Have You Tried Candy Club Yet?

This post contains affiliate links. I will receive commission on any items you purchase through them. Thank you, as always, for supporting Go Ask Your Daddy.

I only post deals on my blog when I truly love the product. Candy Club is one of those products. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to receive and review a free box of candy from Candy Club, and was blown away at how delicious the candy tasted. As a candy lover since I was a kid, I could really taste the difference in quality of the Candy Club candies versus the ones you pick up at the store.

If you haven’t yet tried Candy Club, I’ll give you a rundown of what it is and how to get started. Candy Club is a subscription box service that brings the world’s best candies to your doorstep.  What’s also fantastic is that you can give Candy Club as a gift. Trust me, it makes a really good gift to anyone who loves premier candies.

If you are wondering what kinds of candies are available through Candy Club, they make it very convenient to see the entire list. My favorite candy is the Promotion in Motion (Sour Jacks Watermelon).

Ordering from Candy Club

It’s simple to order from Candy Club. When you go to www.candyclub.com, click on the huge “Get Started” button.

Have You Tried Candy Club Yet?

From there you’ll be able to choose from a monthly plan ($29.99/month), the 6 month plan ($24.99/month), or the 12 month plan ($21.99/month) (all prices do not include shipping).

Have You Tried Candy Club Yet?

Once you choose your plan, Candy Club gives you the option to upgrade to save even more money. This is completely optional.  If you are satisfied and ready to order, the next screen you go to is your billing and shipping information.

Once you’ve entered your information, you’ll get to take the super cool candy quiz. This quiz asks you what types of candies you love best so that a customized subscription box can be created for you (really cool!). Once you’ve finished your quiz and processed your order, your delicious candies will be at your doorstep before you know it.

Current Candy Club Offers

What did you think?

Did you end up trying Candy Club after reading today’s post? I really hope you got the chance, because their candies are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. If you have tried it, what did you think?  Did you pick a recurring plan?  Or did you send a gift? Let me know in the comments.  I have a good affiliate/merchant relationship with Candy Club, and they always listen to the feedback I give them.

34 Essential Blogging Tools You Must Have

This is an ever-growing list of some of my favorite tools, resources, and freebies for my blogging business. I have used almost 90% of the tools in this list, and the remainder are tools other bloggers have highly recommended.

Please come back often as I’ll be updating this post regularly. Some of these links are affiliate links, and I’ll earn a small commission if you make a purchase through them.

34 Essential Blogging Tools You Must Have

AFFILIATE MARKETING

Commission Junction – Another great affiliate marketing platform for bloggers. It’s free to sign up and easy to start joining networks.

Shareasale – Shareasale is one of the best and most popular affiliate marketing networks. There are literally thousands of merchants from just about any genre you can think of, and applying as an affiliate is very easy. Check out my earlier review of the Shareasale program.

BLOG PROMOTION

Buffer – Buffer is a scheduler you can use to promote your latest and greatest post to social media channels multiple times, and with different titles or images with each post.

Hootsuite – I use Hootsuite to automate my blog posts to my Facebook fan page and my Twitter account. I also bulk-schedule my Facebook group thread posts ahead of time with this app. There are some limitations with the free version, but if you want to schedule your posts at the most optimal time possible, Hootsuite does a great job.

InboxQ – Inbox Q is a great tools that allows you to create blog posts with different keywords. When users type in questions with these keywords, you get updates. If the questions are interesting, you can create blog posts from them.

Mailchimp– I stand by Mailchimp as the best and easiest free email marketing software available today. You can own a free account as long as you have up to 2,000 subscribers and send no more than 12,000 emails per month.

Tailwind – I’ve really enjoyed having Tailwind for the last 3 months. It’s completely transformed the way I share my content onto Pinterest, and has helped me boost my traffic well beyond what I though was possible. Tailwind automatically shares pins for you at the most opportune times. If you are interested in a free month of Tailwind, send me an email to jeremy@goaskyourdaddy.com and I’ll send you the link.

BLOGGING TOOLS

Blogger – Blogger is a well-known platform thousands of bloggers use to create a quick and attractive site. It’s owned by Google and is designed for a more simple user in mind.

Grammarly – Grammar and punctuation are things I take very seriously when I write blog posts. Properly written content is crucial to a professional and reputable impression to becoming and remaining a blogger with authority. I use Grammarly in addition to the WordPress spell checker.

My App Builder – if you decide to go the route of creating an app for your blog or business, I’ve worked with My App Builder in the past. It’s super simple to create an app to suit your needs. It’s only $29 per month.

MyThemeShop – MyThemeShop’s Premium WordPress Themes and Plugins are a perfect solution for ANY online presence. They are endorsed by top bloggers and affiliate marketers and have been featured on top websites like WordPress, Forbes, etc.

ThemeIsle WordPress Themes – ThemeIsle is one of the top providers in premium WordPress themes and plugins. You can gain access to all of their themes for only $149.

WordPress – WordPress is one of, if not the largest, blogging platforms available today.  Although it’s free to use, I highly recommend moving into a self-hosting platform. If you use WordPress for your blog, there’s also a free app for Apple and Andriod.

WP Engine – If you blog with WordPress, WP Engine is one of those sites you really need to put in your favorites. WP Engine provides professional or personal web hosting. I also like to use their free WP Engine Speed Test to determine how fast my site is performing. Be sure to take advantage of their Funnel Month now through 8/31/17. You can get up to up to 3 months free.

Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress – I highly recommend the Yoast plugin for WordPress because it helps set your post up to be as search engine friendly as possible. I love the color indicators that tell you when you need to work on something, or when something is good to go.

CONTENT GENERATION

BuzzSumo – BuzzSumo is a content idea generator. Simply enter the name of a website or a topic to find hot content ideas. Enter your headline, answer a few questions, then you are off to view your analysis.

Coschedule Headline Analyzer – A fantastic tool I use every day to analyze my blog headlines to drive traffic and search results.

Google Keyword Planner – Google’s Keyword Planner is an easy to use tool to check the popularity of keywords. Find out just how much search volume your keyword is receiving as well as other related keywords of interest.

Google Trends – use Google Trends to see if the blog post you’re about to write is popular or not. Google Trends lets you enter in your topic to see what the search volume is based on your keywords.

Keywordtool.io – another keyword tool that gives you up to 750 suggestions for your keywords. You will have to subscribe to the pro version to get more than 750 suggestions.

Reddit – Reddit is a great place to go to see what others are discussing. If you are looking for blog post topics, head on over to Reddit, check out the topics, and find interesting ideas that go with your niche.

Portent’s Title Generator – This site allows you to enter a topic into the tool and it’ll spit out sample blog post titles. This is one of my frequently visited sites whenever I’m creating new content.

Quora – Quora is a website where you can go to find answers to questions people are asking, or you can be the one to answer those questions for them by creating a related blog post. Perform searches on your keywords and look for topics where you can pitch in with your ideas.

Twitter trending topics – If you use Twitter a lot, visit the trending topics section to look for the latest topics in news. A great free resource for content ideas!

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Canva – Canva is a free graphic design and image editing app that many, many bloggers use. They don’t offer as many features and tools as PhotoShop, but they are perfect for bloggers who are looking for a quick design or image. I use Canva whenever I update my Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ cover photos.

Gimp – Gimp is a free image-editing software very similar to Adobe Photoshop. If you aren’t looking to spring for a paid service, Gimp gives you all the essential editing tools you need.

PicMonkey – PicMonkey is a free image and graphic design application similar to Canva. Again, it doesn’t offer nearly as many tools as paid applications, but does a very good job and suits the needs for most bloggers.

SECURITY

Identity Guard – a must have service for anyone, but especially a blogger. Protecting your identity while online is very important, because as bloggers we are online pretty much all the time. Having the peace of mind that our identities are protected with Identity Guard is a great thing. I highly recommend Total Protection with Credit Karma.

SITE STATISTICS

Google Analytics – Free site statistics you can install on your blog today. There are other paid options, but Google Analytics will give you more than enough statistics to appropriately manage your blog.

STOCK IMAGES

Pexels – Pexels is a free stock image site. Most images fall under the Creative Commons License so you are free to use as you choose.

Pixabay – Pixabay is one of my go-to free stock image sites when I need an image for my blog. It’s free to join and doesn’t require any attribution (although I still suggest you do).

TIME MANAGEMENT TOOLS

Calendars – Calendars are an absolute necessity for a blogger. I use a calendar from Calendars.com every day when I am scheduling things for my blog. A traditional calendar, as opposed to one on a phone or computer, helps keep things in front of me. Take advantage of FREE SHIPPING through Calendars.com with purchase of $30 or more.  Today through the end of this year you can also get 50 – 75% OFF ALL 2017 Calendars.

WEB HOSTING & DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION

Namecheap.com – Namecheap is a fantastic choice for anything you need for your domain name. They are always having amazing deals on domain names and other services for your website. For example, you can get a .store domain name for 90% off and for only $4.88 for the first year!  Another great deal is that you can register your domain name starting at only $.88.  If you are just looking for hosting, Namecheap’s hosting starts as low as only $1.66 per month.

SiteGround – SiteGround is my new web hosting provider. I recently migrated my site from eHost because of so many technical problems. SiteGround is the best in terms of web hosting, domain name registration, and more for your blogging needs.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

Do you have a list of your own favorite blogging tools? Which ones would you like to see me add to this list? I really want to know what other great tools are available for bloggers and would love to add your suggestions to this list!  Share in the comments if you have any to add!

11 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Started A Blog

Over a year and a half into this wonderful blogging journey, I can’t help but stop and think about all of the struggles I went through to get my blog into the place it is today.

I still think of myself as a relatively new blogger, but I know I’m light years from where I was this time last year, and know that I have many more steps to make my blog grow even more.

Here are 11 things I wish someone would have told me before I started my blog. These are things I know without a doubt today, but if you would have asked me a year ago, I probably would have looked at you dumbfounded.

Keep in mind some of the links in today’s post contain affiliate links. If you click on one of them and decide to make a purchase, I’ll end up with a small commission that helps keep this blog up and running.

11 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Started A Blog

1. Bloggers who claim you can build your website in a day are lying.

Anyone who says you can build a successful website in one day is probably just trying to get every last dime out of you possible. Please know that while you can set up a website (domain and hosting) in a matter of a few minutes, setting up a profitable and organized blog will take you weeks, if not months. Don’t rush this! I can’t tell you the number of WordPress themes I went through before I found one that fit my needs.

These so-called “professional bloggers” say you don’t have to worry about your design in the beginning, and if you have the right content, traffic will come. I completely disagree with this approach! Start everything off right from the very beginning. Your blog should be considered the face of your business. Be dedicated to putting your best face forward. If that means it’ll take 2 months, make it the best 2 months ever!.

2. You don’t need to pay thousands for someone else to build your site

You can build a website all by yourself. That’s what I did. Unless you are a major corporation, building a website is easy!  You might start to think that you don’t have a chance to compete with others who do fork out the dough for a professional website, but think again. Take the time it takes to research all of your options, and determine the best hosting service and blogging platform to suit your needs.

If you don’t already have a web host, I highly recommend SiteGround. I’ve been using them for the past several months, and have been 110% satisfied.

3. Be willing to put a little money into your blog.

I can’t tell you how many times I see someone’s blog address that is obviously a free account. If you want to be taken serious as a blogger, please don’t settle for a free blogging platform. Yes, WordPress has a lot to offer, but you need to pay the small amount of extra cash to go self-hosted.

I currently self-host my blog and my domain name with SiteGround. When you go self-hosted, you don’t get a shitty url such as www.goaskyourdaddy.wordpress.com. You get www.goaskyourdaddy.com. Your domain should say everything about you as a person and as a blogger. Having a free account discredits you almost immediately!

I also put some money into the promotion of my blog. Tailwind has been a great addition to my tools, and it only cost me $114 per year. The return I’m getting from my investment is increased traffic from Pinterest, and a more controlled way to manage my pins.

4. You won’t see raving results overnight

Many bloggers get the impression that once they hit publish, thousands of visitors are just going to come flocking to read the latest and greatest post. Not so. After you hit the publish button, the work only begins from this point. You HAVE to be willing to put in the extra effort that it takes to promote you blog and your content.

If you aren’t a full-time blogger, like me, you have to find the time to share and promote your posts on a regular basis. You cannot expect thousands of hits to come after you hit publish. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but chances are very slim you are going to go viral on your first post unless you put enough effort into promoting it.

5. Be careful with guest post requests

No sooner had I launched my blog when the guest post requests started rolling in. I usually get 5 to 10 requests from other bloggers claiming they follow my site and then “pitched” me their ideas for guest posts they think my audience would love.

I don’t accept guest posts any longer because these types of posts are usually unrelated to my blogging niche and are promotional in nature. I also don’t like the idea of someone else’s voice on my blog.  Maintaining the right tone and content is very important to me in keeping my readers engaged.

If you do decide to accept guest posts, I recommend creating a firm set of guidelines and adhere to them.  Make sure the submitter has more intentions than promoting his or her own blog.

6. You don’t have to post every day

When I first started blogging, I felt like I had to post every day for readers to become engaged. Posting too much can actually cause more harm than good. I aim for 2 posts per week, which keeps me more than busy enough promoting the posts and participating in Facebook groups.

There are days that I don’t feel like posting, and that’s OK. Posting when you are ready with a good idea only adds value to your content. Posting just to post leads to garbage. Your readers can definitely tell when you are just throwing content on the page without any real effort.

7. Don’t overload your site with ads

It can be tempting to monetize your blog right off the bat, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. But, you need to develop a solid monetization plan ahead of time and stick with it. Overloading your site with banner ads slows down your site, makes it less user friendly, and turns potential subscribers away.

When I researched all the ways I could monetize my blog, I decided to focus 100% of my efforts on affiliate marketing. I don’t like the look of a ton of banner ads on my site. With affiliate marketing, you can incorporate links right into the content you are writing.

8. Your blog’s design is important

The theme and layout of your blog is crucial in driving readers where you want them to go when they land on your site. It took me dozens of themes and hours rearranging widgets to get it right.

Don’t make your readers have to search for content. Make it easy and obvious. Your blog’s sidebar should not be filled up with ads and useless social media widgets. Leave it relatively clean so that you have room for your email subscribe form, an about you section, categories, archives, and social media links.

I find it useless to put social media widgets on a sidebar. Not only do they take up space, but your readers can click on your social media icons to see the same information. I prefer to use the space for more important information.

9. You need Pinterest and Tailwind

It’s only been about 3 months, but my blog traffic has started to increase tremendously because of my Pinterest activity. I couldn’t have possibly pinned 80 pins per day manually without the help of Tailwind. Check out my earlier post on how my blog traffic has increased because of Tailwind.

When you put together a pinning plan, make sure that your images are optimized for Pinterest. Vertical pins that are longer do much well because they take up more space and are more visible.

My personal Tailwind schedule is 80 pins per day across 24 different group boards (and growing). If you are looking for group boards in your niche, Pingroupie.com is a great place to start.

10. You need to know how to write well

Nobody wants to read poor writing.  I wish I had known to take more time to organize my thoughts and posts when I first started blogging. Now, I use an outline on every single blog post, and I take several days to review it and make it as perfect as possible.

Writing well means writing longer posts. Give up on the 300-500 word blurbs and write more in-depth content. I aim for 1,000-2,000 words in every post.

Do your research properly and write content with a purpose. One mistake I made in the beginning was just writing to write and not having any audience in mind.

11. Don’t ignore SEO

I had no clue what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was when I first started blogging, and frankly I don’t think I had a reason to care. SEO is basically ensuring that your blog posts will show up through search engines by keywords readers are entering into sites such as Google.

Organic searches can easily become the number one driver of traffic to your blog if you are properly setting your posts up for SEO. Find a balance between using the correct keywords and writing posts your readers will find valuable.

Need blogging help?

My New 7-Day Email Course - How to Create a Profitable Blog

I’m here to help you succeed at blogging! If you want help building a money-making blog, sign up for my free 7 day crash course that takes you through creating a blog, writing quality content, and monetizing your site.

How I Made $408.44 With My Blog in July 2017 [Income Report]

All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Go Ask Your Daddy!

I’m always excited to provide my traffic and income report every month. July 2017 was a great month for me in terms of blogging and income.

How I Made $408.44 With My Blog in July 2017 [Income Report]

Investing in my blog

Having an MBA, I understand that you’ve got to sometimes spend money to make money. Last month, I saw how beneficial my Tailwind account was to my traffic. The problem was, I was limited to only 400 pins a month. Because of the impact it had on my traffic, I decided to upgrade from the monthly plan to the annual plan. Now, I have 80 pins scheduled per day, which equals over 2,000 pins per month.

Income for July 2017

Affiliate income:  $76.33 (Shareasale)

Sponsored posts: $23.97

Fat Joe Publishing: $432.85

Total: $533.15


Expenses for July

Tailwind upgrade: $114.00

Photoshop subscription: $10.71

Total: $124.71


My top 5 viewed blog posts for July:


Site Stats

  • Total unique visitors: 1,530 (+39 from June)
  • Total page views: 2,854 (+317 from June)
  • Total comments: 30 (+21 from June)

Referral Stats


Social Media Stats

How to Start a Money Making Blog

This post contains affiliate links

Today, I am going to go through all of the major steps you have to take in order to start a money-making blog.  Consider this your all-in-one tutorial to begin your career as a blogger.

How to Start a Money Making Blog

When I first started blogging 2 years ago, I never thought a fun hobby could turn into side income.  I am slowly but surely starting to see the income creep up. Last month, I earned $900 just from blogging. That’ll pay a few bills!

Just a quick disclaimer that I am not a professional writer nor is blogging my full-time income. For me, it’s a way to earn a little extra cash on the side in addition to my day job. I’m also a full-time bank manager and a daddy to 4 kids. Life always has me spinning in circles, so I don’t always have the time needed to make my blog a full-time income, but that’s ok, I love what I do and I wouldn’t trade it for anything

My blogging story

I started blogging at the end of 2015 with really no idea how to do it or how to make it go anywhere. I looked at my blog as a fun hobby to talk about my family and write about parenting advice.

I really wasn’t getting much, if any, of a following to what I was reading. I thought I was sharing to the right places, but nothing seemed to work for me. Earlier this year, I changed my blogging niche from parenting and family to helping others learn how to blog and earn a solid income from blogging. I’m seeing a much greater following and response from the articles and tutorials I provide.  I really love helping others in all steps of blogging experience – from newbies to experts.

My blogging income isn’t the same every month. Sometimes I earn $200 and sometimes I earn $1,000. We’ll talk later on about how to get the most income out of each and every blog post.

I wouldn’t be earning the income I’m earning today if I didn’t take a leap of faith and start my blog.

What the heck is a blog?

You’ve heard of a journal or diary, right?  Well, a blog is very similar. A blog (weblog) is a place where you can share your beliefs, interests, hobbies, and more.  The first step in starting your blog is the desire to write about something you love. This becomes your niche. Make sure to pick a niche you can write about all the time. My niche is blogging tips and product reviews.

Who can blog?

Well, essentially anyone can blog. You don’t have to be technically-advanced or certified in coding to start a blog. You need an internet connection, a web host, a domain, and a blogging platform to get you up and running.

There are thousands of bloggers who work from home full time.  Some bloggers, like myself, blog part time. You can earn the same amount of income as a full time blogger if you put the right income strategy in place. The best way to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing (don’t freak out yet!).

What kind of income will I make? Is it worth all the time and effort?

You will make as much income as the effort you put into your blog. If you write one post a month and don’t promote it very well, don’t expect to make $4,000! Blogging takes serious determination, perseverance, and organizational skills (just like any job, right?).  With the right income and promotion strategy, you can earn a lot! I know there are some bloggers who say they earned $10,000 after their first month. Don’t fall into the trap that this is the norm. Hardly any blog earns much after the first 6 months, let alone after one! It takes time!

How much does it cost to start a blog?

Not very much at all. If you already have an internet connection, you can start today for free. While I don’t recommend ever using a free version of WordPress or Blogger, if you are looking to get your feet wet in the blogging world, you don’t have to spend a dime.

The reason I don’t recommend you sticking with a free blogging platform is because you are severely limited at monetizing your blog on free platforms. You also look unprofessional. Would you rather visit www.goaskyourdaddy.wordpress.com or www.goaskyourdaddy.com?  Which looks better? Developing your brand off the bat includes your online presence.

But, if you are going to monetize your blog, you must self-host your site. I would never use another company to host my blog and domain other than SiteGround. You can get web hosting from SiteGround starting at only $3.95 per month. That’s super cheap! I currently use the Startup Plan which is perfect for the size of my blog. The good thing about SiteGround’s plans is that if you find yourself growing beyond the limitations of your plan, you can always upgrade easily.

Interested in SiteGround?  Use my referral link right here to get started today!

Ready to get started?  Let’s go!

1. Pick Your Domain Name

Your domain name to your blog is like the name to a store or to a company. Picking your domain name can take some time and creativity. I went through 2 domain names before I arrived at goaskyourdaddy.com.

If you choose to host your website with SiteGround, you can also have them host your domain name. You’ll be asked to tell SiteGround what your existing domain name is if you have one, or if you don’t have one, it’ll search for some that are available. If you want to host your domain name elsewhere, I highly recommend Namecheap.com. Register your domain name at Namecheap starting at only $.88. Registering your domain name with your hosting company is usually the best route to go if you want everything neatly tucked into one company. They’ll usually throw in a good deal for you, but you can host elsewhere if you desire.

2. Sign up with SiteGround

Once you type in www.siteground.com into your browser, you land at their homepage. If you want to review their plans, click on “See Plans.” Otherwise, click on Sign Up.

Once you click on Sign Up, you’ll be taken to the plan options. Choose your plan and then click “Order Now.”

SiteGround will then give you the option to register a new domain or use a current domain.

3. Install WordPress

SiteGround makes it easy to install WordPress onto your new site. Once you have completed your registration, you will be taken to your cPanel account.  From there, install WordPress from the Autoinstallers menu. If you do not already have an existing WordPress site you want to transfer over to SiteGround, you’ll be able to start blogging once the install is complete.

For those bloggers who are moving an existing site, you will need to download your site files from your existing web host and upload them into your SiteGround account. The next step after that is to migrate your database. SiteGround will do all of this for you as an included benefit with your hosting account. I highly recommend you let them do this for you so that you don’t lose data. SiteGround responds quickly and had my site up and running in less than 24 hours.

4. Writing your first blog post

It’s really exciting to finally write your first blog post. If you are just starting out, I recommend having no less than 5-10 drafts ready to publish. It will be very tempting to hit the publish button as soon as possible, but resist at all cost. Writing just to write is one thing, but writing a post that is valuable and solves a problem your readers have is another.  Read how I write and publish quality content.

5. After hitting publish

The work only increases after you hit your publish button. It’s time to promote your post to drive traffic to it, and it must be done right. Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Share through word of mouth. Before you go live with your brand new blog, tell all of your friends and family members.
  2. Connect your blog to social media. WordPress allows you to connect your social media accounts so that your posts automatically get shared whenever you post new content. I only connect to the most popular social media accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest).
  3. Get going early with Pinterest. My site sees most of its traffic come through my Pinterest account. Create pinnable images and post to both your own boards as well as group boards. You can’t be very successful on Pinterest without a solid plan in place. Tailwind makes all of that a breeze! Read how Tailwind is boosting my blog traffic.
  4. Share more than once.  We live in a rapidly changing social media environment. This is why it’s very important to create and maintain a solid social media strategy to share your new and old content regularly.
  5. Do keyword research. There are many SEO tools out there to assist you in determining the best keywords to use in your blog posts. From interviewing more experienced bloggers, I learned that the key to driving traffic is implementing a solid SEO strategy.

7. Making money with your blog

Some bloggers suggest waiting to monetize your blog until you’ve established a solid reach, but others insist you should start right away. I’m one of those that promote the “do it now” approach, but it has to be done right to be successful.

Some common ways bloggers make money include affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, product reviews, paid posts, and ad hosting. The best way to earn income is through affiliate marketing. Once you have your affiliate links set up, one post can earn you income over and over again.

Affiliate marketing is the way to go if you love promoting products you use and know how to appropriately market them to your readers. Once you are signed up with an affiliate marketing network, such as ShareASale, you can sign up for programs, start promoting products, and draw in commissions from purchases made through your affiliate links.

8. Be genuine first

It is very important to establish yourself as an expert in your niche before you start blowing up your blog with ads and affiliate links. Remember, the more you try to sell to people the less likely they are going to trust you and come to you as a reputable source of information.

You will be tempted to throw links into every blog post, and that’s a good strategy, but don’t overdo it. My rule of thumb is no more than 2-3 affiliate links per 1,000 words.

Don’t sell yourself short by recommending products you haven’t used, or wouldn’t use. If you are writing with your readers in mind, you will genuinely care about the reputation you are putting out there. I’ve seen too many bloggers load their sites up so much with ads and links that I closed out before reading their content.

Want to learn more about blogging?

Sign up for my FREE 7-day email crash course!  You’ll be on your way to blogging income success in no time!

My New 7-Day Email Course - How to Create a Profitable Blog

How to Protect Your Identity

All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Go Ask Your Daddy!

Hi guys and gals! I’m really hoping you find today’s post helpful and valuable. In this age of everything digital, have you thought about making sure your identity is protected?  Probably not, and that’s what identity thieves are betting on when they are scouting their next prey.

It gets easy to forget just how much of our personal information is vulnerable to identity theft, and by the time we find out our information has been compromised, chances are, our bank accounts and identities have been hacked. Not good.

Let’s talk about some great tips today to protect your identity.

1. DON’T VISIT SUSPICIOUS WEBSITES

There are identity thieves trying to “phish” their way to your information by way of deception. It is very common for thieves to set up fake websites that look like the real thing and then entice their victims to enter in their personal information into these fake sites. One of the most important things you can do is to never enter your personal information into a site that’s not secure, or a site with which you are not familiar.

2. USE STRONG PASSWORDS

Websites these days, at least the big ones, are getting much better about requiring stronger passwords. A good password is usually 8-10 characters, includes upper and lower case characters, numbers, and a mixture of symbols. Whatever you do, don’t use a password that’s easy for someone to hack. Also, whenever changing passwords, using the same password except for changing the number is not recommended. Identity thieves know that many people like to keep the same password, and that often times changing only the number to the next number in the sequence is a common move. Change your password completely every time you are prompted.

3. INSTALL ANTIVIRUS/MALWARE SOFTWARE

Having a stable antivirus/malware application installed on your device is critical in safeguarding your data. I use a free antivirus app called AVG and MalwareBytes to scan for malware and registry errors. Using your computer without an antivirus application opens your system up to attack, and more importantly, identity theft.

4. BE SELECTIVE ABOUT SHARING PERSONAL INFORMATION

I’m sure most of you are connected to all of the major social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Prying eyes are just waiting for the right information to be posted to steal your identity. Be extremely selective what type of personal information you post online and never share it with those you don’t know.

5. INVEST IN IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION

Investing in monthly identity theft monitoring is a great investment to make. There are many companies to choose from in the identity protection market, but I highly recommend Identity Guard. Identity Guard provides you with continuous monitoring and alerts, quarterly 3-bureau credit reports, and a dedicated case manager, among other services. Click here to get your free trial of Identity Guard

6. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS

If you are one to work on your laptop or tablet in public, be aware of who is around you. Don’t position your screen where anyone else can see the information on it, and be careful when working with your personal information over public networks. Identity thieves use personal networks to hack into your device, and chances are you’ll never know it.

7. DON’T PUT OUTGOING CHECKS IN YOUR MAILBOX

I don’t know of too many people today who still pay bills through a physical check and drop it in their mailbox. Identity thieves can easily stroll through the neighborhood, swipe the envelopes, and steal the routing and account number of off checks. If you are going to pay with a physical check, take it to the post office and drop it off, or physically hand it to your postal carrier.

8. NEVER PAY AN UNKNOWN SELLER BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER

If you are one to participate in online transactions, such as eBay, never agree to pay for your items via check or money order. It’s nearly impossible to track these items and makes it much harder to recuperate lost funds if an item never arrives. If you pay with a credit card, you can dispute the charges much easier.

9. MONITOR STATEMENTS REGULARLY

Most of us probably don’t check our statements very often. With the 24/7 access to mobile banking or apps to our bills, we know our balances left and right. Make it a regular habit, though, to check for suspicious activity and report any suspicious activity to the appropriate institution.

10. KEEP YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD LOCKED AWAY

I never take my Social Security card out of my locked filing cabinet, unless I’m going somewhere that requires me present it to them (government agency, etc). There is absolutely no need to keep a copy in your wallet or purse, because if it’s ever stolen, the identity thief has everything he or she needs to do the dirty work of hacking your life. Unless you absolutely need it every day, leave the Social Security card at home in a secure location.

11. BE DILIGENT IN IDENTIFYING SPAM

Identity thieves are very smart today in terms of making spam look legit. Most email clients and providers have sophisticated tools built in, but they will never be able to catch everything. Before clicking on links in emails that appear legit, verify the sender’s email address and hover over the links to check for spammy or fictitious websites.

12. SECURE YOUR CELL PHONE

Securing your cell phone is important in safeguarding your phone’s content. Set a strong password and make sure you have a phone location app installed in case you lose it while traveling.  If you are traveling, remove any sensitive apps you may not need while on the trip. You can always reinstall them once your trip is over.

13. EDUCATE YOUR KIDS

If you have kids, it’s a smart idea to get them conditioned to looking for identity theft red flags from an early age. Teach them to never give money to an unknown source and make sure they understand the importance of keeping their personal information secured.

Stay one step ahead…

I hope that these tips help you and your family in the fight against identity theft. The most important things you can do include securing your personal information and staying one step ahead of would-be thieves.  Keep yourself in the know about privacy tips and learn about the new ways thieves are trying to steal information. Knowing these things will greatly reduce the chance of cyber or identity theft.