themselves, and we were all in it together.  I am now almost 80 lbs lighter than I was when I joined, and I am proudly no longer “obese.”

It has not been a perfect journey.  I fell down a couple times, but I ALWAYS picked myself back up.  I have completely changed my mindset and lifestyle to design the life and the me I have always been.

It has been me all along.  I am still that chubby ten year old, and that anorexic freshmen.  But most importantly, I am the strong women who has overcome it all to live a healthy life that I am proud of.  I am the women who is the closest to her “ideal” weight than she has ever been.

I still have a hard time letting go of some of the pain and judgment I have felt along the way, but I am learning that how others treat you is a direct reflection of who THEY are, not you.  Those who put me down as a child, or called me fat in school?  They don’t matter.  Remember, “A lion never loses sleep over the opinion of sheep.”

I hope this reaches someone who is in a position I was once in, and I hope you have the courage to change your lifestyle, and do it for you.  Don’t do it for those who make you feel bad, do it for YOU.  You are the only one with the power on your hands to live the life you have dreamed.  Do not measure your worth based on the opinions of those sitting in the stands.

me when i was younger

 

So, You Want to Start a Blog? Tips for Starting Your Own Blog

Creating a blog

**Disclaimer, this post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you purchase something I may make a small commission.  Affiliate links are noted with a *

 

So, you want to start a blog?  You’ve been researching and reading other blogs, and you have decided to take the leap.  Maybe you want a creative outlet, or you want to build and grow your own blog to (hopefully) make some side cash.  Or, maybe you are like me and it’s a little bit of the two mixed together.  I love to write, but I would be lying if I said my ultimate goal isn’t to make tons of some extra money.

There are a bunch of different things you need to think about, and decide when starting a blog.  First off, is making money one of your long term goals?  If so, then the following tips are for you.  If you aren’t looking to make money, and don’t want to invest any money into your blog then I suggest joining a free blogging website, such as Blogger.  If you are looking to monetize and don’t mind investing a little, read on!

Web Hosting

Ok, so the first thing you need to think about is where you are going to go for web hosting.  There are so many choices out there, that it is pretty hard to make a decision.  Lucky for you, I have already tried out 3 different hosts.  For my first blog I used BlueHost, which wasn’t bad I guess.  The customer service was good, and the price wasn’t horrible either.  Then, I joined the bandwagon and used Go Daddy.  I’ve got to say, not impressed.  They were about $20 a month.  Finally, with My Life on a Whim, I started on Host Gator*, which is my favorite so far.  Great price ($9 a month for me).  I always choose to pay month to month, instead of 6 or 12 months at a time, so my rate is higher than what most pay.

When you choose the plan you want, it will bring you to a screen where you get to pick what you want your domain, or the name of your website, to be.  You can mess around and see what is available and pick one.

Note:  This is no easy task, and pick one you really love, because I am now on my 3rd blog because I kept getting sick of the names I chose.  I finally now think I got it right.  Fingers crossed ;)

Designing Your Blog

Now, the fun part!  It’s so hard for  me to keep my blog at one design because the wheels in my head are always turning and coming up with new ideas.  One day, if I grow my blog enough I will pay someone to professionally design my page.  I think its an investment that is well worth it, especially if it is bringing in income.

A pretty blog brings more traffic.  Simple as that.  If you are like me and don’t feel like having it professionally designed, then installing a free wordpress theme is the way to go!  That’s what I did, and then I made my own “logo,”  or the header you see at the top of the page.  It was super easy, and tons of fun to do, too.

Then, you can play around with colors and fonts, and whatever else your theme allows you to customize.

Do You Have a Niche?

At this point you need to think about your goals, or ideas that you have for your blog.  Are you really good at arts and crafts?  Are you a good chef?  Maybe you have some pretty awesome parenting advice?  Or, maybe you are like me and have so much random things in your head to get out there that you don’t have a specific “niche.”  That’s just fine too.  But at this point, you need to think about what direction you are going to take your blog in.

Start Writing!

Well, now you have the basics down, and you need to work on creating content.  Write a few posts, make an “About Me” page to put a face to the blog, and you’re on your way!  I suggest making a few posts before really trying to market your blog.  That is what I did, and why I keep posting so much.  When you get readers, you want them to look around at more pages on your blog, so give them something to read!

Next, we will talk about marketing and gaining readers, but that is for another day.  Now, go out there and write! :)

Tell me how it went, or do you have any advice for “fresh” bloggers?

Comment below!

signature