Month: May 2020

  • Bestow Review: Term Life Insurance With No Medical Exam

    Getting traditional life insurance can be a hassle. When my husband applied for his a couple years ago it took him months of back and forth phone calls, letters, and multiple medical exams. The whole experience was so bad it put me off from applying for life insurance because I didn’t want to go through that process too.  

    Recently I discovered many life insurance companies now use technology and big data instead of traditional underwriting methods like physical exams.They’ve made the process so easy that I finally applied for my own term life insurance outside of work. I applied through Bestow and today I’m reviewing my experience along with sharing why you should apply for life insurance and some factors to consider.  

    If you are looking for life insurance without having to do a medical exam, and are between the ages of 21 and 54, then you might want to get a free quote from Bestow. Bestow offers quotes quickly for term life insurance and the whole process is done online. Keep reading to learn about my experience and more on how they manage to do this.    

    Why I applied for life insurance 

    If I learned one thing from the recent pandemic and job uncertainty, it was the need to get life insurance outside of work. 

    For months I’ve had viewers leave comments on my YouTube channel suggesting I get life insurance outside of what I carry at my job. I brushed them off because I’m still young and my job has been very stable and very secure… until March 2020. Within a week I wondered if I would be laid off and lose not only my job, but my life insurance too. 

    I knew I needed to apply for life insurance outside of work but I’d been putting it off for a long time because I didn’t want to do a medical exam or a lot of paperwork with personal questions. My husband applied for life insurance with a traditional life insurance company a few years ago and it literally took him months to get qualified and get the policy started. Watching that experience made me drag my feet even though I knew I needed life insurance especially as a mom. 

    Because I’m a typical millennial I started looking for online life insurance companies that would offer traditional low-cost term life insurance without all of the hassle that could sometimes come  with traditional life insurance companies.  

    Why should you apply for life Insurance? 

    Life insurance is an amazing tool that can provide protection for your family in case of the worst situation where you would pass away.  

    Life insurance is one of those things most of us ignore for far too long for various reasons, from not having the extra money in the budget to not wanting to deal with the frustrating process of applying. It’s all too easy to push off applying for life insurance when you know you have to answer a ton of questions and have a medical exam.  

    Luckily more and more companies have realized that people are avoiding life insurance because the traditional process can be so complicated and frustrating.  

    Enter Bestow, a newer online company that leverages technology to give a quote in minutes for 10 and 20 year term life insurance policies.

    What is Bestow? 

    Bestow ​says it’s on a mission to make term life insurance “simpler and more human”. 

    They are working to make the process of purchasing life insurance faster and less painful for consumers by eliminating many of the traditional obstacles. Bestow focuses on big data to underwrite their insurance policies  rather than requiring medical exams and bloodwork. They use the information from your application and data about you with their algorithm to decide if you qualify and at which price.  

    The goal at Bestow is to provide life insurance to people in minutes not weeks (or months in the case of my husband’s experience with another company).  

    The policies from Bestow are provided by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® which is rated ​A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best​, which is the second highest rating available out of the 15 categories A.M. Best rates. 

    What kinds of life insurance does Bestow offer? 

    Bestow has a  range of life insurance policy options with coverage from $50,000 to $1,000,000. They have 10 year terms and 20 year terms that are designed to fit your needs. 

    Bestow only offers term life insurance which is a plus since it’s the only kind of life insurance I would personally consider or recommend.  

    You can apply for a 20-year policy if you’re 21 to 45 and for 10-year policies, the age range is 21 to 55. 

    What if I’m not super healthy? 

    I’ll be honest, my weight and not being very healthy is something that held me back from applying to get traditional life insurance. I went with life insurance through my employer because I knew it would be automatically issued regardless of my health status. I’ve tried for years to lose weight unsuccessfully and this made me delay purchasing life insurance. 

    I encourage you to apply for life insurance through Bestow even without perfect health. The company does apply screening for major diseases like heart disease, cancer, HIV, etc, but you can apply to see if they have a policy that is right for you. If not, then traditional insurance might be the better route to take.

    How much life insurance do I need? 

    Life insurance needs vary from person to person and you need to take into account personal information about your specific situation. 

    For example if you are healthy, young, single and have no dependents then you might not need life insurance.  However, if you have a kid or four then you definitely need to get life insurance to make sure your children are taken care of if the worst happens. 

    In my personal opinion at the bare minimum life insurance should cover having your home mortgage paid off and multiple times your annual salary.  Many experts recommend 10-12 times your annual salary for life insurance.  

    How much does coverage offered by Bestow cost? 

    I personally decided to get roughly 7 times my annual salary with this policy because I do also have another life insurance policy through work and we have a mortgage balance on the lower end.  

    For me and my specific details this means my $300,000 policy will cost us roughly $33 per month. I’m very happy with this price point. It might not be the lowest rate possible but it was reasonable, something we could afford, convenient to get, and removes the worry of not having any life insurance outside of work. 

    Life insurance starts at $8/month. Worth getting a quote to see if you qualify for those kinds of rates.  

    My Application Experience With Bestow 

    The application process with Bestow took under 15 minutes from start to finish. I know because I recorded it for a video.  

    Side note: I also know that it took less time than my husband too to take a trip to the gas station. When he returned I told him I got life insurance and it was done which blew his mind after having a month long process to get his policy with another company. It was almost comical to explain I got my life insurance so easily.  

    What I liked about applying for life insurance through Bestow: – Fast quotes. It only took a few minutes to get my quotes for life insurance. – All online applications. I rarely like to do anything that requires phone calls or mailing in something so an all online life insurance application fit my preferences. This made it super convenient to apply during a statewide stay at home order too! – Affordable. The rates were less than I expected based on what I thought I’d pay with no medical exam and were very affordable. This might sound like a weird reason, but I use a lot of all online companies to get the best rates but I like to know that it’s not a fly-by-the-night company that will disappear. Policies offered by Bestow are provided by a big name in the life insurance industry – North American Company for Life and Health Insurance ®. 

    Final Thoughts On Bestow

    If you don’t have life insurance it may be worth it to get a free quote with Bestow. (Or even if you do have life insurance already – I’m making my husband get a quote to see if he can get better rates or not).  

    Applying for life insurance through Bestow might be right for you if you don’t want the hassle of a doctor’s visit, blood test, or medical exam in order to get life insurance.  If you are anything like me these things may have put you off getting life insurance for far too long.  

    Because Bestow doesn’t require a medical exam in order to get life insurance they might not be able to offer you the lowest rates possible. While Bestow is affordable, other companies might offer lower rates if they fully underwrite each quote with actual medical information from an exam. Bestow still offers competitive rates so you’ll have to check to see if you qualify for a term life insurance policy at a great rate. It is worth it to check out multiple sources if monthly premiums are your biggest concern with life insurance. 

    If you are extremely healthy you may want to shop around to find out if you can get a better rate elsewhere after providing your information and undergoing a medical exam.

    Bestow was a good fit for me and my situation but you have to weigh the options against what fits your situation personally.

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  • How To Grow A YouTube Channel

    Growing a YouTube channel can be hard and sometimes it depends on luck and topic. In fact, it can take some of us years to hit 10,000 subscribers while we watch other speed past us by multiple times. If you want to grow then there are some things you can do to increase your chances of growth and success.

    Tips For Growing Your YouTube Channel

    If you want to make more money from your small Youtube channel then the best way to do it is to grow your channel. The more people that find you the more money you will make.

    Here are the ways I’ve learned to grow on YouTube.

    Utilize Useful Youtube Growth Tools

    I resisted using a paid tool like TubeBuddy for a while because I thought I was smart enough to do it on my own but when I finally caved and bought a subscription I kicked myself for not doing it sooner.

    With TubeBuddy you can see EXACTLY what other channels are using for their tags and video data and compare their channels to yours. You can learn how to do a lot of title and tag work for SEO with TubeBuddy.

    some of my other favorite tools I’ve used inside TubeBuddy while growing my channel:

    • canned responses which is super useful for interacting with your audience
    • upload checklist
    • video topic planner

    Those are a few of my favorite tools within my account to grow. TubeBuddy has a free version with limited tools listed here and paid accounts when you really want to grow (which are amazing for the price).

    Learn About SEO

    There are tons of videos on Youtube about how to use SEO on the platform. Watch some. Learn about what keywords are and how to use them. For many channels, search is the key way they are found and earn money.

    To shorten your journey in learning and implementing SEO, I again recommend TubeBuddy because it’s like an all in one solution for YouTubers.

    Here are the SEO tools you have access to inside TubeBuddy:

    • view and copy video tags from another channel
    • tag rankings so you can track where you rank
    • suggested tags for your videos
    • keyword explorer
    • search rankings
    • best practices audit

    And even more! All of those tools help you get your video ranked on YouTube so you get more views. It seriously has more tools than I’ve even had time to use yet but what I have used above has helped take my videos to the next level.

    Since I’ve been using TubeBuddy my SEO has improved and my search traffic has doubled. Seriously, it doubled! TubeBuddy has been an incredibly helpful and the first month I used it I actually doubled the views on my channel going from 45,000 views in a month to 110,000 in a month.

    Build Community

    Having a community around your channel and your videos is another great way to guarantee successful video launches and continued success. Building community can be done in a few ways:

    • commenting on other youtube channels
    • responding to all of your comments
    • referencing viewers and comments in your videos
    • giving shoutouts to people in your community
    • giving your viewers a nickname and expected phrases

    Those are just a few ways I’ve found to build my community but you can find what works for you! The most successful YouTube channels have an element of community around them.

    Those are just some of the ways I’ve learned how to grow my channel and consistently doubled my channel size each year I’ve been on Youtube while still keeping consistent and engaged subscribers.

    Make Good Videos

    Seriously, making good videos is how you grow on YouTube. There are a lot of additional factors but you won’t grow if you make bad videos.

    You should be making videos that you know are good. If they make you cringe when you are rewatching to edit, how do you expect anyone else to enjoy them?

    Here are a few of the best tips from successful creators I’ve followed about making good videos:

    • Get to the point in your videos. Don’t ramble on for a long period at the beginning where people will fall off.
    • Make your videos provide value. If your videos are educational then make them very educational. If they are entertainment based then they should provide value by making your viewer feel something. Think of each video and consider what value it is providing someone.
    • Audio quality matters the most even over video quality. You can have top notch video but if your audio is bad people will stop watching.
    • Focus on your presentation and story telling skills. When you first start making videos you probably won’t be very good at this but it’s something that makes the best YouTubers connect with their audience.

    Remember that these are all things that you can work on and you can’t compare yourself to other creators. You should work hard to improve your skills and tune out the distractions of others.

    Provide Unique Value

    This is similar to the idea of making good videos but even good videos won’t get you anywhere if you aren’t providing some sort of value to your audience.

    Every video on your channel is providing some type of value. That value might be education or entertainment or just a feeling like someone belongs. You need to recognize what value you are providing and then put your own unique spin on it.

    Make sure your video has a value driven purpose and you are delivering that value for each second of the video. You don’t need to ramble or go on tangents that don’t deliver on that value.

    Experiment With Ideas

    You likely won’t know what will succeed on your channel until you try some new things. Growing on YouTube means you will have to constantly experiment with ideas and trying out new things with your content.

    When you experiment and try something new you need to do a couple things:

    • be clear to yourself what is different
    • study your analytics to see how the video performs differently
    • double down on experiements that are working

    That is basically the way to succeed and grow on YouTube. When you have a video go viral? Make another similar one in a similar way and provide similar value.

    Experiment until you find something that works and then double down on it.

    Similarly to video types and ideas, experiement with all of these things:

    • thumbnails
    • call to actions in your video
    • titles
    • descriptions
    • video length

    Try out new things and constantly track how the experiments perform. You won’t know what works and what doesn’t work for your channel until you try. There are all sorts of pieces of advice out there “use your face in thumbnails” or “don’t use your face in thumbnails” but you won’t know until you try it on your channel.

    Learn From YouTube Experts

    Another great way to grow on YouTube (and save a ton of time) is to learn from experts who have already done it.

    You can book one on one time or take a course like my friend Erika’s course Mastering YouTube for the Busy Professional (affiliate link).

    She went from 0 subscribers to over 70,000 and $100,000 earned from YouTube in just one year. I’ve learned a lot from her about both getting views from trending topics and outsourcing to grow faster.

    Taking a course like this or from any big YouTuber will help you learn faster and grow faster because you will make less mistakes.

    All of these things will help you grow faster after you’ve hit your first 100 subscribers. Best wishes on growing your channel to a huge success!

    Find Ways To Be More Efficient

    If you plan to grow on YouTube then you need to find ways to be more productive, use your time more wisely, and be more efficient overall. YouTube can be a lot of work and a lot of really tedious work that can be time consuming.

    You may want to try out a number of different things:

    • Using TubeBuddy to batch process tasks
    • Hire an editor too speed up your editing
    • Hire someone to make your thumbnails
    • Outsource any number of tasks to a VA

    Find ways to make tasks faster and more efficient so that you can scale up with your content and growth.

    Keep Going

    I’ve heard time and time again from people who blew up on YouTube that they had their biggest success right after they had considered giving up… but kept going. That means that all the people who quit at that stage likely quit right before they would have seen success.

    There are a lot of fears, excuses, and reasons why people don’t continue to grow on YouTube.

    I recommend you examine those and find ways around them so you can keep going and keep growing your channel. Consistently post videos and work on improving your skills so that you are able to become a pro at YouTube.

    Making Money On YouTube

    Making money on YouTube is not a fast process, but it is possible!

    I started YouTube as a hobby and quickly fell in love with the platform and how it allowed me to find a community, create content, and also make money for my time.

    If you want to make money on YouTube I’ve written multiple posts about how do do earn money both directly on YouTube and with using YouTube as a traffic source to your products:

    I really enjoy sharing what I’ve learned about making money on YouTube, clearly! It’s an amazing platform that has completely changed many people’s lives by building a business or income from the platform.

    You can see some of my past income reports on YouTube.

    You can watch the video below to see how much YouTube paid me for 2 million views.

    In that video I explain how YouTube pays for views and the amount of money they pay for videos with millions of views which is very useful to understand if you want to make money from your YouTube channel.

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  • Student Loan Refinancing Explained

    I just finished refinancing student loans through a lender I found on Credible to get the best rate so I could save money while paying off debt. After mentioning this on my YouTube channel, I thought I’d share more about student loan refinancing in general since many people reached out with questions like:

    Why did I refinance? What is student loan refinancing? Can student loan refinancing help you save money? How does student loan refinancing help you pay off debt?

    In this post I’m covering everything you need to know about student loan refinancing with an easy explanation of student loan debt refinancing and how it can benefit you.

    My Student Loan Refinance Experience

    I recently went through the experience of refinancing the Parent Plus student loans left from my debt snowball.

    I chose to use Credible to save time with applications for refinancing since it compared multiple rates for me and they included offers from SoFi and other top lenders.

    Because I’m refinancing Parent Plus loans into a new loan in my name my experience has been slightly different than a traditional student loan refinance. I was unable to use certain companies and I’ve had to sign additional paperwork saying I was taking over the loan.

    The main reason I refinanced was to get a lower rate which would save interest in the long run. I actually plan to pay these loans off very quickly but wanted to still save a few hundred dollars in interest during this time.

    I’ve learned a lot about student loan refinancing during this process both through my own experience and many of my audience sharing their stories with me as well.

    What is student loan refinancing?

    Student loan refinancing is when you refinance your student loans with a private lender in order to either consolidate multiple loans or just to get a lower interest rate.

    Refinancing is one way you can work to pay off your student loan debt faster.

    Student loan refinancing is good for:

    • People who have good credit.
    • People who want a lower interest rate on their loans.
    • People who have federal and private student loans.
    • People who have private student loans.
    • People who have a consistent monthly income.
    • People who want one monthly payment instead of multiple.
    • People who want to pay less interest on their student loans.

    Student loan refinance is not good for:

    • People with bad credit.
    • People with unstable income or low income.
    • People who have low interest rates already.
    • People who want to use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

    Refinancing is not for everyone! You have to look at your situation and determine if student loan refinancing would actually make sense for you. For most people it does make sense but in certain situations it does not at all. Look at your specific numbers and situation to decide.

    Student loan refinancing vs. Student loan consolidation

    If you are not sure whether you want to refinance or consolidate your loans, then it is important to understand the differences between them.

    First, student loan consolidation is a program from the federal government. It’s run through the Federal Student Aid off where you are able to combine multiple federal student loans into one new loan.

    Student loan consolidation can be a good option if you want to move to one payment and can achieve a lower interest rate on average. It also can keep you on the path toward various forgiveness programs offered from the government.

    Student loan refinancing allows you to combine federal loans and / or private student loans into one new loan. Refinancing your student loans is done with a private lender (you can find various lenders to compare through sites like Credible that list multiple and compare offers for you).

    Refinancing your student loans can get you an even lower interest rate than the government will offer you and that lower interest rate can help you pay off your loans faster.

    Is there a downside to refinancing student loans?

    There are a couple cons to refinancing student loans and one big downside to refinancing student loans.

    The biggest negative to refinancing student loans can be the loss of federal repayment protections. When you refinance your federal student loans you walk away with private student loans that lack the deferment and forbearance options available from the federal government.

    Refinancing also removes any potential paths to loan forgiveness from the federal government. Refinancing companies do not offer forgiveness options for student loans. So if you are counting on a forgiveness option you will be giving it up with refinancing.

    Who is eligible to refinance?

    Student loan refinancing companies require borrowers to be creditworthy with good credit scores. If you don’t have good credit then you will likely not be approved. (This is another reason to work on improving your credit!)

    To qualify for student loan refinancing you have to have good or an excellent credit score. Most refinancing companies will require a 660 or above for your credit score to qualify.

    Luckily many student loan refinance companies offer instant online rate quotes so you can see if you are eligible before going through a full application.

    How do you get approved for a student loan refinance?

    If you are trying to refinance your student loans you will want to look at the things that will help you get approved for a new loan.

    Each student loan refinance is actually creating a new student loan and these loans are approved based on each individual’s background and unique financial circumstances.

    Here are some of the things companies look at to determine if you can refinance your loans with them:

    • Credit score: do you have good credit? What’s your credit score? Refinance options are generally not available to people with bad credit so you should check your credit and work on improving your credit score if you want to refinance your loans. Aim for a 700 credit score of higher for the best chance of approval with the best rates.
    • Income: In order to get approved a lender will want to see that you have income sufficient to pay off your student loans. You’ll have to prove that you have stable recurring monthly income that an service the loans which means you will need to provide paystubs proving your income sources. If you have unstable income you will likely be denied but can improve your chances by finding a cosigner with stable income.
    • Debt-to-income ratio: Your other debts like a mortgage, credit cards, and car loans will factor into your refinance application. Lenders will want to see how much of your income you spend monthly to service your debts. Lenders focus on your debt-to-income ration which means the ratio of your total monthly income compared to your monthly debt obligations. The lower your debt-to-income ration the better you will look when you apply. To improve this before trying to refinance you can increase your income or pay off your debt or do both!
    • Employment: Just like having a stable income, lenders want to know that you have stable employment. You will need an existing job or a written job offer or contract in order to refinance your student loans. Sometimes they will require work experience but some companies will refinance your loans while you are in school or residency in special situations.

    Those are some of the things that will be considered by the company writing your new loan so these are things you can work on improving if you want to qualify for a refinance.

    Where To Find Student Loan Refinance Offers

    So where do you actually refinance student loans? One of the best options for refinancing is SoFi. They have been the leader in student loan refinancing for a few years and many people have successfully used them to refinance.

    SoFi (top lender)

    SoFi has established themselves as one of the top refinancing companies and a very trusted source. Most of the people I know personally and who watch my channel have refinanced their loans through SoFi.

    If you want recommendations, my comment section is full of recommendation comments like these:

    • “I went with Sofi. I paid it off in five months so the interest rate wasn’t really a concern for me. They gave me money for funding my account.” – Sandy
    • “will be going with SoFi because unemployment protection. I currently have them and they been nothing but helpful. I got this off the website and this is why the rates are slightly higher but not by much. Plus, the process is quick to refi.” – Sarah

    One benefit of SoFi is you can also create accounts to invest, get a personal loan and do more beyond just refinancing. They have expanded their offerings to go beyond just student loans.

    Another benefit is that SoFi gives out bonuses to people who refinance through them. If you use my referral link in this post you will get $100 when you refinance.

    Check your potential refinance rate at SoFi and get a $100 bonus!

    You may also want to check rates for multiple student loan refinancing offers in order to get the best deal. Below are a few companies you might want to use to get refinancing offers and compare the options for your refinance.

    Credible (Compare rates)

    Credible allows you to get multiple prequalified quotes from companies (including top private student loan lenders) in just a few minutes. I personally used Credible after hearing about them from another YouTuber and shared the step by step of my process getting refinancing rates.

    Check out your student loan refinance options on Credible (does not affect credit) and get a bonus gift card if you refinance!

    Splash Financial (Dave Ramsey Endorsed)

    Splash financial uses  leading technology lets you find your new, lower interest rate for your loans in under 3 minutes. They are endorsed by Dave Ramsey which makes them pretty trustworthy and I’ve seen people have major success refinancing their loans through Splash Financial.

    Check out your student loan refinance options on Splash Financial (does not affect credit) and get a $250 check if you refinance!

    I like both of these platforms because they compare multiple rates for you and also offer bonuses if you do end up refinancing with one of the companies they have shared with you.

    Using either Splash Financial or Credible lets your compare who has the best student loan refinance rates since they compare multiple student loan refinancing rates from multiple companies.

    Tips For Student Loan Refinancing

    If you are planning to refinance your student loans, here are a few tips to consider:

    • Apply to multiple lenders. I like Splash Financial and Credible because they handle this for you, but applying to multiple lenders gives you the best chance to get a low rate.
    • Apply to multiple lenders within 30 days. Any time you apply for a new loan you have roughly 30 days to get different quotes so it will show as a single hard inquiry on your credit report.
    • Check your credit report before applying. Make sure you remove any errors by disputing false claims. You can get your credit reports for free through
    • Get a cosigner if you are worried you might not be approved. If you have a big negative factor against you then try to ask a spouse or family member close to you to be a co-signer. I generally recommend never cosigning for someone’s debt but this can often make the difference for many applications and many student loan lenders do offer a co-signer release which releases co-signers of financial responsibility meeting certain qualifications (check with your lender for details and requirements on this).

    Those are just a few tips to keep in mind when you are refinancing your student loans.

    Refinancing Student Loans Isn’t A Debt Quick Fix

    Just because you refinance your student loans doesn’t mean they will be paid off. You are still in debt!

    Refinancing the loan itself doesn’t get you out of debt – it just gives you a boost by either changing your payoff plan or lowering your rate to save you money.

    Refinancing is not the get-out-of-debt secret or quick fix. You need to make sure that when you are refinancing it is the right move for you and it is the next step you will be taking to get out of debt faster!

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  • Shopify For Beginners

    I recently began selling products with Shopify and then loved it so much I helped a friend set up their business with a Shopify store too. The ease of creating a store and immediately beginning to sell your products makes Shopify one of the best platforms for selling online today.

    In this post I cover everything you’ll want to know about Shopify and how to get started with your own Shopify store. I am a Shopify affiliate so you can use this link to open your store which will help support my work here.

    Shopify 101

    Shopify is an online platform that allows you build your own online store where you can sell physical or digital products.

    You might be wondering is Shopify legit? They’ve been in the news and had crazy speculative stock prices lately, but is their product actually good? The answer is yes! Shopify manages to make creating your online store easy but also robust which is why it’s trusted by over 1 million businesses.

    In fact, large multi-million dollar businesses like Harry’s Razors and Gymshark use Shopify to power their stores as well as many small businesses and online content creators.

    Shopify offers customizable themes to make your storefront look just the way you want it. They also offer apps and tools that put it far above any Shopify competitors. From inventory management to email marketing, Shopify gives you the tools to make your store a success.

    Try Shopify for free!

    How Does Shopify Work?

    Shopify works by providing both a front end (what your customer sees) and a back end (what you see and manage behind the scenes).

    Your customer will see your beautiful and streamlined storefront when they are shopping and once they’ve made a purchase all interactions will continue on the backend where you control everything.

    In the very comprehensive back end of Shopify you have control over your products, inventory, pricing, orders, payments, analytics, finances, and more. They give you every tool you might need and even some that you probably won’t use at first.

    In addition to all of this Shopify also has an app store with plugins for every possible thing you could think of to add to your shop.

    Who is Shopify for?

    Shopify is for aspiring sellers all the way up to large multi-million dollar brands. Shopify’s pricing plans range to suit all sizes of ecommerce companies and their starter plan makes powerful online selling possible for individuals and small shops.

    You can also open any number of types of stores with Shopify:

    • traditional ecommerce
    • digital product sales
    • dropshipping

    If you are eager to grow a large store or create a huge brand then Shopify is definitely the right tool to grow with you.

    Shopify Pricing

    Shopify costs vary depending on which plan you use.

    Here are the three pricing plans currently offered:

    • $29/month for Basic Shopify: All the basics for starting a new business
    • $79/month for Shopify: Everything you need for a growing business
    • $299/month for Advanced Shopify: Advanced features for scaling your business

    However, right now, they are offering 14 days for free! In the past, they’ve even offered 90 days for free, but 14 days is their standard offer.

    You can sign up, set up your store, and pick a payment plan later once you’ve settled in. This is a fantastic offer and allowing a lot of people to jump into ecommerce without any upfront costs or risk.

    You can get your 14 day free trial here.

    Shopify Fees

    If you can’t tell from the basic pricing model with Shopify, it means there are no additional platform fees to pay for selling your products.

    This gives Shopify the edge when comparing it to other store building platforms because it caps off the amount of money it takes from creators which allows store owners to keep more of their money.

    There are going to be payment processing fees when you sell on Shopify but that is true of even platform you use to sell online. In order to accept any payment online for your products you will have to pay someone to process your payments. That might be from incorporating Paypal or Stripe or another payment processor.

    Shopify Review

    Do I recommend Shopify? If you couldn’t already tell from this review, then yes! It’s truly the top option when you are trying to create a store online.

    It’s easy to use and lets beginners start a shop in no time at all. It’s got an amazing support team, room for you to grow, and lots of features with each plan they offer.

    Beyond that the sheer amount of flexibility and features Shopify offers blows away every other online store platform. Things like multiple payment options, multi-channel selling across physical stores or social media or marketplaces, abandoned cart recovery, and more make it far and away the top option when you are comparing different platforms for creating an online store.

    Try Shopify for free and see what you think for yourself!

    Shopify Vs Etsy

    Shopify and Etsy are entirely different types of platforms you can use to sell digital products or physical products. Because these are the two of the three platforms I’ve used to sell online I feel that I’m able to compare these well.

    Shopify vs Etsy Customer Traffic

    Etsy has the advantage in being able to bring customers to your shop. Your Etsy shop will automatically be in front of more people just because it is on Etsy and that is because Etsy is a marketplace. There are already buyers on Etsy who are looking for things to buy.

    Shopify on the other hand, provides the tools you need to sell online but it does not currently provide the level of marketplace activity that Etsy does. This may change in the future but at the moment creating a Shopify store means you will have to do your own marketing and bring in your own customers.

    That trade off is very small if you already have an established following and can drive your own traffic to your shop.

    Shopify vs Etsy Fees

    Since Shopify does not add on any transaction fees like a site like Etsy does, this means you will only pay for your monthly Shopify bill and payment processing fees. The payment processing fees on Shopify lower with the higher paid plans but for online credit card rates they charge 2.9% + 30¢. Any other payments you decide to use besides Shopify Payments start at 2%.

    Etsy on the other-hand, charges a large number of fees. They charge a listing fee of 20¢ any time you list a product and then another 20¢ to renew that listing once an item sells. They also charge a 5% transaction fee for every item you sell. In addition to this they also have started charging you 12-15% for any item that sells due to their offsite advertising. All of these fees are also applied to whatever you charge for shipping. This can lead to 20% or more of your item price being eaten up by fees.

    If you sell at a high volume level Shopify ends up being a much cheaper platform than a site like Etsy that charges 5% transaction fees as well as listing fees and offsite advertising fees.

    Shopify vs Etsy Pricing

    Etsy does not charge anything to open a shop and it does not charge anything ongoing to run one. It provides all of it’s tools “free” in exchange for the higher fees they take from sales you make. This model makes it easy for new sellers to get started with very little risk.

    However, that model quickly runs out of positives for anyone selling expensive items or selling massive amounts of volume.

    Shopify offers three different plans ranging from a reasonable $29 per month to an advanced price of $299 per month. You are able to start with a $29 plan and scale up as you need to in order to support your growing business. But as you grow you’ll get all the tools you need for $299 per month without worrying about giving over 5% of your overall sales volume.

    In the end Etsy pricing is great to get started but if you plan to sell your products seriously then you will end up better off with Shopify.

    How To Get Started On Shopify

    If you plan to start a store to sell your products online then Shopify is likely where you will want to start. You can have a beautiful shop up and running in minutes.

    The tutorial below shows you how to start a Shopify store. This tutorial is specifically designed for people selling digital products since that is my main focus, but it’s a great beginner tutorial for the ins and outs of Shopify!

    You can currently get a 14 day free trial of Shopify which is an amazing way to get started selling without any risk. Definitely give it a try and if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email of dm!

    Start your free trial with Shopify!

    Moving Your Etsy Shop To Shopify

    If you are currently selling on Etsy and want to leave due to high fees and lack of control, I highly recommend moving your Etsy shop over to Shopify. It’s incredibly easy and Shopify allows you to import all of your Etsy data so you don’t have to start over.

    This video shows you the process of moving over my Etsy shop to Shopify when I decided to start selling on my own website instead of just with Etsy.

    While you will have to drive traffic to your Shopify store, you will be also freeing yourself up for more control over your marketing and success.

    Moving from Etsy to Shopify is something I think most Etsy sellers should do and many have done so in 2020. There has been a large exodus of Etsy sellers for Shopify stores because of Etsy’s high fees and introduction of mandatory off-site marketing.

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  • How To Make Money With The Erin Condren Affiliate Program

    If you are a planner girl who creates plan with me videos on YouTube or Instagram you could be making hundreds of dollars a month doing what you love by joining the Erin Condren affiliate program.

    In this post I’m sharing how you can make money as an EC affiliate and why you should go sign up for ShareASale and join the Erin Condren affiliate program right now!

    The Erin Condren affiliate program is one of the best affiliate programs available for anyone making planner content. Even if you use a different style planner it is likely that your audience will love Erin Condren planner products.

    How To Sign Up For The Erin Condren Affiliate Program

    The Erin Condren affiliate program is run by the affiliate network ShareASale.

    ShareASale is an affiliate network which means it is a platform where you can sign up for multiple affiliate programs within it. There are a couple great programs within ShareASale but for this specific niche of planning and budget planners the best one is Erin Condren.

    In the video below I walk through how you can sign up for the Erin Condren affiliate program on the ShareASale affiliate network.

    Benefits Of The Erin Condren Affiliate Program

    So why is the Erin Condren affiliate program so amazing for planner related content creators?

    The Erin Condren affiliate marketing program gives you 10% of each sale you refer to them which is often quite high since their average sale is $73.71 and your viewers are likely to be planning to buy there anyway.

    As a planner you are likely already using Erin Condren products or related items so you will be showcasing and recommending their products in your content. The affiliate program they run through ShareASale allows you to earn 10% of whatever your audience buys through your links. It’s additional money for you as a commission for sharing how much you love Erin Condren products.

    Things you can recommend from Erin Condren are planners, stickers, and other related accessories. It’s a great program and I routinely earn money from it even though I don’t use Erin Condren products! If you do you should get paid for your efforts instead of only getting free products through referrals. 

    To promote Erin Condren you should go start an account with ShareASale and search for Erin Condren under merchants or in the top ranked merchants since they are always near the top.

    Why Use Affiliate Marketing

    If you have a planner related blog, Instagram account, or YouTube channel then you can monetize your content through affiliate marketing especially the Erin Condren affiliate program through ShareASale.

    I’ve been making money from my budgeting YouTube channel for a while and because of this I get a lot of questions from new YouTubers about how to make money or grow their channels. I always suggest using affiliate marketing for products they already use and love.

    Affiliate marketing has made my channel more most months than I’ve made on ads. It makes this amount of money because people love to click through and purchase the budget stickers I used in my planner. 

    When you create a channel about something you are passionate about you probably have a dedicated audience that will support you by using links where you can make a commission. In fact, affiliate marketing is the BEST way for new content creators to get started because you don’t need huge amounts of views or followers.

    All you need is a passion for the products you are sharing and if you are a planner you likely already have a huge passion for Erin Condren products because they are amazing.

    What is affiliate marketing?

    Affiliate marketing is where you promote products to your audience and then earn a commission when someone makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link. 

    You earn money by selling other people’s products.

    The commissions for those sales can range from 4% to 70% of the product sales price.

    As you can see, you can earn major amounts of money when you are earning 50% or more of a product price without having to create the product.

    Affiliate marketing works in the same way as many old school referral programs and allows people to earn money through their blog or social media platforms by talking about things they love. It actually works well for all parties involved because you are only paid when you make a sale, it does not increase consumer cost, and the company providing the product does not have to pay upfront in case you don’t provide sales. 

    There are affiliate programs for all types of products and in every industry. There are affiliate programs where you can earn money promoting clothing, makeup, crafts, credit cards, bank accounts, ebooks, online courses and more. Regardless of what you plan to talk about online there will be an affiliate marketing program that will fit into your niche.

    Affiliate programs will pay commissions in three different ways:

    1. Pay per sale – You will earn a commission only when someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link.
    2. Pay per lead – You will earn a commission if someone signs up for a free trial or creates a free account or somehow otherwise gives a company their email address as a lead.
    3. Pay per click – This style of program is where you are paid money whenever someone clicks through one of your links.  

    There are many types of affiliate marketing programs but the most common one is pay per sale. That is what I will be referring to and giving tips to since it is what I use the most. 

    How is affiliate marketing different from referral programs? 

    People are very used to “referral links” where someone recommends a product or service they use via a link inside their account. In return for the referral you may get a free month or other benefit from the referral. It’s a common way apps grow their user base.

    An example of a referral program you can promote in order to earn free products is Erin Condren.

    Within the Erin Condren website you can get a referral link where customers can get a credit and you get a credit too. This allows you to buy more Erin Condren products but it doesn’t earn you an income that goes into the bank.

    I’m amazed by how many passionate content creators I see using this referral program so they get free products but not using the affiliate program where they can earn actual income.

    In contrast, you can earn money with the Erin Condren affiliate program through ShareASale.

    Affiliate marketing programs are different because they are special partnerships that not everyone has access to. Many have special requirements like a certain number of followers or website traffic and some even require a certain number of signups per month.

    Affiliate marketing programs most often give affiliates cash or a similar form of compensation for their work to create sales through driving traffic through their links. An example of affiliate programs are when someone signs up for a program I’ve shared and I receive $50 in return. 

    How To Create Affiliate Links To Erin Condren

    Once you’ve signed up for the Erin Condren affiliate program at ShareASale then you will then need to create the affiliate links you will share in order to make money from commissions.

    Creating links to Erin Condren products can be done a few different ways:

    • copying affiliate links in ShareASale that Erin Condren created
    • using the deal and coupon links created
    • posting ad banners that use affiliate links
    • creating custom links to Erin Condren products you love
    • making a page showing multiple Erin Condren products

    Creating these links is as easy as copying and pasting in most cases. The video below shows you how you can create affiliate links in several different ways.

    You will create the type of link that fits your need best depending on the strategy you want to use to promote your affiliate links.

    Affiliate Marketing Tips For Erin Condren Affiliates

    After you sign up to be an Erin Condren affiliate you may be wondering how to promote the program in order to earn money.

    Here are a few of my favorite tips specific to promoting Erin Condren products as an affiliate.

    • use Erin Condren products in your video/photos and link to that specific item by creating a custom link
    • create a page using ShareASale datafeed tools to recommend your favorite Erin Condren products on a page on your blog
    • share your hauls of new Erin Condren products and link to the new products
    • offer coupon codes for your audience from the coupon / deals section
    • show off how you organize your planner items and promote Erin Condren products and content that show how to organize items
    • connect with your affiliate marketing manager – Erin Condren has a dedicated affiliate marketing manager you can contact through the ShareASale program and they can help you with tips and tricks
    • create content with affiliate marketing in mind instead of as an afterthought – this will allow you to craft content around promoting certain items
    • show off your planner layouts each week either on Instagram and YouTube along with your EC links in the description or bio

    These tips and ideas should get you started for promoting the Erin Condren affiliate program!

    Affiliate Marketing Tips For YouTubers

    If you are a YouTuber with a budgeting related channel and want to start use affiliate marketing to earn money then here are some of my favorite tips:

    • Mention your links in the video and direct your audience to your description box.
    • Include an affiliate disclaimer link in your description box that is clear you will make a commission.
    • Link to specific products you use instead of the general page. The less steps between a buyer and the purchase the better. Specific links convert better than generic ones.
    • Use products in the programs that you are promoting as an affiliate. If you have a choice to use products in the program or not, use the ones you can promote as an affiliate. People always want to know where you got things.
    • Leave a link to what you used in the video in a pinned comment.
    • Respond to any questions where people ask where you got something and give them the affiliate link. (This is just polite practice as well that builds trust with your audience.)

    Those are just a few of my best tips for how I’ve managed to share products I love like Erin Condren and my favorite budget stickers shops and cash envelope makers while also earning income for doing it!

    If you have any questions about affiliate marketing or want to learn more, sign up for my email list where I share tips and tricks about how to monetize your YouTube channel.

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  • Best Personal Financial Niche Affiliate Programs

    If you are a financial YouTuber looking to earn money from your channel beyond ads, you should consider affiliate marketing. Promoting good financial services and products is a great way to increase your revenue.

    I’ve written before about the best affiliate networks for budgeting YouTubers and how to use affiliate marketing on Youtube, but today I’m going to cover some of the best affiliate programs for personal finance niche YouTube channels or blogs.

    Best Financial Affiliate Programs For Personal Finance Niche YouTubers & Bloggers

    Below I’m listing my favorite personal finance niche affiliate programs, most of which are from the affiliate network FlexOffers.

    If you are a personal finance blogger or YouTuber who has not yet signed up for FlexOffers to find affiliate programs then you should use my referral link and do it right now! It’s a goldmine for programs that convert well and are actually high quality and helpful for your audience.

    I do not belong to or promote all of the affiliate programs below because I’ve limited my number of affiliates to promote at once but I do promote 6 on this list and love the others!

    This is a list from May 2020 so payouts and terms of these programs may have changed, check them out today to see if things have changed!

    Investing Affiliate Programs

    These affiliate programs are amazing for investing focused content creators and have amazing payouts.


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $8.00 per lead.

    Description: “Acorns offers a micro investing app that helps people save and invest for their future. Over 3 million Americans use Acorns to help set aside a little from their everyday purchases. This program has a 30-day cookie duration.”


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is a flat fee of $12.00 on free analysis leads.

    Description: “Blooom is a group of experts dedicated to managing users’ 401k online in a simple, affordable way — giving people the confidence to make smarter decisions with their hard-earned dollars.This program offers a 30-day cookie duration.”

    M1 Finance

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $80 of qualified fundings.

    Description: “M1 is the future of finance in a sleek, modern app. Rated #1 for both Sophisticated Investors and Socially Responsible Investing by Investopedia, users can enjoy: free investing, high yield checking, low rate borrowing, automation, and optimization. This program offers a 30 day cookie duration.”

    Motley Fool

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $112 on sales.

    Description: “The Motley Fool is dedicated to helping the world invest — better. Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, mutual funds, and premium investing services. This program offers a 45-day cookie duration.”


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $4.00 per lead.

    Description: “Stash is on a mission to empower a new generation of investors, offering different types of accounts in which everyone can access to new financial opportunities. This program offers a 15-day cookie duration.”

    Personal Finance Affiliate Programs

    These general personal finance affiliate programs are great for multiple different kinds of channels and content.


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $225 (accepted refinanced student loan offer), and $112.50 (accepted student loan offers or accepted personal loan offers). Loan funds must be disbursed and not cancelled beyond three days.

    Description: “Credible empowers consumers by bringing transparency and simplicity to the process of borrowing and refinancing debt. Borrowers can receive personalized, pre-qualified offers from multiple lenders across student loan refinancing, private student loans, and personal loans in under two minutes. This program offers a 45-day cookie duration.”


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $12.00 per purchase of the Ultimate 3B monthly or quarterly report product, $4.00 on a 1B product purchase, $8.00 on a 3B product purchase, $80.00 each time the annual 3B product is purchased, and between 8.4%-12.64% on particular SKU List products (a sale under $4.00 will receive no commission).

    Description: “myFICO is the leading expert in providing actual credit reports, scores and information to consumers online. This program offers a 30-day cookie duration period.”


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $120 when a customer gets funded within 30 days of the application.

    Description: “Payoff consists of a team of financial services professionals, research and clinical psychologists, data scientists, neuroscientists, member advocates, and technology experts working together to better understand and accelerate people’s journey towards financial wellness. For customers, Payoff consists of an easy online application, personal service from start to finish, and attainable loans at competitive rates. This program offers a 45-day cookie duration.”

    Personal Capital

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $100 per qualified lead (links at least $100,000 in investable assets to Personal Capital’s Free Financial Dashboard).

    Description: “Personal Capital is wealth management for the Internet Age. Their online platform combines digital technology with highly personalized service to provide a holistic view to a unique financial picture. The Personal Capital affiliate program offers a 60-day referral period.”


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: Payout of up to $750 per funded loan / sale. Payout applies to all financial services verticals on the SuperMoney website.

    Description: “SuperMoney helps people compare financial services. In fact, to date we’ve helped millions of people shop for loans, investments and other financial related products.  As a financial services aggregator, SuperMoney partners with the world’s leading banks and financial service companies to empower consumers with a KAYAK-like comparison shopping experience.”


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $48 of sales.

    Description: “Millions of consumers use TransUnion’s products to manage their credit online & through our apps, protect their identity day & night, and make meaningful progress toward their financial goals. This program offers a 30 day cookie duration.”


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $6.80 on sales

    Description: “Truebill is an app that helps people gain awareness about their spending habits and better manage their money. Truebill makes it easier than ever to manage subscriptions, lower your bills, and stay on top of finances  & budgeting. This program offers a 30-day cookie duration.”

    Money Saving Affiliate Programs

    These affiliate programs are great for people are are wanting to save money. If you have a frugal or savings focused audience, these are for you!


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout per New Desktop Installs only (no re-install) is $0.8 per US customer.

    Description: “Honey is a browser extension that finds the best discount codes/makes sure you never overpay. Shop like normal and when you’re ready to checkout, we’ll instantly find and apply the Internet’s best codes directly to your cart.  It only takes two clicks and it’s 100% free. This program offers a 30-day cookie duration.”


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $4.50 (user connects financial account).

    Description: “Trim is a virtual personal assistant that constantly works to save users money. Trim adds value in such ways as canceling old subscriptions, setting spending alerts, checking how much users spent on ride-sharing apps the previous month, and automatically fighting fees.”

    Side Hustle Affiliate Programs

    These affiliate programs are great for the side hustle and make more money niche.


    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $20 per Shopper Activation.

    Description: “Shop and deliver everyday essentials with Instacart, the go-to service for quick and effective grocery shopping. Set your own schedule, be a household hero, and earn money quickly. Customers select groceries through a web application that gives them access to their favorites stores online. Full-service shoppers receive these orders through an app on their smartphone, then shop and deliver groceries to the customer’s door. This program offers a 30-day cookie duration period.”

    Referral Programs

    You can also promote many referral based products where you can earn free items or cash but it’s not strictly an affiliate program. I’ve listed my favorite referral programs below.


    Payout: Earn $25 for each referral.

    Description: “Since our founding in 1997, Rakuten has helped shape the way people shop online, offering Cash Back, deals and shopping rewards on the world’s largest selection of products and services. To date, our 12 million members in the U.S. have earned over $1 billion in Cash Back at their favorite stores.”

    Robinhood App

    Payout: One free stock for each referral.

    Description: “Robinhood, a pioneer of commission-free investing, gives you more ways to make your money work harder. Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, ETFs, and options with Robinhood Financial, as well as buy and sell cryptocurrencies with Robinhood Crypto. “

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