Category: BLOG

Learn all of my clever strategies to start and make your blog successful. Join me on my journey as I share my wins & fails! Topics include Getting Started, Social Media, Content, Monetizing, and Tips & Tricks!

Pinterest Basics For Beginners

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The 1st Pinterest resource you MUST read!! ** Pinterest Basics | Pinterest | Pinterest for Beginners | Pinterest 101 | Pinterest for Dummies | Intro to Pinterest | Viral | Blog | Newbie Blogger | New Blog | Blog Traffic | Social Media | Visual Search Engine | Pinterest VA | Pinterest Manager | #Pinterest | #Blogger | #BlogLife | #NewbieBlogger


If you’ve been blogging for any more than a week you’ve probably heard how vital Pinterest is to a blog.  In fact, Pinterest is responsible for 99.9% of my blog traffic and was also the catalyst for my most popular post going viral.

That experience resulted in a 6,642.12% increase in page views over the course of 48 hours in September of 2016.

You can read more about that experience HERE.

Needless to say, I’m in love with Pinterest!  And there are literally thousands of resources out there claiming to hold the key to your Pinterest success.

Most of them will provide you with valuable information.  Much of it will be redundant and some will be hidden jewels of information.

So I literally try to read everything I can get my hands on regarding Pinterest so that I don’t miss anything in this current climate of ever-changing algorithms + trends.

One thing that I often find lacking is a selection of super duper basic resources for people who are just getting started.  Like a ‘Pinterest for Dummies’ or ‘Pinterest 101’ for just Pinterest basics.

Sure, you can take the context clues from the more advanced resources and piece things together as you go; which is what I did.  But that can take time and be somewhat confusing and frustrating.

So I decided to write this post to provide you a very basic framework for getting started with Pinterest from the ground up. And provide you resources for taking it to the next level once you’re ready after mastering these Pinterest basics.


The One Creative Thing Every Pregnant Mom Should Do

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If you are a newly pregnant mom this is one of the first things you should do for yourself. It's so important to document your journey and maintain a method of self-care.

A Creative Idea for Every Pregnant Mom

Hey, Mama!  I am so excited for you…congratulations!  I am one of those crazy gals who truly loved being pregnant and I so hope it’s the same for you!

Pregnancy is such a wild time filled with excitement mixed with anxiety. Add to that a million questions about the unknown and some serious planning and you’ve got a lot on your plate as a newly pregnant mom!

One other thing that I recommend you add to the list is starting your very own personal blog right now.  And, “Why?” you might ask.  Well, I have some very good reasons for you!

Self Care Journaling

Pregnancy is such a crazy time.  It’s like a hormonal & emotional rollercoaster.  So self-care is truly vital for the well-being of every pregnant mom.

One great outlet for self-care is journaling.  And as much as we would all love to be those bullet journal people…for many of us it’s just not realistic.  However, journaling online is a much more sustainable option.

And blogging is, in many ways, like a form of online journaling.  It’s such a cathartic outlet to release your thoughts, emotions, struggles, and elation as you navigate these 40-ish weeks.  And doing so online is so simple and easy to maintain.


One Year Blogging: Lessons Learned

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There are many lessons learned after just one year blogging. It's the period where you make the most mistakes but also learn the most. Check out my insights



One Year Blogging Anniversary

Yay!  It’s my blog’s birthday today!!  Frugal Nesting is one year old today!  No…as much as I would love to do a fun little photo shoot with a smash cake, I will settle for a celebratory cocktail and dinner out with the fam!  Here’s to one year blogging!


I cannot believe that I’ve made it a full year into this extraordinary journey!  One of the things that this process has taught me is how important introspection is for centering yourself & creativity.


So I took some time today to sit and think about this past year and reflect on everything that has happened in my life.  And the overriding theme that really stands out is LEARNING {and growth} but mainly learning.


I always knew that I would be a lifetime learner because I love, love, loved college {and actually work at one now}!  I become easily obsessed with new topics and am in a constant state of seeking.  Nothing ever feels quite “good enough”.


That helps me in some areas, but can also be a weakness.  Regardless, this past year has been FULL of learning.  And I have loved every minute of it!


And today I want to help you learn…from my experience that is!  Below you will find some of the wisdom I have gleaned from my first year as a blogger.  You will find some processes, some wins, some fails & grand plans for the future!  So dig in to hear how it all went during my one year blogging so far!



Convenient Cloud Accounting for Small Business | XERO

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Convenient Cloud Accounting for Small Business | Frugal Nesting


As a busy working mom and small business owner, convenience has become my middle name.  I simply do not have the time or patience to deal with clunky outdated processes and systems.  And as my blog has grown, I’ve begun researching all of the possibilities that are available to me to help manage, document, track, organize and categorize my business expenses and cash flow.  So I am on the lookout for convenient cloud accounting for my small business.

I am also looking toward the future for when hiring a Virtual Assistant becomes a welcome reality for my business!  So I need to be prepared for two things that will come along with hiring a VA.  One is that they will need to have easy access to my records in order to help me manage all of the moving pieces of my business. Two, I will need a convenient way to manage payroll.

And I DO NOT want to be dealing with a different software for every aspect of my business.  I need one thing that will do it all and will do it quickly & easily.  Back to that ever important convenience factor!

In my research, I recently came across an awesome company called Xero.  Xero is beautiful accounting software…online accounting software that is managed through the Cloud.  Yes, the Cloud…meaning you can access your information from anywhere, anytime and on any device you choose!  Yay, can you say convenient?!?!

Click here to learn more about Xero.

Convenient Cloud Accounting

Small business owners are using Xero for everything from managing business expenses, to handling payroll, and invoicing.  What can Xero do for you:

  • Connects to your bank account
  • Unlimited users
  • Create + reconcile expense claims
  • Calculate payroll, manage taxes + pay employees
  • Create + email custom purchase orders
  • Mobile app available
  • Connects to popular business apps including PayPal
  • Tools for POS, inventory, job tracking, CRM + more
  • No installation required, automatic backups + free upgrades
  • And SOOO much more!

Xero will connect right to your bank account where transactions quickly match up to be categorized.  You can also create and email custom purchase orders which can be copied to bills for payment.

The Convenience Factor

It’s super convenient for your accountant or bookkeeper to use or you can just convert info from QuickBooks.  In fact, you can add unlimited users so everyone in your business can handle finances from anywhere.  And Xero’s mobile app will allow you to send real-time invoices that provide an alert when opened so your clients can just pay online.  See…just another step closer to becoming a true virtual nomad or allowing employees to work from home when they have a sick kid!

Check out Xero’s special introductory offer of 30% off for the first six months with promo code XERO30NOW

With Xero, you can accept or reject those time off requests from employees.  You can also keep track of timesheets and various other payroll tasks including payment, direct deposit, and payroll status.

Xero is a brilliant way to keep track of that pesky financial side of small business ownership!  This convenient cloud accounting software is  easy to use, and saves so much time and energy.  Plus you have access to free online support 24/7!  Click HERE to start your free 30-day trial today [no credit card required – yay]!

FYI: Nonprofits get an exclusive 25% discount!


The Day My Blog Exploded

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Viral Post Pinnable Image


Early on I had a post go viral increasing pageviews by over 6000%…this is the story of that viral blog post.


Before I dive head first into what I experienced the day my blog exploded, I should probably introduce myself so you can get a general feel for who I am and where I am on my blogging journey.  My name is Alea and I’ve been tinkering with the idea of a blog on and off for about 3 or 4 years.

I even tried starting a couponing blog once but realized that I simply didn’t have the time to invest in tracking down and keeping current on all the exciting new deals and coupons that were constantly in flux.  So I decided to leave that to the ladies who have nailed it already. I don’t know how they do it, but God bless them!  Anyway, that was very short-lived, but it did teach me quite a few things about what not to do. {I thought you might like a quick look at a screenshot from back then.}

Viral Blog Post | Screenshot of my 1st blog

Although I love couponing & saving, I realized that the mechanics of tracking those things down to provide a well-rounded resource database for other was unrealistic.  However, I did realize that I could easily write about my process, what has worked & not worked for me in the past, my own coupon brags, etc.


So I can just keep visiting the Krazy Coupon Lady (KCL) to find out the inside scoop on the best coupons & deals and I can be helpful and direct my readers there too.  I’m still helping even if I’m not the original source.  That took a huge burden off my shoulders.  However, I had burned out quickly with that one and took some years off.


The time passed and it was time to try and add another member to the family, so I decided to document my journey for other gals who were trying to conceive.  I had so many questions that I would scour the internet looking for answers on, so I figured why not become the resource?  Also, I am super big on preserving things for posterity like journals, keepsakes, etc.


How it Feels to Make a Living with Affiliate Marketing: An Interview with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

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Earn Income Online | Affiliate Marketing | Frugal Nesting



I have not been blogging for long, but anytime I start something I get obsessed and go all in.  Blogging is no different, so I dove head first into it as far as learning everything I possibly could!  I wanted to know everything from how to get my own website, making it look pretty, strategy for quality writing, growing an audience, etc.  In that research, something became clear very early on that piqued my interest and that was the fact that people are able to make money from their blogs.

That was, and still kind of is, foreign and crazy to me.  But what really blew my mind was that there are some people who earn income online and are able to blog for a living.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Some people earn a full-time income just from having a blog.  And hold onto your seats…some people make more in a month from their blog than I make in a year at my “real” job!

Burning the Candle At Both Ends

As a mom working a full-time job I constantly feel that both my job and my kids suffer as I try to juggle both.  We all know the mom guilt is real and it’s intense.  Burning the candle at both ends can really take its toll on our well being too.  So the notion that a person can actually work from home, or from anywhere for that matter, and earn a decent living doing something they love is like my dream!  That being said, I am not even in that ballpark.  I just blog for the love of it, but have recently begun to put processes in place to earn some extra spending money!

The money that I do earn blogging has jumped dramatically since I took an e-course by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents.  She is one of the bloggers I mentioned who makes more per month from her blog than I make per year in my middle-class business day job.  In fact, in one month she makes about double my yearly earnings.  In July of 2016, she made $112,594.97 for the month.  Anyway, Michelle has the most awesome setup at this point.  She quit her day job a while ago, sold her home and travels full time with her hubby in an RV.  All while earning money in her sleep from her blog!

The Interview

I recently interviewed Michelle about how blogging has changed her life and she had some pretty awesome things to say.  Take a minute to read our interview below:


How I Made My 1st $250+ as a Newbie Blogger

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How I Made My 1st $250+ as a Newbie Blogger



I am a new blogger with a handful of fun posts, a few subscribers, and growing pageviews.  My blog is small & new, but isn’t that where we all start?  This is a quick note, to those of you who are just starting out, with info on how I got started and how I started making money with my blog very early on.  I am going to begin with a bit of background on how I started my blogging journey, but please feel free to jump to the bottom for the good stuff…I won’t be offended!  

What Is A Blog

I just recently started reading and following blogs about four years ago. Before that, I thought of blogs as mainly glorified diaries. And for many people that is precisely what they are and that is great. However, it was only about four years ago that I realized that blogs also existed as a resource. My first experiences with blogs as a resource began with couponing and deal websites like CouponPro Blog, Krazy Coupon Lady and Southern Savers when I decided to dive head on into “extreme couponing”!

I quickly realized what a wealth of information was out there from other “real people” expressing information, tips, tricks and recommendations from their respective areas of expertise. One thing I noticed right away was the unique perspective found on each blog and the conversational tone with which the information was delivered. It’s relatable and feels genuine, in fact, a good blogger can draw you in and make you feel like an old friend. That’s typically what I look for when deciding on my new favorite blogs.


One other place that I spend a great deal of time {probably too much time} is Pinterest. I’ve been obsessed with Pinterest since the very beginning when I heard a story about it on the news a few years back. I remember thinking that the concept was purely genius! It was the perfect solution to the clutter I keep of magazines, recipes, and other inspiration! Now this was back when you still needed an invitation, which I kind of loved…hello exclusivity! Anyway, I was hooked from the get-go and have been in dire need of a Pintervention ever since! One thing that I never realized until recently is that the majority of Pinterest is simply a curation of images and links to individual blog posts! So if you love Pinterest, then you love blogs!

So I began paying much closer attention to blogs and referring to them regularly for the solutions to my common problems. I use Pinterest anytime I need to know how long and at what temperature to cook something, I use it for many of my breastfeeding questions, style inspiration, blue day quotes, and on and on. And when it came time to move out of my apartment, a couple years ago, I completed my move-out deep clean exclusively using fancy DIY homemade cleaning tips & tricks from a laundry list of blogs that I identified on Pinterest.


15 Minute Quick Start Guide to Create A Mommy Blog

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Nice & simple...just like I like things! I think I'm finally going to get around to starting my mommy blog!


Birth of  A Mommy Blog

I started this blog originally because I wanted to help people find answers to questions that they have about parenting, budgeting, and daily life.  I also wanted to document my parenting and blogging journeys.  Over time I’ve gotten many questions on the process I took to create my mommy blog and how it’s become a successful “side-hustle” for me on accident.  I’ve begun making some extra spending money from blogging that has helped alleviate some of the financial burden associated with managing a household of four.  I am not one of those millionaire bloggers earning five or six figures every month…heck I’m just getting started so who knows what’s in store!  But for now, I just earn enough to make a dent in some of our credit card debt and pay for things like Christmas gifts, etc.!

Blogging is a fun outlet for me and it’s kinda cool to be able to earn a few passive income dollars along with it!  Though I don’t make a full-time income blogging, there are plenty of people who do.  So if you are a new mama who wants a creative way to earn income while staying home with your littles then blogging might be one way to do it.  If so, then this little tutorial on how to create a successful mommy blog might be calling your name right now!

Want to Work from Home {Or From Anywhere For That Matter}?

Blogging is PERFECT for stay-at-home moms or any gal that wants to kick the 9-to-5 grind to the curb and enjoy life more!  But you can’t get too far beyond the brainstorming phase without setting up your actual blog site, but how do you actually do that? I know, it seemed super complicated, daunting, scary, etc. to me too! However, you will be happy to hear that it really is easy as pie! And this brief tutorial will hold your hand and walk you right through it!  This post is not going to tell you every single thing you need to know about a blog.  This one is solely the initial setup for people who are asking questions like “where do I even begin?”, “how do I get my own website?”, “isn’t it really expensive to have your own site?”, “do I have to know about computers to have my own blog?”, etc.  I will cover strategy, training, and other tips on where you go from here in separate posts.  This is just your first stop on this wild blogging ride…step number one!

First of all, I am telling you that you need to just bite the bullet and pay for web hosting {it’s only $3.95/MO} so you can be “self-hosted”.  That just means it will be example >> thecoolestblogever. com as opposed to thecoolestblogever.wordpress. com. That’s what I recommend, both for aesthetics and credibility…it’s a real website then!  Now I can only recommend Bluehost to host your site and WordPress as a platform because those are the only ones I have experience with and have both been great for me so far.  I can also say that just about everyone is on WordPress, there is always a WP plugin for anything you might need down the road, and there are some ad networks that only work with select platforms and WordPress is always at the top of their list.  Those are the two things that you really need to make that critical first step.  Now make sure that you select your blog name before you get started so you know what domain name you will go with.  You can check here to see if the one you want is available:

Don’t psych yourself out because of all the jargon…Bluehost has this whole WordPress integration thing down to a science.  It just about completes itself!  Ok, are you ready? Let’s do this!

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