Type-A West Blogging Conference: Denver

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Related Post: My FinCon16 Return on Investment-Was it Worth It?

I first heard about the Type-A blogging conference a couple of years ago. I had a ton of dear friends who happen to be parents who also blog. As a single woman with no kiddos or spouse on the horizon, I wasn’t sure if I would ever attend a Type-A conference anytime soon.

Fortunately for me I had the opportunity to speak at the 2015 conference in Atlanta as a part of a panel that my Mastermind group and I put together on the power of participating in mastermind groups for growing your business. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go and connect with this amazing community of bloggers who are sharing content across the content spectrum.

Type-A West 

Is a new addition to the Type-A brand and will be held in Denver, CO from April 27-April 29th. And, yes I’m going! If you’re still on the fence about going-decide now! The conference is next week.  For those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit Denver, it’s a great town with a ton going on and awesome people.

  • The Mile High City-I’m talking elevation people!
  • More sunshine than San Diego. I spent some time in San Diego last year and I can confirm that Denver is consistently sunnier.
  • Tons to do.
  • Great food
  • Wonderful culture.
  • Check out my sister blog: www.coloradoluvhub.info for more info on all things Colorado.

Conference Content

I met some amazing people at Atlanta conference learned a ton.  Left with resources that helped me grow my online presence, and memories of a great experience. This year’s conference sessions include (but aren’t limited to the following)

  • Become a Content Creating Ninja
  • How to Grow Your Social Accounts Without Buying Followers (organic growth!)
  • Podcasting from Zero to Launch
  • Getting the Most Out of Livestreaming

I am so excited to check out all of this content and use it this year as I make some changes to my brand. This is universal content good for any type of genre that you may be in.

Logistics

  • Sign Up HERE to get your pass. Don’t forget to use the following code: FRIENDOFMICHELLE (you get 25% off your pass-NICE)
  • Check out CheapOair to see if there are good deals on tickets.
  • Denver International Airport is a super easy airport to navigate. If you get confused for any reason just ask for directions-the staff is typically VERY helpful. Also, once you reach the Main Terminal you can take the Plane to Denver’s Union Station. It typically takes about 37 minutes barring unforeseen issues. The cost is $9 one way.
  • Once you arrive downtown you can take the free Mall Shuttle to Curtis Street and walk 2 blocks to The Curtis Hotel OR you can take a LYFT for less than $10 with tip. New Lyft users use my link to get $5 off your first LYFT ride. You will need to download the app 🙂
  • The Curtis Hotel-Is the host venue. I LOVE This hotel. It’s really cool. But, I already live in Denver so I plan on staying at my house LOL! For those of you coming in from out of town-you will have a great time in this hotel.
  • I can now say (with confidence) that Denver has GREAT food. Given how delicious the food was at the Atlanta conference I know that Kelby (the founder of Type-A Parent Conference) and her amazing team will ROCK this. I am still convinced that the Atlanta conference had the best conference food I’ve ever had-and I’ve gone to a lot of conferences.  If you are a vegan or vegetarian you can eat at most restaurants and enjoy some great food. However, if you would like to go to a restaurant that only serves vegan/vegetarian (or a mix) foods here are some suggestions. Take a LYFT to make life easier.  **Most restaurants should be able to accommodate your dietary needs-just reach out to them before you go**
  • Suggestions for the meat eating crew-Again, just take a LYFT to make life easier.

Altitude Sickness

I’m going to get real with you and tell you the truth. Do not underestimate the possibility of getting altitude sickness. Please take this seriously.

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Do not go crazy and decide that you should exercise like a ninja because you’re now in Colorado and you see people exercising everywhere-don’t do it. I’ve warned a number of friends about this and they ignored me and got sick.
  • If you’re here for a fewer than 5 days keep the physical activity REALLY low-key. Your body needs time to adjust to the altitude.
  • If you’re planning to go to  the mountains during your time here I would strongly recommend that you go towards the end of your trip. Again, you will be going to a higher altitude and your body may feel it.
  • If you have any health concerns-talk to your doctor. Period.
  • Stay hydrated (yep, I mentioned this twice)
  • Listen to your body.
  • Don’t freak out. Most people are fine. I just think that it’s important to be super clear about altitude sickness.

See You Next Week! 

Don’t forget Sign Up HERE to get your pass. Don’t forget to use the following code:

FRIENDOFMICHELLE

(you get 25% off your pass)

www.shopmyclosetproject.com

 

Changes Are Coming

I decided to wait before writing this post because sometimes inspiration and ideas strike when you least expect it. I was walking in my neighborhood park and I had to acknowledge a feeling that I’ve been having for awhile…I’m ready to change The Shop My Closet Project.

5 Years

I’ve been blogging as The Shop My Closet Project since 2012 and I’m very thankful and blessed that I started this project. It has truly been a lifeline for me and a great way for me to share all of my thoughts about finances and life.

Seasons Change

It’s not lost on me that I’m writing this post on the first day of Spring. It’s a slightly overcast 80-degree day in Denver and I’m blogging from a lovely coffee shop in the LOHI neighborhood of Denver.

It’s time to change the name of my blog. For reasons lost on me people never understood the concept of shopping your closet and using what you have. In fact, in the past five years I can count on my hands how many people understood the concept immediately. Want to guess? I had 5 people totally “get” it.

Sigh.

But, even if they did understand the concept after 5 years it’s just time to make some changes. So, I’m hoping to get the name of the site changed and launched by May 1st. I love the new name and the concept is still basically the same: single women, between the ages of 29-49 who love travel, organic stuff, and pursuing debt and financial freedom. But, the blog will be a lot more obvious about who I’m focused on and my financial philosophies.

After 5 years of working on my financial mindset, I’ve changed as a person in some pretty significant ways that just aren’t obvious on the blog right now. I want to share those financial mindset changes and I want to start a movement to empower women to take charge of their financial lives.

I drank the Kool-Aid.

I’ve also mentioned that I have a goal of being debt free by July 24, 2018 (my birthday). As part of the changes to the blog, I will be sharing passive income goals and reports. When I talk about earning money from my websites (I have more than one) I’m talking about the following:

  • Affiliate income (my favorite)
  • Sales of digital products that I produce (my second favorite).
  • Monetizing Girl Gone Frugal (again) my podcast. That name will stay the same.
  • Public Speaking (not passive)
  • And, ad revenue.

I do not include the following types of income that a lot of bloggers tend to include in blogging earnings:

  • Freelancing of any kind.

Passive Income has long been my primary focus but I must admit that I haven’t focused on it in the way that I will be moving forward.

I’m excited about the changes coming up and I think that these changes will help me grow my income and connect with more readers.

Change is Good

www.shopmyclosetproject.com

 

 

How To Decide What to Blog About

One of the best things that I’ve ever done was start a blog. It has been a strange and wonderful journey filled with ups and downs and the occasional looking back and wondering “why did I decide to do this?”  I also find myself wondering how I decided what to blog about.

What To Blog About

Is probably the hardest and easiest question that many people ask themselves. In fact, since I began my closed Facebook group The D.O.N.E. Society for future digital entrepreneurs (join here!) I’ve discovered that many people get stuck before they publish their first post.

Too Many Choices

The fact is it doesn’t really matter what you blog about that first day, week, or year. It just matters that you start. Like with most things blogging has become something that people feel that they have an in depth understanding of…even before they start doing it.

What people forget is that the first day, week, or months no one will be reading your blog except for you, your mom, and your best friend. Seriously. Also, and this one will sting a little bit, but for the majority of you your writing won’t be as good as you think (and it DOESN’T need to be perfect).  But, your writing will become amazing over time.

What Excites You?

What do you geek out about? What do you think about and have a level of passion for? What is bothering you? What could you write about over and over again in 50,000 different ways and still enjoy thinking about? What situations are you fed up with and you just want to share and get it off your chest?

Write down every topic that comes up and see what topic keeps coming up.

Stop worrying if your story will resonate with someone. It will. There are billions of people out there and it’s guaranteed that a number of those people will connect with your story…and with you! But, how will they connect with you if you never start?

Create a Swipe File 

What is that? Hopefully, you are reading other blogs about the topic you’re interested in writing about. Write down all of the topics that people are writing about and figure out your own special spin on it.

Spend time on Pinterest and type in different searches to see what types of posts people have written. Don’t overthink this process. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself, you just want to give yourself material to write about.

Don’t Worry 

If you find that you don’t like what you’re writing about-change it! The best thing about running a blog is that it is YOUR space to express your creativity. You can change what you’re doing until you find the right fit.

I’ve noticed that people are almost too savvy for their own good when they consider adding a blog to their future business endeavors. People know that there is the potential to make substantial amounts of money via a nicely monetized site.

Blogging is a Long-Term Game

I can’t keep track of the number of people who ask if blogging is easy. It is not necessarily hard, but it isn’t easy. Why isn’t it easy? Because blogging is a long-term project. In fact, think of blogging like long-term investing and the Rule of 72. If you’re not familiar with this rule it is referring to the number of years it takes to double your money when investing at a certain percentage. Blogging works the same way.

Most people don’t realize this but it usually takes bloggers 2 years from the moment that they decided to monetize to make serious money (more than $10,000 a month) via their blog. If you don’t believe me email your favorite bloggers and ask them. You can even look through their blog earnings reports to see the trends in their earnings.

Because blogging is a long-term project the ability to be flexible in the beginning is a gift. Be comfortable with making mistakes, feeling a little unsure, and learning how to share your voice  via the written word.

The major question that you should be asking yourself is not what you should blog about, but when you should get started.

Don’t let Analysis Paralysis keep you from starting what can be a transformative and life changing journey. I purposely decided to write about personal finance and lifestyle issues because I knew that there would be days when I just didn’t feel like blogging about money. I knew that I wanted to also share my thoughts on health, dating, and travel.

Three

I currently run 3 completely different blogs. The reason that I decided to launch 2 additional blogs was because I felt the need to share different different information and stories in a different space. I also wanted to connect with different people concerning topics that might not resonate with current readers of this blog. And, because I could.

Focusing on what to blog about should not keep you from telling whatever stories you would like to share. Please just get started and make adjustments along the way.

www.shopmyclosetproject.com

A Reintroduction-Hi, My Name is Michelle and I’m a PF Blogger

For the past couple of months or so a lot has been going on behind the scenes. I’ve started a new project, I’ve created some closed Facebook groups, and I’ve gotten very clear about the direction I would like things (like…my life..) to move towards. But, in the midst of all of that planning, working, and strategizing I realized that there were a few  important things that I needed to do first.

I continue to love personal finance and all of its intricacies and imagine that I will continue to blog about/podcast/and speak about the topic of financial empowerment for the near future. But, in all of my business maneuverings I realized that I was needing to get back to the basics and focus on what this blog is all about.

I needed to reconnect with The Shop My Closet Project, its mission, and the goals that I set as part of this project.  I’ve changed and how I view what I share via The Shop My Closet Project has changed in some subtle ways that people who have know me know that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy working on so that I can move forward with integrity. But, first, I think it’s important to reintroduce myself to my long-time readers and supporters and new visitors to my page.

My Name is Michelle…

And, I’m a personal finance blogger.

It’s funny when you introduce yourself in that way to new people. Yes, I write about my feelings concerning my money, my mistakes, and my lessons learned. I geek out on debt repayment, side hustles, and when people win their battle with personal finance.

Since 2012 I’ve written about my money. I was an obsessive reader of personal finance blogs and randomly stumbled on a conference called FinCon that was in its second year and being held in Denver two weeks after I discovered it. I had to go! It was only $100 and scrounged that money up so that I could meet people who geeked on talking about personal finance just like I did. And even though I am a serious extrovert-I held back that weekend because it was so much to take in. I wasn’t the only one struggling with money. There were people out there who had experienced similar hard times and had taken control of their money.

There were also amazing people who had no financial issues but loved to share their knowledge and passion about personal finance with others. I had no idea what becoming a part of the FinCon Community would do for me.

You have to understand that at the time I started blogging about money I was:

  • Depressed
  • Overwhelmed
  • Over weight (still am a little bit!)
  • Deeply in Debt
  • Frightened
  • Worried
  • And, lonely

I was coming off of years of supporting both myself and my mother who had lost her job and was unable to find another one even though she had worked hard all her life. Like most people, I was ill-equipped to handle this financial tsunami that threatened to drown me. At the time that I found myself helping out my mom I was in the process of trying to finish graduate school and was working at Startbucks to supplement my income.

I would graduate with no job (we were in a down turn) and earning an average of $9 an hour including tips. I will forever be grateful to Starbucks and even though I’m a HUGE supporter of local business, Starbucks continues to be a chain that I support because…they hired me when no one else would.

I understand what it’s like to:

  • Have bill collectors call
  • To have no savings
  • To have credit card debt accrue because you use your cards for groceries.
  • To have to completely re-educate yourself about money
  • To kill bad financial habits
  • And, to have people talk down to you about what you’ve done to survive.

As a result of these experiences you won’t be judged by me as you work to change your money story. I won’t shame you when you make epic mistakes, I won’t tell you what “I would have done” patronize you, or kick you when you’re down.

You won’t get talked down to and told how you shouldn’t have done what you’ve done….with your money. Because ultimately you have to manage your mistakes. You’re an adult and most of us are doing the best we can with information and resources we have. And, most of us learn our money lessons through trial, error, and a splash of pain.

My Personal Finances

Could be better and could be worse. I became self-employed at the of  2014 and have experienced a totally different financial education that includes:

  • Managing inconsistent cash flow
  • Self-employment taxes
  • Saving for retirement as a self-employed person
  • And dealing with debt as a self-employed person

I’ve made mistakes and I’ve rocked several decisions. I’ve learned a lot about personal finance since 2012 and the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is the following:

Personal finance is a complicated mix of mindset, knowledge, actions, and strategy.

Without the right mindset it will be hard to use the knowledge that you gain, apply focused action, and devise strategies that will get you ahead.

My Mindset

I’ve experienced a profound mindset shift in the past 5 years and I want to quickly walk you through it.

  • 2012-I begin blogging “for real” I’m was so overwhelmed and couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted to leave my job, but how could I? I had so much debt. How would I live, eat, and pay my bills? I hated what I was doing and felt profoundly stuck.
  • 2013-I decided to do a year long No Shopping Challenge because why not? I end up saving $4000 by not shopping for clothes and begin to discover the real difference between wants vs. needs. It also shocks me how much my spending was a result of boredom, loneliness, and habit.  I begin to work on lowering several line items in my budget. I begin to imagine working for myself. Didn’t have a clear idea of how I would do it, but it seemed like a cool idea.
  • 2014-I finish my No Shopping Challenge and then proceeded to work even harder on slashing my budget.  I manage to cut $13,500 from my overall budget and have a light bulb moment. I was working like a dog for a lot of sh$t I didn’t need. I decide that this was the year that I would take a leap of faith and leave my job. My D.O.N.E. moment was on December 16, 2014. I fly out of Denver the day after I quit and then made my way to Sydney, Australia for a 2 month break.
  • 2015-I began working for myself and work a business model completely ill-suited for my personality BUT STILL MAKE MONEY. Huh? I didn’t like what I was doing but I loved how my life was coming together.
    • 2016-I change my business model from business to business to business to consumer and create The D.O.N.E. Society a community for people working their 9-5 but can’t leave yet. I also reconnect with my mission to grow The Shop My Closet Project’s community and help create empowered people who are slashing their budget without lowering their quality of life through strategic and well-thought out money moves.

2016

It is now June 2016 and I cannot believe how much time has passed by. There have been a lot of mistakes made along the way…but, I’m still standing.

In the end, I’ve discovered that mindset has been where I struggled most. Developing an abundance mindset, believing that I can be debt free, noticing moments of self-sabotage and demanding what I’m worth as I negotiate business deals has been an eye opener.

My SMCP Goals

  • I want to help people believe that they can earn more via entrepreneurship or through sheer belief. I want to help people go from $9 an hour to salaried if they DON’T want to be an entrepreneur.
  • I want to help people see that around 80% of the time they are making financial choices…with the jobs that they choose, the fields that they are in, the cars that they buy, the people that they marry (harsh, but true) the homes they purchase, and societal norms that they follow.
  • To help people cut at least 25% from their budget without feeling like they are suffering. No FOMO (fear of missing out) in case you believe in YOLO.
  • Get people thinking about, looking for, and finding side hustles that pay a heck of a lot more than minimum wage. Examples include: freelance writing, creating products, starting a blog (long-term), brand ambassador work, etc.
  • Get people to maximize their time and money.
  • Help people live their best lives in the moment that they are in now as they work towards future goals.

My Name is Michelle…

And I’m a personal finance blogger who is still on my money journey. And, that’s ok. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will continue working hard so that one day I can share my “I’m debt free post.”

Until then,  here is a little more about me.

  • I am from Colorado and love Colorado like Texans love Texas. I even blog about Colorado! If you’re visiting this year-check it out! www.coloradoluvhub.info 
  • I am an adult learning how to drive for the first time. I purchased a car as a self-employed person-cash. I will share that story someday. It was a bit of a mess, but things worked out. Just think…cash flow. I plan on taking my driving test this month-watch out Colorado!
  • Some of my best side hustles: helping people learn how to use cell phones $22 an hour, giving people a food product $22, was in an R Kelly video filmed at Red Rocks $100, getting people to sign up for a giveaway $35 an hour, and freelance writing around $250, and blogging depends on the month.
  • I read A LOT. Like, A LOT. I’m reading at least 3-5 books at a time.
  • I am getting back into dancing and have auditioned for the Denver Broncos Cheerleading Squad and the Denver Nuggets Dance Squad. Did well, didn’t get it. Now I’m obsessed with Yanis Marshall’s heels choreographer. Not for the faint of heart. You can check it out on Youtube.
  • I’ve learned French and Spanish. I can still read French but can’t speak it right now. I’m still studying Spanish.
  • Travel is bae. Seriously. I like traveling by myself or with specific friends or my mom. I don’t care as long as I’m traveling.

Do I Like Working for Myself?

Yes.

I don’t miss, chit chatting around the water cooler, commutes, serving the wrong people (who I loved..but, they already had enough resources), or the field that I was in even though I’m still passionate about it.

Are there things that I hate?

Yes.

Cash flow is my biggest pet peeve and I’ve spent a lot of time working on how to manage it. I strongly believe that people working for themselves should always have at least 1 product is completely theirs. And, yes, I’m working on it.

Join TSMCP’s Closed Facebook Group!

Need inspiration, support, money saving resources, and a judgement free zone? Click the following link to join our closed Facebook group today!  Also, check out my free Summer Savings guide that will get you on track to saving 25% of your budget. Now, let’s be clear, judgement free doesn’t mean anything goes. It just means that if you make a bonehead mistake you’re an adult who understands that there are consequences.

Or,

Hang out with me this month on Periscope. You’ll find me at: @ShopMyCloset12 I plan on scoping every day in the month of June on all topics related to money, saving you money, and mindset related issues.

www.shopmyclosetproject.com

Blog Yourself Rich

 In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Affiliate links will have an asterisk (*) next to them. Please read my disclosure here.*

I love blogging. And even though I cut down on the number of posts that I write almost every single summer I continue sharing my thoughts, my ideas, and my journey via my blog. Blogging has quite frankly been a transformative experience. I have grown professionally, met amazing people, and watched as a number of good friends have begun the blog yourself rich journey. Because it is possible to grow your income blogging. You just need a blueprint, a lot of hard work, and focus. I should also mention that you also need to start.

What Are You Waiting For?

Not only is blogging transformative a number of people have figured out how to make substantial amounts of money blogging. One of those friends is Lauren Bowling from the blog L Bee and the Money Tree. In the past 4 years Lauren has been able to make $50,000 in side income from blogging.

$50,000

If you’re on the fence about starting a blog I get it. You’re probably wondering: what should you write about? Who’s going to read it? how do I set it up? Well, luckily for you Lauren has created a guide to help you work through some of these questions. Blog Yourself Rich*

Can you imagine sharing your journey, helping people with your story, creating a community, and learning a ton of skills all at the same time?

There are so many ways to make money blogging it’s mind-boggling. In fact, I wish that I had more guidance and focus as a beginning blogger. I probably would be making a lot more passive income with my blog than I currently am.

Blog Yourself Rich*

Is Lauren Bowling’s guide to working through the different components that many beginning bloggers struggle with. Let’s be clear, we’re not guaranteeing that you will become rich but the following people are people that I know who are well on their way to building amazing income because of their blogging journeys:

  • Michelle Schroeder-Making Sense of Cents
  • Rosemarie Groner-The Busy Budgeter
  • Nick Loper-Side Hustle Nation

Let’s be clear, every day they focused on growing their blogs and the different components to their business. It didn’t happen over night…but it did happen. What if it could be you? Every day new people get on the internet, there are literally billions of people who are projected to become active users of the internet within the next 3-5 years. What if you’ve established yourself as an authority by that time on the topic that you’re blogging about?

Blogging ISN’T Dead!

You’ll hear from a lot of people that blogging is dead, the space is too crowded and you can’t make money blogging. That’s not true. However,just like with anything it does take time, patience, support, and information in order to move in front of “the pack.”

Blog Yourself Rich is the type of resource that will help you go from novice to intermediate blogger in a lot less time than what it took Lauren and me to learn the ins and outs of blogging.

Now

Don’t let analysis paralysis keep you from starting your blog. Every person who starts a project, a new idea, or a new adventure is always a thousand steps in front of the person who doesn’t start. What are you waiting for? Check out Blog Yourself Rich* for more information. Lauren has made $50,000 rocking her blog. How much could you make?
www.shopmyclosetproject.com