First, I'll start with an update on our adoption process.
We've been reading and signing paperwork steadily for the past few weeks. Our next big step is to have a home study done and be approved by a social worker to bring another child into our home. This will take place next week, and the social worker will come into our home and make sure the conditions are safe, we have space for another child, and will also interview us. They will also collect a lot of paperwork from us, like copies of bills, birth certificates, and many other things. Our home study should be completed by the end of next week, and we'll know if we're approved or not a few weeks from now.
The next big step is to submit our dossier to the government of Ethiopia. This is a huge pile of documents ranging from letter from a doctor saying we are healthy to proof of employment, and I'm not even sure what else. They tell me it takes 4-6 months to complete and send a dossier.
It's pretty much a waiting game after that, waiting for the Ethiopian government to approve us and make a referral for a child for us. This can take up to two years, depending on a few things like the age and gender we request for a child, as well as health status.
My goal is to have the dossier sent off by thanksgiving, as there is a 6 month time limit to have it all in. Also, I know that the holidays can be really busy and it would be a big stress relief not to be working on all that paperwork.
Throughout getting all of this paperwork done and sent in, there are several checks to be written. Then, at the end, we will be making two trips to Ethiopia and getting ready to have a new child in our home! Needless to say, we will be saving our pennies for the next couple of years!
Along those lines, I'm hoping to use this blog to bring in some extra income to go directly into our adoption fund. I want to share with your readers how you can help me do this. Most of these tips apply to any blog you enjoy reading and don't actually cost you any extra money.
Pay attention to advertisements
Most bloggers have advertising enabled on their blog. This means that some type of ad agency has permission to place ads on their blog, and the writer is payed a small amount each time an ad is clicked on through his or her blog. I'm not saying that you should click on ads for the sole purpose of getting the writer some money, but pay attention to the ads, and click on any that interest you or look like they might apply to you.
Also, the blogger makes a very small amount of money simply by having people visit her blog and seeing the ads, which leads me to my next tip.
Share blogs you like with others
If you read a blog post you like, or find a blog that you really enjoy, tell people about it. You can share it on facebook, pin it on pinterest, email it, tweet it, or just old fashioned tell people about it. Like I said before, most bloggers get a small (really small) amount of money based on the number of visitors that visit his/her page. More importantly, though, the more readers a blog has, the more likely that writer will be able to earn through these other venues.
Shop on Amazon.com
I think most of us shop on Amazon. com at least once in a while. Many bloggers (myself included) are signed up for the Amazon affiliate program. There are a few ways to make a little cash through Amazon. If you'll look at my sidebar, you'll see an Amazon search box. If you use this to get to the Amazon website, a small percentage of the cost of anything you buy will go to the writer of the blog. Next time you go to buy something online, remember to start here and go through my website! You won't spend any more money, but you'll be supporting Raising Isabella!
There are also other ways to use Amazon to earn some money on a blog. When I talk about a product, and I add a link to Amazon where you can buy that product, I get a small percentage on that purchase, also. I have also chosen to add a feature on my sidebar of products that I think are really neat, which links to Amazon as well.
Shop Raising Isabella affiliates through this blog
I only have two affiliate programs right now, because I don't set up affiliate programs with companies simply to make money. If I find a company I like, I advertise it on my blog for the benefit of my readers. If I'm able to make a little money while I'm at it, even better. :)
My two affiliate companies are Cultures for Health and Zukababy. Normally, with an affiliate program, you click on an ad on a blog anytime you want to shop through that particular company. That's how it's set up with Cultures for Health. You'll see their button on my sidebar, as well.
With Zukababy, it's a little different because I'm a direct employee of theirs as a cloth diaper consultant. Any time you go to their website and make a purchase, type in "SE01" as your consultant code and I'll receive a commission.
Since we've started the adoption process, I decided to add a donate button. This is not so I can repeatedly pester my readers to give me money, so don't worry about that. I do, however, want to provide a place for those who wish to make a donation to support our adoption a place to do so. I haven't finished setting this up, but I should have it ready sometime next week.
I'm hesitant to write this post because I don't want to sound like I'm asking for money, or that I'm only blogging because I want to make some dough. It takes a lot of hours to make a full income blogging, and I don't expect to have that much time for a while now. I love hearing from my readers and having a place to talk about my hobbies. I figure there is nothing wrong with setting it up so I can make some extra money while I'm at it.
So, there you have it, an update on our adoption process and a little post about blogging and money!
On a side note, you may or may not have noticed that I haven't been posting my usual three posts a week. This is because the chunk of time that I had been using to write blog posts is now being used up doing adoption paperwork. I've tried a few other times of day, but it seems that any way I rearrange it, there just aren't enough hours in the day right now. (When is there ever, I suppose.) I still love writing, and I'm still planning on keeping up with this blog and the book club. So, until we get our dossier sent in, I plan to just update once a week.
Thanks for sticking with me!