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7 Things You Must Master to Have a Successful Blog

I started working online as a writer over three years ago. When I came into this industry, I didn’t have the first clue what I was doing. I’m not one of those people that does a lot of information gathering before I jump head long into trying things.

Believe me, I was in for a wild ride from the beginning, because of my lack of strategy and education. I put out writing gigs on a platform that has brought me an incredible number of clients over the years- 300+ to be exact.

I’ve had the incredible privilege of working alongside over 300 business owners that were in need of website, blog, and sales content. The majority of these people came into the industry and fizzled out within a few months. However, I have a few clients that have been doing this for years and years, and still going strong.

Not only have I worked for others over the years, I’ve managed my own blogs for close to three years. I’ve taken the blog from costing me money to making me money; which is more than I can say for many bloggers I know and have worked with.  


What’s the difference between someone that is successful as a blogger and someone that isn’t? I’ve narrowed it down to 7 major things that you have to master in order have a successful blog.

1. Affiliate Programs

In order for you to earn money through your blog, you need something to sell. Of course, you don’t want to sell just anything. You want to sell things that will interest your readers. There is definitely an art to selling without being salesy.

One of the ways I’ve drastically increased my revenue this year has been through success with affiliate programs. It has required me to sign up for more programs and intentionally place more links in my articles.

2. Building Lists and Sending Email Newsletters


Oh the dreaded email newsletters! If you have been in this industry for any length of time, you’ll know that email newsletters are all the rage. Why? Because they freaking work, that’s why.

When you build a targeted list, invest in those subscribers by providing consistent content, you will increase your sales. Not all lists and newsletters are effective though. In order to see return on your time, you are going to have to be personal as well as strategic in link placements.

3. Social Media Strategies

Generally speaking, website traffic is down. People are staying on social media outlets more and more. This means that you have to up your social media game to reach them. If you are one of those bloggers that thinks you’ll pay the bills by simply putting a few ads on your page, you are sorely mistaken.

You have to be very purposeful in the things you are posting on your social media outlets. The unfortunate thing is that you can spend a lot of time doing social media and see no return for it. You have to strike the balance between engaging content and affiliate links, otherwise, you’ll turn people off.

4. Facebook and Instagram Ads


Facebook and Instagram Ads are becoming the bane of my existence. These jokers are not easy to figure out, but 100% essential to running an effective blog. Why is that? Because this is a place where you can develop a following, earn money, and build brand awareness.

Here’s the problem with ads- Facebook baits you into spending money that likely won’t bring you any return on your investment. Have you ever seen that little button at the bottom of an update that says, Boost Post? Yeah- you can boost your posts all day long, but that doesn’t mean you’ll increase traffic to your site or sell things.

This is why ads training is so important. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending a ton of money and have nothing to show for it. We can all get excited about likes and reach, but those numbers mean nothing. It’s the conversions that are most important to look at.

5. How to Create an eBook From Your Existing Content

With platforms like Amazon, you can publish an ebook very quickly. Why do you care? Because there is money to be made in ebook sales. Besides that, when you publish on an authority site like Amazon, you gain more exposure for your website and brand. You can also embed affiliate links in the ebook, giving way to more profit.

Who has time to write an ebook? Probably not you, if you are writing on your blog regularly. That is why it is best to take the content you’ve already written and re-package it. Turning old blog posts into an ebook is a great idea for that reason.

6. Photos and Videos


Using the right photos or videos will make the difference between someone clicking on your post or ad or not. People base many of their decisions off of the videos and images that you use. That is why it is important that you develop picture taking and editing skills as well as video skills.

These things don’t have to be hard, but definitely take practice.

7. Tech Stuff

Or…as I prefer to say…tech crap. I am not a techy person, but I built Love Hope Adventure along with 5 other websites by myself. When I say I’m not a techy person, I genuinely mean it. For example, my husband and kids were unavailable the other night and I couldn’t figure out how to cut on the television with our new remote- yet, I’ve been able to launch my own website and keep it running.

I tell you that so that you don’t get scared away by the tech side of blogging. To be honest, tech and taxes are the two reasons I didn’t want to get into blogging to begin with. I’ve figured out a lot of the tech stuff on my own; not taxes though, that’s on Austin.

Blogging Resources


Believe me when I say, I completely understand getting overwhelmed with blogging and making money online. As a viewer, it seems so easy to just pull up a website and read along. As the writer of that website, there are countless hours of blood, sweat, tears, and punching walls.

Having access to the right resources can make a big difference for you. Yes, you can gather a lot of information by google searching and finding valuable articles and webinars. I encourage you to continue doing that.

However, it is time consuming. I find that it is a much more effective use of my time to have access to a resource library. That way, if I’m struggling in an area of my blog business, I have one place to go for the information.

If you want access to a library full of valuable resources, then I encourage you to purchase the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit. It is exactly as it sounds. It is a full resource library that addresses all of the things you must master to be successful as a blogger.

What is in The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit?

Here’s a complete breakdown of everything you will get for $97. I know that is a lot to invest, but these resources are completely worth it, especially the bonuses that are being offered by some digital companies.

Professional Blogging Resources

  • Blogging Roadmap: The Simple Method for Creating A Profitable Blog by WellnessMama ($97.00)
  • Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook Master Package by Abby Lawson ($75.00)
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  • The Must-Have Guide to Blogging by Kayla Aimee ($17.00)

Time Management and Productivity


  • Asana for Bloggers by Matthew Giovanisci ($25.00)
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Social Media


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  • FB Ads for Beginners by Beth Anne Schwamberger ($75.00)
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  • Pinaffiliate Masterclass by Adeline Ganley  ($97.00)
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Product Creation


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Tech Help


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  • You Have a Blog, Now What? Tips for Non-Techie Bloggers by Maria Davis ($19.00)

Photography and Images


  • Eat Pretty Things: Your Guide to Food Photography by Trisha Hughes  ($29.00)
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Blog Growth


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Hurry to grab this offer because it is only available until November 1 at 11:59pm.




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There are no Simple Secrets to a Dream Marriage

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Ugh…I’m so tired of reading articles and watching webinars that talk about the simple secrets to marriage. As if there are a few adjustments you can make to be living your dream life tomorrow.

It just doesn’t work that way! Marriage is messy. No two couples are going to face the same issues or be able to work out their problems the same way as someone else.

Now listen- I’m not trying to discount wise counsel here, because I think you can learn a lot of great things from others. What I am trying to say is that there isn’t a simple fix to your relationship issues.

Well…I take that back…maybe. The explanations for a dream marriage are simple, but putting those things into practice is hard as crap.

Things like-

Stop being a jerk


Now, I am sure no one really wants to be a jerk, but we all get that way. Lashing out at your spouse for any reason is going to cause damage to the relationship. This is a simple concept…

Be a jerk=hurt your spouse

Forgive them already

We just love to hold onto unforgiveness towards those that wrong us. Oh sure, we know that forgiving is the right thing to do…we talk about it all the time. The thing is, to actually forgive someone takes letting go of your pride…which leads me to my next point…

Deflate your big fat head

Many problems in marriage start with pride. When you think you can do no wrong and it’s your spouse’s fault for the way the relationship is going- you’re never going to get better.

I talked about this concept on Facebook Live

Have you ever been sitting in church and thought, “Oh boy, this sermon would be perfect for so and so”? My mom always told me if I started thinking that that I better check myself…likely God was trying to address issues in me and I was avoiding them.

You are not better than your spouse. Both of you have problems that have contributed to the state of your marriage.

Other things on my mind this week:

My friend Kelly Cox wrote this great book on 8 Scriptural Ways to Bless Your HusbandIt is a short read- maybe an hour


Great articles you can check out.

How to feel sexy again 

Flirting in marriage

Dream together as a couple 


The One Thing Online Marketers Can’t Tell You

*I use affiliate links


I’ve watched countless hours of webinars and read hundreds of articles about how to find new customers. Here’s what you won’t find in any of the training you can take…

They can’t tell you what to sell or what service to provide. I’m sorry to break it to you- but only you can figure this out. Sure, there are definitely great articles you can read that will give you ideas of what to offer, but at the end of the day, they can’t do the work for you.

This is not to say that you can’t find good ideas- but no one can tell you what will work for you.

Figuring out what to sell or offer is not easy.

I won’t lie to you here. It is very hard. The truth be told…you are probably going to have to try and sell or offer several different things before you find something that consistently brings in money.

I told you last week that I tried anything and everything for a few years before I fell into freelance writing. While that business is doing really well for Austin and I, we are still trying to figure out how to earn consistently from Love Hope Adventure. We are getting there, but it has been a lot of brainstorming and trying things.

Try different things and then follow the trends.

The best thing for you to do is to test the market. This requires a lot of trial and error. Just because you think something will catch fire, doesn’t mean it will. Even if something seems to be working for others, it doesn’t mean it will work for you.

An example of what not to do.


I used to work for a company that developed a website for lifehacks and tips back when that was a huge thing. They brought me on for almost a year to work on their site. I wrote tricks, created images, managed their instagram and other social media outlets.

They had this really great idea to purchase a website that was focused on tips and tricks. I was contracted to write blog posts for the site. The owner pitched this really unique writing idea to me to create different persona’s to write about the lifehacks. Let me tell you something, that blog caught on fire. It took only a month for that blog to have more traffic coming to it than the main website they were trying to promote.

Instead of following the trends of what people wanted (which was clearly the other blog) they held onto their idea of making the original site work. I know they invested a lot of time and money into it, but it folded. They would have been better off investing where the interest was.

Flexibility is your ticket to success.


I’ve got many more stories just like this. In my years of working for business owners, I can tell the ones that aren’t going to be successful right away. They come into the market believing that what they have is going to wow people, and they aren’t flexible at all.

Unfortunately, I’ve had clients pay me thousands of dollars over the course of a project, only to have it fail. I’m not the only investment they’ve made in the project either.

My suggestion to you is test the market. Don’t throw everything you have at one product or one services. It is better to try a few things that you think you can do, and see what takes.

A book I’m reading more than skimming right now:

80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making MoreSo far, I haven’t ever heard a single thing that Perry is writing about in this book. It’s been good for my understanding of business.

Some great articles I read this week about ways to earn extra money-

How to Make Money as a Scopist– Scoping is the art of editing transcripts for court reporters. It’s the step before proofreading transcripts, as you work with the rough draft to make it readable.

29 Ways to make Extra Money

Voice acting full time 

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Two Tips For Earning Extra Money

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The crazy thing is that I never wanted to work for myself, but here I am doing just that. Ever since I was a teenager, I knew I didn’t want to put my kids in daycare. I also wanted to have the ability to homeschool them for at least the first few years of their education or more.

I kind of just assumed that I would be able to earn money from home, because I had watched my mom take on side work. She didn’t work outside of the home until I turned 16. Since she had the ability to earn from home, I thought it would be easy.

For years and years, I tried everything I knew to try in order to bring in money. We had many years where we really needed the relief, but I just couldn’t find anything consistent.

I tried all kinds of things to earn money from home and this is what I learned-

Try everything until something works

I could write out a list of over 25 things that I have tried in order to earn money, that failed…maybe even more. There came a time that I just resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t meant to earn money at that point, and so I invested a lot of time in couponing, diy everything, and reducing every bill possible.

Then- one day, I found something that worked for me. I started a writing gig on This platform has brought me 95% of my clients. I’ve written for more than 300 people on that site. Many of these clients, I’ve been able to take off of that platform over the years.

Fiverr isn’t going to work for everyone. In fact, I have told many friends to try it out, and nothing has happened for them. I can’t tell you why it works for some people and not others. Likely for the same reason that I have never made a single dime from taking a survey, but there are people that swear by it.

Just keep trying and brainstorming, and something will work. I still use this principle today in my blogging business.

Tell others you are looking for work

This is likely the best advice I can give you- tell other people you are looking for work. I remember doing this once when I was in college, and I ended up with so many job offers, I took on 3 jobs. After that, I had to start turning work away, because I was booked.

It never occurred to me to do this in my adult life. For many years, I was secretly trying to earn money. When Austin left his full time job as an associate pastor to work part time jobs, I told people I was in need of work for the first time ever. You wouldn’t believe the amount of odd and end jobs I took on because of that.

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Dream Together as a Couple


Do you know what your spouse’s hopes and dreams? Are they happy with life as it is? If not, what can you do as a couple to make the changes?

Dream Of Your Future Together

Take time to dream about your future together. Talk about the things you hope to accomplish or what you want out of life. Learn what is most important to each of you and keep those ideas in the forefront of your mind when you are making plans.

Encourage Individual Dreams

Not only should you talk about what you hope to accomplish as a couple, but also talk about what you want to do as an individual. Encourage your spouse to make goals and reach them. Come up with ways that you can support them in their dreams.

Maybe it is time for change in your life. Make it a priority to regularly check in with one another to ask the other person if they are satisfied with life. You might find out that both of you could use something different in your life.

8 Scriptural Ways to Bless Your Marriage

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My friend Kelly, from Kelly Cox at Home, just released a book about respecting your husband. I was so excited to see her passion about this topic. I invited her on to talk about her book today.

Here’s what she has to say-

Marriage is beautifully designed by God and a metaphor for Christ and the church. My husband and I are passionate about our marriage and what scripture says about the marital relationship. Our goal has been to focus on loving and respecting each other ever since we read Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs.

As a wife, I began to really search what the Bible says about my role in our marriage. My eyes were opened to verses that clearly outline what God expects of me and how following His Word will bless both my husband and our marriage. Then I felt led to write a book on How To Respect Your Husband.

Ephesians 5:33

Other than the Lord, my husband and I are each other’s most important relationship and try to cultivate it in a way that honors God and blesses both of us. Ephesians 5:33 is a special verse in our marriage.

Ephesians 5:33 says:

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

This verse clearly shows that my goal should be to respect my husband. While my husband should love me well, I am to follow the scripture where my role is concerned and that is irrespective of his behavior.


Typically, a man’s greatest need and desire in marriage is respect. Husbands are usually assured of their wives’ love because it’s a woman’s nature to be more caring and loving.

Respect is a choice and one that women should resolve ahead of time to live out in thought, word and deed. There is eternal value in honoring your husband with respect. As a respectful wife, you are able to make a difference for Christ by living out a counter-to-culture example of marriage.


8 Scriptural Ways to Bless Your Marriage

There are many ways to bless your marriage. I came up with eight topics that have made an impact on our relationship and put it them all together, paired with a Bible verse, to create a book.

The chapters cover a bit of my story and why I believe love and respect is so important for a marriage to thrive.

Respect your spouse

The 8 topics for wives to remember include the following:

  • Submit to him
  • Be his helper
  • Never talk badly about him
  • Don’t be quarrelsome
  • Desire him
  • Keep no record of wrongs
  • Use pleasant words
  • Be of good character

What the Book Covers

I enjoy writing about marriage and back my points up with scripture. Therefore, I begin each chapter with a verse that coincides with the topic and end the chapters with additional verses for you to look up.

Also, I love a fun freebie so I included the following bonus items with the book:

  • 31 Days of Verses on Respecting Your Husband Printable
  • 30 Marriage Memory Verse Cards
  • This book will answer:
  • Why your husband craves respect
  • What scripture says about a wife’s role in marriage
  • How to bless your husband and marriage in eight different ways
  • What God designed marriage to look like
  • How to take actionable steps toward helping your marriage thrive

If you’d like more information about how to bless your marriage and respect your husband, then grab your copy of my book right here. My prayer is that your marriage will be blessed and bring God glory.


kcah-compressed-284x300Kelly is a Christ follower, blessed wife, mom to be and a lover of all things home. She blogs over at about her journey at home and passion for debt-free living. She hopes to encourage others in that goal, while sharing tips on how to manage and enjoy all things that make up HOME!

Flirting in Marriage


Remember those days when you and your spouse were just getting to know each other? The little glances and smiles. The subtle laugh-so-hard-I-touch-your-shoulder move, even when the joke wasn’t remotely funny. Gravitating towards each other at a party. Sitting close on the couch when there’s obviously enough room for you both.

Are those things still a part of your marriage? They should be. Flirting is that signal to another person that you’re interested in them. It’s a subtle, maybe even unconscious way of saying, “I’d like to spend more time with you.”

It’s a shame that this often fades from the relationship after the honeymoon. Maybe it’s because the chase is over. “I already caught her, I don’t have to pursue her anymore.” “I got my man, I don’t have to draw him in anymore.”

The chase is never over


In reality, the chase should never be over. Relationships are proactive things. If you’re not moving forward, you’re stagnant. Stagnant relationships tend to start moving backwards. As a result, you should be constantly pursuing your spouse. Emotionally, intellectually, physically, sexually – the chase continues.

Flirting can be a great way to keep this chase alive. Remember, flirting says “I’m interested in you.” If you’re still interested in your spouse, show it! Flash that how-YOU-doin grin. Find lame excuses to reach out and touch them tentatively.

Flirting 2.0

The great thing about flirting in marriage is that it doesn’t have a brick wall you’re going to hit. Flirting usually leads somewhere. Couples committed to not having sex before marriage have a stopping point. That red line is different for every couple, but at some point you have to put on the brakes.

Flirting for married couples doesn’t have a stopping point!

If giggling leads to shoulder touching leads to long hugs leads to making out leads to caressing leads to clothes coming off leads to sex… great! At no point do you have to say, “Whoa! We gotta slow down.” Unless the kids are around. Then, yeah, hold your horses till bedtime. Other than that, go for it!

Flirting is like foreplay to foreplay

If foreplay leads up to sex, flirting can lead up to foreplay. The great thing about this is that it prolongs the whole experience. It builds anticipation and excitement. It can turn physical intimacy into an all-day thing.

Anticipation is a great tool in your intimacy toolbox. When flirting has been going on for a while and escalates, it results in a huge release at the end. Sure, there’s vanilla that’s always good and satisfying. Every now and then, it’s great to have that explosive time together than can only result from lots of build up.

Flirting keeps the relationship strong

Flirting is proactive. It’s intentionally going after your spouse. You can’t flirt and NOT keep a certain spark alive. It can build friendship. It will remind you and your spouse that hey, we like spending time with each other and want to continue to do so.

Pursuing one another makes you THINK about one another. You’ll be thinking about how much you like their eyes, their laugh, their jokes, their conversation, etc.

Flirting in marriage is just fun!


So yeah, flirting can lead to things and it’s healthy for your marriage. But, flirting in marriage can be an end in itself. It’s just plain fun! It’s exciting. It makes you feel young.

There’s a reason that some teenagers are just flirty by nature, for good or ill. It’s an entertaining activity. It gets the bonding hormones flowing. It can even diffuse tense situations. Getting on each other’s nerves? Try giving that smile and watch them melt.

I’ve tried to pepper in some actual flirting techniques/actions here, but it’s based on our experience only. What do you do in your marriage to flirt? Got any tips for the rest of us? Are there other benefits? Let us know in the comments below!

Become Better Friends With Your Spouse

The Gottman Institute has done studies to show that couples that are best friends have longer, happier relationships than those that don’t. Are you and your spouse best friends? What about good friends? Are you friends at all?

It can be very easy to lose your friendship with your spouse over the years. As responsibilities and chores take over, our focus can move away from this aspect of our relationship and turn into more of a partnership. While being partners with your spouse is important, so is being friends.

Check out 3 ways you can cultivate friendship in marriage in the post I wrote over at Scott LaPierre’s blog.