How to Start a Blog and Make Money Online

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Starting a blog is no simple feat. Add “making money” to that blog goal and you are in for some work. While many people think being successful off their blog happens practically overnight, they are in for a rude awakening. Blogging takes time, effort, work, and also perseverance. For some, making money off their blogs happens two, three years down the road. Are you ready to make that commitment on a longterm level? If you said yes, then we have good news for you…you can start a blog AND make money AND have fun doing it. With just a few simple steps and loads of commitment, you can accomplish your blog-creatin’, money-makin’ goals in no time.

 

Start the Blog

Seems like a no brainer first step, right? Starting the blog is a crucial first step though, because well, how the heck can you make money from a blog without a blog?! By starting a blog, this usually means you have an idea churning away in your brain, or a passion that you want to explore. This may be one of the most fun parts of blogging–building your own platform to create content. There are tons of websites and hosting opportunities out there for you to build content, and create a website that you are proud of. WordPress, Weebly, and Squarespace are just a few to start, but make sure you find one that caters to your needs and that you think can help you in a longterm way.

 

Create Content

The most important part of any blog is the content. People tend to assume that content is the last of your worries with a blog, but believe it or not, the more content you have, the better off your blog with be. We’re talking high quality content, too. Content that is relevant to your blog, and isn’t just littered with keywords for no reason. Google will crawl your blog and verify whether or not it should be searchable for their users. The more relevant content that you blog holds, the higher Google will place your blog in their rankings. So this means–get to writing!

 

Find a Community

Finding a blog community is an important segue for the next step of the process, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. It is important to find a community for your blog where you can find likeminded creators, garner ideas for new content, share your content, and support one another. Blogging isn’t necessarily a solo-venture, although many people feel that is the case. Blogging itself is a community-driven experience, but when you niche-down and find similar blogs and information like yours, it will help you in a variety of ways. Commenting on other bloggers posts is a great way to not only get your name out there, but show people that you are an “expert” in this area.

 

Engage

Beyond just engaging in a community, you should also engage with everyone that comes to your blog and comments. Comments are pretty huge in the blogging world, and when you engage, you build a rapport with that person. Think about how many times you took the time to actually comment on a blog or article after you read it. Seldom, right? That means that when someone takes the time to comment on your blog, they not only found something of value, but they also went out of their way to share that acknowledgement. Thanking them and responding is a great way to show your respect.

 

Outreach

You can’t expect that once you immediately post a blog, thousands of people can find it and start reading. Such is not the case. Once you publish a blog, it shoots out into the inter webs, and you’ll be lucky if someone stumbles across it without any sort of outreach on your part. Outreach is crucial in letting people know you have great content available that is worth checking out. Sending out newsletters each week, starting a social media page, joining forums, and things of that nature are great ways to get start sharing your content with readers.

 

Start Making Money

So, you built a foundation, you have some great content up, and you’re engaging on a regular basis. What’s next? Time to start making money. This, my friends, may be the hardest part about blogging yet. Making money from your bog isn’t just a one, two, three process. You may have a few different ways that your blog brings in money. Affiliates are one of the most common ways to make money with your blog, as you can write content and link to outside sources, which in turn can help you generate revenue. Affiliate marketing for say, Amazon, can let you link to their products from your content, and if you readers purchase through those links, you will get a percentage of the profits.

Another way to make money from your blog is through advertising and sponsorship opportunities. If your blog is generating decent traffic, then businesses and companies will want to put a banner or ad up on your site for their own benefit. Companies will potentially pay you for ad space or banner space, similar to that of a magazine spread or newspaper. It is important to make sure though, that you have significant enough traffic to offer to the advertiser.

You can also make money from your blog through sponsorship opportunities. There are plenty of companies who are looking for unique, well-read blogs to showcase their products to their readers. Obvious establishing yourself as an expert would be the first step of this process, but it can yield some really big results. People trust an expert, as do companies. And repping their brand on your blog is a great way to garner some extra income.

 

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Pool Party Ideas

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With summer just around the corner, we are here to tell you that it is about that time to get your pool party planning underway. Consider us your pool party fairies if you will, ready to get you amped and filled with summer party ideas so that this celebration can be as smooth and flawless as ever. Pool parties are a great way to relax and unwind, splashing around with your friends and neighbors and soaking up some summer sun. But throwing the right pool party doesn’t need to take exorbitant amounts of work! Take a look at a few of our pool party themes and ideas to get you started.

 

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Graduation Pool Party

There is no better way to celebrate the end of one chapter, and the beginning of summer, than with a backyard pool party. Gather together your loved ones and have a pool party/cookout that blends the outdoors, a nice swim, and some delicious barbecue all in one shot. Whether your child is graduating from elementary school or from high school, a graduation pool party can be an awesome way to celebrate together and welcome warmer days, too.

 

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Luau Party

Everyone loves a good luau party, right? We’re talking tiki torches, flowered leis, and fresh coconuts galore. A luau is one of the most enjoyable pool parties you can throw, especially because the decorations are so darn festive. Jazz up your backyard with balloon palm trees, make sure your guests wear their best floral or Hawaiian shirts, throw on your Blue Hawaii album, and dance the night away! There are so many different ideas for tropical cocktails and luau-inspired foods, the planning and decorating options are a’plenty.

 

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Nautical Pool Party

Another fun way to send pool party invitations with a theme is by throwing a nautical pool party! This theme is especially great when you are looking to combine a child’s birthday party with a poolside splash, and need some festivity to go with it. You can decorate in red, white and blue, fit with anchors, boat regalia, and life preservers everywhere. A summer nautical party is a great kid’s theme that will provide endless amounts of seasonal fun.

 

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4th of July Party

If you’re looking for the ultimate 4th of July party idea, then how about a throwing a pool party? Combine this fabulous holiday with some refreshing fun right in your own backyard. Fourth of July brings together family and friends to celebrate the Independence of our country, and with a backyard pool party, the fun and festivity stays right in your home. Put out some sparklers, light up the grill, and get your swim trunks on. This 4th of July party will be the most memorable to date.

 

Here at Polka Dot Design, we carry summer party invitations in abundance. Summer is one of our favorite seasons, simply because it allows most people the opportunity to cut loose and enjoy the outdoors. If ever you need a few more pool party ideas of your own, don’t be afraid to drop us a line!

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The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Guide You’ve Been Waiting For

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Believe it or not, Mother’s Day is right around the corner. I know what you’re thinking–“I have plenty of time don’t rush me!” But truthfully, it’s about a month away as we speak, and isn’t it better to get some gifts and ideas squared away instead of waiting until the last minute?

We think so, too. Thanks to our friends at Beau-Coup, we have an ultimate gift guide for this upcoming Mother’s Day. If you’re like us, you tend to scratch your head when it comes to gifts or ideas that haven’t been done before. Sure, you’ve given your mom a massage before, or a bottle of wine, or a picture frame with an inspired message. Those are the usual go-to’s. But this year, Beau-Coup decided to jazz up the gifts and throw a little bit of creativity into the mix. Take a look at what they have come up with.

Gifts to Mom from the Kids

Okay, so maybe you are hunting for the best gift to give your spouse on behalf of your kids. Not a problem. We have created the ultimate gift guide for gifts from the kids, so that you don’t need to fret. Show your spouse how much you love her, and how much everyone in the family adores and appreciates her every day with these clever and thoughtful gifts.

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Most Awesome Mom Mug

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Mom Ring Dish

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Letters to My Mom Book

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So Glad Your My Mom Mother’s Day Greeting Card

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Dear Mom I Love You Coffee Mug

 

Jewelry and Engraved Gifts for Mom

Truth be told, you can never go wrong with jewelry. The tried-and-true gift of the ages, jewelry on Mother’s Days is ALWAYS a good idea. The versatility of giving the gift of jewelry is always there. Especially when you take the time to customize the jewelry, or add a little bit of personality into the gift. Make your mom, or wife feel extra special with a sparkly showpiece that emits love and affection. Take a look at these jewelry gems and see what we mean.
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Locket – Silver Plated – Large Oval

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Engraved Rhinestone Toggle Bracelet

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Engraved Jewelry Box

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Engraved Silver Heart Jewelry Box

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Rhinestone and Pearl Earrings

 

Fun & Novelty Gifts for Mom

Maybe you want to give a less serious gift this year and simply want to put a smile on your mom’s face. If so, then we have the perfect gift ideas for you. Nothing says “I love you” more than going out of your way to make someone laugh, or feel comfortable in their own skin. These novelty gifts do just that. For the mothers in our lives that don’t take themselves too seriously, and just want to have a little fun, these gift ideas are for them.
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Cart at the Liquor Store Beverage Napkin

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The Beach Is My Happy Place Glass Cutting Board

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Personalized Floppy Sun Hat

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Pink PomPom Beach Coverup

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Personalized Plush Spa Robe

 

With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can have your Mother’s Day shopping finished today. It’s that simple.

As always, we hope you have a Mother’s Day for the books!

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Mason Jar Invitations

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Part of the charm with Polka Dot Invitations is the fact that we always try to make sure there is an invite for everyone. With thousands of exclusive designs and styles, we encourage people to sort through the proverbial pile in hopes to land on the invite, or stationery of their dreams. For many people lately, that perfect piece of invitation heaven comes in the form of mason jar invitations.

Mason jars have been a big style trend lately. Whether they are used in the kitchen as storage for beans and legumes, or are used to whip up some craft cocktails and add a slightly Southern twist, mason jars have been a pretty neat way to add some modernity to your life. This is why we decided to take a chance and feature some of the coolest mason jar invites around. Picture this, you’re looking for a unique, totally contemporary yet chic way to celebrate your upcoming bridal shower. Yet, you feel like everything has been done already. How about browsing  our mason jar bridal shower invitations for a one-of-a-kind themed celebration? Whether it be a Sunday bridal luncheon, or an afternoon high tea, mason jar bridal shower invites are sure to be a hit. Take a look at some of our favorites.

Mason Jar Invitation in Pink, Mint and Aqua

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Ball Jar Mason Jar Invitation

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Blue Baby Shower Mason Jar Bouquet Invitation

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Perhaps you’re looking to celebrate your upcoming nuptials and prefer to have a more relaxed, whimsical invitation that celebrates your Southern roots or your more free-spirited style. Our mason jar wedding invitations, too, are a fan favorite. The different styles that each mason jar invite comes with is special unto its own right. Whether you’re looking for something colorful and floral to light up your invitee’s life, or you want something more classic and down-home, mason jar invites are versatile through-and-through. To see what we mean, take a look at these invitations, and how stylistically different they are from each other.

 

Daisies in a Jar Bridal Shower Invitation with Glitter

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Masonade Mason Jar Party Invitation

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Jar of Fall Brights Mason Jar Invitation

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Another exclusive invitation style we started carrying recently that started flying off the shelves, are our chalkboard wedding invitations. People seem to love the more modern approach that chalkboard invites hold, while also not taking themselves too seriously. Here are a few of our chalkboard favorites for you to take a gander at:

 

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Gone are the days where stuffy, traditional invites are a requirement. Pepper in parts of your personality no matter how fun or funky that may be. Allow Polka Dot Design to tailor each invite to fit your needs so that you and your invitee will forever be satisfied.
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The Top Wedding Traditions From Around the World

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Have you ever stopped to think about all the different types of weddings and wedding traditions from around the world? Sure, we get so caught up in our own wedding planning that we tend to overlook how many varieties of traditions there are throughout the globe. While some cultures and countries spend more time on fertility spells and less time on choosing the right wedding invitations, it’s fascinating to see what types of traditions are out there for other people. Take a look at this awesome infographic below from our friends at GiftBasketsOverseas.com.

 

Wedding_Superstitions The Top Wedding Traditions From Around the WorldMarital traditions and superstitions aren’t just found in the United States. There are plenty of other countries around the globe that incorporate certain cultural expectations into their big day. Here are some of the strangest traditions or superstitions that you may have never heard about.

 

Wearing a White Dress

Nowadays, most Western countries adorn their beautiful brides in white dresses, but this wasn’t always the case. This tradition actually started as a trend in the 1840’s by Queen Victoria, and has been popular ever since! Believe it or not, some countries have a traditional color of red for their wedding dresses as white can represent something entirely different.

 

Carrying Across the Threshold

Surely this is a custom you’ve heard from a few western countries, including the United States. But have you ever wondered why the groom is supposed to carry his new wife across the threshold of their home? This custom is intended as a form of protection, as for the groom to carry his bride in his arms is an act of warding off evil spirits through strength.

 

Wearing a Veil

This is not just a fashion trend, as one might assume. Wearing a veil means something entirely different. What originated in Ancient Greece and Rome, is a tradition that is intended to protect the bride from any evil spirits during her wedding.

 

Weekly Food Preparation 

A custom in Egypt (that we can totally get behind by the way) is that for the entire week leading up to the wedding, the bride’s family does all the cooking for the future newlyweds. Sounds like a dream come true for us!

 

Rainy Wedding

While most people tend to curse a rain storm on their wedding, some cultures actually believe it is good luck. Hindu cultures for example, think that when it rains on your wedding day, your marriage will be blessed and filled with good luck and good health.

 

Spiders in the Dress

For many people, finding a spider in a dress would probably result in a lot of screaming and potential tears. Heck, maybe even in extreme cases, the postponement of nuptials. But for the English, finding a spider in your wedding dress is a sign of good luck! Either that, or a really jealous younger sister.

 

Body Adornment

You probably have seen before many Middle Eastern-style weddings, where the women are adorned with henna all over their hands and feet. Believe it or not, there is a reason for this body art, beyond just looking beautiful. The henna is said to have protective purposes, that when on the hands and feet of a women, will keep them safe from the evil eye, which is said to leave women unable to have children.

 

Dunking in Milk

While you may be more accustomed to dunking cookies in milk, you probably will find it a bit strange to dunk your entire body. However, this is a pre-wedding ritual for Moroccans. Before the wedding, Moroccan women take a milk bath, mixed with argan oils in order to purify themselves before the big day. Although cookies aren’t allowed in the tub with you, it sounds like a great way to stay soft before the wedding!

 

Something Borrowed, Something…Green

Bet you expected us to say blue, huh? Well in Japan, blue is not the lucky color of choice for a wedding. In fact, in Japan, green is the lucky color of choice. Green gifts and green clothing are given to the couple in order to prepare them for eternity together.

 

A Spit of Good Luck

For many of us, spitting is a dirty habit that we’ve been groomed as children to avoid at all costs. However, in Kenya, spitting is something that happens at a wedding as a blessing. Can you believe that?! The father of the bride will spit on his daughter’s head and chest in order to bless her and her new union.

 

The Tooth of a Whale

It is common for many cultures to ask the father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. While in Fiji, that is still the case, there is something else that accompanies this question. When a man wishes to wed a woman, he must ask her father for permission, while also presenting him with a whale tooth. This signifies the man’s commitment to the daughter, and the seriousness of his request.

 

A Walk Across the Relatives

I’m sure many of you have considered stepping on your relatives or in-laws at one point or another. The good news is, that if you’re getting married in French Polynesia, your dreams will become a reality! After the wedding, the relatives of both the bride and groom lay on the ground, facedown, and allow the couple to walk across them. Good luck, perhaps? Or maybe just a free chiropractic adjustment.

 

Giving a Gift

One of the most popular, and most coveted wedding traditions across the globe involves giving a gift to the bride and groom. Honoring the couple and their commitment to one another is truly a magical thing, and what better way to reward them in their commitment than with a gift?! Our friends over at GiftBasketsOverseas.com have an incredible collection of wedding gifts for different countries and cultures, perfect to send along to the new couple. Take a look at their arrangement of wedding gifts and see for yourself.