Should You Get a Master’s Degree While Working Full Time?

Professor lecturing in front of students

If you’re interested in earning a master’s degree to help you stand out from the crowd, congratulations! It’s a big move that can make a significant difference in your career! However, just like a graduate degree can help you move up the corporate ladder, the amount of time and dedication required to get one may force you to take time off work.

If you want the best of both worlds, you may want to try studying while working full-time, but that’s easier said than done! Not sure that’s the right choice for you? Before you decide what to do, ask yourself the questions below — they’ll help you assess your options and prepare for your next big step!

Question #1: Do you feel comfortable asking for help?

Let’s be real: full-time school and full-time work will put a lot of stress on you. Sometimes, you won’t have an option but to ask for help — whether that’s asking your boss to cut you some slack or asking a professor for a deadline extension.

Are you the type of person willing and able to ask for help before small issues snowball into major problems? Consider this before you decide to stick with your job while going to grad school.

Question #2: Are you ready to do your — financial aid — homework?

Working full-time doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for financial aid, grants, and scholarships. However, it does mean that you’ll have to spend time studying your financial aid options before school even starts!

The following links provide advice and resources to help pay for grad school:

  • Types of Financial Aid
  • Financial Aid for Graduate School
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Question #3: When and how will you tell your coworkers and supervisors?

It’s impossible to avoid conflict in your life. Often, the best course of action is to get out in front of potential issues. Accordingly, you’ll want to share your plan with your boss so that if and when a conflict between your studies and your job appears, it will be easier to call out and resolve. And let’s face it, what employer doesn’t love the idea of a hardworking associate striving to learn and achieve more?

A bonus: some employers offer partial or even total tuition reimbursement if the field of study is likely to positively influence your work performance (and their bottom-line). That would take the sting out of your efforts to get a master’s while working full time!

Question #4: Can you relax?

While juggling school and work, it can be hard to take a break, relax, and rejuvenate. Regardless, it’s an integral part of earning a master’s degree while working full-time or tackling any challenge.

Despite that, many people struggle to unplug and unwind! Knowing how and when to relax is a valuable skill and one that’s worth learning before you hop into working and studying simultaneously.

Question #5: Do you have the physical and mental bandwidth for grad school and work?

It’s time for a little introspection! Reflect on what your current work-life balance looks like — do you have plenty of time left after the 9-to-5 to hang out with friends, work out, and do the other things you’re passionate about? How many hours a week are you expecting to be at school or studying? Is it going to be manageable? Meditate on these things before you make any big decisions.

Having room left in your schedule for work, life, and studies is one thing — but having space in your home to complete your professional and academic projects is another! Look around your apartment and ask yourself, “Can I create a dedicated space for my studies?”

Whether you have a dedicated home office or an unused dining space that can be converted into one, having a physical room for concentration will help you conquer work and grad school. And if you need temporary furniture to transform a space for the duration of your academic pursuits, turn to CORT Furniture Rental for temporary office and bedroom furnishings.

An Easy A: Finding Your Next Place

Whether you decide to do grad school full-time while staying at work, work and study part-time, or quit work to go to pursue a different trade entirely — ApartmentSearch has your back. Find apartments that fit your budget wherever life takes you!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Create a Productive Apartment Work-From-Home Space | Apartminty

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Working from home has become more prominent than ever, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, when you’re living in an apartment, it can sometimes be challenging to create a productive remote workspace. 

Thankfully, there are things you can do to maximize your space (no matter how small it may be), arrange it in a way that inspires creativity and productivity, and take care of yourself so you stay motivated. 

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make the most of your apartment while you’re working from home, so you can find a healthy work-life balance and stay focused on your job each day. 

Arranging Your Space

A productive apartment work-from-home space starts with actually creating a designated workspace. You don’t necessarily need to have a separate spare room to set up an office. As long as you have a specific location in mind that is dedicated to your work, you can get things done effectively. Some suggestions include: 

  • Fixing a folding shelf to a wall.
  • Using a large closet/wardrobe.
  • Utilizing a large hallway.
  • Pulling your sofa away from the wall in the living room and using it as a desk chair.

Having your own workspace can help you to stay focused and organized throughout the day. Remember, your environment can affect your mental health. It can either keep you motivated or bring you down. So, focus on things like using natural lighting, having live plants around to give you energy, and even controlling the temperature to keep things a bit cooler. 

If you know you will have to participate in Zoom meetings or similar video chats, make sure that your office looks as professional as possible. Because you’re at home, it’s okay to make things personal. But, whatever is in your background should still suggest that you’re working. A professional background for a video call can include things like plants, pictures, and artwork, but probably shouldn’t include your Star Wars actions figures. 

Keeping Your Health in Mind

In addition to having the right space set up, it’s crucial to take care of yourself in order to stay productive. When working from home, it’s easy to feel distracted and unmotivated. Taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, can have a huge impact on how well you do your job. 

One of the potential drawbacks of working from home is having a harder time with a work-life balance. You can combat this by having a routine each day. Start work at the same time and end it at the same time. Having a separate office space in your apartment will make it easier to “walk away” from work at the end of the day. 

It’s also important to take breaks, and you may need to encourage yourself to do so. Your apartment might be small, but don’t be afraid to splurge on a few “self-care” items including, perhaps, a sofa that you can put in or near your workspace for whenever you need to take a break. 

Your breaks should also consist of movement, as much as possible. Stand up and stretch every hour. Or, take longer breaks throughout the day that allow you to get outside and go for a walk. Studies have shown that simply being out in nature can improve your mood, which may help with productivity, and it will give you a chance to get some space after being in a small apartment all day. 

It’s possible to create a productive apartment work-from-home space and to stay motivated each day. With a few simple changes, some organizational skills, and maybe a professional purchase or two, you can turn almost any area of your apartment into an effective workspace. 

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How to Create a Productive Apartment Work-From-Home Space
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How to Create a Productive Apartment Work-From-Home Space
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With a few simple changes, some organizational skills, and maybe a professional purchase or two, you can turn almost any area of your apartment into an effective workspace.
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Source: blog.apartminty.com

15 Of My Best Working From Home Tips So You Can Succeed

Do you need some working from home tips to make it easier to transition to remote work?

working from home tips

working from home tipsMore and more people are starting to work from home or are becoming location independent and traveling while they work, such as those who backpack, RV, or sail full-time.

If you’re new to working from home, you quickly realize that it’s not as easy as it may seem. In the beginning when you’re new it may seem like a great thing, but it can easily turn sour if you are not careful with how you use your time.

Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden have 8-10 hours a day of free time – you will still be expected to WORK!

The only thing that has changed is WHERE you are working.

I have been working from home and while traveling since 2013 – so for around 7 years now! 

I know many people often dream about working from home and/or being location independent. And there are a lot of great things about working from home.

You don’t have to drive to work (no more commute? YES!), you can wear your pajamas if you’d like, and more. You may even be able to have a more flexible schedule.

Being able to work from home and/or be location independent can be a great thing. I know this because I’ve been working from home for several years now, and I truly love it.

However, there are many things a person needs to keep in mind if they want to work from home (or on the road, while traveling, etc.) and that is why I am publishing this post today about my top working from home tips.

I know several people who have tried working from home only to find that they have a hard time getting anything done. While I’m not one of those people (I love working from home), I know there are certain things that may hold you back if you’re not careful.

This is why it’s important to realize that working from home doesn’t mean you are retired. I’ve honestly heard from people who said they felt that way at first, but quickly realized that wasn’t the case at all.

You still have work that needs to be completed, and you still have to earn a living. Cutting out your commute, being able to wear your pajamas, and being your own boss all may seem like great positives, but you have to remember that you still have a job.

Here are my best working from home tips so that you can be as productive as possible, while still maintaining a good work and life balance.

Content related to working from home tips for success:

15 working from home tips:

 

1. Set working hours for yourself.

Even though you are working from home and you probably don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder to see what you are doing all day long, I still recommend having clear work hours. This will help you manage your time, complete your work, and “leave” work for the day.

You will want to schedule your day so you have:

  • A start time
  • Lunch break
  • End time
  • Anything else that you would normally do to break apart your work day

Even if you can have the most flexible schedule in the world, it’s usually wise to still have somewhat of a work schedule. This way you can mentally get into the “work zone” each day and have fewer distractions.

I find that I am most productive when I “get up and go to work.” Even though that might mean I am working at the kitchen table – I get myself into the mindset that I am working.

 

2. Create a dedicated work area.

Similar to sticking to a work schedule, having a dedicated work area can help you work better due to the fact that you will be in a spot in your home that is used just for work. 

This can help you separate work and life, be more organized, and be able to concentrate better.

Also, if you have anyone else in your home while you are working, it will be more clear to them that you are busy at work, so that they will be less likely to bother you.

Your dedicated work area doesn’t have to be an office – you can use your dining room table, spare bedroom, extra room in your basement, etc. But, if you are able to have an actual office space in your house for working only, you may be able to write that off on your taxes.

Related: How To Be More Productive: 17 Tips To Help You Live A Better Life

 

3. Exercise regularly.

When working from home, it can be quite easy to sit in one spot all day long. This is one of the working from home tips that many people don’t expect.

Unlike with going to work where you may have to walk into work, walk to someone’s desk, and so on, you may find yourself getting a lot less movement in your day when you work from home. 

By exercising regularly, you can stay healthy, refresh yourself, and clear your mind.

This may mean going for a jog in the middle of your work day, going for a walking break outside, or simply doing a workout routine once your work day is over.

 

4. Hire help if you need it.

Outsourcing work can help you focus more on tasks that you need to complete, find “experts” who can do certain tasks better than you (such as accounting or legal work), manage a better work-life balance, and more.

You don’t have to only hire help for your work either. You can hire help for both work and home life. This could mean finding a virtual assistant, a nanny, a housekeeper, and so on.

I know it can be hard to feel okay spending money on outside help, but outsourcing often makes you more productive so you can earn more money.

 

5. Cut out distractions.

While social media and TV may be great at times, you have to be careful so that it’s not impacting your work in a negative way.

Working from home means that your coworkers or boss aren’t watching over your shoulder, and this can cause you to become more distracted. Due to this, it’s always a good idea to cut out things such as social media, TV, and so on while you are working so that you can be more efficient with your time.

This may even mean downloading cell phone apps that minimize your screen time, so that you are forced to cut out distractions. I even know of some people who put their phone in another room so they aren’t tempted to look at it while they are working.

 

6. Socialize with others.

Working from home can make some people feel a little lonely at times. You don’t have the normal socialization that you may receive when you go into an office, which can make you feel like you are cut off from the world.

There are still many ways to socialize with others. You could join a club, hang out with friends, call coworkers, or even work in a shared space with small business owners.

 

7. Don’t run errands for others all day long.

There’s a common myth that people who work from home don’t actually do anything all day. This sometimes leads to friends and family members asking for favors from those who work from home.

Many of my online work friends are constantly asked to babysit, run errands, and so on from others. While the occasional favor may not be so bad, of course, these favors often start with, “I know you have nothing to do today so will you…”

If you have the time and you want to, by all means say yes to every favor. But, I believe you need to be realistic with yourself and those around you, and this is one of my most important working from home tips. Running errands all day for others can prevent you from completing work, and it can also cost you money.

 

8. Make sure you take breaks.

This may not apply to all work from home jobs, but for many people, working from home means you may have a flexible schedule. So, as long as you get your work done, you can most likely take any breaks that you think you deserve or need, and this is a big perk of working from home.

This is something I highly recommend that everyone who works from home do, but I also know it can be hard sometimes.

A break can help you feel more refreshed so that you can work better. Whenever I am feeling stuck with work, I always take a break and that almost always helps.

9. Connect with other people who are working from home.

One of the best pieces of working from home advice I was given was to connect with other people in my field. So, I found other bloggers to connect with via email, and we eventually started a mastermind group with one another.

Most of the time we talk about how to grow our businesses, but we often talk about tips, advice, and struggles we have with working from home. 

If someone has never worked at home, they probably won’t understand certain aspects of your day. Even your spouse, partner, family, or friends may not get it, and having a group of others who understand you feels great.

10. Find tools and apps to make working from home easier.

There are so many great tools on the internet that can help you work from home. You can use workflow management software like Asana, make the best out of Google calendar, or even just use reminders on your phone.

This is one of the tips for working from home effectively that can really change how you structure your day so you actually get stuff done.

11. Explain what working from home means to those in your life.

Like I’ve said, some people around you may not understand what working from home means, like some people may ask you for favors because they think you do nothing all day. This is why I recommend this as one of my best working from home tips.

When you start your new remote work life, set some boundaries with those around you. Tell the people in your life if there are certain times they shouldn’t bother you, that you might not pick up the phone right away, etc.

Others probably aren’t sure what working from home really means, and they will happily respect your boundaries once you tell them what they are. 

12. Ask for what you need.

This is one of my top working from home tips for those who are employed by someone else and not self-employed. If your employer needs you to work remotely, they may supply you with the equipment you need to work from home.

Your employer may provide a computer, desk, ergonomic chair, keyboard, mouse, etc. Large companies often have a budget for these things, and you just need to ask.

13. Take time off work when you are sick.

Taking time off when you are sick is a hard thing for even those who go into work, but it’s especially hard if you work from home. 

I have to admit that this is one of my working from home tips that I wasn’t always very good with.

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you need to work while you are sick. Yes, you may be more comfortable working from home, but take time off so you can rest and feel better. You will get better soon and be better at your job when you are healthy.

14. Create routines for the beginning and end of your day.

When you start working from home, you lose some of the routines that come with going to work and leaving for the day. So, it can be helpful to create new ones.

You may want to start your day by going for a short walk, getting a cup of coffee, going over your daily schedule, then opening your work emails. 

You could end your day by organizing your schedule for the next day, shutting down all of your work apps, and then going for another short walk.

This is one of the working from home tips that will help you feel like you are “going” to work everyday, and can establish boundaries with the rest of your day.

15. Enjoy your new career working from home.

In the end, you need to remember to have fun. There are a lot of benefits to working from home, and it’s important to take advantage of them when you can.

Spend more time with your family, be successful with your career choice, do things that you’ve always wanted to do, and more.

Being able to work from home is one of the best things I’ve been able to do. It allows me to spend more time with Wes, travel full-time, have a flexible schedule, and more. I know it can be hard at times, but with these tips for working remotely, you’ll adjust and love it too!

Do you think you’d like working from home? What are your top working from home tips?

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Should I Start A Blog? Here Are The Top Reasons You Will Love Blogging

Are you wondering should I start a blog? Have you been thinking about starting a blog for a while? Maybe you’re trying to find a way to make extra money?

Is it a good idea to start a blog?

Is it a good idea to start a blog?Today, I want to share why I love blogging so much, and how much it has changed my life over the years. My story may answer your question of should I start a blog.

A lot of people wonder if I started blogging to make extra money.

The truth is that I had no idea you could make money blogging when I started Making Sense of Cents.

I was so clueless when I first started my blog. And, it seemed like a very random thing when I first heard about blogging, but I decided to go ahead and create a blog of my own.

Making Sense of Cents was started simply as a way to keep track of my own personal finance journey. Most people in my life didn’t even know I had a blog.

It’s so funny to think back to when I first started my blog, but I’m so glad I gave blogging a chance. I can’t imagine how different my life would have been if I didn’t have this website.

I was just like you, asking myself should I start a blog. I realized there was no good reason not to, so I learned how to start a blog. It completely changed my life, and I’m so glad I gave it a try!

Because of how blogging changed my life, I love telling others about it. That’s exactly what I’m doing today if you are on the fence about starting a blog.

Blogging helped me pay off my debt, quit my regular job, travel full-time, and more. The best part is that I love what I do. And, as you can tell from my business income reports, I now earn a great living from my blog.

Related content to should I start a blog:

I first learned about blogging when I was reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of the articles. I had no clue what they were talking about, but I was interested. I also knew that I needed to make a change because it felt like money was controlling my life.

I knew I wanted to be in control of my financial situation and pay off my student loans.

But, I did not create my blog to make extra money to pay off my student loans. Like I said, I had no clue that you could even make money from a blog. My blog was a hobby and outlet that helped me journal about my finances. It helped me keep track of my finances so I could stay motivated.

I quickly realized how much I loved blogging!

Then in October of 2013, I left my day job and became a full-time blogger. I had only been blogging for a couple of years, and it felt so good to turn it into my full-time job.

Learning how to create a blog has completely changed my life for the better, and it’s something that I recommend everyone try if they are wondering should I start a blog.

Blogging changed my life in ways such as:

  • I now love what I do and look forward to working each day.
  • I am able to help others improve their financial situation.
  • It will allow my husband and I to retire early.
  • Both me and my husband were able to leave our day jobs.
  • It helped me pay off my student loans.
  • We now split our time between a camper van and sailboat and travel full-time.
  • I have a flexible schedule.
  • I’m my own boss.
  • Blogging gives me freedom.

There are many reasons to start a blog, and I have found it to be well worth it.

So, if you have ever wondered should I start a blog, today’s post will help you decide if it’s right for you. Spoiler: You’re going to want to start a blog!

Here are reasons to start a blog.

 

Blogging is a lot of fun.

Before I started blogging, I never gave it a single thought. Like I said, I didn’t even know that they existed, let alone that it would be fun work.

Now that I’ve been blogging for several years, I can’t imagine not being a full-time blogger.

I enjoy helping others improve their financial situation, reading blog posts from others, finding new people to talk to, working on my blog, and especially writing.

I love waking up each morning to work, and I no longer dread work like I did when I had my day job. Blogging is both challenging and rewarding, as there is always something new to learn and you can reach many people through your blog.

 

You can help others.

If you’re wondering should I start a blog, think about your story, what you’ve been through, and how it can help others.

Even if you think your story isn’t extreme, I’m sure someone in the world would find it inspirational and helpful.

Even though I didn’t realize it would happen when I first started my blog, I have been able to help many people over the years, including myself!

Your blog can definitely help others, and without a blog your story never would have reached them. You may help them by showing them a new idea, help them improve their finances, create recipes, manage their life better, and more.

For example: My blog posts help and motivate others to improve their financial situation as well as their overall lives.

I have received many emails over the years from readers who have used my advice and motivation to pay off debt, save for retirement, start a business, and more, and it makes it all worthwhile. 

 

It’s affordable to start a blog.

Blogging is a very affordable hobby, side hustle, or business to start.

In fact, it’s one of the most affordable businesses to start.

If you are interested in taking the steps to learn how to create a blog, I have a tutorial that will help you create a blog of your own for cheap, starting at only $2.75 per month for blog hosting (this low price is only through my link). In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free website domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting.

This means that you may be able to start your blog for less than $50 a year. I started my blog with super cheap blog hosting, I designed it myself (even though I had no experience ever doing something like that), and more. I did pretty much everything myself so that I could save money, and while it was a learning experience, it was well worth it.

I spent less than $100 total for the whole first year of Making Sense of Cents.

 

You can be your own boss.

With blogging, you can be your own boss. Keep that in mind if you are asking should I start a blog, as it’s one of the most positive parts of blogging. You can decide what type of business you’ll run, your schedule, your goals, and more.

I never had dreams of being my own boss. I always thought I’d work for some corporation.

Then, I started blogging and realized how much I love being my own boss.

I love being in complete control of what I do, and becoming self-employed may allow you to feel that way as well. I enjoy deciding what I will do each day, creating my own schedule, determining my business goals, handling everything behind the scenes, and more.

I actually have a rule in my life/business that says I don’t do anything unless I want to. While I still say yes to many amazing opportunities, I’m not doing anything that feels like a total drag or is against my beliefs. This has really helped improve my work-life balance, which is great because being able to choose how you earn a living amounts to making sure you love everything you do.

I honestly love each and every service I provide – writing online, networking, interacting with readers, and more.

Running an online business (and being your own boss) may not be for everyone, but it’s something I enjoy.

 

Having a flexible schedule is amazing.

One of the best things about working for yourself and being a blogger is that you can have a flexible schedule.

I can work as far ahead as I want to, I can create my own work schedule, and more.

I love being able to work for a few hours in the morning, do something fun during the day (such as a hike or a lunch with friends), and then work later at night when I have nothing planned. I can also schedule appointments during the day, and it’s really no big deal.

I can work at night, in the morning, on the weekends – I can work whenever.

 

You don’t need previous experience to be successful.

In order to become a blogger, you don’t need any previous experience. You don’t need to be a computer genius, understand social media, or anything else.

These are all things that you can learn as you go.

Nearly every single blogger was brand new at some point, and they had no idea what they were doing. 

I’m proof of that because I didn’t even know that blogs existed when I started Making Sense of Cents, and I definitely didn’t know that bloggers could make money. I learned how to create a blog from the bottom up and have worked my way to where I am today. It’s not always easy, but it’s been rewarding!

With blogging, you’ll have a lot to learn, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It’s challenging, but in a good way!

 

Blogging can allow you to travel and/or work from home.

Another great benefit of creating a blog is that you can work from wherever you want.

Because of blogging, I was able to sell my house in 2015 and have been traveling full-time ever since. It’s great knowing that I can work wherever I want.

Plus, having no commute is really amazing!

 

You can make a living blogging.

If all of the positives above aren’t great enough, you can actually earn a living by blogging.

No, not every single person will become a successful blogger (it’s NOT a get-rich-quick scheme), but I know many successful bloggers who started in a similar way as I did – blogging as a hobby and it just grew from there.

For me, I have earned a high income with my blog, and I have enough saved to retire whenever I would like. I am still working on my blog, though, as I enjoy what I do.

 

You can earn money while you sleep.

One of the things that I love about blogging is that the things you do now can help you to earn somewhat passive income, such as through affiliate marketing.

With affiliate marketing, I can promote products that I already use and love, while earning a living from it even when sleeping.

I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger, then you NEED this course.

 

Blogging is a great platform for freelancers.

Should I start a blog if I have another business already?

If you are a freelancer, blogging can also help you land freelance gigs, such as speaking, virtual assisting, staff writing positions, book deals, and more.

By having a blog, people can find you easily, they can see a sample of your work, learn about you, and more. Without a blog, people may never find out about the services you offer.

 

There’s a ton of valuable free resources.

One of the great things about starting a blog is that there are a ton of FREE blogging resources out there that can help you get started. So, if you are wondering should I start a blog if I’m on a low budget, you don’t have to spend much money at all to get started.

In fact, I didn’t spend any money in the beginning in order to learn how to blog – instead, I signed up for a ton of free webinars, free email courses, and more.

The resources below will help you create your blog, come up with blog post ideas, grow your blog income, design your website, learn how to share your website in order to grow your page views, and more.

  1. First, if you don’t have a blog, then I recommend starting off with my free blogging course How To Start A Blog FREE Course.
  2. Affiliate Marketing Cheat Sheet – With this time-saving cheat sheet, you’ll learn how to make affiliate income from your blog. These tips will help you to rapidly improve your results and increase your blogging income in no time.
  3. 8 Easy Tips To Make Money From Sponsored Posts On Your Blog – Sponsorships on your blog are a great way of earning a living online. Learn how I made my first blogging income, and how I’m now making $10,000-$20,000 a month with sponsored partnerships! This is a free cheatsheet.
  4. 7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight – This free ebook gives great tips on how to increase your blogging income.
  5. 120 Awesome Blog Post Ideas –  Are you struggling to come up with new content for your blog? Here are 120 great blog post ideas that will help you beat writer’s block and create great content.
  6. Facebook Ads For Bloggers 101 – This free training will show you how to increase your blog’s traffic with Facebook ads. This is the top area I’m working on this year, and I recommend you do the same!
  7. The SEO Starter Pack (FREE Video Training)– Level up your SEO knowledge in just 60 minutes with this FREE 6-day video training.

 

Should I start a blog?

Should I start a blog?

Is it a good idea to start a blog in 2021?

2021 is a great time to start a blog.

Trust me, people were saying the same thing when I first started Making Sense of Cents – that people who started in 2011 were starting too late and that no one would earn money blogging if they started when I did.

However, that wasn’t the case then or now.

The online world is still so new, and each year there are new ways to monetize and grow your blog.

For example, it wasn’t until the past couple of years that companies and advertisers started realizing the value of online influencers, such as bloggers, and that means even more opportunities to earn money blogging.

Before that, it was mainly celebrities that companies advertised with, but now, it is actually shifting to bloggers and other online influencers (such as Youtubers and Instagrammers!).

The online world is a huge place, and it is just going to keep growing. Every blogger earns a living in slightly different ways, and everyone has a different message and story. Plus, there are so many different ways to earn money blogging, and I expect that the options will continue to grow.

Of course, because the blogging world keeps changing, there will constantly be new things for you to learn, but that will probably always be the case for managing any kind of business.

 

If blogging is so great, then why doesn’t everyone do it?

I hear this pretty often. I also get a lot of people asking me: If it’s so easy, why don’t you just start multiple blogs and make even more money?

Blogging is not printing money.

It’s not a scam, and it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.

Learning how to earn money blogging is work, and just like with all jobs – not everyone wants what you want.

And, for every successful blog out there, there are probably hundreds of bloggers who will never earn money blogging. While you can earn money blogging, not all bloggers will.

It would be like saying that 100% of people who start a business will see success. That is just never going to happen – businesses fail, business owners have a change of heart, and others just don’t find it enjoyable.

I know I am always talking about the positives of blogging, but I also like to mention how it’s not the easiest.

After all, if blogging was easy, then everyone would do it and everyone would make thousands of dollars a month.

But as you know, that’s not the case.

Not everyone is going to earn money blogging because it is WORK! Most new bloggers quit just a few months in. A few months is not enough time to see if your blog will be successful. It took me six months before I started to earn money blogging, and I only earned $100. 

It’s funny and weird to think about what life would be like if I would have quit back then.

I’m constantly learning something new when it comes to blogging, and that is why I enjoy it so much.

Once you realize that blogging is hard, you will be ahead of 99% of everyone else in the game. Don’t assume, like most people do, that blogging is easy or a get-rich-quick scheme.

Starting a blog can be difficult. But, all bloggers start at the same point.

I remember being so lost when I first started my blog. After I asked myself should I start a blog, I had to learn everything the hard way – it sure was difficult at times.

But, I have always really enjoyed blogging. I think that is so important when it comes to this type of business – you either need to have passion in your blog and/or passion in what your blog allows you to do in your free time (such as travel or spending more time with your family).

 

How To Create A Blog FREE Course

If you’ve been asking yourself should I start a blog and have decided to give it a try, I have created an email course for those who are interested, but haven’t made the leap yet.

Best of all, this blogging for beginners course is free!

With this free email course, I will show you exactly how to create a blog, from the technical side (it’s easy – trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting followers. Each day for seven days, you will receive an email in your inbox that will help you from the beginning as you create a successful and profitable blog.

Here’s a quick outline of what you will learn in this free 7-day email course:

  • Day 1: Reasons to start a blog.
  • Day 2: How to determine what to blog about.
  • Day 3: How to create your own blog. This lesson focuses on creating a blog with WordPress. My tutorial makes it very easy to start your blog.
  • Day 4: How to make money blogging.
  • Day 5: My tips for making passive income from blogging.
  • Day 6: How to grow your traffic and followers.
  • Day 7: Miscellaneous blogging tips that will help you reach success.

Please sign up for my How To Start a Blog Free Course by clicking here or signing up below.

Are you interested in learning how to create a blog? Have you asked yourself should I start a blog? What other reasons to create a blog can you think of?

How To Start A Blog FREE Email Course

In this free course, I show you how to create a blog easily, from the technical side (it’s easy – trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates and get access to the free course.

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Source: makingsenseofcents.com

9 Things I Love and Have Learned After 9 Years Of Blogging

I still remember the month I started my blog. I don’t really remember the exact first day, but I remember the first month and how excited I was.

In August of 2011, I started Making Sense of Cents.

That was exactly 9 years ago!

Back then, I had no idea what I was doing, and I also had no goals for my blog.

I didn’t even really know what a blog was, or that they could make money.

I also didn’t even like to write at that time!

In the past 9 years, so much has changed for me.

It’s crazy to think that I started my blog nine years ago, especially when I consider all of the amazing things it has done for my life.

It was something I started and worked on in addition to my full-time day job as a financial analyst, and around two years after I started this blog, I quit my day job to blog full-time.

Some numbers on Making Sense of Cents:

  • My first blog post was published on August 10, 2011. You can read it here.
  • I have published 1,878 articles here on Making Sense of Cents. That number was higher about a month ago, but I recently deleted several hundred articles that I thought weren’t good enough.
  • I have 70,816 comments on my blog posts.
  • I’ve personally replied to 21,080 comments.
  • It took me 6 months to earn my first $100 from Making Sense of Cents.

First, a little backstory on how I began.

You may have heard this from me before, but the funny thing is that I created my blog on a whim after reading about a personal finance website in a magazine. It started as a hobby to track my own personal finance progress, and I honestly didn’t even know that people could make money blogging!

I knew NOTHING about running a website.

At that time, I was working as an analyst at an investment banking and valuation firm. I chugged along working the 8-5, Monday through Friday grind and didn’t see myself having an enjoyable future there. I had a stressful job filled with lots of deadlines and responsibilities that just didn’t interest me. Yes, I know this is the norm for some people, but I just couldn’t imagine myself living like that for 40+ years.

Blogging was an outlet for my stressful day job, and my interest quickly grew, even though it was just a hobby. It gave me space to write about my personal finance situation, have a support group, to keep track of how I was doing, and more. I did not create Making Sense of Cents with the intention of earning an income, but after only six months, I began to make money blogging.

A friend I met through the blogging community connected me with an advertiser, and I earned $100 from that advertisement deal.

That one deal sparked my interest in taking my blog more seriously and learning how to make even more money blogging.

I now earn a great living from my blog, and it all started on a whim, not even knowing that blogs could make money.

Blogging completely changed my life for the better, and I urge anyone who is interested to learn how to start a blog as well.

Blogging has allowed me to take control of my finances and earn more money. It means I can work from home, travel whenever I want, have a flexible schedule, and more!

Related content:

And, all of this happened because I started some random blog nine years ago.

I made so many mistakes, and I still make mistakes today. But, I continue to learn and improve, which has shaped this blog into what it is today.

I was so afraid to quit my job when I did, especially for a blog.

So many people thought I was absolutely crazy and making the worst decision of my life. Especially since my husband quit his job at the same time!

Today, I want to talk about the the 9 things that I love and have learned about blogging over the years. I feel like what I enjoy about blogging as well as what I’ve learned go hand in hand.

Oh yeah, if you haven’t yet – please follow me on Instagram.

Here’s what I love and have learned about blogging.

1. I love being my own boss.

When I first started my blog and realized I could make an income from it, I quickly learned how much I love being my own boss.

I love being in complete control of what I do, and becoming self-employed may allow you to feel that way as well. I enjoy deciding what I will do each day, creating my own schedule, determining my business goals, handling everything behind the scenes, and more.

I actually have a rule in my life/business where I don’t do anything unless I want to. While I still say yes to many amazing opportunities, I’m not doing anything that feels like a total drag or is against my beliefs. This has really helped improve my work-life balance, which is great because being able to choose how you earn a living amounts to making sure you love everything you do.

I honestly love each and every service I provide – writing online, promoting, networking, interacting with readers, and more.

Running an online business (and being your own boss) may not be for everyone, but it’s something I enjoy.

2. A flexible schedule is one of my most favorite things.

One of the best things about working for yourself and being a blogger is that you can have a flexible schedule.

I can work as far ahead as I want to, I can create my own work schedule, and more.

I love being able to work for a few hours in the morning, do something fun during the day (such as a hike), and then work later at night when I have nothing planned. I can also schedule appointments during the day and it’s really no big deal.

I can work at night, in the morning, on the weekends – I can work whenever.

But, this can also be something to be careful with as well, as it can be difficult to have a good work-life balance.

3. Location independence is AMAZING.

Being location independent for so many years has been great.

I love being able to work from wherever I am, and it’s allowed me some of the best experiences I’ve had, like living in an RV and now on a sailboat. All I need is an internet connection and my laptop.

The only problem with being location independent is that it can be hard to separate work from the rest of your life. You may find yourself working all the time, no matter where you are, and while that may seem great, being able to take a true vacation can be a hard task.

However, I’m not going to complain because the work-life balance I’m rocking right now is great.

4. Remember, success takes time!

Many bloggers quit just a few months in.

In fact, the statistic that I’ve always heard is that the average blogger quits just 6 months in.

I completely understand – starting a blog can be super overwhelming!

But, good things don’t come easy. If blogging was easy, then everyone would be doing it.

It took me 6 months for me to earn my first $100 from Making Sense of Cents. If I would have quit at that time, I would have missed out on so many great things!

Remember, success takes time!

5. Don’t write when you feel forced.

One thing I have definitely learned about myself over the years is that I write best when I’m not forced – i.e. when I’m on a deadline.

Instead, I always try to write content ahead of time.

I used to write content for Monday on the night before (Sunday!), and I found that to be super stressful. Even a week in advance was too stressful for me.

I like to be at least a month ahead, as then I can truly write when I feel inspired and happy to write.

6. Get ready to learn.

Pretty much everything about having a blog is a learning process.

Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme, and anyone who tells you that it is (or acts like it is) is lying.

Blogging is not easy.

And, you won’t make $100,000 your first month blogging.

Blogging can be a lot of work, and there is always something to learn. Something is always changing in the blogging world, which means you will need to continue to learn and adapt to the technology around you. This includes learning about social media platforms, running a website, growing your platform, writing high-quality content, and more.

This is something that I love about blogging – it’s never stale and there’s always a new challenge.

7. Stop seeing other bloggers as competition.

Okay, so this isn’t exactly something that I’ve learned, but I want everyone else to learn!

I have always had this mindset – that there is plenty of room for everyone in the blogging world. However, not everyone feels the same.

So many bloggers see other bloggers as enemies or competition, and this is a huge mistake.

I mostly see this in newer bloggers, and this can really hold them back.

Networking is very important if you want to create a successful blog. Bloggers should be open to making blogging friends, attending blog conferences, sharing other blogs’ content with their readers, and more.

Networking can help you enjoy blogging more, learn new things about blogging, learn how to make money blogging, make great connections, and more. If you want to make money blogging, then you will want to network with others! After all, networking is the reason why I learned how to make money blogging in the first place!

The key is to be genuine and to give more than you take, which are the two main things I always tell people when it comes to networking. I receive so many emails every day from people who clearly aren’t genuine, and it’s very easy to see.

I’ve made great friends who are bloggers and influencers, and it’s truly a great community to be in.

8. You don’t need previous experience to be successful.

To become a blogger, you don’t need any previous experience. You don’t need to be a computer wizard, understand social media, or anything else.

These are all things that you can learn as you go.

Nearly every single blogger was brand new at some point, and they had no idea what they were doing.

I’m proof of that because I didn’t even know that blogs existed when I started Making Sense of Cents, and I definitely didn’t know that bloggers could make money. I learned how to create a blog from the bottom up and have worked my way to where I am today. It’s not always easy, but it’s been rewarding!

With blogging, you’ll have a lot to learn, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It’s challenging, but in a good way.

9. You can make a living blogging.

This is probably one of the best things that I’ve learned since I first started my blog.

You can actually make a living blogging!

No, not every single person will become a successful blogger (it’s NOT a get-rich-quick scheme), but I know many successful bloggers who started in a similar way as I did – blogging as a hobby and it just grew from there.

For me, I have earned a high income with my blog, and I have enough saved to retire whenever I would like. I am still working on my blog, though, as I enjoy what I do.

What’s next?

I’ve never really been much of a planner, so I don’t want to commit to anything HUGE haha.

But, for Making Sense of Cents, I do have some plans. I am working towards improving traffic and readership, and coming up with more and more high-quality content.

I am so grateful to all of you readers, and I want to continue to help you all out by writing high-quality content.

That is really my only goal for now!

If there’s anything you’d like me to write about on Making Sense of Cents, please send me an email at [email protected] or leave a comment below.

Thank you for being a reader!

There’s a ton of valuable free resources.

I know I’ll be asked this, so I am going to include this here.

One of the great things about starting a blog is that there are a ton of FREE blogging resources out there that can help you get started.

In fact, I didn’t spend any money in the beginning in order to learn how to blog – instead, I signed up for a ton of free webinars, free email courses, and more.

  1. First, if you don’t have a blog, then I recommend starting off with my free blogging course How To Start A Blog FREE Course.
  2. Affiliate Marketing Cheat Sheet – With this time-saving cheat sheet, you’ll learn how to make affiliate income from your blog. These tips will help you to rapidly improve your results and increase your blogging income in no time.
  3. The SEO Starter Pack (FREE Video Training)– Improve your SEO knowledge in just 60 minutes with this FREE 6-day video training.
  4. The Free Blogging Planner – The Blogging Planner is a free workbook that I created just for you! In this free workbook, you’ll receive printables for starting your blog, creating a blog post, a daily/weekly blog planner, goals, and more.

Do you have any questions for me? Are you interested in starting your own business?

How To Start A Blog FREE Email Course

In this free course, I show you how to create a blog easily, from the technical side (it’s easy – trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates and get access to the free course.

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Source: makingsenseofcents.com

What are the home decor trends for 2021 – Atlanta Journal Constitution

“We are seeing a trend towards homeowners wanting to create zen sanctuaries in the home,” said Imani James, certified award-winning interior designer and owner of Imani James Interiors. “A quiet oasis type of environment designated for peace and reflection to recharge and recalibrate. These small secluded areas are filled with natural elements such as plants and crystals and are scented with warm uplifting scents from essential oils and candles. We are adding doors where there wasn’t one previously and creating peaceful nooks wherever we can.”

ExploreThese are the latest design trends for 2021

Keeping it fun by mixing finishes

As LaMont Bynum, owner of consignment furniture boutique Rite At Home, put it: “don’t be boring… mix it up.”

“Out with the old model of everything must match. Today’s rule is mix it up to add interest and fun,” said Bynum, who is also principal owner/interior designer of Bynum Design Group. “Mixing metal with design makes a statement in a room and can help bring different looks to a space. Ultimately, the finish you choose should fit in well with the style you are trying to emulate.”

To infuse a modern appearance in your room, Bynum said a polished look focused on matte finishes is usually the go-to, while traditional rooms favor fixtures with oil-rubbed finishes.

But there are also things that have gone out of style.

“When it comes to furniture, buying living, dining and bedroom sets are a thing of the past and provides no life to a room,” he said. “Find one foundational piece and start designing. It is like a woman finding the perfect black dress.”

Defined spaces for work and relaxation

Working from our dwellings means our home lives have blended with our office lives. As such, many residents hope to outline rooms for work and play, sepearting the two in an effort to obtain work-life balance.

“A real focus, and one that we definitely see continuing through the coming years, is a more defined and fuller use of every space in the home, whether it be for work, for relaxation, or for family activity,” Grossman said. “While most of our clients either already had home offices or spaces easily converted, we saw a wonderful trend toward adding bright spots of color — rays of happiness — as those spaces were organized and brought to life for full-time use. We saw an emphasis on creating comfortable spaces for the family to gather once the work and school day was done.”

Grossman noted her company converted a dining room into a family dining lounge, which included a custom banquette with chaise lounges, ideal for reading or watching a movie after supper. Outdoor areas and sunrooms were transformed into areas where people can have socially distanced get-togethers.

“I can only see this embrace of home continuing as the world opens back up, with newly found enjoyment and respite as continued themes,” she said.

ExploreTrilith European-style micro village aims to bring homeowners together

Transitional rooms and luxury living spaces

As with many things amid the pandemic, what clients seek from home decor has changed. Ashley Miller, a leading interior designer in the southeast and owner of Ashley Miller Design, said clients no longer ask whether or not their home makes them feel “comfortable, alive, or secure.”

Now, they ask more specific questions.

Aside from moving away from open floor plans, Miller said she also notices “clients desiring spaces that can transition them from one place to another — be it from a home office to a sitting room, or a living room with the kids, to a quiet, relaxing room designed to let them sit in peace and quiet.

“One room might be airy with light tones, while another close by may be a combination of stronger colors with more pattern,” she continued. “In other words, what used to be large, open floor plans with a continuous theme running throughout is being replaced with multiple rooms and transitioning styles that are curated depending on the mood the client wants.”

Clients are also seeking ways to decompress at home rather than taking a seasonal getaway.

“We all wish we could travel like we once did so now we are looking to bring the travel experience and luxury into our everyday lives,” Miller said. “For instance, clients are now trying to mimic the experience of having just stayed at a fine boutique hotel — whether it’s in the dining room, bar/entertaining area, or master bedroom. This has been a developing trend over the past few years but the pandemic has only accelerated it. Why not replicate that same experience at home?”

Source: ajc.com

Getting a Master’s While Working Full Time | ApartmentSearch

Professor lecturing in front of students

If you’re interested in earning a master’s degree to help you stand out from the crowd, congratulations! It’s a big move that can make a significant difference in your career! However, just like a graduate degree can help you move up the corporate ladder, the amount of time and dedication required to get one may force you to take time off work.

If you want the best of both worlds, you may want to try studying while working full-time, but that’s easier said than done! Not sure that’s the right choice for you? Before you decide what to do, ask yourself the questions below — they’ll help you assess your options and prepare for your next big step!

Question #1: Do you feel comfortable asking for help?

Let’s be real: full-time school and full-time work will put a lot of stress on you. Sometimes, you won’t have an option but to ask for help — whether that’s asking your boss to cut you some slack or asking a professor for a deadline extension.

Are you the type of person willing and able to ask for help before small issues snowball into major problems? Consider this before you decide to stick with your job while going to grad school.

Question #2: Are you ready to do your — financial aid — homework?

Working full-time doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for financial aid, grants, and scholarships. However, it does mean that you’ll have to spend time studying your financial aid options before school even starts!

The following links provide advice and resources to help pay for grad school:

  • Types of Financial Aid
  • Financial Aid for Graduate School
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Question #3: When and how will you tell your coworkers and supervisors?

It’s impossible to avoid conflict in your life. Often, the best course of action is to get out in front of potential issues. Accordingly, you’ll want to share your plan with your boss so that if and when a conflict between your studies and your job appears, it will be easier to call out and resolve. And let’s face it, what employer doesn’t love the idea of a hardworking associate striving to learn and achieve more?

A bonus: some employers offer partial or even total tuition reimbursement if the field of study is likely to positively influence your work performance (and their bottom-line). That would take the sting out of your efforts to get a master’s while working full time!

Question #4: Can you relax?

While juggling school and work, it can be hard to take a break, relax, and rejuvenate. Regardless, it’s an integral part of earning a master’s degree while working full-time or tackling any challenge.

Despite that, many people struggle to unplug and unwind! Knowing how and when to relax is a valuable skill and one that’s worth learning before you hop into working and studying simultaneously.

Question #5: Do you have the physical and mental bandwidth for grad school and work?

It’s time for a little introspection! Reflect on what your current work-life balance looks like — do you have plenty of time left after the 9-to-5 to hang out with friends, work out, and do the other things you’re passionate about? How many hours a week are you expecting to be at school or studying? Is it going to be manageable? Meditate on these things before you make any big decisions.

Having room left in your schedule for work, life, and studies is one thing — but having space in your home to complete your professional and academic projects is another! Look around your apartment and ask yourself, “Can I create a dedicated space for my studies?”

Whether you have a dedicated home office or an unused dining space that can be converted into one, having a physical room for concentration will help you conquer work and grad school. And if you need temporary furniture to transform a space for the duration of your academic pursuits, turn to CORT Furniture Rental for temporary office and bedroom furnishings.

An Easy A: Finding Your Next Place

Whether you decide to do grad school full-time while staying at work, work and study part-time, or quit work to go to pursue a different trade entirely — ApartmentSearch has your back. Find apartments that fit your budget wherever life takes you!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com