The BEST Free Courses for Bloggers

The BEST Free Courses for Bloggers

I recently put together a free email course called Blogging 101: The Ultimate Start Guide for Blogging as a Side Hustle.

My course, Blogging 101, spans 7 days and each day has a different topic. We talk about the best hosting, how to pick a domain name, the best tools and plugins you’ll need, and why WordPress is King. We go over the best tools to use for graphics, best free and paid resources out there, and how to start a blog if writing isn’t actually your “thing”. Plus, so much more. I’m not entirely sure how I fit it into 7 days, honestly!

But through my research, I found several other free courses out there that can help you discover your niche, focus on a particular stream of income, and teach you things like taking your own photographs. They teach you how to get more sign ups to your email list, and a bunch more. All of these courses are very useful, especially if you’re just getting started. I absolutely recommend you try some of them out. Not all of them; you don’t want to get overwhelmed. Pick one or two that really speak out to you. Focus on following their steps, and when you’re done, you can pick one or two more.

There is really no such thing as too much information, especially when you’re blogging. You’ll come to find that what works for one person, may not be true for you. And what works for you, might be in direct contradiction of the advice of a blogger who makes 6 figures a year.

Take what you need, and leave the rest.

I did a lot of research for my Blogging 101 course, and along the way. I found that a lot of the courses that talk about blogging that are incredibly useful to me, are already listed at:

Mom Makes Cents: Free Courses for Bloggers (Click Here)

So please, sign up for my e-course here! And then go check out the list that is the end-all-be-all of lists about free courses for bloggers. (Mine is not listed, because mine did not exist when this list was compiled. Ha!)

I’d love to know in the comments if you signed up for mine and how it compares to the others!

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How to Build a Bigger Business with Shopify

How to Build a Bigger Business with Shopify

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission at not cost to you. In fact, if you use the links, you are directly supporting the creation of awesome content for the future. So thanks!

Have you been side hustling for a while, turned it into your full time gig, and making some decent money selling your products, but you’re ready to take your business to the next level?

Shopify has got you covered. For the past seven years, Shopify has hosted a Build Your Business competition, encouraging start ups and new businesses to get creative and start making money. Well, this year they’re doing it a little differently and they reached out to me to help spread the word!

When you’re trying to grow a business, it’s not a process you can do alone. You need a support team of highly skilled and qualified individuals who know how to disrupt the system, create profitable systems and products, and streamline processes.

Putting together the team you need can be expensive. Finding mentors that really know what they’re doing doesn’t ever come cheap. So what is a business owner to do?

Check out Shopify’s new competition: Build a Bigger Business. Over the past 7 years, Shopify has helped over 100,000 merchants launch businesses through Build a Business, an annual competition asking scrappy freshman entrepreneurs one question: can you sell the most?

This year, Shopify has announced the first Build a BIGGER Business competition. How is it bigger? This time, rather than focusing on springboarding new businesses, this competition is for established Shopify merchants.

The Build a Bigger Business Competition is designed for:

  • Established companies with sales in 2016 between $1M and $50M
  • Companies who are not currently on Shopify but are thinking of migrating
  • Companies that are currently on Shopify and love it there because they know what’s up!
  • Businesses that thrive in a competitive atmosphere
  • Business owners who want support and leadership from leaders like Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins, plus the creator of Goldieblox, and the CEO of Shopify (and so many other amazing people, omg!).


What’s the point of competition when you’re already doing good? Well, how about bragging rights?

Or like… Hanging out with Tony Robbins in FIJI!

Look, growing only stops when you’re dead. If you’re not bankrupt, you gotta keep growing. So how does getting over a million dollars in business infrastructure support sound, in terms of growth?

There’s like 8 different categories of competition. But seriously, just go to the Build a Bigger Business Competition and read up on it yourself.

Look, if I was at this level, I’d be all over this. If you are at this level, what are you waiting for? Check it out, see if it’s right for you, and get started making even more money with mentorship from some of the biggest names in the biz.

Ready to start your online side hustle, but nowhere near $1M in sales yet?

You should still take a look at what Shopify offers new business owners. Its a great setup with amazing support and opportunity to do pretty much anything you want.


So I want to know: How are you growing your business or side hustle this year? Tell me in the comments!

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Why You NEED a side hustle (plus how to get started!)

Why You NEED a side hustle (plus how to get started!)

Today we have a guest post from Leah, and we’re talking about one of my favorite things: Side Hustles! I highly recommend you check out the free e-course at the end of this post and tell us your biggest fears about getting started hustling. 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission at not cost to you. In fact, if you use the links, you are directly supporting the creation of awesome content for the future. So thanks!


Hey, everyone! My name is Leah and I am the blogger behind I blog about ways that millennial women can advance financially and professionally by side hustling. My blog was born about 1 year ago when I was declining law school acceptances and felt like there had to be more creative (and less expensive! Hello, debt!) ways to pursue a career I loved, I just needed to find it.


Fast forward one year, and I’ve completely dedicated my blog to helping people side hustle. Because of my blog and the freelance writing experience I built up by side hustling, I was able to quit my job last summer and travel for four months. There’s no way I could’ve done that had I not had the experience and money from a side hustle. It’s a huge boost of freedom and I can’t recommend side hustling enough. So, first…


What’s a Side Hustle? 

A side hustle is a way you make money outside of your 9-5 job and/or primary source of income. Side hustles can be quite extravagant and include starting an entire business. Or, they can be as simple as monetizing a hobby you already do. For instance, do you to write and journal? Why not make money freelance writing and ghost blogging? Do you speak another language? Make money tutoring!

The types of side hustles are never ending and you can monetize nearly anything that you might be good at it and/or have a passion for.

Why do you need a side hustle? 


Side Money 

The most obvious (and maybe most exciting!) reason to have a side hustle is to make extra money, of course! This is especially relevant to the millennial generation who is drowning in debt. Yes, we do have a lot of debt on our hands, but we also have the power of technology and the opportunities to make side money with it like never before. Exercise that power and conquer your financial life!


Diversify your skills  

If you live in the United States, you’re well aware (and maybe in sick of hearing) that our economy and politics are shaky. With the turbulence in our country, the safest defense to your own job and financial security is to be really employable.  Side hustling allows you to develop and exercise other professional skills you might not get to use at work.

For instance, one of my side hustles is my blog,, and in learning to create a website and market digitally, I was able to get my current job by leveraging my knowledge of web design. Other examples of this could be if graphic design was your side hustle and you learned how to use creative software that a company would be looking for. Or, you could tutor a language that you know but otherwise might not practice so much, maintaining your fluency.


As I mentioned above, my side hustles gave me the finance security and confidence to quit my job and go to Asia. That’s a long story for another day, but the short version is that I felt like I was a dead end with my job and didn’t want to just wait until I got another. I had the luxury of quitting to travel because I had saved up a bit of extra money from my side hustle and I knew I could continue making money online because of the experience I had built up freelancing. It gave me an entire new freedom.

Have an outlet 

You might be surprised at how therapeutic your side hustle becomes! It’s an excellent and satisfying way to forget your stresses at your 9-5 and keep perspective when you feel enclosed in your own day-to-day life. As one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Chris Guillebeau says about side hustles:

It’s not a part-time job as much as it’s something you create, and it’s disproportionately satisfying.”

It’s a simple as having something that you love and can make money off of. Even if you do have a job that you love (and I hope you do!), chances are you have some other passion projects yearning for attention inside of you that you may have been dismissing because they didn’t make you money or you didn’t have time.

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The key to a profitable side hustle

The beauty of side hustles is that you can really make one of out whatever you love to do. Some might seem more profitable than others, but with a little creativity, you can monetize nearly any hobby. So, don’t feel cornered into one hustle!

However, one key trait of a side hustle I do highly recommend considering when beginning your own is trying to find a side hustle that’s at least somewhat passive. If you can create a side hustle that is passive, you’ll save yourself a lot of time in the long run. That saved time can then be used to make more money. It’s a win-win.

How to make your side hustle passive 

Passive can mean a couple of things. Traditionally, passive income is a way to make money without directly exchanging your time for your money. The idea is that you usually do a lot of upfront work, but then you can make income on your product or service again and again without having to do that same work again. A classic example of this is real estate, where you buy a piece of real estate and then rent it out, earning that income passively. Another is writing a book. It takes a lot of upfront work, but then that book continues to sell on and on.

You can pursue one of these passive income options for your side hustle, but there are so many other ways to make your side hustle passive doing whatever you’re passionate about.

The idea is to set up systems that market your side hustle passively for you so that you don’t have to continually search for side hustle jobs.

This includes:

  • An online digital resume
  • A sales or landing page that details your services
  • Testimonials and reviews for you on hand so people can see how amazing you are


These upfront tasks will help you get noticed and get you clients without you having to seek them out yourself. If you want to set up a passive side hustle for yourself, I cover all of this step-by-step in my free 7 day e-mail course. You can sign up below!

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This course is designed for any sort of side hustle you chose to pursue, it’s not just for blogging or freelancing. What it’s designed to do is help you set up systems to market and promote your hustle, so that you can spend more time actually hustling.

What’s your side hustle? Pop over to and please share! We have an entire library for side hustle resources. I can’t wait to see you hustle.


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Side Hustle Series: Virtual Assistant

Side Hustle Series: Virtual Assistant


Hello there! We are kicking off this new series about side hustles with my friend Crystal Kovac who has turned her side hustle as a virtual assistant into her full time job. She’s helped me on a past project, and is a breeze to work with. She’s kindly agreed to interview for this series. You can find her contact information at the bottom of the post. 

She does mention that she uses Convertkit, which has an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through that link, I earn a small referral fee that doesn’t cost you anything. FTC regulations make me say this. 

Now, on the the interview!

Hi! Who are you?

Hi! I’m Crystal and I am a Virtual Assistant specializing in social media, copywriting, editing, email marketing, opt-ins and landing pages, printables, blog post writing and admin tasks.

What is your side hustle, and where can we find it?

I am a Virtual Assistant who helps women entrepreneurs grow and thrive in their businesses. Often times, entrepreneurs find themselves bogged down with so many things (scheduling social media, creating graphics, opt-in forms & newsletters, etc.) that they are unable to focus on generating revenue.

That’s where I come in.

I take care of those tasks so that you can grow not only your revenue, but also increase your brand exposure.

You can find me on Facebook or Instagram. I’d love to connect!

How long have you done this side hustle?

I have been a Virtual Assistant for several years, but over the past 6 months, I have branched out and started my own business.

What drew you to it?

I have always had a passion for learning new things and helping people.

As a VA, I truly learn something new every day.

I love that what I do helps empower women entrepreneurs and assists them I achieving their dreams, while also spending more valuable time with their families.

How did you prepare for the qualifications this business?

Prior to becoming a VA, I worked in the non-profit industry in the Fundraising/Development department. Most of my knowledge was acquired during my time with these organizations.

To stay current on latest strategies, programs, apps etc., I take a lot of online trainings and have a wonderful list of individuals whom I collaborate and ‘brain dump’ with.

What is the best way for you to find clients?

I love connecting with people in Facebook groups. Often times, someone will post about a problem that they are having. On Facebook groups, I always try to offer quality feedback on the issue (for free, of course). And I let them know that I am available if they need/want further assistance.

I also get quite a few referrals from past clients, which is an honor; I love that my clients have had such a great experience that they want to share me with their friends.

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How many hours a week do you think you spend on it?

I work about 20-30 hours per week, depending on my client load at the time. I only take on a maximum of 6 clients at a time so that I can give each one the time and attention that they deserve.

What are your business goals for 2017?

My goal is to have a full client list each month.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Be patient. Nothing happens overnight, especially in business. It takes time to grow your brand, so don’t get discouraged if it’s not happening at lightning speed.

Tell me the greatest/favorite review/testimonial you’ve received?

I absolutely love when my clients send me notes and tell me that they don’t know how they accomplished anything without me.


What is the best way to build a relationship with your clientele?


I include a thirty minute weekly call in all of my packages. During theses calls, we are talking about business and setting goals for the next week, but we also just talk about our lives as well. These calls really help me get to know my clients, their strengths and weaknesses and what they are passionate about outside of their businesses.

How active are you on social media? Do you spread yourself around or stick to one or two mediums?

I’m very active on Instagram. This has proven to be the most successful platform for my business.

For clients, I recommend that they don’t do everything at once. Choose one or two platforms where their target audience hangs out, and build those up.  You can always add other platforms on at a later time.

What are your top three favorite tools to with and/or for your clients?

  1. LastPass – It makes sharing passwords so easy and secure.
  2. ConvertKit– Because opt-ins.  It is super user friendly and it can do so many things.
  3. Canva– I love to create printables, social media graphics, etc. with Canva!

If you could go back and make your start a little easier, what is one thing you would have changed?

I would have set up processes and procedures earlier. It’s amazing how much having good processes in place not only helps your business run more smoothly, but also saves so much time!


Contact Crystal at:

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Valentine’s Day Gifts for Women in Long Distance Relationships

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Women in Long Distance Relationships

Valentine’s Day Gifts for women in Long Distance Relationships

If you can’t make back to your sweetie for Valentine’s Day, but want to make sure the day is celebrated properly, you are at the right place. This is the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift guide for long distance relationships, and I’m telling you now my friend, this an epic source of amazing vendors and products. Your girl is going to swoon with delight when she receives her package. Then you can have a nice little Skype date, and do whatever it is you do on Skype. 😉

Notice: the FTC makes me tell you that these are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no cost you you. Think of it as a referral fee. Would you have shopped there if I hadn’t told you it was a good idea? Maybe. But because you are shopping here through these links, the company has decided to reward me. By making a purchase through these links you are directly supporting the amazing content I produce for you on a regular basis. I thank you for your consideration. Please note, I will never recommend something I don’t think is a great deal, nor direct you to the spammers of the interwebs. And there is no obligation on your part to shop through any of these links, but I sure would appreciate it. 🙂


For starters: Why give one gift, when you can give a monthly gift? A lot of these recommendations are subscription boxes. Who doesn’t love receiving a new thing in the mail every month? Lets keep the love of Valentine’s Day flowing every month! 


Emma and Chloe



Emma and Chloe are a subscription box based out of France, and have that classic European style. Every month (or just the one time if you want) your girl can receive a surprise piece of jewelry that is elegant, sharp, and generally classy as fuck. It’s a nice way to spice up her wardrobe, and know that every time she puts it on, she’ll be thinking about you.




Winc $20 Off Your First Order

Winc is a subscription wine box. You get 4 bottles (or more or less) a month, and right now for Valentine day you can get $20 off your first order. Why buy some wine? So when you do eventually make back to your girl, you can share a bottle and get silly.


Or, if you’re actually planning on dumping her soon, you can be a considerate sort of jerk, and prepare her toolkit of grief.

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Oooh, scent box. I love perfumes, and I love experimenting with different smells and styles. Not all women do, but I do. Whether you only get the one box, or you buy several, I think of some really interesting sexy game you could play here. Together or apart. Perhaps she can only use it before she thinks of you? In bed?

Get a 30-day supply of designer fragrance for $13.95/mo. Get Your 1st Month Free,


 Woven Pear


I’m sure there are at least two girls out there who aren’t into really cute socks. Get her one box of them or 6 months of them. You will be a freaking hero. These are the cutest socks in the world, and cozy as fuck. Seriously. Try them. Steal them from her if you want.


These next two are a particular favorite of mine. As you may or may not know, I have the Celiac and food really stresses me out. Maybe your girlfriend or boyfriend is also gluten free and is totally stressed out by food. Well, Love with Food and American Gluten Free have you covered. You can get subscription boxes full of gluten free treats that are healthy, delicious and totally safe. I know when I’m eating from Love with Food or American Gluten Free, I am safe. Unless you have the celiac, you have no idea how sexy safe food can be.


Love with Food

Get the Love With Food Gluten Free Box Deal!

American Gluten Free

Get in the kitchen with the American Gluten-Free gluten & dairy free Foodie Box!


Tiny Prints


If your budget is short, or you have a lot of Valentine’s you need to reach out to (no judgments here!) maybe you just need to get a custom made card from Tiny Prints. They offer amazing printing services, and it’s not just cards. If you can print it, they can print it for you. (3-d printing excluded… I think)



Let’s get a little vintage sexy on at Modcloth. A lot of long distance relationships survive because of one thing: Skyping. And I don’t just mean calling up and checking in. You know what happens when the camera goes on: the clothes go off.


If you want to make it a special occasion of losing the clothes, check out these sexy little numbers:

Hard-Earned Ease Nightgown

Elegant Underpinnings Slip Corselet in Black and Red

Cat a Falling Star Pajamas


Um… Cat pajamas, what? If your girl isn’t into the sexy girly stuff, there are cat pajamas. Modcloth also has some kind of amazing socks as well. #justsayin.



And then of course, you can literally never go wrong with flowers. Bloomsybox is an awesome subscription service that allows you to ship flowers to your loved one, one time, weekly or bi-weekly or monthly. The medium box has 15-18 stems and is guaranteed to make her heart quiver in that bloomsy love sort of way.

Monthly Flowers


So now, I have to know: What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Tell me in the comments!


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How To Make Money Hosting A Party With Stella & Dot

How to make money hosting a party with Stella & Dot


How To Make Money Hosting a party with Stella & Dot | How to make more money | side hustles | part time jobs | MLM | Multi-Level Marketing | Pampered Chef | Beach Body | How to Sell LulaRoe | How To Host a Facebook Party | | gratitude | empowerment | successI was compensated for this post and this post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. In fact, if you use the links, you are directly supporting the creation of awesome content for the future. So thanks!


Maybe you’re considering one of those MLM (multi-level marketing) side jobs where you sell direct to customers, or get them to sign up to also sell with you. They are very lucrative if you’re doing it right, and have the right motivations.

Often, these jobs aren’t going to earn you more income than your day job.

But if you’re looking to earn some extra money to pay off student loans, save for a house, or for that amazing vacation across Europe or Africa, signing up for companies like Stella & Dot, BeautyCounter, or Pampered Chef will earn you that extra cash, and even better, give you a reason to connect with your friends.


(Right now Stella & Dot is having an awesome sale on their Stylist Starter package: $199 to start, plus $650 in Jewelry! That’s an extra $200 of product for free! As a Stylist you also get the chance to be your own boss, earn commissions starting at 25%, and discounts up to 50% off all their products! The best way to sell Stella & Dot is to wear it! And with $650 in starter jewelry, you’ll be all kinds of blinged out! They also give you your own website, so you can refer people online, and get coaching support and other supportive material to ensure your success! This sale ends January 31st.  This sale is extended through February 7th! Sign up now!!!!)


So, how do you make money with these products? You host a party! I’m sure you’ve been to them before, but if you haven’t here’s how it works:


You invite your friends and their friends to your house, or have one of them host you. There’s food, and drinks and you get to have a girls night! While you’re there, in order to make it fun and interactive, you play games, let your friends browse the catalog, and share the actual products (whether it’s jewelry or makeup or whatever) around the room.


General advice:


Keep it honest.

People generally would rather hear that you make decent money than a fake amount that makes you seem really proficient. If you do earn a high roller income, then tell them how you did it; usually one of the best ways to earn money with this programs is to convince people to sign up as consultants as well. All programs are different, but there is often a commission structure in place where you earn part of the commission of everyone who you sign up.


Set goals.

If you want to earn an extra $1000 a month, you need to figure out how many parties/ sales you have to make in order to meet that goal. And of course, set GBB goals: Good, Better, Best.



Every single person has a different set of friends. Often these programs have plans where you earn part of the commission for every person you’ve referred to sell.

In the entrepreneurship world, we call that passive income, and it’s the dream.


How to make Money Hosting a Party


Invite your friends – and invite them to invite a friend or two- bonus points if you don’t know the friend they bring!


Either invite a seller or be a seller – if you’re just looking for some free swag, hosting a party earns you that opportunity.


Play games – I highly recommend starting out with a name game of some sort, especially if there are several women there who you’ve never met before. The first rule of selling is know your customer’s name. The second rule is Use it.

You can use this to get really creative. This is a short, rather uninspired list. If you want to sell, you gotta think outside of the box, but these are classic games that everyone loves!


  • Trivia – hand out raffle tickets to the winners
  • What’s in the purse that starts with the letter…
  • Jeopardy


Have food – food and drinks encourage a fun, free flowing atmosphere! If people are uptight, or hungry, or having a bad day, it’s going to spread. Drinks usually liven the room. Food keeps hands dirty and mouths full, so be strategic with your meals or appetizers.


Pass around the loot – let your customers touch, try on, or try out the merchandise. It’s a lot easier to convince someone to buy a necklace when they can see how pretty it goes with their hair.


Have a giveaway – remember those raffle tickets? Giveaway door prizes for a handful of winners. There should be one “coveted” prize, and a few smaller prizes, depending on the size of your group.


Take all the orders – let your party look at the catalog, explain how ordering works, and if you can send them straight to the website. If shipping is extra, explain that as well. If they have to pick it up from you, make sure that is clear and how that usually works.

Make sure you get some sort of sign in sheet or opt in sheet from EVERYONE at the party, even if they don’t buy anything. Maybe they’re short on cash, but they would be interested in hosting a party. If you don’t ask EVERY SINGLE PERSON, you miss out on potential sales for the future.


On Facebook – a lot of high roller sellers have a love/hate relationship with Facebook as a medium to sell their products. If you think you could pull it off, then go for it. This is often popular with the LulaRoe crowd. I think it’s a lot less personal, and harder to keep people engaged. Again, it’s a lot harder to think you don’t need that pretty silver leaf ring when you’ve had two margaritas and the silver just glitters in the light.

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The steps for creating a party on Facebook:

  • Create an event
  • Invite your friends
  • Tell them to invite their friends
  • Facebook live the event – in order to keep people engaged, they need to see your face! You can respond to comments, and do the things listed below. Things to keep in mind; battery on your phone or tablet (if you’re not using your laptop/desktop), lighting, dead airtime.
  • Offer giveaways for correct answers
  • Upload a lookbook to the event page – if possible, offer different styling options for each piece.
  • Do a treasure hunt on the website
  • Take all the orders – but almost more important than taking orders, is finding hosts for the future. You can make money once, or you can make it every time.


I wish you luck in your future endeavors. If you used any of the tips in this How-To guide, let me know in the comments or on the Twitter!


Also, if you want to learn about a few more businesses you can get signed up with to earn additional money, sign up for the Millennial Life Skills Vault where you’ll find a list of five side hustles you can start today, plus all sorts of tools to help you live your best life.


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