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Mom Blogging

Thank you Instagram, We made it to 10K!

Thank you Instagram! 10K Instagram Followers. Cute 10K Pictures. Mom Bloggers on Instagram. How we got to 10K Instagram Followers. A Cotton Kandi LifeTHANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who wants to be a part of our little story. I had no idea when I started this Mom Blogger adventure just over a year ago that we would be here now. I started this blog {well, really revamped it from the craft blog it was} as a way to connect back into the world after I had Wyatt. Life was very confusing; we had babies, I became a WAHM and we moved away from everyone. We were all alone up here in this new town with all of the Sweet & Sticky… {aka Cash & Wyatt} I found a cozy second home here online {which 2012 Kandice would have never said} but more importantly I’ve been able to give more to the boys than I ever imagined.

Thank you Instagram

This blog, and it’s Instagram account are all about my 2 boys, Cash & Wyatt and what being a mother to them is like. It’s Sweet & Sticky every single day. But we survive. I survive because I’ve found a place where other moms understand. I’ve found a place where I can be honest, scared, in love with motherhood and completely frustrated in the same day. Instagram and the community of moms there is a safe place for me and I cannot believe how much my little community has grown! 10 THOUSAND PEOPLE!

They Earned It

Coincidentally, last week I also dropped the ten-thousandth dollar into the boys’ college savings accounts. That’s right, in just over a year we’ve made $10,000 for their future. If you’re new to the blog, and my blogging adventure, you can catch up here. In 2016 I dedicated all of the ACKL Income to them because this is all about and for THEM. Every penny from every ad, every sponsored post, and every referral code goes directly to their futures and all they have to do is smile and play while I take some pictures. The great thing about our Saving Account too is that it can be used for anything, not explicitly college. So no matter what they decide, they’ll have this there for them. You’ve helped me do that for them.

Thank you Instagram! 10K Instagram Followers. Cute 10K Pictures. Mom Bloggers on Instagram. How we got to 10K Instagram Followers. A Cotton Kandi LifeThank you Instagram! 10K Instagram Followers. Cute 10K Pictures. Mom Bloggers on Instagram. How we got to 10K Instagram Followers. A Cotton Kandi Life

Thank you Instagram! 10K Instagram Followers. Cute 10K Pictures. Mom Bloggers on Instagram. How we got to 10K Instagram Followers. A Cotton Kandi LifeIt’s teaching them to work hard…

As I brought this cake out to them they were very confused, as it was about 9 am…  I told them “You guys are famous! You’re teaching kids how to have fun all over the world!” To which Cash responded, “It’s our JOB!” with a high five to his brother. That made them feel pretty proud. Some days I even try to explain to them that they’re earning money for college too. Cash currently wants to be a Dentist when he grows up, who fights fire on the side. He does understand that he’ll need to go to school to earn that and it’s currently his “job” right now to be a student and a kid. In the mornings when I ask him what he wants to do today he’ll say, “Let’s work in the Etsy Shop and take some pictures!” I think he get’s it. I think he’s understanding the results of hard work and earning… There is so much scaffolding there that I’m so grateful for, which he’ll undoubtedly benefit from in the future. Our little online commerce has helped me teach him that.

So thank you again…

If you’ve ever read a post, clicked a heart or followed along, Thank You! If you’ve ever shared a post on your page, tagged the blog or repinned a Pin of the Week, thank you! Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts for all of your support and love. Keep those hearts coming 😉 and we’ll do the same!


Like what you read?

Hi There! I’m Kandice
Wife, WAHM and mother to 2 Hooligan boys, sharing my Sweet & Sticky Story of Motherhood.
Life changes after 2 Toddlers {obviously} so now I’m sharing how I turn those every day #MomProblems into a Story of #MomWinning by building new Small Systems, Organizing Mom Routines and Making Mommy Money Online by Blogging.




Mom Blogging

Nice to Meet You | Blog Hop

Nice to Meet You Blog HopHello There Fellow Bloggers! It is so Nice to Meet you this week! Ever since I became a Blogger, one of my favorite things about this whole process had been meeting and getting to work with other Bloggers. It is like a Team Sport, which is something I really needed in my life after my whole transition into the WAHM field. The Blogging Community fosters the ideal of supporting each other, networking, helping with content, mentioning, and promoting each other {often for no reason other than friendship} and being there to guide one another. Literally, all day long I can reach out and someone will be there to answer my Blogging question. So again, it is nice to meet you, I hope we can work together in the future. The next time you have a question, I might be your answer. Here is a little about me you might not know:

10 Things about me

So whom am I? Why do you care and what story am I telling? Well, I’m a mom who chose to leave a career {sort of} and transition into home life, raising babies. I took to blogging to stay sane, to join a team, to interact with people and to recover income. Since afterall, life isn’t free. My life is Sweet & Sticky and I’ve decided to let you into my back office…. Welcome to my Story!

1- I wasn’t always a Blogger

I started my own company, my dream job, of Wedding Coordinating in 2009 with Green-Eyed Girl Productions. I had a massive office, up to 12 employees at one time and got it to nearly 6 digits in 4 years. In 2013 my first son was born in July, right in the middle of wedding season. He and I went back to work together when he was 2 weeks old. I ran the building so nobody could tell me no. He and I went to work 60 hours a week until he was 6 months old, December 31st, 2015 when I liquidated my business and handed the building keys over for the last time. My husband had to pull me up off my knees in the parking lot as I was so distraught. My business was my first baby, and I just abandoned her…. For a while anyway. I spent the next year pregnant with our next son and began to blog.

2- I’m a WAHM

As a mom, I am still able to Wedding Coordinate from home, though I took an 85% pay cut. {Which would probably be the difference in Day Care anyway!} And I would really, REALLY rather be the one here, educating and disciplining my boys into the little gentlemen they are. We moved to Salem after Wyatt was born in 2015 and the new house has a bigger office than the old one, which is fortunate considering my old office could take up our entire house if I let it… Truth be told, my business legitimately consumes a third of our house with an office and storage. There are 4 Rings to my Circus that build my WAHM Career.

3- I am a Wedding Coordinator in Real Life

I am still a Wedding Coordinator since it is my ultimate passion, but on a much smaller scale. I only take on about 15 events at most per year. I now meet all clients at Panera Breads along the Willamette Valley for my Meetings and my employees are spread out across Oregon waiting for me to call out a Captain America, “ASSEMBLE!” and they come running because they’re all still awesome like that. What I did instead of all those other weddings I used to do was I wrote a book and I started a Wedding Blog.

4- EBook & Ecourse Author

Since I wasn’t going out into the Wedding Field as often, I spent my Maternity Leave time writing The Project Block Workbook, which is the opus of my company. I then developed it into 4 ECourses which now supplement my WAHM income the most. My Wedding Blog houses the posts that support The Project Block System Ecourse curriculum and my wedding “students” are now all over the world. Instead of meetings in person, I now get emails from Michelle in Sydney Australia, “Hi Kandice. It’s Michelle. I’m taking your ECourse and I’m on Project Block 14. I have a Question about the difference between Speeches and Toasts.” This is why I’m on my phone all day long.

5- I am on my phone ALL DAY LONG

I could be at an office {with those long green curtains and posh leopard print furniture} but I’m here, building forts and making chocolate play-dough. I’m here participating in my sons’ childhood and it is such a blessing to do that. I am there in my son’s preschool classroom, volunteering, sometimes twice a month. I haven’t missed anything. When I come out of the classroom, after 3 hours, I check my phone and there are 50 new emails… so I’m on my phone the rest of the day. If I don’t respond to my emails in a few minutes, they’ll really pile up and I’ll get unprofessionally behind, which is bad for business. So I’m attached to that little Smart guy ALL. DAY. LONG. But, I’m there, at home.

6- Somedays I wonder if it’s worth it

I have tremendous guilt about being a WAHM. More often than I would like I catch myself screaming at my kids, “PLEASE! MOMMY IS TRYING TO WORK!” and I wonder if they’re really better off with a mom who says that all day. I wonder if I should just go to an office, focus there, clock out and be a mom when I get home. Am I really doing the best thing for them by being there, but being a work-monster and being on that phone all day? Every day I wonder if I would be a better mom for them if I sent them to daycare and did my work, then came home to smiling kids and was a focused mom. #thestruggleisreal

7- The Mom Blog

You’re here! This is it. It’s been almost 4 years and I’ve been blogging “professionally” for the last year. Remember that guilt I mentioned above? I call that the Sticky part of Motherhood and to survive it I started Blogging about it. This blog, A Cotton Kandi Life is dedicated to the Sweet & Sticky parts of motherhood. Everything I mentioned before, and dealing with it, trying to balance it, takes a massive toll on me emotionally. Trying to be 2 women, the professional, driven person that I miss and the devoted mother I strive to be is extremely difficult. I massively underestimated the turmoil I would go through trying to be both. So I blog.

8- The Etsy Shops

This Blog and my Sweet & Sticky are what I would call the Second Ring of my 4 Ring Circus. What I mostly do all day are my Etsy Shops, Rings 3 & 4. I have been an Etsian since 2010 because it fit in so easily with my Wedding Coordinating. My main shop is all about party decorating, The Vintage Event and I would send my clients right there to begin styling their parties. My second shop is all about the babies. When I was pregnant I started to crochet, because that’s what moms do! I watched my mom do it, so naturally, when becoming a mom, you must join the team! I call it Cotton N’ Kandi, to represent me with all my cotton.

9- Making Mommy Money

I mentioned taking an 85% pay cut when I left my company and career. Unfortunately, my family income responsibility did not get any lower. In fact, we now had TWO kids, so we needed to make even more money to cover them. Last year I really set out to monetize myself online. I had to swallow some pride and expand myself into social media. We needed to survive after all 😉 I stepped up my blogging game and joined a ton of Blogging Groups on Facebook. That’s really the best place to find me, in a group online, either a Wedding Group or more often a Blogging Group. Groups are really just Teams and I love teams! We also all have the same goals, to make an Online Income, and I couldn’t have done it without them. Here is my journey for 2016 where I started making $300+ in January Blogging and ended the Year at $1,000+ per month. January 2017 Income was $3,000+ for online Mommy Money! I do more than just Blogging as a Mom. But it all adds up, and you can do it too.

10- Bringing it all Together

So how am I making $3,000 per month Blogging from home now? The answer is not simple. It took a lot of work, a lot of tears from my children and a lot of husband-ignoring. But I now feel a little more confident about my contribution to the family and the world. Which is what I need for mental health. {Call me crazy, you won’t be the first 😉} My combined efforts are things I do all day long {on that phone} and they’re all super easy independently but it’s when you combine them all that the numbers get high. I actually have a gift for you… and inside look at my Super 7 Mommy Money Makers.


Click Here for the FREEBIE!

Thank you for taking the time to meet me, and I look forward to meeting you. Stick around and meet the Sweet & Sticky if you want. Read a Mom Truth, You’ll survive the struggles and transition if you’re leaving work to be at home, you’re not alone. Here are several other Bloggers you should get to know too:


 

Like what you read?

Hi There! I’m Kandice
Wife, WAHM and mother to 2 Hooligan boys, sharing my Sweet & Sticky Story of Motherhood.
Life changes after 2 Toddlers {obviously} so now I’m sharing how I turn those every day #MomProblems into a Story of #MomWinning by building new Small Systems, Organizing Mom Routines and Making Mommy Money Online by Blogging.




Mom Blogging

Every Blogger Should Monetize with this ONE Referral Link

How to Monetize your Blog. Every Blogger Can & Should use this Referral Link to Monetize. Referral Programs. Monetizing your Blog. As a Blogger, we spend our time tirelessly creating new, quality content for our readers. This endless work goes unpaid until the magical time comes when we’ve accumulated enough page views, followers, Klout, etc. so that we can monetize. Monetizing your Blog is the million-dollar topic. When should you do it and how should you do it? Which Affiliates are the best to work with? When can I pitch to Brands? I see these questions every day in my Blogger Groups. However, I’m a strong believer in the Referral Link being a top way to monetize, especially because anyone can at any time!

Monetize now!

My answer is typically, do it now! Why wait? There are companies out there who do not need to know any of your blogging stats or followers to give you their money. In fact, you don’t even need a blog to earn from them! All you need is a place to drop their link, and this link is called a Referral Link, not an Affiliate Link.

A Referral Link

These handy babies are links you can drop all over the internet inviting your friends, family, and followers to join a program you’re a part of, and love. They don’t have to buy anything they just join. There are a bunch of companies out there who offer Referral Programs and pay you to invite people into them. But the best one… are you ready for it?…

Ebates

That’s right, I know you’ve heard of it. It might be the Internet’s best kept secret. I seriously don’t know why every single blogger isn’t utilizing its Referral Program! They offer $25 per person you invite and then there are sometimes bonuses. Did you know that they will pay you up to $25,000? YES! You read that right again, up to: Twenty-five THOUSAND dollars for inviting people to join.

Every Blogger can and should be using this one link to monetize their blog. Monetize your Blogs with Referral Links. How to Monetize your Blog.

How it works

Ebates is a rebate/cash back, online service that connects to your Chrome bar and provides you with Electronic-Rebates for your online purchases. If you shop online, you can save a ton of money simply by clicking through Ebates first. You do this after joining their program, which is free by the way.

I’m an Ebates Member

As a member myself {which was free to sign up} every time I go shopping online personally at Joann Fabrics, Michaels, Amazon, VistaPrint, and thousands of other retail giants, I click through to their website from Ebates. Then, after I buy through their cart, Ebates “catches it” through their interweb genius {read cookies} and gives me a rebate. I get cash back for just being me and utilizing their system. I then love it so much when my Big Fat Check comes {aka free money} back on purchases I would have made online anyway, that I then tell all my friends about it.

Every Blogger can and should be using Referral Links to monetize their blog. Monetize your Blogs with Referral Links. How to Monetize your Blog.

Seems legit enough already right? I’m saving money all over the internet on my online purchases, which I love, so I want to tell my friends all about it so they can save money too. Technically, they’d get money back on their purchases. I would refer my friends just for that! But no, Ebates is so awesome, they’re going to give me $25 for every person I bring into their awesomeness. So again I ask the question…

Why doesn’t every Blogger use the Ebates Referral Link?

I confess I did not utilize this Referral Link soon enough. I have been an Ebates member since 2012 when I was planning my own wedding. Now that I’ve become a Blogger I’m recently aware of this whole mind-blowingly easy way to monetize my blogs with Referral Links! I wish I had started this much, much sooner, which is why I’m telling you now. Do it, you won’t regret it. All you have to do is tell your followers about a way they can save money online and you earn a referral. You can slip it into your blog posts or even put a widget in your sidebar. Or, you can even send a simple email, {but be cautious about spamming} Sell it well in person first, as it may be weird to get an email randomly from someone you haven’t talked to in awhile, then say, “Hey, I’ll email you my Referral Link.”

Every Blogger can and should be using this one link to monetize their blog. Monetize your Blogs with Referral Links. How to Monetize your Blog.

Seriously? Start now! Here you go, Register for Ebates. Start earning yourself Cash Back on online purchases you’re making already {free money people!} and then Monetize your Blogs so you can get $25 for each referral. And yes, use this link and I’ll get $25 for telling you all about it. But, you’ll get $10 free too for joining! Thank you and you’re welcome! Triple win team! I refer you, you get cash back, you refer to earn = WIN-WIN-WIN.

Ultimate #MomWinning

***This post contains my referral link for Ebates.


Like what you read?

Hi There! I’m Kandice
Wife, WAHM and mother to 2 Hooligan boys, sharing my Sweet & Sticky Story of Motherhood.
Life changes after 2 Toddlers {obviously} so now I’m sharing how I turn those every day #MomProblems into a Story of #MomWinning by building new Small Systems, Organizing Mom Routines and Making Mommy Money Online by Blogging.



Mom Blogging

3 Blogger Apps I Wish I Knew Before I started Blogging

3 Blogger Apps I wish I knew about before I started Blogging. Canva, Tailwind and GrammarlyCongratulations, you’ve become a Blogger! You’re in for a very exciting, fulfilling journey, however, I’ll warn you, there might be some bumps along the way. I started blogging a few years ago and there are many things I wish I knew before I actually started. I wish I had started my Blog in WordPress, not Blogger for one, but that’s another story for another day. This post is about sharing my Top 3 Blogger Apps I wish I had known about before I started really blogging. I hope to inform you now, so you’re not struggling to catch up like I was!

3 Apps for Bloggers

These 3 Blogger Apps, or services are additional websites within the Internet that help you be a better Blogger. These are not plug-ins, but services provided by a separate company that is allowed access or synced to your Blog. They cost money to use professional {if you upgrade} but they are also available for free at a limited capacity. You can also use them on a trial basis before upgrading to the paid version.

Canva

Where were you 2 years ago?! Oh, you were there the whole time and I never knew it… Canva is a Blogger App or website/program that you use to make your Blog Images. So many problems solved! Ugh, it is truly depressing that I went 2 years making images for my blog without Canva.

Why is it necessary?

Canva allows you to make images the proper size for Pinterest {which is really important for a Blogger} as well as the correct size for multiple social media sharing around the Interwebs: Facebook Posts, Instagram, etc. You can also {if you upgrade to the paid version} create a template for your BRAND, which gives you shortcuts for making all of your images cohesive and the same style, aka Branded.

3 Blogger Apps I wish I knew about before I started Blogging. Canva, Tailwind and Grammarly

See my pink arrow? Here you see my saved BRAND colors so that I can easily create all of my images. They also have a ton of fonts and free templates that you can use! I might be the most upset about not using Canva from the beginning. Head on over to Canva now and give it a go. It’s FREE!


Tailwind

The ultimate time saver and my favorite efficiency Blogger App. Are you still pinning your posts to multiple boards individually? Just stop. How long does that take you? It took me for-e-ver {enter Sandlot voice}

Why is it necessary?

Once you install Tailwind and sync your Pinterest you can schedule all of your pins at once. Mind blow right? This is how I now pin 500+ pins per week. I can schedule the same post to pin on 37+ boards, including Group Boards and even set the optimal time for readership.

3 Blogger Apps I wish I knew about before I started Blogging. Canva, Tailwind and Grammarly

 

Look at all of these pretty Canva made pins scheduled for today! Tailwind has also dramatically increased my Pinterest Followers. Tailwind is free for a limited amount of pins per day, but by upgrading you can schedule unlimited pins and add multiple Pinterest Accounts. You can also invite collaborators if you have a team working on your Blog.

Here is my Affiliate Link to sign up for Tailwind {oh, yes, and you can refer other to work off your monthly bill! 😉 }

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite


Grammarly

And last but not least in my top three of Blogger Apps, is Grammarly. Grammarly is an installed program that checks your grammar use throughout your writing and makes you a better writer. Who doesn’t need that?

Why is it necessary?

I struggle with comma use. I’m sure you have a grammar quirk too. Perhaps you make common errors such as forgetting a comma. After you write a sentence Grammarly checks it for you and highlights your error.

3 Blogger Apps I wish I knew about before I started Blogging. Canva, Tailwind and Grammarly

See what I did there? 😉 A little help box pops up to correct your writing and makes your whole post much more readable. Grammarly not only works while Blogging because it is installed on your computer. Grammarly boxes pop up for me whenever I’m writing something including in Word, in my Gmail emails, on Facebook, in conversations for custom orders on Etsy, etc. There is much more here than spell check too… So I sound much more professional when talking with clients and responding to emails. Install Grammarly today and improve your online professionalism.

Here is my Referral Link for Grammarly.

Grammarly Writing Support


Best of luck Bloggers!

I hope these 3 Blogger Apps will help you now so you’re not kicking yourself a year down the road… and redoing a year’s worth of Post Images 🙁 Like me…


 

Like what you read?

Hi There! I’m Kandice
Wife, WAHM and mother to 2 Hooligan boys, sharing my Sweet & Sticky Story of Motherhood.
Life changes after 2 Toddlers {obviously} so now I’m sharing how I turn those every day #MomProblems into a Story of #MomWinning by building new Small Systems, Organizing Mom Routines and Making Mommy Money Online by Blogging.




Mom Blogging

How to add an Amazon Affiliate Link to your Blog Post

How to Add Amazon Affiliate Links to your WordPress Blog Post. Blogging Tutorials. Blogging How to. Amazon Associates ProgramAffiliate Marketing is one of the easiest and fastest ways that Bloggers can make money. However, sometimes we get a little lost on the tutorials for how to actually implement the affiliate into our blogs. It’s understandable, not all of us Bloggers are fluent in code speak. The Amazon Affiliate Program is a really good one to join when you’re starting. There is quite a bit of information out there for you to research why Affiliate marketing is a great idea, why you should be using it to monetize your blog and even this great article from my friend Candis over at Smart Mom Blogger on 5 Ridiculously Easy Ways Mom Bloggers can make money with Affiliates.

How to Add an Amazon Affiliate Link

This post answers a specific question brought up in one of my Blogging Facebook Groups today. A Blogger just recently became an Amazon Affiliate and did not fully understand how to implement the links into her blog. There was a confusion between URLs and HTML formats. So, here I am with my nifty pink arrows again… you know the drill…

Become an Amazon Affiliate

If you are not already an Amazon Affiliate, you should sign up. It is FREE and all Bloggers can find something to Blog about on Amazon. Here is the LINK to sign up for the Amazon Associates Program.

Step 1: Get your URL Short Link

Once you’re an Affiliate {or Associate, same thing} your Amazon Screen will look like this: There will be an additional task bar above allowing you to choose the type of link you want for the current product on your screen. If you intend to hyperlink the product {make a link from the word within your content} with a URL Short Link, select the TEXT option. It will give you a Short Link. Highlight it and copy it.

How to add an Amazon Affiliate Link to your Blog Post

Step 2: Hyperlink the Word

Whatever you’re blogging about that you want to add your link to, highlight it in your content. It will usually be the name of the product or a general category if you’re sending people to a whole page.

Next, click on the Hyperlink Icon in your task bar.

How to add an Amazon Affiliate Link to your Blog Post

Step 3: Insert Link

A box will appear. Put your cursor in the box and Ctrl-V to paste your Short Link into the box. Click the Blue Arrow and you’re done. Bonus: Go into the Settings Wheel to the right and check the box that says “Open in New Window” so that readers don’t lose your blog after they link around the interwebs, shopping.

How to add an Amazon Affiliate Link to your Blog Post

Adding Image HTML Code

Perhaps you want to add the product image into your post and not just a shortcode, hyperlink. This is where the confusion came in this morning. For an image code, you’re now getting into HTML land, not URL land. An HTML code will not work as a hyperlink. You must actually code it into your content. This step can be a tiny bit tricky but you’ll catch on quick.

Step 1: Get your HTML Code

Back on your Amazon Screen, on your same product page, now select that you want an Image. A code will appear. Highlight it, copy it.

How to add an Amazon Affiliate Link to your Blog Post

Step 2: Insert your HTML Code

Now, this is the tricky part. On the far right side of your posting dashboard, there are 2 options for writing a post format, Visual and Text. Click on the TEXT format. You may notice your font change to a bit more old school tech. Find the location throughout your content where you want the image to appear. Type this: <code>

then, immediately paste your HTML. There is in fact, a little code icon on your taskbar, but sometimes it gets lost in the scrolling to find your location and it always just drops it into the bottom of your content, so I just started typing my own.

How to add an Amazon Affiliate Link to your Blog Post How to add an Amazon Affiliate Link to your Blog Post

Step 3: Adjusting

Once you have inserted your HTML code, click back to the VISUAL format and you’ll see it. Then you’re done! From here you can even click on and drag your image to new locations.

How to add an Amazon Affiliate Link to your Blog Post

*This post doesn’t actually contain any affiliate links if you can believe it! 😉


Also Read

How to Start A Blog in 5 Steps

My Mommy Money Blogging Adventure


 

Like what you read?

Hi There! I’m Kandice
Wife, WAHM and mother to 2 Hooligan boys, sharing my Sweet & Sticky Story of Motherhood.
Life changes after 2 Toddlers {obviously} so now I’m sharing how I turn those every day #MomProblems into a Story of #MomWinning by building new Small Systems, Organizing Mom Routines and Making Mommy Money Online by Blogging.