10 Free Holiday Activities for Couples Paying off Debt

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

This is where it all started guys. On a quiet summer afternoon I hit publish on my first post titled 10 Free Activities for Couples Paying off Debt and the rest is history. I thought it fitting to do one for the winter as well, seeing how we spend more money this time of year than any other.

1. Christmas Lights Home Tour

Every city has a neighborhood that really goes all out with the lights. Take a drive to look at them or walk if the weather isn’t frightful. In Florida, the weather is always great this time of year so we have a biking group that does a huge ride through the neighborhoods and ends back at a bar for beers.

You can make a trip out of it too. A city near us was featured on TV for their light displays so I’m looking forward to seeing it this year. Sometimes houses do the same thing every year so it’s fun to switch it up from time to time.

2. Holiday Movie Night

Put on your pajamas and pour the cocoa, there’s nothing better than a Christmas movie! While I’m partial to all holiday Claymation movies I loved the resurgence of quality seasonal cinema of the early 2000’s. For those with Netflix (or borrowing from a friend) here’s a list of movies for your viewing pleasure.

If you don’t have Netflix, channels like NBC, ABC, Freeform, etc always have a good variety (I’m judging you if you even try to add Hallmark Channel movies to that list.)

3. School Holiday Production

Elementary schools always have some type of performance with oodles of cute awkward kids singing carols and dressed like elves. The best part, these events are usually free. If you don’t have friends with kids that can keep you in the loop find some teacher friends with connections. They’ll know when all the good shows are. But word to the wise, don’t do this one if you look like these guys:

Do the Creep

Do the Creep

4. Live Nativity

These things can range from “plastic baby in a manger” to “drive-through re-creation of the gospels.” Even if you get a bad one there’s usually hot cocoa and cookies at the end so you win either way. The good ones really do bring the Christmas story to life and it’s a pretty cool experience. I highly recommend it.

5. Star Gaze

Winter is a great time for star gazing. Taurus, Perseus, and Gemini are some of the constellations you can find in the winter sky. Yes, I did Google that, so even if you’re not a budding astronomer who doesn’t enjoy looking at shiny things in the sky?

Download an app like SkyView Free and find all the starry patterns. If you’re lucky enough to live by a planetarium see if they do free shows. Ours does two every Friday that the college is in session.

6. Holiday Parade

Was anybody else in marching band? I was and it was absolutely for the parades. There are a lot in December! We have our pick of morning or evening throughout the month. And since we live near the water we even have a few lighted boat parades! Check your cities events calendar and cities around you to fill your weekends with candy canes and Santas!

7. Photo with Santa

Speaking of Santa, how ridiculous are the prices for photos with Santa these days!? I don’t even have kids and I feel like I need to start putting away for their Santa pictures fund. That was until I found out about Bass Pro Shop’s annual Santa’s Wonderland. On select days you can get a free personalized photo with Santa, free wooden picture frame, free crafts for the kids, and more!

And even if you don’t have kids you should definitely put on your tackiest Christmas sweaters and make this years’ card something the family will be talking about til next year. Why not? It’s free!

8. Volunteer

I included this in my last list but the opportunities for giving this time of year are too numerous not to share again. Aside from soup kitchens and caroling you can hand out Christmas cards at Hospice, collect cans of food from your pantry to give to a shelter, or connect with your local foster care licensing agency to help out a foster family in need. Your money is valuable but your time is just as needed.

9. Go Outside

This is the obligatory “make a snow angel or sled down a hill” spot. But I live in Florida so I don’t know how to do that stuff. Whether you’re in blizzard country or it’s a balmy 70 degrees outside (sorry not sorry) get your butt outside and experience the free entertainment mother nature has to offer. I for one love walks downtown during the day and bonfires with s’more at night.

10. Stay Inside

Okay, outside not your thing? Stay inside… if you know what I mean. When’s the last time you pretended you were on your honeymoon or your favorite vacation with your significant other? There’s never a good time to put on those nighties from your lingerie shower so make the time! Get romantic and see what happens. Hey, it’s free. ?

Any other ideas for free activities this time of year? I’m always looking for new things to try and include in new posts!

Free Activities for Couples

Free Activities for Couples

<img data-attachment-id="4968" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/save-money-online/mf-10-free-winter-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt/" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/MF-10-Free-Winter-Activities-for-Couples-Paying-Off-Debt.png?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Want to get out of the house this winter without spending an arm and a leg?" data-image-description="

If you want to get out of the house this winter, check out these activities! 10 Free winter activities for couples paying off debt. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg every single time you leave the house. #freewinteractivities #freeactivitiesforcouples #freewinteractivitiesforcouples #cheapactivities

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/MF-10-Free-Winter-Activities-for-Couples-Paying-Off-Debt.png?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/MF-10-Free-Winter-Activities-for-Couples-Paying-Off-Debt.png?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” width=”400″ height=”600″ data-pin-title=”Want to get out of the house this winter without spending an arm and a leg?” data-pin-description=”If you want to get out of the house this winter, check out these activities! 10 Free winter activities for couples paying off debt. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg every single time you leave the house. #freewinteractivities #freeactivitiesforcouples #freewinteractivitiesforcouples #cheapactivities” src=”https://bariatrx.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/10-free-holiday-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt-1.png” alt class=”wp-image-4968″ srcset=”https://bariatrx.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/10-free-holiday-activities-for-couples-paying-off-debt-1.png 400w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/MF-10-Free-Winter-Activities-for-Couples-Paying-Off-Debt.png?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/MF-10-Free-Winter-Activities-for-Couples-Paying-Off-Debt.png?w=735&ssl=1 735w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

I

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

5 Pretty Easy Ways to Save Money on a Vacation

Do you have high hopes that there will be traveling your family’s future, but not quite sure how you can afford it?

You’re not alone. While Americans will spend an average of 10% of their household income on vacationing this year, a full 74% take on debt for their trips. Each of these tips offers you both an easy and effective way to save a substantial amount of money off your next vacation trip. Use them wisely, and you might even be able to squeeze in some extra travel this year.

1. Make use of grocery store prepared food sections

Some people think it’s crazy to not eat at restaurants for all of your vacation meals. Mostly, they want the entire week off from cooking any food.

I don’t blame them (or you) for thinking this. So, what if I told you that you can still avoid cooking all week, and not actually eat out for every single meal?

While vacationing, find your local grocery store with a prepared food section. You can find hot meals for your family – complete with salads and desserts – for much less than what it would cost to eat out. Plus, there’s’ no need to pay a tip.

2. Plan activities around discount times and coupons

You can easily save a bundle on your vacation expenses by planning your activities around available discounts. This doesn’t have to be as limiting as it sounds, it just means you have to be smart about it. For example, you could:

  • Buy a local Entertainment book and use the tourist coupons that come with it.
  • Purchase discounted tickets to local attractions and activities on group buying sites (such as Groupon.com, and LivingSocial.com) by entering the zip code of where you’ll be traveling to.
  • Plan your trip dates around free museum days (I did this on a trip to France, and got in to see the Louvre on its free Sunday of the month).

3. Change the season you travel in

One of the easiest ways you can save on almost all the costs of your next vacation is by simply changing the season that you take it. The time of year you choose makes a huge difference in how much you’ll pay – it’s a simple illustration of supply and demand.

During summertime when kids are out of school and families want to get their vacations in, you’ll pay more. But if you decide to leave for a trip to Disney World one week before schools traditionally let out? Then you’ll not only save yourself tons of waiting time in lines but a lot of money.

In fact, that’s what personally happened to me over five years ago when my husband and I decided last minute to drive to Disney World. It was May, and there were virtually no people around. No lines, no waiting, and hardly a kid in sight.

We asked anyone we could find what was going on, and they said that it would be all-out pandemonium just one week later when their peak season begins (when the majority of kids are out of school). We had unknowingly hit the jackpot, and our cheap hotel bill reinforced that!

Get creative by using winter breaks, trips during the school year, and long weekends in the off-season to save a bundle without even trying.

4. Rethink traditional hotel stays 

Next to transportation costs to get to your destination, hotel costs will make the second biggest dent in your budget. With an average cost of $133.34/night to stay in a hotel, you can see how a 5-night ($666.70) or a 7-night vacation ($933.38) can really add up.

One of the easiest ways to save on vacations is by rethinking traditional hotel stays.

Consider options like these, all of which I’ve done myself:

  • Staying with family or friends
  • Share a hotel room with family or friends
  • Book a rental with local homeowners instead of with hotels (using sites like AirBnB or Vrbo)
  • Use hotel deal sites to snatch up unfilled rooms (such as  Secretflying.com, and TheFlightDeal.com)

5.  Consider group travel

Traveling in groups allows you to pool your money for better rates. My husband’s family, for example, likes to go all-in on a beach house for a long weekend in Galveston. We generally get a 5 to 6-bedroom rental right on the beach, and the cost is just $200-$300 per family for 3-4 nights. If we were to travel on our own, we would never be able to afford such a nice place.

Not only that, but if your group travel entails a road trip, you may be able to carpool with someone to save on gas costs. And if you split up meal prep duties between families like we do? You not only have to cook only once or twice per stay, but you don’t have to eat out in restaurants the whole time.

Another way to secure travel savings in groups is by going after group discounts. Whether booking excursions, airfare, or anything else with a travel agent or by yourself, be sure to ask about possible group discounts.

Don’t forget to shop around

Pricing for hotels, airfare, and things to do can vary greatly. Don’t just visit a company’s website and assume that’s the best price. Check a number of sites — including discounters like Priceline — and look for package deals. You should also consider looking for less-traditional sources for booking trip. Warehouse clubs Costco and Sam’s Club, for example, offer deals on travel (sometimes very good ones).

It’s also important to use any discounts you have coming your way. Are you in AAA? Does someone in the family have a trade association membership that offers special deals? Check and you might unlock a special deal. Use these “work smarter, not harder” strategies when it comes to saving money on your next vacation, and you won’t have vacation debt lingering for months after your return.

–By Amanda Grossman

Source: pennypinchinmom.com

Former Dollar General CEO’s 45,000-Square-Foot Mansion Is Built for Entertainment

A megamansion that Dollar General built possesses everything a family would need for a retreat.

Owned by Cal Turner, Jr., the former CEO and chairman of Dollar General, the home on Evans Ridge Road in Parker, CO, is on the market for $12.9 million.

“It is a very unique property, and certainly one of the larger homes in the country,” says the listing agent, Liza Hogan.

The family built the 45,000-square-foot house in 2001 as a retreat, and it’s in pristine condition two decades later.

“It has never been used as a primary home, so it’s in beautiful condition,” added Hogan.

The mansion occupies 35 acres of land about 45 minutes from Denver. An adjacent 35-acre parcel is also up for sale, offering the potential for 70 acres of fenced-in privacy.

“The location is fantastic. You have beautiful, panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains,” Hogan says.

It’s approached by a long driveway that dramatically circles up to the house.

“When you come through the main gate, you can’t see anything of the property,” she adds.

Exterior of mansion in Parker, CO
Exterior of mansion in Parker, CO

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Entry
Entry

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Entertaining space
Entertaining space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Bowling alley
Bowling alley

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Bar
Bar

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Theater
Theater

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Pool
Pool

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Conceived as an ideal spot for a family getaway or corporate retreat, the massive house was built with fun and entertainment in mind.

___

Watch: Frank Lloyd Wright Home Is a Rare Find in Indiana

___

“It’s got a complete entertainment wing, with everything from a heated pool that looks like it was designed for a Roman emperor, Jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna room,” Hogan explains. “There’s also a home theater, a dance floor with a stage, a bowling alley, a billiard table, a pingpong table, arcade room, and a home gym. Outside, there are ponds that are stocked with fish.”

Bedroom
Bedroom

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Bedroom
Bedroom

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Bedroom
Bedroom

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Bathroom
Bathroom

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Guests who are exhausted after all the activities on tap will have plenty of places to sleep and recharge.

The main house offers six bedrooms, including a master suite as well as a one-bedroom apartment with a separate entrance. Two other apartments are on the property.

“You can go outside to get there, but they do connect to the main house. One is a two-bedroom apartment, and the other one is a three-bedroom apartment. That adds five more bedrooms,” Hogan says.

A large caretaker’s residence has two bedrooms. With this much space, there’s room for all guests to spread out and enjoy themselves.

Hogan tells us that the mansion’s layout is ideal for long-term guests.

“If you have guests that are staying for an extended period of time, whether it’s friends, family members, or business associates, they can have their own quarters,” she says.

Kitchen
Kitchen

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Kitchen
Kitchen

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Dining space
Dining space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Dining space
Dining space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Each apartment has its own kitchen, and the main house has a large main kitchen with a catering kitchen nearby. There are also two large dining areas, one more formal than the other.

Owners and guests will have plenty of places to park, thanks to a 29-car garage with space enough for an RV.

Garage
Garage

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Garage
Garage

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Garage
Garage

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

The house is being sold fully furnished, with the exception of a few personal items.

“We have had a complete inventory of all the furnishings done by a professional. It’s approximately 60 pages long, with every item, and photos,” Hogan adds.

Wine cellar
Wine cellar

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

The sale also includes all of the artwork and all the bottles in the extensive wine cellar.

The home has been on the market for a couple of years and was once listed for more than $20 million.

Hogan says the pool of possible buyers who want this size of house at this kind of price tag in the Denver area is limited.

“This is toward the upper end in Denver,” she says, adding that the current price reflects what the market can bear, rather than its true value.

“The seller probably has at least twice the current asking price into the property. You have to be realistic, and a property has to reflect the market.”

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

The Turner family isn’t using the house as much as they used to, so it’s time to sell.

“Lives changed, and people go in different directions. Kids grow up, and all the things that we see happen with these large, legacy homes,” Hogan says. “They still use the property, but not the way that they did for many years. It’s just time to move on.”

Although the house is huge, Hogan says it still feels warm and welcoming.

“There are many intimate areas within the house,” she says. “Every time I show it, people remark on the fact that they’re able to find spaces where they don’t feel like they’re overwhelmed with the size, and they can have privacy.”

Gym
Gym

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Boardroom
Boardroom

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Game room
Game room

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Outdoor space
Outdoor space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Game room
Game room

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Outdoor space
Outdoor space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Outdoor space
Outdoor space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

  • For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
  • Homes for sale in Parker, CO
  • Learn more about Parker, CO

Source: realtor.com

15 Top Income-Earning Blogs: Make Money Online Blogging [Infographic]

Top Paid Bloggers

Top Paid Bloggers

Table of Contents

biggest reason why you should start a blogyet?

I hope this list of income-earning blogs inspires you and proves you can make money online through blogging.

15.  Making Sense of Cents

Founder – Michelle Schroeder-Gardner
Income – $146,498 per month.

MichelleSchroederGardner #15 top earning blogs

MichelleSchroederGardner #15 top earning blogsMichelle Schroeder-Gardner started Making Sense of Cents to “help improve my finances, keep track of my progress and to help readers improve their finances along the way.”

Well, let’s see — how has Schroeder-Gardner done in these areas?

She’s certainly improved her finances, paying off over $38,000 in student loan debt in just 7 months while growing the site’s revenue year-over-year.

Schroeder-Gardner has transparently tracked her progress in her popular monthly income reports.  She says the reports act as a journal for her and keeps her accountable, while also showing others that side income is possible.

And she’s also helping others with their finances by publishing thousands of how-to articles about earning more, saving more, and becoming financially fit.
Making Sense of Cents’ primary income comes from affiliate marketing.  You can see a complete breakdown of this profitable blog’s earnings here.

#14.  Smart Passive Income

Founder – Pat Flynn
Income – $152,276 per month.

Pat Flynn #14 top earning blogs

Pat Flynn #14 top earning blogsSmart Passive Income (SPI) founder Pat Flynn is a beacon of light in the sometimes dark and shady internet marketing space.

Calling himself a “crash test dummy of online business,” Flynn transparently shows what’s working and what isn’t working in his business.

His site details his online business experiments and gives readers actionable blueprints to follow and outlines mistakes to avoid.

Flynn didn’t invent the online income report, but he certainly popularized them.  He’s been publishing monthly income reports on the blog since 2008, detailing his income sources, revenue figures, as well as his expenses.  It’s still one of the most trafficked pages on the site.

Flynn is a great example of a blogger who has successfully branched out into other areas as well.

In 2010, Flynn launched the Smart Passive Income Podcast which is routinely in iTunes top 10 Business podcasts.  To date, the show has been downloaded an impressive 33 million times.

He also broadcasts Ask Pat, a Q and A online business podcast, and SPI TV for visual learners.

Flynn is now a Wall Street Journal best-selling author with 2016’s release of Will It Fly?.

And while his individual success has been plentiful and hard-earned, Flynn gives back by serving on the board of the non-profit Pencils of Promise, helping to build new schools for children in underprivileged regions around the world.
SPI’s primary income comes from affiliate marketing, with other earnings from podcast sponsorship and products.

#13.  Lifehacker

Founder – Gina Trapani
Income – $154,000 per month

Lifehacker Gina Trapani top paid blogger

Lifehacker Gina Trapani top paid bloggerLifehacker was founded in 2005 by Gina Trapani as part of the Gawker Media network.

From the start, Trapani acted as the sole contributor, writing 8 articles a day.  Talk about blogging like a boss!

She impressively launched the site with an exclusive sponsorship from Sony, rumored to be 3 months for $75,000.  Yeah, she’s a boss.

Lifehacker eventually added other contributors and the blog continued to grow in popularity.

As its motto claims, the site’s content is about “tips, tricks and downloads for getting things done.”

Trapani moved on from the company in 2009, and Nick Denton has run it ever since.

The site still churns out 18 articles a day, all designed to make you more productive.
Lifehacker earns its most of its revenue from advertising and it’s been one of the top-earning blogs since it’s inception.

#12.  Timothy Sykes

Founder – Timothy Sykes
Income – $165,000 per monthTimothy Sykes profitable blog

Timothy Sykes profitable blog

Timothy Sykes is a multimillionaire stock trader who famously earned $4 million while day trading in college.

As a high school student, Sykes took $12,415 of his bar mitzvah gift money and turned it into  $1.65 million by day trading penny stocks.

Not stopping there, Sykes has created a hedge fund and starred in the television program Wall Street Warriors.
These days, Sykes documents his trades and strategy on his popular blog, TimothySykes.com.  His top-earning blog offers a Millionaire Challenge and a successful subscription service where users can get real-time trading alerts and access a vast library of trading videos.

#11.  Tuts+

Founder – Collis Ta’eed, Cyan Ta’eed and Jun Rung
Income – $175,000 per month

2 Top Paid Bloggers2 Top Paid Bloggers
Cyan Ta’eed and Collis Ta’eed

Collis Ta’eed, Cyan Ta’eed and Jun Rung founded Tut+ as a modest blog with tutorials on freelancing and Photoshop.

The site ultimately grew into a network of 15 educational blogs, helping people learn profitable online skills, from coding to videography.

At the center of it all remains Tuts+.  In 2014, the group combined all 16 blogs into one central hub called Envato Tuts+.

Envato Tuts+ Premium, a subscription-based membership area offering video courses and ebooks, is the primary source of the site’s income.
You can still find plenty of free content to learn creative skills and yes, they still have tutorials on freelancing and Photoshop.

Tuts+ is one of my favorite blogs and it’s inspiring to know it started as a hobby and developed naturally and organically into one of the highest-earning blogs online.

#10.  Smashing Magazine

Founder – Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman
Income – $215,000 per month

Vitaly Friedman Top Earning BlogsVitaly Friedman Top Earning Blogs
Vitaly Friedman

Smashing Magazine is the superb creation of Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman.

The blog debuted in 2006 with the goal of helping people with web design and web development interests.

Today, Smashing Magazine is a go-to site for anyone looking to acquire these lucrative skills, with an enormous amount of informative and actionable content.

Not surprisingly, the blog receives 5 million page views a month.

The site now hosts frequent web development conferences and full-day workshops all over the world, to help both professionals and amateurs improve their craft.

This top earning blog’s main income comes from their membership area, where users can learn from an impressive number of tutorials covering everything from coding, web design, mobile app development, UX design, graphics and WordPress.

#9.  EOFire

Founder – John Lee Dumas
Income – $223,000 per month

EOFire top earning blog

EOFire top earning blogI’m convinced John Lee Dumas never sleeps.

He operates EOFire.com, short for Entrepreneurs on Fire, delivers a daily business podcast, and in recent years has published two best-selling journals — The Freedom Journal and The Mastery Journal.

But his bread and butter is the EOFire podcast, which is fantastic. In 2012, he noticed none of his favorite podcasts were podcasting daily, leaving him wanting more. So he launched his daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs, and the rest, as they say, is history.

JLD, as he’s affectionately known, has now interviewed over 1600 entrepreneurs, including Tim Ferriss, Barbara Corcoran, Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk.

In 2013, EOFire was named Best of iTunes.

His journals wrote the book (no pun intended) on how to run a successful crowdsourcing campaign.  And through a partnership with Pencils of Promise, Dumas is parlaying the success of his journals into the creation of schools in underprivileged countries.  You can see one of the schools Dumas made possible here.
EOFire earned a gross income of $595,936 in February of 2016. That’s an incredible feat for one month and well-deserved for JLD.

It’s always good to see good people doing good work and succeeding.

#8.  Gizmodo

Founder – Peter Rojas
Income – $325,000 per month

Peter Rojas is so awesome he’s on this list twice.Peter Rojas 2 top earning blogs

Peter Rojas 2 top earning blogs

Rojas created Gizmodo to cover technology, entertainment, politics, science and science fiction.

Gizmodo launched in 2002 as part of the Gawker Media network run by Nick Denton with Rojas as Editor in Chief.  The blog quickly grew in popularity by partnering with a variety of international firms to deliver translated versions of its content in Europe.

When you visit the site’s home page, one of the first things you notice is an above-the-fold banner that is larger than most.   As you scroll down, you’ll find Gizmodo does a great job of showing a lot of content with only a couple of display ads along the side, with one of them being the same advertiser found at the top of the page.  When you finally scroll past all the content (there’s a lot!) and reach the bottom of the page, you’ll find another large banner just above the footer, and yes, the advertiser is the same as in the other two spots.
Gizmodo’s home page has a great balance of being heavily content-focused but still being able to make a tidy profit with ads.   The ads are unobtrusive but still get noticed, and because of the repetition, the advertiser gets noticed too.  It’s a win-win advertising model for other sites to emulate.

#7.  Perez Hilton

Founder – Perez Hilton
Income – $575,000 per month

Perez Hilton runs a profitable blog

Perez Hilton runs a profitable blogPerez Hilton is a great example of a successful blogger who capitalized on other opportunities outside of blogging.  He’s also a television personality, nationally syndicated host of Radio Perez, and author of a children’s book.

But what he’s most famous for is his celebrity gossip blog PerezHilton.com.  Millions visit his site every day to revel in his brand of snarky gossip entertainment.
Hilton, born Mario Armondo Lavandeira Jr, started his blog as a hobby and decided to focus on Hollywood “because it was something I was inherently curious about, and fascinated with. And, let’s face it, celebrities — a lot of them — are crazy.”

This profitable blog earns its revenue from advertising banners on the site.

#6.  Copyblogger

Founder – Brian Clark
Income – $1,000,000 per month

With Copyblogger, Brian Clark created an audience-focused content marketing machine. Brian Clark #6 top earning blogs

Brian Clark #6 top earning blogs

In fact, Forbes recently called it “the most influential content marketing blog in the world.”

Copyblogger has been helping people write better, sell more, and get more traffic since 2006.

The site’s original tagline was “Internet Marketing For Smart People.”  In other words, they’re not selling snake oil and get rich quick schemes.

Now the tagline is “Words That Work” and boy, do they ever.  Clark and his team are outstanding at writing copy.

When I read they’re sales copy, I’m always compelled to buy. In fact, this site operates on their Genesis Framework and a StudioPress blog theme.
Based on their audience research and communication, they’ve strategically added tools and platforms to help content marketers and digital entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

#5.  Mashable

Founder – Pete Cashmore
Income – $2,000,000 per month

Pete Cashmore High Earning Boog

Pete Cashmore High Earning BoogMashable was started in 2005 by Pete Cashmore, a 19-year-old who still lived at home with his parents in Scotland.

He began by documenting the latest news about social media and emerging Internet technologies.

His work resonated with lots of folks and Mashable became an immediate success, attracting 2 million readers within the first 18 months.

Mashable has come a long way since those early days.  It’s no longer just Cashmore contributing Mashable’s content (they’re hiring!), and they are now headquartered in New York City.
Mashable is positioned to be one of the top-earning blogs online for some time.

The blog is still growing with over 45 million readers a month and the content has expanded to cover business, entertainment and lifestyle and now offers 5 international editions.

Mashable’s income primarily comes from advertisements on the site.

#4.  TechCrunch

Founder – Michael Arrington and Keith Teare
Income – $2,500,000 per month

Michael Arrington and Keith Teare started TechCrunch in 2005 to cover technology industry news.

Keith Teare topo earning blogs founderKeith Teare topo earning blogs founder
Keith Teare

The blog has grown immensely and now features big-name columnists in the startup and venture capital industries.

AOL bought TechCrunch in 2005 for a rumored $25 to $40 million..
TechCrunch earns revenue from display advertising on the blog   Specifically, they charge between $19.25 and $36.50 per CPM (Cost Per Thousand views).

According to the site, they receive 12 million visitors per month and 35 million page views per month.  With such a high CPM, you can see how this top-earning blog makes its considerable income.

#3.  Moz

Founder – Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig
Income – $3,300,000 per month

Rand Fishkin #3 highest earning blogsRand Fishkin #3 highest earning blogs
Rand Fishkin

Moz is the go-to place for all things SEO.  Search engine optimization pros check out Moz daily to see what’s happening in the space.

They also come to use their tools and resources to help them rank their sites and extend their visibility.

Rand Fishkin co-founded the site with Gillian Muessig, who happens to be his mother.   The two initially operated a web design shop and Rand had to learn SEO to promote the business.  He shared what he learned in SEO forums and quickly became known as an authority in the field.

Frustrated by the secretive world of SEO, they started SEOMoz in 2004 as a way to openly share the knowledge.  In fact, the Moz part of their name is a direct nod to the open-source sharing philosophy made famous by the Mozilla Foundation and Dmoz Web directory project.

These days the profitable blog and community simply go by Moz, and Fishkin jokingly refers to his title as “Wizard of Moz.”
Moz earned $42 million in 2016, primarily from its paid membership area, which offers valuable tools and services for the avid search engine marketers.

True to the name, Moz still offers numerous tools for free and even the membership area comes with a 30-day free trial.

#2.  Engadget

Founder – Peter Rojas
Income – $5,500,000 per month

We last saw Peter Rojas at #8 with Gizmodo and while that blog focuses on many topics, with Engadget, it’s all about tech.Peter Rojas runs two top earning blogs

Peter Rojas runs two top earning blogs

Rojas created Engadget to give sound advice and detailed reviews on technology and consumer electronics.  From the beginning, the site has employed numerous writers and editors to contribute to its content machine.

Engadget is now run by AOL, who acquired the blog in 2005.
The lesson here is if you ever want to sell your blog, it’s best if it is a brand on its own and not a personal brand.

The company earns massive revenue from advertising on the site.

#1.  HuffPost

Founder – Arianna Huffington
Income – $14,000,000 per month

Arianna Huffington is a top paid blogger

Arianna Huffington is a top paid bloggerIn 2005, Arianna Huffington launched the Huffington Post with the goal of becoming a political counterpart to the popular Drudge Report.  The blog provided a liberal view of politics and lifestyle and quickly gained a strong following.

The site has grown year after year and in 2011, Huffington sold the blog to AOL for $315,000.

Huffington received $21 million-plus stock options in the company as part of the sale and stayed on as Editor-in-Chief.  She resigned from that post in August 2016, and now devotes her time to a new startup Thrive Global, a health and wellness site.

The site has rebranded and is now known simply as HuffPost.

It is the #1 most popular political blog according to a study by eBizMBA.  Alexa Global, Compete and Quantcast.

The top-earning blog is an enormous success, earning $14,000,000 in revenue in 2016, and it is estimated to be worth $1 billion currently.

Sponsored advertising revenue provides the majority of HuffPost’s income.  The site provides banners and other ads across it’s variety of channels.

What do you think?

I hope this list shows you what is possible and inspires you to follow your own path to the top.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think

15 Top Earning Blogs Making Money Online Infographic

As always I would love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think

Most profitable blogsMost profitable blogs
Top Paid Bloggers

As always I would love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment below.  What did you think?

<!– –>

Source: incomist.com

Compliments to the Chef

As more Americans turn to home cooking and entertaining, the functionality of a kitchen is more important than ever when choosing a home.

Over the past half-century, kitchens have become somewhat fetishized; a place to display high-tech appliances and high design cookware, a social hub for friends and family, and a continuation of home style that showcases elegance and considered design choices. Pare it back to basics, though, and today’s kitchen is still essentially what it always has been: a place to prepare food. And homeowners, spurred recently by stay-at-home orders, but also inspired by home-cooking television shows, health concerns and the rising expense of dining out, are increasingly relying on their kitchens in times when eating out is not an option, as well as using their kitchens as additional entertainment space; somewhere to try their hand at cooking for their friends and family. For house hunters who relish the opportunity to regularly entertain and prepare food for guests, it pays to know what to look for when assessing kitchen space during your house search—and the best person to ask is an expert.

Edouard Massih is a private chef and caterer in New York City. He hosts intimate dinners in his own home, giving local diners the experience of enjoying his food in a less formal, more personal way. Massih, who was born in Lebanon, found his love for cooking in his grandmother’s kitchen. Sharing food and creating community has always been the driving force behind Massih’s cooking, and he has discovered a way to do that in his own backyard—literally.

“I wanted to invite people into my backyard, because I had a very unique space in Brooklyn, and not a lot of people [in New York] get to have dinners in a backyard,” Massih says. To bring to life his vision of cooking for the community, Massih extensively renovated his Greenpoint backyard, creating a lush urban escape where guests can enjoy the exquisite food that he prepares in his own kitchen—each dish enhanced by a dash of his grandfather’s olive oil, all the way from Lebanon.

Having worked on his kitchen to ensure that it had everything that he needed to support his at-home dining experiences, Massih has the knowledge of both a professional chef and a home cook. We asked him for some tips to help aspiring culinary hosts to choose the right kitchen space, starting with the five kitchen elements that he finds to be indispensable. First, Massih says, is “the right fridge, or the right fridge space.” Part of taking the pressure off yourself when entertaining, he says, is making sure that you’re prepared in advance. “Entertaining is all about making it simple for yourself when people are there— being able to prep ahead and batching the drinks; having the pitchers of water ready in the fridge; and having everything ready to go. Maybe serve more cold stuff than hot. You can do a pasta salad and an orzo salad, and make it two hours in advance.”

Preparing food in advance, chilling drinks and ensuring that all of your produce is fresh all comes down to having the right fridge. And while interactive fridges with weather forecasts and recipe databases can be useful, the main thing is space—and plenty of it. If you want to get fancy, you could go for a hot-water dispenser and temperature-adjustable drawers, both of which assist in various cooking processes; just make sure that you have enough shelf space to hold all of the food and beverages that you’ve prepped for your guests.

Compliments to the Chef image 1

Because you can’t make a lot of food without creating a lot of mess, Massih insists that having two sinks is vital: one dedicated to food prep, and one to cleanup. You can keep your prep equipment near your prep sink (think bowls, colanders, appliances), and dishes near the cleanup sink (which should ideally be close to the dishwasher). In addition, having two sinks creates more flexibility for multiple cooks, and streamlines the flow while you’re cooking.

The third must-have for Massih is “a lot of prep area—lots of counter space.” You need space for laying out, preparing and organizing ingredients, which most people consider when thinking about counter space; but if you’re planning on entertaining groups of diners, you also need enough counter space to plate all of the meals at once. Nobody wants to be balancing plates on top of kitchen stools because there’s not enough room for everything on the countertop.

Fourth for Massih is storage, in terms of both kitchen cabinets and a decent pantry. You want plenty of space, and also space that complements your cooking flow. Pots and pans should be as close to your stove as possible—either on a rack above or in a cabinet below—and serving utensils like spoons and tongs should be close to where you do your plating, to minimize the number of steps you have to take to collect your cooking tools, which helps with efficiency when you’re cooking for a group of people. A walk-in pantry is ideal, with various shelf sizes and storage options for appliances that are not in regular use. For chefs, there’s nothing worse than a cluttered cooktop.

Lastly, Massih emphasizes the importance of, as he calls it, “legit trash.” “You want a trash can that’s near the sink or accessible around [where you’re working], and not one of those little tiny trash barrels that fits nothing,” he says. “Otherwise, every two minutes, you’ll have to take the trash out when you’re prepping.” Massih also spends a lot of time cooking in other people’s kitchens as part of his catering and private-chef business, and the one feature that he is always delighted to see is a back kitchen.

“What is really nice about some of [the private homes that I cook in] is they have a back kitchen, like the ‘help’ kitchen,” he says. “That really does help a lot. If I [had the resources], and I was looking for a house to entertain in a lot or to do a lot of dinners in, then that’s definitely something that I would look for. “A lot of these kitchens nowadays are very open-plan, because the idea of it is that it’s really fun. But it gets annoying when you’re [hosting] a formal dinner, and you can’t do dishes [or hide them away] while your guests are eating. Having a small back kitchen really helps, because then you can hide all of the stuff that you don’t want people to see.”

There’s nothing wrong with a kitchen as a style statement, and most people whose interests lie in kitchens will admit to some fetish-like reverence. Just keep practical concerns in mind, particularly when you have culinary aspirations; remember, you can have a waterfall countertop AND legit trash. That’s what we call the best of both worlds.

For more information on Edouard Massih and his home-style cooking, visit www.edouardmassih.com.

Source: century21.com