Recommendations:

Note - This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you, should you click through and make a purchase. I do not make recommendations on products or classes that I have not taken or do not plan on taking myself.

The below links are for products and tools I specifically use for this website.  I only recommend products that I have personally used and found to be helpful (some significantly changing how I write posts, promote my content, etc). Additional recommendations are coming soon as I’m continually updating this page when I find critical resources I use here. Eventually each recommendation will come with an article either an interview, review, or tutorial to show you why I recommend the product, tool, or course.

 

Affiliate Marketing and Sponsored Posts:

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing : This course by Michelle of Making Sense of Cents is a great way to figure out Affiliate Marketing, how you get started, what your options are, and how far you can go. Michelle has made over $50,000 a month with Affiliate Marketing and many others have done the same or higher! She walks you through everything from showing you how to find and apply to affiliate marketing sites, how to stay within the rules (i.e. nofollow links so Google does not penalize you, disclosure of links - like the way I have above), how to promote your affiliate links, and much more to include a huge list of bonus materials. And the best part? You can also be an affiliate for her course (like me!) and be a part of her Facebook group where you can ask questions of her and others who are and have taken the course. I'll be posting an interview with Michelle and a more complete review of both of her courses that I have taken soon. If you have any questions for her you want answered, send me an email at vamicreations17@gmail.com and I'll make sure to include your question. :)

Making Sense of Sponsored Posts : This course is also by Michelle and is an amazing walk through of how she does sponsored posts to the amount of $10,000-$20,000 a month! She walks you through each step, gives you templates on how to set up, apply for and pitch brands, as well as follow-up steps for ensuring sponsor satisfaction and possible ongoing parternship. She also has a Facebook group for this course where you can ask her and others questions about your media kit (see mine as www.vamicreations.com/work-with-me), your email pitches, and to not only recieve input but also encouragement as you work through the course and build your sponsorship networks.

Jessie on a Journey Brand Pitch Bundle is an awesome class about how to pitch sponsored posts to brands with a bunch of templates as well as bonuses including a list of 101+ brands that work with bloggers that Jessie built and adds to continuously. She has a number of other courses that I have not had the chance to take but will in the future to include: how to start your own travel company, affiliate marketing, how to turn your blog into a profitable business, one-on-one blogging consultation, brand pitch success where she takes your proposal and helps you create a successful pitch, how to use facebook ads successfully, how to get paid to travel, and more! I will be posting an interview of Jessie soon, stay tuned! :)

 

Social Media Growth:

Mom Makes Cents' McKinzie Bean has a number of great classes for you to take, I'm still working and reworking my way through these. Most of hers are via video as she walks you through everything from Pinterest, to email, to affiliate marketing using Pinterest and more!

To pin for later

To pin for later

Pinterest Primer is a FREE (yep Free!) class that shows you how to set up Pinterest, schedule like a pro, create viral pins, and more.

Pin-to-Profits is a great starter course all about how to use Pinterest with affiliate marketing to create your own business. McKinzie goes through how to set up your business Pinterest account, how to create rich pins, how to optimize your account and create viral pins, how to create traffic to your website and she gives some great bonuses like Canva Templates, free stock photos and more.

Pin-to-Profits Affiliate Marketing is another great course by MicKinzie which focuses on Affiliate Marketing using Pinterst. Here she takes you through how to build your Pinterest Profile, how to create and optimize your Pinterest profile and pins, branding, implementing the course to create affiliate pins, and Pinterest Tips for Bloggers. This is a great course to learn all about Pinterest and what you do with it using both affiliate marketing and creating traffic to your website.

Pin-to-Profits Promoted Pins Promoted Pins goes well with the Affiliate Marketing course as this course teaches you all about how to create successful Promoted Pins campaigns in Pinterest that will allow you to greatly increase your reach with Pinterest. Promoted Pins have nearly doubled my traffic to this website and increased my reach for each article I promote. I'm going through this one again to make sure I am impletementing everything and to add on what I have already done.

Pin-to-Profits List Building is all about how to build your email list. McKinzie delves into how to create opt-ins and lead magnets, build a landing page, what sales funnels are and how to do them effectively, as well as some advanced strategies and a ton of bonuses to include a number of PDFs and templates to start building your email list. Email list building is something that I have heard time and time again from many bloggers and online businesses is so important to start building and growing from day 1 of your business.

Pin-to-Profits Bundle is a great bundle (and what I bought) to have all five classes while saving some money. The classes included in this bundle are Pin-to-Profits Foundations, Affiliate Marketing, List Building, Promoted Pins, and Tailwind. I had bought the Affiliate Marketing course first and loved it so much that I got the bundle and have been using it continually. McKinzie goes through her courses and updates them continuously and you have these courses for a lifetime. :)

McKinzie also has a Mom Blogging Mentor Ebook that is a step-by-step roadmap for how to start and grow. If you are looking for something more than just the ebook, she also has a book and a course Mom Blogging Mentor Ebook and Course that is a perfect combination for new mommy bloggers with 8 modules to help you set up and get started with mini-courses for all of the bundle classes.

Jessie on a Journey provides a Blog Audit that I highly recommend. I requested one for my website and her blueprint has helped greatly improve it. She looks at your website as well as social media accounts to show you specifically what it takes to grow and what you can improve to gain more traffic and also how use it to better monitize your website. I loved having her do my audit, learned alot, and will probably do another one in a couple of months to see how I have improved as well as see what else I can improve.

Canva is where I create a lot of my social media posts and most of it is free. Combine Canva with your photographs or any number of websites you can find free downloadable photographs for your site and you have some of the perfect social media posts. Don't forget to add them to each of your posts so you can have them for your readers to share.

 

Scheduling Tools for Social Media:

Tailwind : This tool is amazing and has resulted in a SIGNIFICANT increase in my Pinterest profile growth! It is the ONLY scheduling tool I will use for my social media accounts. I have posted an interview of a Tailwind POC to answer all of your questions about Tailwind, to include new features that are coming out, what to expect in the future of Tailwind , how they work with social media (very closely with Facebook and Instagram), and many more! A second article on a step-by-step tutorial on how to set Tailwind up for your use is in the drafting stages now.

The Tailwind Tribes for Pinterest and scheduling are done in a way where you can literally devote an hour of your weekend to it and have set up your promotions on Pinterest and Instagram for the week! That is a HUGE time saver! An on top of that, it helps with figuring out the right times for both and the best hashtags for Instagram. Currently, I have focused on Pinterest (0-425,000 views a month and 100 to 1,200 followers and growing every day), but while pinning you can also post on Facebook and Twitter! I need to explore those two options more as well as get better at using it to post with Instagram.

Stores I shop at often to create or research: There are a fair number and I’m adding to them slowly but surely.

Craftsy (now Bluprint) : This is an amazing store and resource that has everything from crochet/knitting kits to indie yarns, patterns, classes, sculpting equipment, sewing equipment and kits, everythign a maker wants and Bluprint ...this has it's own special article (found here - a tutorial of how to sign up for bluprint and a 30 day review of what is offered) as it is quite simply an amazing resource of classes and so much more!!! You can check it out yourself for a week free! There is one more article in the works for you about Bluprint - about the yarn/pattern kits I have bought and used from Bluprint - such fun and highly recommend!!!!

Etsy : This store is absolutely amazing and one of my favorite stores as I LOVE supporting others who create some beautiful pieces of art. You will find that a lot of my recommendations for patterns, yarns, dragons, and so much more will come from here.

Barnes and Noble: One of my all time favorite stores. I even worked there for a time till I realized I would soon have to pay them to work there given all the books I was buying. Something about talking to customers opening my eyes to other books that I should read :) I’m a self-professed Bibilophile, i.e. I collect books :) The Nook has been by far one of my favorite parts of Barnes and Noble as it is equivalent to having the bookstore at your fingertips, 24/7. Walking into a Barnes and Noble store, picking up a chai tea or other caffeine filled drink and browsing the books, makes my worries slide off me and helps me relax for a little while.