Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!
Before we get started with questions, I just wanted to say thank you! to all of you for your great input on where to buy quality shoes. To help me keep track of all the good brands you mentioned, I put together a little Pinterest board.
I think I’m kind of partial to the Ecco ones at the moment, but I’m still waffling.
A close friend of mine and I recently started a blog. Could you just give me a little advice? We were accepted into Commission Junction, but were declined a lot of the applications to different companies within Commission Junction. Do you have any advice about that? I know we’re just getting going, and so far we’ve earned pennies on coupons. Is this typical earnings when you first start? Any advice you have would be great, and thanks for your blog!
Well, when I applied to Commission Junction, I’d already been blogging for quite some time and had built up a bit of a following. My guess is that the various advertisers with Commission Junction prefer to accept blogs that aren’t brand new and that have some consistent traffic. Many blog ad networks are the same way and won’t even accept applications for blogs that are less than a few months old.
My advice is to focus more on building your blog and community than on monetization at first. If you have a good blog following, you’ll be much more successful at monetizing, no matter what type of monetizing you decide to do.
(I have a serious lack of pictures to illustrate blogging. I had to go back to 2004 to find this…baby Sonia playing with a dead laptop. )
It IS slow going at first! I earned almost nothing from my blog for the first year…it was just enough to pay my hosting fees and that was it. Since I didn’t start my blog with the express purpose of earning money, though, I was totally ok with barely breaking even, and when I started to move slightly past breaking even, I was pretty over the moon about that (Yay for low expectations!)
Also, I noticed that your blog has a lot of deals on it, and I just want to throw out that it seems like there are eleventy thousand or so deal blogs out there. It’s a pretty saturated niche, which makes it very hard to stand out unless you were one of the originals from 2008-2009. So, you might want to consider focusing more heavily on non-coupon/deal types of money-saving content so that you can distinguish yourself from the crowd.
Speaking from personal experience, a great thing about non-deal blogging is that you don’t have to churn out 15 posts a day AND most of your posts won’t become irrelevant in a day or two, which means that they can keep generating traffic for years to come.
I have a quick question for you about making bread. I have started making bread and I love doing it, but my problem is that it rises pretty high–a bit taller than a store bought loaf of bread. I’m having a hard time storing it. I saw your idea for using old bread bags, but I think my loaves might be a little taller than the bread bag is. I wondered if I was letting the bread rise for too long, or maybe letting the yeast sit for too long to dissolve. Do you think either of these could be the reason why? And can I reduce the amount of time that I let the dough rise without hurting the bread?
Thanks for your help!
This is a good problem to have, girl! Most of the time when people write me about bread problems, they’re having the opposite issue.
Yes, you can definitely reduce the amount of time the dough rises. There’s nothing set in stone about it-if you’re happy with the amount it’s risen, go ahead and put it in the oven.
You can also feel free to reduce the amount of time on the first rise. If it looks doubled in 30 minutes, you don’t need to leave it for 60.
I want to ask how you keep your husband entertained on frugal budget? My daughter is young enough that anything entertains her. My husband on the other hand is a busy body! Any ideas?!
Thanks and keep up the amazing work — your page is a staple for me!
Our relationship is a little bit like yours, in that Mr. FG likes to get out and about more than I do. I’m a serious homebody!
I don’t know exactly how things are for you budget-wise, but one thing I highly recommend is keeping open lines of communication about money. If he’s a spender and you’re a saver and you’re desperately trying to keep him happy on a budget, that could be very exhausting for you.
(It’s like trying satisfy a wine connoisseur on a beer budget without him knowing.)
So it would be good to make sure that both you and he know exactly how much money is coming in and going out each month (Mr. FG and I use a monthly money email to help us with that.), and maybe you guys could decide together how much money to spend on entertainment.
If you are a saver like me, it is so, so helpful to have money set aside for extras like entertainment. If it’s not set aside, I just want to save it ALL! Having it earmarked for something fun helps me to spend it cheerfully and without resentment.
Earmarking entertainment money is also helpful for the spender. If you’ve agreed upon the amount and he wants to spend more, then you can gently point out that the agreed-upon entertainment money is gone for the month.
To help stretch your entertainment dollars, it would be helpful to find cheaper versions of the entertaining things he wants to do. Could you catch a matinee instead of a prime-time movie? Could you get takeout instead of eating at a restaurant? Could you host a get-together instead of going out with friends?
Living Social and Groupon could also help. They’ve always got restaurant and entertainment deals going, and since the deals are usually 50% off, you could effectively double your entertainment budget that way.
Also, have you checked out gathr.com? They’ve got some great packages that could help you to get more mileage out of your entertainment money.
(And until tonight at midnight EST, you can enter to win a free six-month Gathr package of your choice, so go do that if you haven’t already.)
Readers, do you have thoughts to share about these questions? Leave a comment!
Joshua’s 365 post: Budding (He can’t resist photographing my adorable basil plants either.)