Why You Should Find YOUR Niche!

As a blogger, you hear so much about “finding your niche”. I’ll admit, I have some knowledge about a lot of things, but just considered “lifestyle” my niche. Since I started this blog late last year, I never really considered narrowing it down. I mean, there are so many things I enjoy reading, talking, and writing about. Why can’t I just do it all? What’s the harm in that? Then I started thinking a bit more and realized a lot of what I was reading was only partially important to me. And there isn’t anything wrong with that at all. We are all different. If we don’t stick to what we know and love, why would anyone want to read what we write?

I read a post recently from a great blogger, Jen Snyder at Women Winning Online. It really struck a chord with me. I instantly knew I had to narrow down and get to the heart of my niche. Why am I blogging? What am I looking for? The answer, in short, is nothing imparticular. BUT I want it to resonate with “my tribe”, people that share some of the same ideas and views. I don’t want to write things that aren’t important to me, just because I want readers. In writing your blog, or anything in your life, FIND YOUR NICHE!

Why should you find your niche? As a blogger, or even in everyday life, shouldn't you do what you're good at and makes YOU happy? Why are you trying to live for someone else?

 

What can help you find your niche? As I thought more and more about it, I decided to make a list. First off, start with the things you are passionate about. List them all, but remember passions only. Then list what you think people want to read about. Do any of the things on that list match up to the first? Are you just writing things you assume people want to read about? Why? Doing that is only going to make you come off as insincere. Even if you think you are going to make people love you, they won’t be loving the real you. For example, I do not have children, (by personal choice), so should I write about “mom things”? Just because there is a large audience of moms out there, I’m not going to pretend to be one. I am a wife, a yogi, someone who has long struggled with money matters, dog lover, outdoor enthusiast and yogi!

For example, I do not have children, (by personal choice), so should I write about “mom things”? Just because there is a large audience of moms out there, I’m not going to pretend to be one. I am a wife, a yogi, someone who has long struggled with money matters, dog lover, outdoor enthusiast and yogi! That being said, I want to share those loves and hope that some others might share that love.

Maybe there are some folks that will love it, and maybe there will be people who simply don’t enjoy what I write. But you know what? At least I’m writing for me. I can’t please everyone in my life, why should I try to please everyone online? We all know that will NEVER happen.

What are you doing or have you done to find your niche?

I’d love to hear how you went about choosing! Did you start out doing something then find it? Did you have it all in place before you started your blog or anything in your life?

Great Blogs You Should Be Following!

We are in a world saturated with blogs, I know. Even with all of them floating around out there, there may be a few you’ve yet to read. I decided to do a round-up of some of my favorites, and share them with y’all!  I’m not sponsoring, nor being paid for any of these. They just happen to be some of my favorite reads. Why not check them out?

Looking for some great blogs to follow? Check out this list of my favorites!

 

  • Making Sense of Cents – Michelle runs an amazing blog about finances and budgeting. She has some of the most incredible information of many of the blogs I’ve ever read. She continually posts income reports, and you can see what a successful blogger she is. You can even read how she was able to pay off $40K in student loans and quit her full-time job, all from her blog! I can’t wait to take her course on affiliate marketing. I’ve heard it’s simply amazing.
  • Moms Make Cents – McKinzie runs a fantastic blog about teaching moms to make money and work from home. Although I’m not a “mom” personally, her tips and information are still wonderful. Her posts show how to make the most of your blog. She’s also a Pinterest genius, and her Pinterest to Profits course has been a game changer for me.
  • Women Winning Online – Jen has a great blog teaching women how to start, grow and run their businesses. Her site is a wealth of information, and her Facebook group that goes along with it is awesome. She’s always ready to answer questions and help each reader get the most of their lives. Her Find Your Tribe Online course is another great tool to help you reach your goals.
  • Just a Simple Home – Terryn runs a great blog full of wonderful information. Her posts range from homemaking, blogging, personal growth and more. She also runs a great Facebook group that has a lot of great participants! Her blog is beautiful as well, which is always wonderful for reading.
  • Boy Mom Blessed – Tyane runs a blog about motherhood, as well as many other things. Like I said earlier, I’m not a mom, but this blog is about way more than that. She posts recipes, blogging tips, and information on working from home. She also has a great vault full of printables and more. I’ve certainly found some of her recipes to be amazing!
  • Eat.Teach.Blog – Divya has a great blog as well. She has some fun posts and posts regularly. She posts about life, teaching, oils, etc. I always enjoy reading her insight on things. Her weekly Thursday posts on things she is loving are some of my favorites. They always seem to introduce me to at least one new thing to check out! She rocks a fun Facebook page and is very active on social media too. It’s great to see bloggers being social with other bloggers. That’s one of my favorite things about blogging!
  • The Minimalist Mind – Olga has a beautiful blog full of productivity hacks! She also offers printables and a wealth of information that so many of us can find so useful. Her posts on self-care, journaling, etc are absolutely fantastic and very well written.
  • Obviously this one. I couldn’t leave myself off this list, even though I’m still learning as I go. I’ll be sharing lots of good lifestyle tips, recipes, money matters, etc. Here’s to  hoping you will stick around!

What other great blogs are you following right now? I’m always looking for great reads, awesome tips, and cool sites!

Check out this list of 8 great blogs you might not know about!

Budget setting & why you need to

How many times have you tried to set a budget? Did it work? Did you stick to it? If you are at all like me, or a lot of folks I know, you may have failed. Maybe once, twice, or more, am I right? I’m certainly not going to claim to be a money guru or financial genius, that would be a lie. However, I have learned a lot in the past few years that might help you if you’re struggling.

This post could contain affiliate links which could earn me a commission at no additional cost to you. 

Make a budget and stick to it! Budget setting might not be easy for everyone, but we all need it!

 

First off, let me fill you in on my poor financial past. I’ve never been good with money. Maybe because I grew up spoiled rotten. Maybe because I never had to budget. I got my first job at 16, like a lot of people my age. I worked part time just for fun. After all, I was 16, living with my parents and didn’t even have my own car. That began my downfall of spending whatever money I had on whatever I wanted. I had no idea what a budget even was, or why I would ever need one.

When I moved away to college, apparently my parents made “too much money”, so there was no financial aid for me. I did get a small scholarship, but not nearly enough to cover the whole thing. So of course, my parents paid for that too. (Like I said, I was a spoiled rotten girl). Of course, I still worked at the same place I got my 1st job, I wasn’t too far from home, so I’d go home on the weekends. I had mom’s car since I still didn’t have my own. She’d do my laundry and I’d hang out with friends.

Sometime during my 2nd year, my desire to stay in college diminished. I dropped out and moved home. I had my own car by this point, (YAY, thanks mom for co-signing) and I had a few credit cards I was lucky enough to get in college simply for being a student. AND… that’s where more problems came from. Borrow from one to pay on another, etc. I wrecked my credit so fast, it was unbelievable. Still, I never saw the need for a budget, but why?

Fast forward, (minus all the boring details where the parents paid my rent, bailed me out of financial troubles time and time again, etc.) to the future. I finally moved far away from my parents in 2011, well into my 30’s. I reconnected with someone from college, (ironically) who was living in Georgia. I’d been living in NE Ohio my entire life. We talked on the phone daily, and then he flew me down for a visit. Less than 6 months later, I was packing up and moving south! The silly thing I did was tell him I HAD to have my own apartment, I wasn’t moving in. Well, that turned out to be another time I SHOULD have budgeted but never did.

Less than 6 months down here, we moved in together, and then in 2013 we married. Still, I wasn’t the type to make a budget. He helped me clean up my credit, and I even got to buy a car, no co-signer! I was making decent money, after all, I’d been with the same company 5 years at that point. I even got to move down with a job already waiting for me. Then exactly 1 year later I wanted a better car. A brand new car, to be exact. So I got one. Did that help me budget? Nope…

I have learned that a budget is the only way that I can keep my spending in check. Plain and simple. I like to shop, and I like to spend money. My current job was a pay cut from the last one, but at least I’m not putting 70+ miles on my car a day anymore. That alone helps a lot. However, I know I still need to budget to keep myself out of financial trouble. And I have had my share of financial troubles, believe me. From a bankruptcy long ago, to even a repossession of my car, I’ve been bad with money and finances.

Start by tracking your income. Your paycheck, weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. I get paid weekly, hubby is on the 15th and 30th. The best way to plan a budget is to start there. Get out paper, write it down! Find a great planner, or notebook if you need to, but put it all in writing. I’ve found if I want to stick with something, putting it in writing is my only way. There are some amazing financial budget planners floating around out there, trust me.

Next, outline your expenses. Itemize down to the last detail. Don’t skimp here, be honest with yourself and list it all. Mine looks something like this:

Expenses:

  • Mortgage
  • Car Payment
  • Electric Bill
  • Car Insurance
  • Cell Phone
  • Gas for car
  • Credit Card
  • Groceries per week

And of course these can vary, when you factor in dog food, meds for dogs, etc. But those aren’t weekly/monthly exactly, so those will have to go in another list. Obviously now, break these down by what is paid monthly, etc. And be certain to set a budget for things where you can overspend, such as groceries! Make lists and stick to them. And if you have the time/drive to clip coupons, do it! They do help. Don’t forget about your rebate apps and such too. These can all help save, while you stick to your budget.

Check out this post to learn about those apps!

Use this list to divide your paychecks and split them up so you aren’t broke one or 2 weeks out of the month. I take a quarter of my car payment out of each check so when it’s due at the end of the month, it doesn’t wipe out my entire pay for that week. If you can use this method to pay your bills, it won’t seem like you’re living paycheck to paycheck.

More than anything, I can’t stress enough, WRITE IT DOWN AND STICK TO IT! That is the absolute only way you stand a chance of sticking to anything, including a budget. It won’t be easy, and there will be times you want to stray. But don’t. Remember why you are doing it and keep it up. And after you have been successful for a bit, sock some of that money aside in savings, or in a rainy day fund.

Do you have a budget planner? What tips and tricks work for you when you are trying to stick to a budget? I’ve love to hear your thoughts!

Make a budget you can stick with and change your whole life! Read ways to stick to your budget and help save money!

Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers

With all the excitement of Christmas coming up, we are all looking for that perfect holiday gift. Of course, we don’t always have to wait until it’s an actual holiday. But this time of year it seems everyone is scrambling. I’ve decided to share some of my picks for the fitness lovers in your life. Perhaps that’s even you, and you can show this list to your loved ones. There are so many great items out there, I thought I’d pick a few faves of mine and share. I’m a yogi, so, of course, I have a slew of ideas there, but I also enjoy other workouts too. If you’re looking for that perfect gift, you might just find it here!

 

 

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Looking for holiday gift ideas for the fitness lover in your life?

 

 

This Glasstic water bottle is absolutely amazing. It’s shatterproof glass on the inside which comes out easily for cleaning but is plastic on the outside. The double wall design keeps the bottle from sweating and helps keep the temperature consistent.

The Flip Belt is great for the runners out there. It holds your phone, keys, etc. all while keeping your hands free. Runners, hikers, etc can all find great use for this, and it comes in so many different color options, you’re sure to find one for everyone!

A good fitness tracker is always a nice gift. I got my Fitbit Charge HR last year and love it. I’m already looking to upgrade, and the Fitbit Alta has really caught my eye. It’s slimmer, sleeker style make it even better than prior editions!

A Foam Roller like this one is a great gift for anyone who does physical activity, period! I never knew the amazing way these could help until I got one during my Yoga Teacher Training. It was incredible, and the trigger points are simply wonderful for soothing sore muscles.

An Exercise Ball is another great gift idea. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a holiday! These are so great for balance, posture, etc. I have one at work I sit on sometimes and it helps keep my core engaged as I sit. It also forces me to remember good posture. There are SO many different exercises one can do with these. It truly is  a must have for any fitness lover.

In a world of journals and planners, we all seem to be logging everything. I think it’s a great idea, even though I struggled with it during my Yoga Teacher Training. I’ve since started another and kept up and a good Fitness Planner can really help with accountability! I love this one, but there are several options!

Meal prepping is key in leading a healthy life, so portion control containers are another awesome gift idea. Pair them with Bento Boxes to assist in prepping foods for an entire week. It’s a great way to keep the healthy lifestyle on track.

So there you have it, 7 holiday gift ideas for that fitness guru in your life. Maybe it’s you? If something here caught your eye, share with your loved ones and see what they get you! What other holiday gift ideas do you have? I’d love to hear more! Need gift ideas for the fitness lover in your life? Check out these great ideas for any budget!